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B4

Magazine

ISSUE 13 WINTER 2009

FINANCE

RECRUITMENT

ADVICE •

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P ROMOTION

CHARITY

H E A LT H

SPOTLIGHT •

MEET

• IT

PROPERTY •

EN JOY

• •

NEWS H OT E L S

Proper Property Management Oxfordshire’s Leading Property Management company

Royal Entrepreneur Sir John Madejski talks to B4 about success, football and the future

All in the Name The thinking behind London Oxford Airport

B U I L D I N G

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CLIENT SUPPORT We can offer independent advice in all areas of financial services.

OXFORD 30 St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3LE Te l . 01865 559900 email . information@wenntownsend.co.uk CIRENCESTER 5 Gosditch Street, Cirencester GL7 2AG Te l . 01285 659778 email . partners@wennsci.co.uk ABINGDON 10 Broad Street, Abingdon OX14 3LH Tel . 01235 548700 email . partners@wennsab.co.uk www.wenntownsend .co .uk

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Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine Telephone: 01865 742211 E-mail: info@b4-business.com Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT Chairman Colin Rosser E-mail: colin@designs-on.co.uk Editor Richard Rosser E-mail: editorial@b4-business.com Art Editor Keith Simpson E-mail: artwork@b4-business.com Assistant Editor Tora Kelly Editorial contributors Anna Hobson Rob Overend Joyce Capek Proofreading Shani Farrant Advertising E-mail: sales@b4-business.com Administration Sue Edwardson E-mail: admin@b4-business.com Studio Photography Studio 8 Telephone: 01865 842525 Field Photography Eranga Hadirampela Hasula Prematilaka Telephone: 01865 742211 B4 Partners Apartments in Oxford B-Line Conference Centre Oxford Darbys Oxford Innovation Ltd Oxford Airport Oxford Castle Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network Studio 8 VSL and Partners Wenn Townsend

Welcome to B4 Busy. That’s what everyone seems to be. Two men who have seen their fair share of ‘busy’ are Geordie Greig, Editor of The Evening Standard, and Sir John Madejski, founder of Auto Trader. Geordie tells us why, after nearly two hundred years, The Evening Standard is becoming a free newspaper, and Sir John tells us that delegating is the best way to grow, and that today’s youth are going to ‘save the world’. Maybe he’s referring to Andrew Creese, the new General Manager at Malmaison, or Emma Walker of Emma Walker Flowers, both making a success at a relatively young age. We also take a look to the future with a review of Diamond Light Source at Harwell, and an interview with Begbroke Science Park’s Professor Peter Dobson, who explains how problem solving today must be clearly thought through so as not to cause catastrophe in the future. New developments include a brand new four star hotel at The Oxfordshire Golf Club, why London Oxford Airport is the new name for Oxford Airport, the coming together of Penny & Sinclair, and a sneak preview of fascinating new conference facilities at Lady Margaret Hall.

Each business with an Oxfordshire postcode is entitled to one free copy per issue. For additional copies and for businesses outside of Oxfordshire, there is an annual subscription charge of £25.

48: Royal Entrepreneur John Madejski gives us an insight into his views and opinions on the economy.

Our lead in B4 is provided by Lucy Properties, arguably Oxfordshire’s leading property management company, and commercial property agents, VSL, help introduce a novel package to attract tenants to Oxford Science Park. There are plenty of motivational and inspirational articles in B4, in fact all around us, to demonstrate that, no matter how big the obstacles are in your path, if you want something and believe in something enough, you can make anything happen.

18: The Freedom of London Geordie Greig tells us about The London Evening Standard becoming, literally, set free.

Richard Rosser Editor

THE SPINE LINE COMPETITION Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 01865 742211 E-mail: info@b4-business.com

Inside

Spot the number of articles referred to on B4’s spine line. Contact us by e-mail: editorial@b4-business.com with the number and the specific articles which the spine refers to. The entry with the highest number of correct articles will win a £50 voucher to Shanghai 30’s, Oxford’s number one Chinese restaurant.

B4

Put Together in Oxfordshire B4 is all about Oxfordshire. Designed, produced and printed in Oxfordshire.

About

© Designs-on Ltd and B4 Magazine. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that the content of this publication is accurate and correct in every way, the publishers cannot be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies or errors within the publication. Information reproduced from this publication is permitted with the express permission of the publisher and the advertiser, where relevant. All information is correct at time of going to press.

B4 Magazine was established to provide Oxfordshire businesses with a clear voice to raise their profile and to help businesses connect. Direct mailed to three thousand business decision makers in Oxfordshire every quarter, B4 is widely regarded as one of Oxfordshire’s leading business publications. B4 stands for Building Bridges Between Business, and that is what we have done and will continue to do, aided by the development of a first class website launching later in 2009.

76: A Flowering Reputation Emma Walker talks about her obsession and her love of the flower business.

Magazine

B4 is funded by paid for display advertising and editorial, although some editorial is granted without charge at the discretion of the Editor.

12: Proper Property Management Ian Ashcroft talks about Lucy Properties, past, present and future.

B4 Contents B4 LEAD

B4 SPOTLIGHT

“we have had to be very resilient and not slip back to old habits….”

12 Proper Property Management: Ian Ashcroft of Lucy Properties tells B4 about the past, present and future of Oxfordshire’s leading property management company

57 Engineers With Vision: Nigel Pursall of Orange Stripe Telecommunications talks us through the key aspects of telecoms training

GREEN UPDATE

Darbys Business Link Charitable Funds Oxford Innovation Nominet OTCN

In Issue 9 of B4, we met with B-Line’s Chief Executive, David Beesley, who had just moved his business to new premises in Stanton St John. A year on, the business is going from strength to strength and going to new premises at the same time as ‘Going Green’ have been the best moves they could have made. Kay Thomas, David’s daughter, talks to B4 about the benefits of the move and why there’s no looking back. When we spoke to David a year ago, he told B4 that he liked to blaze a trail wherever he could, “Yes we like to be at the forefront, not that we feel an obligation to set an example. It is something which has come naturally for us and by changing location, it gave us the perfect example to look at what we were doing and ask ourselves, ‘how could we do this better?’”. Having reaped the rewards of a change of location and settled in to the new systems the company demanded of itself in this new ‘green’ phase, is Kay happy with the progress? “There have been highs and lows over the past year, and settling in to a new location and sticking to our green principles has been a real challenge at times, because of the state of the economy. We are a generally positive bunch here at B-Line, but the credit crunch has meant it has been difficult for us and our customers at times, and we have had to be very resilient and not slip back in to old habits. “Looking back at how we used to be, it’s amazing the changes we have taken on board and now take for granted. Anything from recycling, using less paper, ordering more efficiently and even working together in an open space presented us with challenges to start with, but it is all second nature now. Everyone has bought in to the new way of working and the office is functioning well. There is definitely a more coherent and positive level of communication between us all. We are all much more focused, but that doesn’t mean we have totally lost the fun element.”

B4 SPOTLIGHT

Being ISO14001 compliant, B-Line have had to increase their environmental

performance against set objectives through their Environmental Management System. This gives Kay and her colleagues a systematic approach for managing the environmental impact of their operations. “Look at the business five years ago, and the changes have been dramatic. By not holding stock (or very limited amounts), we have not only reduced our space requirements, we have also reduced our carbon footprint. And what we do deliver is delivered as efficiently as possible (see B4 Issue 7) by targeting business parks so we can deliver to multiple businesses at one location.” With a network of warehousing across the UK and stock holdings in excess of £50million, B-Line is well placed to supply all of your office stationery needs on a next working day basis. B-Line Business Supplies is a company at the forefront of the business supplies industry, and so has forged strong and efficient supply partnerships ensuring that customers receive orders as and when they need them. Let B-Line add value to your business by taking advantage of their wealth of experience that will ensure you only buy 'best value' and 'fit for purpose' products for your business needs. Your dedicated account manager will work closely with you in ensuring that through product rationalisation, your objective of value for money purchasing is achieved.

B4 COMPUTE 67 Oxford Home IT Support: Advice on saving money on your IT bills

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B4 EDUCATE

18 The Freedom of London: London Evening Standard Editor, Geordie Greig, on the paper's move to going free

46 Do You Need Legal Training to Make Yourself a Good Manager?: Legal Training advice from David Parry of Darbys

24 A Fresh Start: James Penny and Wendy Sinclair on why their coming together will work for Penny & Sinclair

B4 CONFERENCE

48 Royal Entrepreneur: Busines heavyweight, Sir John Madejski, talks to B4

88 Vivre Le Rêve: We visit La Belle Epoque, your very own venue within Le Manoir

B4 ADVICE

42 The Young Pretender: Malmaison's new General Manager, Andrew Creese, and his plans for Oxford's coolest hotel

31 VSL: Commercial property news 34 Thinking About You: Richmond Village's new retirement community unveiled at Letcombe Regis

23 Worried About Redundancy: Andy Harris of Shaw Gibbs Financial Services aims to limit the potential damage of redundancy

B4 SPOTLIGHT shop leads people, in some way, to believe I have been around for a while, but I often have customers walking into the shop disbelieving that I am Emma.”

just one large piece just as you enter the premises. We can make the whole thing fairly painless and can be in and out in just ten seconds, completely replacing arrangements, quickly and efficiently.”

Despite her age, Emma certainly has a sound set of business principles and knows what she wants, as she explains, “I always knew that I wanted a ‘different’ flower shop. As I have gained more

Flower colours can also be representative of a company’s branding and logo, adding to the impact, especially at an event. “It certainly adds to the overall effect if you walk into a marquee or

72 Driven to Learn: Oxford and Cherwell Valley College's Principal, Sally Dicketts, talks to B4 about the importance of nurturing talent

B4 ACCOMMODATION

B4 PROPERTY

17 Blogger Relations for Smaller Budgets: BOTTLE PR's Managing Director, Claire Cairns, on blogging with a budget

64 Where Industry and Science Meet: Professor Peter Dobson of Begbroke Science Park talks to B4 about problem solving for the future 68 Diamond Light Source: What exactly happens within this magnificent structure?

28 A Venue for 2010: Lady Margaret Hall's impressive new conference facilities

76 A Flowering Reputation: Emma Walker and her passion for flowers

day’s stock in. Everything comes to Emma in refrigerated vans, but if a flower isn’t ‘fit for purpose’ it is thrown. Even, much to my amazement, flowers ordered to go to as far afield as Scotland originate from Emma, “It’s just as easy to get a delivery on a twenty four hour service, as it is to get one of the national florists to arrange it. This way, I can guarantee the quality and that the customer is getting my flowers. I can’t risk allowing a small shop

58 The Oxfordshire Hotel and Spa: With a new four star hotel just months away, what can we look forward to?

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

WORRIED ABOUT REDUNDANCY?

“EMMA HAS QUICKLY ESTABLISHED A REPUTATION AS A SMART OPERATOR.”

experience about what works, I have developed more of a rustic element, but I am always experimenting with the shop layout. I listen to the customers a lot and I think they appreciate that I canvass their opinion.”

Supporting Emma are her staff, Louise Fleming,

exhibition room, which are often quite soulless places, if not decorated properly, and you can distract people from the uninspiring décor with stunning flower arrangements.”

somewhere potentially upsetting my hard earned reputation – it’s just not worth it and our way of working in terms of deliveries suits us down to the ground.”

The service Emma provides is not excessive in terms of cost, with weekly flowers from as little as

With Christmas fast approaching, Emma reveals that the shop has become something of an

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

Buying a bunch of flowers has, like many things we do today, turned into just another thing to tick off the list. Emma Walker ensures that every bunch of flowers leaving her shop in the heart of Summertown is prepared with the level of care one would expect from a top end florist. By her own admission, her biggest fault is overdoing it, adding too much value, perhaps getting carried away with a job she clearly loves. But is that such a bad thing? Emma Walker adds a bit of glamour to B4.

61 Green Update: We speak to B-Line's Kay Thomas about the success of going green

www.b-line.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

A FLOWERING REPUTATION

44 Pedalling in the Right Direction: A novel marketing campaign to attract tenants to Oxford Science Park

B4 OFFICE

B4 NEWS 37 71 74 79 81 83

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Unemployment figures have been accelerating upwards as the economic environment deteriorates and are predicted to go higher for the remainder of the year, leaving the spectre of redundancy looming large for many people. However, for anybody worried about their job security, there are a few practical steps that can potentially cushion the blow. Article by Andy Harris of Shaw Gibbs Financial Services

Build an emergency fund Holding three months’ income in readily available funds will provide some breathing space in the event of redundancy. This should be in an instant access savings account or cash ISA, but do check the small print – banks frequently penalise savers for taking money out of a savings account through loss of interest. An emergency fund is particularly important for families where there is only one breadwinner. Assess your outgoings Keeping track of expenditure can highlight potential problem areas. You may find you have old direct debits for things you no longer need – insurance payments on long obsolete mobile phones, for example. See if you can switch to cheaper utility providers, better value car insurance or credit cards with lower interest rates. Set a budget and then make sure you stick to it.

Emma has certainly worked hard at carving herself a niche as one of Oxfordshire’s premier florists. Hailing from Jersey, where she longs to set up premises, Emma spent summer holidays and weekends working for two of the island’s leading florists, insisting that there is a massive demand for her to set up in her homeland. Having trained at the internationally renowned Jane Packer Flower School in Marylebone, Emma had to ask herself whether she wanted to start a business in the incredibly competitive London market, return

over in April 2006.”

along well and recommend each other.

Emma soon outgrew her original premises, and outlines why she had to move, “It was a great starter shop, but didn’t have enough space for what I wanted to do. It was very pretty, but it lacked ‘work’ space, storage space and for what I wanted to do, I knew I needed somewhere bigger.”

“As an independent flower shop, I like to think that we provide something out of the ordinary. We are amongst a group of independent florists in the immediate vicinity and we all co-exist and thrive because we all offer something that extra bit special.”

As a resident of Summertown, it was a match made in heaven when her current premises came on the market, reflects Emma, “It was exactly where

One of the tricks Emma seems to have executed to perfection is creating a persona which many people accept has been part of the fabric of

“AS AN INDEPENDENT FLOWER SHOP, I LIKE TO THINK WE PROVIDE SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY.”

to Jersey or set up shop in Oxford, where her brother James was living. Her choice was quite an easy one, as she explains, “Oxford was one of only a few realistic options for me. I had been looking at Flower Works in St Clements and it happened to come on the market at the right time, and I took 76

I wanted to be. The premises provided us with excellent retail space together with extensive workrooms, storage and parking. The area was perfect for me, and I had always wanted to be based in North Oxford. There is a real feeling of community down here in South Parade, we all get

Oxford’s independent traders for years. But at twenty nine, Emma isn’t exactly in line for her bus pass yet. I myself was guilty of a second glance when I first met Emma, and this is not, apparently, uncommon. “A lot of people expect me to be older than I actually am. I’m not sure if the name of the

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Hazel Ball and Tahima Rahman. “We work very much as a team, especially when we have a wedding to do. It’s an incredible team effort and we all get a real buzz when there’s a big exciting job to prepare for.”

£30, including delivery. Emma frequently visits prospective clients to advise what she can provide, tailored to their budgets, so why not give serious consideration to sprucing up the company reception or boardroom?

In addition to the mainstream day to day public facing shop, Emma also provides an excellent event service including weddings, business lunches and larger corporate events. “We have provided flowers for lunches, dinner events and launches, awards ceremonies, and also a growing amount of work in private homes. We also provide weekly flowers for offices, boardrooms, everything and anything. Flowers can really make a huge difference, even to a reception area. It shows the business cares about its image and can make the business look so much more professional, quite inexpensively.”

With extensive experience in a number of local stately homes and private houses including Blenheim Palace, Emma has quickly established a reputation as a smart operator who delivers what the customer wants, and more. This has ensured an abundance of work by word of mouth, which Emma is particularly proud of, “I love the fact that we get business through word of mouth, especially through weddings. It is an amazing endorsement of what we do when you are recommended by Brides you have worked for.”

Emma admits that with recent cost cutting exercises, beautiful flowers in the reception or boardroom were, on the whole regarded as non essential items. “Some companies have cut out the cost completely. Others have narrowed it down to www.b4-business.com

One thing Emma is a stickler for is the quality of her flowers, and prides herself on the almost non existent level of complaints she has had about flowers leaving her shop. Fortunately, gone are the days when florists had to be up almost before they had shut up shop the night before to get the next

Pay off debt where possible Reducing debt can significantly cut your monthly outgoings. Start with the most expensive debt first, which is likely to be credit and store cards. Banks will also charge heavily for overdrafts, even when they are arranged, and personal loans can be cheaper. It is worth checking the rates for all debt and, if you can’t pay it off, switching to cheaper types of debt. Mortgages will usually be the cheapest debt – so although it is worth reducing mortgage debt, it should be a lower priority than unsecured debts.

attraction as it is transformed to reflect the season. “I love Christmas. There is such a great atmosphere in the street and I decorate the shop like something out of Narnia – it is my massive indulgence for the year. We did a great tree last year and we had so many customers coming in asking for exactly the same tree, decorated just as we had it in the shop. It didn’t stop there. We also had customers coming in who had seen trees we had decorated at their friend’s house asking for exactly the same tree! We did eight of the same style in North Oxford alone last year!” Emma Walker is certainly passionate about flowers and, seemingly, Christmas Trees. But if you are serious about sprucing up your office reception or making sure you get the Christmas Tree to beat the Jones’, don’t leave it too long to get in touch, as I think this young lady is going to have a busy year.

www.emmawalkerflowers.co.uk 77

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Delay large purchases This is not the time to start a kitchen refurbishment or loft conversion. Keep new purchases to a minimum and consider putting planned expenditure on hold. With house prices falling, refurbishment may not add value the way it did only a couple of years ago. Check your insurance situation Unemployment cover can be bought on its own or with policies such as income protection, and

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offers protection in the event of longer-term unemployment. The cost will vary depending on when the payments kick in and the level of income needed. Insurers have policies in place to ensure that people don’t take it out in the knowledge they may be made redundant imminently. There is usually a qualifying period and the insurer will not provide a policy if there is already a specific risk to the policyholder’s job. If the worst happens and you do lose your job check your financial rights Everyone is entitled to statutory redundancy, even if the company goes bust. For those who have been employed for more than two years, this is one week’s pay for every year of employment (up to 20 years). For those over 40, this increases to 10 days’ pay for each year. Some companies will pay out more than statutory redundancy.

“Claiming benefits is not a long-term solution, but can offer a temporary respite”

Check your employment rights Companies need to follow the proper procedure when making someone redundant and, if they do not, you may have reason to claim for unfair dismissal. Check what you are entitled to from the Government Claiming benefits is not a long-term solution, but can offer a temporary respite. Invest any lump sum wisely While it is tempting to dip into capital for living

expenses, it may be worth investing a lump sum to generate an income. Although this may be less than you are used to, it will provide some breathing space to find alternative employment. Alternatively, use the sum to pay down debt and reduce your outgoings. Maximise your tax benefits The first £30,000 of any redundancy payment is tax-free. The remainder can also be free of tax if it is moved into a pension. This is a suitable option for those nearing retirement. Up to 25% of a pension pot can be taken as a lump sum from 50 (very soon to be 55), so it may only mean tying the money up for a few years. Ensure you claim any insurance entitlement It may sound obvious, but it is time to dust down the files and root out any insurance policies you may have forgotten about. Unemployment insurance and income protection will kick in after a certain number of months, depending on the policy. Payment protection insurance has proved poor value, but if you already have historic policies in place, you may also be able to claim. Look at your mortgage repayments You may have a number of options depending on the flexibility of your mortgage and it may be possible to take a payment holiday. This will either lengthen the term of your mortgage or increase your payments when they resume, but can give you up to a year with no mortgage repayments. You may also be able to reduce repayments by changing the term of the mortgage or switching to interest-only. Consider alternative sources of income Could you rent out a room in your house perhaps? Under the rent-a-room scheme, you can earn £4,250 per year tax-free. Also, you may be able to take short-term, part-time jobs or raid the attic for things to auction! www.shawgibbs.com

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

Wharf House Mews

The Property Management Team

PROPER

197-199 Iffley Road

OUR HISTORY It is believed that the origins of W Lucy & Co. Ltd. reach as far back as 1760. However, the company has certainly been in existence since 1812 when William Carter opened a shop on Oxford High Street, trading as an ironmonger, hardware, brazier and tin plate worker. He moved his business to a new brass and iron foundry in Jericho in 1825, a site which became known as Eagle Works.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

The company prospered with various managers, including William Grafton and a young William Lucy in 1864. Sadly, William Lucy died of Tuberculosis in 1873 aged just 35, leaving James Kelly free to buy the business. In 1897, the Lucy name was firmly established when the company was registered W Lucy & Co Ltd. At this time, the company started to produce what was to become a major growth product of the business – cast iron and steel shelving for libraries, including the Bodleian.

Property Director Ian Ashcroft, of Lucy Properties, based in the heart of Oxford, meets with B4’s Richard Rosser to outline how the company has grown to enjoy its position as Oxford’s principle private residential landlord, with an enviable reputation and expanding portfolio of high quality properties.

Indigenous Oxford residents will remember W Lucy & Co. Ltd. as the heartbeat of Jericho, a large factory churning out huge volumes of product for the emerging electrical markets (see Our History, a history of W Lucy & Co. Ltd). As the factory expanded in terms of production, so it expanded physically, and its custodians were able to reinvest profits into significant portions of property surrounding the factory in Walton Well Road, less than a mile from the City

building – Fettlers’ House - and a 20,000 sq ft office. As freeholder, the company opted to manage the site which lies between Walton Well Road, the cemetery and the canal. With a total of 188 apartments, a large underground car park, canal side public spaces and a broad mix of residents, the management operation has played a vital role in making the new development a success. The office building on the site has been let on a fifteen year lease to Oxford University, and although Lucy Properties does already own offices, this is a major addition and part of a plan to increase the proportion of

“….our role is most definitely focused on making sure the tenants are content…” Centre. The houses provided accommodation for the skilled workforce and their families who had moved to Oxford. In 1965, the company bought a block of houses in Juxon Street from St John’s College, adding more in Juxon Street and Walton Well Road the following year. It became apparent that a global switchgear and lighting manufacturer operating from a site in the middle of Jericho was unsustainable, and following the City Council’s approval to the redevelopment of Eagle Works in November 2004, the manufacturing operations transferred to premises in Thame shortly after. The redevelopment of Eagle Works was completed in December 2008, and Lucy Properties retained twenty three apartments, including one complete

commercial property in its portfolio. In terms of the service Lucy Properties provide to its tenants, Ian makes it crystal clear that the company places the customer first, from the initial website enquiry, through to the viewing and issuing contracts. “Moving is a stressful business, and we ensure that our tenants are made to feel welcome from the outset and enjoy living in our properties. We like to strike up personal relationships with our tenants which makes the whole landlord / tenant link much healthier and sustainable. “With responsibility to manage a property portfolio comprising three hundred properties and the associated seven hundred tenants, our role is most definitely focused on making sure the tenants are content and the properties are fit for

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purpose. “That is what makes Lucy Properties unique – we want our tenants to stay, we are not driven by tenant turnover to boost letting fees, because we don’t charge any. Our average tenancy length is approaching two years, but some tenants have been renting for almost forty.” Unique indeed. Ian and his more than capable team are united in their one aim, which is to keep tenants in the properties, and this philosophy has yielded a steady 95% occupancy rate which speaks louder than any other statistic in underlining the appetite to live in a Lucy property. Given that a number of the the properties are undergoing refurbishment at any one time, 95% is a remarkable occupancy level. Being based literally on their tenants’ doorstep (for the most part), being a Lucy tenant means that if there is a problem, assistance is never far away, as Ian explains, “Our decision to stay on site, to remain visible and accessible, was the best way to say to our tenants ‘we are here if you need us’, and it has helped build that trust with our clients. Even the Chairman of Lucy’s, Richard Dick, is based here, and his door is always open to the tenants, a ringing endorsement of the team supporting and servicing our tenants.” The Lucy approach has ensured high levels of repeat business through Oxford University Colleges and established Oxford businesses, as their tenants are guaranteed levels of service which are second to none. The Lucy Property team which helps to maintain this high level of service, is relatively small given the property portfolio it is responsible for nurturing, but incredibly competent, as Ian explains, “Rachel Clark and Sarah Pascoe are responsible for the day

In the early 1900’s, John Reid Dick was hired as Managing Director. Mr Dick is recognised as the man who helped secure Lucys’ long term future and was the driving force behind the company’s decision to invest in the manufacture of products for the emerging electrical markets. As a foundry, the company produced munitions during the First and Second World Wars, and continued to develop its electrical engineering business between the wars. After World War II, the company embarked upon a modernisation program, introducing bakelite components and plastics. Gordon Dick, John Dick’s son, became Chairman in 1951, and it was under his guidance and tutorage that the business continued to prosper; developing products for a wide range of overseas markets. The two decades between 1970 and 1990, saw Lucys grow into an international company, manufacturing a new range of oil filled high voltage ring main units, making Lucys the biggest manufacturer of this product in the world. The year 1990 marked the end of an era for Lucys, with the death of Gordon Dick, following sixty years’ service. He was succeeded as Chairman by his youngest son, Richard, the third generation of the family to be involved with the company. Richard continues as Chairman today, overseeing a global manufacturing company employing in excess of five hundred people, with property and manufacturing operations in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and India.

Team Photograph: Eranga Hadirampela

17 Iffley Road

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12 90 The Baglioni: Pure Italian style in London

B4 HEALTH

B4 LEISURE

B4 HOME

54 Spirit Health Club Oxford: Convenient and great value. B4 is invited for a tour of the facilities.

86 Foot in the Door: Live Oxford's Richard Quarterman on why he is prepared to go the extra mile

33 Endovenous Laser Treatment: Varicose veins to you and me - we find out more about this fascinating treatment

B4 TRAVEL

41 Private Birth: Delivering your new born into the world with style

38 All in the Name: The reasons behind London Oxford Airport's new name

B4 SPOTLIGHT

THE FREEDOM OF LONDON

The London Evening Standard dates back to 21st May 1827, when it was first sold as The Standard. Nearly two hundred years later, this stalwart of the streets of London was set free, literally. On Monday 12 October, the London Evening Standard became the first quality newspaper in the world to go free. Richard Rosser seized a timely audience with Oxford University graduate and London Evening Standard editor, Geordie Greig, to understand the thinking behind the move, and to find out more about this charismatic character, dubbed ‘Britain’s most connected man’.

It’s the last day the London Evening Standard will have a cover price. Geordie Greig, appointed as the paper’s editor in March this year, having served almost ten years as editor of society magazine, Tatler, gallantly spares some of his abnormally valuable time to elbow his way into Issue 13 of B4. Talking in between a sea of meetings, Geordie speaks with the calm, measured tones of a man in control, forthright in his justification of such a radical move. “Essentially we are doubling our circulation to six hundred thousand to become a quality free newspaper, and that is very much how we define ourselves now. The market is getting very, very crowded, with three free newspapers in London; The Metro in the morning and two free newspapers in the afternoon. Rupert Murdoch closed a fourth, The London Paper, only recently, and we hope that our action, being in itself so dramatic and large in volume, will blast all remaining competition out of the water. We need to be as strong and as wide reaching over our audience as possible, and we are very excited about the future.” Critics have forewarned that the paper will ‘dumb down’ its content, but that isn’t an option for ‘standard bearer’ Greig. “It is fundamentally the same paper. The only difference being the distribution mechanism. We will be available at every single underground station in Zone 1, and forty five locations outside of Zone 1. More Londoners will see the Standard than ever before.” Geordie is looking to a forty to forty five per centre increase in advertising yields to plug the gaps which will appear when the tills stop accepting cover revenue, and he is confident that the paper’s advertisers will react positively. “The advertisers love the idea of a quality product, with its award-winning journalism and great columnists and critics, and, in particular the prospect of having a much greater reach, so it icks all of the boxes for them. They have only been aware since last Monday (5th October), and we have been incredibly buoyed by their reaction at this early stage.”

model so much demand.”

easier to implement - our problem now is to satisfy that

Sitting on the shoulders of the London Evening Standard is LondonLite, previously set up as a ‘spoiler’ prior to the Standard’s sale to Alexander Lebedev’s Evening Press Ltd. The two titles are now in direct competition, and LondonLite’s owners, Associated Newspapers, have, according to Geordie, “an important decision to make.”

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B4 SPOTLIGHT

ENGINEERS WITH

What could be regarded as a risky commercial strategy has been devised by the Standard's managing director, Andrew Mullins, the deputy chairman, Justin Byam Shaw, and Evgeny Lebedev, the company's executive director, and the son of the owner. On the face of it, a heavyweight such as the London Evening Standard should be able to establish itself as London’s ‘Number One’ free newspaper without too much fuss, but this depends on advertising revenues increasing and Geordie maintaining editorial quality controls, as he acknowledges.

VISION

PART 2 – KEY SYSTEM FEATURES & END USER TRAINING

Part 1 in Issue 12 covered the much debated topic of voice over IP and created an interesting mix of businesses wishing to discuss in more detail. We continue in this issue providing some useful and interesting information whilst being mindful of keeping it uncomplicated. Part 2 will look at some key usable features of a modern telephone system and how end user training is significant to a successful installation.

