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ROBIN SWAILES Does Brexit mean Exit from Oxford Property Investment?


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SUPPORT YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT AT ONE OF OXFORDSHIRE'S MOST SPECTACULAR EVENTS OF THE YEAR ON TUESDAY 1ST NOVEMBER Now in their 6th year, The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards has established itself as one of Oxfordshire's most memorable occasions, with 300 guests enjoying a fabulous three course meal prepared and served by the students of City of Oxford College. For the first time this year we are delighted to announce the support of some exciting new additions to the Awards. See right.

Tickets £95+VAT or £1,500+VAT for a table of 10 Buy your tickets at or call 01865 742211

CANAPES BY GAF Based in Magdalen Road, GAF will be providing superb canapés at the Awards… prepare for a surprise!

STARTER BY THE WHITE HART AT FYFIELD Experience just why last year's overall Awards winners, The White Hart at Fyfield, are one of Oxfordshire's leading restaurants

VEGETARIAN MAIN COURSE BY PASSION FOR FOOD Vegetarian diners will be in for a treat this year, as Passion for Food conjure up a delicious main course

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welcome to B4 43 Without the dramas of Brexit, dare I say that things seem to have settled down….. for the time being. We’re all just getting on with it and with a new Prime Minister in place, it would seem the politicians are too. The real world continues to be as crazy and unpredictable as usual and of course losing hold of The Ryder Cup will have upset the golfers – and us non golfers who get sucked in to this bi-annual transatlantic scrap. The X Factor, suffering a slide in ratings, has turned itself into something of a freak show and even the 67 day old England manager (widely regarded as the man Mike Basset moulded his character on) has been run out of town for alleged underhand dealings which, of course, weren’t his fault….yeah, right Sam! In comparison, politics and business seem fairly safe and steady. Confidence seems to be coming back and although there have been mutterings of falling house prices and a slide back in to recession, the general feel seems a lot more positive than it has been for some time. In fact, there are strong indications that fears of a post Brexit slowdown in the UK’s services sector are easing. Economists had been expecting an initial sharp slump in activity before a recovery in the late summer. However, the services sector grew by 0.4 per cent from June to July and for the economy as a whole from 0.6 per cent to 0.7 per cent. Even the Bank of England has gone on record to say that the economy hasn’t been affected as much as was feared. Think about the combination of the following three key elements. Firstly, strong economic data; secondly, news of the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ (which, when it comes into effect, will ensure that the UK is no longer subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice), and, finally, increasing confidence where trade is concerned that we can blaze our own trail. With these in mind, no doubt the ‘informed’ majority are beginning to understand what the ‘on the whole didn’t have a clue’ majority voted for back on June 23rd! In this issue of B4, Robin Swailes assesses property investment in Oxford post Brexit. Long regarded as a safe bet for investment, Robin questions the long term prospects of continued property value growth.

Meet The Writers

74. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Written by Richard Rosser

85. White Hart at Fyfield Written by Sarah Airey

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12 News from our B4 members 48 VSL & Partners news 64 Sobell House Hospice news

26 Apprenticeships - Your Future Talent: Activate Learning explain the importance and prestige of apprenticeships.

lead 16

Does BREXIT Mean EXIT From Oxford Property Investment?: Robin Swailes talks about how retail sales are rising and unemployment decreasing post Brexit day.

41 Making Sense of Marketing: Catch up with Marketing Sense's Jo Sensecall and Rachel Warren and see what they could do for you.

28 Meet the Apprentice: We sit down with Mike Terry, Director of Thompson & Terry Recruitment and ask what impact young professionals can have on SME's.

motoring 30 Land Rover at Milton Gate: Marshall Motor Group doubles up at Milton Gate with new Jaguar Land Rover dealership. 32 Findlay Chauffeurs: B4 talks to the team about their modern approach to business travel and ability to handle any kind of request.

it 42 Down-Time: Is connectivity and down- time an issue for your business? See how CIS's remote cloud can help you.



44 Wheat, Oil and Land: Carter Jonas discuss what's next for local land values.

20 Divorce: Freeths gives us the low-down on what you need to know when going through a divorce. 23 Retain Your Best People: Wellers talk to us about how to help your employees with commuter and housing issues in the current climate. 25 Consultant or Coach?: Learn some common coaching terminology from MD2MD to help you better understand your needs.

47 Dreaming Spires and Gleaming Showers: Penningtons Manches talks about the rising importance of impressive accommodation and facilities for Universities.

marketing 35 Digital Marketing Explained: This issue The Evergreen Agency talks to us about Local SEO and its importance to your marketing strategy. 37 HeadOn PR: The team at PR consultancy HeadOn PR is celebrating after winning two new clients on its fourth year anniversary. 39 Here's An Idea: ImageWorks talks to B4 about how working with a designer can be anything from mediocre to momentous.

B4 contents spotlight

78 Climbing To The Top: B4 spoke with EY’s Laura Bowle about how climbing has helped her to excel at work.

50 Harmony in Diversity: The King's Centre tell us about their team attitude and how they carry it across to the work they do.

81 The Catherine Wheel: Discover this hidden gem in the beautiful village of Bibury in Oxfordshire.

53 Success in Legal 500: Blake Morgan’s Oxford teams celebrate outstanding success in this prestigious directory.

82 Spa Illuminata: There are no conspiracies regarding Danesfield House Hotel's luxurious spa - Read about it here.

54 Startech Productions: B4 meets Roy Naraine of Startech Productions to talk events, life, the past and the future.

85 The White Hart at Fyfield: Sarah Airey visits last year’s winner of Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year.

57 Meet The Team: Meet the Business Services Team at the heart of James Cowper Kreston. 58 Laura Adkins of MHG Whitley Stimpson: Claire Thompson met with Laura Adkins, Director of the firm's new Witney office. 61 Thames Valley Law Firm Expands its Reach: Blandy & Blandy Solicitors have aquired Henley based firm Colilns Dryland & Thorowgood LLP, read more here. 62 Knights' Oxford Team Grows: The Oxford team is now over 100 strong and you can meet a few new faces here.

services WHO'S WHO 95 Who's Who - John Keown: Meet the Director of Executive Alarms in Oxford. 95 Social Spaces: Aston & James talk about the growing trend of modern and relaxing social areas in the workplace.

corp. life

86 Frilford Heath Golf Club: Colin Rosser, B4 Chairman, visited these beautiful grounds to give you the rundown on why this is the place to play. 89 The Swan at Southrop: A county pub with a difference - You won't find any pork scratchings or scampi in this beautiful estate. 90 The Mews at Sopwell House: Read about this fantastic and unique concept hotel experience, offering guests seclusion from the outside world. 93 The New Inn: Picture the perfect country pub, with bundles of character and tantalising smells of good food throughout.

WHO'S WHO 73 Who's Who - Julia Cook: Meet the Director of Sales at Oxford's Jurys Inn. 74


The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to Oxford: B4 met the cast of the theatre production of the show coming to Oxford this Christmas.

77 Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons: Read about one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences from celebrated chef Raymond Blanc.

66 Fun & Games in Rio: David Gambier tells us about his experience visiting Brazil for this year's Rio Olympics. 69 B4 at Bombay Sapphire Distillery: Read our recap of the fantastic networking event recently held at this stunning venue. 69 Oxford University Rugby Football Club Season 2016/17: Check out the upcoming men's and women's fixtures for the OURFC.

B4 Members Club 98 Contacts 102


INTELLIGENCE 2016 Oxfordshire’s No.1 Property Event Wednesday 12th October 6pm to 8pm Museum of Natural History, Oxford

“How to Succeed in the New Rental Sector” • Johnny Morris, Research Director, Countrywide • David Burrows, Invest in Oxfordshire Manager, OxLEP • Paul Harris, IFA, Oxfordshire Advisory Partnership • Frank Webster, Vice Chairman, Finders Keepers

Find out more and book your space at



Passion for Food Event Caterers Passion for Food experienced a fantastic wedding season this year, catering for multiple weddings each week during the summer period. With menus ranging from the traditional three course dinner, to Indian inspired banquets, BBQ’s, Pescatarian menus and more, the chefs at Passion for Food had their hands full preparing magnificent feasts, covering a range of tastes, flavours and nationalities.

Philip Baker, Managing Director of Passion for Food said, “We offer a wide variety of menu options to our clients, with many wanting to offer their guests something different to the norm. Street food and sharing platters are still increasingly popular, with more bespoke and original ideas being a top requirement from the brides and grooms that we meet”. If you have too much on your plate, why not get in touch with the team at Passion for Food for all

your wedding reception, corporate events and Christmas party catering needs?

Experience Oxfordshire welcomes luxury brands Mogford Group and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons as Partners. Experience Oxfordshire, the Destination Management Organisation for the county, has welcomed luxury brands the Mogford Group, owner of Oxford hotels The Old Bank and The Old Parsonage and restaurants Quod and Gees, and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons as Partners. Jan-Paul Kroese, General Manager of Belmond

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons said: “We’re excited to announce our partnership with Experience Oxfordshire, and to work together to promote Oxfordshire as a fantastic place to visit.” Hayley Beer-Gamage, Chief Executive of Experience Oxfordshire said: “We’re thrilled to welcome both The Mogford Group and Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons as Experience Oxfordshire Partners.

The addition of two of the county’s leading businesses to our growing partnership network is fantastic for Experience Oxfordshire”. Both companies join a growing network of companies working together with Experience Oxfordshire to promote the county and grow and develop the visitor economy.

A music publishing deal that hits exactly the right note for Alina Alina Kozlovskaja, Lithuanian born composer and pianist, has just signed a publishing deal through Warner Music (UK) Ltd with W Songs, the Warner Music Group company that will be representing her in terms of the licensing of her original music for use in Films, Television, Advertising, Video Games and Promotional Videos etc on a global basis. Alina, who played her own breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally engaging compositions at the 2014 Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards and was featured in issues 32 and 36 of B4 Magazine, is



currently the Concession Manager in Harrods for Devialet, the French very high-end breakthrough technology audio brand. She recently recorded her two latest compositions, Untold Story and In the Flow, in the new state of the art Studio that is the centrepiece of the Firepit, Warner Music UK’s new creative content division located at its London HQ. Devialet (Harrods) direct line 0207 225 6533

Business in Oxford 2017: SAVE THE DATE – Thursday 11th May, 2017 We are delighted to announce that next year’s event will be held at The King’s Centre in Osney Mead and we are inviting you to present, exhibit or sponsor before whilst we still have availability.

With more opportunities to exhibit than ever before, a commercial STAGE for you to present your business and much more, call us on 01865 742211 to register your interest today.



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



FOCUS wins Retirement Adviser of the Year Award We are delighted to have won the 2016 Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Retirement Adviser of the Year Award. It bears testament to the hard work and dedication we have put in over the years. Retirement can be a very stressful time for many people. At FOCUS we try and combine the latest tools and technology with a genuine desire to help people prepare for retirement, so that they can enjoy some of the fruits of their labour. The

fact that a key part of the awards process was the provision of testimonials from clients highlights the success we have with our clients and that is our true reward. Whilst we always pride ourselves on providing a top class service for our clients, it is always a pleasure when others recognise the hard work and effort we put in and we are genuinely thrilled to win this national award.

Marshalls PLC Acquisition of Ridgeway Group As you may be aware, Marshalls Motor Holdings PLC has strengthened its position in the motor sector with the acquisition of Ridgeway Group back in June 2016 for a cool £106.9m. Marshalls now extends its presence across a staggering 25 counties and is now ranked number 7 in the Top 100 dealer groups in the UK.

business and market could not be better.

Chief Executive, Daksh Gupta has been involved with Ridgeway since 2007 where he briefly served as Managing Director. Since then he has served a non-executive board role so his knowledgde of the

Visit to watch the full interview.

B4’s Kelly Gavaghan interviewed Daksh at his headquarters in Milton Keynes to find out just what the takeover means for corporate customers in Oxfordshire, the Marshalls Apprenticeship Programme and what comes next for Marshalls.

More about Marshalls on pages 31

Turpin & Miller raise over £4k for charity Award Winning and Legal 500 Cowley & Reading solicitors firm Turpin & Miller LLP are continuing their efforts to raise money for smaller local charities, tying in with the firm’s roots in helping the vulnerable and needy. For the past few years the firm has adopted and supported four charities: Donnington Doorstep Family Centre in Cowley, OSARCC, PACT and Flag DV a specialist free legal advice domestic violence charity in Newbury. Family Team Secretary Debra Atkins is about to run the Oxford Half Marathon for Donnington Doorstep and can be sponsored on

and Family Partner Irena Osborne has recently completed the Reading Legal Walk for Flag DV. They have also recently participated in the ‘Wrong Trousers’ Fundraising campaign for Bristol Children’s Hospital, and Family Partner Ruth Hawkins took part in Strictly Oxford earlier this year raising over £1400 for Vale House, and earlier this year Stuart Duncan ran the London Marathon for PACT, as well as regular smaller fundraising days and activities for Macmillan and other events. Ruth estimates that over the last 12 months, the firm has raised over £4000 for charity, and attempts will continue into the Festive season.

We're Moving! Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur B4 Magazine is going to be moving offices over the Winter months. These are exciting times for us but we want to make sure our customers experience little to no interference with regards to reaching us. We will be setting up a temporary phone line in early December

for a few weeks until we return to our current number. We do not anticipate any disruptions otherwise and will be available by e-mail as usual. If you have any questions about our move please do not hesitate to contact Richard at


Robin Swailes

The general buzz at present is that Brexit has not effected the economy to any great extent, even the pound is slowly climbing against the US dollar and Euro after falling around 17% in real terms. So does all bode well for Property investment in the future? Property certainly gives a reasonable return relative to the gilt and bond market and many are saying that the stock market is very toppy at present. The truth is that nobody knows; the whole global economy is teetering on the edge of growth vs recession and has been for some time. Fiscal rates are the lowest they have been in living memory, and the 10 year fixed borrowing/swap rates are very, very attractive if you are a borrower. Who could have predicted a majority victory for the Conservatives at the last election? Who could have foreseen David Cameron and his cabinet vanishing overnight or that we would be leaving the European Union? How about Donald Trump running arguably the most powerful super power in the world?!


“ Well, back to

Oxford which has been one of the premium places to invest in residential property over the last several decades.


Robin Swailes, North Oxford Property Services

Unusual times for us all. Some countries even have negative interest rates for holding cash in the bank, this means your liquid assets have become a liability not an asset. Well, back to Oxford which has been one of the premium places to invest in residential property over the last several decades. Oxford is, in effect, a micro climate - the city is densely developed with little room for new development. There is a restriction on the height that can be built within certain central areas of 18.3 meters. This is to allow the domes and spires to be viewed from key vantage points around the city boundary. This means no high-rise to accommodate the pent up demand that has seen city living increase over the last 15 years. Oxford is home of the University which expands each year with more students, particularly post graduates, and there have been many successful spin outs in the technology area two of which are:-



Does BREXIT mean EXIT from Oxford Property Investment? At the time of writing this article house prices rose by 0.6% for August pushing the annual increase from 5.2% in July to 5.6% in August. Official data has shown strong retail sales rise and a decrease in unemployment post Brexit day. WRITTEN BY: ROBIN SWAILES PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROB SCOTCHER

New develoment of 7 luxury apartments in the centre of Oxford on Hythe Bridge Street.

Oxford Nanopore, an early stage company spun out of Oxford University in 2005. The company develops next generation technology for molecular diagnostics, using DNA sequencing as the starting point. Immunocore, a clinical­stage biotech founded in 2008 with technology spun out from Oxford University in 1999. The company is developing immuno­oncology drugs that target cancer cells and redirect the immune system to kill them. Couple this with the successful BMW plant in Cowley presently at full production capability and the access to London being under one hour with the second Chiltern line to Marylebone being opened this year and you have a fertile environment to continue to invest. You can also argue that the supply and demand situation of residential property has not changed with Brexit so what is there to worry about, property should be good forever?

Oxford residential market is the market I chose to work and invest in for more years than I wish to remember, as well as owning a letting agency with my wife, NOPS in Jericho. At the moment we are developing 7 luxury apartments in the centre of Oxford at Hythe Bridge Street, opposite Staples, after completing 6 in the old pub Maroon on Hollybush Row. Keeping a keen eye on the market is what we do for our Landlord investors. Ring Debbie, my wife on 01865 318547 if you wish to invest in the Oxford residential market. Debbie is an expert in spotting a good returning yield with capital growth potential. All sounds rosy doesn’t it? Well a word of caution property prices have long been high, some say overvalued. The government are making it less attractive for landlords to own letting properties in their own name by reducing their allowance against interest paid on the borrowing. There has been the introduction of a 3% surcharge on Stamp Duty for second property purchases by the present government.

There will be some uncertain times ahead with Brexit, if this leads to a lack of confidence in the economy then as sure as eggs are eggs the property market will face a correction. In my view it could be as much as a 15% reduction. Property prices in Oxford have softened a little, so look out for a bargain over the next 24 to 36 months. The certainty about markets is that they all rise and fall at particular times. As my father always told me; “buy low, sell high” ………………. Easier said than done. Robin Swailes is a long term property investor and developer in Oxford, his views are his own and are not necessarily the views of B4 magazine.

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PLATINUM ‘100’ CLUB DIARY Belmond Le Manoir

Pembroke College August 2017

22nd Feb, 2017

Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is renowned for offering one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences. Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is also one of the country’s most cherished manor house hotels, with 32 individually designed guest rooms and suites. The hotel has held two Michelin stars since it opened in 1984.

Founded in 1624 to serve the common good through the promotion of scholarship and research, informality and distinction have always rubbed shoulders at Pembroke. The College’s student body is made up of some 360 undergraduates, around 30 visiting students on their Junior Year Abroad from US universities, and more than 270 postgraduates. The whole student body is active in College life, with wide participation in activities and events and an unusually active MCR (graduate student) community.

Stoke Park April 2017

Randolph Hotel September 2017

Founded in 1908, Stoke Park is the perfect place to enjoy life in a five star and friendly atmosphere. We provide a unique combination of the traditions of an exclusive club and the best of today’s sporting, leisure, entertaining and hotel facilities in one of the most convenient locations in Britain: only 35 minutes from London and 7 miles from London Heathrow.

Located in Oxford’s city centre, Macdonald Randolph hotel is a landmark building with elegance and charm aplenty. The hotel has played host to prime ministers and presidents and the renowned Morse Bar is instantly recognisable as the watering hole of Colin Dexter’s world-famous detective, Inspector Morse. The hotel’s restaurant recently re-opened as Acanthus which together with the new Cartoon Bar, provides guests and residents of Oxford with a fantastic destination for lunch and dinner.

Eynsham Hall 22nd June, 2017

Divinity School 4th December, 2017

Eynsham Hall is one of Oxfordshire’s great country houses. In the early 1700s, wealthy local landowner, Willoughby Lacey, chose to enclose a huge section of his land to create the ultimate space in which to entertain guests and to pursue the popular outdoor sports of the day. In 1981, the Hall became a dedicated conference and training centre and in 2005, the property was acquired by the Cathedral Group.

The 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.


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DIVORCE What you need to know As family solicitors we often find that we receive a disproportionately high number of enquiries in September and October, and recent research appears to bear this out. Whether it is arguments during a family summer holiday or the passing of time marked by the start of a new school year, at this time of the year many struggling spouses seem to reach the conclusion that, sadly, their marriage has run its course. Understandably, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by this, and there is a lot of misinformation out there about divorce and the family justice system. So, what are the fundamentals that you need to know? WRITTEN BY: TOM BURGESS, FREETHS SOLICITORS (FORMERLY HENMANS FREETH)

How long does a divorce take? The divorce paperwork itself is separate from the financial settlement process. If both parties deal with the paperwork promptly, the divorce itself typically takes four to six months. Sometimes, it makes sense to protect yourself financially by not completing the divorce until you have reached a financial agreement with your spouse, in which case it can take longer. The newspapers are full of stories about celebrities and their ‘quickie’ divorces, but in fact there is no such thing.

Do I have to have ‘grounds for divorce’? Yes. Unless you have been separated for two years or more, you will need to prepare the divorce petition on the basis of either adultery or ‘unreasonable behaviour’ by your spouse. For adultery petitions you do not have to be able to prove the adultery, and unreasonable behaviour can be anything from relatively mundane persistent problems to more obvious misbehaviour or misconduct, as long as it is sufficiently serious for the court to conclude that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.


I have received a divorce petition from my husband/wife. What should I do? If you have been sent a divorce petition from the court, there will be a form that you need to complete and return. It is important that this is done correctly and within 14 days, so if you are in any doubt about what to do you should arrange to see a family law solicitor as soon as soon as possible.

At Freeths, we “ look carefully at every available option for reaching a settlement to work out which will be most appropriate for you, as court proceedings should always be a last resort.

B4 Our separation has been quite amicable. Will we have to go to court to sort out our finances? Most unlikely. The majority of divorcing couples reach agreement without going to court. This can be through direct discussions between them, sessions with a professional mediator or arbitrator, or negotiations between their solicitors. At Freeths, we look carefully at every available option for reaching a settlement to work out which will be most appropriate for you, as court proceedings should always be a last resort. Once an agreement has been reached, it needs to be formalised into a court order, known as a financial consent order. This has to be sent to the court for a judge to approve. The agreement will not be binding and enforceable until this has happened. It is vital to have a solicitor prepare your financial consent order to ensure that everything has been properly dealt with.

If you and your “ spouse can agree the

arrangements for your children directly or with the help of a mediator, there is no need for the court to be involved at all.


the paperwork yourself, we can review it for you to ensure the court will accept it, and we also have a fixed fee for that service. In both cases, you will still have to pay the court fee (currently £550). If your finances are relatively straightforward and you are able to reach a financial agreement directly with your spouse, we can sometimes prepare your financial consent order on a fixed fee basis as well.

What about the arrangements for our children? If you and your spouse can agree the arrangements directly or with the help of a mediator, there is no need for the court to be involved at all. There is no requirement for any written agreement, although many parents find it helpful to prepare a written co-parenting plan which can set out all of the important issues for them and their children, such as which parent they will be with and when. We have a mediation team who can help parents create these plans and deal with any other issues connected with divorce or separation. If you cannot agree then it is important to consult a solicitor who will help you to resolve the situation. If you need advice about any of these issues, please do not hesitate to contact Tom Burgess, family law solicitor at Freeths, who will be able to help you.

Do I have to have a solicitor? Can my husband/wife and I share a solicitor? You do not have to use a solicitor. However, we suggest that, at the very least, you consult a solicitor to review your divorce paperwork for you and prepare the financial consent order. It is crucial to protect yourself by getting this right. One solicitor cannot advise both parties to a divorce, so if your spouse needs independent legal advice they will have to see a different solicitor.

