A DRIVE to cut costs among businesses in the retail and leisure sectors has helped to create new jobs and nationwide expansion for an Elland-based group of companies.
The Orchard Group, which comprises Orchard Energy, Orchard Environmental and Orchard Networks, saw a “significant” increase in business from tourism, heritage and sporting venues during 2012 – with new clients including the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Somerset County Cricket Club and Fife Ice Arena in Scotland.
Group managing director Gareth Henderson said Orchard’s energy division had recently agreed deals with West Yorkshire Playhouse, Northern Ballet and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The group also work with retailers had expanded in the past 12 months to include efficiency planning as well as purchasing.
Orchard has also been working with North East furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse throughout 2012 to protect its budgets from gas and electricity price fluctuations.
Orchard, which now employs 80 people, also supported the firm with meter downgrades and planning for a new £4m store in Knaresborough.
Other retail clients in 2012 include Cheque Centre, Costcutter and the Meadowhall and Ridings shopping centres.
Mr Henderson said Orchard Energy’s longstanding working relationship with stately homes such as Chatsworth, Harewood and Castle Howard had paved the way for a deal between the group’s networks division and the Duke of Devonshire Estates to provide managed IT services.
Mr Henderson said: “In 2013 we will be developing a comprehensive telecoms service as part of our IT support including landline, mobile, broadband and VoIP installation and technical support.”
Waste management division Orchard Environmental has seen a 30% increase in business leading to the creation of new jobs at head office in Elland and the rolling out of its services to the group’s regional offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Bradford and Newcastle.
Said Mr Henderson: “Overall we have expanded in terms of head count and geographical reach in all areas of the group’s operations and moved our head office from Brighouse to larger premises in Elland in the first quarter of the year to facilitate growth.”
“Recruitment is now underway to expand our teams in Newcastle, Bristol and Elland.
“More new jobs will be created in all three businesses in 2013.”