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Busiest summer ever for Norwich based security services firm
It’s already been the busiest summer in the company’s history for Norse’s security services division EventGuard, according to General Manager David Stuart.
The Norse Commercial Services subsidiary has provided traffic officers, security, stewarding and marshalling along a number of the Olympic Torch routes, the Lord Mayor’s Procession, the Royal Norfolk Show, music festivals and concerts, race days at Newmarket, Huntingdon and Great Yarmouth, the Suffolk Show, Diss Carnival, and the Lowestoft and Feltwell Airshows. And still to come are the Tour of Britain cycling event, the Lowestoft Carnival and a number of major sporting events.
With turnover expected to double this year to £3.3 million, EventGuard has increased its staff to around 400 full and part time roles.
Deploying over 100 marshals, along 17 sections, covering 1900 miles, and liaising with 7 local district councils was just the start of the logistics planning EventGuard had to face when providing stewarding and security for the Olympic Torch’s progress through the region. The company was awarded a number of contracts to provide staff along the route, in some cases, at short notice.
“One council recommended us to a couple of others but we only had a few days to arrange the deployment of the 100 trained people in the new areas,” commented EventGuard Deployment co-ordinator Lesley Smith. “People see the Torch coming through and assume that we are just there for that brief time, but weeks of work goes on behind the scenes with some of our staff working 12-hour days when the Torch passed through our areas,” she says. “For the Torch relay we started planning back in December.”
As recognition of its handling of the relay security the company received personal praise from the Chief Executive of Suffolk Costal District Council and the Police for their crowd stewarding on the county’s sections.
At the Royal Norfolk show, where EventGuard now has sole responsibility for general security and stewarding, over ninety security personnel were on duty over the two days of the show and during the build-up and break-down days either side.
The Lord Mayor’s Procession required 120 people to cover the 2.5 mile route through the city centre with preparation and planning starting around three months ahead of the event.
“This was the fifth year we have handled security and crowd marshalling for the Lord Mayor’s Procession,” said Martin Leeder, Managing Director. “One-off events such as a music festival, although they last only a few hours, from the security provision angle can take up to seven days of planning and staff organising. Even regular contracts such as the horse racing meetings will involve around 50 security approved personnel on the day, and require detailed advance planning.”
“EventGuard is in the middle of its busiest year so far, and by some margin,” Leeder concluded. “The unique nature of some of this year’s events, such as the Torch relay, not only offer great business development opportunities for the Company, but are also tremendous experiences for our staff. Some of these events will not be seen in this country again for many years.”