North West Expansion Pays Off

FACILITIES management and building service specialist HLA Services is marking its 15th anniversary by establishing a permanent base in Carlisle.

The company attributes much of its success to having many of its original staff and clients still in place, factors which have helped it to win a raft of air conditioning, refrigeration and ventilation services contracts in the North West.

The new base at Warwick Mill Business Centre is expected to create several new jobs. HLA staff are already working on a multi-million-pound overhaul of Rufus House in Carlisle, which is set to become the new Edinburgh Woollen Mill headquarters, and the last 12 months has seen HLA Services secure heating, ventilation and air-conditioning contracts with Direct Rail Services, Cumbria Mechanicals, Lakes Catering, Croft Construction and several leading mechanical services companies in the region.

Contracts director Paul Smith said: “The amount of work we have already secured demonstrates that North West clients welcome our expertise and the diversity and quality of our service range.”

HLA Services was set up in 2003 and specialises in design, supply, installation and planned maintenance of 13 strands of commercial property services including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and mechanical services. Its fully equipped fabrication facility based in Seaham offers clients a complete package from design to manufacture

From its bases in Boldon and Middlesbrough, the company services a UK-wide client base including Nissan, Caterpillar UK, Akzo Nobel, Aldi, Greggs, Virgin Money and Unipress, as well as all four North East universities, most recently the addition of Durham University.

“It is very gratifying in our 15th year to be able to continue our growth plans and set up a new base that will create employment. Our Cumbria base will help us to consolidate our position in the North West and meet the needs of our growing client base in the area,” added Mr Smith.

“Our long term plan has always been to establish a third UK office and over the last year we have picked up a lot of work in the region, both directly and through main contractors and partners, so this is the next logical step. Although we provide a wide range of building services in addition to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, we have developed strong partnerships with mechanical services providers within the Cumbria area, and we are working with them to provide those particular services.

“2018 is shaping up to be a busy year for us but part of our longevity in the market relies on keeping ahead of the curve so we are not resting on our laurels.”

The firm’s North West base is part of a development plan that includes continued investment in its 130-strong team of staff and the company’s 60-strong fleet of vehicles, and switching its back office operations to a paperless system.

The business is also looking into new technologies such as the use of Co2 as a refrigeration alternative to reduce greenhouse gases, and expanding into growing niche markets. This includes using local exhaust ventilation (LEV), which removes airborne contaminants in manufacturing plants to maintain air quality and improve working conditions for staff; and a water hygiene department that helps to control legionella risks and manage other water quality tasks.

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