A new business group has been formed combining the strength and expertise of four leading UK road safety barrier firms. The new group brings together Asset VRS, Varley & Gulliver, Hardstaff Barriers, and Hill & Smith Barrier, which are all part of Hill & Smith Ltd. The move consolidates all existing UK Hill and Smith Ltd Vehicle Restraint System (VRS) subsidiaries, connecting all temporary and permanent products and services. As a result, the level of service provided to customers will be strengthened and the supply of high-quality barrier systems to the road network and security industry will be enhanced. Safety is a priority Safety is a high priority for all of the companies involved, with every product manufactured and supplied designed to keep people and property safe. The companies’ strong individual divisional brands and faces to market will be maintained within the new business group. Team members The group will be led by a newly-formed Executive Leadership Team, consisting of: Peter Wilkinson, who will lead the new business group as Managing Director. Peter has worked within Hill and Smith Ltd for 21 years, leading very successful businesses across the business portfolio, both internationally and in the UK. Tony Everitt, who becomes Export Sales Director. Tony has been with Hill and Smith Ltd for 30 years and was Managing Director of Varley & Gulliver, where he gained extensive knowledge of the international roads market and made a significant contribution. Dave Todd, who becomes Managing Director of Services, overseeing all aspects of service-related functions within the new group. He previously worked in various senior roles for Tier 1 major project contractors, before becoming Executive Director of Hardstaff Barriers upon its acquisition by Hill and Smith Ltd in 2016. He has transformed Hardstaff from a family-owned company into a very successful and profitable business. James Thomas, currently Financial Director of Hill & Smith Ltd (including Berry and Asset International), will also take on responsibility as FD for the new group. James has spent seven years with Hill & Smith Ltd and brings vast experience and extensive knowledge across the individual businesses. Matt Harriman, who becomes Managing Director of Products overseeing sales, development, innovation, and production at the Bilston and West Bromwich facilities. Matt became MD of Hill & Smith Barrier in 2017 after 14 years in product and technical roles. Ian Robinson, former Managing Director of Lionweld Kennedy Ltd, has come out of retirement to become Transformation Consultant during the integration period giving regular updates on the development of the new group. Developing enhanced solutions Peter Wilkinson said, “Our new leadership team is excited by the opportunity to transform and grow this newly-formed group. The bringing together of our VRS businesses will give greater opportunities to all employees, creating career opportunities and new leadership roles.” “This new group also strengthens the range of our products, enabling enhanced service, solutions, choice, and support for all of our customers.”
Figures released by Hill and Smith Holdings PLC, a group that includes UK road and security barrier companies Hardstaff Barriers and Asset VRS, show that the firms remained robust in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial results for last year show a robust performance, strong cash generation and positive long-term prospects across the group. Vehicle restraint systems Furthermore, the group has also paid back the 3.6M it received from the UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for the staff furloughed across all subsidiaries in 2020. Hill and Smith Holdings PLC, an international group creating sustainable infrastructure and safe transport through innovation, published the figures in its preliminary results for the Year Ended 31 December, released this month. The group has also paid back the 3.6M it received from the UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Hardstaff Barriers, based in Nottingham, and Asset VRS, based in Wolverhampton, are the UK suppliers and manufacturers of vehicle restraint systems (VRS), hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers, perimeter fencing and concrete security barriers, which are all designed to keep people and property safe. Providing physical protection Dave Todd, Executive Director of Hardstaff Barriers and Asset VRS, said: “We have remained resilient throughout the pandemic and we’ve worked very hard to keep our teams safe, as well as keep the businesses moving forward. We are incredibly proud to be part of the Hill and Smith Group and to have emerged, a year on from the start of the pandemic, stronger and more robust. And this has allowed the businesses to do the right thing and repay furlough monies back in 2020." “More recently, as a result of the pandemic, the companies experienced a significant increase in demand for concrete and steel barriers by local authorities to increase space for social distancing. Pubs, food shops, and even schools, have also installed barriers to create maximum opportunities for social distancing and to keep people safe. The barriers provide physical protection from nearby traffic and remind people of the need to comply with social distancing requirements.”
Foremost road safety and security barrier specialist, Hardstaff Barriers, has launched a free expert advice service as part of its commitment to protecting people and property. The company, which manufactures and supplies vehicle restraint systems (VRS), hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers, perimeter fencing, concrete security barriers and access gates, has launched the service to share its extensive industry knowledge. Those who need advice on a project, who are keen to know how certain barriers work or who need advice on how to comply with safety requirements can now contact the company’s team of experts. Benefit of safety Standing by the company's 'For the Love of Lives’ tagline, Dave Todd, Director of Hardstaff Barriers, said: “Safety and security are at the heart of Hardstaff Barriers’ work, and we employ some of the UK’s leading experts. As part of our ongoing commitment to protecting people and property, we decided to launch this service to share some of our extensive knowledge.” “Whether those seeking our help are customers or not, we are happy to provide advice for the benefit of safety and for the greater good.” Experts and their scope of work Hardstaff Barriers works in a range of areas including highways, events, airports, ports, nuclear, construction and vacant property, and can offer advice on improving safety and security in any of these areas. Its experts include: Richard Endersby, General Manager of Technical and Engineering, is an experienced Civil and Structural Engineer and has specialised in VRS for the last 20 years. In a previous role, he was tasked with rewriting the then-current VRS Standard, TD19/85, and bringing it in line with the European Standards. Niall Griffin, now General Manager of Hardstaff Secure, has worked in the policing and temporary security sector for over 30 years. Previously a Counter Terrorism Security Co-Ordinator for the Sussex Police, Niall can provide expert advice on all aspects of temporary security schemes. Hardstaff Barriers’ Solutions Manager, Nigel Bullock, brings a wealth of industry experience in relation to effective road safety devices and vehicle restraint systems. Key to his success is ensuring that the business keeps up-to-date with the latest highway safety regulations, such as CD 377, and that all of the company’s products meet these stringent requirements. As trusted experts in the industry, Hardstaff is the appointed contractor for the UK Government’s National Barrier Asset (NBA) framework.