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North Oxford Garage We meet the Corporate Sales Team at Oxfordshire’s BMW dealership

Grundon Waste Management Why recycling today is investing in tomorrow’s future

At The Helm We talk to Browns Oxford’s General Manager and Platinum Ambassador, Simon Stonehouse





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So What is B4? B4 is the fastest growing business to business network, providing over 500 businesses in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire with four great platforms to promote and connect their businesses. It's a business network with a difference where we facilitate face to face contact with other Members at B4 events held in iconic locations.
















4 Effective Platforms to Help You Connect 1

B4 Magazine - Packed with great features, news and promotional articles mailed free to 3,000 business decision makers (separate circulation of 3,000 in each county)


B4 Website - Upload press releases direct to the site and promote forthcoming events and seminars. All B4 articles printed are uploaded to the business directory on the site.


B4 Events - Meet other B4 members at high quality B4 events in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire...Why not even bring a guest?


B4 Workshops - Promote your business to other B4 members at our workshops, a great way to get your message across.

Why Become a Member? Memberships are specific to one area, not all, and gives your business a listing in the back of your chosen area B4 Magazine. A listing on the business directory of the relevant B4 website but access to all B4 events in all areas (restrictions may apply due to capacity limitations and we do have some Platinum Ambassador only events). Members can also promote their status on company e-mails and websites with our new B4 Member icons

Why Not Upgrade to an Ambassador? Becoming an Ambassador gets a face to represent your business in the B4 community. Your chosen Ambassador will feature alongside your listing in the magazine directory, on your on line business directory listing and also in the Ambassadors’ section on the B4 website. Being an Ambassador gives you something in common to approach other B4 Ambassadors throughout the network. All Ambassadors will also receive a new B4 Ambassadors Card. The rate to become an Ambassador is £250+VAT per annum.

Become a B4 Member in less than 24 hours Here's what we need to get you started: 1. Your Logo - high quality is a must and in one of the following formats: jpeg, eps, pdf, ai 2. Between 50 and 300 words about your business - See the website for some great examples 3. Basic contact details - Basic contact details e.g. Address, telephone number, email address Our system will automatically generate a user name and password (which you can change) and you are ready to put up your first Press Release. But Don't Worry! There's a helpful online guide to assist you and we're always at the end of the phone.

Join B4 for just £250+VAT per annum B4 Membership is now one rate for all. The annual charge gives you a listing in four quarterly editions of B4, presence in the B4 online directory with the ability to upload unlimited press releases and event details and access to all B4 Member events. We have at least four events in each area and you and your colleagues are welcome to all of them – there are no additional charges to attend events.

What about Editorial in the Magazine? Looks complicated? Well it's not! We can set you up to have your picture taken at our associate's studio. We can get one of our freelance PR or Editor to interview you. You have Full Editorial Control so, nothing's printed without your agreement. Editorial pages start at £500+VAT and we can do almost all of it for you! Just ask!

Get Connected to our Growing Community Now:

Call Us Now - 01865 742211 B



















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S A L E S.OX F O R D @ C H RYS L E R .CO.U K W W W. M O T O R V I L L A G E U K .C O M



Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 01865 742211 Each business with an Oxfordshire postcode is entitled to one free copy per issue. For additional copies and for businesses outside of Oxfordshire, there is an annual subscription charge of £25.

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

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

welcome to B4 Welcome to Issue 27. Is business confidence growing? That’s still a fair question with trading conditions still relatively hostile, but I can report that there is generally a more positive energy being generated by Oxfordshire’s business community. Yes it’s tough out there but the majority of businesses we are coming into contact with have absorbed the new ‘rules’ and are getting on with what they do best.

Meet The Writers

There’s definitely a positive energy from our growing group of Platinum Members and on that note we welcome BMW North Oxford Garage, the focus of this issue’s lead article. The corporate team at North Oxford Garage are on a drive (sorry) to connect with local businesses with some fantastic deals, so if you’re in the market for a new car, please read the article on page 18. We also welcome Bang & Olufsen, Bicester Village, Roots and our new printers, Advent Colour as fully fledged Platinum Members and Bloxham Mill, Grundon Waste Management, West Oxfordshire District Council, tmb Events, Monica Franke Osteopath, JACK fm, The Archive Centre, Minoan Air, La Cucina, Rachel Ducker, De Vere Hotels and The Oxford Blue. Phew!

86. John Hallam Associates Written by Kelly Stroud

As we enter the Awards season, I’d like to extend a massive well done to B4 members who triumphed at the recent Oxfordshire Business Awards. Owen Mumford won the overall Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award, but congratluations also to Williams Advanced Engineering, mark making and Helen & Douglas House and all of the other winners and nominated businesses. Don’t forget our fantastic B4 events in 2013 – by the time you read this we will have had events at Newbury Racecourse, Blackwell’s, Bucks New University, The Oakley Court and Oxford Examination Schools with events to come at The Vineyard, Rhodes House, The Manor Hotel, The Forbury Hotel, Hawkwell House Hotel, Aylesbury College, The Compleat Angler and Latimer Place – and we’re already booking up venues for 2014 events, so if you’re not a B4 member, what are you waiting for?

92. Gee's Written by Donald Sloan

A final mention about the B4 Bike Ride which you can read all about on page 150. This was a tremendous achievement by everyone including the riders, our fabulous support team of Zoe, Lorna, Colin, James and Jade, our guides James and Ben and also our fantastic sponsors, with special mention to Browns and Motor Village Oxford for their incredible generosity and the preparation team of TLA Fitness, Helen Money and Monica Franke for getting us all fit and fighting for the 428 mile ride. See our ‘Sponsors Thanks’ message on page 22 for a full list of our fantastic supporters.

63. One of the best kept secrets

Enjoy B4

Written by Tracey Jefferies

Richard Rosser Editor




B4 Magazine was established to provide Oxfordshire businesses with a clear voice to raise their profile and to help businesses connect. Direct mailed to three thousand business decision makers in Oxfordshire every quarter, B4 is regarded as Oxfordshire’s leading free distribution business publication. B4 stands for Building Bridges Between Business and that is what B4 helps businesses to do, aided by our first class website at, quarterly B4 Ambassador events and monthly workshops.

B4 Magazine is printed by B4 is funded by paid for display advertising and editorial, although some editorial is granted without charge at the discretion of the Editor. Please call us to find out how you can get involved. WHY NOT FOLLOW B4 MAGAZINE ON

134. Wedded Bliss Written by Jo Sensecall


18 North Oxford Garage: Our new B4 Platinum Members reveal all about some great deals available to corporate customers.

54 The Art of Business: A focus on PlayDNA at DiagnOx laboratories in Cherwell Innovation Centre. 63 One of Oxford's Best Kept Secrets: ...but not for much longer. 80 Platinum Ambassador Focus: Browns Oxford's GM, Simon Stonehouse. 110 When a 5* Hotel Just Won't Do: B4 meets the man behind the fabulous Hope House. 154 WODC: Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Superstar Unveiled.


25 Keeping Your Money Moving: With B4 Platinum Ambassador Member, Santander. 32 Lloyds TSB Commercial: Providing Support for Oxfordshire's Professional Practices. 64 Innovative and Flexible Banking: With Oxford Plastic Systems and Barclays.


26 Grant Thornton: Are you getting the most from your advisers in education?

12 NEWS 12 23 29 35 38 66 97 109 121 133 137 144 147

B4 News B4 Diary Darbys Coutts CIS Ltd VSL Hawkwell House Oxford Inspires Jennings HR2YOU Visit Oxfordshire Oxford Wine Company Old Swan & Minster Mill

30 6

40 Blue Law: Darbys' innovative, free, legal and business support scheme. 44 Wenn Townsend: A mixture of lunch and a test drive! 46 Motor Village Oxford: Buying a new Car? In association with Wenn Townsend. 60 Off to Court?: No thanks, there is no need. 70 Wellers: Investing in staff and training. 104 Selling The Dream: Do you dream of sandy beaches and piles of cash?


PROPERTY 36 Scottfraser: The Next Generation. 43 Welcome To: Howbery Business Park. 53 Are You Savvy?: With brothers Stephen and David Dunne of Savvy Renovation and Maintenance. 58 Need Office Space?: It's easy with Carter Jonas' 4 Step Solution. 74

A Brave New (Working) World: Ray Avery of Bloxham Mill on the future of commercial property.

78 Now's The Time: To prepare your garden for summer. 86 Re-Designing Luxury: John Hallam Associates and how they tackled the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel development.


112 Finders Keepers: Qualified!

30 Grundon Waste Management: Why recycling today is investing in tomorrow's future.

128 A Big Change on the Oxford College Landscape: How a 17th Century Oxford College has risen to the demands of the 21st Century

B4 contents 50


50 In Any Event: Choose tmb!

82 London Oxford Airport - Part 8!: We catch up with the airport's James Dillon-Godfray.



98 Lady Margaret Hall: Feet-Tapping Blues and All That Jazz. 122 The Changing Space of Rhodes House: A venue to inspire leadership. 134 Wedded Bliss: Platinum Ambassadors Oxford Fine Dining tell us what makes the perfect wedding. 150 The B4 Bike Ride: Edinburgh to Oxford - all 428 miles of it!


130 JACK fm: Playing what you want.


136 Get all the benefits of London quality branding, identity and graphic design: At Glasgow prices!

103 Minoan Air Transport B4 Bikers: ‌to Edinburgh but, unfortunately, not back again! 127 My Jeep Compass: B4's Editor is more than a bit taken with it.

49 R&R

49 Commercial Opportunities in Luxury Audio & Visual: With Mark James of Bang & Olufsen.


69 The Feathers: More than just a hotel.

88 Complementary Health Care You Can Trust: With Osteopath, Monica Franke.

73 Transforming Lives Through Performing Arts: With Pegasus Theatre. 77 La Cucina: Oxford's finest Italian restaurant. 91 Jekyll & Hyde: A Blackwell's Bookshop and Creation Theatre Production!



94 Magna Carta: The English language skills that can take you forward in the business world. 116 Essentials: What your office needs to function.

92 Gee's - Re-Born: Donald Sloan experiences Jeremy Mogford's incredible transformation of Gee's. 106 The Trout: Oxfordshire's most famous pub around the world. 115 Rachel Ducker: Fabulous art for all. 118 The MacDonald Hotels Signature Collection: Incorporating A Night Overlooking The Museum. 138 The Belfry: Undergoing something of a transformation.

85 The Social: In association with Glooo.

124 Ultimate Car Control: Now it's even easier to be safe on the roads.

140 De Vere Hotels and Resorts: We spotlight some of De Vere's magnificent properties.

85 Technology is #Trending: What does that mean? With the team from Olamalu.

145 Boxing Clever: With The Archive Centre's David Coulton.

148 The Oxford Blue: Review by B4's Lorna Dodson.









Residential Letting 路 Property Management





meet oxfordshire

Why not join them? Call us on 01865 742211 now for details about our Platinum Ambassador packages. We have a capacity of 75 Platinum Ambassadors in each area. AMBASSADORSHIPS ALREADY TAKEN OXFORDSHIRE 55 BERKSHIRE 15 BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 8














B4 REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS IN THIS ISSUE (IN PAGE ORDER) Santander...............................................................................................................................25 Grant Thornton........................................................................................................................26 CIS Ltd............................................................................................................................................38 Darbys.........................................................................................................................................40 Wenn Townsend......................................................................................................................44 Oxford Innovation..................................................................................................................54 Carter Jonas............................................................................................................................58 Town Hall.......................................................................................................................................63 Barclays.................................................................................................................................64 The Feathers...............................................................................................................................69 Buildbase..............................................................................................................................78

Glooo........................................................................................................................................85 Blackwell’s................................................................................................................................91 Hawkwell House..................................................................................................................97 MGroup........................................................................................................................................104 Ultimate Car Control..........................................................................................................124 Richard’s Jeep Compass..................................................................................................127 Oxford Fine Dining............................................................................................................134 Strangebrew......................................................................................................................136 Visit Oxfordshire...............................................................................................................137 De Vere..................................................................................................................................138 Oxford Wine Company....................................................................................................144


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Suzanne Webb  (01993) 810100

34 High Street, Woodstock

Our Sales Offices Oxford City Centre 118 High Street  (01865) 244735 Summertown  (01865) 310300

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Oxford Apartments Summertown  (01865) 558999 Headington  (01865) 765555

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mark-making* win the Social Media Award at WOBA 2013 during an evening that celebrated the best of Oxfordshire’s businesses. The award was given in recognition of markmaking*’s ongoing Instagram campaign, as well as their strategic use of a wide range of different social platforms, demonstrating innovation and creativity in a space where these two qualities are required to truly stand out. Chipping Norton based creative agency, markmaking*, brought home the trophy for Social Media at the West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2013. They were among 10 other winners

Their mobile photography campaign married the worlds of digital and print by publishing the winners of a mark-making* hosted Instagram competition

in a book called the A-Z of Instagram. This culminated in a public exhibition held at their Chipping Norton studio celebrating the art of mobile photography. mark-making* specialise in strategy, brand, design and digital. From start-ups to household names, in sectors as diverse as finance, retail and sport, nationally and overseas, the agency has been helping organisations make their mark since 1995.

A New Way of Working - Professional Services with Social Impact Built-In Aspire Oxford runs award-winning social businesses offering professional facilities management services to local councils, blue-chip corporates, academic institutions and private customers. Our businesses include grounds & landscape maintenance, property maintenance, labour supply and recycling. Aspire’s businesses come with social impact ‘builtin’: they create work placements and employment opportunities for local people who face barriers to securing meaningful employment. This delivers big

savings for Oxfordshire taxpayers of over £1m a year, significantly reduces re-offending rates, encourages social inclusion, and helps people move off benefits and into work. Aspire won a string of awards in 2012 for its innovative approach to partnership and outstanding social impact: OCVA’s Partnership Award, Recruiter Magazine’s Charity of the Year, Oxfordshire Business Award’s Charity & Community Winner, and The Guardian Newspaper’s Charity of the Year.

Contact us to find out more about how Aspire delivers high-quality services at competitive rates and changes lives: 01865 204451 /

Growth despite the gloomy economic climate Warwickshire, is enjoying significant growth despite the gloomy economic climate.

New Partners at Brethertons LLP

Award-winning law firm Brethertons Solicitors, one of the largest in Oxfordshire and

Since January, Brethertons has taken on 30 staff of which 22 were new jobs. It has 8 further new starters lined up, with yet more vacancies. These vacancies are connected with the firm’s growth plans and are in legal specialisms, legal support staff and in IT to help develop ground breaking technology to support Brethertons’ renowned client focus. The total number of staff is now over 220.

Deborah Atkins, HR Partner at Brethertons, said: “As a firm we have seen significant improvement in the market place which has resulted in excellent business growth. We know that other local law firms are merging or down-sizing to remain in business, so it is clear we are bucking the economic trend.” For more information on Brethertons LLP, visit

Oxfordshire’s answer to quality serviced apartments At Weekly Home we have been providing high quality serviced apartments to corporate clients for the past 10 years. We fully appreciate that value for money, good quality and an efficient service are paramount to organising any business stay. We also know that our properties offer the same quality and comfort as a boutique hotel but with more space, privacy and comfort. All our properties come complete with fully equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi and spacious


and relaxing living areas. We have an impressive list of corporate clients who use Weekly Home on a regular basis for all of their accommodation needs. Our dedicated team would be delighted to discuss how we can help your business. Please get in touch by calling 01993 811711 or by email: We would also like to talk to you if you have a

property in the Oxfordshire area that you want to short let with Weekly Home. The benefits of short let are highlighted on our website:

B4 news Meet Oxfordshire invites you to a Summer Gardens Party Join us at Rhodes House on 3rd July 2013. The event will showcase some of the leading venues and suppliers from Oxford and Oxfordshire who are renowned for hosting meetings and events on every scale – Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Four Pillars Hotels, The Old Swan and Minster Mill, Blenheim Palace, The Macdonald Randolph and Heythrop Park Resort to name a few. Over 26 venues and suppliers will be exhibiting from 3 – 8pm and offering prize giveaways to the attendees.

Meet Oxfordshire are targeting local and regional businesses to attend this prestigious event to showcase the very best of Oxfordshire as a world class destination for conferences, events and meetings. This event has already attracted local support – B4 Media Group have signed up as the Media Partner. To register to attend the garden party please visit or call 01865 252409 for more details.

Understanding employee exit - an independent snapshot half the respondents being senior managers/directors, it emerged that most had multiple reasons for leaving, most commonly: • workplace culture (67%) • difficulties with line manager/team member (65%) • wanting more challenge (65%) • organisational values (61%). Insight Oxford specialise in understanding factors affecting employee retention and engagement. Their independent cross-sector research (2012) revealed what really happens when people exit organisations. With almost

When asked for the single most important reason for leaving, ‘workplace culture/values’ came top (23%) while ‘stress’ (5%) and ‘salary’ (4%) scored much lower. The majority (57%) left without an exit interview.

This research highlighted the top reasons for exit as: line management relationship, workplace culture and career development. Louise Wheeler of Insight Oxford said “A key characteristic of successful organisations is strong employee engagement. Organisations that track employee engagement and gather candid exit feedback are able to recognise early disengagement and invest in strategies to minimise unnecessary talent loss”.

Ox-Fest 2013 OX-FEST is a 3 day family festival of fun and frolics for all ages at Carswell Golf & Country Club, SN7 8PU.

Adult Tickets are £5 Friday, £25 Saturday or Sunday and £40 for Weekend Tickets (including Friday). Under 18s Half Price and Under 5s FREE.

Ox-Fest is a celebration of all that's good about Oxfordshire, showcasing local talent, performers, live bands and artists, including some of the top tribute bands in the UK, if not the world.

20% DISCOUNT for Corporate and Group Bookings of 20 or more.

You won't go hungry at Ox-Fest, with quality food and drink on offer from local suppliers, Award Winning pubs and restaurants.

Fly your Company Flag or Banner at Ox-Fest, from only £100, to promote your business. Please Like and Share us on OxFestUK and Follow Us on Twitter @OxFestUK

For corporate deals and sponsorship opportunities please email

Shop at the Old Fire Station of beautiful items is now on-line. The public have been flocking in via Gloucester Green to view and buy hand-made work ranging from jewellery to prints, toys to homewares; all lovingly created by outstanding UK based artists and designers. Shop at the Old Fire Station, Oxford’s newest, unique and constantly growing treasure trove

The Shop leads straight to a Gallery that showcases the work of early to mid-career artists and is a great

place to buy contemporary original art. Now, much of the work is available on-line so that more people can get their hands on the wonderful items in the store. Every penny spent in the Shop is divided between the artists and the Old Fire Station charity which supports emerging artists and works with Crisis to help end homelessness.


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Growing pains and how to avoid them Why do 95% of British businesses employ fewer than 10 people? Not because they don't want to grow beyond that mark, but because, in order to do so, some of the fundamentals of the business, which have got them to where they are, need to change. And change is often both painful and resisted. The systems and processes which brought you this far won't get you to the next milestone - whatever you perceive it to be.

The job descriptions, roles and responsibilities of your people will have to evolve too, and the owner/manager will have to delegate more, and 'do' less. Your sales and marketing will need to be professionalised - or perhaps just instituted. That's where I come in: facilitating those necessary changes to give your business a new spurt of sustainable growth.

For a free SWOT analysis of where your business currently is, get in touch. David Croydon, Hilltop Consultancy,

Executive Fire & Security strengthens with a new Design Consultant their sales team. Chris joined us in April as a System Design Consultant. He brings a wealth of experience that covers 16 years within the Security industry.

Executive Fire & Security are pleased to announce the recruitment of Chris Gentles to

Chris has worked with a number of credible national security companies and his background covers the design, manufacture, distribution and installation of security systems. He has achieved BTEC Advanced TavCom training certificates in various disciplines covering all types of security systems.

We have no doubt that Chris will be a valuable asset to Executive Fire & Security. We are now active on the following Social Media site; for live updates please visit us on: Twitter: @executiveoxford Facebook group: executive security services oxford Facebook Fan Page: executive security services Website:

Businesses take on softball challenge As the weather improves, thoughts traditionally turn to those very English games of cricket and tennis. But now, American softball has started to become popular with Thames Valley businesses. Earlier this month, accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP hosted a match with Oxford based patent attorneys, Dehns. It took place on the pitch in the park on the Botley Road, just behind the West Oxford Community centre, less than a mile from Oxford centre.

The first three innings saw the teams neck and neck, before BDO pulled out a sterling performance to win 21-10. Another match between the two firms has been organised, and on 12 June BDO is playing against Harrison Catering Services. Alastair McTegart, BDO’s captain, said: “Softball is still a relatively unknown sport for many people but it is great game; one that brings the teams together in a fun yet competitive way outside the working environment.”

Contact: Alastair McTegart on 0118 925 4460 or or Karen Meenderink on: 0118 925 4448 or

Oxford Town Hall Christmas 2013 tickets go on sale This December, Oxford Town Hall is transforming its beautiful Main Hall into an extravagant “Winter Wonderland”. Decadent decoration and exquisite lighting will create a truly magical spectacle, captivating guests with the breath-taking landscape. With a complementary drink to break the ice, guests will then be seated under a “starry night sky” to enjoy a three course banquet amidst the stunning architecture.


A photobooth will be available throughout the evening with unlimited use for guests to enjoy, providing fun, takeaway mementos of a party to remember. Glide onto the dance floor after dinner, with a professional Jack FM DJ to dance the night away. Tickets are now on sale from and with a complimentary bottle of fizz for every full table sold.

B4 news Executive Fire spreads out to sprinklers We have seen a large increase in the demand to service and maintain dry riser, sprinkler systems and fire hydrants all of which we are able to maintain and support.

ourselves on the accreditations and accolades we continue to receive whilst staying competitive.

Executive Fire Protection Ltd is continuing to grow its customer base and have employed another engineer to meet the needs and requirements of our customers.

Executive Fire Protection Ltd will supply, deliver, commission and maintain all types of fire safety equipment irrespective of how great or small our customer needs are. We offer a site visit free of charge, without obligation and offer guidance to meet each individual’s customer needs.

In an ever increasing competitive market we pride

We strive to deliver excellent customer service,

peace of mind and satisfaction at realistic prices.

Opendoorz launch new mentoring scheme Local enterprising young people are being offered the chance to win the year-long support of experienced business professionals through a new mentoring scheme being launched by Oxfordshire-based Opendoorz. The network is on the hunt for someone with entrepreneurial flair in the start-up phase of their business who could benefit extensively from additional support and expertise to grow their enterprise. The successful candidate will receive a

year’s free membership of Opendoorz’s Witney group, alongside access to multi-level business and financial advice throughout the 12-month period. To apply for the Opendoorz mentoring scheme, please go to their website and download the application form. Entries must be received by 12th July 2013, and the selection process will take place soon afterwards.

Digital trends that matter for business Jeremy Anderson, Client Services Director at Obergine was invited to speak at the internationally renowned 2013 London International Wine Fair to explore how businesses can take advantage of the relentless wave of digital innovation evident across UK and worldwide markets. Jeremy covered 10 key areas that businesses should be mindful of now and in the near future these included big data, universal analytics, internet

of things, multi-channel content delivery, content marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, personalisation and the importance of delivering fantastic user experiences. Jeremy’s presentation can be found at Obergine is an award winning Creative & Digital Marketing Agency that specialises in the creation of

multi-channel marketing solutions for the Food & Drink, Retail, Publishing & Education industries. Their clients include CyT UK, Cono Sur Vineyards, Anya Hindmarch, Oxford University Press, University of Oxford and Unipart. Achilles, Datamonitor Publishing. is pleased to announce that his bespoke and innovative journalism, business research, marketing and copywriting enterprise has attracted new clients this year, including the Economist Intelligence Unit,



Charles specialises in producing original research for market reports on energy related topics and writing for energy magazines .His focus is on the global oil and gas industries, power generation including renewables and related technologies, energy trading and policy issues for both virtual and print media. From an extensive list of contacts he is able to produce bespoke web,

radio and TV content for clients. As well as providing bespoke market reports on energy related topics for research agencies Nicnewmanoxford .com provides marketing advice and issues press releases on behalf of local small and medium sized businesses in and around Oxford and will, undertake on request, product reviews for clients. Contact


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VOUCH available to Emergency Services Our fantastic voucher scheme which you can see at is now available to members of the local emergency services at a further discount.

Police and NHS staff can now benefit from a further 10% discount when buying Vouch vouchers through their intranets and sales are proving the vouchers are a big hit.

If you would like to benefit from an additional discount and your are in the emergency services, please call VOUCH on 01865 742211.

A whole new look

The Oxfordshire Cotswolds visitor website has been completely redesigned and refreshed.

information on Where to Stay and What’s On, the What to Do section of the website now features a prominent shopping section. Each record on the website has a What’s Nearby feature showing the nearest accommodation, attractions, shops, places to eat and drink, even towns and villages!

The new site is lighter, brighter and more visual, has greater social media integration and a number of new features. While you can still find a wealth of

There are also dedicated new Business and Media sections. The Business section has useful information for local tourism businesses including

advice, training & workshops, press releases and advertising opportunities. All tourism press releases can also be found in the Media section, which also includes tourism statistics (locally, regionally and nationally) and an image library with high resolution images available for journalists to use. To see the new website please visit:

B4 Editor Completes Blenheim Triathlon B4’s Richard Rosser completed the Blenheim Triathlon on Saturday 8th June in a time of 1 hour 17, not bad for a first time but area for improvement next year! “My first transition was a disaster – I spent 8 minutes getting everything wrong but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and the swim wasn’t anything like as cold as I had feared. Excellent organisation from Blenheim Palace and

Challenger World – why not register your interest for next year’s event at” Although Richard wasn’t raising funds specifically for this event, you can still sponsor him by entering B4 Virgin Edinburgh Oxford into your browser, which is the link for the B4 Edinburgh to Oxford bike ride completed at the end of May.

First B4 Said Talks a Success

Over 60 B4 members and guests attended the first of a series of talks at the impressive West Wing at Said Business School on 6th June.

Speakers from Lloyds Commercial, TVBA, The MGroup and Morgan Cole talked about the various aspects of buying and selling businesses with a lively Q&A following the 4 fifteen minute presentations. Prior to the talks guests were treated to drinks and canapés in the impressive Club Room, followed by the presentations in one of four stunning Harvard style lecture

theatres, rounded off with more networking in the Club Room. News about future B4 talks will be posted on the website and future e-Newsletters. If you would like to present at a future event, please contact B4 on 01865 742211.

James Bateman of CLEAR supports B4 Bike Ride James Bateman, Manager at the Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Unit (CLEAR) at the Department of Sport and Health Science at Oxford Brookes University, played a vital role during the recent B4 Bike Ride from Edinburgh to Blenheim Palace. Our resident medic was on hand to provide pit stop massages and running repairs to the ailing cyclists and was a key factor in ensuring all of the team made it across the finish line.


“The guys did really well and considering it was such a long way, they all withstood the test really well and there were no major issues for me to deal with. I absolutely loved every minute of it and was delighted to play my part.” Explained James. As regards his work for CLEAR, James added. “I enjoy doing what I do helping our participants making them more efficient in doing everyday tasks and becoming more independent. It’s such a friendly atmosphere in the CLEAR – our participants really

enjoy interacting with staff and students.” To find out more about CLEAR, contact James on 01865 483839 or e-mail

B4 news Thanks Donna B4 would like to thank Donna Grayson of tmb Events for the fantastic support during the B4/MGroup Golf Cup qualifiers. Bringing an extra dimension to the golf qualifiers, Donna has taken the golf tournament to a whole new level and we have noticed a marked increase in competitive spirit! A keen supporter of Breast Cancer Care, Donna has walked and run to support this fabulous charity so look out for news of Donna’s next challenge in B4. To find out more about tmb, visit:

Events at Cheltenham Racecourse We are famous at Cheltenham Racecourse for the 16 days of renowned jump racing we host throughout the year, but let us introduce you to the other side of our business. With 12 function rooms, the magnificent Panoramic Restaurant , 60 hospitality boxes and Centaur, our state of the art multi purpose auditorium, we can provide a range of inspiring spaces to suit any meeting or event on the other 349 days of the year. From board meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and awards dinners through to Christmas parties, weddings and celebrations, our professional and

friendly team has two main aims; firstly to ensure that your event is everything you want it to be and secondly that hosting it is easy, stress free and enjoyable. Our partner Jockey Club Caterers, providers of our award-winning race day dining, will work with you to create both imaginative and bespoke menus which meet your exacting standards and budget. At Cheltenham we pride ourselves on the quality of our food and skill in catering for your individual event, regardless of the size or type.

Owen Mumford scoops two prizes at Oxfordshire Business Awards Woodstock and Chipping Norton based Owen Mumford, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of medical devices has scooped TWO prizes at the Oxfordshire Business Awards – including being named Oxfordshire’s Business of the Year 2013. The company were also winners of The Carter Jonas Export Award in recognition of their outstanding worldwide trade success.

Business of the Year 2013 Award Possibly, the biggest surprise for Owen Mumford was being awarded Oxfordshire’s Business of the Year 2013. The company, whose headquarters and manufacturing sites are in Woodstock and Chipping Norton started out in 1952 with just three people but today has over 700 employees worldwide. With sales offices in the UK, Europe, USA and China, Owen Mumford has become one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of specialist medical devices. Jarl Severn, Managing Director said: “We are overjoyed to receive this prestigious award; it is testament to our loyal employees’ hard work and commitment that we have achieved such success. I know every one of us is proud to be working for Oxfordshire’s Business of the Year 2013.” The Carter Jonas Export Award Owen Mumford has an enviable track record when it comes to export trade, with over 85% of their total production being exported to almost 60 countries worldwide. As a manufacturer of specialist medical devices, mainly for diabetes, the demand for the company’s expertise has soared in recent years particularly with the rise of diabetes across the globe. Gavin Jones, Financial Director at Owen

Mumford said: “We were delighted to be shortlisted for this award and are even more proud to be the winners of it, especially given the tough competition in this category; the award is an excellent endorsement of our success in international trade.”



North Oxford Garage has been Oxfordshire’s only BMW dealership for over forty years, with the stunning BMW showroom located on the intersection of the busy A40 and A44 at the Wolvercote Roundabout and a dedicated MINI facility at Long Hanborough. As one of B4’s most recent Platinum Members, Richard Rosser went to meet Corporate Sales Manager, Marcus Elliot who has been with North Oxford Garage for 16 years and Local Business Development Manager, David Ayris who joined the company 18 months ago to find out more about BMW’s Corporate Sales initiatives and other interesting developments.

The whole process of fleet management can be a complex one with new rules and regulations potentially affecting the best way of financing your fleet and influencing your choice of make and model. This is where Marcus and his team can help you to make the right decision, with ongoing advice on the most tax effective methods of funding and post sales support to enable you to efficiently manage your company car fleet. As Marcus explains, ”fleet doesn’t need to conjure up visions of hundreds of cars. We are here to help companies make the right choices regardless of fleet size and with the BMW Business Partnership Programme we can offer competitive bespoke solutions for all companies that have fifty vehicles or less. The BMW Business Partnership programme has been running for the past three years and has proved to be a hit with our customers”.

with Media Package – BMW Business for £299 a month or a MINI Cooper Diesel Hatchback for just £159 a month.”

“We have an excellent bedrock of larger customers with in excess of fifty vehicles in their fleets, but the focus here is on the smaller fleets, and our customer list is growing

Marcus Elliott, Corporate Sales Manager

“Some examples of the market leading BMW Business Partnership offers currently available would be the fantastic BMW 320d M Sport Saloon


“BMW UK Ltd supports both BMW and MINI cars through the BMW Business Partnership

programme with attractive monthly rentals, special offers and exclusive extras such as the Regus Gold card which is free of charge to customers who order a new BMW or MINI through the programme. The card entitles customer to access fully equipped business lounges at over 1200 locations worldwide, including more than 150 in the UK. It is a great added value benefit for busy people on the move”. “Our focus here is on smaller fleets, and our customer list is growing. We have over 150 companies locally who are benefiting from the programme. Membership is free and participants receive a quarterly magazine, updates on new models and invitations to BMW Corporate events. It is a simple and effective means of getting our best offers out to all our customers whilst maintaining product awareness.” So if you are in the market for a new company vehicle, we would be delighted to meet with you, arrange a demonstration and offer advice on the most cost effective options for your business. If you

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4







Yours for a laughable £165 per month plus deposit* until the end of March, the MINI Cooper D Hatch is a firm favourite with bean counters and drivers alike. The high level of standard specification includes DAB Radio, and 14% BIK means as little as £39 a month for a 20% tax payer or £77 for the fat cats that pay 40%. J 99g/km CO2 J 74.3mpg (combined) To find out more or to fix up a test drive, please visit



Main Road, Long Hanborough OX29 8LA 01865 319099


*Offer available to business users only. Figures exclude VAT. Based on a 36 month Contract Hire agreement for a MINI Cooper D Hatch with a deposit of £990.00 plus VAT, a contract mileage of 30,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 4.83 pence per mile plus VAT. Model shown features optional extras: 17" Infinite Stream Alloys £1,130, White Bonnet Stripes £80, Chrome Line Exterior £90 and White Indicator Lenses £60. Vehicle condition charges may apply at the end of your agreement. Subject to status and in the UK only (excl. the Channel Islands). Individuals must be 18 or over. A guarantee may be required. The amount of VAT you can reclaim depends on your business VAT status. Rentals may change if VAT rate changes during agreement. Hire provided by BMW Group Corporate Finance. BMW Group Corporate Finance is a trading style of Alphabet (GB) Limited, Europa House, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UF. Offer expires 30 June 2013.


Official fuel economy figures for the MINI Cooper D Hatch: Urban 67.3mpg (4.2l/100km). Extra Urban: 80.7mpg (3.5l/100km). Combined 74.3mpg (3.8l/100km). CO2 emissions 99g/km.



offer a consultancy based approach to “we can help customers through the tax implications of certain vehicles over others, assistance with rates and also cost comparisons between buying and leasing David Ayris, Corporate Sales Manager

would like to discuss your specific requirements please contact Marcus.

Whatever your fleet size we can help you choose the best vehicle to suit your needs.”

companies are embracing the programme and the benefit that is has to offer.”

David Ayris has been with North Oxford Garage for over eighteen months as a Local Business Development Manager and as he explains, “My role was created to help local companies develop an efficient company car solution for their needs and requirements. Marcus and I work as a team and we offer a consultancy based approach to help customers through the tax implications of certain vehicles over others, assistance with rates and also cost comparisons between buying and leasing. This can be particularly confusing and we help our customers see the differences between the two.

The depth and expertise in our business is considerable and we have a whole team here to help you. It is that side of our business that we want to connect B4 readers to. Of course if you’re passing and one of our vehicles, or bikes, catches your eye, please pop in!”

The message is clear. North Oxford Garage are not only a long established business with a first class reputation, but businesses can now benefit from that experience, the considerable resource and expertise at the dealership and, in addition, benefit from some incredible special offers for both BMW and MINI.


“The business partnership programme is going from strength to strength and is one of our strongest tools. Compelling offers for our customers on our range of fantastic BMW and MINI cars is great news for everyone. More and more

B4 will soon be announcing a fantastic event at North Oxford BMW, but this will be a limited capacity event open to B4 Platinum Members initially and thereafter B4 Ambassadors and then Members. It is highly unlikely non Members will be able to register due to the limited numbers. The event will give guests the opportunity to find out more about North Oxford BMW, chat to sales and support staff and even organise a test drive. But the highlight of the evening will be a very special launch which is still under wraps, so if we’ve caught your attention and you would like to register your interest, e-mail the Editor at and we will add you to the list.


B4 diary

In Association with Carter Jonas

Event Organiser





Event Details

Examination Schools Rhodes House The Manor Hawkwell House

4th Jul 12th Sep 2nd Oct 21st Nov

6.00pm 6.00pm 6.00pm 6.00pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events

Oakley Court The Vineyard The Forbury Hotel

2nd Jul 28th Aug 17th Oct

6.00pm 6.00pm 5.00pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events

Bucks New University Latimer House Aylesbury College The Compleat Angler

25th Jun 10th Sep TBC 24th Oct

6.00pm 6.00pm TBC 6.30pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events (Starting promptly at 6.30pm)

The Manor

1st Oct


The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards 2013


Business growth networking forum which gives its members a safe, confidential testing ground for ideas, solution-finding and business opportunities. Please contact for further information. Tel: 01865 424869 / 07554 019240


After the first B4 / MGroup Golf Cup qualifier at Heythrop Park GC on 30th May, there is one more qualifier at Frilford Heath GC followed by the final at Studley Wood FC on 5th Sep. The 7th Annual Golf Cup will tee off with holders Culham Publication Services defending their crown.


Providing teachers with the means to inspire pupils to continue studying science, technology and engineering subjects in higher education. The Teachers' Day is an extension of our Practical Nano Science event, training teachers in nanoscience and giving them the resources and skills to take nanoscience back to the classroom. Please email or call 01865 309625 to book a space today.



















Malmaison, Oxford

Frilford Heath GC Studley Wood GC

Begbroke Science Park

1st Jul 19th Aug 2nd Sep 7th Oct

11th Jul 5th Sep

18th Jul

B4 Members can feature their events on this page, subject to availability – please get in touch for your complimentary listing.



“You might be able to survive for a while without sales or profits, but not without cash”


MONEY MOVING Getting your cashflow under control makes for a more efficient business, freeing up management time to focus on making the most of growth opportunities. There is an old business saying ‘turnover is vanity, proft is sanity and cashflow is reality’. This is the painful truth all companies, no matter their size, have to acknowledge in order to survive. According to recent figures from Bacs, SMEs are owed an astounding £33.6 billion in late payments, with the British Chambers of Commerce highlighting that 94% of SMEs have late paying customers. When money is tied up in this way, it can prevent companies from making plans and seeing these plans come to fruition - something that a growing business can do without. You might be able to survive for a while without sales or profits, but not without cash. Cash pays the bills and keeps you trading, allowing you to make the most of new opportunities. At Santander we understand that keeping money readily accessible is one of the areas where a bank can make a big difference. There are three main products which deal specifically with this, opening

CASE STUDY Specialist automotive paints supplier JCA Coatings has completed an £8 million financing deal with Santander Corporate & Commercial, including a new supplier payments package. Supplier payments, also known as supply chain finance enables buyers to pay suppliers directly through their bank on approval of an invoice, often

up opportunities for companies wishing to invest in their development: • Invoice finance can provide a timely cash injection to a business by releasing money tied up in their outstanding invoices. • Asset finance lets a business spread payments over time, rather than purchasing outright, strengthening the balance sheet and reducing overall financing costs by freeing up capital from assets already owned. • Supplier finance enables buying organisations to make early payments to their suppliers, the invoice is settled ahead of negotiated payment terms, minus a small fee, allowing them to benefit from a strengthened relationship with their suppliers, and potentially enabling them to negotiate a reduction in the cost of goods purchased over time.

addressing efficiencies such as reducing overheads and keeping on top of accounts, to implementing good stock control. Taking the time to understand where improvements can be made is invaluable to any growing business. Successfully managing your cashflow means your business will not only survive, it will thrive. If you would like to find out how we could help you achieve your own business ambitions, please call Justin Hayward on 07809 493739. You can also watch videos providing more information about how we work with our customers at: We look forward to working with you.

Aside from traditional finance there are also other ways a business can look to improve cashflow, by

helping to strengthen relationships with their supply chain. Payments can be made within a few hours, cutting payment periods and providing reliable and prompt invoice settlement to suppliers. JCA Coatings was established in 1980, is now the second largest distributor of specialist paint and related equipment to the car body repair market employing 135 staff across its nine sites. Richard Steer, Managing Director, for JCA Coatings believes the package will help JCA maintain its

competitiveness. He said: “We are delighted with this new finance package from Santander. Not only have we secured funding at very competitive prices but the supplier finance product should help strengthen our relationships with our suppliers. It’s great to see a bank offering this facility to a company of our size, and shows a genuine appreciation of how important our supply chain is to the overall success of our company.”


ARE YOU GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR ADVISORS IN EDUCATION? As Chartered Accountants and advisors at Grant Thornton Kathy Fidgeon, Director, and Katie Baker, Manager, talk about some of the issues which are impacting their education clients.