How much will the divorce cost? It is very difficult to predict how much a divorce and financial settlement will cost. However, as a general rule, the more amicable things are the less expensive they are likely to be. Here at Freeths, if you and your spouse have agreed to divorce and broadly agreed on what will be said in your divorce petition, we have a fixed fee for preparing all of the paperwork for you and dealing with sending it to the court. Alternatively, if you are happy to prepare


  01865 781 235 


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How to retain your best people with an employee share scheme Earlier in the year my colleagues presented on a somewhat worrying trend for SMEs at B4’s Business in Oxford event. Economically successful locations across the globe are witnessing an influx of rich people purchasing property. Oxford is typical of this trend as property prices have appreciated so much in recent years that they now stand at 16 times the average salary. It means the city is now rated as the most expensive place to live in the UK. WRITTEN BY: DEBBIE AUSTIN The result is that home ownership has become increasingly difficult for many in the workforce, thereby forcing them further out to live. This has led to the rise of the commuter and all the associated travel issues that come with it. Inevitably, the transferral of skills and spending money out of cities will in the medium term lead to improved infrastructure and thus more business opportunities in rural and suburban locations. How long before your key staff consider local jobs as financially viable careers with an associated improvement in lifestyle? This potential trend is a big concern for business owners because your employees are ultimately your greatest asset. Thankfully there are various initiatives that can be implemented to help you keep hold of your best people.

at that value. Your employees will then exercise their options either at a predetermined future event or, date. The idea being their hard work is geared towards improving the performance and thus share price of the company. They will then benefit from the rising value of the business. 2. Employee Shareholder Shares ESS works by allowing companies to offer a new form of employment status which is linked to a tax efficient share scheme. It can be applied to both new and existing employees.

There are a number of ways that this can be done in a tax efficient manner and we’ve provided a list and description below of some of the most popular options taken up by SME businesses. Shares can of course be offered outside of these schemes but it’s important to realise that they will not deliver the same tax benefits or in fact have adverse tax consequences. 1. Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) An EMI is a tax efficient scheme used by growing companies, although not all businesses will qualify for it. The way an EMI share scheme works is your employees are granted the option to purchase shares and become shareholders in the business with conditions that will motivate and retain them for the long term. A fixed price is set and the shares are purchased

Free shares • You hand over up to £3,000 worth of shares per tax year to your employees • Usually you’ll require your employees to hold these shares for between three to five years before they can be sold off. Dividend shares • Should some of your staff already own shares in your company and they receive dividends, they can use those dividends to buy up more equity as part of their SIP Partnership shares • Your employees can buy shares using their pre-tax pay • The amount is limited to the lower end of: o £1,800 per tax year or; o 10% of their total salary

Financial versus motivational rewards Employees can be incentivised in a number of ways. Remuneration based rewards may seem obvious but if your business is on a tight budget then handing out significant salary rises might not be an option. Instead you could reward them through the use of benefits and perks. If implemented correctly, then either approach can work. However, you might find a combination of the two in the form of share schemes as a great way to incentivise employees. This can motivate staff to look towards the future by offering them part ownership or a future share holding in your company.

There are different types of SIP’s and they have different rules which are summarised below.

Matching shares • If partnership shares are purchased by your employees, you can then match them by distributing two free shares • The condition is the shares must be held for between 3 to 5 years before any sale Under an ESS, employees receive at least £2,000 worth of new shares but give up some of their statutory employment rights in exchange for this ownership. For example, they may relinquish the right to claim unfair dismissal (except under grounds of discrimination and health & safety), the right to redundancy pay and reduced rights to claiming flexible working and training related leave.

Which one should you choose? Based on this overview, you may already have a preference for a particular employee share scheme. Before implementing anything you should remember that these schemes contain specific tax regulations. This means they have specific advantages and drawbacks.

The scheme is specific to fast-growing companies and more concessions were made available under this banner in 2015. It’s particularly useful if you’re looking to reduce employment costs while incentivising staff at the same time. From a tax perspective, ESS is exempt from both income and Capital Gains taxes on the first £50,000 worth of shares.

Choose the wrong scheme and you might end up with a significant tax problem while also potentially upsetting your employees – the very people this was supposed to help. Furthermore you could face a costly administrative process to put it right. So be sure to consult a professional, regarding the specific details of these options and your business needs, before deciding on any course of action.

3. Share Incentive Plans SIP’s are used to encourage employees at all levels to gain shares in the company they’re employed by. Since the start of the 2016/17 tax years, employees can be offered up to £3,600 of free shares under a SIP and these aren’t subject to income tax and National Insurance.


  01865 723 131 


is going

places. ..

Why not join us for the journey? d’Overbroeck’s is one of Oxford’s leading independent schools and the only one to offer the whole school experience, from ages 11 to 18, to both boys and girls. Set up in 1977, d’Overbroeck’s has quickly established itself as a high-achieving school academically but also as a place where laughter is key and where students do well because of the more relaxed approach, which centres on each individual and their academic journey, rather on strict uniform or other traditional school rules. And now we’re going places, with a brand new, state-ofthe-art sixth form teaching site and a new 60-bed boarding house directly across from it, both opening September 2017. This means we can offer even more places to the many students who want to make d’Overbroeck’s their sixth form of choice. Competition for places has always been high but this new site means we can offer the d’Overbroeck’s

experience (where excellent results lead to places at top UK universities) to even more exceptional candidates. It also means we can widen our offer to local business and members of the community, by making our auditorium, which can seat up to 200 and our hall, complete with catering facilities, available for conferences and meetings when it’s not in school use. So, whether you’re the parent of a potential student, a business person or a member of the local community, do come and visit us to see what d’Overbroeck’s can offer you. | 01865 310000



Consultant or coach? I believe the best way for leaders to develop their thoughts is through discussion with fellow practical leaders. But sometimes we need the help of a professional. And to get the best result we need their role to be clear. Whilst there are no agreed definitions, here is some common terminology:


COACH A coach asks great questions and draws out your best thoughts. Often professionally trained and accredited, although many great coaches are not. The pure coach NEVER contributes their own ideas and opinions. They may know nothing about business. They may never have led a business or team of any significance. So they can’t give advice based on experience but they can ask brilliant questions. The poor coach, doesn’t stick to asking questions. They give their opinion and advice without real experience and pontificate about ‘what you should do’ - In theory!

MENTOR A mentor has been there and done it themselves. They have walked in your shoes. They have run a business and felt the pain of the challenges that brings. They share their learning from experience. “When I was faced with that situation I did this and this happened … and I’d recommend you do / don’t do as I did”. It is unlikely they have been in your exact position, but they may have been in a similar situation. The poor mentor is like the poor coach someone who can pontificate in theory but who hasn’t been there and done it. A different poor mentor is someone who has been there and done it. They have run a business very successfully. But think there is only one formula for success – theirs! They are confident that they know the answers that apply, even in a very different

business, in a very different state in a very different market. Be cautious about someone who is too formulaic. Their experience needs to be broad enough to be able to explore the differences between situations.

COACH MENTOR This is what works for me. I have experience in running businesses and over the last ten years have worked with two hundred Managing Directors in a vast range of businesses. So I have the experience to mentor. But my experience never exactly fits the situation facing my client and my beliefs differ. So I use the coaching ethic. “I cannot know the right answer for you. I’m not living in your shoes and I’m not you. I will offer an opinion as to what I would do if I was in your shoes but that may not be the right answer for you.“


consultant is someone who is good at managing the process of moving your business from A to B. Their expertise is in managing the process. Eg A HR advisor can explain the merits of different ways of handling a people situation. A HR consultant can guide you through the process, perhaps giving HR advice on the way, or maybe utilising a HR lawyer as an advisor.

ADVISOR AND CONSULTANT As with ‘Coach mentor’ I think the roles of advisor and consultant can be combined. What is important is the clarity over you need. Are you buying expertise to help you assess alternatives and make the right decision and get on with it? Or are you buying someone to manage the process of getting you to where you want to be?



This is when a group of peers share their thinking on the same basis. The recipient gains a range of possible ‘If I was in your shoes’ such that they can choose the shoes that fit them most comfortably. My business MD2MD is a peer mentoring group for people running businesses of 20-500 staff.

My key message is “What is it you really, really want from this role?” Whatever words you use, be clear about whether you are looking for a coach, a mentor, an advisor or a consultant. Or an agreed combination?

ADVISOR I am critical of people that mentor business leaders without ever having run a business. Their role, and important one, should be as advisor. Someone with many years of experience in HR can be invaluable to the business leader. Likewise the experienced Finance person, Marketing guru or Sales director.

CONSULTANT So how does that differ from a consultant? A

  01865 600 800 





Apprenticeships your future talent In Germany, apprenticeships are known as ‘Geselle’ or ‘Meister’ at advanced and higher levels respectively. There is no academic equivalent because they stand as a prestigious achievement in their own right. However, in the UK, for some young people, apprenticeships have been viewed as the ‘poorer option’ when making choices around further and higher education. A YouGov poll – released in July – said that in the south east, just 19% of 18 to 24-year-olds viewed an apprenticeship as their best next career step. This compared with 46% of people within the same age group, who viewed higher education through university, as the right move.

By introducing the Levy, the Government has passed the responsibility for the funding of UK apprenticeships to businesses. So – although it is a new tax on larger businesses – it is also a great opportunity to invest in an organisation’s future.

“As business leaders – we know how valuable it is to recruit well and invest in your future talent. Our clients use apprenticeships to build, skilled and loyal teams, as opposed to having to worry about a regular turnover of staff and its associated cost.”

With a unique mix of apprenticeship provision, bespoke training and consultancy options, Activate Enterprise is ideally placed to advise businesses on the Levy and the opportunities it presents.

As well as working with some of the UK’s biggest companies, like BMW and PepsiCo, Activate Enterprise has also been making an impact in specialist industries too. Earlier this year – alongside the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) – it helped to launch a historic vehicle restoration apprenticeship, following research which identified a future skills gap in the industry.

The question is, should we appreciate apprenticeships more than we do? At a time of rising competition for talent, Activate Enterprise business clients are increasingly struggling to fill vacancies. More businesses are turning to apprenticeships to fill these gaps and compete effectively for young talent. More businesses do appreciate their value, and realise that they are not just filling vacancies but finding future talent without paying the earth in salaries. Activate Enterprise is the largest apprenticeship provider in our region, with over 1,000 vacancies available each year. They work alongside over 2,000 businesses to deliver a variety of apprenticeships from catering and hospitality right through to team leadership and management. In total, they bring together a talent pipeline of over 16,000 people studying across the Activate Learning group, of which they are a part of. It is not just businesses that have woken up to apprenticeships. Young people are attracted to ‘earning whilst learning’ without running up a debt for university fees. But why should employers invest in apprenticeships now? One trigger for businesses should be the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, which launches in April next year. The Levy is a new tax of 0.5% of a company’s payroll, charged to those with payrolls in excess of £3 million per annum. It is expected to raise £3 billion a year which will double the amount available for the government to invest in apprenticeship programmes.

The UK market for vehicle renovation in the UK is estimated at £4.3 billion per annum, employing around 22,000 people. But with nearly half of these aged 45 and over, businesses are expected to need up to 150 apprentices every year for the next five years to protect the future of the industry.

Our clients create “apprenticeship

programmes to get to the talent earlier than their competitors and to build a pipeline of talent

Pablo added: “The historic vehicle apprenticeship was launched to develop the talent required to safeguard the future of this important and high value sector. The opportunity to locate our training programmes within the UK’s specialist centre for the classic vehicle industry – at Bicester Heritage – is extremely exciting. “Our aim is to offer apprentices and students a direct line of sight to employment. This move offers them an unrivalled learning experience, surrounded by industry enthusiasts and expertise, and the chance to build vital links with employers.”

Pablo Lloyd - Chief Executive of Activate Enterprise

Activate Enterprise plan to create similar apprenticeships that make a genuine impact on both the local and national economy. Pablo Lloyd – Chief Executive of Activate Enterprise – said: “Apprenticeships are increasingly attractive to young, talented people. Our clients create apprenticeship programmes to get to the talent earlier than their competitors and to build a pipeline of talent. “New apprentices bring new, innovative ideas. They may not have 25 years’ experience in a particular field of work – but they bring fresh ideas, which may otherwise be lost to competitors.

  01865 551 015  27

Meet the Apprentice The Oxfordshire apprenticeship market is at an all time high. Mike Terry, Director of Thompson & Terry Recruitment is an advocate of the model and fully supports the scheme. We sit down and ask what impact young professionals can have on SME's. 28



Mike Terry Director What made you embark on an apprenticeship programme? Ultimately with any new recruit they can drastically shift the culture of a business both positively or negatively. My original target for Thompson & Terry (which may arguably affect shorter term profitability) was to develop a brand identity that people could identify with; this alone struck me as having far greater value longer-term. Recruitment is an incredibly saturated market; in Oxfordshire alone the number of agencies practising a variety of formulas to achieve success can be quite overwhelming to future applicants therefore you have to consider as a business owner; 'how can we be that much different and that much better than everybody else?'. It's very difficult, near impossible in our industry to achieve this feat.   Recruiting an apprentice was key to taking the business to the next level whilst retaining our goals for success. Maisie joined with no preconceived ideas of working in the recruitment industry which greatly assisted her development and our short-term strategy for retaining our core identity. This has enabled us to execute her coaching with far greater efficiency. Equally I think her honesty is an invaluable commodity which has proven infectious, I think people appreciate that.   What does your business gain from offering apprenticeships? A recruit who implicitly understands our business. Equally an apprenticeship meets our business needs. We have a recruit who sits in on monthly and quarterly meetings to discuss P&L, our 'Thursday Think Tank' (an exercise to pitch new ideas and concepts free from judgement or seniority) and she attends networking events. We have also put it to Maisie; 'what do you want to do?', she has the scope to tackle events, marketing, recruitment and clients. Anything within reason we are happy to listen to in a bid to assist with her development whilst allowing her creative juices to flow.   When considering the longer-term advantages; Maisie is attuned to our business in respect that she knows our turnover, targets, budgets, philosophy, she can network, she can talk to clients... Whilst there are areas for improvement, in 12

months time we could have a recruit who can convey her thoughts and ideas independently and whilst taking the lead across every aspect of our business at the relative age of 19 years old.   What do you look for in an apprentice? Confidence, strong communicative skills, ambition, drive, raw hunger and desire to achieve (not that I'm picky!).  How did you find the quality of the candidates? In 2015 the quality of applicants provided an eclectic mix of candidacy from introverts displaying naivety to the gregarious social butterfly, it proved to be an eye opener.   It's obvious that moves have been made to improve the calibre of applicants. The introduction of LinkedIn profiles by local colleges for 16-19 year old's is an obvious one, applicants (ready for a new intake) appear to be more forthcoming.     How do you source your apprentices? We explored a number of options, eventually sourcing an apprentice in-house.   How well is Maisie performing and could they have a role in your business in the future? The reports from her college suggest that she is a top performer. Whilst we set high standards, she is on target in achieving these goals.


  01235 797 177 

Maisie Durkin Apprentice Which school did you come from? Fitzharry's Secondary School   How well were you made aware of apprenticeship programmes?  The college were great in acting within an advisory capacity. Equally my former secondary school were a great advocate of these too.   Why did you choose an apprenticeship?  I didn't feel I had the necessary experience, expertise or the business knowhow to make a rational decision in regards to what I wanted to do. I wanted to develop the confidence in a position that I enjoyed.

What have you learned so far? I have developed significantly since joining last September (2015) in learning my trade at Thompson & Terry and through my learning at Abingdon & Witney College. Additionally I have developed my knowledge of business practises, communication and my professionalism.   Do you feel that earning while you learn is a benefit for your generation?  100% Worth it, I would recommend to any school leavers who are unsure of their next move when considering their options in the event that they don't have enough experience of the workplace. It's a great step when working towards forging a career within a full-time position.




As a saloon, the XE delivers exceptional refinement. Being a Jaguar, it naturally goes much further than that. With sports car technologies such as Configurable Dynamics, you have control over the car’s set up, from suspension and steering, to throttle mapping and gear shift strategy. Agile and responsive, the XE gives you a personalised driving experience that is all Jaguar.


Contact us today to book your test drive. Ridgeway Jaguar Cumnor Hill, Oxford, OX2 9PL 01865 565412

Official fuel consumption for the Jaguar XE range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 24.4-64.2 (11.6-4.4); Extra Urban 46.3-83.1 (6.1-3.4); Combined 34.9-75.0 (8.1-3.8). CO2 Emissions 194-99 g/km. Official EU Test Figures. For comparison purposes only. Real world figures may differ. Model shown is the Jaguar XE 3.0 S/C ‘S’ RWD with optional Italian Racing Red paint with 20" Propeller alloys wheels.



Marshall Motor Group doubles up at Milton Gate with new Jaguar Land Rover dealership Top 10 Motor Retail Group, Marshall Motor Group, who acquired Ridgeway in May of this year, are poised to open a flagship state-of the-art Jaguar and Land Rover dealership on Milton Gate, Milton Park near Didcot this autumn. Following the acquisition of Ridgeway, the new facility will be named “Marshall Jaguar Oxford” and “Marshall Land Rover Oxford” to reflect the new ownership. 5 Milton Gate is the largest plot at 3.33 acres next to the A34 Milton Interchange and at the gateway to Milton Park. The new Jaguar Land Rover retail concept will showcase both brands operating side-by-side from the same location serving customers across Oxfordshire and beyond. The Dual Arch Facility will include a three lane drivein service reception, 18 car showroom, 20 bay workshop and Barista coffee bar. Adrian Wallington, Marshall JLR Franchise Director, said: “The opening of this stunning facility represents another step in our growth and investment strategy in Oxfordshire for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. Both brands have a fantastic range of products and some exciting developments planned. This brand new facility will enhance both the customer and our colleague’s experiences.”

Adrian added “Milton Gate, is perfect for our requirements, both in terms of the immediate neighbourhood and the road network. Having the second largest business and science park in Europe next door to us will certainly help our plans to further increase penetration of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in Oxfordshire." All colleagues of Ridgeway Land Rover and Jaguar facilities in Cumnor will transfer to Milton Gate (and those locations will close). Marshall also represents Land Rover in Bedford, Cambridge, Lincoln, Melton Mowbray, Peterborough and Halesworth and the Jaguar brand in Cambridge, Ipswich, Lincoln and Peterborough. In November will also see Marshall start a second development in the Thames Valley region – a new Jaguar Land Rover showroom on Greenham

Business Park - Newbury's largest business park. We’ll bring you the news on that development as it is released. New location. New name. Marshall Jaguar Land Rover 5 Milton Gate, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4TX

    01235 426699 (Jaguar) 01235 462555 (Land Rover)


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.”

B4 motoring


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

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:


     01865 736 800 Rectory Lodge, 28 Crown Road, Wheatley, Oxon OX33 1UL


Presentation is paramount when selling or letting your home, that’s why we employ our own in-house professional photographer to ensure that we get the best possible results. Just another way that Breckon & Breckon goes the extra mile‌





In this, our first edition of our new series that aims to explain digital marketing in a simple jargon-free way, we’re going to look at Local SEO, which has never been more important for businesses that target a specific region or geographic area. WRITTEN BY: AARON RUDMAN-HAWKINS PHOTOGRAPHY BY: THE EVERGREEN AGENCY

Why is Local SEO so important? A combination of Google’s desire to serve its users with localised content and the continued rise in mobile usage, means having your website optimised for local search queries is essential if you want to be found locally for your products and services. A recent ‘Ofcom’ survey concluded that two thirds of UK adults spend nearly two hours every day browsing the Internet on their mobile device thanks to 4G services; and, an increased trust in this technology means more users than ever are shopping online, searching for local services and watching video. By utilising Local SEO, you can ensure your business is best placed to serve those user enquiries and searches.

Where to start Firstly, think about your business goals - do you want to sell more products, increase leads or build brand awareness? Whatever your business goals, be sure that you have a process in place for recording conversions and monitoring performance with a sales funnel so you can see what is working for you. You can then take the following practical steps to improve your Local SEO: Optimise your website - Optimising your page titles, headings, meta descriptions and images to include your target location(s) is a very important process. It is essential that you do not ‘keyword stuff’ or make these tags too long. They should read naturally. Get technical – Website speed, content, mobile compatibility and site structure are all important considerations for enhanced performance. The average user will not wait for longer than two seconds for a web page to load and with mobile searches out-numbering desktop users in the UK from 2014, your website must be optimised for mobile devices. Name, Address & Phone (NAP) – Your business contact details should feature prominently on your website and the exact same details must be listed on local, national and industry directories, listings and features. Search

engines such as Google will calculate the total number of “NAP” mentions of your business as a local ranking factor and therefore, having different, old or outdated phone numbers, addresses or business names will negatively affect your Local SEO performance. Google My Business – To get your business appearing on a Map search and in the local business listings box on the search results page, you need to have verified your business with Google. You can follow Google’s simple setup process, verify ownership of your business, complete your profile and you will begin benefiting from various Google features. It’s a very easy win for any business and helps you earn Google’s trust. Schema Markup – To stand out further in the search results you can employ Schema Markup on your website. A little technical know-how is required but the rewards are worth the time and investment as your business can highlight reviews and ratings to users in the search results before they even click through to your website. Numerous case studies have shown that having positive star ratings next to your brand in the search results dramatically increases the click-through rate (CTR), and an increased CTR inevitably leads to higher rankings over time. These are just a few practical steps you can take yourself to improve your business’s Local SEO. As with most things, to reap the rewards you have to put in the effort; however in our experience it is absolutely worth it. We have helped dozens of small and medium size businesses improve their Local SEO. It’s one of our most popular services here at The Evergreen Agency. For a much more thorough look at Local SEO visit our page specifically for B4 members at:

  07738 427 277 


Oxford Parkway to London Marylebone

Now you can say goodbye to delays and cramped, crowded trains. Switch to Chiltern Railways from Oxford Parkway – our new Park & Ride station near the A40, A34 and A44 – for fast, punctual, more comfortable services to London Marylebone. To find out more and buy tickets visit



HeadOn PR marks its fourth year with new clients The four-strong team at public relations consultancy, HeadOn PR, is celebrating after winning two new clients on the eve of its fourth year anniversary. WRITTEN BY: HEADON PR PHOTOGRAPHY BY: THE HEADSHOT GUY

Timico Technology Services (TTS), a global Managed Service Cloud Provider, based in Reading, Berkshire, and Full Potential Group, an organisation in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, which empowers businesses and people to achieve their full potential, both approached HeadOn PR after the consultancy was recommended to them. The HeadOn PR team was then quickly appointed by both organisations to raise the profile of Timico and Full Potential Group through a national PR and media relations programme. Timico specialises in delivering full end-to-end solutions including; managed IT services, networks and connectivity, unified communications, cloud and hosting, and mobile services to multi-site organisations. The organisation also has offices in Auckland, New Zealand and is part of Timico Technology Group (TTG), a privately owned communications service provider with over 350 employees and a turnover of £52.7m. Established in 1997, Full Potential Group works with over 250,000 individuals in over 250 organisations to deliver high-impact coaching, team and leadership performance across the public, private and third sector. Full Potential Group is HeadOn PR's second client specialising in the learning and development field and is the latest win in a string of recent new business appointments. Since Verity Blake, Director (as pictured), first founded HeadOn PR in 2012, the consultancy has experienced rapid growth and represents organisations across the UK and Europe in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-toconsumer (B2C) sectors including IT, legal, training, recruitment, procurement and managed services, construction and the printing industry.

