A newly launched online UK platform that protects tradespeople from late and non-payments has revealed plans to launch in Nottingham next year bringing with it a new office and employment for up to 12-16 people.

Pay The Trades, which launched in Lincolnshire earlier this year, is heralded as the first company in the world to bring peer-review escrow services to the trade industry.

The brainchild of founders Harvey Croft and Owain Hughes, Pay The Trades is a revolutionary escrow service that acts as an intermediary between tradespeople and their customers.

Currently operating from its base in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Pay The Trades is set to open offices in Nottingham inside 12 months, employing up to 12-16 in the area, as it looks to grow its team across sales, marketing and business development. The firm has eyed Lenton and Wollaton East as a potential location to set up its new site and realise its high growth potential.

It has also unveiled ambitious plans for growth and, as part of its five year rollout plan, it aims to have 10% of UK tradespeople using the service by 2026 and expects to turnover £4.15m inside three years.

Harvey Croft, entrepreneur and managing director of Pay The Trades, commented: “We’re excited to provide this solution to the trades of Nottingham and a market of hard-working individuals whose need for payment is overlooked.

“We’re also passionate about ensuring customers get the quality of work they are promised and removing ‘cowboy’ tradesmen from the market by bringing a whole new business process to the trades industry.”

Co-Founder Owain Hughes, continues: “I’ve been to Nottingham countless times and just love the area. It’s such a great city with lots to do and I would love to be a part of that vibrant working environment.

“From the local eateries to Nottingham castle, and with it being only a 40-minute train ride from my home town in Grantham it really has been a favourite place to go to for me. Not to mention it has a thriving trades industry in the area.”

The sole aim of Pay The Trades is to protect both the customer and the tradesperson and hopes to be a positive shot in the arm for the industry.

It will ensure customers receive the quality of work they pay for and protects tradespeople from late and non-payments in the process.

Offering tradespeople and customers a safe, easy and worry-free means of exchanging goods and services, Pay The Trades’ payment process provides a unique and much-needed form of income protection for self-employed tradespeople.

Rather than paying the tradesperson directly, customers pay via the Pay The Trades Escrow Service. Once the project has been completed, a 14-day holding period follows to ensure the customer is satisfied with the quality of the work and the tradesperson is paid without the hassle of chasing invoices.

In the scenario where a customer is unhappy with the service they’ve received, Pay The Trades will settle any disputes by providing a review process, checking the work and offering a refund where appropriate.

After building a successful career in production and logistics, Harvey Croft decided on a career change and began exploring plumbing as a potential option.

It was during this time that he encountered long-standing issues with payment that many tradespeople experienced on a regular basis. Identifying a gap in the market for a platform that could solve this issue, Croft began building what would become Pay The Trades.

The founding team of three includes Owain Hughes, who Croft has worked alongside consistently throughout his career.

Freelance tradespeople are amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to a 2020 survey by Simply Business, the average cost of the pandemic to small businesses in the construction industry is £12,891. A more recent survey from Tradify revealed that 66% of British tradespeople said that the pandemic had a moderate to high impact on their business.

As small trade businesses begin to recover from the challenges of the past 18 months, Pay The Trades seeks to ensure that they are paid on time and in full for their services.

Pay The Trades is now officially open for business throughout the UK. For more information visit paythetrades.com.