A ten year partnership between the Norse Group and Uttlesford District Council in Essex has seen responsibility for a range of front-line services transfer to a new jointly owned company known as Uttlesford Norse Services Ltd.

Around 50 staff currently providing council house maintenance, repairs and cleaning services ‘in-house’ transferred to the new partnership at the start of April.

A fleet of 20 new vehicles – including three electric vans – has been mobilised by Norse to respond to maintenance calls, with the intention of delivering an improved service for tenants living in the district’s 3000 council properties.

Charging points have been installed at the council’s existing depot in Saffron Walden and there is potential to increase the number of electric and hybrid vehicles in future.

The new partnership will support the local economy and help to protect and create local jobs.

The Norse Group is 100% owned by Norfolk County Council and is the largest local authority trading company in the country. It has a strong track record of delivering successful partnerships and employs more than 10,000 people, with 36 joint ventures in England and Wales.

Norse has appointed Kevin Wright as Operations Director to deliver the commercial acumen to win new business outside of the existing offering, such as school cleaning contracts and repairs contracts with bodies such as housing associations.

Profits from the partnership will be shared equally between Norse and the Uttlesford District Council.

Justin Galliford, Chief Operating Officer of Norse Commercial Services, said: “This is an important new partnership for us as it gives us a significant trading presence in Essex for the first time from which we intend to grow.

“We are confident we can deliver cost efficiencies moving forward, whilst maintaining the high quality of service currently being provided for the public.

“With a new refuse collection agreement in Derbyshire due to go live this summer, we are successfully adding new business across our divisions. Across our commercial divisions and in our long-term local authority partnerships we are performing well, providing stability for our workforce, suppliers, clients and partners.”