A recruitment firm is looking to put the building blocks in place for a brighter future with the purchase of new premises.

Sharples Davies Limited has been awarded £50,410 by the Lancashire Business Growth Fund (LBGF) towards the purchase of 22 St Thomas’s Road, Chorley.

It’s part of a project which will see the company (pictured) spend £125,000 on purchasing the building, another £102,050 on renovation work and a further £25,000 on fitting out the premises.

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The address is a Victorian build, four-bedroom detached residence that, for many years, has been used as offices for solicitors and, latterly, an addictions dependency charity.

The new building will be the new home for Sharples Davies Limited, Sharples Davies Executive and their Project 20 business. The project, overseen by the company’s Managing Director, Jeffrey Sharples Hulme, will also create a further five jobs.

It’s hoped demolition will begin in January 2016 with the new build commencing towards the end of February and the company hopes to move into their new premises in either June or July.

“The upstairs of 22 St Thomas’s Road will provide Sharples Davies, the recruitment business, with more than enough facilities to employ new team members and substantially grow that business,” Jeffrey (below) said.

“The LBGF funding will allow faster growth and also the staff to develop Project 20. We will double our headcount from six to 12; under the scheme we have made our first appointment and the second post: Data Developer is currently being advertised.

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“In our current location we have no additional desk space so as soon as the doors open at 22 St Thomas’s, the recruitment will continue.

“The ground floor is where we will develop the ‘Project 20’ spin-off businesses that will encourage micro-business generation under the Sharples Davies umbrella including CPDs, client product launches, employee development and assessment, employment life counselling, a bespoke meeting venue and a media centre for video production for live CVs and video interviews.

“We will encourage work from home professionals to sub-contract their services through Sharples Davies and provide them with facilities and support to achieve their business objectives; for many of our existing clients, 22 will become their northern hub.”

Formed as Sharples Davies Consulting in March 1996, the company became Sharples Davies Limited in February 2000.

Sharples Davies Executive Limited came out of Sharples Davies Limited and incorporated in November 2002 specifically to give a different identity in the executive recruitment sector.
Prior to the company’s birth, Jeffrey spent 20 years working in sales, marketing and general management for building product manufacturers.

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Sharples Davies has been run as a lifestyle business for the last 20 years, providing candidates for permanent positions within the building products industry for manufacturers, their supply chain and industry associations.

The core business is the recruitment of external sales teams, their middle and senior management across a range of disciplines sales, technical and specification.

The industry is divided into sectors such as Heavyside, Lightside and Civils but the business recruits in all associated and sub sectors.

“Our reputation is based on industry knowledge and understanding of the roles’ function and our quality processes,” Jeffrey added.

“We introduce candidates that will deliver their new employers’ objectives and have good retention and succession potential – it is not about filling a vacancy and hoping the placement lasts longer than the guarantee period.

“Most of our competitors rely on candidates announcing they are looking for a new role – and whilst we also have to maintain a strong candidate database and links to job and social media sites we are experts in mining candidates who are in the unannounced market. Simply our thoroughness and methodology delivers higher calibre candidates.

“Our face-to-face interviews are job specific and we produce profiles on each candidate that illustrates competences, hard skills and achievements.”

In terms of ‘Project 20’ the scheme is one with a range of different functions.

There is a community payback element where the company will work with Chorley Council and other agencies to provide young, unemployed people with life counselling, giving them guidance.

Linked in is a desire to support apprentice initiatives and, as a result, they will be talking to the Builders Merchants Foundation (BMF) about their youth recruitment and apprentice scheme.

Project 20 is also separate from the firm’s recruitment activity and will provide facilities for assessment centres, behavioural, psychometric and aptitude testing.

Development courses will be offered for HR professionals to become accredited assessors, while there is also scope for clients to work with Sharples Davies on ‘People Plan’ projects – be it resolving difficulties, managing change or building teams.

The Regional Growth Fund-supported Lancashire Business Growth Fund is a programme offering capital investment grants and international trade support to businesses across the county.

The programme has been launched by the county’s two accredited Chambers of Commerce – East Lancashire and North & Western Lancashire – in partnership with Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and is intended to create 600 new jobs and safeguard a further 200.

Its key aim is to accelerate the creation of sustainable jobs by encouraging companies to bring forward growth projects on a bigger scale with a larger impact at a time when those jobs are most needed.

Businesses bidding for grants from the scheme can claim up to 20 per cent of the total project costs with the remaining costs leveraged from the bank or investment.

To be eligible for the programme, projects must involve the acquisition of new premises, infrastructure, machinery, expansion or another suitable form of capital investment.

Businesses are also required to demonstrate how many jobs will be created through the project in order to be accepted onto the scheme.

For more information on LBGF please contact Stef Heywood on [email protected] or 01254 356473