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Ben cleans up with National Training Academy
His Cardigan based company Ultima Cleaning already offers an extensive range of services covering pest control, commercial kitchen cleaning, carpet cleaning, fire and flood damage cleaning, hypodermic needle collection and office cleaning
But crime scene cleaning is providing Ben with a niche market opportunity enabling him to expand the business considerably after winning contracts from police authorities around the UK.
This service can range from clearing up after road traffic accidents or murder scenes, to extensive cleaning and sanitising operations following natural deaths when the body may have decomposed.
The demand for this service, which requires extensive expertise in a range of areas, has been so considerable that Ben has established The National Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners to develop UK wide standards and accreditation.
“The Academy provides training for cleaning companies throughout the UK to ensure their staff have the necessary expertise and ability to undertake this highly specialised work.
“We do not have the resources to carry out all this work in house so now when we win contracts it means we can, if necessary, confidently sub contract the work to companies that have had Academy training.”
To date 140 companies in the UK have been trained and Ben is tendering for contracts from forces around the country including Northern Ireland. News about the Academy has reached as far as South Africa and Ben now has his eye on extending it to Europe.
“There’s nothing like this training available in Europe and if I don’t take advantage of this opportunity then someone else will. With support from the Welsh Assembly Government I hope to attend a specialist trade show in Amsterdam next year to make inroads into this market.”
Ben said the Assembly Government’s Flexible Support for Business programme helped him expand the business through specialist workshops on tendering for business and opportunities to meet potential buyers.
His business has also benefited from Assembly Government training grants to ensure his workforce have the necessary skills and accreditation to work in a number of allied fields.
Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said it was good to see an innovative Welsh company seeing and seizing a niche market opportunity.
“Ultima Cleaning has continued to expand and move into new markets and I am pleased it has been benefited from the range of specialist support from the Assembly Government that has helped it grow to become an important employer in the region.”
Ben set up Ultima Cleaning after leaving school at sixteen when he decided to turn what was a Saturday window-cleaning round into a thriving business and attributed the success of his company to his `fantastic staff - from the humblest cleaner to my dynamic managers' whom he thanks.
He still maintains his domestic window cleaning contracts with more than 2000 homes in the area using his services.
More recently, he has been awarded new office cleaning contracts in Aberystwyth and regularly carries out work for the University and cleaned more than 1000 student rooms and bedsits in the summer.
“I attribute the success of the company to all and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to them all.”