Lucion’s Lee Kerridge (r) and Charles Pickles at the newly expanded Gateshead laboratory facility
A Gateshead-based firm which specialises in asbestos management services has announced investment in its technical capabilities to meet growing demand.
The £200,000 investment sees Lucion Services extending operations at its Halifax Court laboratory, boosting the firm’s capacity to undertake bulk analysis and air monitoring for customers using high powered scanning electron microscopy by 30%.
Once the extended site is fully operational in spring 2018, it will be one of the largest facilities of its type currently in use in Europe.
An additional 10 analysts have been appointed, bringing the total number of analytical experts to 30, and taking the overall number of people employed in technical support services to 54.
There are also plans to recruit an additional five analysts over the next two months as testing activity continues to ramp-up in the face of strong demand.
Specialist training is a key component of an investment package that will ensure new starters are multi-skilled in both lab and admin support work, and qualified to appropriate asbestos industry standards.
Lucion uses scanning electron microscopy (SEM) technology to more effectively measure the amount of airborne asbestos fibres when compared to other techniques.
This latest round of investment will expand the firm’s capacity to use this technology to provide national customers with recommendations for the safe handling and, if necessary, removal of asbestos materials.
The UK asbestos market for surveying and air testing work is worth more than £240m nationally – a figure that is expected to increase in line with demand for industry expertise and specialised advice.
Lucion is seeing strong demand for its expertise, particularly in the education sector, where asbestos containing materials are present in thousands of old school buildings.
Currently employing approximately 300 people and with a turnover of £23m, it operates a national network of 12 offices providing services to local customers.
Laboratory operations manager Lee Kerridge said: “We are making this investment now to enable us to scale up the size and scope of our lab services as we look to secure the needs of our customers now and well into the future.
“Expanded technical support capacity, a highly skilled team and the use of advanced testing equipment, ensures we will continue to be market leaders delivering the highest levels of service and expertise.”