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THE PROPERTY ISSUE Savvy and B4 discuss the Thames Valley property market and its outlook for the future


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








Bod4ay t

not a member?

The new B4 website is on its way... For summer 2015! B4 have been working hard alongside Hutchhouse to bring you the best website we can. The rebuild will see great new features and functionality added to the site such as communication between members, easy registration for events, simplified profile editing, smart searches and directory listings (making your business highly visible), feeds and subscriptions to keep up to date with your favourite topics, employee listings and accounts for businesses and so much more! Plus all

the current features like press releases, job offers, event listings and article archives. We at B4 are extremely excited and hope all of our members will find the new site easy and enjoyable to use. Working with Hutchhouse gives us the opportunity to really be creative with what the B4 website can offer, so who knows what you’ll see from us in the future!

Here are just a few of the great features you can expect to find on your new B4 website: An even wider reach for your business and content B4 are expanding in to many more counties in the coming months: Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire, to name just a few. On-site registration for B4 Classic Events and Masterclasses No more having to remember your RegOnline login details; We'll take care of everything through the new website. Completely autonomous management of your B4 Membership Want to check on your subscriptions, expiry dates, and add-ons? This will all be done on the website! Recommend and review your peers We'll be introducing this new system to enable you to leave reviews for businesses you've worked with and would recommend. Privately connect and refer your peers Private messaging will be available on the new website, as well as the ability to 'refer' one party to another who you think should get to know each other. Get in-depth analyses on your audience Through our 'Subscriptions' feature you will be able to see just who is reading your content and connecting with you.

Did you know you can take advantage of these features right now: B4 Member Badges Drop us an e-mail to today and we'll send you your own 'I'm A B4 Member' badge to use on your website or e-mail footers. B4 Newsdesk Don't have the time to log in to the site and upload your own? Send your press releases to and we'll take care of it for you!

Visit, e-mail, or call us on 01865 742211 today to sign up

Residential Letting 路 Property Management




B4 platinum members We would like to thank our B4 Platinum Members for supporting the B4 Business network. To find out more about joining them and over six hundred B4 Member companies, please call us on 01865 742 211.

With annual memberships just £250+VAT*, entitling you to a business directory listing and unlimited press release, event, job vacancy and offer uploads, it’s no wonder our membership is increasing daily. Members are also invited to events in all B4 areas, up to 12 per annum. Call us now on 01865 742 211 to book your membership or e-mail for more details. The B4 Website – the most efficient way to network your business from your PC! *Quoted rate is per company entitling all employees to attend B4 events. The Ambassador scheme is separate and subject to a different charge of £250+VAT for the first Ambassador and £100+VAT for subsequent Ambassadors. Call us for more information or visit the B4 website at and click on B4 Membership.















REGULAR B4 CONTRIBUTORS IN THIS ISSUE Finders Keepers.........................................................................................................................26

Henmans Freeth......................................................................................................................76



City of Oxford College........................................................................................................56

The Tree Hotel........................................................................................................................97



Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine Telephone: 01865 742 211

Chairman Colin Rosser Editor Richard Rosser Art Editor Keith Simpson Sub Editor Lorna Dodson Features Editor Matt Wright Proofreader Sue Rosser B4 Events Tina Rosser Editorial contributors Kelly Lea Matthew Wright Claire Thompson Olivia Lane-Nott

B4 has started the year in great style with two excellent events at Hartwell House and Williams Conference Centre and an informative Masterclass at Sandler Training. We are also excited about the new B4 website launching before the summer. The site will provide our members with significantly more functionality and member to member connectivity. As a rule I wouldn’t normally single out B4 members but if you’re looking for public speaking coaching, please do contact Alison Hail of Oxford Professional Consulting (see who has helped me and a number of other B4 Members conquer their public speaking demons. You can read Alison’s article on page 75. It’s vital that all B4 Members help support eachother so please do use B4 Members where you can.

22. Savvy This is the first ‘Feature’ edition with our insight into the Oxfordshire Property market by Matt Wright, our features editor and his excellent property survey – more from Matt below. Thanks to our loyal B4 Platinum Members, Savvy, for sponsoring this issue.

Written by Nicholas Newman

Enjoy B4 34.

Richard Rosser Editor

29. Carter Jonas

B4 Photography Rob Scotcher Studio Photography Studio8 Telephone: 01865 842525

Meet The Writers

It's here! The first in our series of sector reviews, based on an online survey of B4 members conducted by KyteMark. More about them within, as well as a plethora of insightful property articles, from estate agents (Carter Jonas, Stutt & Parker), solicitors (Brethertons), accountants (Grant Thornton) and many more.

Written by Olivia Lane-Nott

Matt Wright Features Editor

Subscriptions For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 01865 742 211 Each business with an Oxfordshire, Berkshire or Buckinghamshire postcode is entitled to one free copy per issue. For additional copies and for businesses outside of the three counties, there is an annual subscription charge of £25.

Firstly apologies for the slight delay with this issue. We hope you enjoy the great content we’ve got for you this time from the likes of Ridgeway Jaguar, Laurent Perrier, Baglioni Hotels and more, plus the B4 regulars such as Henmans Freeth with their priceless relationship advice, The M Group and their key exit strategies, Grant Thornton with some important tax insights, and many many more.

43. Alberon Written by Sarah Airey

The small amount of snow we had has long melted, the days are longer and the sun is shining, and we here at B4 wish you all a prosperous 2015! Lorna Dodson Sub Editor

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

B4 Magazine is printed by




Written by Richard Rosser

B4 Magazine was established to provide Thames Valley businesses with a clear voice to raise their profile and to help businesses connect. Direct mailed to nine thousand business decision makers in once every two months, B4 is regarded a leading free distribution business publication in the region. B4 stands for Building Bridges Between Business and that is what B4 helps businesses to do, aided by our first class website at, monthly B4 Classic and Masterlcass Events. B4 is funded by paid for display advertising and editorial. Underpinning B4 is a membership of over 600 of the Thames Valley’s leading businesses. WHY NOT FOLLOW B4 MAGAZINE ON

92. AltaVista Written by Phil Strachan


Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT

welcome to B4 34

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lead 22 Ready For The Upturn: Savvy Group are thriving in this current economy with £10-million worth of orders on the books already!

79 A Class of Their Own: Catch up with Sandler Training as they recap there brilliant B4 Masterclass event in February. 84 Thames Valley Business Barometer: BDO's 7th street-level view of business sentiment in the Thames Valley. 92 AltaVista: Read about how AltaVista are taking the art of high level inspections further with unmaned drones.

property feature education 56 People Power: Find out how employers and educators are being encouraged to work together to support growth.

19 Introduction 20 The B4 Property Survey: Check out the results from B4's Property Survey regarding sentiment for the future. 26 2015 The Year Ahead: Finders Keepers' predictions from members from their 'brains trust'. 29 Oxford's Market is Hot Property: Carter Jonas takes a look back at 2014 and gives us an overview. 30 EPC with Brethertons: Does this mean 'Energy Performance Certificate' or perhaps 'Expense, Penalties, Cost'?


33 Planning For Housing Growth: Strutt & Parker discuss the recent pledges made by major parties regarding the current housing crisis.

11 B4 News 95 Hawkwell House



55 First Class Travel to the Capital One Cup Final: B4 travels in style with Chiltern Railways - Read all about it here.

76 Insuring Your 'Happily Ever After': Henmans Freeth tell us how having a pre-nup agreement can actually be very beneficial to your relationship.

75 Creating The Better Communicator: Meet Oxford Professional Consulting, Oxford’s leading specialists in business communication and coaching.


86 Planning An Exit Route: The MGroup explains why it is so important to plan your exit strategy in the event of selling your business.

34 Selling Land? Tax Matters…: Some great advice and things to remember from Grant Thornton on selling your land. 36 VSL & Partners: Check out the latest great commercial properties from VSL. 39 Market Research with KyteMark: The B4 Property Survey was conducted with the help of KyteMark solutions - Read about them here. 41 A Mortgage Market Review: James Keene of Mortgage Choices tells us how the market today offers some of the keenest rates ever seen.

B4 contents venues



44 St Hugh's College: Read all about 'the island site', a hidden gem of a conference centre.

48 An Innovative Approach to Debt Recovery: Read about Darbys' Debt Recovery Team and how they can help you.

51 DCResponse: Why is it vital to protect your businesses critical data in the event of a power outage?

58 Custodians of History: B4 meets the Estates Team at University of Oxford's Examination Schools.

60 Funding Business Growth: Barclays talk to us about what businesses should be looking for when funding growth in the current economy.

68 Experience and Artistry: Read about P B Conway: One-of-a-kind opticians with unique frames and expert optometrists.

72 Newbury Racecourse: Check out one of the most famous and prestigious racing and events venues in the UK.

motoring 64 Taking Care of Business with BMW: North Oxford Garage tells us about how their dedicated sales team can help your specialist needs. 71 Jaguar Means Business: Read about how this iconic British brand is taking the business world by storm.

health events

89 Forever Living: Catch up with Clare Barnes of Forever Living Products, a market leader in the production of aloe vera.

53 B4 Events: Missed an event? Catch up with us here to see all the stunning venues we've been in recently.


80 Install-focused: City Audio Visual tells B4 how, despite it being Winter, outdoor events are abound.

63 Top Quality at Cherwell Boathouse: Read our review of this beautiful award-winning restaurant by the river.


94 Laurent Perrier: Sponsor the 2015 Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards. 97 Dining Out Trends: The Tree Hotel conducted a survey to find out what restaurants can do to keep up in 2015.

43 Software to Transform Businesses: Join Alberon as they talk to B4 about how their systems can vastly improve efficiency and business growth.

98 The Award-Winning Nipa Thai: B4 visited the perfect restaurant to enjoy truly authentic Thai cuisine in London.

90 The Cloud Explained: CIS invite you to the Cloud‌ Or rather to see where the Cloud actually exists!

100 Reinvigorate the Italian in You: Read about B4's stay at one of the capital’s most stylish and classy hotels.



B4 diary

In Association with Carter Jonas

Event Organiser


Said Business School, Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1HP

Rivermead Leisure Centre, Richfield Avenue, Reading, RG1 8EQ

Crossland Employment Solicitors, 99 Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, OX14 4RY

The Oxford Wine Café, 38 South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7JN

Rye Hill Golf Club, Milcombe, Banbury, OX15 4RU

Reading (see website)



Event Details

7:30am 10am

Critchleys annual post-Budget seminar is held the morning after the UK Budget announcement. We provide a summary of the tax, VAT and financial planning aspects of the Chancellor's speech and provide guidance on planning to make them work for you. The event is generally attended by over 150 Oxfordshire business and charity professionals and offers ample networking time before and after the presentations. For more information please visit

23rd Apr

10.15am 11am

'Breaking Big' Workshop @ Berkshire Means Business 2015: Get clear about your business vision and its effectiveness; Find and exploit your competitive edge; Focus your marketing on the right customers; Manage and support the best people for your business; Understand the big picture and future proof your business. With ten practical steps to business success, you will waste no time in realising the full potential of your business. Please email

19th Mar

8.30am 11am

A round up of important changes in employment law that all employers need to know about including shared parental leave, how much to pay for holiday, redundancy consultation after the Woolworth’s case, references & much more. To book a free place email

6.30pm 8pm

Wine tasting evening: Las Bodegas - Fine wines from Argentina. Presented by Dominic Crolla. £10.00 per person, payable in advance by phone or at the bar. Numbers are limited and early booking is recommended. Contact the Café on 01865 236959 or if you are unable to reach us via phone, please contact Cristina and leave your contact phone number and name. In this high quality tasting we’ll be trying six wines, amongst them a very special and delicious Puligny Montrachet lookalike, the Catalpa Chardonnay 2012, the superbly velvety and rich Riglos Gran Corte 2011 and the magnificent Benegas Lynch Meritage 2007. 15% discount on the night

7.30am 9am

Join the BBBC for a General Election special! We welcome all 5 candidates for North Oxfordshire for a lively debate in advance of this years vote and to discuss how their party sees the future for local business. Breakfast costs £12.50 payable to the venue. For more information please contact :

9am 4.30pm

Performance Management: This one day module will help managers focus on the performance management process in their own teams and assess the performance of individuals effectively. Giving feedback and identifying how to develop the team member’s capability will also be covered. We will look at topics such as what is performance management; compassion & accountability; setting objectives and context; the value of feedback; managing underperformance; capability & conduct; SWOT analysis. See for more details.

19th Mar

31st Mar

2nd Apr

15th Apr

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


B4 news The Cabling Company The Cabling Company has extensive experience in all aspects of the fast-developing ICT and telecommunications industry. That means we can provide intelligent, practical advice and deliver efficient, cost-effective solutions for your business, Our reputation is built on successful engagements with customers of all sizes operating in multiple industry sectors across Europe. We can help you ensure maximum return from your ICT investment, by installing a future-proof communications infrastructure.

Post installation, we offer a wide range of support and maintenance options, either “off the shelf” or bespoke. You can choose the level of support you need, giving you the power to minimise operating overheads and drive value.

Audio Visual and Wireless Networks. To arrange a FREE survey please contact our Sales Team now on 0845 11 66 257 or visit our website

Our skilled engineers benefit from fast transport connections, giving you the assurance of a rapid response whenever you call, We are based in Witney, Oxfordshire and can offer help on design and installation of Cabling Installations Including

NGI Finance offers a great new secured loan product NGI Finance offers a great new secured loan product as well as its very popular unsecured business loan for all your commercial finance needs. Business owners prepared to look beyond their existing bank will discover that NGI Finance offers all kinds of finance including asset finance, commercial mortgages, unsecured business loans, and invoice finance. From raising money to buy cars, commercial vehicles, plant or machinery, to financing the purchase of commercial property or

to simply fund the growth and expansion of your business, NGI Finance has the ability to match your need with the right lender. If this is the sort of help and advice you need please get in touch now ñ we would be delighted to start helping you and your business to secure the best financing options available today. Call us on 01993 706403, e-mail us at: or visit our website www.ngifinance.couk or

Holi Festival of colours at The Tree Hotel The Tree Hotels at Iffley (Oxfordshire) and Cadmore End (Buckinghamshire) are excited to announce their Holi Festival of Colours event, which will be held on Saturday 7th March, from 12 pm, where you come wearing white and leave wearing a rainbow! Holi is an ancient Hindu festival which celebrates love, colours and frolics but its popularity has grown beyond Asia and it is now observed in parts of the

West too and is renowned as an extraordinary event in London. The Holi festival will be marked at The Tree Hotels with guests invited to join in the fun with the throwing of natural powders, resulting in a bright, visual celebration, as well as offering a delicious banquet of Indian street food served outdoors, from samosas to chicken tikka, and live Dhol drums music.

The day is a family friendly event and is open to all ages.

Tourism boom continues to drive growth in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism is booming in West Oxfordshire, promoted as the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, with official figures revealing that tourism related spending continues to rise with just over £273.8m spent in 2013, an increase of 2.1% on the previous year. Figures come from the latest annual Economic Impact of Tourism Study by Tourism South East.

Councillor Richard Langridge, West Oxfordshire District Council – Hayley Beer, Oxfordshire Cotswolds Tourism – James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland

According to the study, the number of visitors to the area increased in 2013 to 4.31 million, with 1.42 million visitor nights. Tourism related

employment is also on the up, with a workforce of full time employees totalling 3,476, compared to 3,420 in 2012 - tourism now accounts for around 12.5% of the workforce. The Oxfordshire Cotswolds tourism team, a West Oxfordshire District Council service, manage an annual visitor guide, bedroom browser, travel trade support, and a dedicated website, as well as Visitor Information Centres in Witney and Burford.




2 0 1 5

You are invited to take your place in our 2015 edition featuring the Thames Valley’s Top 250 Business Individuals See last years guide here: PUBLISHED BY


B4 news The Bodleian Libraries: two venues steeped in history One of the great academic libraries of the world, the Bodleian Libraries, is offering three new venues in the completely transformed Weston Library. Blackwell Hall features a splendid modern entrance atrium with a colonnade overlooking Broad Street. Available for evening hire from March 2015, the hall is one of Oxford’s largest venues, seating 250 guests for dinners or 450 for drinks receptions. A state- of the-art new lecture theatre is available during the day. There is also a new roof terrace where guests can enjoy stunning views over Oxford.

Photograph by: John Cairns

In the Old Bodleian Library, the magnificent gothic Divinity School is available for evening events, including civil wedding ceremonies. During the day, the 17th Century Convocation House, built to provide a distinguished meeting place for the University’s supreme governing body, still offers a grand meeting venue today. Please contact the Events Team in Venue Services on 01865 277224, or see

Future hindsight! If only businesses had this! Sometimes, we are so close to our business that we do not always look to the future to see what events could have either a negative or positive affect on our sustainability and business growth. Working with Business Advisers and Coaches, such as Business Doctors, may allow you the time to plan and implement changes in your organisation, which develop sales, margins, staff, profitability and the achievement of your vision for your business.

Martin Vessey is pleased to undertake an introductory Health Check meeting, talking with you about your aspirations and vision for the future and providing access to an online business planning tool, Scalability Score, which will offer ideas for development and business growth - and at this stage for no charge! Martin is contactable on: mobile 07834 518428, or see our website:

Increase ROI with Online Marketing from Urban Element The Urban Element Online Marketing service continues to undertake exciting changes with new team members and innovations bringing increased capacity and expertise to our clients. Our enhanced service offering allows us to develop tailored strategies and campaigns that best deliver on our clients’ needs, including: • Audits • SEO • Content Marketing • Social Media • Paid Advertising (PPC) • Email Marketing

Being an accredited member of the UK IT Association, we are also providers of the growth voucher match funding scheme worth up to £2000 for companies. 2014 was a year of huge progress and so far in 2015 we have been using our expertise and wide service offering to help clients reach new heights and increase ROI. We are always happy to talk about your business goals and online marketing service requirements. You can reach us at:

Telephone – 01993 776 999 Email – Website –

Torpedo B4 Masterclass – 16th April “Torpedo has an inspiring story and an impressive list of clients and is a genuine example of a successful business that is working hard to stay at the top of their game and creating job opportunities in this sector.” David Cameron, MP for Witney.

Just like the Prime Minister did, visit Torpedo for the next B4 Masterclass on 16th April from 6pm to 9pm to find out more about Torpedo’s fabulous services. Register at under the B4 Events tab.


B4 news Take part in the RAFBF Battle of Britain 75th Anniversary Brompton Bicycle Challenge from Paris to London This special event is designed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Seventy-five cyclists will take on the challenge from Paris to London on cutting edge British cycling technology: the Brompton bicycle. Registration fee: £295 per person for the first 30 people to sign up and then £350 per person after that. Minimum sponsorship: £1000.

You don't have to own a Brompton bike to take part as Bromptons will be provided! Though if you wish to buy your own, the RAF limited edition bike is £1228, £150 of which is donated to the RAFBF. For full details about the route and event, and to register for this fantastic challenge, please visit

The Helen & Douglas House Rainbow Run The Helen & Douglas House Rainbow Run is a major event supporting your local hospice for children and young adults whose ethos is celebrating happiness and living life to the full. This unique run is less about speed and more about enjoying a colourful day with family and friends and getting doused from head to toe with powdered paint. Last year’s event attracted 2,000 participants and this year, 3 events aim to attract 5,000 participants to help raise vital funds for a charity almost entirely

reliant on donations. The event dates are; Oxford – Sunday 24th May; High Wycombe - Saturday 6th June and Reading – Sunday 21st June. If you’re interested in sponsoring the 2015 Helen & Douglas House Rainbow Run which could include having a presence on the day and benefitting from both online and offline marketing opportunities, please contact Hugh Thompson on 01865 799150 or email Hugh on:

Oxford Pest Services Pests can be an issue for anyone with residential or commercial premises. Oxford Pest Services is your local supplier who will provide you with professional, responsible, honest and long term solutions to your pest control needs.

As members of the British Pest Control Association© you can be sure that you will receive reliable and professional advice and treatments. All our pest control technicians are registered with Basis Prompt© which ensures they actively complete high quality on-going training on the latest pest control techniques and legislation. “Being a part of Oxford City Council we have the unique advantage of having trusted relationships with waste collections services to be able to proof waste bins, we have links with Environmental

Photograph by: Angie Knipe

Our qualified, experienced staff offer a comprehensive survey, treatment and prevention service for all property owners and managers residential or commercial-ranging from ants, bedbugs, cockroaches and rodents through to pigeons and wasps. Health to be able to tackle problems with neighbouring properties which may be impacting on your pest problem and have built a strong working relationship with Thames Water and our own Engineering Team to be able to tackle any drainage problems which may be affecting your property.

Team Manager.

Our holistic approach to trying to resolve the core pest problem is key to the way we deliver our service. Working with Oxford Pest Services together we can help make Oxford a world class city to live, work and visit”. – Graham Eagle, Public Health

For further information or to book a free no obligation quotation please contact us on 01865 249811, email or visit

Whether you manage individual flats, student accommodation, offices or a complete business park, whether you are looking for a long term pest control provider or in need of a quick response we can take the hassle out of your pest control.


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B4 news British Red Cross You will know us for our international work but did you know that in the Thames Valley Area we support local communities of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. Independent living services such as wheelchair loan, home from hospital support, transport and escort service and our Fire and Emergency support service, provide vital support for people in the community recovering from a crisis. We are also famous for our first aid training, many companies have benefited from this service while supporting the cause. As fundraisers we are always looking for collaborations with the business community, and look forward to meeting you at B4 network events to discuss any ideas you may have. We have a variety of events that your staff may like to know

about and we would love to work closely with you as a Charity of the Year.

Berkshire - Anne Huddart 0118 9358221

We will post information about the local events on the B4 website so keep checking to find out how you and your staff can get involved.

Buckinghamshire - Sharon Cooper 01296739309

Contact information: Oxfordshire - Paula Falck 01235 552680

See for comprehensive information about the British Red Cross as an Organisation.

Oxford makes it onto the UK’s digital map Just a week after NaturalMotion's Torsten Reil inspired the region's digital community at the launch of Digital Oxford, our region was confirmed as one of 21 national technology clusters. Tech City UK’s Tech Nation report recognises Oxford for key attributes such as Talent, Access to Vibrant Networks and Technology Excellence. John Wakeman, CEO of OmPrompt, an Oxfordbased digital business which was name-checked in Tech Nation, says:

Torsten Reil of NaturalMotion addresses Oxfordshire's digital community. Picture Fisher Studios

"Working within the close community of digital companies in Oxford has been a huge benefit to my company. Being able to share expertise, ideas

and contacts can be the difference between success and failure when growing a digital business." Read the full report at: Digital Oxford is helping to make Oxfordshire a global destination for businesses, investors and people in the digital sector. It exists to show that the county has the capacity, skills base and dynamism to put Oxfordshire on the map for digital. Membership is open to Oxfordshire companies in the digital sector. Get involved and informed at

Alberon software gets ski trips organised Oxford-based Alberon has provided web-based database software to manage school groups embarking on ski and snowboarding trips to Switzerland. Viamonde operates around 50 programmes a year and needed to centralise information with quick and easy access for the management team at all times. Robert Perris, Viamonde’s Managing Director, said: “We wanted a system where we could create a trip from the moment an offer is made to a client and

then use the database to add information before, during and after the trip.” Alberon developed tailor-made software to consolidate information stored in many different places and formats, such as Word, Excel and a CRM system, into one easy-to-administer web-based system. Robert Perris commented: “Our requirements proved to be quite complex, but the team at Alberon have been very flexible and the resulting system is already proving to be invaluable, making

us more efficient and providing a better service to our own clients.” For details on Alberon’s bespoke software solutions see, email or phone 01865 794009.



KNOWLEDGE, IT’S IN OUR NATURE. With over 150 years of property experience, Carter Jonas have the expertise and knowledge to assist you with whatever your property needs may be. Oxford 01865 511444

B4 property


Welcome to the first of many B4 Features that we will be bringing to you. This issue we are focusing on the Thames Valley property market and have some great insights and advice from key businesses such as Finders Keepers, Carter Jonas, Brethertons and many more. This issue’s lead article is brought to us by Savvy Group.

Contents 20 22 26 29 30 33 34 36 39 41

Property Survey Savvy Finders Keepers Carter Jonas Brethertons Strutt & Parker Grant Thornton VSL KyteMark Mortgage Choices


The B4 Property Survey is brought to you in association with KyteMark Solutions p.39

B4 Property Survey – January 2015 The professionals’ view of Property Trends in the Thames Valley B4, in conjunction with research specialists KyteMark, have undertaken a comprehensive survey of its members views’ of the Property Market in the Thames Valley. WRITTEN BY: MATT WRIGHT

THE SURVEY Over the course of December and January, B4 members were polled on their thoughts, opinions, and forecasts for the Thames Valley Property Market over 2015. In an online survey, B4 members were asked 10 multiple-choice questions, and the results were collated into a 20-page presentation. Owing to space constraints, only a short summary of this presentation is reprinted here. It will be sent out to all the respondents and is available upon request from B4.

