B4 issue 49

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’s s re es hi in K ds us e E 24 or B in LIN xf g az OFF O din ag N & a M HIP O Le RS



THE CAREER BOUTIQUE B4 catches up with Katherine Bertram, Managing Director of The Career Boutique, to talk ‘Then & Now’.


W W W . B 4 - B U S I N E S S . C O M



B U I L D I N G   B R I D G E S   B E T W E E N   B U S I N E S S E S

B4 club


4 Welcome to B4: This section introduces you to the B4 Network, with latest members and news, and upcoming events.

42 Cover Girls (and Guys!): B4 were joined by members for a photoshoot at Blenheim Palace for next edition’s cover shot.

12 Upcoming B4 Events: See all of our upcoming B4 Classic and Platinum Events here

45 News from Freeths: Prominent Oxford employment lawyer joins Freeths’ highly regarded employment law team. 46 Entertaining, The Tottenham Way: Richard Rosser chats to Tottenham Hotspur FC’s Director of Hospitality, Andy O’Sullivan.

news 16 B4 News: The latest news from the B4 network


education 31 Past and Future: Take a look at d’Overbroeck’s new Sixth Form and what makes this school stand out.

20 The Career Boutique: Richard Rosser talks to Katherine Bertram about the business Then & Now and her hopes for the future

51 30 Years of Innovation: Oxford Innovation awarded local Oxford businesses in a competition marking their 30th Anniversary. 52 New CEO at Blenheim Palace: Richard Rosser talks to Dominic Hare about his life and what he hopes to bring to the table.

property 55 Who’s Who... Malcolm Kempton: Meet Malcolm Kempton, Chartered Surveyor at Kempton Carr Croft. 56 Oxford’s Property Markets: Jon Silversides of Carter Jonas takes a look at Oxford’s Office, Industrial, and Retail Markets. 58 VSL & Partners: The latest commercial properties and news from VSL.

finance 32 From Browse to Buy: Barclays talks to us about how we can maximise our conversion rates.

legal 24 Employment Tribunal Fees: Freeths takes a look at the recent Judgment passed by the Supreme Court and its implications. 26 GDPR: Knights outlines why GDPR is the perfect opportunity to grow your customer base. 29 Employment Law: David Parry gives his perspective on the recent changes to Employment Tribunal Fees

35 Retail Decline: Shaw Gibbs looks at what retailers can do in this time of pressure on the sector. 36 Shares: Wellers explains the different types of shares in a limited company. 39 Chapman Robinson & Moore: B4 welcomes CRM to the network and takes a look at their new way of accounting. 41 Expertise v Headcount: Wilson Partners look at whether you should consider outsourcing your finance function.

60 Technology, Trees and Tranquillity: The Copse at Bloxham Mill defies the idea that being in “the sticks” means compromising connectivity. 62 Milton Park: Take a look at one of Europe’s most successful integrated business, science and technology parks.

B4 contents venues



65 Ashmolean Museum: Did you know this famous museum is available for hire? Read on to find out more.

80 Supply Chain Technology: Unipart discuss how you can get a ROI on your investment from supply chain technology.

102 Confident Shredding: Find out how you can protect your business using Aston & James’ shredding products and services.

66 Newbury Racecourse: Read about one of the most distinguished wedding venues in the South of England.

83 Communication Success: Oxford Professional Consulting looks at how you could be a more successful presenter.

104 Modern Chauffeurs: B4 talks to Findlay Chauffeurs about their modern approach to business travel.

68 Tewkesbury Park: The park now offers premium conference facilities with stunning panoramic views.

85 In Pursuit of Slow: Jackie Jarvis’ new book takes a look at how it may be time to give yourself permission to slow down.

106 Who’s Who... John Keown: Meet John Keown, Director of Executive Alarms.

sports 87 Who’s Who... Owen McGovern: Meet Owen McGovern, Owner of Oxford Active. 88 OURFC US Tour: Read OURFC’s recap of their recent tour across the States.

events 71 Christmas at Le Manoir: Enjoy a luxurious Christmas Dinner in Le Manoir’s La Belle Époque Private Dining Room. 73 Grand Designs Live: Richard Rosser caught up with Kevin McCloud, the man behind TV’s Grand Designs. 75 125 Years of Beard: Beard celebrates its 125th year in style at the stunning Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College. 77 d’Overbroeck’s Sixth Form: Read about the Opening Celebrations at d’Overbroeck’s impressive new Sixth Form.

hr & recruitment 91

Focus on Human Resources: MB HR talk about how you can successfully grow your business by focusing on the people behind it.

93 Unlocking Talent Potential: Reciprocate and Allen Associates explain how ‘talent’ can sometimes take an unexpected form.

78 Sobell House: The latest news and events from Sobell House.


84 B4 Focus Group: The B4 Team met with Members and Advisors to discuss plans for the future and how to best improve the network.

94 Should You Move to the Cloud?: CIS look at GDPR and how the Cloud can help firms to comply with the latest EU regulations. 97 Who’s Who... Tim Ault: Meet Tim Ault, Managing Director of Alberon. 99 Cyber Crime: Complete IT take a look at the rise of Cyber Crime and the effect it can have on your business. 101 Who’s Who... Nigel Pursall: Meet Nigel Pursall, Sales Director of Orange Stripe Telecommunications

corp. life 107 The Duke of Cambridge: Read our review of this hidden gem of a cocktail bar within the heart of Oxford. 108 Modern Bold Sculpture: Take a look at Matt Smart’s contemporary sculpture work. 110 Macdonald Randolph Hotel: Un wind and relax at the perfect destination for visiting Oxford city. 113 The Anchor: Read our review of this charming gastropub nestled within the leafy Jericho district of Oxford. 114 Anna Dora: Phil Strachan introduces us to the massively talent Icelandic painter Anna Dora. 117 The House: Read our review of this designer-clad bar with a homely atmosphere. 118 Always A Pleasure: We headed back to Hartwell House Hotel, one of our favourite event venues, to test out all they offer. 116 The Crown: Read our review of this beautiful British restaurant with a Spanish twist. 121 Comptoir Libanais: A brand new Lebanese restaurant is opening in the stunning Westgate Centre in Oxford. 122 The Oxford Artisan Distillery: Ever wanted to own shares in a distillery? TOAD are offering locals the chance to do just that. 124 B4 Travel: Travel the world with B4’s David Gambier. This time we’re spending 48 hours in Cape Town!

Contacts 127

WHAT IS B4? Connect your business with over 600 members and raise your profile through our established B4 promotional platforms.

Magazine  You’re looking at it! One word sums up B4 Magazine: Quality. Not only is B4 Magazine designed to the highest possible standards, the print finish is excellent and the magazine oozes style and sophistication. In terms of content, B4 covers a wide range of businesses from mainstream as well as niche sectors, providing our readers with excellent insight, opinion and advice. B4 is published bi-monthly and distributed to 3,000 business decision makers in Oxfordshire and beyond with a growing number of multi copy outlets.


Social Media  Not only do we use Twitter and LinkedIn to promote everything B4, the real news we push out to the world is YOUR news. So if you post a press release on the B4 website, we’ll post it out to a network approaching 20,000 connections. Why not use us for specific campaigns where we can schedule your messages to go out to our growing networks? An increasingly effective platform for B4.

Website  Connect on line with the growing network of B4 members through our excellent new website and post unlimited press releases, events, offers and job vacancies. You can also recommend and review other members, introduce members to each other, not to mention we will post any articles you have in B4 Magazine on the website. Get recognised as a business or an individual, build your following and establish yourself in the B4 network.

B4 Platinum Dinners: Connect with senior representatives from some of Oxfordshire’s leading businesses in some of our most spectacular locations. A great way to build and cement invaluable business relationships.

NO 903

B4 Classic Events: High quality sums up B4 events. Superb venues, excellent hospitality, access to some of Oxfordshire’s more exclusive locations and great networking. B4 Classic Events are not to be missed opportunities to relax and develop your networks.







Business In Oxford: Oxfordshire’s leading business to business networking and showcase event. Approaching in excess of 700 delegates with over 70 exhibitors and 80 presenters at BIO2017, make sure BIO2018 is on your radar. www.businessinoxford.com

Video  Video is proven as one of the most effective means of absorbing information and that’s why we use B4TV to capture the latest news and interviews with our members. Get to know our members and find out more about what makes them a success with B4TV. To get your message and personality across to our growing network and beyond, contact B4 and we’ll do the rest. All you’ve got to do is make sure you don’t fluff your lines...

“ B4 is the trusted and respected B2B network in Oxford and for Conference Oxford: congratulations on your 50th edition” Mike Naworynsky, Chair, Conference Oxford

Colin Rosser Chairman

Keith Simpson Senior Designer

Lorna Dodson Production Manager & Assistant Editor

Rob Scotcher Design & Photography

Welcome to B4 Issue 49, one off our half century! Our cover is adorned by Katherine Bertram of The Career Boutique who we welcome back to B4 having first interviewed Katherine when she started out in business. A lot has changed for Katherine, personally and professionally in the intervening years and you can read all about it in this issue.

Official E-mail Marketing Partner

As we move towards our 50th issue, it’s a great time to reflect on what we have achieved at B4 and look forward to how we can make things better for our members and readers. Blenheim Palace kindly welcomed us to stage our 50th edition cover shot recently, a great opportunity for some of our most trusted members to meet and demonstrate their support for B4. The B4 Focus Group at Rhodes House, also reported on in this issue, told us where we were going right and where we could improve, but, once again, illustrated the high esteem in which B4 is held.

Official HR Partner

As I write we are about to hold our first B4 Advisory Board meeting which will help us to shape the future development of B4 and many of you will have met with, or are about to meet with me to give me your direct feedback. We want to shape B4 for you, to make it more effective and more useful to you and your teams. It’s also the reach of B4 that goes beyond the magazine that we need to reinforce. You will notice alongside some articles that we have started to include stats on successful social media posts to show you that when we get news, posting in the magazine and on the website is only the beginning. Our reach doesn’t only extend digitally, but face to face. Over the past couple of months we have welcomed hundreds of you to a variety of B4 events. The Platinum Dinner at Macdonald Randolph Hotel was a particular highlight for me as it combined the Randolph’s superb hospitality with excellent conversation between our 60 guests and a superb speech from Blenheim Palace’s CEO, Dominic Hare. So if you’re not a B4 Member and want to benefit from all of the positive aspects of membership, please get in touch. Which leaves me little room to tell you what’s in this issue…..lots and lots!! It’s all about growth and success in this issue so well done to Bicester Village and Westgate for recent openings, G-Smatt for their recent Award, Beard Construction on their 125th landmark (and we thought 50 was good!), d’Overbroeck’s for their impressive new 6th form opening and much, much more!!! Enjoy B4 49.

Official Cloud Partner

Official Charity Partner


Richard Rosser Chief Executive & Editor

welcome to B4 49



Visual Design Partner

Emma Davis Design & Social Media Co-ordinator

Richard Rosser Editor

About B4 Sandra Dibling Business Development Executive

Jess Palmer Account Manager & Event Co-ordinator

p4. p5. p6. p8. p9. p10. p12. p14. p15.

What is B4? Introduction, Meet the Team Platinum, Gold, New & Renewing Members Why Become a B4 Member? B4 Official Distribution Partners Recent B4 Events Forthcoming B4 Events B4 Members’ Events Good News from the B4 Network

“ There’s no doubt that B4 unites Oxfordshire’s business community, connecting and championing it’s people and the work that happens across this dynamic county. Happy 50th edition!.” Olivia Lane-Nott, Founder & Director, Spacecraft Consulting Ltd

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Platinum & Gold Members PLATINUM

Everything for the Workplace




New & Renewing B4 Members

“ The team at B4 are an extremely valuable business partner to Aston & James but more than that we also see them as part of our team.” Darren Aston, Managing Director, Aston & James




Become a part of the B4 Network today. Call 01865 742211, or visit www.b4-business.com

“ We have been proud to have been a supporter of the B4 Magazine since it’s inception many years ago. It is the must-read business magazine in Oxfordshire” Sarah Foster, Managing Partner, Freeths

All B4 Members, from Standard to our new Onyx Membership, receive the following basic benefits:

 Why

Become a B4 Member?

Classic events. B4 Web Directory listing: With over 200 visitors to the B4 website every day, get listed on the B4 Web Directory and have access to upload unlimited press releases, event details, offers and jobs and also connect with other members, recommend, review and introduce. Account access for up to 5 employees.

B4 Magazine Directory listing: With a readership of 24,000 B4 Magazines, the B4 Business Directory is a fast growing and key part of the Magazine. Make sure you are listed and get seen by influential business decision makers.

Discounted Advertising Rates: By becoming a B4 Member you can benefit from Member’s Rates for editorial or advertising in B4 Magazine.

Attend B4 Classic Events: Network with other B4 Members in fantastic venues across the Thames Valley. No extra charge to attend B4

<10 Employees

>10 Employees

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Logo in this section at front of B4








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Early booking for limited number of events





Gold members have third option

Platinum members have second option

Onyx members have first option

Number of guests that can attend B4 events








Corporate Lifestyle Feature participation








Photo Shoots








Other UK offices included on B4 website at no charge






Up to 5










Social Media re-tweets








B4 Editor Introductions








One off payment








Quarterly payment

£131 = £525

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£3,150 = £12,600

Monthly payment

£45 = £550

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Cap on number of memberships

“ B4 is a brilliant publication which has established itself as the in-house magazine for Oxfordshire’s business community.” Bob Price, Leader, Oxford City Council

B4 Official Distribution Partners  B4 Magazine is delivered to the desks of named, key business decision makers. However, we are also proud to work alongside the following great establishments in order to bring B4 Magazine to more readers: Abingdon and Witney College Acanthus at Macdonald Randolph Hotel ads advertising & design solutions Aidan Meller Galleries Alberon Ashmolean Museum Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant Aston and James Office Supplies Banbury Road Medical Centre Barclays Beard Construction Begbroke Science Park Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons Bicester Roofing Bicester Village Blake Morgan LLP Blenheim Palace Bloxham Mill Bodleian Library Bombay Sapphire Distillery Breckon and Breckon Brethertons LLP BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Carter Jonas Cazenove Capital Management Chiltern Railways CIS Ltd City Sightseeing Clinic 95 College and County Conference Oxford Corpus Christi College Examination Schools Executive Alarms Ltd Experience Oxfordshire Finders Keepers Findlay Chauffeur Service FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd Freeths Grant Thornton UK LLP Grove Business Park G-Smatt Europe Haiku Consulting Hedges Law Helen and Douglas House Helen Money Nutrition Hilltop Consultancy Holiday Inn Oxford Howbery Park James Cowper Kreston

London Oxford Airport Macdonald Randolph Hotel Malmaison Oxford Minuteman Press Newbury Racecourse North Oxford Property Services Old Parsonage One St Aldates Owen Mumford Oxford Brookes University Oxford Brookes Venues Oxford Bus Company Oxford Business Park Oxford City Council Oxford Digitisation Centre Oxford Fine Dining Oxford University Rugby Football Club Oxfordshire LEP Pembroke College Penningtons Manches LLP Rhodes House Richardsons Chartered Accountants Ridge and Partners LLP Ridgefield Consulting Royal Oxford Hotel Saïd Business School Savills Savvy Group Shaw Gibbs Sheldonian Theatre Sobell House Tara Tripp Hearing Care The Career Boutique The Lady Nuffield Home The M Group The Manor Thompson and Terry Recruitment Turpin and Miller LLP Unipart VSL and Partners W Lucy and Co Wallers of Oxford Wellers Wenn Townsend Whitley Stimpson Ltd Wiseman Gallery You HR

And many more...

Howbery Business Park

“ Over the past six years, since we

became part of the B4 network, B4 Magazine has provided us with excellent editorial opportunities to help raise the profile of Howbery Business Park. We are now distributing B4 Magazine to all of the Park’s 50+ businesses and organisations

Donna Bowles, Estates Manager, Howbery Business Park

Holiday Inn

B4 is a well put together, informative and professional magazine with relevant content for all local businesses. In order to help B4 reach a wider audience, why wouldn’t we be a distributor?!

Jo Radford, Sales Manager, Holiday Inn Oxford

If you would like to stock B4 Magazine for your visitors, please get in touch today on: 01865 742211 or e-mail: lorna@b4-business.com

“ From the very first edition, B4 has provided us with the perfect platform to reach and engage with our audience within Oxfordshire and presents some great networking opportunities. ” Greg Barnes, Managing Director, Breckon & Breckon




Steventon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AF

22nd August, 6pm - 8pm

Laverstoke Mill, Berkshire, RG28 7NR

30th August, 6pm - 8pm

South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3RG

7th September, 5pm - 8pm






• ADS Advertising & Design • Chapman, Robinson & Moore • Knights 1759 • NHS

• Grant Thornton • Leading Edge Coaching • Oxford PharmaGenesis • Turpin & Miller LLP

LinkedIn 12  4  2,163  e-Newsletter 804 

DID YOU KNOW... Milton Hill is located in 22 acres of peaceful parkland


“A great location with great people, ideas and insights. Honoured to be a part of it.” – Paul Avins, Oxonetix

SOCIAL STATS LinkedIn 16  6  3,762  e-Newsletter 799 

DID YOU KNOW... This is the home of Bombay Sapphire’s world-famous gin


• Conference Oxford • Oxford Bus Company • Oxford University Press • Oxfordshire LEP

– Zena Kennedy, Two One Services

– Jonna Mundy, You HR


Isabelle Barber, Business Development Manager, Rhodes House



“What a beautiful venue, absolutely stunning. Well worth the trip.”

“Fantastic evening – well done team!”


Amy Dobson, Sales & Marketing Manager, Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Ben Sanders, General Manager, Milton Hill House


SOCIAL STATS LinkedIn 37  11  5,631  e-Newsletter 801 

DID YOU KNOW... Rhodes Scholars have gathered here for 100 years





Sushi Making Workshop with Milton Hill House’s Head Chef

Hosted tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery

A tour of the beautifully maintained Rhodes House gardens

“ Be has become an institution. I always look forward to their events. If you are serious about your business, can you afford not to be a member?” Alan Hine, Director, Finance.Work




St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DW

27th September, 7pm - 11pm

76 St Clement’s Oxford OX4 1AH

20th September, 5pm - 7pm

62 Woodstock Rd, Oxford, OX2 6JF

26th September, 6pm - 8pm





Sarah Foster, Managing Partner, Freeths

Andy Styles, Head Of Sales, The Cocktail Service

Mike Naworynsky, Chairman, Conference Oxford






• Alberon • Brookstreet des Roches LLP • Oxford Examination Schools • The Oxford Nursery Group

• Ashmolean • Kingerlee • PSP Construction Consultants • Sobell House

“Thank you for a wonderful evening. Great company & hospitality plus an inspiring talk.”

“What an unforgettable experience! Cocktail making, great company and a fantastic location.”

“Your B4 events are always a pleasure to attend. Good food, good friends, and great company!”

– Jarl Severn, Owen Mumford

– Sheena Marsh, OGD

– Shamin Durrani, Randolph Hotel

• Finders Keepers • Freeths • James Cowper Kreston • Rhodes House

SOCIAL STATS LinkedIn 60  11  6,543  e-Newsletter 800 

DID YOU KNOW... Pembroke College was founded in 1347


SOCIAL STATS LinkedIn 26  2  2,061  e-Newsletter 791 

DID YOU KNOW... The Cocktail Service have been mixing since 2009


SOCIAL STATS LinkedIn 17  3  2,476  e-Newsletter 794 

DID YOU KNOW... St Antony’s was founded in 1950





A three-course dinner served in the exquisite dining hall

Cocktail Making Workshop with mixologist Pearson Chase

A tour of St Antony’s College firstclass Conference facilities.

“ Many congrats on 50 not out and for being a champion of local business. All the best from everyone at Finders Keepers.” Dan Channer, Director, Finders Keepers

Forthcoming B4 Events  B4 Classic Event at TOAD Date: 6-8pm, Thu 23rd November 2017 Venue: The Oxford Artisan Distillery, Cheney Lane, Oxford, OX3 7QJ Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free B4 and The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) invite B4 Members and their guests for a tour of this newly opened distillery, the first of its kind in central Oxford. TOAD is a true craft distillery; a rare species found in only a few very special places around the world. They care deeply about the quality of their spirits but also the impact of their production. Using ancient and genetically diverse populations of Rye, Wheat and Barley, grown exclusively on local farms. TOAD are one of a handful of distilleries that really do make spirits from the field to the bottle, overseeing the entire process on their site beneath the dreaming spires of Oxford.

Christmas Dinner and In Oxford Awards Ceremony at Divinity School Date: 7-11pm, Mon 4th December 2017 Divinity School, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG Venue: Dress code: Black Tie Price: £150+VAT The Divinity School is Oxford University’s oldest teaching and examination room, dating from the 1500s, a masterpiece of English gothic architecture. Built between 1427 and 1483, it is the oldest surviving purpose-built building for university use, specifically for lectures, oral exams and discussions on theology. Public access is limited so this will be a wonderful opportunity to see inside this fantastic building. Enjoy a sumptuous Christmas Dinner with the B4 network and enjoy this year’s In Oxford Awards ceremony. More information about the In Oxford Awards see: awards.livinginoxford.com

B4 Classic Event at Hartwell House Date: 6-8pm, Wed 24th January 2018 Venue: Hartwell House Hotel & Spa, Aylesbury, HP17 8NR Dress code Smart Casual Price: Free B4 and Hartwell House are proud to welcome you back to this fantastic venue for an evening of relaxed networking, with drinks and canapés in a stunning setting. Hartwell House is one of England’s stately homes, just 40 miles North West of London, set in over 90 acres of gardens and parkland designed by a contemporary of Capability Brown. Hartwell House is located within the Vale of Aylesbury and on the edge of the Chilterns, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The National Trust-owned Grade 1 listed Jacobean and Georgian house provides all that is best in country house hospitality and service.

B4 Classic Event at Milton Hill House Date: 6-8pm, Thu 8th March 2018 Venue: Milton Hill House, Steventon, Abingdon, OX13 6AF Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free This B4 Classic Event will involve networking with drinks and canapés, followed by welcome speeches from B4’s Richard Rosser and Ben Sanders of Milton Hill House, with tours of the beautiful venue taking place afterwards alongside further networking opportunities. Milton Hill House is a stylish, elegant venue & hotel in Oxfordshire. Surrounded by 22 acres of tranquil parkland just 13 miles from Oxford, Milton Hill, Abingdon seamlessly blends a graceful Georgian manor house with modern amenities. You’ll feel the history the moment you arrive at this charming Georgian mansion house.

“ Happy 50th Edition B4! In print, online and in person, B4 has proven to be an invaluable partner to the Ashmolean and the wider university, business and not-for-profit community in Oxfordshire” Wendy Ball, Head of Events, Ashmolean Museum

B4 Classic Event at Pint Shop Date: 6-8pm, Thu 19th April 2018 Pint Shop, 25-27 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AU Venue: Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free Join B4 members and guests at the lively and inviting Pint Shop in Oxford for an evening of relaxed networking with Hop & Beer tasting activities. Pint Shop is inspired by the original ‘Beer Houses’ or ‘Tom and Jerry Shops’ as they became known, which are viewed by many as the birth place of today’s pub.

B4 Classic Event at Weston Library Date: 6-8pm, Mon 11th June 2018 Venue: Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free Join B4 Members and Guests for an evening of networking, guest speakers, drinks and canapés in the beautiful new development of Weston Library, part of the historic Bodleian Libraries. During the event guests will be welcome to view the galleries and visit the roof terrace for stunning views of the Oxford skyline. The Weston Library provides a new home for the Bodleian’s special collections and its £80m refurbishment was designed to create high quality storage for its collections, to develop the space for both advanced research and to extend public access to the Libraries’ treasures.

B4 Classic Event at Rhodes House Date: 6-8pm, Thu 6th September 2018 Rhodes House, South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX1 3RG Venue: Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free A hidden delight situated in the heart of Oxford, Rhodes House is a beautiful venue steeped in history – ideal for dinners, business meetings, product launches and weddings. For nearly a century Rhodes House has been the gathering place for Rhodes scholars and distinguished guests. Now, the House is available so that others can enjoy the peace, quiet and unique atmosphere of this private, exclusive venue. It is ideal for both corporate and private events, for large and small functions. Join other B4 Members and their guests at this stunning venue, home of the Rhodes Scholars.

B4 Classic Event at Divinity School Date: 6-8pm, Mon 29th October 2018 Venue: Divinity School, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG Dress code: Smart Casual Price: Free Join B4 Members and Guests for an evening of networking, guest speakers, drinks and canapés in the beautiful and historic Divinity School of the Old Library, part of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries. The Grandest room in the Old Bodleian Library was designed to impress. Completed in 1488, the Divinity School is a masterpiece of late gothic architecture with a magnificent stone carved ceiling. This splendid medieval room is the oldest teaching hall and earliest examination hall of the University. During the event guests will be offered tours of the Duke Humphrey Library.

Visit www.b4-business.com to register for these events Please note for all events. The following conditions must be observed by all B4 members and guests: • If you are unable to attend a B4 event for any reason, please notify us in writing no later than 48 hours before the event • If we are not made aware of your inability to attend, we will be charging £10+VAT which will be passed on to our preferred charity for each particular event, nominated by the host • If we do not receive the payment within 7 working days, your attendance at future B4 events will be restricted • It is not appropriate to leave stacks of flyers or business cards on tables at the venue. Any found will be removed.

Incredible that B4 is passing such an impressive milestone even more unbelievable that in my previous life at Barclays, I was the banker that helped get the first edition published. Just goes to show Oxfordshire is such a small place where friendship and communities can make great things happen.” Jayne Woodley, Chief Executive, Oxfordshire Community Foundation

Upcoming B4 Members’ Events  B4 Members are encouraged to post their own events on the B4 website. Here is a selection of upcoming events from the network:

Evolution HR Forum Winter Event: Investigations Date: 8.30-11.30am, Tue 28th November 2017 Venue: Midland House, West Way, Botley, Oxford, OX2 0PH Organiser: Knights This interactive session, we will look at the role of HR in investigations and show you how to ensure you or any managers involved in the process can conduct an effective investigation process using best legal practice. We will also show you how to avoid common legal pitfalls.

Masterclass: Bridging the Valuation Gap Date: 10am-1pm, Thu 30th November 2017 Venue: The Oxford Belfry, Thame, OX9 2JW Organiser: Auditel When selling a business there’s almost always a gap between an owner’s price expectation and an acquirer’s valuation. Understanding how businesses are valued and deals are structured is critical to bridging that gap. At this FREE Masterclass, you will get the information and advice you need from experienced professionals in an informal, fully confidential setting.

Horticulture House Open Afternoon Date: 3pm, Thu 30th November 2017 Venue: Horticulture House, Manor Court, Chilton, Didcot, OX11 0RN Organiser: Horticulture House We would like to invite you to take a tour of our new meeting, conference and exhibition facilities, just off the A34 in Chilton. You will be given the opportunity to take a look at the various types of rooms as well as get to sample some of the catering provided.

Santas On The Run Date: Sun 10th December 2017 Venue: Oxford City Centre Organiser: Helen & Douglas House Ho ho ho! Kickstart the countdown to Christmas by joining 2,500 Santa’s of all ages on this great festive 3.5k fun run or walk for a good claus around Oxford city centre, to help local terminally ill children and young adults. Wheelchair and buggy friendly. Enter a team of colleagues, family or friends.

Twin Town Challenge 2018 Date: Fri 25th - Mon 28th May 2018 Venue: Blenheim Palace to Le Touquet and back! Organiser: Twin Town Challenge Twin towns, 100 cars, 1 amazing weekend. The Twin Town Challenge is a fun, team-based car challenge. Buy a £500 banger, add your own style and drive it from Oxfordshire to Le Touquet, France, competing in challenges along the way. Dance the night away to live bands at a very special street party, visit a circuit and join in a weekend packed full of entertainment. All to raise money for local technology charity SpecialEffect! Guaranteed lots of fun, networking and helping to raise tons of money for charity.

Visit www.b4-business.com for more information on any of these events.

“ B4 has been an excellent partner in helping us launch our business into Oxfordshire and meet lots of new faces.” Paul Wood, Managing Director, Indulge Media UK Ltd

Good News from the B4 Network  We are delighted that G-Smatt will be bringing their superb technology to BIO2018 – it really is fascinating and will be a real focal point of the event. To see more, make sure you book your place at www.businessinoxford.com. “We are looking forward to showing Oxfordshire’s business community what G-Smatt can do to transform the most uninspiring building facades into eye-catching centrepieces. It’s great to be part of Oxfordshire’s premier networking and showcase event.” – Dr. Orhan Ertughrul

Excellent B4 Platinum Dinner at Macdonald Randolph Hotel

B4’s Richard Rosser also commented. “To see so many good friends of B4 making the effort to join us for our 50th shoot was incredible. There was such a good atmosphere and to be allowed to shoot the cover at, arguably, Oxfordshire’s most iconic venue just added to this special occasion. Thank you to Blenheim, Clark, the B4 team and all of the B4 members who came together to celebrate our 50th edition. I just hope we managed to get everyone’s ‘best side’!”

B4 Platinum Members and their guests enjoyed a fantastic evening at Macdonald Randolph Hotel on Thursday 12th October with our host, General Manager, Gurval Durand and guest speaker, Blenheim Palace CEO, Dominic Hare. Excellent food, superb service and a fitting tribute to the late Michael Grange. Dominic commented. “It was fantastic for me to speak to the Oxfordshire business community and set out our goals at Blenheim Palace. The feedback I’ve had this evening has been fantastic so thank you to Richard and the B4 team for inviting me to speak.” B4’s Richard Rosser added. “The buzz in the room tonight was incredible. With a great mix of business leaders from across Oxfordshire, superb service, food and wine provided by our excellent hosts, Macdonald Randolph Hotel, and an excellent speaker in Dominic Hare who had our guests transfixed with every word, it really was a powerful evening for all who attended. Thank you to Gurval and his highly efficient team for making us so welcome. On a sad note, we were deeply saddened to hear of Michael’s passing in September. Not only was Michael one of our most loyal supporters, he was also a gentleman and a friend. He will be sadly missed by all who worked with him and knew him as a kind, generous and charming man. This evening was the perfect opportunity to remember Michael.” Following Richard’s welcome, Gurval was invited to say a few words on behalf of the hosts and formally introduce himself to the Oxfordshire business community. “It was a wonderful occasion, so much warmth in the room and a fascinating blend of guests which gave me the perfect start to my new role here at the Randolph.”

G-Smatt Europe agree Video Screen Sponsorship for BIO2018 Since being introduced to G-Smatt’s EVP, Dr. Orhan Ertughrul by Avril Chaffey, we have built an excellent relationship, introducing Orhan and his team to the B4 Network.

It was also great to see our original editor, Simon Howson-Green, who made a special trip from London to be with us for the shoot. Simon commented “I have fond memories of my time at B4 and it’s great to see the team reach such an impressive milestone. It was great to be invited back to share this special moment.” The cover will be out in December and the 50th edition will be celebrated at Blenheim Palace in the new year – details to be confirmed. Dominic added. “Thanks to B4 for choosing Blenheim as the venue for such a landmark moment.”

G-SMATT is a Korean company based in Seoul. Our revolutionary media glass product is developed and manufactured at our production facilities in Seoul and Tianjin, China. We are a global company with offices in Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China, North America and Europe (UK). Since launching our product in 2013 the company has undergone rapid growth and now has an annual revenue worldwide of over $90M. G-SMATT Europe Media Limited launched in July 2017 and is headquartered in Oxford, UK.

B4 50th edition Cover Shoot at Blenheim Palace

To feature in the 50th edition, please contact the B4 team.

Beard Construction’s 125th Anniversary Congratulations to B4 Member Beard Construction on their 125th Anniversary. Company Chairman Mark Beard and employees of the business were joined by 85 of the businesses customers at a celebration to mark the firm’s 125year trading history. The event took place in the newly constructed Nazrin Shah Centre, a beautifully designed lecture theatre and conference centre. The building was designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects and built by Beard. So new it has yet to have its official opening! Guests included the Provost of Worcester College, Sir Jonathan Bate and Richard Murray, Headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School. Read more about the great event on page 75.

