Belfast Telegraph

Move into security helps firm to clean up

A CO Armagh cleaning and security firm has defied the recession with £3m worth of growth.

Robinson Services, best known for its cleaning work, has diversified into a number of different areas in recent years.

David Huxley, security services manager of Robinsons, said the firm's move into security provision two years ago has brought in an additional £3m.

He added: "We took a fresh approach to outsourced security provision, introducing new ways of thinking about how things are done.

"For example, in the shopping centres we look after, including those in Scotland and England, we monitor their CCTV from our control room in Antrim."

The company also offers a range of services to these centres, including cleaning and car parking management.

Mr Huxley said this creative approach to their business model has been crucial to thriving in the recession.

"We are continually looking at new services we can offer. Last year, we began to provide gritting services," he said. "In November we bought two gritters and then had one of the worst winters in living memory. So it's all about a combination of good business acumen and a bit of luck."

Robinson Services began life in 1968 as a window cleaning venture, started by James Robinson. Today, son David Robinson is at the helm and the company employs over 1,200 staff.

The firm provides security cover for 23 shopping centres in Northern Ireland, including Foyleside, Forestside, Buttercrane and Ards shopping centres.

At present, it services two shopping centres in Scotland and three in England, including the Queensgate Centre in Edinburgh and the Pentagon Centre on the outskirts of London.

Robinson Services plan to maintain and build on their success by focusing on quality. Mr Huxley said: "We have a reputation built on our experience and the quality of service we provide.

"We plan to grow our share of the market in both Scotland and here in Northern Ireland, as well as actively seeking correct and proper acquisitions."