Offshore wind ‘has given us the chance to progress further'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 18 Dec 2018

Small businesses in Grimsby have underlined the difference offshore wind has made to their operations.

Industry-supporting organisation Grimsby Renewables Partnership invited members to give their accounts as part of the final networking event of 2018, having provided a conduit for local companies and major developers and their supply chains as it prepares to enter its 10th year.

Hosted by St James’ Hotel, the town’s largest accommodation provider, deputy manager Paul George, reflected on the impact on the 260-bed venue.

“It has been a game changer, it has given us a new lease of life,” he said. “We are no longer just relying on the refineries. It has brought lots of business in and given us the chance to progress further.

“Four years down the line we are going to have 20 executive rooms built on what’s happened in the town.”

Read more: Connecting local firms with major players in the offshore wind industry

The reception area will also be refurbished after Christmas, with a major overhaul of the bar and restaurant following.

“We have upped our game in the least four years. We’ve had lots of new venues come up. The conference rooms have all been refurbished, all on the back of business we have been getting.

“It is quite an exciting time for us.”

Part of the Corus group, with six hotels, it now uses local contractors “becoming what we are all about,” Mr George said, referring to GRP.

Kim Davis ahead of her address to Grimsby Renewables Partnership at St James' Hotel, Grimsby.

Kim Davis runs domestic and commercial cleaning company Kimmicleen.

She told how small businesses were “much more adaptable to change, with a much better chance of handling different economic situations”.

The former financial adviser set up in 2009, having been suspended on a technicality from her role with a major multi-national in Grimsby, and later winning two years’ salary by way of compensation for wrongful dismissal.

“I was working six days a week, morning and night in flea-infested tenancies for a local estate agent,” she said at the time, having been offered a cleaning role at the house of a former colleague.

Representing herself, the award was given without having to speak, and with the lump sum “bought a van and emblazoned it with my logo”.

Work started to pour in, and a first sub-contractor was taken on. She now employs nine staff. Joining GRP in 2014, and now a director, she said: “It has been instrumental in helping the business grow.” Referencing clients Red and Orsted, she said: “It was a gradual process, it didn’t happen overnight, I built up a rapport, relationships.

“Before I joined I was turning over £105,000, in 2018, the best year to date, it will be £250,000. There is no doubt this is attributed to GRP.”

It also helped her launch her second business, a mobile gin and prosecco bar.”

Cleethorpes business Ebb & Flo Living’s tale of diversification and a demonstration from Grimsby-based Raven Drones, pictured above, an addition to the facilities management company, were also enjoyed.

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