Cavity wall firm goes for growth after mentoring boost

A Lancashire firm which specialises in removing defective cavity wall insulation has grown sales by 150% in a year, thanks in part to support from Boost.

Cavity Extraction Ltd, based in Preston, is also creating new jobs after winning major contracts with energy companies and local authorities.

The firm, founded in 2015, has been supported in its rapid growth after managing director Damian Mercer received specialist business mentoring from Boost partner Orvia.

Boost is Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub and is led by the Lancashire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and Lancashire County Council, and supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Damian, who worked in the home surveying and refurbishment sector before setting up his own company, said: “We rectify issues with damp that arise where cavity wall insulation has been incorrectly installed or was inappropriate for the housing type or geographical area. As well as insulation removal, we also replace failed cavity wall ties and remove cavity wall rubble which are also causes of damp.

“I believe our level of technical knowledge is what makes us different to the competition. We’re picking up new contracts all the time and we plan to recruit and train more people as we grow. The mentoring support has enabled me to have a plan to manage this rapid growth we’re experiencing.”

After being referred to Orvia’s mentoring programme, Damian was matched with mentor John Townsend. Over the course of four months John provided bespoke mentoring on a range of topics to ensure sustainable and manageable growth.

John Townsend said: “It was great working with Damian because he’s very determined, but also willing to seek advice and be challenged about his growth plans. Damian’s commitment to his staff and ensuring they receive up-to-date training sets the business apart in a very competitive environment.”

Damian added: “John provided an impartial viewpoint, providing perspective and guidance in not losing focus. I would recommend the mentoring programme to anyone.”

Since receiving the mentoring, Damian has recruited four new members of staff and gained a host of accreditations. These include the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) accreditation, Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and Onsite Competency Assessment Report (OSCAR).

Ann Lancaster, operations manager at Orvia, added: “It’s great to see that Damian has benefitted from the mentoring support and has made excellent progress with his business growth.”

The company is now looking to access further support through Boost, including exploring opportunities to secure finance for investment in plant and machinery.

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