All its clients have come through recommendation and amongst the organisations that it represents includes a global procurement consultancy, and three law firms in Abingdon, Newbury and Maidenhead including a specialist in immigration law and one in employment law. The consultancy develops bespoke PR programmes that build brand awareness and connects companies to customers and stakeholders through services ranging from social media, traditional media and analyst relations, internal communications, crisis management, research, awards, exhibitions and events, and copywriting and design.

lot of our work “hasA come through

recommendation and referral as clients can count on us to deliver great results and for a realistic fee

Verity Blake, Director HeadOn PR

Verity Blake said, "Customers today are sophisticated and don't want to be sold to. Before making a purchasing decision, they research using a variety of sources, from the print and online media to the opinions of friends and family on social media or advice in specialist blogs. More clients are turning to us because they want a strong presence across these platforms so they can engage and inform their customers and become part of the buying journey.

"We do this by turning insight into powerful stories and conversations that we share across multiple channels, so customers are always aware of our clients and their expertise at critical points of their decision making process. "A lot of our work has come through recommendation and referral as clients can count on us to deliver great results and for a realistic fee, and we're delighted to now be working with Timico and Full Potential Group so they can benefit from our combined sixty years of PR experience within the team."

About HeadOn PR HeadOn PR is a Cheltenham based consultancy specialising in B2B and B2C public relations. It delivers bespoke PR programmes and services including the development of PR strategies, the management of social media and traditional media and analyst relations programmes, internal communications, crisis management, research, awards, exhibitions and events, and copyrighting. Its clients benefit from an account team with 100% director level experience so companies receive high quality PR without the high prices. For further information on HeadOn PR and the services it provides, please contact Verity Blake below.


    0792 0792 183 @Headonpr_1


Conference @OxfordSaïd

Your future is our business The combination of stunning spaces, impressive technology, award winning food and unbeatable locations makes Saïd Business School, the centre for Oxford’s conferencing

• • • • •

Professional and friendly custom service and dedicated AV support Accessible central England location with world class attractions of Oxford Excellent transport links Variety of meeting and seminar rooms Ideal for teambuilding and Summer events

Park End Street

Egrove Park

• State-of-the-art facilities • City centre location

• Rural, parkland setting • All year round residential availability

To find out more about our facilities across these two sites: Email Telephone 01865 288846



“ so why pay

someone else? Well, crudely – there’s no button marked ‘Talent’” Andy Cooke, Imageworks

Here’s an idea… The relationship between a client and designer can be anything from mediocre to momentous. WRITTEN BY: ANDY COOKE


For many years The Imageworks has been in the business of creating and selling visual ideas – applying them to shiny new corporate identities, brochures, direct mail and display material. With the digital boom a few years ago we were able to move into video production and digital channels, and also develop our website design and production expertise which has become an integral part of the company. Along the way, we’ve been hiring specialists, developing skills and applying our wealth of expertise to a wide range of clients to deliver successful and cost-effective advertising and marketing projects. We’re considered a safe pair of hands, working with leading science and technology companies and NGO’s, colleges and departments within the University of Oxford, Science Parks, Business Parks, commercial property companies and a wide variety of businesses in the region.

Someone in the office has GCSE pottery – they’re arty, they can design it The creative world is very subjective. On the surface there are no rights or wrongs, just opinion and experience. He who shouts loudest or pays the bills often has the deciding vote and last word. You could argue ‘Quite right’. So the designer can become a turnkey operation – and many fulfil that role. The cry of the casual art observer seems to sum it up – “I could have done that; I’ve got an expensive camera; my laptop has a design program; I can get DIY websites online; there’s a button in Photoshop for that”.

Technology has democratised the means of production, so why pay someone else? Well, crudely – there’s no button marked ‘Talent’. How many times have you seen illegible Old English gothic script used in signage on a lorry? How many tangled initials have been tortuously fused together to form a logo? How may companies now offer the words ‘Solutions’ within their business offer? (Even we were guilty of that one). And the output? It’s passable and fulfils a need, largely because it’s been done in-house and at little actual cost. It doesn’t ‘scare the horses’ so it’s justifiable… or is it? As a society we’ve become very design and advertising conscious. One of the creative powerhouses of the world across all sectors and media. There is, however, an ‘us and them’. Those who understand the power of good marketing and can make budget available. And those who can’t, or won’t.

Choosing a design agency that listens first Trusting a designer (the right designer) can be an invigorating process. Interesting things can happen and collaboration can propel a project from ‘ordinary’ to ‘exciting’. Creative work for marketing campaigns generally falls into two categories: ‘samey and safe’ or ‘different and challenging’. You would be amazed at the number of times we are asked to deliver different and end up with something conventional!

Generally it comes down to risk. As a client/ marketeer you’ve got to be very sure of yourself and trusting of your instinct to insist on really different creative. Of course, creating visually stimulating work is the first challenge – how can you exploit a new idea, and get even better return for your investment? That’s where we come in again. What we are very good at is joining the dots across a myriad of ‘channels’ takes skill and experience. An image or phrase can come to life in a website; form the theme of an email marketing programme; take centre stage in exhibition work; become an exciting mailer; thread through social media channels; provide a PR theme – the opportunities are only limited by ambition and budget. So when you decide you need some creative work that’s a bit different, or you need to integrate ideas across a whole range of marketing channels, or you need a website that’s going to stand the test of time and do all the things you want it to do, talk to us. Just remember, resist the ‘template’. Talk to the us – it could change everything.

(PS – nothing wrong with GCSE Pottery – I’ve got one!) CONTACT DETAILS

  01865 865 656 


Video is an increasingly effective means of absorbing information and that’s why we are developing B4TV to capture the latest news from our members. So to get your message and personality across, call B4 and we’ll do the rest. All you’ve got to do is make sure you don’t fluff your lines... a touch of foundation wouldn’t go amiss either!

Contact us today, to get your business message across on the most viral social platform Call 01865 742211

 @b4businesstv  @b4magazine  @b4magazine



Making sense of marketing We all know the old adage in life ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ and this is never truer than in the world of business. The absence of a workable plan is one of the common reasons for business failure. WRITTEN BY: RACHEL WARREN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: RAY ROBINSON

The shocking truth Research undertaken by Smart Insights in 2016 showed that 44% of businesses do not have a marketing strategy and therefore a marketing plan aligned to that strategy. In our experience, less than 20% of SME’s that we talk to actually have a marketing plan in place.

So you think you have a marketing plan? But do you really? Often there is a plan of sorts but it sits in the heads of key decision makers within the business or as a few ideas written on a piece of paper, but with no formal strategy or thinking behind it. Most clients agree that they need a marketing plan but don’t really know where to start and are unable to take the required time out of the business to build an effective plan, let alone activate one.

Step 1 Knowing who are you and what you stand for Being able to truly define your business is the first step to success. It seems obvious that before you can start communicating to your audience, you need to know who you are and what you stand for. Within this process, we hold a workshop which allows clients to take that step back and really think about their business. We identify where the business is today and what success looks like for tomorrow, we work on your brand identity – do you really know who you are? Are your key messages and benefits

strong and compelling? What differentiates you from competitors? All these things, and more, are part of an effective marketing plan and need to be defined so you stand out from the crowd.

Marketing Sense can help!

Step 2 Get under the skin of your target audience

Benefits of working with us

We work with clients to build a pen portrait of their target audience. To do that we get under the skin of who they are and what they do, by spending time with them to gain valuable insights – from sharing a coffee with stressed out mums, cooking with teenagers, going for a walk with nature lovers, meeting with clients or customers - we’ve done all of the above and more!

We help clients develop a marketing plan. In fact, it is usually the first thing we do for our clients as it sets the foundations for growth and success.

Marketing Sense has over 25 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience, working across major brands and organisations. We now bring our marketing excellence to SME businesses across Oxfordshire. Our marketing spans across the whole mix, both online and offline, which enables us to identify the best marketing campaigns that will make the most difference to your business.

Step 3 Reach your audience

Too busy to think about marketing?

Once you know who you are, what you stand for and who you want to target, the next step is to reach out and communicate your message to your audience. We do this in the form of a 12 month activity plan.

We know that you are busy, which is why we offer an end to end service when it comes to your marketing plan. We not only create the plan - we can activate it for you too, so you can rest assured that your marketing is in capable hands.

Choosing the right marketing channels isn’t easy, so being focused on your audience will help cut through the confusion and enable you to become disciplined about your marketing. CONTACT DETAILS Your marketing plan should identify activities that will reach your audience over the coming weeks, months and year, and assign ownership of them.

    01865 883 579 @MarketingSense1


Is down-time a concern for your business? Imagine, you have just arrived at the office to find that your entire network has gone offline. You have no access to your data or your email and what’s worse is you have no idea how long it will take to resolve the problem. You have some data backed up to an external hard drive but you soon find out that this is not helpful and doesn’t contain the latest files from the past week because your backup stopped working without letting you know. You later find out that your server is the root of the problem. It has stopped working. Your IT tells you that you need a new server which will cost your business thousands and, it could take days to restore your systems back to fully working order. As each hour goes by you’re losing money and more importantly the ability to engage with your clients and support your employees. WRITTEN BY: LUKE BROADHURST

Sounds like a disaster doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t need to be this way. You may have experienced something like this in the past and wish you had done something about it before the problem reared its ugly head. The problem is that in most cases it’s not an issue until it’s an issue and that’s why you could be risking everything you’ve worked so hard to build.


You don’t keep your hard-earned money in a tin box under the bed, you keep it in a secure purpose-built bank. Data should also be thought of in the same way. Disaster Recovery is the answer…

What is Disaster Recovery? Disaster Recovery is often confused with back-up but there is a world of difference. In a nut-shell, back-up

protects data (files such as .word .excel .jpeg etc) whereas the role of Disaster Recovery is to restore not only your files but your whole IT infrastructure. How long would it take for you to rebuild your entire IT infrastructure? A well-planned Disaster Recovery position could reduce this time from days to hours, saving your business money and preserving credibility in the process.


it & telecomms

“theSince migrating to Cloud with CIS,

we’ve seen a great improvement in our productivity, along with a highly secure method of working. Bernadette Summers, Managing Partner & COFA, John Welch & Stammers

System crashes, viruses, theft and hardware failures are happening every day. Are you confident your business could recover quickly from a disaster? • Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan as well as data back-up? • Is the right data being backed up? • Is your data stored off-site securely? • Is your data regularly tested and could it be restored successfully? • Is your backup full server-image and not just your user files? • If you have multiple backup devices, are they in sync?

Disaster Recovery enables you to: PLAN AHEAD Our Disaster Recovery solution solves your system failure issues. Our clients can recover their virtualised data, applications and environments in hours to meet pre-planned Recovery Time Objectives. IMPROVE RECOVERY TIMES Your recovery time will improve from days to hours because we back up your entire sever. Our solution also provides peace of mind to clients who virtualise Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and SQL because they can recover individual items in minutes.

Meet UK Data Sovereignty Requirements Our Private Cloud meets strict UK data compliance. This means you can be assured that, when storing your data in the CIS Private Cloud, it will stay in the UK.

Why you should make this a priority The only thing harder than planning for an emergency is explaining why you didn't. Business continuity should be a priority for every business owner. Because most of your data is transmitted and stored digitally, the importance of creating an IT disaster plan is crucial.

How much down-time can you really afford?

Summary of Disaster Recovery • • •

It reduce the down-time of your business. It improve the restoration time of your business to hours not days. It safe-guards your client data from human error, hardware failure and natural disasters like floods or power outages caused by storms.

Contact us for free advice and to see how we could help your business.

Disaster Recovery Combats Ransomware too Ransomware has a number of variants including CryptoLocker, Locky and CryptoWall. These malicious pieces of malware target and encrypt your data so you cannot access it unless a payment is made to the malware operator. If you don't have a business continuity plan in place then you could spend weeks recovering your data from a ransomware attack.

  01367 700 555 


Wheat, oil and land: So what’s next for land values? Following the long run of rising land prices, for the last year, values have entered into a more stable and sustainable period, fluctuating only with normal flows of supply and demand according to Carter Jonas in its annual Rural View publication. WRITTEN BY: OLIVIA LANE-NOTT

Whilst the overall national “ picture is that land prices have found a new equilibrium in terms of supply and demand, in Oxfordshire and in key locations across the South East, despite Brexit, we have seen demand for prime land continue unabated




Wheat, Brent Crude & Land, 2000-2015 2000=100 Source: World Bank / Carter Jonas Research




Wheat Brent Crude Land

Cathrine Penman, Rural Research Consultant, Carter Jonas





50 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010


2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 (May) Edmund Smith, Partner, Carter Jonas Oxford

Average national land values disguise the polarisation between prime land prices, particularly sales off market, which are continuing to creep upwards whilst poorer secondary land in some parts of the UK struggle to command interest. Analysis has been carried out looking at wheat, land and oil prices since 2000 to mid-2016 and the results highlight some interesting points. Catherine Penman, rural research, Carter Jonas said: “There has been a steady rise in oil prices from 2003 – 2007, driven by supply issues and on-going political instability in the Middle East. The dramatic rise in crude oil prices from 2008-2011 was due to the massive weight of money following the credit crunch, a driver which pushed up all commodity prices. “Wheat and, even more dramatically, land reflected this, with land values rising by more than 30% in three years. Land was driven, in part, by commodity prices although mainly by the ever decreasing volume of openly marketed land and the growing volume of money chasing the sector increasingly perceived as safe at a time when residential and commercial property were recording negative returns. “Between 2011 to 2014 land values marched ever onwards, while the sharp fall in oil prices through

2013 was stabilised only when the Russian and Saudi producers finally acted to restrict supply. Wheat prices fell too. Catherine added: “The continued rise of land was primarily a result of the ongoing flow of money targeting the finite amount of agricultural land in the UK at a time when the mainstream property sectors were only just struggling to see the green shoots of recovery.” Edmund Smith, partner, rural agency in Carter Jonas’ Oxford office said: “The stabilisation of land values since 2014 can be put down to a combination of factors including poor harvests, pressure on commodity prices and in 2015/16 investor confidence with the growing uncertainty of the EU Referendum and the potential impact that will have on CAP subsidies. That being said, the governments recent announcement guaranteeing the Basic Farm Payment to 2020 will be seen as a positive indicator. “Additionally bank funding has concentrated on the ability to service the loan which has placed a further restraint on the purchasing ability of a number of farmers who would have previously had an acquisitive appetite. Oil prices have seen some recovery during 2016 as Russia and Saudi Arabia continue to restrict supply although they are not expected to rise dramatically, providing the global geopolitical outlook remains stable.

“So what’s next? Whilst the overall national picture is that land prices have found a new equilibrium in terms of supply and demand, in Oxfordshire and in key locations across the South East, despite Brexit, we have seen demand for prime land continue unabated. For so long, the market has been restricted by only circa 100,000 acres per annum of openly marketed land and values inflated as a result of demand chasing diminished supply. “However, the balance has returned and this level, in terms of price and volume for sale, is forecast to remain over the next two to three years. Rural land will continue to be an attractive sector drawing a number of investor types over the medium-term.” To download your copy of Rural View, please visit:


  01865 511 444 


Christmas Parties with Style Kingston Bagpuize House

Exclusive, Elegant Christmas Parties for discerning local companies Delicious Food, Fine Wines and First Class Service In a beautiful Setting Everything you need and more for the perfect Christmas Party   This beautiful stately home set in picturesque gardens provides the perfect backdrop for your Company’s Christmas Party just a short drive from Oxford.

£95.00 per person + vat for parties of 150 to 400 or more For full details contact Michael Ashton on 01865 391888 or e-mail



DREAMING SPIRES AND GLEAMING SHOWERS FOR OXFORD STUDENTS “We know that students and their parents are impressed by shiny buildings when they go on open days,” says a former universities minister adviser. And, having spent several days this summer visiting universities with my 17 year-old, I agree! WRITTEN BY: JUDY DAVIS


While some academics may deplore the increasing commercialisation of university education, the introduction of tuition fees has turned this generation of students and their parents into demanding customers. Over a three year degree course, UK students can expect to rack up debts in excess of £50K in loans for tuition fees and maintenance. This makes university education an expensive business - with no guarantee of a return on the investment.

Somerville College: “There are three main criteria for choosing between colleges: academic league tables; accommodation; and college ethos… candidates may initially gravitate towards the big traditional colleges but then explore smaller, less well-known ones. The collegiate community differentiates Oxford from typical campus universities, and the ‘Holy Grail’ for us is to be able to accommodate all our undergraduates on site in order to foster this college ethos”.

Top universities no longer rely on university rankings and academic excellence alone to attract the best candidates – they need to actively “sell” their offering to “customers” who demand the best possible value for their money.

But few Oxford colleges can lodge all undergraduates for all three years within the college grounds, and a significant number of students are either housed in college-owned property scattered around the city or expected to fend for themselves in Oxford’s over-subscribed and expensive rental market. The colleges themselves, in line with Oxford City’s housing strategy, are looking for ways to increase the availability of student accommodation within or near their college grounds.

According to a university survey, 77% of students say that facilities play a significant role in their university choice. In response, UK universities have ramped up their spending on extending university campus facilities and new buildings. Oxford’s ancient seat of learning now boasts modern icons including the £70 million Mathematical Institute; the stunning Blavatnik School of Government; the £80 million transformation of the Weston Library; Oxford Brookes’ award-winning John Henry Brookes Building and the refurbishment of Headington Campus, part of a ten year investment plan to “create an estate to inspire students”. At the University of Oxford, colleges compete with each other to attract the top candidates. According to Andrew Parker, Treasurer and Domestic Bursar at

“Student accommodation schemes can pose many challenges and complications”, says Richard Smith, real estate partner at law firm Penningtons Manches. “We have to ensure that the site is suitable from a legal perspective, free of restrictive covenants and with suitable rights and easements for access and services.

Somerville College is investing heavily in new student accommodation within the college grounds, and opened a £10 million new-build block in 2011 with rooms equipped to a high standard, with en-suite bathrooms. The aim is that, in five years, Somerville will be able to accommodate all of its undergraduates within the college. “Thanks to a combination of circumstances - having land within the college grounds to build on; being able to buy out long leases on adjacent property; plus access to favourable rates on long term money through the issue of a private bond - we have added 30 graduate rooms at a cost of £3.5million and are developing plans (yet to go to planning committee) to invest £16-18 million in a further 68 undergraduate plus 42 post-graduate rooms. But, says Parker, “This is not without its future problems. Imagine the number of bicycles we would have with 140 more students living in college!” “As a real estate lawyer it is great to play a central part in achieving a successful outcome” says Richard Smith. “Smart modern rooms that provide value for money for today’s debt-laden students, build the college community and, in addition, help to alleviate the city’s rental housing crisis for key workers, surely offer a win-win solution.” CONTACT DETAILS

“The building contract has to be water tight in terms of the obligations on the parties and there is often a need to negotiate leases, land swaps, planning agreements and temporary rights for construction."

  01865 813 708 


8100 HAILWOOD Oxford Business Park, Oxford TO LET 4,420 sq ft High quality air conditioned ground floor office suite offering a mix of cellular and open plan space.

OXFORD TECHNOLOGY PARK Langford Lane, Kidlington TO LET 10,000 sq ft – 400,000 sq ft A unique opportunity for Office, Research & Development and High-Tech Businesses. Visit: for further information.

4220 NASH COURT Oxford Business Park TO LET 4,885 sq ft A two storey self contained office building providing high quality air conditioned business space with dedicated parking for staff and visitors.

HARCOURT HOUSE Marston Road, Oxford TO LET 17,979 sq ft A unique and stylish office development within walking distance of the Oxford City Centre. To be remodeled to create a stimulating and flexible working environment.

unrivalled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton Duncan May

news Town mayor officially opens Three Michaels Yard in Carterton On Wednesday 14th September, local businesses and guests celebrated the opening of Phase 1 of Three Michaels Yard industrial and warehouse development in Carterton. Town mayor Lynn Little cut the ribbon on the development’s first phase which is now ready for occupation providing space for entrepreneurial businesses in the area. The high specification industrial scheme provides 15,000 sq ft across ten units of accommodation and is notably the first new industrial scheme in West Oxfordshire to be completed in nearly a decade. Three Michaels Yard is accessed from Black Bourton Road within the established Carterton South Industrial Estate and provides the only Grade A industrial and warehouse accommodation in the area. “It was certainly a fantastic day for us to be able to launch this much needed small unit industrial scheme to the local business community. This will undoubtedly make a considerable difference to small and growing businesses in the town by providing a new home for them or indeed additional off site space for businesses operating at RAF Brize Norton” said mayor of Carterton Lynn Little. Within Phase 1, Unit G and Unit I are already occupied with Unit G comprising 1,327 sq ft sold to RA Jones, funeral directors and Unit I comprising

1,496 sq ft let on a 10-year lease to Factory 33 Ltd, a CNC machining services, turning and milling company. This leaves a further two units in Phase 1 remaining and ready for occupation, with a further six units being completed by February 2017. Three Michaels Yard owner and developer Michael Bennett said: “It was great to have the mayor come to cut the ribbon and show her support for this development. We are delighted to be delivering this brand new industrial scheme to Carterton, which is home to a rapidly expanding population and already has an established commercial sector. We are pleased with the rapid take-up with two units already in occupation and have a strong pipeline of enquiries from prospective companies wishing to move in.”

Tom Barton, director of commercial property consultants VSL & Partners says: “With virtually no industrial stock of a similar size available and with the severe lack of Grade A accommodation in the region, our clients saw a real opportunity to assist small and established entrepreneurs with the creation of this new development. We believe Three Michaels Yard will be a highly sought after scheme.” VSL & Partners has been appointed jointly with Benedicts to market Carterton South Industrial Estate on a sale or tenancy basis. Units are available individually or in combination ranging in size from 1,302 – 13,722 sq ft, for further information please call 01865 848488 or visit

Deals Done...

