My Nostell Interview:
Gill Hartley of Ebsford Environmental

We caught up with Gill Hartley, HR director at Ebsford Environmental, to discuss Nostell Estate as the perfect environment to grow a business.

Tell us more about your business…

We are environmental contractors offering client-focused solutions for aquatic restoration and invasive vegetation management. We deliver efficient, sustainable, cost-effective projects that benefit people, communities, and the environment. Based in West Yorkshire, our thought-leading team comprises some of the most respected market experts in the UK today.

Why has Nostell Estate been the perfect environment in which to grow?

We moved to Nostell Estate in July 2014. At that point, we had around 15 employees and occupied The Kennels (a beautiful historic building with a topiary garden out front). By April 2015, our team had grown to 26+ employees and needed larger premises; we moved to The Switzer Suite. Growing to over 30 employees by May 2016, we relocated to The Paine Suite. By November 2017, we had moved again. This time to The Adam Suite for our 40+ strong team.

A final move, in June 2019, saw us settle into The Refectory, Nostell Estate’s largest office (which comprises The Ward Suite, The Rose Suite and The d’Hervart Suite). The estate team, kindly supporting us throughout our various tenancies, agreed to us carrying out a complete interior redesign. So, we employed an interior design professional to create a modern workplace that respects the historical features of the building. We love the informal, home-from-home environment.

How does Nostell continue to cater for your business needs?

Nostell Estate is our HQ, but the nature of our work involves collaboration with off-site employees. The Refectory’s large, informal ground-floor meeting space/breakout area is perfect for catching up on work and social events. Sometimes even this amount of space is not enough! The Estate team is very receptive to businesses hosting their social events on the grounds. We hosted our tenth anniversary here last year – an amazing event.

Updates to the facilities, such as more electric charging points, are also welcome. Respecting the environment is essential to our business. As we move towards changing more vehicles to electric, charging points are crucial to supporting our employees’ ability to get to work and back

One of the larger businesses on the estate; we like to give back where we can. We sponsored the sowing of a wildflower meadow in the Prison Garden Car Park earlier this year, which other tenants received very well (so we hear!).

You mention a collaborative approach. How important is that to Ebsford?

With employees working across various sites, collaboration is vital to our success. Not only that, but we believe in fostering relationships and nurturing talent. We’re proud of our ability to promote from within. Most of our team started life as Ebsford apprentices and have built the skills and knowledge required to progress through the business. 

This core ethos carries over into our relationships with other companies on the Estate. Through Nostell Estate networking events, we’ve been introduced to various other businesses, such as Martin Denton at Copperwire Creative and Judy Oddie at The Printstore. It’s a benefit to be located amongst forty diverse companies. If you’re looking for a service, another Nostell Estate tenant can likely provide it, which is very handy!

What’s next for Ebsford Environmental?

We continue to grow, sharing our expertise in aquatic restoration and invasive vegetation management. And, of course, we’ll continue to invest in future talent. Having just celebrated ten years in business, we say ‘roll on the next ten!’ – we’re ready for you! The last few years have demonstrated that having an inspiring company culture is critical to defining a sense of place. Bricks and mortar are less important than the ability to communicate and work together as a team. That said, as far as HQs go, Nostell Estate is a great place to be!

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