Barrier Group has acquired a 40% stake in newly launched Team Valley-based rope access firm, UK Total Solutions.
The Wallsend-based oil industry coatings specialists will provide back office functions, business leads and support to UK Total Solutions, in exchange for the stake in the business.
It will give Barrier, which last month revealed plans to build a 2,720sq factory and office space at its Hadrian Way base, increased capabilities in rope access and further presence in the offshore industry.
Originally founded in Dubai in 2009 by international Rope Access specialist Mick Flaherty, UK Total Solutions launched its North East operation in 2014.
The Middle East operation employs 200 people and maintains its own accommodation block, transportation support and catering services for its entire workforce.
It established a successful niche in the United Arab Emirates by introducing UK safety standards to local industry sectors using specialist trained rope access technicians.
The firm currently employs around 20 people in the UK, managing services to the oil and gas, petrochemical, marine, construction and renewable energy sectors.
Total also runs a products division supplying equipment such as removable insulation jackets for industrial equipment and assets, including vessels, valves, flanges and pipework.
Mick Flaherty, managing director of UK Total Solutions, said: “We are an ambitious young company and this relationship with Barrier will play a huge part in helping this business achieve its growth objectives in the UK and further afield.
“Working with Barrier is a great fit for us. This gives us incredible workforce capability as Barrier’s trade strength is over 1,000 and our plan is to start enrolling its core teams through our Rope Access training school.
“This will add value to all Barrier’s existing clients as they will have core teams on-site with the capability to carry out Rope Access activity at any time, therefore reducing mobilisation timescales to a single day.”
Mr Flaherty added: “UK Total Solutions is all about delivering smarter and safer solutions. Bringing that mentality to the workforce encouraged us to not only set-up IRATA Training Facilities in the North East, but also to include additional Fabric Maintenance Competency courses.
“This will ensure that, when providing technicians to the industry, we can guarantee our client that the manpower supplied will be at a very high level of competency. The strategy for our Training division will expand far across all industry standards projecting the company to another dimension.”
Robert Bowles, chairman of Barrier Group, added: “We are delighted to have acquired a share of UK Total Solutions, which has rapidly established a strong niche in the market.
“There are real synergies between the areas of expertise within Barrier and UK Total Solutions, which will add value to both companies’ customers and strengthen our position in the supply chain.”