Our Joint Ventures
For 24 years Norse Group has been pioneering a radical and cost-saving approach to delivering public services – from asset management to front-line services – by joining forces with the public sector to form Joint Venture Companies (JVCs).
Working in harmony with local councils and other public sector organisations through dynamic partnerships, Norse has increased cost efficiency, raised standards of delivery and added social value: from more efficient design, management and maintenance of public buildings to healthier school meals, cleaner premises, improved school transport, tidier streets and integrated waste and recycling.
Jointly owned operating companies replace traditional client/contractor relationships, resulting in strategic partnerships which generate operating surpluses for the benefit of both Norse and the partner authority.
Faced with unprecedented pressure on public sector finances, more and more local authorities are working closely with Norse to launch such cost-efficient joint ventures.
With performance monitored closely, the partnerships create bonds of trust and financial transparency, delivering the highest standards and achieving targeted service levels.
Set up in February 2011, Barnsley Norse Ltd. is a subsidiary of an existing Joint Venture Company (JVC) between sister organisation NPS Group and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council (BMBC).
The 15-year agreement, an extension of the company’s proven Local Authority partnering business model, is an example of the innovation that Norse Commercial Services brings to the delivery of public sector services. It is also indicative of the integrated and joined-up thinking of Norse Group companies.
Forming a subsidiary of an existing joint venture overcomes many of the hurdles in transferring services, enabling the smooth and efficient migration of traded services.
Barnsley Norse, like other Norse JVCs, is steadily building a portfolio of public and private sector clients which generates additional income for BMBC. The company now provides employment for over 450 staff across a range of services including catering, cleaning, caretaking and courier operations.
The economy is starting to look healthier but there are still many budgetary pressures on local authorities. Norse’s pioneering approach is helping local councils like Devon County Council maintain high standards of service delivery, save money, protect local jobs and contribute to the local economy.
Back in early 2010 Devon County Council, looking for new, cost-efficient ways of working, was attracted to Norse’s combination of public sector experience and commercial flair. The council recognised that these skills would both deliver its performance objectives, and develop the Joint Venture’s external business to everyone’s benefit.
Devon Norse is one of the most successful and fastest growing of Norse’s joint ventures, now operating across five counties in the South West and returning a healthy profit share to Devon County Council each year. The company is delivering all FM services to the Council, cleaning services to schools, NHS sites, housing associations, leisure centres and civic buildings, and catering at many of the Devon’s schools and for civic functions.
Enfield Norse was set up in 2009 to manage the cleaning of a range of premises across the London Borough of Enfield.
Since its launch, this forward-thinking joint venture has become responsible for cleaning more than 150 establishments, including schools, libraries, offices and communal areas in council-owned flats and specialist housing centres across north London.
Over and above its council facilities work commitments, Enfield Norse has the freedom to trade externally and is winning new commercial contracts, generating a welcome profit-share contribution to Enfield Council.
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GYB Services (Great Yarmouth)
In addition to delivering a range of front-line services, including refuse collection, recycling, street cleansing, public and amenity building maintenance, grounds care, footway lighting, street furniture and engineering services, GYB Services is working with private sector clients looking for similar services.
As with all Norse partnerships, outcomes are defined in appropriate Service Level Agreements and against specific Key Performance Indicators – ensuring that the community services GYB Services delivers are of the highest standard.
The dynamic partnership enables GYB Services’ management to innovate and to reinvest cost savings in service delivery efficiency wherever it is most needed. This means improved services to residents and financial benefit to the local authority.
The first of its kind in the South East, Medway Norse brings together Norse Commercial Services and Medway Council in a dynamic local authority Joint Venture Company (JVC).
Medway Norse provides facilities management services which include cleaning, catering and maintenance for the council’s 140 buildings and for other local organisations, thereby protecting front line services for the people of Medway while providing value for money.
Working with progressive councils like Medway, Norse uses its experience and commercial expertise to deliver cost savings, preserve local jobs and maintain high quality service delivery.
Adding social value, Medway Norse is committed to spending 40% of its budget with local SMEs, reflecting the firm’s commitment to supporting the local economy. The company also provides apprenticeships and work experience for local jobseekers.
