Case studies

What it’s like to stay the ESA way

Often the best way to understand the advantages of an ESA apartment is to share the experience of similar companies which have followed the path you are planning.

Air Products

Air Products is a world leading industrial gases company headquartered in Pennsylvania.  In 2013 it arrived on our doorstep in the person of Robert Piner, Commissioning Manager for an advanced plasma gasification energy-from-waste facility about to be built north of the Tees.

Delighted with the month’s accommodation we provided in Yarm, close to great shopping, tempting eating places and welcoming pubs, he was quickly followed by two key team members who made themselves at home with ESA.

Before the year’s end the number grew to a dozen on 6 or 12 month contracts. During 2014 we added ten more apartments. As one engineer completed an assignment, his place would be taken in the Air Products “village” by another from the USA, Holland, China, Canada – often at short notice, sometimes with family.

To keep this fast-changing scene running smoothly, ESA’s Katrina Rosser met the company’s two project coordinators regularly, and was on hand 24/7 to respond to requests.

“The apartments are located in the heart of Yarm, with easy access to local restaurants, pubs and shopping, yet surprisingly secluded, affording privacy and solitude if desired. The apartments are clean and nicely furnished, and all members of staff are professional, cooperative and hospitable.”

Robert Piner, Commissioning Manager, Air Products & Chemicals

 Tecnicas Reunidas

As soon as the starting signal was given in July 2016 for construction of the world’s largest biomass fuelled power station in Teesport, the Madrid based contractors Tecnicas Reunidas began to mobilise key people.

“Having once spent 10 months in a hotel on an assignment,” says Michelle Hodgkinson, Project Support, “I wanted a better experience for these high level managers. The question was, could suitable serviced apartments be found in time?”

She turned to ESA.  Katrina Rosser responded by organising apartments close together in Yarm for eight executives from Spain and one from Portugal.  The last member of the advance party gave notice of arrival from Pakistan on 29th December. By New Year’s Day he was opening his welcome hamper in Yarm.

“They love it,” says Michelle. “They think the apartments are gorgeous. They feel relaxed. They can cook when they want, bring their wives. It’s like a Spanish community.”

The company’s need is ongoing. As construction advances, more specialists will arrive, building up to around 22 people, all of them living in a lively country town just half an hour’s drive from the industrial site where this innovative, environmentally friendly plant has begun to arise.

“Katrina has been absolutely fabulous, really professional, hard working and friendly.  Everyone wants to be here. It’s a home from home.”  Michelle Hodgkinson, Project Support, Tecnicas Reunidas.

 Able UK

When a towering offshore drilling platform docks for major upgrade or refurbishment at Able Seaton Port, Hartlepool, the pressure is on. The rigs belong to global enterprises who bring in specialists to carry out the work to exacting timetables in rigorous conditions.

“When they’re away from site they need an environment where they can relax from the pressures,” says Paul Connally of Able UK, the Port owners. “We want our clients’ people to live a normal life, and that’s exactly what ESA enables them to do – in style. They’d go crazy in a hotel”

Over the past four years, again and again, he’ll inform Katrina Rosser that the project team are being mobilised from America and around the world. Often he can give just one or two weeks’ notice of their arrival.  As many as 15 or 16 people may need  serviced apartments at any one time. The record so far is 20.

“Katrina is very accessible and responsive; she knows our needs” says Paul. “The apartments are very high quality. And just as important they’re in high quality locations where people can expect peace and quiet. “

That’s what awaits just minutes away at Hartlepool Marina. Two bedroomed apartments can accommodate two people comfortably – and economically, too, since charges are per apartment, not per person. For extra flexibility, ESA can offer Elite apartments for managers and Essential for engineers carrying out the work.

“We want our clients’ people to live a normal life, and that’s exactly what ESA enables them to do – in style. They’d go crazy in a hotel”.  Paul Connally, Project Manager, Able UK.

Meet the Team

At the heart of ESA is a tight-knit team who have been working together and forged a bond of trust since its foundation over eight years ago. They are at the centre of a network of other providers – caterers, laundry companies, cleaners, builders, gardeners and professional advisors – who can be called in to supplement the team’s core skills.


Katrina is all about action. Talk to her about your accommodation needs. You can be confident they’re as good as satisfied – in every detail. As you’d expect from the owner!

Katrina Rosser’s background gives her a special insight into the standards expected by the executives, managers and operational staff who make ESA apartments their home while working away in the Tees Valley. She learned to meet the standards of global corporations when she trained their personnel in offshore survival at an international rescue centre between 1993 and 1998. Later, as a close protection officer to royalty, celebrities and CEO’s in the UK and Europe, she experienced the meaning of real luxury in hotels and apartments.

