From starting 15 years ago with one branch, Cramlington-based business North East Cleaning Services (NECS) has now grown to six branches across the UK.

Providing dependable and thorough professional commercial cleaning services and facilities management solutions to businesses of all sizes, their client base has dramatically increased during the pandemic with new clients arriving from across a range of sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, construction, education and retail – all seeking a timely, quality service providing much needed confidence in the creation of a safe working environment.

Gary Breach, Managing Director of NECS said, “We’ve continued to see a surge in demand for professional cleaning services and planned on growing our turnover by 50% through our current customers as well as new contracts but we also recognised that there were, and forever will be, constant changes in the economic environment disrupting and challenging businesses. This leaves no room for complacency for any business and in this ever-changing environment, we needed to ensure we could turn adversity into opportunity”.

With 2022 starting strongly, business resilience and operational efficiencies have become business critical to NECS.  Thanks to the support of the North East Business Support Fund, NECS have been able to bring in external expert, Absolute Quality Consultancy & Training Ltd (AQCT) to support the development of a Business Resilience Strategy.

With AQCT’s support, Gary accessed grant support from business support agency NBSL via the North East Business Support Fund – which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse – and was able to secure a grant of £1,890.00 to his £5,400 business resilience project.

“It was stress-free to apply for the grant,” says Gary. “NBSL led me through the simple application process, it was very straight forward and the team came back with a decision to approve the grant within days.”

Once the grant was approved, AQCT worked quickly with the internal team to identify key influences, risks and opportunities along with how they could prioritise and address challenges that could hold the business back.  Monitoring systems have also been identified helping to manage any potential change that could impact on the business. 

“Building this Resilience Strategy into our long-term Business Plan and Company Management Systems will continuously support and protect our business growth.  So whether it’s because of new trade rules, changing regulations, technology or a disruptive global event, we’re ready” added Gary.

“The support received from the North East Business Support Fund and NBSL has been excellent and the grant has empowered our team to turn adversity into opportunity – identifying and unlocking new possibilities and would recommend any business use this Fund to help build company resilience.”

Joy Gair, Funding Advisor for the North East Business Support Fund was delighted with the outcome of the project.  “We understand some firms are put off by complex application processes, which is why we work with businesses to ensure it is as simple and straightforward as possible. We get to know people, understand the ambition and challenges for the business and help secure the funding or access to masterclasses that will ignite their drive for growth and ensure they build resilience into the long term future.”

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The North East Business Support Fund has been helping North East SME’s to grow and develop for almost a decade. The fund is the longest established business support programme in the region, delivered by the fabulous team of expert business support people – NBSL.

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