Although one of the newer local authority joint ventures, Medway Norse is expanding rapidly, moving into new purpose built facilities and already in the top five Norse JVCs by turnover.
Newport Norse is a highly successful facilities management and contract services provider.
The company provides a range of Property management and facilities management service to Newport City Council.
As part of one of the UK’s most dynamic and fast-growing Facilities Management services providers, Newport Norse has the financial strength that offers continuity of service and job protection that are so vital in times of continued pressure on local authority budgets.
Norse South East
Norse South East is a highly successful contract services and frontline public service provider.
The company is a supplier of grounds maintenance, trade waste and street cleansing services to the public and private sectors and to residential clients across the south east of England.
As part of one of the UK’s most dynamic and fast-growing Facilities Management services providers, Norse South East has the financial strength that helps ensure continuity of service supply and job protection.
The Joint Venture Company Norwich Norse has secured jobs for over 130 staff in the region, and strengthened the bonds of a public sector partnership whilst delivering key services.
Norwich Norse delivers environmental services such as street cleansing, grounds maintenance, building cleaning, arboriculture, pest control and sheltered housing cleaning.
The partnership gives taxpayers and residents long-term service stability, and provides staff with employment security, often a problem with traditional contractual agreements.
Since its formation in April 2013 Norwich Norse’s business model has proven to represent best practice and value to the satisfaction of councillors, trades unions and local residents alike.
Suffolk Norse is a Joint Venture which manages school swimming services, PCV driver training and the fleet of school coaches and minibuses previously run by Suffolk County Council.
Under the 10-year deal 70 vehicles and around 130 staff transferred to Suffolk Norse, representing an example of the public and private sector working closely together to meet the challenges of the tough financial climate, and to save tax payers money in an innovative and effective manner.
Suffolk Norse also utilises its passenger vehicle fleet by providing transport private hire requirements with groups, clubs, youth organisations, individual schools, colleges and companies across the county.
Suffolk Coastal Norse
Suffolk Coastal Norse was Norse’s first Suffolk partnership, formed in 2004 to deliver strategic and operational services to Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC).
The comprehensive range of services includes facilities management, waste management, street cleansing, fleet management, grounds maintenance and engineering services.
Now into its second 10-year term, SCN is Norse’s largest local authority partnership, providing the council with annual savings in the region of £2 million and currently delivering services to more than 57,000 domestic households and over 1,000 private sector clients.
Typical of Norse joint ventures, financial savings are achieved through lower central support costs, procurement and vehicle operation, and insurance costs.
Waveney District Council shares a management board with neighbouring Suffolk Coastal District Council. Demonstrating the innovative approach that Norse Commercial Services adopts to joint venture partnerships, it implemented a mirror structure within its joint venture companies Waveney Norse and Suffolk Coastal Norse (SCN).
The joint board of directors at Waveney Norse and SCN increases efficiency and resources optimisation, enabling these two companies to deliver the highest savings amongst Norse joint ventures
Waveney Norse delivers front-line services to more than 56,000 households and numerous civic, commercial and business customers. Services include street cleansing, refuse collection, car parking, and management and maintenance of parks and open spaces.
The enterprising joint venture ensures the ongoing improvement and sustainability of services, while making the best use of the public purse.
Norse Environmental Waste Services (NEWS)
NEWS is a ground-breaking Joint Venture between Norse Commercial Services and seven district, borough and city councils in Norfolk, managing processing of dry recyclable materials from across the county.
Under the 10-year, £6.5m a year agreement NEWS handles materials recycling from kerb-side collections from across Norfolk. Glass bottles and a broader range of plastic items are also collected and processed under agreement which began in October 2014.
To deliver the agreement, Norse’s existing materials recycling facility on the outskirts of Norwich underwent a major £6 million redevelopment, which included an extension to the existing building and the introduction of new state-of-the-art processing machinery and new mobile plant.
Commercial Director Ruth Metcalf said, “Although Norse Group now has 25 joint ventures with local authorities around the UK, this is still the only multi-partner agreement we have formed. It is another example of Norse helping to broker inter-council co-operation and collaboration that helps increase efficiencies in frontline services delivery, whilst ensuring sustainability of local jobs.”
The facility processes around 85 thousand tonnes of dry waste a year.