Ten months after the launch of Via East Midlands Ltd (Via), the new highways company developed through a ground breaking partnership between Cornwall Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, both organisations are looking to expand the project further.
Set up to provide highways and fleet management services in Nottinghamshire, Via, the first highways joint venture of its kind to be developed in the UK, was initially launched on 5 May, 2016. It became fully operation in July under a ten year contract, which is extendable for a further five years.
VIA Ltd is jointly owned by Nottinghamshire County Council and Cornwall Council, Via had a turnover of £40m in the nine months to March 2017 and employs around 630 staff, the majority of whom has transferred from Nottinghamshire County Council.
The company is fully supported by CORSERV which provides strategic support to Via as well as to the Council’s existing arm’s length and commercial trading companies: CORMAC Solutions Ltd, Cornwall Housing, Cornwall Development Company and Cornwall Airport Newquay.
The profits generated for Cornwall Council go back into fixing Cornwall’s roads.
“The creation of Via has been a great success which has seen both Councils learning from each other and sharing their knowledge and experience to deliver high quality services for their residents and customers “ said Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources. “It has also created 10 new jobs in both Cornwall and Nottinghamshire to date, and will bring £0.4m of additional revenue back into both Councils for 16/17 which is being used to support other services”.
“A major part of the success of the project has been the positive approach taken by Members and officers of both Councils and I look forward to seeing this model replicated in other parts of the country”.
Doug Coutts, Managing Director of Via East Midlands Ltd, said “The transfer of knowledge and experience from our parent companies Nottinghamshire County Council and CORSERV have been a great benefit. It has helped us to successfully restructure the organisation, giving us a sound platform to develop, meet future growth needs and become more sustainable, through providing new opportunities for employees and investing in additional external resource to further develop our expertise going forward.
“In addition to delivering high quality services to our main client, we have secured a good level of external business, backed by a growing pipeline of future opportunities, meaning that we are on target to deliver the first-year return to our shareholders.”
Via delivers a wide range of highways services throughout Nottinghamshire, including maintaining roads, footways, signs, lines, lighting and signals, salting and snow clearance, delivery of road improvement services and managing the county’s highways network of more than 4,100 kilometres.
While the focus of the new company so far has been to deliver a high quality highways service for Nottinghamshire, in the future Via will be looking to sell its services in other parts of the country.
“While the CORSERV group of companies already carries out work for a wide range of public and private sector organisations across Cornwall, our geography makes it more difficult for us to sell our services to other parts of the country. “ said Adam Paynter. “Nottinghamshire’s location in the middle of the country will provide more potential to win new contracts in the future”