Similar distribution of optimism between Residential & Commercial


“Recruiting good staff is increasingly difficult in Oxford – the cost of accommodation drives people to London where the prices are similar, but incomes are far higher” 20





Slightly pessimistic

Slightly optimistic

Don’t know

Very optimistic


B4 property



Nobody expects property values to fall... although, a more mixed prediction for inflation

There was hardly any pessimism in evidence, and very little indifference, which is often in evidence when respondents are cautiously optimistic. In other words, the 50% score of ‘Slight Optimism’ probably understates the strength of feeling out there at present. Hence, the Thames Valley Property Market outlook is looking buoyant, with similar expectations for both the Commercial and Residential sectors. Inflation is the biggest macro fear out there

Rental values

When asked about macro expectations for 2015, there was less certainty… which is not surprising given the old adage about economic forecasting.

Property values

The First Law of Economics: For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist.


The Second Law of Economics: They’re both wrong


Interestingly, hardly any members seemed to be concerned about deflation, which shows that B4 members are a savvy bunch if the views of the Bank of England are anything to go by.

Interest rates



Significant increase

No change

Moderate increase

Moderate decrease

In its February Inflation Report, the Bank declared that inflation will “potentially turn negative in the spring and be close to zero for the remainder of the year”. The price of oil is obviously crucial to this expected trend, although cheap petrol is not expected to lead to cheap housing!


“Fossil fuel prices are currently one of the biggest determinants of how an economy (and therefore the housing market) grows, so as such, cheap oil is not necessarily such a good thing”

Political uncertainty unsurprisingly given it’s a General Election year! Non-direct property cost rises Direct property cost rises


Capital value slowdown

The General Election unsurprisingly dominates near-term sentiment. The anticipated low inflationary environment should keep a lid on costs, so it is the political direction that is of most concern.

Interest rate rises Elsewhere in the Survey, we saw expectations of a push for higher productivity and an increased marketing spend. This infers an intensification in competition rather than an increase in prices or fees per se.

Public Sector Political uncertainty


0 Very Likely

No Impact



5 Very unlikely



So all in all, the outlook is bright for the Property Market in The Thames Valley. This is good news for B4 members either directly employed or indirectly supplying services to the Property well as homeowners or those investing in bricks & mortar for their pensions...but that's a topic for another online survey!


Savvy iS Ready foR the UptURn Savvy, a striving, dynamic and efficient mediumsized chartered construction and development company based in Oxford, attribute the buoyancy of the region’s property market, especially in Oxford itself, to the combined effects of a housing shortage and a thriving economy based on proximity to London and expanding skilled employment. With this pressure from the university sector of well-paid researchers in science and technology it is not surprising that there is a strong demand for luxury housing development which is one of Savvy’s strengths. Steve Dunne, of Savvy Group says, “We keep a very close ear to the ground and work with lots of different agents, including the Oxford colleges, architects, developers and private clients. As part of our planned response to keep up with demand we are continuing to invest in recruitment, new plant, equipment and training of staff. However, as


demand picks up, we are facing increasingly tight time-scales, which is forcing us to be much more creative in our project planning. Getting staff and materials to work sites in Oxford is a serious problem given the seemingly never ending series of road works that can add an hour or more to journey times.” Their ethos of working with clients and consultants to ensure a smooth delivery of the project on time and within budget makes them an effective member of the design/build team. Savvy is known by its many clients for delivering the very best in project planning and quality workmanship, in a wide range of construction, renovation and maintenance projects throughout the Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Greater London area. A collaborative approach and excellence in delivery has made it the first preference choice of diverse clients, including

Oxford colleges, architects, developers, commercial enterprises or high-net-worth individuals. Savvy’s performance elicits glowing testimonials. One from R. N. Stansfield, Property Director, Jesus College, Oxford states: “The project was completed on time, on budget and to a high standard. The College was impressed by the courtesy, consideration and professionalism of the team and very much hope to work with them in the future,” whilst Andrew Creese, General Manager, Malmaison Hotel, states, “Savvy have proved to be a tremendous asset to Malmaison Hotels for a number of years.” In addition, Mike Sheppard Project Surveyor Savills observed about Savvy, “Given the great performance of Savvy Construction for Savills, it makes it very easy for me to confidently recommend you to others.” Savvy are currently involved in a number of interesting and challenging projects including,

B4 property


It is becoming increasingly clear that the Thames Valley region surrounding Oxford has seen the early signs of a major housing and construction upturn. One firm that is already enjoying some of the early fruits of the recovery is the Savvy Group with £10-million worth of orders on the books for this year already. WRITTEN BY: NICHOLAS NEWMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STUDLEY PRIORY / MATTHEW PITT

construction of a new £1 million office and commercial space at Watcombe Manor in Watlington, due for completion by spring 2015. In addition, Savvy are in the midst of a £2 million project to expand and refurbish the Beech Court Care Home in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, due for completion in early 2016. In this case, Savvy faced a series of restrictive challenges, which include working on a listed building site whilst taking due care and attention not to disturb the archaeological remains as well as a local bat colony and, more crucially, the patients and nursing staff living and working on the site. Apart from construction, Savvy has undertaken refurbishment and maintenance projects for Oxford’s Jesus College, St. John’s,

Corpus Christi and Christ Church as well as Studley Priory. Going forward, Savvy’s construction division has £10 million of new projects on its books for the upcoming year, says Jon Peart, Director, Savvy Construction Division. For example, the owner of Studley Priory has just commissioned construction of an indoor swimming pool complex for this historically significant country mansion and Savvy have won the tender to build six 4- bedroomed luxury houses with associated parking barns at Brewers Garage, Nuneham Courtenay in South Oxfordshire. “Indeed, it is this professional and client focussed ethos that sets Savvy Construction above other contractors”

Savvy are here to help and advise Savvy can help advise clients with the best construction process to get a potential project from concept to reality, by recommending previously used architects, surveyors, structural engineers and planning consultants. As well as this, Savvy have an in-house skillset and experience to work on proactive, planned and cyclical repairs and maintenance to clients homes, offices and buildings. You can be confident the advice is honest and the best solution for your project. As Savvy are an NIC EIC and Gas Safe Approved Company you are safe in the knowledge that you are dealing with experts.

Savvy’s management team and site foreman have all displayed a most “professional and client focussed approach, with every project” Mike Sheppard - Project Surveyor Savills


For all your construction, maintenance & renovations needs If you want to apply for a job in construction we are looking for new staff, please contact Steve, email

Tel 01865 920040 Fax 01865 892320 Dunne House, 253 London Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9EH

B4 property

Some secrets of Savvy’s success! As an award-winning construction, restoration and maintenance enterprise, Savvy directors attribute their success to dedicated leadership, leading by example and expecting nothing but the best from each of its highly skilled professional team members. Jon Peart, Director Savvy Construction says, “Each and every director is directly responsible and accountable for the projects he leads. In addition, attention to detail and project planning, based on extensive professional experience of the realities of the job greatly help”. Ability and attention to detail have certainly impressed Brian Donnelly of Oxford Architects, who observed, “They approach projects in the correct manner and are not contractual, often doing more than required, to ensure client satisfaction. They are always contactable and open for discussion on resolution of site issues”. Steve Dunne asserts, “We believe in good customer care not only throughout the life- time of the project but also afterwards. This requires that each director take a hands-on approach in planning, coordinating and managing all operational and logistical aspects whilst ensuring recruitment of only the brightest, most suitable and best skilled people for the job”. A vital part of the Group’s success is the maintenance and refurbishment division led by Dave Dunne, which offers both an emergency rescue service attending to, for example, burst water pipes, floods and central heating failures as well as longer term elective and planned maintenance services for Oxford colleges, private landlords and property owners. “What is interesting is that many of these small jobs develop into bigger contracts”. And he adds, “A lot of our new work comes this way since on many projects staff from both the construction and maintenance divisions will be working together on the same

scheme”. A testimonial to the quality of the work by Savvy is offered by Joff Webb at Robert J. Webb Associates, Quantity Surveyors, Headington, who states, “Their standards of workmanship and site organisation are consistently of the required standards and I have no hesitation in recommending them”. The Savvy management ethos is simple and direct – to lead by example and to bring together a team with the requisite skills and experience. “We carefully handpick our team of experts,” says Steve Dunne, whilst Jon Peart adds, “We are always on the lookout for talented experienced professionals”. In June 2014, in recognition of its high standards of excellence, Savvy was awarded with Chartered Building Status, a sign of their commitment to competency, professionalism and ethical business behaviour. With the growth in the business has come a commitment towards charity involvement. For 2016, Savvy is planning to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of charity. Steve Dunne is proposing that a Savvy team cycle between the highest mountains in Scotland, Wales and England. Jon Peart sighs and says, “I can’t wait for the summer!” How could government help construction? According to Savvy directors there is a real need to fix the planning system and education of potential recruits. Under the current planning system, the planning-applications and approvals process is both slow and costly, especially where local councils are demanding a percentage of gross development value for small developments. As result, it is not surprising that the UK construction industry is failing to build the estimated 240,000 houses a year needed to tackle the severe housing shortage. As Steve Dunne asserts, “We need to have a planning system which is a lot more pro-active and accountable: one in which it does not take five years for major schemes to get approved. In


addition, because of the government’s failure to solve the housing crisis, my staff, despite being well paid, are facing the problem of finding affordable housing within commuting distance of work”. Steve Dunne is passionate on education, training and continuous professional development. “Both schools and universities need to explain more proactively the benefits of working in the construction sector, whether it is in management or hands-on skilled professional work on the building site. To do well in the business, you have to learn to be flexible and undertake continuous professional learning and updating of skills throughout your career. I think both pupils and students need to be exposed to the practical work environment, even if they go on to academic careers”, says Steve Dunne. He adds, “It is good to see some start in recognising the value of practical skills training for students in technical schools and colleges, but a lot more needs to be done to tackle the serious labour shortage we are facing”. If you want to apply for a career in construction we are looking for new staff, contact Steve, email” With this dynamic and forward-looking corporate philosophy, based upon proven achievements and widespread recognition, the Savvy Group enters 2015 with a powerful momentum, which carries great promise of a prosperous and successful year ahead.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 920 040


Cowley will emerge as a hotspot in 2015

Will pensioners spend their pensions on buy-to-let come April?

2015 the

yeaR ahead

Once a year the Finders Keepers ‘brains trust’ members turn into fortune tellers. Some trends are more obvious than others – we hope you enjoy them and have a wonderful 2015.


A massive year for housing politics nationally. Housing is a bona fide election voting issue for the first time. It stirs the emotions as it is the centre of so many hot topics: interest rates and banks (for mortgages), the Green Belt (new supply), immigration (social housing, population growth) and youth employment (salaries vs. house prices). Labour has parked its tanks on landlord’s lawns and is making an unashamed sales pitch to 9 million tenants. Drowned within the mudslinging at landlords is common sense. We see few good ideas about the two biggest problems in the rental sector – poor service from agents and landlords, and low quality properties. Working with landlords, not against them, is more likely to yield progress. More tension re affordable homes and the Green Belt locally. In 2014 only 4 affordable houses were built in Oxford (a) even though 25,000-30,000 new houses are needed in Oxfordshire by 2030 (b) Worrying times. Affordable housing quotas are

Dan Channer


deterring private sector investment in Oxford without which not many houses are built. 2014 saw our local authorities engage in legal battles to block / pass their Local Plans – Oxford City Council wants more new housing allocations outside Oxford. In 2015 the focus is squarely on the Green Belt as reported consistently by the Oxford Times, with sites within 5 miles of Oxford favoured, such as Begbroke and between Blackbird Leys and the Baldons. A slower sales market will bring more quality back to renting. Some of the best applicants chose to buy not rent in the first half of 2014. Perhaps we are being too optimistic but we think a slower sales market in 2015 (caution up to the election, interest rates edging up will lure some of the strongest applicants back to renting. The new London train will help Bicester. Major infrastructure projects have their own gritty glamour. The new Water Eaton-Bicester-London

June Inglis

line has already accelerated Kidlington house prices, but the impact on Bicester has been less heralded. The dramatic increase in Bicester to Oxford train services will be yet another reason to live in Bicester and will support rents and sales prices. Canny ‘doer-upper’ landlords will benefit. ‘Doing up’ an older property can be a wise move. In Bicester, for example, the average price of a solid 2-bedroom home is around 10-15% less than a new-build of comparable size. But – if kept up to modern specifications – the rent will barely differ as applicants like high quality older properties. They are usually larger, on bigger plots and often in greener areas with better parking. Roll on the flood defences, Westgate and Oxpens. Finally we may have action. The £500m Westgate centre promises 3,400 new jobs and 122 homes and won planning permission at the end of 2014. £42m has been allocated for the Oxford Western

Frank Webster

B4 advice


It is highly likely that letting agents and landlords will need to check overseas tenants have valid visas

£42m has been allocated for the Oxford Western Conveyance Flood Channel

Conveyance Flood Channel to protect 1,200 homes – we hope that plans are not stuck in red tape in 2015. The Oxpens redevelopment is a major part of Oxford’s proposed Housing Strategy – the area is dire currently and can withstand highdensity living. Cowley will emerge as a hotspot. A bold call perhaps. The evidence: relatively low entry prices compared with much of Oxford; strong and growing local employment; and Chiltern Railways’ desire to create new passenger stations at Oxford Business Park and Oxford Science Park by 2020 using the existing Cowley freight line. Letting agents will become Border Control. It is highly likely that from May 2015 letting agents and landlords will need to do the Home Office’s job for them and check that new overseas tenants have valid visas. The rental sector comprises 17% of households (c), so who checks the other 83%?Also, illegal immigrants will just avoid formal rental situations which require ID checks and live

Henry Brown

In Bicester, for example, the average price of a solid 2-bedroom home is around 10-15% less than a new-build of comparable size. But – if kept up to modern specifications – the rent will barely differ as applicants like high quality older properties

with friends or in shared houses via online classified ads. Bungalows to bounce back. Our Vice-Chairman is bullish on bungalows, or ‘single storey dwellings’ as we call them. He knows that the over-60 population in Oxford is forecast to grow by 43% by 2037 against the city growing 12% overall (d), He also realises that an older demographic with ‘guilt equity’ want homes without stairs and to free up some cash for their family to get on to the housing ladder. Location is a question: an urban environment suits many elderly downsizers but new bungalows will be in villages, not towns. SKI-ing pensioners will be less reckless than advertised. Ten years ago the ‘SKI’ acronym captured babyboomers. Spending their Kids’ Inheritance. Longer, fitter lives and expanded horizons led to more travel and less saving. Like any media tag, there was truth alongside myth. Now people think

Paul Thomas

This north oxford property was upgraded in 2014 and saw a rent increase of 40.68%

that pensioners will lift the lid on their pensions in April 2015 when regulations are relaxed and spend the lot on buy-to-let properties in a fi t of bricks & mortar hedonism. Unlikely. Yes, our Inspired Investment service is already advising more people than normal about how to invest successfully in residential property, but we do not think that people who have worked hard all their lives for their pensions will be remotely reckless. (a) Oxford City Council Housing Strategy 2015-2018. (b) Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2014 (c) DCLG figures, 2014 (d) Oxford City Council Housing Strategy 2015-2018

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 311011

Paul Rushworth


MORE THAN 75 PROPERTY EXPERTS WORK DAY IN DAY OUT IN OUR OXFORD OFFICE TO HELP AND ADVISE OUR CLIENTS TO MAXIMISE THE VALUE OF THEIR PROPERTY ASSETS. From our commercial agency and investment team and its property managers, to our planners and development land experts, and skilled residential and rural teams, we have people who can help you. Or if you’re looking for something more specialised, we have architects, building surveyors, a mapping team who have the country covered, minerals & waste management services, people who live and breathe infrastructure, and renewable energy experts, all on hand, in one place, in Oxford. Or perhaps you simply need a valuation. Whatever professional advice you need for your property, discover how we can help.

01865 511444 or

B4 property


“Attention has turned

to regional location and Oxford in particular continues to be seen as a safe haven” Jon Silversides - Partner, Commercial Agency at Carter Jonas

Why oxfoRdShiRe CommeRCial Real eState iS hot pRopeRty Oxfordshire’s commercial property market is back and it’s hot. 2014 was a record year for commercial property investment both within Oxfordshire but also the UK as a whole, with a seemingly unabated level of demand from investors for stock, according to Jon Silversides, partner in Carter Jonas’ Oxford office. WRITTEN BY: OLIVIA LANE-NOTT PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JIM WINSLET

With the London market widely regarded as being overheated, attention has turned to regional locations and Oxford in particular continues to be seen as a safe haven. With the increased appetite for stock in the regions coinciding with an upturn in the market, vendors have been taking the opportunity to sell at extremely strong values with a significant release of stock following so many years in the doldrums. 2014 saw trophy assets such as The Randolf Hotel change hands at £33m and there has been a whole raft of smaller assets sold including industrial estates Fenchurch Court, Oxford Business Centre and Thorney Leys Trade Park in Oxford and Witney respectively. Also at the end of 2014, we sold offmarket for a private investor, 265-279 Iffley Road for £7 million to Wrenbridge Land, representing a net initial yield of 5.34%.

One of the challenges that remains for private investors entering the market is that, on the whole, Oxford stock is swept up by institutional style buyers able to afford the larger price tags. Therefore our market towns and suburbs of Oxford have thrown up opportunities. Carter Jonas has sold a number of smaller investments in 2014 including 214 Banbury Road and 1 Weston Business Park for £670,000 and £640,000 respectively and we have are currently appraising a number of sub £1m opportunities with a view to bringing them to the market. On the other side, our acquisition service for a wide range of clients has seen us buy stock from Braintree down to Poole and across to Bath, ranging from mixed use business parks to convenience stores, offices, warehousing and even a Frankie and Bennies, such is the demand for fresh opportunities.

The acquisition challenge in the current market is firstly securing an opportunity and secondly not paying too much. But will 2015 offer the same, being an election year and a medium-term interest rate rise on the cards? Our view is yes, stock depending. Whilst we may well see a blip around May, we anticipate a continued level of demand in core stock, and the heat is definitely still on. Carter Jonas’ Oxford office has more than 75 people, with experts in every field in Commercial, Planning & Development, Residential and Rural, giving long term advice that enhances its clients’ future prosperity. For further information, please contact us. CONTACT DETAILS 01865 404458


“Taking action now to properly assess your property portfolio will enable you to identify the issues that need to be addressed and to plan and cost the works that will be required



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eneRgy peRfoRmanCe CeRtifiCateS oR expenSe, penaltieS, CoSt? As owners of commercial property will tell you, managing a portfolio of premises is something of a minefield of regulations and legislation. Contracts and Leases need to be water-tight, crystal-clear and contain iron-clad clauses that leave little room for doubt. Property transactions can be fraught with delays and setbacks when all you want is to negotiate the deal and meet those critical deadlines. When it comes to owning and managing business property, the devil really is in the detail. WRITTEN BY: TOM LAWRENCE

Legislation due to come into effect by April 2018 at the latest could have significant implications for owners of commercial buildings that do not meet minimum energy performance standards. Tom Lawrence, Partner and Head of Commercial Property at Brethertons’ Banbury office, takes a look at the implications for owners of commercial property. What are energy performance standards? Most owners of commercial premises will already be aware of energy performance standards, which are rated using Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). EPCs for commercial premises were introduced in 2008 by the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007. Subject to certain exclusions, whenever a building is to be sold or let, the seller or landlord must provide an EPC and recommendation report to the prospective buyer or tenant, free of charge at the earliest opportunity. An EPC is a certificate that provides information about the energy efficiency of a building in the form of a rating ranging from ‘A’ (the most efficient) to ‘G’ (the least efficient). The accompanying recommendation report contains suggestions for improvements of the energy performance of the building. These are categorised as cost-efficient alterations and measures that require a higher level of expenditure. The changes to legislation From April 2018 at the latest, and in line with residential property, the requirements contained in the Energy Act 2011 will make it unlawful for a property to be let if it has failed to achieve a minimum prescribed energy performance standard. It is anticipated that the required minimum standard will be an EPC energy rating of ‘E’. It is estimated that of the commercial properties that presently have an EPC, approximately 20%

have an EPC energy rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ (i.e. below the anticipated required minimum standard). The implications EPCs have a lifespan of 10 years and by the time the changes come into effect , EPCs that were produced when the 2007 Regulations first came into force will have reached, or be approaching, their expiry. Those properties with EPCs that are approaching expiry will need to have their energy performance standards reassessed and a new EPC generated. Owners should be wary of making the assumption that properties will have the same EPC rating on the renewal of an EPC, particularly if alterations have been made to the property in the interim period. It might be the case that any property which has a new, lower efficiency rating suffers a reduction in valuation as a result of a downgrade in efficiency rating. Owners will need to bear this in mind and consider making alterations to the premises to improve the efficiency before the building is assessed. Rent reviews and dilapidations assessments may also be affected by the new requirements. Enforcement of the new regulations will be conducted by local Trading Standards Officers, although the level and value of penalties has not yet been agreed by the Government. Next steps 1. Make sure all properties in your portfolio are assessed for energy efficiency and have a current EPC now to leave enough time for improvements where necessary. 2. Any property with a rating below the new minimum standard ‘E’ (ie: ‘F’ or ‘G’) will need alterations to bring it above the minimum standard and into compliance with the new legislation. The EPC’s recommendation report

will provide guidance on upgrading the building and a knowledgeable surveyor will be able to advise on the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Plan. 3. Ensure any improvements are completed before the new legislation comes into force (in April 2018 at the latest). Void periods and lease breaks are useful periods for implementing the changes. Taking action now to properly assess your property portfolio will enable you to identify the issues that need to be addressed and to plan and cost the works that will be required to resolve those issues in good time. As 2018 approaches the cost of carrying out required improvements is likely to rise if there is an increase in demand caused by those that have decided to leave works until the last minute. At this stage, the exact details of how the legislation will operate are not fully defined, however it has the potential to have a dramatic impact on the investment required on energy efficiency in buildings which, in turn, could have a significant impact on the buying and letting of commercial properties. If you have any queries regarding the points raised in this article, or any other matter regarding commercial property that you would like to discuss, contact Tom Lawrence. Details below.

CONTACT DETAILS 01295 661427


DEVELOPMENT DREAMS? We can turn them into reality Our team specialises in adding value to all kinds of development projects ranging from major residential, commercial or mixed use schemes to one-off new build and conversions

Experts in Planning applications & appeals

Site Acquisition & Disposal

Strategic land promotion

Site identification

Site appraisals & development briefs

Option & promotion agreements

CIL & S106 Agreements

Development Viability Appraisals

Community consultation


Our Planning and Development Team has the knowledge, experience and necessary skills to deliver solutions that maximise value. When you work with us you are also benefiting from the wider expertise of one of the UK’s leading property consultancies.

We advise on everything from project viability, planning and valuation through to site marketing and eventual sale, acquisition or development. We look forward to working with you.

Our Development & Planning Team has the knowledge, experience and necessary skills to deliver solutions that maximise value. When you work with us you are also benefiting from the wider expertise of one of the UK’s leading property consultancies. We advise on everything from project viability, planning and valuation through to site marketing and eventual sale, acquisition or development. We look forward to working with you.



Mike Robinson - Partner Tel: 01865 366670

Miles Collison - Partner Tel: 01865 366667

Oliver Taylor - Senior Planner Tel: 01865 366669

Richard Foxon - Partner Tel: 01865 366668

Simon Handy - Senior Planner Tel: 01865 366673

George Fox - Graduate Surveyor Tel: 01865 366674

Simon Joyce - Graduate Planner Tel: 01865 366675

Piers Beeton - Graduate Surveyor Tel: 01865 366652

Strutt & Parker LLP, 269 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7LL T: 01865 366666

B4 property


planning foR hoUSing gRoWth As the General Election looms, a series of pledges have been made from all the main parties on addressing the housing problem in the country. The Conservatives tell us that ‘buying a home shouldn’t be an impossible dream’ and under a Labour Government ‘housing will be a top priority’ WRITTEN BY: MIKE ROBINSON MRTPI

At the beginning of March the Prime Minster set out plans to make 200,000 homes available to first-time buyers in England by 2020 on top of plans for 100,000 cut-price homes for people aged under 40. Labour has pledged to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to build 300,000. This all comes from the widely recognised fact that we are facing a substantial housing shortage in this country. The latest estimates suggest that around 240,000 additional homes are required each year to 2031 in order to meet newly arising demand in England. Around 40% of these requirements are likely to be in London and the South East alone. Last year we built just over a paltry 100,000 new homes.

Green Belt has in part contributed to Oxford’s affordability crisis as well as led to wasteful patterns of commuting. Academics in the City have argued the scarcity and cost of housing could easily cause the University to lose its top position and the growth of knowledge-based industries would also suffer if the area is unable to provide staff with homes they can afford, along with the services and facilities required for modern living.

The consequence of a reducing supply and increasing demand for housing has inevitably been higher prices. For example, Oxford is now one of the most expensive cities in the UK with average house prices last year of over £420,000, some 16 times local average incomes.

The planning system is often blamed for creating this problem, indeed back in 2011 the Prime Minster referred to the planning as the ‘enemy of enterprise’. The Coalition Government has introduced a number of major reforms to the planning system including the National Planning Policy Framework in 2012 aimed at simplifying and speeding up the planning process. The Government has stressed that the planning system should work proactively to support economic growth and it is still concerned that various aspects of the planning system are burdened by “unnecessary bureaucracy that can hinder sustainable growth’’.

