A North East entrepreneur who was once responsible for looking after Harry Potter’s owl has flown south to open the latest office of his bird and pest control business.
 
Michael Taylor began his career working as a animal handler/trainer in the film industry, and counts The Chamber Of Secrets and The Prisoner Of Azkaban among his credits.  
 
A conversation with a colleague on the films gave him the idea of how to use his skills commercially, and on returning to his native North East in 2004, he set up Contego Environmental Services as a specialist bird control business.
 
Headquartered on the Chilton Industrial Estate in Ferryhill, the company quickly began to take on other aspects of pest control work, initially on local landfill sites, before expanding into other parts of the UK.
 
Contego, which has grown to employ 22 people, now offers the full range of bird and pest control services, including population and site management, and pest proofing.
 
It has further offices in central Scotland and Aberdeen, and as part of plans to make the business a truly national operation within the next two years, it has acquired a rival business with an office in central London from which clients across the south of England will be serviced.
 
An additional new recruit has been taken on to look after clients in Bristol and the South West.
 
Contego’s client list already includes the NHS, Stagecoach, Arriva, DTZ, Asda, KFC, Harry Ramsdens, Gentoo and Durham County Council, and since opening the new London office, new names including the Old Vic theatre have been added to it.
 
Plans are currently being put in place to open a further office in the Midlands in the coming months, while further acquisitions and expansion along the M62 corridor is also part of the company’s strategic growth plans.
 
The Cotengo management team has been working with RMT Accountants and Business Advisors on the financial and commercial aspects of acquiring the London operation, and on preparing the business for strategic future developments.
 
Michael Taylor says: “The skills that I built up in my training and film work were perfectly suited to the bird control business, and we’ve grown the company very successfully by expanding both the range of services we provide and the areas in which we operate.
 
“We’re already acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading bird control companies, and our aim is to establish Contego as a truly national operator in the pest management industry over the next two years.
 
“We pride ourselves not simply on getting our work done as quickly as possible, but on finding precisely the right individual solution for each client, which, in a unique and challenging environment like London, can require a great deal of creative thinking and planning.  
 
“Having a presence in London has already opened up a lot of doors for us across the south of the country, and we expect to see our business growing quickly there over the coming months.
 
“We have a close working relationship with the RMT team, and their strategic input to the development of our business has been extremely valuable.”
 
Michael McGee, client services manager at RMT Accountants and Business Advisors, adds: “The way in which the Contego management is successfully executing its expansion plans is extremely impressive, and we’re very pleased to have been part of the opening of their latest office.”