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Up close and personal with Metro Rod!

To really understand what it is that one of the leading brands in drainage maintenance and repair – Metro Rod, do, and how they work with Facilities and Stadium Management companies to deliver Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) and reactive works nationally, we’ve visited their specialist for Newport and Hereford, Ben Witcomb, to find out more!

So, Ben, exactly what drainage services do Metro Rod provide?
Many think we simply unblock drains, but there is actually so much more to it! Yes, there is the day-to-day drainage and gutter clearance, which are completed on both a reactive and PPM basis, but we also provide many other services which involve specialist equipment and professional training. This can include completing CCTV surveys of entire drainage systems to check for any damage which would require repair, high-pressure jetting to clear more extensive blockages, and tanker services to clear localised flooding. Also, if the drain has become blocked due to issues such as tree root damage or simply degeneration of the pipes themselves, it may be necessary to repair the damage, either by replacing pipework or inserting lining where possible.

Which sectors do you work in and are there any in particular that you focus on?
We work across many different sectors – after all, most, if not all properties or stadiums have bathroom facilities, as well as varying levels of food waste production! Obviously some more so than others though, such as the Stadium Management, Education, Health Care, Care Home, Catering and Hospitality, Building and Property Management sectors, for which we do a substantial amount of work.
We recently got the following review from our contact at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Rob Jenkins, who looks after many of the local schools:
“I have been working with Metro Rod for 7 to 8 years now, which I think is testament to the job that they do. I find them very professional, they are a good company and they get things done. They are reliable and value for money too, which is a big thing around here with budget constraints, and they can be very reactive when needed.
“I know that I can ring them if I’ve got a problem at any time of the day, because we do have issues in the night occasionally, and I know they’ll be there as soon as possible.
“We had a major incident at a school in Ebbw Vale, above the ceiling. One of the foul pipes came off, broke the ceiling down, leaving a dirty mess all over the floor. I rang the team to let them know we had an incident, they were there before I got there, it was a case of if we didn’t do it as soon as possible, the school would have shut!”

You say some of your work is on a reactive basis – how quickly do you aim to get to a job?
We understand that drainage issues don’t just arise 9-5 Monday to Friday, which is why our team of 8 engineers, 3 tankers, and 7 vans are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Many of our larger Key Accounts also have very strict Service Level Agreements (SLA), which we must comply to, but we always try to exceed any of our customer’s expectations and set ourselves a personal goal of being with a customer within 1-2 hrs.

Can you tell us more about the PPM service you offer?
This service suits many of our clients, as they really value the fact that they can hopefully secure against emergency call-outs by regularly staying on top of any maintenance which needs doing. For example, many of the stadiums we work at have PPM because they can schedule it in to happen in the build up to game days or events at these stadiums, thereby avoiding any disruption for pupils and staff.
“We work with each individual client to tailor a timetable which works for them – mainly based on the size of their operation and dates that work best.” Concludes Ben.
Metro Rod have completed over 150,000 jobs for thousands of happy customers.


Sporting experts discuss Sport Sponsorship

A panel of sporting experts took part in a discussion at Leeds Beckett University this week about the opportunities, challenges and future trends of sport sponsorship.
The diverse panel – mostly made up of Leeds Beckett alumni – met on Thursday to talk about sport sponsorship.
Sport Marketing and Sport Business Management students, who are studying their second year Sport Sponsorship module, also attended.
The panel consisted of:
•    Danika Priim – England Rugby League Player and Vice-Captain for Leeds Rhino’s Women’s Team (studied BA (Hons) Secondary PE with QTS).
•    Sam O’Donnell – Commercial Executive, British Paralympic Association (studied BA (Hons) Sports Marketing)
•    Phil Cooper – Partnership Sales Manager, Leeds United FC (studied BA (Hons) Sport Business Management)
•    Charlotte Kew – Account Manager, Octagon (studied BA (Hons) Sport Marketing and PR)
•    Jody Cundy OBE – seven-time Paralympian medallist in swimming and cycling.
Kacy Mackreth, Senior Lecturer in Sport Marketing at Leeds Beckett’s Carnegie School of Sport, is leading the event. She said: “This is an exciting group of people to have in one room talking about all things sport sponsorship. Their insights into the subject will offer a unique perspective on the topic, which will be fantastic for the students.
“It’s great to be able to turn to our extensive number of Carnegie School of Sport alumni to help our current students.”


Norfolk County FA sign up Replay to maintain all three of their FDC’s

The Football Development Centre at Flegg High Ormiston Academy in Norfolk, known as the FDC@Flegg, is one of three facilities run by Norfolk County FA. Elliot Pride, the FDC@Flegg Development Officer oversees the full size 3G pitch at the site, managing everything from accounts, bookings and even getting hands on with the pitch maintenance. Helping Elliot to keep the surface looking and playing at its best are synthetic specialists Replay Maintenance.
“I’ve been here since we opened the facility 18 months ago and in that time, we’ve made great strides in getting the local community involved with football” explains Elliot. Term-time the pitch is used in school hours by the pupils, then at evenings, weekends and during school holidays Norfolk FA take over offering pay & play, walking football, County 5IVES and a range of pitch hire slots. “We’re lucky to be supported by a number of local clubs who use the pitch for training and matches. The pitch see’s roughly 25-30 hours of play per week, with that figure increasing year on year.”
A County Partner to Norfolk FA, Replay have been involved with the maintenance of the FDC’s since the original facility opened in Norwich eight years ago. “We were pleased with the work and results achieved with Replay there, when the installer-provided maintenance expired on the Flegg pitch we decided to formulate a contract with them to maintain all three centres.” The service agreement see’s Replay conducting six Revive® visits per year to remove contaminates and de-compact and rotate the infill which is then regraded and dressed back into the surface. This results in enhanced porosity and improved playing characteristics.
“Communication with Replay is great. I have a calendar showing the planned visits for the coming year which gives me plenty of notice to liaise with the school to ensure the pitch is free. On visit days, the operators are normally here by the time I arrive at 8am, getting on with the job and are normally away by midday. Following the visit, we then get a report detailing the work conducted, infill levels etc. We also receive weekly emails to submit our hours of play which then generates an ‘actual hours’ figure, from which we can work out how many hours of in-house maintenance we need to conduct.”
Final word from Elliot, “It’s great to have Replay in conducting a deeper clean every couple of months, topping up the brushing and debris collecting we do ourselves. Although the surface is relatively new, it’s important to consider that they only have a limited lifespan so working hard now to keep the pitch in good condition, should help to keep it safe and playable for years to come.”

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