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A Hull-based drainage and industrial cleaning company has nearly doubled its workforce during 2017 thanks to new contracts in the renewable energy sector.

Neill Mennell, Rachael McDonald and Gary McDonald (L to R)

The Drain Company wanted to expand the industrial cleaning arm of its business (GNC Industrial Cleaning), with a key source of work being the cleaning of heat recovery systems throughout the UK.

The company enrolled with the Green Port Growth Programme in early 2016 for support and advice on how to win more contracts in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector in the region. In order to develop their involvement in the supply chain, The Drain Company was advised to invest in larger premises, implement a new computerised data management system and create a distinct brand for this new arm of the business. The company also received funding to develop new premises on Main Street, Hull.

The changes have resulted in new contract wins, enabling The Drain Company to take on 11 new employees; nearly doubling the firm’s workforce from 14 to 25 staff in less than a year.

Gary McDonald, Managing Director of The Drain Company explains:

“We’d purchased new ultra-high-pressure water jetting equipment to enable us to carry out work in renewables but we weren’t sure where to go next. After advice from the Green Port Growth Programme’s team, we’ve implemented a purpose-built CRM system which has completely changed the day-to-day running of our business. This is already proving its worth, with a number of new contracts being won on the back of our improved efficiencies. We’ve also made decisions about our future, from developing a new brand for our industrial cleaning division, to moving to new, bigger premises in October. We have big expansion plans for next year and, due to the support we’ve received, we are confident we can accommodate them.”

Established in 2003, The Drain Company’s services in Hull and surrounding areas include drainage, plumbing and pest control, with industrial cleaning coming under the brand of GNC Industrial Cleaning. Following its recent growth and contract wins, it is now looking at further investment in staff and equipment in 2018.

Dawn Hall, Project Manager for the Green Port Growth Programme’s Business Support strand, commented:

“When The Drain Company first got in touch the management team had just invested heavily in new machinery but they were still saving business data manually in diary-based systems. Streamlined admin processes and investment in new staff have allowed key personnel to focus on strategic direction for the firm. We are really pleased we have been able to assist Gary and the team with developing this new area of their business.”

Leader of Hull City Council, Councillor Stephen Brady said:

“The Green Port Growth Programme continues to make a strong contribution to the development of engineering, manufacturing and renewables companies in the area. The sector is going from strength-to-strength in the Humber region, with many companies capitalising on the available opportunities to enter the supply chain.”

The Green Port Growth Programme has been created to establish the region as a world-class centre for renewable energy and is supported by the Regional Growth Fund.