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Heritage Service Business named UK’s High Growth Business of the Year

Heritage Service Business named UK’s High Growth Business of the Year

East Midlands-based Archaeological Research Services Ltd has been named High Growth Business of the Year at the UK Final of FSB’s high-profile Celebrating Small Business Awards, co-hosted by TV presenters Clare Balding and JJ Chalmers.

  • East Midlands-based commercial heritage services provider wins top award at Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Celebrating Small Business Awards UK final
  • Archaeological Research Services Ltd broke the £5 million turnover in 2021 with a 20% margin
  • The fast-growing company invests more per person than any other archaeological organisation in training and development

Founded in 2004 with a mission of “dig with purpose”, Archaeological Research Services in Bakewell, Derbyshire is a provider of commercial heritage services dedicated to client delivery, adding value and enriching society. It offers a full heritage service to clients across the construction and development sectors, investigating archaeological remains to create value, inspiration and historical knowledge.

Together with its business coach, the company developed a five-year growth plan in 2018 and decided to devote much of its resources into people investment, systems development and innovation. This laid the foundation for its ground-breaking success in 2021, when its turnover rocketed to over £5 million, from £2.6 million the previous year, reaching a 20% margin.

The small business invests more per person than any other archaeological organisation in training and development, including a unique training academy with programmes for all levels and individual coaching. It has a two-strand approach focussing on developing skills on the one hand and growing the person on the other hand.

The company is also leading the market with its innovation – with its in-house app to record and report archaeology, bringing to market the state-of-art drone-based mapping, geochemical site characterisation, amongst others.

FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards is the most high-profile event of its kind nationally, with more than 3,000 entries, and showcases the best of small business entrepreneurship in every part of the UK.

Managing Director Clive Waddington said:

“It’s fantastic to be recognised by FSB in this way, and really shows that the hard work we’ve put into creating and building this small business is paying off.

“Our innovations across a range of archaeological services has helped address long-term problems in the sector, and on the back of this we are planning to launch our new training programmes and geographic expansion, and bring further innovation to the market.

“Awards like this inspire us to continue our growth, and provides warmly received recognition for our team and our sector more widely. Thank you to the FSB for supporting UK business and organising this great event every year.”

FSB National Chair Martin McTague said:

“It’s wonderful to see how much Archaeological Research Services has grown while pioneering new techniques and its potential to grow even further.

“Despite the pressures facing many small businesses there’s a world of opportunity to succeed. Our Celebrating Small Business Awards has been a great opportunity to recognise just some of the brilliant small firms and self-employed people across the UK.”


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