Monthly Archives: January 2024

Diamond founders complete 100% takeover

31 January 24

The founders of one of the UK’s fastest growing facilities management firms have completed the purchase of a 100 per cent shareholding in the business as it marks its 14th anniversary.

Coat Holdings Limited – which is owned by Adam Atkins and Helen Cooper – has purchased a 56 per cent stake in the Diamond Facilities Support Group from investor John Gray for an undisclosed sum.

Atkins and Cooper had initially held the other 44 per cent since forming the business – which is headquartered at Birmingham Business Park – in February 2010.

It means Diamond Facilities Support Group’s chief executive Atkins, and group managing director Cooper, will own 50 per cent each after organically growing their start-up into a £15 million turnover specialist FM group, employing around 185 staff nationwide.

Growth has been driven by the success of referrals from their direct labour model for 90 per cent of their services, as well as the creation of other subsidiary businesses that sit within the group.

These now include drainage business Jet Through, roofing firm Nationwide Roofing Repairs, cleaning business Nationwide Property Clean, fire and security company Sanctuary and FM specialist product supply brand Purcho.

All of these businesses, like Diamond, have been created from scratch and organically grown to ensure the culture of service excellence, quality and the personal touch that has made Diamond so successful is embedded from the start.

Atkins and Cooper have grown the business’s turnover year-on-year apart from during the pandemic, with growth now significantly exceeding pre-pandemic levels as the Group looks to hit £30 million of annual turnover by 2027 with more than 250 staff.

Atkins said: “This deal heralds an exciting new era for Diamond Facilities Support as we look to ramp up our expansion plans over the coming years.

“We’d like to place on record our thanks to John – as his initial financial support back in 2010 gave us the precious time needed to lay the foundations for the business to be able to serve clients and build our reputation – from renting office space through to employing staff and ordering equipment.

“Unlike many other FM businesses, around 90 per cent of the services we provide are delivered by our own staff, which has played a core role in our organic growth over the years as we have been able to maintain a high level of service, which has resulted in referrals landing around 50 per cent of our new business.”

Cooper added: “To be in this position 14 years on from starting the business with a graffitied desk we dragged up from the cellar and two mobile phones is a magnificent achievement.

“While Adam and I have been adept at spotting and capitalising on growth opportunities over the years, we would not have succeeded without the talented and hard-working team on which our reputation is built.

“Even though we are only 14 years old as a business, we already have a “ten year club” to celebrate people’s long-service, which shows the great staff loyalty we have fostered, which is reflected in the consistently high service we provide to businesses across the UK.

“Our attention is now turning to expand the business even further by growing our workforce across the group to around 250 over the next three years, as well as bringing some of the minority of FM services that we currently sub-contract in-house.”

How to guard against the costliest reactive FM call-outs

25 January 24

A burst pipe or significant escape of water on average costs between £8-12k to fix – and despite many of these incidents being preventable, it continues to be a common issue for commercial and residential properties.

Last year alone, Diamond Facilities Support attended just under 3,000 reactive callouts relating to escape of water.

Luke Yates, Associate Director at Diamond Facilities Support, has more than 10 years’ experience in the plumbing industry, and has shared a checklist that FMs should follow to ensure their pipes are free flowing all year round.

  • A common cause of burst pipes is frozen water expanding pipes, resulting in cracking, with thawing leading to leaks – so there is a need to keep water temperature as stable as possible.
  • Keep all doors closed to limit fluctuations in room temperature
  • Leave your property heater or heating on if you are not in and cover any loft hatches
  • Wrap exposed pipes with insulation, insulate outdoor taps, and insulate the water heater/tanks if it’s in a cold place
  • Make sure all taps are turned off correctly
  • Seal any areas where pipes are exposed to cold air, like underneath sinks or near dryer vents
  • Make sure to check your buildings insurance to ensure that you have adequate cover for such events
  • Prevention is better than cure, so make sure your premises are subject to regular inspections to identify signs of potential issues early on – sometimes burst pipes can originate from other underlying issues

If you suspect a frozen pipe then you must look to thaw it very gradually after turning off the stop cock, a plumber may use a heat gun in small bursts but property owners could use a hair dryer or even a hot water bottle. It is, however, advisable to consult a professional to avoid any further damage.

If you do suffer a burst pipe then it is essential you do the following:

  • Make sure you know where your stopcock is and ensure it turns water off!  Test the stopcock at regular intervals to prevent water pouring through your building with no ability to turn it off
  • Call your emergency plumber immediately in order to identify the problem and get it fixed
  • Speak to your insurer as there may be significant damage if you are unfortunate

Sometimes stopcocks can seize which makes them extremely difficult to operate, especially in an emergency! The Diamond Group have years of experience in fitting Surestop.

Surestop turns off water at a flick of a switch without the need of batteries or electrics. This can be a direct replacement for a brass stop cock.

Contact us today to find out more.