Cleveland Land Services dug into its past recently to unearth key milestones to celebrate 50 years serving the sector.
Today, CLS runs three divisions – CLS Sports, CLS Landscape & Earthworks and CLS Selfdrive. Its order book spreads throughout the UK.
After a decade of steady growth, the company appointed founder Frank’s son John in 1978. He took over the reins as managing director in 1996 after his father died.
Diversifying, John expanded CLS operations. Keen to embrace the booming sports surfaces, play park and landscaping markets as it spread beyond its Teesside roots.
Bringing sons Stephen, Andrew and Jack into the corporate fold has further improved the expansion and ambitions of CLS. The appointment of long-serving Brian Dunn to director of operations in 2010 did this also.
A corporate culture of “family friendliness in business” has earned CLS a place in the hearts of staff, customers and suppliers. The unanimous verdict of more than 300 guests who gathered at its Guisborough HQ to celebrate the latest milestone.
“The last 22 years are a bit of a blur, they’ve passed so quickly,” said John Miller. Among his many high points along the way was “meeting Prince Charles, our first £1m contract and bringing my three sons into the business”.
At 57, he had “no intention of retiring yet.” “Although my sons might think the time has come”, he joked to a packed assembly of family, friends, customers and suppliers.
Project work now takes CLS across the UK. The firm operates from four regional depots and runs a fleet of plant and machinery.
The customer base has diversified too, John said. From councils and leading independent schools, and `staycation` holiday lodge destinations.
Cleveland Land Services is a major employer locally. It has a commitment to bringing on apprentices to become permanent placements among its workforce.
“I’m so proud of the reputation we have earned for high-quality, reliable work,” John added. “That reputation we have earned thanks to staff commitment and the family culture that runs throughout CLS. Here’s to the next 50 years.”