Thank you to everyone for attending the B4 50th Edition cover shoot at Blenheim Palace and to Dominic Hare (CEO) and Heather Carter (Operations Director) at Blenheim Palace for hosting. Considering guests came from all quarters of Oxfordshire, it was a wonderful turnout for early on a Friday morning, demonstrating the warmth and support for B4. Thank you to Clark Wiseman of Studio 8 and to all the B4 team.

To Read the latest B4 News visit www.b4-business.com

“ B4 serves as a great platform for us to expand our network, generate awareness of our brand and to promote the personal side of our business, this is vital for our business relationships and how we deliver our solutions” Richard Marsh, CEO, CIS Ltd

Natasha Clarke - Event Designer The Event Designer is an exciting, courageous and inventive company, who are driven to continuously create unique and individual designs, setting the perfect ambiance for hosts and their guests. From weddings, birthdays, kids parties, social or corporate events, no matter the occasion, The Event Designer dedicate the highest level of commitment and invaluable attention to detail, oozing style and personality, to ensure a lasting impression on all who come to celebrate your special occasion. Alongside our bespoke design service, hire service and helping hand for DIY decorators, we can also provide a Wing Woman for the day and team building exercises. We also have our very own extremely talented Makeup artist ‘Kailey Clarke’ who specialises in creating the perfect look for Weddings, special occasions, festivals, as well amazing theatre body art. Together we offer some spectacular packages! For more info please find us at: www.theeventdesigner.co.uk

photography by www.pottersinstinctphotography.co.uk

Prestigious Award for David Mulholland Local Landscape Consultant picks up prestigious Royal Horticultural Society award for longservice to Horticulture. David Mulholland was honoured to receive a certificate and medal from The Royal Horticultural Society recently. David has been given the RHS award for 42 years service to horticulture. He started his career as an apprentice gardener in Gateshead Parks in 1973. RHS Long Service Awards can be made to any individual who has completed forty years of continuous practical horticultural in the United Kingdom or overseas for an organisation whose registered office address

is in the United Kingdom. David was awarded his medal by Chris Bridgman of Bridgman & Bridgman at a special evening event at the Sky Garden in London. Mulholland Landscape Consultants work with Construction Companies, Landowners, Local Authorities, Landscape Architects and Facilities Managers. Clients include Tearfund, Peerless Properties (Oxford) Ltd., LVS Oxford School and Oxford Science Park. If you have a project you would like to discuss please call David on 07734 253579 or contact david@mulhollandconsultants.co.uk

Don’t F**k It Up There is likely no one more experienced in founder transitions than Les Trachtman. He has been an innovative and respected second-CEO/ successor, spending the past two decades helping founders in half a dozen growing organizations and acting as a Sherpa for dozens of others. Among his professional experience includes serving as CEO of companies ranging from venture backed to a two-decade-old $350 million information technology and services company. Trachtman is now sharing his hard-earned expertise


on when and how to hand off a company to a worthy successor in his new book, Don’t F**k It Up: How Founders and Their Successors Can Avoid the Clichés That Inhibit Growth [River Grove Books, July 6, 2017]. In eight readily adaptable chapters, Don’t F**k It Up provides a robust, repeatable process for founders, the tools needed to complete successful transitions and keep companies on the road to more triumph in the future. It is the only book on the market that provides a step-by-step process for

determining when it’s time to bring on the next CEO and how to do it. Learn more about Les Trachtman at: www.foundertransitions.com


B4 Network news Introducing the new Hartwell House website Explore the new design and features of this magnificent meeting and events venue, which includes new imagery and content, simpler navigation and a dedicated corporate section, helping you visualise the benefits of Hartwell House as a corporate venue. Being a centre of events for 400 years, this magnificent stately home is conveniently situated in the Vale of Aylesbury, and offers a selection of meeting spaces coupled with dining and activities to suit all requirements, from a boardroom meeting for 12 to cabaret for 48 or a theatre style presentation

for 90 guests. Donated to the National Trust and set in over 90 acres of landscaped parkland, is the ideal venue for a corporate retreat. To celebrate the launch of the new website, we have introduced special delegate rates on new bookings until 22nd December 2017. Eight hour individual delegate rates are £65 and 24 hour residential packages are £225 (all ex VAT). Visit the new website at www.hartwell-house.com or call 01296 746502 to discuss your meeting requirements.

Helping terminally ill children this Christmas Helen & Douglas House have two great fundraising events this Christmas for you to get involved in. Santas on the Run on Sunday 10th December – enter a team or sponsor Join 2,500 Santas of all ages on this great festive 3.5k run or walk around central Oxford. The Helen & Douglas House Christmas Concert on Friday 1st December – sponsor or entertain clients This wonderful festive concert features an eclectic mix of local and national musicians and bands.

These events will raise money for children like Jessica this Christmas. Jessica now age 3, was born with a severe neurological condition and has been coming to Helen House for respite stays since September 2014. “Knowing that we have the support of Helen & Douglas House takes some of the fear out of our situation, knowing there are people to talk to and to help us if the worst happens. Helen House is a real home-from-home”. Victoria, Jessica’s Mummy. For further information go to hdh.org.uk.

Social Saturday 2017 Oxfordshire is a “Social Enterprise County”, recognised by Social Enterprise UK, the national support organisation for the sector. Social Saturday is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises are making in communities and to encourage businesses and members of the public to support these organisations when making purchasing decisions. This year, Social Saturday fell on 14th October, with a huge range of activities, events and special promotions across the county. These events were coordinated by OSEP, supporting Social Enterprise locally and backed by OxLEP, the Local Enterprise


Partnership, and the City Council. Social Enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better - in our communities and on our high streets. When you use your spending power to buy from Social Enterprises, your money helps to make positive change in your community and environment. For more information check out the OSEP website: www.osep.org.uk

Pictured L-R: Richard Snow, MD of Oxford Wood Recycling, and Nick Temple, of Social Enterprise UK


If you’re looking to sell or let your property this Autumn we’d love to help so why not get in touch?


Thanks to our friends at Harcourt Arboretum.

B4 Network news Complete Food-Drink-Events This year Complete had the pleasure to partner up with The Oxford Royale Academy for the international Summer School, catering for the students based at Yarnton Manor. The team were also tasked with providing pop up lunches at Martins School, St Catherines College and at the Jowlett Walk site. It has also been a privilege to continue working alongside our corporate partners, Marshalls Jaguar Land Rover supporting the launch of the Land Rover Velar and the new Jaguar E-pace.

Complete continue to support Oxford United Football Club Community Trust, as well as providing freshly prepared nutritious food for the first team. The team are extremely proud to sponsor the 50th anniversary of The Oxford Round Table Fireworks for the 6th year running, providing winter warming meals for thousands of people on the night. www.completecatering.co.uk

More Boutiques. More Brilliance. More Bicester.

The Mayor of Bicester, Councillor Les Sibley, performed the ribbon cutting today to reveal a new Bicester Village as 30 new boutiques opened their doors, bringing the total to more than 160. More than 100 guests from the local community and neighbouring tourist attractions were invited to walk along the spectacular new mall, which has been landscaped with lush botanical planting by Nikki Tibbles from Wild at Heart, before entering the new Secret Garden Café complete with its very own traditional sweet shop and potting shed. Bicester Village Business Director Sarah-Jane Curtis commented: “We are so excited that opening day is finally here and we were delighted to celebrate together with our community partners. We are especially grateful and proud of all our teams who have worked tirelessly to make today’s deadline and to the community of Bicester for their patience to reach completion of the new road network.” The new brands include luxury womenswear,


menswear, lifestyle and sportswear brands, with Acne Studios, The North Face, Joseph, Under Armour and Rapha (the bespoke cycling brand with its signature Rapha Clubhouse), Villeroy & Boch, Dsquared2 and many others joining the new line-up, with sought-after British brands Emma Bridgewater and The Cambridge Satchel Company returning to the Village. Also opening for the first time is The British Collective – the perfect one-stop Christmas boutique, which has designed by interior decorator and illustrator Luke Edward Hall. It will offer a visual feast with its opulent interior and an array of luxury gifts ranging from the softest cashmere to beautiful leather accessories and scented candles. Mayor of Bicester Councillor Les Sibley said: “I am sure you would agree that Bicester Village over the past two decades has made a considerable contribution to the community of Bicester with employment opportunities and apprenticeships. The Village’s support and sponsorship for local schools, charities and other organisations is both

well established and much appreciated.” During the breakfast celebration and speeches, Bicester Village Community Relations Director Miranda Markham announced a new £22,000 fund to be launched in January 2018 in addition to the annual community programme of sponsorship and events. The fund will invite bids of £1,000 from local organisations supporting the themes of youth, togetherness and health. www.bicestervillage.com

B4’s LinkedIn post about this event had:




The Career Boutique Katherine Bertram has experienced something of a rebirth. When I first met her, almost ten years ago, she made an impression. Confident, ambitious, determined and on a course to do nothing but succeed, it was clear that the then Katherine Dales was a winner. Fast forward nearly ten years and it’s a new person sat in front of me, with different ideals and different goals. Interviewer: Richard Rosser Writer: Charys Mason Photography: Fisher Studios

The Career Boutique website underlines Katherine’s strong belief that the ‘live to work’ culture can lead to discontent both at home and at work. That’s certainly a change of focus for a mum of two, wait, double that with her new partner Gareth’s two children…it’s quite a different Katherine that we had the pleasure of interviewing at Milton Hill House.

A bit of background I set up the business nine years ago. I was in my twenties and hungry and driven to succeed, the business was my main priority and I worked every hour in the day to achieve it. Over the last 9 years things have changed completely and I now have a very different outlook on things. I’ve now got two small children, both under two and two stepchildren, 7 and 4. My family are my motivation now, ensuring they have the best life possible is what drives me, a whole different perspective on running the business than when I first started. In your ‘previous life’ how would you have dealt with a working mum with four kids to juggle? I was very naïve and didn’t realise just how difficult it was. It’s one big juggling act and if one odd thing goes wrong, then it can have a domino effect. It has made me appreciate the importance of people finding the right job as it’s a huge part of their life because it affects everything including their family dynamic Can you give us an overview of what you do at The Career Boutique? We are a Boutique consultancy, specialising in focused search for key positions within organisations. We strongly believe that recruitment isn’t just about placing a person in a job, but about marrying the perfect candidates and companies, sharing the same vision and motivation to ensure a successful and long partnership.


It’s the commitment and deep understanding of our clients’ requirements that brings additional value to the table. Your reputation is very much on the line for every candidate you produce. I presume, even with the best will in the world, that you must get it wrong occasionally, but your clients must be more forgiving, I presume, once you’ve established a good track record? In recruitment, it’s a people led industry. We don’t necessarily get the match wrong, because there’s been a process behind it. Sometimes the individual, who we thought was wired in a certain way, turns out not to be all that they were cracked up to be. When that happens it’s more of a disappointment. But we have relationships with our clients where we can share that disappointment. I think the fact that we do take it so personally is an indication to our clients that we do care. With a new found busy domestic life, do you find that going to work is a break from family life? Yes, absolutely! Being able to sit down and actually finish a cup of tea rather than leaving it somewhere in the house to get freezing cold is great! I love being a Mum and a Step-mum and it is what drives me. My partner also has a successful business which actually works well because we both understand and respect the pressures business life can have so we are there to support the family when the other has to focus on their business during busy times. How different is the agency compared to when you started? We have matured and have a deeper understanding and empathy of our clients and candidates needs and expectations. We still have the same core values which I think is highlighted by our retained portfolio of clients some of whom we have worked with for the full 9 years! As we’ve aged, we’ve softened a

little bit and, actually, I’m enjoying it a lot more now. Are you looking to grow your team or just consolidate what you have? We will grow if the demand is there for us to grow. We’ve always been inclined that way. If we need to we will do it how we have always done it…. very selectively. In terms of leading your business, what three tips would you give to somebody starting out in business? Patience – It is true Rome wasn’t built in a day! It is a long process with many peaks and troughs, you have to be tough both mentally for the ups and downs and psychically for the sheer hard work and hours it takes. Perseverance and determination - You need to follow your dream and persevere – if it was easy everyone would do it. Empathy - When I set up the business in my twenties I was very focused and driven as to what I wanted to achieve and I think that having a degree of empathy is something that you gain along the way from different life experiences, it allows you to really understand what your clients need. If you could build an advisory board for The Career Boutique comprising anyone you like, who would you choose? I’ve got a bit of a varied bunch! I feel together they would make a very good board. Warren Buffett, from an investment perspective and just because of his overall philosophy of how a business works and his lack of greed. Barack Obama. I just find him fascinating. He’s a very intelligent man; with a very quirky sense of humor and I know that he would add quite a lot of


B4 lead

Katherine is a focused recruiter with a good knowledge of the UK recruitment market. Katherine and her team took time to understand our business and company’s ethos. Her detailed understanding of our specific requirements resulted in us receiving a high-quality calibre of candidates to fill a number of roles over the last few years. Carolyn Pegg, RED London



“Time spent on hiring is time well spent”

Get in touch with us: contact@thecareerboutique.com 0845 5204010


B4 lead

“ Chill out! I spent so

many years stressing about the smallest things. Don’t fret when it goes wrong, because the world is not going to end! Also don’t try and be everything to everyone. I tried tirelessly for everything to be perfect and as a result was heartily disappointed when the smallest thing went wrong. You have to look at the bigger picture and focus on the main things: Health, Family and Happiness. Katherine Bertram

fun to the boardroom. Sir Alex Reed, from a recruitment perspective, everyone obviously knows him and also from an online perspective, how they’ve grown their business and how they’ve maximised every area of the recruitment process. Mark Carney – to cast a financial eye over the proceedings. Indra Nooyi CEO of PepsiCo. She is a very influential woman in business and has taken her business to a 72% growth since 2001. She still has the same plates to spin that the rest of us have and she does it with grace. Jonathan Rosenberg, the VP of Google. From a sales and marketing perspective he’s very aware of where advertising can take your business. Finally (and this may sound a bit cheesy but true!) my partner Gareth Bertram. He runs an extremely successful business and gives me some fantastic advice, support and ideas. He’s exceptionally intelligent, patient (much more than me) and a very good businessman. What advice can you give on achieving a healthy work-life balance? Chill out! I spent so many years stressing about the smallest things. Don’t fret when it goes wrong, because the world is not going to end! Also don’t try and be everything to everyone. I tried tirelessly for everything to be perfect and as a result was heartily disappointed when the smallest thing went wrong. You have to look at the bigger picture and focus on the main things: Health, Family and Happiness.


Obviously in recruitment you have to have an eye on the wider world and you have to juggle variables that are out of your control. Post Brexit, everybody thought that recruitment was going to stop, but it hasn’t, the world is still turning. I think whenever we get something like Brexit it just slowly changes the dynamic. Until we know what’s going on with Brexit then there will be more contract roles rather than companies taking on permanent staff but as companies regain their confidence permanent posts will grow. There seems to be a lot more people, disillusioned with working for someone else, setting up on their own, working for home. On the flip side, when that doesn’t work out, are you seeing a lot of these people trying to get back into work? Yes, we are. We do have a lot of people who have given it a go or those who were suited to working for themselves at a particular time of their life now wanting to get back into full time work. It can be really lonely, when you’re doing it well on your own it’s fantastic because you can pick and choose when you work. However, when it’s not going well there’s nobody there to help you out; you haven’t got a salary coming in every month or the security so it can be quite a lonely and quite a scary place.

Do you agree that the younger generations coming through seem to have an expectation and sense of entitlement when going for a job and want to bypass the entry level roles which will give them a good grounding? Yes 100%, however I don’t think it’s necessarily their fault. It’s very hard to go back and try and realign those expectations…..it’s just something they’ve been brought up to expect. The best graduates we have seen are those who have had any sort of job since starting University. They are impressive because they are able to graft and they are humble. They know that they have to do some hard work and that alongside their degree is what will make them employable. Looking forward, the future is looking extremely exciting for Katherine and her team. With experience behind them and still a fabulous amount of that ‘Dales’ drive and determination, we look forward to seeing what the next 10 years hold for this exceptional Oxfordshire business.

B4 would like to thank Ben and his team for allowing us to shoot our video interview with Katherine at Milton Hill House. See: www.b4-business.com

How difficult is Oxford to recruit into? It’s very delicate. You’ve got the high cost of living with wages that aren’t London wages. Some of our candidates decide that they are better off living in London because the costs of living aren’t that far off those in Oxford, yet the wages are a lot bigger to compensate for the cost of living. So yes it is hard to find candidates.

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contact@thecareerboutique.com 0845 520 4010 www.thecareerboutique.com @BoutiqueCareer


pictured: Mark Emery, Employment Law Partner

Employment Tribunal Fees – The Bigger Picture In its recent Judgment on Employment Tribunal fees, the Supreme Court laid waste to the Government’s rationale for imposing fees for employees bringing employment tribunal claims. In a pincer-judgment, delivered by two Justices including its new President Lady Hale, the Supreme Court concluded the Government’s arguments were wrong in law and had no basis in fact, and that women disproportionately and unlawfully paid a higher fee to bring claims. Written by: Mark Emery, Employment Law Partner Photography by: Freeths Solicitors

The Government had argued fees were justified because they would: • transfer the financial burden from taxpayers to employment tribunal service users; • disincentivise weak/unmeritorious claims; and • incentivise early settlements. In dismissing the Government’s arguments, the Supreme Court accepted evidence showing individuals and families on average incomes were unable to afford fees without sacrificing necessary expenditure, even with a remission system. It concluded that potential claimants were put off submitting claims to the employment tribunal because of fees, such expenditure often being incurred on loss of work. The Supreme Court asked the question whether “the sacrifice of ordinary and reasonable expenditure can properly be the price” of access to justice. The Supreme Court decided that forcing potential claimants to make such sacrifices constituted an unlawful impediment to access to justice. The Government conceded that fees had not acted as a disincentive for unmeritorious claims, because


the proportion of successful claims decreased during the fees regime. The evidence is that fees disproportionately put off claimants with potentially meritorious claims.

The Supreme Court “asked the question

whether “the sacrifice of ordinary and reasonable expenditure can properly be the price” of access to


Mark Emery, Employment Law Partner

There was also significant evidence that the fees regime was not incentivising early settlement - in fact the opposite was often the case because employers often ‘wait and see’ if the employee paid a fee instead of engaging in early settlement.

The Judgment goes further, attacking the Government for apparently not realising the importance of access to courts in maintaining ‘the rule of law’. ‘The importance of the rule of law is not always understood. Indications of a lack of understanding include the assumption that the administration of justice is merely a public service like any other … It may be helpful to begin by explaining briefly the importance of the rule of law, and the role of access to the courts in maintaining the rule of law…” The Supreme Court analysed the law from the Magna Carta of 1215 onwards - a guarantee of individuals’ access to courts which administer justice promptly and fairly - and how this guarantee has been interpreted into the 21st century. It concluded that the Government’s argument - that there is no detriment to society by reduced access to employment tribunals – was “demonstrably untenable” as society benefits from access to justice, not least in courts defining and clarifying the obligations and rights of employers and employees. In conclusion, the Supreme Court said the fees regime was so flawed it is ‘unlawful ab initio” - it is


B4 legal

the Supreme Court said the fees regime was so flawed it is ‘unlawful ab initio” - it is as if fees have never existed - meaning that all who have paid fees, including employers who have been ordered by the tribunal to pay the fee to a claimant, are entitled to a refund

Mark Emery, Employment Law Partner

as if fees have never existed - meaning that all who have paid fees, including employers who have been ordered by the tribunal to pay the fee to a claimant, are entitled to a refund.

Short-term The possibility of backdated claims from long-gone employees, who may argue they were prevented from bringing otherwise good claims because of fees. There will be a period of uncertainty as the appeal courts decide whether such arguments can succeed, but there is a significant prospect that such arguments may succeed in some cases. For example, a pregnant employee may argue she was forced to choose spending from her savings on her child or on an employment tribunal fee. Employers who may have paid fees to employees can reclaim the fee from the Government, under a scheme yet to be introduced.

Medium term The Government may consider a new fees regime. Given the terms of the Supreme Court Judgment


this must be realistically affordable (i.e. set at a low level) and at one level. One option under consideration is for the employer to pay a fee to defend the claim, notwithstanding serious concerns raised by businesses.

Long term This judgment restates what has been a principle in the UK law since the 12th Century: that access to courts is fundamental to the rule of law. With proper access to employment tribunals there is public benefit for employees being able to enforce their rights, and for employers to have clarity on these rights. The judgement recognises the fundamental economic inequality between employer and employee and that employment tribunals are a fair way of ensuring access to justice. In fact, when in the employment tribunal, little has changed. Employers who act reasonably in their decision making, not tainted by discriminatory factors, will be able to successfully defend claims. The right to claim costs has increased in recent years, leading to significant costs awards against vexatious employees. While there may well be an increase

in nuisance claims, robust procedures properly followed with appropriate advice will continue to minimise risk to employers. If you are concerned about receiving a backdated claim from an ex-employee, we can provide a ET Claims Review Service, which is designed to review the termination of an employee’s contract and highlight any areas for concern. This service will give you peace of mind. For more information, please call me on 01865 781 079.

 mark.emery@freeths.co.uk  01865 781 182  www.freethsoxford.co.uk



WHY MANY BUSINESSES ARE MISSING A TRICK Emma Banister Dean, partner at Knights 1759 has 15 years’ experience resolving commercial disputes relating to data protection and defamation. She has delivered several seminars on debunking the myths surrounding GDPR. In this article Emma outlines why many businesses should be seeing this as the perfect opportunity to grow their customer base. Written by: Knights 1759 Photography by: Knights 1759

Business owners shouldn’t see GDPR as a three-line whip. It is an opportunity to be a trusted business which embraces the change. Budgeting for the changes by introducing proper training and protection now will be far more cost effective than managing the crisis of a public data breach later down the line Emma Banister Dean - Knights 1759

What is GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will be incorporated into UK law by the forthcoming Data Protection Act, currently a Bill before Parliament, taking effect on 25 May 2018. “There is currently a lot of misinformation about GDPR in the market place. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of scaremongering tactics from consultants offering expensive courses and webinars warning businesses of significant fines should they not be ‘GDPR ready’. “Some are promising to give you everything you need to know about the new regulation, yet all the facts are readily available on the UK Information Commissioner’s website. “Realistically we are all victims of the misuse of our data; many of us are subject to hundreds of junk emails daily. Email hosting providers have tried to tame the problem by introducing spam folders which become riddled with scams and bogus companies trying to sell a range of unwanted products. “It is irritating at the best of times, but it is when a data breach causes financial or significant reputational damage that it becomes a concern for the Information Commissioner.


“Rather than focussing on the potential fines, smarter businesses who take control of their GDPR stand to gain new customers by showing how conscientious they are of taking care of their customers’ data.”

• Do your employees know what a data breach is and how to deal with one? • As an employee, do you know who to contact if you are worried about data protection?

Realistically we are all “victims of the misuse of

Emma explains: “Organisations which have taken an active role in safeguarding customers’ data are the ones who are ahead of the game and are becoming trusted brands.

our data; many of us are subject to hundreds of junk emails daily

“Consumers are becoming more and more savvy about how their data is being shared and it can take one data breach to ruin the reputation of a business – with serious financial consequences.

Emma Banister Dean - Knights 1759

How does a business demonstrate it cares for personal data? At the heart of the GDPR debate is best practice in data protection. Has your business considered the following? • Do you know how personal data is stored in your organisation? • How is this data processed and protected? • Who in the organisation has access to it and what safeguarding measures are in place to prevent a data breach?

Benchmarking your current level of GDPR “Your first steps should be to audit any personal data that your business is holding, where it came from and where it is being shared. “This involves reviewing firewalls, processes and procedures, the safety and storage of company phones and laptops. “A key issue to consider here is that of consent. As a business, you should be aware of your current procedures for seeking, obtaining and recording consent.”


B4 legal

What is a data breach? Personal data can be provided to organisations for a range of purposes – when purchasing something online people supply a billable and delivery address for example. When the organisation uses that data for something that it is not intended for, it then becomes a misuse of that data. When personal data becomes more widely available than was intended, and is likely to have a negative impact on the data subject, then it is a breach. Organisations should quickly consider the requirement to make a report to the Information Commissioner.

Should my business appoint a Data Protection Officer?

insure against the damage to reputation – it can often be irreparable.

“The appointment of a Data Protection Officer will help many large organisations become GDPR ready and provide ongoing monitoring of potential risks and data management once the regulations come into force. It will be a legal requirement for some. However, many SMEs won’t have this dedicated resource.

“Business owners shouldn’t see GDPR as a threeline whip. It is an opportunity to be a trusted business which embraces the change. Budgeting for the changes by introducing proper training and protection now will be far more cost effective than managing the crisis of a public data breach later down the line.”

“Ultimately the responsibility is not down to just one person. All staff need to understand the risks to ensure that data is managed properly and lawfully within the business.

If you would like to discuss any aspects raised in this article in the context of your own business please contact Emma Banister Dean.

Consider your supply chain

Is my business at risk of been fined?

Emma continues: “Many organisations do not consider the GDPR protection that partner organisations and supply chain partners have in place. Are provisions mirrored and could their procedures harm the reputation of your business?

“If all staff are trained in keeping data safe and secure and the correct reporting procedures, your business is minimising its risk of a fine.

“Now is the time to review and reconsider any contracts you have with partners. The change in law allows for a change in contract – even if it is fixed term. Businesses who are considering a change in supplier should notify their customers.

“Data breaches are a serious issue and if a business is hit with a fine which is four per cent of its turnover (potentially a multi-million-pound bill), it is the reputational damage that could have a greater effect. Who wants to buy services from, or work with an untrustworthy business?

   

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B4 legal

Abolition Of Employment Tribunal Fees – Implications For Employers For many years, many employers felt that the Employment Tribunal system was weighted against them and in favour of employees. The claimant did not have to pay a fee to commence Tribunal proceedings and, even if the claim was unsuccessful, it was extremely rare for the Tribunal to order the claimant to pay any of the legal costs incurred by the employer in defending the claim. Written by: David Parry Photography by: Vicky Lewis Photography

There is little doubt that the lack of a fee resulted in some unmeritorious claims being lodged. The employer would be left with the unattractive option of either defending the claim as a point of principle (and incurring several thousand pounds of irrecoverable legal fees) or of settling the claim. In 2013, the then Coalition Government brought in two reforms. Firstly, to require claimants to invoke the ACAS Early Conciliation procedure before they would be allowed to commence Tribunal proceedings. Secondly, to require individuals to pay fees of up to £1,200 to take their claim to a hearing. The rationale of the Government was to require users of the Tribunal service to contribute towards its costs. However, austerity was then the buzzword and, overnight, the reforms resulted in a drop of around 70% in the number of Tribunal claims being made.

fees that were paid – this is believed to amount to £32m in total. In its judgment, the Supreme Court noted a contrast between the level of fees payable in the Tribunal and in the Small Claims Court, where it is very much cheaper to bring a claim. The Court emphasised the importance of the rule of law and found that, when Parliament confers employment rights on individuals, the Lord Chancellor cannot effectively take them away by introducing prohibitively high fees.

commence Tribunal proceedings. Now that fees have been abolished, we are likely to return to the bad/good old days (depending on your perspective) and, unless the Government introduces a new fees regime, the number of Tribunal claims is likely to return to pre-2013 levels.

About David Parry Employment Law

Where does all this leave employers?

David Parry Employment Law is a law firm that advises businesses in all aspects of employment law, including Tribunal claims and how to avoid claims in the first place!

First, it is possible the Government will bring in a different fees regime, with lower fees and possibly with employers contributing to the cost at the outset. However, the Government has not yet stated its position.

David has specialised in employment law for over 25 years and has spent the whole of his professional life in Oxfordshire. His reputation is built upon providing clients with excellent, pragmatic and prompt advice in plain English.

Many employment lawyers thought that the pendulum had then swung too far in the other direction. Many individuals were put off from bringing perfectly good claims because of the level of fees payable.

Second, any individuals who might have brought claims between 2013 and 2017, but who were put off by the fees, can now seek permission to bring them “out of time”. There will inevitably be a large number of such cases brought by ex-employees.

If you would like to discuss any employment issue affecting your business on a free, no-obligation basis, please do not hesitate to contact David.

Ever since the Tribunal fees were introduced, the unions sought to challenge the lawfulness of them through the courts. At each stage, the unions were unsuccessful. However, on 26 July 2017, the Supreme Court declared that the fees were unlawful. The Government has committed to repaying any

Third, between 2013 and 2017, many employers took a robust attitude to Tribunal claims. Faced with a potential claim, such an employer would wait to see if the individual invoked ACAS Early Conciliation. Even if they did, the employer would then wait to see if the individual was prepared to pay the fee to


 david@parryemploymentlaw.com  07812 652 282 / 01993 848 247  www.parryemploymentlaw.com








s t h g i ighl



B4 education

PAST AND FUTURE With d’Overbroeck’s new Sixth Form base in what used to be the 333 conference centre. Written by: Emma-Kate Henry, Principal of d’Overbroeck’s school

I have been fortunate this year to relocate to Oxford and begin a new professional role as Principal of d’Overbroeck’s. Oxford is, of course, a world leader in education and so this is a fantastic place to lead a robustly distinctive independent school. It is also in an area where the market is a highly competitive one, with plenty of excellent academic schools to offer discerning parents, so there is no room for complacency. We have just opened a brand new state-of the-art site for our Sixth Form on 333 Banbury Road, in addition to a brand new boarding house directly opposite. The planning and execution of this development in North Oxford was no mean feat for my predecessor to achieve. We recently welcomed many local residents who came to have a look around as part of the Open Doors weekend in Oxford. Tours led by our students and staff highlighted the juxtaposition of the renovated historic Villa with the contemporary architecture of our new teaching spaces.

remain on familiar territory, it is a widely held belief that the “deal-breaker” is the perceived quality of the teaching and the interactions and rapport between staff and students. The ethos at d’Overbroeck’s is firmly built on personal relationships, on a relative lack of stuffiness and formal hierarchies, and on a strong belief that the individual, every individual, is at the heart of the school. At the same time, our approach is emphatically collaborative; you are as likely to find a teacher holding open a door for a student as you are a student opening a door for a teacher.

“ The mutual respect

between students and teachers at d’Overbroeck’s is clear as soon as you visit Emma-Kate Henry

d’Overbroeck’s is a successful 11-18 co-educational school and we are very fortunate to have a thriving, large and high-achieving Sixth Form, as part of that offering, where we welcome a substantial number of new students. These are both day and boarders and those who choose to move to us from other independent and state schools locally, from other parts of the UK and from abroad. Again, this chimes well with Oxford as a city and its rich diversity. Whilst buildings and facilities may support a student’s decision to move schools at Sixth Form or, indeed, to www.b4-business.com

So, we can offer a uniqueness where excellent academic results (we were placed 27th in the Times Table for co-educational schools) sit alongside exceptional personal development for all individuals. Our staff are outstanding and passionate about what they do and their deep seated motivation to enable all students to achieve beyond what they might think is possible is evident. High levels of engagement and laughter are in the fabric of the school. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that we ranked in

the top 2% of schools when providing added value to students’ results when they leave us. The fact that they can do this whilst enjoying their education is highly satisfying and what makes us stand out. We cannot shy away from the point that parents are investing a significant amount if they choose private education and they are entrusting us with those they care deeply about. At d’Overbroeck’s we aim to provide the best education we can in the most gracious and respectful way we can. The mutual respect that exists between staff and students at this school is remarkable and makes it a humane and encouraging environment in which to work and succeed. Our academically rigorous but socially informal ethos fits in a world where there are less formal interactions in society and I am very proud that our students leave us ready to take on the challenges of university and the increasingly changing world beyond.

For Admission Enquiries and Sixth Form Scholarship Applications, please contact:

   

Senior Registrar, Lynne Berry lynne.berry@doverbroecks.com 01865 688 600 www.doverbroecks.com


Barclays From browse to buy: maximising conversion rates In the UK, online retail browsing is more popular than ever. It must not, however, be assumed that this will automatically translate to a higher volume of sales; focusing on best practice approaches and strategic investment is essential for retailers to maximise conversion rates – and unlock potential value for the wider economy. Written by: Vikki Hemming, Relationship Director, Corporate Banking Thames Valley

Britain’s retail sector boasts the highest proportion of online sales of any major European country.1 Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed that online retail continues to increase its share of the overall market.