It is in this politically charged context that the pressure is mounting on local authorities to deliver more homes. This is certainly true in Oxfordshire where the four shire district councils have not only been wrestling with their plans for their own areas but also having to address the significant needs of Oxford City. Simply there isn’t the space to meet these needs within the City which is tightly constrained by its Green Belt. It is argued that the

Whilst the red tape and politics can be frustrating, it is only through positive planning and strong leadership that we are going deliver the social and economic growth that the country needs. This doesn’t mean allowing housing anywhere and everywhere but ensuring that all development is located in the right places, is designed to a high standard and crucially is supported by appropriate investment in infrastructure. It is therefore

important that we all engage in the planning process and not just when it is on our doorstep. One thing is for sure, whoever wins on 7th May, housing delivery will be high on the agenda. Inevitably this will create opportunities for both landowners and developers. This is why Strutt and Parker are specifically investing in development and planning which is seen as a real growth area for the firm. In Oxford, our Development & Planning Team has grown from 4 to 12 in just over a year and reflects the growing demand for well-informed professional property advice. As well as planning experts, we have development surveyors who have excellent connections with the house building industry and are able to give the best advice on the acquisition and disposal of development land as well on option and promotion agreements. We also have dedicated valuers who provide both general and specialist valuation advice from single assets to larger developments. We look forward to working with you. Please contact Mike Robinson MRTPI, Partner & Head of Oxford Planning for Strutt & Parker below.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 366 670


Selling land? tax matteRS… It is commonly known that land and housing in Oxfordshire come at a premium and demand outstrips supply. Our tax team at Grant Thornton in Oxford have experienced an increasing number of queries from individuals looking to sell land, most commonly to third party developers. Typically this may be surplus farmland, land held as an investment or simply part of a large residential garden. Such land sales can yield significant profits or gains. WRITTEN BY: NICK ASHLEY & RACHEL STACE PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALEX CAMINADA

Land transactions are however a potentially complex area of taxation which HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) often reviews in great detail. Early tax advice and careful planning of how your land disposal is structured is therefore important. Anti-avoidance! Many would think that any gain you make on selling a piece of land would simply be assessed to capital gains tax (CGT), as for most other asset disposals. While this will be the case for many straightforward land disposals, there are some instances where HMRC seek to assess the profit on a land disposal to income tax, at rates up to 45%, rather than the 28% higher rate of CGT. This is due to the specific anti-avoidance rules relating to transactions in land, which may assess the return as income rather than a capital gain on disposal. This may be the case if, for example, a developer offers you a 'slice of the action' in a share of profits on completion of a development. Sale structure and timing Identifying the 'tax point' when a land disposal needs to be reported to HMRC can be complicated in some instances, as payment of cash may be delayed until completion of a development. Is the tax point when an offer is received, a contract exchanged or completed, an option granted or exercised, or when cash moves hands? It is also important to confirm the amount of proceeds to recognise, which can be less than straightforward especially where options are entered into, but exercised at a later date. Identifying whether the amount of the consideration is ascertainable or unascertainable is also key. Good planning can maximise the use of annual CGT allowances and ensure correct reporting and tax treatment.


Which vehicle is best? You may be selling land held in a limited company or be considering the potential benefits of transferring land in or out of a company pre-sale or development. Alternatively, a limited liability partnership (LLP) or traditional partnership can be useful vehicles where land is being sold or developed by joint owners. You may need to consider land pooling, land consortium rules or other ownership options.

Things to Remember... • Plan ahead • Take advice early • Think about every tax • Maximise reliefs • Protect your proceeds

Tax reliefs A CGT liability arising on a land disposal could potentially be mitigated by statutory tax reliefs. As a starting point, it should be remembered that each individual has an annual CGT exemption, currently £11,000. Capital losses of the current or previous years may also be available to offset a capital gain on a land sale.

10% rate of CGT, if the disposal of the land is part of the disposal of the whole or part of the business, or on the cessation of the business. There are numerous conditions attached to securing this relief and it is important advice is taken at least 12 months in advance of a disposal, this being the relevant qualifying period. Similarly, if land used in a business is sold and the individual selling that land reinvests the proceeds in a new asset for the purpose of their trade, rollover relief may be available to defer some or all of the associated CGT liability. If part of a garden is being sold and that garden has been enjoyed as part of a home, main residence relief may be available to fully exempt the gain from CGT. Other tax considerations The VAT rules relating to land and property transactions are so complex and would warrant their own article! For now, it is sufficient to say that it is crucial that specialist VAT advice is taken in advance of any land transaction to ensure savings and reliefs are maximised and it is correctly treated. Similarly stamp duty land tax liabilities need to be considered by anyone purchasing land. Early planning There may be opportunities to transfer potential development land at a very early stage, while it arguably may have a lower value. Inevitably, potential development land will have some 'hope' value attached to it, depending on the likelihood of a future return on development. The closer you are to a deal the greater this 'hope' value may be, most notably increasing when planning permission is secured.

A disposal of land which has been used in a business, such as a farming enterprise, could potentially attract entrepreneurs' relief, securing a

B4 property


“Early tax

advice and careful planning of how your land disposal is structured is therefore important” An early transfer of land may help mitigate future tax on development or sale, by spreading liabilities or passing them to individuals or other entities subject to lower tax rates. This may also divert growth in value to a younger generation or perhaps even a family trust, with a view to reducing future inheritance tax liabilities. Post-sale – what now? Hopefully a land disposal would leave you with a pot of cash. It is possible that you have replaced a business asset (such a farmland) with cash, which could give rise to the need for inheritance tax planning. In addition, you may be looking to invest that cash to generate an ongoing income stream or capital growth and require wealth advice. Such wealth advice could include consideration of investments affording statutory tax reliefs, such as the enterprise investment scheme which could give you the opportunity to defer a CGT liability and secure an income tax benefit. You will also have the reporting of your property transactions to HMRC to deal with. Our team at Grant Thornton in Oxford has the expertise to help you with these matters under one roof and we would be pleased to have an initial free meeting with you to learn about your future plans and ambitions. All rates and legislation based on the 2014/15 financial year. Please contact either Nick Ashley on 01865 799852 or Rachel Stace on 01865 799926. CONTACT DETAILS 01865 799899 Nick Ashley and Rachel Stace


4300 NASH COURT Oxford Business Park, Oxford TO LET 9,139 sq ft

Two storey self contained office on popular Business Park. EPC Rating – C(72)

NUFFIELD TRADE PARK Abingdon TO LET 4,368 – 12, 7322 sq ft New trade counter development with excellent prominence to A34. Unit 9A Now Let to Tool Station. EPC Rating – D(83)

SEACOURT TOWER Botley Road, Oxford TO LET 1,704 sq ft – 10,361 sq ft High quality air conditioned offices. EPC Rating – D(78)

KING CHARLES HOUSE Park End Street, Oxford TO LET 8,072 sq ft

High Quality City Centre Office Suites. EPC Rating - D(91)

unrivalled local and regional expertise Richard Venables Tom Barton Duncan May

news Oxfordshire commercial property market hits 7-year peak The Oxfordshire commercial property market produced its best performance since 2008 last year according to a report released by leading commercial property agents, VSL & Partners. The annual report records statistics for the office and industrial markets focusing on central Oxford and along the A34 ‘Innovation Knowledge Corridor’, providing a clear insight into supply, take up and rents. It finds take up in office and industrial property at a seven year high with supply at an all time low. VSL predicts this will drive an increase in commercial rents across the Oxfordshire region. The report shows demand is back up to pre recession levels with total take up for office space recorded at 423,700 sq ft, an 83% increase on 2013 figures and significantly above the five year average which is recorded at 260,000 sq ft. Industrial supply reflects strong demand and is at a new eight year low at 1,218,000 sq ft, an 18% drop from 2013 levels. There is no Grade A supply of new industrial stock in the market and based on 2014’s levels, VSL reports there is less than two years supply of office and industrial property available in the market.

Richard Venables, Director at VSL & Partners explains: “The lack of commercial development over the recession years, and the recent surge in take up has created an erosion of existing stock. With the improving marketing conditions we are now seeing more competition for fewer units, which has resulted in reduction in incentive packages being offered by landlords and increasing rental growth. Based on current 2015 activity we predict a 5-10% rental increase to be realised over the coming years. This rental growth should give developers confidence to bring forward new supply but due to increased build costs, these developments will be at even higher rental levels. Many businesses occupiers might not appreciate that rents have in real terms flat lined over the last 20 years in comparison with other occupational costs such as business rates, staff and energy costs.” “We believe that Oxford is going through a transformational period of economic development following a decade of under investment and that opportunities for future commercial growth will focus on the Northern Gateway of the county covering Kidlington, Yarnton and Bicester.” VSL & Partners produces annual market reports providing a valuable insight into commercial property market activity in the Oxfordshire region. To access reports covering the last ten years please visit

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Deals Done... Here are a selection of the transactions which we have completed in the last quarter:

5 Oxford Industrial Park, Yarnton Modern warehouse/industrial unit let to Production Quest. 8,654 sq ft

47 West Way, Botley, Oxford Retail unit with attached warehouse and offices in prominent roadside location. 4,636 sq ft Sold by VSL & Parnters

Vogue Business Park, Berinsfield Modern warehouse/industrial units situated within a secure gated site. 38,900 sq ft Unit let to Oxford City Youth FC


Critchleys PLaN, is a free quarterly networking and information sharing breakfast meeting specifically for Oxfordshire professionals in the property and land sector The event is held on the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December from 07:30-09:30, typically at a venue within the Oxford ring road To join the invite list, please contact Gail Lloyd via or 01865 261100

B4 property


to Steal ideaS fRom one peRSon iS plagiaRiSm, to Steal ideaS fRom many iS ReSeaRCh

David Milnes, owner of KyteMark Solutions, explains why ‘Market Research’ should be viewed with more enthusiasm by the business community given its proven ability to generate bottom-line profits. WRITTEN BY: MATT WRIGHT

1. “Just 5% of companies say it is easy to generate leads” KyteMark Research

Prospect Pathfinder ‘Discover new markets, Expand existing ones’


Why should it be so hard? After all, most companies we deal with are highly competent and experts in their field, but somehow seem to struggle in getting this message across. Customer Pathfinder ‘Know your customers, Grow your business’ This is our most popular product – it delivers on a number of different levels, offering a combination of strategic guidance, critical feedback, and affirmative outputs. We believe its popularity is based upon its simplicity – we have a 1-1 meeting at the outset to identify the business issues, and from this we determine 3 core questions to put to the 6 customers specifically chosen by our client. We then interview these customers, usually over the phone, with reference to the business issues identified. This generates a number of affirmative outputs - Testimonials, Case Studies, Referrals – as well as the strategic feedback to our questions. This is all combined with KyteMark’s own recommendations to produce a 50+ page report, which is presented both online and in a hard-copy format.

“Over 75% of companies ask for potential customer details, yet less than 20% of those same companies would give out their own details when asked.” KyteMark Research 2014


This conundrum is a huge barrier to growth - how can businesses hope to expand beyond their existing customer base given this apparent lack of trust? Unfortunately, this is why many businesses stagnate – if they are not securing new business from referrals or existing customers, they often stop growing since the alternative – whisper it softly… cold calling - is considered unpalatable.

There is an answer though – have somebody else do it for you. Here at KyteMark, we take time to understand a customer’s business issues and objectives (as for the Customer Pathfinder product), then brief and manage a telemarketer ourselves with the dual objectives of securing meetings and generating market intelligence. When faced with the hassle of finding, briefing, managing, and agreeing terms with a telemarketer (all of which involves upfront time and costs for an uncertain outcome), it is no surprise that many companies chose to do nothing. KyteMark aims to overcome that intertia, offering meeting hit rates well above the market average.

“The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do.” Roy L Smith 3.

Knowing what you do well is only one part of the equation – it’s equally important to know who your competitors are, how they market themselves, what they do well…and what they don’t do so well. Competitor Pathfinder ‘Maximise your strengths, Minimize your weaknesses’ It may seem obvious to know what your competitors are doing, but many UK companies seem almost reluctant to benchmark themselves in this way. Hence, this is our most popular European product, although it hasn’t really taken off in the UK yet. This is a bespoke product, so its format varies according to the customer’s needs, ranging from a simple ‘Mystery Shopping’ solution at one end, through to interactive Competitor Scorecards and published Quarterly Reports at the other end of the scale.

Do you really know your market – what your customers’ views are, their opinions, their optimisms, their concerns? How do you go about canvassing your database? Market Pathfinder ‘Knowledge is power, Know your market’ KyteMark creates, designs and runs online surveys, analyses the results, and presents the findings in a report. This is a great tool for generating proprietorial content, which can be used either for internal research, or for external discussion purposes. A cutdown example of a Market Pathfinder is contained in this B4 magazine, ‘The Property Issue’. In conclusion, the great beauty about Customer & Market Research, is that it isn’t particular to one type of client or industry. In 2014, we were fortunate to work with a wide variety of companies, from traditional service providers (accountants, HR benefits), through to creative industries (digital recording, cloud services) and front-end manufacturers (biofuel producers). With grant match-funding available to most businesses based in the Bucks, Berks, Oxfordshire regions, KyteMark can offer unparalleled value, indeed all of our clients surveyed to date have voted it ‘Excellent’ value for money. Plus, in the case of the Customer Pathfinder product, it has directly boosted their bottom line via referrals they would not otherwise have secured. Let me leave you with this thought: “Learn new things. Do progressive research into what you do and find out how others outside your quarters are doing it. Dare to be excellent. Average brands easily go into extinction soonest.” Israelmore Ayivor


a quarter of the companies surveyed had ever undertaken any dedicated market research.” KyteMark 01491 410061

Research 2014


Lakesmere Mews KIDLINGTON

An exciting new gated development of one and two bedroom apartments and duplexes set around a landscaped courtyard with fantastic transport links Choice of furnished or unfurnished properties

Rents from ÂŁ850 pcm Please contact us today for further information

01865 201111




2 0 1 5

You are invited to take your place in our 2015 edition featuring the Thames Valley’s Top 250 Business Individuals See last years guide here: PUBLISHED BY




O v O er 6 W 0%

101 & 102 Park Drive, Milton Park Oxfordshire’s newest office development The world-class accommodation provided by 101 & 102 Park Drive is designed to perfectly reflect the values and standards of our customers. Extending over three floors, the impressive Grade A buildings offer flexible accomodation of up to 50,000 sq ft, two floors of 9,000 sq ft remain.


The outstanding quality of the buildings is enhanced by a wealth of features that ensure exceptional energy efficiency, benefiting both you and the environment. Connectivity is key to the success of any business, and Milton Park is in an excellent location, linking your business to major cities and transport networks, both nationally and internationally.

For further information contact: Philip Campbell

Jo Szegota

Ryan Dean

Jon Silversides

MEPC 01235 824104

MEPC 01235 824114

Knight Frank 020 7861 1672

Carter Jonas 01865 404458

MEPC Limited | Innovation Centre | 99 Park Drive | Milton Park | Oxfordshire | OX14 4RY

B4 it

albeRon SoftWaRe tRanSfoRmS bUSineSSeS Tim Ault, Managing Director of Alberon Ltd, explains that overhauling your systems with tailor-made software solutions can vastly improve efficiency and business growth. WRITTEN BY: SARAH AIREY

It is a relief to meet Tim and talk software, because he – like the rest of the software development team at Alberon – all speak plain English. Tim is an ex-teacher and a language specialist, so he is that rare mix of a techie who communicates without resorting to jargon. He says: “Good communication is at the root of Alberon’s work. Building software is a collaborative process, and we have to really understand our clients and get to know their business so that we can develop the best solutions. The planning process is critical to getting that right, and good communication is crucial, so that we are all on the same page from the outset. In my view, talking in plain English (and not using jargon which clients might not understand) is essential to this process.” Having said that, Tim adds: “Sometimes we do find that what clients ask for is not what they need!” This is because Alberon takes a pro-active approach to the brief. A step-by-step methodology leads to fresh and creative ideas, not previously envisaged by the client. The team specialises in innovative solutions: “We love a challenge. The more complex a problem the better. We enjoy tackling bespoke software for organisations where the software is at the heart of what they do. Getting it right has a huge impact on their operations.” “For example, we developed software to manage the inventory and quality control for the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array) in Chile. ALMA involved partners from four continents in building 66 giant antennas to probe the

Universe. Our software was vital in controlling the components for testing and inventory.” A tough job indeed, and one which Alberon secured through the Science and Technology Facilities Council at Harwell. Tim says that the company particularly enjoys helping businesses based in Oxfordshire and has a large portfolio of work for many of the county’s best known organisations, and especially those working in the education and charity sectors.

We love a challenge. The more “ complex a problem the better. We enjoy tackling bespoke software for organisations where the software is at the heart of what they do. Getting it right has a huge impact on their operations.

Tim Ault - Managing Director Alberon Ltd

“We recently developed software for Restore, Oxfordshire’s mental health charity. The systems we built enabled individuals and teams to keep track of their work, monitoring and measuring progress of their clients.” “Similarly we built software for Oxford Brookes University to manage, monitor and assess work for students. The students have to demonstrate their achievement of competencies in disciplines for nursing courses, while teaching staff need to monitor progress and assess the work. Not only

has taking the system online made the whole process much more efficient, it has dispensed with mountains of paperwork.” Commercially, getting good software can transform a business. Tim says: “Our software helps businesses to grow by saving time and improving efficiencies.” For example: “Viamonde wanted to improve their systems for booking and managing school ski trips to Switzerland. With around 50 programmes a year, information has to be available to the management team 24/7. We centralised systems and consolidated the database from information which had previously been stored in many different places and formats, such as Word, Excel and a CRM system. We created one easy-toadminister system from a complex web of data – meaning that Viamonde was able to provide a much improved service.” The Alberon team is now 13-strong and as well as building software and applications, they are also specialists in designing and developing nifty websites too. If you need to overhaul your systems, need some innovative and creative ideas to improve your software, or simply want a more effective website, get in touch with Tim’s team. You’ll find they talk sense.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 794 009


St hUgh’S College: noRth oxfoRd’S hidden gem When you spend time at our traditional, expansive and historic University of Oxford College, you quickly sense that we have something very special here. Based in leafy North Oxford, we are known as ‘the island site’ as our extensive and beautiful grounds form a square, bordered by our own Victorian houses. There is a sense of space and calm, and our community is warm and friendly. WRITTEN BY: KATE PRITCHARD, RAHELE MIRNATEGHI & GEMMA SEDGWICK PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ST HUGH’S COLLEGE

The Norman Ho Seminar Room in The Dickson Poon University of Oxford C

A great setting for wedding photos

Wordsworth Tea Room in The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building

St Hugh’s has a perfect location, just north of St Giles and the city centre and all that is available there, but far enough away to allow those who spend time here to do so with the space and freedom to think, meet and enjoy their experience. It’s no surprise that we are a popular venue for a wide range of events, from meetings, seminars, conferences and networking events, to dinners, celebrations and weddings.

windows, and we have small and large meeting rooms that overlook our beautiful gardens.

Among our fourteen acres, our grounds hold some surprises. Alongside our traditional College buildings are modern spaces, perfect for conferences and meetings. A new addition, The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building, is a stunning space with an open courtyard garden, rooftop terrace, lecture theatre, seminar rooms and the Wordsworth Tea Room. The Building was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Cambridge on 8 September 2014 and is already proving to be a very popular space. Our newer buildings make good use of floor to ceiling

You need confidence in the “support you receive from your


Our gardens are extensive and available to guests who book with us. This green space is a hidden gem of Oxford city and visitors are always impressed by our gardens and the fact that they can use them. Unlike many Oxford Colleges not only can you walk on the grass, we actively encourage it!

event venue. We have a professional team able to help plan, manage and deliver your event

If your conference or event requires accommodation we can provide this. During term

Traditional College building

time there are a small number of bedrooms available but out of term time we can provide a much larger number. With ground floor meeting and dining facilities, and upstairs bedrooms, our Maplethorpe Building can be used as a selfcontained conference venue. Our facilities include wireless internet access, interactive whiteboards, video conferencing and integral data projectors. North Oxford has easy access to all major routes, including the city centre transport links, and there is limited on-site parking for delegates and visitors. A common question we receive at events is ‘Who is your caterer?’ We are fortunate at St Hugh’s to have an outstanding in-house team of chefs who are experienced in providing high-quality food for a variety of different events. From small private dinners to larger events and weddings, our team are able to advise and design a menu that is perfect for your event. We also offer expert advice in matching wines to our exquisite food. If you are organising a conference or meeting at St Hugh’s we can provide breakfasts, working lunches, buffets

B4 venues

China Centre Building

100-seater lecture theatre in The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building

A perfect wedding venue

and snacks to suit your needs. You can be reassured that your delegates will enjoy fresh, quality food, prepared by our own team within College. If you’re staying with us as a conference or B&B guest you can also enjoy our fantastic homecooked breakfast in our traditional Dining Hall. We understand that when you’re organising an event, however small or large, you need confidence in the support you receive from your event venue. We have a professional team able to help plan, manage and deliver your event. They have experience in working with customers on a wide range of business and social events, including weddings. What is important to the team at St Hugh’s is that everyone who attends your event has a good experience, enjoys their time here and lets others know about our wonderful College. From the moment your guests arrive they will receive a warm welcome and a professional service. Our reputation matters to us and we work very hard to maintain and improve it. We want to encourage you to book with us but more

Main lawn and Main Building

importantly we want you to book with us a second or third time. We look forward to welcoming customers who return to us because they know they will receive the highest standards of customer service, in a beautiful and flexible venue. St Hugh’s radical tradition St Hugh’s is a relatively young Oxford College, having been founded in 1886 by Elizabeth Wordsworth, the great niece of the poet. We have an impressive list of alumni including Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Emily Wilding Davison, Barbara Castle, Joanna Trollope, Theresa May MP, Ruth Lawrence, Nicky Morgan MP and Amal Clooney. Originally a female only College, St Hugh’s now has a roughly equal mix of male and female students who enjoy a vibrant academic and social life in College. Venue space Our flexible venue space is within four College buildings. This space can accommodate from the

smallest groups to 220 people. There is more information about our buildings and rooms below, and you are welcome to visit us to see the space and discuss your event in person. Maplethorpe Building Maplethorpe is a flexible, modern building which includes three function rooms that can be used separately or together for larger events. Situated in the middle of our grounds, there are panoramic views of our gardens from all three rooms. Maplethorpe Hall is a large open space which seats up to 220 people. It has floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, providing ease of access to our gardens, ideal for events during warmer months. Maplethorpe Seminar Room can seat up to 60 people and Maplethorpe Office can be used as a separate conference office, or as a breakout room. Maplethorpe has two large foyer areas, one at each end of the building. These are perfect spaces for reception areas, exhibitions, refreshments or


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Tel: +44 (0) 1865 248607 Tel: +44 (0) 118 955 3000

B4 venues

Mordan Hall

A bedroom in The Dickson Poon Building

The Boardroom

Roof Terrace view from The Dickson Poon Building

informal breakout areas. Maplethorpe Building has accommodation on the higher floors which means that out of term time the building can be a selfcontained conference venue. The Building also has a fully functional kitchen, making it an ideal venue for events that require catering.

has a lovely traditional Oxford feel. The College uses Mordan Hall, which seats up to 140, for celebrations such as our annual Carol Service.

The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building The Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building is a stunning new addition to St Hugh’s College. The building has a 100 seat lecture theatre which can be divided into two 50 seat theatres. There are a number of bright and airy seminar rooms that overlook our beautiful gardens. The Wordsworth Tea Room can be used for informal events and dinners, and the roof terrace, with views over north Oxford, can also be used for drinks receptions. Mordan Hall suite Our Mordan Hall suite is a set of rooms, conveniently located on the first floor of our Main Building and overlooking our gardens and terrace. Mordan Hall was originally the College library and

The suite also includes four seminar rooms (Hamlin and Dobbs rooms), seating from 12 to 30 people, which are linked by two galleries. These galleries are a perfect space for refreshment breaks, small receptions and exhibitions. Main Building In addition to the Mordan Hall suite, we have a number of rooms within our Main Building that can be used to host events. Built in 1916, these are mostly traditional rooms, although our Wordsworth Room, suitable for up to 40 people, has a more modern, light feel. The Boardroom is very traditional and can be used for meetings and private dinners. It seats 12 people for a meeting or 20 for dinner. It also adjoins the Emily Wilding Davison Room which is a small sitting room that can be used for informal meetings or breakout sessions, pre-drinks or refreshments. These rooms can be used separately or together. Both overlook our gardens and patio. Our traditional College Dining Hall is a perfect venue for dinners, wedding receptions and parties.