Unit 13 Moorbrook, Southmead, Didcot 6,640 sq ft let to Esotec Ltd

Unit I Three Michaels Yard, Carterton 1,496 sq ft let to Factory 33 Ltd

Unit G Three Michaels Yard, Carterton 1,327 sq ft sold to RA Jones

12 Kidlington Centre, High Street, Kidlington 848 sq ft let to Box of Delights

Unit 15 Nimrod, Witney 4,987 sq ft sold to BMEX Ltd

16C Worcester Place, Oxford 1,887 sq ft let to Oxford Product Designs Ltd


“ Whenever a team member isn’t here we really miss them. Thinking of you Max, our fantastic Catering Manager

The King's Centre Team

Q&A: TEAM TALK HARMONY IN DIVERSITY Our commitment to sow harmony in diversity means that we work together to ensure that each client is understood , adapting to every need possible, and making their event the best it can be WRITTEN BY: THE KING’S CENTRE TEAM


Along with having a central and accessible location, great capacity and flexibility, beautiful catering and competitive pricing, a strong team is what is helping to make The King’s Centre so successful as one of Oxford’s prime venues for events. What are the main philosophies behind the workings of The King’s Centre team? Having both a shared vision for The King’s Centre and an appreciation of one another is key to the success of the team. Team members value not only


of one another’s roles and gifting but also their different views, perspectives, ways of working and thinking. There is also fundamental culture of looking to serve and support each other. The team exudes a positive spirit of acceptance and encouragement which is supported by humbleness and a quickness to overcome problems or differences. How do you think these team qualities impact on the client experience? Our commitment to one another means that we work together to ensure that


each client has a successful event with the benefit of the teams full support. The relationship between the team also impacts the general atmosphere of the centre and consequently it is a very welcoming, friendly and happy place to come to. Our team is very diverse. We have our locals, which have been with TKC since the beginning of the business and have seen it grow into what it is today. We also have members that are from Poland, the USA and Argentina. We have every age, ranging from the 20’s to the 50’s. This complete diversity is what makes our team more than capable to bring ourselves together, go beyond any cultural or generational differences, and look to make the client feel completely understood and welcomed.

who you’re working with.”

So can we hear a little of something from your team members of their perspective of team work?

“We each respect each other’s roles and we trust each other to do his/her job to the best of their ability. Since we respect each other we are able to be honest with each other when things don’t go according to plan”

“I know that everyone has a general idea of what a team is in a work environment, but the TKC staff really has something special. My goal is to keep the team strong and united, because what comes from within shows on the outside, and will certainly be genuine. We show you who we are, so you know


Do you have opportunities for people to experience your team work first hand?

“Communication! “ “Working together creates our success” “Our team involves different people with different goals… but we all have the same drive and by getting to know each other more each day, we manage to take our own inspirations and work results to the next level. “ “The kitchen does not operate without a good team, a good team can’t exist without mutual full understanding “

“Being a part of such an effective team gives a great sense of belonging and this in itself enables us to be more effective”

Yes, of course both as a client coming to us for a booking and also as being part of the extended Events team: Please do be in touch if you would like to find out more. For Bookings enquiries please contact Sue or for employment opportunities as part of the events team contact Maria, below.

    01865 295 295


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Blake Morgan’s Oxford teams celebrate outstanding success in Legal 500


Chris Potts

Lawyers at leading Oxford firm Blake Morgan are celebrating a strong presence in the 2016 edition of the prestigious Legal 500 directory. The directory, just published, reviews the strengths of lawyers across the UK and recommends them based on how they are seen by clients and their peers. In a glowing profile, it describes Blake Morgan as “one of the leading full service law firms” and praises its depth of legal skill and experience. Five partners from the firm’s Oxford offices were named as “leading individuals” – the highest accolade the directory can give. They are: CHRIS POTTS, who leads the Commercial Litigation team in the Thames Valley and is praised for his for his “extensive experience in High Court litigation”; GAYLE CURRY, recognised by the directory for her work for NHS bodies and private healthcare providers as part of Blake Morgan’s “powerhouse” healthcare team; RICHARD WADE, who leads Blake Morgan’s Construction team and works extensively with a broad client base in both the public and private sectors; PENNY RINTA-SUKSI, a partner in the Corporate and Commercial team, described by the directory as “extremely knowledgeable” and “a key name for governance advice”;

The directory notes: “Blake Morgan is one of the leading full-service law firms, providing its clients with access to a depth of legal skill and experience. Clients have a deep reservoir of goodwill for the firm as a result of its ‘exemplary service’ code of practice, its heritage and the access it provides to expertise, resource and sector specialisms.”

Gayle Curry

Expertise and “ outstanding client service are at the heart of everything we do at Blake Morgan. The directory results reflect our continued growth and success this year

Richard Wade

Mike Wilson, Managing Partner at Blake Morgan

Mike Wilson, Managing Partner at Blake Morgan, said: “Expertise and outstanding client service are at the heart of everything we do at Blake Morgan. The directory results reflect our continued growth and success this year and we are proud that the expertise and professionalism of our partners and their teams has been recognised by our clients and peers." Penny Rinta-Suksi

CHRISTINE PLEWS, partner in the Family team, who, the directory noted, “knows when to push a point but is also understanding of the client’s needs”. The Legal 500 placed five practice areas in the firm’s Thames Valley offices in its top-rated Tier 1 ranking – Commercial Litigation, Commercial Property, Corporate and Commercial, Employment and Family Law. Listed as “recommended” by the directory were 31 lawyers who work across Blake Morgan’s offices at Seacourt Tower offices, Oxford, and Apex Plaza, Reading.

  01865 248 607  Christine Plews


The equipment we use always aims to enhance the event; the difference between a £100 and £1,000 piece of kit can significantly change the result on the day, not to mention our reputation. Roy Naraine,Startech Productions






Productions For Roy Naraine it all started at school when he discovered that what went on backstage in productions fascinated him far more than featuring on the stage. The stage lighting was especially attractive to Roy and this new found interest led to a burgeoning career in London’s West End theatres and hire companies, working on stage lighting and live production. From here Roy worked for production companies which in addition to lighting, developed his skills in audio and audio-visual. The three disciplines together make up live event production and equipped Roy for the next steps in his career. Written by: Celia Cornforth Photography by: Binky Nixon Photography Working for production companies eventually began to feel restrained and, as a creative production technician, Roy felt that he was able to offer much more and could do so on his own. In 1998, Roy established Startech Productions. From the earliest days of the business, Startech Productions supported Event Management companies on behalf of national and multinational clients, providing creative technical services that develop events from initial concept to reality. Today, from premises in the appropriately named Electric Avenue on Osney Island in Oxford, the team at Startech (including Roxy the dog!) continue to provide these services to businesses across the country and beyond, as well as supporting professional and amateur dramatic companies, festivals and live music, all sectors of the education world and private events. “Our successes are achieved by Startech applying the discipline of the theatre that I learnt in my early days; curtain up at 7pm means curtain up at 7pm, an ethos that Startech are proud to bring to events, no matter what has to happen behind the scenes.” Throughout this 18 year journey Roy has continually updated his and his staff’s knowledge base in line with what advances in technology have to offer. In fact it is technology that Roy feels has driven the industry, and indeed Startech Productions, to greater heights. Nowadays production equipment typically operates through an IT interface, which in turn means that the user needs to be fully IT conversant to produce the most impressive results. The advent of high speed internet and digital equipment and systems across lighting, sound and vision has been paramount to producing events in today’s technology driven world. Indeed, one of Roy’s most interesting

and recent events would not have been possible before these advances, as Roy describes: “Being able to produce a two-day live simultaneous conference at two venues on different continents in London and Cairo is challenging enough, but add to that the audience at each venue not only being able to watch the presenter at the other venue, but to have the facility to ask questions of the presenters and interact with them visually. No mean feat, particularly when your team present a seamless transition of the screen, presenters and audience at both venues. It is an event I am especially proud of the crew at Startech for delivering.” One of the most enabling technological advances within the industry is arguably the facility of being able to mix graphics, live feeds and data from multiple platforms (Mac, PC or other). This is now possible without the audience seeing the notorious blue screen, the desktop or indeed computer commands; an important consideration when stressing the need to consistently deliver productions of the highest quality that accurately convey the message the client desires. Of course, new developments in technology require constant and considered investment. Roy’s purchasing decisions become critical as he explains: “The equipment we use always aims to enhance the event; the difference between a £100 and £1,000 piece of kit can significantly change the result on the day, not to mention our reputation. I believe that by investing in equipment from a manufacturer with an established pedigree, not only do we have the service backup for ongoing maintenance of the kit, but that the benefit is passed on with enhanced services to the client.”

While it sounds expensive and potentially prohibitive to most budgets, the utilisation of technology has actually encouraged a reduction in event budgets. Whereas in the past a conference delegation may have been 300 strong, delegates can now attend and interact virtually, reducing the venue size, accommodation and travel costs. From Roy’s perspective the pressure becomes even greater, as the expectation is to deliver the same high level of event, using robust technology that won’t fail at any point in the production; the client’s expectation remains the same regardless of budget or type of event. As Roy concludes: “It is clear to see that technology has changed, and will continue to change the event production industry. Yes, the development of technology has resulted in cheaper, more accessible options, but that in turn leads to a new set of problems. Just because you have the equipment doesn’t mean you are equipped to make full use of it, and if you are unable to use it to its full potential then the benefit becomes obsolete. That’s why there are specialist service providers such as Startech Productions available; if you invest in the right service, you’ll see a better outcome.”

  01865 722 522 


Think Rhodes for Business... For full information on exclusive use, meetings, seminars, team building and conferences please call 01865 282599 or email

Rhodes House, Oxford, OX1 3RG

Telephone 01865 282 599



James Cowper Kreston

The Business Services Team The Business Services team at James Cowper Kreston is at the core of the support that the firm provides to its corporate clients, for the team provide not only compliance based services such as year end accounts and audit, but also business advice and strategic input. The team liaises with the firm’s outsourcing, payroll and business tax teams to ensure that the services their clients receive are linked and all angles are considered. PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROB SCOTCHER

Manager, Andrew Smardon, specialises in advising clients in the charity, not for profit and education sectors. “ I have recently been involved in working with a number of clients who are looking at their operations with a view to operating a trading subsidiary to fund their charitable/not for profit activities. It’s fascinating to work with clients in this sector and to try and establish structures which enhance their ability to deliver to their stakeholders as effectively as possible.” Trainee, Lizzie Costigan carries out a lot of work, verifying applications for grant funding being made by (typically) R&D companies. “Grants for companies, particularly those in the technology sector can be a valuable source of funding, but I’ve seen how important it is that they get the admin right in making applications. By our work we can help them do that.” Director, James Pitt, works with ownermanaged businesses in the Oxfordshire area. ”We enjoy working with our clients to help them to achieve their objectives. This means that we take time to get to know our clients and their businesses, so we understand what is important to them and why. In valuing our clients we are looking to build long term relationships that sustain throughout the lifecycle of the company.”

Underpinning service delivery - as it does for all of the firm’s service lines – are the firm’s Vision and Values, which were originally put together with the staff ten years ago, but very much hold good today. The values are: • • • • • •

We value our people We practise teamwork We value our clients We excite and enthuse people We value professionalism We are fresh thinking

As a training organisation James Cowper Kreston recognises the value of education and currently has some 50 members of staff (out of a total of 200) being supported through formal training programmes which will culminate in their achieving professional qualifications – be that in accounting, tax, insolvency or corporate finance as well as in marketing, HR and admin. For the Business Services team the relevant qualifications will be as accountants, but the firm has a number of entry levels for these – from apprentices to graduates. Teamwork is vital to the firm’s delivery of services to its clients. Not only do staff work together to provide the best service to its clients but also work within the client’s team – with their other advisers - to ensure that projects are delivered effectively – whether that is project appraisal; structuring advice or initial set up of a company.

The Business Services team based out of the Oxford office, led by Partner, Sue Staunton, and Director, James Pitt, totals 12 and works as part of the wider Business Services team across the firm which numbers some 66 people. This scale of operation provides the firm with the physical capacity and technical resources to act for many large national and international businesses including those with turnover in excess of £500m as well as for smaller start up and entrepreneurial businesses. No matter their size, all of the firm’s clients are highly valued, with tailored service plans being agreed with them to fit their individual needs and requirements. Different clients will require differing levels of input from the team – some, for example,who may not have internal financial resources wanting a high degree of involvement, others only wanting assistance in meeting statutory deadlines for filing accounts and tax returns. James Cowper Kreston tries to excite and enthuse people –by thinking outside the box and delivering in a way that people may not expect from a firm of accountants and business advisers. This year, for example, the Partners invited all staff and their families to a performance of Giffords Circus in Oxford University Parks, followed by a large group picnic. Externally, the Oxford team are known for delivering unusual and fun marketing events for their clients and contacts, including their iconic Murder Mystery tour for over 100 people around the galleries of the Ashmolean museum last year.

But of paramount importance to the firm and its Partners is that the firm and its staff always act professionally in their dealings with clients, contacts, the outside world and with each other. Regulated by the Institute Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (on three of whose technical committees, partners from the firm sit), James Cowper Kreston is ranked 45 overall in the size of firms, but 28 in respect of audits and 7 in respect of listed audits. The team pride themselves on looking at issues that clients have from a number of perspectives so as to come up with an individual solution tailored to the client’s objectives – one size most definitely does not fit all. Sometimes the apparent issue is not the real cause of a problem. In encouraging the team to be fresh thinking James Cowper Kreston aims to solve issues for clients in the best way for them.

  01865 861 166 


Interview with Laura Adkins of MHG Whitley Stimpson Whitley Stimpson is one of the leading independent accounting and business advisors in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, with offices in Banbury, Bicester, High Wycombe and now Witney. The firm is ranked within the Top 100 UK practices and has been named as one of the top ten accountancy employers in the country by Accountancy Age. WRITTEN BY: CLAIRE THOMPSON, PAPA ROMEO PR PHOTOGRAPHY BY: VIC TOPLISEK, WHITLEY STIMPSON

The firm has over 85 years experience working and advising local and national businesses. Specialties include education, agriculture, SMEs and service charge accounting, along with providing sector specific advice. In April 2016, Whitley Stimpson merged with Witney based Morgan Harris, now known as MHG Whitley Stimpson. The merger was a meeting of minds in both business and cultural values, increasing the breadth and depth of services it can offer to clients. Claire Thompson met with Laura Adkins, director in charge of the firm’s Witney office, to find out more about how MHG Whitley Stimpson work with their clients, the breadth of their service offering and how her role has changed in recent years.


Claire: Describe how your career has developed at WS to the present day? Laura: I started working at Whitley Stimpson eleven years ago as a graduate from Oxford Brookes University. I always knew that my career would be in accountancy, but challenged myself to get a First Class Honors degree in Economics and Computing, which I achieved before gaining my ACA qualification in 2008. From there, I had a steep learning curve as my career accelerated in auditing. I was quickly promoted to Audit Manager and responsible for our large audit clients. I became a Registered Auditor in January 2013 and six months later, I became the firm’s second female partner. Working together with Alan Morgan, I now head up the new MHG Whitley Stimpson office in Witney. This has happened just three



I am delighted to be “ working in MHG Whitley Stimpson, it’s a fantastic office, with a great team of people and a wonderful client base. Laura Adkins, Director, MHG Whitley Stimpson

months after the birth of my second daughter, Esme, but thankfully my husband Marcus is the first man at BMW Oxford to take advantage of the Government’s new Shared Parental Leave, so at least I know the girls are in good hands whilst I’m at work! Claire: Why is running the Witney office important to you? Laura: I am delighted to be working in MHG Whitley Stimpson, it’s a fantastic office, with a great team of people and a wonderful client base. Witney is a lovely town, with huge potential for business, so this is an exciting challenge for me to embrace and to increase our presence in West Oxfordshire. Claire: Can you give me an overview of the services the Witney office provides? Laura: Historically, the focus was on owner-managed businesses, providing SMEs and their owners with support and guidance. Going forward, as part of Whitley Stimpson, we will be working hard to enhance our infrastructure from top to bottom, increasing our service offering whilst maintaining the top-quality level of personal service. Drawing on the Witney team’s existing knowledge bank as well as the breadth of expertise within Whitley Stimpson, we can offer more specialist tax advice, and have recruited a new manager in-house, Jo Painting who is completing her Chartered Institute of Taxation exams (CTA). Stacey Clack will move into a more strategic role within the business. Luke Wiseman will be completing his ACA final exams in

November and Deb Morgan will continue to play a vital customer-facing role whilst keeping us all in check! As a registered Auditor, I would also like to provide an audit offering from the Witney office.

I was quickly “ promoted to Audit Manager and responsible for our large audit clients. I became a Registered Auditor in January 2013 and six months later, I became the firm’s second female partner.

Laura Adkins, Director MHG Whitley Stimpson

Claire: What changes have taken place since the merger with Whitley Stimpson? Laura: Our main objective is to maintain consistency for all clients. We are focusing on our people, and are bolstering staff numbers and in-house capacity to provide a greater range of services to our customers. We employ an accountancy placement student each year from Oxford Brookes University and this year

Annabel Broome has joined us. Claire: How does MHG Whitley Stimpson differ from other accounting firms? Laura: We put our clients first. We don’t just focus on the business or the numbers; we focus on the people behind the business. We very much look at what their ambitions are, and then we structure a bespoke service to match their needs, helping them to maximise profits without paying any more tax that is absolutely necessary. Essentially, we look at the ultimate goals of our clients and work with them, developing a long-term, value-adding business relationship that will help them achieve these. Claire: What is your message to other businesses? Laura: We always welcome clients to pick up the phone to bounce ideas off us and generally chat about their business. We find that sometimes this is all it takes to get clarity and guidance when faced with decisions. For businesses that do not already know of us, please pop in and see us for a free, no-obligation, face-to-face chat – our door is always open and we have a cracking coffee machine!


  01993 700 010 


Oxford Event Hire pride themselves on their immediate response, first class service, accurate delivery timings, quality equipment and highly competitive prices. 01865 760 158



Thames Valley Law Firm Expands its Reach WRITTEN BY: DAVID LAMONT

One of the Thames Valley’s leading law firms, Blandy & Blandy LLP, has announced the acquisition of the business of Henley-on-Thames based firm, Collins Dryland & Thorowgood LLP, giving the firm a presence in the town and cementing its connections with the wider South Oxfordshire region. Blandy & Blandy is recognised as a top tier regional firm by both Chambers UK Guide and The Legal 500 and was recently awarded a one star rating in the annual Best Companies survey, recognising workplace excellence. Chairman, Brenda Long, said: “CDT is a long established firm with a solid reputation for client service and is very much part of the Henley establishment. Blandy & Blandy also has longstanding connections with the area and a number of significant clients in Henley and this merger of our operations and greater investment in Henley will widen access to our full range of legal services and enable more clients to benefit from our partner led approach and commitment to client care. “We are in the process of writing to clients to share this exciting news and to reiterate that it is very much a case of business as usual. We look forward

to offering CDT’s existing clients the same high standards of excellence.”

“ We are in the process of writing

to clients to share this exciting news and to reiterate that it is very much a case of business as usual. We look forward to offering CDT’s existing clients the same high standards of excellence

Despite a heritage spanning nearly 300 years, Blandy & Blandy prides itself on being a progressive and forward thinking firm, as it continues to grow and evolve. In 2015 the firm opened a new second office close to Reading Station and the number of partners has risen by more than a third since 2014. The firm now has offices in Reading, London and Henley-on-Thames. Long added: “As we look ahead, Blandy & Blandy is poised to capitalise further on the investments it has made, both in recruiting excellent staff, and in our premises and infrastructure. I am proud to lead the firm into an exciting and ambitious future.”

Brenda Long, Chairman, Blandy & Blandy LLP

As part of the move Blandy & Blandy will welcome CDT’s staff, increasing the firm’s headcount by over 10%. William Fursman will join as a consultant, while Luke McMath will join as a partner.


  0118 951 6800 


OXFORD TEAM GROWS TO MORE THAN 100 AS CITY BUSINESSES THRIVE Oxford is an exciting place to be working in business. With a thriving and entrepreneurial community and many long-standing firms in the region growing, it’s a city that is attracting law graduates from London who are looking to start a career with a local firm. WRITTEN BY: KNIGHTS PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Following the acquisition of Darbys Solicitors, Knights Professional Services has welcomed operations director, Mark Beech to the role of office leader. Mark brings with him more than 25 years’ experience to the team, having previously worked as a partner in private practice dealing primarily with both contentious and noncontentious commercial work, and has also enjoyed a part time role as in-house counsel for a non-legal business. Now heading up a growing team of 130 professionals, Mark said that although most clients won’t have noticed a difference to services themselves, the feedback received from clients is that there has been a real positive change since the acquisition earlier in the year, such as, more resource and quicker responses “I’m really looking forward to meeting more of our existing clients and the Oxfordshire business community,” Mark explained. “As office leader I am responsible for supporting our team of professionals, identifying training and development needs and recruiting new talent to the team. “Since the acquisition of Darbys Solicitors we have modernised our internal systems so our clients benefit from the most up-to-date technology and a paperless approach. “My focus has been on supporting all staff to make the transition to a new organisation as seamless as possible and ensure that clients get the same level of service from the partners with whom they have built strong relationships. “Oxford is a very supportive community and I’m delighted that we have welcomed 50 new professionals to the team in the last seven months and continue to invest in new talent to help boost the economy.” Phillip Marsh, commercial property partner, has been working within Oxford for more than 11 years and is positive about opportunities that Knights can bring to the city. 62

“Our clients like to know who they are dealing with, so, understandably, news of an acquisition was a slight worry for some people, but once I was able to demonstrate that the core individuals within the commercial property team would remain and the intention was to expand, rather than contract, clients were reassured,” he said. “Nothing has changed from their perspective, but behind the scenes we’ve streamlined processes, implemented a completely paperless system and strengthened our infrastructure so they get a much more efficient service.”

Oxford is a very supportive “ community and I’m delighted

Mark Taylor has been working in the Oxford legal sector for almost 35 years after graduating from the University of Oxford and has been working with some clients for decades. “Building a level of trust is important in our field of work but now it’s encouraging to have additional resource and expertise to tap into.” he said. “Franchising, town planning, and management consultancy are all areas of work which now strengthen our offering. “Oxford is a fantastic place to be working at the moment, so to be in a position to help our clients grow further is exciting. It’s a new beginning for the team here and brings a lot of opportunities for businesses in the region.”

that we have welcomed 50 new professionals to the team in the last seven months and continue to invest in new talent to help boost the economy.

Knights, the leading regional professional services business, has offices in Oxford, Cheltenham, Chester, Derby, Hale and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

50 professionals have been recruited at the Oxford office, 36 of them paralegals. By developing young talent from within, existing lawyers have been freed up to offer their expert legal advice more quickly. Mark Beech added: “Our investment in paralegals means we have an enthusiastic team who want to learn and are hoping to secure themselves a training contract. Law graduates can offer a high level of support to our team, allowing our partners to focus on the legal work.

“In January we made a commitment to employ 50 new professionals at the Oxford office, which we have done. We’ve always been open about our desire to attract the very best talent.”

