Page 1










H E A LT H •



R & R



Lloyds TSB Commercial Backing businesses in Reading with Senior Manager, Toby Parrant

Gavin Jones Ltd Horticultural Leaders Showcased in Coronation Celebrations

The Unforgettable Forbury Hotel With style in abundance and the highest standards throughout, read about this exceptional hotel





BR ROW OW N S R E A D I N G Unit R7, The Oracle Centre, Reading, RG1 2AG T Telephone: elephone: 0118 950 3137 Email Email:: ww



































Open: 10.00am Close: 11.00pm (Fri & Sat close at 12am) L a s t F o o d O rrd der: 10.00pm (Fri & Sat 10.30pm)

Join the B4 Community

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
















4 Effective Platforms to Help You Connect 1

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


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


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


B4 Social - Promote your business to other B4 members via our social media platforms, a great way to get your message across.

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

Why Not Upgrade to Ambassador? Becoming an Ambassador gets a face to represent your business in the B4 community. Your chosen Ambassador will feature alongside your listing in the magazine directory, on your on line business directory listing and also in the Ambassadors’ section on the B4 website. Being an Ambassador gives you something in common to approach other B4 Ambassadors throughout the network. All Ambassadors will also receive a new B4 Ambassadors Card. The rate to become an Ambassador is £250+VAT per annum (additional Ambassadors charged £99+VAT).

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

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

What about Editorial in the Magazine? Looks complicated? Well it's not! We can set you up to have your picture taken at our associate's studio. We can get one of our freelance PR or Editor to interview you. You have Full Editorial Control so, nothing's printed without your agreement. Editorial pages start at £695+VAT and we can do almost all of it for you! Just ask!

Get Connected to our Growing Community Now:

Call Us Now - 01494 373183 B

















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

At A Glance tDedicated Meeting and Conference Coordinators t$POGFrence facilities for up to 170 tExecutive boardrooms for 4 – 30 tExtensively equipped to meet your requirements

t$PNQMJNFOUBry water t'VMMZTUPDLFETUBUJPOFry kit t6TFPGMFJTVre facilities for overnight delegates – indoor pool, gymnasium, tennis and 9 hole par 3 golf course t1SJWBUFEJOJOHPQUJPOTBWBJMBCMF

t$POGFrence café




tTailor made all inclusive packages




A HOTEL WITH CHARACTER The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor Road, Water Oakley, Windsor, SL4 5UR Tel: 01753 609988 Contacts If you want to contact B4 Magazine Telephone: 0118 317 7183 E-mail: Publisher B4 Magazine is published by Designs On Ltd, The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford OX3 0BT Chairman Colin Rosser Editor Richard Rosser Events Director Tina Rosser Art Editor Rob Scotcher Assistant Editor Lorna Dodson

Welcome to B4

Meet The Writers

Welcome to Issue 6.

Is business confidence growing? That’s still a fair question with trading conditions still relatively hostile, but I can report that there is generally a more positive energy being generated by the B4 business community across the Thames Valley. Yes it’s tough out there but the majority of businesses we are coming into contact with have absorbed the new ‘rules’ and are getting on with what they do best. There’s definitely a positive energy from our growing group of Platinum Members and on that note we welcome Lloyds TSB Commercial, the focus of this issue’s lead article. We welcome Senior Manager, Commercial Banking, Toby

36. Pareto Lawrence

Parrant, to find out that the bank is very much ‘open for business’.

Our membership continues to grow across the B4 network with numbers fast approaching 600. We have attracted some great new members in recent months such as Clifton Ingram, Turpin & Miller, The Jockey

Proofreader Sue Rosser

Club, De Vere Venues Latimer Place, Macdonald Compleat Angler, Grundon Waste Management, Sue Ryder,

Membership Sales Manager Luci Didriksen-Penfold

who joined last year, including, amongst others, BDO, Santander, The Oakley Court Hotel, Newbury

Social Media Manager James Egan

Featuring Ray Best

Coutts and University of Reading and continue to build on our relationships with the existing B4 members

Racecourse, Reading College and The Vineyard.

We also welcome our new B4 Sales Manager, Luci Didriksen-Penfold, who you will be seeing more of at Editorial Contributors Jackie Jarvis Kelly Stroud Louise Esplin Lucy Holmes Tracey Jefferies B4 Photography

future B4 Events. B4 Membership is now one flat annual fee for which you receive all the benefits outlined on pages 4 and 5 including great events at fantastic venues. It’s a fabulous package of offers which represents excellent value, and if you’re looking for some extra profile personally, why not become a B4 Ambassador and receive one of our new B4 Ambassadors Cards (see page 75 for more details).

46. Ultimate Car Control Featuring Robb Gravett

Talking of events, we feature the ultra impressive Forbury Hotel on page 38, the venue for our final B4 Berkshire event of 2013 on 17th October (see page 19 for details about all remaining B4 Events in 2013).

Richard Shymansky Studio 8

Don’t forget our next B4 Berkshire event on 28th August at The Vineyard and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Platinum Members, The Oakley Court, for welcoming B4 Ambassadors, Members

Studio Photography

and their guests to the hotel for a fabulous event on 2nd July. B4 as a network continues to go from

Richard Shymansky of

strength to strength and we would like you to be involved. Why not call us to discuss the benefits of


with on a regular basis. B4 is growing, B4 works and B4 is excellent value for money – why not give us a

For free Subscription, please contact: Telephone: 0118 317 7183 E-mail:


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

membership or come along to one of our next events as our guest to see who you could be connecting

We look forward to hearing from you.

50. Morgan Cole

Enjoy B4

Richard Rosser Editor

Featuring Michael Stace

@b4berkshire © 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



B4 Magazine was established in 2006 to provide Oxfordshire businesses with a clear voice to raise their profile and to help businesses connect. With B4 Berkshire, we hope to achieve greater success now that the model has been established and refined. Direct mailed to three thousand business decision makers in Berkshire every quarter, and with a further four and a half thousand copies circulated to key outlets, featured businesses and made available at B4 events, we hope to make a mark in Berkshire businesses. B4 is funded by paid for display advertising and editorial, although some editorial is granted without charge at the discretion of the Editor. Please call us to find out how you can connect with our networks in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. See more at which will give you access to both Oxfordshire and Berkshire networks, and now also Buckinghamshire. WHY NOT FOLLOW B4 MAGAZINE ON

52. Grant Thornton Featuring Kathy Fidgeon and Katie Baker


20 Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking: Backing businesses in Reading


SPOTLIGHT 24 B4 Counties News: Good news from around the area 28 Reading Football Club: Welcomes you to the 2013/2014 Championship Season


36 Does Your Business Have BackUp?: Flexible planning for the future with Pareto Lawrence 50 Building a Foundation: For Transparency and Trust


15 B4 News 19 B4 Diary


B4 contents 34 WIDER B4

34 One Simple Solution: for your Waste Management needs. 42 Now's The Time: To prepare your garden for Summer. 46 Ultimate Car Control: Now it's even easier to be safe on the roads. 52 Grant Thornton: Are you getting the most from your advisers in education? 55 Rachel Ducker: Fabulous art for all. 56 The Belfry: Undergoing something of a transformation. 58 De Vere Hotels and Resorts: We spotlight some of De Vere's magnificent properties.