Traditional College Dining Hall dressed for a wedding

It is adjacent to our main terrace where guests can enjoy pre-dinner drinks during warmer weather. Mary Gray Allen Building The Mary Gray Allen Building, completed in 1936, has a lovely period lecture room which seats up to 40 people and has bay windows overlooking our gardens. Gardens Guests attending conferences and events are welcome to relax in our beautiful gardens, and our garden space, including our main patio, can be reserved for private use. The patio and main lawn are ideal for drinks receptions, celebrations and weddings. If you are interested in finding out more about how we can work with you to deliver your event please contact Gemma Sedgwick and James Hatherly in our Conference and Events Office.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 274424


daRbyS’ debt ReCoveRy team an innovative appRoaCh to debt ReCoveRy Caroline Benfield joined Darbys in 2004, is an Associate in the Insolvency Team and is now also the head of Darbys’ very successful Debt Recovery Team. She explains how her experience and expertise in insolvency enables her to provide an innovative and commercial approach to debt recovery. WRITTEN BY: CAROLINE BENFIELD & ELIZABETH TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STUDIO8

How can creditors help themselves? Caroline’s knowledge of the current financial climate means that she is able to succinctly advise clients on the importance of having proper credit control processes in place which are immediately triggered if invoices are not paid within agreed credit terms. It is important that creditors chase unpaid invoices quickly and do not let matters drag on unnecessarily. Creditors should periodically review their credit terms and should not extend credit without good cause.

Caroline Benfield Head of Darbys

Elizabeth Taylor Head of Darbys Insolvency Team

It is also imperative that creditors use correctly drafted terms and conditions and that these are properly incorporated into contracts. These are issues on which the team are only too happy to advise. What is the key issue before embarking on the debt recovery process? Caroline’s experience as an insolvency lawyer means that she knows only too well that there is very little point in suing debtors and embarking on lengthy and costly court proceedings if there is little chance of getting paid at the end of the day. The team tries to establish from an early stage whether the debtor is able to pay the debt, but simply chooses not to. Knowledge of the financial circumstances of the debtor is key. In certain circumstances it would be worthwhile for the team to complete a number of financial checks in order to ascertain the financial health of the debtor. For example, when dealing with individuals the team is able to check property ownership, employment status and company directorships. When dealing with companies the team has access to resources which enable them to obtain detailed financial information. This in turn allows them to advise on whether there are any signs that the company is struggling, obtain details of any county county judgments and to extract information from accounts filed at Companies House to assist in advising on the prospects of recovery.


B4 finance

Debt Recovery Team

Darbys debt & insolvency team

This information is then used to advise the client on the likely chances of success and which recovery route to take in the circumstances. If there are assets and the team are aware of other personal circumstances (e.g. employment status, directorships) which would be adversely affected if certain recovery processes are embarked upon, the team will prepare bespoke letters before action informing the debtor of this fact and the consequences for them if the debt isn’t paid within the deadline resulting in the commencement of court proceedings.

because of Caroline’s expertise in insolvency and her wide network of insolvency practitioner (IP) clients and contacts, she is able to approach a suitable IP who will seek appointment as trustee in bankruptcy or liquidator in place of the Official Receiver and who thereafter will conduct a more thorough investigation and take greater steps to recover assets for unsecured creditors than might otherwise be the case.

Details of the scheme can be found at

there are always going to be cases where debtors drag their feet or refuse to pay their debts and in those cases court proceedings are likely to be commenced. The team operates a unique scheme – In the Black – which contains a very competitive debt recovery fee package

What assistance can we give if the debtor is likely to become/has become insolvent? In some cases the team is instructed to commence bankruptcy proceedings against individuals and winding up proceedings against companies. If a bankruptcy or winding up order is made, then

Caroline is also able to assist creditors who receive notification from IPs that a debtor company is about to enter into creditors’ voluntary liquidation. In addition to providing assistance with the completion of the proof of debt and proxy forms Caroline’s network of IP contacts includes a

In the Black Knowledge is therefore key and by applying the approach outlined above a large number of debts are paid at the pre-action stage. However, there are always going to be cases where debtors drag their feet or refuse to pay their debts and in those cases court proceedings are likely to be commenced. The team operates a unique scheme – In the Black – which contains a very competitive debt recovery fee package.

number of IPs who will attend creditors’ meetings on behalf of one or more creditors free of charge. In addition to questioning the directors about their conduct and the affairs of the company pre-liquidation the IP is able to rally creditor support for their own appointment as liquidator in place of the IP proposed by the company. Sometimes this can lead to a more thorough investigation and improved outcome for creditors. Once appointed a liquidator will examine the conduct of the directors prior to the liquidation for any evidence of wrongful trading and breach of their fiduciary duty to the company. Where evidence of wrongdoing is found a liquidator has power to apply to court for an order that the directors personally compensate the company, thereby swelling the funds available for distribution amongst creditors. Our Insolvency team, headed by partner Liz Taylor regularly acts for liquidators in such cases. To speak about any of the issues raised in this article, please see contact Caroline on 01865 811245 or or contact Liz on 01865 811711 or

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 811700



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

B4 services

dCReSponSe Paul Anderson, Managing Director at DCResponse, explains why it is vital to protect your businesses critical data in the event of a power outage. WRITTEN BY: RACHEL WARREN

DCResponse have a “ world class technical team on hand; they have also provided us with the confidence to maintain an efficient business model and we would not hesitate in recommending them Venture Photography

What is critical data? Basically any data that could not be replaced if it were lost or destroyed, is classed as critical. This covers data such as customer information, financial records, emails, sales records, contracts, and confidential employee information Why am I at risk if I don’t have protection in place? The most vital thing within your business is often your businesses critical data. If you don’t have a UPS and/or generator in place your business is at risk of losing data as well as downtime during a power outage. How much does downtime cost? Downtime, even if just for a matter of seconds, can carry a huge price tag. Exact figures on how much power outages cost businesses are hard to come by but according to Dunn & Bradstreet, 59 per cent of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours downtime a week, which translates to a cost of £30.4m annually. Other research claims that the average UK business can lose up to £3,000 per minute during a power outage. With power outages forecasted to increase, having an unprotected business is a big risk to take when there is power protection readily available. How can DCResponse help your business? We are UPS, generator and data centre experts. Witney based, we have over 25 years experience in supply, installation and maintenance of UPS solutions, as well as providing expert consultation and quality products and services.

We truly believe the best way to provide UPS solutions is through a bespoke, one stop shop approach for each client, as most clients requirements are different. This varies from pre-sales advice, consultancy, installation and commissioning right through to after sales support and maintenance.

Within 24 hours we were on site, identifying where the issues were, and providing the best solution within a live environment, to ensure the power outages were resolved. We continue to work closely with Venture Photography to ensure that all their data systems are protected in the most effective and efficient way.

Our company mission is to provide the very best protection for our clients' critical data in the event of a power outage. In protecting our clients we are committed to providing state of the art products backed by quality engineering and excellent levels of support.

From date of installation, despite experiencing power cuts, Venture Photography has had no more power outages, resulting in a reliable and trusted data centre. This has saved Venture Photography time and lost revenue (of approximately £51k per annum), thus optimising the entire head office network which services a national chain of studios serving the general public.

Our clients We pride ourselves on the excellent long term relationships we build with our clients who come from many industries; including universities, retail, hospitals, government, leisure, financial services and telecommunications. Our clients include Oxford University, Venture Photography, New Look, IBM and Aston Martin. Case study Venture Photography is the UK’s largest and well known portrait photographer. With over 7 million images being taken every year, and 160 images taken every hour, any data loss or interruption of data has massive implications on the business. Venture Photography experienced constant issues in relation to power outages. This meant that at times, the production line ground to a halt, having a major negative commercial impact. Venture needed an urgent solution and upon recommendation contacted DCResponse.

What Venture DCResponse




“The professionalism and expertise provided has resulted in a stable and reliable system. With a world class technical team on hand; they have also provided us with the confidence to maintain an efficient business model and we would not hesitate in recommending them.” Free site survey: Please contact DCResponse on 01993 708855 to assess your data centre and its current level of protection.

CONTACT DETAILS 01993 708855



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B4 events

Williams Conference Centre Hospitality

Faye Bellamy, Williams Conference Centre and Richard Rosser, B4

Graham Berry, QPQ Software, Patricia Grout, Henmans Freeth and Richard Rosser, B4

Chris Thompson, Wellers Accountants

Alison Richardson, Richardsons Chartered Accountants and David Butler, Fieldstead Insolvency limited

Richard Marsh, CIS Ltd

Over 250 Guests attend two unforgettable B4 Classic Events We started the year in fine style at the stunning Hartwell House & Spa in the company of General Manager, Jonathan Thompson and his excellent team. It’s always a pleasure to start the year at Hartwell and this year was no different. A very special venue. To contrast the heritage and history of Hartwell, we enjoyed our second event of the year at Williams Conference Centre, perfectly hosted by Faye Bellamy and her ever helpful team including Kevin, Jonathan, Dan and Amanda. We raised £648 for William’s preferred charity, Spinal Injuries Association, by selling slots on the Williams F1 simulators for 30 very excited B4 Members. Congratulations to Justin Sinclair of A1 Plumbing and Heating and Claire Bowen of Java & Co who won the male and female titles. See the B4 website for forthcoming events:

Fabulous Catering at Hartwell House

Another well attended B4 event at Hartwell House

Victoria Calcutt, VCA Consulting, Sylvia Baldock, Sylvia Baldock & Associates and Dipak Mistry, Oxford Culture

The superb Williams F1 Collection

Ian White, BDO LLP and Will Taylor, HSBC


B4 spotlight

fiRSt ClaSS tRavel to the Capital one CUp final A random text response to a talkSPORT competition to win two tickets to the first major cup final of the domestic season and before we knew it, Ed and I were being dropped at Haddenham & Thame Parkway Station for our forty minute trip to the Capital. What better way to kick off and end our unforgettable trip to the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley Stadium than to travel in style with Chiltern Railways. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER

Chiltern Railways have long been supporters of B4 and as soon as our big competition win had sunk in, I knew that to fully enjoy our day supporting Chelsea against Tottenham in the Capital One Cup Final, we would have no other choice but to take the super efficient Chiltern Railways service to within two minutes walk of the Bobby Moore statue outside the main Club Wembley entrance. It really was a fairytale win with Ed having celebrated his 18th Birthday just two days before the final and Chiltern got us to the final bang on time. It was our first visit to the recently refurbished Haddenham & Thame Parkway station and it couldn’t have been simpler. Once we’d purchased our tickets, we sat in the ‘winter proof’ waiting rooms and awaited our train. Having re-energised our phones and double checked the tickets, we drew in to Wembley Stadium station at 11.28. We had been urged to arrive at the Media Centre as two of only eighty competition winners at 11.30, so it was a brisk trot around the perimeter of the stadium to what was, in essence, entry to the Chocolate Factory. What a day! We started with a briefing having passed through the media centre, up the winner’s steps to the Royal Box, down through to the Mixed Zone and the tunnel, within touching distance of the dressing rooms. We walked out of the tunnel, out on to the perimeter of the pitch as the choir practised the National Anthem – hairs stood firmly up on the back of our necks! Next up… a pic with the Capital One Cup trophy! Wow! We then walked around the pitch taking in our tour guide’s fact filled account of Wembley’s history, a picture of Ed with Sky’s Nick

Collins (pitchside of course) and then back into the Great Hall for lunch – great because it takes 700 diners! After lunch and a Q and A with talkSPORT’s Darren Gough with ex Chelsea and Tottenham stars, Frank Sinclair and Darren Anderton, it was up to our seats and soak up the incredible atmosphere. 2-0 to Chelsea – it really couldn’t get any better! What a day.

home in half an hour, “courtesy of another straightforward journey with Chiltern. Why on earth would you not take the train?

Richard Rosser - Editor B4 Magazine

It was 6.30pm by the time we left the stadium and as both finalists were more central London, our queue was non-existent and we breezed through with our Capital One goody bags to the train and home in half an hour, courtesy of another straightforward journey with Chiltern. Why on earth would you not take the train? With thanks to: Chiltern Railways: Chiltern Railways are building a groundbreaking new rail line between Oxford and London Marylebone. This will be the first new rail link between London and a major British city in over 100 years and will bring significant economic benefits for those living and working along the route. The £130m investment

will result in Chiltern running services between London Marylebone and a new station to the north of the city, Oxford Parkway, from summer 2015 and we will run from the centre of Oxford from Spring 2016. This work brings our total investment in the line to £600 million since the start of the franchise. talkSPORT is the world’s biggest sports radio station and is Global Audio Partner of the Premier League. The station is an official broadcaster of the Barclays Premier League, the FA Cup, Capital One Cup and England football internationals. talkSPORT is available on 1089/1053AM, on digital radio, on mobile and online at As the only national radio station broadcasting sport 24 hours a day, talkSPORT brings passionate and informed coverage of the most exciting sports events of the year, as well as interviews with the biggest names in the sporting world. Capital One launched in the UK in 1996, offering credit cards to UK customers. The UK headquarters and operations centre for Capital One (Europe) plc is located in Nottingham. In 2014, Capital One won first place in the Great Place to Work® 'Best Workplaces' Awards for companies with 500 or more employees in the UK for the second year running. In June 2012 Capital One signed a fouryear multi-million-pound deal to sponsor the Football League Cup, now known as the Capital One Cup.



B4 education

people poWeR

aChieving gRoWth thRoUgh SkillS Employers and educators are increasingly being urged to work together to support growth. B4 finds out how it can be done. WRITTEN BY: JONATHAN GOODE PHOTOGRAPHY BY: PETE MORRIS AND MATTHEW BILLINGTON

Growth Through People – a report recently published by The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) – sets out five recommendations to improve skill levels and boost productivity, wages and social mobility. The report suggests that: 1. Employers should lead on skills development and government should enable them to do so, by encouraging greater collaboration between businesses, unions and the workforce in regions, sectors and across supply chains. 2. Improving workplace productivity is the route to pay and prosperity including better management, better job design and increased employee engagement.

4. Education and employers should be better connected to prepare people for work. Work experience should become an integral part of education for all young people. 5. Real results, not exam results. Success should be measured by a wide set of outcomes, including jobs and progression, not just qualifications. City of Oxford College, part of Activate Learning, is one provider working with employers to help reduce the gap between education and employment. The college believes that this approach will improve the career prospects of young people, meet the skills needs of local businesses and create a more sustainable local economy. So how are they doing it? Here are three examples:

3. We need more quality ‘earning and learning’ routes like apprenticeships. They should be a normal career pathway for many more young people, and a normal way for businesses to recruit and develop their workforce.


Childcare provider sponsors new early years suite In October 2014 City of Oxford College opened a new early years suite, sponsored by The Co-operative Childcare.

The new suite, the first of its kind in the country, provides childcare students with a realistic nursery environment where they can develop practical skills and techniques to support their learning. The suite has been designed to reflect a Co-operative Childcare setting, with all the facilities and equipment you would expect to see at a nursery. As part of the sponsorship arrangement Co-operative Childcare is developing a programme of ‘Early Years Masterclasses’ which will be delivered at the new suite by colleagues from the provider’s local nurseries. The sessions offer practical advice drawn from everyday childcare situations. Mike Abbott, Group General Manager of The Co-operative Childcare, said: “Oxfordshire is one of our key trading areas and, with five nurseries in the region, working with the City of Oxford College gives us a great opportunity to provide hands-on advice to the nursery workers of the future. “The college runs a great childcare training programme and the new learning suite will

complement this perfectly, so we’re very proud that our support has helped to bring the project to life.” Ian Francis, principal of City of Oxford College, said: “Our focus is preparing students for employment and working in partnership with employers is central to our approach. Students in caring and health clocked up an incredible 51,000 hours of work experience last year, thanks to employers such as Co-operative Childcare.

• Oxford Lifestyle Centre – offering health and fitness, hair and beauty services to external customers from the new centre in the heart of Oxford

“By working in this way we can help to reduce the skills gap between education and employment and ensure our students develop the exact skills, behaviours and attributes that employers are looking for.”

The college was a key supporter of the event, organised by the In Oxford Group to recognise and celebrate the best chefs and food outlets in the county. Hospitality and catering students devised the awards night menu and cooked and served a three course meal to 300 guests at Oxford Town Hall.

A commercial approach to learning As part of the Activate Learning group, City of Oxford College has been leading a pioneering approach to learning.

Partnering to support major business events Students from City of Oxford College were out in force to help celebrate the county’s finest food providers at the Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards.

Its learning company model immerses students in professional operations, where they can develop

These students were joined by others from public services and travel and tourism who got involved in dressing the venue, hosting the drinks reception and providing security. The awards themselves were designed and made by students from the

leading-edge industry skills as well as the softer skills required by employers.

Rycotewood Furniture Centre and the event was filmed by learning company StudioX1.

Learning companies go beyond traditional work experience to embed learning and skills development within real companies, with real customers and business targets. They operate as any business start-up, setting out a clear business plan supported by cost-effective marketing.

Ian Francis said: “We were delighted to be so integrally involved in this awards event, which has become a highlight of the hospitality and catering industry calendar in Oxfordshire. Our students did an excellent job at what is a very high profile event with an expert and discerning guest list. Projects such as this broaden our students’ skills and experiences as they prepare for their own successful careers. I am confident that those involved will be the award recipients of the future.”

“we can help to

reduce the skills gap between education and employment and ensure our students develop the exact skills, behaviours and attributes that employers are looking for.

The first three learning companies at City of Oxford College are now in operation. They are: • StudioX1 – a video production company providing digital media services to clients in the public and private sectors. Clients include Oxfordshire County Council, London Welsh Rugby Football Club, the England Cricket Board and International Business Exchange • TeamworX – run by Public Services staff and students to provide team-building and outward bound activities for primary school children and businesses in the public and private sector

To find out more about opportunities to get involved in the work of City of Oxford College, contact Peter Reynolds, Curriculum Director, details below.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 551005


One of our newly refurbished meeting rooms*

examination SChoolS

B4 meet The Estates team at the Examination Schools - custodians of University history and property WRITTEN BY: ANNA MUNDAY AND KAY HOGG PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DAVID FLEMING*

Every year, millions of people walk through the doors of the University of Oxford’s Estate Services managed buildings. From libraries to museums, offices to labs, these buildings are separate from the Oxford colleges and include brand new buildings, such as those opening on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ), as well as buildings that are hundreds of years old and hold Grade I and II listed status. One of these buildings is the Examination Schools on the High Street. Known for its design by Sir Thomas Jackson as well as its ability to make student’s quiver with nervousness, the Examination Schools were purpose built for examinations in the late 1800’s. The building stands on a part of the site of the Angel Inn, which is reputed to have been the first inn in England. During the first and second world wars the building was used as a military hospital. Today the building continues to serve its primary purpose – housing the University’s examinations. During term time the building is used as a lecture space with thousands of students attending lectures in politics, classics, history and other subjects. Throughout the year, outside the times it is used for academic purposes, the building is available for hire. With over 26,000 square


feet of floor space it is very well suited to host large and small sized conferences, day meetings, exhibitions, talks, lectures and drinks receptions. While various teams work tirelessly to organise exams, events, lectures and various student related services, many anxious students or conference delegates can often overlook the extent of the Facilities management role to keep the Examination Schools and Estate run buildings looking beautiful.

“Outside the times it is used for academic purposes, the building is available for hire. With over 26,000 square feet of floor space it is very well suited to host large and small sized conferences, day meetings, exhibitions, talks, lectures and drinks receptions.

B4 venues

Laying the foundation stones in the 1880's

Refurbishment works in progress*

During World War 1 the Examination School was used as as a military hospital

When you speak with the Facilities Managers responsible for the buildings, they often feel very privileged to work and support them. Picture the chandeliers in the Great Hall of the Examination Schools suspended over 24ft in the air, the 8ft high portraits of dignitaries or the grand sweeping Italian marble staircases. For most buildings, facilities management doesn’t have to deal with maintaining such things, but for a Grade II listed building like the Examination Schools there are detailed Conservation plans for the upkeep and care of the building. The Facilities Management team work closely with their colleagues in Estates Services to deliver these plans and ensure the building is passed on to the next generation in excellent condition. One such collaborative project was the recently completed redecoration works.

of recommendation for their work at the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards in November 2014. On-going conservation projects include working with the Ashmolean museum to clean and restore many of the grand portraits housed within the building.

Architectural paint scrapings were first taken to establish the buildings original colour scheme when it opened in 1881. Working with the Head of Conservation an agreed colour palette was decided. The Facilities Management team had the challenge of repainting all rooms and corridors without affecting the day-to-day operation. Hundreds of litres of paint were used and the project took over 500 man hours. The redecoration has restored the building to its former Victorian grandeur and the team were pleased to receive a certificate

The Facilities Management team are not only custodians of history they also work to keep the venue up to date. As of January 2015, WIFI is now available in all rooms. Toilet facilities have been upgraded and a new signage scheme was introduced with hand painted gold leaf gilding. The team are also expanding in size with Anna Munday taking up the position of Event Manager. Responsible for the day-to-day running of the Events team and marketing of the venue, Anna joins the team having been heavily involved in the re-opening of the Old Fire Station. If you are looking for an historical venue with plenty of charm and grandeur to hold your next event please do get in touch to arrange a site visit. Contact us on:, 01865 276905 or see



bUSineSS gRoWth Britain’s economy is doing better and business confidence and investment have picked up. But is the finance available to maintain the expansion? And what should businesses look for when funding growth? WRITTEN BY: DAVID SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STUDIO8

These were the themes of three seminars hosted and organised by Barclays, in London, Birmingham and Oxford in late 2014. The seminars, moderated by David Smith, Economics Editor of The Sunday Times, began with an economic update and his assessment. He described an economic recovery which had been disappointing until around 18 months ago but which had recently gained strength. 3% The current growth rate percentage that would be expected in a normal recovery This, Smith said, was because of a range of factors, including the ‘twin hangovers’ – fiscal and financial – unexpectedly high inflation, the weakness of the eurozone, tax increases, and spending cuts and credit weakness. Though businesses and policymakers had hoped for a much speedier recovery, this one appeared to be following the pattern of previous upturns after big financial crises, as chronicled by the American economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, who said it takes six to seven years to get over their worst effects. Smith said the recovery was likely to continue, if at a slightly slower pace, citing independent forecasters, the Bank of England, the OECD and its leading indicators, and even his own ‘skip index’; based on the number of builders’ skips in his street – too few skips suggest a lack of confidence and too many might indicate over-spending, the trick being to have an optimum number of 2-3 skips. But, he also said, it was necessary to make the recovery more rounded by building on the recent increase in business investment and improving Britain’s export performance. Funding – and the right kind of funding – was necessary to achieve both of these things. Bringing experts together Each seminar featured a different expert panel. There were senior representatives from Barclays’ Debt Finance team, including Head of Product


Alan Turner, Ian Tetsill and Colin James. Business Growth Fund (BGF), the equity investing body established by the major banks in 2010, was represented by Chris Hodges, Ian Downing and James Austin. Clive Hatchard of Spectrum Corporate Finance and Richard Sanders of Catalyst Corporate Finance offered an independent advisory view, while Kirit Patel, Founder and Chief Executive of Day Lewis, and Robert Muir, Chief Executive of E P Barrus, gave the customer perspective. They talked of the challenges of managing their businesses through the ‘great recession’ of 2008-2009. Barclays was also represented by trade and working capital specialists James Webber and Julie Smith. The general message was that, while large businesses had enjoyed reasonable access to funding since the financial upturn, including equity and corporate bond finance, small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) had found it more difficult. £5m to £100m The turnover of SMEs that the seminars aimed to address the funding challenges of The question was what kind of funding was appropriate. Were SMEs in Britain over-reliant on traditional, bank-provided debt finance? The answer to that, even from Barclays’ Debt Finance team, was ‘probably yes’. This was not because the banks were not lending. Barclays was very much open for business, with new lending running at around £2bn a month nationally. Net business lending is tracking the recovery in GDP and, with interest rates at very low levels, this is an excellent time to borrow. Though SMEs are beginning to diversify their sources of funding, including relatively new developments such as crowd-funding, it was likely that bank-provided debt finance would continue to dominate for some time to come. View from Business Growth Fund However, this is also a time when the range of funding options for businesses is greater than it

has ever been, including overdrafts, term loans, sales finance, supplier finance and equity. Business Growth Fund, which has been taking equity stakes in SMEs since 2011, has £2.5bn of capital and has already invested more than £180m. BGF’s approach is always to take minority stakes, typically investing between £2m and £10m and putting one of its representatives on the board. It has seven offices across Britain invests in all sectors of the economy, except financial services and property, and takes a long view. Unlike private equity firms, it does not invest with a specific exit timetable in mind. At the seminars, BGF panellists explained that most of its referrals come from the banks, which have spotted that an equity investment is right for the customer. BGF has invested in relatively new businesses, but also family firms stretching back decades and in some cases centuries which have, up to now, resisted outside equity. The record so far, with investments in 70 businesses totalling some £400m, has been good. 30% to 40% The growth in asset-based finance according to Spectrum and Catalyst A view from Advisors From an advisory perspective both Spectrum and Catalyst noted that funding markets have hotted up in recent months. With a shortage of M&A activity, attractive propositions can face a bidding war, with valuations on the best deals approaching 2007 levels. Both stressed that we appear to be moving into more nuanced and sophisticated approaches to funding. The seminars also discussed exports, where Britain’s performance has disappointed relative to earlier hopes, partly because of the problems in the eurozone. Trade finance was available, it was stressed, but many firms lacked the confidence to move into new export markets and feared not getting paid. The Barclays team stressed the importance of talking about these issues and

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“Though SMEs are beginning to diversify their sources of funding, including relatively new developments such as crowd-funding, it was likely that bank-provided debt finance would continue to dominate for some time to come.