Adding value online While the online share of retail sales looks set to increase, industry estimates have suggested that the growth rate has started to slow. Against this backdrop, we set out to investigate the potential for retailers to secure additional value by exploiting new technology and identifying existing best practice approaches. This not only involves a focus on enticing new customers, but increasing the number of customers who make the transition from browsing to buying. Retailers are, of course, already tuned in to the potential of investing in online channels. The research found that UK retailers expect that the percentage of sales they derive from online channels will have grown from 45.1% in 2017 to 61.1%


by 2021. In a rapidly-changing business environment, directing capital to best effect can be a challenge, but over a quarter of retailers (27%) reported that there was nothing preventing greater investment in online channels.

Fine-tuning the journey UK consumers are also highly-engaged with retail sites, spending an average 89 minutes a week browsing online. Interestingly, this figure is highest amongst 45-54 year olds, who go on to buy an above-average 35.9% of items saved to their basket. The most popular device used to access retail websites remains the laptop, with 45% doing most of their browsing on this device compared to 31% who favour their smartphone and 28% who browse most by tablet or iPad. Yet clear generational divides signal that investment in mobile is likely to become of greater importance, despite the fact that the device’s conversion rates are currently lower.

Over two thirds (64%) of 18-24 year olds, for example, choose to carry out most of their browsing by smartphone, compared to just 6% of those aged

In a rapidly-changing business environment, directing capital to best effect can be a challenge, but over a quarter of retailers (27%) reported that there was nothing preventing greater investment in online channels.

Vikki Hemming, Relationship Director, Corporate Banking Thames Valley

over 65. For more than a quarter of the 65 plus age group, a straightforward user experience and easy-to navigate user flow from product to purchase would encourage them to complete a transaction.


B4 finance

Key takeaways • British retailers expect sales derived from online channels to grow from 45% in 2017 to 61% by 2021 • Adopting best practice approaches to e-commerce strategy and investing in the most appropriate technology could grow the annual value of goods bought online to £80.87bn by 2021 – an increase of £3.74bn • This could help retailers convert some of the £60bn currently abandoned in shopping baskets. • Under the enhanced scenario, online customers could also save over 614 million hours, with an associated value of £4.21bn. • Current conversion rates sit at 9%, which can be partly explained by a more widespread use of smartphones, through which customers are less likely to make a purchase. 68% of UK retailers are satisfied with their current rate of conversion. • The most popular device used to access retail websites remains the laptop, with 31% doing the majority of their browsing by smartphone and 28% favouring their tablet or iPad

But our survey also revealed that improving the buyer journey to reduce barriers to checkout does not always require significant investment. Simple automated email reminders may be all it takes to convert nearly a quarter of those with saved products, for example.

Capitalising on convenience Our research also suggests that, whether they intend to complete – or keep – a purchase, customers are more likely to be attracted to a convenient online experience. That may include free delivery and free returns, or simply a checkout process that does not require creating an account. In general, male shopping is more driven by intent, while more than one in every 10 women will browse and save items with no intention of buying. As such, retailers may find that improved ‘convenience’ may mean that the proportion of site visits ending in a sale increases. This is also likely to be influenced by a trend for browsing by mobile device, but completing the sale by another.


Model behaviour

in average annual revenue per user to £1,883.

Finding the right approach to maximise conversion rates in this increasingly complex digital marketplace can seem perplexing. Our comprehensive economic analysis explores the potential financial benefits of adopting best practice approaches to e-commerce strategy and investing in the most appropriate technology to streamline and enhance the online customer experience.

As well as helping retailers to continue to thrive, this will contribute substantially to the wider economy – and offer a better shopping experience to current and future customers.

This enhanced performance scenario enables us to compare and contrast online sales projections against baseline levels, and illustrates the significant growth that such foresight and planning can unlock. Our research revealed a major opportunity for retailers. With a renewed focus on best practice, along with carefully targeted investment, UK businesses could boost the annual value of online purchases by £3.74bn. This equates to an increase of more than a third in the value of goods purchased online, from £60.43bn in 2016 to £80.87bn by 2021, and a 29% increase



 vikki.hemming@barclays.com  07766 361 437  www.barclayscorporate.com

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of the Barclays Bank PLC Group. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in the third party guides or articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information given. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no liability for the impact of any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed. Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No 122702). Registered in England. Registered number is 1026167 with registered office at 1 Churchill place, London E14 5HP. + Please note: this is a mobile phone number and calls will be charged in accordance with your mobile tariff.


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B4 finance

Retail clients showing signs of financial distress Recent figures show that nearly 23,000 retailers are feeling financial pressure after the first quarter of 2017. This is a 4% increase compared to the same time last year. High profile examples of this increased pressure include Jacques Vert and Jaeger, who recently went into administrations. Rising wages, increased price competition and the fall of the pound postBrexit are all thought to be major contributors to the rise of retail administrations. Written by: Hayley Simmons, Shaw Gibbs

Signs of financial distress

From our experience...

For those with retail clients, it is important to watch out for signs of financial distress. There are several ways in which this could manifest itself, including;

We are currently working with proprietors of a business who – with the benefit of hindsight – can see that, in fighting to save their business over the past 3/5 years all they were actually doing was reducing the wealth that they had generated over the past 25-30 years whilst the business had traded successfully. To finance the business they borrowed large sums from the bank secured by personal guarantees and charges over their home and a further 5 years of trading resulted in ever larger redundancy pay-outs to their staff. They have also seen a further reduction in their own personal wealth due to reduced wages and not taking dividends. The proprietors now admit that the writing was on the wall, but they just refused to admit to themselves that their business of 30 years standing was in a sector that was in terminal decline. Had they got out 5 years earlier, they may not have had a lot of value but wouldn’t have gone on to be in the same position as they are today – no income for 5 years and huge addition personal debt.

• Reluctance to engage in normal review processes. • Multiple late payments to suppliers or HMRC. • Falling payroll costs due to cost saving ventures such as reduction in staff hours. • Seeking advice about re-mortgaging to gain capital in an attempt to prop up the business. • Request for help with cashflows and projections for bank facility purposes, which might be concealing an underlying adverse trend.

How can you help your clients? For accountants and solicitors, it is vital to not only deal with the immediate requests for advice and dealing with compliance, but also to help clients see the bigger picture. This may include informing your client that the sector is coming under increased and sustained pressure resulting from new ways of trading. The biggest change in retail being the growth of ecommerce, which provides price benefits, as well as increased accessibility. Following this, it is important that your client considers their long term goals and objectives and whether leaving the business while there is value - or planning to leave following the next available break clause - are the best options available.


extensive experience in solvent liquidation (MVL), insolvent liquidation (CVL) as well as administration and can also work with our Corporate Finance team on business valuation and sales.

Are your landlord clients at risk? Advisors should also be looking at their landlord clients, who may be at risk of financial distress. Many landlords will be exposed to lost rental income, with no new tenants willing to take on the premises in traditional high street locations. They will consequently need help in planning to cover that eventuality. In such situations, assets are often held in private pension plans, which adds complexity in dealing with trustees if significant changes to the strategy of how pension assets are invested are to be considered. If you have any clients who are likely to be affected by any of the issues raised above please do get in touch for an initial free consultation.

It is not easy to make such ‘calls’ but as professional advisers it is the role of accountants and solicitors to help clients see the bigger picture to consider opportunities and also to consider weaknesses and threats and help them draw conclusions, and develop and execute strategic plans. At Shaw Gibbs, our Insolvency & Advisory team can help with reviewing a business’ position and helping to create a strategic plan going forward. We have

 Hayley.simmons@shawgibbs.com  01865 292 200  www.shawgibbs.com 35

The different types of shares in a limited company Working on a start-up or early stage business can produce a real variety of emotions ranging from excitement at the endless possibilities, to anxiety over dealing with all the paper work and filing deadlines. One area that can cause real concern, either from the start or at a later date depending on your choices, is the types and class of shares you issue in your limited company. Written by: Debbie Austin

So we’ve written this piece to explain the basics along with the considerations for each option and the potential implications. As you will read further on, it’s worth understanding this area of your business from day 1 because later alterations to the structure about how your company is run can be time consuming and expensive.

The paperwork related to your shares

Most businesses issue ‘ordinary shares’ which provide full rights to dividends, voting at board meetings and equal rights to the allocation of assets in the event of a sale or if the company goes into administration. They carry one vote per share but rank after preference shares when it comes to rights to assets should the business be wound-up. Somewhat confusingly, you can categorise these shares into different classes which we cover a little later in this article.

When you start out there are several documents you will need to complete. For the purposes of this article the one we’re most interested in is the memorandum of association. This confirms that the shareholders in your business want to form a company under the Companies Act 2006. This document also explains that each shareholder must have shares at a minimum of one share per shareholder.

2. Preference shares

Of note, that’s the minimum each shareholder is expected to have. However, many businesses have more than one shareholder from the start, meaning you have the option of issuing different types of shares depending on your circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve.

3. Non-voting shares

After all different amounts of money and resources can be placed in your company by various individuals so distinctive forms of ownership, rights and conditions could well be preferable. Simply put, the types and classifications allow you to control exactly that by deciding matters such as voting rights and the distribution of profits to different investors.

1. Ordinary shares There isn’t one set type of share that has to be used. 36

Preference shares authorise the holder to receive a fixed amount of dividend every year and they are entitled to this payment ahead of individuals with ordinary shares. The dividend is usually, but not always, calculated as a percentage of the nominal value (the value of the shares when they were first issued).

These are ordinary shares but they often don’t carry any right to vote or attend general meetings. You will find it commonplace for these shares to be issued to employees. The reason being their remuneration can then be paid out in dividends which could be more tax efficient for both the employer and the member of staff.

4. Redeemable shares These are issued based on terms stating the company will or may buy them back at a future date. Such an arrangement can either be fixed or, set at the director’s discretion. They are usually issued with non-voting shares given to employees so that if the member of staff leaves, the shares can be bought back at their nominal value. www.b4-business.com

B4 finance

Classes of shares

“ Many businesses have more than one

shareholder from the start, meaning you have the option of issuing different types of shares depending on your circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve. Debbie Austin

Ordinary shares can also be divided into different classes and this is commonly referred to as ‘Alphabet Shares’. With the consent of existing shareholders, a company can have as many different classes as necessary; they each represent a different type of share, namely A,B,C etc. The different classes of share often apply conditions in the following areas:

Rights to vote – It may be as simple as the shares carrying voting rights or not, but this can become more complex whereby the votes are weighted. This means some shares may carry more voting rights than others concerning specific matters or circumstances. Rights to dividends – These rights could be as follows, either no rights to dividends whatsoever, distribution of dividends only in certain specific circumstances, a preferential dividend paid prior to other share classes or finally, access to a normal dividend.

Rights to capital – Different classes of share may have different rights to capital distribution. If the company is sold or wound up, any assets left after all debts have been paid off can be distributed to shareholders.

Get your share capital right before incorporation As a general rule, think long and hard about your share capital in order to get it right based on your business needs prior to incorporation. The reason being you want to be optimally set up from day 1 and altering types or class of shares means drafting new articles of association. This will likely require the help of a professional advisor at additional cost. When issuing shares, plan carefully and think of the long term implications. There have been famous examples in the tech world for example, where particular types of private shares have been issued with specific guarantees. These have pledged an appreciation in share price to a specific level when the time came to list on the stock market. Problems then arose when later valuations resulted in the price quoted per share being below what had been promised to original shareholders. Consequently clauses were activated that issued more shares to the original backers and thus diluted the holdings of other investors. So you can see how it can all get very complicated, quickly.

 debbie.austin@wellersaccountants.co.uk  0333 241 6000  www.wellersaccountants.co.uk www.b4-business.com


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B4 finance


One of B4’s newest members are Chapman Robinson and Moore Accountants (CRM) based in Kidlington, Oxford. Long-term supporter of B4, Mike Foster, who joined the firm towards the end of 2016 said; “Bringing CRM into the B4 community was one of my priorities on joining the firm”. Written by: Richard Rosser Photography by: studio8

For over 30 years, Chapman Robinson & Moore have been the go to trusted advisers for their clients, supporting the start, development and exit of their own business. The firm has ambitious plans for the future, and Mike Foster has joined the team to support the future development.

We help them to plan, forecast, measure, evaluate and improve.

Mike added; “Making Your Numbers Work is the focal point of our work with clients. We can offer the standard accountancy, tax and audit services that you would expect from any good accountant, however we want to offer more! We pride ourselves on helping our clients to plan, increase profits, manage cashflow, take control, measure performance and improve their business.”

There are a few fundamental questions that Chapman Robinson and Moore ask about their clients, to help them best share their expertise with numbers and also their experience of working with similar businesses looking to improve their performance.

Chapman and Robinson and Moore have recently released a fresh new look for the local, established accountancy practice and have developed a Business Improvement Programme that offers a new way of accounting support for businesses in the county. Tony Hobbs, Managing Director said; “A couple of years ago, we undertook some research with a group of accountants across the UK, to establish the steps that the more successful businesses in the UK undertook every single year without fail. With this research, we have developed our Business Improvement Programme that integrates those compliance services that every business needs, with our advisory services to help grow the business. “We help our clients to understand the real numbers in their business, those that influence their success. www.b4-business.com

“Of course we offer the traditional accountancy services but wanted to build upon the proactive and collaborative way in which we work with our clients”

As an example, some questions around the 8 step improvement programme are; • What are your goals and objectives? (Personal and Business) • What is your exit strategy? • Are these aligned with other stakeholders in the business? • Key Predictive Indicators – What are the activity numbers and performance targets you need to achieve to deliver your vision and build into your financial forecast? • Key Performance Indicators – How did you perform? What do the financial ratios tell you beyond the headline results? What trends are you experiencing and why? • How did last years performance and business improvements impact on your business valuation? (including the non-financial factors) • How did last year’s performance compare to your

competitors or others in your industry? • What if…. You lost 20% of your customers? Or interest rates went up 5% on your borrowing? Or a key team member left the business? • What improvements could you make or do you need to make? How does that impact your financial forecast? The firm wanted a new look and feel to reflect the modern approach whilst retaining a reflection of its core values. Tony added; “We started a rebrand exercise, but once we revisited our purpose, values and objectives, we came to the quick conclusion that we were happy with our underlying brand and just needed to refresh our original look and create a greater awareness of what we actually do for our clients. Hence why our new look is not too far away from that which we established over 30 years ago.” Chapman Robinson and Moore are a mid-size accountancy practice and have ambitious plans for the next few years.

 crm@crmoxford.co.uk  01865 379 272  www.crmoxford.co.uk


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B4 finance

Expertise versus headcount: Should you consider outsourcing your finance function? The term ‘outsourcing’ can have both positive and negative connotations, depending on who you ask. However, outsourcing the right part of your business to the right partner can be highly beneficial. It enables you and your team to spend more time focusing on your core competencies, meaning the people in the business are happier and more effective because they have a more focused remit. Outsourcing also allows you to dedicate more resource towards servicing your existing clients, helping to bolster business growth. Written by: Allan Wilson

Here are seven key questions to ask when considering outsourcing: 1. What are the core business functions that we do better than anyone, and therefore should not outsource? 2. What are the other crucial areas of the business that aren’t within our core competencies? 3. Are there companies who are experts in these areas, who can perform these functions better than we can (and have the track record to prove it)? 4. What resources will be required to manage the relationship with our partners as successfully as possible? 5. How will we measure success? 6. How will the relationship work on an ongoing basis? 7. What are the cost implications of outsourcing vs. bringing the expertise in-house? Any business owner will tell you there are many additional costs associated with hiring even one new staff member, particularly if their remit is outside your business’s core competencies. Additional costs include: recruitment fees, training, creation of new business processes, National Insurance contributions, pensions, company benefits, consumables, administrative costs, holiday pay, sick leave…the list goes on! Salary is just one part of the overall cost.

unlikely you get terribly excited about the prospect of bookkeeping or accounting, but it’s undoubtedly one area you want to get right. Having accurate, timely and insightful information for your business is key in making effective decisions. The advantages of outsourcing aren’t limited to time and cost savings. Other benefits to be had include: 1. Access to top talent without having to pay full time – creates a more effective and efficient business. 2. Better quality of work. An outsourcing partner will have their team focussed on doing what they’re trained and good at. This may not be the case with an in-house team. 3. Access to technology. When you outsource, you gain access to leading edge software and tools. Additionally these systems automatically keep organised books and daily backups. 4. Scale. Employing staff in-house can make it difficult to scale up or down and respond quickly to changes. However, through outsourcing, you can have a reliable team that will help manage these peaks and troughs in resourcing needs. 5. Razor sharp focus will often deliver results more quickly than might otherwise be possible. By outsourcing non-core functions you should be able to maintain focus on your core business and grow sales, profitability and cash more quickly.

Should you outsource your finance function?

What types of businesses are most likely to outsource their finance function?

Time and cost savings are normally the main reason companies outsource their finance function. It’s

• Companies setting up an operation in a new country. Having a partner that knows the local


laws and practices will always help. These will often be sales led operations and so do not want to employ a finance team in-house. • Ambitious businesses looking for growth and/or profit improvement who need regular, accurate and insightful financial reporting but do not have the capability to create these internally. • Businesses focussed on their core competencies that want a trusted partner to take away the headache of running a finance function to ensure accounting, VAT, payroll and tax compliance. Regardless of whether you operate a UK subsidiary, overseas parent company or UK owner managed business, a firm that specialises in outsourced accounting can offer a tailored, effective solution to meet your specific needs. This solution can include: bookkeeping, payroll, VAT Returns, management reporting and year end compliance. A highly effective outsourced accounting solution allows you to focus on your core business competencies and manage your costs, confident that your accounts are being handled by experts.


 allan@wilson-partners.co.uk  01628 770 770  www.wilson-partners.co.uk


50TH COVER SHOOT AT BLENHEIM PALACE Thank you to everyone for attending the B4 50th Edition cover shoot at Blenheim Palace and to Dominic Hare (CEO) and Heather Carter (Operations Director) at Blenheim Palace for hosting. Considering guests came from all quarters of Oxfordshire, it was a wonderful turnout for early on a Friday morning, demonstrating the warmth and support for B4. Thank you to Clark Wiseman of Studio 8 for everyone and to all the B4 team. It was also great to see our original editor, Simon Howson-Green, who made a special trip from London to be with us for the shoot. Simon commented “I have fond memories of my time at B4 and it’s great to see the team reach such an impressive milestone. It was great to be invited back to share this special moment.” The cover will be out in December and the 50th edition will be celebrated at Blenheim Palace in the new year – details to be confirmed. Dominic added. “Thanks to B4 for choosing Blenheim as the venue for such a landmark moment.” B4’s Richard Rosser also commented. “To see so many good friends of B4 making the effort to join us for our 50th shoot was incredible. There was such a good atmosphere and to be allowed to shoot the cover at, arguably, Oxfordshire’s most iconic venue just added to this special occasion. Thank you to Blenheim, Clark, the B4 team and all of the B4 members who came together to celebrate our 50th edition. I just hope we managed to get everyone’s ‘best side’!” See the 50th cover shoot video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VxfKsOglpI

To feature in the 50th edition, please contact the B4 team, on: 01865 742211 and quote ‘50th Issue’ for special 50th edition rates.

 42

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3& The MGroup - Ian Walker 3* Sobell House - Tim Wraith 3( Blenheim Palace - Dominic Hare 4) The Career Boutique - Katherine Bertram 4! Beard Construction - Dean Averies 4@ Global CTS - Helen Fallon 4# Henry Stone Ltd - Mark Scurr 4$ Wellers - Debbie Austin 4% Oxfordshire LEP - Rob Panting 4^ CIS Ltd - Richard Marsh 4& College & County - David Gilson 4* Strangebrew - Phil Strachan 4( Executive Alarms - John Keown 5) You HR - Jonna Mundy 5! Marketing Sense - Jo Sensecall 5@ Wallers of Oxford - Rowan Waller 5# Breckon & Breckon - Greg Barnes 43


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

news “

I am very happy to be joining Freeths Solicitors as they are highly regarded by clients and peers alike for their experience, expertise, and the quality of service they provide. I very much look forward to meeting the firm’s staff and clients over the next few weeks.

Prominent Oxford employment lawyer joins Freeths’ highly regarded employment law team Oxford’s leading law firm, Freeths Solicitors, is delighted to announce that it has recruited an exceptional employment lawyer in to its Oxford offices. Mark Emery joins the employment team as a partner having previously worked at law firms such as Royds Withy King and Bindmans. Mark is a specialist employment lawyer with over 18 years’ experience in advising businesses and organisations on HR issues and strategy. He is also an employment tribunal Judge.

 welcome@freeths.co.uk


 +44 (0)1865 781 000  www.freethsoxford.co.uk

Sarah Foster, managing partner of Freeths’ Oxford office, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the firm. His appointment continues the firm’s strategy of recruiting only the highest calibre of solicitor. Mark’s experience and expertise will no doubt be invaluable to our clients and those looking for support and guidance on HR issues.” Mark Emery, employment law partner, said: “I am very happy to be joining Freeths Solicitors as they are highly regarded by clients and peers alike for their experience, expertise, and the quality of service they provide. I very much look forward to meeting the firm’s staff and clients over the next few weeks.”

 twitter.com/freeths



Set to open in 2018, London’s largest capacity football club ground will be a unique sports and entertainment destination in Europe. But with so much to look forward to, Tottenham Hotspur FC are, for now, based at Wembley Stadium for their home games, which has not come without its on and off field challenges. B4’s Richard Rosser met with the Club’s Director of Hospitality, Andy O’Sullivan, prior to the October Premier League fixture versus Bournemouth, to find out how the Club are settling in to their new surroundings and preparing for life in what will be Spurs’ long term home. Interviewer: Richard Rosser

Portriat Photography: Freddie Jewson

B4: Thank you for joining B4 in Spurs’ new home here at Wembley, but I understand it’s far from home for you? Spurs: It’s definitely not my new home, as I worked here for eight years prior to working for Spurs for the past five years. B4: You’ve had experience with new stadiums across Europe and this will obviously help when the new Spurs ground opens? Spurs: I have been involved in a number of stadiums across Europe. All of them are different, all of them have their own challenges and all of them are difficult at times. But all of them set new standards, which is great because you are constantly moving the industry forwards and Spurs will be the best of them all. B4: Your experience with new stadia and helping the club acclimatise to Wembley must be invaluable experience to have on board? Spurs: I’d like to think my Board might say so! I 46

think it is. I have been working with the team in the office that has really pieced together how our games come to life here at Wembley. It’s a big operation on a matchday as you can imagine and it takes many different departments to bring it to life.

I think if you were “looking to entertain

clients then I doubt there will be a better place in the UK to do so.

B4: Can you quantify the scale in terms of the number of bodies involved in bringing a match day together? Spurs: For us as Spurs the best place to start is at White Hart Lane which had a capacity of 36,000. We would have had 1,250 to 1,300 match day staff, whereas at Wembley, which has a capacity of 90,000 you are talking about 4 to 5,000 match day

staff. Our new stadium, with a 61,559 capacity, sits somewhere in the middle and we will have around 3,000 match day staff. So it’s a big operation. B4: We experience no shows in our events and I am sure you do too? Spurs: Every event in the world has no shows. We work on a 4 to 8% no show rate which really depends on the opposition. When you have two or three games in a week, as we are about to have, then you tend to see the no shows increase. When you’re hosting Real Madrid, Man Utd or Liverpool, we tend to be full! It’s part and parcel of the industry and you have to accept it. B4: Is a fixture like Real Madrid a headache or a result? Spurs: It’s good on all fronts. As a player I’d want to play against them. As a fan you want to watch Real Madrid. Everyone at the club is excited and so they should be…it shows the level of progression the club has made.


B4 spotlight B4: What sort of opportunities can our readers expect to take advantage of at Wembley? Spurs: We’ve got some great opportunities for groups that might not previously have looked at corporate hospitality, so with such a range of options available to us at Wembley, it’s a great chance for B4 readers to experience Premier League football in great surroundings. It’s a superb way for us to showcase what we can do for them. B4: You’ve been involved, as previously referenced, with many new stadia, all of which, as you mentioned, have their own challenges. I can imagine the New Stadium is negotiating its own hurdles. Where are you in terms of timescales? Spurs: We’re looking forward to getting the new stadium open, but, like any build, there are challenges, but that’s inevitable when we are building, what I believe to be, the best stadium in

Europe, probably in the top three stadiums in the world. I’m pretty sure someone will build a better one than us at some point, but, given what the Chairman’s vision has been for this stadium and what he has invested in it, I think if you were looking to entertain clients then I doubt there will be a better place in the UK to do so. So when it opens it will certainly be worth the wait

doing. We are building the most futuristic stadium in the world in terms of technology and our marketing suite echoes that. Even here at Wembley we have a couple of portable units where people can come to a game with us and we can show them what the new stadium will look like by using Oculus Rift and a very high powered laptop. So please get in touch and we can introduce you to our new stadium.

B4: If our B4 readers are interested in finding out more about opportunities at the new stadium, what can they do?

Watch the full interview at B4TV on the: www.b4-business.com website.

Spurs: We have something called SPVRS, obviously a play on our name SPURS, which means Stadium Project Virtual Reality Suite, so it works very nicely! It’s an augmented and virtual reality marketing suite which is based in our offices at Lilywhite House, right next to where the new stadium is being built. We are bringing individuals and companies through that space and they are very, very excited by what we are

Spurs will be exhibiting and presenting at Business in Oxford on 23rd May, 2018. To see more about the new stadium and hear from Spurs about their exciting plans, purchase your ticket online at www.businessinoxford.com

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TAKES YOU INSIDE LONDON’S MOST UNIQUE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION “We believe our new stadium will redefine sports and entertainment experiences. We have travelled to some of the best venues in the world to ensure no stone is left unturned in order to deliver experiences that are unparalleled for all our visitors. It will provide the world-class facilities our players and fans deserve and bring much needed regeneration to the local are.” Daniel Levy, Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. The Club’s new world-class stadium will offer a huge choice of innovative premium experiences for guests to enjoy Premier League and European football, NFL, concerts and more. Using immersive state-of-the-art virtual reality and augmented reality technology guests can experience and explore the stadium before it has even been built. The world’s most technologically advanced stadium will offer an unrivalled fan experience and be at the heart of the regeneration of Tottenham, with a commitment to www.b4-business.com

offering something for everyone Bookings are now open to view the wide choice of premium suites, new style lounges and seats available including the Tunnel Club, giving an exciting glimpse of the players as they head from the dressing room onto the pitch. The wide choice of premium suites, new style lounges and seats available include:

to delivering the best possible fan experience. In addition, the new development will be home to a wide range of regional street food concepts available to all general admission guests that will be unlike the offering at any other UK venue.

• The H Club, an exceptional Members’ Club, will offer a range of Michelin star calibre dining experiences

Furthermore, provision will be made for the world’s first stadium micro-brewery and in-house bakery. The onsite bakery will produce artisan breads and pastries for every food outlet in the stadium, ranging from general admission areas to boxes.

• Suite holders will be able to define their experience and design their private suite to their own personalised requirements.


A stadium for everyone The new stadium will strive to deliver the ultimate occasion for every visitor as part of its commitment

With a capacity of more than 61,559, the Club has placed the fan experience and stadium atmosphere at the heart of its designs in collaboration with stadium architects, Populous.




ASSOCIATE YOUR BRAND WITH THE PREMIER LEAGUE AT THE HOME OF FOOTBALL MATCHDAY SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AVAILABLE NOW VISIT: tottenhamhotspur.com/premium-wembley CALL: 0208 365 5010 The Premier League - closer than ever! Oxford Parkway - Wembley Stadium: 50 minutes Haddenham and Thame Parkway – Wembley Stadium: 29 minutes

B4 spotlight


A 17,500 single tier stand, the largest in the UK, will generate ‘a wall of sound’ coupled with a tight atmospheric bowl ensuring spectators are closer to the pitch than at any other comparable ground in the UK with uninterrupted views for all at every event.

Technology The stadium has been designed with technology within the fabric of the building enabling a truly connected experience for all visitors. Alongside the inclusion of geo-location technology, this will open up endless possibilities to enhance service and tailor experiences for each guest. Furthermore ticketless entry will ensure swift access at turnstiles and fast payment options will enhance service at refreshment kiosks.

Transforming the local area The new stadium, visitor attractions, homes and other uses proposed for the site will support a total of 2,500 jobs in the locality – a net 1,700 directly employed at the site and with a further 800 supported through supply chain and other direct spending. In addition, the increased numbers of supporters and visitors to Tottenham will supply a further 980 jobs locally.



New stadium site Up to 1,500 people working onsite; 8 tower cranes used onsite; 1,621 doors will be installed; 72,000 square metres of concrete will be poured; 729 staircases will be fitted; 1,101 concrete columns will support; 12,000 tins of paint will be used.

Once complete the new stadium will have… 61,559 capacity – the largest Club ground in London; 17,500 seats in the home southern stand – the largest single tier stand in the UK; 16 non-football events maximum will take place per year (likely to be six concerts and 10 other sporting events); 3,700 jobs created (an increase of 1,700 new jobs); less than 6 metres from the pitch to the single-tier ‘home end’, with no front row seat being any more than 8 metres away from the touchline across the stadium; 10,000 – the number of pints per minute that the new beer delivery system will enable staff to deliver; £750 million – the investment the stadium project is expected to represent upon completion; 60,000+ – the number of people currently on the Club’s Season Ticket Waiting List; £293 million - the amount the development will pump into the local economy each


year (an additional £166 million); £211 million – the amount of additional local spending the four-year construction phase will generate. Premium membership packages are now on sale here: http://new-stadium.tottenhamhotspur. com/on-four/

B4’s LinkedIn post about this event had:



 info@tottenhamhotspur.com  0344 499 5000  www.tottenhamhotspur.com



Christmas 2017 at the Holiday Inn Oxford We’re the perfect venue for your Christmas party! We’re offering party nights in our Radcliffe Suite or Junction Restaurant for those who want to eat, drink and be merry this festive period. Enjoy a delicious three course Christmas menu then dance the night away until 1am with our resident party DJ. For the quieter party, we are also pleased to offer festive lunches in our Junction Restaurant that will let you raise a glass with your friends and colleagues in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Party night packages start from £39.95 per person and include: • Three course festive meal • Half a bottle of wine per person • Disco until 1am • Festive novelties Festive lunch packages start from just £15.95 per person for two courses.

If you party with us, you can stay with us at specially discounted rates. It means that everyone can get ready to enjoy the evening without any hassle. Call 0871 942 9086 or email meetings@hioxford.co.uk



Oxford businesses triumph in nationwide scale-up competition A national competition held by Oxford Innovation to mark the company’s 30th anniversary, has seen science and technology businesses from across Oxfordshire scoop the top three prizes. Written by: Oxford Innovation Ltd.