32 Looking for a Venue to Inspire, Motivate and Reward? Williams Conference Centre is the place for you. 49 Northgate Vehicle Hire: Join Slough's thriving ÂŁ2.5billion local economy

27 R&R

27 Malmaison: A Hotel in the Hearts of Reading 31 Horticultural Leaders Showcased in Coronation Celebrations: Gavin Jones Ltd were honoured to entertain Her Majesty The Queen on their exhibit 38 First Class Food and Exemplary Service: Look no further than The Forbury Hotel 64 Now You Can Paddle Your Own Canoe: The Water Garden is unveiled at Lower Mill Estate






B4 Platinum Ambassadors We would like to thank our B4 Platinum Ambassadors for supporting B4 Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. To find out more about joining them and over five hundred B4 Member companies, please call us on 01494 373183.






60% OFF


INCLUDING BALLY · COACH · DIANE VON FURSTENBERG MATTHEW WILLIAMSON · MONCLER · MULBERRY · SAMSONITE SMYTHSON · TAG HEUER · TORY BURCH AND MANY MORE Bicester Village offers a wonderful day out. With exclusive Chic Shopping Packages, guests can enjoy value-added packages, which include special services and activities. London · Dublin · Paris · Madrid · Barcelona · Milan · Brussels · Frankfurt · Munich

*the recommended retail price. © Bicester Village 2013






Residential Letting · Property Management




meet oxfordshire

With annual memberships starting at £150+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 01494 373183 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 Membership for single person businesses. Rate increases for 2 to 5 employees to £250+VAT, 6 to 20 employees to £375+VAT per annum, £500+VAT for 21 to 50, £900+VAT for 51 to 100 and £1200+VAT for over 100 employees. The Ambassador scheme is separate and subject to a different charge.




Meetings at the Forbury A luxury five-star hotel in the heart of Reading, the Forbury is a beautiful 23 bedroom hotel designed for both business and pleasure. Our four meeting rooms boast the latest technology and are both stylish yet functional providing the ideal location for meetings and events. All our meeting rooms are fully air conditioned with natural day light, all also offer complimentary Wi-Fi. We offer a range of bespoke packages for both day and residential meetings, full details of which can be found on our website, Whether you are looking for a meeting space for a couple of hours or a couple of days, our beautifully appointed meeting rooms can be tailored for all.

Any of our other public rooms can be used for meetings also. The Lounge is available for impromptu meetings while the Library is ideal for more formal events. For larger events our Eden room is ideal, hand painted flowers cover the walls of what was the original council chambers along with the original fire place. Ensuring your meeting is memorable for all the right reasons. For presentations, lectures or film screenings, we can offer our own private Cinema. A maximum of thirty guests can be seated in Italian leather seats ensuring their comfort and attention is focused in the right direction.

The Cellar provides the perfect venue for business meetings, a boardroom style table and luxury chairs that present you in the perfect position, suitable for meetings for up to twelve guests. events@theforburyhotel.coXN‡Tel: 0118 9527 770 The Forbury Hotel, 26 The Forbury, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3EJ

B4 news How Many Ways Can You Think Of To Advertise Your Business? Have you ever stopped to think how effective your advertising is, and in fact whether you are advertising your business in the right way and to the right people – your target market?

Richard says, “If you are running your business without effective advertising, it is a bit like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does”

Richard Knight – Managing Director of Focal Point Advertising Solutions has spent 25 years helping ensure businesses promote themselves to their target market, and trying to ensure that wastage on their advertising spend is kept to an absolute minimum, thereby maximising the advertiser’s budget.

If you want to maximise your advertising spend, why not give Richard and his team at Focal Point a call. You will find them a breath of fresh air. You can reach Focal Point on 01256 767837 or email

Are you missing opportunities? Are you missing opportunities for profit growth because you’re tied up with the day-to-day running of the business? RTS specialises in helping small to medium size businesses to identify operational efficiencies which will significantly improve the bottom line. Many years of experience in retail buying with large High Street Retailers ensures delivery of both a strategic vision and focus on detail. This will leave you with a clear view of the future, better established processes and greater control of your onward development.

“Rosemary hits the ground running. We value her support, input and professional approach and she delivered not only a significant improvement to our gross margin but also better business systems for our onward control and planning.” Val Jackson, Director. Jigsaw Media & Marketing Ltd Fast, affordable and a flexible addition to your team, contact Rosemary Brown for more information.

The West Berkshire Business Awards 2013 The Oscars, Baftas, Brits and Grammy’s, are all Awards that are familiar and demonstrate recognition of excellence in a particular field or industry. And now there’s a new Awards Ceremony, exclusive to West Berkshire, created with the sole purpose of celebrating and rewarding the quality and diversity of local business in the area. Between now and the glittering ceremony at The Racecourse on November 1st, businesses of all persuasions have the opportunity to get involved in the inaugural West Berkshire Business Awards.

It’s easy to enter with an online form and the benefits for Award Winners and Nominees are huge; showcase your business to others in the area, promote your success and celebrate it with your staff and you will make your business stand out from the others in your sector. Take that first step to standing on the Awards’ stage, in November, click:

Amarestone - Specialist Supplier of Natural Stone If you are considering using Natural Stone for your next project, check out our new resources page:

Our stonemasons can also produce any bespoke pieces such as vanity-tops, staircases and firesurrounds.

FAQs, hints and tips on choosing, installing, cleaning and maintaining stone, brochure and image gallery for inspiration.

Plus we stock all the ancillary products you will need including Mapei adhesives and grouts; Fila stonesealers, waxes and cleaners and Marmox construction boards and wet-room products.