Trevor French - Head of SME Oxfordshire, Swindon Gloucs & E Wilts

tapping into the help and advice offered by UKTI (UK Trade & Investment). The broad conclusion from all three seminars is that funding is available to SMEs, and that firms should not be deterred from coming to talk about it. Barclays may be the first port of call for customers, but often the bank will recommend a range of funding options, including equity. The bank can also advise on how firms should present themselves to potential equity investors, including the BGF. “The economy is recovering and funding is available.” There is no ‘one size fits all’ rule for growing firms and the bank can advise on what funding mix best suits. Overall, it was an optimistic message. The economy is recovering and funding is available. SMEs, should they wish to, can take advantage of this. To find out more about how Barclays can help your business, please call Trevor French Head of SME Oxfordshire, Swindon Gloucs & E Wilts, details below.

CONTACT DETAILS 07917 426547

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. Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702). Registered in England. Registered number is 1026167 with registered office at 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP. + Please note this is a mobile phone number and calls will be charged in accordance with your mobile tariff


Meeting and conference facilities The Innovation Centre, located at the heart of Milton Park, provides purposebuilt meeting rooms and conference facilities to suit every business need. With the ability to accommodate between 1 and 60 people, our meeting rooms are available for holding meetings large or small, training, events,



interviews, seminars or exhibitions. Our friendly team are based on-site and on hand to arrange everything for you.

FREE Conference phone (additional call charges apply)

FREE Flip charts, wipe boards and markers

FREE AV equipment


Hot and cold refreshments can be supplied for all meetings in the Innovation Centre, from the Costa Coffee bar or on-site catering facilities.

For more information please visit: or call 01235 854000 MEPC Limited | Innovation Centre | 99 Park Drive | Milton Park | Oxfordshire | OX14 4RY

B4 r&r

CheRWell boathoUSe At 111 years old the Cherwell Boathouse is one of the best established and most iconic buildings in Oxford, and it continues to impress with its location on the banks of the Cherwell and top quality food. WRITTEN BY: JOHN HOBART

There is a sense of adventure as you walk down the path leading to the Boathouse, especially if you do so, as we did, on a cold winter’s night with a full moon overhead. Tucked behind residential north Oxford the Boathouse has a sense of seclusion, heightened by the constant sound of the river and wildlife, and in daylight the sight of surrounding fields and meadows. The Boathouse itself has an imposing bulk to it, but as soon as you enter there is an intimate welcoming bar, a waiting area, and friendly staff to greet you. The décor of the restaurant is simple with exposed brick and heritage green walls, river themed prints and a range of table sizes with large French windows which are thrown open in the summer to better enjoy the setting with a glass of pimms. The wine menu is extensive and award-winning in its own right. While this is a little intimidating, the waiting staff are able to guide and advise on what to try - by the glass or the bottle. The food menu is seasonal, reflecting local produce and what’s available. For the current Winter Menu this means rich warming flavours such as cauliflower velouté, braised lamb, and orange & white chocolate cheesecake. The selection we chose was starters of pear, shallot & goats cheese tarte tatin, and confit & seared quail with textures of beetroot; followed

by mains of Pan roasted Brixham turbot, and Roasted guinea fowl; and for desert apple parfait with honeycomb & (amazing) mini doughnuts, and Hot chocolate fondant with raspberry sorbet. That the food was all very good indeed goes (almost) without saying, but particular mention should go to the tarte tatin, seared quail, and apple parfait which truly could not be faulted. All were beautifully presented, flavourful but balanced, perfectly seasoned and quite delicious. What was a joy at the Boathouse was that we hardly noticed the waiting staff. They were so unobtrusive and efficient, but also knowledgeable and friendly when asked for guidance on wines or the method of cooking. We were left to enjoy our meal. Added to the great service, delicious food, and perfect setting, the value for money is excellent at three courses for under £25. There is a reason why this restaurant won the award for lifetime achievement at the 2014 Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards, and a reason why I’ll return!

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 552746

the meal Pear, shallot & goat’s cheese tarte tatin (£5.25) Confit & seared quail, textures of beetroot, vegetable crisps (£6.25) Oven Roast Guinea fowl supreme, rosti potatoes, curly kale, pickled red wine grapes (£14.25) Apple parfait, honeycomb, mini doughnuts (£5.25) La Rosa, Quinta de la Rosa, Douro, 2010 (175ml) £7

6 good pointS Food! In particular the starters which were exquisite I love seasonal menus where you know the food is fresh and local The best service is the service you don’t notice The restaurant is simply but neatly presented and unpretentious The wine menu is impressive At under £25 for three courses it is very reasonable


The BMW 520d M Sport Saloon Auto – monthly rental from £289 (plus initial rental)* MINI Cooper 5-door Hatch – monthly rental from just £169 (plus initial rental)*

“In 2014 BMW recorded an

impressive number of award wins, including ‘Fleet Manufacturer of the Year’ from no fewer than five publications

noRth oxfoRd gaRage taking CaRe of bUSineSS The end of the financial year signals the time for many businesses to review their company car policies to ensure they are getting the best value for money in the market place. At North Oxford Garage we understand that business customers have specialist needs and so have a dedicated sales team on hand to advise just what models will best suit their individual requirements.



A partnership in excellence Designed especially for fleets of 50 cars or fewer, the BMW/MINI Business Partnership programme offers compelling contract hire rates across the entire BMW and MINI range whilst industry advice from their dedicated Local Business Development Managers will guide businesses through all aspects of fleet management. There’s little doubt that the styling, quality and presence of the BMW and MINI model range create a professional impact for any business. Underneath the individual style of each model, powerful, yet very efficient petrol or diesel engines, deliver impressive fuel economy. The renowned EfficientDynamics and MINIMALISM engine technology developed by BMW engineers doesn't simply reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency, it also helps reduce the tax burden on businesses with lower Benefit in Kind contributions a major consideration. In-car technologies and safety features all play their part in creating the ultimate company car and there are a whole host of options and upgrades that will help make any company fleet as individual as the business in which it operates. Award winning credentials A principle objective of the BMW Group is to ensure its model range offers customers diversity and, at the same time, delivers impressive and powerful performance. Right now the profile of the BMW range within the Fleet sector has never been better whilst MINI also continues to pick up its fair share of attention from those in the know. In 2014 BMW recorded an impressive number of award wins, including ‘Fleet Manufacturer of the Year’ from no fewer than five publications. In addition, the company topped the podium with ‘Most Reliable Carmaker’ by FN50 and ‘Best Premium Vehicle Supplier’ by Fleet200. On top of a host of manufacturer titles, BMW have also enjoyed a number of model-specific awards. Ever the fleet favourite, the BMW 3 Series secured the title of ‘Best Compact Executive Car’ from What Car?, ‘Upper Medium Car of the Year’ by Business Car and ‘Most Reliable Car’ by FN50. Elsewhere the BMW 5 Series won Fleet News ‘New Company Car of the

B4 motoring

The BMW 320d M Sport Saloon with Professional Media with monthly rentals from £279 (plus initial rental)*

Year’ and ‘Best Executive Car’ for its broad appeal and low running costs whilst a relative newcomer to the range, the BMW 4 Series, scooped awards as Business Car’s ‘Sporting Car of the Year’ and the What Car? ‘Best Coupé’. The pioneering BMW i range received Fleet World’s ‘Innovation Award’, while the BMW i3 secured a number of accolades including What Car’s ‘Best Green Car of the Year’, Fleet News’ ‘Best Ultra Low CO2 Car’ and Red Dot’s ‘Winner Car Design’. Meanwhile the MINI line-up is now better equipped for the fleet market than ever before, providing businesses and company car drivers with impressively low CO2 emissions levels, generous MPG, sporty, roomy and practical models to choose from. Last year the all-new MINI 3-door Hatch arrived in March whilst the introduction of the 5-door option in October has already created quite a stir in Corporate and Fleet circles. Thanks to the improved space and flexibility of these two new models, the Hatch won Auto Express’ ‘Car of the Year’ and ‘Best Premium Small Car’ titles. Taking care of Business When ordering a BMW or MINI through the Business Partnership Programme there’s also the opportunity to include Maintenance within the monthly rental. Let’s face it, not all companies have a Fleet Manager whose job is to obtain tyre quotes, raise purchase orders and manage maintenance budgets for their company cars. In most cases

these tasks fall to company managers or employees who have to fit these tasks in around their day to day responsibilities.

downtime chases responded to within 15 minutes and invoices will be completed within five working days.

A maintained contract offers companies the convenience and reassurance of maintenance with a central point of contact. With total control over maintenance costs, companies will never be faced with unexpected bills, can budget with confidence and manage company cash flow.

Free: No charge for the disposal of replacement parts and environmental waste.

Our customer promise – ten commitments to our customers As well as offering an outstanding model line-up, the team at North Oxford Garage is committed to delivering a level of service that is second to none. With this in mind they have created an Aftersales Corporate Charter which details exactly what a customer can expect in terms of service levels and support.

Goodwill: When appropriate, North Oxford Garage can utilise self-authority goodwill to minimise vehicle downtime.

3 Days: All vehicles booked in for service or maintenance that do not require a replacement car or collection and delivery service are guaranteed an appointment within three working days. 7 Days: All vehicles booked in for service or maintenance that do require a replacement car are guaranteed an appointment within seven working days. Any associated costs will be explained at the point of booking.

3 Years: A three-year unlimited mileage warranty covering any manufacturing defect, including bulbs, is provided for total peace of mind.

2 Hours: When a vehicle is recovered by BMW Emergency Service, a status update will be given within two hours of its arrival; repairs will be started within 48 hours. Clean: All vehicles receive a complimentary wash and vacuum after a service or major repair, . Free: If a vehicle fails its first MOT, the cost of replacement parts and labour will be covered, if the vehicle has MOT Protect. What to know more? To find out about how North Oxford Garage can help with your company car requirements, please contact Marcus Elliot or David Ayris. * terms and conditions apply

15 Miles: For service or maintenance appointments, complimentary collection and delivery within a 15 mile radius of Wolvercote Roundabout facility is provided. 20 Minutes: Booking requests sent to North Oxford will be responded to within 20 minutes,

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 319000


BR OW N S O X F O R D ROW 5-11 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HA t: 01865 511995 ee:: .uk

RO W N S R E A D I N G B ROW Unit 5A, The Oracle Centre, Reading, RG1 2AG t: 0118 9503137 ee::

Enjoy Champagne moments with Bro Browns wns every Friday Chilled bottles of Mercier Champagne for only ÂŁ24.95. Ge Gett your evening off to a spectacular start.


































VII OW N S W I N D S O R BR ROW The Promenade, Barry Ave, Windsor SL4 1QX t: 01753 831 976 e: uk e:

Open: 8.30am Close: 11.00pm (Fri & Sat close at 12am, Sun 10.30pm) der: 11.00pm L a s t F o o d O rrd (Sun 10pm)

pb ConWay

expeRienCe and aRtiStRy Need a sight test? Need new glasses? How about something classical? How about something designer? How about your very own custom made glasses with what I call ‘fairytale’ lenses? PB Conway can cater for your every need with superb levels of professionalism and service that are so rare these days. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ROB SCOTCHER

When I visited the George Street premises, I was met with a warm smile and years of knowledge. Bobbie showed me in to ‘Mr Conway’s’ sight test room where I experienced a thorough sight test. No gizmo’s or weird contraptions in sight, just Mr Conway, examining my eyes, using the usual sight test apparatus, but I left that room knowing Mr Conway knew every millimetre of my eyes and what prescription I needed for my new glasses. Bobbie took over from there, showing me a range of stunning frames and within seven days I was back to work and I could see properly. I quipped when I returned to see Paul Conway and his sister Tess that I could now work more… .not being sure if this was a good thing! But the glasses were spot on and that’s experience for you, the proof was in the pudding. The business has been operating since 1934 when Paul and Tess father opened the shop having relocated from Jarrow (where some Conway family members still have opticians). Paul is the ophthalmic optician and Tess a dispensing optician, although Tess isn’t as involved in the business as she once was. Tess had a file of old adverts and letters, invoices and other memorabilia helping me to understand the history of PB Conway. Nonetheless, the Conway family clearly flows strongly through this wonderful establishment with grandchildren popping in to say hello during our interview and other family members involved in the business alongside Bobbie, Emma, Manna, Morgan, Nicholas and Maria. Aside from the standard services such as sight tests, providing glasses and contact lenses, PB Conway are very adept at surprising with some rather unusual services, as Tess explains. “Because we have been here such a long time we have kept equipment, old designer designs and they are now at a premium so we have a Retro Room in the shop but it is not for the feint-hearted, it’s for the dedicated. The items are 68

to view and to buy. Some of them are museum pieces because they have been surpassed by modern technology. Some remain interesting and collectable.” One other area which fascinated me was what I affectionately refer to as the ‘fairytale’ collection created on site by PB Conway’s own laboratory technician, Morgan. “These can’t be mass produced, they are very individual and we have to match the frames to your face shape. We can do Mickey Mouse lenses but Mickey has to be in the correct proportions to suite your face shape.” Morgan

“Aside from the standard services such as sight tests, providing glasses and contact lenses, PB Conway are very adept at surprising with some rather unusual services”

is quite particular about this and that underlines the unbelievable level of professionalism running through PB Conway at all levels. The job has to be perfect otherwise it’s not worth doing and that’s a rare commodity in any business these days to find in such abundance. So if you’re looking for engraved lenses and perhaps some diamonds, visit PB Conway. Whether it’s fairytale lenses or good quality lenses, whatever you choose, you know it will be first class.

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Why ChooSe p b ConWay optiCianS? • Exclusive frame ranges and over 3,000 frames in stock • On site laboratory for one hour service on most single vision spectacles • Specialist childrens eye care • Private, NHS and Corporate VDU eye examinations • Branches in Oxford and Abingdon Excellent service and attentive care We are members of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, General Optical Council and Association of Optometrists. Our staff are specialists and lecturers in their fields of expertise, and will be more than happy to show you our current range. Original retro, vintage and antique spectacles Our Retro Room has one of the largest collections of vintage frames in the United Kingdom. Conway Opticians have a large range of original vintage and retro pieces going back to the early years on display. We have a bespoke made to measure service and it is possible to copy any of the antique tortoiseshell frames. One of a kind frames If you are looking for a classic look with an original twist then these frames can offer you something that is really unique. Having trouble finding a particular frame - consider having a bespoke hand made frame made to measure and perfectly fitted. If you have your heart set on a particular style and we do not have it in stock then consider handmade frames that can be made to your specifications. Limited edition / Swarovski frames If you are looking for a truly unique look you may be interested in some of our limited edition frames. We currently have a one off piece by Swarovski; the Love limited edition frame. It comes in a presentation box with matching ivory satin purse, Swarovski crystal heart pendant and perfume.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 244 667


AwardWinning Hospitality... An incredible venue, with ten beautiful function rooms located in one of the most convenient locations in Britain; only 35 minutes from London and 7 miles from London Heathrow. Stoke Park not only provides a professional and five star atmosphere for board meetings, training seminars and conferences it’s also home to a 27 hole Championship Golf Course with state-of-the-art teaching and practice facilities – perfect for any corporate golf day. Or if you would rather swap your clubs for racquets then enjoy one of our tailored corporate tennis days or indeed come and have a pamper in our award winning Spa. Facilities include: ‡H[TXLVLWHEHGURRPVDQGVXLWHV $$5HG6WDU+RWHO




B4 motoring


meanS bUSineSS Kelly Gavaghan, the new Fleet and Business Manager at Ridgeway Jaguar Oxford tells us why the iconic British brand is taking the business world by storm. WRITTEN BY: NICHOLAS NEWMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STUDIO8

We are trumping our highly capable German competitors time and again by amassing a galaxy of prestigious industry awards across the globe for our outstanding executive XF range. (Over 100 international and UK awards since 2008.) NEW JAGUAR GENERATION We are becoming more appealing to a whole new generation of Jaguar drivers. We have responded to both employers and employees’ needs and their desire for better fuel economy, better P11d and BIK values, better residual values and stylish, good looking cars combined with legendary Jaguar sporting performance. First impressions count. In business image is everything when it comes to sending out a message of success to your potential clients and competitors. We are all impressed by people who are ‘doing well’ and naturally gravitate towards them and want to conduct business with them. In short, driving a Jaguar not only shows support for home-grown British Manufacturing and Business, it also attracts like-minded, ambitious, forward thinking companies to you who strive for the absolute best and who also value their employees. More and more employers realise the importance of giving their very best personnel job security and so reward them handsomely and deservedly with a Jaguar XF. Ask any Jaguar company car driver if they are happy in their job and you will be greeted with a big grin! It is my aim to offer a more personable and professional approach to fleet managers and individual business users across Oxfordshire, being on hand to give advice and offer guidance. I will also keep you updated about our fantastic portfolio of new models that are planned in the coming years. THE NEW XE This is Jaguar’s time. In the coming year we will be celebrating the welcome arrival of the latest business model – the new Jaguar XE. Not only does the stunning XE range start at just £26,995 it has the best Fuel Economy, best CO2 emissions, best BIK and P11d

Value and has s the best Predicted Residual Value. The new XE is a wake-up call to other brands in its class. With such an amazing package you would think that there must be a catch – but I can assure you there isn’t. The XE delivers on style, performance, quality, reliability, engineering and the latest technology. It has been designed with the company car driver in mind and to appeal to a far wider audience attracting both a younger driver and also female motorists too. A SUCCESS STORY MADE IN BRITAIN Some brands simply capture the imagination. A mention of their name alone and people are excited and inspired by the timeless achievements of the past and present, and the promise of the future. Jaguar is such a brand.

“British Motor

Manufacturing is back with a big cat roar. The iconic Jaguar brand is at its best, winning the accolade of Best Manufacturer for 3 consecutive years in the highly respected ‘What Car?’ JD Power Surveys.

Kelly Gavaghan - Ridgeway Jaguar Oxford’s Fleet & Business Manager

Quintessentially British, Jaguar has always been created by some of the finest design and engineering minds of the time. Today we have a long history of building performance cars with outstanding design and a unique driving feel – instantly recognisable cars that set the pulse racing. As ever we’re committed to testing the boundaries of what is possible – no wonder we’re the largest investor in automotive research, development and engineering in the UK.” The first Jaguar XE demonstrators arrive at Ridgeway Jaguar Oxford in May 2015. If you would like to be one of the first to test drive the class leading car then please do contact Kelly Gavaghan on the details below to book your Jaguar XE experience. There is a great deal of interest in this year’s leading Business Model so book early to avoid disappointment.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 865 100 / 07551 173 981


neWbURy RaCeCoURSe Newbury Racecourse is one of the most famous and prestigious racing and events venues in the UK, providing excellent facilities for conferences and events, world class racing and hospitality, and a view from the stands that takes some beating. WRITTEN BY: ANDY CLIFTON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: GAVIN JAMES / ADAM HILLIER

The site is home to the Rocking Horse Nursery, a high quality facility catering for up to 100 youngsters, a top class gym and health club operated by Nuffield, as well as its own 9 hole golf course. It even has its own in-house awardwinning catering team, to make sure that the needs of every customer or client can be met. So there really is something for everybody at Newbury Racecourse. The racing Newbury Racecourse held its first race meeting in 1905 and has long been one of Britain’s leading tracks, staging 30 days of top class Jump and Flat racing annually, with at least one raceday in every month of the year. The highlight of Newbury’s Jump racing programme is the Hennessy Gold Cup, a steeplechase which usually takes place in late November, and is the longest-running commercial sporting sponsorship in the world. ‘The Hennessy’ is one of the most prestigious and sought after prizes in the sport and is the focal point of the three day bet365 Festival, which attracts many high profile celebrities to the racecourse. On the Flat, Newbury’s high quality programme includes the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes in May, a highly valuable and significant mile race, which has been won by some of the greats of the sport, including the unbeaten Frankel in 2012. The beginning The first recorded racing in the Newbury area took place in 1805 with ‘Newbury Races’, an annual two day race meeting at Enborne Heath. The meeting lasted until 1811 when it transferred to Woodhay Heath until 1815.


Newbury Racecourse didn’t come into existence for another 90 years when Kingsclere racehorse trainer John Porter proposed a new racecourse at Newbury. The Jockey Club, who ran the sport at the time, had laid down strict qualifications for new racecourses and after Porter’s plans were rejected several times, a chance meeting with King Edward VII brought about a further application which with the King’s support was approved. In April 1904 the Newbury Racecourse Company was formed and purchased the land and construction began of the buildings and stables at a cost of £57,240. On September 26th and 27th, 1905 the first ever race meeting took place at Newbury Racecourse with Copper King ridden by Charles Trigg and trained by Charles Marnes winning the opening race, the Whatcombe Handicap. Marnes was presented with a Silver Cup (value £25) and Trigg received a gold mounted whip (value £10). Much has happened since those early days, with many of the greatest Champions in the history of racing cementing their reputations on the famous Newbury turf, including the likes of Arkle, Golden Miller, Mill Reef, Denman and Frankel. Newbury Racecourse Development In its 110th year, the Racecourse in the process of taking another giant leap forward. September 2012 saw a Joint Venture agreement signed with David Wilson Homes to undertake a major redevelopment of the racecourse as well as a housing development of some 1500 homes. This is already well underway, with over 200 families already living on the racecourse site. As well as the homes, the racecourse is benefitting from a multi-million pound investment in its

infrastructure. Highlights of the investment programme include: a brand new road bridge at the eastern end providing better access, easing traffic flow and providing an impressive sense of arrival with sweeping views to the south; significant re-landscaping and re-modelling around the Grandstands to create a greener, more attractive environment for visitors; hundreds more permanent parking spaces; and a new 36 bedroom hotel which on racedays will act as accommodation for those looking after the horses. Conferences and Events Newbury Racecourse offers a wide range of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces in a truly distinctive setting, allowing the highly experienced team to cater for events from an intimate meeting in a private box (or even the Royal Box), to conferences attended by up to 1,500 delegates. Corporate events are also very popular, and range from award ceremonies, seasonal parties or team building days, to product launches, trade shows and international exhibitions. The racecourse even stages classic car shows, TV filming, international auctions and outdoor concerts. So whether you are looking to entertain a few clients or staff at the races, organise your company Christmas party, stage a product launch in historic and beautiful surroundings or even plan a wedding, it makes sense to give the team at Newbury Racecourse a call and let them help you to plan a truly memorable occasion.


B4 venues


Racecourse offers a wide range of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces in a truly distinctive setting



With unrivalled expertise in all aspects of commercial printing from business cards to brochures, Advent can accomplish the most sophisticated spectrum of high quality print work with ease. PROUD TO PRINT


B4 spotlight

CReating the betteR CommUniCatoR When executives and managers have problems - in making decisions, developing their teams or wanting to make more impact when they communicate - they go to Oxford Professional Consulting, Oxford’s leading specialists in business communication and coaching, led by Managing Director Alison Haill. WRITTEN BY: NICHOLAS NEWMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: STUDIO8

International clients include leading energy companies such as Conoco Philips, motor manufactures such as BMW, banks such as Coutts, charities such as Oxfam and locallybased companies like Unipart and Norbar. The courses Oxford Professional Consulting provides a variety of courses for leaders, ranging from business speech training and coaching skills to executive education in leadership and management skills. They deliver in a blend of formats including distance learning by videoed tutorials on YouTube or DVD, one-to-one video conferencing, as well as face-to-face personal coaching provided at the firm’s Oxford office or at a location chosen by the client. The ‘Coaching Skills for Manager’s Course’ is specifically designed to enable participants to become more effective managers, who can motivate employees to be more engaged, innovative and productive and, in turn, improve company performance. The coaching approach “is based on careful questioning from the coach to help the coachee get clarity and/or a solution on the specific topic they have chosen. But it's more powerful than a simple question and answer session. At the end of it, the coachee finds that they are able to make a better set of informed and effective decisions than before” advises Alison. Her company’s objective is “to help ambitious companies work smarter, collaborate better and produce improved results in the UK and internationally.” If you are one of many managers who struggle to enjoy public speaking, or you know you need to make more impact at work, Alison and her team have solutions to help you, including the “Impact Gap Profiler” she recently created.

The expert behind the business Alison Haill has a 30-year career as an Executive Coach and Communication Specialist. Since founding OPC in 1998, Alison has built up a network of talented professional experts, coaches and specialist trainers, able to deliver tailored coaching and mentoring services to an international clientele. She finds Oxford a good place to do business. “It has a great reputation amongst international clients and is convenient not only for London but also its international airport allows clients to fly in their personal executive jets for a few days intensive coaching.” As a consequence, at least 50 per cent of clients are from overseas.