Building on Oxford Innovation’s success of supporting early stage businesses, the Scale Up Stars of the Future competition was setup to identify the most exciting new generation of high growth businesses. Winner of the competition is Oxford nanoSystems, a company that’s developed innovative coating technologies, from its Harwell Campus base, that will improve heat transfer for components used in multiple applications. These include air-conditioning systems, industrial waste, transport and data centres. Second prize was awarded to Green Sea Guard for creating a system to automate the measuring of real-time exhaust emissions emitted from ships. This data is used to ensure compliance with UN regulations and to help reduce coastal and riverside air pollution. Third prize went to The Native Antigen Company (NAC) known for making the highest quality native antigens used by scientists researching viral diseases. Initially based at Cherwell Innovation Centre managed by Oxford Innovation, NAC has also played a fundamental role in the global fight to combat the spread of Zika virus and is about to launch its first assay products. Jo Willett, Managing Director, Oxford Innovation, said: “During our 30 year history, Oxford Innovation has helped over 10,000 SMEs to create sustainable businesses and we are looking forward to creating more dynamic communities of entrepreneurs who can benefit from our support. The Scaleup Stars competition was created to identify the next generation of high-growth businesses and I’m delighted to say the calibre of entries from across the UK truly were outstanding. On behalf of Oxford Innovation, I’d like to congratulate all who were shortlisted and especially our very deserving winners.” Competition winner, Oxford nanoSystems, is currently preparing for a round of funding as it looks www.b4-business.com

to scale-up and work with multiple manufacturers to enter the air conditioning market, currently estimated to be worth $907 million. Alexander Reip, CEO, Oxford nanoSystems, said: “It’s a privilege to be named winner at Oxford Innovation’s 30th Anniversary celebrations and it will definitely provide us with an edge when talking to investors. We are facing exciting challenges as we work towards commercialising our product and are fortunate to be located within Oxfordshire’s strong ecosystem, which has world-class and affordable facilities to support emerging technology companies. For the greater good of home grown talent and the UK economy, I hope that more counties across the UK follow suit.” Second place, Green Sea Guard, is a virtual business with workers located in the UK, Denmark, Netherlands and Portugal. The company was founded in Oxford is predominantly staffed by a passionate team of volunteers with imminent plans to hire in addition to developing two new products. Anita Bradshaw, Chief Operating Officer, Green Sea Guard UK and Managing Director of Green Sea Guard’s sales company in the Netherlands, said: “Reaching the finals of this competition is really significant for Green Sea Guard. We believe the visibility is good for our profile and will help us cement customer and supplier relationships, which are always tricky for start-ups. The support from Oxford Innovation, with all its resources, will be very important as we start to scale our business from its modest origins.” Third place, Dr. Nick Roesen, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of The Native Antigen Company, added: “We are overjoyed to come third in the Oxford Innovation Scale-up awards. There were many great companies featured at the ceremony, and it is a great honour indeed to be recognised amongst all that talent. I have no doubt that we will be returning to Oxford Innovation for further support and facility space as we continue to grow over the

next few years.” The three winners were announced at Oxford Innovation’s prestigious 30th anniversary event, which took place at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford on Wednesday 11 October. As well as exhibiting their businesses at the event, all three businesses will receive a tailored prize package of support from Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services and the Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) worth between £2,500 and £10,000. Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading provider of innovation centres with 24 locations housing and supporting over 1,000 early stage businesses. Key to the success of thousands of entrepreneurs, Oxford Innovation Services provides practical support and advice, assisting high growth businesses on their business journey. The Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION) work with entrepreneurs to raise finance by connecting them with highly active potential investors who frequently provide commercial experience and contacts, in addition to vital capital. The company was founded by renowned entrepreneurs Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood in 1987 as a subsidiary to The Oxford Trust and became part of SQW Group in 2007. For further information, visit: oxin.co.uk.

   

30thanniversary@oxin.co.uk 01865 261 489 www.oxin.co.uk @oxinnovation


you’ve articulated a very clear explanation of why you’re going “ Once to do something, then we found people really rally behind you ” Dominic Hare

Dominic Hare

Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace New in the role as Chief Executive at Blenheim Palace, Richard Rosser talks to Dominic Hare about his life prior to Blenheim Palace and what he hopes to bring to the table for the future of this local landmark. Interviewer: Richard Rosser Transcriber: Poppy Macfarlane Photography: Rob Scotcher

Dominic: I first arrived at Blenheim Palace back in 2003 and I was the first recruit of my predecessor, John Hoy. I arrived about three months after he arrived, so I’ve served as Finance Director here from 2003 through to the end of 2016 as part of a successful and stable team, and I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to step into his fairly sizable shoes in January 2017. Prior to that I trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG up in Liverpool. I then specialised in corporate finance and worked with two different investment banks from 1997 to about 2003. The highlights of that time included deals to help Bob the Builder help buy Barney the Purple Dinosaur and Thomas the Tank Engine. These were happy times but my children had reached an age and I had reached a point where I really wanted to set down roots closer to home, so the Blenheim Palace opportunity which is so synonymous with all that’s great about Oxford was the perfect place for me to land, and I’ve been very happy here. Richard: There have been lots of changes at Blenheim over the years, since you started, and lots of events come here and stay here and become successful here. What plans have you got for the future? Dominic: Big expansive plans. The first thing I always stress is the period that John and I were working together here was enormously successful so while we are changing many things, that’s in no way a disavowal of the past. We reflected a lot on what the relevance of a landed estate was today and we


reached a conclusion that historic, landed estates were actually pretty unique things; we combine elements of commercial enterprise with elements of public sector, with elements of charity. As a commercial enterprise, we deploy capital in pursuit of profit, and we regard that as a healthy thing and we do it well. Like many public sector bodies and local governments, we are completely grounded in this local area. We own so much of this area and we have so many people in the community who work for us, we could never walk away. If you combine

We set out a bold “ vision to be the life-blood of the local economy, to enhance the lives of local people and to share and protect this extraordinary place Dominic Hare

those two elements that gives us the almost unique ability to invest into this local area, knowing we can wait for the very long term for the returns. As a charity with the support of the Duke and trustees we can support purely charitable objectives and hand over money for good causes and I’m delighted to say we’ve established a practice of doing that in significant sums. These things all come back to the same idea of all the different ways we can enhance this area and make life better here.

Having reflected on that uniqueness we decided we were happy in our own skin, comfortable doing what we could and we set out a bold vision to be the life-blood of the local economy, to enhance the lives of local people and to share and protect this extraordinary place. We translated those big words into ten specific goals for the next ten years:

1. Triple our economic contribution to the local area. 2. Train more than 100 apprentices in a broad range of skills, from shepherding to marketing.

3. Build 300 high quality and truly affordable homes for local people. We think the accommodation market in Oxfordshire is incredibly expensive and even “affordable accommodation” simply isn’t affordable. We’re determined to completely transform that landscape.

4. Achieve annual visitor numbers in excess of 750,000 paying visitors. (that’ll be about 1.2m total visitors).

5. Become a net generator of green energy. We currently generate about 15% of the energy we consume but we’re determined to rapidly move that to more than 100%.

6. Become one of the country’s top 100 employers. In some ways, this is the most important goal of all because if we can’t earn the right to employ great staff and allow them to express themselves in the business then we’ll never achieve any of our broader goals.


B4 spotlight

7. Complete more than £40 million of restoration work. We think this is the biggest restoration programme ever attempted in Europe. 8. Reacquire key works from old collections and bring them back to Blenheim.

9. Secure an endowment of £45 million to protect this world heritage site forever. This is to ensure no future Duke ever has to worry about the money to keep the roof on. This sounds self-serving, but the palace is such a large economic pillar for the area and we’re trying to guarantee the economic vitality of this area and the employment scene going forward.

10. Double our charitable contribution to the community. This set of goals covers all of our businesses but they all point back to the initial vision - That we want to be the economic life-blood of the area, enhance the lives of local people and share and protect this extraordinary place. Richard: Do you now see yourself as leader? And as leader what are your three secrets of successful leadership? Dominic: There’s part of me that still feels like an imposter. When you’re surrounded by incredibly talented people, it’s difficult not to start to feel something of an inferiority complex. When I accepted the job offer to become CEO, I gave it three days hard thought because I wasn’t totally convinced I


was the right person for our trustees. I wrote them a note which said something like “I’m not John, John was a wonderful ambassador an operational leader, I’m more of a back-office geek and I will probably try to do things that way”. I quickly learnt as a leader you can’t do that and you do have to stand up front, you do have to be an ambassador and if you don’t then I think people are a little bit suspicious. Richard: What are your three main tips? Dominic: 1. Start with “why”, to coin a phrase from a very well-known book. We spent a lot of time selfdiagnosing and imagining what the future of this estate might be and what could be important about it. Once you’ve articulated a very clear explanation of why you’re going to do something, then we found people really rally behind you, both inside and outside the organisation. Then the big decisions you make about how you go about it become much easier because everyone’s on the same page.

2. Listening and reflection. Despite the fact I have to talk a lot I still put listening and reflection down as one of the most important attributes. We are surrounded by immensely talented people, especially in a place like Blenheim where people care very deeply about the organisation and its community, and I’ve discovered over even six or seven months a lot of the answers to the questions I have about where we go and how we do it are in the heads of people around me here. So, if I can listen to what people are saying and reflect on it then I probably won’t go far wrong.

3. The power of well-crafted communication. I quickly discovered how important it was to people around me that I stand up and articulate a very compelling case and get people excited and be a bit of a salesman too. We do quarterly presentations to all the teams here and I’ll speak for nearly an hour to each team. If they knew just how long I rehearsed those presentations, how often I replayed the words and the pauses in my head, to make sure each team knows their presentation is my most important one, I think they’d all laugh at how long that process takes. I’ve realised just how rewarding that is and how much value you get back when people see you’re going to make an effort. Richard: Thank you for your time and wisdom, Dominic. B4 wishes you the best of luck for the future.

To see the full video interview with Dominic Hare, visit the B4 YouTube channel at: youtube.com/b4businesstv

 dhare@blenheimpalace.com  01993 810502  www.blenheimpalace.com


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B4 property


Malcolm Kempton CHARTERED SURVEYOR, KEMPTON CARR CROFT MEET MALCOLM Malcolm co-founded Kempton Carr Croft in 1986 with business partner Michael Carr. The firm is now one of the largest independent property consultancies in the region with 40 staff and eight offices across London and the Thames Valley. Malcolm sits on the executive board and heads up the firm’s development and expert witness teams. In his day to day professional work for clients as a Chartered Surveyor and RICS registered valuer, he specialises in valuation and expert witness matters, advises on planning viability studies, and works as a development consultant for a number of land owners and local authorities.

ABOUT KEMPTON CARR CROFT An independent and established firm providing property solutions across London & the Thames Valley. Its multi-disciplined team deliver a wide range of services for commercial and residential property and land including lease extension and renewal, surveying, valuation, receivership, expert witness, management, development, investment, disposal and acquisition. Clients range from individuals with a single property, to landlords, public sector organisations and commercial businesses with extensive portfolio and management requirements. The firm works in trusted partnership with both local and national solicitors, estate agents, insurers, accountants and lenders to provide the property services they need to outsource for their clients.


CONTACT ME  Chatsworth House, 29 Broadway, Maidenhead,    

Berkshire, SL6 1LY enquiries@kemptoncarr.co.uk 01628 771 221 www.kemptoncarr.co.uk @KemptonCarr



Jon Silversides

Head of Commercial Agency Oxford, Carter Jonas As we push through the final quarter of the year it is heartening to be able to report strong trading activity with a particular focus on the knowledge/science based sector Whilst general confidence sometimes seems fragile, mostly related to continuing political uncertainty, Oxfordshire’s commercial fortunes appear strong, based on our take-up data and a wide range of views expressed at two recent forums hosted by Carter Jonas. Written by: Jon Silversides Photography by: Aurelian Langlais (portraits)

Oxfordshire office market update Recent data compiled by our Oxford team shows that half year office take-up totalled 389,634 sq. ft., already equalling the take-up for the whole of 2016. Of particular note is that approximately 77% of these deals have involved the knowledge/science based sector. This is a key growth strand for both Oxfordshire and the Government’s economic plans and it is this sector that is showing the most reason for optimism.


Luckily for the County’s principal science park locations of Milton Park, Harwell and Oxford Science Park, this surge in activity comes at a time when we are also seeing the largest volume of speculative development being undertaken in living memory with over 300,000 sq. ft. of primarily science targeted stock under development, and more planned. The largest single deal so far this year has been on Oxford Science Park, where Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd acquired the Danby building totalling 55,175 sq. ft., whilst Immunicore Ltd has leased a total of 101,500 sq. ft. across three


B4 property

opportunities “areFreehold virtually non-existent and this scarcity has been a key driver of values, with stock in the right location across the County easily surpassing £10 per sq. ft

different buildings at Milton Park. In terms of headline rental values we now regularly see quoting rents on or above the £30.00 per sq. ft. mark for prime stock in the above locations and a general acceptance that these are now achievable rather than aspirational. As with any market place there are of course exceptions to this, with Oxfordshire’s various submarkets showing a wide range of availability and quoting terms, but in general all are seeing rental increases.

Oxfordshire Industrial Market Our half year take-up for the industrial sector has also been encouraging with activity mirroring the figures for the first half of 2016 at 741,757 sq. ft., despite a relative lack of stock, which otherwise may prevent the final year figures being higher. Since compiling this data it is worth noting that British Bakels has also exchanged contracts for an 80,000 sq. ft. turnkey facility at Link 9 in Bicester, where the developers, Albion Land will now build a mid-range unit speculative scheme totalling 146,000 sq. ft. This scheme should be well received as, despite current speculative development in the County amounting to 285,000 sq. ft., this total comprises just three larger buildings in Bicester and Banbury. A number of occupiers looking for mid-range stock are unable to satisfy their requirements due to a lack of availability.


This lack of mid-range stock has resulted in a gradual increase in the County’s rental tone with rents now typically ranging from £6.50 per sq. ft. up to around £10 per sq. ft., for key Oxford located stock; in turn freehold opportunities are virtually non-existent and this scarcity has been a key driver of values.

Oxford Retail Market Market sentiment remained stable in the Oxford retail sector during the first half of the year. Supply marginally increased within the City centre and rents remain unchanged in Cornmarket at £300 per sq. ft. and the High Street at £150-£200 per sq. ft. The completion of the Westgate Centre, a development by The Crown Estate and Land Securities, will provide a notable change and uplift to the City’s retail and restaurant offering, with John Lewis being the key anchor tenant. Whilst a number of tenants are expected to relocate to the Westgate Centre from existing premises in the City, initial indications are that this is not expected to be hugely detrimental to the overall tone of the City’s market, given the relatively small area of the prime city core and that this will instead provide more opportunities for new entrants. Rents are forecast to remain stable for the remainder of 2017 although may well rise moving into 2018 as a result of increasing demand.

At two recent property forums hosted by Carter Jonas, rising above the usual and much debated challenges associated with a city like Oxford, there was much discussion about the County’s strength, depth and opportunities going forward, particularly within the Life Science sector. Talk of the County being on the cusp of exciting economic growth for once does not seem unfounded when taken in context of the activity figures shown, the significant increase of investment into University Spin outs and the growing sense of belief in the County. In the short to medium term we expect announcements about the Oxford North, Oxpens and Osney Mead schemes as well as further transactional activity to cement our views and we very much hope that this current sense of optimism prevails

 Jon.Silversides@carterjonas.co.uk  01865 404 458  www.carterjonas.co.uk


FOXCOMBE Abingdon Business Park TO LET 17,500 – 50,000 sq ft Foxcombe provides a new opportunity for a building provided on a turnkey basis by the developer to suit an occupiers’ specific needs.

140 PARK DRIVE Milton Park TO LET 9,000 – 18,071 sq ft The second floor of this comprehensively refurbished office building, which is situated in one of the most prominent positions within Milton Park.

4220 NASH COURT Oxford Business Park TO LET 4,885 sq ft A two storey self contained office building set amongst mature landscaping it provides high quality, efficient business space with dedicated parking for staff and visitors.

BUILDING ONE Wyndyke Furlong, Abingdon Business Park TO LET/FOR SALE 28,600 sq ft Headquarters Offices with full height glazed façade providing unparalleled levels of natural light, creating an outstanding working environment.

unrivalled local and regional expertise Richard Venables rvenables@vslandp.com Tom Barton tbarton@vslandp.com Duncan May dmay@vslandp.com

news Eightfold Win for Leading Oxford Commercial Property Firm substantial funding base for the Oxford University spin-out companies which is driving demand for city centre offices and ring road industrial units. As a result, rents and lettings are moving forwards apace which has already led to take-up in 2017 (as at July) surpassing 2016 levels. VSL has been heavily involved in the transactions during this period with representation in and around 40% of deals.”

Commercial property consultants VSL & Partners has been named as Oxfordshire’s best performing commercial property agency and most active dealmaker for the eighth time.

Across Oxfordshire, VSL completed deals in the industrial, office, retail, land and investment sectors involving 767,000 sq ft of space from June 2016 to July 2017 for its clients.

Leading property publication, Estates Gazette Interactive (EGi) awarded VSL & Partners, Most Active Agent and Dealmaker of the Year in its 2017 deals competition.

Tom Barton, director of VSL says: “We are once again delighted to have won the most active agent and the dealmaker of the year awards for Oxfordshire. In a market that is dominated by national agents, winning this award is a reflection of our detailed local knowledge and the strength of our agency team, which remains the largest in Oxfordshire.

The EGi deals competition is an independent survey conducted by their research team, which covers commercial property transactions across all property types including industrial, office, retail and leisure. It is designed to establish the agents completing the largest volume of deals throughout the year.

VSL & Partners produces market reports providing a valuable insight into commercial property market activity in the Oxfordshire region. For further information or to speak to one of VSL & Partners experts, please call 01865 848488 or visit www. vslandp.com

Oxfordshire is experiencing an exciting growth period in the technology market at the moment. This is being driven by the emergence of a secure and

6 Oxford Industrial Park

St Edburg’s School Bicester

58 St Aldates, Oxford

21,935 sq ft Let to Vicon Motion Systems

Sold as Residential Development Opportunity

1,697 sq ft let to Horus Security Consultancy Ltd

The Old School, Wolvercote

39-41 Nuffield Centrum, Abingdon

3,390 sq ft Let to Univers Labs Ltd

20,354 Let to DFS

143 Park Drive, Milton Park 27,000 sq ft Pre-Let to Oxford Immunotec Ltd



Technology, Trees and Tranquillity The Copse @ Bloxham Mill offers commercial business office space with the highesttech usability in an attractive semi-rural setting. Historically, being in “the sticks” meant compromising connectivity – The Copse defies that myth… Written by: Karen Irvani, PDQ Partnership Ltd for Bloxham Mill Photography by: Nigel Francis Photography

Built to a sophisticated, technology-led specification, The Copse is 8,000 square feet of luxurious offices and is now ready to welcome new businesses. Set in the grounds of Bloxham Mill – a thriving business centre and home to over 100-resident and virtual business clients – The Copse is within easy reach of Banbury town centre and major motorway networks, and only 20 miles from Oxford.

Technically speaking This modern, bright and airy office space enjoys views of surrounding green copse-land - deftly differentiating itself from typical rural business buildings. Not only does it flout convention by its ability to deliver super-speed broadband connectivity whilst being set amid scenic woodland, it has been built to a future-proofed, state-of-the-art technology infrastructure supported by the Bloxham Mill Data Centre. Ray Avery, Managing Director of Bloxham Mill explains: “Bloxham Mill is the only UK business centre to have its own dedicated Data Centre, and we’re also fully geared to protection from cyberattack. Getting a good broadband speed is generally challenging in semi-rural areas but our connection


speed is super-fast – we also get a great mobile phone signal here! That’s good news for our new Copse clients.”

The crux of The Copse’s “technological edge is the fact that it will draw from Bloxham Mill’s increasingly progressive certified Data Centre via primary and secondary Fiberlink connectivity.

Martin Whittle, Chief Operations Officer for Ethos Technology

Martin Whittle, Chief Operations Officer for Ethos Technology – the designers of The Copse’s IT infrastructure – adds, “The crux of The Copse’s technological edge is the fact that it will draw from Bloxham Mill’s increasingly progressive certified Data Centre via primary and secondary Fiberlink connectivity. “Flexibility is another factor in that, if necessary, we

will be able to scale up bandwidth requirements for specific clients as and when required. The 300mb secure plus service will be super-resilient and diverse, with automatic failover as part of a sophisticated disaster recovery platform. Impressively, there will also be a third link from the Data Centre to The Copse, affording further stability and making this a rare configuration for a commercial building of this type.” Other hi-tech features and benefits include: • Cloud-based Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system enabling instant messaging, voice recording and follow-me call routing • External and internal 24-hour access via bio-metric technology • A three-tier Videx alarm system configured to a level generally only applied to the highest level finance houses • Fully monitored CCTV • An external intercom system linked to Bloxham Mill’s main Reception, that can be assigned to any company and any telephone number


B4 property

Bloxham Mill is the “ only UK business centre to have its own dedicated Data Centre, and we’re also fully geared to protection from cyberattack. Getting a good broadband speed is generally challenging in semi-rural areas but our connection speed is super-fast

Ray Avery, Managing Director of Bloxham Mill

• iPad sign-in/sign-out Reception service capable of sending emails, meeting requests and booking rooms

Interior perspectives Whilst the technology ‘backbone’ of The Copse has undoubtedly been a major priority, no less attention has been given to the interior look, feel and facilities inside the building.

“Ideally suited for individual businesses whether they take an office or a complete floor – or even for entire occupancy by a head office of a national or regional organisation; The Copse is a prestigious addition to our Bloxham Mill “family” and I’m looking forward to seeing it prosper in the months ahead. Working at The Copse will give businesses not only a room with an amazing view, but the best technological connectivity around.”

Overall, The Copse has been built to the highest specification inside and out. Furnishings, fixtures and fittings are of exceptional quality in terms of durability and attractiveness, heralded by the burnished copper effect wall in the Reception. Equally, meeting and break-out rooms are fully equipped with multi-media facilities and tastefully decorated, with the additional cachet of original artwork gracing the walls. Ray Avery concludes, “The Copse is very ‘here and now’ and has been built with the future in mind in terms of technology infrastructure. We’ll eventually be putting in electronic charge points for electric cars directly aligned to government directives for the environment in which we live and work.


      

david.williams@bidwells.co.uk +44 (0)1865 592 632 robert.beatson@bidwells.co.uk +44 (0)1865 592 627 ray.avery@bloxhammill.com +44 (0)1295 722 800 www.bloxhammill.com

The Copse @ Bloxham Mill At-a-glance • 8,000 square feet of openplan office space • Flexible lease terms available • High spec technology infrastructure – including 300MB Broadband connectivity • Data centre services available • 24-hr access via bio-metric technology • 24-hr tier-three security • Air conditioning • Kitchen area in each office • Meeting rooms • Break-out areas • Quiet zones • On-site catering (Reg’s Café at Bloxham Mill) • On-site car parking


MEPC is the manager and developer of Milton Park, Oxfordshire, one of Europe’s largest and most successful integrated business, science and technology parks – at the core of its ethos is nurturing and championing innovation. Written by: James Dipple, CEO of MEPC Photography by: MEPC

It is home to over 9,000 people and 250 organisations, from global, established companies, such as Ipsen, to emerging, growing regional players, including Isansys and Sevcon. Many of the park’s occupiers are fast-growing companies who are working on often groundbreaking, world-class research and development in the fields of technology and life sciences. A number of its leading, long-term occupiers began life as spin-outs of the nearby University of Oxford and have since gone from strength to strength. Earlier this year a new investor was introduced to Milton Park, taking a 50 per cent equity stake. This is one of the largest inward investment deals in Oxfordshire which underpins the appeal of the region for global investors.

Helping businesses flourish Milton Park has established a strong track record of attracting and retaining an impressive occupier mix, with 93 per cent of customers staying and growing at the park. For instance, Immunocore Limited, the world’s leading TCR company developing biological drugs to treat cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases, is expanding its operations at Milton Park by a further 53,000 sq. ft. into new purpose-built laboratory facilities.


Milton Park is ideally positioned, less than an hour away from central London and with excellent links to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. It is also within easy reach of Oxford and its world-leading University, which recently topped the global university rankings for the second year running. The park’s location enables occupiers to operate in and thrive on a regional, national and international level. It also helps businesses to attract and retain talent from the University of Oxford and its renowned Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, and Medical Sciences divisions. Milton Park also offers everything that a business or an employee could need. Along with the highest quality office and hi-tech laboratory facilities, it also boasts a wide range of onsite amenities - including a fitness centre, post office, nursery, cafes and restaurants, pharmacy and a hair and beauty salon, 24-hour access and security and dedicated on-site management teams.

Park Drive East – driving growth In February 2017, work began on Park Drive East, MEPC’s £24 million speculative office and laboratory development in Milton Park. Completion is expected in early 2018, with lettings already demonstrating

excellent progress. Recently, MEPC was pleased to sign its first pre-let agreement at Park Drive East with NASDAQ-listed high growth diagnostics company Oxford Immunotec Global PLC. Park Drive East was designed to meet the increasing occupier demand in Oxfordshire for best in class, strategically located space with optimum flexibility in mind, particularly to meet the requirements of cutting-edge businesses, including science and technology companies embarking on R&D activities. As ever, it is encouraging to see the Government’s support through additional benefits, such as the Local Development Order, which allows some new developments to be fast-tracked with the aim of attracting investment to an area, and to support existing businesses. Furthermore, being in the heart of the Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone, Milton Park is ideally situated in part of the Government’s Enterprise Zones initiative, which allows businesses to apply for a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over five years.

Community spirit Occupiers are encouraged to capitalise on the pioneering spirit of Milton Park, where MEPC has cultivated an inspiring, collaborative atmosphere.


B4 property

Milton Park also offers everything that a business or an employee could need. Along with the highest quality office and hi-tech laboratory facilities, it also boasts a wide range of onsite amenities - including a fitness centre, post office, nursery, cafes and restaurants, pharmacy and a hair and beauty salon, 24-hour access and security and dedicated on-site management teams. With a high number of innovative businesses with similar ambitions concentrated in one area, the park has cultivated a business hub with a real sense of community, which encourages the sharing of ideas and knowledge and helps to establish and maintain strong relationships. There are plenty of events at the park throughout the year, bringing people together.

By encouraging innovation, Milton Park ensures that businesses have the tools they need to grow and thrive at every stage of their development, while also being a part of a like-minded community

MEPC, which is committed to responsible property investment and sustainability, also works with its occupiers to create long-term positive change which benefits the surrounding area. This is demonstrated by its ‘Green Travel’ campaign, launched with much success to help reduce car journeys to and from Milton Park. By encouraging innovation, Milton Park ensures that businesses have the tools they need to grow and thrive at every stage of their development, while also being a part of a like-minded community. By giving each occupier the tools they need to excel and progress in their individual endeavours and growth objectives, MEPC is investing in progress and the innovative companies of the future, while also helping to bolster the local community and drive job creation. The effects go beyond the borders of Milton Park and of Oxfordshire – in terms of the innovative work of its occupiers, often reaching the national and international stage.

 enquiries@mepc.com  +44 (0)1235 865 555  www.mepc.com



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B4 venues

DISCOVERING A HIDDEN GEM ‘I didn’t even know you could host events at the Ashmolean out of hours!’ is a constant and surprising comeback when I meet new people at networking and social events, writes Wendy Ball, Head of Events at the Ashmolean Museum. The world’s oldest public museum is home to incredibly rich and diverse collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to Pre-Raphaelite paintings to contemporary art. Situated in the heart of Oxford, on the corner of Beaumont Street and St Giles, the Ashmolean is a spectacular setting for entertaining and can host a variety of events. Opulent and intriguing galleries contrasted and complemented by light-filled contemporary spaces make the Ashmolean the perfect venue. Last year the event team supported a record number of 350 events from intimate dinners for 10 to sumptuous seated banquets for 160 and drinks receptions for up to 900. Private and corporate clients and their guests benefitted from inspiring talks, object-handling sessions and private tours led by some of the world’s leading researchers in art and archaeology.

With dedicated professional event managers and an expert evening event team complimented by handpicked trusted suppliers, clients can be assured of the very best service at every stage of their event journey, from enquiry to the event itself. ‘We worked closely with the Ashmolean…they created a wonderful evening that delighted and entertained our guests. The added cachet of the surroundings and the quality of the food made the evening very special. We’re now planning our next one!’ (Andy Cooke, The Imageworks)

Not just an empty space

What makes the Ashmolean unique

Whilst many potential clients might be considering venues based mainly on capacity or location, we are able to offer something extra...not simply an empty featureless space, instead the opportunity to make the event special and memorable by holding it in a stunning gallery surrounded by antiquities and collections amassed over 300 years, crossing cultures, crossing time.

Every event is bespoke – we don’t apply a formula... the first question we ask is, “What part would you like the museum to play in making your special event memorable and individual?”

We are very proud of our close working relationship with our catering partner, Clerkenwell Green whose dedicated Ashmolean team not only share our


(very cozy!) office space but also a mutual aim to exceed client expectations...surprising and delighting discerning guests at every turn. We would love the opportunity to show you around the spaces and discuss your individual event requirements. Let’s start a conversation...

Watch This Space For more information about The Laboratory – an exciting new event space at the Ashmolean!

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events@ashmolean.org 01865 610 407 www.ashmolean.org @AshmoleanMuseum


Newbury Racecourse Your Wedding Venue Newbury Racecourse is one of the most distinguished wedding venues in the South of England with glorious views over 300 acres of Berkshire countryside.

Whether brides and grooms are planning a civil ceremony, traditional church service or civil partnership, Newbury Racecourse will look after every detail, from the ceremony, through to the wedding breakfast and evening reception. Each of the venue’s elegant suites has its own distinct character and ambiance.


Couples can choose between the traditional Royal Box, the spacious Racegoers Suite or the contemporary Hennessy Suite. Following the big event, the wedding party and guests can benefit from the racecourse’s on-site hotel, The Lodge, which has 36 bespoke ensuite rooms and is located close to all event spaces. The venue’s award-winning catering


B4 venues

We would like to “ say a big thank you to you and your team for all your help with our wedding celebrations. The hosts we had on the day were brilliant and nothing was too much trouble Once again a big thank you.

Mr and Mrs Sheppard

I would just like to say what a fantastic venue the Royal Box at the Racecourse was for our Daughter Katy’s wedding on Saturday, Sharon was great to work with and made the whole event go smoothly. Ms Adams

team are also on hand to ensure that each wedding is as memorable as possible. From high quality banquets to bespoke buffets, the in-house caterers can conjure up a range of dishes to suit the couple’s requirements. Every wedding is different and Newbury Racecourse takes pride in providing a dedicated team who work hard to make each occasion as tailored and individual as possible. The racecourse offers a range of exciting wedding packages but is also flexible and happy to discuss more specific requirements. To add another layer to the special day, couples can also combine their wedding with one of the venue’s racing fixtures, so that guests can soak up the atmosphere of a lively raceday. Newbury Racecourse recently revealed that its newest on-site venue, The Owners Club, is set to open at the end of October. The Owners Club is a new purpose-built events venue, with glorious views overlooking the Parade Ring.


As guests arrive, they will be greeted in the lobby and directed through the reception area into the beautifully appointed main event suite. This light and airy space has a flexible layout to suit a range of weddings. Bifold doors open out onto the private lawns, making this a unique, self-contained space with the option to break out and enjoy the sunshine during the summer months. During the winter it provides a cosy retreat which is easily accessible, with ample guest parking nearby. A chic choice, The Owners Club provides couples planning their special day with a superb venue in a beautiful and unique setting. For weddings of up to 200 guests, The Owners Club offers a beautifully well-lit and spacious reception room overlooking the newly landscaped lawns. The venue is an elegant ‘blank canvas’ lending itself to creativity in decoration, whatever the theme and colour scheme of a couple’s dream day. Tracy Skinner, Head of Sales at Newbury Racecourse, said: “We are excited to open the

doors of The Owners Club to brides and grooms to be. We anticipate that our latest venue will be very popular, having already received bookings for 2017/2018. Our weddings team is on hand to provide expert help to assist you with all aspects of your special day. In addition we can recommend excellent local suppliers to help bring the most intricate of wedding plans to life with ease”.

 weddings@newburyracecourse.co.uk  01635 40015  www.newburyracecourse.co.uk


Tewkesbury Park now offers, newly built premium conference facility with stunning panoramic views, following £3m investment Tewkesbury Park has completed a key phase in the extensive two-year redevelopment with the addition of a brand-new conference and events suite… Written & Photography by: Tewkesbury Park

The brand-new luxury Cotswolds Suite and Berkeley Bar, with floor-to-ceiling glass façade, and panoramic views across the Cotswold Hills and Severn Valley, really does offer what the regions business community has been crying out for… Since breaking ground back in September 2016, it’s been full steam ahead on the building front to ensure the new suite would be ready for events already booked for this August. Finishing two weeks ahead of schedule, Patrick Jones, General Manager is delighted with the results and the new conference offering which the investment has created. Architecturally stunning, the Cotswolds Suite, commands breath-taking views across the Cotswolds countryside and Severn Valley. Accommodating up to 200 guests, theatre-style, the suite can be subdivided into three equal sections. Adjoining is a brand-new bar and lounge area, the Berkeley Lounge, Bar and


Terrace, complete with wood-fired pizza oven. Behind the scenes state-of-the-art technology, offers any event access to the latest conference equipment. An Erco lighting and BOSE sound system with colour change mood lighting; multi-screen video wall, (4m width x 2.5 height); additional rolling 55inch TVs; electronic privacy blinds and hand-held and lapel microphones by Senheisser; three phase high powered connection for lighting and visual and all power connection for power hungry events are just some of the high-tech equipment available. The team at Tewkesbury Park believe meetings and events should be as unique as your company and as impressive as your product or service, and the new conference suite offers flexible conference options. Tewkesbury Park is set in 163 acres of majestic parkland and has an 18-hole par 73 golf course, academy course, golf boutique and squash & tennis courts.

