North East-based facilities management and building service specialist HLA Services is marking its 15th anniversary by consolidating a new permanent base in Carlisle.
The new base at Warwick Mill Business Centre is expected to create several new jobs, and has Carlisle-born HLA employee Marcus Thomson at the helm.
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.
Contracts director Paul Smith said: “We are delighted to have Marcus running the ship at our Cumbria operation. He brings with him a wealth of sector knowledge and has a 20-year industry background which will help us to expand our foothold in the region.”
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.
“The amount of work we have already secured demonstrates that local clients welcome our expertise, the diversity and quality of our service range, and our ability to deliver whatever the size and scope of the project,” said Marcus.
“Although we provide a wide range of building services in addition to heating, ventilation and air conditioning, we have developed strong partnerships with Cumbria-based mechanical services providers, and we are working with them to provide those particular services, which is good news for all our clients.
“Our aim is to eventually provide a one-stop shop for facilities management and building services right here in the region.”
HLA Services was set up in 2003 and specialises in design, supply, installation and planned maintenance of commercial property services including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and mechanical services. Its fully equipped fabrication facility at Seaham offers clients a complete package from design to manufacture.
From its bases in Sunderland and Teesside, it services a UK-wide client base including Nissan, Caterpillar UK, Akzo Nobel, Aldi, Greggs, Virgin Money and Unipres, as well as all four North East universities, most recently the addition of Durham University.
“It is very gratifying in our 15th year, with many of our original staff and clients still in place, 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.
“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 company’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.