We work with a range of institutions from Schools and Academies to Colleges and Universities and have an education team of significant size, expertise and geographical presence. With this base, and as one of the top providers of tax and financial advice in the UK, we have a thorough understanding of the changing face of Education and the challenges that this brings. Here are just some of the key issues which we have been advising on recently. Banking As the banking market continues to evolve, so too does the bank's relationship with the education sector. Historically banks have had a more relaxed lending policy in regard to education, with significant sums being lent at generous rates into what was seen as a very stable and low risk market. Many banks are finding that historical lends into education are generating significant losses, as the cost of borrowing rises and the margins applied are simply not viable. This is leading to an increased awareness and strict implementation of both financial covenants, and also the less objective measures within agreements, such as Material Adverse Change clauses, and Change of Business clauses. Such clauses can be restrictive if you are seeking to expand activities in more innovative ways, as they risk a breach of existing facilities, and a renegotiation of terms. The cost implication of taking these margins to market rates can be significant. Pensions The minimum Employer contribution required to comply with auto enrolment is initially 1% so employers may wish to consider a separate pension vehicle for your auto enrolled population


to minimise costs. The operational implications of determining categories of workers and tracking employee eligibility should also be taken into account in your planning. Grant Thornton advises clients to consider cost reduction strategies in order to reduce the financial impact of auto enrolment, for example extending or introducing pension salary sacrifice, and assess how well their HR and payroll systems interact in order to manage the operational impact. Salary Sacrifice and Benefits Many education institutions already offer pension schemes, childcare vouchers and cycle to work schemes under salary sacrifice arrangements. Other popular benefits that would also generate tax/NIC savings include:-car parking (where this is on-site, salary sacrifice could help increase the income from car parks), workplace nurseries, gym membership, health screening, annual holiday entitlement and CO2 efficient cars. We recommend that you review your existing arrangements and consider how these could be extended to generate tax/NIC savings for the business and its employees, while providing highly attractive benefits that will support recruitment and retention. These arrangements could also be utilised by senior staff who may be caught by the pension tax regulations. Overseas students The UK government operates a points based route with which students outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can enter the UK to study, and students must score a sufficient number of points to gain entry. For now the tide is running with the Home Office's drive to reduce inward immigration, not those arguing for the economic importance of international education. In the light of the changing rules, and with the NAO's recent

criticism, it is inevitable that the UKBA's new compliance regime will prompt greater scrutiny of HE institutions with Highly Trusted Sponsor status. In our opinion the increasing risks attached to the tier 4 route prompt a number of questions for management as they review the sustainability of future income from overseas students: - How up to date are you with the latest UKBA rules and guidance? - When did the UKBA last inspect your tier 4 sponsor arrangements, and what was the outcome? - Are you getting assurance that you continue to meet the UKBA's current requirements? - Is that assurance sufficiently robust and transparent? - Is compliance with UKBA requirements covered in the scope of work by your internal auditors? How we can help Our performance management team have had huge success in advising education establishments in reassessing their existing cost base, and finding effective ways to make their operations work more efficiently. The current economic climate continues to put financial pressure on the education sector and there is a real need to focus awareness around maximising the opportunities available. Contact either: Kathy Fidgeon on 01865 799 925 /, or Katie Baker on 01865 799 865 /


“Our performance management team have had huge success in advising education establishments in reassessing their existing cost base, and finding effective ways to make their operations work more efficiently



The combination of stunning spaces, impressive technology, delicious food and unbeatable locations makes Saïd Business School, the centre for Oxford’s conferencing

Egrove Park

Park End Street

Egrove Park is Saïd Business School’s purpose-built executive education centre situated in 37 acres of parkland two miles from Oxford city centre.

The SaĂŻd Business School Park End Street building has a wide variety of different sized rooms to cater for all bookings from 300 people to a small meeting of six people all within a modern environment. The School is located next to the railway station and within easy walking distance of the city centre and bus station.

Facilities include: • wide range of meeting rooms – from a lecture theatre seating 100, to smaller syndicate rooms for break-out sessions • the latest high-tech and multimedia facilities and full IT/AV support from our -ICROSOFT#ERTIlED4ECHNICIANS • 63 en-suite study bedrooms • on-site gym, sauna, two squash courts, an all-weather tennis court, a croquet lawn and a snooker room

The stunning new West Wing opened in October 2012 and complements the Park End Street state-of-the-art facilities. The large variety of teaching and meeting rooms lNISHEDANDFURNISHEDTOTHEHIGHESTOF standards are available to businesses and organisations for conferences, meetings and exhibitions.


news A good Q1 for Darbys Our last financial year showed year on year growth in turnover of 35%. This growth looks set to continue, with Q1 being about £1 million up on Q1 last year. This latest growth is across both our Business and our Personal divisions.

New Arrivals for Darbys Solicitor. Douglas Scott, Associate. Corporate Team: Kirsty Armstrong, Paralegal . Business Support Team: Sam Rees, Office Assistant . Ella Weaving, Office Assistant. Commercial Litigation Team: Zarah Alam, Paralegal. Douglas Scott

Daniel Langan

Recruitment has continued for Darbys in both our Oxford and Manchester offices.

Family Team: Sharon Jones, Secretary. John Randle, Partner.

Welcome to our Oxford Office: Commercial Property Team: Jasmine Caine, Secretary. Kim Kirchner, Paralegal. Dan Langan,

Welcome to our Manchester Office: Commercial Property Team: Jonathan Kay, Partner.

Corporate Team: Paul Basger, Partner. Employment Team: Paul Edwards, Solicitor. Assisting all teams: Alexandra Keane, Paralegal.

Partner & Associate Promotions We have rewarded a number of our employees with promotion to Partner or Associate. It is with great pleasure, that the Partnership were able to announce promotion to the following people across the firm.

Sharon Tuckey and Simon Graham Harrison. Partners Jackie Phillips, Jenny Birrell, Nick Tarlton and Sian Champkin. Congratulations to you all!

Associates Emma Bannister Dean, Hannah Faux, New Partners/Associates

Darbys Success at the Supreme Court The Supreme Court has handed down Judgment in the case of Dr Verma v Barts and the London NHS Trust UKSC 2011/0246 following a hearing on 27 February 2013.

to retrain within the NHS. Other employers who offer pay protection should review existing terms to make sure that protection is clearly defined and operates in a non-discriminatory way.

The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the pay protection provisions within the NHS terms and conditions for hospital doctors provide that part-time practitioners who move from a higher post to take a training post in a lower grade are entitled to be paid in that training post at the equivalent full-time rate of pay applicable to their previous post. This is a significant decision for all doctors in part-time Career Grade posts who wish to enter into retraining for any reason. The decision also accords with long-standing anti-discrimination principles in relation to part-time workers and recognises the experience of senior doctors seeking

A copy of the Press Summary can be viewed here: index.html

Prisca Bradley, Associate in Darbys Solicitors’ Employment Law Team was instructed by Dr Verma who originally contacted Prisca in 2008. Darbys is delighted with this decision not only as it represents the result of a long litigation journey for our client but also because it will now provide clarification for Trusts on pay protection for all Hospital Doctors in the NHS.

Prisca Bradley, Associate in Darbys Solicitors’ Employment Law Team


B4 SPOTLIGHT What do Henley Royal Regatta, a private school, a busy shopping centre and an out-of-town business park have in common? The answer is that they all need specialist waste management and recycling services to help cut the amount of waste sent to landfill and drive the green agenda. Louise Esplin writes for B4. Which is why, whether it’s collecting empty bottles and cans at the close of a major outdoor event, managing food waste for school children or dealing with confidential documents, it’s all in a day’s work for Grundon Waste Management. The business, which has its headquarters at Benson near Wallingford, is the largest family owned waste management company in the UK, working with clients across the wider Thames Valley and beyond. Founded and still owned by the Grundon family, the company offers a wide range of collection services, including mixed recyclables such as cardboard and plastic, together with general nonrecyclable waste, hazardous waste, food waste and confidential waste. “For us, it’s about providing one simple solution to what can be seen as quite a complex problem,” says deputy chairman Neil Grundon. “Today, the way an organisation manages its recycling and waste management is not only seen as an indicator of its overall commitment to supporting the environment, but also of its own business credentials. “Commitment to reducing your carbon footprint – and being able to demonstrate how you achieve that – is important for businesses, their shareholders, customers and employees. By offering a complete portfolio of services, all managed by one account manager, we make it as easy as possible for companies to do exactly that.” The Grundon team starts with an audit, identifying practical solutions, while also looking for ways to optimise best practice and keep costs down. It works closely with facilities and estates managers, supporting in-house education programmes to help spread the recycling message and explain why changes are necessary.

For many in an office-based environment, this means something as simple as the introduction of a two-bin system – one container for mixed recycling items such as paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans; and another for nonrecyclable and non-hazardous general waste, such as some packaging and other plastics. While the former is sent for recycling, the latter goes to Grundon’s impressive joint venture Lakeside Energy from Waste plant at Colnbrook near Slough, where its incineration creates around 37 Megawatts of electricity, the vast majority of which – enough to power c.50,000 homes – is exported into the National Grid. Confidential data, from documents through to computer media such as hard drives and memory cards, is handled via a secure service which includes on-site mobile shredding. In a business environment, many day-to-day items such as batteries, printer cartridges, aerosols and solvents now fall into the hazardous waste category. Grundon’s specially-designed Haz-Box means companies who only have a small amount of such waste to dispose of can easily comply with the stringent environmental legislation. Bigger items for disposal such as unwanted computer equipment, telephones, florescent lighting tubes or televisions can be collected via its separate Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) service. The drive towards waste efficiency has meant many of Grundon’s clients now send virtually zero waste to landfill, saving the disposal costs – now priced at £72 a tonne – and also reducing their carbon footprint as more efficient collection methods require less vehicles. “Our goal is always to help clients find the most efficient and cost-effective methods for disposal and recycling,” continued Grundon. “Education

plays a big part, which is why we hold customer waste awareness days, forums and visits to our facilities, the more people understand, the more likely they are to buy into the need to reduce waste and recycle more. “We underpin this with complete waste transparency, providing monthly statistics and reports to enable companies to see how they are managing their waste more effectively and helping them quantify the investment.” Even mealtimes don’t escape Grundon’s watchful eye. The company recently introduced a dedicated food waste collection service aimed primarily at companies in the hospitality and food service sectors, schools and other premises with on-site catering facilities. Typically, segregated food waste collected by Grundon is taken to licensed Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities, where it is broken down into Biofertiliser and also used to produce Biogas, used as a fuel for the production of electricity and/or heat. Away from the business environment, Grundon’s name will also be seen this summer by anyone out and about across the county. The company’s Special Event Services team offers waste management and recycling services for a wide range of events, including the aforementioned Henley Royal Regatta, June’s Blenheim Palace Triathlon and the Wallingford Bunkfest at the end of August. Which proves, whether at home, school, in the office or enjoying some leisure time, Grundon’s experts will be there to spread the waste and recycling message and encourage all of us to do that little bit more to help save the environment.

The drive towards waste “ efficiency has meant many


of Grundon’s clients now send virtually zero waste to landfill, saving the disposal costs – now priced at £72 a tonne – and also reducing their carbon footprint



EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION Grundon has been providing waste and recycling services to Abingdon School, just south of Oxford, for around four years. As a leading independent day and boarding school, it is home to some 950 boys ranging in age from 11-18. Tammy Barrett, assistant estates manager, says using separate classroom and corridor bins for recycled materials and general waste, together with the recent introduction of a dedicated food waste

collection service, have made a big difference to the way the school and its pupils think. “In one three month period, we were able to increase paper and cardboard recycling by 40% which was excellent,” said Tammy. “Grundon has a very proactive approach and the ability to provide information and statistics is a big help.” For more information, call 01491 834311, e-mail or visit


PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR OXFORDSHIRE’S PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES The professional practices sector is well represented in Oxfordshire, with the area boasting many top legal and accountancy businesses and the industry benefitting from the high calibre of candidates graduating from Oxford University every year. It appears that the sector continues to be on the rise. Research from the Law Society's latest Law Management Section (LMS) annual profitability survey, which is sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, has revealed that legal practices in Oxfordshire are continuing to see an improvement in fortunes and report growth, despite the challenging economic climate. The most recent survey findings show that practice fee income for legal firms increased by 3.6 per cent in 2012, as law firms continued to adapt to challenges in the legal marketplace. In 2011 growth was more modest, with practice fee income showing a marginal increase of 1 per cent. The survey of LMS member firms and other businesses also revealed that average net profit per equity partner increased from £112,549 to £114,853 – a rise of two per cent. Mike Hemmings, professional practices specialist for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, said: “This year’s survey results demonstrate once again the remarkable resilience of the solicitors' profession. In difficult economic conditions, it’s really impressive to see median income grow by 3.6 per cent, and a similar percentage growth in median net profit per equity partner. “Partners tend to have three roles in their business – as investors, managers and practitioners – and the challenge is to do justice to each role. This important annual survey provides detailed and valuable data to allow them to look at their firm’s financial performance objectively and make the right investment and management decisions. Without those, it really doesn’t matter how great a practitioner you are." At Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, we understand that the legal services sector is unique, so we provide a service designed for the profession using a range of products and services to meet the needs of those that work within it.

headquartered near Banbury which has expanded its workforce and grown the firm. The business provides search and selection recruitment for permanent, interim and contractor positions, as well as HR consultancy. Business owners Lyndsey Simpson, Della Wolfe and Jeanette Ramsden approached us for the funding to accelerate the delivery of two new Recruitment Process Outsource contracts for FTSE 250 clients. The Recruitment Process Outsourcing business within The Curve Group has seen strong growth over the last 18 months and sees The Curve Group act as an internal recruitment facility for clients over a three year period.

The Lloyds TSB team understood our plans for the future, had faith in our track record of delivery and have become an important partner in making our future growth plans a reality Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of The Curve Group

The funding we provided has also been earmarked to support an upgraded IT platform and a new office extension, and the business also secured an asset based finance package through Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance. Lyndsey Simpson, co-owner of The Curve Group, said: “We have experienced rapid growth over the last three successive years and this is testament to the team’s hard work and our relentless pursuit to exceed all of our customers’ expectations, always. “We are constantly striving to evolve and grow the services and solutions we deliver to our clients and the funding from Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking and Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance has enabled us to respond to our customers’ needs at the pace required.

We have a team of Lexcel accredited relationship managers who are there to work with businesses in the legal sector in Oxfordshire, for example, and create packages that help these firms achieve their ambitions and mitigate the risks they face.

“The Lloyds TSB team understood our plans for the future, had faith in our track record of delivery and have become an important partner in making our future growth plans a reality with the funding support provided.”

Support for the wider sector

Holistic support for professional practices

Our support for the professional practices sectors extends beyond legal firms, however, allowing us to work with accountancy businesses, for example, to provide them with the backing they need to navigate the opportunities and challenges of the sector.

It is this kind of integrated support that we aim to offer to offer to the sector through our industry trained relationship teams, and we are keen to talk to professional practices firms in Oxfordshire about how we can help them.

Earlier this year we also supported The Curve Group, a HR services business


To find out more, please contact Mike Hemmings at Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking on 07921 548546.


“we understand that the legal services sector is unique, so we provide a service designed for the profession using a range of products and services to meet the needs of those that work within it


Mike Hemmings, professional practices specialist for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking







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news Hunting down yield

Maggie Bradley, Director - Wealth Manager for Coutts

If there is one group of investors that has suffered more than most in recent years it is income-seekers. Starved of dividend payments in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, they have endured record-low interest rates since March 2009. Given the severity of the economic crisis, few savers would have expected the Bank of England (BoE) to raise rates straight away, but few would have expected base rates to remain at their 300-year low for so long. Four years on they remain at historic lows, with no sign they will rise any day soon. It is “lower rates for longer” that will continue to produce the most support to the economy - and we can see bank rates staying at rock bottom levels for another four years. Equity investors are hoping BoE governor-elect, Mark Carney, will follow the US Federal Reserve’s lead and provide some forward guidance by committing to ultra-low rates for some time to come. But with interest rates likely to remain below inflation for the foreseeable future, cash will continue to offer negative real (inflation-adjusted) returns in most circumstances. It leaves many investors with a dilemma, because traditional income assets such as ultra-safe government bonds have also lost their lustre. Yields on government bonds plunged to dismally low levels last year and there is a real danger that some bond investors could suffer a capital loss. Investors can still hunt down a decent yield, but that will now require taking on a little more risk than they have done so in the past.

We favour high-yielding equities with adequate earnings to cover dividends, high-yield bonds and emerging-market debt. We also favour stocks that are defensive in nature and typically move much less than the FTSE 100. They also tend to pay much higher dividend yields than their riskier, more cyclical counterparts. Dividend yields are an important source of returns, particularly when they are reinvested. Over the past 20 years the FTSE350 has delivered annualised returns of around 6% - but if you include reinvested dividends, that annualised return rises to around 10% over the same time period. However, don’t be blinded by a high yield. Indeed, it’s not just a case of investing in companies with a high yield – they may be cheap for a reason. In particular, we are cautious about companies that pay dividend yields above 7%, as this often highlights a malaise in the company, either due to a bombedout share price or stock market fears over the sustainability of the company’s earnings. We ensure companies have adequate dividend cover (the number of times dividends can be paid out of earnings) to verify the security of dividends. For further information about becoming a Coutts client, please contact Maggie Bradley, Director - Wealth Manager at, call (01865) 389039 or visit Calls may be recorded.

The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up, and you may not recover the amount of your original investment.



SCOTTFRASER THE NEXT GENERATION As they celebrate fifteen years in the Oxford property business, joint managing directors Andrew Greenwood and David Blythman are excited about their ambitious future plans and young and exceptionally capable management team. They have formed a business unique in Oxford, an independent sales and lettings agency with property management and investment property acquisition teams working in harmony to provide an unparalleled service to buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. Established in 1998 by Andrew Greenwood, as a firm of property consultants specialising in the acquisition of property for investors based both locally and overseas. High demand and a loyal client base facilitated a natural development into Lettings and Property Management. In 2005 David Blythman joined forces with Andrew and established two exceptionally successful and respected sales teams in Oxford and Witney, bringing united teams of property experts to the forefront of their market places. The combined success of the entire company now enables Andrew and David to launch scottfraser’s next phase of expansion. Internal developments were initiated last year to provide the infrastructure to centralise Property Management, Property Investments, Design, Refurbishments, Accounts and HR into their Head Office in Lime Walk, Headington. Property Management Supervisor Victoria Mellor comments, “Our ambitions for centralising our Andrew Greenwood, Chairman


property managers have been fulfilled. Whilst still remaining local and hands on with their respective properties, the team can now also benefit from each other’s extensive expertise and deliver a truly consistent and professional service. We also now have the capacity to manage a far greater number of properties without compromising our nationally recognised high standards” Centralising the key elements of the business means Andrew and David can now expand their sales and lettings operations. Multi - disciplined and expanding teams working from offices in Summertown, Headington, East Oxford and Witney will be managed by Associate Directors Michael Joubert and Adrian Wraight, together with Nicola Horner in the City and Christopher Rowntree in Witney. Andrew and David, both in their early fifties, are more motivated now than at any other point in their careers. The company’s growth and continuing success is driven not only by the vision and loyalty of their senior management team but also by the hard work and dedication of every single member of staff.

David Blythman, Group Managing Director

INVESTMENT PROPERTY, SEARCH & ACQUISITION The Scottfraser Property Investment Search and Acquisition Service is tailored to the needs of landlords who wish to start or expand their portfolios but lack the time, experience or desire to make the considerable commitment required to research the market and undertake the necessary legwork for viewing potential properties. Scottfraser Investments have their finger firmly on the pulse of the Oxford and Oxfordshire investment markets. Not only do they have access to tried and tested investment properties but scottfraser also hand pick outstanding opportunities from the open market, solely for the benefit of their investor clients. John Gebbels, Property Investment Manager, brings a decade of property experience both in Oxford and Central London and specialises in sourcing and securing prime investment property. John Gebbels adds, “The investment market place can be a minefield of potential hazards. Competition for the best opportunities is fierce and I see an ever increasing number of dazed and confused clients looking for guidance and a head start against competing buyers. Our involvement does not end at the point of acquisition. Advice with on-going finance, refurbishment, furnishing and eventual disposal are all part of our comprehensive service. Many of our investor clients have never set foot in their own properties. Their relationship with scottfraser is based entirely on trust. An endless stream of academic, medical and professional tenants ensures demand. The physical boundary of the ring road and restrictive planning reduces sprawl and house prices across the City are underpinned by owner occupiers. Yields of 6% are readily available and whilst house prices are relatively static the window of opportunity to invest is now.� Fifteen years on the scottfraser Investment Search and Acquisition service still embodies the very essence of this company. Their longstanding clients benefit from every single company facet, an allencompassing service unmatched by any other Oxford agent.

John Gebbels, Property Investment Manager

The new Scottfraser head office on Lime Walk, Headington


Time is running out for Windows XP, Server 2003 and Office 2003! “We all like to get as much value as we can from anything, and software is no exception, but Server 2003 will start to hamper businesses and cause large security issues and compatibility problems with all new version of software being released, as I am currently telling all customers, there are deals out there to get upgraded, Microsoft wants 2003 buried, this is almost a software scrappage scheme, my advice…. Do not leave it another week! From a security perspective I know a lot of people are still running 2003 for their business, the hackers and attackers know this too, as soon as security updates stop, exploits and viruses will start to exploit these older systems, and the companies running from them, and you do not want your business and data anywhere near that! It’s almost negligence now to still be running 2003 Server… talk to us about upgrading before you hit real problems.” – Richard Marsh, Director, CIS Step up to the newest Office 2013 tools for growing your business and staying productive on the go. Word In the new Read Mode, text reflows automatically in columns for easier onscreen reading. Richard Marsh

Alongside Microsoft’s shelving of office 2003 and Windows XP is the more relevant Server 2003 (all versions). This means that from 2014, any organisation running on a Server 2003 platform will be at high risk or problems with software, forwards software compatibility and security, and will have nobody to turn to for a fix. Server 2003 was originally planned to be expired in April 2013 but due to economic conditions Microsoft added a further year’s support, this is very unlikely to happen again, and we are already seeing licensing changes to suggest it will not. CIS has spent the last 3 years preparing and moving our customers from 2003 to 2008 or even 2012 Server, we have seen every possible problem and combination of system and have moved them all successfully.

Fewer menus means more focus on your content—see only the tools you need, when you need them. Open a PDF in Word, and edit content just as if you created it in Word. Show your style by using Word templates in more than 40 categories. Outlook The People Card collects key details about a contact all in one place. Add your local weather forecast right there in Calendar view, along with current conditions. Receive push-based email, appointments, and contacts from, (formerly Hotmail) - right in your Outlook experience.

New Start’s - Stephen Wilkinson The month of April saw the arrival of Stephen Wilkinson to join our Business Development team at the Gainfield Office. Stephen brings with him 10 years military experience in satellite datacomms & more recently cloud & hosting solutions provider at a managed datacentre in North Oxfordshire. Stephen says “I am ready for the challenge to develop new business clients by introducing them to the cloud” Contact Stephen on: or 0779 487 2506. Stephen Wilkinson



Virtual Application Delivery Used by more than 100 million people worldwide, XenApp is an application delivery solution that enables any WindowsŽ application to be virtualized, centralized and managed in the datacenter and instantly delivered as a service to users anywhere on any device. XenApp ensures an optimal user experience for both application virtualization and session virtualization through Citrix HDX technology, which adapts virtual application delivery and access based on each user's device, network and location. XenApp enables enterprise class scalability for any size business and ensures that application delivery and management is secure by design. CIS are “rolling out� Citrix Solutions to many clients including financial, legal &

architectural. Application virtualization technology, session virtualization technology and centralized application management gives users direct access to Windows applications from any device via Citrix Receiver. Q: I want to allow my field agents to work whenever they want & on their own preferred device, what can you suggest ? A: Citrix XenApp with the use of Citrix receiver allows your field agents & professional staff to work on any device at any time they have internet access via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G.




An innovative, free, legal and business support scheme for businesses that is operated nationally by one of the country's largest full-service law firms, Darbys Solicitors LLP. Why Darbys Solicitors offers BLUE LAW®? Darbys is an ambitious and entrepreneurial business so it understands the needs, issues, and challenges that businesses face. Darbys has designed its BLUE LAW® scheme so that it addresses what it believes to be the concerns harboured by businesses about getting involved in legal matters - accessibility, cost, relevant expertise and transparency.

Whether your journey is towards growth, or towards exit, Darbys wants to help you on that journey with your direction of travel, your speed of travel, and the smoothness of the road ahead of you.

Darbys is absolutely committed to delivering to businesses; A Great Service - Every Lawyer, Every Time. That is its whole business strategy.

When would a business need BLUE LAW®? Darbys’ team of solicitors that you can talk to free of charge over the BLUE LAW® helpline consists of solicitors who are expert in the following areas of law: • Banking and Finance • Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions • Commercial Contracts • Intellectual Property • Immigration and employing workers from abroad

As with any good businesses, Darbys is on a journey. The transformation and growth in its own business in recent years has been radical and it has bucked the trend in the legal market place. Darbys knows what a journey feels like.


Managing Partner, Simon McCrum says “Darbys is willing to invest time and money into its service to you because we want to start and develop a trusting and long-term relationship with you.”

• • • • • • • • • • •

Insolvency Debt Recovery Commercial Property Construction Law Commercial Disputes Corporate Defence & Regulatory Motoring and Haulage Law Employment Law Planning issues Environmental Law The full range of Private Client Law - matrimonial, house-bullying and selling, wills, probate, personal injury, clinical negligence etc

Free BLUE LAW® is absolutely free of charge. Over the helpline, all advice given is free, within the terms of the scheme. If your matter requires legal work to be carried out, you will receive a price quote. You are then free to shop around.

B LUE L AW T ESTIMONIALS “BLUE LAW is quite revolutionary in my opinion. Something hits my desk and I call Darbys. It’s done! I’m not worrying about a bill or talking to someone who isn’t experienced. I’ve never known anything like it for a firm of lawyers. They offer so much more and have introduced me to many business contacts to help me grow my business. Highly recommended!” John Bagnall – Managing Director Winsulate UK Ltd

“I am a Managing Director of a growing business with ambition and find Darbys’ approach towards client service to be refreshingly commercial. They offer us so much more than just legal work. They offer business support and understand the challenges and opportunities of our business. They make the time to invest and believe in us and want to support our growth”. Mark Johnson – Managing Director Converge One Ltd

“We have been working with Darbys both within their BLUE for Charities scheme and outside of this, for some time now and I have always found the response to be professional. The team are great and always quick to respond to queries with sound advice. I would thoroughly recommend the service to anyone.” Nicole Rolston – HR Advisor Guideposts Trust

You will never be liable to Darbys for any legal fees unless and until it has given to you a fee quote in writing and you have agreed to it. There is no catch. Benefits you will receive when joining BLUE LAW®? • Access to a full legal team who will answer your routine or urgent legal enquiries, free of charge • Free review meetings - where you can discuss any issues or opportunities that you face • A menu of transparent, capped - or fixed-price legal services and products • Free 7 day letters to your debtors • Free reviews of your HR contracts and policies • A programme of free briefings and seminars on commercial and legal issues • Networking and promotional opportunities for you within the BLUE LAW® community - now made up of many hundreds of businesses Whatever your journey, BLUE LAW® is a roadmap and a compass that will help you on your way. Our level of service Not only is BLUE LAW® a revolutionary way of offering legal services, the revolution continues into the ways that we actually look after our clients. BLUE LAW® Key Client Relationship Manager,

Victoria Marcham says, “Darbys goes a long way to ensure that every time any client comes to us, our service reaches the same high level. The level that we aim to meet is that our service is simply "Great", by every lawyer, every time.” Realtime Feedback Every time you call the BLUE LAW® helpline with a legal enquiry, you will receive a feedback email asking you whether its service was A - Great, B Good or C - Poor. We are not happy if the feedback falls below A. BLUE LAW Client Relationship Manager, Kay Kennedy

As and when you instruct us on any formal legal work, Darbys will agree with you in advance that we will ask you regularly how we are doing. If you are ever unhappy with Darbys service, you will not be unhappy for long. Using these simple tools, Darbys can ensure that its service really is "Great" every time. Hundreds of businesses have joined BLUE LAW®. Why not join them? To join BLUE LAW® visit or call on 0845 567 6000.

BLUE LAW Client Relationship Manager, Victoria Marcham


Helping Oxfordshire businesses to flourish

Our eams of experts gi give ve e more more than than accountancy accountanc cy and Our winning tteams improve o impr ove business advice. We We help hel businesses from from all industries tto their We offer extended their performance. performance. W e off o ffer er an ext ended rrange ange of specialist services, including: including: services, Audit Consultancy Business Consult anc cy Payroll Services ervices P ayroll S

Business Tax Tax Accounts Corporate VAT Corporate Finance VAT Consultancy Consultancy y Recovery Insolvency R ecovery & Inso olv l ency y

To arrange a free, no obligation meeting please call: 01865 292205, or email


WELCOME TO: HOWBERY BUSINESS PARK Set within 70 acres of countryside located at Wallingford on the banks of the river Thames, a responsible and sustainable community that bridges the gap between business and town is thriving in South Oxfordshire, writes Kelly Stroud of Syncro PR.

Howbery Business Park Wallingford is the UK’s first solar-powered business park and prides itself in taking a forward thinking approach to create a contemporary working environment, helping to ensure the Park’s success hasn’t been compromised by the recession. Major occupiers already include the Environment Agency, HR Wallingford (owners of the park), Ipro-Interactive, Innovyze and Target Jobs. Many businesses have been attracted to the Park due to its committed and ethical approach towards sustainability, including a Green Transport Plan as well as powering the Park through solar panels. Sustainability strategy Howbery Business Park opted to install 3,000 efficient ground-mounted solar panels in 2011 as part of its ongoing strategy to be one of the country’s most sustainable business parks. Significant energy and carbon savings were reported one year later with 34% of the Park powered by solar energy beating its initial forecast of 25%. The solar park generated 730,000kWh in its first 12 months, preventing 400 tonnes of CO2 from being released to the atmosphere with more than 116,000 kWh fed to National Grid. “Solar energy has proved to be a highly effective alternative energy source for our park,” comments John Ormston, Chief Executive, Howbery Business Park. “We’re committed to building on the success achieved so far by introducing additional energy efficiency measures on site, including the decentralisation of our main steam boiler. We also plan to investigate further renewable energy options for the future, including additional investment in solar energy generation.” Irrespective of the snow and rain filled months of early 2013, this year has already exceeded expectations. April’s sunshine generated a record month with the Park fully powered for 28 days out of 30. Impressively, the total energy generated from the solar installation has fully powered Howbery Business Park for nearly 50% of days during the first quarter of this year.

small short term accommodation within the Innovation Centre, to those wishing to create a larger long term base on one of the bespoke pre-let plots. Ormston comments: “Providing a scalable approach to support our tenants’ business needs, including expansion as well as flexibility to downsize on occasion, has been fundamental in securing occupancy levels.” “However, I believe the key to our overall success is the ‘community’ that we have created, dispelling the stereotypical faceless myth of a business park which quite often turns out to be true. Our investment in the working environment has provided tenants with the unique ability to offer employees a healthy and positive work-life balance, something that everyone strives to achieve.” Set within 70 acres of beautiful Oxfordshire countryside on the banks of the river Thames, tenants even have the use of a Howbery owned boat to make the most of its prime location. There is also a three-bedroom cottage that tenants can rent to employees who may be visiting from overseas or relocating to the area. Other benefits include a pool of bikes to travel around the park, an onsite gym that also takes advantage of its tranquil setting by hosting outdoor yoga sessions, an active social club, a crèche and other convenient services such as car maintenance and dry cleaning. Irrespective of its rural setting, Howbery Business Park is able to offer excellent high-speed broadband connectivity. There is also a 100-seat lecture theatre and high-end conferencing facilities. “Occupancy levels may be high but there is still room for Howbery to grow, yet maintain its unique charm” continues Ormston. “Pre-let opportunities for a range of buildings are available with configurations and sizes completely flexible to suit tenant demands.” Substantial development opportunities exist. For further information on Howbery Business Park, please visit, or to enquire about building and development, tenancy or conference opportunities, please call 01491 822411.

A developing community Howbery Business Park can provide office space for a wide range of occupiers from new businesses requiring


“An excellent city car with good performance, design and handling ability” Rupert Leigh-Wood, Associate at Carter Jonas

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

“The automatic transmission was very responsive, and for a 1.4 litre I was very impressed with the power under the bonnet”

“Not only does the exterior deliver, with its modern, sophisticated style it continues to impress when you step into the car” Emma Ludden, Sales and Business Development Manager at Advertising & Design

“I really enjoyed the drive,

comfortable responsive and enough power without the gas guzzling fuel” Tim Gilpin, Director of Golf, Leisure & Spa at Heythrop Park Resort

Amanda Baker, Sales & Marketing Manager at The Old Swan and Minster Mill



B4 AMBASSADOR TEST DRIVE / LUNCH Sounds like a fun concept – a test drive / lunch. But that’s exactly what four lucky B4 Ambassadors did on a bright afternoon in May. We had arranged to meet at the Motor Village showroom just outside of Kidlington, an opportunity for a photo shoot and for our guests to view some of the brand new Alfa Romeo’s that had been recently delivered to Tim Keatinge’s dealership. As Tim’s colleagues sorted out the paperwork to enable our Ambassadors to ‘steal’ the cars for more than just a ‘round the block’ drive, Tim explained more about the benefits of his new models with all the enthusiasm of a six year old at Christmas. The cars were smart, no doubt about that, and the Ambassadors were keen to get stuck in. But, first things first. Tim had to deliver his test drivers to The Old Swan and Minster Mill, just outside of Witney, for a hearty lunch with our host and fourth Ambassador / test driver, Amanda Baker, Sales and Marketing Manager at this picturesque hotel, restaurant and conference venue. We were driven in one of Tim’s other brands, a Chrysler Voyager. Six of us piled in and the talk turned to cars….’what do you drive?’, ‘how do you find it?’ etc… . etc…. and our three Ambassadors were keen to find out more about the Alfa

Romeo range which Tim was more than happy to discuss – see more about the Alfa Romeo coming to Oxford in the next edition of B4 ‘The Alfa Romeo edition’. It never ceases to amaze me how few people know about some of our real gems within the B4 network, and there is no doubt The Old Swan has more than its fair share of charm and class, but only one of the party of eight (not including our host obviously) even knew about The Old Swan….and it wasn’t long before Amanda had the brochures out! Lunch was wonderful and Amanda promised a full tour after photographs of the drivers with their new toys. The rain was kept at bay as our four Ambassadors stood aside their vehicles, eager to make acquaintance with their shiny new Alfa Romeos. So who were our lucky reviewers? Read more in the next issue about their findings.

THE OLD SWAN & MINSTER MILL The Old Swan captures the charm of bygone years, throw in a good measure of modern convenience, add to it the laid-back atmosphere of the gastro-pub inspired dining room and log-fired bar and you’ll feel like there’s no place like it. The setting couldn’t be more romantic if it tried. Next door at the Minster Mill, you’ll find a slightly less posh country-cousin. A bit of an upstart; funky modern rooms, smaller and without the history but all with the familiar style and personal touches that the de Savary Family cram in by the bucket-load. Here on a budget and also offering flexibility for small groups and private parties. At the heart of the Old Minster village and with a history going back almost 600 years, the Old Swan & Minster Mill couldn’t be more quintessentially English. The perfect spot to escape the city and explore the Cotswolds. Or just relax, spa and dine. Relax, enjoy and have fun!

THE B4 AMBASSADORS CARD - ACCESS TO MOTOR VILLAGE AFFINITY SCHEME July sees the launch of the new B4 Ambassadors Card with some great offers open only to Ambassadors (and occasionally their colleagues). The offers are made by other B4 Ambassadors so if you receive your card in July why not take advantage of the Motor Village offer which gives you discounts as part of the Affinity Scheme on Motor Village vehicles subject to the terms below. The Affinity Scheme and Privilege Purchase Scheme offers cannot be used in conjunction with eachother or any other offer, including retail consumer

incentives, unless specifically stated. Alfa Romeo UK reserve the right to withdraw or amend offers without prior notification. Terms and conditions apply and are subject to exclusions. Prices are correct at time of publishing and include the Affinity Scheme/ Privilege Purchase Scheme discounts and offers. Vehicles are offered subject to availability. The discount level is 15% for Alfa Mito & 16.5% for Giulietta as for Chrysler & Jeep it is a minimum of 20%! 45

BUYING A NEW CAR? It can be easy to lose sight of the business objectives when faced with an enormous number of options. When we are talking company cars let’s not kid ourselves that the number one objective is profit maximisation. If that were the case we would all be driving exactly the same low emission basic model but, of course, we don’t. So what are the broader questions that you’ll need answers to? The main questions can be distilled into four basic areas: 1. Ownership 2. Financing 3. Taxation 4. Environmental Though it might seem hard to believe, the answer to each and every question will have a financial impact on the company and any employee that


might drive the vehicles in the case of cars and vans. Buying a car, whether it be a company owned car or a car owned by an individual yet used for business is more than just a simple transaction. Passion is involved! For many of us reliability and affordability are key issues but not, if we are being honest, the only issues. Comfort, style, power and for some the status a particular vehicle gives the driver often creeps in somewhere along the line. If, in the final analysis, a certain car is just made for you, pushes all the buttons and ticks all the boxes, you are going to buy it. What we are hoping to achieve over the next few articles is merely to help you understand some of the terminology within the motor industry and also to help you arrive at a decision which is based on a greater understanding of the financial impacts, both directly and through taxes, that you will be facing.

If you think/know the VAT, corporate tax, self assessment position, benefits-in-kind, and impact on these taxes from a specific method of financing then you probably don’t need to read any further. However, for a few moments of your time we suggest it would be well worth continuing. The main questions concerning finance issues that you are going to be faced with are as follows: 1. Do I want to buy the car outright or through some sort of hire purchase or finance lease? 2. Do I buy the vehicle in my own name or do I buy it as a company car? 3. Do I want a new car every two or three years or am I happy to drive an ageing model? 4. Am I looking for help with repairs and maintenance during the contract? 5. Would I like to own and defer the bulk payment at the end of the contract, commonly known as a balloon payment or not? 6. How many miles am I likely to do?

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4


The more you think about purchasing a new vehicle whether it’s a car, or lorry, the more confusing it can become. Over the next three issues, Motor Village Oxford and Wenn Townsend have teamed up to bring a new clarity to the problems facing anyone that is responsible for vehicle purchases. The main questions concerning taxation issues are as follows: 1. Can I claim capital allowances or not? 2. Will the whole of the payments made be deductible against tax? 3. Will the vehicle qualify as a pool car or not? 4. In certain circumstances, is the VAT recoverable or not?

5. How much is the benefit-in-kind going to be? 6. Will the vehicle qualify for a balancing charge on disposal? In Issue 28 of B4 we will address the six questions above on finance and Issue 29 will tackle the tax questions.

let us know what you need and we will do our best to help. Contact: Tony Haines at Wenn Townsend on 01865 559900 or Tim Keatinge at Motor Village Oxford on 01865 376000.

Of course if you can’t wait, pick up the phone and

The BASICS of Ownership financing and taxation can be significantly affected by the following choices made Vehicle Owned by the business


Sole Trader or Partner



Owned personally Company


Pool Car Non Pool Car Work Van Other Vehicle

Van Other


B4 R&R



As an interior design company we always listen to our clients and their individual lifestyle needs to ensure we represent the clients taste within their home. We strive to offer our clients a full package of services working with the best brands and our trusted trades people. Bang & Olufsen are, for us, the natural choice and working with the Oxford team has delivered some fantastic results and delighted clients already. We not only sell the products but have used them for our home staging service and I’m in no doubt that this adds the wow factor at a very competitive price!” Jess, Bow House Lifestyle. “Bang & Olufsen products offer the best quality, reliability and beautiful design so we are delighted to specify them to our clients whenever possible. We work with all the best products on the market for our smart home design services and B&O tops the list for televisions, music systems and stunning speakers” Steve, Liv-Smart home automation.

COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES IN LUXURY AUDIO & VISUAL Bang & Olufsen have always been the paramount brand in luxury audio and visual equipment and the go to company for some of the World’s finest businesses looking for an audio visual provider. In fact Bang & Olufsen can be found in many of the best luxury hotels, prestige cars and super yachts to name a few. These partners understand the value that can be achieved and the commercial advantage a partnership can bring. For example our hotel partners enjoy a fantastic return on investment from not only the superior quality and long life of the products but also improved occupancy rates, return business and a higher price. In the super competitive prestige car market Bang & Olufsen delivers the edge that makes brands stand out above their competitors. What other brand could partner the performance and heritage of brands such as Aston Martin?

quality commercial partnerships and loyal trade customers. Now, Manager Mark James and team at Bang & Olufsen’s Oxford branch are excited to introduce a new B2B offer to B4 readers and members.

On a more local level Bang & Olufsen of Oxford have enjoyed similar success from long standing

A commercial agreement with Bang & Olufsen of Oxford can take many forms from preferential

The commercial possibilities are near endless and the types of business who can take advantage are far more varied than might be imagined. We currently work with companies from a wide range of industries such as property developers, architects, kitchen and bathroom showrooms, interior designers, hotels and hospitality businesses through to events companies and large corporations for product launches and gifts.

pricing on our products and services to full reseller status with the revenue and profile this brings. “We have for many years built some great relationships with local business partners and jointly enjoyed many successes. With the introduction of the new scheme we feel it is easier than ever to get setup and start generating new profit lines and exposure for your business” informs Mark. “What’s more” he continues, “we have built a team who understand our partner’s individual needs and will to deliver your objectives.” “I would like to invite any business who would be interested in a partnership to get in touch to discuss the possibilities.” 49

As their website proclaims, ‘tmb bring corporate events and promotional marketing projects to life like nobody else. After years of experience creating bespoke events and marketing programmes our various services are seamlessly integrated and sharply focused on exceptional quality and value.’ Quite some boast, but with a client list to die for, it’s probably understating tmb’s ability, service and an end product which is always guaranteed to wow.

Putting on an event, there is so much to consider. Guests, venue, health and safety, presentations, stage management, budgeting, colour schemes, table plans, decoration, wet weather contingencies, the list goes on and on. “You’ll miss something and your event could quite easily be a disaster because you haven’t given something simple consideration.” adds Nigel. So what gets missed, typically, if you organise your own event? Brian Kenworthy, Nigel’s fellow

tmb is also thought-provoking, not only in terms of the ‘what if’s before the event but also the ‘why’s’ as in ‘why are you having an event?’ as Brian continues. “It’s vital that our clients know what they are trying to achieve. Are you promoting your product, launching a new venue, engaging with end users? You have to want to start with ‘why am I holding this event?’ and ‘what do I want to get out of it?’, and ‘what’s a good outcome?’ Once you have those ground rules in place you can start planning, thinking about the location, and what’s

WHY TMB? • tmb successfully executes over 300 events and projects each year. • the company is wholly-owned by the Directors and employs its own highly skilled events specialists, account managers and technicians. • The 'all under one roof' structure guarantees thorough critical-path planning and cost analysis • tmb has a 28 year track record in all key sectors including the automotive, travel, retail, finance, communication, sports and leisure, manufacturing and service industries. • The ability to deliver projects throughout Europe and beyond. • Innovative, creative, resourceful, enthusiastic, dedicated, experienced and focused. Wouldn't you love a team like that working for you? the tmb way tmb will never simply 'do a job' for a client. tmb will share your objectives, your enthusiasm, excitement and self-belief. Clients can also rely on tmb for budget control, measurable results, attention to detail and sheer hard graft. Long-term relationships with their clients come about naturally as a result.

Nigel Green has a twinkle in his eye brighter than a shooting star, but underneath the general merriment and charm, there’s a steely professionalism which leaves a mark on every tmb event and an ambition to make your event infinitely better than the last. “One of the key messages I would like to put out to the B4 readers is that however good you think you might be at doing events yourself, by using a dedicated firm like tmb, you should get a significantly better outcome and you also liberate your own internal resources.” It’s a fair point that many might not consider. Why devote your valuable time to something you ‘think’ you can do well when tmb will do a great job and leave you to concentrate on what you do well. “Our clients benefit from having everything done to the highest standard and they are using a team of people that are very experienced at making things as good as they can be – and they know the pitfalls.” In his own inimitable northern fashion, Nigel maintains, quite rightly, that ‘if you need a plumber, get a plumber’. 50

Director, reels off a catalogue of pitfalls, “Remember venues want your business so they won’t point out their limitations. You might only find out on the day that the loos are a five minute walk away from the main hall, or that there’s no natural reception area for you to sign in your guests, or that the wi-fi is ‘particularly poor’ in the area where you’re doing your online presentation. Most people won’t trouble-shoot a venue, and they certainly won’t research potential problems on the day surrounding the venue – what if there’s another huge event on site the same day or a carnival nearby which will lead to massive traffic jams. We research all of this and it’s second nature for us to point out the problems before they become problems.

involved in the event, and aiming to engage the audience. And there’s a big difference between something to win them over, or inform them, engage them, or thank people, every event is unique really, and the beauty of bespoke events is you create something tailored to the client and the reason behind them having it, and the outcome they want.”

“We put ourselves in the position of the guest, we live their journey before the event. This throws up all sorts of things which we deal with on a daily basis and therefore have the solutions at our fingertips. We take the guest journey from invitation through to leaving the venue – we dry run the event in theory so that the practice is as smooth as possible.”

“Where we normally come in is where someone has decided that the chairman’s PA is no longer the right person to run an event. It’s no different to getting a lawyer in to solve a problem which you might ordinarily try and bumble your own way through. You ask a lawyer to get involved because they have specialist skills and knowledge, and yes there is a cost to doing it but there is probably a

tmb has its 28 years of experience at your disposal as Nigel adds, “If you look at the thousands of events that we have done, we have learned a lot, but you can’t write them on a piece of paper, you have that accumulated experience that means when you are in a certain situation you know the things to ask or the right things to think about.


IN ANY EVENT CHOOSE TMB tmb Events joined B4 earlier this year and have since immersed themselves in the network. Having recently elevated the B4 golf events to a new level, controlling the first qualifier at Heythrop, tmb is also a partner of The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards which B4’s sister company also runs. These working insights into tmb have confirmed that not only is tmb a fun, spirited company with enthusiasm in buckets, they can also do the job, very, very well. tmb’s directors, Nigel Green and Brian Kenworthy spoke to B4 about ‘The tmb Way’.

greater cost to not using the right people because you don’t get the right outcome, and it’s no different in the world of events and events management.” The tmb team has over 200 years experience between them and so when it comes to event management and putting on a show, they know how to deliver, meet your needs and all at the right price. And they have specialists, as Nigel continues, “We have golf event experts, conference and road show specialists, motor experts (Audi are a longstanding client and tmb has also worked for Bentley and a plethora of other satisfied car manufacturers) and more. We’ve worked for small clients and we’ve worked for the biggest. Tesco came to us and said they needed to get kids active again and asked us to put on an international sporting event, so we did a study for six months, looking at cricket, athletics, rugby, football, hockey and netball. The decision was to pick football because it had the highest penetration, so we created an International Youth Football tournament called the Tesco Cup. Administration and attention to detail was essential whilst dealing with every county FA, thousands of

football teams, premier league venues and exfootballers. Tesco was delighted with the delivery, it hit all their requirements, and ran for 6 years.” Alongside Tesco, Brian reels off Alfa Romeo, Alliance Healthcare, P&G , Wella, Co-op, Zurich, Renault. “We’re proud of our clients, not protective because if we’re not doing a good job we’ll expect them to go elsewhere, but we know we do a good job so we’re delighted to share these names with the B4 readers.” When you’ve worked for a company like Audi for 28 years without a contract, you know you must be doing something right, as Nigel elaborates, “The attention to detail for an event is incredible – it boggles me to be honest how detailed our staff get with briefing notes, but it’s the only way these events stay on track. We’ve launched products in Barcelona, the Alfa Romeo Spider in Morocco, launched the new Audi A3, worked with A List celebrities and more and our clients keep coming back because the events are a success.

300 events a year, ranging from budgets of £2,000 all the way to £750,000, so pick up the phone and find out how Nigel and Brian can help steer your event in the right direction. In addition to tmb, Fanfare 3000 is the specialist entertainment division of tmb and has been providing entertainment and event facilities for corporate and private clients as well as charities for over 40 years, consistently delivering entertainment tailored to specific requirements. Fanfare can book speakers, string quartets, provide staging and source that extra special act which will have your guests talking for years after the event. “We run a fairly good ship, we will never let anyone down and we are proud of it, we look after our staff and as a result we have a low turnover of staff. We have never really sung our praises in this area, and if anyone wants to have a chat about how we can help, please call us on 01865 822 500,” concludes Nigel.

But don’t let the big names put you off. tmb run



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“In our extensive project planning, we attempt to flag up all the potential problems beforehand, and we see it as part of our duty to support our customers

ARE YOU SAVVY? People used to say that family firms were a dying breed yet; Savvy Renovation and Maintenance Ltd, jointly owned by two brothers Stephen and David Dunne have established a new, innovative boutique building construction, maintenance and renovation company located in Oxford’s Headington. In just 3 years, their business has grown from a turnover of £800,000 to an estimated £1.5 million having won several large projects in 2013. Savvy brings journalist Nicholas Newman up to date.

Customer Service “We amaze clients, by delivering early! For local property developers, W. Lucy, we aim to deliver a 10-week job in just eight. Whilst in another job, our goal is to deliver a job six weeks earlier than the client has originally allocated to us without cutting corners and with no loss in quality, ”said David. In fact, serious project planning and project management characterise and underpin their work. As Stephen explained, “In our extensive project planning, we attempt to flag up all the potential problems beforehand, and we see it as part of our duty to support our customers, however complex, big or small the project might be.” And Stephen emphasised that “Our speciality is getting involved in tricky and diverse projects, we are trusted by our clients to deliver, regardless of the problems that may arise!

Savvy’s Clients “Our projects are wide ranging: they include ongoing day-to-day support for commercial buildings, refurbishments of hotels and construction of bespoke housing for clients. Currently, we are providing day-to-day maintenance support for such leading clients as Oxford Castle, Malmaison Hotel, the Co-op, Lucy’s, AC Nielsen and various Oxford colleges. Savvy is currently engaged in two interesting projects. The first, “Oxford Castle provides me with a lot of satisfaction,” said David Dunne. “The Castle’s challenges are forcing me to innovate every time I go there. This is because it has a multiplicity of demanding users, such as the Malmaison Hotel, located in the old jail part of the castle, which we are in the process of refurbishing”. The second project is the refurbishment of parts of Jesus College, , on behalf of Savills, the college’s architect. Of equal interest was Savvy’s recently completed refurbishment of Studley Priory. These two projects pose their unique challenges to the experts at Savvy. Both are listed buildings, which required careful consideration to be given in the refurbishment process in order to minimise disturbance to both on-site users and to curtail damage to their beautiful gardens. For Jesus College Stephen stated, “Delivering on this is very inspiring scheme; will require extensive forethought about project delivery.” Because of their work in, and around, Oxford the firm has received much

positive feedback and testimonials from diverse clients, including QCs, judges and leading firms of architects, surveyors, schools and commercial clients. Quality Job “As part of our integrity and proof to our customers that we value quality in our delivery of our projects, we are members of various well-recognised trade and industrial standards associations. These include NICEIC, TRUSTMARK and Gas Safe, “noted David. Not content with these accreditations, Savvy is aiming for Chartered ranking with the NHBC and ISO 9000 status for the end of 2013. Moreover, the drive to deliver is personal, as noted by Stephen, “Our satisfaction comes from delivering a quality job.” It is not surprising, given their credentials and passion for construction, maintenance and refurbishment, that Savvy is on the way up to bigger and brighter things. Stephen regards building as an art form, it is all about working as a team, this means having likeminded architects and employees. “We could not do the job so well without them on board, “observed Stephen. Should you wish to discuss a project please contact David or Stephen on 01865 920020 or email


Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

“We have never been busier.” said David. From employing just two people in 2010, Savvy now employs 17, including family members. Before starting their firm, Stephen worked as a quantity surveyor and project manager for many years, whilst brother David, ran his own successful electrical engineering business. Together, the two brothers have over 40 years of experience in construction, industry, maintenance and refurbishment.

THE ART OF BUSINESS Somewhere deep in Oxfordshire, headquartered in a purpose-built facility at the heart of a decommissioned WWII base, the team of forensic geneticists at PlayDNA is working around the clock to break new ground in the way science does business.

It might sound like the beginning of a cold war thriller, but in reality this is just another day in the life of a biotechnology sector start up company. Dedicated to producing forensic art, PlayDNA creates personal genetic portraits that illustrate each customer’s unique makeup, mapping family relationships and helping explain a range of characteristics from sporting ability to a dislike for vegetables. Developed at the DiagnOx Laboratories in Cherwell Innovation Centre, PlayDNA’s innovative sciencebased art has been built on years of genetic research by founder Dr Sam Decombel and her partner, Oxford University’s Dr Stuart Grice. Using mouth swabs supplied by customers, Dr Decombel isolates each client’s DNA and photographs the genetic banding patterns they produce, blending the image with the colours and layout of their choice to create a genuinely unique personal artwork. Accompanied by an in-depth


booklet explaining the results and what they mean, each piece details five biologically determined traits including memory, eye colour and sensitivity to pain. Recently featured in Grand Designs magazine and inundated with international orders, Dr Decombel’s eureka moment came in 2009, when discussing the potential for DNA visualisations with her partner. At the time a Technology Transfer Manager at the University of Reading, where she worked with academics to develop the commercial benefits of their research, Dr Decombel spotted a number of limitations in the way that existing companies were exploiting the creative and artistic aspects of modern genetics. “A lot of entrepreneurial businesses are probably based on similar moments. We researched the market, combed through what was on offer, looked at each other and thought: ‘we can do better than that’,” she recalls.

“The most exciting part of the DNA story is what it can tell you about yourself, but no other company was taking advantage of that to produce art with forensic abilities. We thought they should be, and decided to do it ourselves.” After two further years developing the PlayDNA concept, the entrepreneurial duo - supported by a grant from Birmingham Innovation - set up operations in the DiagnOx Laboratory at the Cherwell Innovation Centre campus in 2012. Custom built to provide researchers with state-ofthe-art equipment, workspace and business support, the facility enables science based businesses and startups to undertake proof-ofconcept work cost effectively and in a supportive, proactive environment. “One of the biggest challenges facing any early stage biotechnology company is the availability of appropriate premises. Work like ours has to be done under very precise conditions and creating

B4 SPOTLIGHT your own facilities is extremely expensive, making it an option that is well beyond the reach of most new businesses,” says Dr Decombel. “The ability to take up space at DiagnOx has been crucial to our business. Not only has it given us the clinical base we needed to make what we do possible, but the support and advice available on everything from business administration to potential funding routes has been invaluable to getting business momentum going.” PlayDNA is just one of several biotechnology initiatives to have begun life at the DiagnOx

Laboratory. Absolute Antibody, a privately funded startup, is currently developing engineered antibodies for the research and diagnostics markets, while Oxford Genetics Ltd has recently developed an innovative range of synthetic DNA products - described as ‘Lego for DNA researchers’ - that are set to revolutionise the genetic research sector. Meanwhile, earlier this year the news broke that innovative DiagnOx based company infirst HEALTHCARE has successfully raised £25 million of new funds to launch its medicines into the $20 billion US cough, cold and pain relief market.

“The most exciting part of the DNA story is what it can tell you about yourself, but no other company was taking advantage of that to produce art with forensic abilities. We thought they should be, and decided to do it ourselves

Dr Decombel added: “That positive, intellectually demanding atmosphere is important. There are things going on here to inspire you all of the time, and one of the hidden advantages is that there are like minded people with whom you can discuss your ideas and the issues you come up against. It’s a form of support you simply wouldn’t get in an ordinary business centre.” PlayDNA currently supplies a range of personal, family and sports performance portraits to a rapidly expanding customer base, but is already poised to expand this offering. Interest in genealogy continues to rise, and the firm plans to introduce a new breed of sophisticated genetic ancestry profile in the near future, aiming to offer a more scientifically credible and informative alternative to the options currently available. With an expanding number of new biotech businesses now operating from Cherwell’s DiagnOx Laboratory, centre operators Oxford Innovation - the

Dr Sam Decombel

UK's leading operator of business & innovation centres with 21 facilities countrywide -believe that success stories like PlayDNA have vindicated the investment it made in equipping and staffing the facility. “The spectacular potential of the biotech sector is undisputed, but if innovative new business ideas aren’t properly supported, the odds against them becoming successful, profitable companies are enormous,” says Jo Willett, Oxford Innovation’s Marketing and IC Development Director. “The PlayDNA story is just one inspiring example of what we are here for: providing the high calibre, cost-effective technical facilities, business support and guidance that scientific companies need to get off the ground in a highly competitive sector.” For further information visit or



IT’S EASY WITH CARTER JONAS’ 4 STEP SOLUTION These days businesses and their office space’ needs are constantly changing: you might be expanding so need to find a new office or simply relocate; or if you are one of the growing number of companies who are consolidating their space to accommodate flexible working, you might be looking to sub-let your existing space. Either way, considerable savings and/or operational advantages can be secured when relocating your business. Scott Harkness, head of commercial at Carter Jonas and based in Oxford said: "Whilst a change in work environment is exciting and can significantly help increase productivity, sometimes the process of relocating can be a bit overwhelming. "That's where our 'Four Step Solution to an Efficient Search and Acquisition of Commercial Property' can make the whole process easier, saving occupiers time and money, allowing them to concentrate on their business. "Our occupier services team specialises in advising occupiers on the relocation process both in Oxfordshire and throughout the UK. We provide clear advice from the first stages right through to occupation. With our Oxford office offering multi-disciplined property services we are able to call on in-house specialist advice, where needed, throughout the process. Carter Jonas’ Four Steps are: 1. Requirement audit: establishing the search criteria n A full audit of existing accommodation and assessment covering: n ideal size and specification required n client budget n time constraints n confidentiality needs n tenure n covenant details (if leasehold) n future growth expectations n location parameters n Preliminary review produced defining the best process 58

Left to right: Scott Harkness & Tom Forman from Carter Jonas' Oxford's Occupier Services team.

B4 PROPERTY 2. Market research: selection and analysis n Contact regional agents, developers, landlords and our own market contacts n Review off market opportunities n Comprehensive assessment of available and suitable options in the established search area alongside commentary on market conditions n Comparison of quoting terms and occupational costs n Suggest short list of options for progression 3. Site visit: analysis of selected properties n Coordinate meetings and carry out viewings/inspections of shortlisted properties n Secure detailed proposals on selected properties from agents/landlords n Analysis of proposals and advise on aspects such as potential for: n capital contribution n rent free periods n rent reviews n repairing obligations and other liabilities n break options n proposed lease length n Assessment of occupational costs including: n fit out/redevelopment costs n tenant’s repairing/dilapidations obligations n health and safety issues n business rates n service charges n Potential for future occupational growth, growth in value and the property’s future disposal options n Coordination of space planning and due diligence checks such as building surveys and planning 4. Representation: negotiation to completion n Development of an acquisition strategy n Carry out negotiations on the selected property/properties to obtain the best terms n Agree Heads of Terms n Preparation of Board Reports/Valuations n Instruct solicitors and oversee the process through to completion Tom Forman in Carter Jonas' occupier team added: “Whatever a business needs, at Carter Jonas we work alongside occupiers offering our expertise and experience to secure efficient lease terms. We aim to make the whole process as simple and easy as possible so our clients can concentrate their time and resources on their core business.” For a copy of Carter Jonas' 4 Step Solution to an Efficient Search and Acquisition of Commercial Property paper, which includes an indicative acquisition timetable, please get in touch with Scott Harkness: or 01865 404 453, or Tom Forman: or 01865 404 470.

Inset: Carter Jonas advised RPS Group Plc, a leading energy, planning and environmental consultancy, to acquire 16,200 sq ft for its HQ in June 2012 at MEPC's 20 Milton Park in Abingdon.



OFF TO COURT? NO THANKS, THERE IS NO NEED Family Law is one of those areas of law where emotions can run high. It takes a Lawyer with a special skill set to work with a couple, to keep them talking and help them stay out of court.

Over recent months there have been many changes in this specialist area of law. The government has invested money in and is keen to promote mediation. Now, parents cannot normally go straight to court in cases involving children until they have first considered whether mediation is a suitable way of resolving any dispute. This can only be good news for the children often caught in the middle of divorcing or separating parents and all of the divided loyalties that can involve. A new option has just joined the range of choices available for families to help them resolve any dispute. It is called Arbitration and although this has been available for some time in corporate situations, it is a new entry to the ever increasing support available to help couples stay out of court. Here at Henmans Freeth we specialise in achieving settlements out of court. The Family team can deal with all types of family dispute. We are regularly instructed by clients who tell us, in the very first meeting that they do not want to go to court with all of the trauma and increased costs that this can involve. So how do we do that? Your own agreement If you and your partner reach an agreement then we will convert that into a legal agreement so that the agreement is clear and binding. To help our


clients we have developed some fixed fee packages so that it is clear from the outset what the fees will be. Elizabeth Marsh and Gemma Nicholls provide these fixed fee services for our clients. Mediation The head of the team, Rachael Oakes, is a trained mediator with over 18 years of experience and will

“If you and your partner reach an agreement then we will convert that into a legal agreement so that the agreement is clear and binding.

meet with couples to help them reach an agreement if they have been unable to resolve the matter between themselves. This option is becoming increasingly popular and has recently had quite a lot of press coverage. However, not every situation is suitable for mediation but that doesn't mean that some of the other options should be dismissed. Mediation is confidential and it is the mediator’s job to structure meetings to help

a couple work through their divorce, separation, financial or children matters together. The mediator has to be impartial and can not provide the couple with legal advice. Collaborative Practice This is a way of resolving disputes where the clients can have their lawyers with them and have legal advice on hand, should it be needed. All discussions about achieving a settlement take place in what are called " 4 way " meetings, during which the 2 clients and the 2 lawyers commit to work together as a team. This is a very client focused process and will go at the clients’ pace which can be very helpful if emotions are running high. This is also a very helpful discussion forum for cases where there isn't actually a dispute but an issue that needs to be resolved. We regularly use this process for cases where we are working on wealth preservation with couples. We are seeing an increasing demand from clients for pre and post marital agreements. This increasing demand is probably as a result of cases which have been to court and established that if certain criteria have been met the agreement should be binding. From a practical point of view, couples are marrying later and have acquired their own wealth before marriage that they would like to clearly agree what should happen to if there were to be a divorce.

L to R: Rachael Oakes (Partner - Head of Family Team), Helen Taylor (Partner), Gemma Nicholls (Senior Associate) and Elizabeth Marsh (Solicitor).

We also see parents helping their children buy houses and we help to prepare agreements about what should happen to that "loan" should there be a divorce. There are also more second marriages now with children from first marriages or cases with inherited wealth so a pre or post marital agreement can really help to avoid disputes and acrimony should the marriage or relationship breakdown in the future. Rachael Oakes and Helen Taylor are able to deal with collaborative cases. Solicitor led negotiation Sometimes it is difficult for couples to sit together and talk things through. This does not have to mean that a case must go to court. All of the lawyers in the Henmans Freeth family team can support clients to reach an agreement using this option. This is a way of resolving disputes where the client will have direct advice from their lawyer and will then decide how they want to proceed before the lawyer conducts the negotiations on their behalf. The client does not have to sit in a room and negotiate an agreement with their partner present. There are some exceptions to this but only where the client decides that a face to face meeting is something that they want to do and that it would be helpful.

Arbitration This option is new but the advantages of using it rather than going to court are significant. In cases where an agreement hasn't been reached, or where any of the above options are not appropriate for whatever reason, this can be a better option compared with going to court. This is because a bespoke timetable can be agreed rather than

“Sometimes it is difficult for couples to sit together and talk things through. This does not have to mean that a case must go to court.


following a standard court timetable that can often take between 6-8 months, sometimes longer. Also, a real advantage is that the clients can effectively choose who their Judge is going to be. Using courts mean that you rarely have the same Judge and many cases require a number of hearings if the court route is being used. Using arbitration means that the same arbitrator is used throughout with all of the advantages that this continuity can provide.

The arbitrator will discuss and agree what information needs to be provided and by when and will ultimately make a decision about what should happen, a decision which the parties will be bound by. Judith Speed is a qualified arbitrator. How to choose the right option We will need to speak with you to understand your situation and explain which of the options we think are best suited to your particular circumstances. With all of these different ways of resolving disputes clients can keep costs to a minimum and avoid the delays present in the court system. Sometimes urgent issues can arise, or situations will develop, which will mean that all of these options are inappropriate. With the experience present in the team in preparing cases for court our clients are well supported and informed throughout the process if there is no other way to sort things out. If you would like to talk through any of the options raised in this article or discuss how we can help you with family disputes, please contact Rachael Oakes, head of family law team, on 01865 781181 or email:




meetings events AND

The Manor at Weston-on-the-Green is the perfect venue for corporate events, meetings, conferences and awaydays. With extensive gardens, award-winning food & drink and a wide range of spaces and activities, our dedicated team can help you make your event truly special.

Our dedicated events team will provide you with the planning and attention to detail that you require for your Event, Conference or Meeting. We have the space, technology and expertise to ensure that your event will surpass expectations. With excellent transport links The Manor is a stone’s throw from Oxford, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and London, in the heart of Oxfordshire. With an award winning kitchen, and a wide range of menus tailored to your individual requirements, we can offer catering for all events.



W W W. T H E M A N O RW E S T O N. C O. U K


“It’s simple. Good training and top quality product, there is absolutely no reason or excuse to serve bad coffee”

ONE OF OXFORD’S BEST KEPT SECRETS, BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER ZEST: great enthusiasm and energy, a quality of excitement and piquancy. Oh and did I mention possibly the best cup of coffee to be had in Oxford? Tracey Jefferies writes for B4.

Lemon Zest Cuisine has only very recently taken over management of the Town Hall Café and without wishing to sound like the Cotswold equivalent of Mystic Meg, I predict great things for this eatery. As someone who dives into Oxford City for the odd business meeting, I’m always on the lookout for somewhere easily accessible, not too noisy, somewhere with a good ambience and lastly, a proper coffee. I was lucky enough to spend a few weeks travelling around Australia and New Zealand last year and it’s impossible to be served anything other than great coffee. In the UK we excel at serving all manner of brown liquid masquerading as the real deal, how can so many establishments get it so terribly wrong? I put this question to Natasha Steiner, Founder and MD of Lemon Zest: “It’s simple. Good training and top quality product, there is absolutely no reason or excuse to serve bad coffee. We use an Italian machine called La Spaziale and Café Luca Fairtrade 100% Arabica coffee beans. In terms of the training, an expert Barista is passionate about serving only good coffee. Our staff receive extensive training and it shows in the end product.” Tucked away in the Oxford Town Hall, you’d be forgiven for not knowing the Café existed. Something that is sure to change in the next few months.

“We’re painfully aware that most people don’t know we even exist, or if they do, they’re not aware that the Café is under new management. I am on a mission to change that and everyone at the Town Hall has been fully supportive. Our offering more than stands up to the local competition and without wishing to sound too boastful, we win hands down in some areas’, said Natasha. The Town Hall Café serves a variety of delicious light bites and cakes, most of which is prepared by Zest. I can personally recommend the carrot cake; deliciously moist and at only £1.80 a slice it would have been rude not to indulge. In fact, the entire menu is extremely good value for money. If that wasn’t tempting enough, the Café also runs regular specials such as, a free drink with a Panini, halfprice takeaway coffee or a Bacon Buttie at just £2.00. Those readers with a sweet tooth should keep an eye out for the afternoon treat of a Pot of Tea, Fruit Scones with Clotted Cream & Jam priced at £ 2.95. Serving good food and drink is only part of running a successful establishment. Creating a welcoming ambience and giving people a reason to return is key. The Café is situated next to the art galleries, so depending on where you sit, you can enjoy the paintings hung in the adjacent walkway and then walk through to the gallery space to enjoy a wide variety of artwork, most of which is by local artists. The Café space itself is simply furnished and unpretentious. It is relaxing and calm and yet there

is a sense of purpose, a vibrancy about the environment that is both uplifting and enjoyable. In simple terms, it’s just a really nice place to spend time in. Does this happen by accident I wondered? “I would have to credit the staff with making the Café such a friendly place to be. As a company, we place huge importance on choosing employees with the right attitude. Training is ongoing and we empower our staff to make the right decisions to ensure the customer experience is always a good one. It’s important to lead by example and I spend time working alongside my staff on a very regular basis. I genuinely value their input and so for me, this is a really important use of my time”, explained Natasha. Natasha has 20 years experience in the catering and hospitality industry. She created Lemon Zest from her home kitchen in 2002. She trained at the world-renowned Christina Martin School of Food & Drink in Durban, South Africa, before working with an array of huge names in motor sport, including: Ducati GP, Yamaha GP, Fox Racing, F1 Ferrari, F1 Benetton, P1 Power Boats and the Williams GB Touring Car Championship racing team. Staying true to her roots, Natasha and Lemon Zest took on the contract to cater for Mercedes GP at their HQ, and at all their domestic events. The Town Hall Café is the first of its kind for Lemon Zest and judging on first impressions, quite possibly the first of many.


“Contributing to growth sets out Barclays’ approach to our fundamental role of lending money to businesses in order to support the economy and help create new jobs

The company manufactures safety equipment for construction and event sites, from traffic cones to heavy-duty plastic trench covers and the bases that support security fencing. Barclays has continued to support the company by providing asset finance that means it can invest regularly in the new injection moulding equipment it needs it to meet customer demand for new products. Accounts manager Belinda Whiteley is particularly impressed by the flexible approach that relationship director Vikki Hemming and her team show towards the bespoke equipment that Oxford Plastic Systems needs to buy. “Our injection moulding equipment is rarely available off the shelf,” she explained. “Sometimes it can be made up of various tools brought together to do a particular job, and that’s the kind of purchase that some lenders have difficulty funding because they aren’t quite sure what it does or how to value it. “Because we have a long-term relationship with Barclays, though, the team is rarely fazed by what we want to do and they provide the support we need. It is very refreshing and it has allowed us to keep investing in growing the business.” That growth, funded by a succession of five or sixfigure asset-based loans over the years, has included investing in a new dry storage building to support the company’s expansion. Oxford Plastic Systems has also benefited from Barclays Cashback for Business scheme, with loans attracting upfront cash payments that Belinda welcomes because “they more than cover the time and admin involved in setting up the deal.” She added: “It’s really useful to receive a cash bonus at the start of a new deal rather than having a long-term discount that you can’t really do anything with.” 64

Trevor French, Barclays Oxford Corporate Director



A growing business that succeeds by being innovative and flexible needs the same kind of response from its bank, which is why Oxford Plastic Systems values its relationship with Barclays. Barclays Cashback for Business scheme is the bank’s unique response to the government-backed Funding for Lending Scheme [FLS] Barclays promise to pass on all the FLS savings to clients and do so by offering SMEs an upfront cashback payment of up to two per cent of their loan value. As Barclays Oxford-based corporate director Trevor French explained: “We think having working capital available from day one is more use to a growing business than spreading the discount over the whole term.” The good relationship with Barclays has also paid off for Oxford Plastic Systems in the shape of two small but worthwhile European Commission grants that the bank successfully applied for on the company’s behalf. It’s just one example of the way Barclays is working to support the community, which is in turn one part of the bank’s new threepronged approach to doing business in what Trevor described as “a new era”. The three strands of the citizenship plan, unveiled at the end of last year, are headed Contributing to growth, The way we do business and Supporting our communities. Together they make up a strategy that goes beyond the traditional approach to banking. “Banks – including Barclays – need to win back public confidence, and we have set out our response to that challenge in our citizenship plan,” Trevor explained. “It looks at how we can continue to help businesses with their investment needs but it also sets

out how we will work with and for communities.

social and environmental impacts of our operation.

“Contributing to growth sets out Barclays approach to our fundamental role of lending money to businesses in order to support the economy and help create new jobs,” Trevor explained.

“In the latest independent survey by Charterhouse Research, no bank had a higher satisfaction score than Barclays. It shows that we are putting into practice our aims of understanding our clients’ business and putting their needs at the heart of what we do.”

“We continue to do that by supporting initiatives such as Funding for Lending and we have demonstrated our commitment to helping businesses grow both nationally and in Oxfordshire. We will always have funds to lend those that have good management, a clear strategy and a strong business plan.” “It's interesting to note Barclays has responsibly increased lending by £6.8bn since the FLS began, supporting businesses and households with access to finance to grow their business, buy a new home or improve their quality of life. Barclays welcomes anybody who needs finance to come and talk to us.” said Trevor. While the figures are impressive – in 2012 Barclays supported 112,000 start-up businesses, the highest in any year since 1988, and made £44bn worth of gross new lending to UK businesses and households – they are only part of the story. “As the citizenship plan spells out, supporting economic growth is only one aspect of how we approach our responsibilities,” said Trevor. “We are also focusing on the way we do business, ensuring we operate with integrity, make decisions responsibly and manage the

When it comes to supporting communities, Barclays staff are just as involved as the organisation itself, having volunteered more than one million hours of their time over the past five years. At the same time the citizenship plan is focusing on giving people – particularly younger people – financial, enterprise and life skills to help them achieve financial independence and security. The bank’s Barclays Money Skills programme has given a million young people across the UK the skills they need to manage their finances sensibly and represents an investment of £15m in the next generation. And with LifeSkills the bank’s new UK flagship programme aiming to support one million young people in the transition from education into the employment over the next three years Barclays commits itself to supporting tomorrow’s adults as well as today’s entrepreneurs. Trevor French - Corporate Director Oxford. Contact: 07917 426547 or email:

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of the Barclays Bank PLC Group. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in the third part guides or articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information given. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no liability for the impact of any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed.


WINDRUSH COURT Transport Way, Watlington Road, Oxford FOR SALE/TO LET 71,955 sq ft

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CHILBROOK Oasis Park, Eynsham TO LET

Ground Floor: 14,706 sq ft First Floor: 6,351 sq ft Total: 21,731 sq ft Refurbished air conditioned offices


27,882 sq ft Four storey air conditioned office building in ring road location.


Last remaining phase - 7,928 sq ft up to 40,000 sq ft

A rare opportunity adjoining Travis Perkins & Speedy Hire on the Oxford ring road for trade and other industrial/warehouse users.

unrivalled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton Duncan May

news Will changes to planning laws make an impact on Oxfordshire? The Coalition Government have brought about a change in planning regulations relating to permitted development rights which came into force on the 30th May 2013. This relates to change of uses for various properties which are now permitted without the need for a planning application. The most significant change is that offices (Use Class B1(a)) are permitted to change to residential purposes (Use Class C3) without the need for planning permission so long as there is no material physical change to external appearances of the property. It is also our understanding that this overrides local planning policy and therefore Section 106, CIL or affordable housing contributions will not be required. Whilst some District Councils sought to be exempt from these new rules, locally it is only the Enterprise Zone at Milton Park and Harwell which is being excluded. It is therefore open season for any Landlord to change the use of an office building to residential. In reality it is our view that only a limited amount of the existing stock would be appropriate including more secondary office buildings and some rural offices but this is most unlikely to be appropriate for any modern business park setting. This

change of use opportunity is limited to the next 3 years. Another change allows for a more flexible automatic change of use for retail properties. Within the next 2 years planning permission will not be required for a change of use for retail businesses within Class A1 , A2, A3, B1 and D1 uses. This is a temporary change of use which will only be permitted for 2 years and comes about as part of the Portas Review and is designed to stimulate the high street especially in areas suffering from large retail vacancies. In reality we do not think this will impact significantly on the Oxfordshire market. The capital infrastructure required for a change of use from say a shop to a restaurant is not something that most businesses could contemplate for only a 2 year period. With regard to the overall commercial market activity remains quiet and demand levels are low but with improving economic data and the recent good weather we sense a degree of optimism and positivity returning to the market which we hope will reflect an increase in market demand. Let us hope that a summer washout does not dampen enthusiasm.

Deals, Deals and more Deals…..

274 Banbury Road, Summertown – Letting of 3rd and 4th floor offices of 3,585 sq ft. to BGS Architects.

7 Prama House, Summertown – Letting of a retail unit to In Toto Kitchens

2 McKay Trading Estate, Bicester – Letting of a 5,190 sq ft warehouse to Sobell House Charity.

30 Nuffield Way, Abingdon – Letting of 11,030 sq ft of industrial unit to Ashby Precision Engineering Ltd.

Blue Boar Court, Oxford – Acquisition for Semmle Ltd of 3,500 sq ft of city centre offices.

2 Stanton Harcourt Industrial Estate – Letting of a warehouse to One Call Hire.

1 Cherwell Business Centre, Kidlington – Letting of 6,670 sq ft. refurbished industrial unit to Howdens

Network House, Kidlington – Letting of 5,300 sq ft of first floor offices to Cobham Technical Services Limited.

6 Oxford Business Centre, Oxford – Letting of 2,149 sq ft of industrial unit to Adlens Limited.


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The Feathers Hotel is a welcoming country retreat that blends a quirky personality with historic charm. A member of Pride of Britain Hotels, The Feathers is situated in the historic market town of Woodstock, the birth place of Winston Churchill. The hotel is surrounded by cultural attractions with the wonderful Blenheim Palace located a two minute stroll away through the quaint village shops.

The hotel offers 16 bedrooms and five suites, which benefit from a major recent refurbishment. Each room has been given its own distinct style by specialist interior designers, Trevillion. Guests will find boutique twists such as luxurious fabrics, ornate lighting, free-standing stone basins and even decanters full of jelly beans! The fun bedrooms perfectly suit the rest of the hotel, with its quirky hallways and five different staircases adding to the whimsical atmosphere. Modern wallpapers adorn the walls, alongside specifically selected artworks, such as the reception’s unusual dressmaker mannequin. The Feather’s signature motif is emblazoned on the bespoke carpet in the dining room, a testament to the hotel’s cool outlook. Eating and drinking is at the centre of any visit to The Feathers. In 2012, the hotel’s restaurant was named Oxfordshire’s Restaurant of the Year at The Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year Awards, as well as winning Best Gastronomic restaurant for its dishes that exhibit finesse and considerable skill in execution. It’s not the only award the hotel has won. The hotel introduced the first dedicated ‘Gin Bar’ in the UK, and currently has 175 types of gin. It holds the

Guinness World Record for the largest collection of gins in the world. The Feathers offers brands from Holland, Spain, the USA and Germany as well as Britain, home of the famous London Gin. The bar stocks some of the most exclusive gins in the world: a glass of Burnett’s White Satin 1960 is priced at £19.50, whilst a bottle of exclusive Vincenzi 1950 costs £225. Guests can enjoy a quintessential martini whilst gin lovers can meet at the “Gin Club” on the last Friday of every month. The Feathers is currently hosting a Gin Challenge for summer 2013, inviting would-be gin connoisseurs to contribute to its extensive collection. Guests are invited to visit with a bottle of a gin The Feathers doesn’t currently possess, and in return they will be given a complimentary dinner for two. The Feathers’ Head Chef, Kevin Barrett, brings the best of modern English cuisine to the two AA rosette restaurant, using locally sourced ingredients in dishes. Guests can discover “The Gin Experience”, a carefully devised menu incorporating specific gins throughout the courses; for example, in a “Gin & Tonic Jelly”. The restaurant also serves a variety of afternoon tea menus, plus traditional picnic hampers. The delightful restaurant seats up to 60 guests, with room for a further 30 in the bar.