“help ambitious

companies work smarter, collaborate better and produce improved results in the UK and internationally

Alison Haill - Oxford Professional Consulting

Alison has authored two self-help books to aid managers in their work. Her recent ‘The S-Factor: A Coaching Handbook’ is available from the company’s website where it is positioned as ”the ultimate 'how-to-coach' book for managers who want to engage and mobilise their team”. Feedback Oxford Professional Consulting is known internationally for its professional approach, executive leadership and communication consultancy services. The firm’s collaborative

approach and delivery modes have made it the first choice for companies, charities and leading nongovernmental organisations. The following testimonial is typical. After working with Alison, a senior executive from RBS says, “I changed my communication style, with the result I get full engagement from others.” Jonathan Firnberg, Global Sales Manager of toolmaker Norbar Torque Tools in Banbury, admits, “I have been impressed. The results have exceeded my expectations. Frankly, I didn’t realise you would be able to achieve such good results in six months. I would recommend Oxford Professional Consulting wholeheartedly for the combination of individual tailored programme, extremely professional service, and results which exceeded our expectations.” New trends More and more corporates seek to have their senior executives benefit from our services but we see an increase in requests for in-house training for leaders at all levels in how to coach staff. Companies are buying our off-the-shelf readymade courses to use internally as their managers have evolved into on-the-job trainers in this increasingly competitive world. In the next few issues Alison Haill will be sharing tips on better business communication. So, if you are nervous about public speaking, get ready to turn your fear into excitement with her help.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 436 791


inSURing yoUR ‘happily eveR afteR’ With pre-nup agreements becoming more popular, particularly with celebrities, in general they still seem to have a “Marmite” effect. People either love them or hate them. So when every engaged couple is hoping for a ‘happily ever after’ and are busy preparing for their special day, why should they start thinking about preparing a document that involves time and cost, and ultimately seems to be expecting the end of the marriage before it has begun? WRITTEN BY: GEMMA NICHOLLS PHOTOGRAPHY BY: HENMANS FREETH

Some couples find that having a pre-nup agreement actually helps their relationship during their marriage so that separation is less likely. They have the opportunity at an early stage to discuss their expectations and decide how they will own their assets. Having agreed these, they have certainty and so can avoid festering arguments in the future, for example about who owns what and has the right to make financial decisions.

2. A matter of trust Most people who are married, or thinking about marriage, have a view on what financial settlement they think would be morally fair if they were to separate. No doubt family and friends will also have their own views. Sometimes this leads to a short discussion with their partner about this and they may even go so far as to write something down.

Having decided that a pre-nup agreement is a good idea in the circumstances, it can be daunting to think about discussing this with a fiancé or fiancée. Over time, such agreements are likely to become more common place, as is the case in other countries, but for now one of the best ways of thinking about a pre-nup is by likening it to the insurance policies you already have in place. You wouldn’t own a car without insuring it, and lots of people are now arranging wedding insurance to cover any unexpected incidents that might impact on the wedding day. You hope you never need to rely on that insurance, but you have it in place, just in case, for peace of mind.

in order to have a binding financial settlement as part of divorce proceedings, a judge must be asked to approve that settlement as being fair and reasonable based on the law at the time

3 reasons for a pre-nup 1. The automatic prenup Everyone who gets married without their own pre-nup agreement in place is automatically signing up to have their finances on any separation dealt with in accordance with the laws created by the Parliamentary Acts and cases interpreting those Acts. Even where a couple have agreed the terms of their settlement themselves, in order to have a binding financial settlement as part of divorce proceedings, a judge must be asked to approve that settlement as being fair and reasonable based on the law at the time. Essentially the couple are handing over the decision about what will happen to their finances on any separation to government ministers, members of Parliament and judges. 76

Gemma Nicholls - Senior Associate Henmans Freeth

Whilst at the time of the discussion they may both genuinely believe that they are making an unbreakable commitment to the other, it is not actually binding. If they later separate, any judge will be looking at the circumstances at the time and any informal discussion is unlikely to carry any weight in their considerations. This means that the couple are solely reliant on the trust that they have between them to stick to what they have agreed in future. Consider for a minute, for example, a couple who agree that the husband will continue working full time whilst the wife becomes a full time mother and homemaker. At some point, probably when the wife is handing her notice in at work, he is likely to reassure her that ‘he will always make sure that she has all of the money

that she needs’. After time passes the wife tells the husband that she has decided their marriage is at an end. Whilst the wife may be expecting at least the house that she needs and spousal maintenance, the husband is more likely to be expecting her to return to work immediately so reducing the level of spousal maintenance, and potentially the capital, she would receive in their settlement. 3. Dealing with the unexpected Relying just on the law at the time to deal with division of assets on any separation can have consequences that the couple and their families may not expect or predict. Assets that they would never have expected to have to share with the other person on separation may not be ring-fenced from the division of their assets, allowing their spouse to bring claims against them, such as inheritance they have received from close relatives or a business they have built up before marriage. Large loans given to them during their marriage by family members, even those they feel morally bound to pay back, will not automatically be taken into account by any judge and will not be treated in the same way as debts to third parties, such as mortgages. Take as an example a couple who have each owned a home before their marriage and may have children from previous relationships. On their marriage they may decide to start living together in one person’s house and rent out the other property, agreeing that if either of them dies or they separate, they, or their family, will each keep the property they brought into the marriage. However, properties that have been treated as a family home are looked at differently by a court than investment properties that have been kept in one person’s name, completely separate to ‘matrimonial’ assets. This could lead to one person not only being able to keep their investment property, but also successfully bringing claims for a share of the equity in the family home.

B4 advice

“By having a formal

agreement in place, for many separating couples court proceedings will simply not be needed, because they have already agreed a settlement with which they are happy

Gemma Nicholls - Senior Associate Henmans Freeth

The future of pre-nups We are still waiting for the parliament to change the law relating to prenuptial agreements, now officially known as pre-marital agreements, to make them automatically binding on a separation. Earlier this year the Law Commission recommended the introduction of ‘qualifying’ nuptial agreements, which would be contracts that couples could use to make binding arrangements in case of future divorce. Certain procedural requirements would need to be met and they would have to cover both parties’ financial needs. However, in the meantime, the decisions of judges in recent cases are still pointing towards judges giving effect to well drafted pre-nup agreements, as long as they are not unfair, when deciding the settlement in any proceedings between divorcing couples about their financial matters. Crucially there is a key practical effect of having a pre-nup agreement that should not be ignored. By having a formal agreement in place, for many separating couples court proceedings will simply not be needed, because they have already agreed a settlement with which they are happy, saving unnecessary legal costs and acrimony, and benefitting their family in the long term. If you or anyone you know are getting married or separating and would find it helpful to receive advice on dealing with matters reasonably, especially where children are involved, or would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please call or email Gemma Nicholls below or follow her on twitter at @nicholls_gemma.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 781 115 Gemma Nicholls - Senior Associate Henmans Freeth



“an absolute Oxford classic” Take a self-guided Tour of the Theatre (£3.50 adults/£2.50 concessions) or book onto a guided tour* (£8.00 adults/£6.00 concessions) where you will discover the fascinating history of how the University was formed, how long it’s been in existence, and the secrets of its violent and rebellious past

“The cupola gives visitors a spectacular panoramic view of Oxford’s famous skyline … one of the best in Oxford”




Open regularly throughout the year, please visit for opening times. SHELDONIAN THEATRE, BROAD STREET, OXFORD OX1 3AZ TEL: 01865 277299 *Tours provided by

B4 spotlight

“Sales is the lifeblood

of a business – but making changes isn’t easy; habits are hard to break. The Masterclass gave business owners a clear overview of what they could do to bolster their sales pipeline

a ClaSS of theiR oWn

As part of the B4 Monthly Masterclasses, February saw the turn of Sandler Training to be our hosts. Sandler is the UK’s leading sales, management and leadership training organisation, with 30 centres of excellence across the country. The event was held at its high spec training facilities available at its Head Office based in Chipping Norton, in Cromwell Business Park. WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ABBY OWEN

The event was a great success, with business owners and managing directors from all over the county attending. The Masterclass was ran by Anneli Thomson, Managing Director and Shaun Thomson, CEO, whose energetic and engaging presentation lead the way for great participation from all attendees. The topic of the two-hour Masterclass was “Increase Your Sales In 2015.” It covered the challenges that businesses face, and outlined tried and tested sales processes that businesses could easily implement to increase their revenue this year. The Sandler method uses non-traditional, disruptive methods giving busy business owners the freedom to change on a personal and professional level. Importantly, it focuses on reinforcing these techniques with actionable regular engagement, to enable long-term behavioural change. Sales is the lifeblood of a business – but making changes isn’t easy; habits are hard to break. The Masterclass gave business owners a clear overview of what they could do to bolster their sales pipeline, and enable a mind-shift throughout their business. It dispelled myths – outlining why failure is just as

important as success, in identifying what hasn’t worked, so that systems can be put in place to only focus on the positives. The session also gave businesses tools to be successful. There was a great dialogue between attendees on how creating a systematic approach will give predictable results. There was certainly a magic light bulb moment when each person realised that a robust sales process, which could be quantified and tracked and adjusted, would be a win-win for both the business and customers. Once the attendees starting talking about systems and how they could help both themselves, their customers and prospects there was no stopping them! Everyone reached a consensus that they wouldn’t ever go into a meeting talking about themselves again - the new focus would be on the problems faced by the customer and how best these can be alleviated, with anecdotes at the ready to qualify the need. There was an understanding that prospects didn’t want the cheapest, they wanted the best solution that would add value and support them in addressing their needs. Anneli Thomson, MD of Sandler said, “We were thrilled to be asked to host a B4 Masterclass. B4

is renowned by the Oxfordshire business community, so it was great to meet its loyal readers and be given an opportunity to have a role in helping them make this year their best ever!” Richard Rosser, Chief Executive The In Oxford Group and Editor for B4 commented, “B4 Members and the B4 Team enjoyed a very rewarding session with Anneli and Shaun Thomson, giving us all some great tips to help us improve sales for 2015. They really are an engaging double act, dovetailing brilliantly and using their combined experience to great effect. We hope to repeat the course in 2015 but if you can’t wait that long, I suggest you get in touch with them directly to book your own very worthwhile session:” Sandler are pleased to confirm they will be running future Masterclasses with B4, with the next one taking place on the 9th of September.

CONTACT DETAILS 01608 611 211


inStall-foCUSed It’s ostensibly the quiet season. The idea of an outdoor event in the winter is - to my mind - anathema. There are plenty, of course; several Oxford colleges hold their balls outside in February. That’s not to say that we’ve been resting on our laurels; far from it... WRITTEN BY: RHYS DANINO PHOTOGRAPHY BY: JERRY GILBERT

We began the year with the wind-down of our Christmas work - removing the outdoor lighting from Waddesdon Manor, for instance. We’ve been ticking over nicely with our more routine jobs. In and around Oxford, we are happy to continue our partnerships with Oxford Town Hall (for the Real Farming Conference), the Sheldonian Theatre (for William Blake season), and others. In this issue, however, I’ll be taking the time to talk about the other half of our work. I’m aware that these articles tend to emphasise our live events. But as I’ve mentioned before, another major portion of our time is devoted to permanent installation - especially during the winter, when fewer live events take place. I’ll provide three examples of our work, all within Oxford. We’ll begin with Rhodes House. Part of a University trust, the building plays host to myriad events over a year, from weddings to conferences to business fairs. It’s a venue well-known to us; we’ve worked there countless times over the years. However, the back-and-forth was something of a challenge! The sheer variety of work at Rhodes House meant a constantly shifting set of technical requirements; as such it made sense to upgrade to a permanent, adaptable system. There were two crucial planning considerations. First, the venue required flexibility for its varied calendar. Second, great sensitivity had to be awarded to the building, due to its listed status. With this in mind, we installed a powerful (but visually unobtrusive) PA system in the main Milner Hall. There were certainly a few obstacles. How, for instance, could the speakers be attached without drilling holes in the wall? We were able to commission some custom mounts for this purpose. Next, the speakers were stipple-painted to match the room’s sandstone masonry, in order to be even less obtrusive. Similarly discreet systems were installed in Rhodes’ two annex


rooms. Above all, though, I am most pleased with the Soundweb network linking the three systems. Not only does it allow a live relay between all three rooms, but it can be controlled from a tablet, via Wi-Fi. It is, in essence, a plug-and-play system (thanks to the rooms’ hidden microphone ports). Though I say so myself, it’s a rather elegant solution. And, as conference manager Isabelle Barber says, “the new system does precisely what we want it to.” From the most open to the most cloistered: our second case study is All Souls’ College. For those not in the know, All Souls is easily Oxford’s most

key to this system is “itsTheintuitiveness; it can be operated by anyone, and it is pre-calibrated to the building’s quirks. Secretive as the College is, reports from the fellows have been very favourable!

exclusive college. There are no undergraduates, and the roster of fellows is short - about forty. The entrance exam is allegedly the world’s hardest and most devious. The College’s main parade takes place only once per century (most recently in 2001)… But enough arcana. We were commissioned to provide a permanent PA solution for the college Chapel. The criteria were certainly unusual! The chapel’s architecture makes the room prone to reverberation. Accommodation was to also be made for the College’s hard-of-hearing fellows. As with Rhodes, the building work was to be sympathetically treated. So, rather than providing temporary PA, we were able to install a durable custom system. For the

first time, permanent microphones have been attached to the lectern. These, along with several wireless mics, feed into a Soundweb network similar to that in Rhodes House. (A second sound desk is available for manual override.) Almostinvisible speakers counter the difficulties previously caused by echoes. The key to this system is its intuitiveness; it can be operated by anyone, and it is pre-calibrated to the building’s quirks. Secretive as the College is, reports from the fellows have been very favourable! Our final example comes from the Oxford Union, with whom we have worked for many years. The principal Chamber hosts a plethora of events; balls, craft fairs, concerts, and plays abound. It was the home of Al Jazeera’s Head To Head talk show. Oh, and there may be a few debates, too. Naturally, some of these would still require more specialist kit on occasion; nevertheless, a versatile permanent system was welcomed. The most unusual feature of the Union is the standard seating layout, where half of the seating rows are at perpendicular to the rest. As with our other examples, delicacy and aesthetics were paramount. We’re glad to say that the Union have taken wholeheartedly to the new system, and the flexibility it furnishes. It’s been a pleasure expanding our installation repertoire; it’s a field we wish to develop in 2015 and beyond. Each job entails its own oddities - be it asbestos removal, building constraints, or running underfloor cables. It’s a fine time for installations nonetheless; the technology is improving exponentially, and kit prices are dropping. Please do get in touch if a professionally-designed install sounds enticing.

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 722 800

B4 events

The most unusual “ feature of the Union is the standard seating layout, where half of the seating rows are at perpendicular to the rest. As with our other examples, delicacy and aesthetics were paramount. We’re glad to say that the Union have taken wholeheartedly to the new system, and the flexibility it furnishes


Paper, printers, toner cartridges… such simple little things, but without them your business doesn’t function. Marketing can’t get that press release out, Finance can’t finalise the monthly accounts and the MD… let’s not even go there. We don’t expect office supplies to be top of your agenda, that’s why we make it ours. We have a solution that brings you the ultimate in easy ordering, timely delivery and accurate invoicing, saving you time and money by removing the unnecessary hassle from your busy day. As a local supplier we’re able to respond instantly to your requirements and have the buying power to give the cost savings you need. Focus on your core business. It could be the best business decision you make today.

If you don’t want your supplies to trip up, allow us to untie the knot by calling us on 01993 706900 Or enquire online at

a StReet-level vieW of bUSineSS Sentiment in the thameS valley …helping to inform decisions on growth, investment and employment in the region

“Despite a slight drop in optimism amongst business leaders, the results for the Thames Valley remain robust.




The latest survey ran for six weeks during October and November and included in-depth profiles of five Thames Valley businesses: SIRE Technology, Oxford Products, Mabey, Ancoris and Softcat and a roundtable discussion of the results by members of the Barometer Panel.

Stayed the same


In terms of the general level of economic confidence in the Thames Valley in the last six months, respondents believe this has...


Accountants and business consultants BDO LLP, in conjunction with marketing specialists C8 Consulting, have published the results of the 7th Thames Valley Business Barometer. Taken from a survey of the region’s business community, this regular report provides a snapshot of business sentiment across the Thames Valley and has created a picture of emerging trends over the last few years.

Business confidence improves This time last year we witnessed a surge in optimism across the region as confidence amongst the region’s business leaders leapt from 31% in the spring of 2013 to 79% by the autumn and then continued rising to 90% by the spring 2014 survey. The latest results indicate that this momentum is cooling with optimism dropping to 70%. This drop in optimism is also mirrored in BDO’s latest national Business Trends report which showed a fall in the BDO Optimism Index and Manufacturing sub-index between September and October 2014. Businesses were primarily concerned with the global economy, the near term future of which currently remains very uncertain. Manufacturing companies were more prone to these concerns than those in the service industry due to their greater dependency on exports and therefore their greater exposure to global economic conditions.

the Thames Valley remain robust. In particular, profits are positive and expectations for profit over the next six months are extremely good. Pipeline and turnover have increased for the majority of businesses with 70% of respondents telling us that their business pipeline or order book had increased and the same percentage saying that their turnover was up. 80% of respondents expected turnover to increase between the autumn survey and spring 2015. Is recruitment an inhibitor to growth? Since the Barometer began we have witnessed a gradual increase in the headcount and hiring intentions of Thames Valley businesses as the economic outlook and business confidence have improved. In our previous survey, carried out last spring, 61% of those surveyed had increased their headcount during

Overall however, despite a drop in most indicators, the Barometer results for

In the previous six months turnover...


In the next six months turnover is expected to...








Remained the same









Remain the same


B4 spotlight In the previous six months headcount...

The next six months headcount is expected to...






Remained the same


the previous six months while 71% were intending to do so within the next six months. Results from the current survey however show that only 50% of those surveyed had actually increased their headcount and 59% intend to do so in the next six months. The challenge of recruitment and retention is a major issue for UK businesses. For a while now we have been hearing that there is a skills gap in the market, particularly amongst businesses in the technology and manufacturing sectors. Are we starting to see this becoming a major inhibitor to growth? It will be interesting to see how this pans out in 2015. In our spring survey we will be taking a closer look at the workforce to try and build a clearer picture of this vital ingredient of all businesses. Doing business in the Thames Valley The second half of the survey looked at local issues and what it means to be based in the Thames Valley. Almost seven out of ten businesses surveyed had been based in the region for more than 10 years and it was good to see that






Remain the same

almost 90% saw themselves still being based in the Thames Valley in five years’ time. Those who were expecting to move their businesses out of the region told us that this was mainly due to their clients being based in London and the labour force being more attracted to London. The three most attractive features of being located in the Thames Valley were transport infrastructure followed by proximity to London and quality of life. However, the three least attractive features of being located in the region were all based around cost – the cost of living, the cost of premises and the cost of labour. The London effect would appear to be a polarising feature of business life in the region with local businesses benefitting from their proximity to the capital and its transport and communications infrastructure but struggling with the cost of living and premises and with competition from London businesses for the local workforce.

38% Proximity to markets

to 12% Proximity suppliers

of 5% Cost premises

of 6%Quality premises

11% Availability of premises

of 2%Cost labour

32% Quality of labour

18% Availability of labour

authority 2% Local support

12% Communication infrastructure


What are the most attractive features of the region?

Transport infrastructure


9% Other


of living in 6% Cost the Thames Valley


Quality of life 39% in the Thames Valley


to 50% Proximity London


• When respondents were asked to name the three most attractive features of being located in the Thames Valley, the most popular responses were transport infrastructure (65%) followed by proximity to London (50%) and quality of life in the Thames Valley (39%).

the fUll ReSUltS of the SURvey… … can be accessed via the BDO LLP website ( or the C8 Consulting website, the founders and inspiration behind the Twenties Club ( The next Thames Valley Business Barometer survey will take place in the spring. Please contact if you would like to get involved.


planning an exit bUt UnSURe of WhiCh RoUte to take? If you’re a business owner or partner with a business to sell, it is important to know when and how to sell your business when the time is right. It can be a daunting process to sell a business you have built up over many years and naturally, you want to get the best price you can for it. But it’s also important you pass on the business to the right person or company and to someone that you trust to continue to take the business forward. WRITTEN BY: MARK CROSFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ISTOCK

Here, The M Group, a local accountancy firm , offer a practical guide in taking the next step when you’re planning to sell your business and in particular if you feel that a trade sale is not the right fit for you and your business… Choosing who you sell to There are many options when it comes to selling your business, and for some, you may have lined someone up years ago, however, for many, the options can sometimes be less clear. You might already have a commercial trader who has shown some interest in the taking the business off your hands, or you could even have a family


member in mind who you would like to pass the business onto when you decide to leave. All of these solutions would be good options to consider, however, there are other alternatives to a conventional trade sale, where you can stay invested or involved in the business whilst getting the best price you can. Management Buy-In A ‘Management buy-in’ is an individual or team who are generally already involved in the industry of the business and want to buy a business they are not currently involved in. Often, a new company will be established as a vehicle to enable the interested party to buy the shares in your

business. The new company will then have shareholders which may comprise some of the existing management team, new management and you as the vendor. The benefits: • You can stay partially invested as a shareholder and thus share in the future success of the business • You feel secure in the knowledge that the business is in good hands going forward • Control is better maintained of the purchase price • Customers and staff see continuity as a positive result

B4 advice Management Buy-Out Management buy-out is the term used for an existing management member or team who buy the business in which they are currently working. The benefits of selling to existing management include: • You can stay partially invested or involved going forward, which again, provides the opportunity to share in the future success of the business • You can avoid negotiations with an external trader who may not know your best intentions • You know who you are selling to so will help protect staff employment • Providing an opportunity to valued employees of the business

Case Study: Reseller and distributor of software products The vendor for this business wanted an exit plan and to benefit from Entrepreneurs Relief (10% tax), was keen to stay involved part-time but needed to release some cash. A trade sale would have meant he had no control or influence in the business. Solution: • An MBI was introduced with relevant sector and managerial experience • The MBI assumed the MD role and the vendor stayed involved part-time • The deal was structured to allow the vendor to remove surplus cash and receive a further 60% of the consideration price in cash • The vendor retains a 30% stake in the new company

sale offer was declined due to the need for continued employment of the vendors to manage the business on their behalf. Management were young and relatively inexperienced with no capital to invest. Solution: • The transaction structure involved cash bought out on reserve cash balances • The vendor retained 20% of the new company and took a charge over transferred shares • A vendor loan was established, which qualified for tax relief • The vendor remains on the board, and protective ‘step in/veto’ rights were established There are many options to consider when selling your business and the decision is ultimately not going to be an easy one, however, whichever option you choose, this will depend on your individual circumstances and what you want to get out of your business. This can vary from how much cash you wish to receive initially, the level of involvement you desire after you have sold the business, to how you envisage the business to be run after you’ve gone. Whatever your circumstances, let us do some of the hard work to ensure the best route for you. Contact Mark Crossfield below. on 01865 552925 or email for more information.


Case Study: Fit-out and Maintenance business The vendor was looking for an exit plan and wanted to benefit from paying Entrepreneurs Relief (10% tax) on the surplus cash balances held. The trade 01865 552925


Meetings • Events • Training • Conferences

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B4 health

foReveR living pRodUCtS Clare joined Forever Living Products, a market leader in the production of aloe vera, in September having been introduced by her now sponsor. “I went on an induction and training in Warwickshire and I was hooked. There are so many things the company is involved in – weight management, the aloe vera drink which accounts for over 50% of the company’s turnover and household products such as soap, toothpaste and shampoo.” WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FOREVER LIVING PRODUCTS

it’s good for you • Wonderful drink for good health - contains 19 of the 20 amino acids needed by the human body • Useful source of vitamins - vitamin A, B group vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folic acid and trace elements of vitamin B12 with is rarely found in plants • Useful source of minerals - including calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper & zinc • Effect on gut flora - aloe vera is a natural balancer, it tends to regulate the various bacteria and yeasts that inhabit the gut • Effects on the Musculoskeletal system- certain substances in the aloe, such as the salicylic acid and plant sterols are able to soothe muscles and maintain healthy joints, mobility and flexibility • Increases the activity of fibroblasts - Fibroblasts are specialised cells found in the skin, they produce fibre such as collagen and elastin, making it look plump and elastic • Balances the immune system

The company started in 1978 in the US and is now sold in 150 countries around the world and it’s very much a business which can be grown relatively quickly, as Clare explains. “I have met people who are doing extremely well through selling what is a very popular product, but the secret is building a team of your own which feeds into your network. There is very good career development potential and the support from the company is second to none. “There are a lot of aloe vera products on the market but this is the genuine item – the percentage of aloe vera is a lot higher than any other product of its kind, making Forever Living Products the market leader. Forever Living Products also make Propolis, a resinous mixture

that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. This is taken from the lining of the bee hive and from this Bee Pollen is made, another Forever Living Products best seller.” So not only is Clare selling healthy products with fantastic benefits (see below) but she is also growing her business, and if you would like to find out more about growing a business with Clare, please get in touch as per the details below. As Clare concludes, “It’s very much a business you can run alongside an existing business and grow gradually around your existing commitments. If you’d like to find out more, or just sample the products, please get in touch.”

• Assists in healthy digestion

key facts • In order to ensure the highest quality, Forever cultivates aloe vera on its privately-owned plantations, avoiding the use of herbicides or pesticides. • With over 50 million aloe vera plants, Forever’s aloe vera plantations work to cleanse the earth of two million tons of CO2 every year. • Valued since ancient times, the highly concentrated aloe vera gel is delicately separated from the leaf pulp and gently stabilised in a special patented process. • The key to Forever’s success is a commitment to quality and purity. From planting and tending, to harvesting, Forever’s aloe plants are carefully nurtured with the same level of care and standards that it puts into every one of its products. Forever farmers harvest the aloe by hand, treating it with great care. The leaves are processed within hours, to provide the purest, freshest aloe vera gel with all of its inherent qualities intact.