"We will remain the only London newspaper committed to a tradition of high quality journalism, with the finest writers and undiminished commitment to the best reporting of news, business and sport. It is a move which we believe will give the Standard lasting security. ‘Free’ doesn’t mean a dilution of quality. The British Museum and The National Gallery are free, and we also have to recognise that there is a certain level of expectation that information will be free with so many other sources at hand, especially for the younger ‘digital’ generation.” Geordie has previously been quoted as saying that, ‘It’s true that busy people are better at taking on extra things’, and this move will certainly intensify an already hectic schedule for a man who makes workaholics look positively idle. “My alarm goes at 4.30am every morning. I then jump into the bath, read the newspapers for about forty five minutes, and then”, pausing to accentuate the

“Nobody has come out and told us that

this isn’t going to work, and we are already seeing an increase in demand”

By giving the paper away, the big cost saving has been distribution, which has meant casualties. “It is a much cheaper model for the company in terms of distribution, which, sadly, means we have had to make distribution redundancies in terms of our drivers. That is never an easy decision and it has been incredibly difficult, but plainly more difficult for them. We have to ‘cut our cloth’ going forward, but as a relatively small, but agile, company, we have to be competitive to survive and thrive, and this means watching our costs. “Nobody has come out and told us that this isn’t going to work, and we are already seeing an increase in demand for the paper with supermarkets and newsagents crying out for copies. This makes our new distribution 18

A phone system has 100’s of available features; the fact is only a small percentage will ever be used. The systems we supply will provide the same strong feature set whether you have 4 or 400 extensions.

importance of this next ‘act’, “I will go into a deep sleep for three to four minutes. It’s a mini power nap before I go to work. If I have a two minute sleep, I can feel completely regenerated, as if I have had an oxygen rush. Then it’s off to the office and the first meeting at 6am.”

A simple but very common feature used by everyone is ‘last number redial’. If we expand on this feature it becomes highly attractive when used like this. You may have received a call earlier this morning and now need to call that person back but may not have the number at hand. Every extension has the ability at the press of a button to view upto the last 50 or so numbers that have rung at

The organised pandemonium of Geordie Greig’s typical day isn’t for the faint-hearted. “At 6am we look at lists, and at what we are going to focus on for the rest of the day. There is then a news meeting, followed by a leaders meeting, and the day then continues with a seemingly endless tirade of deadlines and meetings, decisions, indecisions and more decisions. I am very lucky that I have got an incredible team comprising sub editors, news editors and feature editors who are the absolute lynchpin of the whole operation.”

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A successful installation is often measured by the ability of the end user to benefit from a new system and the features it has to offer. A well structured and delivered training programme is key to finishing off a new installation. Training can be broken down into three main areas; Operator, individual end user and

“…training is significant to a successful installation”

your extension and then initiate a returned call. Geordie is happy to admit that he was apprehensive about making the leap from Tatler. “Fear is a very good thing to have in your belly, in small quantities. Fear does bring out the best in us. I was certainly trepidatious on day one, going in to address one hundred and eighty staff who I hadn’t met before. I said to them that I was going to listen, learn and lead. That was my mantra. I said I was going to bring a greater optimism to the paper, to try and be celebratory of London. I do think London is the greatest city in the world, with the most extraordinary amount of talent and exciting things going on, from the City to arts, from politics to entrepreneurs, all combined with great humour and gusto.” His first move of note in his new role was to launch a “Sorry” campaign, apologising for the alleged negative take on London which his predecessor had adopted. “It allowed us to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. It put clear

able to receive email. It could be that a voice mail message has just arrived or a recorded conversation has just been completed. The message will appear in your voice mail box as well as in your Outlook Inbox and at your personal mobile device.

Another very useful feature is the ability to randomly record a telephone conversation, again at the press of a button. During a conversation you may be listening to an order detail or a description being given. Both sides of the conversation will be recorded; once a call has been completed it is stored in your voice mail box for future reference.

57

Unified messaging is the use of a single inbox for different types of messages - voice, fax, email, and of course comes with a price tag. A great free taster of how a unified system can benefit the end user is the notification of a voice mail in Outlook. This is a standard feature within a voice mail system and can be extremely useful for people office based or on the move with a mobile device

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system administration. A one to one with individual end users or group sessions can be tailored to suit each installation. We are very often complimented on the detail we go to in setting up a system for maximum benefit. We want to show you how we can improve your telecommunications and would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation, consultation to see where we can make a difference and start to make some significant savings to your line rental and call charges. Look out for another ‘engineer’s vision…’ in the next issue of B4 Magazine, and see the contact details at the back of B4. www.orangestripe.co.uk

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

The truth is that the Standard has not enjoyed sales anywhere near the half a million mark at any time in the past quarter of a century, except in the week of September 11. Circulation has been in long-term decline, and the move to ‘freedom’ began when the paper was recently sold under a hybrid system at 50p, 20p, 10p, or even free.

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For all contacts see page 96

Busy Summer for Crusader “Crusader Sponsorship Management & Events has had a busy Summer. On behalf of our clients we have booked hospitality at the Aegon Championships, Wimbledon, the British Lions tour to South Africa, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Lord’s, Edgbaston and the Oval for the Ashes climax and a group has just returned from Italy where they enjoyed the Monza F1 Grand Prix as well as the shopping and gastronomic delights of Milan. The sporting calendar now starts to take on a more Autumnal feel with shooting, racing and both domestic and international rugby union all firmly on the agenda. With England qualifying for the FIFA

World Cup in South Africa next year the phones have been getting hot, we are expecting huge demand for our bespoke travel and hospitality packages when the draw is made for the Finals in Cape Town on December 4th. On top of all this we have made sure that our principal client Ignis Asset Management has generated the maximum return from its sponsorship investment in Middlesex County Cricket Club at Lord’s. As I write this article Middlesex are top of their Pro40 division with one game to go. For details on how to receive a FREE copy of our 2010 Sporting & Social Calendar listing the key dates for your events planning purposes please email callen@csmltd.org with details of your name, company, telephone number and address.”

Colin Rosser back at Goodhead

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

After an absence of fifteen years, In Oxford Group Chairman, Colin Rosser, has returned to the board of Goodhead PLC as a non Executive Director. Sir John Madejski invited his predecessor onto the board in September, and Colin was delighted to accept the challenge. After a turbulent period in Goodhead’s history, Colin is looking to add stability to one of the country’s top five printers. ‘The company has huge potential and I was genuinely impressed to see the strides it had made since I was last there. Goodhead now has the best equipment in the country and is ready to increase its workload with the printing firepower it has.” See interview with Sir John Madejski on page 48.

Blink Deliver Witney Shopping Map and Website to Help Raise Town’s Profile Little over a month ago, Blink Design were awarded the contract to design and develop a new interactive shopping website for Witney. In addition, not only did Blink have to secure advertising support from over seventy Witney traders for a new 60,000 run, A1 full colour Shopper’s Website, but a new identity for Witney Shopping had to be created. After an intensive weekend of designs, re-designs and ‘cyber scrunched up’ designs, Blink’s new designer, Eranga Hadirampela came up with the striking green swirl ‘W’, representing the W in Witney and Wool, resembling a flowing blanket, the product which Witney is best known for. Two Open Days at The Corn Exchange, great support from Will Barton at West Oxfordshire District Council and Lesley Semaine of Witney and District Chamber of Commerce, but, above all, the unwavering support of Witney’s core independent traders enabled Blink to get the map to the printers in advance of the opening of Marriott’s Walk by MP David Cameron on 30th October. Crucial to the overall design was a fantastic ‘character location’ map, illustrated by talented artist, Jack Noel, using a mixture of Google maps, photographs and good old fashioned street walking to help formulate a design which will be seen on poster sites as well as the maps and website. See www.witneyshopping.co.uk for the new Witney Shopping website and keep an eye out for the printed map in In Oxford Magazine / Glide Media display racks throughout Oxfordshire.

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B4 News Amey Supports the Oxford Community Amey, one of the UK’s leading public services companies located on the Science Park is working with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in Oxfordshire to help inspire and guide young people in their development. Amey, a member of the Oxfordshire Partnership (Amey, Oxfordshire County Council and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award), provides funding for a full time county coordinator to run the programme, and office space at weekends for DofE courses. Amey Chief Executive, Mel Ewell, commented: “Through the Oxfordshire Partnership, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provides young people with a fantastic opportunity to develop the kind of skills we look for as a local employer. Amey has been based in Oxfordshire since 1920, so it’s great to be able to give something back to our community and build our excellent working relationship with Oxfordshire County Council and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.”

Awards Success for Lucy Properties The RIBA has announced the winners of this year’s Downland Prize, for schemes in south and south-east England with a budget of less than £1 million. The winner in the housing category was Wharf Mews designed Riach Architects, of Oxford, for W Lucy and Co. Ltd, a brick-built development of six flats. The winners were selected from 95 entries. The prize is run by the RIBA and sponsored by Ibstock and the Rooflight company. (see page 12)

Malmaison Competition We have a pair of tickets to, arguably, the hottest night in Oxford on New Year’s Eve. Celebrate leaving 2009 behind and looking forward to 2010 in the sumptuous surroundings of Oxford’s coolest hotel. And if you win, you might just as well book a cell for the night – after all, if you start the year locked up, things can only get better! E-mail editorial@b4-business.com and tell our Editor why you should get the tickets, in no more than 20 words. The funniest reason why will be printed in our next edition of B4, and the lucky winner will receive their golden tickets! (See Malmaison article, page 42).

David Cameron M.P. shows the children of Willow Cottage Nurseries how to “grow their own” We all thought that it was great role-modelling when David took a day off to plant a special tree for the children of Willow Cottage to promote the importance of growing your own fruit and vegetables.

fruit in children’s diets and with 1 in 4 children now entering school overweight or obese, we all need to follow his example and demonstrate good food practice. Willow Cottage Nurseries are finalists in this year’s National Nursery Food awards. For more information visit www.willow-cottage.com.

The children had chosen an apple tree for Mr Cameron to plant, because they love eating apples. The apple tree signifies the huge importance of fresh

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7

B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, launching soon. The site will be an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

DARBYS www.darbys.co.uk

ALLEN ASSOCIATES www.allen-associates.co.uk

COTSWOLD WILDLIFE PARK & GARDEN www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

Reggie Heyworth Managing Director

Kate Allen Managing Director

APARTMENTS IN OXFORD www.oxstay.co.uk

BLENHEIM PALACE www.blenheimpalace.com

Fafar Watts Director

OXFORD & CHERWELL VALLEY COLLEGE www.ocvc.ac.uk

John Hoy Chief Executive

VSL www.vslandp.com

Richard Venables Director

Sally Dicketts Principle Simon McCrum Managing Partner

“As Managing Partner of one of the largest law firms – indeed one of the largest professional services firms – in the region, I value my relationship with B4 Magazine greatly. They are professional, business-like, and very influential. They have become our business partners and we wish them well with this initiative which can only be good for Oxford businesses.” Simon McCrum, Darbys

B-LINE www.b-line.co.uk

OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

David Beesley Chairman

BRECKON & BRECKON www.breckon.co.uk

Greg Barnes Director

CHRIS LEWIS - FIRE & SECURITY www.chrislewisfs.co.uk

Chris Lewis Managing Director

OXFORD RADCLIFFE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

Nick Maynard Surgeon

TORPEDO GROUP LIMITED www.torpedogroup.com

James Dillon-Godfray Head of Marketing & Development

MALMAISON www.malmaison.com

Andrew Creese General Manager

WENN TOWNSEND www.wenntownsend.co.uk

Tony Haines Partner

LUCY PROPERTIES www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Ian Ashcroft Property Director

NOMINET www.nominet.org.uk

Iain Lewis Director

SHAW GIBBS www.shawgibbs.com

Peter O’Connell Partner

CONFERENCE CENTRE OXFORD www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk

Roger Watts Managing Director

Lesley Cowley CEO

BOTTLE PR www.bottlepr.co.uk

Claire Cairns Managing Director

IN OXFORD MAGAZINE www.inoxford.com

Colin Rosser Managing Director

B4 News Ski flights from Oxford? London Oxford Airport will get its first international scheduled flights with the introduction of Baboo services this December to Geneva in Switzerland.

this as a major turning point in the future of the Airport - we are a niche facility bringing bespoke destinations within a stone’s throw of the Oxford and Thames Valley market.”

Flights will operate weekly on Saturdays from 19 December using ultra-modern and highly fuel-efficient Bombardier Q400 aircraft, with seat only prices from just £78 each way, inclusive of all departure charges and taxes.

The flights will commence in perfect time for the 2009/2010 ski season, with Geneva providing an ideal gateway to some of the Alps’ finest ski resorts in Switzerland, France and Italy. Baboo operates a ‘full frills’ service and flight prices include a generous baggage and complimentary ski or snowboard allowance.

London Oxford Airport Managing Director, Steve Jones said: “We are delighted to introduce Geneva as our first international scheduled service and see

See page 38 for article.

FREE Leadership Audit Offer! ERROR! We apologise that the Profile of Alison Haill, MD of Oxford Professional Consulting, had an error in it (see page 95 of the last issue of B4 magazine). Alison Haill is conducting a FREE Leadership Audit for the first 5 companies who make a booking. This Offer has now been extended until 30 November 2009. To book, email your request stating the code FLA B41 to info@oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com, or ring 01865 436 791 and ask for the B4 Free Leadership Audit.

Oxfordshire bunkers down for business in Cabinet War Rooms As ‘the green shoots of recovery’ give corporate business a boost, Destination Oxford made a head start on Thursday 1st October at The Cabinet War Rooms in London.

London area met teams from top venues and services in the city, as well as prime country locations such as Blenheim Palace, Oxford Barcelo, Heythrop Park and London Oxford Airport.

Destination Oxford, Oxford and Oxfordshire’s official conference and meetings agency, hosted a Showcase of key Partners’ venues and services in the historic underground complex from which Churchill directed the Second World War.

A prize draw added yet further excitement with fabulous prizes such as a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight over Oxford and the Cotswolds. Buyer reaction included the comments “absolutely brilliant” and “very enterprising” and Partners have unanimously voted to make it an annual event.

Corporate clients and meetings buyers in the

B4 Intern Role for Tora

Photography: Eranga Hadirampela

Tora Kelly has been working hard for B4 Magazine this issue, learning about how we put articles together, from original transcription of interviews to the final layout and proofing process. Tora tells us a little about her and her experience at B4, “I am currently studying a BA Hons in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. Working for B4 Magazine on a voluntary basis has given me invaluable experience and knowledge of the

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workings of a magazine, from original interviews, to layout and then to print. I feel the experience I have gained will benefit me in the future and help me to secure a job in publishing. Working at B4 Magazine is also helping me to learn more about what Oxford, as a varied and diverse city, has to offer.” We would like to thank Tora for her incredible hard work over the last month and persevering with hours and hours of interview transcriptions. Thanks Tora.

9

17 Iffley Road

Wharf House Mews

PROPER

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Property Director Ian Ashcroft, of Lucy Properties, based in the heart of Oxford, meets with B4’s Richard Rosser to outline how the company has grown to enjoy its position as Oxford’s principle private residential landlord, with an enviable reputation and expanding portfolio of high quality properties.

Indigenous Oxford residents will remember W Lucy & Co. Ltd. as the heartbeat of Jericho, a large factory churning out huge volumes of product for the emerging electrical markets (see Our History, a history of W Lucy & Co. Ltd). As the factory expanded in terms of production, so it expanded physically, and its custodians were able to reinvest profits into significant portions of property surrounding the factory in Walton Well Road, less than a mile from the City

building – Fettlers’ House - and a 20,000 sq ft office. As freeholder, the company opted to manage the site which lies between Walton Well Road, the cemetery and the canal. With a total of 188 apartments, a large underground car park, canal side public spaces and a broad mix of residents, the management operation has played a vital role in making the new development a success. The office building on the site has been let on a fifteen year lease to Oxford University, and although Lucy Properties does already own offices, this is a major addition and part of a plan to increase the proportion of

“….our role is most definitely focused on making sure the tenants are content…” Centre. The houses provided accommodation for the skilled workforce and their families who had moved to Oxford. In 1965, the company bought a block of houses in Juxon Street from St John’s College, adding more in Juxon Street and Walton Well Road the following year. It became apparent that a global switchgear and lighting manufacturer operating from a site in the middle of Jericho was unsustainable, and following the City Council’s approval to the redevelopment of Eagle Works in November 2004, the manufacturing operations transferred to premises in Thame shortly after. The redevelopment of Eagle Works was completed in December 2008, and Lucy Properties retained twenty three apartments, including one complete 10

commercial property in its portfolio. In terms of the service Lucy Properties provide to its tenants, Ian makes it crystal clear that the company places the customer first, from the initial website enquiry, through to the viewing and issuing contracts. “Moving is a stressful business, and we ensure that our tenants are made to feel welcome from the outset and enjoy living in our properties. We like to strike up personal relationships with our tenants which makes the whole landlord / tenant link much healthier and sustainable. “With responsibility to manage a property portfolio comprising three hundred properties and the associated seven hundred tenants, our role is most definitely focused on making sure the tenants are content and the properties are fit for www.b4-business.com

B4 LEAD

The Property Management Team 197-199 Iffley Road

OUR HISTORY It is believed that the origins of W Lucy & Co. Ltd. reach as far back as 1760. However, the company has certainly been in existence since 1812 when William Carter opened a shop on Oxford High Street, trading as an ironmonger, hardware, brazier and tin plate worker. He moved his business to a new brass and iron foundry in Jericho in 1825, a site which became known as Eagle Works.

“That is what makes Lucy Properties unique – we want our tenants to stay, we are not driven by tenant turnover to boost letting fees, because we don’t charge any. Our average tenancy length is approaching two years, but some tenants have been renting for almost forty.” Unique indeed. Ian and his more than capable team are united in their one aim, which is to keep tenants in the properties, and this philosophy has yielded a steady 95% occupancy rate which speaks louder than any other statistic in underlining the appetite to live in a Lucy property. Given that a number of the the properties are undergoing refurbishment at any one time, 95% is a remarkable occupancy level. Being based literally on their tenants’ doorstep (for the most part), being a Lucy tenant means that if there is a problem, assistance is never far away, as Ian explains, “Our decision to stay on site, to remain visible and accessible, was the best way to say to our tenants ‘we are here if you need us’, and it has helped build that trust with our clients. Even the Chairman of Lucy’s, Richard Dick, is based here, and his door is always open to the tenants, a ringing endorsement of the team supporting and servicing our tenants.” The Lucy approach has ensured high levels of repeat business through Oxford University Colleges and established Oxford businesses, as their tenants are guaranteed levels of service which are second to none. The Lucy Property team which helps to maintain this high level of service, is relatively small given the property portfolio it is responsible for nurturing, but incredibly competent, as Ian explains, “Rachel Clark and Sarah Pascoe are responsible for the day www.b4-business.com

In the early 1900’s, John Reid Dick was hired as Managing Director. Mr Dick is recognised as the man who helped secure Lucys’ long term future and was the driving force behind the company’s decision to invest in the manufacture of products for the emerging electrical markets. As a foundry, the company produced munitions during the First and Second World Wars, and continued to develop its electrical engineering business between the wars. After World War II, the company embarked upon a modernisation program, introducing bakelite components and plastics. Gordon Dick, John Dick’s son, became Chairman in 1951, and it was under his guidance and tutorage that the business continued to prosper; developing products for a wide range of overseas markets. The two decades between 1970 and 1990, saw Lucys grow into an international company, manufacturing a new range of oil filled high voltage ring main units, making Lucys the biggest manufacturer of this product in the world. The year 1990 marked the end of an era for Lucys, with the death of Gordon Dick, following sixty years’ service. He was succeeded as Chairman by his youngest son, Richard, the third generation of the family to be involved with the company. Richard continues as Chairman today, overseeing a global manufacturing company employing in excess of five hundred people, with property and manufacturing operations in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and India. 11

Team Photograph: Eranga Hadirampela

purpose.

The company prospered with various managers, including William Grafton and a young William Lucy in 1864. Sadly, William Lucy died of Tuberculosis in 1873 aged just 35, leaving James Kelly free to buy the business. In 1897, the Lucy name was firmly established when the company was registered W Lucy & Co Ltd. At this time, the company started to produce what was to become a major growth product of the business – cast iron and steel shelving for libraries, including the Bodleian.

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B4 LEAD

Eagle Works

to day lettings management, with over twenty years letting experience between them. Rachel and Sarah are the point of contact for the tenants, and they will handle most of the tenants’ enquiries. Rose Head and Victoria Birnage are our administrative team, both very much key to the overall operation. “Mark Hilton is our building surveyor. Mark’s appointment was crucial, as it became evident that the volume of refurbishment work that we were going to embark on merited a full time appointment, if only to deal with the whole raft of health and safety legislation that goes with construction. Mark controls our health and safety policy and also has a fantastic eye for design and quality, and extensive experience of construction.” In addition to this tight knit office team, there are the Lucy Property accounts and maintenance teams, both of which operate out of the Walton Well Road offices servicing the property portfolio, 90% of which is centred in Jericho and Walton Well Road. “We offer everything from a studio flat to serviced apartments and first class penthouse flats to family houses in North Oxford” identifies Ian, “and such a diverse portfolio, combined with our high levels of service, places us, we believe, in a class of our own. We are widely regarded as Oxford’s principle private residential landlord, and because we offer the complete package, we like to think that gives us the edge. “Letting properties is, and can be, fraught with problems, but our old fashioned principles of fairness and professionalism enables us to strengthen our foothold

took a calculated risk when we acquired the property in 2007. We worked with the City Council Planning Department and their Conservation Officer in particular and secured planning permission to restore this impressive house, whilst building a very contemporary extension to the rear. This demonstrates our sensitive approach to restoration.” Ian also explains how successful partnerships at 197 and 199 Iffley Road, where a pair of Victorian houses were converted into flats, resulted in another RIBA award in 2008. Interestingly the same architect, Riach Architects and builder, Cooper Construction, were used in both projects, as they were on the Wharf House Mews development. In addition to residential development, Lucy has recently taken another step on the commercial property ladder by developing Eagle House adjacent to Eagle Works. A twenty thousand square foot office block, this was, in Ian’s own words, a ‘speculative office development’. “We are proud of the fact that we have pre let the whole building to Oxford University and were delighted when the building was officially opened by the Chancellor of the University in September.” Ian’s view of the current market does not suggest the company’s cautious approach reflects any long term economic concerns. “Oxford is undoubtedly fairly well insulated to an extent, but we have noticed, like everyone, that the market is tougher. Oxford itself is limited in terms of new development opportunities, restricting supply. Combine that with Oxford’s historic appeal, its hospital network, the universities, a strong publishing presence and first class

“Oxford is undoubtedly fairly well insulated to an extent...” and look to develop our portfolio beyond the boundaries of our core property base here in Jericho.

science and research, and Oxford will always be a place where people will want to come to live and work. That being said, there is no room for complacency.

“As a forward thinking company, we look to the medium to long term and the implications of how our developments impact on the surrounding residents and properties. One of our developments, Wharf House Mews, won the RIBA Downland Prize on 22nd September, a scheme we are particularly proud of. Initially, we had planning permission for a much bigger scheme, but when it came to the actual construction, we felt the scheme wasn’t totally in keeping with its environment, so we reduced the total number of units. I think it is fair to say not too many developers would look to downsize a scheme which they had secured permission to build, so this again underlines why we are different.”

“There is certainly more letting property available now than there has been before and, although there is strong demand, we will always face stiff competition. That is where our product, the high levels of repeat business and our commitment to the long term, put us in an excellent position to cope with economic and competitive threats.”

This month, Lucy completes its latest project, 17 Iffley Road which many readers will know has been derelict for a number of years, as Ian expands. “We

www.lucyproperties.co.uk

www.b4-business.com

Reliability, consideration and service sum up why Lucy Properties has secured its well deserved position in the market and why the reputation of W Lucy & Co. will remain intact, hopefully, for another two hundred and fifty years.

13

29 LITTLE CLARENDON ST

OXFORD OX1 2HU

(01865) 552094

WWW. LACYSOXFORD. CO. UK

B4 ADVICE

BLOGGER RELATIONS FOR SMALLER BUDGETS Some of the most talked about digital PR successes are big budget and/or integrated campaigns, such as Sony’s use of its ‘foam’ ad shoot to engage with bloggers. Even ‘small budget’ virals, such as Carlsberg’s ‘getting ready for Glastonbury’, cost significantly more than many smaller brands can afford. Article by Claire Cairns, Managing Director, BOTTLE PR. A big challenge for many businesses is how to reap rewards online, when budgets don’t allow for fully integrated campaigns. Even a basic online campaign requires something that none of us should sell too cheaply; time. Online PR is not a ‘quick win’ strategy. A blogger can post at speed, but the planning and contact involved to generate buzz, can be as time consuming than securing traditional media coverage. The blogesphere is a good place to start an online campaign for smaller budget clients. It’s niche – passionate people posting about the things that inspire, excite, disgust or enrage them and attracting like-minded people to read and respond. The challenge is that the most relevant bloggers aren’t always obvious when dealing with niche topics. For example, for Poundland BOTTLE PR has to reach a diverse range of bloggers, from those who post about shopping and bargains, right through to arts and crafts enthusiasts who want to buy craft supplies. The blogesphere enables Poundland to reach those niche audiences, but it took time to identify the best bloggers to focus on. At BOTTLE PR, we have to manage our clients’ expectations during the research phase of a blogger contact programme, particularly for clients who know their ‘traditional media’ and are used to www.b4-business.com

scoring frequent coverage within them. When talking a client through a blogger list, we set expectations about how many bloggers might respond, positively or at all. Apart from journalists, most bloggers are generally not paid to post. Whereas a journalist file content to deadline, bloggers do not; they blog when inspired, whether that’s twice a day or twice a month. So we have to work out what we can offer them. It’s second nature to PR professionals to scrutinise whether a news story, feature idea or stunt will be of interest to journalists and it’s no different with bloggers. Thousands of pounds are spent creating offline experiences that will enthuse bloggers sufficiently that they write about the experience and generate word of mouth buzz. This doesn’t always have to be big budget. We invited photography bloggers to the launch of GE Digital Cameras and the response was enthusiastic. The costs were simply the research and the train fares, but the rewards are ongoing. Such bloggers are now an integral part to GE’s ongoing PR programme. It makes life easier if your business is blogging itself. Part of the life blood of blogging is securing subscribers and increasing page rank. Being able to feature bloggers in a client’s blogroll and posting about their content, means that you’re helping this process and it becomes more of a two-way conversation.

Setting up a client blog can be relatively low cost, but ensuring that it’s a hub of great thought, ‘can’t miss’ updates or fun comment, is critical if you want it to be often read and popular. Using it to create backlinks and secure subscribers is not an overnight job. Content is king. I’m not afraid to raise my head above the parapet and say that blogger relations is hard work. However, it is worth it. People of all ages are making purchasing decisions based on word of mouse activity. There’s a whole array of tools, such as virals and social networking sites, but for those with small budgets, beginning by monitoring who’s saying what about them online, responding to it and engaging in the conversation, is an essential place to start. Ultimately, the key is always to ask and honestly answer “why would this blogger want to hear from my client?”, in the same way successful agencies will ask this of a journalist. I also think it’s crucial to integrate online activity; it should be part of a strategic PR approach only undertaken if it can help the company reach its target audiences. Oxford-based BOTTLE PR is an award-winning PR agency, listed by PR Week as one of the UK’s top 150 PR agencies and specialising in both online PR and offline PR programmes. www.bottlepr.co.uk

15

B4 SPOTLIGHT

THE FREEDOM OF LONDON The London Evening Standard dates back to 21st May 1827, when it was first sold as The Standard. Nearly two hundred years later, this stalwart of the streets of London was set free, literally. On Monday 12 October, the London Evening Standard became the first quality newspaper in the world to go free. Richard Rosser seized a timely audience with Oxford University graduate and London Evening Standard editor, Geordie Greig, to understand the thinking behind the move, and to find out more about this charismatic character, dubbed ‘Britain’s most connected man’.

