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Toro fleet expansion for CGM Group

Toro fleet expansion for CGM Group: One of the largest grounds maintenance and landscaping firms in the East of England, CGM Group based in Downham Market, Norfolk, has purchased four Toro LT3340 triple flail mowers to aid the 150-strong grounds team operating across East Anglia and the East Midlands for eight months of the year.

The company started its journey with Toro machines in January 2020. Marcus Glover, operations director at CGM Group, explains: “Our teams are working solidly for two thirds of the year cutting sports pitches and maintaining school sites and commercial grounds.

Toro fleet expansion for CGM Group

Toro fleet expansion for CGM Group

“We need machinery we can rely on, machinery that is flexible and adaptable. We are not only faced with a wide range of landscapes and environments, but the weather can apply added pressure to our work, particularly in 2021 when we’ve seen extraordinarily fast grass growth due to the wet and warm weather.

“The performance of the Toro mowers is excellent. We can expect fine finishes on cricket outfields to reliable, neat trimming for clients who require general monthly cuts throughout the season. The flexibility of the range of machines is superb.”

The four new mowers join five existing Toro machines, taking the overall fleet to nine. Famed for perfecting light trimming through to dealing with dense overgrowth, these mowers also come with kerb-climbing ability, making them particularly well suited to municipal sites.

Yet for Marcus, performance was just part of the equation. Marcus continues: “It’s also all about the support and back-up care. Although we’ve had no problems with use, the response time of the workshop is phenomenal. Replacement parts are sourced overnight so I know I’ll have machines back out on the ground the following day. It means that, from an operational perspective, we are working as efficiently as we can.”

Marcus’ experience with the team at Reesink Turfcare, the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for Toro groundscare machinery, is testament to the importance of a good working relationship and he credits Danny Lake with being “excellent” to deal with.

Danny Lake, area sales rep at Reesink Turfcare, comments: “CGM is one of the biggest grounds contractors in the region so performance and reliability are key. We understand the seasonality of their business and work to support them as best we can with fast-response after-care.”

Marcus concludes by reflecting on the challenges presented by 2021’s unseasonably wet weather: “Now is the optimum time for us. Our busy teams are cutting more than normal due to faster-than-average grass growth and the Toro mowers have supported us brilliantly, performing well in all conditions. It’s that adaptability and reliability that means they are machines we can trust.”

Reesink Turfcare is the exclusive distributor in the UK and Ireland for Toro groundscare machinery. For further information on the range call 01480 226800, email info@reesinkturfcare.co.uk or visit reesinkturfcare.co.uk

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GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo: The GGM Group is delighted to announce they have signed a new distribution agreement with Swiss manufacturer Ronovatec to promote an innovative new robotic mower for sports grounds maintenance throughout the UK.

GGM Group plan to arrange the first public demonstration of the all new RoviMo, as soon as government restrictions allow. RoiMo’s intelligent design allows for the autonomous mowing of professional Sports turf saving potentially thousands of man hours in the maintenance of sports fields and stadiums.

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

GGM Group a UK distributor of RoviMo

The RoviMo is the world’s first intelligent electric vehicle capable of mowing patterns autonomously according to the guidelines of national football associations, UEFA, or FIFA, precisely and over the shortest distance, horizontally, vertically and with chessboard pattern, at the touch of a button. Supervision of the mowing process by an employee is not necessary.

Operated simply and efficiently remotely via an app, RoviMo® can also be used for mowing other large green areas, such as company premises or parks, and will be developed to be utilised by golf courses. RoviMo® is a multifunctional equipment carrier, which will be able to carry out other work processes such as maintenance of artificial turf, line marking and various other labour-intensive tasks.

RoviMo is currently in it’s final stages of development and field testing with the first machine installations in July 2021.  GGM are planning to arrange several demonstration events over the coming months, current restrictions permitting.

The GGM Group, based in Colne, Lancashire, has a rich heritage and proactively seeks new solutions on an ongoing basis. The new deal with Ronovatec marries perfectly with its strong values of professionalism, innovation, and providing progressive solutions that support its commitment to work towards cardon neutrality.

GGM Group Managing Director Chris Gibson explains more:

“RoviMo is something completely different, and it’s extremely exciting to be working with Ronovatec on what we believe will be a game changer in professional turfcare. RoviMo adds state of art technology to our portfolio allowing us to offer customers the next generation of intelligent mowers.  We are thrilled to have been involved from the early stages of development of these new innovative machines; they are the perfect addition to our product range as we continue to grow in the sports ground sectors”.

