Nottinghamshire highways and engineering services company, Via East Midlands celebrated its first birthday last week and is now targeting further growth for 2017/18.
Set up to provide highways and fleet management services in Nottinghamshire, Via is the first highways joint venture of its kind to be developed in the UK. It became fully operational in July 2016 under a ten-year contract, which is extendable for a further five years. It provides a range of highways and engineering services including design consultancy, construction, environmental management and fleet services.
The company also has its own state-of-the-art training centre, providing courses for clients across the Midlands.
In its first year of operation, Via undertook over 35,000 road and pothole repairs in the county and trained over 13,500 of Nottinghamshire’s young people in road safety. Its school crossing patrols made over 60,000 crossings, while the energy efficient lighting scheme implemented in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council saved a staggering 11,000,000kwh of electricity, resulting in £1.3m of savings per year.
Via’s commercial work with external organisations, including housing developers, renewable energy suppliers, district councils and other public sector bodies, has enabled the company to generate a profit and return valuable funds back to local government.
With interest from external clients across a range of sectors growing, Via is well placed to expand its operations.
Via Managing Director Doug Coutts, hailed the achievements of the organisation to date: “Via’s first year of operation has been a huge success, both in delivering services to the residents of Nottinghamshire and external commercial customers.
“The transition of services from Nottinghamshire County Council has been seamless, and as our main client, we are delighted to have continued our great relationship with officers, members, residents and road users.
“The transfer of knowledge and experience from our parent companies NCC and Corserv has been a great benefit, helping us to successfully restructure the organisation, giving us a sound platform to develop, meet future growth needs and become more sustainable.
“In addition to delivering high-quality services to our main client, NCC, we have secured a good level of external business, backed by a growing pipeline of future opportunities, meaning that we were able to deliver the first-year return to our shareholders.
“I’m extremely pleased with what we have achieved and it would not have been possible without our great team of staff across the county.”
Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee commented: “Having a well-maintained, safe highways network is of course an essential service for our road users and residents so we are pleased with how working arrangements have been going so far. And with our recent £1m roads investment, we hope to make even bigger improvements for our residents and businesses.
“Our Council staff work closely with Via East Midlands staff to offer the best mix of skills and expertise necessary to deliver a good quality network while providing the best value for money for Nottinghamshire taxpayers.”
Tony Barnett, Managing Director of CORSERV, said: “This has been an exciting year for all concerned. Being able to demonstrate a profit after only twelve months since starting up, effectively from scratch, speaks volumes for the professionalism and dedication of all those who helped in establishing the company and, more importantly, those involved in its day-to-day operations. Via is setting the standards for other joint ventures to follow, and we couldn’t be more proud to be associated with it.”.