A new Sunderland company is vowing to lead the UK’s fire safety and training after emerging from the embers of liquidation.
And the CEO of ProFire Safety & Training, now based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), says the firm has laid the foundations to become a leading name in the sector.
Will Fatherley has set up ProFire Safety & Training using experience gained from a previous company, which specialised in the field.
Keen to retain the talent of his team and to continue providing services to clients, Will worked with the BIC to set up ProFire at the Sunderland business park and is now focused on a plan to scale up the business.
Will said: “We’d built up a fantastic team and had a great track record and I couldn’t let that go to waste.
“I quickly decided to set up a new business to retain the talent of as many staff as possible and to ensure continuity for loyal customers. I knew I had to move quickly or it wouldn’t work and managed to get set up in just six days.
“From the very beginning, the BIC really came to our rescue when we needed them – finding us a home, giving us advice and connections and surrounding us with an incredibly supportive community.
“We were a start-up in need and they were there for us. Because of that we managed to save ten jobs and now are gearing up for ambitious growth.”
The company provides services including fire safety services, fire fighter training and workplace safety training for a wide range of clients and plans to develop new software products that will open up new opportunities.
ProFire initially set up at the BIC’s Innovation Zone, where Will received start-up support from advisers and was introduced to a network of contacts to help get the business established.
The firm expanded quickly into their own dedicated space at the BIC where it continues to grow.
Will added: “ProFire will challenge current market expectations with innovation and new technologies that will bring about improvements to customer fire safety compliance.
“We aim to be a leading figure in the fire safety market. There is so much opportunity for growth and with the skills of our incredible team and the support of the BIC we are well positioned to lead the way in the industry.
“Since the lockdown period began, the team at the BIC have continued to support us by finding us a larger office where we can carry out the appropriate social distancing procedures.
“It has been a massive boon working with the BIC, it has so much flexibility for a growing organisation. I’m really looking forward to the exciting times that lie ahead with existing and new clients.”
The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas.
The £270.4m Local Growth Fund, secured as part of the North East Growth Deal, supports the North East LEP’s delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
The Innovation Zone was part-funded by the North East LEP. The incubator is designed to provide the collaborative working space, practical tools and specialist support.
David Howell, director of operations at the BIC, said: “Our sole purpose is to help businesses in the region and this was a perfect opportunity to put our money where our mouth is.
“Will has a talented team and a fantastic track record behind him and ambitious plans for the future ahead. We can’t wait to get started helping him to bring these plans to fruition.”