FM company puts down roots with building acquisition

ORCHARD Facilities Management has bought Independence House, one of Huddersfield’s landmark commercial properties, which it intends to use as a space to nurture start-up businesses.

The three storey Victorian property on Halifax Road has been acquired by Orchard Facilities Management and its charitable arm Henderson Firstfruits and will become Orchard’s UK headquarters as it expands its presence nationally over the next five years.

Orchard Facilities Management works with businesses nationwide looking after their complete facilities management portfolios including waste management, IT managed services, pest control, maintenance and compliance.

It currently employs 30 people at its current premises in Elland and is set to create a further 18 jobs in the next three years.

Gareth Henderson, who founded Orchard Facilities Management in 2005, said the new premises would allow him to fulfil his growth plans for the business and satisfy a “long held ambition” to provide a unique environment for start-up businesses in Calderdale and Kirklees.

“First and foremost Independence House will be the headquarters for Orchard Facilities Management and will give us the space we need to grow our team and become a national player in the FM industry with a head office here in Kirklees,” he said.

He also plans to set up a growth incubator in the building to help fledgling businesses establish and thrive, fulfilling a personal aspiration to provide local start-ups with a nurturing environment.

Mr Henderson said: “When I started out in business I was fortunate enough to work in an incubator style setting within a charitable organisation and I appreciated the support given to me by some of the more experienced business people who shared the building.

“Independence House is large enough to allow us to create serviced office space for new businesses with the right culture and environment to help them develop.

“Orchard FM’s directors will be on site and available to sit down and have a coffee with business owners to share ideas and expertise and help them tackle some of the challenges they may face in their early years.”

Orchard Facilities Management works with a wide range of local organisations including 3D visualisation firm Virtual Resolution, glass manufacturer Specialist Glass and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
It also works with clients across the UK including Chatsworth in Derbyshire, the Devonshire Group of hotels and UK architectural design consultancy HGP.

Mr Henderson added: “By developing Independence House as a vibrant business centre we hope to create significant employment opportunities in Kirklees and the surrounding area and make a positive impact on the community.”

Orchard Facilities Management plans to relocate to Independence House in February.