Barrier Group has acquired a 40 percent stake in North East-based rope access specialists, UK Total Solutions Ltd.

Wallsend-based Barrier has completed the deal with UK Total Solutions to increase the capabilities and services within the group while helping the business grow its presence in the offshore industry.

Originally founded in Dubai in 2009, by international Rope Access specialist Mick Flaherty, UK Total Solutions launched its North East operation in 2014.

Its Middle East division employs 200 people, which includes 35 staff and 165 multi-skilled tradesmen. Managing a high volume workforce requires impeccable logistics and the company maintains its own accommodation block, transportation support and catering services for its entire workforce.

Having established a successful niche in the UAE by introducing UK safety standards to local industry sectors utilising specialist trained Rope Access Technicians, the company set up its North East England operation to serve the UK and European markets.

The acquisition of a stake in UK Total Solutions is part of Barrier’s strategy to expand the business and move into new markets. Existing customers of Barrier will also benefit from the additional range of services provided by the acquisition.

UK Total Solutions delivers specialist services and applications for the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Marine, Construction and Renewable Energy Sector but not limited as Rope Access is such a diverse method of application when access and skilled personal are to be considered.

Currently, the company employs in the region of 20 people in the UK, but aims to rapidly increase that number as the company expands its delivery of products and services through industry sectors.

The company also has a products division serving industry with equipment such as removable insulation jackets for industrial equipment/assets i.e. vessels, valves, flanges, pipework etc. Composite repairs on steel and other structures is another technology we are working on and have potential strategic partnerships lined up for future development.

Mick Flaherty, Managing Director of UK Total Solutions, said: “We are an ambitious young company and this relationship with Barrier will play a huge part in helping this business achieve its growth objectives in the UK and further afield.
“Working with Barrier is a great fit for us. This gives us incredible workforce capability as Barrier’s trade strength is over 1000 and our plan is to start enrolling its core teams through our Rope Access training school.

“This will add value to all Barrier’s existing clients as they will have core teams on-site with the capability to carry out Rope Access activity at any time, therefore reducing mobilisation timescales to a single day.”

Mick added: “UK Total Solutions is all about delivering smarter and safer solutions. Bringing that mentality to the workforce encouraged us to not only set-up IRATA Training Facilities in the North East, but also to include additional Fabric Maintenance Competency courses.

“This will ensure that, when providing technicians to the industry, we can guarantee our client that the manpower supplied will be at a very high level of competency. The strategy for our Training division will expand far across all industry standards projecting the Company to another dimension.”

Robert Bowles, Chairman of Barrier Group, said: “We are delighted to have acquired a share of UK Total Solutions, which has rapidly established a strong niche in the market.

There are real synergies between the areas of expertise within Barrier and UK Total Solutions, which will add value to both companies’ customers and strengthen our position in the supply chain.”

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