NLBA18: Air and road solutions bring in the honours

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 21 May 2018

FOSTER Environmental Ltd was the winner of the North Lincolnshire Economic Investment Award. 

The engineering and construction company has been in business for more than 25 years, but a recent investment in staff has paid dividends.

The past five years has seen a 400 per cent increase in profits and 300 per cent uplift in turnover for the specialist heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration provider. 

In 2017 alone, the Normanby Gateway-based Scunthorpe company added 25 new staff, raising the headcount to 73. Many employees are undertaking vocational qualifications to make them more efficient in their jobs.

Jed Doolen, chief executive, said: “We’ve always put an emphasis on growing our own staff and investing in the people in our business. We also want to give back to the local community that has supported us.”

Foster is aiming to double the turnover in the next three to four years – an ambitious target which Mr Doolen said is “absolutely achievable.”

Read more: Business champions recognised from home and away at South Bank bash

The winner of the HBP Systems Innovation Award was fellow Scunthorpe firm Road Traffic Solutions.

Having pioneered paperless, solar powered and streamlined work environments, judges were most impressed by their bespoke system known as REPS – Road Traffic Solutions Effective Professional Services - which keeps the company ahead of the competition. 

Two years and significant costs were spent developing it, but it allows them to streamline their work in a way their competitors can’t. The system still has the potential to be developed further.

“It’s great to see all the time and effort that we’ve put in recognised,” associate director Ben Dexter said. “Like all transport companies, there’s scrutiny of our CO2  emissions so we’ve always been careful about our environmental impact. With our new REPS systems in place, we’ll be in a position to be more efficient and more effective than ever.”

Read more: High 'steaks' wins for retail trio

The Bridge McFarland New Business Award went to Walshe’s Property & Letting Agency.

Founder Josh Walshe is a relatively new entrepreneur, being just 19 when he started the company up in 2017. 

However, his age hasn’t held him back and he’s succeeded in establishing Walshe’s Property and Letting Agency in the market. 

The Scunthorpe company has clients across Lincolnshire, and is only the town’s second agency to be fully certified by the National Association of Estate Agents. 

Read more: NLBA18: International gong returns to Mariner as Scratch shines on

Judges were impressed by the company’s contracts on both the lettings and sales sides, and a solid, growing  reputation. 

Walshe’s has also utilised new and innovative ways of marketing.

“When I first set it up, I had a lot of people doubting me both because I was a new business and because of my age,” Josh said. “Over time, I’ve proved that neither of them are an issue.

“I’ve had so much business over the last few months from people recommending me to their friends. Now I’ve built a reputation and people know they can trust me.”

Judges were also impressed with the financial planning and organisation of the business.

Read more: Winners crowned at Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards 2018

Videos courtesy of Juice Media. 

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