16

It’s the last day the London Evening Standard will have a cover price. Geordie Greig, appointed as the paper’s editor in March this year, having served almost ten years as editor of society magazine, Tatler, gallantly spares some of his abnormally valuable time to elbow his way into Issue 13 of B4. Talking in between a sea of meetings, Geordie speaks with the calm, measured tones of a man in control, forthright in his justification of such a radical move. “Essentially we are doubling our circulation to six hundred thousand to become a quality free newspaper, and that is very much how we define ourselves now. The market is getting very, very crowded, with three free newspapers in London; The Metro in the morning and two free newspapers in the afternoon. Rupert Murdoch closed a fourth, The London Paper, only recently, and we hope that our action, being in itself so dramatic and large in volume, will blast all remaining competition out of the water. We need to be as strong and as wide reaching over our audience as possible, and we are very excited about the future.” Critics have forewarned that the paper will ‘dumb down’ its content, but that isn’t an option for ‘standard bearer’ Greig. “It is fundamentally the same paper. The only difference being the distribution mechanism. We will be available at every single underground station in Zone 1, and forty five locations outside of Zone 1. More Londoners will see the Standard than ever before.” Geordie is looking to a forty to forty five per centre increase in advertising yields to plug the gaps which will appear when the tills stop accepting cover revenue, and he is confident that the paper’s advertisers will react positively. “The advertisers love the idea of a quality product, with its award-winning journalism and great columnists and critics, and, in particular the prospect of having a much greater reach, so it icks all of the boxes for them. They have only been aware since last Monday (5th October), and we have been incredibly buoyed by their reaction at this early stage.”

model so much demand.”

easier to implement - our problem now is to satisfy that

Sitting on the shoulders of the London Evening Standard is LondonLite, previously set up as a ‘spoiler’ prior to the Standard’s sale to Alexander Lebedev’s Evening Press Ltd. The two titles are now in direct competition, and LondonLite’s owners, Associated Newspapers, have, according to Geordie, “an important decision to make.” What could be regarded as a risky commercial strategy has been devised by the Standard's managing director, Andrew Mullins, the deputy chairman, Justin Byam Shaw, and Evgeny Lebedev, the company's executive director, and the son of the owner. On the face of it, a heavyweight such as the London Evening Standard should be able to establish itself as London’s ‘Number One’ free newspaper without too much fuss, but this depends on advertising revenues increasing and Geordie maintaining editorial quality controls, as he acknowledges. "We will remain the only London newspaper committed to a tradition of high quality journalism, with the finest writers and undiminished commitment to the best reporting of news, business and sport. It is a move which we believe will give the Standard lasting security. ‘Free’ doesn’t mean a dilution of quality. The British Museum and The National Gallery are free, and we also have to recognise that there is a certain level of expectation that information will be free with so many other sources at hand, especially for the younger ‘digital’ generation.” Geordie has previously been quoted as saying that, ‘It’s true that busy people are better at taking on extra things’, and this move will certainly intensify an already hectic schedule for a man who makes workaholics look positively idle. “My alarm goes at 4.30am every morning. I then jump into the bath, read the newspapers for about forty five minutes, and then”, pausing to accentuate the

“Nobody has come out and told us that

this isn’t going to work, and we are already seeing an increase in demand”

The truth is that the Standard has not enjoyed sales anywhere near the half a million mark at any time in the past quarter of a century, except in the week of September 11. Circulation has been in long-term decline, and the move to ‘freedom’ began when the paper was recently sold under a hybrid system at 50p, 20p, 10p, or even free. By giving the paper away, the big cost saving has been distribution, which has meant casualties. “It is a much cheaper model for the company in terms of distribution, which, sadly, means we have had to make distribution redundancies in terms of our drivers. That is never an easy decision and it has been incredibly difficult, but plainly more difficult for them. We have to ‘cut our cloth’ going forward, but as a relatively small, but agile, company, we have to be competitive to survive and thrive, and this means watching our costs. “Nobody has come out and told us that this isn’t going to work, and we are already seeing an increase in demand for the paper with supermarkets and newsagents crying out for copies. This makes our new distribution

importance of this next ‘act’, “I will go into a deep sleep for three to four minutes. It’s a mini power nap before I go to work. If I have a two minute sleep, I can feel completely regenerated, as if I have had an oxygen rush. Then it’s off to the office and the first meeting at 6am.” The organised pandemonium of Geordie Greig’s typical day isn’t for the faint-hearted. “At 6am we look at lists, and at what we are going to focus on for the rest of the day. There is then a news meeting, followed by a leaders meeting, and the day then continues with a seemingly endless tirade of deadlines and meetings, decisions, indecisions and more decisions. I am very lucky that I have got an incredible team comprising sub editors, news editors and feature editors who are the absolute lynchpin of the whole operation.” Geordie is happy to admit that he was apprehensive about making the leap from Tatler. “Fear is a very good thing to have in your belly, in small quantities. Fear does bring out the best in us. I was certainly trepidatious on day one, going in to address one hundred and eighty staff who I hadn’t met before. I said to them that I was going to listen, learn and lead. That was my mantra. I said I was going to bring a greater optimism to the paper, to try and be celebratory of London. I do think London is the greatest city in the world, with the most extraordinary amount of talent and exciting things going on, from the City to arts, from politics to entrepreneurs, all combined with great humour and gusto.” His first move of note in his new role was to launch a “Sorry” campaign, apologising for the alleged negative take on London which his predecessor had adopted. “It allowed us to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. It put clear 17

B4 SPOTLIGHT blue water between us and what had gone before. It was also a sign of honesty and trust. We were clearly communicating with our readers and it went down incredibly well.” This was clearly a big risk so early in his new job. His move could have been interpreted as an apology for his staff’s ability, saying they ‘would do better’. But, Geordie is quick to counter this allegation. “It was in no way meant as a diminution of the talent of the staff. In fact, a lot of them felt quite excited that there was an acknowledgment of the need to be more positive.” Geordie Greig’s devotion to the written word was born as a young schoolboy at Eton, where sheer determination and persistence were rewarded with audiences from, amongst others, Spike Milligan, Ted Hughes, Andy Warhol, David Niven and Joanna Lumley. “No one fazed me. I always found a great excitement and satisfaction asking questions and getting answers. I always want to ask the most interesting people questions, and everyone has an interesting story, irrespective of whether or not they are in the public eye, and that, to me, has always been the key factor.” A regular breakfast meeting with Lucian Freud, frequent visits to Downing Street, attending concerts or the opera are regular occurrences for this flamboyant, yet engaging, character. Counting Madonna, JK Rowling, Elton John and Mikhail Gorbachev amongst those he has interviewed, his new role at the London Evening Standard won’t curtail his passion. “I recently interviewed the painter Frank Auerbach and Burberry’s Chief Executive, Angela Ahrendts, together with the Creative Director, Christopher Bailey. I drink in the variety and that is what I love about life…….I am very lucky to have that.” His secret is to ‘never network purposefully’. “Let it happen naturally.” He declares. However, does Geordie feel this latest move is the next step towards the demise of the daily newspaper, and the possible curtailment of his feverish networking activity? “Definitely not. I was at a dinner last night with the owner of The Telegraph, the head of Radio 4, the head of Condé Nast, and the former editor of The Sunday Times, and everyone, to a man, agreed that there was a good and exciting future for newspapers and magazines.” You wouldn’t like to bet against Geordie Greig practicing what he preaches, after all, he most certainly has a way with words. www.thisislondon.co.uk

“I drink in the variety and that is what I love about life”

www.b4-business.com

19

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B4 ADVICE

Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

WORRIED ABOUT REDUNDANCY? Unemployment figures have been accelerating upwards as the economic environment deteriorates and are predicted to go higher for the remainder of the year, leaving the spectre of redundancy looming large for many people. However, for anybody worried about their job security, there are a few practical steps that can potentially cushion the blow. Article by Andy Harris of Shaw Gibbs Financial Services

Build an emergency fund Holding three months’ income in readily available funds will provide some breathing space in the event of redundancy. This should be in an instant access savings account or cash ISA, but do check the small print – banks frequently penalise savers for taking money out of a savings account through loss of interest. An emergency fund is particularly important for families where there is only one breadwinner. Assess your outgoings Keeping track of expenditure can highlight potential problem areas. You may find you have old direct debits for things you no longer need – insurance payments on long obsolete mobile phones, for example. See if you can switch to cheaper utility providers, better value car insurance or credit cards with lower interest rates. Set a budget and then make sure you stick to it. Pay off debt where possible Reducing debt can significantly cut your monthly outgoings. Start with the most expensive debt first, which is likely to be credit and store cards. Banks will also charge heavily for overdrafts, even when they are arranged, and personal loans can be cheaper. It is worth checking the rates for all debt and, if you can’t pay it off, switching to cheaper types of debt. Mortgages will usually be the cheapest debt – so although it is worth reducing mortgage debt, it should be a lower priority than unsecured debts. Delay large purchases This is not the time to start a kitchen refurbishment or loft conversion. Keep new purchases to a minimum and consider putting planned expenditure on hold. With house prices falling, refurbishment may not add value the way it did only a couple of years ago. Check your insurance situation Unemployment cover can be bought on its own or with policies such as income protection, and

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offers protection in the event of longer-term unemployment. The cost will vary depending on when the payments kick in and the level of income needed. Insurers have policies in place to ensure that people don’t take it out in the knowledge they may be made redundant imminently. There is usually a qualifying period and the insurer will not provide a policy if there is already a specific risk to the policyholder’s job. If the worst happens and you do lose your job check your financial rights Everyone is entitled to statutory redundancy, even if the company goes bust. For those who have been employed for more than two years, this is one week’s pay for every year of employment (up to 20 years). For those over 40, this increases to 10 days’ pay for each year. Some companies will pay out more than statutory redundancy.

“Claiming benefits is not a long-term solution, but can offer a temporary respite” Check your employment rights Companies need to follow the proper procedure when making someone redundant and, if they do not, you may have reason to claim for unfair dismissal. Check what you are entitled to from the Government Claiming benefits is not a long-term solution, but can offer a temporary respite. Invest any lump sum wisely While it is tempting to dip into capital for living

expenses, it may be worth investing a lump sum to generate an income. Although this may be less than you are used to, it will provide some breathing space to find alternative employment. Alternatively, use the sum to pay down debt and reduce your outgoings. Maximise your tax benefits The first £30,000 of any redundancy payment is tax-free. The remainder can also be free of tax if it is moved into a pension. This is a suitable option for those nearing retirement. Up to 25% of a pension pot can be taken as a lump sum from 50 (very soon to be 55), so it may only mean tying the money up for a few years. Ensure you claim any insurance entitlement It may sound obvious, but it is time to dust down the files and root out any insurance policies you may have forgotten about. Unemployment insurance and income protection will kick in after a certain number of months, depending on the policy. Payment protection insurance has proved poor value, but if you already have historic policies in place, you may also be able to claim. Look at your mortgage repayments You may have a number of options depending on the flexibility of your mortgage and it may be possible to take a payment holiday. This will either lengthen the term of your mortgage or increase your payments when they resume, but can give you up to a year with no mortgage repayments. You may also be able to reduce repayments by changing the term of the mortgage or switching to interest-only. Consider alternative sources of income Could you rent out a room in your house perhaps? Under the rent-a-room scheme, you can earn £4,250 per year tax-free. Also, you may be able to take short-term, part-time jobs or raid the attic for things to auction! www.shawgibbs.com

21

B4 SPOTLIGHT James Penny began his career in property in 1994 with Allen & Harris, who at that time were the third largest agents in Oxfordshire. Starting out at the Headington branch, James moved on to the St Clements office shortly after, and helped propel Allen & Harris to the number one agent slot in St Clements and East Oxford. He stayed with the company for two years, during which time his office was one of the most profitable of the fifty or so Allen & Harris offices. Together with a selection of other managers, James then decided to break away and form his own company, in large part due to the lack of independent agents in Oxfordshire, as opposed to London which thrived on established, high quality, independent estate agents, as James explains. “I and four other partners saw a real opportunity and opened two offices straightaway under the Oliver James name, which still exists, albeit under different ownership, today.” James then went on to set up James C Penny, where he stayed for the next eight years. This represented a departure geographically, as it was James’s first foray into the North Oxford market. “I had been to school in North Oxford and knew the area very well, but I had never operated professionally there, so experienced a relatively steep learning curve. The presence of a high quality independent in the area certainly appealed to the residents of North Oxford, and that was what we offered.” Within three or four years, James C Penny were playing a leading role in the market and, certainly in central North Oxford and Jericho, were one of the principal agents for a number of years.

In May of this year, irreconcilable differences with his business partners at James C Penny forced James to leave the company which bore his name over the door. This paved the way for James to set up in business with Wendy Sinclair, with whom he had worked at James C Penny. James and Wendy had developed an excellent relationship at James C Penny, and James had seen Wendy develop the lettings side of the business into one of the strongest lettings departments in Oxford. It was an inevitable combination of talents, which helped provide the catalyst for the new business. Given what could have been perceived to have been a complex set of circumstances, James is at pains to set the record straight. “James C Penny, the company, still exists, but I have nothing to do with it, which obviously causes some confusion seeing as my name is very much a part of the company, but hopefully I have cleared that up here.” The ‘coming together’ of Penny and Sinclair was quite a natural occurrence, according to both parties. “Wendy and I had worked together very closely at James C Penny and it became quite obvious that our futures lay elsewhere. The great shame was that Wendy had developed a strong lettings department. We therefore had to decide between staying, which wasn’t really an option, walk away independently or leave and set up in business together, playing to our mutual strengths. We also had a commitment to our landlords who had developed a strong degree of trust with Wendy and her colleagues, and so leaving to work together seemed inevitable. It enabled us also to offer secure employment to all of our loyal work colleagues with the future independent business, which was a huge bonus.”

A FRESH START “It was certainly pleasing to realise that the landlords wanted to change with us”

22

www.b4-business.com

“James C Penny, the company, still exists, but I have nothing to do with it…..”

The experiences of the past eighteen months have given James Penny and Wendy Sinclair enough material to fill a library with books. They have now joined forces and fused their considerable experience to form Penny & Sinclair. Theirs may be the latest Estate Agency to set up in the property hub of Summertown, but it ranks as one of the most experienced in Oxfordshire. Richard Rosser talks to James and Wendy about the past eighteen months and their hopes for the future. Wendy echoes James’ comments. “James is right. We could have left and James would undoubtedly have ended up with one of the leading Estate Agents and I would have found another lettings department, but the time was right to do something jointly. We enjoyed working together at James C Penny, and, being quite strong individuals, we wanted to make a clean break and take the initiative to develop a new business. Wendy’s background is not as steeped in property as James’, nonetheless, having set up her first business in Little Clarendon Street in the late 70’s and developed this into a successful wholesale/distribution company in France for 25 years, she eventually sold out and decided to return to Oxford and start a new challenge. Her varied business experience, combined with her swiftly cultivated knowledge and grasp of the Oxford lettings scene, has ensured Wendy is a highly competent lettings operator. This helped ensure that almost the entire lettings portfolio of landlords chose to follow the new venture – a massive endorsement of what she had achieved with her former company. “It was certainly pleasing to realise that the landlords wanted to change with us,” says Wendy, “but then again, one of the main reasons we set up in business was to protect the interests of clients to whom we had a strong moral obligation. The staff at the former company were also incredibly loyal and persevered together through a difficult period with the former company, never doubting the right way to move forward with James & Wendy. Alison Munby who is the Lettings Manager, has been with James and Wendy for over two years. She has a very practical and experienced knowledge of property maintenance and of Central North Oxford , having lived and worked in the area for many years. Nevada Hyatt has previously worked in sales and lettings for Butler Sherborn when living near Stow on the Wold, and also joined the team in 2007. Simon Lear has been a close associate of James’ for many years and, having run his own estate agency in East Oxford, has great www.b4-business.com

experience with both sales and lettings. Amanda Spriggs, who previously worked with Carter Jonas, is also a valued member of staff for both lettings and sales. Overcoming the complexity and confusion of the change hasn’t been as problematical as both originally feared it could have been. In terms of residential stock, 99% of sales and lettings properties moved with James and Wendy. Given the nature of sales, that stock level has remained pretty consistent. In terms of lettings, the portfolio has increased by over 30% since Penny and Sinclair was launched in June. In what is ultimately an uncertain residential sales market, James is finding business ‘competitive’, but feels it is moving in the right direction. “We have already taken on a number of new properties and, as of October, we have five new instructions. We feel that we are already well established, and although the economic conditions aren’t easy, we made our decision and have been successful despite the climate. Lettings have traditionally been the mainstay of any Estate Agency, but, given the lack of confidence in the property market generally, residential sales income isn’t as superior as it should be over lettings revenues. So, I put to James, how would Penny & Sinclair help me get the right price for my house? “First rate experience is what helps attract clients, many of whom will come through word of mouth, through a growing network of satisfied customers. We do have repeat custom, so I like to think that if I have sold your house before, you will think of nobody else when it comes to selling your next house. “Having worked in this area specifically and the wider Oxfordshire market for quite some time now, having been educated and brought up in the area, you 23

01865 318013 www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

DRY SANDFORD

CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

A beautuful period house with a more recent extension set in a quiet location on a third acre plot with open views.

A substantial detached Victorian house built in 1897 to a design by H.W.Moore providing spacious family accommodation.

Hall, study, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, w.c, dining room, drawing room, five bedrooms (one ensuite), bathroom, garage, parking, gardens.

Kitchen/breakfast, 3 reception rooms, study, utility, two cloakrooms, five bedrooms (1 ensuite), bathroom, shower room, wine store, parking, mature garden.

Guide £950,000

Guide £2,750,000

CENTRAL NORTH OXFORD

JERICHO

A substantial turn of the century bay fronted semi-detached house retaining period features situated in this highly desirable side road.

A beautiful crescent home presented in excellent order throughout with mature south facing garden to the rear.

Entrance hall, drawing room, sitting room, study, kitchen/breakfast room, conservatory, six bedrooms, two bathrooms and single garage.

Hall, sitting room, living room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, four bedrooms, two bath/shower rooms, south facing garden and character features.

Guide £1,950,000

Guide £950,000

Mayfield House, 256 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7DE

B4 SPOTLIGHT

are automatically getting somebody with an in depth knowledge of the streets and the property, as well as the people. The main advantage is my accumulated experience of the North Oxford and Oxfordshire property market. “In terms of profile, Penny and Sinclair are certainly on a par with the majority of the big corporate agents. Our advertising, internet procedures, office hours and general profile are very strong. For example, we are the only agent allowed to advertise in Esporta (Health Club), where we have our own dedicated display cabinet for promoting properties, which provides great exposure for our clients’ properties. We are on the four main property website search engines - Rightmove, Prime Location, Property Finder and Find a Property, the biggest in the industry covering the London National and International markets. Our brochures are very high quality, as is our photography. “The general service we offer our clients is incredibly personal as well. I will individually see a sale through from the initial phone call to completed contracts, in the majority of cases. Of course we are all involved, but we strive to offer a completely personal service, which is why we attract business in the first place. “I am not for one moment saying I do absolutely every single part, as that would be impossible, but from being entrusted to sell the property, I will deal with pretty well everything. I am always the first point of contact and I will handle all of the negotiations. I am always available for conversations and I will try and attend as many of www.b4-business.com

the viewings as is physically possible. “Coupled with our high level of marketing, which I firmly believe puts us on a par if not with what other agents do in North Oxford, we are most certainly a front runner in the central North Oxford area for residential sales.” James’ Sales Manager, Christine Read, also has considerable residential sales experience. Having left London with her family in 1995, Christine joined Allen & Harris in Witney. She worked there with James before furthering her career at Paul Murray Town & Country Property, followed by a brief spell at Hamptons. James then offered her the position of Sales manager at James C Penny. James adds. “I first worked with Christine fifteen years ago at Allen & Harris and we have always worked successfully as a team together, so I was delighted to continue that working relationship at Penny & Sinclair. The same principle applies, if someone instructs Christine to sell their house, they will get the same service. That is what we are gradually developing through all of the residential sales staff here at Penny and Sinclair.” Lizanne Simmons started her career with James in Estate Agency after leaving college in 2005, and now provides specialist expertise in Jericho property sales. Combining her knowledge with James and Christine, they have created a very strong sales department, maintains James. “We don’t get a client to sign on the dotted line and pass it on to a colleague in the office with less experience. This work ethic immediately secures a

bond of trust with the client that not only wins their business, but is also going to ensure that we deliver the service that was originally undertaken by Penny and Sinclair in the first place.” The future of Penny and Sinclair is to continue building upon a strong residential sales foundation, as James stresses. “That is where I have always been strongest, with the more high profile, larger houses in the North Oxford area, and that is what I want to develop. Wendy has done fantastically in a short period of time to grow the lettings side of the business. We have developed a great rapport with the relocation companies and the larger corporate clients.” Integrity, experience and a sense of fair play have all ensured that James Penny and Wendy Sinclair have approached this exciting challenge with a stronger resolve and determination to make a real name for themselves. To take on what they and their staff have taken on in a precarious property market and a faltering global economy, you really have to admire what they have achieved in a relatively short space of time. It can only be a validation of their ability, their drive and determination, and the competency of all of their staff, that Penny & Sinclair are a major force to be reckoned with, and will no doubt continue to reinforce their position as one of Oxfordshire’s leading property agents. To find out more about Penny & Sinclar’s services, call 01865 318013. www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk 25

A VENUE FOR 2010

B4 met Lady Margaret Hall’s Domestic Bursar, Bart Ashton, to hear more about the exciting new conference facilities which will be available from 2010 in one of Oxford University’s most dynamic Colleges. With its elegant neo-classical buildings set amidst stunning gardens, boasting a riverside setting, an array of existing spacious reception rooms and a large proportion of ensuite bedrooms, Lady Margaret Hall has always been an attractive venue to host a conference, meeting or event. A short walk through the University Parks, adjacent to the College, brings you to the centre of Oxford, less than a fifteen minute walk away. Being such an attractive venue has meant that Bart Ashton and his conference team are incredibly busy, and it was therefore always part of the ‘Master Plan’ to create a state of the art conference facility to ensure that increasing demand for valuable conference and event business was met. As Bursar, or ‘chief operating officer’ or ‘hotel manager’ as he considers himself for the site, Bart is responsible for the College’s domestic arrangements, including accommodation,

“The new facilities will help us to overcome two key issues we have been facing at the college. Firstly, we have never been able to accommodate all of our students on the site at one time, and it was key to our future that we addressed this. The new facility holds sixty four study bedrooms, and goes some way to resolving housing the shortfall of students we are unable to house. We have five hundred and seventy five students at present, of which four hundred are housed here. Hence, with the additional sixty four rooms we are creating, we have just over one hundred students who are not housed, but this includes some who prefer to live off site. Planning permission has been secured to add a further forty rooms at some stage in the future to just about satisfy demand. “Secondly, having decided to build this new facility, we have to ensure that we make the most of it given that we have to work around students in term time. It will certainly help us accept business which we have previously had to turn away during term

Palace and significant buildings in New York, John Simpson has designed a facility which blends modern day conference expectations with neo-classical design. Complete with video conferencing, an absolutely stunning tiered lecture theatre for up to one hundred and sixty, a stage area, projection room and the full range of modern AV equipment, John Simpson has successfully complemented the two worlds with modern day facilities hidden away, so as not to interfere with the stunning neo-classical design. It is a venue designed and built from scratch to make sure it is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Parking is also often a limitation for conference business in the centre of Oxford, but with fifty seven spaces on site available once the new facilities have been completed, this is a massive attraction for any business looking to stage an event at Lady Margaret Hall. Another huge advantage that Lady Margaret Hall

“...the ‘Master Plan’ to create a state of the art conference facility...”

Photography: Eranga Hadirampela

functions, meetings, catering, events and the gardens, in fact the entire domestic spectrum. “It is part of my team’s job to make these facilities available to third parties, when and where we can. I have been here for seven years, and until now we have had four hundred bedrooms, and various meeting rooms, ranging from small meeting rooms which can host twenty people for dinner, up to larger events for one hundred and thirty people in a theatre style presentation. “Our idyllic surroundings are most certainly a big attraction for our clients and have been key in driving our commercial business, and we have focused on playing to our strengths of location and facilities.

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time, and with more space, we will be able to convert more commercial business out of term time.” The look and design of the new facility were given detailed consideration and it was always high on the list of priorities to create a venue which was not only in keeping with its surroundings, but also which would be environmentally sympathetic, efficient to run and future-proof, as Bart explains. “We commissioned a leading neo-classical architect to design with our key requirements in mind. Architect John Simpson was certainly attracted by the brief we developed.”

enjoys, is the interaction with the local environment. Playing croquet on the lawn and going punting, are not normally on the agendas of stark hotel based conferences, but in Lady Margaret Hall’s case, these facilities are, literally, available on the doorstep. Extra-curricular activities can be organised by the College as part of any package, but whatever your requirements, when the new facilities are available, Lady Margaret Hall will be more than a match for the most dynamic and functional venues in the country, with a setting to rival the best. www.lmh.ox.ac.uk

With a portfolio of clients including Buckingham

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B4 CONFERENCE

“Our idyllic surroundings are most certainly a big attraction�

FAC I L I T I E S     

A wide range of function rooms to suit any event type. Outstanding catering in the traditional dining hall or classically designed new dining room. Flexible and affordable accommodation in 300 delegate rooms (185 of which are en-suite) A tranquil setting in beautiful gardens extending to the river and bordering the University Parks. On site car parking.

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 Excellent IT, AV and conference support facilities.  A range of leisure facilities, including punts, tennis courts, and gym.  A secure site with 24 hour access via an electronic key system.  Disabled access and accommodation.  Laundry, ATM, snack and change machines.  Easy access (only 15 minutes walk) to the city centre.  A College with a unique place in the history of the University of Oxford with elegant, classical and neo classical buildings

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TORUS Abingdon Business Park TO LET 3,400 Sq ft – 43,500 Sq ft Newly refurbished headquarters office building with energy efficient features.

Units 1-5 Oxford Industrial Park, Yarton, Oxford TO LET 9,000 – 54,000 sq ft Refurbished modern industrial/ warehouse units

LINACRE HOUSE Jordan Hill Business Park Ground floor Office suite TO LET 9,980 sq ft First floor now let. High quality ground floor suite now available

EAST POINT BUSINESS PARK Oxford Ring Road TO LET 100 sq ft – 14,000 sq ft A range of high quality offices available on flexible leases

unrivaled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton

rvenables@vslandp.com tbarton@vslandp.com

news Tough Going for Commercial Property Following very challenging conditions in the commercial property market for the first six months of the year, market activity appears to be increasing. Transaction levels for both office and industrial properties are down by 50% on 2008 figures but there still seems to be some hot spots despite the turmoil. Demand for offices in Oxford City Centre is strong and not just from the 17,000 sq ft requirement for the Probation Service which is at yet unsatisfied. The educational market is particularly active, perhaps due to the weak value of the pound and the attractiveness for foreign students.

Another area of strength is the science and technology market in the south of Oxfordshire with a good proportion of new lettings occurring on Milton Park including Kaspersky Labs, Vertex and P2i. The new Business Rates List for the 2010 revaluation is published at the beginning of October. At a time when businesses are struggling a reduction in rateable values would be welcomed but this might be wishful thinking. Please contact VSL if you wish to discuss your rating assessment.

Deals, Deals and more Deals….. Here are a selection of the deals VSL have completed in the summer of 2009….

9 High Street, Kidlington let to Costa Coffee

Linacre House, Jordan Hill Business Park, Oxford - 9,600 sq ft let to Capstone Publishers

Watlington House, Watlington Road, Oxford – 5,000 sq ft let to The Phone Room

Sandford Gate and Heritage Gate, Eastpoint Business Park – 32,000 sq ft let to Clarendon Enterprise Centre

2nd Floor, 274 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford – 3,000 sq ft let to Seven Point Four Limited

Ground floor, Network House, Kidlington – 5,320 sq ft let to Eurocopters Limited

229 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford let to Farrow and Ball

14-15 Station Lane, Witney – 11,100 sq ft sold to Gomarco

Eden House, Avenue 4, Station Lane Witney – 6,500 sq ft sold to Oxford ICE

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www.vslandp.com

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Weight Loss Surgery A Long Term, Safe and Effective Solution Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare includes a team of eight professional weight loss surgery specialists with extensive expertise, offering a range of weight loss surgery techniques including gastric banding. A growing number of patients have experienced life changing improvements in their general health as well as improved prospects for the reversal of potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Being part of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, the team are focused on providing the highest standard of clinical care with support from critical care and the support services within the wider Trust.

To find out more Call Victoria Shaw on 01865 235703 For directions or to find out more contact: Victoria Shaw t. 01865 235703 e. Victoria.shaw@orh.nhs.uk w. www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/privatehealthcare part of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust

B4 HEALTH

ENDOVENOUS LASER TREATMENT

Richard Rosser meets with Dr Suzie Anthony and Dr Raman Uberoi to discuss Endovenous Laser Treatment, a service which is new to Oxford, being offered solely by Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare. This is a quick, neat and efficient treatment for varicose veins. The treatment of varicose veins is classified as a non-critical surgery which means it is not usually available as a treatment on the NHS. Dr Anthony explains the benefits of offering such a private service under the umbrella of the Oxford Radcliffe Trust. “We have the infrastructural support and the dynamics of a large hospital teaching centre with radiologists working collaboratively with surgeons. This enables us to bring both experience and expertise together and provide minimally invasive therapies. “Varicose veins are veins that have lost their elasticity and as a result, they ‘bulge’ with blood. They occur if the valves in a vein become weak and let blood go the ‘wrong way’ back through the vein. Over time, the vein becomes wider to cope with the extra blood. “A person with varicose veins can feel pain in the affected area, their legs can feel tired and can swell. Sometimes, the skin can start to look different and ulcers can appear in the area. Most commonly, a vein called the long saphenous vein is affected, which runs from just below the knee to the groin.” So, how can a prospective patient decide whether this is a treatment they want? Dr Uberoi outlines the typical scenario. ”Patients can be referred for treatment via a number of routes, including GP’s, by another trust, or they can self-refer. We will then assess them and decide what treatment is suitable. The assessment involves a special ultrasound scan, called a duplex scan, to assess the extent of the varicosity. After this assessment, we then outline the options for that particular patient and can then plan the therapy in an appropriate timeframe.” Previously, treatment of painful, swollen varicose veins required a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia, called vein stripping, where the vein was completely removed from the leg. More recently, endovenous laser therapy has been developed to treat chronic venous insufficiency by delivering laser energy through a small puncture in the leg to close the www.b4-business.com

diseased vein, as Dr Uberoi explains. “The procedure itself is performed under local anaesthetic, so patients are aware and conscious. Sedation is available if appropriate. The procedure takes about an hour and starts by localising the vessel using ultrasound. We then inject local anaesthetic along the length of the vein and cannulate the vein using a fine needle and a guide wire. Once we have got access to a vessel, we use ultrasound to identify the sapheno-femoral junction, which is where the long saphenous vein joins the deeper veins of the leg. A thin tube, called a catheter, is passed over the guide-wire to the sapheno-femoral junction and the laser fibre is passed through this catheter. The laser is then switched on and the fibre is then pulled slowly back along the whole length of the vein. The laser fires short bursts of energy as it moves along the vein, and this heats the vein and makes it seal up. “Once the laser fibre has been removed, a tight support bandage is fitted around the leg to keep the vein collapsed. The patient is then free to leave, but a week later, the patient will have an assessment to see how they are, and if there are any problems. Patients might experience some bruises for a short period of time after the procedure, but these usually fade quickly.” Varicose veins are more common in women, especially after pregnancy. Men can suffer, although it is less common. If you are overweight, you can be more susceptible, but then again there are a multitude of factors which can contribute. Approximately half of the population has some form of venous disease, and varicose veins affect about one out of two people aged 50 and older, and 15-25% of all adults. For more information about endovenous laser treatment through Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare, contact: info@oxfordradiology.com or www.varicoseveinsoxford.com

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THINKING ABOUT YOU

Letcombe Regis, a small Oxfordshire village, dating back to around 1086, is preparing itself for a new retirement community arriving in early 2010. A ready made community which will be welcomed with open arms. Richard Rosser met with David Reaves of Richmond Villages, the developer responsible for bringing this exciting new community to life.