“People who want to do well at Knights will progress quickly and we’re keen to create a modern professional services business which has a flexible workforce.” The team in Oxford joins a wider employee base of more than 465 staff over six regional offices. Experts in education, equine, brain injury, medical negligence, real estate and commercial can tap into additional resource from the other offices.

“Oxford has been a major area of growth for Knights and we’re recruiting across all levels from partners to paralegals strengthening our asset management, conveyancing, commercial and non-legal teams,” added Mark Beech.


    01865 811700 @Knights1759



Mark Beech OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Mark is the Oxford Office Leader and operations director at Knights, a UK professional services business and the first in the UK legal sector to attract private equity investment, putting Knights in a unique position to achieve substantial growth.

Mark Taylor CONSULTANT - ASSET MANAGEMENT TEAM Mark deals with a wide range of property matters, including in particular investment properties and leases. Property development is also an important part of his portfolio, acting both for developers and landowners.

Philip Marsh PARTNER - ASSET MANAGEMENT TEAM Philip deals with a wide variety of work in the commercial property sector. His practice includes large and small scale developments, the acquisition and disposal of investment properties, advising on the property aspects of secured lending as well as advising commercial landlords and tenants.


Sobell House Q&A with the Oxford Construction Director commitment to being a 'good neighbour' and helping create flourishing, successful communities. We have been overwhelmed by the staff’s enthusiasm in supporting this cause, a small committee has been formed to debate fundraising ideas. Our first committee meeting is later this week.

Name: Dean Averies Business: Beard Q: Please tell B4 just why you decided to support Sobell House and The 40 Club. A: We are delighted to be raising much-needed funds for Sobell House 40 Club to ensurethat their vision of high quality end of life care should be available to everyone who needs it in Oxfordshire - whether they are at home, in hospital or in the hospice. On a more personal note my father benefited from end of life care from a hospice making this a very poignant personal cause. Q: Do you feel that your community driven CSR undertaking has helped to position your business more positively within Oxfordshire? A: Yes. This year Beard launched a charitable foundation to support staff community initiatives and construction education projects in the South of England. The Beard Charitable Foundation, which

has been set up with a £250,000 donation from the Beard family, will be held and managed by Oxfordshire Community Foundation, a charitable organisation that connects donors with local causes. The Beard Foundation Board hopes to award £20,000 in grants each year. The new foundation will support charity and community work by our staff, wherever possible matching the funds raised, up to a maximum of £5,000. Q: What have been the most distinctive benefits of The 40 Club so far? A: It is very early days, we only joined The 40 Club recently, but with the article in B4 Magazine we hope to reach a wider audience.

Q: Would you say that your staff are more motivated and productive as a direct result of your CSR? A: The inclusive approach of Beard encourages all staff to become involved in local community projects, whether that’s working with a local boys football club or raising money for charities. Being part of The 40 Club has already allowed us to form a more intimate relationship with Jennings, another member of The 40 Club by attending their family BBQ event. Q: How much have you raised so far for The 40 Club? A: We have raised approximately £250 so far following our first BBQ but it is very early days, we will raise further funds in due course. Q: What has been the most adventurous fundraising activity so far? A: We have a team of four signed up for the Open water swim in this September and are looking forward to further adventurous fundraising opportunities.

Q: How important is it to you and your company to get involved in local charity? A: Supporting people and organisations in the areas where we work, and encouraging staff to give back to the local community, is an essential part of our

Two Unforgettable Cycling Events LONDON TO PARIS 19th – 23rd July 2017 Connect two of the world’s most chic capital cities as you embark on the challenge of a lifetime for Sobell House! This challenge covers 420km in 4 days and the adventure begins in Crystal Palace before heading south 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. You will have a whole day to explore the Paris and visit the landmarks you cycled past the day before! That is also the day to see the grand finale of the greatest bike ride of them all, the Tour de France, before taking the Eurostar back to London.


Carrie Francombe from Solid State Logic tells B4 how it’s the little things that help a lot when it comes to fundraising for Sobell House When Sobell House announced their plans for the 40 Club my managing director discussed the possibility of Solid State Logic taking on the challenge. Raising £10,000.00 over 4 years can sound somewhat daunting, but when you break it down to £2,500.00 each year it becomes an achievable task. With my knowledge in fundraising and charity work through Girl guiding I was willing to join our fundraising committee. With suggestions from my colleagues, we have put together several fundraising ideas throughout the year. We are also being supported by the directors of SSL who have pledged that the company will match our donations to make it to the target. After just a few events, the funds are mounting up. We started with a St George themed fun day, raising £400! Employees could enter a fancy dress competition, we also had cakes for sale and a

crossbar challenge. Although it’s strange to see staff dressed as dragons and newspapers we all had great fun. It bought together a real sense of comradery as we took it in turns to try and hit the crossbar of the football goal to be crowned the annual Cross Bar Champion! A group of SSL Staff past and present took on the Welsh 3000 challenge, climbing the 15 highest peaks in Snowdonia in 24 hours. This raised a whopping £600 towards our target. We plan to hold the Great SSL Bake off in October to reach our annual goal. Staff will pay to enter their baked goods and then after the judging the rest of the company will be invited to eat the cakes for a donation.

donations. Next year we plan to hold a car boot sale in our company car park as well as our regular cake bake events. All you need is a few willing volunteers who want to help make a difference to such a worthwhile charity, a bit of imagination and the support of your company. Dominique at Sobell and her team have been very supportive, providing us with banners, balloons and collection buckets as well as a friendly ear to bounce our ideas around.

Some staff have chosen to donate an amount each month. Others have brought in their own produce from their allotments which they have sold for

VIETNAM-CAMBODIA 19th-28th October 2017 This incredibly enchanting cycle ride explores the sights of cities, royal palaces, paddy fields and temples. Cyclists will peddle their way across two magical countries, taking in the wealth of experiences each has to offer. The Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle is the perfect challenge for any adventurer. From the bustling

Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh to the serene temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the route has its fair share of charm. To book your place please contact or call us on 01865 857007


Fun & Games in Rio

By the time you are reading this you'll know. Did Mr Bolt save the reputation of athletics by winning gold for an unprecedented third Games in a row ? Have the Russians won their medals, but with the faint whiff of 'is that all really their natural talent and training, or have they perhaps been 'helped' along the way hanging over them. How many medals will the incredible Michael Phelps have won in the pool, despite promising that he was hanging up his goggles for good after London. Will the NBA millionaire-superstars have triumphed again. How well will the GB cycling team have done after the retirement of a their talismanic leader, Chris Hoy. You'll know this, of course, because you will have seen the coverage on TV. For me, however, as I sit drinking (a rather excellent) coffee looking out over what I have to admit is a very grey, cold and dismal Copacabana Beach, these are all the imponderables and unknowns that will unwind themselves in eyes of billions of viewers over the course of the next couple of weeks of action here in Brazil.


So how come I drew the short straw and have ended up in Rio ? Well, for 17 years before I set up my travel business, Great Experience Travel, in 2007, the Olympic Games, along with the Soccer World Cups, Commonwealth Games and numerous other sporting event worldwide was my life. I was lucky enough to have had the dream job of being Director of Travel and Event Services, at international sports specialist, Sportsworld Group, then based in Abingdon. We ran programmes to all the major events around the world, looking after sponsors, VIPs, general spectators, Mums and Dads of the athletes, the athletes themselves.

most of the Games locked away in an Ops Bunker somewhere, with banks of computers, mobile phones, pagers, walkie-talkies etc., watching what was going on a few miles away from me on TV like half of the world's population.

My role was to plan the programmes, negotiate the allocations of tickets with Organising Committees, contract the hotels, recruit the staff that we needed to make the operations work and then be on site myself for 4-6 weeks pulling all the strings and making sure that people got to their events on time, had the right tickets when they got there, and of course, could then get back to their hotels afterwards. This was far from an easy task, and I would often spend

I was often asked 'was it really worth it - the inflated hotel prices, the stress and strain of crowded buses and train, the cost of the tickets and everything else. Wouldn't I really be better off staying at home and watching it on the TV ? Those of you who were lucky enough to be in London for any of the Olympic or Parlympic action in 2012, will know the answer to this…yes, absolutely. Of course, if you want to see the 100ms from 27 different camera angles, have

I'm not looking for the sympathy vote - far from it yes, it was incredibly stressful, working incredibly long hours, but in the end, I was there - from Barcelona to London, and now on to Rio ! When time allowed, I could always find a ticket for something, and could get out of the office and be part of the privileged few actually being at an event in person.

every one of Mr Bolt's 41 steps, analysed by a team of experts in minute detail - then certainly, watching on TV is the best for you. However, nothing, and I really mean nothing, compares with the tingle up-the spine-moment, as 65000 or more are brought to a hush, then the explosion of the start, the crescendo of noise, and the victor crashing across the line less than 10 seconds later. It doesn't really matter what sport you are watching from archery to water-polo, handball to wrestling - you can have nothing but awe and respect for the athletes - and their families - as they reach the pinnacle of their sport, however, arcane it might appear. Don't believe me ? Sit at home sometime and look at the ceiling, and imagine the high jumpers soaring above the alcatrave at over 2ms 40 off the ground, or get a saucer from the kitchen cupboard, give it to a loved one, then have them walk 50ms away from you with it, hold it up, and imagine that to win archery gold, you'll have to land 10 arrows into that space - at 50ms, most people can't even see their loved one, let

as with every Olympics, you are seeing history as it happens, memories as they are created - all against a stunning backdrop of one of the world's most exciting, and crazy cities.




nothing, and I really mean nothing, compares with the tingle up-the spine-moment, as 65000 or more are brought to a hush, then the explosion of the start, the crescendo of noise, and the victor crashing across the line less than 10 seconds later.

alone the saucer they are holding up ! Or, measure out 18.43ms in the garden, or along the road, and imagine that that is as far as Jonathan Edwards has triple-jumped - bear in mind that a London bus is only 15ms, so it's the red double-decker from end to end, plus the car behind. Or next time you are at the swimming pool, go to the deep end, surface dive just deep enough so that only your feet are left above the surface, hold that position for 10 seconds, then try to rise up elegantly, keeping your legs dead straight until your waist reaches the surface, then spin at least twice, extending and closing your legs whilst doing so, before elegantly returning below the surface, where you spin around, and come up through the water waving, and smiling. Do that without inhaling a massive amount of water, and I can guarantee that you will develop a new-found respect for what the synchronised swimmers put themselves through in their 2-minute routine. Wherever you look, incredible achievements of dedication and effort are on show. So what about Rio ? I have come out here to look after a number of clients, so I am back in my old routines again. It is an amazing city - chaotic, maddening and illogical. I declare an interest at this point - having a mixed German and Austrian background, and having a Swiss wife, we don't do 'chaotic' in our household, and certainly not illogic, but Rio does spin a spell on you in a curious way that I haven't really understood yet. Sitting here in a coffee bar overlooking the Copacabana beach just behind me, there are the multi-million dollar condos, with their view over to Sugar Loaf Mountain. However, 3 or 4 blocks back, you enter a different world of incredible poverty and deprivation - well being honest, you look at it from a distance. No tourist with a sense of their own safety ventures to far away from the regular tourist routes in this city, and their curiosity in the poor parts of town - and there are lots of them - is not welcomed. Around the corner from Copacabana, and along Ipanema's equally famous beach is Leblon - probably.

Rio's most expensive and exclusive suburb, yet across the road is South America's largest favela, with more than 100000 residents - well, in truth, no one really knows how many people are crammed into this shanty town covering a couple of hectares clinging to the side of the hill - I don't think that even the bravest city official is going to count them, so guesswork will suffice. It's a strangely uneasy relationship. between extreme wealth and extreme poverty that seems to work - every condo owner has at least maid, a cleaner, a cook, a gardener, an odd-job man/ woman, all employed for a pitence, but keeping some level of employment going for the favela. It's been calculated that 60% of the favela are employed across the road by the luxury condo owners, giving the area a strange synergy.

And looking down on it all - the serenely beautiful statue of Cristo Redemptor, Christ the Redeemer arms open wide, embracing the city, and all who live in it. Not providing a solution to the city's problems, but a real demonstration that the city does not face it problems alone. Not since before or since Sydney in 2000 has the Olympic Games been to a city of such incredible natural beauty. Truly a remarkable setting for the greatest show on earth. What will be the story of these Games ? No one really knows. What will be the legacy of these Games – no one knows that either. What is certain, however, is that as with every Olympics, you are seeing history as it happens, memories as they are created - all against a stunning backdrop of one of the world's most exciting, and crazy cities.

Despite its problems, the locals are incredibly proud of their city, and country, and this pride was evident at a very Brazilian Opening Ceremony. The city buzzes with life, action, music, and, of course, sport. The city will be left with a legacy after the Games of great venues, but for the locals, once the Olympic juggernaut heads off in the direction of Tokyo, they will still be playing foot-volley on the smallest scrap of beach, showing off bodies beautiful (and some that would be better covered up).

Right, I'm off the find somewhere to warm up – I’m freezing, and I've still got a couple of hours sitting at the beach volleyball tonight to look forward to later. However, my waiter has just told me that the sun will be back tomorrow. That's typical Rio de Janeiran optimism, but this is an optimistic city, so I’m happy to believe him.

and will still wander along to Copacabana in the tiniest of swimming costumes - as they are still doing today, despite this being more akin to a January day in Western Super Mare, than being on one of the world's most iconic sunspots.

If you want to know more about visiting Rio de Janeiro, or exploring Brazil and other parts of South America, or you are interested in visiting a major sports event in future, give David a call below:

This city lives on a knife-edge and these Games are on a knife-edge too. Not everything was built on time, because the city authorities ran out of money, the transport system is creaking, and will creak even more when the athletics starts later in the week, but somehow, Rio will cope. It's a city that seems to cope with everything...somehow.

(NB: Author’s note: My waiter was right about the weather – the sun did shine !)


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BOMBAY SAPPHIRE A derelict paper mill in the tiny village of Laverstoke seems an unusual place for the gin giant, Bombay Sapphire, to make its home. This superb venue played host to B4’s latest classic event on one of the last sun drenched evenings of the summer. Guests enjoyed the delicious Laverstoke cocktail and a tour of the venue, finding about the sustainable technology used at the distillery and the mill’s rich history. As a paper mill which pioneered the watermarking process, in the 1700’s the Mill ran a very successful business, supplying bank note paper for the Bank of England and the British Empire. Bombay Sapphire sought to bring high-quality goods manufacturing

back to Laverstoke Mill, after the last bank note left in 1963. The distillery experience aims to educate guests about Bombay Sapphire gin – a gin which is British to the core. Possibly the most impressive parts of the distillery are the giant glasshouses designed by Heatherwick Studios, built to house examples of the ten botanicals which go in to the gin, sourced from all over the world.


OXFORD UNIVERSITY RUGBY CLUB SEASON 2016/17 At Oxford University Rugby Football Club (OURFC) we are very much looking forward to the new season as both our men’s and women’s teams make preparations for the their respective Varsity Matches, both to be played at Twickenham on Thursday 8th December. The men’s and women’s rugby clubs, previously operating independently, merged in May 2015, so this season will be our second as ‘One Club’ which has helped to strengthen both sections and create greater ‘unity’ of university rugby. The focus of our season is the annual challenge of Varsity, when we take on our ancient adversaries – Cambridge University – for the bragging rights of Varsity Champions. The 2016 version will be the 135th time the men’s teams have met, with Cambridge just ahead by 61 wins to 59, with 14 draws, however Oxford are on an unprecedented run of success having won the last six matches in a row.

women and working very hard in training to gain revenge this December. The Varsity Match is a fantastic day out with various hospitality options on offer at Twickenham – for more information on these options please contact the OURFC General Manager on The Women’s Varsity Match Kick-off 11.30am at Twickenham The Varsity Match Kick-off 2.30pm at Twickenham Prior to Varsity, we have an exciting fixture list for both teams with games to be played at the home of Oxford University rugby, the Iffley Road Rugby Stadium.

The women played their Varsity Match at Twickenham for the first time in December 2015 with the Cambridge women emerging victorious, so our Oxford

Men’s Home Fixtures DATE



Monday 10th October

Bristol Rugby


Monday 17th October

Northampton Saints


Monday 31st October

To be confirmed


Tuesday 8th November



Wednesday 16th November

Major Stanley's XV


Monday 21st November

Worcester Warriors


Sunday 27th November






Wednesday 26th October

Cardiff Met University


Wednesday 16th November

University of Gloucestershire


Women’s Home Fixtures

For more information and all the latest news on Oxford University Rugby, please visit our website






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MEET JULIA Julia Cook is a hospitality industry veteran who brings 20 years of experience to her new role as Director of Sales at Jurys Inn Oxford. Previously Julia worked for renowned brands Marriott, DeVere, and Carlson Rezidor in locations throughout the UK, where she was responsible for developing the property sales teams and coaching team members on maximising revenue in all market segments. More recently Julia headed up sales and business development at Amazing Venues where she honed her extensive knowledge and expertise in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) sales. Julia’s understanding of the domestic market makes her the perfect addition to the Jurys Inn Oxford management team. Julia’s goal is to support the wider Jurys Inn Oxford team as they reach the end of their extensive refurbishment programme this autumn, with a particular focus on the hotel’s extensive conference facilities.

ABOUT JURYS INN Jurys Inn Oxford is currently undergoing a £10.8M hotel refurbishment to completely transform the hotel. The refurbishment programme will include stylish new look bedrooms and an extension which will increase bedroom capacity from 168 to 240 bedrooms. The revamped hotel also features 20 newly designed, state of the art meetings rooms specialising in large scale conferences, banqueting and weddings for up to 200 guests. There is also a Juvenate Health and Leisure Club, Costa Coffee bar, plus the introduction of a Marco Pierre White restaurant which will open later this year. Situated on Godstow Road, the four star Jurys Inn Oxford hotel is close to the picturesque city centre and a myriad of local attractions. For those keen to explore further afield, Blenheim Palace, Didcot Railway Centre and Bicester Shopping Village are just a short drive from the hotel.

CONTACT ME  Godstow Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX2, 8AL   01865 489 988   /jurysoxford  @JurysInnOxford





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THE cast of The Rocky Horror Show met in the Randolph Hotel’s Cartoon Bar ahead of performing in Oxford this Christmas at the New Theatre from 13th to 31st December. Comedian Norman Pace will be taking to the stage, as will actors Charlie Condou, who played Marcus Dent in Coronation Street, and Philip Franks, best known for his roles in The Darling Buds Of May and Heartbeat. Also joining the cast as one of the narrators is comedian Steve Punt. They join the previously announced Georgia May Foote, runner-up in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, who is best known for her portrayal of Katy Armstrong in ITV’s Coronation Street who takes on the role of Columbia and S Club 7 star Paul Cattermole as Eddie/Dr Scott. The cast spoke to B4 and were obviously excited about coming to Oxford and performing in what is sure to be a massive hit this Christmas. See more from the launch at   For tickets call 0844 871 3020 (for groups of 10 or more call 0844 871 3040) or visit


Discover ...


Enjoy an exciting journey back in time to experience a wealth of history and heritage mixed with a 21st century welcome.


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Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons Created by celebrated chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Belmond Le Manoir is renowned for offering one of Britain’s finest gastronomic experiences. WRITTEN BY: JULIA SUTCLIFFE

Situated in the picturesque Oxfordshire village of Great Milton, it is one of the country’s most cherished manor houses, with 32 individually designed guest bedrooms and suites. The hotel received two Michelin in 1984, the first year of its opening, and, remarkably, has held them ever since. Surrounded by lawns, flowers borders and orchards, the luxury hotel enjoys an idyllic, typically English setting. But beyond the eye-catching displays are vegetable and herb gardens that provide the kitchens – and the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School – with ultra-fresh, organic produce, ensuring the restaurant remains at the cutting edge of culinary excellence. From the mushroom valley and orchards to the serene English water garden, a stroll through the verdant scenery will be one of many highlights to your visit. You can also enjoy a fascinating insight into the unique flora of the hotel’s grounds with daily tours.

La Belle Epoque – private dining, weddings and meetings at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons The creation of the private dining room, right at the heart of Belmond Le Manoir, is designed to give you the best dining experience, whether for a private celebration or a business event. The food and hospitality will equal the quality of our restaurant.

La Belle Epoque consists of the wood panelled dining room, its own private reception area and elegant conservatory, opening up onto an enchanting walled garden within the oldest part of the house. A place for all seasons, your guests can enjoy drinks on the terrace and croquet on the lawn during the summer months or the glow of an open fire for a warm welcome during winter.

comfort and style. The secluded garden is the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs. Of course no two weddings are alike, and therefore a collection of our most beautiful suites are also licensed to hold your ceremony, together with the Japanese Tea House and Hartley Botanic Glass House for the most intimate of occasions.

Corporate days

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons • Two Michelin stars since 1984 • Discover 11 gardens within the grounds • Home to the acclaimed Raymond Blanc Cookery School • Wine and Dine Experiences • La Belle Epoque Private Dining Room for up to 50 guests • Corporate and business entertaining • Product Launches • Weddings • Calendar of unique events

Your wedding celebration Belmond Le Manoir is licensed to hold your civil wedding ceremonies, enabling you and your guests to enjoy both the formalities and the reception in

La Belle Epoque is ideal for meetings, product launches and corporate events. For the ultimate incentive day and for a day out of the office, why not bring your team to The Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Encourage your colleagues to work together as the pace hots up. You may be surprised at who is the dab-hand in the kitchen and who can’t stand the heat.

      +44 (0)1844 278 881 @lemanoir @lemanoirauxquatsaisons @belmondlemanoir


photo © Matt Letts

Laura Bowle CLIMBING TO THE TOP The explosion in Lycra clad 40 – 50 year olds over the last 10 years has been nothing short of remarkable, with the London Olympics proving to be one of the most significant catalysts for growth. However, with climbing confirmed as one of the 2020 Olympic Games new additions, the popularity of climbing is set to soar. B4’s Richard Rosser spoke with EY’s Laura Bowle about how her love of climbing has given her the confidence and positive mental attitude to excel at work. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MATT LETTS & COREY RICH PRODUCTIONS

Why climbing? “I started climbing about 4 ½ years ago, completely on a whim. I’d climbed once or twice as a kid, but not for a long time. I was living in Reading and Reading Climbing Centre had just opened. My fiancé, Matt, went for it and bought us the Learn to Climb course and I totally fell in love with it. We have been climbing together ever since, three or four times a week, whenever we can fit it in. “Every year we go on climbing holidays, including Spain and France and next year we’re going to New Zealand. A lot of our training is now built around getting fitter and stronger for climbing, but as an activity in itself it doesn’t feel like exercise because we enjoy it so much. It’s a great way of keeping fit without it feeling like exercise. We will climb three or four times during the week and, at the weekend, depending on what we have on, we will go down for the day or for an hour. But it’s consistent – we will climb every week, without fail.” 78

Was it something of a ‘punt’ from Matt to book the course? “We had been together for about six months and we had talked about things that we had done in the past. For example, I went traveling after University and spent a lot of time in New Zealand and had experienced a lot of extreme sports and that’s where I got my love of the outdoors. In the six months we spent together, Matt hadn’t really seen that side of me. He is a really active person and he was at that crossroads where he had been with me for six months but wanted to be with someone long term that he could enjoy outdoor activities with. So it was a bit of a punt to see if I was up to it and whether this was something we could do together. “Looking back I suppose it was a challenge to the relationship, but, fortunately for Matt, it worked!”


