The CEO of a new fire safety and training company based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) has vowed to make the firm a leading name for fire safety in the UK.
Will Fatherley set up ProFire Safety & Training in the wake of the closure of Impeller Assurance and Resilience – a social enterprise he ran and which was created to generate income for the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
Impeller went into liquidation in November last year after the fire service ended its relationship with the company.
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.
He 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.
Will said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
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.
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.”
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 to stimulate new ideas and solutions to challenges of today’s world.
For more information about the Innovation Zone and the support available contact firstname.lastname@example.org