PlymClean founders Stuart and Gail May with new owner Amanda Barnes

Devon cleaning company expands and creates jobs after takeover

Entrepreneur behind Devon Cleaning South Hams acquires Plymouth based company and starts recruiting

A Devon cleaning company run by a woman with an inspirational life story is expanding and creating jobs after taking over another business.

Self-made entrepreneur Amanda Barnes, who runs Devon Cleaning South Hams and its sister company Barnes The Cleaners, has taken ownership of PlymClean in Plymouth.

The takeover safeguards the employment of eight existing workers at PlymClean - three of whom remain on furlough because of their personal circumstances - and has resulted in the recruitment of three extra members of staff, and potentially a fourth.
Ms Barnes founded Devon Cleaning South Hams in 2004. The company provides cleaning services throughout the district to more than 350 domestic and commercial customers, including many premier holiday-let properties. Sister company Barnes The Cleaners, based in Totnes, is a domestic and commercial laundry and dry-cleaning business.

Ms Barnes said: “My ambition is to take PlymClean to the next stage in the company’s development. Currently, it provides domestic services, but I’m looking to use my experience and contacts to expand the company into the commercial and industrial sectors.
“With PlymClean joining the fold this is an exciting time for my group of local cleaning companies. In contrast to the general economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are on the up.”

Ms Barnes has grown her Devon cleaning empire from nothing. She said she had a tough upbringing and stopped going to school for a period. Determined to make something of herself, she said she gained invaluable experience of running a household as an au-pair in Luxembourg, and as a PA/nanny in charge of a team of domestic staff in Knightsbridge.

After 10 years in London she spotted an opportunity to provide cleaning and management services in Devon to customers with high-end holiday homes, and also to the domestic and holiday-let market.

She said: “I only usually tell my hard-done-by story to do the odd member of staff when they look at me with my nice handbag and think I’ve had it all handed to me on a plate.”

As well as having a head for business, Mr Barnes has a head for numbers. While running a former company, an American car business, her boast was being able to memorise eight-digit codes for spare parts off the top of her head.
Former PlymClean directors Gail and Stuart May, who have now both moved onto running a new property inspections and compliance company within the lettings' industry, said: “We started PlymClean from scratch six years ago. PlymClean was our baby, and we are very proud of what we have achieved - developing the brand, an experienced team and a great relationship with our customers.
“During lockdown, we decided it was time for us to focus more on our other business which was still thriving during this difficult period, and accepted Amanda’s offer to take over at Plymclean. With Amanda’s impressive network of contacts, we look forward to seeing the business grow and thrive.”


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