Alternatively, the al fresco Courtyard, with its privileged secluded spot outdoors, is perfect for diners looking to enjoy the weather. For events, guests need look no further than The Feathers for the perfect location. Exclusive usage of the entire hotel is priced at £4,000 for a wedding reception during the week or at £7,000 for a weekend event. The nearby church or town hall, only a few minutes’ walk away, are available for the official ceremony. Business meetings are also a firm favourite. The private master bedroom has a conference table suitable for hosting eight guests. Alternatively, one end of the restaurant can seat up to 20 people for a boardroom-style meeting. The daily delegate rate starts from £65 per person. The Feathers Hotel has a lively history. At the turn of the century, the reception area became a Drapers shop, and was subsequently converted into a Butcher’s shop in the early 1950s. In the early 1960s, the property was converted into a hotel. Today, remnants of the building’s former life add to the hotel’s character.


The lunch took place in the Brookes Restaurant which meant guests enjoyed the skills and professionalism on offer from the students of Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management, who prepared, cooked, served and hosted the event. The discussions focussed on training and education. Bob Cotton OBE (the former Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association and Wellers senior advisor to the Hospitality sector) chaired proceedings. Donald Sloan from Oxford Brookes explained the role of the School of Hospitality Management, training students for employment and working in partnership with the sector. John Hyde of HIT provided insight on how employers can use specialist training organisations to make use of government funds for apprenticeship training. The headings below reflect the discussions which took place. 1. The importance of training for employers In the hospitality trade, staff are a key component for getting businesses through difficult trading conditions. It is the skills of your people that ensure a business survives a recession. However, those skills have to be continually updated and maximised. Many owners would be amazed at the potential skills their employees have within them, they just need nurturing. It is incumbent on every Owner, Chief Executive and Proprietor to ensure that all their staff have the opportunity to improve their skills. Your employees will then repay you with their improved and increased contribution to the business. They become multi-skilled, more flexible and deliver improved services to the customer. Above all they give you their loyalty. If you have invested in them, they will return the investment. It means there is nothing more important in the Hospitality trade than the skills of your people.

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

Prime hotel groups in London are willing to spend £150m on new premises and yet looking at their training budget they are only spending £50,000 on the people who make it all work. Restaurants tend to make similar investment decisions, spending vast sums on capital investment while ignoring training their staff. The industry needs plenty of people at the craft end of the skills set. There are a million people who work in the Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism sector, with 100,000 of those in managerial jobs. Those in craft roles are just as important and their skills need to be developed and harnessed. 2. What Independent operators need to know about Apprenticeship schemes Apprenticeships are somewhat unsung and remain fairly unknown. There are half a million apprentices working with employers in the country today. Of that 55,000 are in the hospitality industry. The government are putting more and more money into this scheme. Spend will be £5.1 billion this year and it is going up again next year. Previous and current administrations see the value of a skilled workforce at all levels to ensure the country reamins competitive in the world. It is also a success story, 70

the satisfaction rate HIT get back from employers and learners are in the 80’s and 90’s. The completion rates (those that start the scheme and then end it with a job) stands at 76%. That is a lot higher than the statistics for many Universities and Further Education Colleges. How Apprenticeships work and finding funding Apprenticeships have been extended to all ages. They are now delivered individually to the employer’s requirements. There is the opportunity for individual units and skills to be added to each of the programmes. No-one should have to put their hand in their pocket to fund training, the government provide this and yet many companies are unaware. Apprenticeships are no longer just about Chefs and Waiters in 18-25 year old age group. It is for anyone from the ages of 18-60. Just about all training can be classified as “Apprenticeship” training so long as it is done in the right way. John Hyde cited the example of work his organisation did with a particular franchise of Burger King who were keen to use the Apprenticeship Scheme. The problems they experienced were that most Apprentices couldn’t do the staff rotas because they couldn’t write properly and they couldn’t do the stock take or the holiday rota because they had a very limited concept of Maths. HIT spent more time training basic numeracy and literacy skills with these people than the actual practical skills they needed for their jobs. Who provides Apprenticeship training? Most Apprenticeship Training is delivered by private training providers. Less than 25% are provided by Colleges. The rest is by mainly private companies and some charities. In every area of the UK there will be a company that can provide for your needs. There are programmes for all adults and young people who want to gain a qualification and recognition through their employer. The benefits of Apprenticeship training to SMEs/Independents The key point of Apprenticeship Training is the impact it has on your staff. As an employer, your investment of time, effort, interest and recognition shows you care about your employees and will lead to improved performance. It is a competitive world and both the economy and hospitality market are not growing at the moment. While the UK may not be in recession, growth is flat. Anaemic growth could well continue for the next 4 to 5 years and it is unlikely we will have a return to 3-4% growth. The latest developments in Education and Training for the Hospitality trade There are two key developments currently taking place. The cost of University fees has deterred some students from going into Higher Education. Consequently some of the large banking groups and companies are now recruiting 18 year olds to put them through accountancy courses or management apprenticeship programmes. It means a wide range of courses are now fundable as part of Apprenticeship Training.

3. How to get UK Hospitality companies to embrace training their staff The UK compared to other countries According to the government, the aim should be to spend 1% of your payroll cost on training your staff. The very best companies in the UK spend about 1% but the overall average is 0.5%. In Germany, the average company spends 4% of their payroll on training and re-investing in staff. They do have tax breaks for doing this. In downturns companies tend to say they can’t afford to spend on training staff as business is tough. Yet look at the situation during economic booms and you will see that many companies didn’t invest in training then either. It means the economic situation is not the predominant influencing factor, it is about changing people’s behaviour. Initiatives to encourage training The obvious way is to use the tax system. With capital spending you can use allowances. With people, national insurance was touted by some at the lunch as an option. If you are investing in and training your staff then maybe your organisation should get a reduction in national insurance as a fillet for saying well done. If you are not investing in staff and instead reliant upon poaching employees from other companies then maybe you should pay more NI. Does reliance on government initiatives like this really work? 4. What constitutes a Return on Investment (ROI) in staff How do owners measure ROI from training? The example was used of a Commis Chef working alongside a Head Chef. He or she may get two days training out off premises a year but the rest will be with the Head Chef. His training is working with the owner and seeing their value. How do you measure this? If you have a Commis Chef in the kitchen and they are learning from the Senior Chef who sets time aside to show them how to do things, then that is training. A motivated workforce is a more effective workforce. A lot in the kitchen is about reducing waste costs. You could perhaps classify the Commis wage cost as training, provided they are getting structured instruction. It is difficult to put a monetary return on it but the evidence comes through practice. Evidence will emerge as you adopt a particular approach. The risk of losing an employee you have invested in The issue was raised that training becomes an issue if an operator trains up a bright graduate only for that person to then leave and either set up in direct competition with them or go to their main competition? That is the danger, clever people with ambition and aspirations. If you have someone good and they stay at your company for two or three years then you will have got something out of it. If you have them for the good years then should they leave, you will most likely have obtained a return on investment.

B4 ADVICE 5. Today’s Hospitality marketplace The state of the market means there is a lot of choice. Consequently customers are becoming more demanding. These days it just takes one unsatisfactory experience, even for well respected brand names, if service and delivery are not to a certain standard, then customers vote with their feet. It makes it a very interesting market. The sector may not be growing but there are lots of opportunities to take business away from competitors by providing superior value and better service. Social media has been a big driver of this trend. In 2000 people would look at 3 sites and then make a booking. Today they look on average at 33 sites before making a booking. The customer is very savvy and 80% of people look at Trip Advisor before booking with an unfamiliar hotel. The media coverage of a company and their website is now more important than a hotel’s star rating. Revenue Management is as much a Marketing function as it is a Finance function. The internet makes everyone a savvy consumer with access to so much information at their finger tips. Customers can and do check things out which allows them to make informed decisions. In the past operators could get away with inconsistent service, that is simply not the case today. Service has to be consistently good otherwise you have a problem. Quality and delivery of product are crucial. Customers want a bit of theatre and experience. A good example is Prezzo restaurants. Their results have shown

INVESTING IN STAFF & TRAINING A selection of Oxfordshire restaurant, pub, hotel and hospitality suppliers attended leading Oxfordshire Accountants, Wellers, latest Hospitality Roundtable at Oxford Brookes University.

persistent growth and returning customers while other chains of a similar size have struggled. Attitudes to training Training can be viewed as a deadening experience. If it is dynamic, exciting, engaging and can demonstrate real impact on the culture and performance of an organisation then it becomes a positive activity. Training has to be of a certain style to be an investment as opposed to a cost. Owners often see refurbishments of a premises as a reinvestment of capital yet fail to see investment in people in such a manner. It is often associated as being a cost. To achieve change means getting the thinking and mindset right – it is as important to put money in people to improve performance as it is into bricks and mortar. If you don’t get the people bit right in hospitality, then quite simply you won’t have a successful business. Today’s younger generation and graduates have a lot of expectation of their employers. A clear career path with structured training are the key features sought after in a graduate position. One of the challenges for Universities is to make sure students are not arrogant in what they are demanding from an employer and that they also must understand the realities of life, by making a contribution and building relationships with the employer.


MAGDALEN: Great School,Great Venue Located in the heart of Oxford, with stunning facilities and ample parking to host conferences, corporate events, wedding receptions or parties, Magdalen College School is the perfect choice for your next event.

Call Emma Bellenie on 01865 242191 or email to find out more or to arrange a no obligation visit.

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Magdalen Road has been home to Pegasus, one of Oxford’s most exciting arts venues for the past 50 years. Following our major building redevelopment in 2010, the iconic copper cladding has housed a modern interior of world-class standards with its bar and cafe, theatre space, dance studio, dressing rooms, meeting rooms and workshops.

Fundamental to Pegasus is our belief that young people are our future and we strive to engage, inspire and equip them for their lives ahead. We are justifiably proud of our national reputation for youth activities and opportunities. Last year alone, we held over 2,000 workshops and worked with more than 9,000 young people, 137 artists and 87 volunteers. And at Pegasus, it is about so much more than ‘just’ the performance. Throughout their time here, young people find that as their confidence and social skills develop, so they discover an aspiration to aim higher in life outside of Pegasus. We absolutely believe in empowering the young and never cease to be impressed at how well they rise to the challenges of the leadership roles and responsibilities we offer them.

organising advertising and PR to fundraising in order to host the visiting groups. Pegasus is in the second year of our exciting Create for Change project which uses the arts as a vehicle for young people to explore global issues. Working with OXFAM, the Youth Theatre has recently examinined the topic: ‘Food, Poverty and Justice’ and performed in two unique shows and toured local schools, leading workshops and discussion on the issues raised. They were also busy behind the scenes designing costumes and sets and took on technical roles for the shows, gaining hands-on experience of stage-management, lighting and sound.

Recently we sent a young representative to the United Nations in New York to take part in an international presentation of a performance called the Gaza Mono-Logues that we had staged here in Oxford.

Through their involvement at Pegasus, the young acquire a myriad of skills. Not just technical or performance skills. Not just social and interpersonal skills as they work as part of, or lead, a team. But more than all of this, by their engagement in the whole process of showcasing the performing arts, they are exploring who they are and who they have the potential to be.

And during MESH, our international festival of youth arts, our Youth Theatre members not only perform alongside groups from all over the world but are involved on the Planning Committee where their responsibilities range from attending meetings, to

Rosanna, aged 18, has been a member of Pegasus for 8 years. She has learnt technical, leadership and teaching skills and even travelled to France and Russia with the Youth Theatre Group. She now works as a Youth Assistant for the Design and

Making Group, leads sessions and is herself delighted now to be ‘playing a part in building the confidence of other young people.’ Will joined Pegasus’ Youth Theatre Group at 8 years of age. He describes how he found an immediate home and how members of staff quickly became ‘mentors and role models.’ He chose to pursue a degree in theatre, which led to an MA in Theatre at the University of Exeter. He is now applying for a PHD. Will says ‘Institutions like Pegasus are part of the life blood of Great Britain, not just artistically, but socially as well.’ Pegasus would like to thank warmly all the companies who have supported us, including Dragon School, Finders Keepers, HMG Law, Henmans Freeth, John Wiley & Sons, Lucy’s Properties, MINI plant Oxford, Oxfam, Oxford Bus Company, Rotary Club Oxford, Roundtable, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford University Press, Torpedo’s and Unipart among many others. If you would like to find out about the partnership opportunities that your business could enjoy with Pegasus, contact Bel Crewe 01865 812 173 or email:


When writing his masterpiece in 1931, Aldous Huxley envisaged a brave new world. Although, it would be fair to say that he didn’t comment in any detail about the way working space would be required by business owners in the 21st century. However, although the way in which business is currently looking to utilise space now and in the future is not science fiction, new developments in technology and business practise do make you think about what the future holds for today’s business owners. If there’s one thing that the recession has taught business owners, it’s to look at the overheads. A pound saved is a pound added to the bottom line. “Do I need this many staff”? “Am I busy enough to employ a new member of staff?” “Do I need to move into larger or smaller premises”? “Where can I save money”? These are all questions which I guarantee, most business owners have asked themselves over the last few years. Staff costs are one of the biggest overheads of most businesses. Granted, salary reductions can be imposed but it’s not a long term solution and does not do much for morale – it certainly won’t help staff retention when the job market picks up. Many

businesses have looked at flexible working, job sharing and even outsourcing to keep the wage bill lower. With the advances in Information Technology (some of which would blow even Huxley’s mind), staff can work remotely whilst being out of the office, from home or even in different countries. At Bloxham Mill, we’re home to 103 businesses ranging from micro start-ups to businesses employing 25 people, including regional offices of some renowned national organisations.

“If there’s one thing that the recession has taught business owners, it’s to look at the overheads

It’s interesting to watch as an observer, how our clients operate and look at the different methods of working. Some of the common features are: • Telephony and reception services are outsourced. It’s possible to have a reception

manned between 8.30am and 5.30pm if the cost is being shared between a number of companies • IT costs can be considerably reduced as all of our clients have the option to have our costeffective IT services built into their monthly licence fees – and our service team is on-site • Cleaning and maintenance costs are shared • Extra facilities such as the gymnasium, café and hairdresser can be provided – not to mention the fact that these small business owners have a captive community to which to sell their products and services. We’re also big on networking at Bloxham Mill and hold regular events and complimentary seminars on a variety of business-related topics To be fair, the features above (save perhaps for the data centre) are what you might expect from being a client of a large serviced office centre… But to quote another great literary figure, the 1980s comedian Jimmy Cricket “There’s more!” (My reading as you can see, is somewhat varied!) Some of the perhaps more surprising developments are: • Clients are looking at their office space as a

A BRAVE NEW (WORKING) WORLD Ray Avery, Managing Director of Bloxham Mill Business Centre shares his views on how the commercial property market may look in the not-too-distant future…



BLOXHAM MILL AT-A-GLANCE Bloxham Mill offers as an ideal alternative to a conventional office space for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It has… • Modern, efficient, and cost-effective Serviced Office and support solutions • An ideal setting, situated 4 miles south of Banbury and the mainline train station; within 6 miles of the M40 and less than 30 minutes' drive from Oxford • Ample free car parking • A resident 5-star-rated café with free Wi-Fi

• •

business resource and want it to work for them, rather than be a place in which to work Clients want a relaxed collaborative “break out space” outside of the confines of their offices so that staff can work in a relaxed environment “Hot desking” – using a desk for a few hours a week – is becoming more and more popular Businesses are looking at getting a better “bang for their rental buck” and will look to get more people working in the same space. The use of modern desk-ing systems and open-plan offices is now much more the “norm” Prospective employees care more about their working environment and the way in which the building is run. Fair Trade products, recycling, etc. Being able to say a business supports Fair Trade by having a box of tea bags next to the kettle is

• 24-hour secure access Client benefits include… • Flexible terms • Full reception service • Dedicated, on-site IT and telephony support • Meeting rooms at preferential rates • Mail handling – incoming and outgoing • Inclusive cleaning and maintenance – with no unforeseen costs • Free use of Fitness Studio

not good enough for some of the Generation Y employees of tomorrow. More questions are being asked about a company’s eco-policy When you think of it, the new ways of working should not come as a surprise to anyone. Think of the way in which the youngsters of today are encouraged to work at school and university. They work in collaborative groups; this is how they want to continue working in the future. So what does this mean for businesses such as Bloxham Mill? It’s simple but also challenging. It’s not good enough for us to “move with the times”, that implies we are playing catch up. The clients – and note I talk about clients not tenants – of today, and those of tomorrow, will demand that their

landlords are “ahead of the game”. Data transfer capabilities for large files and the availability of the latest IT technology is a must. Clients want their space delivered in a different way and to be available to their employees who will work in a different way. Those same clients don’t want to enter into long onerous leases… When it comes to providing office accommodation with services; it’s a brave new world indeed. But it’s a sane one.


An inspired choice of venue The Oakley Court Hotel has vast experience of hosting major conferences in stunning surroundings making it an inspired choice of venue. Hold your conference at Oakley Court and you’ll impress, captivate and inspire your delegates. We guarantee the very best in service standards offering conference suites and executive boardrooms within a prestigious location. Our unique rooms range from original rooms in the Mansion House which are over 150 years old with high ceilings and original features, to a purpose built function room called The Boathouse on the banks of the River Thames. It’s not only the picturesque riverside setting that creates the wow factor; extensive leisure GBDJMJUJFT mOFEJOJOHBOEJNQFDDBCMFTFSWJDFBMMQMBZUIFJSQBrt in creating a memorable conference.

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“Customers often tweak the menu to their preferences, and there are vegan and gluten-free options as well. Yola describes this flexibility, and being accessible to everybody, as ‘the secret to our success’.”


It’s no mistake that this restaurant in St Clements is called La Cucina, which means kitchen, and cooking, in Italian. At the back of La Cucina is a large open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing your food to order, surrounded by counters of mouth-watering bowls of fruit and vegetables and chilli hanging from the ceiling. By Lucy Howard. ingredients, such as creamy burrata mozzarella (‘burrata’ means ‘buttered’), which truly is the king of mozzarellas. Desserts (dolci) include traditional favourites such as tiramisu, pannacotta and cheesecake with candied fruit.

Alberto describes the kitchen as a vital part of La Cucina’s philosophy, since people are ‘losing touch with reality’ when it comes to food, and are often not aware of what’s in their food and where it comes from. Here, customers can find out about ingredients, talk to the chefs and discuss the menu. Children have the opportunity to play with the pizza dough and make their own pizza with the chefs. For Alberto, this all a part of recreating the flavours, smells and experiences of his childhood kitchen.

Alberto is like an encyclopaedia when it comes to food, listing some of the foods currently in season as samphire, asparagus, apricot and peaches. ‘Root vegetables are a bit woody now, so we go for others such as cabbages, which like the sun.’

The menu features a range of antipasti, pizza, pasta and risotto, and alongside traditional fare such as margherita and capricciosa pizzas, other options include rib eye steak and grilled salmon. The seafood (frutti di mare) risotto is a popular choice and tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil is a vegetarian favourite. A new addition to the menu which is also proving a hit is the Vesuvio, which is part calzone, part pizza. ‘People order it just to see what it is!’ says Alberto. It incorporates a calzone (a folded over pizza) with spicy sausage, bacon, mozzarella and chilli, and a mozzarella and tomato pizza. Specials often include seasonal

Alberto and Yola return to Italy every two or three months to see family and source their ingredients. Travels all over Italy and attention to the time of year mean that dishes are constantly changing depending on what’s in season, and reflect traditions from all over the country, down to how different parts of Italy have different ways of using ingredients. As well as the existing menu choices, the chefs frequently accommodate menu changes. Customers often tweak the menu to their preferences, and there are vegan and gluten-free options as well. Yola describes this flexibility, and ‘being accessible to everybody’ as the ‘secret to our success.’ La Cucina also offers special party menus and an outside catering team, as well as a takeaway service, and in the restaurant many Italian products,

from pasta to panettone, are for sale, so you can recreate the experience at home. Both Alberto and Yola stress the importance of having a good team around them, which is ‘like another family.’ Many members of staff have been there several years. ‘The most important thing is that they understand what you want to deliver and how you work,’ says Alberto. Yola, who takes care of front of house services while Alberto concentrates on the kitchen, says, ‘You can be the best front of house person in the world, but without someone who can cook like Alberto it would be impossible.’ She adds that they always try to ‘raise the bar,’ and that they are ‘open for the people, as they are the judge.’ The passion behind the business is easy to see. Alberto, who formerly worked at the Dorchester Hotel in what was known as one of London’s best Italian restaurants, describes La Cucina, which opened seven years ago, as a ‘dream come true.’ Judging by the number of happy customers (many of whom return again and again), the bustling kitchen and the buzzing atmosphere, this looks like a dream that’s set to come true for many more years to come.


Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

Owners Alberto and Yola take pride in creating a truly authentic Italian experience, incorporating ingredients, recipes and traditions to make meals that are ‘just like you’d find when you’re in Italy.’



TO PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR SUMMER After the winter and spring we have endured, most gardens are not looking their best. Even the most uninspiring or unkempt plot, however, can be transformed into an eye-catching oasis with planning, preparation and some hard work. As late spring turns into early summer, now is the ideal time to set about making this transformation. For the amateur gardener, it is often difficult to know where to start when it comes to a major project like a garden make-over. Take it from the professionals; the place to begin is with the hard landscaping. Hard landscaping – walls, fencing, trellis, pathways, paving and the like – is the backbone of any garden. It forms the skeleton that underpins its structure and shape, giving an ever-present backdrop against which the flowers, shrubs and trees can show themselves off. How do you choose your hard landscaping? There’s nothing like seeing for yourself. At Johnsons Buildbase Oxford you’ll find dozens of displays to stroll through, showcasing all that is best in landscaping products. A visit to these ‘show gardens’ is invaluable in helping you to decide on the look you want for your design, whether you are a trade professional or a handy home-owner. Johnsons Buildbase – and the family firm that preceded it – has been serving


the needs of Oxfordshire for generations. Named National Builders Merchant of the Year 2012, the company is one of the UK’s fastest growing builders’ merchants. With 130 branches nationwide and products from the leading manufacturers, the company’s aim is to meet all your garden hard landscaping and construction requirements. In addition, Buildbase is used to working with local tradespeople and the public. Staff have the knowledge and experience to understand the customers’ needs and to meet them. With massive stocks, displays you can walk through, top quality products and competitive pricing, Johnsons Buildbase offers exceptional, specialist customer service. The design of your garden depends on how you plan to use it. Not everyone looks upon a garden as a place for grass, flowers and vegetables alone. For some, the garden is primarily a play area or a sports ground, where children can amuse themselves in safety. For others, it is an extension of their dining

room, an ‘outside room’ where they can entertain al fresco. Whatever your style, from cottage garden to contemporary space, good landscaping starts with quality materials. This is true whether you are creating a new garden, rethinking an old one grown tired over the years, or giving your current patch a spruce-up. What materials and products you choose will stamp your garden with its own personality and individuality. Modern, folding patio doors enable you to really open up your living space to the great outdoors. Johnsons Buildbase has the latest in softwood folding and sliding patio door sets, just waiting to be installed. As for the patio itself, Buildbase has a huge stock of materials on display, appealing to every taste from modern to traditional, including large stocks of paving and block pavers. It doesn’t even have to be too difficult. Creating a new patio can be achieved over a weekend with a patio kit. These are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and materials – from mellow Cotswold to natural sandstone. For the even more impatient gardener, there is the latest in patio technology: a complete system that enables paving to be laid quickly and easily, with no mortar required, in hours rather than days.

or even replacing. Take this opportunity to make your fence into a feature in itself. Johnsons Buildbase has extensive fencing displays, and stock that includes panels, boards, posts and rails in a variety of styles.

“landscaping is not

all about beautiful blooms, glamorous gazebos and sophisticated summerhouses. Johnsons Buildbase also supplies the basic materials and tools to get the job done

And if you need help in keeping those flower beds looking healthy, weed-free and tidy, ask about the Buildbase range of fertilizers, weed control fabric and bark chippings. But landscaping is not all about beautiful blooms, glamorous gazebos and sophisticated summerhouses. Johnsons Buildbase also supplies the basic materials and tools to get the job done, from bricklaying mortar and concrete, to shovels,

If paving is not your style, decorative aggregates, from cobbles to slate, combined with walling and edging accessories, are an attractive alternative. Decking is another popular all-weather solution. Buildbase’s selection includes low maintenance deck boards in various sizes and designs, as well as lighting, and fixing and cleaning accessories. Timber products like arches, arbours, pergolas, sheds and garden furniture supply the stylish finishing touches to complete your design.

wheelbarrows, underground pipes and inspection chambers.

Good fences, they say, make good neighbours, but a fence should be more than just a boundary. Having taken a real battering during the recent winter rain, snow and high winds, the chances are that your fencing will be looking in need of attention

Visit Johnsons Buildbase Oxford at Watlington Road, Cowley. Plentful parking. Easy access.

Creating a stunning garden takes vision and imagination but, with a little help, most people can achieve wonderful results. Experts like Johnsons Buildbase, with their long and successful track record, backed up by huge stocks of top quality products, are here to help you turn your dream garden into a reality this summer.



As one of Oxfordshire’s most iconic restaurants, Browns in Oxford has seen more of life in Oxfordshire than most. With students, courting couples and families passing through the welcoming double doors, its not difficult to understand why it’s one of the best performing Browns restaurants in the country. B4’s Richard Rosser met with B4 Platinum Ambassador and Browns General Manager, Simon Stonehouse. With a hard earned reputation over forty years – yes, Browns is forty this year! – you need a safe pair of hands to guide you through, and that’s where Simon Stonehouse steps in. Having been in hospitality since he was eighteen – not quite forty years ago, I hasten to add, Simon has been there, seen it and no doubt has a suitcase full of tshirts, as he explains. “I started my career in hospitality working for my dad, who was a butcher, so I’m a qualified butcher for starters! I learned my trade in Greetham in North Yorkshire. As it was a family business, there weren’t enough hours to go around, so I ended up working in the local supermarket during the day and moved to do another shift in a hotel in the evening, so I was holding down two full time jobs – but I loved it! The hotel work was mainly in the restaurant and bar, and I’ve never looked back.” Simon moved to Windsor in his early twenties where he worked at the Harte Came down to Windsor, first job was at the Harte and Garter, almost opposite Windsor Castle, where he worked for five years. “I worked up from trainee to deputy manager and then ran a few establishments in Henley and London and then, in my thirties, I thought I’d done enough to run my own restaurant. I opened in Reading but two years later, just around the time of the credit crunch, I had to admit defeat – it’s hard work running a business but owning it as well……that is hard work!” Simon then moved to his first post with MBplc, running various restaurants including The Apple Tree in Gerrards Cross. It wasn’t long before Young’s Brewery tracked him down to run a hotel for them in Twickenham which had just undergone a one million pound refurbishment. ‘I moved into the two bed flat and was there for nearly two years with my now wife Sam who was working for BAFTA at the time – we loved our time there. We then wanted to start a family and moved here to Testworth and got a job through his now Browns Regional Manager, Gavin Smith, at The Royal Saracens Head in Beaconsfield. “We had their best year for two consecutive years, but after two years I feel it’s time to move on. I must admit I like the novelty of a new business and like to get it into shape, but after that, I’m ready for a new challenge. I suppose I’m a bit of a ‘gun for hire’, but I have my uses!” After The Royal Saracens Head, Simon moved more locally, to The Trout in Wolvercote. “I was installed as GM at a time when The Trout was having a difficult time. The previous GM had just gone and the ship needed steadying. I went in in January and we changed a lot of things and got ready for The Trout’s busy


season, the summer, and we performed exceptionally.” Simon again moved on after The Trout to manage eight country pubs, from Huntingdon to Milton Keynes, Northampton and down to Hemel Hempstead and Welwyn Garden City. “It was a tough role, with a lot of travelling, but I really enjoyed it and left the pubs all performing considerably better than when I arrived.” By sheer coincidence, Gavin, Simon’s previous boss when at MBplc, moved to Browns last year and needed a new man to run Browns in Oxford and Reading, explains Simon. “Funnily enough it was my best man who was earmarked for the Oxford job initially and I was Gavin’s choice for Reading. The problem was, Malcolm lived in Reading and I lived in Oxford – we simply agreed to swap!” Simon soon set to work to make some fundamental changes. “The kitchen needed some work and we also recruited a new head chef and general manager. I needed to get the kitchen performing better – walk into any restaurant kitchen and you can improve it, so quality of food, stock holding, better training are all things which can be improved in most places, but they were my prime focus here when I arrived. “The problem with a restaurant like Browns is that standards have to be maintained and for the number of customers coming through and an increasingly demanding consumer, it’s harder and harder to keep those standards high. But it’s an absolute priority and I am fastidious about standards and this has shown. We’ve just heard we have been the best performing Browns in the country for the last quarter’ there are twenty eight in total ‘and that’s stunning news for us – we are all delighted but it’s thoroughly deserved as we have all worked really hard. We have had weekly meetings, daily meetings, just focusing on standards and quality until we got it right, and we are now seeing the rewards.” Simon is now gearing up for a busy summer and even has a Christmas menu meeting in the diary for the week after we meet, despite it being early June! “Christmas is big for us, as all occasions are. We have two hundred and seventy booked in for Father’s Day and expect at least another one hundred and fifty walk-ins. We appeal to big parties with ten tables of ten or more and we do get really large parties in who can take over the whole restaurant. That’s what gives Browns its buzz.” With Browns clocking up forty years this year, great value, first class service, excellent food and the ‘Browns buzz’, isn’t it about time you helped the team celebrate?


standards have to be “maintained and for the number of customers coming through and an increasingly demanding consumer, it’s harder and harder to keep those standards high. But it’s an absolute priority

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

Simon Stonehouse, General Manager at Browns Oxford


Effervescent and as enthusiastic as he was back in 2006, James is keen to give B4 readers some background about new toys, new routes and plans for the future. “There are some key highlights from the last year and exciting plans for 2013 / 2014. One key addition is our new radar which you will see from the A44. Although it’s a very ugly red object, it’s a huge fundamental change to our capabilities, because we can now see and control air traffic, we can see traffic out to the North Sea and to the North coast of France and out to the Irish Sea and halfway up to Scotland. It’s the first time in our eighty year history that we can actually see all

airline community and the national air traffic community, so it’s a big change.” I ask James what other hurdles need to be overcome to continue this propulsion to fully fledged commercial airport. “There will always be other hurdles, but that was the biggest one, that was the elephant in the room that we knew about many years ago but which always necessitated a massive investment from our owners. It’s their single biggest commitment to date, but it’s taken over two years for it to be ‘rubber stamped’.” The airport has now almost completely shed itself of the old World War 2 infrastructure. The aprons

Minoan have two Fokker 50 aircraft which have 50 seats based in Oxford and by mid-June they will be doing double daily services to Dublin and Edinburgh. The B4 Bike Ride team (see page 150) recently experienced Minoan’s service to Edinburgh which you can read about in this issue (page 103), and it was certainly an effortless experience. “The same day services will be vital to the business clients who want to get home to see the family in the evening. The leisure traffic is also building with families coming from Scotland on day trips to Oxford – 75% of the traffic is business oriented but the leisure market is cottoning on to the service and the time and cost saving elements make it very attractive.”



For the 8th year running, B4’s Richard Rosser met with London Oxford Airport’s Business Development Director, James Dillon-Godfray, to discuss the most recent developments at the rapidly expanding airport. It seems a century when I used to meet James in a portakabin which also served as check-in desk, baggage check and reclaim, not to mention James’ office. Oh how things have changed. around, as up until now we only had visual contact with aeroplanes within about two miles from the tower. Now we can direct people where to go, what to do, and the fundamental difference is that it makes for a much safer operating environment as we can get traffic in more swiftly whereas before there were considerable delays. We can now get in up to one aircraft every three minutes on the new instrument landing system.” This key change has come at a significant cost but it has elevated the airport once again another notch in the eyes of those it is trying to win over – the commercial airline community, as James explains. “They certainly take us more seriously now. A £4.5 million investment has put us in the top 35 airports in the country that are deemed commercial airports. We have now matured from a general aviation airport into a proper regional / commercial airport in the eyes of the Civil Aviation Authority, the


have been replaced, the taxi ways and the 75 year old tarmac has all been overhauled. There is a brand new drainage system in place, and 100% upgraded lighting throughout the site. “ We are, effectively, a brand new airport and we are now ready to grow, uninterrupted, but that’s the difficult bit. As you know, on the airline side, it’s been a constant battle to try and get routes established in the first place, and then retain them and try and make them viable and profitable, and that battle is still on-going but this year I guess marks the point where we had our first on site airline operation.” James is referring to Minoan Airlines who base their aircraft at the airport. “Up until now we have had people who lived elsewhere but bought aircraft in each morning and then have flown back in the evenings to their home base, like the Isle of Man operation.”

Compare an hour in the car to Heathrow, park your car, get through security, hang around in the departure terminal with park outside the terminal and go straight through to your flight. It’s easily a three hour Heathrow experience versus maximum half an hour from Oxford. Before you get to Edinburgh from Heathrow you’ve already committed four hours of your time – imagine how much refreshed you are going to be travelling from Oxford. “The other efficient aspect is the baggage. Coming into Oxford, your bags are more often than not waiting for you when you come into the terminal – you wouldn’t get that at Heathrow or Gatwick. No we don’t have the fancy shops, but if you want to shop, you can do it before you fly! Parking is comparatively a steal at £35 a week – you can pay that in a few hours elsewhere! Our public transport connections are improving although we recognise

B4 TRAVEL they could be a lot better. Having said that, most people flying out are dropped off as it’s so easy to get to.” It’s James’ role to now get the message out to the Oxfordshire public that this great service exists. “Because Minoan are taking almost all of the risk on this service, spreading the word is left to us at the airport and word is getting through. It was great to see the B4 team use the airline for the recent trip to Edinburgh and nice for you to experience for yourself everything I have been talking about for years! We are now promoting to not only Oxfordshire but also Buckinghamshire and beyond. “Minoan have been running for eight weeks now,

yellow cab and off you go so it makes it nice and easy when you get to the NY end. The flights with Aer Lingus are fairly heavy subsidised, so you can fly fairly cheaply to the states, Boston, Chicago, Washington and NY. It can make a lot of sense.” 'In terms of future developments, a new operator will hopefully be moving to the site and starting a Belfast service this Autumn. This will be operated by Links Air who have been in business for eight years with a fleet of ten aircraft. With the new enhancements, the airport can now accept longer range jets which can fly non stop from Oxford to Mumbai and there are two planes based at Oxford which can fly to the heart of the USA. “We’re also

a year in total, mainly due to the reduced flying school traffic (much of which now takes place in Arizona), although the flying school is growing under new ownership with CAE, a Canadian company, now the biggest flight training company in the world. Oxford Aviation is now a worldwide recognised brand with five geographical bases in the world. They train over 2,000 cadets a year. The area around the airport continues to develop with a new office block near the entrance to the airport and numbers of people working at the airport in the various companies up by 10 to 15% in the last year.

“you get processed by US immigration customs in Dublin, so when you land in New York or Chicago, you walk off the plane as if it’s a domestic flight. So you don’t have to wait in all those queues

and every week ticket sales are increasing. Dublin flights are now booking further ahead as the Edinburgh flights have more business clientele who tend to book with shorter lead times. Both services have the same price structure with the first ten seats priced at £51, then £70, then £100 and the top price is £175 each way. That’s still cheaper than the train which starts at £135 with a top return price of £460!” The Dublin flights open up passengers to the world, explains James. “You can leave Oxford at 6.30am, you’ll get in an hour and a half later, that’s in time to catch the Aer Lingus transatlantic flights, you get processed by US immigration customs in Dublin, so when you land in New York or Chicago, you walk off the plane as if it’s a domestic flight. So you don’t have to wait in all those queues the other end of the flight for two hours to be processed by US immigration. You just get off the flight and in a

talking to an operator about bringing an 85 seater 146 jet in which will be ideal for the airport and runs to Geneva and Munich. Paris and Amsterdam are the next destinations on our priority list so keep an eye out for them after Belfast.” Adds James. In terms of numbers and stats, by the end of 2012 London Oxford Airport was still the fastest growing airport in the UK for business aviation traffic and private charter traffic. “We are now at 6,000 business aircraft movements a year, so twenty business jet flights a day. Every other one of our peers has seen a decline in movements, people like London City, whose aviation traffic is down 57% since 2007, whereas our business aviation traffic has grown 98% since then, and it far outstretches the rate of growth of any of our peers, even Luton Airport which has gone down by 27%.” The airport used to have 160, 000 movements a year but this has declined to 40, 000 movements

The airport will no doubt continue to expand and develop over the next few years, although the owners are not in favour of radical overnight changes. “We’ve come a long way since we started talking to B4 and although our sights are set high, the owners have to be cautious and approach each stage of our development at just the right speed. There are so many variables to control that progress has to be slow but steady, but we are always heading in the right direction and the outlook remains extremely positive.” Here’s to the next eight years.


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OFF Designer Frames with Nikon lenses

the social

In association with

Before using social media you need to think about your target audience’s brain In previous articles on the social we have talked about different types of social media and using it to drive targeted traffic to your websites. However, an important factor in using social media, designing your website, and producing content for your audience is that you need to consider how your target audiences think. Right brain According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are associated with the right side of the brain include: • Face Recognition • Expressing emotions • Music • Colour • Images • Intuition • Creativity. Therefore, if your target audience and/or your businesses service deliver characteristics of the above then your social media, website, and content need to reflect these elements in order to improve engagement: • • • •

Staff photos on website ( Instagram / Website ) Testimonials ( Google Plus ) Case studies ( Google Plus / Website) Brightly coloured images ( Instagram / Pinterest / You Tube ) • Helpful tools and guides ( Website / Facebook / You Tube ) • Blog ( Tumblr / Website ) Left brain The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language, and analytical thinking. It is therefore often described as being better at:

So when profiling your target audience, take the time to understand how your service and/or product is perceived. Social media services descriptions

• Language • Logic • Critical thinking • Numbers • Reasoning Accordingly if your target audience and/or your businesses service deliver elements of the left side thinking then your social media, website and content need to reflect these elements: • • • • •

Strong content ( Website / Twitter / Tumblr) Analytics and stats ( Analytic reports ) Technical case studies ( Website / Linkedin) Tables and charts ( Pinterest ) Groups ( Linkedin )

• Pinterest - an online image content sharing service • Tumblr - an online micro blogging service • You Tube - a video sharing /resource service • Linkedin - an online professional business contact service • Facebook - an online personal social networking service • Google Plus - an online business directory service • Twitter - an online communication service • Instagram - an online photo-sharing service

Best suited B4 Directory businesses • Pinterst - Conference Events and Venues, Property & Building, Green, Marketing & Design, R&R • Tumblr – HR, Science and Technology, Advice, Green • You Tube – All • Linkedin – Business Services, Finance, IT & Telecommunications, Manufacturing • Facebook – Retail, marketing and Design, R&R • Google Plus - All • Twitter - Marketing and Design, Green, IT & Telecommunications, • Instagram – Conference Events and venues, Green, Health and Leisure, R&R

To discuss how you can profile your digital world contact Glooo email Robin or Chris or call 01865 595707.


RE-DESIGNING LUXURY John Hallam Associates has become the first choice among developers throughout the UK for a large range of architectural services and specialisations in urban and rural locations. The Chipping Norton based practice has successfully worked with a number of national hotel chains and boutique hotel owners,

Cotswold Water Park Hotel, two of six hotels, located in Oxford, the Cotswolds, Thames Valley and Bristol. Having demonstrated an appreciation of Four Pillars’ style and challenge presented from combining historic buildings with contemporary luxury accommodation, the practice was a natural

Pillars Hotel to see Hallam’s designs come to life. “We have a very successful record of preserving heritage both in rural and urban settings to give a new purpose to old and beautiful buildings,” explains Hallam. “It was important to work the local parish and council to ensure the development progressed in a way to meet all concerns and whilst

“We have a very successful record of preserving heritage both in rural and urban settings to give a new purpose to old and beautiful buildings” John Hallam, Principal

specialising in luxury and standard grade accommodation to encompass a high level of comfort for guests, diversity of public areas for social or business purposes and effective staff service areas. With over 45 years’ experience in architecture and the construction industry, Principal, John Hallam, began working with Four Pillars Hotels in 2000, with the Tortworth Court Hotel, and then the


choice for the development of the Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel.

ensuring our designs were in-keeping with the Group’s aims.”

