GMS Group CEO Neil Male (line up far right) with the team outside the new GMS Head Office

Innovative security specialist GMS Group has “returned to its roots” by moving its HQ to the Black Country at a modernised site set up to benefit the wider community.

GMS Group has relocated to refurbished offices on a 60-acre site at Warrens Hall Riding School, in Oakham Road, Oldbury, as it embarks on the next phase of its growth plans.

As well as redeveloping existing buildings to be the home for GMS headquarters staff, parent company the Male Family Group has upgraded the riding school facilities with a view to opening the doors for local good causes to benefit service users. And the kind-hearted owners want to engage with local good causes to make sure as many people living locally can benefit from engaging in equestrian activities.

Previously based at Aston Fields Industrial Estate, Bromsgrove, GMS Group is home to a family of innovative security specialist companies employing 500+ staff nationwide. GMS deliver practical solutions for leading brands to protect their premises, assets and personnel. Customers include Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, CEMEX UK, Kerry Foods, Neovia, AF Blakemore & Son, Triumph Motorcycles, Vax, Lineage, Avison Young and Grant Thornton.

The move to Oldbury from Bromsgrove symbolises a “return home” for CEO Neil Male, who was raised in Dudley and started his career in professional football before later embarking upon his business life.

Neil wanted to move GMS back to his family roots and wanted the site to be used for as many local charities and good causes as possible to “give back” from the success the company has achieved.

Acquiring the riding school site after identifying its potential, the existing residential dwellings were updated into offices, alongside a residential annex. Local landmark the “muck heap” was removed, the car park resurfaced, the manège replaced and the riding school facilities all renovated in readiness for its July opening.

Neil Male said: “Everyone at GMS is motivated to make a positive difference to the region so our new Oldbury HQ will not be used just for business. With a strong interest in equestrian sports and the benefits horse riding can bring to many communities, we plan to work with local charities to open the doors for them to make use of our new home in their work.

“GMS is proud to hail from the Black Country and will continue to fly the flag for the region in our work for leading clients across the UK. We are driven to grow while making a positive difference throughout the year so our new home will be integral to our business strategy and our community work as we build for the future.”

Among those to welcome the opportunity to use the GMS site is Black Country mental health charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group, a long-time fundraising beneficiary of the security group. GMS will allow the charity to use the riding school facilities to help clients with their mental health and well-being as well as carrying out therapy sessions.

CEO Monica Shafaq welcomed the opportunity to work with GMS at their new site. Monica said: “GMS are a fantastic partner for Kaleidoscope Plus Group and a number of other good causes in our region because they listen to our needs and take practical steps to help change lives. The riding school facilities will help charities and other groups to get people needing to engage with nature to enjoy the benefits of getting up close to horses.

“The benefits of equestrian activities for people facing many different challenges will be immense. We welcome the decision by GMS to make the facility open to as many causes as possible and look forward to working with them at their new home.”

Working with West Bromwich-based Kaleidoscope Plus Group in May, GMS offered its staff extra support to tackle the “hidden” challenges around mental health following the Covid-19 pandemic as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Aside from their commitment to security solution excellence, GMS has a drive to make a positive difference. GMS’s success has long been used as a vehicle to benefit a range of community causes, ranging from mental health charities to employing local high street “ambassadors”.

Since 2006 GMS has raised more than £250,000 for charity. Good causes to benefit include the Ride High charity for disadvantaged children, Dudley Zoo, Black Country Women’s Aid, Smethwick Foodbank, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Halesowen BID, veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress and many more.

GMS are looking to engage with more good causes to explore potential use of the site. Commercial director Lisa Nicholson said: “GMS is now in the Black Country to make a positive difference to the community where we live and work. If anyone is looking to make use of the facilities we have available, we would love to hear from them.”

Having just moved to the Black Country, GMS have successfully secured a contract to provide guarding services for Dudley College. The deal will see a team of officers protect the college’s 16 sites outside of teaching hours.

Steve Johnson, Director of Estates and Capital Projects at Dudley College, said: “We are pleased to work with GMS to get the benefit of their security specialism across our properties. The college has increased its footprint in the region to grow our impact so we are delighted to work with a security partner who can deliver a high-quality service.”

Lisa Nicholson said: “As a business with strong Black Country roots, it means a lot to be working with Dudley College to protect their sites. Our partnership comes on the back of GMS recently joining Crescent Purchasing Consortium’s (CPC) Security Services

Framework for the supply of security services to the education and wider public sectors, which has further strengthened our credentials.”

“With our move to Oldbury the new contract is a major step in realising our ambition of growing not only our customer base in the further education sector but also stronger links among leading organisations in the Black Country.”