A consulting building services engineering business is shaping its own future by investing in youth as it prepares for a move to new premises.
Ridings Consulting Engineers Ltd responded to the industry’s skills shortage by committing to education. Of the people recruited during two years at The Deep Business Centre, five are in education or apprenticeships.
Founding directors Liam Beardshaw and Ian Grimwood aim to develop a workforce to the standards which they have adopted during more than 40 years in the industry. But the immediate requirement as they accommodate the ongoing expansion is for a reluctant relocation from The Deep to Hesslewood Business Park.
Liam said: “It’s been brilliant here and we can’t praise the team at The Deep highly enough. We’ve gone through three expansions while we’ve been here, each time with no fuss and no down time. On one occasion, we moved in an afternoon!
The support we’ve had has been a big factor in our success, enabling us to concentrate on running the business, and we’ll be sad to leave. But we’re getting bigger and we want to consolidate in readiness for future expansion. Hesslewood is another nice environment, and it’s more convenient for many of our people.
The pair launched the business in May 2015. Ian brought more than 30 years’ experience and Liam had been working in the sector for 11 years. The company offers design services for all building services installations where an energy efficient design is paramount. It operates in a wide range of buildings including commercial, industrial, healthcare, public and private sectors.
Their individual experience counted for little when they set up Ridings, but they landed contracts worth £30,000 within 24 hours and progressed from there with residential and health projects around the UK and played a key part in multi-million-pound redevelopments at two major industrial sites in Hull.
Ian said: “There will always be challenges but we will work hard to overcome them. When we started we were just the new kids on the block, but we managed the few clients we were able to pick up, developed the business, introduced ourselves to new clients and continued from there.
When we had difficulty finding engineers who could bring the skills that we needed, we took the apprenticeship route to develop our own talent.
The current workload includes projects at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, care homes in Hull and York and a leisure centre for North Lincolnshire Council.
Liam said: “We’re also working closely with developers and are lining up some exciting work in the health, leisure and industrial sectors. There’s a lot going on and we expect a significant increase to our turnover for the third year in succession.”
Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said: “This is another case of mixed emotions for us. We are so pleased to see the team at Ridings build the business so successfully, and that makes us all the more sorry to see them go.
They started as a team of two, bringing in more great people by carving a real niche for themselves in a competitive sector and investing in training young people. They are a great example of what The Deep Business Centre is all about, supporting businesses and helping them progress.