CVD Fire Protection

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by CVD Fire Protection's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from CVD Fire Protection is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director
CVD offer intumescent
painting and firestopping
CVD Fire Protection was originally established by the late
Owen Barrett in 1997 as a diamond drilling service. As
the years went by, Managing Director Caroline Barrett
explains that the company continued to expand into many
areas. At one time, the group contained an award-winning IT
business, a restaurant and a recruitment company as well as
CVD Fire Protection, which still remains today. Providing passive
fire protection and the original diamond drilling services to the
construction sector, the firm has delivered both commercial and
residential projects for almost 20 years.
As a serial entrepreneur, Owen was always striving to expand his interests and
develop our portfolio. When the recession hit, we struggled financially and were
forced to withdraw from some parts of the business. Construction was one of
the few sectors which was not too adversely affected, and so we downsized our
portfolio, retaining CVD Fire Protection as our core focus.
From 2010 onwards, we faced many challenges and worked hard to build the
company into what it is today. In 2013, my husband was diagnosed with a
terminal brain tumour, and he passed away in 2016. At this time, I was working
as operations director and subsequently took over as managing director. I went to
Scottish Enterprise for support, and they were able to provide us with exceptional
assistance. We also worked closely with a number of councils and contractor hubs,
building a strong network around us which helped us to grow and prosper.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2002
»Based in Carluke
»Services: Passive fire protection
and diamond drilling
»No. of employees: 45
CVD Fire Protection
Highlighting best practice
Diversifying and strengthening
Today, we have around 45 employees,
and last year we turned over £3.2
million. This marked an increase from
the year before, when we turned over
£3 million, and signified our upward
trajectory. We are projected to increase
this to £4 million this year, a testament
to the excellence of the team we
This growth has led us to diversify
again. While we began as a diamond
drilling company, we have always
searched to expand our provision.
We are rebranding our drilling and
cutting division to Omni Core Drilling
Solutions Ltd and will segregate parts
of our service, creating subcompanies
to grow the business and create
greater control. Alongside our focus
on diamond drilling and cutting, we
are looking to augment this with the
provision of robotic demolition and
surface preparation services.
This growth of companies and
diversification of our services is taking
us down the road of interior solutions,
where we have started a new business,
Omni Interior Solutions Ltd. This
division will focus on the installation of
associated products of fire protection,
including fire doors, firewalls and
ceilings. To support this work, we are
accredited through the BRE Group
to the LPCB standards, something
which sets us apart from many of
our competitors. This is something
that is traditionally serviced by joinery
companies; however, it will be a fully
accredited installer certifying the
complete fire compartmentation.
Constructing a highly
effective team
As a forward-thinking and well-
established company, we have built
up an excellent reputation within
the industry. Key to upholding this
reputation is integrity. We have been
able to build a highly effective team
which comprises a varying number
of skillsets and experiences – ranging
from those who manufacture to those
who sell our products. As we have
switched into different market areas,
we have always retained exceptional
support from our employees.
Alongside supporting our employees
to attain qualifications, we also focus
on soft skills, such as coaching and
communication, and this is helped
by monthly meetings with all of
our management team, including
supervisors, to ensure communication
channels are always open and
productive. Investing in our employees
ensures the quality of our service, and
this mix of experience and expertise is
a key strength of our team.
We work closely with our main
contractors and share our expertise
with them where appropriate.
Although we are an SME, we
have big ideas and foster open
communication channels, ensuring we
can share and benefit from the skills
of those we work with. Alongside
our accreditations, we also adapt to
the requirements of the contractors
we work with. For instance, as many
A CVD robotic
demolition machine
As a forward-
thinking and
company, we
have built up
an excellent
within the
main contractors are passionate about
sustainability and reducing waste, we
have biomass heating systems and
solar panels to service our premises.
The Beatson Cancer Charity is one that
is close to my heart, and we proudly
raised over £30,000 from a Charity Ball
in memory of Owen, as well as running
Tough Mudder and participating in
various other fundraisers.
A secure future
While Brexit has caused uncertainty
across the UK markets, I am of
the belief that little will change
immediately, with it taking time for
whatever happens to come to fruition.
In order to adapt to this, we are
diversifying our provision.
A more pressing concern is the fear of
main contractors folding, something
which became clear with the collapse
of Carillion. In order to protect
ourselves from the complications
this can cause, we have learnt from
previous instances and ensure we are
always cash rich. Our cashflow is the
one thing I study every morning, and
this should ensure we are not left
vulnerable if our large partners hit
financial difficulties.
Skill shortage is an issue that affects
many industries but is especially
pronounced in Scotland. In the
past, we have worked with South
Lanarkshire Council to bring
unemployed people into our business
in order to tackle this.
We always look to train up new
and existing employees wherever
possible. All of our managers are
currently going through an NVQ
Level 5 in Construction Management
and PRINCE2 as well as all operatives
being trained to NVQ Level 2 in their
As we look ahead, we are planning to
continue to diversify and strengthen
our provision. We are an innovative
company and are always looking to
modernise our work. To this end,
we are currently developing our own
internal IT system which will fill the
current gap in the construction sector
for this type of system. If we find it to
be particularly beneficial, we will look
to promote this new system among
other SMEs. By continuing to diversify
and protect the market areas we have
already expanded into, I am confident
we can continue to be robust and
effective going forward. And all this
we do in memory of Owen.
As we look
ahead, we are
planning to
continue to
diversify and
our provision
CVD, Omni Coring and
Omni Interiors team

This article was sponsored by CVD Fire Protection. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development