We can help you to find the right stone for your project and our experienced fitting team can see it through to a successful completion.

Call 0345 260 80 70 and we will be happy to provide you with a no-obligation quote or simply chat through the options.


B4 news VOUCH available to Emergency Services Our fantastic voucher scheme which you can see at is now available to members of the local emergency services at a further discount.

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

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

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

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

First B4 Said Talks a Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events at Cheltenham Racecourse rooms, the magnificent Panoramic Restaurant , 60 hospitality boxes and Centaur, our state of the art multi purpose auditorium, we can provide a range of inspiring spaces to suit any meeting or event on the other 349 days of the year.

We are famous at Cheltenham Racecourse for the 16 days of renowned jump racing we host throughout the year, but let us introduce you to the other side of our business. With 12 function

From board meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and awards dinners through to Christmas parties, weddings and celebrations, our professional and friendly team has two main aims; firstly to ensure that your event is everything you want it to be and

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


Dine Alfresco with Sipsmith Summer Cup Make the most of the weather and our sunny terrace and enjoy a 2 course lunch together with a Sipsmith Summer Cup cocktail. Based on Sipsmith’s award winning London Dry Gin, Summer Cup is a blend of carefully selected summery ingredients including infusions of Earl Grey tea, lemon verbena and cucumber. Just perfect with lemonade and fruit. £25 per person* Please call us on 01635 897589 to reserve your table Discover more – *Available Monday to Friday between 12pm and 2pm until 30th September 2013. 2 course lunch from our California Bar menu. Non-alcoholic cocktails also available.

The Vineyard | Stockcross | Newbury | Berkshire | RG20 8JU

B4 diary Event Organiser




Event Details

Rhodes House The Manor Hawkwell House

12th Sep 2nd Oct 21st Nov

6.00pm 6.00pm 6.00pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events

The Vineyard The Forbury Hotel

28th Aug 17th Oct

6.00pm 5.30pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events

Latimer House The Compleat Angler Aylesbury College

10th Sep 24th Oct 28th Nov

6.00pm 6.30pm 6.30pm

B4 Members & Guests’ Networking Events

The Manor

1st Oct


The Oxfordshire Restaurant Awards 2013


Bank Holiday Barbecue at The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor. Free admission, no need to book. Just turn up! Bouncy Castle, Boat Rides and Garden Games. Afternoon teas and self drive boat hire can also be booked. For more information telephone 01753 609988.


We are delighted to invite you to our Bridging the GAAP event where we will explore the key questions arising from the introduction of the new standards within financial reporting (FRS100, FRS101 and FRS102) and explain how they will impact your business. To book your place please call Zoe Clark on 01189 527362.


Celebrate the festive season in style at The Racecourse Newbury where we’re going all out to transform The Grandstand into a magical Winter Wonderland. Packages from only £56 per person includes: a cocktail reception from the Ice Bar, a traditional four course Christmas dinner, live music from a velvet voiced Michael Buble tribute act, plus disco.




















Oakley Court Hotel

Reading Town Hall

The Grandstand

26th Aug

10th Oct

6th Dec 7th Dec 12th Dec 13th Dec 14th Dec

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


Photography: Angus Thomas

BACKING BUSINESSES IN READING Toby Parrant, Senior Manager, for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in Reading, is a man on a mission – he is determined to show the local SME community that the bank is very much “open for business”. “Our key priority is to get the message out to businesses that we want to support customers with their funding requirements,” he said. “A lot of people still say the banks aren’t lending, so we need to ensure customers know there are solutions available and our team is ready to help. “We know SMEs are being cautious, but Reading’s economy is still strong and our wealth of 20

experience means we can support customers in making an informed choice about their options, not just for today’s market, but for where the business is going in the future.” Toby’s arrival has been welcomed by Paul Smart, area director Thames Valley, Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking, who said: “We are delighted to have appointed Toby. He is a local professional with first-hand experience of managing SMEs,

something he has done very successfully, and a proven track record in helping companies expand. “As a bank we are committed to supporting SMEs and we appreciate we have a huge role to play in helping to stimulate growth in the market. Our way of doing that is by providing finance to business customers through a variety of means, which Toby has already mentioned.

“Statistics show that 80% of all Business loan and overdraft applications received by Lloyds Banking Group are approved’, demonstrating that we are serious about helping businesses build for the future.” In addition to this, there are other funding options available which may be suited to small businesses. Through Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking’s participation in the Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme, we are able to offer up to a 1% discount on the interest of new approved business loans, commercial mortgages and hire purchase applications (provided by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance), throughout the lifetime of the agreement. Toby is proud of the fact that Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking’s lending book for the Thames Valley area is up 7% year on year versus the industry trend of -4%. Toby heads a team of seven relationship managers who cover the town centre, together with Henley, Tilehurst, Caversham and Woodley. Graham Muse, Chris Dummett and Martin Bacon look after the higher turnover clients from £0.5m

to £10m; while Conrad Williams, Rob Williamson, Adrian Shapter and Andrew Stagg serve the medium turnover market between £200,000 and £1m.

Our number of referrals is consistently high and we also have good networking links with the local business and professional community, which we are keen to strengthen still further.”

Two separate relationship directors, Steve Cox and Peter Evans, take care of clients with a turnover between £10m and £25m, and working alongside the team is business development manager Phil Tucket.

Toby’s final message is clear: “It’s about having the confidence in your own business, so if you see an opportunity or niche in the market where you believe you can grow, then come in, sit down and talk to us. We can offer a range of lending solutions and our team really takes time to understand a client’s business and find the right solution.

The move has brought Toby back to the patch where he worked previously as a relationship manager and follows a spell based in London, as well as time at the bank’s head office. “The great thing about Reading is that it has the same buzz as London, the regional economy is still strong and there is lots going on,” he said. “We have a loyal team of managers who know the patch well and bring an excellent blend of experience and enthusiasm.

“We are here to help. Every business is different and we can use our experience to find the right tailored solution for you.” Toby can be reached on 07584 580713 or at

“They are very good at building a rapport with customers and we find that out of the potential customers we talk to, nine out of ten come to us.


