A Tyneside businessman struggling to find a suitably qualified company to add a specialist roof to his firm's latest expansion has taken matters into his own hands.
Nigel Begg, managing director at IT specialists Aspire TS, wanted work on his £1.2m, 3,500 sq ft datacentre to stay within the region.
However, the architect he was working with suggested an extremely high-spec roof on the building and the nearest firm with the requisite skills was based in the south of England.
“The roof had to be both highly secure and eco-friendly, and the roofing system specified by the architect had to look good too,” Begg said.
“I was also very interested in the construction process so I thought: ‘You know what? I’ll do it myself’.”
He therefore took a couple of the contractors working on the site with him and travelled to Wales to spend two days on a Tata-Steel approved installation course.
On returning to Aspire’s Heworth Hall headquarters with the necessary skills, he spent weekends and spare hours over a fortnight completing the project himself.
“I enjoyed the work, and I now know the building far better than I would have otherwise,” he said.
“The datacentre will give our customers greater flexibility and assurance and I like to think the episode shows exactly what we will do to improve our service to customers.”
Aspire is a managed services company specialising in hosted services, datacentre solutions, communications and traditional IT outsourcing. Established in 2006, it has increased its turnover by 195 per cent in the last three years to £3.8m, and is on track to achieve £11m in the next two years.
Funding for the datacentre, one of the most energy efficient in Europe, came from Aspire’s management and a Let’s Grow grant from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) of £220,000.
Begg added: “We wanted the independence and flexibility that a datacentre would give us and our customers. It will enable us to support the evolving needs of the marketplace and provide high availability solutions, virtualisation, consolidation, remote management and remote monitoring.”