Chris Gibson continued:

“Over recent years there has been a trend for turfcare professionals to increase their green credentials and RoviMo not only offers this but achieves reduced cost and increased efficiency simultaneously. A fully charged RoviMo will mow circa 16’000 m2 in 5-6 hours depending on pattern and terrain, all without employee supervision of the mowing process, saving many man hours and employment costs. In addition, RoviMo® is fully electric, CO2-free, and autonomous with low noise pollution and is therefore ecologically sustainable and economically unbeatable. It’s a win-win for the customer.”

Chris Gibson concluded:

“It’s fantastic to be involved with this innovation at its development stage. While final machinery specifications are yet to be confirmed, we are very much looking forward to arranging the first public showing just as soon as we are allowed. Signing this deal is just the start, forging the path for things to come – the future of sports turf maintenance looks exciting”.

To register your interest and find out how the RoviMo can benefit your operations please register your interest at https://promo.ggmgroundscare.com/RoviMo or contact the project lead at GGM; Andy Melville; Tel: 07973 454001; Email: andy@ggmgroundscare.co.uk

Key benefits of the RoviMo include:

  • Fully Autonomous Intelligent Mowing
  • Fully Electric
  • Zero Co2
  • Reduced labour costs
  • Low noise
  • fuel cost savings
  • No hydraulics
  • Lower weight
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Optional: Autonomous grass collector/dumper

About GGM

The GGM Group consists of two businesses across two depots. PSD Groundscare is the national distributor of specialist landscaping equipment, including AS Motor, Eliet, Koppl and TS Industries. GGM Groundscare is a specialist supplier of tractors and high-quality professional land-based equipment for commercial and domestic use. Servicing the North West and Yorkshire, it supplies a range of products from leading franchises including Kubota, Baroness and Dennis / Sisis and Amazone.

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Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group appoints new chairperson

Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group appoints new chairperson: The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) has announced the appointment of Les Howkins MG, golf course manager at The Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, as the new chairperson for greenkeeping for the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Employer Group.

The Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship is undergoing a review by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and Les will lead the Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group as it manages and responds to the review, ensuring the successes of the new Apprenticeships are built upon further.

Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group appoints new chairperson

Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group appoints new chairperson

Les has been involved with the Trailblazer Group since its inception in 2014 and is a huge advocate for greenkeeper training and education. Having held the post of chairperson of the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) from 2015 to 2019 and through his role as golf course manager at one of the most prestigious clubs in the country, Les is ideally placed to build on the leadership of former chairperson David Croxton, who sadly passed away in 2020.

Les said: “I am excited to take on this role and following the challenging times every golf club has experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure that golf courses continue to be maintained and managed by highly skilled professionals. The ongoing review of the apprenticeship will provide for this need and produce the next generation of golf course managers.”

Jim Croxton, BIGGA CEO and GTC board member, said: “Les has a proven track record of leading committees and boards in our sector which, coupled with his passion for education, makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Trailblazer group at this time. With the Level 2 apprenticeship having been such an outstanding success in England and with Levels 3 and 5 poised to do likewise, we are at an exciting time for greenkeeper training.”

Fiona Lyttle, Learning and Development executive (GTC), said: “We were saddened with the loss of David, who was instrumental as the first Trailblazer Chairman for Golf Greenkeeping. With his guidance and determination, the GTC was able to build an excellent Apprenticeship programme from Level 2 to Level 5.

“We were delighted and privileged to be able to appoint Les as the new Trailblazer chairperson. Being an active employer and advocate for greenkeeping education, the Trailblazer group and I are looking forward to working with Les to maintain the level of apprenticeships our employers have become accustomed to and to ensure they have quality golf facilities for their members to enjoy.”

The Greenkeeping Trailblazer Employer Group and Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme is supported by golf facilities and governing bodies including England Golf, The Richmond Golf Club, Frilford Heath Golf Club, Colne Valley Golf Club, Colne Valley Golf Club, Gaudet Luce Golf Club, Portmore Golf Centre, Trentham Golf Club and Worplesdon Golf Club.

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STRI Group & WANDA CTI sign strategic alliance

STRI Group & WANDA CTI sign strategic alliance: STRI Group, the world’s leading multidisciplinary service provider to the sports and environments sectors has signed a strategic alliance agreement with Wanda’s Cultural Tourism Planning & Design Institute (CTI), the subsidiary company of Wanda Cultural Industry Group, who is China’s largest cultural enterprise.

The cooperation is an exciting step forward for the Chinese football industry, as both parties, recognized as leaders in their respective fields will create international quality football facilities throughout China.

