Gardening firm aims to be cut above rest looking after green spaces

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AS gardening jobs go it might seem one of the most challenging in the country.

Continental Landscapes Ltd will be taking over what is one of the largest local authority grounds maintenance contracts in the UK from Glendale next year.

Leeds has grass totalling nine million square metres, equivalent to 1,250 football pitches or to cutting the full width of a road from Leeds to Milan.

The contract includes responsibility for grass cutting, shrub beds and hedge maintenance on land managed by the council’s housing organisations and on public highways.

The city’s parks, public open spaces and sponsored flowerbeds will continue to be maintained by the council.

Continental will set up three operational depots in Leeds, equipping them with modern machinery.

They say it will be a top priority for them to recruit local people and offer apprenticeships with a commitment to training staff to NVQ Level 2 in amenity horticulture. The council also intends to work closely with the contractors on projects such as Yorkshire and Britain in Bloom.

Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, said: “We set rigorous standards for those tendering for the contract and we have agreed strong performance monitoring with residents and with representatives of town and parish councils. Our aim was to ensure the best possible service and value for money for council tax payers.”

Nick Broad, Continental Landscapes Ltd’s operations director, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract. We are proud to be able to work closely with the local communities of Leeds by offering employment and apprenticeship opportunities that will help to provide a top quality grounds maintenance service.”

For people who would like to know more about the local employment opportunities and apprenticeships with Continental Landscapes call 0113 826 7670. Leeds Council and its three arms length management organisations (ALMO) Aire Valley Homes Leeds, East North East Homes Leeds and West North West Homes Leeds, along with Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation, currently hold a contract for grounds maintenance with Glendale that expires on December 31.

Continental Landscapes Ltd will take over from January 1.