The Leisure Club provides an extensive gym, sauna, steam room and indoor swimming pool. The hotel is only five minutes from M5 junction 9, on the doorstep of Tewkesbury and Cheltenham, and is ideal for regional and national events.

   

enquiries@tewkesburypark.co.uk +44 (0)1684 272 300 www.tewkesburypark.co.uk @tewkesburypark


B4 venues

The hotel has undergone a complete “ transformation and now with the addition of the Cotswolds Suite, we are the ideal events venue. Not only are we a great leisure hotel, with our 18-hole golf course and leisure club, but with the investment that has been poured into our meeting facilities, coupled with our superb location, logisticallywe are perfect for the corporate user.


Patrick Jones, General Manager, Tewkesbury Park




At Penningtons Manches, we establish lasting business partnerships through our ability to see the bigger picture. Our award-winning lawyers provide pragmatic advice to organisations of all sizes, helping them to achieve their goals in a clear and incisive way. Operating across a broad spectrum of sectors, we’re particularly acknowledged in Oxford for our expertise in the technology, life sciences, real estate, education and charity/not for profit fields and for the quality of our corporate and intellectual property teams. Whether you’re looking for legal support on a local, national or international level, as a leading UK law firm and one of the top-performing practices in the Thames Valley, we’re perfectly placed to deliver expert solutions. To find out more, call us on 01865 722106, email info@penningtons.co.uk or visit us online. Penningtons Manches LLP OXFORD +44 (0)1865 722106

BASINGSTOKE +44 (0)1256 407100

CAMBRIDGE +44 (0)1223 465465

LONDON +44 (0)20 7457 3000

READING +44 (0)118 982 2640

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B4 events


AT BELMOND LE MANOIR AUX QUAT’SAISONS Christmas Parties in La Belle Époque Private Dining Room Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is a house which loves to celebrate especially over the festive season. Treat your work colleagues and revel in Belmond Le Manoir’s hospitality, savouring the Michelin starred cuisine in the intimacy of your own private dining room. During the festive season, its private conservatory is decorated with a sparkling Christmas tree and guests are welcomed with a roaring open fire in the cosy reception area. Belmond Le Manoir’s Christmas package includes: • Exclusive use of La Belle Époque for lunch or dinner. • A glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne or mulled wine on arrival. • Canapés during aperitifs. • Four-course meal, coffee and petits fours. • ½ bottle of sommelier selected wine per person during your meal. • Belu still and sparkling mineral water throughout your meal. • Personalised menus, table plan and music. • Complimentary Wi-Fi. • Cloakroom and car parking facilities. La Belle Époque can accommodate between 15 and 50 guests in the wood panelled dining room,


its own Provençal-style reception room and elegant conservatory, opening up onto an enchanting walled garden within the oldest part of the house. Along with the glow of an open fire for a warm welcome during winter. Raymond Blanc’s exemplary cuisine and hospitality will equal the quality of the Michelinstarred restaurant. Sunday – Thursday Minimum number 15 guests Lunch £160 / Dinner £175 per person Friday – Saturday Minimum number 40 guests Lunch £180 / Dinner £195 per person Belmond Le Manoir is ideally situated to host your Christmas celebrations. Whatever your requirements, planning your private or business event could not be easier For more information, please email events.mqs@ belmond.com or telephone 01844 277 215

breath-taking on a frosty morning. Be swept away by one of the enchanting suites and enjoy Raymond Blanc’s choice of menus for dinner. Wake up at your leisure the following morning to an English breakfast.

The Dining Experience is priced from £930 in a Deluxe room, per night, based on two guests sharing a room, including any menu for dinner and English breakfast, subject to availability For further details and reservations, please telephone 01844 278881 or email manoir.mqs@belmond. com

Winter Retreats Unwind in a peaceful night of tranquillity and comfort before you get caught up in the Christmas festivities, or treat yourself to a well-earned break once the celebrations are over. Withdraw from the winter elements and relax in front of an open fire, or wrap up warm and explore the gardens, all the more

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manoir.mqs@belmond.com +44 (0)1844 278 881 www.belmond.com @lemanoir @lemanoirauxquatsaisons @belmondlemanoir


Collect & discover art with Aidan Meller We offer original work from John Constable, John Everett Millais, Camille Pissarro, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Roger Hilton, Damien Hirst and more

Aidan Meller

13 Turl Street, Oxford, OX1 3DQ +44 (0) 1865 250550

oxford@aidanmeller.com www.aidanmeller.com

B4 events

GRAND DESIGNS Richard Rosser caught up with Kevin McCloud, the man behind TV’s Grand Designs and the Grand Designs Live exhibition which took place in October, to pick his brain on what “design” (exterior or interior) can mean for you and your home, and share his thoughts on the current housing market in Oxfordshire. Interviewer: Richard Rosser Transcriber: Charys Mason Photography: Grand Designs

Richard: Are Grand Designs reserved for people with a massive a budget and a spare field or can homeowners have big ambitions for their small properties? Kevin: People only remember the Grand Designs projects that we filmed that cost £1million, that go over budget and everything goes wrong, but we also film quite a few small projects, built for £150-200k, projects that are well within the grasp of people. I think the Government wants to see more self-built properties over the next 5 years. I think it’s a great way to obtain a home, which is customized and suited to you. Richard: Does this increase in self-built houses help stem the flow towards more people renting than owning their own properties? Kevin: You’re absolutely right about the obsession with ownership in the UK. I am working with an organization which is an ethical capital fund to assist with affordable private state rental and try and form a new affordable and ethical model in rental. We are doing a scheme with them in Bristol of 180 houses which I think is going to be a very exciting scheme. It’s amazing to think that we are pretty unique as we rely on large developers to build great amounts of cheap housing – cheap to build not cheap to buy!


Richard: The foundation and development people talk about is the bricks and mortar but the foundation and development of what you’re talking about is the actual community before the bricks and mortar are actually put in place? Kevin: Yes. Bicester are planning 1,900 self built and custom built new homes. The first 10 are a scheme that we are filming for Channel 4, which will be broadcast next summer. What’s fascinating is to see the way in which these households that they build alongside each other come to depend on each other, to learn, to collaborate, to lend each other tools, to offer each other help and support. And by doing this they have built their community, they are a strong, resilient group of people, all of whom share this passion for building and making a home. I would say that actually the community is stronger than the architecture and that is amazing. Richard: What kind of home improvements can add the most value and charm to a small property? Kevin: Add fitted storage into the building where possible. When you do this you create masses of storage space in the building. The other most important thing is that it doesn’t matter how big your house is, it’s the amount of stuff you own. If you own a small house and then you de-clutter and create a storage space you suddenly have a large

house which you can move around freely. Thirdly, you can go to your local DIY store and buy mirror tiles and cover a whole wall in mirror. They make buildings seem much bigger, they reflect more light; they create patterns when sunlight hits them. Again, it’s a simple architectural trick trying to bring in light. Richard: I have one final question about your final comment on each episode of Grand Designs. Does that just roll off the tongue or do you have to give it a lot of thought? Kevin: Sometimes on the train on the way to the project I’ll think about it. Usually we film everything in order so by then I’ve thought about it and asked people what they think about it throughout the day. I always try to do it differently and find a different way, never producing the same words or ideas twice.

To see the full video interview with Kevin McCloud, visit the B4 YouTube channel at: youtube.com/b4businesstv For more information and tickets to the next Grand Design Live, taking place at 5-13 May at London Excel, please visit: www.granddesignslive.com


B4 events The Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College

Beard celebrates its 125th year in style at the stunning Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College Photography: Diane Auckland - diane@fotohaus.co.uk

Site Manager, Adam Price, Contracts Manager Richie Carter and John Youle, former Director - Oxford Office

The Nazrin Shah Centre Auditorium

Company Chairman Mark Beard and employees of the business were joined by 85 of the businesses customers at a celebration to mark the firm’s 125-year trading history. Written by: Sharon Mann Photography by: Diane Auckland - diane@fotohaus.co.uk

The event took place in the newly constructed Nazrin Shah Centre, a beautifully designed lecture theatre and conference centre. The building was designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects and built by Beard. So new it has yet to have its official opening! Guests included the Provost of Worcester College, Sir Jonathan Bate and Richard Murray, Headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School. The guests had time to enjoy a drinks reception and admire a timeline highlighting the history of the company before taking their seats in the Tuanka Bainun Auditoriam, a magnificent lecture theatre with oversized oak veneer doors and an impressive fan-shaped ceiling.

HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah, Ruler of Perak, Malaysia. Sir Jonathan was kind enough to praise Beard’s involvement in the project, saying they were “an extraordinary and exemplar team”. Mark Beard then addressed the guests, with a particular focus on the choir, with whom he felt a particular affiliation, as an alumnus of Christ Church School. Mark highlighted the similarities between Beard employees and the choir in his speech, stating “The one characteristic of which I am most proud from our staff is their commitment to do their very, very best for the company and our customers every day, whatever the circumstances. However, their commitment to the cause is well and truly trumped by your commitment as dedicated choristers.

The Worcester College Choir, which is actually drawn from the pupils of Christ Church Cathedral School Choir, then treated the audience to a perfect choral medley before the Provost, Sir Jonathan Bate addressed the audience.

The focus, time and personal commitment you give to your choir practice and performances after long days of school work is truly impressive and something you should all be extremely proud.”

Sir Jonathan shared the process by which the Nazrin Shah Centre came about, including the fact that this was made possible by the generosity of an alumnus,

Mark’s future aspirations for the business included continuing to modernise and ensuring “we remain grounded and never forget our reputation and


future success is based on delivering for our customers every day”. The speeches were followed by an opportunity for guests to hear a little about the construction of the building and to enjoy drinks and canapes, to the accompaniment of a jazz band, before the cutting of a rather impressive looking cake which imitated the building itself. The cake was cut by Alan Beard, Mark’s father and the third generation of the Beard family to run the business, prior to Mark taking over in 1999.

B4’s LinkedIn post about this event had:



 sharon.mann@beardconstruction.co.uk  01793 868 034  www.beardconstruction.co.uk


news Opening Celebrations at d’Overbroeck’s impressive new Sixth Form

d’Overbroeck’s school in north Oxford has marked the opening of its new Sixth Form at 333 Banbury Road with a series of Opening Events. On Saturday 9 September, the Villa and teaching buildings were open as part of Oxford Open Doors. Over 600 people visited during the course of the day, including many local residents who had watched the Villa fall into disrepair before seeing it transformed (by both renovation and new building) into the impressive and architecturally striking facility it is now. Many of the visitors had memories of the site in previous incarnations, including two separate couples who had held their wedding receptions at 333 in years gone by. Reaction was extremely favourable, one guest book entry summing it up with, “What a transformation!”. This week, the school welcomed students, parents and staff from its lower years to look around the new Sixth Form and join in a tea party to celebrate

moving in. Former Principal, Sami Cohen, and former Academic Head, Richard Knowles, were in attendance as it was formally announced that the Cohen Hall and Knowles Library have been named in their honour. The assembled company were also treated to a performance by d’Overbroeck’s Gaudeamus Choir, singing an unaccompanied vocal piece composed especially for the occasion (and as a retirement present for Sami Cohen) by Gidon Fineman, a former student at the school. The following evening, more guests arrived – this time from other schools, businesses, venues and arts organisations in Oxford and further afield. Respresentatives of the architects, building contractors and other individuals and companies involved in the build were also there and were given particular recognition by Prinipal Emma-Kate Henry during speeches. On both occasions, parents of current and former d’Overbroeck’s students spoke passionately about their appreciation for the school

 sarah.jex@doverbroecks.com  +44 (0)1865 688 652


and in particular the teaching and the unique and lasting relationships which teachers forge with students and their parents. Visitors were invited to tour the buildings on guided tours and as the sun set through the Art Room windows in a glowing display fully intended by the architects, appreciative and congratulatory comments were heard echoing throughout the spaces. d’Overbroeck’s next Open Morning will be held on Saturday 7 October from 10am to 1pm. Prospective students for the Sixth Form can visit 333 Banbury Road, whilst Years 7-11 students and staff will be putting on a show at d’Overbroeck’s Leckford Road site at the same time. Registration is via the school’s website www.doverbroecks.com or by calling 01865 688600.

 www.doverbroecks.com


Caring today, tomorrow... and in the future

At Sobell House we focus on quality of life, respecting each person’s dignity and uniqueness. Our aim is to support people in living as well and as fully as possible in the time they have left. We help in so many ways from managing pain and symptoms, to advising on access to financial assistance and enabling people to keep their independence for as long as possible. When people are dying, our staff will strive to make sure they are as calm and comfortable as possible, and offer support to their families and friends.

Our wonderful dedicated specialist medical team provide incredible care The Hospice has an 18-bed inpatient unit providing care 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our 15 specialist community nurses support people in their home 5 days a week and provide telephone advice 7 days per week. Our specialist palliative care team provide support on the wards at the local Oxfordshire Hospitals 7 days per week.


Reynaud’s Story

“ I have been a patient at Sobell

House on two occasions during the last four months after fighting bladder cancer for more than two years. I was most recently admitted to the hospice in March and this stay is likely to be my last. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the genuinely personal care I have received from every single member of staff in the hospice from housekeeping, kitchen and administrative staff, to the volunteers, the chaplains, the nurses and the doctors. The care which I have received has been without compare, and the best that I could have asked for. Everything has been done to make my time here as pain-free, comfortable and dignified as possible and I should like to commend Sobell House most highly, a sentiment which I have expressed in writing to my local MP and to the Department of Health

Please partner with Sobell House To provide the very specialist care at Sobell House we rely on the kindness and generosity of so many people and local businesses.

There are so many things you can do to help support the care taking place here. Here are just a few...

 tim.wraith@sobellhospice.org  01865 857 066  www.sobellhouse.org


news Fancy jumping out of a plane!! Have you got a wish for a bucket list? Imagine standing at the edge of an open doorway in an aircraft flying at 10,000 feet - the noise of the engines and the wind ringing in your ears with only the outline of distant fields below. Now imagine leaning forward out of that doorway and letting go - falling forward into the clouds, diving down through the air as you start freefalling at over 120mph! Then imagine the peace and quiet as the canopy opens, the steering toggles come down either side of you and you begin a tranquil parachute descent from a mile up in the air, steering yourself back down to the centre of the drop zone below. Imagine being able to do this for FREE whilst harnessed to a professional freefall parachute instructor and at the same time being able to help a worthwhile charity! Stop imagining, it’s real and it’s happening all the time and you can be part of it...

Cycle from London to Paris Fancy a bike ride? Cycling from London to Paris is one of the great European bike rides. This spectacular long challenge covers 420km in 4 days and there are two date options, May 16th to 30th and July 25th to 29th. The choice is yours!! The adventure begins in Crystal Palace before heading south to the coast to set sail for Calais. You’ll pass historical landmarks and famous battlefields from World War I until you reach Paris, finishing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Then you’ll have a day to explore Paris and see the grand finale of the greatest bike ride of them all, the Tour de France, before taking the Eurostar back to London. Its four days of great fun!

Come 4 Tea This doesn’t involve walking, running, cycling, swimming, jumping out of a plane! Sound better? Could you hold a Tea Party for Sobell House? It’s simple! Request a starter pack, pop the kettle on, invite your friends round for a slice of cake in return for donations. Then sit back and feel good that you have helped your local Hospice. Spread the word and help grow the care we provide here at Sobell House by holding your very own Come 4 tea.

Would you like to know more? We have so many fantastic opportunities for the business community to engage with Sobell House. These are really exciting times at Sobell House with building work just about to start and lots of business community engagement. We were also finalists at the Oxfordshire Business Awards in June which acknowledged the positive impact Sobell House has within the local community. Please do contact me if you would like to know more, I would love to chat. Tim.wraith@sobellhospice.org 01865 857066 07527 849748



Helping you get a return on your investment from supply chain technology While the right technology (applied in the right way) can make your supply chain incredibly efficient, many companies are struggling to ensure that they get a sound return on their investment. Photography by: Unipart Group

Gone are the days when a single system or ‘killer app’ would deliver superiority in a sector. With the lightning fast pace of change in digital developments, a competitive advantage can be won and lost in a matter of weeks rather than years. Unipart Group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing, logistics and consultancy companies, has provided some useful questions that organisations should use in the evaluation process when choosing new technology:

1. How will it improve customer experience? Only 3% of retailers say current systems ‘fully support efforts to improve the customer experience’. Enabling customers to see exactly where their shipments are provides reassurance and increases customer understanding of delivery schedules. Improving access to data for in-transit shipments is essential. End-to-end support for engineers, installers and delivery services provides a better overall experience for the customer while delivering efficiencies. Utilising digital technologies has enabled Unipart to improve customer experience. For example, for one client they developed a smart van solution which improved tracking and controlling stock and equipment. The result was better equipped engineers who were able to deliver an improved customer experience.

2. How will it improve efficiency?

Supply chains are increasingly complicated and expensive. Increasing efficiency is an effective way to improve outcomes and drive down costs. Frictionless movement supported by complete and timely information can mitigate challenges from sudden shifts in demand, lack of raw materials or natural disasters. 80

Track and trace technologies such as electronic tagging through barcodes, RFID and sensors enable inventory to be tracked in real time - providing greater visibility, greater control and even preventing theft. Intelligent warehousing is enabling automation to be used effectively in the distribution centre, while augmented reality systems have delivered improvements in picking speed of up to 25%.

3. How will it help meet rising expectations of supply chain performance?

Customers are asking for increasingly complex services to be delivered by intelligent supply chains. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, many companies are moving rapidly towards supplying patient services in addition to pharmaceuticals themselves. These services include delivery of medication - an area which has been identified as being highly valued by patients. Given the requirements involved (for example, some medications need to be prepared just prior to delivery) this will necessitate a dramatic improvement in supply chain performance.

Honda is an example of a company which works around a demand-driven philosophy. It has set up its manufacturing systems to be flexible, so that it can match production to customer demand. If demand patterns shift, its factories are able to change the mix of vehicles produced in as little as 24 hours. That capability is partly down to a supply chain that is able to respond to such changes. Similarly, just-in-time production logistics has enabled Unipart to work with other automotive manufacturers to ensure that they are fully equipped with the right quantity (and quality) of parts direct to line side, thereby minimising inventory and downtime.

5. How will it enable you to manage returns more effectively?

Omnichannel retailers - those which integrate the different methods of shopping available to consumers - are responding to consumer expectations, but face increased unpredictability as a result. Returns are costing retailers an average of £60bn a year, with over 30% coming from online sales.

Unipart’s dynamic order fulfilment processes have been tailored to specific customer needs. For instance, when a major book retailer needed to increase numbers of individual titles while reducing stock levels, we helped to improve forecasting accuracy to 98%. This enabled an 8 a.m. next day delivery service (from central stock) for 65,000 titles.

Customers can order items online, by phone, or via retail and other physical locations. Those ordering remotely may order the same item in several different colours or sizes to try at home, and then return those items that they do not want to keep. To add to the challenge, online shoppers (in particular) expect fast service. Businesses therefore need supply, stock management and delivery systems that are able to deal with this level of complexity.

Increasingly, companies are expected to react quickly to changing customer and supplier needs, and even to personalise what they offer. Optimised supply chain management can be as important to success as actual product ranges or services. Technology holds the key to much of the optimisation work.

The average returned purchase passes through seven hands before it is listed for resale or recycle. Using an approach called Dynamic Dispositioning, Unipart has enabled its customers to reduce the time taken by the return cycle, while ensuring the maximum yield on returned items. By using advanced diagnostics and data analysis, Unipart also enables clients to minimise avoidable returns and repairs.

4. How will it allow increased flexibility and scalability?


B4 advice

chains “areSupply increasingly complicated and expensive. Increasing efficiency is an effective way to improve outcomes and drive down costs

6. How will it help you comply with increasing regulation? Trust is of growing importance to business, yet is harder for businesses to maintain. Customers are more socially, ethically and environmentally aware than they once were, and regulations are increasing. Businesses with complex global supply chains are under increasing pressure to meet these rising demands for transparency. For instance, when a US-based guitar maker was deemed not to have sufficiently documented the sources of its imported wood, it was therefore unable to confirm that the company was not in violation of global sustainable forestry practices. The company was fined, stock was confiscated, and production disrupted. Achieving real returns from technology investments requires more than just a box ticking exercise. However, the questions outlined above provide a starting framework that can guide you towards sustainable performance improvement of your supply chain. If you would like Unipart to help you on your company’s journey to a more efficient supply chain, get in touch with us by visiting our website www.unipart.com.

 01865 778 966  www.unipart.com



I need help with public speaking In my position I should be upbeat and confident but I’m not a natural extrovert. In fact I feel very nervous and I’m afraid it shows.

Do you want to be a confident effective speaker? Contact Alison Haill today, for expert help. Oxford Professional Consulting E: alison.haill@opcoxford.com T: +44 (0)1865 436 791 W: www.opcoxford.com

B4 advice

COULD YOU BE A MORE SUCCESSFUL PRESENTER? If people are our greatest asset, then excellent communication must be our most essential skill. So why do many of us leaders and managers take it for granted? Alison Haill, leadership communication specialist, teaches senior managers and business owners the advanced communication skills needed for engaging staff and stakeholders in business today. In the first of three articles, she focuses here on Effective Presenting. Written by: Alison Haill Photography by: Jackie Cross

Presenting - speaking ‘one to many’ - is an opportunity to influence others and a key leadership skill. Successful presenting results from confidence and skill as much as on content. If you want to come across as a confident effective presenter, first check this list. Are you guilty of any of these common mistakes?

5 Mistakes to Avoid 1. DON’T

start your preparation by creating your slides. DO start instead by considering who is in your audience. What are their fears and concerns? How can you present your topic so it engages them?

2. DON’T

write out your script and then read it aloud. You will inevitably read too fast. Reading aloud is much faster than the listening brain can digest content rich information, so reading aloud will leave your audience cold. DO hold cards with legible bullet points, which can act as prompts for you. You will communicate your information at a more natural speed.

3. DON’T

memorise your script. Memorising is dangerous because something unexpected can easily cause you to forget a chunk of the script. I’ve seen this happen many times. When the speaker forgets a word or a paragraph, they go into a spiral of panic. Their brain freezes and they can’t remember what comes next. Nerves are natural when you perform and they can stop your memory working as expected. It’s much better to keep your brain thinking about what you want to get across, rather than staying in memory mode. DO take those cards and beforehand practise using them.

4. DON’T cram slides with information. If you do, you and your slides will be competing for the audience’s attention. That probably means that neither you nor your slides will make the impact you hoped for. When your slides have a lot of text or graphical information, your audience is reading, not


listening to you. Contrary to accepted thinking, the brain doesn’t multi-task – even in women! It does one thing after another. So instead, DO separate complex information into separate slides and make sure there is plenty of white space on each so the audience can read them quickly.

5. DON’T stand in the dark beside your slides. An animated speaker speaking with belief is far more engaging than a slide. DO stand where your face is well lit. Avoid speaking in a pitch black room.

5 Habits to Adopt And now, here are 5 habits to adopt that will enhance your reputation as a leader and a presenter.

1. DO…Decide what your Core Message is. When you finish your presentation, your audience should be able to tell others what your message was. So, work it out before you start preparing your content. Otherwise your information can overwhelm the audience so they go away with no clear message at all. The Core Message should be a sentence not a title so make sure it has a verb. For example “We are changing our key programmes because sales have fallen over the last year and we need a fresh engaging approach.”

2. DO…Be really clear. Give the presentation a clear logical structure by grouping your information into 3 main topics or points. And speak clearly without rushing. This ensures the audience grasps your points fully and you can influence them. Grouping content into just 3 topics helps your audience remember them. And helps you do so too.

attentive. These days everyone has a multitude of things on their minds so clear “signposts” makes sure they stay with you – or can come back, if they drift off. Another reason is that there may well be foreign nationals in your audience. Signposting phrases are helpful because it is easy to get lost when listening to a presentation in English when it is not your mother tongue.

4. DO…start

with an attention grabber not your name. Don’t disappoint your audience by starting with housekeeping information, your name, or other unexciting information. You may find your bio fascinating but your audience may not feel the same! Start with something that really grabs their attention. Then when you’ve made an impact, you can tell them who you are and why they should listen to you.

5. DO…end with a Call To Action so the audience knows what you expect them to do next. Your last message will be remembered so make it something action oriented. It doesn’t need to be an energetic action. Words like “think”, “consider” or “make sure” work just as well as “create”, “start” or “grab”. “Think about the contribution YOU can make!” is much more memorable than “Thank you for listening”. Just make sure your Call To Action is relevant to your audience and to what you have been presenting.

3. DO…Use signposting language like: I ‘ll cover 3 points First Now to my second topic And now my 3rd point You may think this is too obvious but, believe me, you can’t rely on your audience being 100%

 alison.haill@opcOxford.com  01865 436 791  www.opcoxford.com


B4 events

Focus on the future for B4 Prior to the B4 Classic Event at Rhodes House in September, 30 B4 Members from a wide range of sectors gathered to tell us what we do well and what we could do better. As part of an ongoing assessment of B4 and how we can improve what we do for our members, the next stage of the process is the formation of a B4 Advisory Board. We hope to provide our members and readers with some exciting news about future developments we will be focusing on to make your B4 experience even better than it already is. With thanks to Isabelle Barber and her team at Rhodes House for their generous hospitality and to the following for their time in helping us to shape the future of B4: B4: Colin Rosser B4: Richard Rosser B4: Lydiah Igweh B4: Lorna Dodson B4: Emma Davis B4: Jess Palmer B4: Rob Scotcher ADS Advertising & Design (Oxford) Ltd: Mandy Biddle Alberon: Tim Ault Ashmolean: Wendy Ball CIS Ltd: Richard Marsh Conference Oxford: Marie O’Connor Grant Thornton: Toby Newman In Touch CRM: James White James Cowper Kreston: Andy Cowie Knights 1759: Victoria Marcham Oxford Bus Company: Phil Southall Oxfordshire LEP: Sebastian Johnson Oxford Innovation Ltd : Jo Willett Oxford Professional Consulting: Alison Haill Oxonetix: Paul Avins Rhodes House: Isabelle Barber Shaw Gibbs LLP: Fran Kidd Sobell House Hospice: Tim Wraith Strangebrew: Phil Strachan Wenn Townsend: Tony Haines Wildbore & Gibbons: John Kennedy You HR: Jonna Mundy 84

POSITIVE FEEDBACK It was a pleasure Richard and I hope the findings are useful. Alison, Oxford Professional Consulting Many thanks for inviting me, it was very interesting. I hope you found the feedback constructive and positive. You really are held in very high esteem in the business community. Fran Kidd, Shaw Gibbs Great meeting. I will do what I can to help you grow! James White, Prospect Conversion Champion Good event and good on you for asking how B4 can be better and getting us all in, you clearly have a lot of support from a great group of people. Richard Marsh, CIS Ltd Always a pleasure to have the B4 Team and the members here at Rhodes House. Varied, interesting and interested - thank you all for attending - hope you had a good evening. Isabelle Barber, Rhodes House An excellent evening and superb, highly interactive workshops. Thank you and well done. John F Kennedy, Wildbore & Gibbons An absolute pleasure to be involved in the conversation. Wendy Ball, Ashmolean Museum It was a great location, great people, great ideas and great insights to help the B4 Brand. Honoured to have been asked to be a part of it thank you B4. Paul Avins, Oxonetix


B4 advice

Oxford Business Woman’s Compelling, Transformational Book Empowers Readers to Listen to their “Voice of Slow” Are you addicted to busyness? Are you racing through tasks like an express train but still not feeling satisfied with what you are achieving? Have you reached a point in your life when you want or need to make a change? Or do you simply want to feel happier than you do right now? If so, it may be time to give yourself permission to slow down - starting today. Business Coach Jackie Jarvis’s, ‘In Pursuit of Slow: Stress Less. Be Happier. Accomplish More’ takes readers on a journey through the author’s life, sharing in her successes and failures as she learns to listen to her ‘Voice of Slow’. Drawing inspiration from a series of unexpected reflections while walking the Camino de Santiago, Jackie’s own transformation serves as blueprint to anybody who is struggling with the demands of keeping up with the rapid pace of life in the modern world. Jackie’s book will teach you how to slow down your life, give yourself permission to relax, and ultimately achieve what is most important to you. As a busy business woman herself Jackie shares her personal journey ‘In Pursuit of Slow’ with honesty and humour.

the help of reflections, meditations, tips, and practical exercises. “I’m bucking the trend of traditional self-help books by exposing my weaknesses to the world,” explains Jackie. “I’d spent too long in my professional life constantly striving for bold, fast wins. It wasn’t until I decided to do something completely different – to go on an adventure and really listen to myself along the way, that I realized I was on a path that was ultimately hampering my success.” Jackie continues: “If we could all find our own ‘Voice of Slow’, we would become happier, calmer and better equipped to accomplish our goals without the attendant anxiety and stress. By its very nature, our ‘Voice of Slow’ will have a positive impact on our lives – and it all starts with this book.”

Having reached a point in her life when she felt an urge to slow down and be truer to her heart’s desire, she realised that the struggle within herself was the biggest challenge of all. Jackie writes about what many of us, who live busy, fast-paced lives can empathise with. She touches upon what, deep down, we all have the greatest longing for but at the same time, are afraid to reach out for, afraid to give ourselves permission to reach for.

Two prominent Oxford Business Women give their feedback:

As Jackie recounts her own ‘Lessons of Slow’ you will be inspired to follow her on the path to stressing less, being happier and accomplishing more, with

Alison Haill from Oxford Professional Consulting adds, “This is a really great read. if you want - or need - to slow down the pace of your life, this book


Nicola Poole Hedges Law said “This wonderful read stopped me in my busy tracks. The author gently inspires with a compelling and engaging message which will speak to anyone who finds themselves in the fast lane unable to take their foot off the pedal, highly recommended”

immediately starts you on your journey…and it doesn’t mean you must become slow and boring! Right from the first chapter I found myself tuning in to my “Voice of Slow”. I know it’s doing me good.”

Be inspired to Slow Down to Gain More get your copy now ‘In Pursuit of Slow: Stress Less. Be Happier. Accomplish More’ is available now: http://amzn.to/2vI2j3j. or from Blackwell’s book shop in Oxford. For more information on the author and her work, visit: www.jackiejarvis.co.uk www.inpursuitofslow.com



B4 health & sports




MEET OWEN Born and bred in Oxford, Owen set up Oxford Active in 1998 and has grown the business to be one of the leading wraparound childcare and education providers in the region. Still an Oxford resident, Owen spends his days visiting new schools looking to host one of Oxford Active’s holiday camps as well as looking after International students visiting their language school and his spare time trying to keep up with his numerous nieces and nephews..

ABOUT OXFORD ACTIVE Oxford Active is the parent company of a number of childcare and education providers, namely Active Camps (children’s holiday camps in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Warwickshire), Active After School Clubs (after school clubs in many Oxford primary schools), Active Adventure (holiday camps and activities focussing on survival and outdoor activities), Oxford Spires Language School (English language school for International students) and Active Education & Training (provider of training, apprenticeships and PPA cover for schools).

CONTACT ME  Upper Campsfield Barns, The Straight Mile,      

Woodstock, OX20 1PW owenmcgovern@oxfordactive.co.uk 01865 594 325 www.oxfordactive.co.uk /oxford-active @Oxford_Active /OxfordActive



The discipline and responsibilities that the cadets demonstrate on a day-to-day basis is something we learned massively from and will hope to bring with us into the season and our lives moving forward.

OXFORD BLUES US TOUR 2017 The 8th of September 2017, marked the beginning of the Oxford Men’s Blues Rugby Squad’s tour to the USA. In a similar vein to the 2007 squad, we headed for the east coast, a new-look side with diversity in all things age, background and experience. Written by: Conor Kearns (Jesus), 2017 OURFC Men’s Captain

Photography: OURFC

Touch down in Boston Logan airport and a short wait before the collection of our rental mini-vans with veteran tourist Tim Stevens leading the charge: we were off to Cambridge… Massachusetts.

followed by the tour band’s debut performance lead by Rob Quinlan, Dom Waldouck, Ben Parker and Rob Menzies Wilson. Suffice to say we made some friends in Boston!

