Glendale expands portfolio with tree job

Three-year contract with London Borough of Hillingdon covers full range of arboriculture services.

Hillingdon: arboricultural work - image: London Borough of Hillingdon
Hillingdon: arboricultural work - image: London Borough of Hillingdon

Glendale is expanding its arboriculture portfolio with a contract to cover 730ha across London's second biggest borough that could net £1.35m over five years.

The three-year contract with Hillingdon, one of London's greenest boroughs, covers arboriculture services across 200 green spaces and urban locations. It is worth £810,000 and has a two-year extension option.

It follows a £25,000 tree-planting project for the London Borough of Brent by Glendale subsidiary Civic Trees that started last month and a £900,000 grounds maintenance contract in Lincolnshire that began in March. In Scotland, new general manager Gerry O'Donnell has been tasked with growing the business.

The Hillingdon deal is just the type of job Lancashire-based Glendale is targeting, according to operations manager for London and the South East John McKenna.

"We're growing our portfolio in terms of the amenity and arb sector. It brings in £10m in revenue a year for us. Coming out of a double-dip recession, all industries are beginning to see growth."

Despite local authorities experiencing year-on-year cuts to funding there are still opportunities for growth, said McKenna, particularly in fixed-term contracts that can be delivered efficiently with the opportunity to plan ahead. Utilities are a different matter. Glendale already has contracts with Western Power in the South West and SP Energy Networks in north Wales, and is seeking more.

McKenna pointed out that eight arborists worked for Hillingdon's previous contractor Gristwood & Toms and because a TUPE process is in progress it is not possible to say precisely how many staff the contract will require. However, Glendale is currently recruiting.

The company went in towards the lower end of Hillingdon's bid range, said McKenna, and he thinks the borough was swayed by "the quality we can offer".

He said the win is "a real coup", adding: "There was stiff competition from good local competitors. As a nationwide organisation we excel at both grounds maintenance and arboriculture. I like to think that this win is an example of our ability."

Status secured - ARB approved contractor

The Hillingdon contract starts in the wake of the Glendale's Watford arboriculture division gaining ARB approved contractor status earlier this month.

The accreditation, which is administered by the Arboricultural Association, followed a series of site inspections and assessments.

Operations manager John McKenna said: "It's becoming increasingly important for arboriculture businesses to have this status for clients in both the public and private sectors, so it was a natural progression to apply for it." The award is testament to the hard work and skills of Glendale staff, he added.

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