The project took two years to overcome planning issues associated with the hotel’s location on green belt land and Grade 2 Listed status, but Hallam remained confident in finding a solution to meet all. Coinciding with the completion of the project, B4 Magazine had a guided tour of Oxford Thames Four

The 22 new ‘Garden Rooms’ have views of beautiful gardens and the River Thames, all featuring a contemporary style to complement the rest of the hotel. The new bedrooms increase the hotel’s capacity to 84 rooms. Hallam explains: “The bedrooms have been


The luxury four-star Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel combines medieval charm with contemporary elegance. A unique challenge that faced John Hallam Associates, the architectural practice responsible for designing the hotel’s multimillion-pound development, writes Kelly Stroud. created within a two storey block which is linked to the existing hotel via a glazed corridor. This has been designed to complement the original building, incorporating many traditional construction details, such as pegged joints to the oak window surrounds. Bedrooms in the original building benefit from period features such as oak beams and ornate windows so it was important to reflect this in the new building.” The Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel has also converted the existing courtyard area adjacent to

Hallam comments: “The Conservatory is spectacular and links very well to the four differing heights around what was the old courtyard. During the development we have had to conform to strict conservation requirements in terms of colour of brick, tiles and stone. One of the buildings was an old listed barn dating back to the 17th century.” External works taking place include the creation of a patio area outside of five ground floor bedrooms with enviable views of the River Thames. Suzanne Bush, Commercial Director of Four Pillars

charm is retained.” John Hallam Associates has also just completed an extension to the Brasserie Restaurant at Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel as well as creating a glorious balcony to the first floor conferencing facilities that allows guests magnificent views over the lake. The experience of the practice continues to assure clients of exceptional quality when providing architectural solutions leading to the successful

“The Oxford Thames Hotel development has been interesting. The experienced team at John Hallam Associates provided the utmost attention to detail throughout to make sure the hotel’s original character and charm is retained John Hallam, Principal

the River Room Restaurant into a bright and airy Conservatory for Sunday lunch, afternoon tea and other dining, as well as private events, adding 135m² of space to its choice of nine rooms for private events.

Hotels comments: “The Oxford Thames Hotel development has been interesting. The experienced team at John Hallam Associates provided the utmost attention to detail throughout to make sure the hotel’s original character and

development of hotels, heritage buildings, commercial premises and residential properties.


COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH CARE YOU CAN TRUST Since being a young girl, I have been in awe of the human body, its physicality and its power, both in illness and in health. B4 went along to talk to Osteopath Monica Franke. I took a meandering road before I discovered osteopathy, but when I did I never looked back! I love my work. Since qualifying in 2003, I have worked in Oxford and London, for other people and for myself. A large per centage of my work has been with sports clubs and individuals locally, nationally and internationally, and between 2006 and 2010 I worked at Oxford Brookes University as Clinic Tutor and Senior Lecturer. Now I have found the right place, at the right time to open my own complementary health clinic. This vision used to be my end point, and now it’s a new start and I am so excited about the way we will strive to provide complementary health care which is accessible. Accessible to me means that there must be somebody available to answer enquiries, availability of therapists and a clear way for people to find out what the therapies involve and what will best help them with whatever ails them.

will be publicised via our website and local advertisers. Our clinic strives for High Standards of Diagnosis, Treatment and Communication – this applies inhouse such that we meet regularly to support each other and discuss successful and difficult cases, and individual developments. The use of practice management software, Cliniko, also means that basic history and note taking makes in-house referrals and confidentiality seamless, optimising the time and attention our patients and clients receive. Our therapists have been selected as autonomous and experienced professionals, who come with a solid grounding in their own right, who want to be part of a team and can communicate clearly and empathetically, and infuse trust and respect. Our therapies will include osteopathy, cranial and paediatric osteopathy, sports injury clinics, massage, Pilates, nutrition, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, chiropody, animal physio (treatments off-site) and personal training.

Fredericks Foundation, resolving final lease and insurance details and through it all, getting therapists, losing therapists and resetting the open date at least four times! As we open the doors, there has been much sweat and many tears, and the blood is still pumping strong! And I realise that over the last ten years I have learnt a few things. Not least in this is the ability to know where to seek help and to accept it. I have had amazing support from colleagues, family, friends, business coaches and all of the staff at B4, who have been incredibly patient – thank you. As I set up the business, I believe it must be done correctly from the start and networking has afforded me some fantastic contacts in HR, media editing, finance, law, interior decorating and much more. This has been so important not just on a business level, but also on a personal level. In the last year, I have also had the joy of spending my time with my (now) fifteen month old son and having a network around me has been so uplifting and encouraging.

“Accessible to me means that there must be somebody available to answer enquiries, availability of therapists and a clear way for people to find out what the therapies involve and what will best help them with whatever ails them

Clinic on the Green hopes to have a high level of interaction within its own and the surrounding communities, and beyond. Offering services and events such as quarterly health fairs where you can sample treatments, meet the practitioners and ask questions whilst enjoying some live music and homemade cakes. The offer of Treatment Packages may include one osteopathy, one acupuncture and one hypnotherapy session (for example) if you’d like to try a therapy combination approach- you tailor it to suit your needs. And if you’re not sure who or what will be best to do that, we are on hand to offer explanation and guidance. At the other end of provisions we will be offering discount weekends every couple of months, which


We are all fully registered and insured, and you will see regular updates for news and research in all of the therapies on the website and blog. I feel truly privileged to become part of the history of the Old Blacksmiths Shop on Weston Road, which was fully restored in 2000. It is such a beautiful building on an iconic site, and working in conjunction with Cherwell Council, Bletchingdon Parish Council and the community, I hope we can add something very special. From the time of first seeing the building and making an enquiry to getting the keys has been a year – almost to the day! It has been a real journey of planning permission, negotiating a lease, waiting for winter to pass, needing to refinance, achieving that eventually through the wonderful charity,

One of my supporters said to me a month or so ago, having set up his own restaurant four years ago, “You are like me, you want to have everything in place at the beginning, but you don’t need to, it’s okay. Let it grow as the people ask for it.” So my final word is organic; I hope I have set a great framework and provided interesting and attractive therapies; but I’m looking forward to the flow of interaction; to hear what you’re enjoying and what you want to see more of, what you understand and what questions you need help with, so that we can grow organically into the practice which has great accessibility to trust-worthy complementary health care of the highest standards.


“I feel truly privileged to become part of the history of the Old Blacksmiths Shop on Weston Road, which was fully restored in 2000. It is such a beautiful building on an iconic site


89 telephone: 01865 252195 t o w n h a l l @ o x f o r d . g o v. u k

concerts ˙ conferences ˙ weddings ˙ exhibitions

B4 R&R

“I think there’s a real synergy between the bookshop and the Creation Theatre experience.

Lucy Askew, the Chief Executive of Creation Theatre

Doctor Faustus – performed in the Norrington Room, Blackwell’s Bookshop in 2011.

JEKYLL & HYDE In June, Creation Theatre and Blackwell’s Bookshop are collaborating for the third year in a row, as a four-week production of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ comes to the bookshop. This time, it’s something a bit different – a cleverly rendered one-man show, where the theatrical experience, the sounds and the lighting all combine to make it much more than you might expect . . . Zool Verjee, Deputy Manager at Blackwell’s Bookshop, writes about why the partnership between the two companies is so harmonious. So, here we are again, about to host a Creation Theatre production for the third year in a row, and this lead me to muse that something about this relationship must be going pretty well. Bookshops have to be ever more innovative in their thinking these days, and in particular, we need to ask ourselves what else can we do to engage and surprise our customers? In 2011, we teamed up with Creation Theatre for the first time – we hosted a nine-week production of ‘Doctor Faustus’. It was something we embarked on with, I’ll admit it, a tiny bit of trepidation, but our customers loved it and over 10,000 people came to see the play over the run (many came to see it more than once!) Just as pleasingly, I know that many people still talk about that memorable production (if I close my eyes, I can see and hear certain scenes extremely vividly) and indeed long-term fans of Creation think of it as one of the landmark Creation productions of the last 17 years. So what is it that Creation’s audience find so appealing about seeing a play at Blackwell’s? I asked Lucy Askew, the Chief Executive of Creation

Theatre: “Well, I think there’s a real synergy between the bookshop and the Creation Theatre experience. Blackwell’s has such a great atmosphere – even without a show! Added to that, the bookshop has so many incredible ideas hidden in books, and so much history to be proud of, and Creation Theatre is all about ideas and telling stories – it all seems to link up perfectly.” I know from a number of conversations with Creation’s team that the world-famous Norrington Room in particular is a location within Blackwell’s which they find to be a very exciting place to stage a play. Lucy confirms this in relation to Jekyll and Hyde: “The Norrington Room will lend itself highly effectively to being the ‘set’ that allows us to tell the story in an engaging way. The geography of the room perfectly allows us to recreate the Victorian streets and avenues depicted in the book. Different areas will represent different scenes in the story, from Jekyll’s laboratory to Utterson’s Living Room.” I can also offer another perspective on Creation Theatre because not so long ago, I was honoured to be asked to join their Board of Trustees. This gave me an additional insight into what I had already been lead to believe - that Creation Theatre

is an astonishingly admirable (and much-loved) Oxford institution, peopled by very devoted and hard-working folk. In particular, I was witness to the extraordinary generosity of the Oxford community, which responded with such overwhelming financial and moral support when the company was facing possible dissolution last year due to two appalling Summers in a row which had washed-out their outdoor productions in 2011 and 2012. Thankfully, and due to this public-spirited generosity, Creation survives today to bring quality innovative theatre to Oxford, and once again, another classic text will be brought to life within the book-lovers’ paradise that is Blackwell’s bookshop. Jekyll and Hyde opens on Saturday 8th June and runs until Saturday 6th July: Tuesday & Wednesday, 7:30pm; Thursday–Saturday, 7:30pm & 9pm. Running time is one hour. Performances are suitable for adults and children from the age of 8. Seated tickets are £16, standing tickets are £10. Book tickets online or call the Box Office on 01865 766266.


GEES RE-BORN As someone who spends a substantial proportion of his life installed in Quod Brasserie on Oxford’s High Street, it will come as no surprise that I’m a fan of what Jeremy Mogford has created for the city. He has shaken the Oxford dining scene out of its complacency, providing benchmarks against which others are judged. Of course it’s always possible to niggle about details, but if you looking for consistently friendly service, great tasting food and stylish design, you need look no further. By Donald Sloan. And so it is with Gees on Banbury Road. Reborn after a complete refurbishment, the conservatory restaurant is filled with plants and mature olive trees, is less formal than before, and now makes the most of its unique architecture. Change has not been confined to the front of house. A wood-fired oven takes centre-stage in the kitchen, and cuts of beef, pork, lamb and venison are cooked over a charcoal grill. There is a welcome simplicity to the menu, and it’s reassuring that supplies of meet and veg come from Mogford’s own Oxfordshire farm. If I was to get picky, I’m not sure that deepfried soft shell crab (supplied frozen from Indonesia) sits well on a menu that takes pride in local and seasonal products. On my first visit to the new Gees I was accompanied by Madhur Jaffrey, the acclaimed food writer and broadcaster. If this put any added pressure on the kitchen brigade or waiting staff it certainly didn’t show. In addition to the flawless service, highlights included my queen

scallops, Madhur’s Iberico ham and, undoubtedly, the prune ice cream with pedro ximenez sherry. The only low-point was our freshly baked bread, which was rather heavy and had a dense consistency, possibly a result of the dough being too dry. Later in the same week I returned, this time to host the annual Oxford Gastronomica Dinner, part of the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Designed by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar, the menu must have been out of the chefs’ comfort zone, but its perfect execution displayed their versatility and skill. And the setting – well in the evening it is truly magical. Rarely have I been to an event that has stimulated such positive comment. Of course, great company, much wine and (I didn’t dream this) Patti Boulaye giving a rendition of ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, all helped – but the warmth of the welcome from the team at Gees was perhaps the most important ingredient.

“the warmth of

the welcome from the team at Gees was perhaps the most important ingredient” Donald Sloan - Head of School, Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University


B4 R&R


THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE SKILLS THAT CAN TAKE YOU FORWARD IN THE BUSINESS WORLD Studies have shown that although China’s dominance as a global economic player has drawn attention to Mandarin, English is expected to continue its dominance as THE business language of the World. And the statistics do not end there- 80% of online information is published in English. To find out how students and professionals can prepare for their future, I sat down with Gerry Takamura, Academic Manager and Language Programme Director at Magna Carta College, to talk about the new English for Business programme being offered.

Why should students choose to study English at Magna Carta College? MCC offers something unique because we offer English for Business and not general English. This means that we improve the language skills of students who want to go into further study in business or who want to improve their English to go back into the work place. We are not a general language school, we are an International Business College. MCC is also a one-stop institution where you can progress through various educational levels to achieve a qualification, pursue career advancement with guidance and gain education advice. If I am a native speaker can I benefit from this course? No, it is for people that have English as a second language but focused at students that are studying business or are in the workforce. Will students be able to do an official test such as an IELTS or TOEIC afterwards? Yes. This is a good programme because it is broken down into three areas: General English, Business English and Academic English. We appreciate that students need to improve their general English, and that is why we offer classes for students from elementary level, which is unusual even for a language school to do. This lesson is followed by the business class, which focuses on elementary business language. So, if students are at elementary level they will start to acquire vocabulary in business for various common situations. The third class, academic English, will focus on technical English and includes preparation for the IELTS exam.


What will students experience if they sign up for the course? It will be an enjoyable experience and, at the same time, students will be with like-minded adults, which we consider very important. You will be sitting alongside students who are interested in Business either because they want to gain a further qualification (maybe a degree, MBA or diploma in business) or it will benefit their current professional situation. You will not be sitting next to a person that wants to learn or improve their English to go on a holiday or to work in jobs unrelated to business. You will always be sitting next to colleagues who are focused on improving their English for the business world. You mentioned that a student can start at any stage. So, how long does it take to progress from one level to the next? That is a question that students often ask and it is a difficult one to answer because it depends on how much time you have available to study and how quickly you learn a language. Typically, most students can go up a level from elementary to lower intermediate in about three months if you work hard and apply yourself in all your classes. You can then progress to intermediate level, then to upper intermediate and finally, advanced level. It seems that this is a good course for international companies that bring workers from overseas. Have companies ever benefited from this course? Again, yes. I have dealt with companies who require their managers to improve their English language skills every year and provide evidence of the course attended. I have also worked with companies who require their employees to work

with English in the workplace especially if they have a global presence. How do you control the quality that is given to student? Do you limit the number of students in the class? We do. Based on my twenty years of experience teaching English language, I believe that fifteen students in a class is a good number. This allows for significant interaction, lots of feedback and still good personal feedback from the teacher. We can run a class with smaller groups if needed. Is there private tuition available, if needed? Yes. One of the advantages that we can offer to students who choose private tuition is a customized programme focused on their particular business areas of interest such as marketing or HR. These classes are of sixty minutes duration and could include, for example cultural and language aspects for the UK market. However, we would base these classes on individual student needs. What sort of qualifications and experience do MCC English teachers have? We require our teachers to be qualified, experienced and particularly knowledgeable in a business environment.. Our teachers have a number of years of teaching Business English as a second language and continuously bring their knowledge to the MCC classroom. Where can I find out more and when can I start? You can contact our Admission team at or call 0207 038 8632.


“One of the advantages that we can offer to students who choose private tuition is a customized programme focused on their particular business areas of interest such as marketing or HR�






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Business Booms in Spring Hawkwell House Hotel saw record turnover during the months of April and May. The level of Corporate business was unsurpassed, as well as a high level of leisure business. This bodes well for the hotel, which is currently being increased by a further 11 bedrooms as well as a new restaurant (see below).

Some of the rooms feature their own “conservatory” roof light, and will be much sought after once the building work is finished. Completion is scheduled for August.

New Restaurant – Iffley Blue to open in July Hawkwell House will be opening its new restaurant in July. It will be called Iffley Blue and will be open all day. The new dining space has 4 large glass roof lights, and incorporates handmade glass panels by Jo Downs from Devon as well as some innovative wall coverings. There will be an open style kitchen featuring a wood burning oven, as well as new furniture throughout. “We wanted to include reference to Iffley in the name, as we feel it is unique to Oxford, and the word Blue just seemed

natural with the style of the restaurant and with the University and river so near ” said Tim Spittles the General Manager. Chef Alex Turner has joined the Kitchen Brigade, and, together with Head Chef Chris Kennedy they are both busy writing menus for the new restaurant. The emphasis will be on delivering regularly changing seasonal menus with local provenance – as well as exceptional value.

Hawkwell House Hotel Raises £1600 for charity General Manager Tim Spittles joined a group of 17 (possibly mad) cyclists in B4’s Charity Bike Ride cycling from Edinburgh to Blenheim. The cycle ride took 4 and half days and went via Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham. There were some long days, but Tim commented – “possibly the hardest was the day we cycled through the Peak District – it was just as well that the wind was behind us!” Hawkwell was helped by many of their suppliers in funding the Charity Bike Ride, notably The Oxford Wine Company, DCS Ltd, Seamsfine, Flowered Earth, and Jacksons Clear Glass Ltd. Having managed to get back on the bike this week, Tim is apparently looking forward to the next one....



“We’re fortunate to have such a versatile venue to meet the needs of events like this, and welcome in everyone who wants to experience Jazz in lovely surroundings.” Bill Kemp, Head of Hospitality Services at Lady Margaret Hall

Photography: © 2013


FEET-TAPPING BLUES AND ALL THAT JAZZ Feet-tapping rhythmic blues filled the ‘cellar bar’ at Lady Margaret Hall as part of its very own Jazz week in March. Transformed into Oxford’s take on Ronnie Scott’s, the student bar provided a cosy atmosphere to experience skilful instrumentals and soulful vocals of a group of semi-professional musicians taking a week’s residential Jazz masterclass. The bar soon filled with delegates from various other professional courses hosted by the college, drawn in by the live performances and general hubbub of socialising fun. By Gail Buckle. There was an order of play for the groups of musicians, but still plenty of space for the flow of improvisation and solo spotlights. Not knowing what’s going to happen next seems to be a hallmark of the Jazz scene and part of the buzz. Jazz can be quite addictive. Once there you’re simply immersed as another singer steps up to the microphone or a musician picks up a new instrument. Lady Margaret Hall’s Jazz cellar bar, open each weeknight, was the stage for Jazz students to let loose and put into practice the day’s experiences. Mostly semi-professional musicians, the students put on fantastic performances, inspired by their tutors and mentors. The week culminated in a gala evening performance held by the tutors. Within the lovely setting of Lady Margaret Hall’s Simpkins Lee Theatre, the audience included the Jazz students keen to see their tutors starring in their own show. Mehr Jazz founder Ursula Malewski was joined by fellow tutors including vocal recording artists Lee Gibson and Norma Winstone to perform a medley of recognisable crowd-pleasers.

“We’re hosting another Jazz week in August, so audiences won’t have to wait long to enjoy more performances”, says. Bill Kemp, Head of Hospitality Services at Lady Margaret Hall: “We’re fortunate to have such a versatile venue to meet the needs of events like this, and welcome in everyone to who wants to experience Jazz in lovely surroundings.” “Meeting Bill and his team was a breath of fresh air”, says Ursula Malewski. “They are so supportive of hosting the Jazz weeks and extremely helpful, even giving us access to all four rooms with their grand pianos. It’s the first year we’ve held the Jazz masterclass here and they’ve catered for our every need. The college is a generous size and has parking which we needed to transport large musical instruments. “Jazz might be the Cinderella of the music world, but it’s innovative, exciting and still progressing. I’m confident our partnership with Lady Margaret Hall will help more people discover a passion for Jazz.” The Jazz week is just one of the many events hosted by Lady Margaret Hall, and in particular the Simpkins Lee Theatre complex, all year round.

“Meeting Bill and his team was a breath of fresh air. They are so supportive of hosting the Jazz weeks and extremely helpful.

Ursula Malewski, Oxford Jazz Week

Renowned British Jazz trumpet player Steve Waterman mesmerised the audience with soulful trumpet solos, and introduced each piece by telling the story of its inspiration. Pianist Rick Simpson impressed with energy and speed as he accompanied the artists and struck out on his own to much applause.

The next Jazz event is ‘Summer Jazz’ at Lady Margaret Hall, 18 to 23 August 2013. Further fantastic performances will follow next year too as the venue prepares to host a series of exciting events for Oxford’s city wide Jazz Week 2014.


TECHNOLOGY IS #TRENDING. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Each year the Olamalu team reviews major technology trends which will impact us. We catch up with them to talk about these trends and how powerful Drupal websites will change as a result.

it is booking a hair appointment or purchasing “a Whether new telecoms package websites are going to need to become smarter, simpler and more intuitive ” Kate, Lead Developer at Olamalu

You've heard of 'the cloud'. Social media is embedded. The web. We take that for granted. There have been many hypes. Can there really be more? For good or for bad the answer is a most definitive yes. There are things happening right now which will impact us just as much.

“We have Drupal to thank for making it easy to build websites this way,” adds Christoph with a smile.

Being always-on

The ever increasing proportion of web usage is now mobile. Not just smartphones but tablets too. Websites need to consider this carefully because it is an ever moving target. The current trends are to make a site 'responsive'. That means it changes the way it looks on different devices. For some information orientated sites this is wonderful. For some (such as e-commerce) it has drawbacks.

“We're all going to get used to having web interactions all of the time,” explains Kate, a lead developer at Olamalu. “Customers will want to initiate transactions and processes with an organisation any time, anywhere.” Whether it is booking a hair appointment or purchasing a new telecoms package websites are going to need to become smarter, simpler and more intuitive. What's more they'll need to integrate seamlessly to back office systems and processes. “Our relationship with customers is becoming a partnership,” says Christoph. “We need to solve their 'always on' challenges all the time. A school asks to automatically remove vacancies from their site past a given date. A customer who sells and hires equipment needs a way to link trade accounts to SAP. We need to be Agile.” 'Agile development' he goes onto explain encapsulates the partnership approach. It requires users and developers to work together on an everchanging, ever-improving platform which responds continuously to new processes and new ideas.


We are all mobile now

“Responsive today, adaptive next. There's always something new,” says Ross who tracks this trend. “What we know is that it must be easy to change a website as people use mobile more. Important information, forms and transactions must be very visible. There is less space for fussiness but still plenty of room for elegance.” Your browser will be amazing One of the quietest but biggest revolutions is happening inside the browser. “Soon we'll be able to talk to our browsers,” says Roman who develops responsive websites. “We can already embed all sorts of interactive media, do animation and program games right inside the browser. You can even choose to take a photo directly from a web page. HTML5 is codifying this across different browsers.”


That means that websites are no longer truly websites. They're like mini-Apps or they can be. When Olamalu built a calendar App for Abingdon Prep School this is exactly what they did. “I see many of the intranets and bigger websites we're building today becoming the way people interact with their organisation,” says Christoph. “We've just finished intranets for Christ's College Cambridge and University College Oxford, and they will develop into multi-functional portals in the true sense of the word.”

There is so much data that we no longer talk “terabytes but petabytes. Data which needs to be stored, retrieved and analysed. It's called 'big data' and will be used to create ultra-personal online experiences Christoph, Lead Developer at Olamalu

genome. The techniques we now use come from those needs – splitting the analysis into thousands of parallel processes. “It's complicated stuff,” says Christoph at Olamalu who tracks this trend. “Google engineers came up with a clever mechanism to deal with it called Map Reduce. I don't worry about the nitty-gritty of the theory but I do know we can all do this stuff on open-source engines.” “That's the incredible thing,” he continues, “we have access to the same technology as Yahoo or eBay. Not that we're doing this stuff yet, but we have studied Hadoop [the engine which analyses big data] and we will be able to help our customers with it when the time is right.” Olamalu is planting a few seeds in this area by doing work on advanced search engines for a project which allows groups to self-form online. As a final thought the Olamalu team stress that having the technology platform to make the most of these trends and having a partnership with a technology team (whether in-house or outside) is vital.

We live in a sea of Big Data About Olamalu Data is generated by all of us, billions of bits of information daily – from our phones and interactions online. There is so much data that we no longer talk terabytes but petabytes. Data which needs to be stored, retrieved and analysed. It's called 'big data' and will be used to create ultra-personal online experiences or track, analyse and predict real-time trends. Analysing big data became a challenge with the sequencing of the human

Olamalu makes websites easy. They build on the powerful Drupal content management system which allows them to develop highly advanced functionality quickly. They have recently completed websites for Headington School, University College Oxford, and Christ's College Cambridge. “It's been life-changing” said Headington School which pretty much sums up what Drupal brings to the table. Visit Olamalu at 101


TLA Fitness, Oxfo Oxfordshire’s rdshire’s premier premier Get Fit Outdoors provider p rovider has been operating operating classes classes in in and around around Oxfordshire Oxfo rdshire for the past 3 years and we are are excited to announce the opening of our BRAND NEW FITNESS STUDIO situated just 2 miles from from the city centre! centre! The NEW and FULLY FULLY EQUIPPED TLA STUDIO runs a whole host of classes ffrom rom Y oga to kettlebells and Yoga TRX training to spin classes. And of course TLA caters for all with classes ffrom rom complete beginner through through to competing levels! Whether you a re a seasoned athlete, regular regular gym bunny are loss goals, look no no further than than TLA TLA Fitness! Fitness! a waived joining fee and a coolmax sports hat. Simply or email

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“The only unsettling

Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

aspect was seeing Blenheim Palace to our left as we tore through the clouds – we were flying north for ninety minutes and it would take us five days to cycle back!” Richard Rosser, B4 Editor

MINOAN AIR TRANSPORT B4 BIKERS TO EDINBURGH… BUT, UNFORTUNATELY, NOT BACK AGAIN! The prospect of an early start to get to the airport isn’t at the top of everyone’s wish list, particularly if, when they get there, they have to cycle back! But, flying with Minoan Air from London Oxford Airport couldn’t have been a more enjoyable experience. Richard Rosser reports for B4. Co-ordinating a bike ride from Edinburgh to Oxford was hard work – we’d underestimated just how much organisation was involved in getting 19 bikes and 25 bodies to Edinburgh, let alone worry how they cover the 428 miles back to Blenheim Palace. But, once the vehicles (kindly supplied by Motor Village Oxford) had left the night before our flight for an overnight stop in Lancashire’s equivalent of Hollywood, Bury, we could let off a little sigh of relief…..and I’d be lying if I said I was worried that the bikes might get stolen from the van during the stop – well at least we could have said we’d had every intention of doing the ride! The next morning, the alarm was set to go off at 5am, and had we been flying from Heathrow or, heaven forbid, Gatwick, that would have been at least 3am. Living in Yarnton, London Oxford Airport was less than a three minute car ride from the house. Support team and some of the riders were parking their cars at our house and I was going to drop them at the airport and come back so that my wife could drop me at the airport – it was that close! Parking at the airport was just £7 a day, but it seemed pointless leaving a car when we lived so close. After the second shuttle run, we all checked our bags in and went through security. All of this happened within about 50 feet – it’s intimate at London Oxford Airport but they get the job done and we were all asked to wait in the terminal lounge, which was very smart and coffee and

papers were made available whilst we waited for the plane. We were due to fly at 7.30am and considering we left the house for the first shuttle run at 6.50am and were inside the lounge at 7.15am, I don’t think you can fail to be astounded at just how quickly you can get four car journeys (OK it’s only 3 miles each way), check in and go through security! Heathrow restaurants, Gatwick Duty Free????? Who needs you when London Oxford Airport can whisk you through a process as quick and easy as this. Minoan staff were highly professional, courteous and friendly as we were asked to step onto the tarmac to board the plan. We had a quick group photo on the tarmac and were in our seats and up in the air within ten minutes. The plane, a Fokker 50, was ideal and the take off was as smooth as you would like. The only unsettling aspect was seeing Blenheim Palace to our left as we tore through the clouds – we were flying north for ninety minutes and it would take us five days to cycle back! We were served breakfast by the smiling air hostesses as we made our way to Edinburgh, and before we knew it, we were fastening our seat belts for landing. A first class service and considering this is a relatively new service, there’s nothing to fault! Thank you Minoan Air!

ABOUT MINOAN AIR Minoan Air S.A is a European regional Airline that was established in 2011. The airline operates under a Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority issued Air Operator Certificate in accordance with the European Aviation Safety Agency Regulations. Minoan operates a fleet of 4 Fokker 50 aircraft with a capacity of 50 seats. The F50 has a very comfortable and quiet passenger cabin, good performance, modern equipment standard, high durability and reliability and low environmental impact. The passengers will experience flawless flights on board one of the safest and most spacious turboprops ever built. Earlier this year, Minoan Air opened up a very welcomed scheduled service between London Oxford Airport, Edinburgh and Dublin. The F50 is servicing the two destinations 6times/ week, however, this is scheduled to increase. With its 50 seats on board, personal service, complimentary snacks and refreshments and a flight time of only1h 15min to either destination, making a day return a practical choice, Minoan Air is providing a highly exclusive and competitive product offering not only corporate travel but also welcomes leisure travelers. Starting from only £51 one way, incl. taxes Minoan Air offers a range of pricing categories, based on the travelers need. Car parking is available at the airport. There really is no more convenient way of traveling! Minoan Air also performs scheduled flights from Lugano Switzerland, to Rome and Vienna and domestic flights within Sweden in cooperation with a local travel company.

FLIGHTS FROM OXFORD AIRPORT Please refer to for frequency and departure times. 103


THE DREAM Any business owner who feels that his plans for retirement have been scuppered by the longest recession in over a hundred years will not be alone. The MGroup Corporate Finance team may have a solution. Activity in business acquisitions has fallen substantially over the past few years partly due to the perception / reality of a lack of bank finance but also, let’s face it, that there are less businesses looking to buy other businesses – everyone has enough problems of their own. Quite often a potential acquiring business is overstretched themselves. This may simply be down to finances or there may be just too much uncertainty about the future to take too many risks. Moreover, if you do manage to attract a buyer, the chances of getting what you want are long gone. You can pretty well forget about a big fat cheque in your top pocket as you set sail to a future filled with sun, sea and sangria! It’s far more likely that a high proportion of the selling price will be deferred and / or be contingent on the future performance of the company. Well would you part with your cash without some sort of guarantee that what you are buying won’t fall to pieces as soon as the cheque is cashed? So if you’re thinking about succession or looking to plan a fast exit, then don’t get too excited! One of the quickest fixes is a sale to your existing management, an MBO. So what are the benefits? • You know who you are selling to and this will help protect your staff’s ongoing employment, • It can avoid painful negotiation with an external acquirer, who will want you to disclose sensitive information and who could well be a competitor – are their motives well intentioned? • The need for bank funding is minimised and therefore the process is more likely to succeed. • An MBO is conducive to a phased and sensible transfer of goodwill, and transfer risks are mitigated. • The purchase price or consideration would usually be at a premium – your management


will know the true value of the business, and you will know they know!

the owner was to step down or exit, thus bridging the flair and skills gap.

• There is minimal impact on the business compared to a third party sale and the management team are not distracted from running the day to day operations.

As regards financing an MBO, one option is for the owner selling the business to support the management team with their own money, commonly known as a ‘vendor loan’. In this way you leave a portion of the purchase price invested in the business as equity or as a loan which is then paid back from future profits. This commonly known as a Vendor assisted MBO.

• The seller doesn’t need to give onerous warranties or indemnities. It may also be possible in this scenario for you to plan your retirement in stages, so if you wish to have a continuing, albeit reduced involvement in your company, it may be possible to have your cake and eat……..get a lump sum payment for the sale of your shares and continue to receive a salary for a consultancy or more of a part time role.

“Effective tax planning is essential to ensure that your overall plan will provide you with the advantageous tax benefits under Entrepreneurs Relief which can give rise to an effective rate of Capital Gains Tax of 10%

What of the downsides? Your management team has to have entrepreneurial flair and the nous to run the business to be able to take over – without it, this isn’t going to happen. Finance is also another huge stumbling block. In an attempt to address these concerns, Investing Directors who are experienced business people with their own private capital are more frequently looking to lead and assist an MBO. The introduction of such an investor, otherwise known as a management buy in or MBI, will also help introduce executive skills into the business that may be lost if

The key benefits from this approach are: • The terms of the deal mean that the vendor is protected if the new management team are unable to meet the loan note commitments. • The vendor effectively retains control until fully paid thus reducing the risk to the vendor in the business or the deal failing • You remove the need to negotiate with external investors / lenders. Effective tax planning is essential to ensure that your overall plan will provide you with the advantageous tax benefits under Entrepreneurs Relief which can give rise to an effective rate of Capital Gains Tax of 10% subject to the appropriate criteria being fulfilled. The choice of options are usually driven by your needs, which can be the amount of cash you wish to receive initially, the consideration or purchase price you are expecting, and also the level of your involvement going forward with the business. It may be that you wish to stay involved on a part time basis with an agreed period of steady withdrawal of your involvement. Whatever your circumstances, why not call us to discuss your preferred route and we will be pleased to advise. Call Mark Crossfield on 01865 552925.




• Vendor wanted an exit plan and to benefit from Entrepreneurs Relief. • Keen to stay involved part time in the business, but needed some ‘cash out’. • Founder and therefore the business was ‘his baby’ and the staff were friends. • Trade sale would have meant he had no control or influence in the business Solution: • An investor under an MBI was introduced with relevant sector and managerial experience • Deal structured allowing vendor to remove surplus cash and receive a further 60% of the consideration price in cash. • Vendor retains a 30% stake in Newco, and a place on the board • Loans are established which see the vendor paid in three years from business profits • Further uplift in price was possible if growth in profits was seen • MBI assumes MD role and vendor stays involved part time


B4 R&R

THE TROUT B4 caught up with The Trout’s General Manager, Chris Lewis, to find out more about one of Oxfordshire’s most famous pubs and how it attracts customers from all over the world.

Chris Lewis moved to The Trout on 1st January having spent three years with Premium Country Dining Group, a subsidiary of M&B which includes The Trout as one of its flagship sites. “I have worked in various different sized businesses from small country pubs to large community pubs but now I find myself at The Trout which is unique.” The problem with The Trout is that it could quite easily survive on its tourism trade and neglect the local community, and this is something Chris is keen to address. “It’s a key aim of mine to make sure that the local trade is reinforced and not taken for granted. The danger for a pub which is such a fabulous attraction during the spring and summer is that it is neglected during the autumn and winter. I’ve only ever experienced January onwards here but that was enough, with all the snow we had, to


show me how attractive and welcoming The Trout can be when it’s cold outside. We have the fires going and the place is very cosy and homely and trade is still good. “We’re a great meeting point for not only locals and tourists but also for people travelling from opposite ends of the country given our proximity to the M40 (less than ten miles away). Only yesterday I had a party in from Portsmouth meeting friends from Birmingham. We also have tourists coming in by the coachload and we hold a lot of functions for locals and tourists. People really do visit from far and wide. We have a lot of guests in from Sweden and earlier this week I had a group in from San Francisco. Good news certainly travels fast!” So why do people travel? What’s The Trout’s appeal? ‘We’ve really focused on serving premium

food and drinks – after all it’s a first class venue with unrivalled character and a depth of history which other establishments would bite our arm off for, so we need to make sure our customers are looked after and enhance their experience of visiting The Trout to the maximum.” Chris is also quick to praise his team who strive to make visiting The Trout something to treasure. “We employ staff with flair and enthusiasm who make visiting The Trout not only a memorable experience but also an enjoyable one where service levels are high and the quality of food and drink excellent. The team have fully taken on board the history of The Trout. They understand we have a range of customers in from business lunches to tourists to people who want to be left alone in one of the many nooks and crannies here in the pub, and also know when to excite and entertain people who




The Trout is one of Oxford's iconic eating places. I am reliably-informed by friends who were studying in Oxford in the late 1960s and early 70s, that The Trout was a favourite haunt for students - walking, cycling, jogging or even punting down the river to enjoy a beer or three. The Trout is also clearly popular with visitors. On the night that we were there, it wasn't just the serving staff that was international, as we heard a myriad of languages and accents. Many were obviously familiar with The Trout's illustrious literary and TV connections. You are left in little doubt that the restaurant had featured in many of Colin Dexter's works with his eponymous heroes, Morse and Lewis. Messrs Thaw, Whately and Fox certainly unravelled many complicated criminal trails whilst enjoying a beer, overlooking the water from the restaurant's large outdoor terrace. In good weather, the terrace packs out quickly meaning that there is frequently a wait for tables. Even on a relatively quiet Monday evening most of the tables were occupied, and we were pleased that we had reserved a table using the restaurant's highly efficient online booking system. As far as the food itself is concerned, it's quite difficult to pigeon-hole or categorise The Trout's menu with clear Mediterranean, Italian and Asian influences on the. As starters, we had soft-shelled crab and calamari in a tempura batter, and bresola with mozzarella and beetroot, both of which were first class.

I was talking to Chris inside a relatively quiet restaurant, but outside, the terrace was packed in the glorious June sunshine. It’s a full service terrace catering for 120, and a further 200 can enjoy the beer garden with 120 covers inside. “We’ve had over 500 outside at times – it’s truly phenomenal when it’s that busy. With parking for over 100 cars just over the road and walkers coming in from all over Port Meadow, it’s quite incredible to think so many people target The Trout, especially on a lovely summer’s day.” Chris’s ambitions are clear when it comes to his main aim for The Trout. “To be the best. We strive for service excellence and we are implementing a new menu in October which will undoubtedly help me to make The Trout the

best restaurant in town. We want to drive the fame of the pub with the fame of the food and the fame of the service. I have to make sure the sun is shining every time you come to The Trout and that’s down to my fabulous team and making sure they are on top of the game in all weathers. As soon as you step in the door, every single customer needs to be made to feel special and we want them to think of The Trout every time they visit Oxford or go out in Oxford. This place excites me every day – I travel a long way to work but I can’t wait to get here and want to really make this Oxfordshire’s number one.”

For dessert we opted for the delicious Italian vanilla and chocolate 'gelato'. We enjoyed an excellent Spanish Chardonnay and a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc during the meal and coffee post-dinner. The Trout is a warhorse of a restaurant. Every time I visit it gets better. The staff are friendly and engaging, the restaurant itself is full of character – you could visit ten times and not be in the same room once – and the churning river passing by the terrace on a summer’s day is enough to stir the child in all of us, waiting, hoping for a glimpse of that elusive trout. Words can’t really describe The Trout. It has everything, and more. So you must go, again, and again, and again. My word it’s worth it!


Photography: Rob Scotcher B4

want the full experience.”

For the main courses, we opted to have fish off the 'specials' menu. My wife had the butterfly-filleted trout with mozzarella-couscous, roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes. I was sceptical how the combination of fish and cheese would work, but surprisingly it did. I had the baked pollock with chorizo and a tomato salsa verde. Again, both dishes were excellent, presented expertly with a smile!

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news Two Fantastic Summer Events: Alice’s Day 2013 and Wheels of Change year, local businesses Critchleys and One Ltd have also come on board as sponsors. Wheels of Change: Cowley Road Carnival is back on the street! Cowley Road Works is excited to announce Cowley Road Carnival’s return to the street. On Sunday July 7 from 12:00 until 19:00, Carnival will be the city’s biggest and most inclusive summer party, celebrating the diverse communities of East Oxford.

Oxford Inspires is working with Visit Oxfordshire to promote the many wonderful events, shows, exhibitions and festivals that take place across the county. For the first time this year, two family festivals – Alice’s Day and Cowley Road Carnival - are taking place on the same weekend, 6th & 7th July, providing nonstop activities and entertainment and promising a welcome boost to trader economy.

This year's theme Wheels of Change, hailing 100 years of car making in Oxford, will come alive during the Procession, which will start at 14.15. It will have participants from 12 school groups and many community groups, including Broken Spoke, a bicycle ballet, belly dancers, street bands, a folk/morris dance group with a twist and, the giant Nicaraguan puppet Leonora and her baby, celebrating Oxford's twin city of Leon. Both before and after the Procession, Cowley Road will be filled with music, performances, art, food, stalls and family activities. A stage in Manzil Gardens will present large music groups and local dance talent, whilst the Kate Garrett Stage outside the O2 Academy celebrates local youth music in association with the Young Women's Music Project and BG Records.

