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Grant helps company expand into new city offices

The Hub News Team | 12.3.21

An expanding environmental consultancy has future-proofed its business after receiving more than £22,000 from a grant programme supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

The grant has helped EMS move to the centre of Hereford webEMS – Environmental Management Solutions – has introduced new services and taken on new members of staff after converting a former doctor's surgery into a new office and laboratory in the centre of Hereford.

The company – which specialises in asbestos surveying and consultancy, geotechnical and geo-environmental investigations and water safety services – was established in 2003 and has expanded from a two-person-team to a multi-departmental organisation working throughout the UK and Europe.

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."

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.

"The grant from MBIG was a huge help towards the development costs to transform the doctors' surgery into a contemporary office space and we were delighted with how easy it was to access the funding and how efficient the process was.

"Even during the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, it has allowed us to strengthen and future proof the business, with expansion of services directly providing new jobs within our community." 

The MBIG programme offers grants of up to £150,000 to help meet the cost of building new premises or extending and reconfiguring existing ones. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub.

Programme Manager Caroline Cattle said: "We are delighted to have been able to help EMS to renovate and move into these new offices. The company has a track record of success having grown consistently over nearly 20 years and we look forward to it continuing to expand and create new jobs and opportunities in the future."

Gill Hamer, Marches LEP chief executive, said: "This is an excellent example of how the help available through MBIG, and numerous other schemes the Marches LEP supports, can help a company meet its growth ambitions, creating new jobs and prosperity."

The MBIG programme, which is delivered by Herefordshire Council, meets up to half the cost of successful applications, meaning that projects costing up to £300,000 could secure a grant of £150,000. The scheme covers B2B businesses and does not include retail, social welfare or agricultural companies.

Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the MBIG scheme. Full details are available from the team at mbig@herefordshire.gov.uk or by calling 01432 261511.

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted at business@herefordshire.gov.uk

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted at marchesgrowthhub@shropshire.gov.uk

The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted at enterprisetelford@telford.gov.uk

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