CUSTOMER EXAMPLES: Every sector is different and so is every customer. That’s why our team of relationship managers work hard to get to know and understand each customer’s individual needs to ensure that the right finance package is put in place to meet their needs. In many instances, this is done by working with alternative providers of finance from across the wider Lloyds Banking Group. Loans and overdrafts may not always be the most appropriate solution, but asset based lending solutions or Invoice Finance (provided by Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance) might be. Customer looking to buy a local Children’s Nursery. A successful business to date with a price tag reflecting this. Customer identified some great potential to develop the services offered whilst retaining the unique qualities of the nursery. Responding very quickly to the customer’s request, we were able to work together to agree a finance structure split into two loans. This provided flexibility, whilst also building in an element of certainty against changes in Bank Rate – both aspects the customer particularly wanted.


A formal offer of finance was made within five days of all the information being provided. We were then able to work together to ensure that completion of the purchase took place in line with both our customer’s and vendor’s time frame. The long term goal is a brand new chain of nurseries, and continuing to work closely together there is every likelihood that this will be achieved.

Once client was aware of the solutions available and the information required, two tranches of export finance have been provided in line with staged orders. Any property given as security which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or other debts secured on it.

Local Recruitment Company who banked and invoice financed elsewhere. Struggling to grow due to cashflow pressures caused by limited facilities in place.

All lending is subject to a satisfactory credit assessment.

Local Relationship Manager visited jointly with a colleague from our Commercial Finance team and have provided a credit line of 30% more than their previous providers, a face to face relationship manager and day to day banking facilities to support their growth plans.

Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Lloyds TSB Scotland plc are Licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 under registration numbers 0004685 and 0198797 respectively. We subscribe to The Lending Code; copies of the Code can be obtained from

Lighting company based in Thames Valley. Tendered and won a significant contract to provide and install lighting internationally.

Please note that any data sent via e-mail is not secure and could be read by others. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

*Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending facilities are provided by Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance. Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance is a trading name of Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Ltd. Registered office: No.1, Brookhill Way, Banbury OX16 3EL. Registered in England and Wales no.733011. Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance Ltd is part of Lloyds Banking Group and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority or the Financial Conduct Authority

Introduced our local International Banking Manager to ensure a full understanding of the opportunity and to add their experience and expertise.

B4 VIEWS We have asked some of the B4 network’s Ambassadors to help us to inject some confidence into the business community with encouraging news about their businesses or general reasons to be optimistic. Many thanks to each of them for their time and we hope you leave this page feeling positive and upbeat!

Karl Leitelmayer, Senior Director, SME Banking, Lloyds TSB “Confidence is rising among local businesses, which seem more willing to look for investment. As part of our commitment to local causes, I am also taking part in Strictly Oxford, to raise money for Vale House”

Simon McCrum, partner Darbys “35% cent growth last year and another 40% at the half-year stage this year. You can try every option under the sun, but you can’t get away from the fact that only great people make a great business.”

Cheryl Adams, Regional Corporate Director, Santander “We’re passionate about fuelling the ambitions of Oxford businesses. That’s why we recently opened our new corporate office in Oxford with a team of dedicated Relationship Directors and Product Specialists, ready to help support successful and fast growing SME businesses.”

Neil Grundon, Deputy Chairman, Grundon Waste Management Ltd “We expect to see real signs of recovery very soon now. Sales leads received via our web site have proven to be a good indicator of business confidence. After declining for 18 months they bounced back in Q2 and are rising again.”

Tim Keatinge, General Manager Motor Village, Oxford “Motor Village Oxford has enjoyed quite a transformation in the last 12 months, not least with a new name. With Alfa Romeo coming to Oxford after a long absence, we are really excited about a positive future. Read all about Alfa Romeo in Oxford in Issue 28 of B4.”

Mark Crampton Smith, Managing Director, College and County “Our confidence in the continued growth of the Private Rented Sector has allowed us to expand into Buckinghamshire where we have just acquired Open Doors. Two offices will allow us to deliver the same high quality, award winning, customer services in an innovative way, to a much wider market.”

Richard Smith, General Manager The Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor “Two glorious bank holidays recently made a significant difference to our business. But then, a shot of sunshine on our al fresco riverside terrace gives everyone a positive boost!”

Simon Brooker, partner BDO LLP “We are exceptionally lucky to be living and working in the Thames Valley area. There are so many tremendous businesses around us with some fantastic success stories....we’ve got many clients growing very confidently, despite the recession.”



Phil Wood, Head of Enterprise Buckinghamshire New University “Innovation is key to our success and Bucks New University is increasingly becoming the first port of call for businesses who want to grow their people, their capabilities and their competitive edge.”

David Stanning, Senior partner, B P Collins LLP “With some bounce at last returning to the economy, the Thames Valley remains a great place to build a business. We're passionate, privileged and pleased to bring top quality and top value legal advice to the thriving entrepreneurial culture.”

Richard Rosser, Editor, B4 Magazine “We come into contact with a wide range of businesses across the Thames Valley and although conditions will never be the same as they were, confidence is gradually coming back.”

James Dillon-Godfray, Business Development Director, London Oxford Airport

If you would like to contribute your view to a future edition of B4, please e-mail the editor at:

“We've seen 98% growth in our private aircraft market over the last five years, highest growth for any UK airport, which must be testament to the Thames Valley remaining prime investment territory.”

Tony Rider, Director Business & Commercial Banking, RBS “I feel privileged to lead the RBS team working with the professional and business communities across the Thames Valley - economic challenge is still part of everyday life but there is good cause for optimism.”

Nicola Miller, Managing Director, Lime Blue Solutions “We have seen a significant increase in enquiries over the last month, for conferences and events at home and overseas. This is a very positive sign and hope that this will continue moving into the final quarter of the year.”

Ray Best, Managing Director, Pareto Lawrence “Ray Best received lifetime achievement award with Million Dollar Round Table, we have had a very busy and successful 12 months and put our success down to business owner clients and their response to our total planning service.”



At advent print we care passionately about colour and attention to detail, this shines through in our work and is the reason our customers rely on us year after year... see how we can give your business literature the edge. t: 01264 359359 19 East Portway Industrial Estate Andover, Hampshire SP10 3LU

B4 R&R

MAL: A HOTEL IN THE HEARTS OF READING Welcome to Mal life! Come in, push open that door marked ’Private’ and make yourselves comfortable…

It is said that everything changes, there is no doubt that the hotel has gone through some significant changes during its long history. Built in 1844 and opening as ‘The Railway Hotel’ with the construction of the Great Western Railway, it changed its name to ‘The Great Western Hotel’ in 1925 and it is thought to be one of the oldest railway hotels in the world. Used as the Paper Ministry during WWII, surviving a fire in 1964 and spending many years as a postal sorting office and Berkshire Health Authorities headquarters, it was restored as a boutique hotel in 2007. Five years down the line, this Malmaison is truly a hotel that dares to be different both in its design and service. With a change in the management team over the last year, General Manager, Richard Lockstone has daring plans of his own for the year ahead: We want to build a Malmaison for Reading, not just a Reading Malmaison. We really believe that the hotel should be at the heart of the town, and the soul of our hotel is the bar and restaurant. We have always been known as a great venue for intimate special occasions, but we also want to encourage local people to see us as a year-round, all-day oasis of opulence. So come, and enjoy an encounter that is anything but brief.

