Wiltshire Publications

Local firm head to the Premier League

The Vitality Stadium

The Vitality Stadium

AWESTBURY security firm have stepped into the big league this season, after being contracted by AFC Bournemouth as the team makes its Premier League debut.

The Formative Group, based on the West Wilts Trading Estate, took on full security responsibilities at the club when director Ian Reed was recently appointed deputy safety officer at Bournemouth’s home ground.

Ian, who settled in Frome after a 24-year career in the army said, “I’m really honoured that we secured this contract; it’s huge for the company because Premier League football has such a high profile – the games will be watched by thousands of people across the country every week.

“I’m absolutely confident in our ability to take on the task, and the guys are really looking forward to it. We’ve done a lot of training in the off-season and are experienced in crowd control.”

The Formative Group has worked with AFC Bournemouth for the past two years, as well as with Yeovil Town FC and Swindon Town.

The firm was also in charge of protecting Stonehenge at this year’s summer solstice, which was attended by over 20,000 people.

On the crowds expected at the Vitality Stadium, Ian said, “Every game will be a sell-out so we’re looking at 12,500 people inside the stadium, plus more outside.

“What happens on the pitch directly affects how people act in the stands and after the game, so we have to be sensitive towards that.

“Generally football stadiums are run as close to a military operation as you can get; everyone is briefed and knows exactly what they have to do on the day.

“We’ll be responsible for keeping public order and cracking down on things like pyrotechnics, smoking in the stands and offensive chanting. There’s a customer service element to the job as well, and we’re there to make sure people have as much fun as possible and feel safe.”

The Formative Group will be providing between 40 and 80 event stewards per game as the Dorset side enter the Premier League for the first time this year.

The security firm worked its first league game last Saturday when Bournemouth lost narrowly 1-0 to Aston Villa.

The Formative Group was started in 2012 by ex-police and military protection specialists. The firm is based at Link House on the West Wilts Trading Estate, and is always on the lookout for more staff.

To find out more about the Formative Group go to www.theformativegroup.co.uk.