Mike Preece says his successful Welsh business is based on a tragic past.
He says both his grandparents died from the effects of asbestos, and now his business PHH Environmental makes the substance safe in buildings across the UK.
“My grandfather worked as a lagger using asbestos, and my grandmother washed his clothes and I have seen the terrible effects of it,” he said.
The family-run business based at Cardiff Bay Business Centre (CBBC), employs 17, and is planning to take on another ten staff in three years. The plan is also to break the £1 million turnover ceiling within that period as the business continues to grow.
CBBC is owned and run by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise, and PHH Environmental has been a tenant for the past eight years. The firm recently moved into new offices in the newly-refurbished Forgeside House, and has opened a £30,000 accredited laboratory for analysis, staffed by two technicians and two trainees.
Mike says his personal experiences made him passionate about health and safety at work, and he says it was a catalyst for setting up the business 14 years ago.
Clients around the UK include major retailers and blue chip companies and domestic work. The firm conducts ‘Hazmat’ (Hazardous Materials) surveys, and will deal with or monitor the issues as required. These include asbestos, legionella, fire risk assessments, air testing, toxic mould and damp surveys, EPCs and energy audits.
The firm spends a great deal of time and money training its staff to keep up with the latest requirements. “We have a very skilled team and devote a lot of effort to training,” said Mike.
He is full of praise for Cardiff Bay Business Centre, and its location in particular.
“We have been here for eight years and in that time have increased the space we have taken about ten-fold.
“The team here at CBBC has always been able to help us when we need more space to grow, and we have had an excellent relationship with them. The location here is brilliant. Our staff are always travelling to visit clients and travel links are excellent.”
Maria Stevens of UK Steel Enterprise, commented:
It is very good to see PHH growing and expanding at CBBC and we are delighted to have been able to help by providing suitable accommodation.
“We recently refurbished Forgeside House in a £1 million makeover, and this has been welcomed by all its tenants including PHH