We were given precise directions and an address to meet our contact so we set off in earnest. As we proceeded to make contact with our respective billets, I could feel the concern of our trusting management team. Split up into groups of 2’s and 3’s, the rest of the evening was a mystery. You were at the mercy of your billet. After giving instructions for the following days training – a place and a time – we went our separate ways. The next morning meet at Robert Mignone Field – one of the only World Rugby certified artificial playing surfaces in the US, I was surprised to see everyone on time and although tired, ready to train and prepare for the match with Mystic River the following day. The Harvard Rugby Club hosted us very well that evening with a dinner over looking the famous Horseshoe shaped Football stadium, known as ‘The Coliseum’.

After a day in Boston, the freedom trail and the duck tour, we ticked Harvard off the list and set sail for New Haven, Connecticut – the home of the Yale Bulldogs. The Yale coach – Greg McWilliams, had the red carpet rolled out and ironed for the squad. He was instrumental in connecting our tour and set up a great couple of days in Yale. We had an incredible three days of training at the immaculate ‘Varsity’ facilities, despite some interesting living conditions in some of the local fraternity houses! The students of Morse College in Yale were also treated to another classic rendition from the tour band on our last night in what capped off a great experience had by all.

Mystic River on Sunday 10th of September, true to form, were a completely unknown entity. The physicality from the very beginning was a noticeable factor. Midway through the first half we managed to get a foothold in the game and kicked on from there. Some new combinations were tried out and it was a great way to learn about each other. Mystic River were gracious in defeat and hosted us to a fantastic reception in their local sports club – The East Side Athletic Association, a unique opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals! In place of our secretary Ed David, who was to join us in a week’s time, Seb Haddock initiated the tour responsibilities, beckoning debut players for a performance in front of the baying Bostonians. It went down fantastically well with notable renditions from Sam Edgerley and Michael Gorry. They were


Princeton was next on the list and following a testing ‘scrimmage’; we were introduced to our billets. In a slightly different feel to Yale, we were staying in the famous ‘eating clubs’ of Princeton. They really looked after us, offering very much needed beds two nights before the big game. Well rested, we headed for Philadelphia – straight to the Talen Energy Stadium for a team run through. The University of Pennsylvania then graciously hosted us for an impromptu dinner in the shadow of another dramatic college football horseshoe stadium - Franklin Field, which was great pre-match preparation for the following day. A good night’s sleep in the Sheraton Hotel downtown, had us in good spirits and ready for the challenge ahead – The Collegiate All Americans. In sweltering conditions of 30oC, overlooking the Delaware River in front of a hostile 1000 strong crowd, we won a hard fought match with the Collegiate All


B4 health & sports

Americans, a well-coached side with heart in abundance. It was an incredible experience to be involved in the day itself, which also featured the Newcastle Falcons and Saracens in the same stadium. A well-earned break and a night out in Philadelphia with some famous faces followed…

In sweltering conditions of 30oC, overlooking the Delaware River in front of a hostile 1000 strong crowd, we won a hard fought match with the Collegiate All Americans, a well-coached side with heart in abundance

Week 2 of the tour kicked in to a different phase, staying at the US Military Academy at West Point, NY. Matt Sherman, head coach and ex-Oxford man, had everything arranged to a tee and we enjoyed a testing couple of days with the cadets, training with them and also sampling some of their day to day responsibilities with time spent on the virtual shooting range! We were also given full access to their incredible facilities with a full tour and an escort to their American Football practice. The discipline and responsibilities that the cadets demonstrate on a day-to-day basis is something we learned massively from and will hope to bring with us into the season and our lives moving forward.


The final stop – New York City. Although we stayed in a somewhat unfamiliar burrow of The Bronx, we all gained a great appreciation for the New York Subway system! Training in Central Park, an impromptu flash dance at Grand Central Station (which made BBC news!) and a reception held by Oxford Universities North American office on 5th Avenue were highlights of our time in the Big Apple. However, without doubt, the most satisfying aspect of the whole tour was the victory against Old Blue. Stacked with American internationals, they were expecting a certain outcome, which turned out not to be the case. In another hard fought game, we came home with the win – 32-19. Some incredible performances on the night and a real will to win, saw us through. It was evident that the squad had been unified through the trials and tribulations of the previous two weeks. The differences that we left with faded in the light of what we had gained and what we had become a part of. I’d like to sincerely thank everyone that helped to put this together, without your generosity it would never have been possible. It has been a truly unforgettable experience that I believe will be a determining factor in the success of season ahead and the Varsity Match.

 tim.stevens@sport.ox.ac.uk  01865 432 000  www.ourfc.org



Wining, Dining and Superb Accommodation 4 Miles from Beautiful Oxford

Not only does the Bear and Ragged Staff serve fantastic food throughout the week, its conversion to a Country Inn means it is now in a position to offer a full suite of services to the discerning traveller whether on business or just looking for a home away from home for a few days. We also cater for Private Parties, Weddings, and you can even hire the entire venue for exclusive use. Our food ethos can be summed up very simply: Local where possible, seasonal and absolutely fresh, prepared in our own kitchen. e Bear's food offering is mainly British with a modern twist and prepared with loving care and attention. e Bear also has a comprehensive selection of wines, real ales and beers available for all palates. We welcome children of all ages, and have a beautiful private garden and free off-road parking.


Food served : Monday to Saturday: Lunch 12pm-2.30pm & Dinner 6pm-9.30pm, Sunday all day: 12pm-9pm

28 Appleton Road, Cumnor, Oxfordshire, OX2 9QH 01865 862329 enquiries@bearandraggedstaff.com www.bearandraggedstaff.com

B4 hr & recruitment

Successfully grow your business by focussing on Human Resources As your business evolves, don’t just concentrate on IT, sales and marketing. A solid HR strategy can support the growth of your business, too. Written by: Mandy Brearley

Do your teams have the right capabilities to grow your business? Consider what critical skills you need within your teams to outperform the competition, and to deliver on customer and company expectations. Companies who hire top talent are more likely to grow faster with better skills at their disposal. Spend time planning before recruiting or restructuring your team. Hiring good people has become more difficult, so make the most of your advertising efforts and think about the future as well as the present. When selecting candidates, retain the details of skilled applicants who may be of interest at a later date, building an on-going ‘talent pool’ for your business.

Do you provide career development and training? Often neglected, or handled as a bureaucratic exercise, training and development is important. How can your business grow if your employees aren’t able to develop their skills at the same time? Identify where the support is needed the most to help your staff deliver quality products or services; this, in turn, maintains excellent customer satisfaction and relationships. An emphasis on career development and training means that employees will have the opportunity to increase their skills and experience, preparing them to take on more responsibilities and to support your business during its growth. Essential for increasing productivity and morale, training also proves that you care about your employees, demonstrating that you are willing to www.b4-business.com

invest in them, which also leads to good people retention.

Do you strive to create a culture of productivity? A great company culture helps your business to grow in so many ways. Companies with a healthy culture often have an office filled with happy, productive employees with positive attitudes. Great company culture also helps attract other skilled people to your business, as happy employees are good ambassadors. Plus, if the company culture is strong and doesn’t diminish as the business grows, it can potentially decrease employee turnover and mitigate unnecessary labour costs.

Do you have the basic HR knowledge and documentation in place? It’s essential that all companies who hire employees have sound employment contracts, policies and procedures in place. Contrary to popular belief, that even includes micro companies. Doing this ensures that: • • • • • •

Identify where you can reduce costs To achieve the best possible results, ensure that these areas are addressed by using the correct guidance and support: • Manage staff annual leave to balance the needs of the business • Manage, review and reduce your staff sickness levels to ensure a minimal effect on productivity • Don’t ignore disruptive or underperforming employees who will damage business performance, staff morale, and the manager’s reputation

With many things to consider when growing your business, these key elements are essential to get the best from new and existing employees, providing the right talent to drive the company forward, and helping your company to maximise its chances of success. For help with your recruitment and HR needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mandy Brearley, Outsourced HR Specialist.

Employees know you are a professional company It brings clarity to managers and employees Everyone is treated fairly and consistently You save time later in any fire fighting You comply with employment legislation You avoid costly claims at a later date, which can cause reputational damage

Providing your managers with the relevant basic HR training gives them the skills and confidence to get the best out of your employees and achieve that growth.

   

mandy@mbhrsupport.co.uk 07766 665 665 www.mbhrsupport.co.uk @MBHRSupport



2017/18 artists include: Vladimir Ashkenazy Avi Avital Khatia Buniatishvili Gautier Capuçon Valery Gergiev Steven Isserlis

Anne-Sophie Mutter Yuri Temirkanov Marios Papadopoulos Emmanuel Pahud Maxim Vengerov Lars Vogt



Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford

Booking dates: 4 Sept - priority booking for Patrons 6 Sept - priority booking for Friends 11 Sept - general booking opens

01865 980 980 oxfordphil.com

Congratulations to G-Smatt for winning “Best Technological Innovation” at the 2017 London Construction Awards.

www.g-smatteurope.com www.londonconstructionawards.com

B4 hr & recruitment

Unlocking Oxfordshire’s talent potential With the so-called skills gap showing no sign of abating, the impact this could have on both the local and national economies is serious. But there is a section of society that is often overlooked, yet holds the key to overcoming many of the shortages being faced now and those that lie ahead – providing businesses become more inclusive. Written by: Kate Allen, Managing Director at Allen Associates

Allen Associates is working with Aspire to help promote more inclusive recruitment

Earlier this year, Allen Associates was approached by Reciprocate, the leading membership network of responsible businesses in Oxfordshire, to work with them on the production of a new employer handbook focused on opening up recruitment practices to disadvantaged groups. Nothing like this previously existed, and with the wider issue of community engagement being central to all that we do as a business, it was an opportunity that we readily embraced for a number of reasons. Over the last 20 years, we have worked with startup businesses, mid-sized companies, national and multinationals based in Oxfordshire and provided them with the talent they need. But in many instances, that ‘talent’ can sometimes take an unexpected form. Indeed, while employers will typically provide a detailed brief of their ‘ideal candidate’, we have found that those companies who adopt a more open recruitment policy benefit not just themselves but society too. Take the Ley Community project as a case in point. Based in Yarnton, just five miles outside of Oxford, the Ley Community drug and alcohol project has been one of Allen Associates’ chosen charities for some time. Since being involved with the project, we have seen first hand the dramatic impact that meaningful employment can have on an individual’s recovery – and on the businesses that employ them. It was this that really ignited our interest in the wider societal benefits to be gained by adopting inclusive recruitment practices. So, under Reciprocate’s direction, and in partnership with employment charity Aspire Oxford, we set about researching www.b4-business.com

Kate Allen, MD of recruitment firm Allen Associates

and producing what has become the first Open Recruitment Handbook. Aspire’s participation in this project was critical. Since 2001, Aspire has served as a community enterprise creating opportunities for those who face barriers to securing meaningful employment. Their work has earned them a plethora of accolades and awards, and rightly so. Over the last 12 months alone they have transformed the lives of over 1,000 people throughout Oxfordshire, saving tax payers over £1 million in the process.

The UK has one of the “most diverse societies in Europe, and businesses need to ensure that their workforces are representative of society as whole.

Kate Allen, Managing Director - Allen Associates

This is precisely what the Open Recruitment Handbook is about – to encourage and provide guidance to employers on how to maximise the benefits of having a more inclusive approach to their hiring processes. Diversity, inclusion and openness is not an exercise in marketing, neither is it a tickbox exercise – is simply makes moral and business sense. The UK has one of the most diverse societies in Europe, and businesses need to ensure that their workforces are representative of society as whole. So

Allen Associates staff support people who have overcome addiction at The Ley Community

when considering their ‘ideal candidate’, employers need to set aside their biases – unconscious or otherwise. Talent takes many forms, and through our experience of working on this project it has become abundantly clear that there are gifted people amongst both advantaged and disadvantaged groups, ranging from ex-offenders, young people who are ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or leaving the care system, homeless people, single parents, military veterans and refugees. We really admire companies that have championed this philosophy, such as Timpsons, Unipart and Pret A Manger. A recent report positioned Oxford as one of the top three cities in the UK for economic growth. This means businesses in the city and across the county are perfectly placed to make a real difference to the lives of people who need it most. In doing so, we all benefit. To download the Open Recruitment Handbook, which includes contact information for Aspire, please visit: www.reciprocateox.org/resource-bank

 reciprocate@oxfordshire.org  01865 798 666  www.reciprocateox.org Reciprocate is hosted by Oxfordshire Community Foundation



A Reason to Move to the Cloud?

Among the many benefits cloud offers for businesses today, including lower CAPEX and OPEX, it can also help firms to comply with the latest EU regulation, says Gareth Johnson

Much has been made of the impact the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looks set to have upon businesses come May next year. And with good reason too. But could the advent of the GDPR be a further incentive for businesses to move to the cloud, thereby reducing the risk of data exposure and punitive fines? In short, yes. By making the switch from onpremise systems to the cloud model or by moving a proportion of your business into the cloud, you can help to spread your IT workload and in turn lower your costs and exposure to risk in the process. Affecting businesses large and small, the primary aim of the GDPR is to usher in a new, improved playing field when it comes to the data protection of EU citizens. Those handling personal data will need to adhere or face fines of up to four percent of their annual turnover or €20 million, depending on whichever is greater. 94

...many businesses “ will be running legacy IT

applications and solutions which have been patched and added to over the years and will almost certainly leave data exposed under the new terms set out by the GDPR. Could you, for instance, identify a breach and notify the data protection authority within 72 hours of finding this?

Of course, many firms are already looking at a cloud-first route when it comes to their future IT strategy. But how do you know if this is something you should consider? As it stands many businesses will be running legacy IT applications and solutions which have been patched and added to over the years and will almost certainly leave data exposed under the new terms set out by the GDPR. Could you, for instance, identify a breach and notify the data protection authority within 72 hours of finding this? Cloud makes sense for other reasons too. It can turn IT into a strategic asset for SMEs and enterprises that don’t have in-house expertise and wish to free up their IT team from what has often been seen as ‘firefighting’ mode. Another major bonus of deploying specialist cloud solutions comes in the additional benefits offered when it comes to securing data and being able to manipulate this to business advantage. www.b4-business.com

B4 it & technology

Do you need strategic guidance and advice around the GDPR and how it affects your business? CIS offers a full set of services encompassing all aspects of the GDPR. This includes a GDPR Compliance Gap Assessment Tool and full suite of security services including Firewalling and Unified Threat Management, Endpoint Protection, Multi Factor Authentication Services, plus Cloud Hosting and Remote Access Control. We also partner with a CREST approved external security company for testing of Internet-facing IP addresses and URLs. Once we’ve assessed current processes and policies and established whether they are compliant with the GDPR, we advise on putting changes into practise through either assisted or fully-managed implementation services. For those who need it we also offer a Data Protection Officer as a Service (DPOaaS) to support you through establishing these and if any breach should occur.

By utilising an outsourced solutions provider for IT, contracts come with firm SLAs and guarantees such as 99.999% reliability – something most internal IT departments couldn’t even hope to get close to.

will be your data processor) .

In addition, opting for a GDPR compliant cloud solutions provider that can deliver your solutions safely and on-tap will allow you to focus on your core business and could well save you unwanted attention from the regulator too.

Consider private cloud solutions for instance. Whereabouts is your would-be provider storing your data and what measures are they taking to secure this? Is your data stored in a secure ISO 27001 military grade UK Data Centre or bunker that meets IL3 construction and security standards? And what residency guarantees do you have when it comes to your data?

But what sort of things should you be looking for? From the outset you should ask any cloud provider if they are already GDPR compliant, are aligning with the industry code on this, and whether they have measures in place to be complaint with this in advance of May 2018? Remember, any business wanting to act as your hosting provider or cloud host has a responsibility towards you too. As a processor of your data, have you checked your contracts as a controller bind the cloud hosting provider (who

There is certainly much for firms to consider when it comes to moving IT assets to the cloud and the qualification behind this must always be based upon strategic thinking that delivers business optimisation and measureable improvements to the bottom line. GDPR further complicates the issue for any company processing personal data and it may well be that your business also needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer if you are operating at the larger end of the scale.


If you’re in any way concerned that you don’t have complete visibility and control over the data you hold or who might be processing it or storing it, then you will certainly struggle to be compliant with the GDPR. Cloud, grounded by the principles discussed above, in conjunction with a full risk assessment by will help get you there. Don’t delay, the clock is ticking.

 Gareth.Johnson@cisltd.com  01367 700 555  www.cisltd.com


Great business can be done on the golf course...

Book a golf day, or simply use our conference facilities. With its stunning location and prestigious clubhouse looking out over the rolling countryside and perfectly maintained courses, Frilford has everything you need.

FRILFORD HEATH GOLF CLUB Frilford Heath I Abingdon I Oxon I OX13 5NW 01865 987708 www.frilfordheath.co.uk events@frilfordheath.co.uk

For more information visit our website, email: events@frilfordheath.co.uk or call 01865 987708

B4 it & technology


Tim Ault


MEET TIM Tim started his career teaching a range of subjects, including Classics, Music, EFL and Computing. During this time, Tim developed an interest in software development that led him to pursue IT opportunities in various sectors including banking and education. After a stint living in Italy, Tim moved to Oxford in the mid-1990s and founded Alberon in 2002. As Managing Director of Alberon, Tim enjoys working with local businesses and has overseen numerous successful software and web projects. He understands the importance and benefits of improving business processes through the effective and innovative use of IT solutions.

ABOUT ALBERON Alberon has been developing bespoke software and web solutions for over 14 years. During this time they have acquired an exceptionally high level of technical expertise, which informs the standard of every project they deliver. Alberon’s team of specialists design and build bespoke software and websites that sit at the very centre of a business, performing complex, business-critical tasks and delivering outstanding user experiences. They also provide long term support for their clients with a range of related services, including training, support, website hosting and security updates.

CONTACT ME      

8 Standingford House, 26 Cave St, Oxford, OX4 1BA hello@alberon.co.uk 01865 794 009 www.alberon.co.uk /alberon @alberon.co.uk



CLEVER HEADLINE More words to try and explain the clever headline e r u t c i p y k Quir ss e n i s u b a probably from a metaphor rary?? picture lib

n a d e ne e w e. n i z a y g d a An M 4 s, B e t r o o n f ew ad f a e m r e a h t e r e s u He o t ee r f l e fe - Em


Lots of info about our design, web and video work here. (We can discuss this) Don’t forget to make the logo really big!

B4 it & technology

The Rise of Cyber Crime and the effect on your business The rise in Cybercrime is unprecedented, there have been many well publicised attacks in recent months including Wannacry, Petya and ZCryptor causing financial and reputational damage to organisations across the globe. As Cyber criminals get more advanced organisations are going to be exposed to more and more Cyber Security threats. Written by: Complete I.T.

What is Cyber Crime? Cyber Crime comes in many forms and advances are being made all the time, criminals are either looking to cause disruption to organisations by bringing down IT systems, or for financial gain. The common forms of Cyber Crime are considered as: • Phishing: bogus emails that may look like they come from a trusted source asking for security information and personal details. • File hijacker: where criminals hijack files and hold them to ransom also known as Ransomware. • Keylogging: where criminals record what you type on your keyboard and steal passwords and personal information. • Screenshot manager: allows criminals to take screenshots of your computer screen. • Ad clicker: criminals will create online adverts that direct a victim’s computer to click a specific link. • Hacking: gaining access to a network to cause damage or to steal data. • Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks – rendering a network or website unusable with a view to disrupt businesses.

Statistics Around Cyber Crime The information and data available on Cyber Crime is changing all the time due to the increase in criminal activity.

Stats below as of June 2017 • The global cost of Cyber Crime is estimated to reach £2 trillion by 2019, a threefold increase www.b4-business.com

from the 2015 estimate of £500 billion. • The cost per record stolen averages £158 • Last year there were 38 percent more cybersecurity incidents than the previous year. • Forty-eight percent of data security breaches are caused by acts of malicious intent, human error or system failure account for the rest. • A staggering 50 percent of small and midsized organisations reported suffering at least one cyberattack in the last 12 months. • Global spending to combat cybercrime will top £80 billion this year. • Spending on cyber insurance has increased with many businesses investing in insurance against cybercrime. • 30% of Phishing emails are opened due to a lack of employee education.

These are just a few of the consequences but there are many, many more. A multi-layered approach to your cyber security is key, from data protection to spam filters, although you can never be 100% protected against these ever-changing threats you can be prepared by educating your teams, implementing a multi-layered security approach and ensuring you are always on the lookout for suspicious activity. If you are concerned about the effects Cyber Crime could have on your business, please contact Complete I.T. today we would be happy to discuss your approach and what we can do to support you.

What are the consequences of a cyber-attack? • Reputational: many businesses do not consider the reputational damage an attack could have on their business, especially if data is stolen. • Financial: even if you do not pay cyber criminals you may well experience business down time which will lead to financial loss. • Down Time: if you fall victim to a cyber-attack you are more than likely to experience business down time. Could your business operate without data, documents or email? • Legal: There may be legal implications, if you do not have the correct security and data protection regulations in place you may be liable.

 enquiries@complete-it.co.uk  01865 593 012  www.complete-it.co.uk


Sign up today!

Festive 3.5k fun run, walk, skip or dance for a good claus

Sunday 10th December, 9am Ho ho ho! Kickstart the Christmas countdown by joining 2,500 Santas of all ages on this great festive 3.5k run or walk around the iconic streets of Oxford. Raising money to support local families with terminally ill children and young adults this Christmas. Free Santa suit, medal, goodie bag and mince pies!

Sign up today at www.hdh.org.uk Sponsors

Registered charity number: 1085951

B4 it & technology


Nigel Pursall SALES DIRECTOR, ORANGE STRIPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS MEET NIGEL Working in the telecoms industry has allowed Nigel to work with some great businesses & business people in and around Oxfordshire. Birmingham born, married to Dawn, he enjoys road cycling and takes part in the annual RideLondon100 event from the Olympic stadium out to the Surrey hills and back to The Mall, for his chosen charity each year. Nigel still visits his home city Birmingham to see Aston Villa play, as painful as that has been in recent years. Nigel spent many years in Australia implementing telecom systems in some of the most remote outback regions of New South Wales. His iPod includes music from Dolly Parton to Def Leppard.

ABOUT ORANGE STRIPE OrangeStripe are a provider of business voice & data systems and services through their business partnerships with major suppliers Samsung UK, Voiceflex and the BT Wholesale Channel. This powerful combination enables OrangeStripe to provide any solution any business is ever likely to need. They have witnessed the telecoms industry and associated technologies evolve beyond recognition since the mid 80’s. The features & benefits of a corporate size system are now cost effectively available to small to medium enterprise. Their hosted voice over IP system, MTX, is free to set up with low monthly rental. MTX is a highly featured telephone system, inclusive of voice mail with email delivery of messages, call recording and divert facilities. Alternatively, on-site PABX systems are still widely used with Voiceflex SIP trunks. The cost of an on-site PABX system nowadays makes it almost a disposable item. Speak to Nigel for more information.

CONTACT ME  A1 Gemini House, Hargreaves Rd, Groundwell Ind Est,    

Swindon, SN25 5AZ nigel.pursall@orangestripe.co.uk 08008 49 43 49  07775 588 811 www.orangestripe.co.uk /orange-stripe-telecommunications





Don’t lure identity theft towards your business...

Our secure shredding products and services offer you a range of options geared towards safeguarding your business.

Your company stores information which could be a huge risk to your business in the wrong hands. According to the BBC Money Programme, the cost of identity theft in the UK is approximately £1.7bn and increasing at the phenomenal rate of 500% a year. This has become the most costly business security risk. Every business has to securely dispose of confidential information, including customer lists, client information, credit card receipts, personal files or payroll records. It’s vital to protect and secure information that could be used to steal identities. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the power to issue penalties up to £500,000 if a business is found in breach of the Data Protection Act. Under this act, you should not discard any customer, staff or supplier information that is still in tact.



B4 services

If you are looking to save money and enhance the service levels you are currently receiving, then use the local choice, Aston and James. WRITTEN BY: DARREN ASTON


Protect your business using our shredding products and services... We can shred, bale and ensure that your shredded paper is recycled back into products - such as kitchen paper or facial tissues. Alternatively, we have over 80 shredders in our current office supplies catalogue, suitable for offices of all sizes. From home office to large heavy-duty shredders, and from basic security (A4 into 30 pieces) to maximum security (A4 into 15,000 pieces), we will have the perfect shredder for your requirements. Due to today’s ever busy working environment, we’ve had an increased demand for our secure shredding solution. Introducing our shredding solution to your workplace will reduce the number of important documents slipping through the net and ending up in the waste paper bin.

With a service tailored around you... We will work with you to implement the most suitable solution for you. We supply different sized consoles, or sacks which can be ordered along with your office


supplies using product code 54782X. Once the best solution has been agreed and implemented, we’ll leave you to fill the consoles or secure sacks. When the containers are full, we will collect. Depending on your security requirements, we can shred your documents onsite using a mobile shredding truck, or we can safely transport them to one of our secure shredding facilities. You can either call us when you are ready for a collection, or we can schedule a weekly, fortnightly or monthly collection. Once your documents are collected, we will be able to provide you with a certificate for your records. We would love to discuss in more detail how our services can help protect your business, staff and clients.

 sales@aston-james.co.uk  01993 706 900  www.aston-james.co.uk


A modern approach to business travel, with a mixed fleet to handle any kind of request Findlay has come along way (literally miles!) since 1978, and the days of the traditional chauffeur company. Then owned by the founder John Findlay, who sported the classic chauffeur hat and white gloves, it is now in the hands of a husband and wife team who have grown it to something altogether different WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROB SCOTCHER

Spencer and Claire Hickson took over the business in 2008 at a very difficult economic time - right in the middle of the global recession. They managed to quietly and carefully grow the company through those challenging times, by keeping long standing client relationships and showing a consistently high level of service and dedication. Perhaps one of the secrets of their success is to retain the values that John Findlay enforced all those years ago: a personal service, attention to detail and consistency.

companies of course, but we offer a very different experience.” says Claire.

“Although we’re a very different company now, with a far bigger fleet, we are still a family-run business, very personal and we like to keep it simple. We speak to people in person, we don’t hide behind automated bookings and apps - those work for taxi

Claire concentrates on customer relations and new business, spending her time talking to new customers and popping in to see existing customers for regular catch ups. Customer service comes naturally to her, having spent years working in marketing agencies.


Despite that personal touch, Findlay uses a sophisticated booking system that tracks the booking from the starting point through to the final invoice, kicking out PDF confirmation docs and auto texts to passengers as part of the process. Claire adds “All of those processes just minimise the risk of any errors, allowing everyone to triple check everything along the way and giving peace of mind.

In the last eight years she has been working with her husband, Spencer, to ensure that Findlay is the county’s best choice for executive travel. The skills and industry knowledge she gained through her marketing career lend themselves very well to the clientele that Findlay work with every day, as she explains. “Whilst working in marketing, a crucial part of my role was to research and appoint good suppliers - printers, designers, event companies - I absolutely relied upon them to deliver for my clients. Now that I’m on the other side so to speak, I know what customers are looking for when they approach us. They need good communication, fast responses and a ‘yes’ attitude and of course the knowledge that we have the cars and drivers to handle their requirement.” www.b4-business.com

B4 services


Corporate and executive travel VIP chauffeur travel Schools - unaccompanied minors specialist Conferences and events Weddings, parties, occasions Private tours

Price Point and Diversity “I’m keen to prove that whilst we deliver a very premium service, we offer standard rates, so many new enquiries are pleasantly surprised when we quote” explains Claire.

• • • • • •

Personal service Fast response Eye on the detail Larger bookings ability Experienced drivers Mixed fleet

knows the business inside out and juggles a very complex set of logistics every day. “We call her the logistics queen in the office” laughs Claire, “she has unbeatable attention to detail and just gets on with the job every single day - she literally gets people from A to B and makes it all look very easy’.

The mixed fleet and strong driver portfolio means that Findlay can deliver all different sizes of job and certainly many different types of job. “We have been known to drive all the way to Portugal to collect a client who was stranded due to the volcanic ash cloud a few years back” Claire reminisces “and I think one of the wonderful things about this kind of company, is the sheer diversity of what we do and who we work with. Airport trips are pretty much the bread and butter, but we do so much more than that - weddings most weekends, 3 day events using the entire fleet, tours around the county and country, all sorts of interesting and lovely people get in our cars every day and we take pride in that.”

Findlay’s portfolio of drivers are equally as dedicated, most of them coming from professional driving backgrounds (often ex-police) so they absolutely love what they do. “Some work full time, some work part-time - it’s the kind of job that suits someone either retired or who can combine it with another interest” Claire explains. “We take the recruitment, training and induction process extremely seriously and spend a lot of time searching for the right people. We’re licensed with the Vale of White Horse District Council, so all the DRB and DVLA checks happen as part of that process.”

Claire adds “We are also an ‘unaccompanied minors specialist’ meaning that we are qualified and professionally trained to escort young people between school and the airport or to a guardian property. Clearly this is absolutely paramount to parents, to know their child is in safe and reliable hands and that we’ve been providing this service for years.”

• 1 x black Mercedes S Class Bluetec- long wheel base for extra leg room • 4 x black Mercedes E Class saloons Bluetec • 2 x black Mercedes E Class Estates (large luggage space) • 2 x black Mercedes Viano 7 seat people carriers

Loyal Staff

• 2 x Mercedes Sprinters Bluetec minibuses - each carry 8 passengers with huge luggage compartment to the rear

It is the team of staff at Findlay that really deserve the credit for keeping customers happy. Melissa Pusey (pictured) is the Operations Manager and has been working for the company for 8 years. She


A Mixed Fleet

Latest additions - Mercedes Sprinters

“We have a high demand for these larger vehicles” Claire explains, “as many companies have the requirement to transport larger groups of people for

events, conferences, group trips, Christmas parties, exhibitions. The Sprinters are perfect for those kind of jobs and can carry a really large amount of goods at the rear”. They are practical, comfortable, fuel efficient and very hard-working vehicles, so they will be on the fleet for a very long time.

Christmas party travel bookings being taken now - call to book our Mercedes Viano and Sprinters 01865 736800 or email mel@findlaycs.com

Good Connections and Networks Findlay also has a wider network of vehicles in Oxfordshire and beyond, as Claire elaborates. “We have access to more vehicles via a carefully selected group of private chauffeurs that we’ve been working with for many years. We deliver the same level of service in the same quality of cars, and it just means we can lay on more vehicles for big events if clients require them. To get a quote and make a booking:


    

mel@findlaycs.com info@findlaycs.com 01865 736 800 www.findlaycs.com Rectory Lodge, 28 Crown Road, Wheatley, Oxon OX33 1UL


B4 services



MEET JOHN Director John Keown founded Executive Alarms Ltd in 1990 and it became a Limited Company in 1998. He achieved an ONC/HNC in Electrical Engineering at Harwell and then went on to work for a national alarm company before leaving to set up his own business. The companies now employ 40 staff who are all located at the firm’s base and locksmiths shop in Cowley, Oxford. The Companies have a large customer base many of whom have been loyal customers since John first started out in 1990.

