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GrowthSalford-based UDP focused on Midlands growth opportunities as 2021 gets off to...

Salford-based UDP focused on Midlands growth opportunities as 2021 gets off to a flying start

UDP, the Salford-based traffic management and civil engineering contractor has made a flying start to 2021 with a clutch of new contract wins and is now looking to expand in the East and West Midlands.

Led by Managing Director Tim Walmsley, 34, who has risen through the ranks at the company since joining age 19, UDP employs around 70 people at its bases in the North West and in Barnsley, Yorkshire, which opened in 2019.

Backed by leading investment company Foresight Group’s North West Regional Investment Fund, UDP has a won three contracts from new customer Cadent Gas for traffic management to support its activities in Greater Manchester, Sheffield City Region & South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. The company has also been awarded a fourth contract by Cadent to carry out replacement, refurbishment, installation, decommissioning and remediation activities associated to multi-occupancy buildings in the West Midlands.

Tim said: “We are delighted by the strong momentum the first quarter of 2021 has delivered and we move forward with confidence.

“Having already invested in a Yorkshire base, we see the Midlands, East and West, as a natural next step. We are already working there now, but as we win more contracts it will make sense to have a permanent base.”

UDP’s 2021 revenues are forecast to be £12m. The company has recently committed to paying the Real Living Wage, one of several initiatives it has introduced to attract and retain staff.

Tim explains: “It’s important for us to look after our people. I think the fact that I have risen through a number of levels in the businesses shows that our culture is really supportive, and that if people want to build a career with UDP over the long term, they can.”

UDP is committed to taking on two apprentices every year, and will be recruiting again in 2021.

Its scheme to help offenders nearing the end of their prison sentence learn new skills and be ready for work when they are released, will be restarted when the Ministry of Justice rules allow following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim said: “We have had some great people through the scheme, and have offered a number of them full-time jobs at the end of their sentence. It’s something we really believe in and look forward to re-starting in due course.”

He adds “The COVID-19 pandemic – and the first lockdown in March 2020 impacted us as we had to close our head office and work stopped at some civil engineering projects.

“However, our traffic management division which supports local authorities, water and electricity companies as they carry out important repairs, continued to operate throughout the period.

“Of course, we had to make sure that our team were safe by creating work bubbles, stopping people sharing vehicles and providing hand sanitisers and facemasks.”

UDP has recently strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Phil Croft, a former senior project manager at National Grid to lead its civil engineering division.

Among the projects the civil engineering team – which specialises in public realm and drainage works at the end of a development scheme – have completed are Chapel Wharf by the Lowry Hotel in Salford and Axis Tower in Manchester city centre.

Claire Alavarez, director at Foresight’s Manchester office said: “We have an excellent team at UDP and we are really pleased with its resilient performance and also the impact it’s having in the community too. We look forward to supporting Tim and the team through the next phase of growth.”

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