Richmond Letcombe Regis is located on the doorstep of St Andrew's Church, a 15th century building with a massive 13th century tower, complete with remnants of 14th century stained glass. Ideally located for both town and country, within striking distance of Oxford and within walking distance of the wonderful Vale of White Horse countryside, Richmond Villages’ new development promises much to its new tenants, and having invested in excess of £60 million into the project, it is sure to deliver, as the group’s four other existing sites already do. So who are Richmond Villages, and what are they bringing to Letcombe Regis? For residents of a Richmond Village, the idea that life can get better as they get older is more than just a welcome thought, it's a distinct possibility. They have chosen to live in a Richmond Village because they want to get the most from their retirement years whilst maintaining their independence for as long as

Every detail of the design has the end user very much in mind. Apartments feature non-slip bathroom floors and showers are flush with the floor for easy access. In the kitchen, everything is positioned for optimum ease. At the heart of Richmond Letcombe Regis, is a brand new, state-of-the-art Wellness Spa. Step inside and you enter a world which is fresh and tranquil, with areas for relaxation as well as exercise. Complete with 16m pool, jacuzzi, spa, gymnasium, sauna and treatment rooms, it has everything you need to look after body and soul. Use of the Spa is free for residents and membership is also available to non-residents - an example of how Richmond Villages integrate with the wider community. With the help of the Wellness Spa's very own team of professional trainers and therapists, finding the right exercise programme has never been so easy.

“designed to cater for all eventualities” possible. Purpose built to the highest possible standards, Richmond’s luxury retirement communities allow people to enjoy an independent lifestyle in luxurious surroundings. Invest in a Lakeside Court or Brook View apartment at Richmond Letcombe Regis and you'll be buying into a whole new lifestyle. Each one and two bedroom Village Apartment is the result of a true team effort by Richmond’s professional designers, builders and fitters which not only look stunning, but function perfectly too. They are personal havens where every little detail has the end user in mind. The Village Apartments offer stylish, independent living. They are designed to make life as easy and enjoyable as possible and offer the very best in retirement accommodation. They comprise a sitting room, kitchen, one or two bedrooms, bathroom (en-suite to master bedroom) and high quality fixtures and fittings. Whilst they all have easy access, they are ideally suited to the more physically able or a couple where one partner may need some assistance with mobility or personal care.

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Close to the Wellness Spa is the Lakeside Restaurant. Here you can enjoy a superb variety of traditional and contemporary dishes whilst enjoying spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. The restaurant is designed to the highest standards and is incredibly spacious and inviting. Richmond Villages offer an enviable lifestyle for those who rely on extra care as much as for those who don't. How so? Because of their flexible approach to each individual and their circumstances, Richmond Villages are designed to cater for all eventualities. Whether an individual simply wants to eliminate the hassle from their lives or they are unable to cope with the pressures and demands of caring for a loved one, Richmond Village can provide support and enhance the lifestyles of couples who might otherwise be experiencing unbearable strains. No one can predict their future, but those who live in a Richmond Village know that whatever it holds, their needs can be satisfied. For many of us, it would be wonderful to live free of the stresses of modern day living, to be surrounded by like-minded neighbours who want to get the most out of life. A safe community filled with social opportunities and beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces in which to retreat sounds too good to www.b4-business.com

B4 PROPERTY

R ICHMOND

V I L L AG E S  The Wellness Spa. A state-of-the-art complex complete with gymnasium, pool and treatment areas for both health and beauty. The hairdressing salon is also located within the Wellness Spa .  Bowling Green in Village Centre with regular tournaments in the summer.

be true, but that's exactly what Richmond Letcombe Regis has to offer. A fabulous new purpose-built retirement community in the heart of rural Oxfordshire, it has the kind of luxury facilities most people dream of. Quite simply, a Richmond Village is a wonderful place to live in. Beautifully appointed one and two bed apartments can be purchased. Whichever accommodation suits you best, you'll discover that Richmond Villages are vibrant communities within their own right, yet well integrated within the wider community. They all offer a wealth of social activities and superb facilities. Having been awarded Best Retirement Development by What House Awards and the Daily Mail Property Awards at some of their other villages, Richmond Villages have been recognised as creating the most stimulating and life enhancing of environments in which to enjoy retirement. Complete with a staff of over one hundred, the new residents of Richmond Villages’ latest development will want for nothing. Seventeen of the thirty four independent properties have been reserved or exchanged, and of the twenty three assisted properties, ten have already been reserved or exchanged. Barchester Healthcare, the holding company of Richmond Villages, currently own one hundred and seventy care homes throughout the country. With their expertise and experience, they could see a niche in the market for a residential based community. And the developments which Richmond Villages are pioneering are set to blossom in the future. www.b4-business.com

The focus is very much on making us all realise that we need to look after ourselves at some stage in life, and the structure provided by a Richmond Village is the perfect solution. These are aspirational developments which we should all look forward to living in. Richmond Villages have taken the pain out of retirement and Letcombe Regis will soon witness a revolutionary new breed of tenants who will certainly take on a new lease ‌‌.. of life! Why not take a closer look? The sales and marketing suite located in the beautiful thatched Gate Lodge at the entrance to the new development is now open. To book an appointment, please telephone 0845 125 5878. www.richmond-villages.com

 Stunning lakeside restaurant, offering a superb variety of traditional and contemporary dishes with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside 

Library and IT Room.

 Peace, security and a real sense of community for greater peace of mind.  Beautifully proportioned architecture and meticulously maintained landscaped gardens.  Luxury Village Apartments for an independent lifestyle.  Personal care from basic maid service to 24 hour nursing care.  Fleet of luxury vehicles and full time driver for regular scheduled outings and shopping trips.

SPA FACTS  Fully equipped gymnasium with fixed weight machines and cardiovascular equipment.  16 metre swimming pool.  Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.  Treatment rooms.  Hairdresser/Beautician.  Exercise classes, including yoga and pilates.  Team of personal trainers and therapists for treatment and advice.  Expertise in GP referrals, cardiac rehab and weight management.

 Many, varied social activities in a happy relaxed environment.  Assisted Living Apartments with tailored care package for those who need help with daily living but would like to retain their independence.  Lakeside gardens and nature reserve: Lake extends into a nature reserve which will have disabled access for all residents Lake fed by a natural chalk stream called Letcombe Brook Contains many rare protected creatures, fauna and flora

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news Promotions at Darbys Solicitors September at Darbys has seen the promotion of two solicitors to Associate level and four solicitors to Partner level. Darbys’ two new Associates are Caroline Benfield of the Insolvency team and Jenny Birrell who recently joined the Commercial Property team and its four new Partners are Rebecca Kashti of the Private Client team, Howard Roberts of the Insolvency team, Nick Wright of the Commercial Litigation team, and David Harris of the Employment team. Managing Partner at Darbys, Simon McCrum says: “Our Partners and Associates are the future of this firm. These six people all richly deserve these promotions. Hopefully there will be many more to come. For any business to move onwards and upwards, particularly now, we need people with energy. These six have that in spades".

Employment Law Training Programme: October – December 2009 Employing migrant workers in compliance with more onerous legal requirements 13 October 2009 9.30am-12.30pm With employers facing a fine of up to £10,000 for each illegal worker found in their employment, this training session gives practical advice on complying with the laws relating to the employment of workers from abroad, with advice on how to avoid discrimination in the recruitment and employment of such workers. (Session C)

Dealing with sensitive issues at work 20 October 2009 9.30am-12.30pm This session gives practical advice on dealing with sensitive and difficult issues which may arise at work, including: personality clashes; harassment and discrimination; personal hygiene problems; personal relationships; drugs and alcohol; and internet and email abuse. We also look at the broader issue of ‘When does someone’s personal life become the concern of their employer?’ (Session D)

Managing sickness absence & stress at work 17 November 2009 9.30am – 12.30pm This session shows you how to manage sickness absence within your organisation using best practice, including how to avoid disability discrimination. With absences relating to stress averaging 13 million days a year, at a cost of an estimated £3.7 billion, the session also covers advice on dealing with stress at work. (Session G)

Managing a redundancy programme and staff issues during a recession 24 November 2009 9.30am – 12.30pm This session will provide advice on how to manage a redundancy programme, also covering alternatives to redundancy, help for employees being made redundant, and motivating staff after redundancies have been made. (Session H)

Managing bullying & harassment in the workplace 1 December 2009 9.30am-12.30pm Handling maternity, family and flexibility issues 3 November 2009 9.30am-12.30pm This session gives practical advice on maternity issues, outlining employers’ responsibilities and employees’ rights, from the employee announcing their pregnancy to returning to work, and also covers adoption, paternity and flexible working issues. (Session E)

We’ll show you how to prevent claims of bullying and harassment in your organisation with appropriate policies and procedures which reflect the current law in this area. We’ll also look at how to actively deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace should it arise. (Session I)

TUPE or not TUPE – that is the question! 8 December 2009 9.30am – 12.30pm How to stay compliant with the latest changes in discrimination law 10 November 2009 9.30am – 12.30pm With over 80,000 discrimination claims going to Employment Tribunals a year, this session gives practical advice on how to meet the requirements of the law protecting employees from discrimination in the workplace. You will learn how to reduce your organisation’s risk of being taken to a Tribunal and we’ll show you how to tackle discrimination if it does arise at work. (Session F)

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This session will provide advice on what TUPE is, when and how it applies, the obligations of the transferor and transferee, and obligations relating to information & consultation. (Session J) For further details about our Employment Law Training Programme or to register your attendance for any of these training sessions, please contact Victoria Marcham on 01865 811236 or email vmarcham@darbys.co.uk

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ALL IN THE NAME The growth and development of Oxford Airport has been carefully tracked in B4 with features in Issue 2 drawing attention to the time savings which private air charter could achieve and Issue 9 focusing on the airport’s impressive new terminal. Richard Rosser meets with Marketing and Development Manager, James Dillon-Godfray, to discover that there has been one more crucial change which has had far-reaching consequences.

In Issue 9 of B4 James drilled home the attractiveness of Oxford as a genuine alternative to London for business aviation. However, faced with a worsening economic climate, business aviation the world over has since encountered its fair share of problems, with a Europe wide 20% drop in business, whilst in the UK this figure has been closer to 25% (Luton and Farnborough have fared especially badly). However, Oxford has bucked the trend, and its business aviation trade has increased 30%. This is, in large part, due to the continued investment in Oxford, now closing in on £15 million in the past three years, which has seen its capabilities emulate and often surpass other regional airports, but which has certainly placed Oxford in another league in terms of the aviation business it can now compete for, as James explains. “The investment has come without third party funding and we have converted a crumbling

means we can attract larger aircraft.” Combine this investment with the successful launch of the airport’s first regular commercial service to Jersey, it is easy to see why Oxford has decided to take this opportunity to develop its profile even further. A simple name change above the door to London Oxford Airport had the phones ringing from New Delhi to Sydney, and from New York to Moscow! “It has surpassed all our expectations,” commented James, “and although we knew there would be some controversy, we underestimated how much interest this would generate. All publicity, so they say, is good publicity, so we now have to take the airport into a new era, with a new name.” Not only is Oxford located within striking distance of London by road, it is also an attractive proposition in terms of flying times, explains James. “The M40 is known to be the fastest and least congested London arterial route in the UK. Oxford

no slot issues, no holding and certainly no stacking.” This underlines how all events, as well as costs, need to be considered when factoring in your choice of airport – journey to the airport, required time of arrival, processing times, and the actual flight time. In all cases, London Oxford provides an equal or quicker alternative, so the renaming exercise was designed to raise awareness that there was another runway accessible for the north west quadrant of London that was very free and easy to use. Although it is now known worldwide that Oxford has its own regional airport, don’t expect the sky to be filled with planes, the airport is not trying to compete with the main hubs. That said, the airport is not limited in terms of what it could do, as only ten years ago it was the fourth busiest airport in the country, with over 160,000 movements per annum, largely due to the on-site training school. However, since much of the flying element of the school moved to Arizona, the number of

“A simple name change above the door to London Oxford Airport had the phones ringing from New Delhi to Sydney, and from New York to Moscow!” World War II airport into a viable and sustainable commercial airport, the like of which does not exist within an hour’s drive of Oxford. We are a very valuable asset and the investment continues. This year we have increased our full time fire crew from eleven to twenty three, at an approximate cost of £900,000 per annum, all to run a fire station, which we hope is never active, but which now 36

is also outside of the London air space zone, or the London TMA (Terminal Movement Area) – about a 50 mile radius outside of London – a highly controlled airspace. If you are flying into any London airport from anywhere in the world, you will not generally be able to go straight in as the crow flies, as you will have to fit in with other flight paths. There are no such issues at London Oxford,

movements has dropped dramatically by almost 70%. The move to attract business aviation has therefore arisen out of necessity to tap into new revenue streams, hence the heavy investment over the past five years. “It is important to note, however, that the market we are looking to gain a larger share of, is www.b4-business.com

B4 TRAVEL

relatively small.” James clarifies, “With around four hundred and fifty private jet owners in the UK, and less than three thousand in Europe, it is a limited target market, but with a significant number of private jets targeting London as a flight destination or as a base to operate from, we certainly provide a fantastic alternative.” The competition to Oxford isn’t as fierce as it could

The investment referred to earlier in the article has now enabled London Oxford to attract up to ninety seater airplanes, and this has seen more chartered planes coming into Oxford, especially for local conferences and events. The commercial opportunities are also now opening up to London Oxford, and although the focus is on business aviation, James doesn’t deny that there is one eye on expanding scheduled commercial services, on

There has also been extensive research conducted by the airport which suggests services to destinations such as Faro, Madeira, Palma Majorca and Malta could soon be provided, popular destinations amongst the fifty plus market. In the future, it is hard to see the new London Oxford Airport losing its magnetism. As an employment hub and a growing business aviation

“The synergies between Oxford and Edinburgh could easily make a daily service quite sustainable” be. Farnborough has invested £110 million versus Oxford’s £15 million in recent years, but is restricted in terms of the movements it can allow (although it is currently seeking to double its 28,000 limit), and Biggin Hill, the UK’s other dedicated business aviation airport, is relatively inaccessible and still in need of further investment, which it is unlikely to receive. The other options are Luton, which is compromised by commercial activity, as is Stansted. Even though London Oxford can accommodate a far greater number of movements per annum, James stresses that the target is not excessive. “We have increased our daily business traffic from three to ten, but we now want fifteen a day, so not excessive. Ideally, these would be larger aircraft. A few extra business aircraft will hardly be noticeable, both from an environmental point of view and from a nuisance point of view, but for us it does make a huge difference financially. If we had an extra two larger aircraft every day we could double our revenues.”

www.b4-business.com

the back of the success with the Jersey service, as he explains. “The Jersey service ran from July to September and next year will be extended from May to September (this was confirmed at the end of September). This has been the operator, C.I. Travel’s, most successful service launch ever in terms of the load factors. “Looking forward to 2010, the airport is limited as to how many bodies it can cater for at one time because the terminal is geared to business aviation. It can be adapted to commercial use, and we anticipate seeing a handful of flights each week in 2010 to destinations such as Edinburgh, Geneva and Newquay (ski flights to Geneva start this December). The synergies between Oxford and Edinburgh in terms of scientific research and also tourism, could easily make a daily service quite sustainable. There has been recent talk of a high speed rail link between London and Edinburgh, but this won’t be available for at least a decade, and we could be providing a daily service within months.”

airport, it appears to be growing in strength, year on year. As a commercial airport, London Oxford will never be a Luton, but the services it provides will be demand led. On the horizon, the development of the Chiltern Railways line to Water Eaton Park and Ride will connect London Oxford to London in just under an hour, and that will further fuel its growth and development by late 2012. As James concludes, the progress London Oxford has made has been phenomenal, and the hard work starts now. “We are now a regional airport for the Thames Valley region, we were not even close to this title two years ago. The name change was an opportunity to let the world at large know that Oxford City and the Thames Valley now has its own regional airport that can attract the same sort of aircraft types that London City Airport can take, and changing the name was certainly the simplest and most effective way to tell the world.” www.oxfordairport.co.uk

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new media public relations

…bottled

consumer brands • online brands • business-to-business IT • consumer technology • science and innovation

traditional pr

digital pr

t +44 (0)1865 882988 f +44 (0)1865 882553 e getit@bottlepr.co.uk w www.bottlepr.co.uk

media relations · branding and messaging · company/product launches digital/new media pr · thought leadership · speaker bureau · public affairs · media training experiential pr · sponsorship · event management · issues management

B4 HEALTH

PRIVATE BIRTH

It is widely regarded as the most important day in a parent’s life, the birth of a child. So why not go the extra mile and make sure you or your partner and, ultimately, your new born child, are in the best hands possible and in as much comfort as possible. B4 visit Jane Upham, Ward Manager on Level 7 at the John Radcliffe (JR) Women’s Centre, to find out what the options are for having your baby under the watchful eye of John Radcliffe Private Healthcare. It is important to underline when promoting private healthcare services that the alternative service on the NHS is as good as any you will encounter in the country. The JR has an excellent reputation in all fields of medical care, but when it comes to choosing somewhere to give birth, it is a leader in its field. Jane sets the scene for the private maternity wing, “One of the main advantages of the private maternity wing, aside from the additional comforts and facilities, is the fact that we are linked with the neo-natal intensive care unit and we have

“gives everyone peace of mind” critical care services to support mothers, if there are any difficulties. To have the expertise and professionals on hand to support any adverse event, which happens infrequently, gives everyone peace of mind. Currently there are three consultants on hand, including Deborah Harrington who has just joined the ranks, which excites Jane. “We see Deborah’s arrival as a huge bonus. Supporting the consultants is a wide and experienced team giving us a support structure which is second to none. Jane, with her colleague, Kim Paul is a vital cog in the wheel having worked on Level 7 for the last twenty years, seven of them as Ward Manager. The majority of Jane’s patients are already private patients who have booked in with a private consultant. Patients can also pay for a private room but remain as a NHS patient. In total there are four private rooms available to book, all en-suites, with co-ordinating soft furnishings, towels, a fridge stocked with mineral water and orange juice, tea and coffee making facilities and a TV. Food is chosen from an à la carte menu and nappies, cotton wool and maternity pads are included in

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the fixed price of the room. “Partners are also allowed to stay”, adds Jane,” and visiting hours are not subject to restrictions. In terms of alternatives to Private Healthcare’s excellent private maternity service here in Oxford, the closest is in London, so Jane enjoys a massive catchment area, which is helping keep her busy. “We see a lot of patients through the private maternity wing. People choose to come to Oxford because it is well known, it has a great overall reputation, it has the neo-natal care service and it is also a teaching hospital. It is a generally huge operation and patients feel secure in the knowledge that there is a team to provide for all eventualities. Over eight and a half thousand babies are delivered a year through the Trust as a whole, and for each and every one, bonding with mother is encouraged, as Jane explains, “All babies spend the night with their mother to promote bonding. It has been proved that this is better for the baby and the mother. After the birth, Jane and her team will make sure you are in good hands by keeping in contact with the patient’s consultant. Thereafter, mother and baby are placed in the hands of a community midwife. One issue of concern for some mums is breastfeeding, as Jane elaborates. “We do the best we can to nurture contact with a new born, and breastfeeding is a vital part of the process. We encourage this within minutes of the baby being born.” Jane and her team provide a first class support structure and environment to make sure that mother and baby are helped every step of the way through what can be a testing, but, ultimately, incredibly rewarding, event. With years of experience behind them, the private maternity wing offers expectant mums the perfect way to start their exciting new journey. To make any enquiries about the private maternity wing, please call Beverley Clark on 01865 221663 or e-mail her at privatematernity@orh.nhs.uk.

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Andrew Creese lives and breathes hospitality. If Malmaison’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Cook (see Issue 3 of B4) has a protégé, Andrew would surely be a strong candidate. Everything about this impressive thirty one year old echoes premier customer service, standards and order. With a resumé that General Managers ten years his senior would bite their right arm off for, Andrew is more than capable of driving Malmaison Oxford forward and reinforcing it as the group’s flagship property, and Oxford’s number one hotel. “I have spent most of my life in a hotel,” admits Andrew, “having worked my school summer holidays in part-time capacities, doing anything I could to learn the trade. I wouldn’t say I was soaking up experience to get to where I am today, but it has obviously helped to learn the ropes at many different levels. “I then went to study hospitality at University, followed by a year in room service at The Balmoral, one of Edinburgh’s leading five star hotels. I then moved to The Caledonian Hilton, again five star, in conference and banqueting, co-ordinating events for up to three hundred. If you are going to cut your teeth in hotels, these are the properties you want to be doing it in.“ So, in his own opinion, has he always aspired to get the top job, or has he matured and evolved into the roles he has moved into? “I suppose when you are eighteen you have aspirations and look at General Managers you work for thinking ‘I could do that’. I was quite focused from a very early age.” There is a strong argument that Andrew has achieved his aim already, but has much more to give. With an incredible portfolio of events under his belt – Andrew has looked after the likes of Nelson Mandela, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Julia Roberts, Mel Gibson and Sean Connery – he nonchalantly admits that he is well versed in dealing with celebrities, royalty and politicians, and their expectations. “The ‘glam’, I can assure you, ebbs away quite quickly! I have a job to do and I can’t be stood in awe of someone who is expecting me to do that job and to make them comfortable. People will always buy from people, real people.” After three years at The Caledonian, and at the tender age of twenty one, Andrew was approached to join Malmaison in Edinburgh. This represented a major departure from what he had grown up with and was accustomed to. As a significantly smaller operation, Andrew was able to draw on his wide range of talents and shine in a smaller environment. “I relished the opportunity and the chance to spread my skills across more than one department. Whereas before I was an important cog in a massive machine, I was now marketing the hotel, meeting clients, selling them the rooms, setting up, serving, the whole package, and that gives you the full gambit of client service.” Andrew then spent time working as Reception Manager, giving him more interaction with clients, as Rooms Division Manager and then Deputy Manager for three years. “I was thrown in at the deep end and I was expected to swim. As a one hundred bedroom property which went through a forty bed 40

THE YOUNG

PRETENDER B4’s Richard Rosser meets with Malmaison’s new General Manager, Andrew Creese, and encounters a young man with experience, guile and creativity which ensures one of Oxford’s leading hotels is in more than accomplished hands.

B4 ACCOMMODATION refurbishment, I had to learn how to cope with massive upheaval and still make the property deliver. It was invaluable to find out how a bedroom was assembled from scratch and what needed to be taken into consideration to ensure that bedroom contributed once it was ready.” It is quite clear from talking to Andrew, that he sees every square foot of the property he is working in as an opportunity to drive income. At Malmaison, there has been an under-utilised gym in the basement for almost five years, and Andrew was quick to recognise that with a little imagination, this could be turned into a novelty suite which could add considerable value to his bottom line. It is this foresight and attention to detail which sets him apart from General Managers who are more concerned about accepting what they have rather than thinking laterally and getting more from their property. After six years in Edinburgh, Andrew’s chief source of inspiration, Robert Cook, had seen Andrew blossom into General Manager material. “Robert’s philosophy is that if you are good enough, you are old enough, and so he gave me the opportunity to go and take over Malmaison Leeds, my first General Manager’s role, in July 2006. As a Deputy

“It was a great endorsement for me, to be asked to launch a property, on Robert’s home turf, and really test what was his hotel, Malmaison Newcastle. I moved there in July 2008 and we opened in October. The opening was great, but before I knew it, I had been approached to come down to Oxford, which was very hard to say ‘no’ to. “Although I hadn’t had much to do with Oxford, it was where the Acorn Award Ceremony had been held, so already it held fond memories. That aside, the role is held with the highest regard in the group and that’s down to the uniqueness of the building itself and its history. So that raises the bar and makes this, quite easily, my biggest challenge. Expectations are high and the budgets and revenues are far superior to anything I’ve ever dealt with before.” Making an impression in Oxford is obviously high on Andrew’s agenda, and he is already making his mark. “One area we have under-utilised is the Visitor’s Room”, Malmaison’s impressive first floor bar area, ”and we are now targeting more functions to make it a stronger contributor. We have recently held events for sixty, and with a few changes here and there, I think we can make it an even more attractive function room. We need to try and give

previous customers keep returning.” It’s hard to see someone of Andrew Creese’s talents hanging around in one property for very long, and you wouldn’t bet against Robert Cook having another ‘project’ in mind for his ‘super sleuth’. “If Robert asked, I’d move on, but I am enjoying my time here and have a lot to do to get this hotel right, just the way I want it. I am gradually assembling my team, including Josh Watts who is my Brasserie Manager and the food and beverages ‘face’. Food and beverage is what Malmaison is all about, after all, Malmaison started as a small brasserie with twenty rooms. That was always the philosophy, to have food with some rooms, it’s just that the rooms have grown in proportion given the revenue they can generate.” This is a key factor which grates with Andrew, that potential customers see a hotel not a brasserie with rooms, and therefore assume they are not welcome. “The location in Oxford makes it doubly difficult for me to convince the uninitiated that we are open to everyone, especially as the brasserie is downstairs past the reception!” When you get there, Head Chef Russell Heeley is the one Andrew hopes will keep customers

“Making an impression in Oxford is obviously high on Andrew’s agenda”

“I knew I would make mistakes, but that’s the best way to learn. Leeds was great for introducing me to the importance of corporate networking, and as the UK’s second largest financial city, there was more than enough opportunity to perfect this aspect of my development.” Being a shopping Mecca, combined with (then) Premier League football and the circus which surrounded it, plus being a huge venue for international singers, Andrew became indoctrinated in the ways of celebrity. He was a huge success in his two years in Leeds, winning Yorkshire Hotel of the Year and also an Acorn Award, given every year to thirty individuals to watch out for in the catering business by The Caterer Magazine. Robert Cook then asked Andrew to open a new site, Hotel du Vin in Newcastle. Opening a new hotel for the group’s sister brand in a city which already boasted a successful Malmaison could have been perceived as an unfair challenge, but Andrew seized the opportunity, exercising his many talents to the full. He was also running alongside his guru, as Robert Cook, who, as a former General Manager of the local Malmaison, provided Andrew with the perfect link to get to know the scene in Newcastle.

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certain areas a lift, perhaps lighten up a few of the darker spaces and make a feature of some of the character aspects of the property. “I am also looking forward to hosting some big events here. With the experience of hosting Edinburgh’s 10th birthday party and Hotel du Vin Newcastle’s opening, I can’t wait to stage a three hundred plus party here for New Year’s Eve. We have also got to think about how we can make the site work for us in other ways, like putting glass sliding doors on some of the side rooms in the brasserie to attract smaller meetings and presentations to the hotel. “Jail House Rock kicks off in October and the thinking behind this is to have live bands in the Visitor’s Room, which will showcase the space to people who have never seen it before, and who will, hopefully, come back. I want to put the fun and naughtiness back into the hotel and inject a bit of Rock ‘n Roll. We have also launched a Visitors Pass for residents, who get two for one cocktails in The Visitors Room – it’s a cheeky slant on what every bar in the city is doing, but we are working on the origins of this place and trying not to devalue the product. “This is an incredible blank canvass for me, and with a bit of thought, we can turn this into Oxford’s hot spot. We need people to make that happen, and I want a Visitors Room host to connect with visitors and make them feel part of Malmaison Oxford. People will spend money if valued, a host and the bar team are the ones that will ensure

coming back. “Russell has been here since the hotel opened and is a major factor behind Malmaison Oxford’s success. Elaine Boddison in Housekeeping has also been here since day one, and Darren Sibbald, our property and maintenance manager, has been with the group for a long time and knows how the hotel works. Nicola Cooper is our new reservations manager from Hotel du Vin, Henley, and Giles Hammond is my right hand man who has developed through the ranks having spent time in Liverpool and Birmingham. Finally, Caroline Hopkin, who joins the team from Hotel Du Vin Henley, is our financial controller and keeps a tight rein on the finances, which is essential. The core team is therefore vital, and once I have appointed a bar manager, it will be complete. “I have got to be looking at making this team work for me, but to also have one eye on developing them as individuals, giving them the opportunities that I have been given and spotting which roles I can grow them into.” Andrew is nowhere near arrogant, but talks with the confidence and conviction of a management consultant who has just spent the last twelve years assessing how the hotel business is put together, preparing himself for the top job. Having met him and witnessed his single-mindedness, it would be a brave man to suggest the General Manager’s position at Oxford is anywhere near the role which Andrew is, ultimately, destined for. But while he’s here, expect him to make an impression. www.malmaison.com 41

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Manager, you always have the General Manager to fall back on, but everything stopped with me in my new role, and I had more responsibility than I had ever had before. It was terrifying and exhilarating, all at once!

