Civil engineering contractor Utilities Design and Planning (UDP) has invested in a larger operating base in Salford after a strong year, with plans in place to take on 60 new staff.

The move to the two-acre site on Eccles New Road will allow the company to take on more projects on the back of a robust order book and a growing long-term pipeline of work.

UDP, backed since late 2016 by private equity firm Foresight Group through its Regional Investment Fund, is anticipating another record year in 2018 for both revenues and profits, with the former expected to rise from £7.5m to about £12m.

Staff numbers are set to increase from 80 to 140.

Managing director Mike Flynn said: “2017 was a strong year for UDP in terms of growth, new senior management team recruits and the installation of new commercial processes and operational systems. We have also invested £400,000 in new plant and vehicles.

“We are ambitious for further growth and expect revenue to soar past the £10m barrier this year thanks to winning more work from long term strategic partners.”

The business has also diversified, incorporating a utilities division which will specialise in the delivery of gas, water, electric and communication underground infrastructure.

“Within the strategy for 2018 we hope to open two further satellite depots in the Midlands and in Yorkshire,” added Flynn. “UDP is working closely with Salford College and this year we will be increasing our apprentices from three to six.”

Claire Alvarez, senior investment manager at Foresight Group’s Manchester office and a non-executive director at UDP, said: “We are really pleased with the progress at UDP since our investment just over a year ago. The new management team has a clear strategy to take UDP to the next level, which we are delighted to support, particularly as this means new jobs are being created.

“Foresight remains keen to talk to business founders or owners looking for a supportive strategic partner to help them realise value or to meet their growth aspirations.”


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