The restaurant itself is an űber stylish, low lit dining den of exposed industrial ceiling void and brickwork, once you’ve arrived, you wouldn’t quite believe you’re in Reading. It is an oasis of pleasure. There are some staple Mal dishes on the menu such as ‘The Stack’ (classic Mal burger with onion rings and a Foie Gras slider), and the ‘Steak Frites’, and Head Chef, Marcin Worzala merges creativity with classic cooking: ‘Our wine dinners offer an excellent opportunity to do something different with our menus – where else could you serve shark steaks or dedicate an evening to Peruvian cuisine?’. In keeping with the décor, the team believes in a relaxed and friendly approach to service. Helen Blower, Bar and Brasserie Manager believes “long gone are the days where the waiter stands on ceremony, there is an art to delivering great service – centred around staff that consider delivering genuine hospitality above all else. Our absurdly brilliant Sunday brunch is a great way to get to experience the flavours and atmosphere of the hotel – every week the brasserie echoes with Wows!’. The newly launched brunch service is undoubtedly the biggest Sunday lunch in town. Whether you’re celebrating with family or relaxing after the night before, there really is no other option as lavish.

There has been a continued resurgence of the cocktail over time. The mixologists at the Mal love to continuously improve their repertoire, perfecting the classics and concocting new flavours to suit our patron’s needs. Add to that a great choice of wine, Champagne, beer and spirits and you should never be disappointed. At the Mal bar indulgence is absolutely encouraged, so whether a saint or a sinner you will be welcomed with open arms. Predinner aperitifs mixed with a flair and a twinkle by our expert bar team are the perfect way to ignite your evening… And after dinner collapse on a purringly comfortable sofa by the fireside – a sublime setting for a Black Forest Martini perhaps? The Malmaison Reading has held a pivotal spot in the town for many years. The team are set and ready to ensure that this is the number one Bar and Brasserie and destination of choice for all in the local Berkshire area. It’s an exciting time at the hotel with renewed energy delivered through the management team. Just make sure you don’t miss out, dare to be different in 2013 and plan for a little Mal Life.


READING FOOTBALL CLUB WELCOMES YOU TO THE 2013/14 CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON Reading Football Club welcomes you to experience award winning sporting hospitality at Madejski Stadium throughout the 2013/14 season. Recognised twice at the Football Hospitality Awards 2013, Royals Hospitality is proven to provide a fantastic experience for you, your friends, family, guests or colleagues.

“Trust, honesty, integrity and respect are essential ingredients to ensuring our continued success as a profitable business unit�



The Football League Championship has provided huge amounts of entertainment for Reading supporters and visitors to Madejski Stadium in the Club’s recent history. The Royals most recent Championship campaign was the 2011/12 season which saw Reading seal promotion against Nottingham Forest in April 2012, a night which will live long in the memory of those in attendance. During the 2011/12 season, Reading went on a tremendous run after Christmas, winning 17 of 23 games including eight straight wins. Reading also hold the record for accumulated points in a Championship season when the Thames Valley based side finished the season with a record breaking 106 points to finish top and earn promotion. Reading FC together with the fantastic facilities at Madejski Stadium prides itself on offering a verity of seasonal hospitality packages for all occasions and budgets. These include everything from three course meals, private dining, informal bar packages, unique Matchday Sponsorship packages. All complimented by award winning food and exceptional views of the action. Hospitality packages at Madejski Stadium are the best way to enjoy the 2013/14 Football League Championship season in style. Taking in the great surroundings the stadium has to offer as well as

some of the most entertaining football in the country. Below are some examples of our hospitality options which are now on sale on both a seasonal and matchday basis. Reading aims to provide for all your needs whether it’s a corporate event, a family celebration or a day out for friends. Executive Box You can watch the match in absolute privacy as you overlook the Madejski pitch in your very own Executive Suite. With a private balcony offering fantastic views over the hallowed turf, you and your guests can enjoy a range of catering options meaning every matchday is just the way you want it. Royal Suite Positioned on the half-way line, the Royal Suite offers some of the very best seats in the house from where you can witness all the action. The package combines three-course fine dining with an exquisite setting, this is the perfect location for a fantastic matchday. Premier Suite The Premier Suite is a superb pitch facing facility positioned in the South West corner of the ground. The package includes a fantastic two-course ‘Chef’s Theatre’ pre-match meal, VIP padded seating and private tables for dining.

1871 Suite The 1871 Suite, with its friendly atmosphere, offers a unique dining experience with the newly created ‘Home from Home’ package. Heart-warming food coupled with fantastic seating in the North West corner allows for a truly memorable matchday experience. Trophy Room Steeped in the illustrious history of Reading Football Club, this is one of the most popular packages at the Madejski Stadium. With carvery dining and seating alongside the Directors’ Box, the Trophy Room provides a truly unique matchday occasion. Loddon Bar The Loddon is an informal bar package allowing you to experience much more than just the 90 minutes action. With padded seating in the South West corner, a full bar facility and the option to purchase food it’s a great choice for family and friends. You can be sure that the combination of Reading FC and the Championship offers; entertainment, excitement, goals and great hospitality! For more information, contact or call one of our dedicated Hospitality Team on 0118 968 1010. We look forward to welcoming you to Madejski Stadium soon.



‘The chance to win a free meeting for 10 people at Latimer Place’

LATIMER PLACE Tuesday 10th September 2013 6:00pm - 8:30pm The Cormorant Building, Latimer Place, Nr Chesham, Buckinghamshire, HP5 1UG. Dress code: Smart business casual Any enquiries should be directed to Tina Rosser 01865 742211 or

REGISTRATION Please register for the event here: b4bbflatimerplace

ABOUT OUR HOSTS B4 Buckinghamshire and Buckinghamshire Business First are pleased to announce our first joint event held at De Vere Venues Latimer Place. This event will take place in the Cormorant building situated in the grounds of Latimer Place. Clare Gamon ‘Regional Director of Sales’ and Tessa Win ‘General Manager of De Vere Venues Latimer Place look forward to welcoming you to the venue. Set in 30 acres of stunning Chiltern countryside this venue provides the perfect base for residential conferencing and events. With a beautiful manor house, purpose built training pod and large events space it is the most flexible of the 30 + De Vere Venues, enabling clients to choose which space works best for them. They look forward to welcoming you and telling you more about how they can support you with your external venue requirements.

