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Kimpton seeks growth in industrial renewables

Kimpton Building Services is targeting a turnover of £15m by 2015 and managing director Richard Kimpton hopes the growing industrial renewables market and gaining MCS accreditation will help the company get there.

Bromborough-based Kimpton is half a century old this year and works in heating, plumbing, air conditioning and electrical services, as well as having a business that specialises in acoustic engineering.

“Twenty-five years ago we started the services and maintenance division, then about eight years ago we added the acoustic division, as it seemed like a good fit,” says managing director Richard Kimpton.

Steady, organic growth

Increasing turnover to £15 million by 2015 represents a 10 per cent year-on-year increase and the company also aims to create 10 more jobs in the coming years.

“We’ve had 10 years of steady, organic growth so adding another £3m is not unrealistic,” Mr Kimpton says. “We plan to keep doing what we do well and add industrial renewables to our portfolio, which would mean quite a big diversification.”

The company has acquired other businesses throughout its 50-year history, but Mr Kimpton says there are no plans to grow through further acquisitions. “We’re looking to consolidate the businesses we’re already in and we’re now focusing more on renewables,” he says.

Gap in the market for industrial renewables

Mr Kimpton believes there is a gap in the market for industrial renewables, such as installing a rainwater harvesting system in large factories.

“We think there is potential growth in that area but it is a slow burn; there are not as many incentives for industrial as residential properties and the market is tight, so many clients are not able to look past the upfront capital costs to the projected paybacks of investing in renewables.”

“Companies will have to start looking at this, and when they do we will be ready to win the work”

Richard Kimpton, Kimpton Building Services

However, this is likely to change as energy prices continue to rise, renewable technology becomes more affordable and the market subsequently gets more competitive. “Companies will have to start looking at this, and when they do we will be ready to win the work,” he says.

“This is also true of the acoustics market, where we provide surrounding for combined heat and power units, while we’ve also been involved in the installation of a number of biofuel boilers and housing them in acoustic enclosures.”

Investing in training and getting accredited

One way the company is preparing for this is through training its staff in renewables servicing and gaining the right accreditations, such as the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

“This is a massive step forward for us and our ability to offer clients the highest engineering standards at a competitive price,” Mr Kimpton says.

“It’s important to emphasise that using an installer without an MCS immediately means a client cannot benefit from the government’s incentive schemes, which effectively loses them cash straight away.”

The other business areas the company specialises in are doing well too, although Mr Kimpton says commercial projects are sometimes difficult as the margins are very tight.

“This is a massive step forward for us and our ability to offer clients the highest engineering standards at a competitive price”

Richard Kimpton, Kimpton Building Services

“Business is pretty brisk at the moment,” he says. “We’re working on several large student accommodation schemes so we need to double the workforce over the summer, as the schemes all need to be ready to open in September and that deadline never moves.”

Family ethos gains trust

Kimpton was asked by Kier to be a partner on a scheme in Bootle, which is a joint centre for the police, ambulance and fire brigades, and has recently done some work for Airbus in Broughton.

The business was started by Mr Kimpton’s father, and in this tough economic climate he believes this helps particularly when working with other family firms.

“We find that many of the firms we work with are third-generation building businesses and as a second-generation business, there are a lot of synergies,” he says.

“They have some empathy and understand where we’re coming from and that we’re not just after a fast buck.”

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