B4 SPOTLIGHT

PEDALLING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION London based property investor Mountgrange has embarked on a novel marketing campaign to attract tenants to their newly refurbished office at Northbrook House, Oxford Science Park. B4 investigates the spin behind the deal….. Northbrook House on the Oxford Science Park is an iconic looking building designed by Ian Ritchie Architects and completed in 1996. The white rendered walls of the building and the sculpted profile of the roof contrasts elegantly with the verdant landscaping at the Science Park. “This property was bought as part of a portfolio of investments and we have recently spent over £500,000 reconfiguring the entrance and refurbishing the common areas and office space to Grade A quality.“ said Ian Cody, Asset Management Director for Mountgrange 42

Confident that they have a stunning building they realise they need to make this stand out from the crowd in the Oxford Office market. Mount Grange are prepared to offer 18 months rent free as an incentive to any tenant taking a minimum five year lease and are able to offer suites from 3,900 sq ft to a total of 24,500 sq ft. Richard Venables of marketing agent, VSL and Partners adds: “In addition to the rent free offer we are also offering the employees of a new business locating here a brand new bicycle to the value of £250. The Oxford Science Park links www.b4-business.com

N ORTHBROOK

HOUSE  

 



Quoting Rent: - £20.50 per sq ft. Office suites available from 3,900 sq ft to 22,400 sq ft. Dedicated on site car parking. Access to amenities within the Oxford Science Park including restaurants, crèche and estate security. For further information see website www.northbrook-house.co.uk.

“in the current climate you need to innovate” up with a main cycle path to the centre of Oxford and we wanted to offer a Green incentive that would be of benefit to a company as a whole.” The developers teamed up with local bike shop Reg Taylor Cycles of Iffley Road to supply the bikes. A new tenant will be given a voucher which they can exchange for the new bicycle at the shop or upgrade to a better model. The deal is based on an allocation of one bike per 150 sq ft of space taken which would provide 36 bikes for the smaller suite or 160 bikes if someone took the whole building. Ian Cody concludes: “In the current climate you need to innovate. We know the office is fantastic and we hope that this bike offer will give added stimulus to our campaign.” www.northbrook-house.co.uk www.b4-business.com

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So why is Employment Law Training so important?

It is so easy to get it wrong! For example, did you know….?

You could be hitting all the right notes in terms of sales targets, staff politics and popularity in the office, but one uninformed decision which contravenes employment legislation can leave your career and the reputation of your organisation in tatters.

 If an overseas employee’s visa expires during their employment with you, your organisation could face a fine of up to £10,000  Just one careless comment can enable an employee to bring a discrimination claim against you  It’s not just older employees who can bring age discrimination claims – younger employees can too!  Dyslexia can sometimes be classed as a disability and employers must make reasonable adjustments for the disabled person

“…Training empowers you to deal with personnel matters confidently” David Parry says, “Employment Law Training is essential if you are responsible for managing people. In the light of rapidly changing UK and European employment law, managers are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with workplace issues confidently and effectively. If managers get it wrong, the company can be liable for significant payouts in compensation if an employee is successful in an employment tribunal claim.”

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David continues “Employment Law Training protects your organisation against expensive and lengthy tribunal claims. Not only can successful claims result in significant awards in compensation, but there is also the loss of management time and resources. “Training empowers you to deal with personnel matters confidently and in compliance with the relevant legal requirements. It gives your confidence a boost. Input from someone external can help you to see things from a different perspective and motivate you to achieve new goals. And of course, it also enhances your CV.”

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B4 ADVICE

DO YOU NEED LEGAL TRAINING TO MAKE YOURSELF A GOOD MANAGER? As well as training in how to motivate people and how to deal with difficult members of staff, David Parry of Darbys Solicitors not only says that a manager’s training should include training on the hard legal aspects of employment law, but he and his firm also offer a solution.

David’s answer “Of paramount importance is that you receive the right sort of training. An abstract legal lecture might be interesting at the time, but may not necessarily leave you feeling equipped to implement the law in practice. Good training should enhance your day to day work and relationships and ultimately benefit the organisation. “My Employment team here at Darbys offer training courses that explain the law clearly, in plain English and without legal jargon. Our workshops are interactive with plenty of group discussion and real case studies to bring the law to life. We look at these case studies together to ensure you really know how to put the law into practice when you go back to work.” So how can I convince my organisation to give me training when budgets are tight? David continues “In the current climate, budgets are tight and training can slip down the list of priorities. Organisations need to understand that Employment Law Training is a necessity, not a luxury. However, it is often up to the individual to convince the management of the business of its value; that it is an investment rather than a cost.

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The government is so committed to the value of training to businesses that it has set up a scheme called ‘Train to Gain’ which provides funding for businesses with between 5-249 staff to receive training. You could get someone else to pay for the vital training that you need and which we offer!

“Our workshops are interactive with plenty of group discussions and real case studies” Now that is a cost-effective way of removing the risk of you undoing at a stroke many years of good work by you and your company.” For more information about their Employment Law Training programme for managers, email dparry@darbys.co.uk, or for details of Darbys’ Employment Law Training courses, visit: www.darbys.co.uk/employment

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

What sort of Employment Law Training should I look for?

ROYAL

ENTREPRENEUR

We would all like to make a humdinger of a success of our businesses, to be able to do the deal which sets us up for life. No more money worries, no more sleepless nights. So is this what we can look forward to, if, by some strange quirk of fate, it were ever to happen to us? Sir John Madejski is better equipped than most to answer this question. As founder of Auto Trader and Chairman of Reading Football Club, not to mention the owner of a plethora of commercial interests in publishing, property, media and hospitality, Sir John has been there, seen it and brought a wardrobe full of t-shirts. Here, he gives B4’s Richard Rosser an insight into his views and opinions on the economy, education and football, and offers us all some invaluable advice. I met a relaxed Sir John at his ‘house’, The Madejski Stadium, home of Reading FC. He spends a significant amount of time in his penthouse overlooking Reading, and it was there that I saw ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’, a BBC 4 documentary on the life of Sir John Madejski OBE DL. Having known Sir John for over thirty years, nothing in the documentary gave me cause to believe that he had changed one jot since I last met him, before he sold Hurst Publishing (comprising Auto Trader). I had always known John as an engaging, down to earth and personable character, and neither the documentary, nor the subsequent interview, altered that impression. That alone should tell you all you need to know about a man who has enjoyed as much ‘bonne chance’ as Sir John. What became abundantly clear from our chat, however, was his deep concern about the state of the economy and the possible implications for the continuing uncertainty that all of us are experiencing. Talking before his property development firm, Sackville Developments, was granted planning permission to revamp Station Hill in Reading, a multi-million pound scheme to redevelop the run-down area around Reading Station, Sir John qualified his fears. “At the moment, there is no bottom line to anything, and that’s the problem. Until we know where we are, then it is very difficult valuing anything, and nothing can really improve until we reach the so called ‘bottom’ of this

There is no doubt that Sir John’s opinion counts. It is, however, a strange paradox that, during the BBC 4 documentary, he was shown receiving a fellowship from Henley Management College in front of a room full of ‘text book’ business students. They were there to honour and applaud him, but would they do it the ‘John Madejski’ way? “I felt strangely inadequate receiving that fellowship. There I was in front of a very talented group of individuals who were looking up, admiring me, but I couldn’t do what they do and they probably wouldn’t do as I have done. It certainly was a strange irony.” One thing that Sir John has a distinct aversion to is adding to his burgeoning eighteen company portfolio. His open courting of an offer for, arguably, his pride and joy, Reading Football Club, highlights his desire to start winding down his business interests, rather than look for the next Auto Trader. Although the flame is certainly not yet out in that department. Sir John purchased Reading FC in 1990 from the jaws of the receivers, and by 1998, following his £25 million injection, the Club’s Madejski Stadium had been built. Despite helping to secure the club’s first ever promotion in their one hundred and thirty five year history to the top flight, and recently proposing plans for the stadium’s expansion to 38,000 seats, he would sell tomorrow if the right man came along, having famously quipped, ‘I’ll listen to sensible offers, but from billionaires only. Millionaires need not apply.’ Whoever

“….this time the banks are in trouble…..” trough. Although we keep hearing that the economy is supposed to be recovering, the next minute we hear it’s on the wane. “There is a state of flux and, quite frankly, until it starts easing and we start moving out of the recession, it is very difficult to predict anything. There are so many mixed messages out there, as you must know being the editor of a business magazine. You must talk to lots of people in business, and it is obviously a challenging time for all of them. People are just doing their very best to meet the challenges, and that’s what we all have to do. We have to be totally positive. “It will come to an end, there is no doubt about that, but the question has to be ‘when’. The significant difference between this downturn and recent recessions that I have experienced, is that this time the banks are in trouble. Banks have always been solid in my lifetime, institutions to rely on. This time the banks haven’t been so dependable, and this has culminated in the state stepping in. This is a fundamental factor and makes an enormous difference.”

takes over the reigns following Sir John’s near double decade tenure will have to have significant resources. The Club achieved pre-tax profits of £6.6 million during the tax year ending in June 2007, and has recently been valued at £100 million. “If there is somebody out there with enormously deep pockets, then I would step aside, it’s as simple as that. Who knows, if someone comes in, they might want me to be involved in some way.” Says Sir John, underlining his deep affinity with the Club. “I know I could bring value to the club. By his own admission, John was a relative football novice when he took over at Elm Park all those years ago, so where does he see himself against his peers? “My contribution is reflected in the fact that we are a well run Club. We are not a Club that is going to be reckless – I would never condone putting the Club in jeopardy for the sake of short term gain. And as regards my football knowledge, I can now hold my own when explaining the offside rule! “When we gained promotion to the top flight in 2006, we did it in some style

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B4 SPOTLIGHT with 106 points, the highest that any Championship Club had ever achieved. We were promoted by March, and, quite incredibly, we weren’t a team of superstars, just home-grown talent that we had nurtured. Alan Pardew started the process and Steve Coppell finished it off. It seemed as though we could do no wrong as we finished eight in our first season in the Premiership, but came back down to earth with a bump when we were relegated in only our second year.” The cynical view of footballers and success, is that as soon as they experience the ‘big-time’, they lose focus, motivation and their priorities change, a view which Sir John does not subscribe to. “They certainly became complacent and the hunger had

“There is no other business like football. It is where showbusiness and sport collide” gone. We narrowly missed out last season, losing out to eventual winners Burnley in the Play Offs, and it was a major blow for all of us. However, even though I do think that professional footballers tend to put themselves on a pedestal, I just think it’s a natural consequence of the adulation they receive. Footballers have short careers, we mustn’t forget that, and we can easily point the finger and blame the players for not getting us promotion. Inherent physcological factors come in to play, at times, which not even they can control and, in their sub-conscious, they will put themselves first, and that’s only natural. “There is no other business like football. It is where showbusiness and football collide. In most businesses, you leave your work at the factory gate, whereas with football, it’s 24/7, that’s the difference.” Away from the bright lights of the Madejski Stadium, one of Sir John’s most exciting projects focuses on road studs, as he explains. “Clearview Traffic are producing solar powered road studs which are 100% powered by the sun. They are the sequel to cat’s eyes, and as they highlight the linear contour of the road, reduce the need for street lights, thus saving money. Research has also shown that the studs could reduce up to 70% of fatal road accidents. They really do tick all of the boxes.” Sir John took over the company six years ago, but it had already been running for ten years. It is now expanding worldwide and the potential upside for Clearview, and Sir John, is vast. Although he has another sixteen companies which 47

dominate his life, art is Sir John’s passion. Having reputedly sold a Degas sculpture a more than handsome profit, it is fair to say that he knows his stuff, but had this always been the case, or was this a by-product of the circles he now moves in? “I have always had a strong passion for art, and my good fortune has enabled me to indulge.” Amongst Sir John’s art or art related ‘indulgences’ are a stunning Garden named after him at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and The John Madejski Fine Rooms at the Royal Academy of Arts. In complete contrast, Sir John has owned a life sized bronze Duane Hanson sunbather, which we caught a glimpse of during his documentary, “I was going to put it by the pool in the new house”, claimed Sir John, “but it looked tacky, so I sold it.” Without Auto Trader, none of this would have been possible. There has been a recent glut of TV, radio and newspaper advertising for a title which, in football circles, would be regarded as something of a talisman. So what does Sir John feel when he hears the jingle or sees a TV advert? “I feel pretty good about it, as it’s what I created from nothing. I am delighted that I have still got my finger in the pie with the Malaysian version. We print 30,000 a week and I am very proud of it. It’s the same formula and it still works.” A formula that is working the world over, but would Sir John have done anything differently? Was he happy with the outcome of the sale? “I think the essence of a good sale is a happy buyer and a happy seller and I think we achieved that with Auto Trader. We got a full price for it and they were happy. The owners have now successfully captured the electronic market and are gradually weaning off the printed version to focus on line. I felt I had taken it as far as I could, and it was too good a deal to turn down.” But was it a wrench to sell? “Of course. Much like this (referring to Reading FC) would be if and when I sell up. It was something I had built up and it’s something I still feel very much a part of, albeit

enjoy reading a book and although the younger generations communicate via mobiles and computers, I can’t see newspapers and books dying out, for now at least. Having said that, kids of five are now computer literate, technology is moving on at such a fast pace, and I can see a time when you sit down and read a book on the slab, rather than physically turn the pages, I suppose it is inevitable. But in our lifetime? Maybe.” With a heady cocktail of life and business experiences under his belt, Sir John is a sought after speaker, who’s tales of ‘how he did it’ stimulate and inspire a multitude of wannabe entrepreneurs. It would be foolish, dare I say reckless of me to miss an opportunity to tap into such a resource. So I ask what enabled him to be such a success, and what advice would he give those of us yearning for a fraction of his business acumen? “Everybody is different. I wouldn’t necessarily put myself in the ‘bright’ bracket. There are more successful businessmen and women out there who have more business common sense and savvy, and achieve more than I do. I have always been hard working and I sincerely believe I got lucky.” I put to Sir John that had he enjoyed the same sort of education that a lot of those listening to him speak take for granted, would he have been as successful, being aware of the pitfalls? “I am convinced I wouldn’t have been. After all, ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’, and sometimes you have to have a bit of blind faith to get somewhere, and I do believe that a large proportion of the success we all enjoy depends on our own levels of determination and application. The text book way is fine to a degree, but sometimes you have to will it over the line, will it to happen and make it happen by putting everything into it. Working 24/7, not spending masses of money on peripheries, just keeping it real and keeping it simple.”

maximum number of targets in your market, you are not going to be a success. “The marketing helps with the endorsement of your product’s credibility, but what is just as important is making sure your product sells. Don’t ‘think’ it’s going to work or even ‘know’ it’s going to work.

“fools rush in where angels fear to tread” Make sure you get real orders on board before you reap the rewards. I have seen plenty of examples where people set up a new business, get flash premises, pension schemes, the lot. Once they are set up, and they drive to work in their expensive 4 x 4, they open the door, ready for business, and nobody comes in. And why? Because the product hasn’t been marketed, nobody knows about it, and the order book is empty. “So often you see people set up in business and think having the balls to go it alone is in some way the hard part, and that just because they have taken the plunge, the orders will flow in. The hard part about setting up in business is getting someone to buy your product, it’s as simple as that. You don’t get the trappings of success without hard work or just setting up a business. It’s about priorities.

“….the person to fear is the entrepreneur rather than the corporate, because the corporate is far too slow in moving….” remotely.” Sir John alludes to the electronic revolution in media, so does he see a day when Auto Trader or B4 Magazine won’t be on the coffee table? “People will always want something to pick up and read. Every time any new media comes out, they always strike fear into people. When radio came out, people said you won’t need magazines or books anymore because we can just hear everything on the radio. Nothing could be further from the truth. The same with television and the same with cinema, and now the same with mobiles. I still 48

So what pearls of wisdom can this knight of the realm bestow upon us? “When someone comes up with a business idea, they research as well as they can because they are incredibly enthusiastic about it, and assume the rest of the world is equally as enthusiastic, which is probably a mistake. They have to realise that if they are bringing out a product, the most important thing to focus on is marketing. The exposure of that product is fundamental to its success, and too little time, thought and resources are put into promoting the product. Without marketing your product to the www.b4-business.com

B4 SPOTLIGHT “….the person to fear is the entrepreneur rather than the corporate, because the corporate is far too slow in moving….”

energetic, young businesses which will come up with fascinating ideas and become hugely successful.”

“Start off in a small way, test the market and get traction. Once you have that, you keep going. If you start too big, you can flounder quite quickly.

Sir John will no doubt hope that some of the youngsters coming through his personally funded Academy in Reading will be at the helm of some of these exciting new businesses, “I fully endorse the youth of this country, but, sadly, all too often you hear about the negative aspects of our youth in society today. We only seem to hear and read about the feral youths and drinking louts, but there are an absolute multitude of incredibly dedicated young people who really are fit for purpose and who, as grand as this may sound, will save the

“When we started Auto Trader, we looked at every single cost control there was. The big companies used to open nine to five, Monday to Friday, and so we would operate until nine on weekdays and ten to four at weekends. We did everything our competition did, but more. That’s why I always say that the person to fear is the entrepreneur, rather than the corporate, because the corporate is far too slow in moving. They have to have copious amounts of meetings in order to change anything, whereas if you have an entrepreneur, they can decide or change direction just like that, instantaneously. They don’t need to wait until the November board meeting before they can implement anything.” Starting a business in a recession takes even more nerve than would normally be required, but the recession has forced businesses to cut numbers, which have, in turn, metamorphisised into start up businesses. I asked Sir John whether he thought that the recession had stimulated long overdue ’fat cutting’ in businesses, and what did he feel the natural consequence of this would be? “I think the recession is actually exciting for that very reason. Not only will we see inefficiencies cut away within businesses, but we will also see a lot of the old ‘dinosaur’ businesses disappear, to be replaced by

rest on their laurels, whereas those without are willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in and make it happen, as they feel they have to. I’ve interviewed people in the past who ask me what am I going to do for them, which isn’t really the best way to approach me or any potential employer. I know that at my Academy, every child that comes through that school gate has a talent and is good at something. It is up to the teachers to find that and get that child to pursue that talent. Because my opinion is that once you find out what somebody is good at, and they know they are good at it and can do it, you have captured that person forever. That then determines whether they are going to become feral or whether they are going to

“….the only way to expand is to delegate….” world. Sadly, they just don’t get enough publicity and press to demonstrate how good they really are. No doubt that will happen in the fullness of time, but we should always encourage youth, because they are going to be the pathfinders.”

be part of the human race, part of the system. We are all good at some things and bad at others, and if you can find out what you can do, and hone whatever it is at a young age, then it bodes well for the future.”

With regards to talent spotting and as someone who must have conducted his fair share of job interviews, does Sir John make appointments on gut instinct, or is he a sucker for a ‘too good to be true’ CV?

Successful delegation is, therefore, as a natural consequence of Sir John’s mantra, a natural by-product of his thinking. Did he find it hard himself to recognise what he was good and bad at and did he fail to delegate successfully when he was starting out in business?

“In my opinion, you’ve either got ‘it’ or you haven’t. I find that those who have got qualifications tend to

“At the beginning, I thought I was the best at doing everything on the list. You are also too scared to let anybody do anything because you think they will screw it up. But the only way to expand is to delegate, and you have to appreciate that. When we started to replicate Auto Trader, we had ten of me all trying to produce the perfect Auto Trader. Some would do it poorly, some would be average and some would actually do it better, which makes the whole package more attractive as I was improving the product through delegation. It is no good earning money, you have got to make money, and you can only make money if you start delegating. “Delegation is the key in my opinion. It not only frees you up, it gets more done. You have to give people you are entrusting some rope. If they mess it up, you replace them until you find the right person. You have to empower people, otherwise you won’t move forward.” With a lifetime of rich experiences and after a not inconsiderable amount of hard work, Sir John Madejski is certainly well placed to answer the questions we all want answers to. Do the money worries pale and the sleepless nights become a thing of the past? “Good God no. It’s all relative. We all have worries. It just depends how you cope with them.” Learning to cope with our problems is half the battle, but retaining a sense of perspective and humility, like Sir John, is something we would all do well to aim for.

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SPIRIT HEALTH CLUB OXFORD Located on the Oxford ring road and with parking in abundance, there are few excuses not to join Spirit Health Club adjacent to The Holiday Inn on Peartree Roundabout.

A fresh, vibrant club, boasting full gym, beauty salon, a wide range of classes and a fifteen metre pool, what more could you want? For Oxford residents and those working in the city coming in from the north, south and west side of Oxford, Spirit Health Club is a fantastically convenient option either on the way in or out of the city. Open from 6.30am to 10pm on weekdays and 7am to 9pm at the weekend, all you have to do is join and keep coming. The fifteen by eight metre pool is one point two metres deep throughout, providing inexperienced swimmers with a facility in which they can always “find their feet�. For the more confident swimmer, the generous lanes afforded to the lap swimmers grinding out lap after lap ensure a free flow of swimming traffic. Maintained at thirty degrees centigrade, the pool is immaculately clean and inviting, and for those recovering from their morning workout in pool or gym, there is a Jacuzzi bubbling in the corner of the pool area at a constant thirty eight degrees. Changing rooms are located on the ground floor for easy access to the pool, and on the other side of the reception is the beauty salon, complete with two treatment rooms. Members receive 10% off all beauty treatments and products (Dermalogica and Jessica), but non members are welcome to book treatments also, including facials, massages, Indian Head Massages, manicures, pedicures and waxes. Spray tans are available in the booths upstairs. Upstairs, the light and airy gym is well stocked to ensure that your work out is as thorough as possible, set against the

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backdrop of a comfortable, spacious gym, accentuated by high ceilings. The atmosphere is sociable yet committed to building up a sweat. Spirit has a high member retention track record which just goes to show that they are doing it right. Spirit have thought of everything. Nice touches like a towel on arrival are welcome, at no extra cost. Classes include aqua aerobics and water babies in the pool and Circuits, Yoga and Box Exercise in the gym. All new members are given a thorough introduction and programme, with a full show around and explanation as to how to use the equipment. There are personal trainers on site and obviously ongoing assistance in case members need refreshing on how to use the equipment or are experiencing any sort of problems. Corporate memberships are also available which provide you with up to 25% off the member fee complete with four free memberships. Corporate memberships are a fantastic employee benefit. For your company to qualify for corporate membership, all you need is a minimum of six employees and the desire to actively promote Spirit Health Clubs to your team. The club will provide you with all the materials to promote the membership offer and will visit your workplace and talk to your employees, as well as update you with regular newsletters and offers. And, of course, the more members you have, the better the price which can be passed on to your staff. www.spirithealthclubs.co.uk

Number of Employees

Discount on Club Fees

Admin Fee

Complimentary Member

5 - 15

10%

None

0

16 - 25

15%

None

1

26 - 50

20%

None

2

51+

25%

None

4

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B4 LEISURE

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CHRISTMAS LIGHT NIGHT Fri 27th November Winter Wonderland at Oxford Castle & Oxford Castle Unlocked: All Evening. Ice Sculpture Carving: 6.45pm.

WINTER WONDERLAND: 27th November - 20th December Every evening from 4pm in the Market Square and Castle Yard.

CHRISTMAS CAROL SINGING

December Traditional Carol singing and festive music to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year at the Castle throughout December.

CHRISTMAS NIGHT LIGHT - O3 GALLERY Friday 27th November O3 Gallery late night opening until 10pm.

OXFORD CASTLE ART’S & CRAFT’S MARKET: Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 11am - 5pm The Market has 20 stalls with local traders selling hand made unique goods and antiques such as jewellery, wire sculptures, original paintings and prints, hand knitted items, bespoke jewellery, silk scarves and more. Whatever the occasion, you are sure to find something different !

CHRISTMAS LIGHT NIGHT LAMPLIGHT TOURS Friday 27th November 5pm – 10pm Prepare to be scared! Discover the spookier side of the Castle and Prison with chilling late night ghost tours. Admission charges apply.

CHRISTMAS AT OXFORD CASTLE -UNLOCKED December Oxford Castle will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland this Christmas with our giant Christmas tree and magical snow. Watch out for an appearance by Santa too!

FOLK CHRISTMAS CAROLS 6th December 3pm – 5pm Enjoy traditional festive carols in the Castleyard. FREE.

OXFORD CHRISTMAS MARKET 10th - 20th December. 10am – 8pm daily (10 Dec 5pm – 8pm) Oxford Castleyard. Visit our Christmas Market for that special present. Choose from a wide variety of stalls selling Christmas gift items.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.OXFORDCASTLE.COM OR INFO@OXFORDCASTLE.COM

B4 OFFICE

ENGINEERS WITH

VISION

PART 2 – KEY SYSTEM FEATURES & END USER TRAINING Part 1 in Issue 12 covered the much debated topic of voice over IP and created an interesting mix of businesses wishing to discuss in more detail. We continue in this issue providing some useful and interesting information, whilst being mindful of keeping it uncomplicated. Part 2 will look at some key usable features of a modern telephone system and how end user training is significant to a successful installation.

A phone system has 100’s of available features; the fact is only a small percentage will ever be used. The systems we supply will provide the same strong feature set whether you have 4 or 400 extensions. A simple but very common feature used by everyone is ‘last number redial’. If we expand on this feature it becomes highly attractive when used like this. You may have received a call earlier this morning and now need to call that person back, but may not have the number at hand. Every extension has the ability at the press of a button to view up to the last 50 or so numbers that have rung

able to receive email. It could be that a voice mail message has just arrived, or a recorded conversation has just been completed. The message will appear in your voice mail box, as well as in your Outlook Inbox and at your personal mobile device. A successful installation is often measured by the ability of the end user to benefit from a new system and the features it has to offer. A well structured and delivered training programme is key to finishing off a new installation. Training can be broken down into three main areas; Operator, individual end user and

“…training is significant to a successful installation.” Another very useful feature is the ability to randomly record a telephone conversation, again at the press of a button. During a conversation you may be listening to an order detail or a description being given. Both sides of the conversation will be recorded; once a call has been completed it is stored in your voice mail box for future reference. Unified messaging is the use of a single inbox for different types of messages - voice, fax, email, and of course comes with a price tag. A great free taster of how a unified system can benefit the end user is the notification of a voice mail in Outlook. This is a standard feature within a voice mail system and can be extremely useful for people office based or on the move with a mobile device

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system administration. A one to one with individual end users or group sessions can be tailored to suit each installation. We are very often complimented on the detail we go to in setting up a system for maximum benefit. We want to show you how we can improve your telecommunications and would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation, consultation to see where we can make a difference and start to make some significant savings to your line rental and call charges. Look out for another ‘engineer’s vision…’ in the next issue of B4 Magazine, and see the contact details at the back of B4. www.orangestripe.co.uk

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

at your extension and then initiate a returned call.

B4 ACCOMMODATION

THE OXFORDSHIRE HOTEL & SPA

In Issue 12 of B4 Magazine, we met with The Oxfordshire Golf Club’s owner, Paul Gibbons who revealed that he would be breaking soil on an exciting new 4* hotel, scheduled to open in May 2010. After months of detailed planning, B4 are pleased to introduce to our readers more details about the fifty room hotel and spa.