ABOUT EXECUTIVE ALARMS Founded in Oxford in 1990 by John Keown, Executive Alarms Ltd has grown to become a well established Oxfordshire based company. Developing year on year and providing extremely competitive prices to our customers in an ever growing and demanding industry, Executive Alarms have also been at the forefront of changes and development in security and fire installation. As a member of the SSAIB (Security Systems Alarm Inspection Board), the quality of our products and services are guaranteed and insurance approved. We offer a full range of products and services for all of your Security and Fire needs including intruder alarms, CCTV, access control to automated gates with intercom systems. We also install, service & maintain fire alarms systems, extinguishers and sprinklers, recently achieving BAFE approval (British Approvals for Fire Equipment). We also offer a comprehensive locksmiths service. We offer a 24 hour call out service 365-days-a-year. Reliable and responsive security is essential for protecting your business, property and possessions, for a free no obligation quote on your security and fire requirements please contact us

CONTACT ME      


26 Kelburne Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 3SJ enquiries@executivealarms.co.uk 01865 435 435 www.executive-systems.co.uk /ess.oxford @Executiveoxford


B4 corp. lifestyle

THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE The Duke of Cambridge, in my eyes, is a real hidden gem within the heart of Oxford. It’s situated down one of the side streets off of St Giles so we hadn’t even realised it was there... Written by: Martyn Brittain

Having spoken to friends about it since, they all had great things to say about it from their past experiences. As you walk in, you are greeted with the feeling of a relaxed, classy yet fun atmosphere with a nice mix of clientele; the smartly uniformed staff had their cocktail shakers going, preparing someone’s martini and really giving it that authentic feel. It is exactly what you want and expect of an authentic cocktail establishment. When we sat down to peruse the drinks list, we had a choice of 61 different cocktails, so you are definitely spoilt for choice; with long drinks, short drinks; sharers and even something nonalcoholic but still exciting for the designated drivers, there is something for everyone. We started with a couple of new drinks as we both wanted to try something different; the first was called a ‘Stimulant’ which had that coffee shot to wake us up after a long day in the office, and a ‘Dublin Sling’ which appealed www.b4-business.com

as it has an interesting mix of ingredients. Next, we went for a ‘Rue Bourbon’ as I was intrigued having never had egg white in a drink before, and a classic ‘Apple and Elderflower Martini’: the attention to detail was excellent, with an intricate sliced apple decoration on the side that definitely became a real talking point as it appeared to be balanced on air! We decided to order a snack to share, to keep the cravings at bay, and settled on the tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa dips. I expected a small bowl for the price of £4.95, but was surprisingly impressed when a large bowl was delivered to our table with a good helping of both dips. The staff were very attentive, which certainly added to the experience; when we finished a drink they were there to clear our glasses and prepare our next choice. They had excellent knowledge, even taking the time to talk about what you like in a drink and offer suggestions to

help make the right choice just for you. All in all it’s definitely a place to go for an enjoyable evening and somewhere I will certainly go again when out in Oxford either with my wife or to meet friends.

 info@dukebar.com  01865 558 173  www.dukebar.com


Loud laughter erupts in the sculpture garden. People have spotted “The Legs”: a vision of a person who plummeted into the ground, head first, leaving their legs sticking up. The piece is called ‘Many Happy Returns’, because we are the earth, and we should live life to the full. Whatever you do, dive in. As resident artist at a fringe festival in summer, Matt installed the tail of an aeroplane in the Parish churchyard. A five-metre eruption of our power to arise from diversities, “It looks like a representation of Brexit” was commented many times, but it was children who noticed the crossshaped reference to re-birth. Matt Smart has been sculpting for 4 years. He has had a solo exhibition, he started and ran a London gallery, has shown at music and arts festivals, and practices street art. He experiments with materials, finding new ways to make sculptures light and low-impact on the environment, while packing a punch. The Fist sculpture is adult-height and made of molehills, which he gathered and dried for the piece. At the Artweeks’ ‘Change the World’ show, it won two prizes, including the Grand Prize.. Experimenting with materials, Matt made ‘Ghost’. Lifesize, tough and weatherproof for outdoor display, ‘Ghost’ weighs less than 3 cups of coffee. “I make environmentally aware pieces. Bronze and marble techniques are becoming visually outdated, and


are expensive on the public purse. They last 400 years, but those materials are so similar to buildings that they blend into the background, and after a sculpture has been up for five years, few people are still excited. Public art is catching up!”

Some works highlight courage. ‘We Met One Day’ an almost flaming figure on a plinth – is about how we put people on pedestals when we are impressed by them from afar. If you talk to that amazing person you may forever remember the day you dared.

‘Ghost’ shows the impression we make on the world and others. Also it references how the contribution of women to society has been dismissed, shrouded, and is now arising.

‘Muffin of Lascaux’ is a rendition of ancient cave paintings. Matt sourced coloured earth minerals, in keeping with original pigments. The 3-D depiction embodies how street art on flat walls is often about the 3-dimensional urban landscape. Within the tradition of equine art, it is a playful nod to how the origins of art were also the origins of leisure. Because art is joy as well as business.

There is a sharp contemporary edge to Matt’s work. “The first time I exhibited at a big music festival I was lucky enough to get the top spot, which also got most attention. I had to repair one piece seven times, people were so “enthusiastic”. Also, at festivals, there are so many amazing things to see that subtle visuals get lost among brighter excitements. Sculpture has to be instantly gripping. Festivals taught me to sculpt things strong.” Matt Smart’s art is also shown in night clubs and restaurants, working with lighting technicians who project moving images onto the sculptures, often synchronised with the music.

For more thoughts and visions, see Instagram’s @mattsmartart, www.MattSmart.org, and in YouTube videos search for ‘Matt Smart’.

   

matt.smart@mail.com +44 (0)7500 118 791 www.MattSmart.org @mattsmartart


B4 corp. lifestyle

There is a sharp “ contemporary edge to

Matt’s work. “The first time I exhibited at a big music festival I was lucky enough to get the top spot, which also got most attention. I had to repair one piece seven times, people were so ‘enthusiastic’



Macdonald Randolph Hotel The hustle and bustle of the historic city of Oxford during the Summer and then the return of the students to the university always is a great time and to welcome many more new faces from all over the world. There is no better place to unwind and relax than the Macdonald Randolph Hotel. Our location makes us the perfect destination for visiting the city right opposite the world famous Ashmolean Museum. In walking distance of most colleges, next to the shopping centre and the exciting new Westgate development opening in October. Written & Photography by: Macdonald Randolph Hotel

We have had a very productive two years since the terrible fire back in April 2015. All our bedrooms have been refurbished to the highest standards and have been enjoyed by visitors and regular patrons for some months now. It was a joy to see the central staircase brought back and the internal hoarding removed to reveal the magnificent stained glass windows once again. It’s been very exciting to see the new executive lounge opening. This was an office area badly affected by the fire. Guests now enjoy this additional area to relax with our daily canapés and drinks reception each evening and selection of beverages and snacks throughout the day. In particular our overseas guests from America have greatly enjoyed this arriving on their early flights into London. This exclusive privilege is restricted to our highest category rooms and suites. The very sad passing of Colin Dexter, the writer of the famous Morse television series was a shock to us at The Randolph and we remember him fondly sitting in The Morse Bar talking to fans and listening to his fond memories of John Thaw. We welcome many


guests who reminisce of their love of the series and enjoy the pictures which adorn the Morse Bar walls. It is incredible to think we are already in September and half way through the year. Our busy festive season is fast approaching and we have a fabulous residential Christmas programme again this year as well as our very popular festive party nights which begin at the end of November. We are very lucky at The Randolph to have our opulent Ballroom which can cater for up to 240 guests for a sit down meal and our brochure is now available online. We have 6 function rooms at the hotel and private festive lunch and dinners are available throughout December. With our restaurant we have created a sumptuous menu suitable for all occasions whether an intimate festive treat with loved ones or a business lunch during the season. Our atrium semi private dining area offering a picture window into our main kitchen is also a great option for small private gatherings. It’s particularly suitable for festive and celebratory meals. Every year our special gift vouchers have proved to be very popular and are available on our

website and indeed buyers can call the hotel directly. Christmas giving can be difficult but with our large range of vouchers from afternoon tea to luxurious Elemis treatments and spa days, you will be sure to find a fantastic gift for family or business colleagues. Our spa is a haven of tranquillity and offers a full range of Elemis face and body treatments with Jessica nail care. We have introduced the new Biotec skin energising treatment which has proved very popular. The spa boasts a lovely thermal suite which consists of a range experiences including two steam rooms, two saunas and hydrotherapy Jacuzzi and a sensation shower. We offer a range of spa days which include afternoon tea or lunch in our Acanthus restaurant. We have a very exciting new concept coming to the hotel with an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea. We have been working together with Twinings our tea merchants to create a truly unique and special experience for our guests and patrons. We are due to introduce introduce this shortly and we are sure it will enhance our already busy afternoon


B4 corp. lifestyle tea following. Where else would you be able to enjoy the tradition of afternoon tea in Oxford with a beautiful view of The Asmolean Museum in our Drawing Room. In the New Year, the complete refurbishment of The Randolph will be completed with work in our entrance and reception area as well as Morse Bar, Drawing Room and our meeting rooms. The designer has captured the true essence of The Randolph with his colour palette and design features. We are very excited for this next chapter in the hotel’s history. We are very much looking to the rest of the year and being of service to the business community of Oxford as well as visitors to the city. With our 150 years of serving the city we are truly an Oxford institution.

We are very much looking to the rest of the year and being of service to the business community of Oxford as well as visitors to the city. With our 150 years of serving the city we are truly an Oxford institution

Michael Grange We at B4 were saddened to hear the recent news that Michael Grange, General Manager of the Randolph for the past 12 years, passed away suddenly. Not only was Michael one of B4’s most loyal supporters, he was also a gentleman and a friend. He will be sadly missed by all who worked with him and knew him as a kind, generous and charming man.

 enquiries@macdonaldhotels.co.uk  +44 (0)1865 256 400  www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk



OXFORD STATION TO LONDON MARYLEBONE TRAINS NOW RUNNING Our trains now run twice an hour, with journey times from just over an hour to the cool, calm and well-connected London Marylebone.

ASHMOLEAN CHRISTMAS PARTIES ‘We had a wonderful party and your service was excellent so thank you very much. Happy holidays!’

events@ashmolean.org 01865 610406 www.ashmolean.org

Surprise and delight your guests by hosting your Christmas party in the elegant surroundings of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Wine and dine in the stunning galleries and then party the night away in our vaulted café – make it a truly memorable occasion this year.

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THE ANCHOR: SEAS THE DAY! It was my first visit to the Anchor and was surprised to find this charming gastropub nestled within the leafy Jericho... Written by: Lucy Parr

5 THINGS I LOVED  The seasonal menu  The portion sizes  The location  Value for money & quality  The banana ice cream (can we order a tub to go please?!)

It was my first visit to the Anchor and was surprised to find this charming gastropub nestled within the leafy Jericho suburb away from hustle and bustle of Walton St. There was even parking - unheard of! A light-filled spacious interior with contemporary, clean design. Local village pub meets modern dining. Whether you fancy a pint and a snack after a walk along the Oxford canal or a hearty meal with family or friends, The Anchor is a lovely little spot to try. With a charming patio terrace for al fresco dining in Summer or an indoor open-fire for all the cosiness in Winter - there are even 2 private dining rooms if you’re looking for a more intimate gathering. After receiving complimentary bread and butter and placed an order for our drinks with the attentive staff, we took in the fabulously varied seasonal menu and specials board. They was a wide choice and


I’ve no doubt Vegetarians will be pleased that they also have a good quantityof options. I opted for a bar snack starter of the warm haggis scotch egg (£6) which had a lovely crunchy coating and depth of flavour. My partner chose the lovely light crispy squid with a rich chilli jam (£6). For mains I opted for the fish pie with tenderstem broccoli and chard (£11) from the specials board and my partner the lamb rump with couscous, broccoli, aubergine and mint yoghurt (£18). The fish pie was wholesome and hearty, with generous chunks of fish and perfectly seasoned veg. The lamb course was perfectly balanced with good, honest portion sizes all round We shared some deliciously crispy sweet courgette fritters which complemented the tangy fennel yoghurt dip (£4). The highlight for us were the desserts. My partner chose the delectably rich chocolate delice, which came with popcorn, salted caramel and simply the

best homemade banana ice cream (£7). I was really happy with my choice of set lemon custard, raspberries and honeycomb (£6) a lovely balance of sweet & sour flavours and beautifully plated - an artwork of autumnal colours!

 info@theanchoroxford.com  01865 510 282  www.theanchoroxford.com


Take just one look – and the ice will melt! Brand Alchemist, Phil Strachan of Strangebrew, introduces us to another of his multitalented, extremely interesting and very gifted friends and her amazing and far from bland creations – the Icelandic born and now Winchester based, Anna Dora. Written by: Phil Strachan

I first met Anna about 7 years ago and at that time I was introduced to her in her capacity as a freelance make-up artist and it was a year or so later before I found out that she was also an incredibly talented abstract artist. When I first saw her work, I really was blown away by it and it made a huge impact on me. It had power and beauty and hidden depths and each time Anna posted her latest work on her facebook page over the last year or so, I quite literally felt compelled to comment on it and to praise it and to wish her well. Being an artist, in common with my friends looking to breakthrough in the music industry and motor racing as just two examples, is a very tough business to succeed in as no matter how good you are, you are looking for someone to discover you, to believe in you and your work and to give you the break you need and the support you require to succeed. Suddenly, and totally out of the blue at the end of June, came an invitation to attend an Exhibition of Anna’s work at a private viewing at the Icelandic Embassy in Knightsbridge in London. I naturally accepted, realising that this was exactly the kind of break and support that Anna needed and the perfect opportunity for me to see a significant body of her work up close and personal.


It was so busy on the evening of the private viewing that I re-visited the Exhibition a week or so later with Anna and my good friend, Olta Malluta, in order to take some photographs which included the Icelandic Ambassador, Mr Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson. This prestigious Exhibition of Anna’s amazing and involving creations, some of which are also very tactile in nature, remains in place at the Icelandic Embassy until the end of December and I thoroughly recommend that anyone interested should contact Anna or the Embassy to arrange a viewing.

What exactly is it about Iceland that stirs your passion and fuels your creative process? I am particularly fascinated with texture and variations in depth and dimension that will allow my paintings to come to life, evolve and react to changes in light. Just imagine the inspiration that I am able to draw from the incredibly rich drama of Iceland where sweeping, snowcapped mountains take control of the skyline.

You were born in Reykjavik in Iceland, Anna, but I have the feeling that Iceland is never very far from your heart and mind.

Imagine the power of having ridden a horse on black volcanic sands at sunset and gazing up at the mountains and disappearing inside a world of imagination or of staring speechlessly in wonder at the magnificent Seljarlands Foss Waterfall. It is such involving experiences with raw nature and its beauty that inspires me to capture such drama in my abstract paintings.

Yes, that is so true. I am passionate about my work and it is very influenced by the mysticism of my home country and its natural wonders. Anything related to nature and mother earth provides me with my inspiration.

I do remain very connected to my homeland because it forms the main theme of my work as I try to convey the power and majesty of the natural events that occur frequently in Iceland, such as volcanic eruptions and the silent movement of glaciers.

When I was 22, I moved to England and I now live near Winchester surrounded by gorgeous Hampshire countryside, but I often return to my homeland to visit my family and to harvest the opportunity to fuel my passion!

I understand, Anna – but how are you able to translate such intensely dramatic experiences into such breathtakingly beautiful abstract two dimensional paintings?


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Creating sculpture paintings where light and texture play is very much driven by my past. Iceland is a country of extreme contrasts, its landscape providing bubbling lagoons and hard lava rock, all of which I try to capture in my abstract paintings and Mother Nature’s colours and textures appear naturally in my work. Using oil paints in the main, I often layer the paint with Icelandic lava dust to form a literal connection and to create a hard, rough texture and I also add volcanic rock and salt that flowers into beautiful crystals to create contrasts of softness and beauty. Colours and admiration for beauty in all its forms have always been a passion in my life. I love the dimension of colour and by adding various textures and a tactile quality, there really is a limitless dose of magic to explore. Your work is very much driven by your passion but it is also very personal to you. Tell me a bit more about your creative process. Indeed, my paintings are so very personal to me. They represent the story of my life. I paint what I’m feeling at any moment, using my paintings almost as emotional photographs. There is always some sort of emotion or memory attached to my work and I could tell you the story for each piece I’ve ever made.


I work very intuitively and from the heart, with each work beginning with a few spots of colour on a canvas and I then just go with the flow and what feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it. Each painting evolves from dawn till dusk and I can often be in the studio for up to 10 hours a day as I strive to capture in my paintings the natural beauty and wonders of Iceland and my regular exposure to the Northern Lights, all of which are very close to my heart. I know exactly what you mean, Anna. I find your paintings both very emotional and very beautiful – They each have hidden depths and I also want to reach out and touch them. They really involve you.

Thank you Anna – I wish you every success with the Exhibition and your work which would grace and provide great pleasure and inspiration in any environment ranging from a home through to Workplaces, Private Clubs, Restaurants or Hotels etc.

The Exhibition of Anna’s work at the Icelandic Embassy, which features 28 of her paintings, runs until the end of December 2017. www.artbyannadora.com annadora@live.co.uk 07792 194939

In every painting, I really try to create an adventure for the viewer, something that involves them. Using a variety of media, colours and textures to create a multi-dimensional effect brings my creations to life. I hope to capture the magic of Iceland in the form of mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, crisp spring water, breathtaking ice caves, glaciers, underwater caverns, the Northern Lights and mythical sea creatures in an abstract way. I just love to explore my art through the viewer’s eyes and to hear them recount their visual adventures when they tell me what they see.

 phil@strangebrew.co.uk  07770 753 975  www.thinkbrandnotbland.co.uk


B4 corp. lifestyle

THE CROWN Woodstock. The name conjures up various images depending upon your age, nationality, and musical tastes. Written by: Matt Noble Wright, Director, Nobleword Ltd

Woodstock. The name conjures up various images depending upon your age, nationality, and musical tastes. However, for this particular honeystoned corner of Oxfordshire, think of an eclectic mix of traditional British meaty fare with a Spanish seafood twist. Oh, and the cocktails... don’t forget the cocktails! In the Summer, the courtyard terrace is packed with aficionados of the shaken drink, but as it was distinctly Autumnal we stayed within the calming pea-blue painted restaurant and sampled The Crown’s most popular cocktail - a Raging Bison (vodka & vanilla schnapps). We kicked off with Spanish seafood - crispy squid and wood-roasted gambas, which were both delicious. My dinner companion, Big Dave, who pronounces himself a fan of the ‘hot stuff’, then plumped for the fiery pizza special for his main course. The Crown boasts a traditional Italian clay pizza oven, wood-fired as demanded by the purists (harder to 116

cook on than gas but more flexible in skilled hands). One carafe of water later, Big Dave pronounced himself well satisfied. The Spanish theme continued through dessert - Mallorcan almond cake and crema catelana both followed, the latter being the stand-out dish - a cinnamon-infused more delicate version of a crème brûlée. Should you wish to truly indulge in the Mediterranean delights of The Crown, there is a Spanish-themed evening every Thursday, with live music, tapas, and (I’m informed) a huge paella cooked in the conservatory. Hasta la vista....I’ll be back! The Crown isn’t just a wonderful restaurant however, they can also boast being a grade 2 listed 18th century boutique hotel B&B with 5 en-suite bedrooms with free wi-fi, bose sound docks, and luxury toiletries. If you’re visiting Woodstock, don’t miss a trip to or a stay at The Crown!

5 THINGS I LOVED  Traditional Italian clay pizza oven  Courtyard terrace  The mix of British food with a Spanish twist  The Spanish themed desserts  Oh, and the cocktails...don’t forget the cocktails!

 info@thecrownwoodstock.com  01993 813 339  www.thecrownwoodstock.com


B4 corp. lifestyle

5 THINGS I LOVED  A designer-clad bar with a homely atmosphere  The Breakfast Martini  The Gran Bretagna  The Strawberry Colada (for the on-drinkers)  Happy hour all week!

THE HOUSE Two is usually company, and three might occasionally be considered a crowd, but four is definitely the ideal number for cocktails! Written by: Matt Noble Wright, Director, Nobleword Ltd

Two is usually company, and three might occasionally be considered a crowd, but four is definitely the ideal number for cocktails! So it was that we turned up at The House on a busy Friday evening, all prepped and ready to go. We were a diverse group - a writer, a business coach, an entrepreneur and a designer - so we thought, for a bit of fun, we’d choose each other’s cocktails, to match our respective moods and personalities.

down into categories: ‘Sparkling’ (all the fizzy cocktails, such as the Bellini), ‘Long’ (Raspado), ‘Short ‘(Bloody Mary), ‘Straight up’ (Cosmpolitan), and ‘Non-Alcoholic’ (Beach House). There is also a category named ‘Top Shelf’, containing classics such as the Mojito, Martini and Margharita (no, not just the cocktails beginning with ‘M’!) which unfortunately do not receive the ‘Happy Hour’ treatment but, rest assured, there’s still plenty to choose from!

‘The House’ does actually feel like home, only a cooler, more designerclad variation. Cosy banquettes and small mood-lit tables line the long room which leads through to a black granite-topped altar (I mean bar!) - impressive but not overly obtrusive. It feels like a chef’s counter, where you can sit and watch the bartenders knock up one of the 50 or so cocktails from the menu (staff receive up to 4 weeks of training and have to prove to the managers that they know any cocktail off by heart) whilst nibbling on bar snacks such as nachos or hummus.

We started off outside. It was a chill October evening, but the heat lamps burned brightly on the attractively canopied terrace, attracting us like thirsty fire-flies. What better than a spot of people watching along the busy Blue Boar Passage whilst enjoying table cocktail service? Alan (the oh-so-helpful Spanish manager) came out to talk us through the list and advised us of his favourites (a Manhattan…ah yes, that was in the ‘Top Shelf’ category as well come to think of it!). Over the course of the evening, and much deliberation, we narrowed down our favourites - the Breakfast Martini (Gin, triple sec and Oxford marmalade), the Gran Bretagna (a special apricot liquor-based cocktail from the board behind the bar) and the Strawberry Colada for the non-drinkers

The drinks are definitely the main event here though. Being fourstrong, we were able to mix and match from across the menu which is helpfully broken www.b4-business.com

amongst us (Strawberry, coconut and lime). Happy hour runs up until 9pm Sunday-Thursday (8pm on Friday and Saturday), and there is an upstairs room which can hold 70 people, complete with pool table and fantastic views, all available for a reasonable minimum spend. However, if you’re a student it’s even better news - cocktails are discounted all evening Sunday-Thursday.....it’s almost worthgoing back to studying again!

 info@housebar.co.uk  01993 724 433  www.housebar.co.uk



ALWAYS A PLEASURE It’s not always good to go back but, sometimes, it is ALWAYS good to go back. Returning to Hartwell House is a pleasure. Welcomed at the impressive entrance as if returning to family, the warmth and levels of hospitality are ALWAYS of the highest level. B4’s Richard Rosser reports. Interviewer: Richard Rosser


Photography: Hartwell House


B4 corp. lifestyle B4 have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Hartwell House for well over six years. It’s become something of a tradition to kick off the year of B4 networking at this fabulous venue just 40 miles north west of London and we will be returning on Wednesday 24th January next year – a date for your diary. Martin Pike, the long-standing head porter, greeted us as we made our way down the impressive drive to the resplendent 48 bedroom hotel which was to be our home from home for the evening. As we checked in, we were joined by Matthew Johnson, Hartwell’s General Manager who took over from Jonathan Thompson who retired as general manager of Hartwell after 27 years (33 with Historic House Hotels) in 2016. Matthew made us both feel very welcome and ensured we were well looked after during our stay. Martin took us to our room located in the main house. Sumptuously designed, our bedroom was

wonderful hotels and restaurants, but the levels of service at Hartwell are exemplary.


Our evening meal was of an equal standard to the service….superb. Tina was in the mood for game with a smoked pigeon starter followed by roasted partridge. I, on the other hand started out with monkfish followed by veal. It’s not often we both have wine, but we shared a bottle of St-Véran, Domaine Saint Martin, Duboeuf 2014 with Tina moving on to a half bottle of Gevrey-Chambertin.

Hartwell House has a remarkable history, stretching back almost a thousand years to the reign of Edward the Confessor. It has been the seat of William Peveral the natural son of William the Conqueror; of John Earl of Mortaigne who succeeded his brother Richard the Lion Heart as King of England in 1199; and of Louis XVIII, the exiled King of France who held court there from 1809 to 1814. Louis was joined at Hartwell by his Queen, MarieJosephine de Savoie, his niece the Duchesse D’Angoulême, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, his brother the Comte d’Artois, later Charles X, and Gustavus IV theexiled King of Sweden.

Dessert? Why not. We’d over-indulged so far so why not go the distance? After a brief respite, we were served with one incredible chocolate tart (the sort you need to go to the gym for a week to justify) and a dark chocolate fondant with roasted pear purée and textures, hazelnuts, chicory and coffee ice cream. Wow!!! Naughty….but nice!! A GREAT meal. We were ready for bed and slept beyond our normal early Saturday start… so late, in

It really is a team effort at Hartwell House, “ from the moment you set foot inside, your needs are put above everything else ” a dream. Luxurious soft furnishings combined with exquisite furniture throughout the spacious room with en-suite bathroom and walk in dressing area. A quick shower and I was ready for dinner. But first, a glass of champagne in the hotel bar. We had reason to celebrate as Tina had just secured a new role so we had more reasons to be cheerful. The staff were delightful and we soon discovered a Portuguese theme developing in the bar and restaurant. We were taken through to the elegant dining room and passed Matthew on the way. I told him his staff were incredibly charming, ‘thank you’ he said with a smile. It really is a team effort at Hartwell House, from the moment you set foot inside, your needs are put above everything else and your enjoyment of the Hartwell experience is first and foremost in the minds of every member of staff you encounter. I have been fortunate enough to experience some

fact, that we missed breakfast. We were so full from the evening meal that we didn’t give breakfast a thought…we would normally plump for room service but didn’t give it a second thought. We decided to grab a cup of tea on the way home but, as we checked out, we were told we could take brunch in the Hartwell Café located in the same building as the Spa. A never before seen part of Hartwell for me, the Spa was very impressive and we had pride of place in the café overlooking the ever so tempting indoor pool.

In 1930, the estate took on the appearance of a giant auction house as hordes of collectors and dealers descended on Hartwell for the 1938 sale of its contents. Those who came to view included Queen Mary and the Dukes and Duchesses of Gloucester and Kent. They brought with them a picnic lunch, which was served in the Dining Room by a body of liveried footmen. After the sale the house was purchased by millionaire recluse Ernest Cook, grandson and co-heir of the Victorian travel tycoon Thomas Cook, and subsequently vested in the Trust that bears his name. For the duration of the Second World War Hartwell served as an Army billet, a training ground for British and American troops. Later, in 1956, Hartwell was let to The House of Citizenship, a finishing school and secretarial college which remained in occupation until 1983. A fire in 1963 caused extensive damage, and destruction of much of the architectural detail inside the house.

A full English was in order, cooked fresh and with a few naughty croissants to lead us in. A perfect finale to our short stay at Hartwell.

In 2008 Historic House Hotels, including Hartwell, and the interests in all its properties, were donated to the National Trust.

Thank you to Matthew and your team….the perfect hosts from first to last.

Have you ever wanted to stay in a National Trust house? Well now you can Sunday to Thursday until 31st March 2018 for £89.50 per person per night*. Call 01296747444 quoting NTMAG17 to book. *Terms & Conditions apply and can be found at hartwell-house.com

 info@hartwell-house.com  01296 747 444  www.hartwell-house.com



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COMPTOIR LIBANAIS BRINGS THE AUTHENTIC TASTE OF LEBANON TO WESTGATE OXFORD A new Comptoir Libanais restaurant has opened in Oxford’s Westgate Shopping Centre and it brings more than just the taste of Lebanese cuisine. Apart from the lovingly replicated decor and “souk” (market), it brings a warm Middle-Eastern hospitality and way of life with the restaurant team set to welcome guests just like at home. Comptoir Libanais has 21 restaurants around the country, including nine in central London and one in the Netherlands. Founded in 2008 by Tony Kitous, the name means Lebanese Counter and the aim is to give guests a ‘souk style’ MiddleEastern experience, from the decoration, food and generous hospitality. Dishes are prepared using authentic, home-style Middle-Eastern recipes, and the food is also available to take away. Tony Kitous is passionate about every small detail when it comes to the Comptoir Libanais experience. The design of the space and the menu is based on his childhood memories, and he spends a lot of time travelling around Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt to source ingredients and decoration. “To create a place for everyone to eat and drink in humble and friendly surroundings” is the Tony’s dream, who grew up with such a variety of food that he has always wanted to share that with the rest of the world. He does so by serving real Lebanese home-cooking all day, every day. The menu is based on the kinds of recipes and food that Lebanese and Middle-Eastern mothers would use at home. It is healthy, fresh and ultimately a way of bringing friends and family together to share food around the table. On that table is a huge variety of different dishes. The selection of Mezze and the Mezze Platter are ideal for sharing. As well as this there is also warm Lebanese wraps which are popular especially with lunchtime guests. Marinated Grills, Tagines and Man’ousha (Lebanese flatbreads) are also popular. For a sweet note to finish the meal there is a selection of Baklawa and Lebanese desserts, these are available all day and are perfect as a shopping pitstop alongside a freshly made coffee. Drinks include refreshing homemade lemonades such as Romana - orange blossom water and pomegranate lemonade and Rosa - rose, lemon and lime lemonade, as well as fresh Rose Mint Tea . A selection of Lebanese wines and beers as well as cocktails and freshly squeezed juices are also available.


Breakfast at Comptoir Libanais can be something light such as the homemade granola or a fresh croissant or pastry. If you are looking for something more substantial there are Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon served on brioche, or the Sirine Vegetarian cooked breakfast. The Shakshuka is a popular choice made with slow cooked tomatoes, red onions and peppers, mixed with parsley, coriander and garlic. Topped with a fried egg and crumbled feta. The restaurant is a bright and beautiful mix of colours and patterns. The design is a reflection of Tony’s childhood memories of the colours and designs he grew up with. The aim is to transport guests to a souk somewhere in Beirut, Marrakesh, Istanbul or Cairo and immerse them in the colours, smells and flavours that are so familiar to all who have visited. The décor is friendly, fun, humorous and very inviting – a true Middle-Eastern experience. The restaurant walls and floors are filled with colourful tiles which can be found in Arabic homes, courtyards and kitchens. As well as grandmother’s oilcloth chairs, brass tables, harrisa tins, vintage brass and silver trays, old family pictures, Fez hats, hand of Fatma all adding to the setting. Tony’s dream is to one day make Lebanese food become as popular as Italian food and he has lovingly created this restaurant in Oxford to share his passion for the food and culture with its visitors. The restaurant is taking bookings now for Christmas and the menu is available to view here: www.comptoirlibanais.com/christmas/ Address : 227 The Westgate Queen Street Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 1PE

 oxford@www.comptoirlibanais.com  01865 980 222  www.comptoirlibanais.com


Oxford’s first distillery offers locals a slice of the business The Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) has launched a crowd funding drive to give Oxford locals the chance to own shares in the City’s first ever distillery. Shares will start in units of £10 each and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. To register your interest please visit www.spiritoftoad.co.uk/spawn.

Opened in July to a media fanfare, TOAD is now producing gin, vodka, absinthe, and rye whiskey using exclusive populations of ancient heritage grain at its site at Old Depot, South Park. The company has already raised £1.1m from private investors to bring the business to market. This next phase will offer local residents and businesses an exciting opportunity to buy shares in the distillery and share in its success. Now that the distillery has secured planning permission for the development of its site, the new funds raised will go towards creating a visitor centre, bar and restaurant and will open a part of South Park that has not been enjoyed by the public before.

“An investment in TOAD is an investment in provenance. We care deeply about the quality of our spirits but also about the impact of our production. We use ancient and genetically diverse populations of rye, wheat and barley, grown exclusively and sustainably for us on farms within a 50-mile radius of Oxford.”

Tom Nicolson, TOAD’s founder, said: “I’m very proud to be the CEO of the first distillery in Oxford’s long and impressive history. Oxford is a centre of excellence and we have taken this philosophy to heart. We’ve designed our distillery and every part of our production process to the highest standards.”.

TOAD is a grain to glass distillery and is the only craft distiller in the UK to grow its own populations of ancient heritage grain in biodiverse, sustainable fields known as ‘land races’, close to Oxford. These are living eco-systems which are not just organic – but actively improve the quality of the land and health of its wildlife.


“This is a great commercial opportunity and we are looking for people who feel as passionate as we do about working in a positive and sustainable way to join us and share in our success. The opportunity will also appeal hugely to other businesses and brands who share our values and ideals.”

Nicolson explains “We don’t have to spray our grain with any poisons or chemicals because ours have a natural defence against things like rust, fungus and pests. They also support the health of the fields they grow in - so we are helping revitalise the soil and bring wild life back to the fields.” Cereals were first found to be growing in England this way in the 14th century and last grown like this over a century ago – before mass farming, chemicaldependent practices took hold in England. Tagore Ramoutar, the company’s COO, is organising the crowdfunding drive. He said: “TOAD is set to become a major new part of Oxford’s vibrant business scene and a key player in the growing craft spirits markets. We wanted to find a way for the people and businesses of Oxford to be part of this brilliant, unique project. Crowdfunding is a great way of doing this and we hope that lots of people will want to get involved.”


