North West Business Briefs: Armcon; DAM Health; Procurri Europe; Central Networks & Technologies; NW Fire Solutions

Stockport concrete mixing specialist, Armcon, has become an employee ownership trust (EOT).

Founder and chief executive, Robert Armstrong, believed this would be the best option to secure the company’s future growth and continued success. He said: “As part of protecting Armcon’s legacy and propel it into a new, independent era where international markets could be explored, I thought an EOT would be the best route to make that viable.

“Armcon has a brilliant new managing director on board in addition to an experienced team and I believe Armcon’s future is very bright.”

Poonam Kaur, managing director at Wakefield-based fds Director Services, led Armcon’s transition to becoming employee-owned, having first-hand experience as fds became employee-owned in 2019. She said: “This is a very exciting time for Armcon, and we were thrilled to assist Robert in the company’s transition, whilst being able to share our knowledge and own experiences in EOTs.

“The employees in the business now have a real opportunity to develop and contribute to the success and longevity of the business whilst having ownership via the EOT.

“This is a great outcome for Armcon to secure the company’s succession and look ahead to the next 30 years of business.”


Prof Frank Joseph

Liverpool-based medical company, DAM Health, has opened a new COVID-19 testing clinic in Manchester, creating six jobs.

The new clinic follows a surge in demand for private COVID-19 PCR tests in the city from people requiring negative test results for work, international travel and for others who want the reassurance of a negative test result before seeing family or friends.

DAM Health’s rollout of private testing clinics is being overseen by Prof Frank Joseph and a team of public health specialists.

The company already has testing facilities in Liverpool, where it employs 30 staff, and will soon open a clinic in Birmingham. DAM Health has also been working with the Foriegn Commonwealth and Development Office in Barcelona to support international COVID-19 testing efforts after setting up facilities in Southern Spain.

Prof Joseph said: “Testing is now a way of life. Even with the vaccine, which only stops people getting sick, it is likely that we will need negative tests before travelling overseas for holidays or work and maybe also for mass gatherings. Until we know whether the vaccine stops us from transmitting the virus, we will still need to be tested on a regular basis.”


Hard drive shredded for precious metal

Procurri Europe, part of a global IT lifecycle services business with an office in Warrington, has signed a new deal aimed at slashing the amount of redundant IT which goes to landfill.

Procurri, which has an office on Leacroft Road, Risley, provides approved parts, maintenance and hardware resale services to help companies prolong the life of their IT and boost the circular economy.

A record 54m tonnes of e-waste was generated worldwide in 2019 and improper recycling has been condemned by the World Health Organisation as “a major emerging hazard, silently affecting our health and that of future generations.”

This concern has led Procurri to renew a deal with Rotherham-based S2S Group, one of the UK’s leading IT asset disposal (ITAD) companies, to safely and securely recycle old tech that customers can no longer use. S2S will also pass on re-usable equipment to Procurri.

Raff Silano, operations director Procurri Europe, said: “It is vitally important to us and our clients that end of life equipment is securely disposed of to ensure complete data protection. S2S have an enviable proven track record with a range of services which mirror our requirements for recycling/resale and repair, as well as a unique COVID-19 sanitisation process for home workers.”


Horton Housing HQ

IT solutions provider, Central Networks and Technologies, has partnered with Horton Housing to deliver free internet access to people in supported accommodation, including the most vulnerable.

Heywood-based Central completed the pilot project in September, implementing WiFi points in a North Yorkshire location managed by the not-for-profit housing association, with a view to roll out the initiative to more sites.

While Horton Housing is managing the cost of the internet connection, Central has donated the WiFi hardware required for the implementation and carried out the installation free of charge, as well as volunteering ongoing support and maintenance of the access points.

Restrictions across the UK during the pandemic have resulted in the disenfranchisement of vulnerable people — including the homeless, disabled, young people, pensioners, and those affected with addiction — due to local services such as libraries and Jobcentres being closed or severely cut back. Providing tenants with online connectivity means they now have a vital support line during one of the most difficult periods in living memory.

Nicola Brown, sales director at Central, said: “As an IT business, we feel we have a corporate social responsibility to ensure that everyone, regardless of where they are in life, has an internet connection to access crucial online services during this difficult year.”


Neil Oxton

Wallasey-based fire safety specialists NW Fire Solutions has clinched a series of a major new client wins.

The company, established in 2011, has picked up a string of new contracts with Zenith Property Management, Your Housing Group and Nottingham University.

The firm works across the country delivering fire safety and risk management solutions and supplies, installing and maintaining all types of fire detection and prevention equipment.

It has seen a major increase in delivering fire safety in communal residential developments and workplaces following new legislation in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Director, Neil Oxton, said: “Our recent client wins are a massive vote of confidence in the NW Fire brand and are a testament to the hard work that the team has put in to ensure that the business continues to grow and provide industry leading service. Fire safety has never been as important as it is now.”