Carnforth communications firm LARS marks 30 years in business

Established in 1989 by local entrepreneur Glen Pearson, LARS Communications is celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 2:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 2:52 pm
LARS MD Ian Turner with a Met Office award.

Originally known as Lakeland Aerial Rigging Services, the company was founded in a one room Kendal office and specialised in providing rigging support services to the communications industry.

Over the course of 30 years, the company has grown to become an industry leader in radio site build and antenna system installation and commissioning. LARS now employs more than 30 people at its Carnforth base and provides bespoke infrastructure solutions across the globe.

LARS employees at work.

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Despite its humble beginnings, LARS’ customer list now boasts some of the biggest names in UK business, such as BT, BAE Systems, Electricity North West Limited (ENWL), the Met Office and NATS, and its range of services has expanded to include site inspection and maintenance; radio site decommissioning; line of sight and radio surveys; and site inspection and maintenance.

Other services include tower strengthening and structural upgrades, and the fabrication and installation of structures. All steelwork is carried out in its fully equipped fabrication workshop with welding bays, punching, drilling and sawing equipment and a two-ton gantry crane, while the company’s state-of-the-art 3D structural steel detailing and information management system is able to produce pinpoint fabrication drawings.

All work conforms to BS EN ISO 9001 quality standards and all fabrication work is certified under the CE Marking Scheme.

Since establishing LARS, founder Glen Pearson has recognised the need for complementary businesses, launching Xi Training Limited in 2001 and, more recently, embarking on a major renovation of one of Carnforth’s forgotten gems, The Royal Station Hotel.

Glen Pearson.

Xi Training was set up to provide the necessary training for anyone working at height and has gone on to provide a whole host of industrial and workplace training courses. Recognising the fact that many of the delegates who undertake these courses travel from far and wide, Mr Pearson has almost completed the extensive renovation of The Royal Station Hotel in Carnforth, not only providing nearby accommodation for the delegates, but also serving as a popular food and music destination in the area.

Mr Pearson said: “LARS’ thirtieth anniversary is a major milestone for the company – I’m sure we will have a big celebration later in the year.

“This success is down to the hard work, passion and dedication of everyone working at LARS. Their attention to detail and their focus on customer service has ensured that the company continues to improve and continues to provide our customers with the highest quality services and solutions.”

In 2014, Mr Pearson appointed Ian Turner as managing director. Mr Turner has worked at LARS for more than 20 years, initially joining the company as an estimator in 1997. His appointment as MD has allowed Mr Pearson to focus on his other business ventures.

Crystal Palace Tower.

Under Mr Turner’s direction, LARS has continued to grow, with a number of well-known brands joining the company’s impressive client list.

There have also been some outstanding achievements, including an ongoing contract with Electricity North West Limited; achieving a near perfect score in LARS’ Achilles Verify UVDB Audit; being awarded a nationwide tower strengthening contract for BT; and last year, receiving a prestigious award for the company’s role in the National Weather Radar Renewal Project, where it worked alongside the Met Office and the Environment Agency.

Mr Turner was quick to praise the team at LARS, saying: “We have a fantastic team in place at LARS and we’re all committed to making the company the best it can be. From estimating to project management, rigging to fabrication, our aim is to provide excellent products and solutions, coupled with outstanding customer service.”

Peter Briffett, director at MFD Communication Infrastructure Limited, echoed Mr Turner’s comments, adding; “We have worked with LARS on several projects and the service has been exceptional on every occasion. As a consultant, we are mindful of the scope of works, the key deadlines and, of course, the budget.

“With LARS, the job has been finished on time and on budget. It is a pleasure to do business with LARS. We congratulate them on this landmark anniversary and I look forward to many more years working together.”