In 2006 she became a property developer, overseeing the design, construction, fitting and furnishing of 27 apartments on Teesside – the original core of her ESA business which now extends to Yarm, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Marina. For leisure, surfing & snowboarding.

Favourite location: Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Top tip: Don’t hesitate to ask the impossible.

Think of Katrina as your partner. She will mobilise the accommodation side of your
project in all aspects – responding to your first enquiry; planning the location,
quantity and type of serviced apartment; meeting new residents and showing them
around; overseeing maintenance and housekeeping; being on call 24/7.

Servicing/housekeeping, inventory checking, liaising with maintenance, fitting-out new properties… Nicola does everying to keep the apartments in tip top order. After each flat is serviced, perfectionist Nicola signs off the work according to the detailed ESA checklist.

With four years experience, she is now beginning to take on responsibilities as Katrina’s deputy in making decisions, meeting and greeting new arrivals and showing them around their apartments. Living in a village on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, she enjoys horse riding.

Favourite location: Yarm
Top tip: Think of your apartment as new.

Nicola organises and oversees a team of independent cleaners – not contract
cleaners, but people she knows personally whom she has trained to ESA’s exacting

Residents of an ESA apartment naturally take it for granted that everything works well and looks good. That’s all down to Paul. A Yarm local, Paul first met Katrina at Borrelli’s coffee shop around the corner from the ESA apartments. He learned she needed someone she could rely on to make sure ESA’s array of apartments stay in top condition.

Paul was ideally qualified. A joiner by trade, he’s an all-rounder when it comes to practical skills. To relax, he likes to cycle into the midst of the nearby North Yorkshire Moors National Park and over to its spectacular coast.

Favourite location: Yarm
Top tip: For the slightest concern, call any time.

As well being a joiner, Paul is on hand to take care of electrics, plumbing, decorating.. whatever’s needed to keep things running smoothly. For anything major
he has a network of specialists whose services he can call on.


Our clients stake their reputation on quality. We match them. That’s because the only way companies can be sure ESA apartments deliver what we claim is by the
yardstick set by an outside authority.

Our properties have been awarded a ‘Very Good to Excellent’ Quality Accredited Membership Status by our professional body, the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP).

We are one of ASAP’s 170 members collectively operating over 100,000 apartments. in 134 countries. To gain their highly esteemed quality accreditation membership status, we have successfully complied with exceptionally high assessment criteria and codes of conduct.

This means you can expect a mix of high levels of health and safety standards and the peace of mind that you are working with an accredited and experience supplier Not all serviced apartment providers take the time and trouble to invest in quality. We are the only one in our region that does.

Our Philosophy

Our simple focus is on making people happy to come and live like a local in an apartment that’s a home-from-home – beautifully appointed, spacious, super comfortable, smoothly functioning and ideally situated with a friendly, efficient housekeeping service. At the same time, we keep our promises to company people tasked with finding far too many places to stay for all the project team – right away! Our answer is always, don’t worry, it’s as good as sorted. Try us and see.

The ESA Story

We started with a piece of land in 2006 in Thornaby at the hub of the Tees Valley
road network. Where better for us to build 27 state-of-art apartments!

No sooner was the development completed in 2008 than the Financial Crisis came
crashing down. No one was buying. No one was renting. Where else could we find a
market? As established business people in the area, we used our contacts to
identify growth areas in an apparently bleak landscape.


The Tees Valley was, and still is, undergoing economic regeneration by means of
long-term, large-scale industrial projects with financial provision made before the
recession and projected well into the future. Typically belonging to multinationals,
these projects involved engineers and other specialist being mobilised from many
parts of the world to work on-site for extended periods.
Although the idea of serviced apartments was still not yet established, we decorated
and furnished the Thornaby apartments and launched the simple ESA concept to
compete with hotels:

– Home from home executive quality
– Tailored exclusively for business users
– Nightly rate per apartment not per person
– Weekly housekeeping service

It met with such a successful reception from the market, we identified opportunities in
choice central positions at the strategic locations of Yarm, Middlesbrough and
Hartlepool Marina.

Yarm to the south is easily the most sought-after place to live in the Tees Valley
area, and we were fortunate to buy into a cluster of apartments which, though newly
built, is minutes from the bustle of this old market town’s vibrant High Street.

Middlesbrough, is very much the biggest town in the Tees Valley, central in every
respect – geographic, commercial, retail, cultural and sporting. Our apartments are
located in landmark new developments.

Hartlepool Marina to the north is right beside the sea. We own apartments in
exceptionally self-contained enclave with shops, cafes and entertainment on the
Today, we are unrivalled as the region’s provider of serviced apartments solely for
businesses, and the only one to be accredited by ASAP, the Association of Serviced
Apartment Providers. We are continuing to develop the offer to a wider corporate
market with the launch of Essential apartments to complement the Elite range.