A commercial landscaping and grounds maintenance company based in Greater Manchester has expanded its operations into Staffordshire with the support of a £50k European grant through the Business Growth Programme which is administered by Staffordshire County Council. The funding has also enabled the company to diversify, developing a new business centre and creating a unique television film set.
Great Grounds Ltd currently employ 17 people at their North-West base and intend to increase staff numbers by a further 5 at their new Staffordshire depot as a direct result of receiving the grant. Great Grounds Managing Director Tony Millar said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the grant. The application process was rigorous, but ensured that every detail of our expansion plans was carefully thought through. The grant has brought forward our growth plans and means that we can now start recruiting in the next few months”.
The company is remarkable in many ways, with specialisms in disciplines ranging from watercourse maintenance to invasive weed treatments, but what really makes the company unique is their work in primary schools. Great Grounds not only landscape and maintain school grounds, but also provide careers workshops linked to their work which are delivered by the company’s own qualified teaching staff.
Tony Millar commented “Our unique range of services for schools has given us a real competitive advantage when tendering for primary school projects. It makes our work even more rewarding, especially when you see a child get that ‘light bulb’ moment and realise what they are learning in school can actually be used by people to help them do their jobs”.
The grant is being used to purchase specialist equipment and to convert part of the barns at their Staffordshire Moorlands site into a quirky exhibition and meeting venue in addition to providing offices to accommodate a new business development team.
Tony Millar added
“I always loved going into my Grandpa’s shed, looking at all the tools and nick nacks that he had hanging on the walls and it is this that inspired the theme for the refurbished building. It will be like a trip down memory lane especially for some of the older visitors and a world of curiosities for the younger ones. We want to make every visit a positively memorable one”.
Great Grounds 25-acre site along with its newly converted buildings will also be offered as a filming location. Tony Millar also said ”We are always looking for ways to maximise our return on investment and it did not take us long to realise that the diverse range of features in a quiet and secure location would be ideal for a film set. The site has everything from wildlife to welfare facilities and makes a great self-contained location with both outdoor space and a range of buildings with quirky features”.
More information about the company can be found on their website www.GreatGrounds.co.uk or on Twitter @GGCentre
Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce