Higher ground

Eurosafe Solutions, Little London Road, Sheffield 'The team at the company
Eurosafe Solutions, Little London Road, Sheffield 'The team at the company
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Eurosafe Solutions is on top of the world, even if founders John Boyle and Gavin Ellis joke that they had other summits in mind when they founded the business a little over a decade ago.

“Our original business plan was written on a single piece of paper,” says John Boyle.

“It says: ‘Work hard, but have lots of time off and go climbing.’”

The duo have certainly done the first and their Little London Road business has become a leader in its field, working on prestigious and challenging contracts around the world.

But, when it comes to taking time off to follow their shared passion for rock climbing, the initial business plan has turned out to be, in Gavin Ellis’s words: “A total failure!”

“Climbing used to be the focus for our lives, seven days a week. Now we are lucky to go climbing seven days a year – no where near as much as we would like to.”

Looking back on Eurosafe’s rapid rise, the two men, who grew up in neighbouring villages, have known each other since they were 10 and became climbing buddies, admit they would have been more nervous about starting the business if they had had any idea of how it would expand.

“I think we would have run a mile if we thought it would grow the way it has,” says Gavin.

But it’s probably better that they are still running their own business in their own way.

“We are both been pretty much unemployable from an early age – always thinking we could do the job better than the people who were paying us,” said Gavin.

A former contracts manager, his experience of working on ropes includes the Expo 92 development in Spain and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia – which were the tallest skyscrapers in the world when they were built.