Five new jobs have been created and turnover is set to increase by 200% at a Pendle surface provider, after the company received support from Boost, Lancashire’s Growth Business Hub.

Blackoak Surfacing Ltd, which supplies resurfacing works on car parks, roads and footpaths to both private and public sector organisations, recently moved into a bigger premises in Nelson, but the team is already on the lookout for a larger space as the business continues to expand.

Set up in 2015 by Thomas Jordan and Chris Whiteoak, the company enrolled onto Boost’s Growth Mentoring Programme to help them with their ambitious growth plans.

The firm also wanted to highlight its commitment towards health and safety, risk assessments, quality employment practises and accreditations, in a bid to differentiate themselves from competitors.

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

Through the Growth Mentoring Programme, which was delivered by Orvia, Thomas met with two mentors. David Grant provided a comprehensive overview on the firm’s growth strategy to make sure ambitions were sustainable, and Joanne Pickering assisted with HR matters in relation to employment and staff.

Following the end of the mentoring support, five new roles have now been filled including three apprentices, a groundworker and a site manager, with a further four new positions to be created.

Contracts have also been secured with councils in Wyre, Pendle and Kettering, with work about to begin with a contractor for Virgin Media. The work secured so far will see turnover increase by 200%, with upcoming contracts in the pipeline having the potential to increase turnover by 500%.

In addition, a new product, environmentally-friendly road surface which has reduced carbon emissions, has been introduced.

Thomas said: “The information and guidance provided by the mentors was invaluable to our business. Not only did Joanne help with the overview of employment practises, and necessary forms and procedures, she also discussed how to speak and communicate with staff to ensure we maintain a focussed team.

“David’s experience and knowledge was vital in helping us to talk through our ideas and our plans for growth, to keep us on track and achieve our milestones in a sustainable way.”

Ann Holcroft, operations manager at Orvia, added: “It’s great to see the impact mentoring support has already had on Blackoak Surfacing, with new jobs created and turnover increasing so significantly. David and Joanne were able to impart their experience and expertise to help the business get on the path to growth and I look forward to seeing this result in further success.”

Boost Business Lancashire has received £3.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information, visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.

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