Initially business was tough: the first contract took 6 months to arrive. But by the end of their first year the risk paid off when four contracts were secured and the company was launched. Following the North Sea oil boom in 1969, the opportunity arose to offer ‘complete hotel solutions’ for the new worker villages created by the petro-chemical industry. Castle View was quick to respond, providing not only catering but cleaning, admin, medical care, and even landscaping.
Frank had an eye for cost accounting and an unswerving belief in staff training: key attributes that enabled his company to forge ahead of the pack and produce cost-tailored services to the consistent quality standards demanded by large corporates. Soon he was offering facilities management to a string of blue chip clients including BP, Scottish Power, Citybank and the Inland Revenue. The boy from the Glasgow’s East End was rising in the world and though he thoroughly enjoyed Castle View’s acheivements, Frank was motivated by challenge more than any other factor.
Privatisation created further opportunities and the company moved into catering for schools, thereby doubling in size: over the next 20 years it grew to employ 8000 people at 1400 locations. By the millenium Castle View was operating internationally, with projects in Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Tunisia. Castle View became a group of companies specialising in outsourcing with interests in facilities management, food service and supply. Though by now heading up a major operation Frank remained engagingly forthright and friendly in his personal style with a capacity to engage with people from all walks of life whether business dynamos or dinner ladies.
In his seventies and at an age when most people would be considering retirement, Frank was planning something new. Throughout his life, Frank invested a great deal in his personal fitness. In 2000 he bought Sports and Leisure Management, a social enterprise running over leisure facilities for borough councils. Frank supported the leadership of the company to rebrand as Everyone Active in 2007 to align more closely with the social agenda for health. The result was a final triumph as SLM’s team converted this to a leap in growth inside two years. The contribution of Everyone Active, which brings jobs, health, activity and fun to millions each year is a source of pride to everyone at SLM and gave Frank immense satisfaction.
Around this time Frank started to gradually hand over the day to day running of the company to his sons Martin and Damian and, latterly, Martin took over running the group which continues to be a privately run family business. Within two years Frank succumbed to cancer, passing away in 2011 surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.