Based at the foot of The Chiltern Hills, just twenty minutes from historic Oxford and minutes from the M40 motorway, the modern-American ‘parkland’ design, which includes two of the world’s top 500 holes in a millennium poll by Golf Magazine, has made it a members’ and visitors’ favourite ever since. However, since its purchase in 2001 by Paul’s ‘Leaderboard Golf’ company, changes have been afoot at The Oxfordshire. Over the next couple of years there will be two new openings at the club. A championship par 3/executive 9-hole course in 2011, for those less able to contemplate the full 7,200 yard championship course; and one even bigger arrival. In May 2010, the 50-room Oxfordshire Hotel, is set to make the Club a national and international destination for golfers, tourists and business travellers alike. The Hotel will include state-of-theart facilities normally associated with 4* luxury accommodation, and more. The Clubhouse is already equipped with a traditional Japanese Oforu

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hot spa – a popular destination for members between the 18th hole and the 19th – which will be made available to hotel guests alongside the hotel’s own indoor fitness centre. Comprising forty six premium en-suite rooms and four suites, the hotel rooms have been designed by Paul’s wife, Jennifer Gibbons. An example of Jennifer’s design flair can be seen in a purpose built prototype room at The Oxfordshire, which General Manager, Tim Pettifer, would be delighted to reveal to interested parties. It is Paul and Jennifer’s joint intention to create a stunning country golf club and spa around the renowned mature eighteen hole course. Thanks to elite architect, Rees Jones, The Oxfordshire has established itself as one of the most versatile and challenging courses in the country since its opening in 1993. Jennifer spoke with B4 about the challenges she faced and what she was looking to achieve, “I have been involved since day one on this project and, I must say, it has been testing and

enjoyable, all at the same time. Paul and I have put our hearts and souls into this because we want it to be perfect. We have been 100% involved in the planning and design, but from agreeing the ideas, it was down to Paul to get the planning permission and organise the build. “My role is to look at the interiors, everything from light fittings to carpets and curtains, all the way through the hotel. The concept room has been very useful to test our theory and make slight tweaks here and there.” Jennifer has been very involved with husband Paul’s other golf clubs, being instrumental in the re-design of Chart Hills Golf Club, including the new conference facility. Her remit at The Oxfordshire isn’t just focused on the new hotel, “I have just completed the re-design of the bar area upstairs and we are gradually getting through the other rooms so that the hotel and club house will be on a par when the hotel opens. “We want the hotel and club to have a country club feel with soft furnishings and fabrics, especially in

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the rooms. We have developed four types of rooms, with four clear and distinct colours and fabrics. I have been fortunate enough to have stayed in a number of excellent hotels across the world, and I have sought to incorporate some of my favourite aspects of these within the overall design and ambience of The Oxfordshire. I think it is vitally important, however, to think about design from the guest’s perspective, so, we are confident that we have covered every conceivable requirement - as well as providing some unique amenities - and we anticipate a very positive response from visitors.”

Reservations: The Oxfordshire Hotel & Spa will open in May 2010, and bookings are now being taken.

The hotel will have a luxury spa, a fifteen metre swimming pool and a fitness centre, in addition to the existing eighteen hole tournament golf course, golf practice and teaching facilities, not forgetting six conference rooms.

If you would like to make a reservation or find out more information please contact the club on 01844 278300. Introductory rates will start from £89 per room.

General Manager Tim Pettifer, a former manager of

www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

NEW HEAD

vital to start with ingredients of the very highest quality, and do only as much as is necessary to bring them to perfection - that, in my opinion, makes for the best food. I like to let the seasons write the menu.” The menu is expected to include a particular focus on regional produce and, for special occasions, dishes associated with Oxford and the surrounding area.

C

H E F

Newly-appointed head chef Derek Muircroft comes to the Oxfordshire with a county-wide reputation already established, and it is for this reason that The Oxfordshire is expected to really pull away from the competition. At his previous post, Derek won two rosettes from the AA Restaurant Guide, and held a ‘bib gourmand’ from the Michelin Guide – one of only one hundred and fifty chefs in the country to be awarded this special recognition for affordable fine dining. “My culinary philosophy has always been that it is

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the highly-prestigious Cliveden House Hotel, who has been appointed to launch and run the new hotel, told B4. “This is a very good period for us to be opening, as more golfers are looking for high-quality golf breaks here in the UK as an alternative to more expensive overseas options. We will be a leader in meeting that demand,” said Tim, “whilst being close to Oxford means the Hotel will be top of the list for luxury tourism and business travel. It really is an unbeatable combination.”

Derek has already made an impact by holding a fund-raising picnic for the world-renowned Oxford Food Symposium, where his game pies and home-made chutneys elicited high praise from some of the world’s top food writers. But the menu will not stop at the county borders – in a continuation of the Japanese theme, Derek will also be making way for The Oxfordshire’s resident Japanese chef, Toshi Ebihara, to execute some of his own creations. “I have as much to learn from Toshi as him from me,” confirms Derek.

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B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, launching soon. The site will be an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

THE PROFITABLE HOTEL COMPANY www.profitablehotelcompany.co.uk

SCIENCE OXFORD www.scienceoxford.com

Amanda Nolte Head of Research and Innovation

PENNY & SINCLAIR www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

Wendy Sinclair Director

FRILFORD HEATH GOLF CLUB www.frilfordheath.co.uk

Alistair Booth Director Stuart Harrison Owner

“I have been very impressed with B4 and it has developed in to a sought

THE OXFORD WEALTH CLUB www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk

after publication, eagerly anticipated by its readers. Oxford is a great place for business, and if B4 can provide the glue to stick these businesses together, then B4’s significance to Oxfordshire business can only increase.” Stuart Harrison, Hotel and Leisure Consultant and Visiting Fellow of The Business School Oxford Brookes University

THE M GROUP www.theMgroup.co.uk

OXFORD AIRPORT www.oxfordairport.co.uk

CUSTOMERS REALLY MATTER www.customersreallymatter.co.uk

Mike Jennings Managing Director

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Stefan Wynne-Jones Chairman

ORANGE STRIPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS www.orangestripe.co.uk

James White Managing Director

Bob Harris Club Manager

JENNINGS OF GARSINGTON LTD www.jennings.co.uk

OXFORD HOTEL ASSOCIATION www.stayoxford.co.uk

David Surley Head of Customer Services

Gary McHale Partner

NORTH OXFORD GOLF CLUB www.nogc.co.uk

Paul Avins Managing Director

Nigel Pursall Managing Director

Richard Smith Managing Partner

David Reaves Marketing Manager

PENNY & SINCLAIR www.pennyandsinclair.co.uk

James Penny Director

CHARITABLE FUNDS www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk

Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Charitable Funds

FINDERS KEEPERS www.finders.co.uk

Frank Webster Director

JILL TRELOGGEN INTERIORS www.jilltreloggen.co.uk

Jill Treloggen Owner

FOUR PILLARS HOTELS www.four-pillars.co.uk

Chris Green Group Marketing Manager

THE OXFORDSHIRE GOLF CLUB www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

LIVE OXFORD www.liveoxford.com

MANCHES www.manches.com

RICHMOND VILLAGES www.richmond-villages.com

Richard Quartermain Proprietor

Tim Pettifer General Manager

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B4 OFFICE

“we have had to be very resilient and not slip back to old habits….”

GREEN UPDATE

In Issue 9 of B4, we met with B-Line’s Chief Executive, David Beesley, who had just moved his business to new premises in Stanton St John. A year on, the business is going from strength to strength and moving to new premises at the same time as ‘Going Green’ have been the best moves they could have made. Kay Thomas, David’s daughter, talks to B4 about the benefits of the move and why there’s no looking back. When we spoke to David a year ago, he told B4 that he liked to blaze a trail wherever he could, “Yes we like to be at the forefront, not that we feel an obligation to set an example. It is something which has come naturally for us and by changing location, it gave us the perfect example to look at what we were doing and ask ourselves, ‘how could we do this better?’”. Having reaped the rewards of a change of location and settled in to the new systems the company demanded of itself in this new ‘green’ phase, is Kay happy with the progress? “There have been highs and lows over the past year, and settling in to a new location and sticking to our green principles has been a real challenge at times, because of the state of the economy. We are a generally positive bunch here at B-Line, but the credit crunch has meant it has been difficult for us and our customers at times, and we have had to be very resilient and not slip back in to old habits. “Looking back at how we used to be, it’s amazing the changes we have taken on board and now take for granted. Anything from recycling, using less paper, ordering more efficiently and even working together in an open space presented us with challenges to start with, but it is all second nature now. Everyone has bought in to the new way of working and the office is functioning well. There is definitely a more coherent and positive level of communication between us all. We are all much more focused, but that doesn’t mean we have totally lost the fun element.” Being ISO14001 compliant, B-Line have had to increase their environmental

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performance against set objectives through their Environmental Management System. This gives Kay and her colleagues a systematic approach for managing the environmental impact of their operations. “Look at the business five years ago, and the changes have been dramatic. By not holding stock (or very limited amounts), we have not only reduced our space requirements, we have also reduced our carbon footprint. And what we do deliver is delivered as efficiently as possible (see B4 Issue 7) by targeting business parks so we can deliver to multiple businesses at one location.” With a network of warehousing across the UK and stock holdings in excess of £50million, B-Line is well placed to supply all of your office stationery needs on a next working day basis. B-Line Business Supplies is a company at the forefront of the business supplies industry, and so has forged strong and efficient supply partnerships ensuring that customers receive orders as and when they need them. Let B-Line add value to your business by taking advantage of their wealth of experience that will ensure you only buy 'best value' and 'fit for purpose' products for your business needs. Your dedicated account manager will work closely with you in ensuring that through product rationalisation, your objective of value for money purchasing is achieved. www.b-line.co.uk

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Your Venue to be Proud of Thirty Four serviced apartments Two Large Function Rooms Four Meeting Rooms Breakout Areas Fully air conditioned Function and Meeting Rooms Built in wireless network In-house audio-visual services Web casting and on line video conferencing service Full catering service Onsite parking for accommodation and wheelchair users 24 hour security

Cantay Ho use, Pa rk End Place,Oxfor d OX1 1JD t: +44 (0)1865 797979 f: +44 (0)1865 797980 w: www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk e: info@conferencecentreoxford.co.uk

B4 EDUCATE

WHERE INDUSTRY & SCIENCE MEET Eminent Professor Peter Dobson, Director of The Oxford University Begbroke Science Park, met with B4’s Richard Rosser to give B4 readers an insight into the unique environment at Begbroke.

There are few other locations which could boast such an impressive clutch of world-class scientists working alongside colleagues from industry, decision-makers and entrepreneurs, with the aim of translating cutting-edge research into commercial opportunities. Professor Dobson, a striking yet, at the same time, enchanting character, stands amongst them as a leading light at Begbroke. With an enthusiasm for his job knowing no bounds, I put it to him that he really is the archetypal ‘kid in a sweet shop’. But the pioneering work which takes place just minutes from the centre of Oxford is far from child’s play. Begbroke’s mission, as clearly stated on its website is, ‘To create and sustain an environment in which the interaction of Research, Business and Learning constantly produce new synergies - and to translate these synergies into innovations to meet today's industrial challenges.’ In a nutshell, it is a breeding ground of ideas for you and me for the future. Professor Dobson is quite obviously proud of the development and work which he oversees, and he explains how Begbroke is something of a blueprint, “Although the site is unique, it is now being imitated in other places. We are beginning to see similar operations cropping up in other universities. “We basically have the embedding of university research laboratories, alongside small companies, mainly spin-offs from this university or other universities. We offer facilities which can be bought into by small companies, in fact the site revolves around the presence of materials analysis facilities which themselves started as an offshoot, an annexe of the Department of Materials in Oxford. “This has grown considerably in the last seven or eight years, and we are now one of the national micro nanotechnology centres. We call it ‘Begbroke Nano’, and the facilities are open to any company from the UK, but because of the proximity to our companies on the site, literally a few hundred yards walk at the very most, they make good use of them.” The facility is run on a day to day basis by Dr Alison Crossley who will co-ordinate the use of the equipment so that it is utilised to its maximum capacity for the benefit of university and non university related business. “Dr Crossley timetables everything very well such that the waiting period for analysis is limited. We are also extremely cost effective, more so than anywhere else in the world.” For a facility supporting over four hundred scientists on any one day, Professor Dobson’s 62

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team of twelve or thirteen is incredibly lean, and he is quick to praise the work of his administrator, Dr Caroline Livingstone, for this efficient structure. Professor Dobson also reserves high praise for Barbara Allsworth, the popular manager of the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise. With experience working for Phillips and having consulted for a number of large companies, Professor Dobson is well qualified to comment on what makes for a successful science park, and is delighted with the way Begbroke operates. With Begbroke in close proximity to other science parks in the county, such as Harwell, Oxford Science Park and Milton Science Park, Professor Dobson believes Begbroke can play an important role if the parks can work to their collective strengths. “We really have a hotbed of science research and development here in Oxfordshire, but it is vital that we play to each others’ strengths for the greater good.” With regards to the projects being undertaken at Begbroke, Professor Dobson gives us an insight into a selected few, “We are currently examining the ways in which microbes interact with nano particles. We are also moving on to figure out how we can use nano technology to harvest the most value out of crops, turning waste biomass into high value compounds, such as alcohol or other high value chemicals. There is another group, predominantly from the materials department, which is working on solar cells and how their idea can be scaled up so that we can produce the solar cells in a continuous reel on a plastic film. “In the Engineering Science and Chemistry Departments, we have colleagues who are someone working on new catalysts to convert waste methane into a liquid fuel. The same group is also looking at taking out some of the waste products from exhaust streams, an area in which we hope to do a lot more work in the future.” Professor Dobson also has a vision of capturing carbon dioxide from a power station, adding water and using sunlight to convert everything into an alcohol, and then into a fuel. “We are looking ahead at things which will help climate change, help energy sustainability and it is really the application of the lessons we have been learning from nano science in the last decade. A new concept is creeping into our academic world and that is life cycle analysis. We are looking at the whole process from birth to death of a product and trying to minimise the energy input and minimise the waste legacy. It is part of what I call a ‘solution driven approach’. We are looking at problems and we are finding solutions.” I also learn more about the vehicle of the future, powered by motors on all four wheels, and about impact testing of materials for aircraft and jet engines to enable them to withstand bird-strikes. There are new gas-powered guns under development that will fire projectiles into materials to simulate this. In terms of products developed which we see in our everyday life, Professor Dobson’s own company, Oxonica, has developed a titanium oxide sunscreen which is www.b4-business.com

retailed through Boots, and Stagecoach are employing a diesel fuel which uses a nano particle of cerium oxide, again developed at Begbroke. “We are also conducting some novel medical research work here. We have developed particles which can be injected into the body to give higher contrast for cancer tumours, thus facilitating detection of cancer tumours at a smaller size, before they start to cause problems.” Professor Dobson also reveals his vision for the future of the planet. “All vehicles will be under a tonne in weight, no more 4x4’s with just mum and a child in”, he claims, “we are going to see incremental improvement for the internal combustion engine, but I am really excited about the prospect of being able to have electric powered vehicles where the electricity has been generated by a sustainable source. I suspect we will go to an intermediate stage of using nuclear power - it’s an absolute must in the UK, but we have always got the problem of legacy and what we should do with the waste.” But he concludes, with a word of warning, for the planet, “Population explosion, if I was being philosophical, is something which needs to be curbed. Improving lifestyles for the whole world, including the third world, is not a sustainable scenario, due mainly to the levels of CO² emissions. We have to, in some way, lower our overall expectations and use energy more efficiently.” I put to Professor Dobson that his research into saving lives, through medical advances in particular, could end up creating an even worse scenario. “Of course, if you start increasing your life expectancy in countries like India and Africa, we will have a severe problem on our hands. I was shocked to discover that the mortality rate of Indian women in poor agricultural areas was around 35, caused predominantly, it is believed, by them inhaling the smoke from their cooking stoves. If you solve that problem, and their life expectancy goes from, say, 35 to 60, the population is going to mushroom and grow. This, in turn, will place massive stress on sources of food and water, which could ultimately lead to wars. “If we are going to solve or partly solve the problems a growing population will bring, we have got to start accepting genetically modified (GM) foods, but that in turn poses problems as they require water. I appreciate GM foods are more drought resistant, but only slightly, and I can see a day when water is more scarce than oil.

PROFESSOR PETER

DOBSON After a career as a lecturer in Physics at Imperial College and Senior Principal Scientist at Philips Research laboratories, Professor Dobson was appointed to a University Lectureship and College Fellowship at the Queen’s College Oxford in 1988, and a Professorship in 1996. At Oxford, his research moved into the areas of nanoparticles, nanostructures, optoelectronics and biosensors. In 1999 he spun-off a company, now called Oxonica plc, that specialises in making nanoparticles for a wide range of applications, ranging from sunscreens to fuel additive catalysts and bio-labels. In 2000, with colleagues in Chemistry and Engineering, he spun-off Oxford Biosensors Ltd that made a hand-held device based on enzyme-functionalized microelectrode arrays. He was appointed to his present position in August 2002, and has the responsibility of setting up new research institutes that will combine University activities with company R&D, and leading a team that facilitates the rapid transfer of technology and knowledge. This has led to him being in demand internationally to advise on Knowledge Transfer. He consults widely and advises several corporate and national organizations on nanotechnology. His research interests are very broad, covering most aspects of nanotechnology, and embracing biotechnology, environmental technology, energy and materials science, especially the applications to medicine. He is also currently the Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK P J Dobson, BSc, MA (Oxon), PhD, C Phys, F Inst P, Member of the ACS.

“Society is going to face huge problems and they are not going to be resolved by technical minds. The solution requires all sciences to be embraced, combined with the economic and social science aspects of technology, because these disciplines will have to combine to help save the planet. The problems of the future will bring the thinkers from the pure physical and social science arenas together, and I look forward to Begbroke playing a significant role.” www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk 63

B4 COMPUTE

“So what makes us different and how does it benefit you”

OXFORD HOME IT SUPPORT

Oxford Home IT Support gives advice on how businesses can save money on their IT bills We tell you what other IT companies won’t. Why others don’t want you to talk to us. Oxford Home IT Support specialises in providing IT advice and support for small businesses and home users and believe in ethical IT. We have a passion for giving you advice and information to save your business time and money, and to give you control of your IT with robust systems, so that you can understand it better and get more out of it, with as little cost to you as possible. We don’t assume that since you are a business, you’ll have more money to spend, or that because you are a business there is a standard set up that you must have. We believe in giving you the right advice for your business, not just the same advice to all businesses. We also provide advice on Windows, Mac and Linux, so can provide expert advice on a wide range of systems, not just Windows and we have been doing so for over 25 years. So what makes us different and how does it benefit you? Before we automatically suggest you have a server, a mail server and a whole assortment of other systems put in place at a high cost and with a high cost maintenance contract, we

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talk to you. We find out what it is that you want to achieve, we listen to your needs and only then make any recommendations about what would be best for you. We don’t believe you should pay more for something than you need to, or have systems that you really don’t need. Does your current IT provider document your systems for you and provide you with all the information you would need to maintain your systems? If not, why not? We provide you with all the information you need about your systems so that you are in control. We give you diagrams and charts so you can see what you have and tell you how to use it. It means you’re not locked into us, so you always have a choice. Here is one example of our advice that saved one business over £1,700. It had been suggested to them that they had to have MS Office to do word processing and spreadsheets. We suggested trying OpenOffice which can do that all of that and is totally free, so there was nothing to lose. They tried it, liked it and have used it ever since, saving a huge amount of money instantly. OpenOffice is free and can be downloaded for Windows, Mac and Linux and can open, edit and save Word and Excel documents. Just go to

www.openoffice.org to try if for yourself. If you’re not sure whether it is up to the job, IBM have over 300,000 staff using OpenOffice and have just told the remaining 60,000 MS Office users, that they will be switching to OpenOffice as well. Business owners and staff often need the facility to use their PCs when not at the office, to look up some documents or check on some emails. There are a number of systems that can do this, some which present a security risk, others which cost money. Often companies will recommend solutions that will involve them reselling services, for extra profits. We recommend using LogMeIn Free. This allows you to control your PC from anywhere in the world from a web browser, securely and for no cost. There are paid upgrades, but the free version is sufficient for most needs. Just go to www.logmein.com and see how it could help you. For more information on how we could help your business, why not just give us a ring on 01865 594020 and have a chat. It won’t cost you a penny and we won’t give you a hard sell. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. We look forward to talking to you. Look out for more free information in the next issue of B4. www.homeitsupport.biz

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DIAMOND LIGHT SOURCE THE

UK’S LARGEST SCIENCE FACILITY

Nestling in the foothills of the Ridgeway in Chilton, south Oxfordshire, Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron facility. The shiny silver doughnut-shaped structure you glimpse as you head south down the A34 towards Newbury, houses a high-tech machine called a synchrotron that produces extremely intense beams of light. These beams of infrared, ultraviolet and X-rays enable scientists to study the world around us at the atomic and molecular scale. With applications in virtually all fields of science from the natural world to medicine, engineering and cultural heritage, Diamond is available for use by researchers primarily from the UK, and around the world. The intense light generated is directed into a series of laboratories called beamlines where it is used to probe deep inside the structure of solids, liquids or gases. Officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in October 2007, Diamond is already playing a major role in ground-breaking science in this country. Funded 86% by the Government via the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and 14% by the Wellcome Trust – the world’s largest 66

biomedical charity – Diamond does not exist to make a profit, but rather to play its part in the advancement of our knowledge and to position the UK at the forefront of scientific research worldwide. Whereas the majority of the researchers who use the Diamond synchrotron are from academia, 10% of its experimental time is available for use by Industry. Diamond welcomed its first industrial researchers in August 2008, when scientists from US-based global biotechnology company Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated collected their first set of data. With a UK office in Milton Park in Abingdon, Vertex is well-positioned to use Diamond to advance its research programmes for the treatment of serious diseases. By www.b4-business.com

B4 EDUCATE exploiting the facility’s extremely intense X-rays, Vertex scientists can investigate the atomic details of how novel drugs bind to proteins involved in human diseases. These types of structural studies have become a cornerstone for the understanding of biological processes and an invaluable element of modern medical research, leading to more rational design of therapeutic agents. Dr Graham Cheetham, a Research Fellow at Vertex, is a regular user of Diamond. He says, “Vertex continuously seeks new technologies and new methods that will improve our drug discovery and development efforts, and Diamond’s synchrotron brings to Vertex a novel tool for advancing our capabilities. To conduct cutting-edge science you need cutting-edge tools, and Diamond is a centre of excellence when it comes to its equipment and scientists.”

environment, whereas the same metal in a different oxidation state can be extremely harmful. By helping companies understand the types of contamination present in such sites, Diamond can play its part in the remediation process by arming industry with the knowledge they need to design effective clean up techniques. This area of research is also being studied by academic scientists, like Dr Paul Schofield from the Natural History Museum, London, who is using Diamond to investigate the feasibility of using bonemeal as a cheap and sustainable method to treat metal-contaminated soils, which are threatening the ecosystems around them. Paul explains how it can help, “If you add a soluble phosphate such as bonemeal to soil, it dissolves into the groundwater, reacts with metals and forms

from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries. The different samples allowed the team to investigate the influence of acidity, as the soil in each location had a different characteristic pH. The initial results were encouraging and the research carries on. The above is just a snapshot of the diverse academic and industrial application of Diamond’s beamlines. Visitors to the facility are often challenged with the task of coming up with a research area that has not benefitted from synchrotron science in some way… they are yet to succeed. The applications are vast. Along with its dedication to advancing scientific research, Diamond also aims to inform and involve the public by communicating its work through varied and interesting methods. It has already undertaken a number of innovative science and art

“Visitors are often asked to come up with a research area that has not benefitted from synchrotron science” A totally different scientific problem which is being addressed with the use of Diamond is in the area of remediation of contaminated manufacturing sites. The environmental legacy of work done at these sites is something that those concerned with decommissioning of facilities have to take extremely seriously. By using X-ray absorption spectroscopy, it is possible to do chemical speciation of metal contaminants present at low concentration levels. In some instances, a metal present in one oxidation state is harmless to the www.b4-business.com

metal phosphates. These are extremely insoluble and inert, and so won’t interact with the ecology.” This method is seen as a promising remediation technique that does not require the removal of soil – the current, unsustainable method. Paul and his team came to Diamond with samples of treated soil from three locations: Parys Mountain in Anglesey, whose copper mines date back to the Bronze Age and Wanlockhead and Leadhills in Dumfries and Galloway, where lead was mined

initiatives, with an aim to widen access to science and reach alternative audiences. The facility also holds regular ‘Inside Diamond’ days when its doors are open to the public allowing visitors to meet the scientists and engineers and discuss the science that takes place there. To learn more about Diamond and to find out when the next ‘Inside Diamond’ day is, please visit www.diamond.ac.uk

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Begbroke Centre for Innovation and Enterprise The Begbroke Centre for Innovation and Enterprise offers high-tech start-up companies a unique environment in which to grow. Located only five miles from central Oxford, the CIE offers an entrepreneurial atmosphere where companies can interact with academics, many of whom are internationally renowned in their fields of science. Centre for Innovation and Enterprise Phone: Begbroke Science Park 01865 854800 Sandy Lane Fax: Yarnton 01865 854801 OX5 1PF Email: www.cie.ox.ac.uk cie@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

Begbroke Science Park

Where Science and Industry Meet The Centre offers serviced accommodation with: r r r r r r r r r r

A range of office and laboratory spaces across the ground and first floors Service risers which allow easy installation of specialist equipment to wet and dry laboratories Flexible agreements with one month notice period Staffed reception which includes telephone answering and support services High-speed broadband internet and telecom access Structured cabling throughout 24 hour, 7 days a week access control and independent security for each unit Parking (pro-rata) In house centre manager On site security patrols

Conference Facilities and Meeting Rooms

Whether you are planning a conference, exhibition, product launch, workshop or simply looking for somewhere to hold a business meeting, Begbroke Science Park offers you the right venue and an excellent standard of service to ensure that your event is a success. Set in the peaceful Oxfordshire countryside, yet only 5 miles from the city centre, and with easy access to the A34, M40 & the Oxford ring road, Begbroke Science Park offers comfortable, well-equipped conference facilities and meeting rooms for 5 to 60 delegates.

All rooms are equipped with audio/visual equipment including: r HD Data projector, screen and laptop PC r Video/DVD player and Public address system r Hearing Loop system r Wireless internet connection r Interactive whiteboard r OHP, whiteboards and flipcharts r Conference Phone facility Air-conditioned rooms are also available.

Catering and Hospitality

Begbroke Science Park Sandy Lane Yarnton OX5 1PF

A high standard of food is produced by the resident Chef and team in the on-site restaurant, which can be delivered to your meeting room any time throughout the day. This can be anything from a simple sandwich lunch right through to a hot fork buffet as well as tea, coffee and soft drinks.

Phone:

www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk 01865 283700

Email: enquiries@begbroke.ox.ac.uk

news Looking for the right advice? Not sure where to turn for quality business advice, particularly if you are just starting out? Well, through Business Link you can access a variety of support such as mentoring, counselling, workshops and advice, from its many partners in Oxfordshire. Most of the support is free of charge and each has its own area of expertise, depending on what stage you are at and what type of business it is.

Oxfordshire Business Enterprises, TBAC Mentoring and Science Oxford Networks. There’s also support from the Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub for businesses with high growth potential, training from the Ethnic Minority Business Service, support for 18-30 year olds from the Prince’s Trust and the Enterprise Gateway helps the more deprived areas in Oxfordshire. Business Link can help with any business questions you have and put you in touch with the additional support available. Call 0845 600 900 6.

For example, there’s advice, coaching, mentoring and workshops from

Under the Spotlight Jan every step of the way and although the service is completely free, there is absolutely no compromise on quality.” Have you ever run your own business? Yes, when I was 19 I ran a design studio from Shepperton Film Studios in Partnership with another Graphic Designer. It was a fantastic experience and we bumped into some famous people too! What do you love most about being a Business Link Adviser? The variety of l people I meet who are really excited about being in business and committed to moving their ideas forward. Favourite business personality on TV? Mary Queen of Shops. She is an inspiration and a real authority on brand and retail communication. Retail is really suffering in the recession and a lot can be gleaned from Mary’s comments. One luxury you’re going without during the credit crunch? Like most, I have really tightened household expenditure. Gone are all those expensive extras that found their way into the shopping trolley. I make lists now and it’s essentials only. I have noticed I’m saving pounds. Business Link Advisers provide free face to face support to local businesses. Jan Curley is one of seven advisers working in Oxfordshire. One of Jan’s customers recently said: ““I follow the advice I receive from

Best way of spending money on a rainy day is… Get yourself down to the cinema, a bit of escapism is good for everyone.

Grants for Rural Businesses and Communities LEADER is an exciting new source of funding for farmers, foresters, rural business and projects that will benefit local communities. The funding is part of the Rural Development Programme for England. Grants of up to £50,000 are available. Farmers and other rural businesses can receive up to 100% of eligible project costs and community projects can apply for up to 70%. For example providing or improving community facilities such as village halls and community shops. Ewelme Village Store, a new Thames Valley Farmers Market, and a local forester are just some of the local projects that have benefitted from the funding. To find out about the LEADER fund please contact Nick Phillips at nick.phillips@ngagesolutions.co.uk or call 01844 210447.

Contact Business Link by: call: 0845 600 900 6 email: info@businesslinksolutions.co.uk web: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast

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DRIVEN TO LEARN Oxford and Cherwell Valley College’s Principal and Chief Executive, Sally Dicketts, met with B4’s Richard Rosser to discuss her progress to date at one of Oxfordshire’s leading educational establishments, outlines her plans for the future, and her quest to recognise good talent.

