Despite the turmoil of Covid-19, CambridgeHOK predict their best year on record

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CambridgeHOK is an East Yorkshire based SME who despite the turmoil of Covid-19 are set to have their best year on record. Founded in 1955, and bought by current owners John Holland, Steve Hinch and Ross Hibbs in 2004, the company has gone from strength to strength in the horticultural industry, whilst now also stepping out into the energy market.

CambridgeHOK has stayed ahead of the curve utilising forward-thinking technology. In 2010 they built the largest glasshouse in the UK at that time, before diversifying into Vertical Farming and building the UK's first vertical farm in 2016. CambridgeHOK also has a sister company Cambridge Construction, which, as a group, enables the company to deliver full turnkey horticultural construction and engineering solutions, as well as delivering a certain number of construction only projects, namely in the warehousing and factory sector.

Skip forward to 2020 and the CambridgeHOK have been able to keep all of their projects running smoothly throughout lockdown, including their largest contract to date, and, 8-hectare strawberry growing facility with packhouse, integrated into a pre-existing sustainable energy facility.

Moving all non-site based staff to home working, and employing an explicit 2m social distancing rule across sites CambridgeHOK have been able to remain fully functional, even taking on new employees to join the design and operations teams during the lockdown. Steve Hinch finance director comments “it’s a strange time to be inducting people into the business and trying to teach them our systems via Microsoft Teams but it’s just great to have the demand to be able to take staff on when so many people are losing their jobs”.

Moving past Covid-19 CambridgeHOK are looking to expand the energy part of the business out of horticulture, whilst also exploring more sustainable materials and processes for use in glasshouses and vertical farming.

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