“The CIS Bunker Tours have already proved successful in helping businesses understand the benefits of the Cloud, which is why we’re continuing our thought-leadership in helping more people to make the move through efficient and highly secure Cloud solutions

Richard Marsh, Solutions Director, CIS Ltd.


B4 it

CiS explain the CloUd in an UltRa-SeCURe bUnkeR Ever wondered what the Cloud actually is and how it could benefit your business? Let us show you… WRITTEN BY: LUKE BROADHURST PHOTOGRAPHY BY: TIM SMITH

New for 2015 and as an ambassador for B4, we’d like you to join us in coming along to one of our CIS Bunker Tours.

Tour start and finish times • Arrive at The Bunker for 10am. • Finish at 2pm.

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked here at CIS is "Where exactly is the Cloud?”. To answer the question fully, we'd like to invite you to join us on an exclusive guided tour into the rarely seen depths of the ultra-secure, cold war era nuclear bunker where our Data Centre is housed.

Is this tour right for you? If you’re a business owner or key decision maker when moving your company, or your clients, to the Cloud then this tour is for you.

Available Tour Dates • Thursday 26th March (A few spaces left) • Thursday 28th May • Thursday 30th July What can you expect on the day? • Warm introductions with Tea and Coffee. • An interactive workshop on what the Cloud really is. • A guided tour of our Ultra-Secure Data Centre to show you where our Cloud actually is. • Lunch which is provided on the day and Q&A with our Cloud Experts.

The CIS Team

Why should you attend? As a business which relies on IT every day, it’s now becoming increasingly difficult “not” to use the Cloud. Your IT helps make your business a success and we believe the Cloud can help you achieve your business goals more efficiently, enabling your company to grow whilst being more cost-effective and Ultra-Secure. Where is The CIS Bunker? The CIS Bunker is located at the West Venture Building (The Bunker), New Greenham Park, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 6HN. Feedback from previous tours… “Very interesting and slightly different to what I expected in terms of size of the data rooms! Good for businesses seeking a move to the Cloud” Cathy Stewart, Cathy Stewart Associates.

Richard Marsh - Director CIS

“It was interesting to see all the servers and realising the importance of backing up to the Cloud! Highly recommended” Jason Holden, IT, M&M Skip Hire. “I found the whole event enjoyable and very informative which has helped me to make the next steps in moving to the Cloud.” Steve Blair, IT Manager, Pump Technology Ltd. Due to the logistics and high level of security at The Bunker, places on the CIS Bunker tours are VERY limited. We’d highly recommend that you book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. If you’d like to book a place on a tour then please contact CIS using the details below.

CONTACT DETAILS 01367 700555

The Server Room



taking the aRt of high level inSpeCtionS to neW heightS Paulo Coll, founder and principal of High Level Inspection (HLI) specialists, AltaVista, talks to Strangebrew’s Phil Strachan about his vision for the future of this dynamic industry in which he is a pioneering and leading player. He also outlines his exciting plans to take the evolved and enhanced version of the already successful ground-based promotional aerial videography and stills photography side of his business to an exclusive new level. WRITTEN BY: PHIL STRACHAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ALTAVISTA

When I met Paulo in mid-2014, I was immediately fascinated by his business. Apart from the fact that he is genuinely one of life’s more colourful characters, it was instantly apparent to me that vision2video (as he was trading as then and until recently) was clearly not just AN Other video production company. I was especially interested because I was most certainly looking at someone who thought Brand – not bland. Paulo and I met by chance in a hotel where he was presenting to a potential Client. After a brief discussion, not only was I able to see that here was someone that I really wanted to work with, but I was very quickly also able to see the bigger picture and realise that Paulo Coll was no ordinary videographer and his business was no ordinary video production company. As is reflected by the recent name change of his Company from vision2video to AltaVista, here was a man not only out to set new standards by taking the art of ground-based aerial videography and stills photography to another level, but he was also taking his existing skills and technology in a whole new direction. – Phil Strachan. Paulo, who was born in Venezuela, moved to the UK in 2003 to do an MA at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Says Paulo, “The UK was my long lost love. I’d been sent here to boarding school in the 80’s and always longed to return. Now my wife and I are so very proud to be British Citizens.” Paulo and his highly trained team of professionals at AltaVista, based in Marlow’s prestigious The Old Barrel Store on Drayman’s Lane, have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) permission for any ground-based aerial videography and photography work up to 400ft. Paulo was among the very first to recognise the real potential of using such ground-based aerial techniques for the High Level Inspection (HLI) of buildings. Explains Paulo “This technology is quickly being recognised as being a much safer, more affordable, less disruptive and often a much more effective and efficient way to conduct HLI surveys of otherwise difficult to access buildings and parts of buildings. This includes towers, chimneys and certain 92

generally inaccessible areas of roofing”. Paulo is particularly and rightly proud to have been appointed as an approved supplier to The National Trust for whom he and his team carry out High Level Inspections of their most prestigious buildings. So Paulo, how exactly did your ’high flying’ venture ever come to take off given that your background was Marketing with Procter and Gamble followed by a spell in teaching and codeveloping a media department from scratch? To a large extent this was a perfectly natural and logical extension of my experience as a radiocontrolled helicopter enthusiast, combined with the fact that I have a passion for storytelling – in particular through the medium of high quality unscripted videography and photography with a natural feel. This was, after all, the essence of my Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics. When I started vision2video, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aka ‘drones’, for commercial use was in its infancy. To be fair, this is still largely the case but to me it was a no-brainer that in order to stand out as production company, I could marry all my skills under one roof. I therefore made the decision to invest in fulfilling the necessary statutory requirements and technical equipment to become a ground based aerial camera operator. I quickly adapted my existing flying skills and mastered aerial videography and stills photography flying and vision2video, as we had traded until recently, took off. We produced some stunning content for Keay Roofing Services Ltd., The Best Of Windsor and The Sutton Tennis Academy, the number 5 tennis academy in the world, among others. But then, over the winter floods of 2013-2014, we assisted the Environmental Agency with some pro-bono aerial photography and videography work which helped them to map the extent of the flood plains. This opened my eyes to the fact that there were possibities for aerial images beyond the production of promotional media. Then, through a chance encounter, it was the caretaker of Cookham’s Holy Trinity Church who suggested the application of these

B4 spotlight techniques to the provision of High Level Inspection services and I saw that he was correct .The rest, as they say, is history.

Your High Level Inspections must take you all over and invariably you’re involved with some very interesting buildings.

You mention the technical equipment that you had to invest in – can you tell me a little more about that and what it is that makes AltaVista different and makes you stand out from the crowd.

You are quite correct; we like to go wherever our services are needed. One such typically interesting project was a High Level Inspection at The Brewery, a significant residential development on the site of the old Morland’s Brewery in Abingdon. We worked on this project with Oxley Conservation Ltd, The Historic Buildings Consultancy. As with Cliveden, of particular interest is the fact that we were able to conduct a video and photographic inspection of the whole site in just one day when, with traditional methods, this would have taken weeks. With our UAV, not only did we manage it all without pressure, but we accessed the highest point, The Tower, which is actually the highest point in the town. We have some stunning shots of this that are gold dust for the surveyors doing their diagnostic of the structure.

Yes. Because, above all, I wanted my kits to be versatile enough to go where other crafts cannot, I made a very deliberate decision to keep our aerial equipment below the 7kg threshold. This makes it much easier for us to obtain CAA Permission for flight and to manage risk when it comes to the more challenging settings that may have people or vehicles within 50 metres of our flight paths. Typically, the downside of this is that we were limited to wide-angled 'sports' cameras, but we have overcome this by having our own cameras, fitted with lenses that allow us to capture SLR style quality video and stills without distortion, custom built in the USA. Another benefit of staying below the 7kg threshold is safety. This is important as we are often dealing with buildings which are irreplaceable – for example, national treasures like Chartwell, Churchill's family home. However, I am very happy to report that in hundreds of logged hours of flight, we have an untarnished safety record. What makes AltaVista different, and what I would like to emphasise, is that we are High Level Inspection specialists because we are experienced, expert, radio controlled sports helicopter (as opposed to just drone) pilots. This means that we are pilots with extensive experience in highly skilled close proximity precision flying. This is our specialty and what we are able to draw on to the benefit of our clients. Talking of Chartwell, you are an approved supplier to The National Trust, which is a major accomplishment in itself. This must bring with it its own special challenges. As I have said, when conducting HLI surveys on behalf of The National Trust, we are charged with the responsibility of helping in the upkeep of what truly are prestigious national treasures and we are very proud and honoured to be trusted in this way. Many of our projects involve us working with Building Surveyors and other specialist professionals. At Cliveden House, we had the privilege of working for Stewart Wright, now senior surveyor at Buckingham Palace, and, in just one day, we were able to do a job that would otherwise have taken weeks. Stewart was over the moon with the results. In addition to Chartwell and Cliveden, we have done diagnostic HLIs of other National Trust properties such as Hatchlands and The Vyne where a critical fracture on a chimney was discovered and repaired before becoming a danger. I am pleased to say that the benefits of our involvement in such projects are greatly appreciated and we receive positive feedback from The Trust as to the value of what we do for them.

Another interesting and challenging project was one carried out for the Bracknell Bio-diversity Office in which we were looking for Peregrine Falcon nests on Bracknell’s 18 story Winchester House (formerly known as the 3M Tower) before it was demolished. Paulo, the potential you have identified for providing HLI services using ground-based aerial videography and stills photography is clearly very considerable, as are the many benefits to be derived. But tell me a bit more about your plans to evolve and enhance the already extremely successful promotional videography and stills photography side of your business. I don’t want to say too much at this stage but I’ll tell you this; previously, we have been fortunate enough to have done a rich variety of very prestigious promotional videography and photography projects. Suffice it to say that with regards to video production in the future, we are bringing together a team of script writers, producers, camera operators and editors from every corner of the industry including BBC, ITV and feature films. The objective is to create and deliver highly bespoke, exclusive, unforgettable, unique quality content which includes aerial elements. Watch this space for more information. Thank you, Paulo. One thing is for certain, whether you are looking for High Level Inspection work or for ground-based aerial videography or photography for promotional purposes, by working with Paulo and his team of professionals at AltaVista you can be absolutely certain of results of the very highest order.

CONTACT DETAILS 01628 400 683


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laURent peRRieR SponSoR 2015 oxfoRdShiRe ReStaURant gUide We are delighted to announce Laurent Perrier as sponsors of our 15th Annual Guide, a name which exudes style and quality. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: LAURENT PERRIER

The Oxfordshire Restaurant Guide will be included in June’s edition of Living in Oxford Magazine (6,500 copies) and also circulated throughout the year (23,500 copies). To feature, please call The In Oxford Group on 01865 742211 and we will be pleased to send you more information about featuring in this prestigious publication.

The House was acquired by the Nonancourt family in 1949 and for 50 years Bernard de Nonancourt dedicated his life to innovating and perfecting Laurent-Perrier Champagne.

Champagne Laurent Perrier - A Philosophy of Excellence

Bernard de Nonancourt had prepared his succession for several years, handing over to his daughters Alexandra and Stéphanie who respectively joined the House in 1987 and are now members of the Management Board – a promising international Group, dedicated exclusively to the making of champagne. Today, the House of Laurent-Perrier is one of the great success stories in Champagne, and is now the largest independent champagne brand worldwide.

Established in 1812, Champagne Laurent-Perrier is one of the most distinguished family-owned Champagne Houses. Based in the heart of Champagne, in Tours-sur-Marne, Laurent-Perrier has a pedigree for innovation, handcrafting a diverse and pioneering range of fine champagnes that are produced to traditional, time-honoured methods.

Under Bernard de Nonancourt's leadership, Laurent-Perrier achieved many firsts: in 1959, the House introduced the first multi-vintage prestige cuvée, Grand Siècle by Laurent-Perrier and was also the driver of the evolution of the rosé category, when Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé was first launched in 1968. Then, in 1981 Laurent-Perrier

Laurent Perrier are also sponsors of the Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards champagne reception for 2015 as they have been for the past two years.


was the first House to reintroduce the concept of brut nature champagne with its Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut. Laurent-Perrier continues to apply an environmental policy in all its activities and takes major steps in managing its business in a sustainable manner and has implemented its environmentally-friendly policies in all fields of its activities. For example, vineyard activity at the Laurent-Perrier House is based on sustainable grape growing, respect for the environment and natural resources, and attaining a balance between biological and human factors; the 150 hectares of vines owned directly by Laurent‑Perrier are all kept with environmentally-friendly methods.


news Hawkwell starts the Thames trot... Last Saturday 7th February, early in the morning, Hawkwell House Hotel & Iffley Blue Restaurant were unusually busy. Most of our guests are rather partial to a weekend lie-in, but for some, it was all about carbo-loading first thing in the morning as Hawkwell House played host to one of the UK’s most popular ultra-marathons – the 50-mile Thames Trot. The race website advertises it as a “a tranquil run along the Thames from Oxford to Henley, with ever-changing scenery and Red Kites frequently seen soaring overhead” ...if you can call virtually 2 back-to-back marathons in under 11 hours ‘tranquil’?! With over 250 finishers, and the winner clocking an almost unbelievable time of 5hr 48mins, it was an epic achievement by all concerned. As the official race HQ, and with the offer of special discounted room rates for Thames Trot runners both before and after the event, we were delighted to be able to welcome some of the weary finishers back that evening…..let’s just say they fully deserved their Sunday morning lie-in!

Live music: A little slice of Copacabana comes to Iffley... HOMENAGEM. noun. homage, honour, tribute. verb. prestar homenagem a : to pay homage toc. It’s very apt then that this band is a celebration of all that is so magical about Brazilian Bossa nova music. Having played at such esteemed venues as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, this 4-piece is a tribute to the great masters and fathers of Bossa Nova; Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Dori Caymmi and many more besides. Iffley Blue is hosting this exciting band on 21st March at 6.30. Don’t just take our word for it though if you’re thinking of coming along have a look at some of Marta’s extensive repertoire first on YouTube – then book quickly, as spaces are limited! Iffley Blue will accompany this magical atmosphere with a special menu of traditional \Brazilian dishes prepared by William our authentic Brazilian chef! There are also special accommodation packages for this exciting night!

“Pie makes everybody happy.”

– Laurie Halse Anderson

It’s true though, isn’t it – there is something uplifting about a pie. Whether it’s the sight of steam rising from a puff pastry topping, the smell of meat roasting in its juices, or the sound of a fork breaking through the flaky outer layer to unleash the juices within, pies are unique. Iffley Blue joins in with British Pie Week and unleashes a special Pie menu during the second week of March.


01865 794 009


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SURvey - dining oUt tRendS With restaurants facing stiff competition for customers, and the price and quality of food being more important than ever to discerning diners, what can restaurants do to keep up in 2015? The Tree Hotel Group conducted a survey to find out. WRITTEN BY: HAZEL SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DAVID MATHER

• The majority of people look for special deals when choosing which restaurant to dine at with 46% of respondents checking the restaurants own promotions, ahead of 20% of people who look at Groupon. • Emails were found to be the most common way of keeping in touch with people’s favourite restaurant’s news, ahead of the restaurant website and Facebook. • 66% of respondents expected to pay less than £10 for lunch in a restaurant and 42% said they expect to pay under £20 for dinner. • Respondents said that daily discount deals along with a hosted special event would be the most attractive reason to visit. What attracts us to a particular restaurant? We all love a good deal and it seems dining out is no exception. The majority of respondents (60%), when asked what would attract them to a restaurant, stated that meals that are cheaper on a certain day of the week would be the deciding factor of where to eat out. Special events, such as wine tasting, held at the restaurant came second at 43%. A “child friendly” restaurant (17%) and quiz nights (6%) were the least important to the respondents. Groupon remains an attractive promotional tool with 20% of the people surveyed saying they would check the voucher website to look for a

special offer when choosing where to eat. However the restaurant’s own internal promotions came out top of the poll with 46% of people going direct to the restaurant for special offers.

respondents would like to be kept up to date about their favourite restaurant news via email. Websites and Facebook also came out as important, receiving 40% and 24% of the vote respectively.

Interestingly, 66% of those surveyed said they would expect to pay less than £10 for lunch at a restaurant, whilst, for dinner people anticipated paying a little more - 42% expected to pay less than £20 and 31% less than £30.

Kavita Pal commented, “It’s vital these days for a restaurant to be attractive and functional. From their website to emails and social media, the restaurant must look professional and keep all the information current. More and more people are using the internet to help them choose where to eat out. Social media sites and websites such as Trip Advisor are crucial for the customer to get honest and up-to-date customer feedback.”

Managing Director of the Tree Hotels, Kavita Pal commented that, “It’s clear to see that in this economic climate, diners are still looking for a bargain. Special daily deals are a big favourite these days and means clientele will return regularly. We have a number of special offers, including a very popular £5.95 lunch offer.” Dining out The survey found that in general people go out for lunch more often than dinner, with 40% of respondents going to a restaurant for lunch once a week or more but only 20% go out for dinner that frequently. 54% of us eat differently in the summer from the winter, and a resounding 71% of us will not pay a tip if we suffer at the hand of poor service. How do we stay connected with restaurants? According to the survey, a resounding 64% of

Book now for The Tree Hotels’ delicious Mothers Day and Easter international buffets and carveries, at Cadmore End and Iffley. Also join us for the Holi Festival of Colours event, which will be held on Saturday 6th March, from 12 pm, where you come wearing white and leave wearing a rainbow!

CONTACT DETAILS 01865 775974


nipa thai

The stunning and award-winning Nipa Thai, has received the prestigious ‘Thai Select’ award from the Thai Government for its authentic cuisine. Based in the Lancaster London Hotel, overlooking Hyde Park, this was the perfect restaurant to enjoy truly authentic Thai cuisine after a hard day’s shopping in London. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF LANCASTER LONDON

Renowned as one of London’s best Thai restaurants, with dishes created by the all-lady kitchen brigade managed by Head Chef Sanguan Parr, the service was second to none, not fabricated or insincere, this was pure and genuine service….with a warm smile! From the moment we walked through the door to the moment we said goodbye, we were all made to feel like Kings and Queens ….. and without doubt, very full to boot!


The atmosphere in Nipa Thai is very laid back but the staff are ultra professional in everything they do, topping up water, fetching a stray fork or just checking to make sure everything is spot on. They know it is, it’s just part of the service to ensure all is as it should be. Eating out is an experience isn’t it? At least that’s what it should be and Nipa Thai is certainly an experience worth going back for. Great food and excellent company – what more can you ask for?

The restaurant itself is beautifully crafted, with a beautifully panelled teak interior complete with luxurious Thai furnishings. To perfectly complement the ‘Thai Select’, Nipa Thai has also received 2 AA Rosettes for its precise, authentic cooking with incredible attention to detail. Combining intense flavours and using only the freshest ingredients, Head Chef, Sanguan Parr’s cooking is irresistible with a wide range of favourites mixed with regional specialties. Herbs and

B4 r&r

“Eating out is an experience isn’t it? At least that’s what it should be and Nipa Thai is certainly an experience worth going back for. Great food and excellent company – what more can you ask for?

Richard Rosser - B4 Editor

seasonings are flown in direct from Thailand and the kitchen does its magic. Under the ‘gentle guidance’ of Nipa’s Manager, Kaseam Jongpitakrat – perfectly put as per the restaurant’s website – experience beautiful food which is beautifully prepared with some intricately created ‘carrot flowers’ – as labelled by Abi – and graciously served by the most elegant staff.

the menu STARTERS Satay Kai Char-grilled marinated chicken served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish Por Pia Tod Crisp spring rolls with glass noodles, cabbage and crab meat served with homemade sauce

Opening Times: 5pm - 10.30pm Monday to Sunday NEW! The magic of Nipa Thai is not only confined to leisure time! You can now incorporate an authentic Thai lunch in your Daily Delegate Rate, starting at only £75 per person. Your business meetings will feel like a small holiday in a land far away!

Por Pia Sod Fresh vegetables spring rolls with glass noodles, basil and prawns served with sweet chilli peanut sauce Poo Nim Golden fried soft-shell crab served with sweet chilli sauce

MAINS Kai Hor Bai Toey Golden fried chicken wrapped in Pandan leaves served with dark soy sauce Kaeng Kiew Warn Kai Vibrant chicken and Thai aubergine in a spicy green coconut curry Koong Mangkorn Phad Prig Tai Dam Stir-fried lobster with chilli, coriander, onion, and black pepper

CONTACT DETAILS 020 7551 6039

Kao Suay Thai jasmine rice

ACCOMPANYING WINE Piedmonte, Italy, 2012 Chablis, Chateau de Maligny


ReinvigoRate the italian in yoU Baglioni Hotels have long been close to my heart. Having first stayed in the London hotel in 2009, we followed this up with a never to be forgotten visit to Italy and five of this wonderful group’s properties. It was now time to go back to where it all began six years ago. WRITTEN BY: RICHARD ROSSER PHOTOGRAPHY BY: BAGLIONI

Stick a pin in a map of London and you couldn’t find a more perfect location than that occupied by one of the capital’s most stylish and classy hotels. Opposite Hyde Park with a great view of Kensington Gardens and Palace with The Royal Albert Hall, Harrods and Knightsbridge all nearby. I often find London hotels to be tired conveyor belts with glimpses of gold badly masking the fact that most are catering for volume and frequently creaking at the seams. Not so The Baglioni. Sublime furnishings, an air of tranquillity and staff that effortlessly deliver with style and it’s hard to see where

tReatmentS FACIAL TREATMENTS Life Infusion Ritual - The Art of Youth (90 mins) £185 This intensive skin rejuvenating treatment utilises Skin Age Biomarkers and specific massage techniques for an indulgent experience. One session ensures brighter, firmer and noticeably younger- looking skin. Diamond Whitening System - Pigmentation treatment (60 mins) £160 Effectively even skin tone and eliminate hyperpigmentation with a powerful AHA peeling treatment and intense concentrate of revolutionary active ingredients. A massage and soothing mask complete the ritual leaving a radiant skin. 100

it could go wrong. It can’t. Without wishing to end my review before I’d started, the hotel’s General Manager, swiftly responded to my response to a post visit survey insisting that the comment I had made would be rectified upon our next visit. I’d only mentioned that there weren’t any tea making facilities which would have been fine had I been staying in a Travel Inn but this was one of London’s top hotels and sometimes I should just learn to say ‘Perfection means Perfection’ instead of trying to fill in a form for the sake of it! Full marks the General Manager but

Age-Defying Face - Switch gears on the aging process (60 mins) £115 Treat slackened skin, a dull skin tone and wrinkles with natural collagen and antioxidant vitamins (A+C+E). Mature skin concerns are targeted at a skin cellular level to obtain a firm and glowing complexion. O2 Relax - Infuse your skin with a blast of Oxygen (50 mins) £100 Perfect for dehydrated skin, frequent travellers, smokers or those who live in a polluted environment. This facial releases molecules of pure oxygen into the skin to help remove toxins and deliver hydration. The skin is left in a state of purity and relaxation. BODY TREATMENTS Bamboo Scrub - Recapture your beautiful skin (25mins) £55 A delicate body scrub formulated with bamboo micro-particles specifically

B4 r&r please accept my apologies for being so predictably English. These guys know how to play the perfect host and they have one hell of a property to host you in. Everything from the reception to the beautifully

“Everything from the

reception to the beautifully ornate bar to the restaurant and the room... the room! Wow!” ornate bar to the restaurant and the room….. the room! Wow! Perfect everything….even the remote control looked cool and that’s difficult in a hotel room! We had two connected rooms and the kids, although much older than when we toured Italy, were so in love with Baglioni that they didn’t mind

selected to massage and exfoliate the skin. Bamboo scrub purifies and removes impurities from the skin’s surface. Marine Essence - Hydrate and re-mineralise your skin (60 mins) £110 An algotherapy treatment to contour and regenerate the skin. A superb exfoliation prepares the skin before a purifying mask covers the entire body. The final touch is a detoxifying massage that reveals a deeply hydrated, soft and revitalized skin. Aroma Massage - A unique ritual to stimulate the senses through aromatherapy (25/50/75/90 mins) £60/100/125/150

sharing. We will never forget the day we arrived in Venice and within 10 minutes they were both relaxing on the bed with a coke and a packet of crisps each watching a movie. Well they may have been five years older but things hadn’t changed much and they once again made themselves at home. I’m not quite sure how Baglioni Hotels manage to combine the most sophisticated and elegant look with an atmosphere which relaxes you, but I guess that’s the secret and one which keeps guests coming back. After a night out we rested well before enjoying a beautifully cooked breakfast gazing over Hyde Park and a busy day’s shopping in Kensington. I couldn’t think of a better place to stay. BAGLIONI SPA Designed by Rebosio+Spagnulo, the renovated Baglioni SPA is the ideal place to relax body and mind and restore well-being for a full caring and personalized experience. Open to both hotel guests and external clients, the Spa offers female and male Turkish baths, 3 treatment rooms for massages, facial and body treatments with Natura Bissé products and beauty services.

