Strategic move gives firm better access to market

DIFFICULT access specialist Balmore Group (SCOTLAND) has recently moved into new premises in a bid to facilitate growth and better service the market, from coast to coast.

Established in 1984 as a working at height steeplejack company, Balmore has expanded its offering over the years to provide a complete build and maintenance service including roof service and repairs, leadwork, rope access, and specialist cleaning services.

To complement its growth, the firm established a drone division – Blamore Aerial Services – which was awarded ‘most innovative business’ by Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce at its Bee’s Knees Awards earlier this year.

The firm recently made the move to Kelburn Business Park at Port Glasgow, Inverclyde after two decades operating out of Drumchapel, to a brand new facility with Drumchapel still in operation for yard space.

Divisional director Victor MacKay Jr. said the “strategic” move to the new Inverclyde base would “attract top talent into the business”.

It would also allow Balmore to better access the west coast, with easier links to the east via motorway. Balmore’s industrial cleaning division is currently carrying out high access works at the new Viridor energy recovery facility in Dunbar with main contractor Interserve, while on-going work on the A82 Tarbet to Inverarnan UAV aerial survey works with JACOBS and Transport Scotland progresses.

The company is also on site in Partickhill working in conjunction with Spiers Gumley and CRGP, where the scope of works includes the installation of the Icopal flat roofing system to multiple roofs and extensive leadworks.

Balmore picking up the award for Best use of Innovation/Digital Technology at the Inverclyde Bee’s Knees Business Awards 2018

Victor explained that Balmore intends to utilise the new space to implement an in-house health and safety suite where it can provide PASMA, CSCS, IPAF, online safety courses and offshore MIST training. He added that there are currently no similar facilities available in Inverclyde, meaning staff have to travel to Glasgow to carry out their training.

“That’s what our guys are doing day in, day out – so it’s what we do, and we thought it’s an opportunity here for us to expand and offer our clients this service at a reduced rate,” Victor said.

The company has partnered with health and safety provider Atlas Knowledge and is currently going through the approval process with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), with plans to be fully up and running in October.

Balmore has also invested in drone technology in recent years. Victor said that drones will one day be the norm for roofing firms, “I think drones are going to be a tool for every company. You’ll have an operative who’ll have a small drone that he can just deploy out of his tool bag and instantly do an inspection of an area, which is extremely effective and efficient.

The firm has embraced drone use for inspections

“We’re one of only a handful of contractors in the UK that can operate in city centres and congested areas because of the safety features on the platform we operate with, the Falcon 8+. If you’re in a congested area you’re meant to be 150 metres away from people or buildings outwith your control, whereas with what we’re operating with we can be right down to five and ten, so it makes it more viable using the drone for these situations.”

Victor said the firm also intends to hold an open day on October 8 to show off its new base.

“We’re going to do an all-in-one open day to say we’re here, this is what we do, have the staff here and maybe do a drone presentation…and also present the potential new health and safety training area to companies.”