Global reach heating up for Impeller    

April 30, 2018

Overseas growth is proving an important driver for social enterprise Impeller, which provides fire safety training in association with the Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service. CEO Will Fatherley explains more

When and why was Impeller established?

Impeller was founded in 2015 and was created by the innovative senior management team at Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service. They chose to establish Impeller to harness the inherent skills of the service that are commercially valuable and generate profit for good. The company is set up within a charitable structure as a social enterprise, with surplus profits going back into community fire safety projects in the North East. The business works in partnership with the fire service with access to their skills, assets and intellectual property, for which the fire service receives a revenue stream.
We use this competitive advantage to deliver services to customers – all of which are aligned to safety.

What type of companies have you worked with?

We have a great mix of repeat customers, working with more than 300 in the first three years of business with a wide variety from schools, councils and charities to local and national businesses. We are also proud of our record of working with in excess of 30 UK fire and rescue services as well as working for Northumbria Police. Locally, we’ve worked with Nissan, Meldrum Construction, Kingston Property Services and Fairstone, to name a few. We love to build lasting relationships with our customers; Impeller recently competed in the North East Property Rugby Festival in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice, who are one of our customers, which was both great fun and raised a lot of money for the hospice.

I believe the company is now building international relationships from its North East base…

Our first foray overseas was to the Republic of Ireland, working with many of the fire services over there in the last few years. We have delivered specific training for them in Ireland and regularly attend events over there. Key to developing overseas opportunities is building relationships with the key customers who will act as brand advocates for Impeller – this has certainly worked for us in Ireland. We are now looking to the Middle East for future expansion.

How will Impeller benefit from working overseas?

Working with different clients and cultures expands not only your turnover, but also the experience and depth of your team. We will encounter new ‘opportunities’ that we will need to solve, which will stretch our capabilities and help to grow the business – it is an exciting time!

What’s the company’s future plans?

It is extremely important for Impeller to look overseas as it will be a key source of growth in the next three years – we plan on expanding into the Gulf Cooperative Council countries, particularly Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Saudi Arabia in the next 12 months. The opportunity for us is significant and exciting, however having lived and worked in the Middle East for three years myself, I know it takes longer to build relationships and develop the trust needed with the client. It’s also important to have a presence in the country and we are currently considering the best route to achieve this. Ultimately, we want a managed and controlled expansion where we build lasting relationships and value for our clients.


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