A mix of two aromatic nectars (relax and detox) are applied along the spine, deeply relaxing the entire body. Then, an aromatic massage restores balance between body and mind. The result is smoother, firmer and more subtle skin and a calm and balanced mind. Swedish Massage (25/50/75/90 mins) £60/100/125/150 Combines various hands-on techniques including gliding, kneading, and cross-fibre friction to break up muscle knots, called adhesions. Swedish massage is based on the Western concepts of anatomy and physiology as opposed to energy work. It can be slow and gentle, or vigorous and

The Baglioni Gym is managed by Hansen Personal Training under the supervision of Linn Hansen, a certified professional fitness coach and former UK Fitness Champion. Hansen Personal Training specialises in fat loss and body conditioning by applying Hansen PT’s cutting-edge body sculpting techniques. We offer one-to-one training sessions and nutritional programmes tailored to your needs, goals and lifestyle. Our clients’ goals vary from rapid fat loss, muscle gain, regain shape post pregnancy, getting stage ready for fitness competition to simply wanting to look and feel better. We at Hansen PT make our clients achieve their goals. The Baglioni Gym is newly refurbished with the latest cardio, free weights and strength training equipment.

CONTACT DETAILS 0207 368 5700

bracing, depending on what the therapist wants to achieve. FINAL TOUCHES Bamboo & Silk - Softness for hands and feet (25 mins) £50 Pamper your hands and feet with a gentle exfoliation followed by a detoxifying cocktail of algae to nourish and hydrate the skin. A massage relieves tension and stress before an application of a touch of silk reveals velvety soft skin. Classic Manicure: 50 mins £50 Classic Pedicure: 50 mins £70 101

B4 contacts directory ADVICE..............................................................................................................................................103 BUSINESS SERVICES............................................................................................................105 CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES..........................................................................107 EDUCATION..................................................................................................................................107 FINANCE..................................................................................................................107 HEALTH & LEISURE................................................................................................................109 HR..........................................................................................................................................................109

ADVICE ACCOUNTING Wenn Townsend P Tony Haines Partner 01865 559 900 Grant Thornton UK LLP P Wendy Hart Managing Partner 01865 799 899 Grant Thornton UK LLP P Jim Rogers Assurance Partner 01189 559 114 Fish Partnership P Paul Laird Partner 01628 527 956 The MGroup P Richard Clayton Partner 01865 552 925 Whitley Stimpson Ltd P Jonathan Walton Director 01494 448 122 Wellers A Stuart Crook Partner 01865 723 131 Wilson Partners A Allan Ian Wilson Managing Director 01628 770 770 Whitley Stimpson Ltd A Stuart Haigh Director 01869 252 151 Shaw Gibbs A Peter O’Connell Partner 01865 292 200

contacts P


IT & TELECOMMUNICATIONS.......................................................................................109 MANUFACTURING..................................................................................................................111 MARKETING & DESIGN......................................................................................................111 PROPERTY & BUILDING.....................................................................................................111 R&R......................................................................................................................................................113 SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY...............................................................................................115

BDO LLP A Simon Brooker Lead Partner 0118 925 4488

Splash Resolution Consulting A Jonathan Lane Director 07503 891 331

Gracechurch Wealth Management LLP A Richard Lawrance Independent Financial Adviser 01908 209 220

Business Doctors A Martin Vessey Managing Director 0845 219 7077

Auditel A Chris Bourke Cost Management Specialist 01865 774 387 Seymour Taylor A Simon Turner Managing Director 01494 552 125 Richardsons Accountants 01844 261 155 Rees Russell 01993 702 418 Russell Whitlock Accountancy 01865 481 625 Peter Upton Ltd 01628 781 636 Clark Howes 0808 271 3099 Harmonea 01844 274 808

Avocet Investments Ltd 01494 726 173 Hilltop Consultancy 01844 238 692 OPP 01865 404 584 Oxford Professional Consulting 01865 436 791 Quantuma Restructuring 01628 478 100 RTS Breakthrough Solutions 07789 405 079 Sandler Training 01608 611 211 Action Coach 01183 400 351 Active Education and Training Ltd 01865 594 325

Tamesis Partnership

Endeavour Consulting 07711 825 005

MHA MacIntyre Hudson 01908 662 255

Exilia 07817 767 649

BUSINESS ADVICE Jamesons Insolvency & Business Recovery A Carolyn Dunn Partner 01993 707 860


PARTNER? 07798 653 139 The Mustard Concept 01865 589 507

VCA Consulting 01993 883751 Dragon Associates 0207 495 4401

LEGAL Darbys Solicitors P Simon McCrum Managing Partner 01865 811 700 Hedges Law P Nicola Poole Managing Director 01491 839 839 Henmans Freeth A Malcolm Sadler Senior Partner 01865 781 000 Gardner Leader LLP A Derek Rogers Managing Partner 01635 508 080 B P Collins A Chris Hardy Partner 01753 889 995 Blake Morgan LLP A Michael Stace Partner 01865 248 607 BrookStreet Des Roches LLP Paddy Gregan A Partner 01235 836 655 Brethertons A Karina Ray Key Client Manager 01295 661 425 Field Seymour Parkes A Penelope Garden Associate 0118 951 6312


B4 Turpin & Miller LLP A Emily Boardman Partner 01865 770 111

Evolution CBS A Rob Goddard Managing Director 0118 402 6892

Penningtons Manches LLP Richard Smith A Managing Partner 01865 722 106

Quest TGO Ltd 0203 394 0123

Family First Solicitors Ursula Rice A Managing Director 01865 311 112 White & Black Legal LLP 0800 352 656 Lewis Silkin 0207 0748 494 David Parry Employment Law 01993 848 247 Parrott & Coales LLP 01296 318 500

BUSINESS SERVICES ARCHIVE & STORAGE Ardington Archives A Janet Gibbons Director 01367 718 710 The Archive Centre A David Coulton Owner 01296 425 744

AUDIO VISUAL Bang & Olufsen P Mark James Director 01865 511 241 City Audio Visual P Peter Gunn Director 01865 722 800

BUSINESS CONSULTANTS The Profitable Hotel Company A Stuart Harrison Owner 01993 706 632

BUSINESS SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT Aston & James Office Supplies Ltd P Darren Aston Director 01993 706 900

CHARITIES Helen & Douglas House A Hugh Thompson Head of High Value Partnerships 01865 799 150 Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds A Graham Brogden Head of Community Fundraising 01865 743 442 Oxfordshire Community Foundation A Jayne Woodley Chief Executive 01865 798 666 RAF Benevolent Fund A Paul Hewson Regional Director, S. England 01296 656 586 The Ley Community 01865 373 108 Sue Ryder Care 01491 641 404 Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research 020 7504 2231 British Red Cross, Thames Valley 01235 552 680

CLEANING SERVICES Excel Dry Cleaners 01865 511 773 Pinewood Cleaning Services 01993 862 866




Busy Offices 01494 672 233

BMW North Oxford Garage Marcus Elliot P Corporate Sales Manager 01865 319 000

GAS & ELECTRIC British Gas Business Services A Martin Orrill Head of Energy Technology and Innovation 0845 485 3528

Ridgeway Landrover A Guy Twiselton General Sales Manager 01865 590 777


DCResponse A Paul Anderson Managing Director 01993 708 855

B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Editor 01865 742 211


MD2MD 01865 600 800

Shawcity Ltd 01367 899 553

INSURANCE Chase Templeton A Charles Frost Independent Insurance Consultant 0808 271 9202

SECURITY Executive Alarms Ltd A John Keown Director 01865 435 435


Osbornes Insurances 01844 214 316

Chiltern Railways 020 7333 3113

Macbeth Insurance Brokers 0118 9165 480

JK Oxford Chauffeurs Ltd 01865 423 916


Teletrax Limited 01235 856 054

West Oxfordshire District Council A Hayley Beer Director, Oxfordshire Cotswolds 01993 861 558 West Oxfordshire District Council A William Barton Business Development Officer 01993 861 000 Oxford City Council 01865 252 845 Oxford City Council A Environmental Development Helen Burkhalter Business Development Manager 07770 347463

TRAVEL City Sightseeing P Jane Marshall Transport Manager 01865 790 522 London Oxford Airport P Tony Farmer Head of Sales and Route Development 01865 290 600 Venture A Joe Kennard Director 01865 582005 Short Let Space Ltd. 01993 811 711


the beaR & Ragged Staff CUmnoR

Unpretentious Wining & Dining with Accommodation in the Oxfordshire Countryside

not only does the bear and Ragged Staff serve fantastic food throughout the day, its conversion to a Country inn means it is now in a position to offer a full suite of services to the discerning traveler whether on business or just looking for a home away from home for a few days. our food ethos can be summed up very simply, local where possible, absolutely fresh, prepared in our own kitchen. e bear's food offering can best be described as eclectic, mainly british food, prepared with loving care and attention in well equipped kitchens, beautifully presented and served by well trained floor staff. and all this with a wine list carefully selected for quality and value.

to book a table oR Room Call 01865 862329 food served all day: mon-urs 12:00 - 21:30. fri-Sat12:00 - 22:00 & Sun 12:00 - 21:00

01865 862329

28 Appleton Road, Cumnor, Oxfordshire, OX2 9QH

B4 CONFERENCE, EVENTS & VENUES CATERING SERVICES Oxford Fine Dining P Sue Randall Managing Director 01865 728 240 Passion for Food A Philip Baker Managing Director 08452 969 226 Lamb Catering A Emma Tasker Events and Marketing Director 01865 772 446 Philip Dennis Foodservice 01993 700 030

CONFERENCES Lady Margaret Hall P Bill Kemp Head of Conference Services 01865 611 079 Oakley Court Hotel P Richard Smith Sales Manager 01753 609 988 /theoakleycourt Williams Conference Centre Faye Bellamy P Business Development Executive 01235 777 735 The Feathers P Dominic Bishop General Manager 01993 812 291 Stoke Park A Nick Downie Head of Communications 01753 717171 Magdalen College School Emma Withers A Events Manager 01865 242 191 Heythrop Park Resort A Tracy Norcup Sales Manager 01608 673 372 Pembroke College A Huw Edmunds Head of Conferences and Events 01865 276 484


The Examination Schools Kay Hogg A Events Manager 01865 276 905


Howbery Business Park A Angela Andrews Marketing & Lettings Manager 01491 822 305

TERA Events 07470 343 226

Four Pillars Hotels A Chris Green Group Marketing Manager 0800 374 692 Egrove Park A Jill Grieveson Conference Manager 01865 422 757

The Active Network 08700 841 480

EVENTS Oxfordshire Registration Services A Jacquie Bugeja Head of Registration and Coroner's Services 0845 129 5900 Business in Oxford 2015 01865 742 211

The Forbury Hotel A Peter Farquhar General Manager 01189 527 770

Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards 01865 742 211

Macdonald Windsor Hotel Beverley Molmans A General Manager 0844 879 9101


Exeter College 01865 279 600 Malmaison 01865 268 400 Oxford Town Hall 01865 252 195 St Hugh's College 01865 274 424 The King’s Centre 01865 297 400 Malmaison Reading 0118 956 2300

EQUIPMENT HIRE Oxford Event Hire A Kieran Lynch Owner 01865 760 158 Millie Miles A Lorna Miles Director 01869 351 603

Oxfordshire Business Awards

Oxford Castle Quarter P Sam Pace Operations Manager 01865 201 657 Blenheim Palace P John Hoy Chief Executive 01993 810 501 Rhodes House P Isabelle Barber Business Development Manager 01865 270 918 Danesfiled House Hotel A Anthony Cox General Manager 01628 891 010 Hartwell House Hotel A Jonathan Thompson General Manager 01296 747 444 Venue Services, Bodleian Library A Alice Ogilvie Head of Venue Services 01865 277 224 Donnington Valley Hotel A 01635 551 199 Blenheim Palace Hospitality 01993 813 874

The Tree Hotel 01494 881183

EDUCATION City of Oxford College P Ian Francis Principal 01865 550 550 Reading College P Lesley Donoghue Principal 0118 955 4300 Oxford International Study Centre A Benjamin Llewelyn Principal 01865 201 009 Buckinghamshire New University 0800 565 660

FINANCE ADVICE Ergowealth A Brian Page Managing Director 01494 616 522 Critchleys 01865 261 100 NGI Finance 01993 706 403 Herbert & Webster 01865 407 755

BANKING Lloyds TSB Commercial A Tim Hanley Senior Manager, Oxford Group 07970 566 065 RBS Corporate Banking A Donald MacDonald UK Head of Deposits & Director, Professionals 07768 427379 HSBC 0845 850 174 Santander Corporate Banking 0845 607 0666 Metro Bank 0345 08 08 500


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Transport with a smile! Whether you’re organising a company Christmas party or a conference or event for 2015, if you need transport then talk to us. We also cover weddings and social events. We’re locally based, with a fleet ranging from luxury 8-seater Mercedes to 56-seater Premier Coaches. So whatever the size of your group, we’ve got a solution for you: all delivered with our trademark friendly service and attention to detail. Give us a call or email and we’ll be happy to help. Tel 01865 582 005 / 01865 865 665 Email Web

Ardington Archives Clients include: Ardington Archives LLP White Horse Business Park Stanford in the Vale Oxfordshire SN7 8NY Tel. 01367 718710



every 1st Saturday of month

STARTING March 7th - Until October The very best local and visiting street food crews serve up a platter of hand picked treats including epic street food, craft lager, cocktails and cake!


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KIDS TICKETS 28/3 - 12/4

@ Oxford Castle Unlocked T&Cs: Offer applies with this voucher when accompanied by a full paying adult. Excludes 3-6 April.

MARCH 13-29



@ Slug & Lettuce MAD Come and join us for a night of HATTERS fantasy with 2-4-1 cocktails all night @ Swan & Castle Up to 50 real ales a live DJ set from Dr Psycho. TEA PARTY and to taste... Book tables online at: Next O3 EXHIBITION:

BEST SERVED COLD: 7 Feb-15 March


I’ll drink to that!

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B4 Coutts 01865 389 039 NatWest 01865 792 348 Barclays 0800 015 4242 Clydesdale Bank 0844 736 2616 Handelsbanken 0118 959 5444

IFA Focus A Nick Walker Managing Director 01865 295 295

MORTGAGE ADVICE Mortgage Choices A James Keene Principal Consultant 01993 862 888



Newbury Racecourse P Tracy Skinner Head of Sales 01635 40015

Secondsite Recruitment A Laura Harris Branch Manager 01865 203 356

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

myFD Recruitment 01865 339 313

First Line Support Ltd 01865 260 220

Digital Oxford

Security Exchange Ltd. 01491 683 710

Oxford University Rugby Football Club A Tim Stevens Club Administrator 01865 432 000

Allen Associates 01865 335 600


Crossland Employment Services 01235 841 506

Dionach 01865 877 830

Gold Star Recruitment 01993 225 075


The Jockey Club - South West Racecourses A Matthew Foxton-Duffy Regional Head of Marketing - South West 01242 537 608 London Welsh Rugby Club Cerys Roberts Head of Corporates 07768 306 007


North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club 01865 513 560 (Clubhouse)


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

GOLF Frilford Heath Golf Club P Alistair Booth Director 01865 390 864

HEALTH CARE Clinic95 P Maria Hardman Business Manager 01865 241 661 Linda Flanigan Hypnotherapy 07866 360 359

WELLBEING Helen Money Nutrition A Helen Money Owner 01865 339 672

HR HR CONSULTANTS HR2You P Sarah Morris Owner 07789 711 997 Gazella HR 01865 339 411 MB HR Support Ltd 01993 882 744 Spires HR 01865 880 391

Oxford Knowledge Ltd 01865 322 100

Sophos 01235 559 933



InTouch CRM P James White Managing Director 0845 310 9973

Zest A Alex Minchin Director 0843 289 161


QPQ Software Ltd 01235 522 516



Alberon A Tim Ault Managing Director 01865 263 220

IT SERVICES Computing Information Systems (CIS) Ltd P Richard Marsh Director 01367 700 555 Bluespires IT A Richard Fuller Owner 0845 528 505 Flex Information Technology Paul Horseman A Director 0333 101 7300

Sylo Associates 01844 216 290

The Cabling Company A David Jackson Sales Director 07796 140 348

Right Hand HR 0844 880 4582

Storm Internet 0800 817 4727

Torpedo Group Limited A Iain Lewis Director 01865 733 710 Olamalu A Christoph Corvin Director 01993 764 566



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Method and Class A Robyn North Digital Marketing Consultant 01280 821 840

One Hat Design A Steve Legge Owner 01993 702 075

Urban Element 01993 776 999

ADS 01993 885 122

White October 01865 706 017

Apt-Art 01865 372 981

Hills & Saunders A Richard Shymansky Photographer 07878 162 452

Kingdom Signs Ltd 01235 812 299

Shane Miller Photography 01491 671 864

The Buzzworks A Sarah Airey Proprietor 01993 813 848

Kettle Studio 01491 837 336

Nikreations Photography 07929 305 247

O Consultancy 01295 811 781



Isis Creative Framing 01865 203 420

Advent Colour P Mike Ackerman Sales Director 01264 359 359

HeadOn PR 07920 792 183


Studio8 P Clark Wiseman Managing Director 01865 842 525

Antonia Taylor PR A Antonia Taylor Director 07968 775 571 Esplin PR A Louise Esplin PR Consultant 07775 678 237

MEDICAL GOODS Owen Mumford A Jarl Severn Director 01993 812 021

MARKETING & DESIGN ADVERTISING B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Managing Director 01865 742 211 Living In Oxford Magazine Colin Rosser P Chairman 01865 742 211 Focal Point Advertising Solutions 01256 767837

CORPORATE IDENTITY Recognition Express P Andy Olejnik Managing Director 01295 257 611 Strangebrew P Phil Strachan Director 07770 753 975 Bicester Vision P Placi O’Neill-Espejo Partnership Manager 01869 324 244

DESIGN Blink Design A Keith Simpson Senior Designer 01865 742 211

FREELANCE COPY WRITING & EDITING Noble Word A Matt Wright Owner 07500 531 485 Nicholas Newman 01865 762 710

Obergine A Jeremy Anderson Director 01865 245 777 Hutchhouse Ltd A Ben Hutchins Creative Director 0845 467 8089 Heart of Business A Jackie Jarvis Director 07801 293022 KyteMark Solutions Ltd 01491 410 061

MEDIA Oxford Media Factory A Chris Smith Director 01865 552 678


Blueprint Imaging A Martin Matthews Managing Director 01993 892 360

John Hallam Associates A John Hallam Director 01608 646 969

OxUniPrint A Ian Wilton Managing Director 01865 844 918

Gray Baynes + Shew 01865 305 130

MARKETING Marketing Sense A Jo Sensecall Director 01865 883 579


BUSINESS PARKS Hunts A Simon Froud Account Manager 01865 853 633 MRD Digital Print 01865 715 181 The Oxford Duplication Centre Cheryl-Lee Foulsham Managing Director 01865 457 000 Amberley Court Associates Ltd 07767 424 000

PUBLIC RELATIONS Papa Romeo PR A Claire Thompson Managing Director 07811 339 577 Spriggs David A Karen David Partner 01865 512662

Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400 Westcott Venture Park P Nigel MacKenzie Project Manager 001296 651 888 Begbroke Science Park A Peter Dobson Managing Director 01865 283 700 Bloxham Mill Business Centre A Ray Avery Managing Director 01295 722 800 Pure Offices 01865 811110


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B4 COMMERCIAL PROPERTY AGENTS VSL and Partners P Richard Venables Director 01865 848 488 Carter Jonas P Scott Harkness Partner 01865 511 444

Lambert Smith Hampton A Kevin Wood Director 01865 200 244 Meeson Williams Phillips 01865 349011 Marriotts 01865 316311

scottfraser A Marc Hatcher Senior Branch Manager 01993 705 507 Strutt & Parker A Miles Collison Partner, Development Land & New Homes 01865 366 660 Penny & Sinclair A James Penny Director 01865 318 013 Pink & Black Property Consultants A Claire Moloney Director 01865 515 919 GP Residential 01865 246 399

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SERVICES Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and Business Development Director 01865 261 400

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

Bracknell Enterprise & Innovation Hub A Shelley Furey Centre Manager 01344 388 000

North Oxford Property Services P Robin Swailes Director 01865 311 745

HighGround A Graham Turrell Founder 0800 612 6601

Finders Keepers A Frank Webster Director 01865 302 308

DEVELOPMENT The Trevor Osborne Property Group P Trevor Osborne Chairman 01225 832 302

ESTATE AGENTS Breckon & Breckon A Keith Stacey Managing Director 01865 244 735 scottfraser A David Blythman Managing Director Sales 01865 759 500

scottfraser A Andrew Greenwood Group Managing Director 01865 760 055 Lucy Properties A Ian Ashcroft Managing Director 01865 559 973 College and County A Mark Crampton-Smith Owner 01865 722 722 Premier Letting A Charles Bartlett Partner 01865 792 299


PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS Kemp & Kemp A Steven Sensecall Partner 01865 240 001 Forge Engineering Design Solutions Ltd 01865 362 780 Thameside Surveying Ltd 01628 421 504

PROPERTY SERVICES Savvy Maintenance & Renovations A Stephen Dunne Director 01865 920 020 EIFLA-3D A Nigel J Blanchard Founder & CEO 0844 7767 187 Windover Facilities Management A Edward MacFarlane CEO 01869 368 095

The Bear & Ragged Staff A Mark Greenwood Landlord 01865 862 329 The Royal Oxford Hotel A Tom Crampton-Smith Owner 01865 248 432 Fallowfields Hotel & Restaurant A Anthony Lloyd Managing Director 01865 820 416 Eynsham Hall 01993 885 238 Conifers Guest House 01865 763 055 Spirit Health Club 01865 888 444 The Burlington House 01865 513 513


Darke & Taylor Ltd 01865 290 000

Modern Art Oxford A Hannah Evans Communications Manager 01865 813 826

A1 Plumbing & Heating 01865 327 732

Ashmolean Museum 01865 288 364

R&R ACCOMMODATION Hawkwell House Hotel P Tim Spittles General Manager 01865 749 988 The Oxford Hotel P Debbie Priestley General Manager 01865 489 988 /the-oxford-hotel Westwood Hotel P Anthony Healey Owner 01865 735 408 Macdonald Randolph Hotel Michael Grange A General Manager 0844 879 9132

The Old Fire Station 01865 263 988 Oxford Philomusica 07775 904 626 Rachel Ducker

COFFEE SHOPS Java & Co 07736 950 673

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


Oxford’s specialist Dry Cleaners, experts in cleaning all delicate items including silks to wedding dresses. New collection service from Witney

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Leading Hotels, Restaurants, Golf Clubs and Spas

Every growing business faces challenges, whether exploring new markets, finding bigger premises, integrating new people and technology or acquiring other businesses.

If you're reaching for the stars, our commercial lawyers will help guide you through to becoming the business you want to be.

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“Designed to give you the personal touch when booking something special” To feature your establishment in The R&R Collection, Call 01865 742211.



Pegasus Theatre A Bel Crewe Development Director 01865 812 160

Browns, Oxford P Simon Stonehouse General Manager 01865 511 995

Oxford Playhouse 01865 305 305

Browns, Reading P 0118 950 3137


Browns, Windsor P 01753 831 976

Laurent Perrier UK P David Green Regional Account Manager 01628 475 404 The Oxford Wine Company Ted Sandbach A Managing Director 01865 301 144

GALLERIES Wiseman Gallery A Sarah Wiseman Owner 01865 515 123

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

The Red Lion P Mark Purton General Manager 01865 726 255 4500 Miles From Delhi A Nav Kandola Owner 01865 244 922 Organic Deli Café A Trevor Bennett & Cristina Campos Owners 01865 364 853 Aziz A Aziz Rahman Proprietor 01865 794 945 Aziz Express A Abdul Rahman Proprietor 01865 395 870


The Snooty Mehmaan A Asad Ahmed Director 01367 242 260


The Tree Hotel at Iffley Village A Kavita Pal Director 01865 775 974

Blackwell’s P David Prescott Managing Director 01865 382 500

L’Ortolan A Sally Albin Marketing Manager 0118 988 9107 Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons 01844 278 881 Pierre Victoire 01865 316 616 Saffron 01865 512 211 The Chequers at Burcot 01865 407 771 Café Aloha 01865 792 696 The Oxford Blue 01865 460 215

The University of Oxford Shop P 01865 247 414

Bicester Village P Helen Peters Sales & Marketing Manager – Tourism 01869 323 200 Clements and Church 01865 511 212 Riche de Fleurs 01993 869 202

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE Oxford Instruments Plc A Lynn Shepherd Group Director of Communications 01865 393 378 Oxford Technologies A Stephen Sanders Business Development Director 01235 544 871

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Following on from the success of Business in Oxford 2014 which saw 36 Oxfordshire based businesses present to 300 delegates at Sa誰d Business School. Business in Oxford 2015 will be a full day event with talks delivered by a wide range of Oxfordshire businesses. Book your tickets for either morning or afternoon sessions at the website below. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please call the team on 01865 742211.



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B4 Magazine Issue 34  

B4 Magazine Issue 34

B4 Magazine Issue 34  

B4 Magazine Issue 34