To find out more about B4 please visit WWW.B4-BUSINESS.COM t: 01865 742211 e: a: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT

B4 R&R

HORTICULTURAL LEADERS SHOWCASED IN CORONATION CELEBRATIONS Royal Warrant Holders and B4 Members, Gavin Jones Ltd, were honoured to entertain Her Majesty The Queen on their exhibit during The Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace last month.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew toured a special preview event of The Festival which was held over four days in the Palace Gardens and provided a unique opportunity for companies holding a Royal Warrant including Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, GlaxoSmithKline to showcase British excellence and innovation. Gavin Jones Ltd, who undertake landscape and gardening services at a number of Royal residencies in London, used the event to showcase their landscape construction, planting & maintenance work at The Olympic Park for London 2012, with a commemorative seed mix which replicated the acclaimed wildflower meadows of the Queen Elizabeth (Olympic) Park. B4 Ambassador, Martin Ford commented; “We were delighted to be working alongside our fellow Warrant Holders at The Coronation Festival to promote and celebrate British excellence and innovation. We aimed to bring a flavour of London 2012 to the nation’s gardens with our wildflower seed mix and in so doing gave visitors an opportunity to support

the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust in their work which supports the development of talent in the UK and reflects the excellence of British Craftsmanship as symbolised by the Royal Warrant of Appointment. The seed mixes were very popular and visitors were keen to understand more about our work at the Royal Palaces as well as our work at the Olympic Park last year. To have the Queen chose to visit our stand during the event was an absolute honour and a privilege for the whole company.“ Her Majesty only visited a handful of the 200 or so exhibitors and spent time speaking to the Gavin Jones Ltd Chairman, Martyn Mogford, who showed Her Majesty the commemorative postcards produced for the event; a picture of The Queen as Princess Elizabeth in 1949 sampling the delights of a Gavin Jones rock garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, whilst Prince Charles spoke to other members of the Gavin Jones Team regarding their work and the Vintage Tool Collection on show. Martin continued “Of course, in such a beautiful and inspiring location, we had many very

productive and proactive conversations with existing clients and business partners whom we were honoured to be able to host, as well as showcasing our commercial landscape construction and maintenance services, domestic design and build services as well as our Specimen Plant Nursery to potential customers.” An evening gala brought each day of the Festival to a rousing close, compered by the BBC’s Sophie Raworth and Choirmaster Gareth Malone it featured performances from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and band The Feeling, as well as the National Youth Orchestra and English National Ballet. B4’s Richard Rosser, who attended as a guest of Gavin Jones Ltd said “I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Martin and Gavin Jones for an amazing opportunity on Saturday. We felt truly privileged to have gained access to a very special event and share in one of our member’s success. It’s a day we will never forget!”


LOOKING FOR A VENUE TO INSPIRE, MOTIVATE AND REWARD? The award-winning Williams Conference Centre offers a unique environment that will cater to all of your corporate hospitality needs.


B4 SERVICES Located at the home of the Williams F1 Team just outside of Wantage, Oxfordshire Williams Conference Centre has established itself as one of the UK’s premier event venues. The Williams Conference Centre facilities include a collection of ten event rooms of varying sizes and capacity to cater for up to 200 guests whether it be for a team building exercise, meeting or awards dinner it is supported by superb catering and service - all of which has been recognised in the M&IT Awards every year for the last four years. The Centre is also the proud home of the Williams Grand Prix Collection, the largest private collection of formula one cars in the world. What we have on offer: Conferences & Product Launches The Ayrton Senna Theatre is a fully equipped presentation room, which can seat 200 people, offers a built-in stage with three large projection screens, stage lights, surround sound and comes with the service of our in-house AV technician, cutting down on your needs for hiring additional AV services. Seminars & Training Courses A range of rooms suitable for 1-on-1 coaching or groups of up to 50 guests are available. All come with presentation equipment as standard and a private hospitality room which double as a breakout area, saving you the need to hire another room for any catering requirements. Team Building In-house we offer a range of fun experiences which you can use in your day’s activities to help bring your team together. • F1 simulator - Test the driving and concentration skills of guests whilst providing entertainment for colleagues at the same time • The BATAK Challenge – Why not test reaction

times and even fitness levels for all ages and abilities? • Giant F1 Scalextric - Promote team work whilst ensuring guests understand the need for clear communication. • Williams PitStop Challenge - This is the ultimate in demonstrating the requirements required to create a winning team. Accepting individuals strengths and weaknesses, guests are instructed how to change the wheels on a Formula One car with the objective of completing a ‘PitStop’ in just seconds. Awards & Celebrations Mark your celebrations with award-winning catering in an environment that promotes innovation and success. We can cater for sit-down events of up to 200 guests in our Drivers Suite which includes the Ayrton Senna presentation room.

“We have created a 1st class events facility, a unique venue which offers outstanding catering and service. Something we are truly proud of.” Corporate Hospitality Each season we operate a number of Grand Prix Race Day events offering you the chance to entertain colleagues and friends at the home of the Williams F1 Team. Join Williams F1 Team members to watch the Grand Prix and get a real behind the scenes insight to activities at the circuit. Events include access to the Williams Grand Prix Collection

along with F1 Simulator Challenge, Race Sweepstake, BATAK Challenge, Scalextric Challenge, Hospitality Bar and superb catering. A full day of entertainment. Something for the weekend! Williams Grand Prix Collection Tours Tickets are sold for set dates throughout the year for an escorted tour of the world’s largest collection of Formula One cars. The Williams Grand Prix Collection charts the history of the Williams F1 Team from 1978 giving you the chance to get up close and witness the developments that have shaped the sport into what it is today. Information on the technology used will be explained with videos and a tour along with examples of materials, tests and challenges the team face in the development of it’s cars. Visit includes refreshments and lunch. Race Day Specials Each season we operate a Grand Prix Race Day Special, designed for family and friends with a passion for Formula One. Hosted by Williams F1 Team members, we offer an affordable way of getting close to the team and offer behind the scene information whilst enjoying access to the Williams Grand Prix Collection and F1 Simulator Challenge. Package includes refreshments, a two course buffet luncheon and cash bar. For more information please contact us on 01235 777900, or visit our for more information. “We have created a 1st class events facility, a unique venue which offers outstanding catering and service. Something we are truly proud of.” Sir Frank Williams.