“Work have been great. We have a flexible working policy so we can start early and finish work early and that allows Matt and I to climb as often as we want. The one thing I love about climbing is that you cannot think about anything else. You are focusing on your position, you are 100% absorbed in climbing, you are concentrating on where the next clip is, how you are going to get the rope to it and generally making sure you don’t fall. It completely clears my head. Before climbing, if I’d had a busy day I would have got home, eaten something, maybe done some more work and gone to bed. Without exercise I wasn’t very productive - I didn’t function to my full capabilities because my body wasn’t getting exercised and my mind was tired. Whereas now, if I can go climbing I can completely clear my head after a couple of hours and the next day I am completely refreshed. “At the end of the week, if I’m really tired, the last thing I want to do is exercise but it’s the best thing I can do, a reboot before the weekend and then I can hit the ground running when I get back to work, completely refreshed. “I have a couple of colleagues in the team who have done their Learn to Climb course. They’re just trying to work out their flexible working approach, combining work with climbing. It’s almost like they think there’s a catch, that it’s too good to be true, but EY have embraced flexible working because they see the positive effects it can have. I know the benefits it can bring so I’m right behind them and once they strike that balance, they will reap the rewards. I’m still trying to get work to do a team building outing to Reading Climbing Centre which will, I am sure, attract more to climbing.”

Any Horror Moments? “I’ve had some big falls but the thing that scared me the most was Matt falling. We had not long learned to ‘lead climb’, which is basically where you tie the rope to yourself and as you climb up you clip the rope to the wall. So you’re not attached when you start out. The beauty of lead climbing is that if Matt falls, the furthest I can go is only as high as the first clip on the wall in terms of me coming off the ground. But because of our weight differential, if Matt isn’t clipped into the third clip, about a third of the way up the wall and he falls, then we will collide in mid-air. We did just that not long after we learned to lead climb. Matt completely missed a clip, spectacularly took a fall off the wall and we collided in mid-air and it really shook both of us. He was concerned that he was going to hurt me and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to hold his weight and he was going to hit the ground. “He fell from about 30 feet (7 / 8 metres). But that was enough to shake us. Had we been outdoors it would have been a lot more serious – it taught us an invaluable lesson and we are now a lot more careful. “I had a fall when I was clipping on a ceiling section of the wall (‘Spiderman’ style) and just lost all

strength and fell about 40 feet. This is all indoors, so no harm done, but there are lots of other variables outdoors, not least that you won’t have done the route before and that’s where the adrenalin buzz comes and you have to control the fear element. So getting as much practice under your belt indoors is vital to be able to cope with all of the added dangers that outdoor climbing presents.”

The Dawn Wall Climb photo © Corey Rich Productions

Work / Climb Balance

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Transferrable Skills to the Workplace “When I find myself in a challenging situation at work, I now have the tools to cope because I have been challenged mentally climbing. For me, knowing I can overcome the fear mentally, means I can take that into the work environment. It’s the positive thinking which is something I have developed through climbing – I don’t fear much, in any circumstances. I know that, put under pressure, I do excel and can control the anxiety. “I’ve also become more confident talking to people. With climbing, you’re also mixing with a very diverse bunch – a lot of people I climb with range from 20 to 50 and some of them are very successful in business…you wouldn’t know when you are all covered in chalk that you’re talking to a leading CEO. They have found climbing has helped them achieve more in business, literally climbing to the top!”

Is Climbing the new cycling? “I can’t see cycling’s popularity waning, but with climbing in the next Olympics, then I can see even more climbing centres popping up all over the UK and beyond. After The Dawn Wall climb (see right) in Yosemite (Google: National Geographic Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson Dawn Wall) the climbing centre was rammed. It really captured the imagination of people of all ages and I can imagine the Olympics will have an even greater effect.”

Climbing Wall Envy There’s no doubt that climbing proved to be a huge factor in Laura’s relationship with Matt, but it has its downside, as Laura concludes. “Matt travels a lot on business and deliberately books in to hotels near climbing walls. He’ll send me pictures of walls he has climbed without me! It’s a strange thing for a partner to be envious about but, believe me, we love climbing so much I do get very jealous….in a good way!”

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the summit of the 3,000-foot rock known as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, marking the first free ascent of a notoriously difficult section called the Dawn Wall. The ascent represented the realisation of Caldwell's vision to find a way to free climb the Dawn Wall—widely considered too steep and too difficult for free climbing—a dream that began seven years ago, when Caldwell began exploring this historic granite face. Free climbing means using one's hands and feet to ascend a rock's natural features, employing ropes and other gear only to stop a fall. At roughly 3,000 feet (915 meters) tall, the Dawn Wall comprises 32 "pitches"—or 32 rope-lengths—of climbing. Caldwell's and Jorgeson's goal was to free climb all 32 pitches—without falling and without returning to the ground in between. If one of them fell while attempting a pitch, he would have to try that individual pitch from its beginning again. They began their ascent on December 27, and committed to living up on the side of El Cap for as long as it took each of them to free climb every pitch in succession. Their base camp consisted of three portaledges—each one a six-foot by four-foot (2-meter by 1-meter) platform with tent fly, suspended by nylon straps and hanging from bolts in the sheer granite wall. For breakfast they ate whole-wheat bagels topped with cream cheese, red bell pepper, cucumber, and salami or salmon. At night, they sipped whiskey. Every few days, one of the friends waiting on the ground ascended 1,200 feet (366 meters) of rope to bring the team a new cache of supplies and water.

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Discover the hidden heart of the University… A guided tour of the Bodleian Libraries is one of the best ways to explore the history of the University of Oxford. Guided tours take visitors inside the oldest parts of the library to areas not open to the public but where students and academics still study today. See inside the atmospheric Medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library (where Harry Potter was filmed), visit the grand Divinity School which is the University’s oldest teaching and examination room, and don’t miss the interior of Oxford’s most iconic landmark the Radcliffe Camera.   These remarkable rooms and buildings within the Old Bodleian Library are the hidden heart of the University of Oxford. The Bodleian is steeped in history, and our experienced tour guides expertly bring to life its rich and varied stories. Public guided tours take place seven days a week, while private group bookings can be made in advance. Alternatively you could complete your private event at the Bodleian with a guided tour of the Duke Humfrey’s Library for your guests.


For more information on guided tours please contact our Tours Coordinator: t 01865 287 400 e w



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The Catherine Wheel It’s funny how you spend years visiting a place with your children and feel you know somewhere without ever venturing in. I’d lost count of the amount of times we’d visited Bibury Trout Farm with the kids but now we were back, at least ten years later, to pay our first visit to The Catherine Wheel - Bibury. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER

Our first night out in Gloucestershire with the kids was a night to remember. As many readers will appreciate, getting any time with your kids past 14 is something of an achievement, so to have them to ourselves for three nights at the ages of 16 and 19 was wonderful. The Catherine Wheel didn’t disappoint. Undoubtedly The Catherine Wheel must be a hit with the tourists, a short walk up the hill from the trout farm, but by the time we’d arrived, there was a definite ‘locals’ charm filling the main bar and restaurant of this 15th Century stone building. The Catherine Wheel is a family-run venue managed by Jeremy and Jo White and their team. Using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, the food is fantastic, hearty fayre. We started with the sharing deli board of cured meats, chutney, olives, cheddar and flat bread which was devoured with the same voracity as a handful of feed thrown into the nearby trout lakes. Regressing somewhat to their younger years, the kids both chose pizzas, Ed his favourite Margherita, whilst Abi plumped for the Hawaiian. These weren’t pizzas for the feint hearted, they were huge, but the kids got stuck in and, bar a couple of slices of Abi’s, they were enjoyed to their full.

Tina couldn’t resist sampling the local produce and ordered the Local Bibury Trout Fillet served with olive and caper mash, creamed greens and finished with truffle oil. “Superb’ was the verdict. I opted for the Beer-battered Fish and Home-cut Chips with tartar sauce and homemade pea puree, possibly the best fish and chips I have ever had. Compliments to the chef, Jeremy White. Jeremy began his career as the sweets chef at The Halfway House in Minchinhampton in 1999, moving to The Durham Ox in Warwickshire to help open a gastro pub for Olympic gold winning showjumper Nick Skelton. He then moved to the Cricklade Hotel and Country Club before joining the Food Club pubs, working as Head Chef at The Old Fleece in Woodchester. Now he’s head chef of his own pub. Dating back to the 15th century, the beautiful Cotswold stone building with a stable courtyard and orchard is steeped in history… In 1803, the family of William Taylor lived and worked as blacksmiths in the building, shoeing horses and making cart wheels. In 1856 The Catherine Wheel was born: the building was bought by J.Hathaway, a cooper (barrel-maker) and beer retailer. With its low beams, stone walls and large log fires, the inn became a success. Mr.

Hathaway died leaving the inn to his wife, who sold it to the Nailsworth Brewery Company Ltd in 1899. The eve of 2010 heralded the latest owners to The Catherine Wheel who continuously strive and succeed in providing a warm welcome, good local ales and quality food made from local ingredients. Next time you’re in Bibury - described by William Morris as “the most beautiful village in England” – make sure you visit The Catherine Wheel. We all enjoyed it and with full marks from the kids, I had to remark in the car that “Wheel be back”… the kids actually laughed…..they really had slipped back in time! Opening times: (Open all day for beverages as well as breakfasts from 9am – 10.30am and food service 12pm – 9.30pm (9pm on Sundays).


  01285 740 250 


Spa Illuminata Danesfield House The main house completed in 1901 is a unique, dazzling, bright white building featuring neo Tudor style architecture, with castle style turrets, tall chimney pots and an impressive 30 metre high clock tower. Internally the house boasts an airy lavish feel to include a vaulted, panelled Grand Hall complete with minstrel’s gallery. A beautiful south facing terrace at the rear of the hotel overlooks the established topiary, gardens and river beyond. This quintessentially British hotel offers seventy nine luxury bedrooms in total, beautiful private dining rooms and relaxing reception areas. The hotel also has the added benefit of a luxury Spa for members, day visitors and hotel guests. Spa Illuminata Danesfield House is open daily and emanates timeless luxury in keeping with the rest of the magnificent country house hotel. Offering individual or corporate rate Spa membership, with benefits including a complimentary night’s stay in the hotel, discount on treatments and retail items purchased from the Spa boutique alongside discounted food within the Spa and hotel. Nutritional


advice and a personal gym induction with one of our highly qualified personal trainers will launch you inside the world of wellbeing. From the moment you walk through the Spa’s private entrance, the warm and welcoming staff provide a relaxed, informal and most importantly a ‘come as you are’ atmosphere. Becoming a member here will make exercising and focusing on your overall wellbeing a pleasure ensuring a quality experience alongside an atmosphere of calm and relaxation. Ease yourself into the beautiful blue 20m mosaic tiled swimming pool, framed by Jacuzzi, steam room and Sauna, the pool, with a continuous temperature of 31 degrees, is surrounded by comfortable loungers that take in the outstandingly beautiful views of the Chiltern Hills. Perfect whilst relaxing and enjoying poolside service from the extensive drinks menu. Spa guests are offered a wide array of indulgent treatments from luxury Swiss skincare brand La Vallee, cult Parisian skincare from Darphin and British brand Aromatherapy Associates. Professional

and friendly therapists offer treatments ranging from holistic massages to anti-aging facials and skin polishes in one of the eight private treatment rooms or a dual couch VIP suite. A specialised men’s treatment menu is available too! Nestle under the duvets and pillows of the darkened sanctuary lounge as you unwind after your luxurious treatments. Our opulently decorated Jessica nail suite with its own Pommery Champagne bar offers manicures, pedicures and the latest technology GELeration treatment. St Tropez tanning and lifestyle classes such as Chi Gong and Pilates, a fully equipped Matrix gym to work out and Spa package days all add to the magic of the hidden serenity at Danesfield House Hotel and Spa. Meet and make new friends unwinding in the comfortable lounge area with bespoke tea from Camelia’s Tea House, or take in the sun on a south facing private terrace whilst enjoying indulgent or healthy food and beverage options! For simple escapism, the Spa has it all. Contact Liz Gibney, Spa Manager


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Situated between the towns of Marlow and Henley in a glorious secluded setting amidst 65 manicured acres of formal and informal gardens, with exceptional views of the River Thames and the Chiltern hills beyond, stands the spectacular Danesfield House Hotel and Spa. A luxurious country retreat converted twenty five years ago from a magnificent family home to become one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. WRITTEN BY: LIZ GIBNEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY: MARK SEYMOUR

to find out more. To make a reservation for a Spa day or a one off treatment please call Spa Reception on 01628 891 881. Spa Illuminata Danesfield House has a sister Spa situated in the heart of London’s Mayfair. Exuding a classical elegance and with true origins of a Roman and Greek spa, it is discreetly removed from the busy bustle of the world outside. Spa Illuminata Mayfair simultaneously soothes and excites your senses. From the street level entrance you enter the Illuminata boutique, where you can browse a selection of prestigious fragrances, make-up and gift ideas together with extensive Parisian skincare collections from Darphin used in both of our Spa’s for beauty treatments. The incomparable range of treatments and products include luxury Swiss skincare from Bellafontaine, hair and body treatments by Moroccanoil, and the cosmeceutical approach of Environ. ‘MediSpa-Illuminata’ offers highly technological, result driven treatments with effective and long lasting results. To take guests deeper into their own state of inner

calm, the London Spa experience begins in one of our luxurious therapeutic crystal steam rooms. The beautiful fragranced steam encourages and induces deep levels of relaxation throughout the

treatments. Private, complimentary consultations begin their journey to help you create your own unique experience.

Meet and make new friends “unwinding in the comfortable

To top this off our sister spa, Spa Illuminata Mayfair, has just picked up the prestigious Condé Nast Best Day Spa 2016 award.

lounge area with bespoke tea from Camelia’s Tea House, or take in the sun on a south facing private terrace whilst enjoying indulgent or healthy food and beverage options!

entire body, preparing and revitalizing the skin to increase any product absorption during the following hands on treatment of their choice. Clients are offered the flexibility to come for as long as they like, with programmes of exquisite beauty therapies ranging from one to four hours, all offering use of the relaxation room in between and after

Please contact Spa Reception on 02074 997 777 or email to book treatments. Spa Illuminata redefines the nature of the spa, where feeling beautiful is being beautiful. Break the hustle and bustle of modern, city life by visiting our haven of tranquility within central London or escape for the ultimate country house hotel break. CONTACT DETAILS

    01628 891 010


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Our garden and “ the wonderful fresh

produce it yields is a constant source of inspiration

Mark Chandler - Head Chef/Owner, White Hart Fyfield

The White Hart at Fyfield Sarah Airey visits last year’s winner of Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year.

When the White Hart at Fyfield won Gastro Pub and Oxfordshire Restaurant of the year, I hadn’t been for some time. I am so very glad to have been back. Kay and Mark Chandler’s White Hart is exactly what the quintessential country pub of your dreams should be. First of all, there is the setting. The fifteenth century building, originally a Chantry House, has a minstrel’s gallery and a secret tunnel leading to the nearby Fyfield Manor as well as soaring beams, flagstone floors and inglenook fireplaces. There really couldn’t be a more perfect place to meet family and friends for a drink by the fire with a wonderful meal to look forward to. And the food really is worth making a special trip for. Self-taught chef Mark surely has more awards due to come his way. He starts the day by walking around his kitchen garden and deciding what to pick for the day’s menu. Mark says: “Our garden and the wonderful fresh produce it yields is a constant source of inspiration.” On my visit, the vegetable side dishes from the garden were simply delicious. The polenta and Parmesan courgette chips were light and crispy and the sweet earthiness of the beetroot (not something I would normally choose) was perfectly accompanied by the honey and yoghurt dressing. This autumn and winter Mark will also be serving up home-grown pumpkins, parsnips, butternut squash,

kale, cavalo nero, cabbage, purple sprouting (so much tastier than broccoli) and more. What isn’t in the garden is often supplemented by foraging – wild garlic in spring, berries and mushrooms in the autumn.

Drinks feature local too. Included in the wine list are some really good English wines, notably the Oxford Dry from the Bothy vineyard in Frilford. Likewise there are always local ales on tap at the bar.

This is the season for game, and Mark’s rich, warm dishes will be featuring hare, pheasant, venison, pigeon, partridge and quail, all sourced from local farms and estates. Mark says: “Oxfordshire is full of wonderful produce and we make the most of it. The quality and provenance of our ingredients is at the centre of our ethos – not only does local produce, picked within hours of being eaten, taste superb, it also helps to reduce our carbon footprint.” In fact, 85% of the ingredients are sourced from within a 20 mile radius of the White Hart – the main exception being fish which is delivered fresh daily from Brixham. I tried the clams with leeks and garlic and they were delicious.

Kay and the front of house team care just as much as Mark in the kitchen. She says: “We truly love what we do and our entire team share our passion and dedication to bringing great food and an unforgettable experience to every customer that walks through the door.” It shows. I hope to be back again soon, and I hope you will too.

Other firm favourites on the menu are the slowroasted belly of Kelmscott pork with foot-long crackling, apple, carrots, celeriac and cider jus and the 28 day aged local rib eye steak. Is your mouth watering yet? It should be, but I haven’t finished. After the mains, there is a fine selection of local cheeses with home-made quince jelly and chutneys. The puddings are a work of art – see the picture of my vanilla mousse with prosecco-poached raspberries, raspberry sorbet and toasted hazelnuts. Believe me, it tastes even better than it looks.

The White Hart at Fyfield is just a few miles south of Oxford off the A420 towards Swindon. It is open Tuesday-Friday: 12-3, 5:30-11pm. Saturday: 1211pm, Sunday: 12-10:30pm. Food is served TuesdaySaturday: 12-2:30, 6:45-9:30pm, Sunday: 12-3pm Booking is advised.

  01865 390 585 


Frilford Health Golf Club is a Gem! Frilford Heath Golf Club is one of the few Golf Clubs in Southern England to boast three separate 18 hole courses, each with its own character. B4's own Chairman, Colin Rosser, visited these beautiful grounds to give you the rundown on why Frilford Heath is the place to play. Frilford Heath is located just off the A34 South of Oxford making it easily accessible whilst driving from any direction and when you get there it is always well worth the journey. My friends and I played the Green Course. Although the shortest of the courses on offer from Frilford, still requires you to plot your way round to ensure a good score. After the enormous amount of rain we have had this Winter you would expect a lot of water and mud, but thanks to the sandy subsoil the course was dry and very playable. The fairways and greens were immaculate as they always are. The outward nine is the easier and starts with the only par five, but the 7th is a long par four which is quite rightly stroke index 1! Coming home there are four particularly tough par fours, the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th which really gives the course some teeth! They are followed by a long par three and to end with a tricky short par four.

After the game we all had a refreshing shower where towels are always supplied and then went to the bar. There are a great range of both soft and alcoholic drinks available. We were just in time to catch the last of The Green Thai Chicken Curry which went down superbly with a pint of IPA! The food in my experience is without equal in Oxfordshire Golf Clubs, and on the many occasions I have been here I have never had a bad meal. The Golf Club is hugely popular with Societies and host meetings with up to 200 players. It also caters for a number of Local, National and International Tournaments, which is well beyond the capabilities of the majority of Golf Clubs. Due to there being three courses available you do not have to book a tee time, however the club will book a tee time if you take a group. The Courses are divided between accepting two, three and fourball games on a rotational basis. It is a very friendly club

and a guest or new member would not have a problem linking up with different groups for a game. As you would expect Frilford has a well stocked Pro Shop offering a large array of equipment and accessories, and under the leadership of Derek Craik, the Head Professional has the normal Golf lessons available from him and his staff. For Membership enquiries please contact the Executive Director, Alistair Booth or the General Manager both of whom I have always found very approachable and keen to help prospective Members.


  01865 390 864 

The Courses Frilford's three 18 hole courses offer a range of delights. With over a hundred years of golf course design heritage, players can choose a classic or a modern challenge as they see fit.

Red Course The quality of the Red course, has attracted top class amateur golf for many years. Laid out in 1908 by five times Open champion JH Taylor, part of the 'Great Triumvirate', along with James Braid and Harry Vardon, Taylor dominated golf around the turn of the twentieth century. He later turned to course

design at courses such as Royal Birkdale and Royal Mid-Surrey. At nearly 7,000 yards, the Red course will be a test of any golfer's skills.

Green Course The Green course at Frilford Heath may be the shortest, at just over 6,000 yards, but playing to a stiff par of 69, it is no pushover. As at the legendary Rye links in Kent, the Green's only par five is the opening hole - from then on, birdie opportunities can be few and far between.

Blue Course Opened in 1994, the Blue course, designed by respected British golf architect Simon Gidman, has a more modern, open look, with a number of water hazards threatening, notably on the early holes. The course offers a stern test, with par five and par three holes in particular facing in all directions. Greens are more undulating than on the two older courses, and offer a number of interesting and challenging flag positions.

“ The Golf Club is

hugely popular with Societies and host meetings with up to 200 players



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“ It is a very friendly

club and a guest or new member would not have a problem linking up with different groups for a game.



