EMS launches first lab of its kind in Herefordshire

EMS launches first lab of its kind in Herefordshire
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“Even during the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, the support has allowed us to strengthen and future proof the business, with expansion of services directly providing new jobs within our community.” Jamie Perkins-Best

· £22,000 Marches Building Investment Grant helps company move to new Hereford offices

· New jobs created in Hereford as a result – with more to come

· State-of-the-art asbestos testing laboratory is the first of its kind in Herefordshire

· Move ‘future proofs’ company

About

Environmental Management Solutions was established in 2003 with the objective of offering a broad, high quality environmental consultancy service. EMS was born from this objective and overseen by owner and director of the business Jamie Perkins-Best.

EMS specialises in asbestos surveying and consultancy, geotechnical and geo-environmental investigations and water safety services and aims to help businesses with all their environmental needs.

EMS has achieved consistent growth year on year, expanding from a two-person team based in Hereford, to a multi-departmental organisation working throughout the UK and Europe and continuing to grow.

EMS’s commitment to be a market leader in industry standards has contributed to its substantial growth year on year and the company boasts an excellent record of return customers and client retention.

How the Marches Growth Hub helped

EMS first heard of the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire – delivered by Herefordshire Council and managed by Lyndsay Francis – through its online channels.

The company was looking to refurbish offices in the centre of Hereford and recognised immediately that the Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) would be a potential source of support for the project.

Funding of £22,214, provided by the European Regional Development Fund, has now allowed EMS to convert a former doctor’s surgery into new offices and an industry-leading scientific laboratory.

MBIG programme manager Caroline Cattle worked with the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire to ensure EMS was supported in its application for the funding, which met half the cost of the conversion project.

EMS business development and marketing manager Lucy Harris said the ease and speed with which it was able to apply for and receive the grant was a huge help.

“We were working to a tight timescale and the MBIG team were brilliant. From first asking about applying for a grant to receiving notification that we had been successful took just eight weeks. The team helped us through every stage of the process.”

MBIG is one of a huge range of funding and support programmes offered through the Marches Growth Hub.

Impact

Jamie Perkins-Best, Director of EMS, said the £22,214 grant from the Marches Building Investment Grant programme had helped transform the former surgery in King Street into a modern office suite and develop a state-of-the-art asbestos-testing laboratory.

“The new offices in King Street provide much required extra space for EMS, which has steadily grown year by year since 2003.

“We recently added air testing, monitoring and laboratory services to our repertoire of environmental consultancy services through the acquisition of Cardiff-based consultancy NG Associates.

“The new office will provide a designated space for this division to allow EMS to set up a UKAS accredited asbestos testing laboratory, the first of its kind in Herefordshire.

“This will allow EMS to test asbestos samples in-house and hopefully bring more business into Herefordshire and the Marches area. The acquisition of NG Associates and the move to larger premises has already allowed EMS to recruit two new members of staff in Hereford and another part-time member of staff in Cardiff.

“It is envisaged that the opening of the laboratory in Hereford will create at least one other additional job opportunity in the near future.”

The company has already been able to tender for bigger projects than was previously the case as a result of developing the laboratory, and has also benefitted from reduced costs by being able to test its own samples in house.

Jamie added that the move to King Street also provided designated office space for sister company EMS Water, which had taken on two full time members of staff during 2020 in response to continuing increase in workload and gained several UK-based legionella contracts.

Future help

EMS has its sights set on further growth and plans to explore the range of funding programmes and support services the Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can direct it to.

Lucy said: “We are looking at our business development strategy for this year and will be investigating further with the Marches Growth Hub other opportunities which are available.

“We want to investigate ways of making our new offices more environmentally-friendly and sustainable and will work with the Marches Growth Hub team to see what funding might be available.

“Our whole experience of working with the hub has been so positive that we will definitely look to build on the relationship to help us develop further growth. The help and support is so easy to access that we would encourage all other businesses to follow our example.”

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