Landscape & Amenity Awards 2009: Contractor of the Year -- Grounds Maintenance

WINNER: Quadron Services

The silverware is impressive and so are the sums. Quadron Services has helped many boroughs scoop Britain in Bloom awards, while the same grounds contractors have enabled local authorities across the country to unfurl Green Flags for numerous pristine parks.

Everything seems to have paid off for Quadron Services. The firm took a gamble and sold off its property-services division a year ago to focus all its efforts on grounds upkeep and horticulture. The gongs and tender wins rolled in and customer satisfaction, financial growth and stability all rated high.

Now the sums: turnover for grounds upkeep has shot up from under £12m two years ago to over £18m this year. Next year's total is expected to hit almost £25m, more than double the turnover for 2007. Net profit for this year of recession was a healthy £1.1m and the forward order book stands at £254m of work for local authorities and housing associations.

Recent big contract wins include multimillion-pound long-term grounds maintenance jobs in Hammersmith, Birmingham and Bristol, while the sale of its property division immediately wiped out the firm's loans and overdrafts and allowed it to pump cash into its pension scheme.

High-quality work, meanwhile, has helped Quadron Services re-win jobs. Royal London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, for example, put its long-term faith in its existing contractor last year by awarding it a new 12-year contract worth a total of nearly £22m to the company.

And last year the firm entered itself for the first time to the BALI awards. Needless to say it won two awards, justifying the upbeat vibe.

"Financial growth and stability are running counter to the general economic climate," says the firm, which is heralding the good times with the launch of a new website. "It has been an exceptionally successful 18 months."

FINALIST Serco

SPONSOR What Kit?, from the publisher of Horticulture Week, is the essential guide for buyers of machinery, kit and tools for grounds maintenance, arboriculture, landscaping and turf care. Covering 24 categories of equipment, it includes independent machinery tests, details on new products and advice on what to look for when making a buying decision.


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Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

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