Alice’s Day 2013 is full of nonsense – topsy turvy events all over Oxford

Union Street car park will host The Playground with the Playhouse Theatre tent and other family attractions, stalls, and performances, and in the Manzil Gardens area there will be a bar, food and charity stalls, picnic area and Well Being area.

Delightfully scroobious, or uffishly vorpal? ‘Nonsense’ is the theme of this year’s Alice’s Day, on Saturday 6 July. Visitors can play croquet with the Queen of Hearts, follow riddles on the Castle Mound, explore pinhole photography and surrealism and help write a giant nonsense poem.

SS Mary and John Church are holding family activities with the museums and Oxford University, the Age UK Oxfordshire Tea Tent, as well as a nature trail and tower tours.

Now in its sixth year and a highlight of the city’s summer calendar, the event celebrates the first telling, in Oxford, of Lewis Carroll’s famous story and is a successful collaboration between more than 20 local cultural organisations and businesses, who work together to provide frabjous performances, exhibitions, family activities, walks and talks – and even Alice-themed refreshments - in historic and world-class venues (including The Ashmolean Museum, The Bodleian Library and Christ Church, as well as The Story Museum). Nearly all activities are free.

An assortment of cuisine will be available throughout the day including Noodle Nation's Asian Bar, a range of Caribbean foods and other foods from across the world. Indulge in an ice cream or treat yourself to freshly made churros Spanish chocolate doughnuts, or grab yourself a refreshing beer at the Red Mist Bar which will be serving local Oxfordshire Ales from the Ringwood Brewery. The day is set to be packed full of Carnival fun, so we hope to see you there!

Coordinated by The Story Museum, Alice’s Day attracts thousands of visitors from home and abroad. This year for the first time, local schools are also getting involved: Dodo Loco is the brainchild of the A-team: Christ Church Cathedral, The Museum of Natural History, The Story Museum and Blackwell’s Bookshop, who all shared a desire to work together and connect local children with their city’s literary heritage. A hundred and twenty pupils from three local schools will create artworks inspired by the nonsense world of the dodo, which will be displayed in an exhibition at Christ Church Cathedral. Alice’s Day is supported by Arts Council England and Oxford City Council. This

Oxford Inspires is the cultural development agency for Oxfordshire. We work with partners in business, local government, with Arts Council England, The University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University to create new opportunities for arts and heritage organisations, nurture new festivals and spectacular events and to engage as many people as possible in exciting cultural experiences. We collaborate with cultural organisations across the county to support their ambitions, help them to reach a wider audience and, together with our new bedfellows at Visit Oxfordshire, to raise Oxfordshire’s profile as a cultural destination nationally and internationally.


Now running of one of the country’s leading boutique accommodation establishments, ranked in the top 10 best luxury hotels by Tripadvisor in 2013, Paul is at the heart of Hope House Woodstock and has created the perfect home from home with attentive but discreet five star service. Paul spoke to B4 about the spirit behind Hope House and how he feels his 5 * residence is more than a challenge for the ‘all frills’ five star hotel. A connoisseur of quality hotels having served in the hospitality industry for most of his life, Paul feels there is a growing demand for pure 5* accommodation.

more smart-casual rather than ‘best bib and tucker’, certainly at the high end. “If you don’t want the frilly bits, the residents bar, the 24 hour service and the restaurants, then Hope House Woodstock is ideal for you. We don’t openly advertise ourselves on our website as a hotel, although we are on a lot of hotel websites… we are actually classified by TripAdvisor as a hotel. If you want a pianist and ‘Giovanni’ mixing Mojitos, I can’t do that. But I do have a liquor licence and a bar in every suite – and most don’t have that! So I’ve actually got more than a hotel in some respects. “The other key distinguishing feature is that I don’t

furnishings, then you’ll see where we’re coming from. And as regards service, we know every guest’s name, what milk they prefer to drink and what tea they like in their mini bar, I know what type of pillows they want in their suite, I’ve got the records for what they had for breakfast from the last time they were here. I check in to many top hotels around the world and often I have to struggle with luggage from the car park, so I thought how can I do better than that? My CCTV pings the teams PDA device when a car pulls into the car parking area and we greet our guest and assist with luggage– I’d challenge anyone when it comes to service! “I lend guests my chauffeur, I pick them up from the airport, I get their car valeted, so I think that the

WHEN A 5* HOTEL JUST WON’T DO! Hope House Woodstock is the ancestral family home of the Woodstock Money family. Julia, the last surviving Money in the UK, runs the business with her eldest son Paul Hageman. The house was built circa 1708 – at the same time as Blenheim Palace – and it is one of two grand houses in Woodstock designed in Vanbrughian style with baroque architecture.

“If you look at your typical fine dining restaurant and the new ‘fine dining’ restaurants entering the market there’s a big move away from the ‘fluffy’ food and more of a focus on great ingredients flavour and value for money. It’s the same with hotels. If you want 5* accommodation, not everyone needs three restaurants to choose from and a spa. But if you’re used to 5* service and surroundings, how else do you get this? This is where I feel Hope House is filling a niche, and there are other providers like us popping up all over the country. “Just because it doesn’t have a full service restaurant the perception is that it tends to be less exclusive. But the concept is gaining traction - all the things you get in a hotel without the daily restaurant. The industry seems to be deformalising and de-cluttering itself. The industry is becoming 110

serve food for lunch and dinner regularly but I do provide dinners in here (the room where we are sitting, The Vanbrugh Restaurant, is used daily for breakfast and for resident dinners) for 10 people in advance, at £295 a head with a seven course taster menu, but that’s £175 for the food and £120 for the taster wines. I also do Sunday lunch after a wedding or anything like that.” Hope House has had its fair share of accolades, so Paul’s theory holds a lot of water. “We are the highest rated 5* accommodation in the UK on TripAdvisor. Our classification is always a bit of a problem. People ask if we’re a B&B or a 4 or 5 star hotel but we’re not any of those – I think I need to come up with a new name – maybe ‘BiveB’ or something! Some people might think I’m slightly delusional putting us in the 5* bracket but once you see the accommodation and the quality of the

service in Hope House far exceeds many hotels! Everyone gets so excited about 5* hotels, but you pay the price, and when you go to these places you can get inconsistent service a lot of the time.” Paul is right. You can pay a lot of money for a 5* hotel and never even see some of the facilities you’ve paid for – how many times have you packed your trainers and never used them? I know I have! You get three restaurants but often are only staying one night! So how did Paul conjure up this new model? Why not a bog standard B&B? “I couldn’t do that! My background is 5* hotels. My attention to detail can border on obsessive but hopefully it shows. The next time you stay in a 5* hotel, check whether the jams are made from fruit picked on site or within a mile from the hotel, check if the orchids are grown

B4 SPOTLIGHT on site? These aren’t vital touches, but they distinguish us, they are our signature.” Paul has a majestic way of turning a negative into a positive. He tells me how he hates the subservient ‘dance’ of a check in when a guest is asked to fill in a registration card and then all contact details are taken and payment requested. I tend to agree, but with a glint in his eye, he mischievously adds that ‘there’s no need because I’ve already got their details because I take payment up front with the booking!’ Paul’s guests are never in need of anything, as Paul or his able protégé Georgia are on site and on call 24/7. “It’s good and bad from my point of view. At

marrows for our special marrow and ginger jam. Breakfast is very organic, very local and it’s expensive to me but it makes all the difference. Your average small jam pot will cost a hotel about 11p – they cost me £1.70! “We have tried to make breakfast a real event and if you look at some of the TripAdvisor reviews, which is always interesting, you can see the level of service and the effort we put into breakfast. We have tried to take breakfast to a different level: we can do a cornflake milkshake, we have a full English breakfast omelette.” Paul isn’t shy about his £495 a night price tag either, in fact he’s rather proud of it, to the extent

“I can point you in the right direction, I can do pretty well anything, and if I don’t know, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll know someone who does!

least I know what the history of a guest’s stay is so they don’t have to repeat themselves when staff change on shifts, but it also means I’m round the clock and look forward to my holidays! But I’m a vital point of contact – I can recommend, I can point you in the right direction, I can do pretty well anything, and if I don’t know, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll know someone who does!” And one thing Paul really prides himself on is the Hope House breakfast. “We bake our own croissants, we make our own bread, we mix our own cereal using malted flakes from Oxfordshire, we make bread using Oxfordshire organic flour, we use natural local yeast, cheeses are from a local farm. Wild strawberries are growing outside, the gooseberries are picked from our tree the blackberries and raspberries are picked from nearby hedgerows … we even grow our own

that he wanted to run an advertising campaign quoting rooms ‘from as much as £495’! As Paul fairly points out, some of his customers are in Oxford having stepped off a private jet, so the price of excellent service isn’t really an issue – in fact it’s a source of comfort for the royals, the film stars, oligarchs and the aristocrats that are fast cottoning on to Hope House and the inspirational man behind the scenes. He really is a Jack of all Trades – and master of most! So give Paul a ring and don’t forget to quote B4 and Paul will do his best to accommodate a corporate mid week rate.




Ian Potter, the MD of the letting trade body ARLA, congratulates those from Finders Keepers who are now qualified with the ARLA / NFoPP Technical Award. Mr Potter (front row, centre, dark suit, red & blue tie) joined the Finders Keepers Annual Staff Meeting to discuss the Private Rental Sector and congratulate the latest cohort of 21 people who have passed their exams. So why is Finders Keepers making such a huge investment in qualifications? As the firm believes that in a sector struggling with a poor reputation (alongside estate agents and bankers) you have to invest in your staff first in order to deliver the kind of service which gives letting and property management a good name.



B4 R&R These figures seem to represent an organic, innate process, as though she could never have done anything else. ‘I’ve done art all my life,’ she says. She trained as a jeweller, and continues to make unique and beautiful pieces, and also draws and paints- but she found her calling when she was playing with some florist wire and made a little figure, which people loved. ‘It sold, and things went from there.’ Twenty years later, she is still making them. Such is her niche that people come up to her and say, ‘Oh, you’re the wire lady.’ The sculptures, ranging from smaller figures to lifesize forms and beyond, have certainly struck a chord. As well as being on display in over 20 galleries around the UK, Rachel is also busy with site-specific exhibits and various commissions in the UK and abroad, including the recent Chelsea Flower Show. Despite her busy schedule, she is also involved with various organisations, including international women’s charities, and with the local community in Oxford, including being an artist in residence in schools and being a regular fixture at Artweeks and Art in Action- she has been specially invited to this year’s Art in Action, to be held at Waterperry in July. July is proving to be a busy month, as she will also be exhibiting at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, collaborating again with Oliver Hawkins (director of arts organisation Marshall Murray), who she also worked with for her Grand Designs and Chelsea Flower Show commissions. Rachel works in the garden of her house in Jericho, and points out wryly that this can be weather dependent (!). Her working process is multifaceted and she tends to work on many different pieces at once. ‘I’ll be going inside to get some pliers and I’ll start fiddling with a piece of jewellery,’ she says. On average a wire figure could take about two weeks to complete. It’s a painstaking process, with everything done by hand, and the figures do not have facial features, so the emotion is conveyed through the posture, which is often quite dramatic, taking inspiration from human nature and expressive movements such as those seen in ballet. ‘I enjoy getting the movement and tension in pieces,’ she says. ‘It’s about getting it just right, right down to the fingertips.’ The artworks are always untitled- so that the work, in Rachel’s words, ‘can grow’ with its viewer or buyer, who can put their own stamp on the work and give it a personality of their own (one happy customer called his figure Beatrice, and she sits proudly on his dining room table).

“I enjoy getting the movement and tension in pieces... ...It’s about getting it just right, right down to the fingertips”


Rachel Ducker’s signature figures, made of coils of wire, adorn galleries, public buildings, houses and gardens across the UK and around the world. They stand in restaurant windows, rise out of grass lawns and sit on ledges. Her work has featured everywhere from TV’s Grand Designs to Grazia magazine.

As well as creating her works individually by hand, Rachel does all her own marketing and PR, all while being a single mother (the artistic gene seems to have been passed on to her teenage son, Lucien, who is already an accomplished photographer) - so she’s a bit of a one-woman band. ‘l’d like a patron,’ she says, laughing, ‘So I could not worry about the money for a while and go off and experiment for a year.’ A recent development in her work includes creating figures with delicate wings, which are influenced by Leonardo da Vinci and his experiments with space and flight. As well as the poses and forms of ballet and flight, and the exploration of light and shadow, she takes inspiration from a range of other sources from Greek myths to classic sculptors such as Bernini, to contemporary artists such as Marc Quinn. ‘I love all art forms,’ she says. Rachel is currently experimenting with more solid materials such as plaster and concrete, including concrete bases for her figures. She loves discovering new materials and asking herself, ‘What can I do with that?’ She enthuses about learning new techniques, exploring the different properties of these materials and seeing how they would work within her art. ‘I am always drawing, always inspired, always looking for new opportunities.’ The wire lady is going from strength to strength.


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THE MACDONALD HOTELS SIGNATURE COLLECTION Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the UK’s largest privately owned hotel operator has announced that 11 of its 45 hotels are to join ‘The Macdonald Hotels’ Signature Collection’– reflecting their continued commitment to provide guests with the highest industry standards of product and service delivery. The launch of The Macdonald Hotels Signature Collection comes just after Macdonald Hotels & Resorts reported an operating profit, for the year ending 29 March 2012, before interest of £13.7m, an increase of 3% on the previous like for like year. Promising captivating and historic locations, award-winning restaurants, a personalised service and fine attention to detail throughout the guests stay, only the group’s leading five-star, 4-star red and upper 4-star hotels will proudly bear The Macdonald Hotels Signature Collection status – see box. David Guile, Chief Executive, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, commented: “All of our hotels are individual and special in their own way but The Macdonald Hotels’ Signature Collection are special in every way. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight our ongoing commitment to the highest standards of product and service and to signpost truly unique hotels, due to their location, history or recent level of investment. “We are fortunate to have an impressive portfolio of hotels and now look forward to rolling out The Macdonald Hotels’ Signature Collection across 11 carefully selected venues where guests can be assured of the very best our hotel group has to offer.” As a further part of the launch, those upper four-star hotels aim to work towards achieving a four-star red status and Macdonald Rusacks Hotel, arguably the world’s most iconic golfing hotel and home to the three-AA rosette awarded Rocca Bar and Grill Restaurant is already undergoing a £650,000 bedroom investment programme to help it strive for this status. Additional investments have also been made to several hotels within the new collection, including bedroom refurbishments at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Macdonald Bear Hotel and soon to be started at Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa with further public area upgrades at Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa. As a group, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts prides itself on the quality of its food presentation and quality, promising to serve dishes prepared from only the finest and freshest produce. With the offer of bespoke menus, further refinements to the dining experience in all bar, lounge and restaurant areas and 19 AA rosettes across The Macdonald Hotels Signature Collection, guests are also assured of the satisfying taste of award-winning dining. Read more about The Randolph Hotel in Oxford, one of the 11 new Signature Collection hotels.

T HE C OLLECTION 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.


Macdonald Pittodrie House Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa Macdonald Rusacks Hotel Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa Macdonald Townhouse Hotel Macdonald Randolph Hotel Macdonald Bear Hotel Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel Macdonald Compleat Angler Macdonald Windsor Hotel

B4 R&R




We’d fortunately booked our stay at Oxford’s only five star hotel on the eve of Good Friday, more by luck than judgement, so knew we could fully relax as Tina enjoyed a facial in the basement spa and I caught up on a few e-mails with a glass of champagne, courtesy of the hotel’s management. The room was magnificent. As far as suites go, this was first class yet still incredibly homely. Overlooking Oxford, with The Ashmolean Museum in full view, I soon had the windows open to enjoy the fresh breeze of an unusually balmy March evening, considering the weather’s penchant for below zero temperatures so far this year. The lounge area was beautifully furnished, with sumptuous pieces underlining the hotel’s five star status. The bedroom was generous in size with a gargantuan bed. The bathroom was impressively finished and more than large enough for two to meander in and out. Tina returned from her facial full of compliments for the knowledgeable staff who had instantly relaxed her so she could enjoy the Decléor treatment to the full. She further relaxed with a glass of champagne prior to freshening up for dinner. ‘No hair brush’ exclaimed Tina. ‘I don’t need one.’ I replied, being rather folically challenged, soon realising that Tina needed the brush, not I. Fortunately, Boots were open late on a Thursday and I returned with the required brush, and we were on our way to dinner. The Restaurant at The Randolph, a double AA Rosette winner, is striking. High ceilings, coats of arms adoring the walls, crisp white tablecloths and attentive staff. The restaurant was just about full as we entered just after 8pm. We were soon served with an aperitif, fresh bread and a menu brimming with mouth-watering options. Tina chose the hand dived scallop, whilst I had the John Ross ‘award winning’ smoked salmon, accompanied by a half bottle of Macon Villages, as Tina stayed with champagne. For our mains, Tina plumped for the loin of venison and I went for the slow roasted pork belly. The food was superb, certainly the best meal we had enjoyed in Oxford for some time. Dessert was beyond us so we retired to the room and enjoyed our night’s sleep. We were both deep in slumber when a knock at the door woke us for breakfast in the room. More smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, fresh orange juice, pastries and tea – what a marvellous start to the day. It was most certainly a Good Friday. The Randolph is an institution. Perfectly placed, bang smack in the heart of Oxford, it’s difficult to want for anything. With thanks to Michael Grange and his excellent staff for a first class experience. Email: Tel: 0844 879 9132


This is the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most accomplished Jeep ever. Supremely capable and available with Quardra-Trac® 4x4 System, Hill Desent Control, and the Selec-Terrain™ System with 5 settings to tackle the most challenging driving situations. Add a powerful V6 Diesel, and at only £399 per month (deposit required) …..what’s stopping you?

Now at: Motor Village Oxford. Banbury Road, Shipton on Cherwell, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 1JH. Tel: 01865 376000 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ OXFORDCJ LIKE US ON FACEBOOK WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CHRYSLERJEEPOXFORD


Fuel consumption f igures are obtained for comparative purposes in accordance with EC directives/regulations and may not be representative of real-life driving conditions. Factors such as driving style, weather and road conditions may also have a signif icant effect on fuel consumption. Model shown: Jeep Grand Cherokee with metallic paint at an initial rental of £13,566 followed by 35 monthly rentals of £399 on Personal Contract Hire. All rentals exclude maintenance. Based on 10,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges apply. Offer subject to status, a guarantee and/or indemnity may be required. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time without prior notif ication. FGA Contracts, 240 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 4DX. Vehicles must be registered with FGA Contracts before 30th June 2013. Prices and specif ications correct at the time of going to press (04/13). Jeep is a registered trademark of Chr y sler Group LLC.

Thinking Differently Purpose and the Changing Culture in Business Many of you will have noticed that the business environment is changing at the moment. I mentioned this in my first article. Social media means that recommendations happen on a global scale, and so customers listen more to other customers than they do to what the business says about itself. Customers prefer to trust strangers who have experience in buying from you, rather than trusting what you say. This is a fact, and it is changing the way we do business. We all need to embrace this new culture. We all have been brought up to believe that the purpose of a business is to maximise profit for the benefit of its shareholders. The problem with that ‘old’ economic belief is that it does not work in the emerging culture. People do not trust businesses where their purpose is to maximise is selfserving and not customer or people serving. What we need is a process that focuses on serving others, and yet still maintains a profit. A way to do that is to uncover your purpose.....your social purpose......yes, you become a social enterprise. In this new culture all business will become social enterprises. Why? Because more and more

customers will choose to purchase from businesses with a genuine social conscience. The best suppliers will choose to work with businesses with a social conscience, and the most motivated and committed employees will choose to work with businesses with a social conscience. Still don’t believe me? Fairtrade figures, while small as a proportion of the UK food economy, have risen 19% in the last year. Starbucks is losing customers due to its focus on avoiding tax in the UK. The Prime Minister is talking about ‘moral’ responsibility for businesses to pay tax. And what about employees....consider whether any would work for you as a volunteer. Yes of course they have to be paid, you have a responsibility to them and their families, but are they so motivated that they talk about how much they enjoy coming in to work? Many people do voluntary work in their spare can they be so motivated to do that, but not so motivated when at work? Perhaps now is the time for business leaders to start thinking about their social purpose.

Mike Jennings - Chairman of Jennings

Mentoring Oxford Business Mentors receives 15 enquires per month at the moment. On analysing what our clients are looking for, it is striking to find from our surveys that the vast majority want to discuss business direction...or more bluntly “what do I do next?” I always get my clients to talk about why they are in business...what drives them, where does their enthusiasm spring from.

This leads to a discussion about purpose, and from that point there is usually a break-through for them. They leave the meeting enthused and with a clear sense of direction which they have uncovered from within. selfish, or greedy. Sometimes we have to recharge our batteries as to the real, authentic reasons we got into business. That is what mentoring can do for anyone in business, including me.

In business we are constantly bombarded by the assumption that we are in it for what we can get

also not easy. Communicating it needs a whole different set of skills. Dealing with people who try to sabotage it also needs a whole set of skills, often emotional in nature.

there are many books which help, such as Maverick by Ricardo Semler), but from a life of awareness. These skills are borne of experiences, experiences where ‘mavericks’ are prepared to experience emotional pain and vulnerability in an essentially masculine business environment for the sake of their purpose.

Leadership and Purpose Leaders have a strong sense of purpose. Authentic leaders also understand that the best way to deliver that purpose is to communicate it effectively, so that others are motivated by the purpose. A great leader will always serve his/her followers. That all sounds easy, but understanding your purpose is certainly not easy. Committing to it is

In my experience there are very few people with authentic business experience who are able or prepared to teach these skills to others. These skills are not something to learn from a book (though


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cecil Rhodes

would recognise the value of bringing in new technology while maintaining the traditional character of the Houseâ&#x20AC;? 122


THE CHANGING SPACE OF RHODES HOUSE A VENUE TO INSPIRE LEADERSHIP Cecil Rhodes, diamond magnate and South African Statesman, who on his death in 1902 left his large personal fortune to establish the Rhodes Scholarships, would have been pleased to see the House that was built in his memory serve not only as a meeting place for the Scholars he so wished to benefit, but also as a thriving venue attracting both private and corporate events of all types and sizes. Mr Rhodes had in mind to endow a Scholarship which would attract the finest young minds, from countries he saw at the time as potential world powers. His vision for the Scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who would be motivated to fight 'the world's fight' and to 'esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim', and to promote international understanding and peace – ideals worthy of aspiration for young (and not so young) people to this day. His Will outlines four criteria to be used in the election of Scholars: • literary and scholastic attainments • energy to use one's talents to the full • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings Young people were therefore in 1903, and are still today, chosen not only on their academic calibre, but on their potential to be future world leaders in all fields - political, legal, medical - pioneers in many fields of study and endeavour. He certainly would not have been disappointed in the Scholars chosen in the next 100 years, with a proportionally high number going on to be Nobel prize-winners, innovative researchers, and heads of state or national government. Have a look at for an awe-inspiring list. Many of the corporate events which take place in Rhodes House today make allusion to the inspiration of the man and the Scholarship, and

organisers like to draw on the themes of aspiration to global understanding, leadership of integrity and enlightened vision. As someone who embraced new ideas, Cecil Rhodes would recognise the value of bringing in new technology while maintaining the traditional character of the House. Designed by architect Sir Herbert Baker, who also designed major public buildings in South Africa and who collaborated with Sir Edward Lutyens on the design of New Delhi, the function rooms offer a flexibility of space which allows the delegates to pursue a meeting of minds in many different formats and within a range of activities. Day meeting programmes held at Rhodes House have made imaginative use of the function rooms and gardens. Clients use the Milner Hall for both plenary theatre style sessions and as versatile flat space for more dynamic activities such as those undertaken by groups led by Olivier Mythodrama ( This company, whose impressive client book includes Harvard Business School and the United Nations, was founded by Richard Olivier who began developing Mythodrama as a leadership development methodology whilst at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1997. Within Oxford they have worked with the Said Business School as well as local secondary schools via their sister company, Contender Charlie ( Individuals of all ages can learn to appreciate the qualities of Leadership and gain an understanding of the skills required. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Studies Conference gathered at Rhodes House twice in the last few months, for both their ‘student’ conference and their ‘leaders’ conference, with delegates

attending from all over the world. Other corporate clients have sought to give each of their delegate groups a partitioned space to work in, while the gardens allow space for quiet reflection on the days’ learning and activities. Leadership, it seems, is today as much a subject of discussion, aspiration, ambition and reason for personal development as it was to Cecil Rhodes over a century ago. Rhodes House too continues to seek out partners and clients to develop and extend their Leadership aims and inspire colleagues and delegates alike. Whether team drumming, inspiring stories or Shakespearean analogies are your thing, the Events Team at Rhodes House will be pleased to help you create a unique and memorable board meeting, annual team event or celebration with an inspiring theme of leadership. Visit our website or contact us for further information on how to use this exclusive and stunning city centre venue for your next event. Rhodes House looks forward to hosting B4 Members on 13 September for the B4 Garden Party. “Rhodes House provides an inspired venue – it combines tradition and history with first class conference facilities and a team that cannot do enough to ensure that your day runs smoothly. Whether you want to hold a training day, a half-day seminar or an evening event the Rhodes House team are on hand to ensure that your event is handled with the utmost professionalism.” Robert Pinheiro, Withy King.

Main picture: Cecil Rhodes. Pictures below: A meeting at Rhodes House and The Will.



EASIER TO BE SAFE ON THE ROADS Ultimate Car Control (UCC) was founded in 2001 by former British Touring Car Champion Robb Gravett, and has been successfully running driving training courses ever since. Their courses have been quoted as being the most innovative, educational, exciting and complete driver training programmes available anywhere in the world, and by attending a course it’s easy to see why. However, not everyone can afford to spend a full day away on training, so the great news is that UCC has recently introduced three new half-day courses. As such it’s now quicker (and cheaper) than ever to get an introduction to the techniques needed to ensure your safety, and the safety of those around you, on the road. EPD (Excellence in Professional Driving) Insight is a condensed version of the full EPD programme, which is the most complete, legally compliant fleet driver training programme for businesses under UK Health & Safety Duty of Care legislation. Courses are set up so that drivers can experience different driving scenarios and then learn and practice the appropriate response to each, such as emergency braking or accident avoidance techniques. Then they practice again, and again, and again until the correct reaction becomes second nature. These techniques have been proven time and again to significantly reduce accident rates and associated fleet management and insurance costs. The DEK (Driver Encoded Knowledge) Inspiration driving experience gives drivers a great introduction to vehicle dynamics in high


performance cars. Attendees learn some of the high speed car control techniques used by only the very top racing drivers, and get to practice these skills again and again throughout the session in each of the cars. Each driver will get to drive a number of different cars from our extensive training fleet including the Jaguar XF and the simply staggering XFR and XKRS with over 500bhp (NB: makes and models may be subject to change). All this is backed up by Robb’s friendly team of highly qualified performance driving instructors encouraging you to reach your maximum potential.

Robb and his team at UCC are passionate about improving road safety and reducing incident rates. All UCC programmes empower drivers to gain enhanced car control and allow greater enjoyment and appreciation of the vehicles they drive. So whether you’re a high mileage, business fleet driver, an owner of high performance or prestige vehicle, or a young or inexperienced post qualification driver, they have a course for you. They even run special courses for celebrities and professional athletes, so you never know who might be about during your visit!

The DX (Drive Xtra) Programme is aimed predominantly at young drivers and those with limited driving experience to help them gain the vital skills they need to protect themselves and others on the road. The programme gives young drivers invaluable information and experience on how to control a car in extreme conditions, in any prevailing circumstance. It recreates ‘realistic’ everyday driving scenarios that young drivers will face and provide them with the knowledge to improve their reactions and driving ability and stay safe on the road. This course is a great gift for youngsters who are new to driving but aren’t interested in the usual boring driving courses.

As an active B4 member UCC is delighted to offer a complimentary risk assessment audit for companies to identify the issues that might need to be addressed. In addition they’re offering special exclusive discounted rates for all B4 members when booking any of the courses listed above. Ultimate Car Control can be contacted on 0845 459 1002, or by emailing us at: or visiting


â&#x20AC;&#x153;UCC programmes empower drivers to gain enhanced car control and allow greater enjoyment and appreciation of the vehicles they drive.â&#x20AC;?


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“My only criticism? Refrain from using the horn if you can. Whoever fitted it needs to leave the building – it’s like a 16 stone muscle man with a squeaky voice. Apart from that, it’s a massive yes from me!

MY JEEP COMPASS B4’s Editor recently took delivery of a shiny new Jeep Compass, courtesy of Motor Village Oxford and has found it reliable, powerful and incredibly versatile. For anyone who has seen Bruce Willis drive over a pile of cars in a Moscow traffic jam in the latest Die Hard, you’ll know how ridiculously incredible a stunt that was. But do you know what, my Jeep Compass could do that, no bother! Now don’t get the violin out, but I’ve never had a new car. I’d always had a second hand car, so I’d never really experienced that new car smell, never had to holler at the kids to keep their feet off anything that could mark, never really bothered that much about car washes and keeping up appearances. But that’s all changed. The car’s had three washes in a month and the kids wear plastic bags on their feet….no I’m joking but they’re extremely careful within about 15 feet of my prized new possession. The new Jeep Compass is a powerful beast with a tough exterior which is more than matched inside. The interior is robust, without shortcuts. So often in cars which have been designed to look good on the outside, you sit in the drivers seat and think, ‘oh, that’s a bit pants’, but with the Jeep Compass,

everything on the inside is just as good as the outside. The leather seats, the solid steering wheel, the attractive dashboard and controls which are actually straightforward (just don’t add children – see below). The Bluetooth connect is also genius – keep driving and talking without touching your mobile phone, and you can even play music from your i-phone through the car stereo. One word of warning for those of you with sixteen year old boys – they’ll be desperate to get in on the act so they’ll want to sync their i-phones as well so you can have the pleasure of listening to countless rap artists with their foul-mouthed obscenities blasting out over your beautiful new car. And then they’ll get impatient one day, mess up the controls, and all of a sudden the Bluetooth instructions will be in Spanish without a route back to English – unless you get lucky like we did, and again when getting back from Dutch! The exterior of the Jeep is chunky and powerful, and it turns heads. Not quite the beast that it’s bigger brother, the Grand Cherokee, but it’s still a

formidable motor with immense power. I’d been a bit delicate with the new car for the first two weeks and happened to mention to Motor Village’s Dealer Principal, Tim Keatinge, that it wasn’t as powerful as I’d first thought. He grabbed the keys and whisked me around the 2 mile circuit surrounding the dealership. If I’d had hair, it would have been standing on end, and all I could utter to Tim as we touched down (well it felt like it, especially as we’d just done a 2 minute rallycross drive around the perimeter of London Oxford Airport) was ‘point taken’. With automatic temperature control, heated leather seats and the smoothest ride you can wish for, the Jeep Compass is a dream. My only criticism? Refrain from using the horn if you can. Whoever fitted it needs to leave the building – it’s like a 16 stone muscle man with a squeaky voice. Apart from that, it’s a massive yes from me! Also see p45. For your test drive, contact Tim Keatinge at Motor Village Oxford and quote B4. Tel: 01865 376000.


Photograph: Quintin Lake

A BIG CHANGE ON THE OXFORD COLLEGE LANDSCAPE - HOW A 17TH CENTURY OXFORD COLLEGE HAS RISEN TO THE DEMANDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY If you are looking for an inspirational venue right in the heart of Oxford then there are few places as impressive or cost-effective as Pembroke College’s state-of-the-art development. Founded in 1624, informality and distinction have always rubbed shoulders at Pembroke. This was Samuel Johnson’s college and other famous alumni like JRR Tolkien and Senator J. William Fulbright studied in Pembroke’s historic College quads and buildings. A dramatic addition and transformation of Pembroke College's physical site was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent KG in April, marking the formal unveiling of new quadrangles and buildings and the first new bridge in in the heart of Oxford for nearly 100 years.


Pembroke has expanded its footprint to allow the construction of new buildings and two new quadrangles right in its central Oxford location; an expansion that most thought would be impossible has been realised by an innovative and stunning design. As well as superb en-suite student accommodation, the new buildings provide state-

of-the-art seminar and meeting rooms, a multipurpose auditorium seating up to 170 , outdoor social spaces, and a café with trained baristas. With an abundance of natural daylight and wonderful Oxford College vistas all backed up by today’s technology (including full Wi-Fi) the package really is complete and is causing quite a stir.


Pembroke Head of Conferences and Events, Huw Edmunds, said – “It has been a long time in the making, with over 10 years to acquire the site, 4 years of careful planningand design and 2 years to build. But, the results speak for themselves and are truly spectacular. Many clients are looking for a traditional Oxford College environment, but sometimes find that facilities and flexibility of the venues becomes a limiting factor. Pembroke now

All conference organisers face budgetary constraints and time pressures and this is why we at Pembroke have invested in facilities that can respond to these tough demands. We pride ourselves on working closely with clients to deliver what they want, when they need it and at an affordable price. From fine–dining to corporate conferences to discrete boardroom style meetings, Pembroke College (and of course Oxford) really

venue in Oxford and its inspirational setting has raised the bar significantly. The bridge over Brewer Street is the first over-street bridge in Oxfordfor nearly 100 years (Photo credit: Quintin Lake) and it dramatically links the new quads directly to the existing historic C17th Chapel Quad.”

“It has been a long time in the making, with over 10 years to acquire the site, 4 years of planning and 2 years to build. But, the results speak for themselves” offers an additional 100 en suite modern bedrooms and this means that our conference facilities and housing are now much better matched and meet the aspirations of the most demanding clients in this market. Couple this with our central location and our recently modernised kitchens, Pembroke really can offer amazing value for money and a professional and personal conference service.

does ‘have it all’. Pembroke is right at the heart of Oxford attractions and is the perfect 21st Century venue within a historic site. With highly competitive Daily Delegate Rates (and 24hr rates from as little as £134 + VAT) Pembroke is a fantastic option for any conference organiser and repeat business from clients is growing rapidly – Pembroke really has become a top Conference

To enquire about booking conference space or any other event you may be planning, please contact the Head of Conferences and Events, Huw Edmunds, directly on 01865 286 098 or enquire by email for an immediate response:


JACK FM: PLAYING WHAT YOU WANT Jack FM famously insists on “Playing What We Want”. But there are ways to get them to play what YOU want. Sarah Airey talks to Jack’s Hamish Law and Pranay Parmar about how to get your business on air.

Jack FM has to be one of Oxfordshire’s best success stories. Since the station first went on air seven years ago, Jack’s individual style and sense of humour has won more awards than you could shake a mic at, often beating the big broadcasting corporation boys and girls. Jack’s small team produces some of the best commercial radio in the UK. On the morning that I met them, they had all been up ‘til the early hours at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, (the radio equivalent of the BAFTAs). Their Sony nomination for radio station of 2013 comes on top of last year’s gold and two bronze awards. Twice commercial radio station of the year, the station has a shed load of awards.

Bastion in 2010 we were the first radio station in the U.K to do this.” The station was able to cover international news alongside the human element. “We were able to take messages from family and linking military personnel with their loved ones back in Oxfordshire and create some really great radio,” says Hamish.

“Global impact – local focus.

“Even though we are a relatively small team, we punch high in terms of the quality of output” says Hamish Law.

Everything we do has to have an Oxfordshire focus – it has to be local.”

Hamish, the station’s Sponsorship, Promotions and Interactive Manager and Pranay Parmar, Sales Manager, are particularly proud of the award-winning broadcasts from Afghanistan. “We have been twice in the last three years” says Hamish. “When our breakfast show went out and did a week in Camp

Great local radio. Hamish reinforces the message: “Global impact – local focus. Everything we do has to have an Oxfordshire focus – it has to be local.” This sums up what Jack, with a target audience of age 30+, and its little sister GlideFM, which targets young women aged 20-30, can offer Oxfordshire



“Even though

we are a relatively small team, we punch high in terms of the quality of output” Hamish Law

businesses: a brilliant mix of music, compelling content with local interest. But it is the humour and originality, like the station’s ‘jingles’ voiced by Paul Darrow (aka Avon from Blake’s Seven), which are guaranteed to brighten your day. Pranay says: “It certainly gave us some strong recognition in the market place, not only from advertisers and potential advertisers that wanted to get involved with the radio station as a result of some of the work that we had done, but also it shows the creativity and innovation that we are capable of achieving.” Hamish says: “We are a radio station that prides itself on being local, on supporting Oxfordshire and helping local business to communicate in the marketplace. Not only as a good local radio station but as a resource for marketing and PR.”

Having gone digital at the end of last year, Jack now offers an extended geographical reach, adding another 50,000 – 100,000 potential listeners, particularly in the north of the county, to the current 68,000 regular listeners each week (as measured by RAJAR - Radio Joint Audience Research). “This gives us scope to deliver content further” says Pranay who is encouraging Oxfordshire businesses to get in touch to discuss their marketing campaigns. “We will always be a vehicle for distribution in terms of getting to as many people as possible and getting them to hear a brand or offering. We can discuss how we communicate that message whether through commercial air time, promotions, sponsorship, social media, or exhibitions.”

investigate it and try and find a proposition that will not be off the shelf, is not one size fits all but will be something that is totally unique.” Hamish says that “It could just be online. Businesses can be surprised by how cheap it can be, from as little as £500 a month.” So that is the message from Jack. To get your message out to the people of Oxfordshire, don’t just listen, start talking to the radio. Contact Hamish Law or Pranay Parmar at Jack FM/Glide FM telephone 01865 318721, email;

“Where there is an opportunity to explore, we will



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news Social Media in the workplace communication channels. Whether it’s emails, tweets, or face book, today’s employees have almost an unlimited number of ways to post any and all sorts of opinions and/or company information. In the early days courts often struggled to both understand and fairly judge social media violations. Nowadays, the connection between social media and employment law is moving at light-speed. Although not work place based, but a good example, you may have heard the high profile case in the news recently where Sally Bercow's tweet was found to be defamatory towards Lord McAlpine. In this situation she was found to have made an insinuation and not a direct comment. Mrs Bercow said she had learned her lesson "the hard way", adding that the ruling should be seen as "a warning to all social media users" because comments could sometimes be "held to be seriously defamatory, even when you do not intend them to be defamatory and do not make any express accusation". So what can you do? Firstly setting your expectations and standards should be communicated at recruitment. You should consider a Social Media ‘usage’ policy and align this to you disciplinary process to ensure that all employees are fully aware of what is appropriate and what the consequences will be if they bring your company into disrepute via usage of social media. A Recruitment Tool Recruitment is huge expense to any business, we are working with our clients to use social media to advertise vacancies in order to attract interest from specific target audiences.


When you consider the 25% recruitment fee agencies often charge, there are clearly huge cost benefits of using free, electronic channels for recruitment. They can also reach more potential recruits quickly since social networking sites have huge audiences.

How to manage social media in the work place is a question we are regularly asked at HR2YOU and is a topic many employers are becoming fearful of. Like many of my peers technology devices during my education were pre-historic and until recently I was still opening my office window to get a better reception on my mobile. Whilst I’ve resided myself to the fact that I will never be an IT Guru or know fully how my tweet gets from my phone up into the sky, I have spent time researching the advantages and disadvantage of using social media in the workplace. The Legal Aspect As an HR specialist, the first question I ask is what are the risks to my clients? Legal and regulatory social media developments are changing, almost on a monthly basis, and it’s the responsibility of the employer to stay in the know. With so many devices and social media platforms available, organisations can no longer control the access point that employees have to outbound

You should also be wary of the pitfalls of using social media as a recruitment tool. Many organisations are heading to potential candidate’s social media pages as part of the screening process. Don’t let social media turn the table on you, remember there are laws protecting people from discrimination on the grounds of age, sex, disability, race, marriage, religion and belief, and sexual orientation which start at the recruitment stage. As an employer you could face employment tribunal hearings if you refuse to interview someone as a result of a judgement they made based on a social networking profile. Attract and Retain Employees Don’t just use social media when you need something, regular updates of how your organisation is growing, activity in the local community, employee promotions and/or recognition will strengthen your reputation as an employer in the market place so keep at it! For further information, a social media usage policy or a FREE HR Health Check contact Sarah and the Team on 0845 838 7091 or




How many weddings do most people attend each year – maybe one, possibly two? Sue Randall, managing director of Oxford Fine Dining, and Mel Cooper, operations director, are present at around 30 weddings each year and so are well placed to tell B4 about what makes a perfect wedding reception.

credit: Marquees and Pavilions

Oxford Fine Dining has provided event catering services for almost 10 years in and around Oxfordshire from weddings and celebrations to corporate events, training days, conferences and balls. The one thing that sets OFD apart from its competitors is the quality of food combined with exceptional customer service. “The vast majority of our business comes from word of mouth and reputation,” says Sue, “and we are fortunate that once people use us they tend to come back especially those who organise regular corporate events. “ Weddings on the other hand tend to be a one off and yet they are a key part of Oxford Fine Dining’s business, and each one is special to the OFD team. “We provide more than just food, we provide outstanding exciting food that the guests remember, served by our smartly turned out, uniformed staff, who are trained to offer a discreet yet friendly service.” says Sue.