The Lakeside Energy from Waste facility at Colnbrook


Pursuing the green agenda is something which is increasingly important for businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes. From business parks to shopping centres, care homes to colleges, the need to find the most efficient and cost-effective way to dispose of waste – and meet all the necessary regulations – is essential. Helping many Buckinghamshire businesses to find the right solution is Grundon Waste Management, the largest family owned waste management company in the UK. With its head office just a few miles across the border in Benson, Oxfordshire, and multi-million pound waste management and recycling facilities at Colnbrook, near Slough, the company is well placed to offer its services across the county. It is exactly this approach which deputy chairman Neil Grundon believes is one of the keys to a successful waste management policy. “Working with a local company which can offer a


single solution to all your waste management requirements has to be much more sensible than transporting waste all over the country. More efficient collection methods require less vehicles, so companies automatically reduce their carbon footprint,” he said.

send waste to landfill – due to rise still further from next April – that’s an important saving.

“Good practice is about making sure you take expert advice on the best way to dispose of your waste and doing so in a way which benefits your organisation as well as the environment.

• mixed recyclables, such as paper, cardboard and plastic • general non-recyclable waste • food waste • hazardous waste • clinical waste • confidential waste • event waste

“Today, the way an organisation manages its recycling and waste management is not only seen as an indicator of its overall commitment to supporting the environment, but also of its own business credentials.” Grundon’s reputation is such that it has helped many businesses dramatically reduce and, in some cases cut to zero, the amount of waste sent to landfill. Given that it currently costs £72 a tonne to

The company’s team of experts can advise on how to dispose of a wide range of waste and recycling materials, including:

When starting work with a new client, the Grundon team undertakes an initial audit, identifying practical solutions, while also looking for ways to optimise best practice and keep costs down. It works closely with facilities and estates managers, supporting in-house education programmes to help spread



ENVIRONMENT One Buckinghamshire company that works with Grundon is Cobham Antenna Systems in Marlow. Recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of defence and aerospace communication systems, it prides itself in its aspiration to achieve zero harm across its workforce and to limit its environmental impact wherever possible. Following a concerted campaign to reduce waste and improve recycling, the company has cut the

the recycling message and explain why changes are necessary. For many in an office-based environment, this means something as simple as the introduction of a two-bin system – one container for mixed recycling items such as paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans; and another for non-recyclable and non-hazardous general waste, such as some packaging and other plastics. While the former is sent for recycling, the latter goes to Grundon’s impressive joint venture Lakeside Energy from Waste plant at Colnbrook, where its incineration creates around 37 Megawatts of electricity, the vast majority of which – enough to power c.50,000 homes – is exported into the National Grid. The spotlight is increasingly turning on food waste and Grundon recently introduced a dedicated food waste collection service aimed primarily at companies in the hospitality and food service sectors, schools and other premises with on-site catering facilities. Typically, the segregated food waste it collects is taken to licensed Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities, where it is broken down into Biofertiliser and also used to produce Biogas, used as a fuel for the production of electricity and/or heat. In a business environment, many day-to-day items

such as batteries, printer cartridges, aerosols and solvents now fall into the hazardous waste category. Grundon’s specially-designed Haz-Box means companies who only have a small amount of such waste to dispose of can easily comply with the stringent environmental legislation. Bigger items for disposal such as unwanted computer equipment, telephones, florescent lighting tubes or televisions can be collected via its separate Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) service. Confidential waste, from documents through to computer media such as hard drives and memory cards, is handled via a secure service which includes on-site mobile shredding. “Our goal is always to help clients find the most efficient and cost-effective methods for disposal and recycling,” continued Grundon. “Education plays a big part, which is why we hold customer waste awareness days, forums and visits to our facilities, the more people understand, the more likely they are to buy into the need to reduce waste and recycle more. “We underpin this with complete waste transparency, providing monthly statistics and reports to enable companies to see how they are managing their waste more effectively and helping them quantify the investment.”

amount of waste it sends to landfill from its Buckinghamshire operation by more than 95%. Mick Cooper, SHE manager, emphasised the hard work of the company’s Facilities and SHE (Safety, Health and Environmental) team and said: “We are a relatively large organisation and the changes we have made here with the help from Grundon are a visible demonstration of the fact that we really do care about the impact we have on the environment.”

the changes we have “ made here with the help from Grundon are a visible demonstration of the fact that we really do care about the impact we have on the environment

Changes which have been implemented include replacement of individual bins with centralised waste stations, the introduction of an on-site compactor, and an employee education programme. For more information on Grundon’s range of waste management and recycling services, call 01491 834311, e-mail or visit



DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE BACK UP? You may have insured your commercial premises and office contents, but you would be well advised to also consider contingency planning. Ray Best of Pareto Lawrence examines the important topic of flexible planning for the future. If you are a business owner, then your business is most likely to be your most valuable asset. Despite that, only a minority of business owners fully appreciate the need to protect both their business and their family. We have helped many business owners over the years with planning of this kind, so I would like to pass on a few tips before going into the main areas of the planning: 1. Don’t use your accountant to value your business – we often find businesses are incorrectly valued. 2. Do sit down with all the majority shareholders and discuss what they would want to happen in the event of the premature death or disability of any of the owners of the business. You may be surprised at what comes out of such a meeting. 3. Do consider inviting the silent partners of the business in (the spouses) surely they have every right to contribute to the discussion? 4. Keep any advisers away from these meetings and make notes - these can be quite informally prepared, but do note down who said what and why. 5. Do all of this before you get outside advice. Operating Agreements such as Partnership & Shareholders Agreements Well-drafted agreements will stipulate what is expected of each owner; how profits and losses are assigned; procedures for transferring, buying and/or selling ownership interests; and just about anything else you want it to say - including restrictions on the ability of ex-spouses of owners to have any ownership interests whatsoever in the business. Succession Planning Every succession plan for a business owner or partner should consider: • Maximizing the value of the business • Planning for the foreseeable Issues • Planning for unanticipated catastrophic events • Planning to reach your future goals

