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Sunderland firm soars from zero to £12 million in under three years

A Sunderland-based civil engineering firm is on track to grow its annual turnover from scratch to beyond £12m within three years of its launch, as a result of customer demand from as far afield as Qatar and Dubai.

Global Partnering Solutions (GPS) started out in January 2016 as a two-man band offering highway and infrastructural design services to local authorities.

Having since diversified, built up a team of 16 and grown a national client base, the firm expects to see turnover surpass £12m this year.

Milestones so far include being chosen - alongside major global corporations – on the suppliers’ framework for infrastructural work required in Qatar before the 2022 World Cup.

GPS is also involved in major infrastructural redevelopment currently being undertaken across Cumbria, overseen by Cumbria County Council.

Sunderland City Council’s business investment team has supported GPS from the outset and continues to advise and help the firm.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Striking a balance between rapid growth and building long lasting stability as a start-up business can be highly challenging. GPS looks to have managed it expertly and has created a fantastic success story with a bright future here in Sunderland, and we wish them every success.”

A particularly high growth area for the business in the last 12 months has been the planning and installation of utilities in new buildings. On the back of its rapid growth to date, the company plans to expand its services this year to also include construction – to complement its existing planning and design services.

This will enable it to work with housebuilders and commercial property developers to offer either a full ‘plan, design and build’ service, or bespoke parts of the process.

GPS was founded by Greg Fullerton and Peter Sedgwick, with Peter’s brother Wayne later joining the business as a director.

Also an instrumental figure in its success, however, was Greg’s father Dennis, who worked tirelessly on growing the business virtually right up until his untimely death aged 57 in March. Dennis was formerly a high-flying director in the blue-chip corporate world and came out of early retirement to help to establish GPS, bestowing a wealth of business knowledge on the firm’s relatively young board. 

Wayne Sedgwick, who oversees business development at the firm, says: “Even in his final days, when he invited all of the people he’d worked with to his house, he was talking passionately about the business and helping us to network, introducing us to his contacts. He taught us so much about how to run a business and that’s had a huge impact on our success.

“Another key factor in GPS’s growth has been our ability to deliver on projects quickly, without compromising quality. We are seeing more and more demand from property developers for the full range of services we can offer and expect to continue registering year-on-year turnover growth for the foreseeable future.”

For more information on GPS, which is based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), visit www.4gpsgroup.uk.  For more information on investing in Sunderland go to www.makeitsunderland.com.