Brides and grooms strive for originality for their wedding day, to have a reception that their guests will always remember and OFD works with them to achieve this. Before the day Oxford Fine Dining meets with the bride and groom to agree on the menu and to see whether they want any of their favourite ingredients or dishes incorporated so that it is personal and perfect for them. OFD can help with ideas for the evening party food, entertainment and more. Evening guests still need to be impressed by what is offered and OFD can serve mini burgers, fish and chip buckets, hot bacon rolls or cheese boards as a simpler, more modern option. Brides and grooms get to taste their chosen menu before the big day, each having a different dish so as to make sure they are completely satisfied with their choices, including the canapés and desserts. Oxford Fine Dining can also advise on wine selections for each course and champagnes for the

toast as well as suggestions for pre dinner drinks such as cocktails or Pimms, often a popular choice for summer weddings on the lawn.

“We provide more than just food, we provide outstanding exciting food that the guests remember

Each wedding has a dedicated OFD event manager who offers additional help to make the day run smoothly, acting as a central point of contact from the initial enquiry to the reception itself. Mel Cooper, OFD’s operations manager comments, “We work closely with the bridal team or their wedding planner so that we understand their vision for their special day. Attention to every little detail makes all the difference to making the reception

“A marquee is the ultimate in exclusivity. It is a purpose built room just for your event and the latest trends for separate rooms, sitting areas with settees and rugs and different levels are a far cry from the feeling that you are in a tent

” Photograph: Eve Swanevelder

OFD are approved caterers at a number of stunning Oxford wedding venues including Rhodes House, Bodleian Library, The Cotswold Manor Estate at Lew, Yarnton Manor and Worton Park. They also work closely with a number of marquee companies. Says Sue, “A marquee is the ultimate in exclusivity. It is a purpose built room just for your event and the latest trends for separate rooms, sitting areas with settees and rugs and different levels are a far cry from the feeling that you are in a tent.” Sometimes people like to use a cherished venue

or their own garden for their wedding, but it is also possible to use other open spaces. Oxford Fine Dining is working exclusively with Dinckley Court, a new marquee venue on the riverside in the hamlet of Burcot on Thames. Dinckley Court works particularly well for a marquee wedding as it has ample parking for guests, the bride and groom can arrive by boat and there is accommodation on site. Riverside Weddings also use the land next to the Thames at Newbridge for wedding marquees, or brides and grooms can use venues such as the Cotswold Manor Farm Estate at Lew or the Old Rectory at Worton Park, where marquees can be erected in stunning gardens alongside accommodation. Glasses, crockery and tableware can change a table from just beautiful to absolutely stunning, something Oxford Fine Dining is proud to be able to offer with traditional or more contemporary styles. The plates need to show off the food, which OFD executive head chef Martin prepares from

freshly chosen, locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Everything is prepared at OFD’s kitchens and delivered to the on-site event kitchen, where OFD’s team of chefs add the final touches before service. Says Martin, “I like my plates to leave the kitchen looking as well dressed as they would in a restaurant and with the food being as hot and as tasty, even though we are catering for so many more people and often from somewhat cramped, temporary kitchen space in a field.” Sue, Mel and Martin work hard to maintain their high standards at every event, both from the food and the service perspective. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so they say, which must mean that Oxford Fine Dining is doing something very right with the order book full of wedding bookings for the summer and beyond.


Photography: Tom Banks

perfect, so we like to anticipate things like giving the brides mum her favourite special tea at the reception without being asked. We know that it is the little things that make such a difference.“ Mel adds, “We also have close links with many local entertainers and bands that we know really work at weddings, after all we probably go to more weddings each year that most people!”





Anxious not to let potential Clients jump on the blandwagon and risk becoming the bland that time forgot, Phil Strachan, Business and Brand Alchemist and founder of Strangebrew, discusses how Clients of all shapes and sizes can really benefit from strategically sound advice and imaginative creative work of the very highest order. He is so confident that you will be pleased with his work and the value for money that he delivers, that he is offering a no-quibble money back guarantee on the agreed Stage One fee if you are not completely happy with the work he delivers on this all-important and vital stage.

So what is the big secret? How can potential Clients benefit from an injection of Business and Brand Alchemy from Strangebrew? “The answer is for Businesses and Brands not to just start designing logos and building websites until they have identified and have a clear understanding of exactly who they are, what they are and what they stand for. They need to have identified what their compelling proposition and promise is and why people should come to them instead of their competition. In short, they need to have identified what their business or brand needs to be seen to stand for. In Strangebrew terms, they need to think Brand - not bland and to identify how to connect, communicate and engage effectively with their selected target market(s). They need to set about building the foundations of what will become a successful brand rather than just having a logo designed and they need to think about who their target market is and how to communicate with them well before even thinking about a website. But that is not what tends to happen in most cases I come across. On the contrary, far too many people I meet who are about to launch a business are already in execution mode. A logo has been designed and their website is being designed and built before they have thought seriously, if at all, about their positioning and proposition and how to go about presenting and communicating their business to their identified target market – assuming that they have in fact identified one. Another key issue is for businesses to take steps to protect their own Intellectual Property and to take care not to infringe the Intellectual Property of others.


A frequent problem that I come across is where businesses have launched already, say a year or so previously, and they are maybe looking for help to move to the next level. They may well have a business name that they have traded with during that period, a business name that they might even have incorporated under at Companies House. Because of that, they believe that they have ownership of that name. All too often however, this is very far from the case. The problem is that they did not invest in and conduct a proper trademark search and often did not even conduct their own superficial search and proceeded without having filed their business or brand name as a registered trademark. In so doing, they had inadvertently left themselves vulnerable. Bad enough given that they had left themselves exposed by not having taken the necessary steps to protect what they felt was their Intellectual Property - but absolutely nothing in comparison to the potential risk to their business and the financial damages they might then face if it subsequently transpires that they have been infringing someone else’s Intellectual Property. The consequences of this could include a ‘cease and desist’ order and very expensive punitive financial penalties. To ensure that my Clients differentiate themselves positively and stand out from the crowd, I make sure that they throw away the bland manual and think Brand – not bland. “By thinking Brand - not bland and by identifying and working consistently around one single compelling promise, Clients can be certain that their business or brand will not just become yet another very anonymous blot on an already

overpopulated blandscape. This applies equally whether they are creating a new business or brand from scratch or refreshing, revitalising, rejuvenating or reinvigorating an existing and established business or brand. The same principles apply. While people often believe and say that they want a logo designed for their business or brand, I take great pains to let them see and understand that what they actually need is a brand - if they are to be successful. I like to make sure that I deliver what people need rather than what they think they want. So, if people really just want a logo designed, they shouldn’t come to me because I don’t just do pretty pictures. If, on the other hand, they want to build a successful and sustainable business or brand, they really do need an injection of Business and/or Brand Alchemy from Strangebrew to get them thinking Brand – not bland and to make sure that they stand out from the crowd.”



S TRANGEBREW ? Find out for yourself by contacting Phil Strachan on 07770 753 975 and get details of his money back guarantee for the agreed Stage One fee if you are not completely happy with what he delivers against the brief. Perhaps it’s not so much a question of whether a new or existing business can afford to use Strangebrew as can they afford not to!

news Visit Oxfordshire targeting Group Organisers and Tour Operators to the county Over the past 12 months Visit Oxfordshire has been very pro active in targeting group organisers and tour operators both domestically and internationally to encourage more groups to visit the county and increase the length of their stay. Seven different group itineraries have been produced to target this market, the itineraries are tailored around special interests - Oxfordshire for Art lovers, Garden lovers, Literary tours, History and Heritage to name a few. In addition Visit Oxfordshire has attended numerous trade shows and exhibitions both in the UK and overseas to build relationships with group bookers. UK shows include Group Leisure at the NEC in September 2012, Best of Britain and Ireland at the NEC March 2012, Excursions at Alexandra Palace in January 2013 and all the Tourism South East Group Fairs held around the region.

Kelmscott Manor & other Oxfordshire attractions open specially for groups

Activity overseas includes joint work with the Oxfordshire Cotswolds in China and Japan, North America and the Nordic regions. As a result Visit Oxfordshire is now in the process of setting up a Groups Desk to help facilitate group enquiries about the area. For more information or if you would like to get involved please visit : /get-involved

Visit Oxfordshire working in partnership with VisitEngland VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has launched a new multi-channel marketing campaign designed to boost domestic tourism in 2013 by highlighting some of England’s romantic heritage cities and rural escapes. The campaigns are part funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Visit Oxfordshire has been a key participating destination in these campaigns, with excellent coverage already received in The Guardian, The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as well as network coverage on Classic FM. Many overseas visitors visit Oxfordshire as part of a group

Experience Oxfordshire Board Tony Stratton, the inaugural chairman of Experience Oxfordshire, stepped down at the end of March 2013. Tony chaired the new organisation as it transitioned from a new destination management organisation, Visit Oxfordshire, and an established cultural development agency, Oxford Inspires, to one organisation – Experience Oxfordshire. Graham Upton has been appointed as the new chairman and will undertake his new role alongside his recent appointment as High Sheriff of Oxfordshire.

Many visitors enjoy an Official Guided Walking Tour of Oxford

How do I get involved? Whether your business is aimed at the leisure or business tourism market, if you would like to benefit from national and international representation, a presence on leading websites, exposure via social media and access to accommodation/conference booking services, then this could be the best

club you ever joined! Partnership packages at a range of levels to cater for every size of business. Full information can be found on or call Martin Tipping Partnership Manager 07584 217345.


THE BELFRY Mention The Belfry just outside of Birmingham and, for those old enough to remember, it’s hard to forget Sam Torrance and The Ryder Cup, the team spraying champagne from the Club House roof over an ecstatic European throng of supporters. As the only four time host of The Ryder Cup (1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002) the world renowned Brabazon Course is consistently ranked in the Top 100 Golf Courses in the UK. But time moves on and The Belfry is now entering an equally important phase of its life with a £30 million refurbishment, overseen by the highlyexperienced Lynn Hood who was appointed as Managing Director in October 2012. Lynn spoke with B4’s Richard Rosser about exciting times at The Belfry.

The American Investment firm, KSL Capital Partners, purchased The Belfry in August last year and appointed The De Vere Group to manage the property. “It is a very exciting project because The Belfry has the perfect partner in KSL who are very experienced in taking over a number of established resorts and restoring them to their former glory and their expertise will prove invaluable.” Commented Lynn who has been involved with four and five star hotels throughout her career. “I’m a hotel specialist, having spent six years in London prior to joining The Belfry running a significant hotel company which was sold for £550 million about a year ago. This was a full market value sale which in the context of a depressed economy was quite an achievement.” Shortly after the sale, Lynn took a break for the birth of her first child. She then started her own company, Hotel Prosperity, which was a great way to ease

“We also have a new Head of Greens who is very highly regarded and who has applied his skills and knowledge to developing our natural approach to keeping the greens alive and playing well and looking after the courses which are playing extremely well. “With regards to the clubhouse, the restaurant that is currently under refurbishment is part of the clubhouse so that has been stripped back to the bone and is in the process of being put together. The retail and locker facilities will all be refurbished later in the year when we are out of the high golf season and the external part of the club house will also be attended to then.” The Belfry offers much more than just golf and is a great venue for conferences and meetings. Located in the heart of England and set in 550 acres of North Warwickshire countryside, The Belfry is one of the UK's best located conference,

“Located in the heart of England and set in 550 acres of North Warwickshire countryside, The Belfry is one of the UK's best located conference, golf and leisure resorts ”

myself back into the business. I was then approached about this role and found it too exciting to resist – my husband now runs Hotel Prosperity and I am full time with The Belfry.

golf and leisure resorts, easily accessible from all over the UK via the region’s excellent road and rail links, just minutes from the M42, M6, M6 Toll, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport.

“Since I started here last year, we have now commenced the refurbishment programme. It means we are one restaurant and one hundred bedrooms down at the moment, about one third of our stock, but we will get these back in the middle of July. There’s also a lot of external work going on, so everything that’s broken is basically being fixed. Once the refurbishment is complete, we will have a brand new hotel!

All of the conference and meeting rooms have natural daylight and many enjoy spectacular views of the golf courses. Whatever the size or the style of the event, you will find The Belfry ideal, for a product launch, conference, team building event or even just a meeting for two.


All in all The Belfry has a choice of 22 conference and meeting rooms, a great

B4 R&R

FACILITIES Sitting alongside The Brabazon is The PGA National, England’s only PGA-branded golf course, the PGA National Golf Academy, Europe’s largest custom-fitting centre, and a further 18-hole course, known as The Derby. The 324room resort offers an impressive range of on-site facilities, including bars and restaurants; an on-site nightclub; an indulgent spa for mind and body; Health & Wellness facilities; one of the largest golf resort shops in Europe; and comprehensive corporate facilities. The Belfry was awarded Hospitality Assured in 2012, the quality standard created by the Institute of Hospitality for service and business excellence.

choice of bars and restaurants and an unrivalled collection of health, beauty, fitness and relaxation facilities for conference delegates or leisure guests to use during their stay. There are 324 bedrooms on site, conference and banqueting for up to 400, car parking for up to 1,000 cars and even an on-site nightclub. Lynn is particularly keen to stress the fantastic conference facilities at The Belfry. “The facilities here are fantastic are particularly good for the corporate and events market. We have a number of historic rooms throughout the building, which work for the conference market very well, they’re flexible and accommodate up to 300 each so they are sizeable. The first of our new conference suites will be back mid July and the rest of them will be refurbished in the relatively low season of August, with as little impact to the business as possible. “In terms of the golf, The Belfry remains a magnificent golfing experience with The Brabazon, and customers are always telling us how enjoyable the course is. That’s balanced by what we class as an inner links course, a very complimentary golfing experience in terms of the PGA national course, and then we have our Derby Course as well, giving three levels of golfing experience here, so there’s something for everyone, from the beginner to the seasoned golfer.” The future for The Belfry is certainly bright and the partnership with KSL will ensure that The Belfry becomes one of the leading golf and conference resorts in Europe, adds Lynn. “Before acquisition, KSL spent a considerable amount of time studying The Belfry. They felt very much that The Belfry fit with their current portfolio across in the USA, and was a complimentary addition to their first acquisition in Europe. They are absolute experts in operating golf and spa and conference resorts, and have ten significant resorts in the US. With all of the advantages that The Belfry has, we are extremely confident that KSL will soon have another resort to be really proud of.” Please contact Nick Gamble, The Belfry’s Resort Director, if you have any queries.


PARTNERS, LLC KSL is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado and New York. KSL’s current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure. In the UK, KSL owns boutique hotel brands Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, with 27 hotels across the UK, and The Belfry in the West Midlands. In the United States, KSL owns The Grove Park Inn, The Homestead, Montelucia Resort & Spa, Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The James Royal Palm, La Costa Resort and Spa, and ClubCorp, one of the world’s largest owners of private golf and business clubs. KSL also owns other premier recreation businesses, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two of the leading ski resorts in North America; and Western Athletic Clubs, the owner and operator of luxury fitness clubs in California. For more information, please see


THE DE VERE GRAND REFURBISHMENT REVEALED THE GRAND DAME RISES Through the morning fog on a South Coast Riviera she rises. The Grand Dame is back to her former glory and then some. Introducing the new Grand. More fabulous, more exquisite than ever before. New bedrooms, conference suite, spa, GB1 restaurant and a bar & lounge. The Grand Dame has well and truly risen. After a multi-million pound refurbishment De Vere Hotels & Resorts is proud to bring this South Coast gem back to life. Contact Details The Grand, Brighton 97-99 King’s Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2FW 0871 222 4684


THE NEW MOTTRAM There’s nowhere quite like it in Cheshire. The new Mottram takes its rightful place as Cheshire’s finest golf and leisure resort. Play Championship standard golf all year round and relax in the brand new Claret Jug Clubhouse. Chill-out or work-out in the new state-of-the-art Mottram Club and Spa with the first in the UK Alfresco ThermoSpace with heat pods and saunas. Dine on amazing local delicacies and reinventions of fine dining classics in the Carrington Grill. Finally retire blissfully to the beautifully appointed new style rooms. New is very much the order of the day. When it comes to dining, golf or relaxation, you should try something new too. The new Mottram from De Vere Hotels & Resorts. Contact Details Mottram Hall, Wilmslow Road, Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire SK10 4QT 0871 222 4686

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When the sun begins to make it through the clouds and the buds begin to blossom, you know Spring and Summer are on the way. It’s time to come out of that Winter cocoon and escape to one of nine stunning De Vere Hotels & Resorts. Start feeling refreshed and revitalised in luxurious rooms with award-winning cuisine, Championship standard golf courses, new state-of-theart Clubs & Spas and a whole host of exhilarating outdoor activities. B4 brings you the very best of De Vere Hotels & Resorts.

SLEEP IN A BED FIT FOR KINGS. FEAST ON THE FOODS OF THE GODS. WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF LEGENDS. YOU ARE DESTINED FOR GREATNESS. THE BELFRY IS BACK WITH DE VERE, WHEN WILL YOU BE? You are destined for greatness. From your timelessly styled room, to a legendary morning on hallowed greens, to the just desserts of your victory. Stay and play, or feast like a king at one of our destination dining experiences. Prepare to feel glorious once more, to rediscover the long lost you in the deep end of our pool. Finally, you are staying and dining at The Belfry, a De Vere Hotel & Resort. The legendary tenth prepares to claim another gung-ho chancer. You pause, and channel the spirit of ‘78 - Seve .v. Faldo. Praying for calm breeze and safe passage across the lake your moment has arrived, you are playing golf at The Belfry, a De Vere Hotel & Resort. See also page 138 feature on The Belfry’s Lynn Hood. Contact Details The Belfry, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B76 9PR 0300 500 0405





1,000 acres of Northumberland moorland and forest play home to this magnificent, elegant Edwardian mansion. That the interiors are almost as dramatic as the exterior says it all. This is very old world grandeur with a modern twist. Bask in the warmth of the reception you receive on arrival, dine at Hadrian’s Brasserie, or at the Duke’s Grill. Indulge with a Serenity Spa experience or take a dip in the fantastic indoor pool.

Belton Woods is really quite different. Set amongst over 475 acres of rolling woodland, it’s not your usual setting for the very latest business technology and facilities. Where else can you drift off from a presentation, to spy a sparrow hawk out of the panoramic window?

There’s no better way to whet the appetite for a country retreat than with a spectacular mile long drive right up to the doors of a fabulous country estate. The wonderful view of the hotel with over 1,000 acres set deep in the Cheshire countryside merely confirms you are somewhere special.

Escape from life’s pressure with wonderful outdoors activities from segways to air rifle shooting to archery. Explore Serenity Spa therapeutic treatments, beautiful leisure pool, fantastic en-suite bedrooms and… golf. Not any golf course, but 2 PGA championship approved courses, an exciting challenge for any golfer. To finish experience our newly refurbished Claret Jug restaurant & bar overlooking the lakes.

Carden Park with its superb rooms, relaxing spa, championship golf courses, awardwinning restaurants and highly acclaimed meeting facilities is in a league of its own. And as if that wasn’t enough, it has its very own unique Cheshire vineyard, harvesting and producing a very special selection of two classic British sparkling wines! Special occasions demand special places; you’ve just found yours.

After a bracing country walk in the wilds, or a round on one of our championship golf courses, retire to the Claret Jug restaurant and bar or the 19th Bar for a stiff brandy. Surely you deserve it? Slaley Hall at a glance Indoor Pool, Sauna, Jacuzzi and Steam Room, Gym, Two Championship Golf Courses, Driving Range and Pro Shop, Claret Jug Clubhouse, Spa and 5 Treatment rooms, Outdoor Pursuits, Luxury Lodges, Duke’s Grill, Hadrian’s Brasserie, The Whisky Snug, 19th Bar. Inspiring events Wedding Open Evening: Slaley Hall, 17 July, 6pm - 8pm Great North Run: Newcastle, 15 September Wedding Fayre: Slayley Hall, 13 October, 6pm 8pm Attractions nearby Beamish Museum – 14.3 miles, Hadrian’s Wall – 19 miles, Scotland’s Museums of Transport and Travel – 24 miles, Alnwick Gardens & Castle – 37.8 miles, Contact Details Hexham , Newcastle up on Tyne , Northumberland , NE47 0BX T: 0871 222 4688 W:


Belton Woods at a glance Indoor Pool, Sauna, Steam Room and Jacuzzi, Techno Gym and Fitness Room, Golf, Football Pitch, Crazy Golf, Tennis and Squash Courts, Spa, Hair Salon, Luxury Lodges, Stantons Brasserie, Claret Jug Clubhouse Inspiring events RAF Waddington Air Show: Lincoln, 6 - 7 July Firework Champions: Belvoir Castle, 17 August Attractions nearby Belton House – 0.3 miles, Belvoir Castle – 7.3 miles, Lincoln Castle – 20.5 miles, Contact Details Nr Grantham , Linc olnshire , NG32 2LN T: 0871 222 4691 W:

Carden Park at a glance Archery, Carden Spa, Carden Vineyard, Crazy Golf, Children’s Playground, Driving Range, Golf, Jack’s Bar Clubhouse, Gym, Full Sized FA Football Pitch, Kong Aerial Ropes Course, Indoor Swimming Pool, Tennis, Laser Clay Shooting, Mountain Biking, Nature and Puzzle, Walking Trails, Quad Biking (Adult and Junior), Segway Safari, Redmond’s Restaurant, The Vines, Morgan’s Bar Inspiring events Chester Mystery Plays: Chester Cathedral, 26 June - 13 July Chester Races Ladies Day: Chester Racecourse, 4 August Nantwich Food & Drink Festival: Nantwich, 6 - 8 September Attractions nearby Chester Cathedral – 8.9 miles, Chester Zoo – 11.1 miles, Blue Planet Aquarium – 13.3 miles, Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet – 13.5 miles, Contact Details Broxton Road , Nr Chester , Cheshire , CH3 9DQ T: 0871 222 4682 W:

B4 R&R



This Elizabethan-style mansion, built in 1859, has been lovingly restored to its former glory. Surrounded by 150 acres of stunning Norfolk parkland, its setting is as unique as its history. You might be here relaxing in one of our lavish rooms, teeing off on our renowned US PGA-rated golf course, unwinding in our luxurious spa and pool, or taking advantage of our fantastic business facilities, but just as likely, you’re doing it all.

The sweeping driveway leads up to one of the most grand entrances in Yorkshire, where you’re met by the beaming smile of Ian, the concierge, who will immediately make you feel as if you have just returned comfortably back to where you truly belong. This unique 18th century former family home is something special. Beautiful landscaped gardens and lawns play host to summer Shakespeare and imposing statues.

And the quality doesn’t stop there. Dine in our fabulous Brasserie Bar and Grill for perfectly cooked food served in an informal atmosphere. Choose from the seasonal menu of classic and contemporary à la carte dishes, or visit our sumptuous carvery buffet, and, of course, treat yourself to a delicious dessert. Whatever reason you’re here, from the moment you arrive you’ll be greeted and treated like royalty. Dunston Hall at a glance Indoor Pool, Gymnasium, Sauna and Steam Room, Whirlpool, Golf, Bunkers Clubhouse, The Brasserie Bar & Grill, Spa, Crazy Golf, Nature Trail and Outdoor Treasure Hunt Inspiring events The Royal Norfolk Show: Norfolk Showground, 27-28 June Lord Mayor’s Procession: Norwich City Centre, 6 July Tribute Night: Dunston Hall, 19 July Attractions nearby City Sightseeing Tours – 3.8 miles, Bewilderwood – 11.8 miles, Banham Zoo – 13.8 miles, Go Ape – 30 miles, Pleasurewood Hills – 25 miles, Dinosaur Park – 6 miles, Africa Alive – 28 miles, Broads Boat Tours – 8 miles,

Sweeping staircases and an award winning, state of the art spa are all surrounded by 27 holes of sheer golfing pleasure. From classic Yorkshire afternoon tea served by the butler in the Drawing Room, to Champagne on the outside terrace, a stay at Oulton Hall will be a unique memory until your next visit. Oulton Hall at a glance Indoor Pool, Sauna, Jacuzzi and Steam Room, Leisure Club and Spa, Gym, Driving Range, 18 and 9 Hole Golf Course, Nike Academy and Golf Shop, Crazy Golf*, Duck Herding* , Clay Pigeon Shooting*, Archery*, Calverley Grill, Claret Jug Restaurant, The Champagne Bar, Drawing Room, Library * These are group activities only and require pre-booking. Inspiring events Wimbledon afternoon tea: Oulton Hall, 24 June - 8 July Wedding Open Day: Oulton Hall, 11 August Attractions nearby Wetherby Racecourse – 18.6 miles, Royal Armouries – 2.1 Miles, City of Leeds, Shopping – 5.4 Miles, Trinity Walk, Shopping, Wakefield – 6.1 miles, Harewood House – 15.5 Miles, City of York – 23.4 Miles, Yorkshire Dales, Contact Details Rothwell Lane , Oult on, Leeds , Yorkshire , LS26 8HN T: 0871 222 4690 W:

Contact Details Ipswich Road , Norwich , Norf olk , NR14 8PQ T: 0871 222 4683 W:

To book call: 0871 222 4198 W:


news The Oxford Wine Company Wins Best Wine Wholesaler Of The Year 2013 The Oxford Wine Company has won the prestigious Best Wine Wholesaler of the Year award at the Harpers Wine & Spirit Awards held at The Honourable Artillery Company HQ in London last night, Monday 20th May. It is the third year in a row that we have won this highly sought after award and the win reflects the

hard work of Trade Sales Director Neil Gladding and his team who have been recognised yet again by top wine trade judges as the best in the independent sector of the wine trade. Ted Sandbach MD said: “I’m very pleased to have won this award again and would like to congratulate the sales team on all their hard work.”

The Oxford Wine Café

The Oxford Wine Company has taken over the former Summertown Wine Cafe site in South Parade, North Oxford following its closure in September last year and opened The Oxford Wine Café. We love our wine and our mission is to bring you the best examples from all over the world, made by smaller, ultra passionate boutique style producers who are not interested in selling their lovingly handcrafted products to the supermarkets or big high street chains. We believe that wine should be fun and that everyone’s tastes are different – hence our large selection of wines at great prices. Tasting is a subjective experience and we are keen to introduce you to wines that suit you personally. Accordingly our staff are always able to help by giving extra information on the wines and our Sommelier, Callum Peaston is always happy to help you make the best choices for you. Our events are always informal, fun and suitable for anyone – not just people who ‘know about wine!’ We hope that you will find The Oxford Wine Café to be a small haven of quality in an increasingly busy world where you can meet friends and enjoy the wines you want at a great price. QUALITY The Oxford Wine Café is owned by The Oxford Wine Company, your local Independent multi-award winning wine merchant with a national profile. We have won many awards over the years including National Independent Wine Retailer of the Year 2012. Our wines are selected by a very


experienced buying team led by Marcia Waters MW who is the Chairman of the Education and Examination Board of the Institute of Masters of Wine. Here at The Oxford Wine Café we aim to bring you wines at all prices with a focus on the smaller boutique style producers who are making wine with real passion. We have a wide range of wines available by both the glass and the bottle. Our by the glass selection changes frequently thereby keeping our list fresh and giving you maximum choice and the chance to get to know many different wines and wine styles. Then there’s our comprehensive by the bottle selection and Marcia Waters MW also selects her special Wine of the Month which appears on the blackboard. BEST PRICES Because The Oxford Wine Company ships from all over the world we are able to bring you wine from source and command the very best prices which we are happy to pass on to you. Consequently our by the glass selection starts at just £2.95 per glass and includes a range of the unusual, the esoteric and of course the great old classics for you to enjoy. We also offer a full and varied range of wines in our by the bottle selection which starts from £14.95, as well as a range of approximately 100 wines available to take home with you. All our wines are served out of the very best Riedel glassware to give you the tasting experience that you deserve. Why drink a great wine out of an inferior glass? Top glassware is created to deliver different styles of wine to the right part of your palate to give maximum pleasure – and, let’s face it – that’s what wine is all about. EVENTS We run regular tastings that feature many well known winemakers and MWs but these are never formal events – they are designed to be accessible to everyone, whatever their interests in wine may be. We are keen to include everyone in these events and to make them easygoing and fun – because that’s what wine should be all about! Theo’s Tasty Tuesday tastings take place once a

month and are especially designed to be a humorous introduction to the world of wine – it’s a great way to have a laugh with wine and we hope to see you there. It’s also a chance for you to have your say about selecting wines from these tastings for the Café’s changing range of wines offered by the glass. We offer a very special 15% discount off all wines tasted at these events. In addition, we run many other different tasting events in all our shops (including Botley Road) in and around Oxford. Fill in a card at the bar to join our mailing list and receive full details of all these events, both in the Café and at The Oxford Wine Company. THE CAFÉ Our café menu has a selection of tasty, simple and delicious dishes including some hot meals made from the very best ingredients to complement our wines and is available between 8.30am and 10.00pm. We think our coffees and teas are amongst the best in Oxford – just give them a try. The majority of our produce is sourced locally or from family run businesses. Free wi fi is always available in the Café. MEMBERSHIP We don’t believe in special clubs, secret signs or inner sanctums(!) but we do think that if you want a great deal on your wines it would be worth being part of The Café Society. This gives you 10% discount on your take away wines at the Café (please ask for our take home list) and 10% on any of the 1500 products that we stock at our Oxford shop in the Botley Road, West Oxford (see details below). We offer free delivery within 25 miles for 6 bottles or more. Joining is easy – simply come along to one of our tastings and buy 12 bottles of wine and you become a member automatically. The Oxford Wine Café: 01865 236959 The Oxford Wine Company: 01865 249500


BOXING CLEVER Whilst we live in a digital age, most businesses and organisations still need to keep paper records - space and security issues can be a real problem, unless you find a friendly local document archiving and secure destruction Company who can file away your problems and securely destroy confidential paperwork when it is no longer needed. Owner David Coulton

“If it fits in a box we are happy to store it, as long as it’s not perishable or dangerous! We already have firms storing dental moulds, stationery supplies, marketing material and equipment among other items

Despite talk of the paperless office there is no let up in the paper trail generated by businesses and organisations. As we all should be well aware, for operational and statutory reasons records must be kept safely and securely for many years: ‘Even if you are a voluntary group,” says David Coulton, owner of The Archive Centre, “you will probably have several boxes of documents to look after. Everyone has the same problem - where do you keep these papers, so that they are safe and secure, yet easily accessed? Document archiving is a simple, efficient, secure and cost effective service with many returning to retaining paper records rather than digitising or using selfstorage.”

back when they only need a file from each?”

Founded in 1999, the company is owned and run by David Coulton, wife Ruth and son Andy supported by an experienced team of staff. As an ISO9001 approved company clients can be confident that all aspects of the business and procedures are quality assured.

“We supply a good quality archive box at minimal cost, but customers can supply their own if they prefer and the boxes are suitable. It doesn’t have to be paperwork in the boxes either. If it fits in a box we are happy to store it, as long as it’s not perishable or dangerous! We already have firms storing dental moulds, stationery supplies, marketing material and equipment among other items! Whatever your storage needs it is well worth discussing your requirements with us”

The company has a large, secure, heated warehouse full of racking and boxes, providing archiving services for all types and sizes of organisations: from playgroups and village shops, who may only have five or ten boxes, to firms of solicitors with anything from 100 to several thousand boxes, accountants, public bodies and a lot of private healthcare firms. The care and education sectors requirement for the secure retention of confidential information has become increasingly apparent and a key growth area. In addition to the storage and management aspects, the company offers an impressive retrieval and delivery service. The client is not restricted to retrieving whole boxes when only single files are needed; The Archive Centre’s services can include the picking out of single files: “Even if a client wanted 20, 30 or more files and they were stored within equally many different boxes, we could find the files you specified and deliver them to you,” says David. “Many other archives would only be able to deliver the whole box, which is not as convenient – who wants 20, 30 or more boxes

“We charge a matter of pence per month per box for storage. Self-storage units are not an inexpensive storage solution – three new clients have just moved to The Archive Centre from selfstorage and are saving substantial amounts on their storage costs. Similarly, digitising is not necessarily a cheaper option – for a recent new accountancy client the comparison was done - retaining paper files was far less expensive. There are no administration or take-in fees and no charges for collection into store. We charge just a simple single all inclusive fee per trip for retrieval/deliveries which includes return to store collection when the client is finished with the paperwork.”

“If a client is obliged to keep records for a certain period, such as financial information, we can monitor the dates and then securely destroy the data when the time comes – we then provide a Certificate of Destruction.” “You don’t have to archive with us to use our secure destruction services,” says David, “but you’d be unlikely to find anywhere that offered a better secure destruction service at such reasonable rates!” Why use The Archive Centre? Service, Cost and Security are obviously key factors when deciding upon which archiving or secure destruction service to use. Our 2012 customer survey reports 99% rating our services as ‘Excellent’ and 1% as ‘Good’ We will always aim not to be beaten on price.



left to right: Shelley Pearse, reservations manager, Patrick Jones, general manager and Amanda Baker, sales & marketing manager

The Old Swan & Minster Mill, Cotswolds, Triumphs at The West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2013 10th March 2013 – The Old Swan & Minster Mill, a de Savary Property, has been awarded the Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality Award 2013. Accepting the prestigious award on behalf of Lana de Savary, Patrick Jones, general manager, was thrilled to receive what is seen as one of the County’s most prized award’s. Opened by Witney’s Member of Parliament, the Right Honourable Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister, the awards were attended by 300 business guests from Oxfordshire. Held at Heythrop Park Resort on Friday 8th March, a Champagne reception kicked-off proceedings, followed by dinner and the awards ceremony, with dancing until late. Fighting off tough competition to win the award, the Old Swan & Minster Mill had to demonstrate its commitment to promote tourism, leisure pursuits and a customer focused hospitality venue. The team needed to provide evidence of business growth and how the hotel has added value to the county as a leisure and hospitality focused sector. Commenting, Lana de Savary, wife of entrepreneur and philanthropist, Peter de Savary, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the accolade, the team have worked extremely hard and recognition in this way, proves their continued dedication and commitment has paid dividends. We continue to receive wonderful feedback about the staff, facilities, food and overall hospitality. Well

done them!” Now entering their third year, the awards were set up to celebrate business in West Oxfordshire. Not only does the award add a range of marketing and PR opportunities, but it also acts as a great way to acknowledge the hotel’s team efforts and boost their moral. Lana de Savary, acquired the Old Swan & Minster Mill in May 2010 and immediately set about restoring its 16 historic guestrooms, bar and dining rooms. The 18th century mill was also fully restored and the adjoining 44 contemporary millrace guestrooms were refurbished. National companies, like Savills, Ikea, Robert Bosch and Kraft Foods, which seek a central countryside location, find the hotel conveniently located, with all their business needs provided for. Set in 65 acres of stunning grounds and landscaped gardens, with its great gastro offering, is a big draw for locals and the leisure market alike. For more information, please visit, contact Amanda Baker on or direct line 01993 774441.


B4 R&R


I stepped in to The Oxford Blue on Marston Street on a surprisingly pleasant April evening – it had been a busy day and I was looking forward to relaxing in a cosy pub with some delicious grub, and was not disappointed. B4’s Assistant Editor, Lorna Dodson reports. Renovated and rejuvenated in 2012 The Oxford Blue is a cosy and stylish pub offering exciting food and a wide range of beers and wines, a hidden gem tucked away just off Cowley Road. Their maestro in the kitchen uses the very best of fresh locally sourced ingredients to create an outstanding eclectic and delicious menu that changes with the seasons. They serve a traditional Roast Lunch on Sundays, specializing in rare breed meats, all perfectly complimented by a handpicked selection of off-beat wines and local & international beers. And as summer approaches, they have a lovely beer garden that is a perfect sun trap in the afternoons, serving pitchers of Pimm’s and Sangria and deli platters - ideal for sharing in the warm weather. The décor inside is wonderfully kitsch and intriguing: The walls and glass wine display cabinets feature some impressive taxidermy and there is a selection of classic board games for those in for the night. Unfortunately we decided Yahtzee was probably best saved for a time when we wouldn’t be dining. Also on display was their certificate from The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards 2012 – The Oxford Blue placed 2nd in the ‘Traditional Pub’ category. The Oxford Blue also features a great beer garden with lots of tables, cover for rainy days, and plenty of space.

We were seated immediately by a lovely waitress who took great care of us for the remainder of the evening. All of the staff at the The Oxford Blue were very helpful and cheerful, and added greatly to the relaxing atmosphere of the restaurant. That, and Alanis Morissette drifting quietly from the sound system. The menu was wonderful, and made it very difficult to pick just one dish! Choices ranged from a homely and traditional burger with thick triple baked chips, to pan fried potato gnocchi with Oxford Blue cheese sauce. After mulling it over for about 20 minutes we decided on pheasant scotch eggs with homemade mayo for a starter, the burger for my partner’s main, and I opted for a baked smoked haddock with cream, spinach, parmesan and a poached egg. All dishes were heavenly – the eggs in the scotch eggs and my haddock dish were done to perfection, and went wonderfully with our chosen wines. All dishes at The Oxford Blue are locally sourced with seasonal ingredients. The selection behind the bar and on the drinks menu at The Oxford Blue leaves nothing to be desired, featuring unique and speciality liquors and wines; something a little different from your standard pub brands. The bar snacks here are also pleasantly original and it is great to see that the care taken in the kitchen for the ‘restaurant’ side of the establishment also carries over to the ‘pub’ aspect.

The dessert menu tempted us greatly, and if we weren’t so stuff from the amazing mains I would definitely have gone for either their flourless chocolate cake with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream or the vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb compote. The Oxford Blue also features some fantastic facilities for bookings of a venue nature - Tailor made set menus available for parties, large or small bookings welcome, front and rear outdoor seating, wheelchair friendly/accessible, children welcome, live music and events, online or telephone reservations, allergies and intolerances catered for, vegetarian and vegan options available, sheltered outside smoking area, broad range of wines, beers and whiskies, friendly and helpful staff, Sunday roasts, and within walking distance of vibrant Cowley Road and town center. Next time you’re in the Cowley Road area pop in for a hearty meal and a fine bevvy, and be sure not to miss out on “Jazz night at The Oxford Blue” every third Wednesday courtesy of Nick Gill from Oxford Classic Jazz. For bookings please call 01865 460215 or e-mail

“The menu was

wonderful, and made it very difficult to pick just one dish! Choices ranged from a homely and traditional burger with thick triple baked chips, to pan fried potato gnocchi with Oxford Blue cheese sauce



Photograph: Lorna Dodson B4

Photograph: Gabrielle Sadones

THE B4 BIKE RIDE: EDINBURGH TO OXFORD 428 sounded a long way and it was a flipping long way! 17 nervous cyclists, 2 super-athletic guides who can make a middle-aged man feel even more self-conscious than he already does in tight lycra, 5 fabulous support crew, 2 Motor Village supplied (sponsor’s plug) vehicles and a stash of naughty chocolates and sweets to rival Billy Bunter’s monthly haul set off from Edinburgh Browns with a certain amount of fear, trepidation and a sizable slice of realisation that this half-cocked plan hatched during last year’s ride from Paris to Oxford was verging on bonkers! Matt Wright, cyclist and journalist kept a log of the next four and a half eventful days. Thursday 23rd May : Edinburgh - Kelso “‘Wake up, pull back curtains, lift nose optimistically towards the sky, sniff the air, and say something patently stupid like ‘Looks like it’ll turn out nice today’”. Cue howling wind, cancelled ferries, driving rain, and the van carrying the precious cargo of bikes (not to mention myself & my co-driver) being rocked from side to side on the M6. Auspicious.

