Natural expansion for Nurture

Nurture Landscapes secures three lucrative contracts as expansion plans continue apace.

Ground work: for what it’s Worth - image: Nurture Landscapes
Ground work: for what it’s Worth - image: Nurture Landscapes

Nurture Landscapes has picked up three new maintenance contracts worth nearly £500,000 per annum in the first half of this year.

The company, which has been expanding steadily since managing director Peter Fane established it in 2009, has just won a three-year contract to provide grounds maintenance at Cranfield University, starting 1 August.

The contract will have seven full-time members of staff and has the option to be extended over two more years.

This follows on from another three-year plus two optional years contract to look after the grounds at Worth School near Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, where he employs three full-time staff members.

Nurture also won another contract to provide ground maintenance and yearly bedding plant changes at fashion outlet destination Bicester Village. Both of these started on 1 April.

Fane said: "It's really storming ahead which is great. It's incredibly busy. We've had some very big enquiries from managing agents such as Jones Lang LaSalle and GVA Grimley."

Nurture, which targets private sector clients almost exclusively, said that substantial contracts are up for grabs from managing agents who package more than 100 properties together in the same geographical area.

The company is an approved supplier to one agent Norland which awarded the Cranfield contract, but still had to go through a competitive tendering process.

The advantage, according to Fane, is the call to tender probably only goes out to a dozen competitors. "I think on the whole public sector and especially local authority contracts tend to be more competitive with more players going for the same contracts. And it's just about the cheapest price In the corporate world, it's all about quality and service and not just about the lowest common denominator," he added.

The company has reported a turnover of £12 million in the financial year to the end of March, a £3m rise on the year before.

"We're on target to do £14m in this current year," Fane added.

Acquisitions Nurture scouting for sites

There have been no new acquisitions since Nurture bought the £1.3m-turnover Greenability in Grantham and Manchester-based Landcare in August last year. The company has clocked up nine takeovers since forming. However, Fane is still quietly scouting for more suitable businesses to acquire, particularly in the south west and in Scotland. "There are loads of opportunities in that Glasgow to Edinburgh belt and there are pockets elsewhere, but it's not as concentrated as in the south of England," he said. There are 94 Nurture mobile teams.

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