"One Small Step" 40 Years On For Consultant Services Group

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They say that every idea has a small beginning - even one as momentous as Walking on the Moon - and it was when that goal was first achieved in 1969 that Consultant Services Group Ltd was born. Forty years on from those historic steps on the Moon, the West Yorkshire based catering, cleaning and vending firm is still growing, taking its own giant steps to push the boundaries in business, battling against the odds, and continuing to flourish with the same spirit of adventure that motivated the pioneers of space travel.

It would have been hard to believe when we began, at the time Neil Armstrong was travelling in space to walk on the Moon, that one day we'd be investing in a company Web site that modern day travellers would be visiting in cyber space!

It was on the 4th November 1969 that Keith and Maureen Midgley decided to go it alone, leaving successful management positions with their then employers to set up a business that now turns over approximately 30 million pounds a year and employs over 2,000 staff.

From humble beginnings as a small contract catering company in the converted storeroom of a café in Holmfirth, with just Keith and Maureen as employees and only a Ford Anglia and a Minivan between them, the company expanded to include a vending services operation in 1974 and the creation of a contract cleaning division in 1979, taking its employee roll to over 500.

Things didn't stop there - the growth of the company led to several moves as the business expanded - until a suitable new site was found in Station Lane, Heckmondwike, where the business has remained for two decades.

As the company grew, so did Keith and Maureen's family, and in 1981 Simon Midgley joined the firm. Since then, Simon has worked in every division of the group and is now responsible for the day to day running of the business as Chief Executive Officer.

Daughter, Lindsey, has over 30 years of experience within the industry and has been instrumental in her role as company secretary and director in gaining Consultant Services Group's many accreditations, which include Investors in People and the RoSPA President's award for Health and Safety.

"As a significant local employer we appreciate that our family-run business has not affected the world in quite the same way that the moon walk did, or the Beatles' last public performance on the roof of Apple Studios in the same year. But we are the first to realise what a wonderful opportunity we have had to be instrumental in contributing to the input of so many families associated with our group. Many staff members have devoted much, if not all, of their working life to our organisation and we are successful today due to their involvement", says Chairman, Keith Midgley.

CEO Simon Midgley added, "The company has changed beyond recognition over the past 40 years. From two vehicles in 1969, we now operate a 100-strong fleet, provide provide catering, cleaning and vending services and serve our clients' premises & employees on a national basis.With the recent revamp of our corporate image - which has brought us bang into the 21st century - we are ready to 'hit the ground running' for decades to come".

In the words of the Chairman, "It would have been hard to believe when we began, at the time Neil Armstrong was travelling in space to walk on the Moon, that one day we'd be investing in a company Web site that modern day travellers would be visiting in cyber space!"

"That's why we appreciate how quickly things move on and evolve. And that's why - even in these difficult times - we have an ongoing re-investment programme within the group - and the strong belief that our newly liveried fleet shows a clear commitment to the future.

"We are setting our next target as '50 years in business' - and there's no ceiling for this company - we always aim for the sky. On the threshold of a new era of catering, contract cleaning and vending services by Consultant Services Group, we will be remembering a history shared with some remarkable space pioneers and looking forward to many more world changing events along the way".

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Jill Bastow
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