Monday, 27 September 2021

20 years in business marked with office move

A HEALTH and safety training company from Henley is moving to bigger premises as it celebrates

A HEALTH and safety training company from Henley is moving to bigger premises as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Pristine Condition, which was founded by former British weighlifter and coach Davy Snowdon in 1996, is to relocate from its headquarters in Northfield End to a unit three times larger at Bryants Farm in Dunsden.

The company says it needs more space as it is keeps expanding and has outgrown its existing home, where it has been based for just over 10 years. The move is expected to take place over the summer.

It has applied for planning permission to build homes on its existing site for which it has been given the support of Henley Town Council.

Pristine Condition initially specialised in manual handling but now covers a wide range of health and safety and has more than 2,000 clients, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Nestlé, Argos, Jewson, the Health and Safety Executive and London Underground.

Once it has moved, it will be rebranded as Pristine Condition  International.

The company employs more than 30 people and either trains clients’ staff directly or teaches them how to train their colleagues.

Mr Snowdon, who was the Team GB conditioning expert for all sports at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, was awarded the MBE for services to health and safety at work and for charitable services in Oxfordshire in 2014. He has also set up a gym at the company for the England squad to train for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and intends to build something similar at the new offices.

His business development manager is Stewart Cruikshank, a former weightlifter who set an unbeaten British record at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, while current Commonwealth bronze medallist Ben Watson is also a member of staff.

Pristine Condition regularly donates money to the community and recently gave £5,000 to Valley Road Primary School in Henley to allow it to build a new music room. It also sponsors the Henley Symphony Orchestra.

Mr Snowdon said: “Our expansion has been very gradual. We take a level-headed, common-sense approach by listening to what the market needs and responding to that.

“We don’t have a massive business plan for expansion — it’s a much more natural and organic process.”

He founded Pristine Condition after returning from the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, when a paper mill asked him to show its staff how to lift items safely. Mr Snowdon recalled: “I knew nothing about that industry whatsoever but it was no wonder they were getting so many injuries as they were lifting incorrectly.

“They said, ‘we’re lifting with our legs and keeping our backs straight’ and I said. ‘what idiot taught you that?’ I showed them a technique based on anatomical information from Olympic training regimes and they could feel the difference.”

His teaching impressed the firm and from there his reputation grew by word of mouth.

Mr Snowdon said: “People have always said we’re the world’s best at delivering training.

“Whatever the subject matter, we get it across with a common-sense approach — it’s the complete opposite of what many people think of when they think about training.

“Every day is exciting for us and brings a new challenge so this move is really just the next logical step.”

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