With support from GC Business Growth Hub, a Manchester start-up hopes to play a role in building back better from COVID-19 by providing ‘nature-based solutions’ for buildings.
Leyland Consultancy Ltd, established by entrepreneur Nicola Leyland during the coronavirus pandemic, provides innovative solutions for green roofs and walls.
After deciding she wanted a green roof for own home, Nicola came across Sempergreen – a world leader in ‘nature-based solutions’ including green roofs and walls. As the company had no existing presence in the UK, Nicola decided to set up her own business and became Sempergreen’s exclusive UK and Ireland Sales Manager.
Nature-based solutions (NBS), also known as green infrastructure, are increasingly being used in cities to bring nature back to urban environments. Vegetation-covered facades like living walls and green roofs provide a range of benefits, such as improving air quality, absorbing CO2 emissions, reducing water runoff, enhancing biodiversity and improving the aesthetic value of buildings.
Understanding the nature-based solutions market
Since setting up the business, Nicola has received expert support from GC Business Growth Hub’s green technologies and services sector team to raise its profile and identify target markets.
Specialist advisor Vicky Wilding provided an initial business diagnostic and a detailed market intelligence report to help the company understand where it fits into the rapidly growing market for NBS in Greater Manchester and beyond.
Nicola also attended the Hub’s Review, Reimagine, Relaunch working group, which helps companies in the green tech and services sector understand how best to market their services in the ‘new normal’ of post-lockdown Britain.
New product launch
The Hub’s support has given Nicola the confidence to add a brand new product line to her business which is new to the UK market. The product, Sempergreen’s Detention Roof, mixes several layers of material to create a green roof that detains and slowly drains away rainwater to reduce the risk of flooding. The unique layering system means the product is light enough to be applied to existing buildings.
“With the green recovery and ‘Build Back Better’ agenda gathering traction in Greater Manchester and beyond, it’s an exciting time to be part of the NBS sector,” Nicola explained.
“The market intelligence report from Vicky provided really great analysis - I was overwhelmed, in really a good way, about the amount of activity taking place. The support is so valuable; it’s helped me to clarify, focus and consolidate a plan for the future."
Vicky added: “Green roofs and other nature-based solutions have the potential to play a key role in the transition to a net zero carbon economy in the UK, as well as improve biodiversity and people’s health and wellbeing. We look forward to continuing to support Nicola and her exciting ambitions for the future.”
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