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TOAD’S BESPOKE STILLS Also on the team is award winning master distiller Cory Mason - a native Californian with a background in cocktail bar management, including that of Employees Only, voted best cocktail bar in the world. His bootlegged absinthe developed a cult following at the New York speakeasy he ran for 10 years. He came to the UK to study distilling at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and went on to be the distiller behind two award winning brands before coming to TOAD.

TOAD is set to “ become a major new

part of Oxford’s vibrant business scene and a key player in the growing craft spirits markets. We wanted to find a way for the people and businesses of Oxford to be part of this brilliant, unique project

With the still-making industry in England extremely limited, Nicolson and Mason worked in partnership with Paul Pridham, an engineer from South Devon Railway who rebuilt the boiler of the Flying Scotsman, to create their own. As the newest stills maker in England, Nicolson, a former music manager believes there could be a market for TOAD to make bespoke copper stills for other premium brand distillers as demand for artisan and craft food and drink continues to grow. The project has received the support of Oxford City Council and the Oxford Preservation Trust and work to convert and develop the former Parks depot is well underway. The centre piece of the site is an 18th Century Grade II listed Threshing Barn which will initially house TOAD’s casks and grain. A new barn has been added to the compound to house the artisan distillery. TOAD plans to build a visitor centre, bar, facilities and restaurant, serving woodfired pizza, artisan breads and cakes made from the same ancient heritage grain. Investors and members of the board include: Marcin Miller, former publisher of Whisky Magazine and spirits industry heavyweight with over 20 years experience; Jeremy Parsons, the former chief operating officer and board member of Berry Bros & Rudd, the world’s oldest wine and spirits merchant, and Neil Brown, a chartered accountant and angel investor with a strong track record in supporting early stage investments. The distillery is at Old Depot, South Park, Cheney Lane, Oxford, OX3 7QJ. For more information visit www.spiritoftoad.co.uk Anyone wanting to register their interest in taking part in TOAD’s crowdfund should please email spawn@ spiritoftoad.co.uk

    www.b4-business.com

spawn@spiritoftoad.co.uk +44 (0)1865 767 918 www.spiritoftoad.co.uk/spawn @thespiritoftoad


Welcome to The B4 Travel Section. Please get in touch with your feedback, articles suggestions, hot travel topics and top tips! Written by: David Gambier, B4 Travel Editor

THE CLAIM CULTURE Tummy bugs and sickness from the mildest to the severest symptoms have the capacity to ruin the best laid holiday and travel arrangements and reputations. It is something that hotels from 1-star to 5-star do their absolute best to avoid. It is therefore amazing to discover that claims by British tourists holidaying in many countries around the Mediterranean who have apparently had their whole holidays ruined by uncontrolled sickness and diarrhoea as a result of food-poisoning have gone up between 450% - 500% over the last 18 months.

Given the number of Brits who travel on this type of holiday across the year, this would represent a gross dereliction of duty on behalf of thousands of hotels across Europe; however the reality of the situation is that this outbreak of negligence just isn’t occurring to this extent. Unfortunately, the emphasis in the paragraph above is on the ‘British’ element, as despite sharing hotels with many other nationalities, it is only in Britain that this explosion of claims against hotels and tour operators has occurred. Are our

48 HOURS IN... CAPE TOWN As ever, when it comes to a short break in any of our “48 hours in...” destinations, it’s vital to plan and get expert advice before you travel, so that you can make the most of the time that you have at your disposal. In the case of Cape Town, you have a great advantage, because, despite the distance, you forfeit virtually no time at all to jet-lag in either direction. For a fascinating, and immensely moving experience, start off with a walk across the Dock, and get to the Robben Island Ferry and Museum. Having seen a short film introduction to what lies ahead, you can take the boat across to Robben Island. The “Prison Island” where Nelson Mandela and many other members were incarcerated during the apartheid era, is preserved for what it is - a moving tribute to the freedom fighters who were imprisoned on the Island. On a sunny day, the view back to Cape Town and Table Mountain behind is stunning. Once back on dry land, a few options present themselves. The best would be immediately to head for the cable-car that takes you up to the top of Table Mountain, which offers some incredible views back over the city and along the coast. There are some good walking paths, and it is possible to walk back down


the Mountain – however, I would probably suggest leaving this for a longer visit. If you are a dare-devil, you may find climbers up at the top of the Mountain offering you the chance to tandem-abseil down the side. By the time that you get back down to the base station of the cable-car, you may wish to return to the Waterfront for some Afternoon Tea, or perhaps stop for a glass of delicious South African wine overlooking the water. You may fancy a trip out before dinner, drive along Hout Bay – even getting up as far as Llandudno – part way along the coast. As far as dinner is concerned, Cape Town has some great eateries. You might select a seafood restaurant in the Waterfront complex, where you can be guaranteed of the freshest of ingredients. If you are a meat-eater there are many restaurants serving enormous steaks off the ‘braai’ (the usual translation of ‘barbeque’ really doesn’t do it justice), but also take the opportunity to try some of the local meats, such as ostrich, kuku, waterbuck, and other forms of antelope. Whatever you select, expect huge portions, with wonderful vegetables and tropical fruits.


B4 digestive systems genuinely that much more fragile than our neighbours, or is our propensity to see an opportunity in making a risk-free easy-money claim to blame? Sadly, every indication is that it is the latter.

£20,000 in their costs for defending a claim, which included sending a team HSE specialists out to the resort, subpoena-ing bar-bills from neighbouring cafes and bars, medical records, school and work attendance records going back years, all of which

The problem has now become so great that recent figures released by the Spanish Hoteliers’ Association show that their members have paid out more than 50million over the last 2 years to settle ‘out of court’ claims to UK-based clients. As a result, UK tour operators are finding themselves having their contracts cancelled.

At the end of their stays, large numbers of British tourists are now being asked to sign a disclaimer on check-out that they haven’t suffered from any illnesses during their stay. In other cases, hotels are assigning dedicated areas in their dining rooms specifically to their British clientele, and installing CCTV cameras to monitor how many times these guests return to fill up their plates from the buffet. However, the tables seem to be turning. Thomson recently won a counter-claim against a client for over

On your second day you have a wealth of options. It is possible to get out to one of the safari parks outside the city. You will see amazing wild-life, including lions, giraffe, elephants and a selection of the antelope varieties that you might have dined off the previous evening. However, I would probably suggest leaving this for another time. To make the most of your wildlife experience, you really need to be making your safari games drives around dawn, or at dusk, which is when the animals are at their naturally most active, so you run the risk of being disappointed by trying to do it in this short weekend break, but the option still exists. Trips that won’t disappoint might involve a drive out into the Winelands of the Stellenbosch, where you can find vineyards of every size ready and willing to show you around. Alternatively, if flora and fauna are


The problem has now become so great that recent figures released by the Spanish Hoteliers’ Association show that their members have paid out more than 50million over the last 2 years to settle ‘out of court’ claims to UK-based clients

clearly demonstrated that the client in question was enjoying a significant number of drinks in the bar next door with no apparent lack of appetite, when they claim never to have moved from their bedroom toilet. Then, when they got home, there was no loss of work-days or school attendance, which you

your interest, the Botanical Gardens and Constantia will give you immense pleasure. You could also head off towards Hermanus – a picturesque coastal community where you can slide yourself into a wetsuit and descend into an underwater cage whilst a nice man in the boat above you throws putrid meat into the water, all to enable you to get up close and personal with a Great White Shark... The other great journey would be down through Simonstown, a lovely place for a late lunch on the way back before heading to the Airport, and making your way down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. As far as getting around is concerned, you can rent your own car and drive yourselves, although this does put a dampener on the wine-tasting. Even

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would normally expect after an illness of the claimed impact and severity. Since this and other court cases have been made public, one law firm alone has abandoned more than 3000 other cases of alleged food poisoning that it was in the process of bringing against several tour operators and hotels, so a sense of reality, if not legal propriety is becoming apparent. A couple of Thomas Cook clients have recently received a jail sentence for their attempt to make a fraudulent claim. We all need to take stock of the culture to which we have become accustomed, when we think that there is nothing wrong in making a claim for some extra cash with no real concern for the veracity of the claim. If we don’t do something collectively about this, then we are going to find ourselves ‘claimed-out’ of our favourite hotels, unwelcome as guests, and most importantly, treated with extreme suspicion when something genuinely has gone amiss, and we find ourselves unable to make a legitimate claim for compensation when it is deserved.

better is to let us find a driver for you who will meet you at the Airport and will be your driver-guide for the next 48 hours. It’s not that expensive, and you’ll be free to experience so much more. And finally, back to the Airport – a last glass of wine in the bar, dinner and a good night’s sleep on the flight, and back in London for 9am the next morning – looking forward to the typical Monday morning question – what did you do over the weekend... Well, where do you start?

 david-g@greatexperiencetravel.co.uk  01993 627 814  www.greatexperiencetravel.co.uk





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ADVICE.......................................................................................................127 BUSINESS SERVICES............................................................................127 CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES...........................................128 EDUCATION.............................................................................................129 FINANCE....................................................................................................129 HEALTH & LEISURE...............................................................................129

ADVICE ACCOUNTING Wenn Townsend P Tony Haines Partner 01865 559 900 OXON www.wenntownsend.co.uk Grant Thornton UK LLP P Wendy Hart Managing Partner 01865 799 899 OXON www.grant-thornton.co.uk Grant Thornton UK LLP P Jim Rogers Assurance Partner 01189 559 114 BERKS www.grant-thornton.co.uk The MGroup P Richard Clayton Partner 01865 552 925 OXON www.themgroup.co.uk Wellers P Debbie Austin Partner 01865 723 131 OXON www.wellersaccountants.co.uk James Cowper Kreston P Andy Cowie Marketing & Business Development Director 01189 590 261 OXON www.jamescowperkreston.co.uk Whitley Stimpson Ltd G Jonathan Walton Director 01494 448 122 BUCKS www.whitleystimpson.co.uk Whitley Stimpson Ltd G Stuart Haigh Director 01869 252 151 OXON www.whitleystimpson.co.uk Shaw Gibbs G Peter O’Connell Partner 01865 292 200 OXON www.shawgibbs.com Wilson Partners A Allan Ian Wilson Managing Director 01628 770 770 BERKS www.wilson-partners.co.uk


Seymour Taylor A Simon Turner Managing Director 01494 552 125 BUCKS www.stca.co.uk Auditel 01865 774 387 OXON www.auditel.co.uk Richardsons Accountants 01844 261 155 OXON www.richardsons-group.co.uk Rees Russell 01993 702 418 OXON www.reesrussell.co.uk Camerons Accountancy 01865 882 621 OXON www.camerons-uk.com Chapman, Robinson & Moore 01865 379 272 OXON www.crmoxford.co.uk

BUSINESS ADVICE Oxford Professional P Consulting Alison Haill Executive Coach 01865 436 791 OXON www.oxfordprofessionalconsulting.com Haiku Consulting G Joy Le Fevre 07885 066163 OXON www.haiku.consulting Business Doctors 0845 219 7077 OXON www.businessdoctors.co.uk Diane Wilkinson & Associates Ltd. 01865 430 470 OXON www.dianewilkinson.co.uk Strategic Mentors 01993 771 728 OXON www.strategicmentors.co.uk Ernst & Young 01189 281 100 BERKS www.ey.com/UK/en/home Libreea Ltd 01183 800 856 www.libreea.co.uk Hilltop Consultancy 01844 237 450 BUCKS www.hilltopconsultancy.co.uk









HR..................................................................................................................129 IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS.........................................................129 MANUFACTURING................................................................................129 MARKETING & DESIGN.........................................................................130 PROPERTY & BUILDING....................................................................130 R&R..........................................................................................................131

Sandler Training 01608 611 211 OXON www.oxford.sandler.com Active Education and Training Ltd 01865 594 325 OXON www.oxfordactive.co.uk Explosive Learning Solutions 01235 861 805 OXON www.explosivelearningsolutions.com Endeavour Consulting 07711 825 005 OXON www.endeavour-consulting.co.uk Neil Urquhart - Business manager 01295 780 928 OXON Leading Edge Coaching 01488 638 119 OXON www.leadingedgecoaching.co.uk Two One Services 07730 927 888 OXON www.facebook.com/twooneservices The Career Boutique 0845 520 4010 OXON www.thecareerboutique.com

LEGAL Knights P David Beech Chief Executive Officer 01865 811 700 OXON www.knights1759.co.uk Hedges Law P Nicola Poole Managing Director 01491 839 839 OXON www.hedgeslaw.co.uk Freeths LLP G Sarah Foster Managing Partner 01865 781 000 OXON www.freeths.co.uk Gardner Leader LLP G Derek Rogers Managing Partner 01635 508 080 BERKS www.gardner-leader.co.uk BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Paddy Gregan G Partner 01235 836 655 OXON www.bsdr.com

Blake Morgan LLP A Stephen Schneider Senior Associate 01865 248 607 OXON www.blakemorgan.co.uk Turpin & Miller LLP A Emily Boardman Partner 01865 770 111 OXON www.turpinmiller.co.uk Penningtons Manches LLP Richard Smith A Partner 01865 722 106 OXON www.penningtons.co.uk Brethertons LLP 01295 270 999 www.brethertons.co.uk Lewis Silkin 0207 0748 494 OXON www.lewissilkin.com David Parry Employment Law 01993 848 247 OXON www.parryemploymentlaw.com Blandy & Blandy 0118 951 6800 BERKS www.blandy.co.uk

BUSINESS SERVICES ARCHIVE & STORAGE The Oxford Duplication Centre Cheryl-Lee Foulsham A Managing Director 01865 457 000 OXON www.theduplicationcentre.co.uk

BUSINESS SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT Aston & James Office Supplies Ltd P Darren Aston Director 01993 706 900 OXON www.aston-james.co.uk ForPOS 01865 820 925 OXON www.forpos.co.uk Abbotts Office Solutions 01844 268 368 OXON www.abbotts-office.com





Sobell House P Tim Wraith Corporate Partnerships Manager 01865 857 067 OXON www.sobellhouse.org

Executive Alarms Ltd A John Keown Director 01865 435 435 OXON www.executive-systems.co.uk

Rhodes House P Isabelle Barber Business Development Manager 01865 282 599 OXON www.rhodeshouseoxford.com

Bloodwise G Matt Lawley Head of Sports Events 02075 042 231 OXON www.bloodwise.org.uk

Security Exchange 01491 683 710 BERKS www.securityexchange24.com

Westwood Country Hotel P Kat Groves General Manager 01865 735408 www.westwoodhotel.co.uk

Helen & Douglas House A Lucy Walker Community Fundraising Manager 01865 799 150 OXON www.helenanddouglas.org.uk Oxfordshire Community Foundation A Jayne Woodley Chief Executive 01865 798 666 OXON www.oxfordshire.org Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust 01865 775 476 OXON www.bbowt.org.uk UCARE 01865 767 777 OXON www.ucare-oxford.org.uk

CLEANING SERVICES Excel Dry Cleaners G 01865 511 773 OXON www.exceldrycleanersofoxford.co.uk WH Mobile Valeting 07979 480 886 OXON www.whvaleting.com

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OxfordshireLEP P Richard Byard Director of Business Development 01865 261 433 OXON www.oxfordshirelep.com Reciprocate G Tony Stratton Chairman 01865 798666 http://reciprocateox.org

NETWORKING GROUPS B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Editor 01865 742 211 OXON www.b4-business.com MD2MD 01865 600 800 OXON www.md2md.co.uk


TRANSPORT Chiltern Railways P 020 7333 3113 OXON www.chilternrailways.co.uk Headington Carriers P Peter Barrett Managing Director 01993 811276 OXON www.headingtoncarriers.co.uk OMC Global & Simply Chauffeur G Harry Oliver Sales Manager 01865 377 775 OXON www.omc.uk.com Findlay Chauffeurs A Claire Hickson Managing Director 0845 644 7099 OXON www.findlaycs.com London Oxford Airport 01865 290 710 OXON www.londonoxfordairport.com

TRAVEL City Sightseeing P Jane Marshall Transport Manager 01865 790 522 OXON www.citysightseeingoxford.com

CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES CATERING SERVICES Oxford Fine Dining P Sue Randall Managing Director 01865 728 240 OXON www.oxfordfinedining.co.uk Complete Catering G Jon Kay Managing Director 01235 820 840 OXON www.completecatering.co.uk The Cocktail Service 01865 251 431 OXON www.thecocktailservice.co.uk

Bombay Sapphire Distillery G Amy Dobson Sales and Marketing Manager 01256 890 090 BERKS distillery.bombaysapphire.com Oxford Brookes Venues G Becky Rossiter Conference Sales and Marketing Manager 01865 484 612 OXON www.brookes.ac.uk Stoke Park G Nick Downie Head of Communications 01753 717 171 BUCKS www.stokepark.com Blenheim Palace Hospitality B 01993 813 874 OXON www.blenheimpalace.com/hospitality Pembroke College A Ellen Brady Head of Events 01865 276 484 OXON www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/Conferences Hartwell House Hotel A Matthew Johnson General Manager 01296 747 444 BUCKS www.hartwell-house.com

Sheldon Grange 07949 266 418 OXON www.sheldongrange.com Culham Conference Centre 01235 466 494 OXON www.culhamconferencecentre.co.uk Conference Oxford 01865 287 378 OXON www.conference-oxford.com Exeter College 01865 279 600 OXON www.exeter.ox.ac.uk/conferences Malmaison 01865 268 400 OXON www.malmaison-oxford.com The King’s Centre 01865 297 400 OXON www.kingscentre.co.uk Swift Venue Finders 01491 824 634 OXON www.swiftvenuefinders.co.uk Horticulture House 0333 003 3550 OXON www.hta.org.uk

EQUIPMENT HIRE Oxford Event Hire A Kieran Lynch Owner 01865 760 158 OXON www.oxfordeventhire.co.uk LNP Sound 01865 238 701 OXON www.lnpsound.com


Venue Services, Bodleian Library A Alice Ogilvie Head of Venue Services 01865 277 224 OXON www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Tina Rosser Event Solutions 07470 343226 OXON

The Examination Schools Kay Miles A Events Manager 01865 276 905 OXON www.examschools.ox.ac.uk

Business in Oxford 2017 P 01865 742 211 OXON www.businessinoxford.com

Howbery Business Park A Donna Bowles Estate Manager 01491 822 305 OXON www.howberypark.com Egrove Park A Martin Garside Conference Manager 01865 422 757 OXON www.sbs.oxford.edu/conferencing Ashmolean Museum 01865 288 364 OXON www.ashmus.ox.ac.uk


Oxfordshire Business Awards OXON www.oxfordshirebusinessawards.co.uk West Oxfordshire Business Awards 01993 220 690 OXON www.woba.org.uk Cowley Road Works 07816 681 704 OXON www.cowleyroadworks.org Grand Designs Live 0203 397 5180 www.granddesignslive.com Twin Town Challenge 01993 220 666 www.twintown.org.uk


B4 contacts EDUCATION Abingdon & Witney College 01235 216 394 OXON www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk Corpus Christi College 01865 276 708 OXON www.ccc.ox.ac.uk Oxford International Study Centre 01865 201 009 OXON www.oxintstudycentre.com Lotus Tutors 0203 752 6743 OXON www.lotustutors.com

FINANCE ADVICE Cazenove Capital Management S Tom Allen Head of Oxford Office 01865 811 360 OXON www.cazenovecapital.com Ridgefield Consulting 01865 364 350 OXON www.ridgefieldconsulting.co.uk Finance.work 01869 354 041 OXON www.finance.work

INSURANCE FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd P Nick Jones Partner 01865 813 307 OXON www.focusorm.co.uk

BANKING Barclays Corporate Banking Trevor French P Head of Business and Corporate Banking 0800 015 4242 OXON www.barclayscorporate.com HSBC 0845 850 174 OXON www.hsbc.com NatWest 01865 305 175 OXON www.natwest.com

HEALTH & LEISURE FITNESS TLA Fitness A Tom Alden Founder 07554 400 401 OXON www.tlafitness.com


Prime Energy Fitness Ltd Barry Grinham 01869 352 000 OXON www.primeenergy.org Cherwell Boathouse Punting 01865 552 746 OXON www.cherwellboathouse.co.uk



Helen Money Nutrition A Helen Money Owner 01865 339 672 OXON www.helenmoneynutrition.com

Computing Information Systems (CIS) Ltd P Richard Marsh Director 01367 700 555 OXON www.cisltd.com

HR GOLF Frilford Heath Golf Club P Alistair Booth Director 01865 390 864 OXON www.frilfordheath.co.uk Kirtlington Golf Club A Gary Quainton Golf and Pro Shop Manager 01869 351 133 OXON www.kirtlingtongolfclub.com

HEALTH CARE Clinic95 P Maria Hardman Business Manager 01865 241 661 OXON www.clinic95.com Tara Tripp Hearing Care P Vincent Tripp Practice Manager 01865 910 202 OXON www.tripphearing.co.uk Diamond House Dental Practice 01865 559 521 OXON www.diamondhouse.co.uk

SPORT Tottenham Hotspur FC G Tony Davison Commercial Manager 0844 499 5000 www.tottenhamhotspur.com Oxford University Rugby Football Club G Tim Stevens Club Administrator 01865 432 000 OXON www.ourfc.org Bike Oxford 07808 161 394 OXON www.bikeoxford.co.uk Oxfordshire Cricket 07790 102 130 OXON www.oxoncb.com Oxford Rowing Club 01865 242 576 OXON www.oxfordrowingclub.org.uk Headington Road Runners hrr.org.uk/h5m

HR CONSULTANTS You HR P Jonna Mundy Owner 07703 719 464 www.youhrconsultancy.co.uk Light Bright Communications 07811 180 388 GLOC www.lightbrightcommunications.co.uk

RECRUITMENT e-volveHR 0800 634 5240 OXON www.e-volvehr.co.uk Gold Star Recruitment 01993 225 075 OXON www.goldstarrecruit.co.uk Allen Associates 01865 335 600 OXON www.allen-associates.co.uk Nicola Gardiner Executive Search 07900 912 941 OXON www.nicolagardiner.com Thompson & Terry Recruitment 01235 797 177 OXON www.thompsonandterry.co.uk

IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELECOMMUNICATIONS Orange Stripe Telecommunications A Nigel Pursall Managing Director 0845 241 7772 OXON www.orangestripe.co.uk STL Communications Ltd A Philip Donigan Sales Director 01993 777 113 OXON www.stlcomms.com

DATABASE MANAGEMENT InTouch CRM P James White Managing Director 0845 310 9973 OXON www.intouchcrm.co.uk

The Cabling Company G David Jackson Sales Director 07796 140 348 OXON www.thecablingcompany.com Complete IT S James Gibson Account Manager 01865 593012 www.complete-it.co.uk Simeio A Ollie McGovern Founder 07795 235 995 OXON www.simeio.co.uk ComputerPro 01869 352 002 OXON www.computer-pro.co.uk CTS Group 01235 432 000 OXON https://cts-group.co.uk JP IT Solutions 01672 552 340 OXON www.jpitsolutions.co.uk Security Exchange Ltd. 01491 683 710 BERKS www.securityexchange24.com Bongo IT 01865 988 217 OXON www.bongoit.co.uk

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Alberon P Tim Ault Managing Director 01865 263 220 OXON www.alberon.co.uk Torpedo Group Limited A Iain Lewis Director 01865 733 710 OXON www.torpedogroup.com

MANUFACTURING Unipart P Frank Nigriello Director of Corporate Affairs 01865 383 339 OXON www.unipart.com Owen Mumford G Jarl Severn Director 01993 812 021 OXON www.owenmumford.com


G-Smatt Europe 01865 688 228 OXON www.g-smatteurope.com

MARKETING & DESIGN ADVERTISING B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Managing Director 01865 742 211 OXON www.b4-business.com In Oxford Magazine Colin Rosser P Chairman 01865 742 211 OXON www.inoxford.com


Digital Gold HQ 02035 988 661 LDN www.digitalgoldhq.com

HeadOn PR 07920 792 183 GLOU www.headonpr.co.uk

Marriotts 01865 316 311 OXON www.marriottsoxford.co.uk

ADS 01993 885 125 OXON www.adsoxford.co.uk

Spacecraft Consulting 01295 811 781 OXON www.oconsultancy.com


Oxford Digital Marketing 01865 575 955 OXON www.oxforddigitalmarketing.co.uk

Avril Chaffey PR 01488 608 898 www.avrilchaffeypr.co.uk

Urban Element 01993 776 999 OXON www.urbanelement.com Amica Marketing 07762 417 379 OXON www.amica-marketing.co.uk BeSeen Marketing 01494 678 671 OXON www.beseen-marketing.co.uk

PROPERTY & BUILDING ARCHITECTURE John Hallam Associates A John Hallam Director 01608 646 969 OXON www.johnhallamassociates.co.uk


Oxford Architects 01865 329 100 OXON www.oxford-architects.com

Imageworks 01865 865656 OXON www.imageworks.co.uk

Jessop & Cook Architects 01865 591212 OXON www.jessopandcook.co.uk

Strangebrew P Phil Strachan Director 07770 753 975 BERKS www.thinkbrandnotbland.co.uk

Indulge Media 01865 686 093 OXON www.indulgemedia.com


Luna Branding 01367 705 055 OXON www.lunabranding.co.uk

Epic Media Services 07916 005 942 OXON www.epicmediaservices.co.uk

Recognition Express P Andy Olejnik Managing Director 01295 257 611 OXON www.re-oxfordshire.co.uk

DESIGN House on the Hill P Keith Simpson Senior Designer 01865 742 211 OXON www.hothdesign.co.uk

FRAMING Isis Creative Framing 01865 203 420 OXON www.isiscreative.co.uk

MARKETING Experience Oxfordshire P Hayley Beer-Gamage Chief Executive 01865 252 409 OXON www.experienceoxfordshire.org Marketing Sense A Jo Sensecall Director 01865 883 579 OXON www.marketing-sense.co.uk Heart of Business A Jackie Jarvis Director 07801 293 022 OXON


PHOTOGRAPHY Studio8 P Clark Wiseman Managing Director 01865 842 525 OXON www.studio-8.co.uk

PRINTING Henry Stone Ltd P Mark Scurr Production Director 01295 819 390 OXON www.henry-stone.co.uk OxUniPrint A Ian Wilton Managing Director 01865 844 918 OXON www.oxuniprint.co.uk Minuteman Press 01865 247 010 OXON www.oxford.minutemanpress.co.uk MRD Digital Print 01865 715 181 OXON www.mrddigitalprint.com

Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400 OXON www.oxin-centres.co.uk The Oxford Science Park G Piers Scrimshaw-Wright Managing Director 01865 784 000 OXON www.oxfordsp.com MEPC B 01235 865 555 OXON www.mepc.com Begbroke Science Park A Alistair Cory Managing Director 01865 283 700 OXON www.begbroke.ox.ac.uk Grove Business Park 01235 772 992 OXON www.grovebusinesspark.com Bloxham Mill 01295 722 800 www.bloxhammill.com



VSL and Partners P Richard Venables Director 01865 848 488 OXON www.vslandp.com

Papa Romeo PR A Claire Thompson Managing Director 07811 339 577 OXON www.paparomeopr.com

Carter Jonas P Scott Harkness Partner 01865 511 444 OXON www.carterjonas.co.uk

Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400 OXON www.oxin-centres.co.uk Bracknell Enterprise & Innovation Hub Shelley Furey A Centre Manager 01344 388 000 BERKS www.bracknell-hub.co.uk

ESTATE AGENTS Breckon & Breckon P Keith Stacey Managing Director 01865 244 735 OXON www.breckon.co.uk Wallers of Oxford 01865 435 175 OXON www.wallersofoxford.co.uk Savills 01865 339 705 OXON www.savills.com

LETTING AGENTS Breckon & Breckon P Greg Barnes Director 01865 201 111 OXON www.breckon.co.uk Finders Keepers P Frank Webster Director 01865 302 308 OXON www.finders.co.uk North Oxford Property Services G Robin Swailes Director 01865 311 745 OXON www.nops.co.uk Lucy Properties A Ian Ashcroft Managing Director 01865 559 973 OXON www.lucyproperties.co.uk College and County A Mark Crampton-Smith Owner 01865 722 722 OXON www.collegeandcounty.biz



Kempton Carr Croft G Rob Kerrigan Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer 01628 771 221 BERKS www.kemptoncarr.co.uk Ridge and Partners LLP 01993 815 101 OXON www.ridge.co.uk


Macdonald Randolph Hotel Gurval Durand P General Manager 0844 879 9132 OXON www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk


Beard Construction 01865 860 046 OXON www.beardconstruction.co.uk Solid Structures 01608 690 858 OXON www.solid-structures.com Ian Bridge Consultancy Ltd 07917 881 465 OXON www.ianbridge.com Mulholland Landscape Consultants 07734 253 579 OXON www.mulhollandconsultants.co.uk RED Engineering 01869 355 600 OXON www.red-eng.com PMS Oxford 01865 407 554 OXON www.pmsoxford.co.uk Element Studios 07887 407 456 OXON www.elementstudios.co.uk Forge Engineering Design Solutions 07780 452 099 OXON www.f-eds.co.uk

PROPERTY SERVICES Savvy Maintenance & Renovations P Stephen Dunne Director 01865 920 020 OXON www.savvy-group.co.uk Bicester Roofing G Michael Staniford Managing Director 0870 264 6454 OXON www.bicesterroofing.co.uk Darke & Taylor Ltd 01865 290 000 OXON www.darkeandtaylor.co.uk A1 Plumbing & Heating 01865 327 732 OXON www.a1ltd.co.uk Oxford Garden Design 01993 813 721 OXON www.oxfordgardendesign.co.uk

The Manor at Weston on the Green G Michael Stevenson General Manager 01869 350 621 OXON www.themanorweston.com The Bear & Ragged Staff A Mark Greenwood Landlord 01865 862 329 OXON www.bearandraggedstaff.com Milton Hill House 01235 831 474 OXON www.miltonoxfordshire.co.uk Conifers Guest House 01865 763 055 OXON www.conifersguesthouse.co.uk Spirit Health Club 0207 973 7540 OXON www.langhamhotels.com Holiday Inn Oxford 0871 942 9086 OXON www.hioxfordhotel.co.uk Royal Oxford Hotel 01865 248 432 OXON www.royaloxfordhotel.co.uk De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel 01865 334 444 OXON www.phcompany.com/de-vere/oxford-thames Hawkwell House 01865 749 988 OXON www.hawkwellhouse.co.uk Oxford Spires Hotel 01865 324 324 OXON www.oxfordspireshotel.co.uk

ARTISTIC & CULTURAL Ashmolean Museum 01865 288 364 OXON www.ashmus.ox.ac.uk Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra 01865 987 222 OXON www.oxfordphil.com

CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT Newbury Racecourse P Tracy Skinner Head of Sales 01635 40015 www.newburyracecourse.co.uk The House 01865 724 433 OXON www.housebar.co.uk


The Duke of Cambridge 01865 558 173 OXON www.dukebar.com

The Anchor 01865 510 282 OXON www.theanchoroxford.com

Sam Strange Magic A Sam Strange Owner 01865 742 211 OXON www.samstrangemagic.co.uk

The Crown 01993 813 339 www.thecrownwoodstock.com

ENTERTAINMENT Oxford Playhouse 01865 305 305 OXON www.oxfordplayhouse.com

FOOD & DRINK SUPPLIES Laurent Perrier UK P David Green Regional Account Manager 01628 475 404 BUCKS www.laurent-perrier.co.uk

Cosmo 01865 297 575 OXON www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk

SHOPPING OXC 07837 244 826 OXON www.oxcuk.com Blackwell's 01865 333 536 OXON www.blackwell.co.uk Bicester Village 01869 323 200 OXON www.bicestervillage.com

TOAD 01865 767 918 OXON www.spiritoftoad.com Maestria Brands 01865 818 664 OXON www.maestriabrands.com

GALLERIES Aidan Meller Galleries G Aidan Meller Proprietor 01865 727996 OXON www.aidanmeller.com Wiseman Gallery A Sarah Wiseman Owner 01865 515 123 OXON www.wisegal.com

RENTAL ACCOMMODATION Lower Mill Estate A Red Paxton Marketing and Sales Director 01285 869 489 OXON www.lowermillestate.com

RESTAURANTS Pint Shop B 01865 251194 OXON www.pintshop.co.uk Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons 01844 278 881 OXON www.manoir.com Pierre Victoire 01865 316 616 OXON www.pierrevictoire.co.uk

© 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.




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