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Garden firm Out There goes for growth with £1m of new machinery

By Staff Reporter

A Co Antrim gardening company has invested £1m to add 43 new vehicles to its fleet after winning new contracts. Out There, which has rebranded from The Landscape Centre, was set up in 1981. The Templepatrick company was taken over by Steven Thompson in 2006, growing turnover from £1.5m to £9m.

It now employs 200 people.

Danske Bank has provided a six-figure sum towards the investment.

Mr Thompson said: "Most of our work is in the public sector, with 80% maintenance and 20% landscaping.

"We took the decision to rebrand the company because we wanted to create an identity that would help us stand out from the competition, especially when we are working outside Northern Ireland.

"Recently we secured our first contract in London with Viridian Housing Association. The contract will see us maintain 100 properties for a five-year period.

"We'd like to get a foothold in Great Britain and have been tendering mainly in the south east. Breaking into new markets can prove challenging, but with those challenges come opportunities."

However, he said Northern Ireland was still a key market, with the firm recently winning six Housing Executive contracts, as well as renewing deals with NI Water and Choice Housing.

Mr Thompson added: "We're in a healthy position to grow the business steadily as we expand overseas."

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