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NE high-risers swing into action with new division launch - August 2016

Ron Lewins and STS at work using rope access at the Cornmill Centre in Darlington

Darlington-based Stone Technical Services (STS) has launched another new division as the business continues with its growth plans which are now ahead of schedule for 2016.

STS RopeSpec Limited offers specialist rope access services to inspect, repair and maintain guy wires to flare stacks, vessels, bridges and other structures.

STS has teamed up with world renowned rope access expert Ron Lewins, who has worked in the sector for over 40 years on thousands of projects for the likes of the Ministry of Defence, BP, Esso, INEOS Nitriles and many other industrial organisations.

Ron is globally recognised for his skills and has worked with brothers Dave and Grahame Stone, from STS, since the 80s. Ron is now joining STS as a principle consultant for their RopeSpec division and will also train a number of the technical engineers in the specialist field of rope tensioning, inspection, verticality and loading requirements for industrial wire rope fields.

STS is now made up of five divisions – STS RopeSpec, STS Lightning Protection, STS Restoration, STS Maintenance and Facilities Management and STS Conservation. The business employs a team of 40 and has secured over £1.5 million of new work in the first six months of 2016, taking the company ahead of their projected growth plans and helping to create around 10 new jobs.

MD of STS, Dave Stone, said:

Preserving traditional skills and passing these onto the next generation of operatives is vital but not many companies are doing it. It’s something we are continually committed to. Rope access is one of our growing service areas as demand is increasing because it is cost effective and less disruptive for an organisation requiring repairs. Hence we have brought Ron Lewins on board as he is a true leader in his field. He’ll be running our new division and training a number of steeplejacks so we can continually grow our business

Ron said:

"I've known Dave and Grahame for around 30 years and they have a very similar work ethic to me- preserving heritage skills and using these to offer an exemplary service. I didn’t want my personal skills and many years of development to retire when I retire so this is the ideal solution and I am very much looking forward to what the rest of this year has to bring as STS works on some magnificent buildings."

Darlington brothers, Dave and Grahame Stone, established Stone Technical Services in 1998 and now have offices in Edinburgh city centre, near Stockport in Cheshire and in central London as well as their HQ on Kellaw Road in Darlington.

STS are experts in the field of historic restoration and maintenance projects and work with various churches, councils and schools around the UK as well as the likes of English Heritage and the National Trust and on buildings such as St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Hall and the Royal Courts of Justice.