STRI Group & WANDA CTI sign strategic alliance

STRI Group & WANDA CTI sign strategic alliance

Building on the regional success already realized in China by STRI and Wanda, the cooperation will firstly set new industry standards for football surfaces then see the development of an elite R&D facility and design hub, supported by a new education offering. STRI will support Wanda as their local design and project management company as they roll out ambitious plans for multiple football venues throughout the country.

The R&D center will invite select industry stakeholders to have their products and systems positioned for validation and demonstration purposes, showcasing the very best in football pitch infrastructure and ongoing maintenance. STRI’s design capabilities will be supported locally by their construction partner Tizan Turf Science. Andrew Brooker, Company Director at STRI Group said ‘The cooperation is an exciting step forward for the development of new stadium and training venues in China, enabling facilities to compete on an international level’ Andrew went on to say ‘STRI Group are very pleased to have formed the cooperation with Wanda, who are now the world’s leading commercial real estate and sports company’.

The parties intend to engage architects and engineers to collaborate on the exciting projects already identified as future developments, bringing in the very best multidisciplinary teams to deliver world class venues.

Wanda CTI are excited for the future of Chinese football venues. They are very happy to have partnered with STRI Group, a global leader in the sports infrastructure industry. They are also very pleased that STRI’s multidisciplinary teams can bring environmentally sustainable design ethics to the collaboration.

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FLexGrass Group & Agronomic Services to partner

FLexGrass Group & Agronomic Services to partner: We are delighted to announce the partnership between FLexGrass Group and Agronomic Services Ltd. FLexGrass will now supply its international customer base in conjunction with Agronomic Services Ltd.

FLexGrass can now deliver their quality sports grass solutions with all the plant nutritional requirements. Pre-preparation, renovation, grow-ins and follow up to ensure stability and establish the ultimate playing surface.

FLexGrass Group & Agronomic Services to partner

FLexGrass Group & Agronomic Services to partner

With the full range of plant nutritional products to compliment FLexGrass sport surfaces they now offer the complete service package.

Quotes

David Snowden said ‘We are thrilled to be working with Fabio and Lorenzo Travaini of FLexGrass group, this is a very exciting development for our business. Our first project together at Inter Milan has proved to be a tremendous success.’ David continues ‘FLexGrass have a fantastic quality offering of sports turf including hybrid and natural grass solutions, our combined knowledge and products make for a great partnership.’

Fabio Travaini commented ‘After many years of trials using alternative, quality, fertilizers to produce our excellent sports surfaces, we have now found what we believe to perfectly fulfil our customers high standards. This collaboration with Agronomic Services Ltd. gives FLexGrass Group all the options to serve its customers, the very best products available today.  With our joint expertise we can create a customised nutritional plan to meet the high expectations of our International clientele. We are thrilled to start this new adventure.’

Inter Milan training centre pitch after their October renovation process. Fantastic results achieved by the grounds team in conjunction with FLexGrass Group and Agronomic Services Ltd., using the Agronomics range and Floratine Foliars.

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STRI Group appoints new directors

STRI Group appoints new directors: Following a period of strong growth, STRI Group is delighted to announce the appointment of two new company directors to its board.

Gareth Walters and Dr Ruth Mann have been appointed as Finance Director and Director of Research from January 2021, with both continuing to manage their existing departments.

STRI Group appoints new directors

STRI Group appoints new directors

Gareth will lead the group finance function, ensuring that effective processes and controls are in place across STRI Group, and will work closely with the Board to drive through strategic growth.

Ruth will be instrumental in ensuring STRI remain at the forefront of innovation and technological developments in the sports infrastructure and environmental industries.

Ruth said: “It is very exciting to be involved with researching and developing future solutions to challenges in the sports turf and environmental industries. The range of national and international partnerships and projects STRI is currently involved with demands a wide range of technical expertise, and I am looking forward to supporting the continued expansion of services.”

“STRI Group has grown in recent years to become a multi-disciplinary solutions provider in the sport and environment markets with a global reach.” Gareth said. “With two key strategic acquisitions made last year, 2021 represents an exciting time for the Group and I look forward to joining the Board to support this continued growth.”

STRI chief executive officer, Mark Godfrey, said: “STRI has continued to expand at a rapid pace over the last twelve months and we felt that now was right time to expand our board. Ruth and Gareth have been important senior figures at the company for several years and are helping drive change and growth across new markets. I am delighted to welcome them to the board”

For more information contact:
STRI’s marketing and communications team on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email info@strigroup.com

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GGM Group celebrate charity success

GGM Group celebrate charity success: A Lancashire based business is ending the year on a high and celebrating raising over £10,000 for charity over the past two years – despite the restrictions caused by the global pandemic.

