Biggest ever UK groundcare contract
T H WHITE's Groundcare Division is proud to be a key supplier to the largest grounds maintenance contract ever awarded in the UK.
The five year contract was awarded in February to ISS Facility Services Landscaping by CarillionAmey who last year won five Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts with a potential value of £4.5 billion working on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to maintain Service Family Accommodation across the UK and Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army infrastructure in sites, including grounds, throughout the UK.
Groundcare isn't normally the first thing that springs to mind in terms of the nation's defence. But when you stop to think about it, the MOD has charge of estates with vast acreage of grass that needs to be mown, maintained and manicured. Besides the fine tradition of presenting a smart appearance at key establishments such as the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, there are also many estates - including RAF bases - where grounds maintenance is an operational necessity. And that's not to mention the hundreds of Armed Services sports fields and the grass in and around Services Family Accommodation areas.
As part of re-equipping the grounds care operation, ISS selected T H WHITE to supply diverse machinery ranging from mowers and tractors to trailers, chippers and even snow ploughs with salt spreaders.
"The choice of T H WHITE was based not only on the company's expertise and ability to recommend the right kit" said Phil Jones, Managing Director of ISS Facility Services Landscaping, "but also on the large portfolio of leading brands for which they hold official franchises. T H WHITE's strategically located Groundcare sites made the logistics of supplying the machines to the many sites across the country much easier, and of course the on-going service support can be provided quickly wherever it's needed."
This new major order consolidates a long-term relationship that began in 1998 when T H WHITE first supplied ISS, which is proving to be beneficial to both parties. Topping the order, negotiated by T H WHITE sales representative Stuart Fry, are 43 of the latest Ransomes HR300 ride-on mowers, which incorporate electronic finger-tip controls, hydraulic drive, the option of rotary or flail decks, cross flow hydraulics for improved traction, 4WD even in reverse and LED road lights. Next up are 32 Ferris dual-drive mowers, 29 Ransomes Parkway 3 mowers with a swing-out centre unit for easy access and maintenance, as well as a variety of other mowers for specific applications and specialist tasks. Among these are 18 McConnel SR620/460 flex wing mowers and 11 Iseki SXG ride-on mowers featuring a 54inch rear discharge deck, a large discharge grass chute to eliminate grass blockages and 600 litre hi-tip collection box. Hydraulic power steering and a differential lock gives these mowers impressive all-terrain ability.
As well as mowers, the order included New Holland and Case IH 100hp tractors, Ifor Williams trailers, Greenmech woodchippers and 13 of the innovative GreenTek "Double Quick" aerators which will aerate, roll, rake and brush in one pass.
Some of the sites where the new equipment is being put to work include RAF Valley in Anglesey where Prince William was a search and rescue pilot and the Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop where the famous Apache helicopters are based.
ISS is fully committed to the Armed Forces Community, not only were they the first facility management service provider to sign the MOD Corporate Covenant, but they are also to be awarded The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award due to their support of employment opportunities for both Reservists and Armed Forces personnel alike. ISS MD Phil Jones is particularly concerned with problems facing veteran soldiers, especially the unseen mental wounds they often have to cope with. In June, Phil completed the Dolomiti Extreme Trail, a 33 mile endurance event run at high altitudes in the Dolomites, raising money for the charity Gardening Leave, ISS Facility Services Landscaping's charity partner.
As part of its CSR programme, T H WHITE was pleased to support Phil in this challenge by sponsoring him for £1000; in total he raised £7,100, all of which will be used by Gardening Leave to help veterans with mental health issues to return to good health and civilian life through horticultural therapy - a fitting way for people in the groundcare business to help those suffering from the traumas of conflict.