Sally Dicketts is incredibly down to earth and open for an individual drenched in responsibility and surrounded by pressure. A calm, soothing character, she is quite obviously in control of all she has responsibility for, and it is a mind-boggling portfolio, I can assure you. With over fifteen thousand students, one hundred and twenty five full time courses and over one thousand part-time vocational programmes, plus courses tailored to meet the needs of business clients and courses for overseas students, this is more than just a job, this is an all-consuming way of life. Perhaps it’s Sally’s open side which facilitates a free-flowing conversation about a wide range of subjects over which she has considerable knowledge, and although she leaves you half convinced she’s lucky to be in her position given her own learning handicap (Sally openly admits she is a failed learner and a dyslexic), there is no doubt she is proven leader material and totally at ease with her position. But Sally has not had a straightforward path to Oxford, she has had to dig everything out and work for it, not that she resents this is any way. It’s more power to her that she is where she is today, despite the many obstacles placed in her way, “I was a July baby, which is fairly fatal for a child, as you are always a year behind of the rest of the class. In primary school I didn’t do well because I couldn’t spell, so when I took the 11 plus, I failed it so successfully that I spent the first part of my secondary education in a remedial stream. “You quickly develop strategies to cope with dyslexia, you have to. I was given another test whilst in the remedial stream and they discovered that, actually, I could read and write, so I moved up a class every year in my secondary school. I went from practically the bottom class to the top in the fifth year, took my O’ Levels and, much to the school’s surprise, passed. I eventually got through to College and happened to discover the reference my school had sent out to the Colleges I was applying for. It read, ‘Sally Dicketts was delightful, very sociable, and very popular, but somewhat lacking in intellect and motivation to learn.’ As a youngster, you believe something written about you by someone in a position of authority, and that really hit me. “When I went to college, it was the first time somebody sat me down and said ‘you are not doing any work, you’re really lazy’, and that was all I needed, someone to tell me the truth. I worked and actually got my degree”, beams Sally, some thirty years on, still immensely proud of her achievement. “And that’s why I went into teaching, because, even to this day, in my fifties, I am still not a confident learner, because of my experiences when I was twelve.“ Sally talks at length about the precise difficulties she encountered as a child, and then as an adolescent, experiences which encouraged her to, in her own words, ‘go into education to save the world’. Education is quite clearly a quest for Sally Dicketts, “I am very passionate about 70

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B4 EDUCATE

On 1st October 2003, Sally began her career at Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, accepting it was going to be a huge challenge leaving behind her a successful college and career in Milton Keynes. “The job here sounded incredibly challenging. With three colleges about to merge, a recently failed Ofsted inspection and in severe financial difficulties, it would seem totally illogical to an impartial observer that I would leave the relative comfort of Milton Keynes for the mess I walked into at Oxford.” Coming from a profitable college to one which had a combined turnover of £33 million, but a deficit amongst its three colleges of £3 million, it really was a change of scenery in more ways than one. Whereas the scene had been set in Milton Keynes prior to her arrival there with a solid foundation upon which to build, if she could turn the shop around in Oxford, it would all be down to her and her team.

“Believe me, students know what they are paying for now, so if they are expecting five essays to be marked in a certain period and they have only had three back, they will, and are entitled to, complain. It really is a whole new ball game and we have to tune into that. We have to make it quite clear what they are paying for and what they can have as ‘additional services’, but these will be at a cost. “It is vitally important that employers, employees, prospective employees, i.e. students, all understand that readying a student for employment isn’t the end of the process. Just in the last five years we have seen a massive overhaul in the way we communicate and do business. That alone should tell us that training must be an ongoing process to ensure that students remain fit for purpose.” But the real issue for Sally is to encourage every business to buy in to the philosophy that training is worthwhile, that it can make a difference, “I would be more than happy to get around a table with local businesses to see how we can help them, to put the ball in their court and ask ‘what do you want?’ In my last college, we did just that and tailored courses to

“I knew I had a lot more to offer ” “Staff moral was low when I joined, but the staff ahve worked incredibly hard, resulting in a ‘Good’ across the board in last year’s Ofsted report. I now want us to be ‘Outstanding’, I want us to raise the profile of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College within Oxfordshire, and I want the College to have a worldwide reputation for excellence. I want employers requesting our students because they know they will get an employee of high standards. This has already started to happen.” Having been at Oxford for six years now, does Sally feel the College is heading in the right direction? “The past six years have certainly been ‘interesting’”, says Sally, wry smile present and correct, “as for the first three years, it was a massive internal process, working with colleagues to come up with the right structure, making sure that the right people were in place, coping with the fall out of the merger, everything. “My role now is more strategic, seeing how we can improve, deriving benefit from sitting on a number of national and local committees and adapting what I learn for the benefit of the College. Another key role is to try and set a culture and tone, much easier said than done. Doing the good things goes unnoticed and only enhances your profile piece by piece, but negative news can blow years of good work and the stigma hangs around for a long time. “One of my other key drivers is trying to improve the customer interface, and by that I mean the culture between all staff and students. We have to shed the old fashioned view of teachers, as the fountain of all knowledge telling students that they were ‘terribly lucky’ that they were teaching them. We have moved on and now the students have to be seen as our partners in the learner processand we have to give them an excellent service.

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Photography: www.studio-8.co.uk

education discovering what is good in an individual. I sincerely believe our education system tries to find out what is wrong and wastes time trying to fix it – why not focus on making the good even better? Surely that is better for an individual’s confidence?”

the needs of the employers. We backed it to such an extent that we offered their money back if the students we put through the courses didn’t make the grade. It worked incredibly well.” So the offer is there for Oxfordshire businesses to contact Sally to see if a way forward can be found, to everyone’s mutual benefit. The last word, in these troubled economic times, is with Sally who warns businesses not to look at a recession as an opportunity to cut all costs, “Why on earth do businesses think they have to cut marketing and training in a recession? Why do the marketing when things are great and send staff on courses when you need them most in a busy period? In a downturn, it is a great opportunity to train, even if, when times get really tough, staff you may only recently have sent on a training course are made redundant – at least they are then much more employable. And training doesn’t have to come at a cost – there are ample funded courses which doesn’t mean you are paying for someone else’s training even if you do have to let trained staff go.” Sally Dicketts is a voice to be reckoned with. Having fought against adversity throughout her life, her raison d’être is to recognise talent and nurture it. If only everyone else were on her wavelength then the talent factory that is Oxford and Cherwell Valley College would really be able to put itself on the map. www.ocvc.ac.uk

ABOUT Sally Dicketts has spent her whole working life in education. The first eight years were spent in schools, holding the posts of Head of Business Studies, Head of Careers and Head of Fifth Form. Subsequently, she has worked continuously in the Further Education sector, spending four years at Hackney College, and then joining Milton Keynes College as Director of Curriculum and Learning Strategies. Sally progressed to become Director of Marketing and Development and then Principal and Chief Executive of the College between 1996- 2003. On 1st October 2003 she became Principal and Chief Executive of Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. Sally is a member of the City & Guilds Learning and Assessment Policy Committee. She is a Board Member of ACM and AoC. She chairs the Communications Gateway Practitioners Panel and the Women's Leadership Network, is a member of the Oxfordshire Management Club, All Souls group and is a leading thinker for the National Education Trust. She sits on the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership, Oxford & Cherwell Strategic Partnerships and 14-19 Strategic Partnership. Sally lives in Oxford with her partner and their fourteen year old daughter.

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The new Oxford Heart Centre, opening this Autumn. Photo supplied by Oxford Medical Illustration, John Radcliffe Hospital.

Charitable Funds - At the heart of the community We rarely stop and think about how our hearts work – that is until something goes wrong. But, as heart disease is the biggest cause of death for men and women in the UK it is in all our interests to support the life-changing treatment and research that takes place here in Oxford. The Oxford Heart Centre, opening this Autumn on the John Radcliffe site, will provide research, diagnosis and treatment facilities for heart patients across the region. With your help we are aiming to provide an additional £2 million worth of advanced equipment and patient facilities for this state-of-the-art centre. It is so easy when faced with depressing statistics to think nothing can be done – but if you are a local business person, you now have an opportunity to get involved with our fundraising and make a very real difference – and who knows how many of your own staff and family members could benefit in the long term?

achieve fundraising pledges of up to £200,000 for various campaigns. Without this support the Children’s Hospital would not have been built and the Cancer Centre would have less equipment and fewer facilities. Just this summer we were delighted to report in B4 that Amey – the Oxford-based public services provider - has pledged to raise £100,000 for the Cancer Centre, a terrific commitment. We have a track record of working with business and understand your unique needs and concerns. You can get as involved to whatever degree you want – from pledging to raise enough money to name a building, ward, room or garden or making the Heart Centre Campaign your charity of the year; to putting out our collection tins and sending out information about our fundraising events to your staff. So why not find out more about how your company and our fundraising team can work together? For an informal and no-obligations discussion or simply to find out more please contact Graham Brogden on 01865 743442 or graham.brogden@orh.nhs.uk

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds has successfully formed partnerships with many local and national businesses, working together to

ORH Christmas cards Why not show your clients and customers that you support a local charity by choosing ORH Charitable Funds Christmas cards to send out this year?

exclusive ‘Winnie the Witch’ card to support the Children’s Hospital. Other cards support the Cancer Centre and the Heart Centre and there is also an option to choose any areas across the hospitals that you would like your purchases to support. Call 01865 743444 or email campaign@orh.nhs.uk

We have an exciting selection supporting causes across Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals. This year award winning children’s artist, Korky Paul, has created an

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news Abseilutely fabulous A record number of people took the 100ft abseil plunge in aid of the Children’s Hospital this September. All of the 149 participants – aged 18 to 85 – successfully abseiled from the top of the Women’s Centre at the John Radcliffe, and sponsorship from the event looks set to raise over £30,000 helping children treated across the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust. Penny Hambridge, Children’s Development Officer in the Community Fundraising team, said: “This has been one of our best ever turnouts and the support from the local public is exceptional. These events really are inspiring, as many of those taking part are parents or family of children who have been treated at the hospital. The event was sponsored by Bicester Country Club, and we’d like to thank them for their continuing support.” The Charitable Funds abseils have become a regular sight at the hospital and are proving a great way to fundraise for important causes across the Trust. Many people take part because the causes are close to their heart, but others are eager to try something new and happy to raise some money along the way. We always welcome corporate teams – and it’s a great way of raising morale and developing team spirit. So why not get in touch if you would like your company to have a go “on the ropes”.

Reubena Ovourie from Witney, abseiling on behalf of the Children’s Hospital picture: www.purepix.co.uk

Put your heart into it February is ‘Put Your Heart into It’ month, raising funds for the Oxford Heart Centre. Charitable Funds are working in partnership with Nexus and Go Active to encourage members and the wider community to organise their own ‘healthy heart’ fundraisers as well as creating a range of different activities across their leisure centres in Oxfordshire. So whether you take part in a Nexus event or organise your own sponsored run, swim or healthy dinner party, ‘Put Your Heart Into It’ really is an opportunity for everyone to get involved and help thousands of heart patients. If you would like more information about how your business can join in, please call Jan on 01865 743443.

Coming Up: It’s Not Just A Walk In The Park, Sunday October 18th

Put Your Heart into It, February, 2010

The Oxford Mail OX5RUN, April 18, 2010

Join Wesley Smith and friends on a three-mile sponsored walk for Oxford’s Cancer and Heart Centres, on Sunday October 18th. The gentle route through Oxford University Parks is suitable for all ages and abilities. Call 01865 743444 for more details.

A month of fundraising events to support the Heart Centre. You can join in organised events at Nexus Leisure Centres and through Go Active or organise your own. Contact Jan on 01865 743443 to find out more.

The date for the next Oxford Mail OX5RUN, supporting the Children’s Hospital has now been set. So plenty of time to get your training under your belt. To register your interest or to enter a team please call Cynthia on 01865 743444,

Find out about all our fundraising events, and how your company can get involved by calling 01865 743444 or see our website www.orhcharitablefunds.nhs.uk

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A FLOWERING REPUTATION Buying a bunch of flowers has, like many things we do today, turned into just another thing to tick off the list. Emma Walker ensures that every bunch of flowers leaving her shop in the heart of Summertown is prepared with the level of care one would expect from a top end florist. By her own admission, her biggest fault is overdoing it, adding too much value, perhaps getting carried away with a job she clearly loves. But is that such a bad thing? Emma Walker adds a bit of glamour to B4.

Emma has certainly worked hard at carving herself a niche as one of Oxfordshire’s premier florists. Hailing from Jersey, where she longs to set up premises, Emma spent summer holidays and weekends working for two of the island’s leading florists, insisting that there is a massive demand for her to set up in her homeland. Having trained at the internationally renowned Jane Packer Flower School in Marylebone, Emma had to ask herself whether she wanted to start a business in the incredibly competitive London market, return

over in April 2006.”

along well and recommend each other.

Emma soon outgrew her original premises, and outlines why she had to move, “It was a great starter shop, but didn’t have enough space for what I wanted to do. It was very pretty, but it lacked ‘work’ space, storage space and for what I wanted to do, I knew I needed somewhere bigger.”

“As an independent flower shop, I like to think that we provide something out of the ordinary. We are amongst a group of independent florists in the immediate vicinity and we all co-exist and thrive because we all offer something that extra bit special.”

As a resident of Summertown, it was a match made in heaven when her current premises came on the market, reflects Emma, “It was exactly where

One of the tricks Emma seems to have executed to perfection is creating a persona which many people accept has been part of the fabric of

“AS AN INDEPENDENT FLOWER SHOP, I LIKE TO THINK WE PROVIDE SOMETHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY.” to Jersey or set up shop in Oxford, where her brother James was living. Her choice was quite an easy one, as she explains, “Oxford was one of only a few realistic options for me. I had been looking at Flower Works in St Clements and it happened to come on the market at the right time, and I took

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I wanted to be. The premises provided us with excellent retail space together with extensive workrooms, storage and parking. The area was perfect for me, and I had always wanted to be based in North Oxford. There is a real feeling of community down here in South Parade, we all get

Oxford’s independent traders for years. But at twenty nine, Emma isn’t exactly in line for her bus pass yet. I myself was guilty of a second glance when I first met Emma, and this is not, apparently, uncommon. “A lot of people expect me to be older than I actually am. I’m not sure if the name of the

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B4 SPOTLIGHT shop leads people, in some way, to believe I have been around for a while, but I often have customers walking into the shop disbelieving that I am Emma.”

just one large piece just as you enter the premises. We can make the whole thing fairly painless and can be in and out in just ten seconds, completely replacing arrangements, quickly and efficiently.”

Despite her age, Emma certainly has a sound set of business principles and knows what she wants, as she explains, “I always knew that I wanted a ‘different’ flower shop. As I have gained more

Flower colours can also be representative of a company’s branding and logo, adding to the impact, especially at an event. “It certainly adds to the overall effect if you walk into a marquee or

day’s stock in. Everything comes to Emma in refrigerated vans, but if a flower isn’t ‘fit for purpose’ it is thrown. Even, much to my amazement, flowers ordered to go to as far afield as Scotland originate from Emma, “It’s just as easy to get a delivery on a twenty four hour service, as it is to get one of the national florists to arrange it. This way, I can guarantee the quality and that the customer is getting my flowers. I can’t risk allowing a small shop

experience about what works, I have developed more of a rustic element, but I am always experimenting with the shop layout. I listen to the customers a lot and I think they appreciate that I canvass their opinion.”

exhibition room, which are often quite soulless places, if not decorated properly, and you can distract people from the uninspiring décor with stunning flower arrangements.”

somewhere potentially upsetting my hard earned reputation – it’s just not worth it and our way of working in terms of deliveries suits us down to the ground.”

Supporting Emma are her staff, Louise Fleming,

The service Emma provides is not excessive in terms of cost, with weekly flowers from as little as

With Christmas fast approaching, Emma reveals that the shop has become something of an

Hazel Ball and Tahima Rahman. “We work very much as a team, especially when we have a wedding to do. It’s an incredible team effort and we all get a real buzz when there’s a big exciting job to prepare for.”

£30, including delivery. Emma frequently visits prospective clients to advise what she can provide, tailored to their budgets, so why not give serious consideration to sprucing up the company reception or boardroom?

In addition to the mainstream day to day public facing shop, Emma also provides an excellent event service including weddings, business lunches and larger corporate events. “We have provided flowers for lunches, dinner events and launches, awards ceremonies, and also a growing amount of work in private homes. We also provide weekly flowers for offices, boardrooms, everything and anything. Flowers can really make a huge difference, even to a reception area. It shows the business cares about its image and can make the business look so much more professional, quite inexpensively.”

With extensive experience in a number of local stately homes and private houses including Blenheim Palace, Emma has quickly established a reputation as a smart operator who delivers what the customer wants, and more. This has ensured an abundance of work by word of mouth, which Emma is particularly proud of, “I love the fact that we get business through word of mouth, especially through weddings. It is an amazing endorsement of what we do when you are recommended by Brides you have worked for.”

attraction as it is transformed to reflect the season. “I love Christmas. There is such a great atmosphere in the street and I decorate the shop like something out of Narnia – it is my massive indulgence for the year. We did a great tree last year and we had so many customers coming in asking for exactly the same tree, decorated just as we had it in the shop. It didn’t stop there. We also had customers coming in who had seen trees we had decorated at their friend’s house asking for exactly the same tree! We did eight of the same style in North Oxford alone last year!”

Emma admits that with recent cost cutting exercises, beautiful flowers in the reception or boardroom were, on the whole regarded as non essential items. “Some companies have cut out the cost completely. Others have narrowed it down to www.b4-business.com

One thing Emma is a stickler for is the quality of her flowers, and prides herself on the almost non existent level of complaints she has had about flowers leaving her shop. Fortunately, gone are the days when florists had to be up almost before they had shut up shop the night before to get the next

Emma Walker is certainly passionate about flowers and, seemingly, Christmas Trees. But if you are serious about sprucing up your office reception or making sure you get the Christmas Tree to beat the Jones’, don’t leave it too long to get in touch, as I think this young lady is going to have a busy year.

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Photography: Alissa J Robinson

“EMMA HAS QUICKLY ESTABLISHED A REPUTATION AS A SMART OPERATOR.”

news About Oxford Innovation Oxford Innovation manages a network of Innovation Centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 300 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies. Innovation Centres are different to business centres: they provide companies with a professional environment to grow along with a range of support services. Oxford Innovation also manages three

highly successful Investment Networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the Investment Networks have helped over 90 companies raise over £19.5 million. Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), Europe’s leading technology business angel network, and 2009 Angel Network of the Year

winner, has recently announced results showing that it has enjoyed a record-breaking year of helping innovative companies to secure funding. A range of Innovation Services are also available to ambitious businesses, including investment readiness, raising finance, networking, mentoring, protecting IP and new business opportunities.

Vitual Office Packages from Oxford Innovation Virtual Office space comes in many guises, whether it is branded as online offices, mobile offices, executive suites or even ‘cyber assistance’. It primarily boils down to one main concept: to provide a low cost and low risk professional business image. The original ‘virtual office’ concept was believed to be pioneered by Australian serviced office provider ServCorp in the late 1970’s, but it is now more commonly recognised to have been coined by Chris Kem, of American Way magazine in 1983. In his article, titled ‘The Virtual Office’, he believed with the advent of new technology at the time (portable computers) business people could appear to be at their desks in their corporate headquarters when in fact they may be thousands of miles away from their actual corporate office. From this, the term ‘virtual office’ was created. Twenty five years on, Oxford Innovation has developed the virtual office package even further. It is more than just a remote business address, it is an entire support package. In the current economic climate the obvious advantage is the cost saving associated with taking a virtual office rather than renting office premises. In addition to this, virtual space will also allow your business to remain fluid, so you can adapt your

strategy and respond to the market as and when required. Using a home address and telephone number may seem like an easy option, but in many cases it won’t instil confidence in potential customers - most companies want some assurance of a larger more established company. With Oxford Innovation’s virtual office package, you can gain all the benefits of being part of the Innovation Centre community, whilst continuing to work from home. Alongside the benefit of using one of our Innovation Centre business addresses, you would also have a dedicated direct telephone number with calls answered in your company name by one of our Innovation Centre receptionists, immediately giving your company a professional image. This also allows you to ensure that you don’t miss those all important customer calls if you’re out on the road. Meeting facilities within the Innovation Centres are also available to use by virtual office clients, so you are able to meet customers in a professional surrounding, rather than your home or the local coffee shop. The elements of this virtual office package provided by Oxford Innovation, are designed to help you focus on the key aspects of maintaining and

A ‘virtual’ success story Based at Bicester Innovation Centre, Extrinsica Global provide remote office solutions for companies on the move. The flexibility of a virtual office suited the way they work and the solution offered by Oxford Innovation was excellent value for money.

growing your business while remaining professional and not taking unnecessary risks before you need to. So what does the future hold for virtual offices? With the ever competitive markets, customers should be looking for ‘true added value’ incorporated within a virtual office package. Access to ongoing business support alongside traditional virtual office services will equip your business with the tools it needs to stay competitive. It is these added value services that make the chances of business survival and growth significantly higher. Becoming part of Oxford Innovation’s network of innovative start-up and growing companies will give you access to a range of business support tools, including raising funding, ongoing mentoring, business planning support and technology audits; providing your business with those tools needed to rise above your competitors.

Banbury Innovation Award 2009 The Banbury Innovation Award was inspired by the work of Colin Sanders, a local entrepreneur and inventor whose name lives on in The Colin Sanders Innovation Centre Banbury. The Centre supports a range of innovative media and technology businesses and is managed by Oxford Innovation. The Award brings together innovative and fresh ideas from businesses in the north Oxfordshire

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region, and rewards the winners with a trophy, a cash award and the opportunity of developing their idea or business with a superb package of support from a range of local professional services.

business address in the north Oxfordshire area and have completed and submitted a signed, formal application form by the closing date of 21 November 2009.

Over the past three years, the Innovation Award judges have had the pleasure of seeing a host of fantastic ideas and meeting some inspired people in the search for a winner. Applications are welcomed from people who reside or have a

For an application form visit www.banburyinnovationaward.co.uk where you can also find information on the entry criteria and the excellent package of prizes.

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NEW B 4 WEBSITE COMING SOON Call 01865 742211 to make sure your business is listed W W W . B 4 - B U S I N E S S . C O M

news Helping to secure the Internet Nominet have recently been involved in the development of Open Source software that manages the security of domain names on the Internet. The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the basic building blocks of the Internet, and any vulnerabilities in it can affect the security of the entire Internet. DNSSEC is an extension to DNS that has been developed to address this problem. It authenticates responses from DNS servers and aims to prevent DNS spoofing, a common technique used by hackers. We have worked with a number of other Internet industry leaders, including the Swedish and Dutch

Internet registries to develop OpenDNSSEC, a tool that simplifies the process of implementing DNSSEC and handles the entire process automatically. This makes it easier for Internet service providers, web hosting companies and name service operators to deploy DNSSEC, which will significantly increase the number of users. Our CEO, Lesley Cowley, commented: "Making the Internet a more trusted place for all is one of Nominet's main objectives. This is a key initiative for us and we actively support and encourage the development of any software that will create an environment safe for Internet users. We enjoyed working with other registries who share our vision to develop this tool and will continue working with them."

Recognition for British Internet innovation In July we announced the winners of the Nominet Best Practice Challenge 2009 awards that recognise innovative Internet achievements from the UK. The winners are: Best Development Project: Rafi.ki provides an online community for secondary schools that enables pupils and teachers from around the world to work on education projects.

self-regulation and tackling issues of concern to the public. Personal Safety Online: Childnet International’s KIDSMART web site offers a wide range of interactive activities for young people to educate themselves about online safety. Internet For All: Screenreader.net develops free software tools to enable the visually impaired to benefit from computer technology.

Best Security Initiative: Business Crime Reduction Centre implemented a range of e-security initiatives and provides practical advice to small to medium enterprises.

Open Internet: The British Library created an online interactive tour for people to enjoy a virtual experience of its 2009 exhibition 'Taking Liberties: The Struggle for Britain's Freedoms and Rights.'

Raising Industry Standards: Internet Service Providers' Association has raised the standards of the ISP industry by promoting competition, better

Special Award: Get Safe Online campaigns to educate, inform and raise awareness of Internet security issues amongst consumers and businesses.

Reducing online shopping risks There have been a couple of stories in the media recently about consumers being tricked into buying fake goods on the Internet by companies pretending to be based in the UK. As online shopping becomes prevalent in the UK, and with 72% of UK consumers preferring to search for a .co.uk web site than a .com, it is more important than ever that consumers take sufficient care when shopping on the Internet. When Nominet took over the operation of .uk in 1996, a decision was taken to operate .co.uk and .org.uk as “open” second level domains, meaning that any type of organisation based anywhere in the world could register these domain names. This means that whilst the vast majority of registrations are from the UK, a small proportion of registrants are from non-UK businesses and consumers.

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Domain names in .co.uk are allocated on a first come, first served basis and there are currently 140,000 new registrations every month. Whilst we don’t police applicant locations, it does not automatically follow that consumers in countries with stricter registration policies or application vetting are necessarily any better protected. In practice the physical address used to register a domain name does not provide any guarantee of legitimate supply of goods. Nor does dealing with a business based in the UK. Nominet is committed to creating a safe online environment for UK consumers and business but given the technology involved, there are not many quick or easy fixes. One simple safeguard is for people to carry out a quick WHOIS check on our web site if they have any concerns. Sites trading

online cannot opt out of having their information displayed in our WHOIS database. Where information is out of date or inaccurate, we reserve the right to cancel the domain name and regularly do if the details are not updated promptly. We also work closely with the Police and are working with the UK Payments Administration Ltd to see how we can better work together against online fraud. So, if you’re shopping online and you have any doubt about the web site you are using then you can reduce the risks by performing a WHOIS search or other simple checks. Other good advice on reducing the risks when shopping online is readily available, for example, at www.getsafeonline.org. As they say: if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

www.nominet.org.uk

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The First step to a healthier Lifestyle The best corporate deals Fantastic student memberships Friendly, qualified staff Membership to suit you! • Cardio theatre • Free weights • 30+ classes per week • Jacuzzi • Sauna and steam room • Sunbeds • Personal Training • Injury Clinic • Nutritionist • Massage therapy • Beauty clinic • Powerplate

6 High Street Oxford OX1 4AB T: 01865 251261 E: oxford@bourtonmill.net W: www.bourtonmill.net Opening Times: Monday - Friday 6.30am - 10.00pm. Saturday & Sunday 9.00am - 7.00pm. Bank Holidays 10.00am - 6.00pm

news Tackling the issues Planning, public sector procurement and parking. Three of the priority business support issues highlighted in a special consultation OTCN ran at our 2009 conference. As part of our work with the Oxfordshire Economic Partnership (OEP), OTCN asked business leaders at the conference to identify issues faced by their members that can be tackled wholly, or to some extent, by organisations locally. The other three to emerge were Business Rates and rents (particularly their impact on the shopping mix in market towns), using the size and scope of the county’s business networks to explore better deals on utility bills, and compiling a digest of

infrastructure business.

issues

that

are

hampering

We’re now working with members of the OEP Business Support Group (see www.oep.org.uk) which brings together the county, city and district councils, SEEDA, Business Link, business support agencies OBE and TBAC, and our fellow business organisations, to examine how best these and other issues raised can be tackled. Businesses that would like to see other issues added to the agenda can contact us by email to enquiries@otcn.co.uk Picture by Alison Nicholson/OTCN: Oxford United Chairman Kelvin Thomas was keynote speaker at the 2009 OTCN Conference just days after a 10,000+ crowd packed into the Kassam to see the Us beat promotion rivals Luton.

Building capacity As part of our commitment to increase the capacity of local business groups to tackle the issues they face, OTCN is to pilot a series of training workshops. They’re designed for the (largely) volunteer leaders of our 24 member groups and their executives.

The aim is to help build on the skills they have to support the activities and projects they’re running in our towns. We’re proposing workshops on promoting your group, working on the empty shops issue, finding new funding, and managing events. Details at www.otcn.co.uk

Countdown… OTCN continues to help deliver tangible support to businesses in the county and it’s an exciting time with two of the projects we’re working on now in their final stages. The campaign to

reduce the number of plastic bags handed out in Witney shops launches in October. Shoppers who say ‘no thanks’ to a plastic bag in a participating store will be given a voucher which

can be passed to one of the town’s schools. Schools that collect most will win prizes to support environmental projects they’re running. Children at St Mary’s Infants in the town (see picture) helped us highlight the ‘Bags of Life in Witney’ campaign which is funded by Oxfordshire Waste Partnership. We are also in the final stages of creating a shoppers guide for Kidlington (supported by Cherwell District Council) to help promote trade in the village centre. It’s called ‘Welcome to Kidlington’ and there will be printed copies and an online version. Talking of our website, it’s even busier than usual as we build an exclusive listing of the county’s Christmas Lights Switch-On events. Visits to the site soar during October and November with people using it to track down details of their local town events.

Around the county The Oxfordshire Town Chambers Network is a communications network for local chambers and other business membership groups, and it continues to grow. Two local branches of the Athena Network are the latest networking groups to join us (see www.otcn.co.uk/ events_network.htm).

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Businesses continue to sign up to join our member groups including new tenants at Monument Park, Chalgrove, and members of Kidlington Voice and Faringdon and Banbury Chambers. New members are listed at www.otcn.co.uk/new_mem.htm as they join. Oh and one last thing… between issues of B4 you can keep up to date with what’s happening in the Network on twitter by following otcniain.

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B4 would like to thank the following Ambassadors who have generously given their backing to the new B4 Website, launching soon. The site will be an essential networking resource, great for circulating offers to fellow members and crucial for issuing press releases to help you shout about your business. Make sure you are listed by calling us on 01865 742211.

