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News and Updates

All the latest news and updates from the UK's leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment

For press and media queries, please email PressandMedia@arco.co.uk

  • Arco Encourages the Next Generation of Cyber Security Experts

    15 December 2022

    Arco is donating IT equipment and sharing the expertise of its colleagues as part of a new employer-led project to mentor students at Ron Dearing UTC and offer them 'hands on' learning in cyber security.

    Following an upgrade of systems across its network of safety stores, Arco will be donating several of its firewall units and a number of network switches to allow the students to learn using real-world technology.

    In addition to the equipment, two Arco colleagues, Josh Thorpe, Cyber Security Analyst, and James Swinburne, Apprentice Cyber Security Analyst, both former pupils of Ron Dearing UTC, will be delivering presentations as well as mentoring students as part of the project.

    Richard Martin, Arco Non-Executive Director and Chair of Governors at Ron Dearing UTC, said:

    "As one of the college's employer partners, Arco is proud to be working with Ron Dearing on this exciting project, which will be the first of many of its type, to inspire the next generation of cyber security experts.

    "At Arco, we specialise in health and safety and many lessons carry over well to cyber security, such as the need for appropriate protection, training and compliance.

    "By providing a hands-on learning experience, we aim to nurture the students understanding of cyber security and develop the skills required to help promote cyber security as a potential career."

    Mike Hudson, Cyber Security Manager at Arco, said:

    "Arco has an excellent relationship with the students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC and this project will strengthen that partnership even further.

    "It is exciting that we can involve Josh and James, as former students of Ron Dearing, in this project and help demonstrate clearly how their education at Ron Dearing has supported them in starting and developing their careers at Arco."

    Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said:

    "This is an amazing project led by our very own alumni at Arco.

    "The project will enable our computer science students to apply their skills to a real-world cyber security scenario with the guidance of industry professionals. This is another excellent example of world class employer-led learning."

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  • Arco 2022 Year in Review

    14 December 2022

    This year has seen a mixture of both challenges and opportunities for Arco, our suppliers and our customers as the world emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In 2023, like other businesses, we will need to face into the challenges of the current economic climate.

    However, Arco has strong foundations, built on multigenerational values and heritage, which will support us in our next phase of development and enable us to continue providing outstanding levels of service for our customers across the country as well as providing us with the platform to put in place the building blocks for the future.

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  • Arco Appoints New CEO to Lead the Business in Next Phase of Development

    12 December 2022

    The Board of Arco is pleased to announce that Guy Bruce has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding former MD, David Evison, who has recently retired, to help lead the company in its next phase of development and accelerate its ambitious plans for growth.

    Guy joins the business from Equans, where he was the Interim Managing Director, and prior to that the specialist building materials distributor SIG plc. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the industry, with significant achievements in delivering transformative growth across distribution, retail, service and manufacturing businesses, both domestically and internationally, within private and public companies.

    Arco is an expert in keeping people safe at work, focusing on joined-up safety solutions, which start with mitigating risks through to providing training and equipment. Arco plays a leading role within the industry, helping to shape the UK's health and safety agenda.

    Arco's strategic plan, Destination 2025, sets out how it will grow over the next three years and adopt new and innovative ideas to futureproof the business.

    Guy will develop this strategy further by maximising the potential of the significant investments undertaken by Arco over recent years and by accelerating digital transformation, enhancing customer experience and driving sustainability. As an advocate of collaborative working, Guy will also increase engagement between the business and colleagues, strengthen supplier partnerships and work closely with customers.

    Commenting on Guy's appointment, Thomas Martin, Chairman at Arco, said:

    "I am thrilled to have Guy in post at Arco to help take our family-owned business forwards. Guy is a proven leader and his experience in delivering transformational growth throughout his career will be very beneficial to Arco as we continue delivering remarkable and effortless experiences for our customers, and ultimately keeping people safe at work."

    Commenting, Guy Bruce, said:

    "I'm delighted to be joining Arco at this exciting phase in the company's history. The chance to lead the transition from family-run to family-owned is unique and the prospect of accelerating our plans for growth are exciting.

    "As we re-focus our efforts following the Covid-19 pandemic, Arco, like other businesses, will need to face into the challenges of the current economic climate. However, our foundations are strong, built on multigenerational values and heritage, and will support us in continuing to evolve the business and build for the future."

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  • PPE Procurement Statement December 2022

    09 December 2022

    As the decisions around the awarding of PPE contracts during the pandemic make the news again, we thank Karl Turner, MP for East Hull, for acknowledging the difficulties we faced at the time in supporting the national effort to supply PPE and protect lives.

    With over 135 years of experience as a safety expert and PPE supplier we were in a strong position to procure and distribute PPE that was compliant with the correct safety standards and that was ethically sourced.

    Having previously supported the UK Government to assist with advice and product procurement during crises such as the Ebola epidemic and Swine Flu pandemic, we were frustrated that we were unable to work with central government to supply PPE where it was needed most.

    We accept that this period was a challenging time for the Government, but we are pleased that the "VIP fast-track lane" for awarding PPE contracts was ruled unlawful. The awarding of contracts opaquely to organisations with no history or experience in PPE supply and manufacture meant that public money was spent on contracts where some suppliers imported inappropriate or non-compliant products. This left them unable to fulfil orders or supply appropriate PPE, increasing the risk to care home staff, NHS workers and the public.

    The lack of preparation for a health emergency prior to the pandemic put lives at risk, we have always felt that it was important to learn from what went wrong and to take steps to rectify these. Our Chairman, Thomas Martin, gave evidence to the Public Accounts Committee in 2021 to share our experience in dealing with central government during the pandemic. Our position paper: Personal Protective Equipment and the Government's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic shares our experiences during the pandemic and proposes a 10-point set of recommendations that will help prevent a repeat of the issues that continue to come to light today.

    We acknowledge the positive and constructive way in which the Department for Health and Social Care has engaged with the content of our position paper so far and we urge Ministers to consider its remaining recommendations. Most urgently, we are calling for a register of accredited Category II and III PPE suppliers. This will ensure we can be better prepared for any future emergencies.

    Thomas Martin, Chairman of Arco, said:

    "Whilst we appreciate there was an urgent requirement for PPE for frontline responders at the beginning of the pandemic and that the Government was facing unprecedented and challenging circumstances, we still believe that, with our track record in sourcing, emergency planning and distribution of PPE, the Government could have engaged more proactively with Arco to benefit from our expert knowledge to support the process.

    "We understand that there was a cost of £8.7bn incurred because of the Government buying equipment that was not fit-for-purpose, paying increased prices in a competitive global market and purchasing products that subsequently had passed their expiry date. Of most concern was the £2.6bn that was spent on PPE not suitable for use in the NHS.

    "We still feel that there are important lessons to learn from what went wrong and Arco remains ready and willing to work with the Government and its agencies to ensure that we are better protected for any future emergencies."

    You can read Arco's position paper in full, here.

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  • Arco Chairman Recognised in Top 100 Family Business List

    11 November 2022

    The chairman of Arco, the UK's leading safety company, has been recognised as an 'exceptional individual' within the family business sector after being announced in the inaugural Family Business Top 100.

    Thomas Martin was included in the list created by Family Business United, the global voice of the family business community, which showcased some of the best family business individuals across the UK, recognising their efforts and demonstrating their collective importance to the national economy.

    Nominations were sought from all corners of the UK and all sectors of the economy, with entrants needing to have worked in a senior position within the business for at least five years.

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