Lee McCarren

Forrest wins national venture capital award

The Preston-based social housing contractor has been named environmental, social and governance management team of the year at the British Venture Capital Association Portfolio Company Awards 2011.

The annual awards, which took place in London last night, celebrate the positive impact private equity-backed businesses have had on the UK and wider European economies over the past 12 months.

Forrest claimed the national prize after demonstrating its successful integration of environmental practices into operations to enhance performance, and minimise reputational and financial risks.

Forrest underwent a management buy-out backed by Lloyds Development Capital in 2007. The company maintains and refurbishes houses for local authorities and housing associations with an increasing focus on low carbon retrofit programmes.

Lee McCarren, chief executive of Forrest, said: "This award highlights the progress we're making in improving both the physical environment of the developments that we refurbish and maintain, and the green benefits we deliver to our partners and their tenants, including greater energy efficiency."

In the year ending August 2010, Forrest's underlying profits grew by 9.5% to £6m and turnover rose by 11% to £52.3m.

The Manchester office of LDC has backed Forrest's expansion into the North East, Yorkshire and West Midlands.

Jonathan Bell, director of LDC in the North West, said: "The company's ongoing focus on its environmental proposition is creating significant growth opportunities in its current target sectors, and across new UK regions and markets."

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