50m and spared ourselves a 15 minute detour rather than religiously following the Garmin sat-nav route, but we had absolute faith in our guides....for now. In all the confusion though, we completely missed our scheduled stop at Edinburgh Castle, where Don Peroni (more of that later), had bribed the security guards to let us all in for a photo opportunity. Doubly auspicious.

Despite all this, we arrived bang on time in Edinburgh, along with the Chrysler Voyager support vehicle carrying a perky Zoe, a tired Lorna and an apprehensive Rob - guess which of the three was about to be cycling a very loooong way...? The majority of the cyclists had flown up that morning from Oxford, and were already in situ, though they had also been plagued by strong winds, and some were feeling a little under the weather.

middle-aged men - as semi-pro cyclists, James & Ben looked like they had been born in the stuff, whilst most of us looked like we had been poured into it, and forgot to say ‘When’



Everyone assembled upstairs in Browns restaurant for the pre-ride briefing from the Beeline Guides, James & Ben, and the presentation of the team kit. Lycra is a very unforgiving material for middle-aged men - as semi-pro cyclists, James & Ben looked like they had been born in the stuff, whilst most of us looked like we had been poured into it, and forgot to say ‘When’ (apologies to PG Wodehouse). It was finally announced that we were ready for ‘Le Grand Depart’, which triggered a flurry of activity downstairs, before the team photograph under blue skies, and we were off ! Or rather, we were off our bikes within 200m, walking along the pavement (roadworks), then on again, then off again, repeat for 30 minutes, as we struggled to escape the Edinburgh traffic. We could have walked


“Lycra is a very unforgiving material for ”

The high winds had not died down, but luckily they were behind us, and helped propel us forwards on our journey (stilI referring to the weather here by the way), as the rolling Borders countryside rose up to greet us, along with some rather angry-looking clouds. There was a spot of sleet for a minute or two, but then it calmed down to just incessant drizzle, as the wind turbines up on the hills whirred away like dervishes. With Pro James ‘PJ’ leading from the front and Pro Ben ‘PB’ marking the rear (shame there wasn’t a guide called ‘Bono’), we started to tackle some ‘sprint hills‘ and ‘gentle climbs’. Note that I’m using PJ’s terminology here - the only difference between the two appeared to length rather than gradient. Some of the group were already beginning to lose their absolute faith in his PJ’s utterances, as yet another ‘gentle climb’ turned into ‘an absolute pig of a hill’


Muttering something about having to alter the route at the last minute because of Richard ‘Zig Zag‘ Rosser’s ever-changing plans, PJ set off once again, dutifully following his sat nav, with all his dubious ducks in tow. However, we did indeed eventually arrive at ‘The Cross Keys’ hotel in Kelso, where the support team (Zoe, Lorna, Colin, James & Jade) had done a fantastic job, already checking us and our bags into our rooms. Dinner was taken in high spirits that evening, and the bar was lively, with Colin ‘Don Peroni’ Rosser holding court in prime position, along with his favourite tipple. That was the last time we would all be quite so jolly coming off a day in the saddle...

Friday 24th May : Kelso Newcastle I didn’t even have to open the curtains - I could already hear the rain beating outside. There were not many lycra shorties on show this morning, as we all padded around at breakfast looking like a walking sausage factory.



That aside, there were no other incidents, and we all safely rolled into the Village Hotel in Newcastle by 4:30pm, giving us time for a swim, sauna, and some downtime, before venturing out for our first evening with ‘The Battle of the Browns’. Tim ‘Big Yin’, was in charge of the Northern Browns (Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds), whilst Gavin ‘Champers’ managed the Southern Browns (Nottingham, Oxford), so there was a considerable amount of professional pride on the line between ‘The Big 5’. Tim raised the stakes high in Newcastle with steaks (specially ordered in), chunky fat chips,

and a smorgesbord of starters including chorizo rolls (you’ll notice that food had already started to become an obsession amongst the group), set against a very buzzy Geordie Shore backdrop wahay to go!

We shepherded each other up the long climb to Carter Gap on the English/Scottish border, the site of our first tea stop. It turned out to be almost a full stop

Saturday 25th May, Newcastle - Leeds The day that time forgot. The sun shone brightly, lycra shorts were unveiled, and despite some vigorous rehydration the previous night using the wrong energy drinks (no James - Isotonic Rioja does not yet exist), we were all in good spirits at breakfast, albeit slightly nervous at the distance ahead. Nerves were not abated when PJ announced the terrain was ‘gently rolling’, but with the wind still behind us, we headed south.

The group had already begun to fracture yesterday, so today the faster cyclists sped off, whilst the slower ones formed a ‘grupetto’, or ‘autobus’ (technical terms here, please keep up). Since I was wearing my red thermal top, I opted to go in the ‘Lantern Rouge’ position (i.e. bringing up the rear), and we shepherded each other up the long climb to Carter Gap on the English/Scottish border, the

3 groups formed today - the Elite Group (also known as FRB’s - Front Riding B........’s), the Intermediate Group (Inters) and the Grupetto. This was to be the day when the Inters triumphed in the inaugural ‘Wetherby Cup’, a little-known trophy in the world of cycling, probably on the account that it never existed before today. However, through teamwork, the navigational skills of Ade ‘Sat Nav’

Photograph: Lorna Dodson

site of our first tea stop. It turned out to be almost a full stop, as the Voyager had managed to get wedged into the sodden grass (Don Peroni blamed Zoe, but everybody else blamed Don Peroni, so majority rules) and despite the combined attentions of 5 burly blokes in lycra (not a pretty sight), it wasn’t going anywhere, and the AA were duly summoned.



Photography: Zoe Kemp B4

(amateur terminology there), followed by another porker, when this petered out into a farmyard track, and finally into a flint path leading to a very smelly industrial chicken shed (Gavin blamed the gels at this point).

Laws, and our inability to locate the tea stop after lunch, the Inters managed to overtake the Elites, and arrived first in the town of Wetherby, about 20 miles from the finish. That Richard ‘Zig Zag’ was collapsed upside-down by a stone wall at the time was besides the point - it was the look on Gavin ‘Champers’ face as he arrived at speed, took one look at the prostrate Zig Zag, and proclaimed ‘I’m not ‘aving that - Steptoe? Ahead of me? Impossible.....I’m not ‘aving that....I’m not’, before pedalling off again, slowly, a broken man. So, the Elites and Inters arrived at Leeds Village Hotel, more or less together, around 8:00pm. There was no time for a leisurely trip to the spa pool though, as we were straight off into the town centre, for pork cutlets and Pauillac, courtesy of an ex-chef at the Dorchester (Tim was taking this Big 5 competition very seriously indeed). However, PJ was with us at Browns, which was strange, as so was PB...which meant that the Grupetto was still out on the road, without a guide. It turned out that PJ’s bike had suffered a ‘mechanical’ (or Big James ‘Angry Dog’ had knocked it over, but I’m not going to say that to his face), breaking a cassette hanger (trust me, it’s an important bit), and leaving the bike unrideable. Nobody wanted to give up their bike for PJ, and nobody wanted to quit, so PJ passed on the Sat Nav baton, and with that Dunkirk spirit, the


Grupetto rode on through the night, arriving at the hotel at 10pm....shortly before the other 2 groups returned from their meal, and piled into the bar for the Froch v Kessler boxing match. Sunday 26th May, Leeds Nottingham A verdict of technical knock-out was announced this morning. Craig ‘UFC’ had been suffering from an old cruciate injury, and after arriving late last night with the Grupetto, was ordered by the doctor to rest it for a day, or risk immediate amputation by the side of the road. Or something similar.


“Even the Elites started to look less comfortable though, when PJ announced that today would entail quite a few ‘cheeky hills’, as we traversed the Peak District

It is fair to say that conversation around the breakfast table wasn’t exactly bright and breezy, with only PJ and PB (preparing their weird concoction of peanut butter and jam sandwiches) looking relaxed, along with a few of the Elites.

Elsewhere, it was ‘chapeau’ to the Grupetto, who dragged their ravaged bodies around the buffet tables like a prisoner’s chain-gang from the Deep South, muttering incoherently to themselves, or anybody else who cared to listen. Even the Elites started to look less comfortable though, when PJ announced that today would entail quite a few ‘cheeky hills’, as we traversed the Peak District (remember, confidence in PJ’s hill recognition + sat nav ability was already at all-time lows). The scenery was idyllic, but after the second set of 25% gradients, along with hairpin bends, rutted roads, and small streams running over the mounds of gravel heaped in the middle, it is fair to say the hills were not ‘cheeky’ but downright rude. Fortunately, PJ was nowhere to be seen, deeming it wise to help out at the back today, giving a helping hand (literally) to some of the grupetto. By the lunch stop, most riders’ brake blocks were more blocks than brakes, and we were all ready for a sit down. And we weren’t disappointed - the support team had excelled themselves, blagging a spot by a river in a field, with the friendly farmer even ferrying down a couple of picnic benches on the back of his quad bike - what a star! What was that old cycling rule about not putting a


That evening, Browns Nottingham put on a splendid show, with a roast dinner and half a tonne of spuds each - magic! Monday 27th May, Nottingham - Blenheim Palace ‘Who turned the wind machine on today? Who chose the route along the straightest Roman roads in the country? Who, I demand to know who!’


It’s fair to say that enthusiasm this morning had already hit a low point, but it sunk even lower, when we headed off into a gale force wind. ‘Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, All in the valley of Death, Rode the eighteen......’. The bigger riders (I call it having heavy bones) were

stationed at the front of each group, acting as windbreaks, with the riders decreasing in size behind, like a set of pedalling Russian dolls. We were at least amusing ourselves in the Inters, chuckling at the thought of the skinny Elites being blown around like straw in the wind, when PB sailed past, dragging the rest of the matchstick brigade behind him - damn, forgot about the semipro cyclist.

We rode through the gates at Blenheim in formation, five abreast (probably the most dangerous bit of riding on the whole trip) to a fantastic reception. There was champagne (well Cava, but it looked the same), speeches, medal presentations, and an emotional speech from Zig Zag which came straight from the bottom of his.....well, bottom really, as he’d written it on the toilet that very morning.

“The bigger riders (I call it

Still, we ended the ride on a high note, not a bum note, having raised well over £10,000 for charity, with the total still rising as all those disbelievers were forced to eat humble pie and cough up.

having heavy bones) were stationed at the front of each group, acting as windbreaks, with the riders decreasing in size behind, like a set of pedalling Russian dolls

And so the day whistled past (literally) in a bit of a blur, and before we knew it, there was just time for a quick tea stop, outside Banbury, before heading off on the home straight to Blenheim, desperate to make the cut-off time of 6pm. There was some desperate drafting, some two-handed pushes (Ben pushing James pushing Jackie) and a lot of cursing, as the carefully organised groups splintered into fragments, each cyclist lost in his/her own little world of pain.

Many thanks to B4 and the support team for organising such a fantastic ride, to everyone who sponsored us, and to the riders for making it such a memorable trip. Now, next year, what about....(muffled shouts - sound of person being dragged away forcibly from the computer). You can still donate to the ride here: Photography: Zoe Kemp B4

stop at the bottom of a hill? Everyone set off after lunch, all refreshed, and smiling, only to find themselves 10 minutes later, biting their handlebars, pouring with sweat, as the road snaked remorselessly upwards. Mrs Browns’ Boys were in the wars, as first Gavin ‘Champers’ hurt his finger (not sure how), then James ‘Whisperer’ fell off just before a blind summit, fully cleated, in celebration at missing his 500th gear change. Fortunately, his camera, which he’d been carrying on his handlebars throughout, was OK, and he was able to take a close-up picture of the numberplate of the car about to run him over.


OXFORDSHIRE COTSWOLDS TOURISM SUPERSTAR UNVEILED West Oxfordshire District Council has been searching for the very first Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Superstar. The initiative has been running in partnership with VisitEngland and the Witney gazette and they have been searching for the unsung heroes of tourism locally. Originally a national initiative the Council is the first to develop it at a local level. Businesses were asked to nominate their superstars and then a public vote was run online so the residents of West Oxfordshire picked their winner. Hayley Beer, Tourism Services Manager for West Oxfordshire District Council commented “We are delighted to be the first destination in England to run the Tourism Superstar initiative at a local level and we have had a fantastic response. We had an extremely high calibre of nominations for the award and the public really got on board and engaged with the voting. It is great to be able to celebrate the talent we have here in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds that help make it such a superb visitor destination”. The ten shortlisted candidates nominated for the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Superstar were: • • • • • • • •

Amanda Baker - The Old Swan & Minster Mill Stephen Baughan - Aston Pottery Lorna Dillon - Blenheim Palace Graham Kew - Minster Lovell Experience Richard Martin - Cotswold Woollen Weavers Carl Morgan - The Feathered Nest Country Inn Tony Simmons - Combe Mill Walter Stewart-Brown - Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park • Bill "Spectre" - Bill Spectre's Ghost Trails • Biz Gooddy – Wheelgate House B&B and Biztro Then at the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Summer Networking event which was held on Friday 21st June and hosted by Eynsham Hall, Walter StewartBrown was announced as West Oxfordshire’s first ever Tourism Superstar by the Rt Hon David Cameron, Prime Minister and MP for Witney. Walter, age 23, a food and beverage assistant at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park, was nominated by his


employers as someone who helps to make customers’ visits extra special and goes above and beyond the call of duty to offer them an unforgettable experience. Walter was thrilled to be the winner and said, “The award means so much. I love the customer interaction and the hospitality industry is such fun. Ensuring that customers have a good experience gives me a lot of pleasure and I hope they will come back and visit. I am very passionate about West Oxfordshire and Heythrop Park and I like to share this with visitors.” David Cameron said at the event he had a personal passion for West Oxfordshire and a personal passion for the issue of tourism. He went on to say, “Locally this is a massively important with 12% of people working in tourism related industries and we welcome over 4m people each year. We’ve got some fantastic natural resources, amazing countryside, some fantastic heritage and we’ve also got brilliant pubs, shops, high streets. I would like to commend VisitEngland and West Oxfordshire District Council for the work they do for tourism. One of the keys to succeeding in tourism is making sure that people come, and then come back again. The level of repeat visits depends on how well people are looked after, how good the attractions are, how good the service is and how warm the welcome is. I think we do give people a warm welcome in our country, but you can always raise standards up and doing this Champions initiative is highlighting some really good individual performances to set as role models for others. It is an excellent scheme and has my complete backing.”

Tracey Norcup from the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park said, “We have some wonderful feedback from customers about Walter. He is friendly and talkative and goes that extra mile to make our customer’s stay memorable. He has great local knowledge and regularly refers places of interest to guests to explore. I believe he is a great ambassador for this award and a true Tourism Superstar.” The event was also attended by Lady Cobham, Chairman of VisitEngland and over 100 local industry representatives. Lady Cobham stated: “The Oxfordshire Cotswolds is the first destination to run a local Tourism Superstar, pioneered originally by VisitEngland. I’m delighted to see this national campaign adopted at a local level and believe they will provide the bluerprint for many more destinations to follow in their footsteps.” The Council would like to congratulate all the finalists in the competition who are great ambassadors for the destination. To view footage of the event and presentation of the award go to: For more information please go to:


â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would like to commend VisitEngland and West Oxfordshire District Council for the work they do for tourism. One of the keys to succeeding in tourism is making sure that people come, and then come back again The Rt Hon David Cameron MP


Images L-R: Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Superstar Award. All of Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism Superstar finalists with the Rt Hon David Cameron MP and Lady Cobham, Chairman of VisitEngland. Walter Stewart-Brown pictured receiving his award from the Rt Hon David Cameron MP (main pic) and Winner Walter Stewart-Brown pictured with his award and the Rt Hon David Cameron MP and Lady Cobham, Chairman of VisitEngland.


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meet oxfordshire invites you to a Summer Garden Party and to discover a unique collection of venues on offer! Wednesday 3rd July 2013 3–8pm Rhodes House, South Parks Road, City Centre, Oxford, OX1 3RG Come and meet some of the leading venues and suppliers from Oxford and Oxfordshire who are renowned for hosting meetings and events on every scale. Find out why Oxfordshire is guaranteed to get everyone thinking: • Discover world class venues and services from award winning conference facilities to historic University colleges • The showcase will help you to streamline your selection process and make informed purchasing decision after face-to-face discussions • Completely free of charge to attend, including complimentary drinks and refreshments • Fantastic prizes* available throughout the day • Over 20 fabulous venues from Oxfordshire will be exhibiting

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BUSINESS CONSULTANTS The Profitable Hotel Company A Stuart Harrison Owner t: 01993 706632 w: The Convergency Partnership A Anne Augustine Director t: 07506 139920 w: Insight Oxford t: 01865 596 771 w:

BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS Institute of Directors A t: 01235 773500 w: Bizlinx t: 0333 700 1057 w:

BUSINESS SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT Aston & James Office P Supplies Limited Darren Aston Director t: 01993 706900 w:

CLEANING SERVICES Pinewood Cleaning Services t: 01993 862866 w: Excel Dry Cleaners t: 01865 511 773 w:

HEALTH & SAFETY Shawcity Ltd t: 01367 899553 w:

DISTRIBUTION First Move Direct Marketing t: 01494 539300 w:

ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES Gavin Jones A Martin Ford Business Development Executive t: 01932 833833 w: PAVY Ltd t: 01865 349014 w: Grundon t: 01491 839212 w:

INSURANCE Chase Templeton A Charles Frost Independent Insurance Consultant t: 0800 018 3633 w: Osbornes Insurances t: 01844 214316 w:

LOCAL GOVERNMENT West Oxfordshire A District Council William Barton Business Development Officer w: West Oxfordshire A District Council Hayley Beer Tourism Services Manager t: 01993 861558 w:


Executive Alarms Ltd A John Keown Director t: 01865 435435 w: Executive Fire A Protection Ltd Mickey Franklin Managing Director t: 01865 771133 w:

TRANSPORT Chiltern Railways A Adrian Shooter t: 08456 005 165 w: Isis Chauffeurs t: 01993 709023 / 07545 601515 Brazenose Limited t: 01753 801079 w:

MOTOR Motor Village Oxford P Tim Keatinge Managing Director t: 01865 376000 w: Ultimate Partnerships Mike Rebello Director

t: 0845 4591003 w: Ultimate Car Control Robb Gravett Founder

BMW P Catherine Rivetts

t: 01865 742211 w:

t: 01865 319000 w:

Opendoorz t: 01865 339434 w:


Risk Management A Security Services Peter Smith Managing Director t: 01494 535830 w:


t: 01344 751669 w:

B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Editor



City Sightseeing P Jane Marshall Transport Manager t: 01865 790 522 w:


B4 contacts London Oxford Airport P James Dillon-Godfray Business Development Manager

Passion for Food t: 0845 2969 226 w:

Howbery Business Park Angela Andrews Marketing and Lettings Manager

t: 01865 290 600 w:


t: 01491 822305 w:

Visit Oxfordshire A Joanne Butler Tourism Team Leader

Lady Margaret Hall P Bill Kemp Head of Conference Services

The Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Centre t: 01865 297400 w:

t: 01865 252200 w:

t: 01865 611079 w:

Heythrop Park Resort A Tracy Stanton Sales Manager

Weekly Home t: 001993 811711 w:

Pembroke College A Huw Edmunds Head of Conferences and Events


t: 01865 276484 w:

Helen & Douglas House A Vanessa Fay Corporate & Trusts Fundraising Manager t. 01865 794749 w:

Egrove Park A Jill Grievson Conference Manager

Oxford Inspires A t: 01865 815525 w:

Four Pillars Hotels A Chris Green Group Marketing Manager

Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds A Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising t: 01865 743442 w:

t: 01993 777532 w:

Oxfordshire Community A Foundation Jayne Woodley Chief Executive t: 01865 798666 w:

t: 01865 242191 w:

CLIC Sargent t: 03003 300803 w:

t: 01865 268400 w:

Crisis t: 01865 263911 w: Aspire t: 01865 204450 w:

t: 01865 422757 w:

Magdalen College School A Emma Bellenie Events Manager

Malmaison P Chris Steadman General Manager

t: 01608 673372 w: The Burlington House t: 01865 513513 w: The Feathers P Pete Saunders Hotel Manager t: 01993 812291 w: The Manor P Christian Kaberg General Manager t: 01869 350621 w: Oxford Town Hall A Lucy Parr Sales Officer t: 01865 252195 w:


Meet Oxfordshire A Julie Archer Managing Agent

Oxfordshire Registration Services A Jacquie Bugeja Head of Registration and Coroner's Services t: 0845 129 5900 w:

T: 01608 659900 W:


Williams P Conference Centre Brendan Caffrey Conference Centre Manager t: 01235 777900 w:

Blenheim Palace P John Hoy Chief Executive

The Examination Schools A Kay Hogg Events Manager

Blenheim Palace Hospitality t: 01993 813 874 w:

t: 01865 728240 w:

t: 01865 276905 w:

Elegant Cuisine A Michael Ashton Managing Director

Oxford Castle Quarter t: 01865 201657 w:

Exeter College t: 01865 279600 w:

CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES CATERING Oxford Fine Dining Sue Randall Managing Director


t: 01993 810501 w:

t: 01865 391888 w:


Tee it up at one of

Oxfordshireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest golf courses this summer


. . . set in 177 acres of stunning tranquil Oxfordshire countryside

For more information about becoming a member of Studley Wood Golf Club or to find out about our


phone Matt or Ken on 01865 351144 or email:


The Straight Mile, Horton-cum-Studley, Oxford OX33 1BF.

A modern golf club with traditional values

All our work is covered by the NICEIC 6 year insurance backed warranty Commercial & Industrial:

Domestic Services:

U Office lighting and power U Fire alarm systems U Data installation U Maintenance and fault finding U Security, CCTV, door entry U PAT testing UÊFixed wiring testing UÊAir conditioning installation


Re-wiring Consumer units & upgrades Fault finding & resolution Home automation systems CCTV & security lighting Garden & pond lighting Safety inspection & testing

Enery saving solutions: U Solar PV systems U Vphase voltage control

U LED lighting systems U Electrorad heating systems

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t m e w

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B4 contacts Rhodes House P Martin Gubb Director t: 01865 270918 w:

EVENT MANAGEMENT tmb Events Ltd Nigel Green Director t: 01865 822500 w: The Active Network P t: 08700 841 480 w: Altis Consulting Charlie Allen Managing Director


t: 01451 812237 w:

FURTHER EDUCATION Oxford & Cherwell A Valley College Sally Dicketts Principal t: 01865 550550 w: SAE Institute P t: 01865 787150 w: Oxford Graduate School t: 01865 987210 w:

SCHOOLS Bloxham School A Nick Irvine Marketing Director t: 01295 724332 w:

Boys and Girls Promotions t: 01865 595717 w:


The Sound Foundation t: 07973 559203 w:

Your Money Friend Ltd A Ted Yeates Managing Director


t: 01235 838542 w:

Oxford Event Hire A Kieran Lynch Owner

Total Credit Management t: 01993 770770 w:

t: 01865 760158 w:

Strategic Finance Director t: 07967 681 774 w:


EDUCATION COLLEGES Magna Carta College P Vadzim Tsitou Chief Executive t: 01865 593131 w: Trinity College t: 01865 279900 w:


Herbert & Webster t: 01865 407755 w:

BANKING LloydsTSB Commercial A Karl Leitelmayer Senior Manager, Commercial t: 07764 625666 w: Barclays A Trevor French Corporate Director Oxford t: 07775 542467 w: Santander Justin Hayward Business Development Director t: 07809 493563 w:

Coutts t: 01865 389039 w: RBS Corporate Banking t: 0845 8351249 w:

IFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mark Barclay Partner at St. James's Place Wealth Management t: 01865 793121 w: CMS Financial Management Ltd t: 01869 345588 w: FOCUS t: 01865 295295 w:

MORTGAGE ADVICE Mortgage Choices James Keene Principal Consultant t: 01993 862888 w:

HEALTH AND LEISURE FITNESS TLA Fitness A Tom Alden Founder t: 07554 400 401 w: Prime Energy Fitness Ltd t: 01869 352000 w: Inner Space t: 01865 244321 w: Cherwell Boathouse t: 01865 552746 w:

GOLF Frilford Heath Golf Club A Alistair Booth Director t: 01865 390864 w: Studley Wood Golf Club A Ken Heathcote Managing Director t: 01865 351122 w:



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B4 contacts Magnolia Park Golf Club A Mark McGeehan Head PGA Professional t: 01844 239700 w:

HEALTHCARE Eyesite A Duarte Meneses Manager



Bare UK t: 07773 764817 w:

Computing Information Systems (CIS) Ltd P Richard Marsh Director t: 01367 700555 w:

Popham Hairdressing t: 01865 517040 w:


t: 01865 242300 w: Robert Stanley Opticians A John Edwards Director t: 01865 766488 w: Clinic95 A Maria Hardman Business Manager t: 01865 241661 w: Monica Franke t: 07970 119721 w:

Allen Associates Kate Allen Managing Director t: 01865 335600 w: myFD Recruitment t: 01869 354041 w: Avatar Recruitment Consultancy Ltd t: 01295 724570 w: Hays t: 01865 727071 w:


Mars Recruitment t: 0800 066 5606 w:

Oxford United Football Club A Ian Lenagan Chairman

Better People Ltd t: 01491 836632 w:

t: 01865 337505 w:

Nicola Gardiner Executive Search t: 007900 912941 w:

Oxford University Rugby Football Club A Tim Stevens Club Administrator t: 01865 432000 w: London Welsh Rugby Club P Cerys Roberts Head of Corporates t: 07768 306007 w: North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club t: 01865 513560 (Clubhouse) w:

WELLBEING Helen Money Nutrition A Helen Money Owner t: 01865 339672 w:

Bluespires IT t: 0845 5280505 w: Data Efficiency t: 01993 608612 w: Advanced IT Solutions t: 01235 833869 w:

MOBILE PHONES Everything Everywhere t: 07968 107671 w:

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT QuarkXPress t: 0207 632 5612 w:

TELECOMMUNICATIONS Orange Stripe A Telecommunications Nigel Pursall Managing Director t: 0845 241 7772 w:


Pink Connect t: 01865 592222 w:

HR2You P Sarah Morris Owner

GHM Communications t: 0845 058 4668 w:

t: 07789 711997 w:

The Phone Answering Service t: 01635 573208 w:

Gazella HR t: 01865 339411 w:


Spires HR t: 01865 880391 w:

Blink Design & Print A Keith Simpson Senior Designer


t: 01865 742211 w:

DATABASE MANAGEMENT InTouch CRM P James White Managing Director

Torpedo Group Limited A Iain Lewis Director t: 01865 733710 w:

t: 0845 310 9973 w:


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Our client client took took a Our 300% return return on on 300% investment from from investment d irect m ail . direct mail. W e ccan an sho w yyou ou ho w. We show how. A mailing personalised ersonalised mailing we we designed, designed, p and his rresult esult and printed printed delivered delivered tthis within off b being eing m mailed ailed o out. ut. within 10 10 days days o To using sing d direct irect m mail ail To grow grow your your business business u call uss n now. ow. call u Riche de Fleurs are one of Oxfordshire’s leading florists specialising in Wedding and Event flowers, Gift Bouquets, Corporate Event flowers, and flower contracts delivering to a number of small to large businesses across Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

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B4 contacts Made Mobile Edward Catling Director


t: 0845 299 7529 w: Olamalu A Christoph Corvin Director t: 01993 764566 w: Grow Media Group t: 01865 339 379 w: Urban Element t: 01993 776 999 w:

WEB OPTIMISATION & SERVICES Oxford Digital Marketing A Simon Wallace-Jones Co-Founder t: 01865 600 508 w: Zest A Alex Minchin Director t: 0843 289 0161 w: Glooo A Chris Jones Director



Owen Mumford A Jarl Severn Director

Wordsmith TM t: 01993 811579 w:

t: 01993 812021 w:

Nicholas Newman Freelance Journalist t: 01865 762710 w:

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE Science Oxford A Dominic McDonald Head of Public Engagement and Business Networks t: 01865 728953 w:

MARKETING & DESIGN ADVERTISING In Oxford Magazine P Colin Rosser Chairman t: 01865 742211 w:

CORPORATE IDENTITY Recognition Express A Andy Olejnik Managing Director t: 01295 257611 w:

MARKETING RESEARCH / TELEMARKETING Lingo Telemarketing A Su Copeland Managing Director t: 01865 886340 w: Stephen Black t: 07866 204070 w:

MARKETING Marketing Sense A Jo Sensecall Director t: 01865 883579 w: Cardwell Marketing A Ian Merriman Director t: 0845 1306634 w: ClientMailer t: 07788 677512 w:

t: 01865 595707 w:


SEOptimise t: 0845 299 0818 w:

Blink Design A Keith Simpson Senior Designer

Rare Form New Media t: 01865 790039 w:

t: 01865 742211 w:

Reputation Selling t: 07976 684009 w:

Strangebrew A Phil Strachan Director

Marketingco Jackie Jarvis Director

t: 07770 753975 w:

t: 01491 822333 w:

ADS t: 01993 885122 w:

JJ Marketing t: 01865 343100 w:

mark-making t: 01608 649600 w:

indiumonline t: 01865 980630 w:

Isis Creative Framing t: 01865 203420 w:


EMAIL MARKETING ClientMailer t: 01865 339406 w:

MANUFACTURING LIGHTING WILA Group Ltd A Mike Collett Chief Executive Officer t: 01235 773500 w:

AWM Marketing t: 01367 244996 w:

Studio 8 P Clark Wiseman Managing Director t: 01865 842525 w:


Lyon Photography t: 01865 481550 w:

PRINTING Blueprint Imaging A Martin Matthews Managing Director t: 01993 892360 w: The Oxford Duplication Centre t: 01865 457000 w: Culham Publication Services P Stuart Morris Studio Manager t: 01235 464904 w: Abbey Press t: 01235 554555 w:




Obergine A Jeremy Anderson Director

Begbroke Science Park A Peter Dobson Managing Director

t: 01865 245777 w:

t: 01865 283700 w:


Grove Technology Park Robert Lamplough Chairman

JACKfm Ian Walker General Manager t: 01865 315980 w: OX105FM t: 01865 777772 w:

PROPERTY & BUILDING ARCHITECTS Riach Architects A Douglas Riach Principal

t: 01235 772992 w: Jennings A Mike Jennings Managing Director t: 01865 893303 w: Bloxham Mill Business Centre A Ray Avery Managing Director t: 01295 722800 w:


The Buzzworks A Sarah Airey Proprietor

t: 01865 553772 w:

t: 01993 813848 w:

John Hallam Associates A John Hallam Director

Adapt Communications A Tracey Jefferies Partner

t: 01608 646969 w:

Carter Jonas P Scott Harkness Partner

t: 0845 4591007 w:


Syncro PR A Claire Thompson PR Director

Ridge and Partners A David Walker Partner

t: 01865 511444 w:

t: 01865 886344 w:

t: 01993 815000 w:

Esplin PR A Louise Esplin Freelance PR Consultant

Kemp & Kemp A Steven Sensecall Partner

t: 07775 678237 w:

t: 01865 240001 w:

GB PR A Gail Buckle Owner

Pink & Black Property Consultants A Claire Moloney Director t: 01865 515919 w:

t: 01865 742940 w: Love Communication t: 07887 775271 w: Spriggs David A Karen David Partner t: 01865 512662 w:


BUILDERS MERCHANTS Buildbase P David Robertson Central Regional Director t: 01865 787763 w:

VSL and Partners P Richard Venables Director t: 01865 848488 w:

Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Sales and Marketing Director t: 01865 811127 w: Kemp & Kemp A Emma Jewson Partner t: 01865 240001 w: Meeson Williams Ltd t: 01865 349011 w: Marriotts t: 01865 316311 w: Lambert Smith Hampton t: 01865 200 244 w: Jennings t: 01865 893300 w:

B4 contacts DEVELOPMENT The Trevor Osborne P Property Group Trevor Osborne Chairman t: 01225 832302 w:

ESTATE AGENTS Breckon and Breckon P Keith Stacey Managing Director t: 01865 244735 w: scottfraser A David Blythman Managing Director Sales t: 01865 759500 w: scottfraser A Chris Rowntree Sales Director


Lucy Properties A Ian Ashcroft Managing Director


t: 01865 559973 w:

Macdonald Randolph Hotel A Michael Grange General Manager

North Oxford Property Services A Robin Swailes Director

t: 0844 879 9132 w: The Royal Oxford Hotel A Tom Crampton-Smith Owner t: 01865 248432 w:

t: 01865 311745 w: College and County A Mark Crampton-Smith Owner

Westwood Hotel A Tony Healey Owner

t: 01865 722722 w:

t: 01865 735408 w:

Kemp and Kemp t: 01865 517584 w: Bluestone Letting and Management t: 01869 327577 w:

t: 01993 705507 w:

The Letting Centre t: 01865 759930 w:

Kemp & Kemp A Graham MacDonald Director

Sterling Residential Lettings t: 01865 263183 w:

t: 01865 510000 w:


frontdoorz A Sonia Kearns Creative Director t: 01865 339444 w:

LETTING AGENTS Breckon and Breckon P Greg Barnes Director t: 01865 201111 w: Finders Keepers A Frank Webster Director t: 01865 302308 w: scottfraser A Andrew Greenwood Group Managing Director t: 01865 760055 w:

Conifers Guest House t: 01865 763055 w: Old Swan & Minster Mill A Amanda Baker

Le Manoir aux Quatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Saisons t: 01844 278881 w:

A1 Plumbing & Heating t: 01865 327732 w: Windover Facilities A Management Edward MacFarlane CEO t: 01869 368095 w:

Hawkwell House Hotel P Tim Spittles General Manager t: 01865 749988 w: Hope House Woodstock t: 01993 815990 w:

Next Generation Solar t: 01993 813105 w: JCC Electrical t: 01869 570827 w:

CS Electrical t: 01793 526003 w:

t: 01865 820416 w:

t: 01993 862510 w:

Savvy Maintenance A & Renovations Stephen Dunne Director t: 01865 920020 w:

Jill Treloggen Interiors Jill Treloggen Owner t: 01993 700515 w:

Fallowfields Hotel & Restaurant Anthony Lloyd A Managing Director

IHG t: 01895 512000 w: The Bear & Ragged Staff Mark Greenwood Landlord


t: 01865 862329 w:

A RENTAL ACCOMMODATION Lower Mill Estate Red Paxton Marketing and Sales Director t: 01285 869489 w:





Official E-Mail Marketing Partner

Official Events Software Partner

Official Business and Formal wear partner

Official Ticket Partner

Official Mobile Partner

Official Stationery Partner

Preferred supplier of Home Entertainment

Official Car Partner

Official Cloud Partner

Official Photographer


B4 is designed by Blink Design & Print e: t: 01865 742211

B4 contacts Sheepskin t: 01865 764087 w:

Roots of Oxford P Mike Hirons Managing Director

Pierre Victoire t: 01865 316616 w:


t: 01865 792060 w:

The Oxford Blue t: 01865 460215 w:

Oxford Philomusica A Simon Payne Development Manager

First Class Products A Thomas Ellis Owner

t: 07775 904626 w:

t: 07919 133476 w:

The Old Fire Station A Jeremy Spafford Director of Arts


t: 01865 263980 w: Modern Art Oxford A Hannah Evans Communications Manager

Browns Restaurant P Simon Stonehouse General Manager t: 01865 511995 w:

t: 01865 813826 w:

The Trout P Chris Lewis General Manager

Rachel Ducker w:

t: 01865 510930 w:

Oxford Playhouse t: 01865 305305 w:

The Red Lion P Tom Crouch General Manager


t: 01865 726255 w:

Wiseman Gallery A Sarah Wiseman Owner

4500 MIles From Delhi A Nav Kandola Owner

t: 01865 515123 w:

t: 01865 244 922 w:


Spice Lounge A Ali Aktar Owner

Sam Strange Magic A Sam Strange Owner t: 01865 742211 w:

ENTERTAINMENT Pegasus Theatre A Bel Crewe Development Director t: 01865 812160 w:

Bayleaf t: 01865 884401 w: The Chequers at Burcot t: 01865 407771 w: The First Floor A t: 01865 200203 w:

COFFEE SHOPS Java & Co t: 07736 950673 w:


t: 01865 510071 w: Gee’s Restaurant & Bar t: 01865 553 540 w: Old Parsonage Hotel t: 01865 310 210 w: Quod Brasserie & Bar t: 01865 202505 w:


Head of the River t: 01865 721600 w:

The Oxford Wine Company A Ted Sandbach Managing Director

Cockadoo t: 01865 341030 w:

t: 01865 301144 w:

The Big Bang t: 01865 249413 w:

The Quince Tree t: 01491 639039 w:

Blackwell’s P David Prescott Managing Director t: 01865 382500 w: University of Oxford Shop P t: 01865 247414 w: Bicester Village Helen Peters Sales & Marketing Manager - Tourism t: 01869 323200 w: Beeline Bicycles A Luis Tulip Manager t: 01865 246615 w: Casa Rose Boudoir t: 01865 510191 w: Argenteus t: 01865 840810 w: Clements and Church t: 01865 511212 w: Riche de Fleurs t: 01993 869202 w:




0% APR REPRESENTATIVE. OFFER SHOWN INCLUDES A TOTAL OF £2,700** TOWARDS YOUR FINANCE DEPOSIT. The dynamic performance, agile handling and 5 door coupé style of the Alfa Giulietta 1.4 TB 120 bhp Turismo could be yours from just £199 per month* and no interest to pay with the latest Privilege Purchase Scheme offer. ALFA GIULIETTA 1.4 TB 120 BHP TURISMO WITH SPECIAL PAINT On the Road Price†



Monthly Payment*

Privilege Purchase Spend Allowance**


Optional Final Payment (incl. £295 free)

Alfa Deposit Contribution**


Total Amount Payable by Customer

Customer Deposit Amount of Credit

£799 £14,756

£199 £5,403 £15,555

Duration of Contract

48 months

Rate of Interest (Fixed)

0.0% Representative 0.0% APR

Come and discover Alfa Romeo for yourself today or call us on 01865 376000 for more details.


‡Model shown is Alfa Giulietta 1.4 TB 120 bhp Turismo at £18,255 OTR† including Ghiaccio White special paint at £490. Range of official fuel consumption figures for the Alfa Giulietta range: Urban 26.2 – 53.3 mpg (10.8 – 5.3 I/100km); Extra Urban 48.7 – 76.3 mpg (5.8 – 3.7 I/100km); Combined 37.2 – 64.2 mpg (7.6 – 4.4 I/100km). CO2 emissions 177 – 114 g/km. ‡Fuel consumption figures are obtained for comparative purposes in accordance with EC directives/regulations and may not be representative of real-life driving conditions. Factors such as driving style, weather and road conditions may also have a significant effect on fuel consumption. Privilege Purchase Scheme customers only. Not available in conjunction with any other offer, including retail consumer offers. *With Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) you have the option to return the vehicle and not pay the final payment, subject to the vehicle not having exceeded an agreed annual mileage (a charge of 6p per mile for exceeding 6,000 miles per annum in this example) and being in good condition. Offers may be withdrawn or amended without prior notification. Offer subject to status, a guarantee and/or indemnity may be required. Alfa Romeo Financial Services, PO Box 4465, Slough SL1 0RW. Current offer applies to vehicles registered between 1 April to 30 June 2013 only. Terms and conditions apply and are subject to exclusions. ** £2,700 deposit contribution consists of £1,500 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Deposit Contribution, and is only available on a Personal Contract Purchase finance agreement for retail and Privilege Purchase Scheme Customers, and a Spend Allowance of £1,200 which is only available to Privilege Purchase Scheme customers. Available at Motor Village Oxford Alfa Romeo only. †On the road price includes 12 months road fund licence, vehicle first registration fee, delivery, number plates and VAT. Figures and prices are correct at time of publishing.

B4 issue 27 issuu  

B4 Business magazine Issue 27