A grounds-maintenance contractor is celebrating winning a job to landscape a new link road by announcing ambitious plans to expand its green-space service.
GYB Services' 12-month contract with Norfolk County Council starts this month. It is worth around £120,000 and involves greening up a 1.8km strip of road as well as roadside maintenance for two years with a possible extension afterwards.
Business development manager George Jarvis said: "This is a very high-visibility contract and one we are delighted to have won. Creating landscaped areas in the public eye is always a challenge and this is an important infrastructure project."
The single carriageway will link Great Yarmouth's enterprise zone with the A12 and A143. It is due to be completed in June next year.
GYB Services is a subsidiary of Norse Commercial Services. Commercial director in charge of grounds Nick Maddox said his company has big expansion plans. The business, which tackles grounds maintenance for councils including Medway, Norwich and Waveney, aims to bump up its £21m turnover by a quarter in two years.
It runs jointly owned operating companies with councils to replace traditional client-contractor relationships. The aim is to generate operating surpluses for both parties. Working this way can increase cost efficiency, raise standards of delivery and add value through more efficient management and maintenance, it explained.
"With new joint ventures likely and further contract awards, Norse expects turnover to increase by at least £5m over the next two years," said Maddox.
Under the joint-venture model, ground assets remain with the partnering council but machinery, workshops and offices usually transfer to Norse. The agreements last for around 10 years, enabling Norse to plan for the longer term in areas such as employment and training as well as investment in the joint-venture company.
Norse sales director Geoff Tucker said: "As funding gets squeezed even further, local authorities are struggling to maintain front-line and support services. Partnering with a financially strong and stable group such as Norse provides the local authority with continuity of high-quality service provision at a competitive cost and without the overheads."
He added: "The joint-venture approach is becoming seen as the best option for councils needing to tighten their belts and I'm sure we'll continue to set up more ventures in the future."
Local authority jobs
Norse Commercial Services grounds maintenance contracts
Medway Council £5.3m
Great Yarmouth Borough Council £3.5m
Suffolk Coastal District Council £2.2m
Norwich City Council £2.1m
Waveney District Council £2.2m
Borough Council of Wellingborough £1.5m