OXFORD INNOVATION LTD www.oxin.co.uk

CITY SIGHTSEEING (OXFORD) www.citysightseeingoxford.com

Jo Willett Sales & Marketing Director

OXFORD CASTLE www.oxfordcastle.com

David Strainge Transport Manager

BARCELO OXFORD HOTEL www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk

Cormac O’Hara General Manager

Jean-Pierre Morilleau General Manager

STUDIO8 PRO PHOTOGRAPHY www.studio-8.co.uk

OXFORD UNITED FC www.oufc.co.uk

Clark Wiseman Managing Director

OXFORD RADCLIFFE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk/ privatehealthcare

Kelvin Thomas Chairman

BLINK DESIGN & PRINT www.on-the-blink.com

Alex Barnes Assistant Director Private Patients & Overseas

THE M GROUP www.theMgroup.co.uk

Richard Clayton Partner

THE OXFORD CENTRE www.the-oxford-centre.co.uk

Andrew Lund-Yates General Manager

STUDLEYWOOD GOLF CLUB www.studleywoodgolfclub.co.uk

Ken Heathcote Partner

TREVOR OSBORNE PROPERTY www.topgroup.co.uk

Keith Simpson Senior Designer

Trevor Osborne Chairman

“From the first issue we have always been contributors and supporters of B4. We recognise the value of collaborations in the business world and we understand the need to promote local business within our own community. Where we can generate economic activity together, then everyone benefits, and for that reason we are fully behind this initiative from B4.” Trevor Osborne, Oxford Castle

BARCELO OXFORD HOTEL www.barcelo-hotels.co.uk

CONSULTANT www.darbys.co.uk

Sturge Taylor Consultant

THE CAKE SHOP www.the-cake-shop.co.uk

Chris Farren Director and CMTA Chairman

MACDONALD RANDOLPH HOTEL www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk

Michael Grange General Manager

Cormac O’Hara General Manager

SUREFIRE DIGITAL www.surefiredigital.co.uk

Rob Jones Director

IMAGE AUDIO VISUAL SOLUTIONS www.image-av.co.uk

Andy Fegan Managing Director

HUNTS www.hunts.co.uk

Aimee Joy Commercial Director

HENMANS LLP www.henmansllp.co.uk

Carolyn Tenholter Head of Marketing

FRONTDOORZ LTD www.frontdoorz.co.uk

Cathy Dunbabin Director

Is Your Name On The

B4 / MGroup Golf Cup 2010?

The

4

th year of the tournament will see qualifiers from

up to

5 courses battle it out for the coveted title

of Oxfordshire’s Best Business Golf Team CONFIRMED VENUES SO FAR: Frilford Heath & Studley Wood

TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST CALL 01865 742211 or editorial@b4-business.com

FOOT IN THE DOOR I would challenge you to find someone as passionate about their business, someone with as much enthusiasm for their trade, or someone with as much pride in their work as Richard Quarterman of property maintenance contractors, Live Oxford. Richard spoke to B4 about his desire to establish Live Oxford as Oxford’s leading property maintenance company. Richard Quarterman is a bundle of energy whose dry sense of humour would serve him well on the stage. It is his effervescent personality and undoubted aim to do a job not just well, but superbly, which sets him apart in a sector which enjoys a reputation for poor service levels. With a diverse but fascinating background which has seen him secure a business management degree from Oxford Brookes, he has, in his own words, ‘taken a corporate approach’ into a business which is notorious for cutting corners and failing to deliver, as he elaborates. “That is my unique selling point, that I have an awareness of structure, of order and service expectations, combined with the ability to actually deliver a high quality job. If I am tasked with a project, I see it through and more. I hate loose ends, and that’s what I have spent a lot of my formative years doing – tidying up other people’s loose ends. I have already built up a regular client base by demonstrating that I go that extra mile no matter how small the job. This approach has led to larger projects and on-going maintenance contracts. One of my biggest clients,

business and business systems. I know about market research and everything that comes along with managing a business, and I mix these skills for my customers’ benefit.” Richard has property management in his blood. His family have been buying, owning and letting property for the best part of seventy years in Oxford, and that has given Richard an affinity with what he does on a daily basis. “ I have worked in office roles, managing large teams in blue chip companies, and although I consistently achieved my high standards, it was never going to provide me a career that I loved. I have always been in control of my own destiny, and being able to provide turn key property solutions in my home town is a perfect future for me as it provides the passion in business that was missing before..” Despite his familiarity with the business, it took Richard some time to pluck up the courage to go it alone. Having enjoyed the security of being employed by relatively large companies Richard’s fear was that if he went it alone, would he be able to win enough business to make things work? To limit the risk, Richard

“From small acorns, so they say, that is my line of thought” Willow Cottage Nurseries, started in just that way. I carried out a project for the owners in their own garden which then led to Live Oxford winning the contract to carry out all maintenance work for Willow’s award-winning nursery schools in Eynsham and Farmoor. It is quite evident that Richard is proud of his achievements, and has a stubborn need to provide his clients with a service that will leave them wanting more. “I think that is the difference between what I do and what my customers have resigned themselves to accept as the norm. I am well aware of customer service, I know about marketing, advertising, and how to run a

researched his market and asked himself what services he would like to be able to take advantage of if he was a customer. “I wanted to be a solutions provider, and limited my solutions to five key areas. Gardening and landscape design, which meant anything from a student’s front garden to landscaping four acres; property extensions and the management there of; painting and decorating; general property maintenance and renovation; and, finally, gas safe checks.” So often when setting up in business, it is difficult to turn down any jobs, simply because you want to make an impression and win business. As any

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK What Richard’s customers have to say about him: “Delivering a very reliable and professional service to families and businesses for working parents we really do rely upon Richard and the Live Oxford team. Live Oxford help us to maintain theextremely high standards so necessary forsafeguarding and protecting our children. LiveOxford really are an intrinsic part of our team” Valerie Grady, Director, Willow Cottage Nurseries.

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“Richard is an organiser and a thinker, so if you have a problem he will help you solve it. He has chosen to apply those abilities to the building and maintenance business, and the package comes with honesty, sincerity and trustworthiness. So I would not hesitate to recommend Richard for any building maintenance or refurbishment work.” Mike Jennings, Managing Director, Jennings of Garsington.

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B4 HOME business develops, providing it is growing the right way, it should be able to pick and choose the work it takes on and it shouldn’t need to be as speculative, but not Richard Quarterman. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the job may seem, it’s a chance to impress and show what he and his team are capable of. A key driver for Richard is interaction with his client, is making sure the client knows what is going on with regards to pricing, the detail of the job and what Richard’s solution entails, following that an after-sales call which is made to ensure that the project went to plan. This isn’t a false, well-thought out plan of working. This is all natural, it’s as Richard would expect if he were on the other side of the fence. So where does he see the business going from here? “I see Live Oxford going from strength to strength, I am confident that there is a need for the standard of service Live Oxford has to offer, and I am confident in my ability to attract new business in order to achieve growth. I am, however, mindful of the fact that my unique selling point is the high standard of the work and the level of service I personally deliver each client. It is important to me that this is not lost as Live Oxford becomes bigger. I am incredibly demanding of myself and I take great pride in doing a job well I expect my team to have the same attitude and standards.” Relationships with other Oxford businesses and referring business is also key for Richard in the development of Live Oxford. He recognises the power of the network, and this has helped generate significant levels of business to date. Live Oxford is currently managing over 35 rental properties across Oxfordshire and as previously mentioned has a contract with one of Oxfordshire’s leading childcare providers. Gaining a reputation is clearly important to Richard and he wants to be the man you turn to when a project needs managing, not that he will always do it himself, but that he will manage the project to such a high level, that the customer will get what they want, and come back.

“’From small acorns’, so they say, and that is my line of thought. I will aim to get the job in hand done quickly, in budget and exceed my client’s expectations. That wins me repeat business. Peace of mind is what we all want, and finding people we can trust saves us time, worry and often, money. That is what Live Oxford is all about. Just let me get my foot in the door.” www.liveoxford.com

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Photography: Eranga Hadirampela

So, whatever needs doing, from a few small jobs around the house, or a major garden landscaping, ask Richard for his views and for a quote. His services come highly recommended by a number of key B4 customers, so no matter what the job, give him the chance to impress.

VIVRE LE RÊVE Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons is most probably the finest oasis of decadence in the world. With a reputation established on an enchanting mix of exceptional cuisine and optimum service levels, Le Manoir has been painstakingly created amidst a backdrop drowning in perfection. We were invited to experience our very own slice of excellence, and to discover more about Le Manoir’s private dining and corporate facility, la belle époque. Editorial by Richard Rosser.

It is difficult to know where to begin when writing about somewhere as special as Le Manoir. Having been fortunate enough to spend just twelve hours sampling Raymond Blanc’s personal vision of ‘a dream of a hotel and restaurant in harmony where my guests would find perfection in food, comfort, service and welcome’, it was a wrench to leave, but as Tennyson said, ‘better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all’. Everything about Le Manoir, despite the heavy summer rain, was as Monsieur Blanc had dreamt. Having been welcomed by the hotel management,

one another, quite effortlessly, and, following a “fashion-show” change of clothes (well I can imagine they must be quick!), we made our way to the lounge for a soupçon (guilty, it was a full glass) of champagne, and then to the amphitheatre that is Le Manoir, the heart and soul of this magnificent edifice. Any restaurant decorated with two Michelin stars must be special. Without Monsieur Blanc and his team’s undoubted and considerable efforts since 1984, Le Manoir would not enjoy its position as one of the country’s finest restaurants. However, Le Manoir without one or two Michelin stars would

take the reins. Thisaut Parnas, Le Manoir’s sommelier, escorted us through a selection of four complimentary wines to accompany our extraordinary meal. With just one iota of imagination, it isn’t hard to appreciate just by reading the inset menu, that we experienced something far exceeding special, something unique, ‘quelque chose d’incroyable’. It seems a disservice not to go into detail about dining at Le Manoir, but, rest assured, the experience is one to address if it has not yet been ticked off the list. When you do get to tick it off, make sure you do it in pencil, as this is an

“LA BELLE ÉPOQUE, IS YOUR OWN, UNINTERRUPTED, PERSONALLY PACKAGED VERSION OF LE MANOIR.” we were taken to our suite through what appeared to be an indoor garden. We were staying in ‘Provence’, a spacious suite opening up onto a private courtyard, with its own dining area, and the tallest ceilings with weathered wooden beams adding a spectacular element of character. A cliché it may be, but time really did stand still and the scenes of our own performance merged into

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almost make a mockery of this, most certainly the highest, culinary accolade. Le Manoir and Michelin stars go hand in hand. Sometimes it is best to enjoy a scene or a moment without committing to camera and capturing it for posterity. Very rarely, it is apt to sit back and let those most certainly more knowledgeable when it comes to matters ‘vinous’ or ‘food-related’ to

indulgence which will lure you back. Our evening was completed with coffee in the lounge, a stroll back to the room and a night’s sleep which left me recharged and ready to face the realities of life outside this paradise. We took a scrambled egg and salmon breakfast in the room, followed by our introduction to La Belle Epoque.

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B4 CONFERENCE

WINE Riesling Grand Cru Saering 2005 Domoaine Dirler-Cadé Alsace, France Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Le Soula 2006 Domaine Gérard Gauby Roussillon, France Gevrey Chambertin 2005 Domaine Marc Roy Bourgogne, France Breganze Torcolato 2006 Maculan Veneto, Italy

Le Manoir’s private dining area, La Belle Epoque, is, if it were at all possible, your own, uninterrupted, personally packaged version of Le Manoir. With its own private reception leading from the impressive entrance, La Belle Epoque is perfectly complemented by a charming walled garden, all set within the oldest part of the house. Adaptable to the season and the occasion, La Belle Epoque provides the perfect setting for celebratory drinks on the terrace, croquet on the lawn or the warmth of an open log fire to stimulate your event or special occasion. The wood paneling of the main dining room provides a dramatic backdrop to your event, and the handcrafted stone structure which envelopes La Belle Epoque provides a perfect blend of wood and stone work. Attention to detail is evident throughout Le Manoir, but within the confines of La Belle Epoque, Le Manoir is yours, with your own twist. This is the perfect venue for a wedding reception, business lunch or celebration, with all the benefits of dining in the main restaurant. It can be moulded and fashioned to suit your tastes and event. Corporate events will provide a sober and professional setting, whilst wedding receptions will be replete with flora, vitality and joy. Raymond Blanc and his Michelin starred chef, Gary

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Jones, have created menus specifically for La Belle Epoque, which also caters for children. Personalised menus, place cards and a table plan are provided for your party, and packages including accommodation can be arranged as part of your overall requirements. To find out more about La Belle Epoque and to organise your own personal tour, please call Le Manoir and you will be ably assisted. To experience Le Manoir is not an exercise in spotting weaknesses, as that would be foolhardy and pointless. Le Manoir is an experience to soak up, to savour and to indulge. It is, without question, a living dream. B4 Offer Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons has created a special reader offer for B4. Event organisers or PAs organising a company lunch or dinner for 30 guests or over will be offered a complimentary overnight stay with dinner at Le Manoir. This offer is available from Sunday - Thursday inclusive and reservations must be made before 31 March 2010. It excludes Bank Holidays and is subject to availability. Readers must quote B4 to take advantage of the offer.

MENU Escabèche de loup de mer et salade du jardin Marinated Cornish sea bass, chilled escabèche salad, garden flowers

Risotto aux légumes du jardin, tomates de Sicile, crème de Mascarpone Risotto of summer vegetables, Sicilian tomatoes, Mascarpone cream and garden herbs Filet de barbue braisée, poireaux et girolles Braised fillet of Cornish brill, tender leeks, Scottish girolles mushrooms Suprême de canard rôti au miel et à la lavande, cassis et radis Roasted Goosnargh duck breast with lavender and honey, picked garden radish, fresh blackcurrants Fine nougatine aux abricots poêlés crème légère au Kirsch d’Alsace Pan-fried apricots, delicate nougatine and poached meringue; Kirsch vanilla cream Café “Pur Arabica”. Petits fours et chocolats du Manoir

www.manoir.com

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B4 ACCOMMODATION

THE BAGLIONI LONDON

To sample pure Italian style is an intoxicating experience, and potentially, quite awkward. As we walked into the lobby of the Baglioni Hotel in the heart of Kensington, the authentic charm and warmth of the hotel’s spectacularly attired personnel soon dispelled any concerns that, in the words of any hip teenager talking to their parents, we ‘just weren’t cool’. B4 were the guests of the London Baglioni for a balmy night in August.

“A new vision of contemporary luxury” states the Baglioni group’s beautifully crafted brochure. Not wrong. Style, elegance, relaxation and sophistication are bywords of any Baglioni property, whether they are situated in Rome, Milan, Venice, Bologna or Florence, even Verona or Tuscany. And the good news is that Baglioni hotels are now also in France, and will soon be spreading to Dubai and Marrakech. The London Baglioni prides itself on its first class butler service, Spa and the Brunello Lounge and Restaurant, where Italian cuisine is represented in its finest form. There are just eighteen impeccably decorated rooms, five of them Superior, seven Deluxe, and six Executive. We were in one of the forty nine suites, comprising a spacious lounge 88

area, walk in dressing room, bedroom and marble-clad bathroom, with a fabulous walk in shower.

normally insatiable parking wardens, as the car bore no ticket. It was whisked away to the local car park, and I could concentrate on the meal ahead of us.

The interiors were smart and perfectly presented, complete with state of the art espresso machine, plasma screen TV, with a huge menu of the latest releases to relax in front of later, a well stocked bar and an inviting sofa to enjoy two of the aforementioned three.

The bar area is particularly impressive at the Baglioni. Huge six foot vases adorn the lobby and bar which merge into eachother. The striking bar, set at an angle, is flanked by huge columns and presents the perfect centerpiece for the lobby, bar and restaurant. This isn’t a huge hotel, but the intertwining of three busy areas has been achieved effortlessly, with touches such as the waterfall feature separating the lobby and bar offering a fascinating focal point.

We switched off as soon as we were in safe hands, basically as soon as we walked into the lobby. As we relaxed in the cocktail bar before dinner, a good two hours after having arrived, I remembered the car, outside on a yellow line. Fortunately, the hotel must enjoy a good working relationship with the

Paolo Quaranta and his staff took excellent care of us all evening, advising on perfect accompanying www.b4-business.com

MENU Antipasti Fresh baby spinach leaves and marinated avocado Spinaci novella con avocado marinato Grilled squid with courgettes, rocket and sweet chilli Calamari grigliati con zucchini, rucola e peperoncino dolce A La Carte Pan fried sea bass with asparagus, samphire and almonds Branzino arrosto con asparagi di terra, di mare e mandorle Chef’s special Lobster linguini with cherry tomatoes Dessert Baglioni tiramisú Tiramisú Baglioni Wine – Azienda Agricola Solidea, Passito di Pantelleria D.O.C. 2006 Neapolitan sponge cake drenched with Italian liqueur filled with chantilly cream Zuppeta alla Napoletana Wine – Saracco, Moscato d’Asti D.O.C.G. NV

WINE Ceretto Blangé Arneis 2007 Arneis is a native varietal* which produces a very fruity wine with hints of pears and apples. Its fragrance and flavour are also enhanced by the small amount of CO² kept from the fermentation, which also helps to make up for the variety’s low acidity. This 100% Arneis blend is aged for six months and has a pale gold colour with a tropical fruit, pear and apple aroma. A crisp and slightly effervescent palate with good body and ripe tropical, apple and pear fruit concentration. wine during our meal and some mind blowing dessert wines to accompany our third course. We didn’t fall for the Limoncello on this occasion, although Paolo assured us it was the best we would have tasted - no doubt his grandma’s recipe, again! This is the perfect hotel to relax and unwind in when staying in London. Not necessarily the perfect place to explore London from – it really is too good to want to leave during a short stay – I would recommend arriving early on a Saturday, making sure the fairer side of the couple is set up in the Spa for a treatment, leaving you to relax in the room or bar, or even out on the pavement in front of the hotel overlooking Hyde Park, enjoying your espresso. It’s also a great base for shopping, www.b4-business.com

minutes from Harrods and Harvey Nichols, it couldn’t be better located for shopping in style. There is no smugness or arrogance which come as part of the package in many of the more swanky London hotels. The Baglioni is welcoming, inviting and leaves you wanting more. Baglioni Hotels have unquestionable class and charm, and if the London property can ooze Italian charisma from every single pore as it quite obviously does, then Milan, Rome, Bologna etc…. must be completely mind-blowing. www.baglionihotels.com

This wine is made solely from the Arneis grape, which is indigenous to Piedmont. The grape is notoriously difficult to grow, hence the name, which means ‘the difficult one’ in Peidmont’s dialect. It had fallen out of favour, and was nearly extinct when the Ceretto family began its renaissance in the mid eighties, with the development of the Blangé estate in the Langhe. This is composed of holdings near Vezza d’Alba and Castellinaldo facing south, southeast and southwest. * Varietal describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. 89

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Sponsorship Management All sporting hospitality Bespoke events Ticket sales

If you would like more information on how to develop a sponsorship programme, or to receive a FREE copy of our sporting & social calendar for 2010 please contact: Charlie Allen M: 07540 637261 E: callen@csmltd.org or Piers Lawson M: 07771 794835 E: plawson@csmltd.org Cr usader Sponsorship Management & Events Cotswold Innovation Centre, Rissington Business Park Upper Rissington, Gloucestershire GL54 2QB T: 01451 812277 F: 01451 812201 www.csmltd.org

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B4 Contacts ADVICE

Property Management Lucy Properties 12 14 Contact: Ian Ashcroft E-mail: properties@wlucy.co.uk Telephone: 01865 559973 Address: Walton Well Rd, Oxford OX2 6EE Website: www.lucyproperties.co.uk

Accountants Wenn Townsend 2 Contact: Tony Haines E-mail: aehaines@wenntownsend.co.uk Telephone: 01865 559900 Address: 30 St Giles, Oxford. OX1 3LE Website: www.wenntownsend.co.uk

Estate Agent

Shaw Gibbs LLP 23 Contact: Peter O’Connell Telephone: 01865 292200 Address: 264 Banbury Road, Oxford. OX2 7DY Website: www.shawgibbs.com

Penny and Sinclair 24 26 Contact: James Penny and Wendy Sinclair E-mail: sales@pennyandsinclair.co.uk Telephone: 01865 318018 Address: Mayfield House, 256 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7DE Website: www. pennyandsinclair.co.uk

Solicitors

Nominet 81 Contact: Phil Kingsland E-mail: nominet@nominet.org.uk Telephone: 01865 332211 Address: Minerva House, Edmund Halley Road, Oxford Science Park, Oxford. OX4 4DQ Website: www.nominet.org.uk

MARKETING Design & Marketing

Darbys Solicitors 36 46 96 Contact: Jane Reeve E-mail: jreeve@darbys.co.uk Telephone: 01865 811700 Address: 52 New Inn Hall Street, Oxford. OX1 2DN Website: www.darbys.co.uk

Commercial Property VSL 30 44 Contact: Richard Venables E-mail: rvenables@vslandp.com Telephone: 01865 848488 Address: 22 Bankside, Kidlington, Oxford. OX5 1JE Website: www.vslandp.com

Government Organisations Business Link 71 Telephone: 0845 600 900 6 Website: www.businesslink.gov.uk/southeast

CONFERENCE Conference Venues Conference Centre Oxford Contact: Roger Watts E-mail: roger@oxstay.co.uk Telephone: 01865 254075 Address: Cantay House, Park End Street, Oxford. OX1 1JD Website: www.conferencecentreoxford.co.uk 62

Lady Margaret Hall 28 Contact: Bart Ashton Email: conferences@lmh.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 274320 Address: Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6QA Website: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Telephone: 01844 278881 Address: Church Road, Great Milton, Oxford, OX44 7PD, England Website: www.manoir.com

Retirement Care Villages Richmond Villages 34 Contact: David Reaves E-mail: david.reaves@richmondvillages.com Telephone: 0845 125 5878 Website: www.richmond-villages.com

OFFICE Office Supplies B-Line 61 Contact Name: Kay Thomas E-mail: kay@b-line.co.uk Telephone: 01865 594550 Address: The Green Hangar, Horton Road, Stanton St John, Oxford. OX33 1AG Website: www.b-line.co.uk

Telecoms 88

PROPERTY Commercial Property VSL 30 44 Contact: Richard Venables E-mail: rvenables@vslandp.com Telephone: 01865 848488 Address: 22 Bankside, Kidlington, Oxford. OX5 1JE Website: www.vslandp.com

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Oxford Home IT Support 67 Contact: Richard Hillsdon E-mail: help@homeitsupport.biz Telephone: 01865 594020 Address: Prama House, 2nd Floor, 267 Banbury Road , Oxford. OX2 7HT Website: www.homeitsupport.biz

Orange Stripe 57 Telecommunications Contact: Nigel Pursall E-mail: nigel.pursall@orangestripe.co.uk Telephone: 07775 588 811 Address: Unit 23, 116 Commercial Road, Swindon. SN1 5BD Website: www.orangestripe.co.uk

COMPUTE Customers Really Matter 87 Contact: James White E-mail: james.white@yourcrm.co.uk Telephone: 0845 310 9973 Website: www.customersreallymatter.co.uk

Blink Design Contact: Keith Simpson E-mail: art-work@btconnect.com Telephone: 01865 742211 Address: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford. OX3 0BT. Torpedo Group Limited Contact: Iain Lewis E-mail: laura@torpedogroup.com Telephone: 01865 733710 Address: The Tack Room, Worton Park, Cassington, Oxon. OX29 4SU Website: www.torpedogroup.com

Public Relations BOTTLE PR 17 40 Contact: Claire Cairns E-mail: ClaireCairns@bottlepr.co.uk Telephone: 01865 882988 Address: 33 Acre End Street, Eynsham, Oxford. OX29 4PF Website: www.bottlepr.co.uk

Photography and Duplication Studio 8 66 Contact: Clark Wiseman E-mail: info@studio-8.co.uk Telephone: 01865 842525 Address: 8 Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford, OX5 1AA Website: www.studio-8.co.uk

ACCOMMODATION Short Stay Accommodation Apartments In Oxford Contact: Fafar Watts E-mail: based@oxstay.co.uk Telephone: 01865 254075 Address: St Thomas Mews, 58 St Thomas Street, Oxford, OX1 1JP Website: www.oxstay.co.uk The Oxfordshire Golf Club Contact: Tim Pettifer E-mail: gm@theoxfordshiregolfclub.com Telephone: 01844 278300

Address: Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame. OX9 2PU Website: www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

Restaurants Malmaison Contact: Andrew Creese E-mail: acreese@malmaison.com Telephone: 0845 365 4247 Address: 3 New Road, Oxford. OX1 1AY Website: www.malmaison.com

EDUCATE Oxford Innovation Ltd 79 Contact: Joanne Willet Telephone: 01865 811127 Address: Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell Science & Innovation Centre, Didcot, Oxfordshire. OX11 0QG Website: www.oxin.co.uk Diamond Light 68 Contact: Sarah Bucknall Email: dlsenquiries@diamond.ac.uk Telephone: 01235 778000 Address: Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE Website: www.diamond.ac.uk Begbroke Science Park 64 Contact: Barbara Allsworth Email: enquiries@begbroke.ox.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 283700 Address: Oxford University Begbroke Science Park, Sandy Lane, Yarnton, Oxford, OX5 1PF Website: www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk OCVC 72 Contact: Sally Dicketts Email: enquiries@ocvc.ac.uk Telephone: 01865 550550 Address: Oxford City Centre Campus, Oxpens Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 1SA Website: www.ocvc.ac.uk

NETWORK The Oxford Wealth Club Contact Name: Angela Beaugeard E-mail: oxfordwealthclub@paul-avins.com Telephone: 01869 278900 Website: www.oxfordwealthclub.co.uk

LEISURE Corporate Entertainment CSM Ltd 93 Contact: Charlie Allen E-mail: callen@csmltd.org Telephone: 01451 812277 Address: Cotswold Innovation Centre, 42 A P Ellis Road, Rissington Business Park, Upper Rissington, GL54 2QB Website: www.csmltd.org

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Sam Strange Magic Contact: Sam Strange E-mail: info@samstrangemagic.co.uk Telephone: 07717 495577 Website: www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

Retail Emma Walker 76 Contact: Emma Walker E-mail: info@emmawalkerflowers.co.uk Telephone: 01865 558578 Address: 35 South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN Website: www.emmawalkerflowers.co.uk Lacys 16 Contact: Sue Rosser E-mail: sue@lacysoxford.co.uk Telephone: 01865 558578 Address: 35 South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN Website: www.lacysoxford.co.uk

Golf Clubs The Oxfordshire Golf Club 58 Contact: Tim Pettifer E-mail: gm@theoxfordshiregolfclub.com Telephone: 01844 278300 Address: Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame. OX9 2PU Website: www.theoxfordshiregolfclub.com

Restaurants Malmaison 42 Contact: Andrew Creese E-mail: acreese@malmaison.com Telephone: 0845 365 4247 Address: 3 New Road, Oxford. OX1 1AY Website: www.malmaison.com

Sport Oxford United Football Club 86 Contact: Kelvin Thomas E-mail: mary@oufc.co.uk Telephone: 01865 337505 Address: Grenoble Road, Oxford. OX4 4XP Website: www.oufc.co.uk

Spirit Health Club 54 Contact: Matt Stubberfield Telephone: 01865 888444 Address: Holiday Inn Peartree Roundabout, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 8JD Website: www.spirithealthclubs.co.uk

TRAVEL Public Transport Chiltern Railways 22 Telephone: 08456 005 165 Website: www.chilternrailways.co.uk

Air Oxford Airport 38 20 Contact: James Dillon-Godfray E-mail: info@oxfordairport.co.uk Telephone: 01865 290 710 Address: Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford. OX5 1RA Website: www.oxfordairport.co.uk

HOME Oxford Double Glazing Limited Contact: Alan Brunsdon E-mail: enquiries@oxfordtimberwindows.com Telephone: 01865 324920 Address: 38 Old Marston Road, Marston, Oxford. OX3 0JP Website: www.oxfordtimberwindows.com Live Oxford 88 Contact: Richard Quarterman E-mail: info@liveoxford.com Telephone: 01865 361435 or 0845 472 5888 Website: www.liveoxford.com

BEYOND Hotels UK Baglioni Hotel 90 Telephone: 0207 368 5700 Address: 60 Hyde Park Gate, London, SW7 5BB Website: www.baglionihotels.com

HEALTH Oxford Radcliffe 32 33 41 Private Healthcare Contact: Victoria Shaw E-mail: Victoria.shaw@orh.nhs.uk Telephone: 01865 235703 Website: www.oxfordradcliffe.nhs.uk /privatehealthcare

Health Clubs and Spas Bourton Mill 82 Contact: Gavin Peck E-mail: gavin@bourtonmill.net Telephone: 01865 251261 Address: 6-7 High Street, Oxford.OX1 4AB Website: www.bourtonmill.net

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If you wish to list your business on this page, the charge is £75+VAT for a basic listing and £100+VAT for a listing including explanation of the business. The rate includes presence in 4 issues of B4. B4 Is Designed by

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B4 Magazine Issue 13