Colne-based GGM Group selected three charities to support, pledging to raise over £10k through an intensive programme of activity. After a great start in 2019, the business was determined not to be hampered by lockdown restrictions in 2020 and came up with their own ingenious ways to fundraise.

GGM Group celebrate charity success

GGM Group celebrate charity success

The businesses annual charity walking event was rethought with MD Chris Gibson travelling from his home town of Lancaster to the businesses’ head office in Colne and then back again covering a distance of 104 miles –  through a combination of cycling and walking. He was joined at different points on his journey by different members of staff undertaking different legs in pairs, to enable social distancing.

The business has thought further outside of the box in it’s fundraising efforts with a team of staff pledging to lose weight in aid of charity.

The fundraising has raised money for charities who are finding themselves cash-strapped during these difficult times. Greenfingers is the company charity for the second year running,  dedicated to supporting children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in. In addition, funds have also been raised for St John’s Hospice in Lancaster and Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.

Chris Gibson explains more:

“It’s a key part of our ethos at The GGM Group to give something back to the community and we are delighted to have been able to achieve our charity target, despite these difficult times. Now, more than ever, charities need our support and we are delighted to have still been able to help”.

The GGM Group has worked hard to find ways to keep the business operating this year, and  throughout the pandemic has worked hard to keep the whole team together, maintain its commitment to excellent customer service, and, where it was safe to do so, keep machines operational for professional and domestic customers throughout the season.

The company has also started recruiting again and are aiming to help some of the younger members of the local community with apprenticeship opportunities.

In addition, the business made a pledge during lockdown to become an eco-friendly organisation and strive to improve its green credentials even further, through a range of initiatives including electric vehicles, a wildlife wellbeing oasis at the Haydock branch and the recent installation of solar panels.

The GGM Group consists of two businesses across two depots. PSD Groundscare is the national distributor of specialist landscaping equipment, including AS Motor and Eliet, Koppl and TS Industrie. GGM Groundscare is a specialist supplier of tractors and high-quality professional land-based equipment for commercial and domestic use. Servicing the North West and Yorkshire, it supplies a range of products from leading franchises including Kubota, Baroness and Amazone.

Chris Gibson concluded:

“There is no dispute that this has been an incredibly challenging year for most businesses. I’m incredibly proud of how our team has pulled together and hitting our charity target really is the icing on the cake. Like most people, we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel and I’m confident of a bright 2021.

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idverde and TCL Group join forces

idverde and TCL Group join forces: idverde has acquired TCL Group, the national provider of Landscaping, Play products and Grounds Maintenance services to a diverse UK customer base.

idverde Group is Europe’s leading provider of Green Services with a turnover in excess of €600m, employing over 6,000 colleagues throughout France, Holland and the UK.

idverde and TCL Group join forces

With Regional hubs in Derby, Northampton, Dorking and Melksham, TCL has annual sales of £65m and employs over 850 colleagues, delivering its products and services to a range of Blue Chip and Public Sector clients. This acquisition expands idverde’s UK portfolio of services, providing a complementary offer to existing clients in both companies and further develops idverde’s extensive national coverage delivered by idverde colleagues. idverde UK now has over 3,850 directly employed colleagues across the UK which enables its service capability to be far reaching to serve clients both locally and nationally.

Simon Cashmore, Executive Chairman of TCL, and his executive management team will take up senior roles within idverde UK.

Doug Graham, CEO at idverde UK, commented: “We have been tracking TCL for some time and have been impressed with the way in which the business has developed and are really pleased to have secured the deal to truly make idverde the undisputed market leader in the UK. In addition to its grounds maintenance services delivered through the royal warrant holding Burleys division, with TCL’s Playforce products and services and Housebuilder landscaping services, TCL brings new and enhanced service capability to idverde and it strengthens our strategy to be the green services provider of choice, which is underpinned by our 3,850 directly employed colleagues. I am delighted to welcome Simon and the TCL team to the business as they continue into the next chapter of the journey as part of the idverde team.”

Simon Cashmore, Executive Chairman of TCL added: “Alongside Simon Abley and a number of close colleagues it has been a huge pleasure to have had the opportunity to lead TCL Group since 2007 and build the business from a single site Midlands based operation into a multi-channel / multi-services organisation, operating across a national footprint. Joining forces with idverde represents an incredibly exciting opportunity for colleagues working within the group and indeed for our customers, with many advantages for both as a result of becoming part of the UK market leader.  The range of services provided by idverde and TCL are hugely complementary and combine to create a really compelling proposition for the enlarged group’s many customers. I would like to thank BGF and Investec, and previously Caledonia Investments plc, for the role they have played in supporting the growth of the business and I look forward to being able to play a part in helping the business continue to flourish within idverde.’’

