Great Yarmouth-based CLS Offshore celebrates new contract success

CLS Offshore MD Scott McMillan CLS Offshore MD Scott McMillan

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
8:00 AM

Great Yarmouth-based CLS Offshore has continued its meteoric growth after landing a £9m asset integrity contract to survey and replace equipment on Southern North Sea gas platforms.

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On top of the 18 month deal, secured at the start of the year, the firm is also poised to seal a £4m contract for refurbishment work at a UK gas terminal.

Marketing manager Michaela Smith said: “The latest successes put us firmly on course to to meet our target, announced last year, of doubling our £20m-plus turnover by 2015.”

CLS, which was formed in 1998, moved into its present riverside headquarters in Malthouse Lane, Gorleston in 2011 but is already fast outgrowing the old borough council buildings.

“We have options on land surrounding us and will be looking to extend our site in the not-too-distant future, said Ms Smith.

There were currently 170 staff in Gorleston but that number would easily pass 200 within the next 12 months.

“We have taken on at least 15 people just since Christmas,” she added.

CLS has just opened a new base in Hull, and could eventually employ 25 staff there, but Ms Smith was keen to stress that Gorleston remains their headquarters.

She said: “The Hull base will allow us to support our clients up there more closely but we have not lost our focus here.

“Our managing-director Scott McMillan lives nearby, in Lowestoft, and he is totally committed to the area and his local staff.”

The company provides an expanding range of engineering, project management, fabrication, electrical and instrumentation and personnel services to the oil, gas, marine and renewable energy industries.

Ms Smith said: “We were the first oil and gas company to move into renewables, realising the skills were transferable.”

CLS was currently developing a new way to inspect wind turbines which looked set to yield both time and cost savings.

She said the CLS story was part of an exciting resurgence in offshore firms in Yarmouth and it was important to send out the message what was happening.

To harness staff for future growth the company was committed to apprenticeships - “we have 17 at the moment” - and was exploring the possibility of introducing higher level apprenticeships where trainees would study for a degree alongside practical work.

“We are hoping to do some work with schools at lower age groups to educate students what is available to them when they come to choose their GCSE options,” said Ms Smith.

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