A landscaping and grounds maintenance firm is pulling up trees after smashing its sales forecast five months early.
Scott Ellwood sowed the seeds for his new landscaping venture more than a decade ago – now he’s reaping the rewards after seeing his fledgling firm flourish into a blossoming business.
After starting out as a sole trader in 2006, County Durham-based Ellwood created his limited company, SE Landscaping, in 2014.
He now heads up a team of six, while turnover for his current financial year ending in April next year is already 10% above his projected sales figure.
“Our turnover has more than doubled in the last two-and-a-half years through natural growth,” says Ellwood.
“What pleases us most is the awards and recognition that our work is singled out for, which we’re very proud of.”
SE Landscaping has picked up several new contracts this year, many of which with local authorities, while it also works with petrochemicals giant Sabic, Portakabin on Portrack Lane in Stockton, Intelect UK at Riverside Park in Middlesbrough and Teesside property rental firm Parker Barras, which involves maintaining its portfolio of properties including flats and industrial units.
Ellwood had projected sales of £200,000 – but as a result of new contract wins he’s already £20,000 up with five months to go.
“We’re entering what is traditionally a quiet period for us,” he said. “But that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. We’re picking up a lot of grounds maintenance work which is going to keep us busy during the winter months, and that’s a bonus.”
Based in Shildon, SE Landscaping currently has more than 70 active clients on its books involving both private and public sector contracts across the North-East region – working as far South as York and as North as Cramlington.
But it’s the company’s work with local authorities which has been its bread-and-butter – and set it on the road to success.
SE Landscaping works closely with Durham County Council – which represents about 25% of its annual turnover – while it also works for Evenwood and Gainford parish councils and Chilton and Fishburn town councils.
“It’s very much been a gradual process of building the business over the years,” adds the 39-year-old.
“I started out as a sole trader when the company I was working for went out of business. I’d been with them for 11 years – from an apprentice up to contract supervisor in the end – and so I’d built up a lot of my own contacts in the business.
“Some of them gave me contracts which got me up and running, including one with Balfour Beatty, which we still work for to this day.”
SE Landscaping’s services include grounds maintenance, garden landscaping, public rights of way, playground maintenance, snow ploughing and salting, tree planting and tree care, fencing repairs and installations, turf laying and seeding, pesticide application and weed control.