Grant helps company expand into new city offices

March 12, 2021

An expanding environmental consultancy has future-proofed its business after receiving more than £22,000 from a grant programme supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.

EMS – Environmental Management Solutions – has introduced new services and taken on new members of staff after converting a former doctor’s surgery into a new office and laboratory in the centre of Hereford.

The company – which specialises in asbestos surveying and consultancy, geotechnical and geo-environmental investigations and water safety services – was established in 2003 and has expanded from a two-person-team to a multi-departmental organisation working throughout the UK and Europe.

Jamie Perkins-Best, Director of EMS, said the £22,214 grant from the Marches Building Investment Grant programme had helped transform the former surgery in King Street into a modern office suite and develop a state-of-the-art asbestos-testing laboratory.

“The new offices in King Street provide much required extra space for EMS, which has steadily grown year by year since 2003.

“We recently added air testing, monitoring and laboratory services to our repertoire of environmental consultancy services through the acquisition of Cardiff-based consultancy NG Associates.

“The new office will provide a designated space for this division to allow EMS to set up a UKAS accredited asbestos testing laboratory, the first of its kind in Herefordshire. This will allow EMS to test asbestos samples in-house and hopefully bring more business into Herefordshire and the Marches area. The acquisition of NG Associates and the move to larger premises has already allowed EMS to recruit two new members of staff in Hereford and another part-time member of staff in Cardiff. It is envisaged that the opening of the laboratory in Hereford will create at least one other additional job opportunity in the near future.”

Jamie added that the move to King Street also provided designated office space for sister company EMS Water, which had taken on two full time members of staff during 2020 in response to continuing increase in workload and gained several UK-based legionella contracts.

“The grant from MBIG was a huge help towards the development costs to transform the doctors’ surgery into a contemporary office space and we were delighted with how easy it was to access the funding and how efficient the process was.

“Even during the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, it has allowed us to strengthen and future proof the business, with expansion of services directly providing new jobs within our community.” 

The MBIG programme offers grants of up to £150,000 to help meet the cost of building new premises or extending and reconfiguring existing ones. It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub.

Programme Manager Caroline Cattle said: “We are delighted to have been able to help EMS to renovate and move into these new offices. The company has a track record of success having grown consistently over nearly 20 years and we look forward to it continuing to expand and create new jobs and opportunities in the future.”

Gill Hamer, Marches LEP chief executive, said: “This is an excellent example of how the help available through MBIG, and numerous other schemes the Marches LEP supports, can help a company meet its growth ambitions, creating new jobs and prosperity.”

The MBIG programme, which is delivered by Herefordshire Council, meets up to half the cost of successful applications, meaning that projects costing up to £300,000 could secure a grant of £150,000. The scheme covers B2B businesses and does not include retail, social welfare or agricultural companies.

Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the MBIG scheme. Full details are available from the team at or by calling 01432 261511.

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted at

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted at Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted at

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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