Jobs boost as ventilation firm relocates to Liverpool
The UK’s leading ventilation hygiene and system surveying company has relocated to Liverpool from the south of England and is using regional business funding to drive growth and expansion plans.
Ventilation Surveys & Services Ltd (VSS) has moved its head office from Hertfordshire to a 6,000 sq ft premises on Sandon Way, which is also set to feature an industry training centre with world-leading facilities.
The new premises will be home to teams who will oversee VSS’s operations throughout the UK and Ireland, with the firm hoping to employ up to 140 staff by 2017.
Already, VSS has taken on an additional 10 employees from Merseyside, bringing its team to 40.
Its Liverpool base officially opened on 29 May and was made possible with the help of The North West Fund for Loans Plus, managed by FW Capital, and Liverpool’s Mayoral Investment Fund, using Regional Growth Fund money.
Chief executive officer of VSS, George Friend, says he is delighted that the company has become a part of the Liverpool business community: “This move was vital for the growth of our company and formed an integral part of our expansion plan,” he said.
“We originally considered a number of locations for our new headquarters and training centre, but the help we received from Liverpool City Council and FW Capital made the decision an easy one for us and our new premises more than meets all our requirements.
“We are looking forward to forming new partnerships in the region and doing business with other Merseyside companies. We have already met some fantastic new contacts and completed deals locally, including the purchase of a fleet of vans from a Liverpool dealership.”
VSS works with a wide range of clients, including hospital trusts, schools, hotels and restaurants, from single-outlet businesses to blue chip companies. Its services cover a variety of vital safety procedures such as fire damper testing, cleaning and maintenance of ductwork and extraction systems, plus provision of validation and certification.
George continued: “One of our next steps will be to set up a telesales office to support our business development, for which we will soon be recruiting. We also have big plans for our training centre, which will be unique in the UK and home to facilities which will be among the best in the world. Our aim is to provide the very best facilities for industry training, featuring realistic practical scenarios.”
FW Capital provided VSS with a loan from The North West Fund for Loans Plus to enable the company to expand from its new Liverpool site. Investment executive
Carol Bolland commented: “VSS recognised the opportunities for businesses in the North West of England and we were pleased to work closely with Liverpool City Council to combine a loan from the North West Fund for Loans Plus with finance from the Liverpool Mayoral Investment Fund to help the company expand following their recent move to its new Merseyside headquarters.
“VSS has an impressive and experienced management team with some exciting plans for the future. The move to Merseyside is an integral part of its growth strategy and VSS is now well-placed to grow over the next five years with plans to commence a recruitment drive already in place.”
The North West Fund for Loans Plus is part of the wider North West Fund, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.
Liverpool’s Mayoral Investment Fund provided a repayable grant to facilitate VSS’ move to the city and aid job creation. Mayor Joe Anderson said this was a fantastic example of a company making excellent use of the fund.
“The Mayoral Investment Fund is all about helping businesses to make strong investments in our city’s economy and to create employment,” he said.
“We are delighted that VSS will be a part of Liverpool’s business community for the long-term, and that their innovative plans will position the city at the forefront of the UK’s ventilation hygiene industry.”
VSS’s training centre is due to open later in 2015. It will primarily be used to deliver apprenticeships for internal staff development, but will also be open to external companies.