Hervé Lançon, President at idverde Group, remarked: “We are very proud to welcome TCL to the idverde Group. idverde UK is a very important contributor to the success of the idverde Group pan-European strategy. Under the leadership of the UK CEO, Doug Graham, the team are driving the UK development through a successful build up strategy in addition to solid organic growth. Simon Cashmore and his TCL colleagues demonstrated to us that they share many of the values that we promote at idverde and I look forward to continuing to work with the team.”

Doug Graham, CEO at idverde UK, went on to add: “The acquisition of TCL marks the fifth transaction that Livingstone has advised us on and they have played an integral role in delivering our ambitious international growth strategy. We highly value their sector insight, ongoing advice and hands-on execution support and we look forward to continuing our working relationship.”

Karen Dawaf Harron, Director at Livingstone, concluded “Livingstone is delighted to have played a part in delivering the TCL acquisition – our fifth transaction advising idverde in four years. The UK Green Services sector is a vibrant, thriving arena and TCL significantly enhances idverde’s presence in the private sector presence, its capabilities around landscape construction and its geographic coverage.”

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Kelly-Marie Clack Joins STRI Group

Kelly-Marie Clack Joins STRI Group: STRI Group is delighted to announce that Kelly-Marie Clack has joined the business as a consultant agronomist.

Kelly will be working with a range of sports facilities across the UK delivering STRI’s broad suite of services and agronomic support for clients.

Kelly-Marie Clack Joins STRI Group

She has worked in the amenity industry for over ten years, most recently with AGS where she discovered a passion for soil health and biology.

Kelly said: “I’m over the moon to have joined STRI Group. It’s an exciting time for the business and I’m relishing starting this journey with them. I have lots to learn over the coming months and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Kelly’s appointment is one of several new faces to join STRI Group in the last three months, as the business continues to grow across its global territories. A number of new diverse roles have recently been created and STRI is looking for talented individuals to fill them.

Agronomy general manager, Paul Woodham, said: “Kelly has been on our radar for a while and this is the perfect time to welcome her to STRI Group. Her skill sets and enthusiasm are well suited to our team who work across a diverse range of sports. Kelly’s recruitment has been well received in the industry and she’ll be out meeting clients in the coming months.”

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New Ventrac Package For CGM

New Ventrac Package For CGM: The CGM Group (East Anglia) Ltd is one of the latest landscape contractors to purchase a Ventrac package from Price Turfcare. Supplied by local dealer Ernest Doe & Sons, the package includes a Ventrac 4500 compact tractor and Finishing deck.

Managing director Tim Glover and his wife Julie started the business over 35 years ago carrying out grass cutting for the local authority in West Dereham and now provides grounds maintenance, landscaping, arboriculture, facilities management and pest control services to commercial and domestic customers throughout East Anglia. The Group employs over 180 staff working on a wide range of contracts from local authorities, agricultural processors, housing associations, schools and sports clubs through to one-off hard landscaping projects. CGM Group has bases in King’s Lynn, Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough and regularly undertake projects in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.

New Ventrac Package For CGM Group

Explaining the rationale behind the purchase of the Ventrac package, Head of Operations Marcus Glover said,

“We were in the market for a new machine for our contracts with large factories and distribution centres and saw the Ventrac at LAMMA. I spoke to Rupert Price and he arranged a demonstration, which took place in February. It performed really well and we took delivery soon after. At the moment it is used exclusively for these mowing contracts, but we’ll be looking at the Power Rake and Power Brush attachments later this year as we can see more applications that will suit our business. It’s certainly a versatile machine.”

Adrian (Ady) Seymour is the principal operator and has been with CGM for 12 years. Commenting on the attributes of the machine he said,

“This is a great machine for the operator; it’s comfortable, highly manoeuvrable and very easy to use. The hand controls are intuitive and the articulating frame means we can get into tight areas, reducing additional strimming time. A tank of fuel lasts all day and once I’ve finished, I can clean it down with a light pressure washing. The deck flips up almost vertically, so that helps with cleaning, greasing and blade changing. Under the bonnet everything on the Kubota engine is easily accessible and I can easily access the radiator to blow it clear with a compressed air line.

New Ventrac Package For CGM Group

“With its eight-wheel configuration it’s also very safe on slopes and good in wet conditions. The Finishing deck leaves a really nice finish, so much so, that I’ve been complimented by senior managers at several of our customers when I stripe up the roadside verges and entrance roads to their sites.”

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