Riverside Group

Housing Association

Client: Riverside Group
Contract Period: 2006 to date

ISS has worked in partnership with Riverside in Carlisle since 2006, as their 'Partner of Partners'. Since then the original contract has been extended twice, in 2009 and 2014. The Riverside Group is one of the leading providers of social housing in the UK, providing support and affordable housing to people of all ages and circumstances. Riverside is committed to regenerating the neighbourhoods within which is operates working with residents to provide employment and development opportunities and improving the environment.

Works Carried Out


The contract is for the provision of grounds maintenance services to approximately 3,200 properties, including communal gardens, housing areas, open space areas, playgrounds and Partial Dependency Areas.

The primary services delivered are grass cutting, shrub and hedge maintenance, tree works, allotment maintenance, maintenance of water courses, cleaning, removal of fly tipping, litter picking, soiling and seeding and the rectification of deficiencies to comply with HHSRS.

An Assisted Garden Service is provided, where tenants are able to call upon the services of ISS to maintain their gardens. This is offered on a fortnightly basis to vulnerable tenants by a two-man team who maintain lawns and hedges, pick litter, and clear leaves and snow, amongst other similar services.

ISS additionally provide a two-man fully employed specialist team to act as a ‘one stop shop’ delivering everything from hard landscaping, through tree works and assisting with skip drops, to environmental improvements. This is a responsive team that reacts within 48 hours of every tenant request.

In April 2009, Riverside extended ISS’s contract responsibilities with the inclusion of the Void Remediation Garden Service, based on our ability to deliver continuous improvement and offer specialist horticultural knowledge. In order to maintain the void property project, ISS employs two Riverside operatives, who are responsible for making good, and if necessary re-landscaping, void gardens to a manageable standard in readiness for the new tenants.

Project Conclusion


Increasing Customer Satisfaction

  • ISS retains a Grounds Maintenance specialist as a Tenant Liaison Officer (TLO) who undertakes joint inspections with tenant representatives and produces Quality Audits reflecting their estate walkabouts. The TLO responds to all tenant issues within 24 hours, giving them the peace of mind and confidence that a solution is only a telephone call away, and closing off Riverside’s internal complaints procedure by rectifying fault. ISS also works closely with the Riverside Tenant Scrutiny Panel, who are responsible for the ongoing review of the contract with direct recommendations to the Riverside Board.

Providing Value for Money
  • At the core of the relationship sits joint working to achieve Riverside’s budgets, goals and objectives. At the beginning of 2014, ISS worked collaboratively with Riverside re-scoping the existing contract to produce savings of 23.6% over a five-year period, without impacting on frontline services, whilst simultaneously improving communal standards across the region. This has been achieved by re-designing the specification, prioritising services to protect key areas, and introducing operational efficiencies.

Enhancing Quality of Life
  • ISS and Riverside’s Horticultural Apprenticeship Scheme is now in its third year and on its second intake of apprentices. The 18-month apprenticeship scheme offers 16-18 year olds a career in grounds maintenance. To date 24 students have undertaken a 12 day horticultural training course at ISS’s training rooms in Carlisle, supplemented by practical gardening skills and techniques on the Riverside contract. Four students have gone on to receive full-time employment within ISS as apprentices and are studying toward their NVQ II in horticulture.

Creating Better Neighbourhoods
  • ISS in partnership with Riverside have planted 3,112 saplings over ten communities within Carlisle. This initiative is part of the Big Tree Plant, and will improve the quality of life of local for local communities and make the local neighbourhoods more attractive and healthy places to live.


Client Testimonial:
"Congratulations must be given to ISS for helping ensure that partnership working has been a great step forward in delivering continuously improving grounds maintenance standards.  The reasons for this success are the importance ISS places on listening and understanding Riverside in Carlisle customer needs, and effective managers providing a well trained workforce.  The whole team are flexible, well motivated and dedicated to providing good standards of maintenance to our customers.  The ISS Customer Support Unit is a big bonus too, for residents and clients alike, and ensures good communication is possible  between all parties."

Denys Nash, Green Spaces Officer
Riverside in Carlisle



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