An all-new training academy will help workers at a fast-growing Colchester business.

Cloudfm provides building maintenance services for large multi-site organisations, including Prezzo, PizzaExpress, KFC, Karen Millen and Wolseley.

Its new Cloudfm Academy offers courses developed in partnership with the British Institute of Facilities Management and is a base for the company’s apprenticeship programme, offered in conjunction with Colchester Institute.

Shayne Rees, the communications manager at Cloudfm, said the new site will help develop the skills of its 300-plus employees.

He said: "Lots of our people come to us having been trained as plumbers or electricians and we look to take those skills and help build on them.

"We also have an apprenticeship scheme set up with Colchester Institute so we can help their students."

Cloudfm looks after equipment in PizzaExpress, Prezzo and KFC restaurants across the country.

Mr Rees said: "The machines we service are in constant use so there's pressure on workers to ensure our clients can continue about their business as normal.

"We take a pro-active approach to what we do so we try and stop things breaking before they break rather than repairing them afterwards."

Despite only forming in 2011, the company already has an annual turnover of roughly £60 million and by 2020 it is hoping to have trebled in size.

On top of restaurants, Cloudfm also serve clients in retail and education

With two existing sites in Colchester, the new building on Severalls Industrial Park is the company's third in Colchester and includes a dedicated engineering suite.

Mr Rees said the suite is unique as it houses equipment for workers practise on that they would come across in everyday situations.

He said: "Most of the training on this machinery has to take place outside of trading hours because during the day our staff are out helping clients.

"But being able to use this new suite will really boost the confidence of staff when they come to using these machines in real-life.

Former England cricket captain Graham Gooch was at the new academy on Thursday to give a speech and to take part in the opening of the new academy.

Mr Rees explained that Cloudfm have a partnership with Essex County Cricket Club which is how Mr Gooch's appearance came about.

"We sponsor the cricket club and part of the deal means their cricketers can come to us to gain other skills for when their career in cricket comes to an end."