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19th December 2016

When the dust had settled in 2015 and we had time to breathe and reflect on what was an extraordinary year of growth and learning, I think all our staff, managers and directors had a similar conclusion. “This year will be impossible to top”.

Well….. we were wrong.

  

This year has been very much one of technological and quality advancements in Ebsford with a significant amount of works completed behind the scenes to ensure that we continue to offer our clients the best systems of any contractor in the UK.

We have increased our staff throughout the company, in Q1 we selected our 2016 Graduate program employee and have continued the growth of our award winning apprenticeship program steadily through the year, maintaining our commitment to a workforce that consist of >10% graduate or apprentice staff. Some old friends returned to the fold after travelling the world and have been complemented with recruits in Operations, consulting and the finance and back offices.

The addition of core staff has enabled us to continue the improvements to our quality, with dedicated auditors now re-enforcing our commitment to health, safety and the environment. Improvements to our systems saw us achieve Achilles recognition in Q1, something that is crucial to our aquatic and utilities clients. This culminated in Ebsford achieving the standards required for ISO9001, 14000 and 18000 in November. Not only are we all incredibly proud of this but we are delighted to be able to skip some of the questions in the vast amount of tenders we seem to be completing.

Tenders have certainly been a key word of the year within our aquatics department. We have secured over 70% of the tenders we have applied for and completed some inspiring and challenging projects. These have included the largest full weir removal ever undertaken in conjunction with SEPA, RAFTS and Royal Haskoning. A project that was 3 years in the making and had to be completed within 12 weeks of award!!! 2016 was also the year we moved into larger scale open space works on a project to restore elements of Cherry Hinton Park, home of the annual Cambridge Folk Festival. This saw us expand our ecological and aquatic knowledge to include more traditional civil engineering and soft/hard landscaping works.

Our core aquatic works continue to increase also, a number of projects have been completed on the minor works EA framework with our partners and our IDB projects have now been increased to include Public Sector Co-operation Agreement (PSCA) works.

The world of Schedule 9 invasive species appears to be finally accepting some regulation and accepting how serious some of the issues are. We continue to work closely with the PCA and INNSA to make sure contractors are managed appropriately. Much of the year has been spent discussing key issues with our development clients who are facing increased pressure to provide acceptable guarantees. Our positioning on both managing trade associations has enabled us to secure further large schemes and our reputation as pioneers of screening technology continues to be proven with 2016 being another year that saw us process >10,000m³ of Japanese knotweed contaminated material.

As you can imagine from reading this, we are all ready for a break now. The rest may be short-lived though as 2017 already includes a full Q1 workbook with projects for the Watchtower Society and also the largest mobile Enviroscreen 20-20 Japanese knotweed remediation scheme ever undertaken on an iconic site in Alderley Edge.

Despite all of our *exciting* schemes, we are still proud to remain an SME and a family business though. This means that we couldn’t do any of these things without the support of everyone we come into contact with. Our staff have been incredible again and are a real credit to us. They prove to our clients on every project they complete that they have made the right decision. But we still appreciate every opportunity no matter how small or where in the country it is, so a heartfelt thanks to everyone who chose Ebsford this year.

And a final thanks to all the friends we’ve made and built relationships with. The consultants who have helped prove our concept. The suppliers who (mainly) have supplied excellent products and services. The communities, schools, organisations and people that we have engaged with to deliver our schemes in a way that meant something to you and that respected the environment in which we work.

So whatever you are doing over the Christmas break, all at Ebsford give you thanks and hope that you can reflect back, knowing that in 2016 you made a difference, and if you can’t then don’t worry. There’s always 2017!!!!!

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