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The Swan at Southrop: where Thyme stood still When you get away from it all for a few days, finding somewhere tried and trusted on your doorstep is always something of a challenge. But with The Swan at Southrop’s reputation spreading far and wide, we knew we had a cast iron ‘goodie’ just a stone’s throw from our holiday home in the Gloucestershire countryside. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER

Thyme is a mesmerising 150 acre country estate, a delicious chocolate box of sophisticated, enjoyable and relaxing parts which make the whole so appealing. With a boutique hotel; quaint cottages; cookery school; Tithe Barn for private functions, celebrations and corporate events; cocktail bar or The Baa!; and, not forgetting the country pub we were visiting, The Swan at Southrop, there’s a massive temptation when you find somewhere so delightful to just shut out the world and let time stand still. The beating heart of Thyme is a fully productive kitchen and garden farm….’for the love of the land’ is the statement underlining each aspect of the business. The story of Thyme’s development, which started in 2009 with their award-winning cookery school, with its program of classes, talks and demonstrations, is one of growth and sustainability as per the website, “continuing to learn and work with staff and guests to ensure that the excellence of the food experience offered is a thoughtful narrative referencing our footprint in the local and global landscape.” The Swan isn’t your typical country pub….the surroundings are the same but there’s a classiness which sets it apart. Don’t get me wrong, after a long walk in the countryside, there would be nowhere better to pitch up and order a long cool drink, but this isn’t a scampi in a basket or a packet of pork scratchings kind of place, far from it. It’s sassy,

Starters Courgette flower tempura, ponzu dressing Spiced lamb koftas, Tzatziki, flat bread Matt’s Scotch egg, solo or with salad and fries Garden heritage beetroot risotto, golden oregano, mascarpone

Mains Salmon fishcakes, garden leaves, aioli, lemon Cornish hake fillet, Heirloom tomatoes, Pelourde clams, Greek basil, garlic Free range chicken breast, pink fir apple potato, chard, confit onions, Tangerine sage Homemade beef burger, brioche bun, cheddar, bacon, pickles, hand cut chips

Food Service Times Lunch is served between Mon – Sat 12pm – 2.30pm Sunday 12pm – 4.30pm Dinner is served between Mon – Sat 6.30pm – 9.30pm Sun 6.30pm – 9.00pm

cool but still reassuringly welcoming. With cleverly enhanced enclaves, beautifully lit art, a huge fireplace and even a skittle alley, The Swan has been superbly transformed into a piece of art itself, firmly hanging on to its past but with some beautiful modern day touches. It’s gorgeous….the sort of restaurant that’s a banker to get you out of the dog house and firmly into your loved one’s good books! The food was stunning. It looked amazing and it tasted…! The menu excerpts below will give you a soupçon of what we had. The standout for me was the beetroot risotto….incredible textures, flavours, colours, this dish had it all! Dessert was never going to happen….we were replete and I always think that’s a perfect way to finish a perfect meal. Sadly we didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of the rest of the estate but maybe another day. Less than an hour from Oxford, The Swan at Southrop is easily a Saturday lunch or an any day of the week evening meal destination. So for something really special, book a table, look forward to it, savour every moment of it and make it last an eternity.


  01367 850 174 


The Mews at Sopwell House On a warm evening in August, we made the short trip to Hertfordshire to stay at The Mews at Sopwell House, an elegant Georgian country house just outside of St Albans. Sopwell House in itself has, according to its website ‘a wonderfully versatile offering’ and that, following my tour the following day, is undoubted. But we were visiting The Mews, an exclsuive development within the 12 acre grounds of the main hotel. Sheer luxury. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: SOPWELL HOUSE

It was getting dark by the time we arrived and Sopwell House, still shimmering white as the light faded, was speckled with twinkling lights. As we drove past reception to our left, a rather exclusive looking gated development was on our right. We parked the car and headed for reception to check in. We then made our way across the driveway to The Mews….so that was the exclusive gated development. Electric gates opened to reveal a beautiful waterfall at the cross roads of four paths, each leading to one of the sixteen Mews Suites, surrounded by a gorgeous botanical garden designed by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medallist, Ann-Marie Powell. Originally an old stable block, this newly refurbished oasis also includes an infinity edged hydrotherapy pool with ceramic detailing which sparkles in the centre of the stunning bespoke garden offering barefoot luxury throughout the year. The Mews suites also encompass their own private courtyards with sunken private spa baths and dark wicker seating areas. Boasting elegant English naturalism and charm, each mews has a botanical name such as Juneberry, Foxglove and Hawthorne. With the choice of studio, one bedroom and duplex mews houses, each of


the properties is styled in a quintessentially British manner, offering guests their own living space. Six of The Mews also have kitchenettes. Adorable country home features - such as real timber wood flooring, farmhouse doors, pristine Wellington boot stands, exquisite wall coverings and cosy window seats - are set against elegant slate and leather furnishings. A muted colour palette of rich mustard and subdued tan tones, complemented with dark accents, echoes throughout each property. Eclectic artwork hangs on the walls, while a contemporary take on traditional tartan fabric adorns each sofa. The immaculate bathrooms have under-floor heating, bespoke vanity units, luxurious gowns and slippers, along with chic ESPA toiletries. For colder months, most of The Mews offer neatly stacked logs alongside sleek gas fireplaces. Sparcstudio designed the award-winning spas at Dormy House and Calcot Manor and so applied a spa-like approach to the design of the interiors. Beverley Bayes Director at Sparcstudio, the Architects/ Designers of The Mews, said: “We designed the suites to be ‘glamorous country’ in style. They are private and self-contained, making them perfect for a romantic stay away from the city, especially the

four-poster bed suites, with double-ended in-room baths and the all important Champagne bottle rest.” The Mews communal garden offers an enchanting haven of colour created by award-winning garden designer, TV gardening presenter, journalist and author, Ann-Marie Powell. There are an abundance of gardener’s delights including a stainless steel architectural sphere, living pergolas, umbrella trees creating a shadow effect, and unique yew onion bushes punctuate the space. A paved passageway leads guests through the garden towards a central raised patio, boasting an infinity hydrotherapy pool with a modern ceramic tile backdrop and water feature. Ann-Marie Powell said: “We wanted to create a gloriously tranquil space that is as versatile as it is beautiful. By planting exotic bulbs and jewel-like flowers that punctuate the seasons, an abundance of colour will blossom throughout the year”. The Mews suites share the facilities of Sopwell House Hotel. Director of The Mews and Sopwell House, Rafi Bejerano says, “The Mews at Sopwell House offers a fantastic concept and unique hotel experience which is unusual for the UK and surprisingly close to London, whilst providing guests with complete seclusion and privacy away from the outside world.”


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Our Meal Starters A Pressing of Ham Hock and Duck Liver, Pea Puree, Crisp Crumbled Quail Egg Hand Dived Scallops, Artichoke, Pancetta, Sherry Vinegar

Mains Supreme of Norfolk Black Chicken, Sweet Corn, Creamed Potato, Giroles and Maple Syrup Fillet of Angus Beef, Fondant Potato, Asparagus and Spring Onions

a fantastic concept “ and unique hotel

experience which is unusual for the UK and surprisingly close to London, whilst providing guests with complete seclusion and privacy away from the outside world Richard Rosser, Editor, B4 Magazine

We were staying in the enchanting Ivy Suite overlooking the fabulous courtyard. We were running late so after a quick change we made our way over to the hotel for dinner. There are two options for eating at Sopwell, The Brasserie and The Restaurant and we had booked into the AA rosette Restaurant which serves British and European signature dishes prepared by award wining Head Chef Gopi Chandran and his team. The restaurant itself was relaxed but sophisticated, a proper restaurant….we could easily have been in the centre of London or New York and that’s hard to achieve with any restaurant, let alone a restaurant in a hotel. The food was incredible, the presentation exquisite. Faultless. We were slightly concerned that arriving late might have impacted on the quality of the food but no chance. This was by far one of the best meals we had enjoyed in a restaurant. Impeccable, friendly service only served to elevate this dining experience to the highest of highs. We finished with a selection of cheeses and a hearty glass of red wine each and then retired to the Cocktail Lounge. Given how late it was, the very fact that we found

ourselves enjoying the evening further with a selection of cocktails illustrates just how relaxed and enjoyable a night we were having. The bar staff, headed by main man Oscar, were one of the main reasons we stayed for a good hour. They were charming, good fun and entertaining, ensuring we sampled a good selection of cocktails on the menu! We said our thank you’s and headed back to our room and fell asleep in one of the most comfortable beds we’d ever slept in. We woke to a knock at the door with one of the porters literally being crushed by the tray…..tip, don’t fill in your breakfast room service order card after a visit to the Cocktail Lounge! I’d managed to double up on a few things and the poor guy must have felt like he’d run a marathon with a donkey on his back by the time he got to us. Breakfast continued in the same vein as the meal the night before, but we gave a visit to the Cocktail Lounge a miss! After breakfast and a refreshing shower, I was shown around the property by Anna. Just an hour from London, Sopwell House boasts, two restaurants, an elegant cocktail lounge, a glass fronted conservatory bar, a large pool and spa, fifteen adaptable meeting

rooms, plus five ground-floor banqueting rooms and 128 stylish guestrooms. We had a look around the superbly appointed guest rooms overlooking the 12-acre grounds, meeting rooms and banqueting rooms in the middle of preparations for two weddings being held (one for a Premier League footballer that I noticed on the name plate outside of one room) and the luxurious spa. This really is a dream location so make sure you visit soon. Thank you to Derek Hiscoke (General Manager) and his excellent staff for a wonderful stay. The Mews at Sopwell House, Cottonmill Lane, St Albans, AL1 2HQ For reservations, contact below: 01727 864477. Individual suites at The Mews start from £244 per night including breakfast for two people.


  01727 864 477 



Experienced team with a proven track record ELS Business Training is the course provider element of Explosive Learning Solutions and has a strong heritage in the provision of professional and accredited training courses for all sectors. We are an Accredited Training Organisation for APMG, APMP, C&G and the ILM delivering courses which are current, engaging and meet your immediate career development or progression needs. Our courses are mainly run at our Harwell Training Centre and we also deliver on-site training upon request. We pride ourselves on going that extra mile for our students and we are determined to support you through your programme. We provide support prior, during and post course through the use of our Virtual Learning Environment.

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The New Inn

On our last evening in Gloucestershire we visited the village of Coln St Aldwyns to enjoy the delights of The New Inn. We were visiting on recommendation of friends and, judging by the car park, they’d spread the word far and wide….it was rammed! WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER


Picture the perfect country pub, with bundles of character, locals at the bar, low ceilings and tantalising smells of good food throughout and you’d be pretty close with The New Inn. We were welcomed by our host, Tom, and shown to our table in the dining room adjacent to the bar. A large family party was centre stage in the far room with four or five tables of two to four in the first room, Hearty laughter filled the pub…this was a trusted haven for locals which immediately relaxed ‘out of towners’ like us! We’d lost Ed to work, so it was just the three of us tonight and we were treated to a superb meal – see below. The service and food knowledge was excellent…..this was a team effort and that shone through from our welcome through to saying goodbye. A lot of thought had obviously gone into the presentation but the food also delivered …. so often a beautiful plate can mask a multitude of sins but not here. Special mention to my roasted poussin….succulent, bursting with flavour and perfect with a glass of dry white. We only managed one dessert between the three of us but the apple crumble served with pouring cream reminded me of my grandfather, although I know he’d have complained that it wasn’t ice cream! In fact the family theme ran through every element of The New Inn, from the team to the guests to the memories stimulated by great food with a ‘home

Starters Smoked mackerel pate, toasted sourdough Potted duck terrine, chutney & toast

Mains Roasted poussin, mash, peas & tarragon sauce Yellow dal, aubergine curry with homemade naan bread Sea trout, shrimp & fennel risotto

Dessert Apple crumble served with pouring cream

sweet home’ feel. We couldn’t have made a better choice for our last night and as it’s just down the road, we know we’ll be back. To make your visit extra special, why not book one of the fifteen bedrooms. Dating back to the sixteenth century, all rooms are unique with the odd imperfection and creaking floor adding to the character. Serving only to enhance the family feel, kids and our canine friends are also welcome. Back at the bar, you can enjoy a pint on the terrace or on a sturdy stool at the bar where three ales are rotated….Bath Gem, Hook Norton and an ever-changing guest ale, as well as two keg ciders, Stowford Press and Thatchers Gold, and three lagers, St Miguel, Carling and Kozel (a highly recommend Czech lager)! Wines are imported by the pallet from small, perfectionist wine-makers.

Food Service Times Lunch is served between Mon – Sat 12pm – 2.30pm Sunday 12pm – 4.30pm Dinner is served between Mon – Sat 6.30pm – 9.30pm Sun 6.30pm – 9.00pm


  01285 750 651 


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Priority booking from 8 September. General booking from 15 September. See for more info.

01865 980 980

2016/17 artists include: Martha Argerich Vladimir Ashkenazy Alison Balsom Yefim Bronfman Karina Canellakis Peter Donohoe Valery Gergiev Janine Jansen Lang Lang Viktoria Mullova Anne Sofie von Otter Marios Papadopoulos Sir András Schiff Maxim Vengerov

festival of liter ature film & Music

Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 October 2016 60 speakers at England’s greatest palace In association with Harper’s Bazaar and Town and Country magazines

Speakers include: Jo Malone, Lord David Owen, Darcey Bussell, Justine Picardie, Richard E Grant, Maureen Lipman, Simon Callow, Jacqui Dankworth, Ken Hom, Eleonora Galasso, Jeremiah Tower, Lord Carey, William Sitwell, Nicholas Parsons, Isabel and Julian Bannerman, Adrian Tinniswood, Felix Francis, James Stourton, Tom Holland, Lord Peter Hennessy, Richard Holmes



Sunday 11th December Broad Street, Oxford Book your place now! 01865 799150 Registered charity no. 1085951





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   01865 435 435   /ess.oxford  @Executiveoxford


SOCIAL SPACES IN A CHANGING WORKPLACE Transform your office environment into a modern, multi-functional work space with soft seating solutions that encourage agile working and modern work practices. Social Spaces is a range of innovative, contemporary design-led products for corporate breakout spaces, open plan offices, reception areas, meeting rooms and dining areas brought to you by Aston and James. WRITTEN BY: GEMMA MALLON

Aston and James are pleased to introduce a new product portfolio of ‘Social Spaces’ furniture for breakout areas within commercial environments, specifically designed to address contemporary interiors trends and modern working practices. By utilising your offices social spaces you can transform these areas into a hub for your team to socialise and do business in a more relaxed and modern atmosphere. Focusing on the health and well-being of staff is at the forefront of office trends this year. It's not a new trend as such but with the changing dynamics of the workforce (Generation Z are entering the workforce this year) and influences from across the pond, improving the office environment is a trend that is going to be big news.


One area in particular that is in for a bit of an overhaul is the office breakroom. Many sources within the wellness industry have noted that the breakroom is taking over from the water cooler as the social hub of the business. So what does the ultimate breakroom consist of? Looking at the design of the room itself, successful breakrooms are looking less

Every piece of furniture in “ Aston and James’ Social Spaces range is made to order, with skilled precision and rigorous attention to detail

and less like the surrounding office, and that is key to providing staff with a place that they can relax in, cowork in and socialise in. An inspiring breakroom will

encourage colleagues to spend more time together. Whether it is in informal meetings or having lunch together rather than at a desk, the potential for a well-designed breakroom to improve staff morale is a very real factor that companies should be aware of. The social spaces product portfolio from Aston and James, containing over 100 products, has been created to enable total flexibility for any office or business environment. The range includes upholstered seating, meeting pods, chairs, tables and benches and has everything a modern office needs to create collaborative work spaces, breakout zones and dining facilities. All upholstered items are made to order using your choice of fabrics for a fully co-ordinated look, and thanks to in-house manufacturing and fulfilment, every item can be tracked from order through to



By utilising your offices “social spaces you can transform these areas into a hub for your team to socialise and do business in a more relaxed and modern atmosphere

delivery for complete traceability and peace of mind. INNOVATIVE PRODUCT DESIGN Whether you are after a relaxing zone that employees can appreciate away from their desks or a complete office installation; Aston and James can fulfil the requirement for design-led, practical, comfortable furniture that adds visual impact to a social space and is adaptable to multiple environments.

The social spaces product portfolio from Aston and James, containing over 100 products, has been created to enable total flexibility for any office or business environment

PASSIONATE ABOUT QUALITY Aston and James are dedicated to producing safe, high quality furniture which continue to meet and satisfy the needs and requirements of their customers. Their key industry knowledge and experience drives the highest level of product quality, using the latest technology and high-grade materials. UK MANUFACTURING EXPERTISE Every piece of furniture in Aston and James’ Social Spaces range is made to order, with skilled precision and rigorous attention to detail. PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICE The success of any project involves skilled, specialist knowledge and expertise to ensure that every delivery and installation exceeds customer expectations time and time again. From initial concepts through to completion and beyond, Aston and James’ highly

experienced team deliver a professional and accurate project. WARRANTY All Social Spaces products are supported by a five year guarantee. Want to transform your office environment? Want high quality precision furniture? Contact Aston & James today to find out more about their great range of social spacing.


  01993 706 900 


The B4 Members Club Welcome to the B4 Member’s Club. In this section you’ll find some exclusive content for B4 Members.

Contents: 99. Meet The B4 Members 100. B4 Testimonials 101. B4 Members Events

Meet the B4 Members B4 is proud to welcome the following new members to the network.

Oxford Architect BUSINESS SECTOR : PROPERTY Oxford Architects is an RIBA Chartered Architectural Practice with offices in Oxford and Bristol. Working on projects for national and international clients, we strive to achieve contemporary,

Tel: 01865 329 100

Imageworks BUSINESS SECTOR : MARKETING Oxford Design, Web and Video consultants, the Imageworks are one of the premier creative specialists in the region. We’re adept at bringing ideas together to integrate your marketing campaign through a design, web and video channels across a wide variety of markets for Commercial Property, Science, Medical, Technology and Academic clients. We’re a safe pair of hands capable of delivering projects on time and on budget.

Tel: 01865 865 656

Indulge Media BUSINESS SECTOR : MARKETING We are the ISO9001 accredited digital marketing and web design agency based in Oxford & Guernsey. Specialising in working with travel & hospitality, property, professional & financial services, B2B and B2C clients.

Tel: 01865 686 093


Storm Internet

Stoneleigh Park Estate

Bongo I.T.




Storm Internet are one of the only 100% UK based, fully managed hosting providers focusing solely on providing affordable hosting solutions to SMEs. We’re so passionate about helping SMEs to grow that we personally get to know you and your business.

Comprising over 1,000 acres of land close to Coventry, Stoneleigh Park is a unique site and the perfect business location for science-based rural industries. Stoneleigh sits firmly at the heart of England’s rural economy and is home to a cluster of over 60 businesses.

Bongo IT love solving your technology issues, and helping you to work smarter. Located in Cowley next to the ring road our IT Support Services are perfect for any company situated in one of Oxfords’ many business parks, or indeed Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas.

Tel: 0800 817 4727

Tel: 02476 690 035

Tel: 01865 988 217


B4 Testimonials What our members have to say about the B4 Network

"B4 offers unrivalled opportunities to discuss business with representatives you might not otherwise discover in relaxed surroundings." Phil Southall | Managing Director | Oxford Bus Company

"B4 is one of the best business networks that I have come across, providing great networking opportunities and an outlet for us to share our news, and what’s more, they really understanding the region in which they operate." Ian White | Business Development Manager | BDO

"Venturefest Oxford is all about connecting entrepreneurs with the right people to help grow their business. B4 takes that one step further and offers a platform for all businesses in Oxfordshire to connect and does it really successfully."

"We have hugely benefitted from our partnership with B4, they have managed to raise our profile in the local area and are a pleasure to work with." Amy Dobson | Sales & Marketing Manager | Bombay Sapphire Distillery

"B4 has helped Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons connect with our local business community very effectively as well as build some excellent new relationships along the way."

"Since working with B4 our presence in Oxfordshire has seen a marked increase. This has helped us to expand our target audience, raising our profile with local businesses in and around Oxfordshire."

Peter Osborne | Marketing | Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Richard Marsh | CEO | CIS

"Quite simply, without B4 we wouldn’t have met, worked and partnered with some of the people we now act for."

"B4 has provided us with an excellent platform to promote the responsible business agenda to Oxfordshire companies."

Tony Haines | Partner | Wenn Townsend

Frank Nigriello | Director of Corporate Affairs | Unipart Group

"B4 has helped us build relationships with new businesses around Oxfordshire and made businesses aware of us."

"In a very diverse and fast-moving business community, B4 is one of the most important communication channels for sharing the information that builds relationships and drives success for local businesses. I am delighted that my firm is associated with B4."

Lynn Shepherd | Executive Chair | Venturefest

"B4 have clearly taken the time to understand what we are trying to do as a business and have given us great support in getting our message across." Derek Rodgers | Managing Partner | Gardner Leader

"The team at B4 seem to know everyone in Oxfordshire! They never fail to put you in contact with someone useful. Their events are interesting and engaging, and the publication is packed full of relevant stories. But it is the individual service that really makes the difference to building our local network. Richard even facilitated the introduction to my rescue cat, Poppy!"

Nikki A Wood | Events Manager | the Oxford Union

David Birch | People Advisory Services | Partner Ernst & Young LLP

Elaine McKechnie | Head of Marketing | Oxford Innovation


"B4’s Business in Oxford is the only annual event that combines lead players in all sectors of our region’s business." Matthew Smart | Project Officer | University of Oxford

"Partnering with B4 enables us to connect with other businesses in the local area and share our news and updates with a wider online audience." Katie Finch | Kempton Carr Croft

"Doing great business is about connecting with really good people and B4 has helped us do just that!" Ross Wilson | CA FIoD | Wilson Partners Limited

"As one of the leading independent schools in Oxford with a strong interest in our role in the community, B4 has provided an important link for us with the business leaders in the area." Peter Talbot | Bursar | d’Overbroeck’s


B4 Members Events  Upcoming events from our B4 Members. WHO



Finders Keepers

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Museum of Natural History Parks Road Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 3PW

Property Intelligence 2016 – How to succeed in the new rental sector

Penningtons Manches 9400 Garsington Rd Oxford Oxfordshire OX4 2HN

Real Estate Seminar - Clarifying Misconceptions and Misunderstandings in Real Estate Law

The Olympia Ballroom Shehnai 75-77 London St Reading RG1 4QA

Your role in our Live Lab: How can we develop Reading into a world-class, connected community?

Penningtons Manches

Grant Thornton

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Tuesday 1st November 2016


This year’s seminar includes guest speakers from Countrywide and Oxfordshire LEP who will discuss the new rental sector from a UK-wide view and an Oxfordshire-based view, including looking at investment across the county. Our speaker from Oxfordshire Advisory Partnership will tell you about your different financial options for investing in property before Frank Webster from Finders Keepers takes a look at investment opportunities and recent successes. Book your space by emailing:

This free seminar explores the truth about break clauses, the Energy Act, remedies for breach of contract and contaminated land. Calling on recent case law, statute, experience and in-depth understanding of real estate law, our experts Richard Smith, John Morrison, Amy Irvine and Laura Gorman will explain how to avoid getting into trouble when negotiating and dealing with commercial property transactions. If you would like to attend this seminar, please Cheryl James on 020 7457 3222.

