Case study

Van Elle Ltd

“We now have a first class facility in the training centre which will enable us to reduce costs by carrying out staff training on site and also derive income from providing external training.”

Van Elle is the UK’s largest geotechnical engineering contractor offering a diverse range of innovative ground engineering techniques and services to customers in a variety of construction markets.

Set up 34 years ago the company operates from 6 locations across the UK, including the most recently acquired 16-acre site in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. This site was purchased to address a growing capacity constraint the company had identified that restricted expansion of both headcount and pre-cast product manufacturing capabilities to meet increasing market demand for its services, particularly from the housebuilding and infrastructure sectors.

Why engage with Invest to Grow?

The company identified a significant three-fold investment that was required at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield site: to refurbish the concrete batching plant and double the footprint of the factory to increase manufacturing capacity; to refurbish and extend the disused office building to facilitate increasing headcount to win and deliver new work and ultimately increase their market share in the ground engineering sector; and to build a state-of-the-art training centre to bring all training in-house and ultimately to offer courses externally.

Van Elle applied to the Invest to Grow scheme for funding support towards this investment, which enabled the company to bring forward the commencement and ultimate completion of this work.

A grey building with an orange panel against a blue sky with white clouds

What has been the impact of Invest to Grow?

The project has taken nearly three years to complete and has increased headcount at the Kirkby site by 67 in that time. The increased production capability has directly resulted in turnover increasing by over £15m.

Paul Pearson, Finance Director said "I would like to thank Invest to Grow for their funding that has helped Van Elle successfully invest in our growth and to increase our workforce significantly at a much faster rate than would otherwise have been possible."

The Invest to Grow funding also delivered some long-term benefits for Van Elle. Paul Pearson explained:

"We now have a first class facility in the training centre which will enable us to reduce costs by carrying out staff training on-site and also derive income from providing external training."

Further engagement with the University has resulted from the project:

"Our commitment to learning and development is continuous. This year we intend to recruit a minimum of five higher level apprentices who will be enrolled at the University of Derby. For the individual apprentices it will mean that they are in full time employment, learning and gaining experience whilst working towards their degree qualification and becoming valuable additions to our workforce."

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