On 1 November at the historic Olympia Ballroom, influencers, business leaders, and creative brains from Reading and the Thames Valley will come together for a creative, transformative, and inspirational day of ‘sleeves rolled up’ working together to imagine what could be achieved for business, community, and people if we connected our efforts and ideas to accelerate growth for the benefit of all. Register here: For further information on our Live Lab please email: Tash. or join the conversation at #vibrantReading


Tuesday 8th November 2016

Milton Park Oxfordshire

EY Oxfordshire Business Seminar - Digital Disruption Continuing our series of breakfast seminars in Oxfordshire, you are invited to join our thought-provoking briefing: The Upside of Disruption at Milton Park on Tuesday, 8 November. Disruption is fundamentally changing the way the world works. Today's businesses are responding to shifts that would have seemed unimaginable even a few years ago.   We hope you will be able to join us at this event. To reserve your place, please contact Laura Bowle at

B4 Members, do you have events coming up that you would like shown here, please call us on: 01865 742211


contacts directory ADVICE.........................................................................................................102 BUSINESS SERVICES..............................................................................102 CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES...............................................103 EDUCATION...............................................................................................104 FINANCE......................................................................................................104 HEALTH & LEISURE..................................................................................104

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


Gracechurch Wealth Management LLP A Richard Lawrance Independent Financial Adviser 01908 209 220 BUCKS Auditel A Chris Bourke Cost Management Specialist 01865 774 387 OXON Seymour Taylor A Simon Turner Managing Director 01494 552 125 BUCKS Richardsons Accountants 01844 261 155 OXON Rees Russell 01993 702 418 OXON Russell Whitlock Accountancy 01865 481 625 OXON Clark Howes 0808 271 3099 OXON Harmonea 01844 274 808 OXON Tamesis Partnership 01865 261 497 OXON MHA MacIntyre Hudson 01908 662 255 BUCKS Xero OXON Michael Harwood & Co. Chartered Accountants 01926 419 444 WAR Ollis & Co 01926 335 381 WAR

BUSINESS ADVICE SR Consulting A Jonathan Lane Director 07503 891 331 BUCKS







HR..................................................................................................................104 IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS.........................................................105 MANUFACTURING.................................................................................105 MARKETING & DESIGN...........................................................................105 PROPERTY & BUILDING.........................................................................106 R&R............................................................................................................107

Ernst & Young 01189 281 100 BERKS Explosive Learning Solutions 01235 861 805 OXON Hilltop Consultancy 01844 237 450 BUCKS Wakefield Group 07817 821 190 BUCKS Oxford Professional Consulting 01865 436 791 OXON Quantuma Restructuring 01628 478 100 BUCKS RTS Breakthrough Solutions 07789 405 079 BERKS Sandler Training 01608 611 211 OXON Active Education and Training Ltd 01865 594 325 OXON Endeavour Consulting 07711 825 005 OXON

Gardner Leader LLP G Derek Rogers Managing Partner 01635 508 080 BERKS BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Paddy Gregan G Partner 01235 836 655 OXON Blake Morgan LLP A Michael Stace Partner 01865 248 607 OXON Brethertons A Suzie Upson PR and Communications Executive 01295 661 425 OXON Turpin & Miller LLP A Emily Boardman Partner 01865 770 111 OXON Penningtons Manches LLP Richard Smith A Partner 01865 722 106 OXON Lewis Silkin 0207 0748 494 OXON

Neil Urquhart - Business manager 01295 780 928 OXON

David Parry Employment Law 01993 848 247 OXON


Blandy & Blandy 0118 951 6800 BERKS

Knights P David Beech Chief Executive Officer 01865 811 700 OXON Hedges Law P Nicola Poole Managing Director 01491 839 839 OXON Freeths LLP G Sarah Foster Managing Partner 01865 781 000 OXON

Lodders Solicitors 01789 206 114 WAR Davies Murray-White Solicitors 01789 295 544 WAR

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

B4 contacts The Archive Centre A David Coulton Owner 01296 425 744 BUCKS



Ridgeway Maserati 01865 590 777 OXON

Aston & James Office Supplies Ltd P Darren Aston Director 01993 706 900 OXON

CHARITIES The Oxford Trust G Jude Eades Head of Communications 01865 810 013 OXON

Ridgeway Jaguar 01865 590 777 OXON

NETWORKING GROUPS B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Editor 01865 742 211 OXON MD2MD 01865 600 800 OXON

Helen & Douglas House A Hugh Thompson Head of High Value Partnerships 01865 799 150 OXON


Oxfordshire Community Foundation A Jayne Woodley Chief Executive 01865 798 666 OXON


Big 60 07912 733 723 OXON The Ley Community 01865 373 108 OXON Bloodwise 020 7504 2231 OXON British Red Cross, Thames Valley 01235 552 680 OXON

SmartPA 07392 332 606 OXON

Executive Alarms Ltd A John Keown Director 01865 435 435 OXON Security Exchange 01491 683 710 BERKS

TRANSPORT Chiltern Railways P 020 7333 3113 OXON Combined Carriers G Susan Baxter 01844 275 525 BUCKS


Findlay Chauffeurs A Claire Hickson Managing Director 0845 644 7099 OXON

Excel Dry Cleaners G 01865 511 773 OXON

London Oxford Airport 01865 290 710 OXON

WH Mobile Valeting 07979 480 886 OXON

Hilltop Chauffeurs 07825 500 852 OXON

Sobell House 01865 857 067 OXON

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OxfordshireLEP P 01865 261 433 OXON West Oxfordshire District Council A William Barton Business Development Officer 01993 861 000 OXON

TRAVEL City Sightseeing P Jane Marshall Transport Manager 01865 790 522 OXON


Danesfield House Hotel A Anthony Cox General Manager 01628 891 010 BUCKS

Passion for Food P Philip Baker Managing Director 08452 969 226 BUCKS

Hartwell House Hotel A Matthew Johnson General Manager 01296 747 444 BUCKS

Aldens Specialist Catering Butchers G Matthew Alden Managing Director 01865 728 227 OXON

Venue Services, Bodleian Library A Alice Ogilvie Head of Venue Services 01865 277 224 OXON

Complete Catering G Jon Kay Managing Director 01235 820 840 OXON

The Examination Schools Kay Hogg A Events Manager 01865 276 905 OXON

Lamb Catering A Emma Tasker Events and Marketing Director 01865 772 446 OXON

Howbery Business Park A Donna Bowles Estate Manager 01491 822 305 OXON

Oxford Fine Dining 01865 728 240 OXON

Egrove Park A Martin Garside Conference Manager 01865 422 757 OXON


Elegant Cuisine 01865 391 888 OXON Philip Dennis Foodservice 01993 700 030 OXON

CONFERENCES The Feathers P Dominic Bishop General Manager 01993 812 291 OXON Oxford Castle Quarter P 01865 201 657 OXON Rhodes House P Isabelle Barber Business Development Manager 01865 282 599 OXON Oxford Brookes University Conference Services G Phillipa Fletcher Conference Operations Manager 01865 484 612 OXON Pembroke College G Huw Edmunds Head of Conferences and Events 01865 276 484 OXON Stoke Park G Nick Downie Head of Communications 01753 717 171 BUCKS

Macdonald Windsor Hotel Beverley Molmans A General Manager 0844 879 9101 BERKS Blenheim Palace Hospitality 01993 813 874 OXON Conference Oxford 01865 287 378 OXON The Oxford Union 01865 241 353 OXON Exeter College 01865 279 600 OXON Malmaison 01865 268 400 OXON Oxford Town Hall 01865 252 195 OXON The King’s Centre 01865 297 400 OXON Ardencote 01926 843111 WAR Woodland Grange 01926 336 621 WAR


Ragley Hall 01789 762 090 WAR

Oxford International Study Centre 01865 201 009 OXON

The Tythe Barn 01869 321 442 OXON

Oxford Saïd Entrepreneurship Centre 01865 288 845 OXON entrepreneurship


Stagecoach Theatre Arts 0800 915 0199 OXON

Oxford Event Hire A Kieran Lynch Owner 01865 760 158 OXON Startech Productions A Roy Naraine 01865 722522 OXON ACDiSCO 01865 875 519 OXON BHK Rentals 01993 703 327 OXON

EVENTS Business in Oxford 2017 P 01865 742 211 OXON Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards P 01865 742 211 OXON Henley Highwayman 0118 988 6041 OXON

FINANCE ADVICE Focus P Phil Casey Partner 01865 813 315 OXON Brewin Dolphin 01865 255 750 OXON DP's Financial Advice and Services 02476 372135 WAR Hunter, Thomas & Company Ltd 01865 245 511 OXON Mathews Comfort 01865 208 000 OXON NGI Finance 01993 706 403 OXON

INSURANCE Focus P Nick Jones Partner 01865 813 307 OXON


Focus P Nick Walker Partner 01865 295 295 OXON

Reading Football Club Limited P Sir John Madejski Chairman 0118 968 1100 OXON

HEALTH & LEISURE FITNESS TLA Fitness A Tom Alden Founder 07554 400 401 OXON Prime Energy Fitness Ltd 01869 352 000 OXON Cherwell Boathouse Punting 01865 552 746 OXON

GOLF Frilford Heath Golf Club P Alistair Booth Director 01865 390 864 OXON Kirtlington Golf Club A Gary Quainton Golf and Pro Shop Manager 01869 351 133 OXON

Oxfordshire Business Awards OXON Oxfordshire In Bloom 2016 01865 252 016 OXON

Oxford Capital Partners 01865 860 760 OXON

Venturefest 01865 810 025 OXON



HSBC 0845 850 174 BERKS

Clinic95 P Maria Hardman Business Manager 01865 241 661 OXON


Metro Bank 0345 08 08 500 BERKS

Abingdon & Witney College 01235 216 394 OXON

NatWest 01865 305 175 OXON

Corpus Christi College 01865 276 708 OXON

Barclays 0800 015 4242 OXON

d’Overbroeck’s 01865 310 000 OXON

Clydesdale Bank 0844 736 2616 OXON

Oxford Cheltenham Wine School 01865 238 042 OXON


Linda Flanigan Hypnotherapy 07866 360 359 OXON


Oak Tree Structured Finance Limited 01789 842 554 WAR

West Oxfordshire Business Awards 01993 220 690 OXON

Clinic on the Green 01869 351 345 OXON

The Oxfordshire Golf Club 01844 278 300 OXON

Richmond Village Witney G David Reaves Head of Marketing 01865 484 612 OXON Tara Tripp Hearing Care G Vincent Tripp Practice Manager 01865 910 202 OXON Diamond House Dental Practice 01865 559 521 OXON

Oxford University Rugby Football Club Tim Stevens Club Administrator 01865 432 000 OXON Oxford United Football Club 01865 337 500 OXON Oxfordshire Cricket 07790 102 130 OXON Oxford City Football Club 07817 885 396 OXON North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club 01865 513 560 (Clubhouse) OXON Oxford Rowing Club 01865 242 576 OXON

WELLBEING Helen Money Nutrition A Helen Money Owner 01865 339 672 OXON

HR HR CONSULTANTS You HR 07703 719 464 OXON MB HR Support Ltd 01993 882 744 OXON Right Hand HR 0844 880 4582 OXON

RECRUITMENT Gold Star Recruitment G 01993 225 075 OXON Allen Associates 01865 335 600 OXON

B4 contacts Avatar Recruitment 01295 724 570 OXON Benchmark Hospitality Staffing Solutions 01865 421 051 OXON Nicola Gardiner Executive Search 07900 912 941 OXON Thompson & Terry Recruitment 01235 797 177 OXON

IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS TELECOMMUNICATIONS STL Communications Ltd A Philip Donigan Sales Director 01993 777 113 OXON Orange Stripe Telecommunications A Nigel Pursall Managing Director 0845 241 7772 OXON

The Cabling Company G David Jackson Sales Director 07796 140 348 OXON AgilityWorks 08445 610 930 OXON Attenda 01784 211100 MIDD iHub 0203 019 0000 Security Exchange Ltd. 01491 683 710 BERKS Storm Internet 08447 366171 OXON Bongo IT 01865 988 217 OXON

DATABASE MANAGEMENT InTouch CRM P James White Managing Director 0845 310 9973 OXON

Torpedo Group Limited A Iain Lewis Director 01865 733 710 OXON


White October 01865 706 017 OXON

ClientMailer 01865 339 406 OXON

IT SERVICES Computing Information Systems (CIS) Ltd P Richard Marsh Director 01367 700 555 OXON Simeio A Ollie McGovern Founder 07795 235 995 OXON Flex Information Technology Paul Horseman A Director 0333 101 7300 OXON


White Chilli Creative Studio 07980 143 475 OXON

Owen Mumford G Jarl Severn Director 01993 812 021 OXON WILA G Claire Styles Director 01235 773 500 OXON Winsted 01527 833 714 WORC

Noble Word A Matt Wright Owner 07500 531 485 BUCKS


B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Managing Director 01865 742 211 OXON

Experience Oxfordshire P Hayley Beer-Gamage Chief Executive 01865 252 409 OXON

Living In Oxford Magazine Colin Rosser P Chairman 01865 742 211 OXON

Marketing Sense A Jo Sensecall Director 01865 883 579 OXON

City & County Graphics G Grant Shergold Director of Sales & Marketing 01865 823 161 OXON

Heart of Business A Jackie Jarvis Director 07801 293 022 OXON

Focal Point Advertising Solutions 01256 767 837 OXON

CORPORATE IDENTITY Recognition Express P Andy Olejnik Managing Director 01295 257 611 OXON Strangebrew P Phil Strachan Director 07770 753 975 BERKS

ADS 01993 885 125 OXON Oxford Digital Marketing 01865 575 955 OXON

MEDIA/DIGITAL The Evergreen Agency P Aaron Rudman Hawkins 01869 242 222 OXON CustomEyes Media 01442 876 038 HERTS

Bicester Vision 01869 324 244 OXON

Imageworks 01865 865656 OXON

BrandAsylum 01235 828 508 OXON

Indulge Media 01865 686 093 OXON


Epic Media Services 07916 005 942 OXON

House on the Hill P Keith Simpson Senior Designer 01865 742 211 OXON

BlueEyed Digital 01789 336 318 WAR

MANUFACTURING Unipart G Frank Nigriello Director of Corporate Affairs 01865 383 339 OXON



WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT Alberon A Tim Ault Managing Director 01865 263 220 OXON

Web-Clubs G Anthony O’Sullivan Managing Director 01494 240 150 BUCKS

LEEC 0115 961 6222 NOTT


Formation Media Limited 01926 298 777 WAR

City & County Graphics G Grant Shergold Director of Sales & Marketing 01865 823 161 OXON

Auburn Creative Ltd 01926 407 766 WAR


Studio8 P Clark Wiseman Managing Director 01865 842 525 OXON

Isis Creative Framing 01865 203 420 OXON



PRINTING OxUniPrint A Ian Wilton Managing Director 01865 844 918 OXON Leach Print 01235 520 444 OXON

PUBLIC RELATIONS Papa Romeo PR A Claire Thompson Managing Director 07811 339 577 OXON Spriggs David A Karen David Partner 01865 512 662 OXON Esplin PR A Louise Esplin PR Consultant 07775 678 237 OXON Bridgett Solutions Ltd 01784 205 025 OXON Escapade 01189 207 675 BERKS HeadOn PR 07920 792 183 GLOU

PROPERTY & BUILDING ARCHITECTURE John Hallam Associates A John Hallam Director 01608 646 969 OXON Adrian James Architects 01865 203 267 OXON Bilton Build & Design 01788 578 890 WAR VB Architects 01926 851 122 WAR Oxford Architects 01865 329 100 OXON

BUSINESS PARKS Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400 OXON The Oxford Science Park G Ian MacPherson Business Development Manager 01865 784 000 OXON

Promote PR 01628 630 363 BERKS

Begbroke Science Park A Caroline Livingstone Managing Director 01865 283 700 OXON

Spacecraft Consulting 01295 811 781 OXON

Bloxham Mill 01295 722 800 OXON

Fluent 01865 426 862 OXON

Stoneleigh Park Estate 02476 690 035 WAR

Prova PR 01926 776900 WAR Red Marlin 01926 832 395 WAR Luxe PR 020 7368 3330 LDN Present3r 07790 670 234


COMMERCIAL PROPERTY AGENTS VSL and Partners P Richard Venables Director 01865 848 488 OXON Carter Jonas P Scott Harkness Partner 01865 511 444 OXON Lambert Smith Hampton (Oxford) A Kevin Wood Director 01865 200 244 OXON

Marriotts A Neil Evans Partner 01865 316 311 OXON Lambert Smith Hampton (Reading) 01189 606 909 BERKS

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SERVICES Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400 OXON Bracknell Enterprise & Innovation Hub A Shelley Furey Centre Manager 01344 388 000 BERKS

ESTATE AGENTS Breckon & Breckon P Keith Stacey Managing Director 01865 244 735 OXON scottfraser A David Blythman Managing Director Sales 01865 759 500 OXON Strutt & Parker A Miles Collison Partner, Development Land & New Homes 01865 366 660 OXON Hamptons International 01865 578 500 OXON Wallers of Oxford 01865 435 175 OXON Sheldon Bosley 01789 292 310 WAR Savills 01865 339 705 OXON

LETTING AGENTS Breckon & Breckon P Greg Barnes Director 01865 201 111 OXON

North Oxford Property Services P Robin Swailes Director 01865 311 745 OXON Righton Group Limited Emma Righton P Managing Director 01865 311 696 OXON Finders Keepers P Frank Webster Director 01865 302 308 OXON Lucy Properties A Ian Ashcroft Managing Director 01865 559 973 OXON College and County A Mark Crampton-Smith Owner 01865 722 722 OXON Premier Letting A Charles Bartlett Partner 01865 792 299 OXON Short Let Space Ltd. 01993 811 711 OXON Taylor Cox 01993 835 588 OXON

PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS Ridge and Partners LLP G David Walker Partner 01993 815 101 OXON Kempton Carr Croft G Rob Kerrigan Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Valuer 01628 771 221 BERKS Kemp & Kemp A Steven Sensecall Partner 01865 240 001 OXON Solid Structures 01608 690 858 OXON Forge Engineering Design Solutions Ltd 01865 362 780 OXON

B4 contacts SIAD Ltd 01865 712 627 OXON Mulholland Landscape Consultants 07734 253 579 OXON RED Engineering 01869 355 600 OXON PMS Oxford 01865 407 554 OXON

PROPERTY SERVICES Savvy Maintenance & Renovations P Stephen Dunne Director 01865 920 020 OXON Bicester Roofing G Michael Staniford Managing Director 0870 264 6454 OXON EIFLA A Nigel J Blanchard Founder & CEO 0844 7767 187 OXON Darke & Taylor Ltd 01865 290 000 OXON The Rooflight Company 01993 833 155 OXON A1 Plumbing & Heating 01865 327 732 OXON


The Bear & Ragged Staff A Mark Greenwood Landlord 01865 862 329 OXON Eynsham Hall 01993 885 238 OXON Conifers Guest House 01865 763 055 OXON Spirit Health Club 0207 973 7540 OXON Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa 01869 241 204 OXON Holiday Inn Oxford 0871 942 9086 OXON Royal Oxford Hotel 01865 248 432 OXON The Mews at Sopwell House 01727 864477 HERTS mews-suite/ Old Swan & Minster Mill 01993 774 441 OXON

ARTISTIC & CULTURAL Orchestra of St John’s A John Lubbock Artistic Director 07765 252 489 OXON Ashmolean Museum 01865 288 364 OXON Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra 01865 987 222 OXON

ACCOMMODATION Macdonald Randolph Hotel Michael Grange P General Manager 0844 879 9132 OXON Jurys Inn Oxford P 01865 489 988 OXON The Manor at Weston on the Green G Adam Treloar Front of House Manager 01869 350 621 OXON Aviator G Vickita Reddy Marketing & PR Manager 01252 555 890 HAMP

COFFEE SHOPS Java & Co 07736 950 673 OXON

CORPORATE ENTERTAINMENT Sam Strange Magic A Sam Strange Owner 01865 742 211 OXON

New Theatre Oxford 01865 320 756 OXON

Café Aloha 01865 792 696 OXON

Wychwood Brewery 01993 890 800 OXON James Sadler Balloon Experience 0845 116 8899 OXON

Al-Andalus 01865 516 688 OXON

FOOD & DRINK SUPPLIES Laurent Perrier UK P David Green Regional Account Manager 01628 475 404 BUCKS Bombay Sapphire Distillery G Amy Dobson Sales and Marketing Manager 01256 890 090 BERKS The Oxford Wine Company Ted Sandbach A Managing Director 01865 301 144 OXON

GALLERIES Aidan Meller Galleries G Aiden Meller Proprietor 01865 727 996 OXON Wiseman Gallery A Sarah Wiseman Owner 01865 515 123 OXON

RENTAL ACCOMMODATION Lower Mill Estate A Red Paxton Marketing and Sales Director 01285 869 489 OXON

Marco’s at Mercure Eastgate Hotel 01865 248 332 OXON /marcos-oxford Mezzeto 01865 559 668 OXON Thaikhun 01865 591 960 OXON 1855 01865 247 217 OXON Cosmo 01865 297 575 OXON

SHOPPING Blackwell's P Zool Verjee Sales Development Manager 01865 333 536 OXON Daisies Flower Shop 01865 554 882 OXON Bicester Village 01869 323 200 OXON Stella and Dot 07763 743 783 OXON Dog Rocks 01628 822 243 BERKS

RESTAURANTS Deliveroo G Xavier Collins Community Manager South East 07494 178 083 OXON The Snooty Mehmaan A Asad Ahmed Director 01367 242 260 OXON


Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons 01844 278 881 OXON

Oxford Playhouse 01865 305 305 OXON

Pierre Victoire 01865 316 616 OXON


Ian Bridge Consultancy Ltd 07917 881 465 OXON


B4 is designed by House on the Hill t: 01865 742211



PRETTY EFFICIENT With its striking design, the Range Rover Evoque has charmed the world since its launch. Now with an EU6-compliant Ingenium diesel engine delivering up to 65.7mpg with CO2 as low as 113 g/km, it’s about to become very popular with business users everywhere. Business Contract Hire. Initial rental in advance of £1,614 +VAT. 36 month term. 10,000 miles per annum. VAT payable at 20%.

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE From 113 g/km CO2 Up to 65.7mpg From Group 28E Insurance rating

Ridgeway Land Rover Faringdon Road (A420), Cumnor, Oxford, OX2 9QY 01865 565949

Official Fuel Consumption Figures for the Range Rover Evoque eD4 150HP Manual 5 Door in mpg (l/100km): Urban 56.5 (5.0), Extra Urban 72.4 (3.9), Combined 65.7 (4.3). CO2 emissions 113 g/km. Official EU Test Figures. For comparison purposes only. Real world figures may differ. *Important Information - Business users only. Based on a Range Rover Evoque 2.0L eD4 150HP Manual 2WD SE 5DR with standard specification, non-maintained. Excess mileage charges (at 9.2p per mile). Must be returned in good condition to avoid further charges. Contract Hire subject to status. This promotion cannot be used together with other manufacturer’s promotions and is subject to availability at participating Retailers only for new vehicles ordered by 30th November 2016. Contract Hire is provided by Land Rover Contract Hire, a trading style of Lex Autolease Limited, Heathside Park, Heathside Park Road, Stockport SK3 0RB.

Profile for B4 Magazine

B4 Issue 43  

The Robin Swailes Edition

B4 Issue 43  

The Robin Swailes Edition