succession or do you need to persuade a third party to cover any financial risk? Divorce A marriage today has a 36% chance of ending in divorce and unless you have a pre-nuptial agreement, your spouse is entitled to at least a portion of your interest in the business. So, you may need to consider the creation of an adequately funded contingency fund that would provide the monies needed to buy out the interest of the spouse of the owner or a partner. Even though you …. it will never happen to you! Disability Every business owner or partner needs to consider how the disability of a key worker or owner will affect the business:• How do you believe a disability would affect the value of the business? • How will other partners be affected financially? • How will the decision be made about the merits of you leaving the business? • How will disability insurance be funded to pay for your future? • How will medical and other insurances be affected? • How will the business be funded to get through a transition? • How will funding be arranged for partners to buy out your interest in the business according to a succession plan? Death None of us are immortal, so the financial impact of premature death needs to be considered. Death, disability and divorce are the three things most business owners think of when a conversation about succession planning is begun. If you are one of those without a succession plan, don’t you think it’s time to do something? If you are one of those without a plan, call us 0845 241 0207.

You should also determine whether or not the business has sufficient resources to fund any


‘Join Simon, Carys and OOO’s of other businesses and start using intouch for your sales and marketing’ “intouch wor works, ks, it’s it ’s easy to use and helps us drive drive lots of repeat business” business repeat busin siness” Simon A Simon Adams, dams, Teamforce P Teamforce Paintball aintball

Try Try intouch free free for 30 days (no credit credit card card needed) and turbo charge charge your your business

“intouch is a cost ef effective ffectiv fective and efficient tool that helps driv drivee sales within our ou business” business sines ness ss” Carys E Evans, vans, The Cabinet O Office ffice

S Sign ign up for a tr trial ial at www or wan on 0800 0517485 and star call R Rob ob S Swan startt to see what intouch can do for yyour our business.

intouchcrm intouchcrm

B4 R&R

THE UNFORGETTABLE FORBURY HOTEL For readers with high standards, high expectations and in high need of a great night out in opulent surroundings, with first class food and exemplary service, you really need look no further than The Forbury Hotel in the centre of Reading.


We were booked in to stay at this fabulous hotel on a Friday night after a long week at work. The drive to Reading from Oxford took less than 40 minutes and as we parked the car, our bags were whisked away whilst we checked in. The helpful receptionist than showed us to our room, but in the process we passed not one, not two but a multitude of incredible characteristics which makes The Forbury stand out as a hotel with the maximum attention to detail in every nook and cranny. The stairs leading to the front door are extravagant enough, providing a good photo opportunity the following morning before we set off on a special visit to London, but then the reception area takes some beating with sumptuous soft furnishings and lavish pieces of furniture which are each unique and work brilliantly together.

Tina chose the sautéed tiger prawn and baby squid with a soy and ginger dressing whilst I had the confit chicken and apricot mosaic with toasted brioche and baby shoot salad. Both divine – we tried each other’s – and set us up perfectly for our main courses. I had the braised ox cheeks with savoy cabbage, red wine onions and celeriac mash, whilst Tina went with the fish and had roast monkfish fillet wrapped in Parma ham with Jerusalem artichoke puree and oxtail sauce. Not only were our starters and mains all first class, the presentation was exemplary and the service first class – friendly without being stuffy although professional throughout, mind you, I don’t think the wine would have gone without some friendly encouragement! For dessert, we shared the apple tart tatin with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream. I’m not a big cinnamon fan but this worked superbly well together and I soon wish we’d ordered one each!

The marble flooring throughout was a signature of the hotel throughout, but the centrepiece is an 86,000 Italian glass bead chandelier running the height of the building in the old lift shaft. It’s truly mesmerising, as you gaze up, with lights catching every aspect, throwing off a tiny rainbow from each delicate bead. Quite incredible.

The Forbury has 23 luxury bedrooms over three floors, each with Bang and Olufsen audio-visual systems, Molton Brown toiletries and Nespresso coffee machines. All superior bedrooms have king size beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets, walk in showers, under floor heating, broadband and direct dial telephones.

And then we make it to the room. Wow! We were staying in a suite, with a wonderful lounge complete with high ceiling (no cramming in rooms here) and made to measure furniture, including a beautiful piece which contained books, TV, and stereo, not to mention many fascinating pieces of art. We then went through to the bedroom. Again more wow and lots of ooh! The bed was vast, the furnishings once again perfectly combined and that was before we got to the bathroom which was superb. Walk in shower, huge bath and surround sound stereo, all shrouded in sand marble.

You can certainly mix business with pleasure at The Forbury. All meeting rooms are fully air conditioned with natural daylight and complimentary wi-fi. The Cellar provides a unique venue for business meetings up to twelve guests. Other public rooms can be used for meetings and The Lounge is also available for impromptu meetings and the Library is suitable for more formal events.

It’s a good job we had both arrived ready for dinner as our open mouthed walkabout would have given us little time to pretty ourselves – OK maybe not including me – although it was tempting to jump in the bath. We chose to have a drink in the attractive courtyard just off the Cerise Restaurant where Friday night couples and a larger party celebrating had gathered. The evening was still warm and conducive to one of The Forbury’s wonderful cocktails – I had a Sloehito whilst Tina plumped for The Last Word. If you can’t make it for dinner, I would highly recommend a cocktail and if you’re planning to come to the B4 event at The Forbury later this year, make sure you pop in afterwards to sample the delights of Cerise’s award winning mixologists!

The Eden room is recommended for larger events with hand painted flowers adorning the walls or what was the original council chambers. There is even a private cinema for presentations, lectures of film screenings for up to 30 guests seated in Italian leather seats.

“There is even a private cinema for presentations, lectures of film screenings for up to 30 guests seated, in Italian leather seats.”

The Forbury is Disney for adults, if that doesn’t sound too twee. It’s mind-blowing to walk through and the experiences will stay with you forever, from the stylish rooms to the continental ambience of the cocktail ‘garden’, to the formidable performance of the kitchen in The Cerise Restaurant. An easy 10 out of 10 experience from the very top to the very bottom of that unforgettable 86,000 bead chandelier!

It was time to go through for dinner where we were greeted by our attentive waitress and, having given our order in the garden, our starters arrived shortly after, accompanied by a glass of champagne for Tina with a bottle of Macon Village Cave de Lugny which kept me company most of the night.







01344 388000 Ocean House, 12th Floor, The Ring, Bracknell RG12 1AX


Club b














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


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

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

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

“landscaping is not

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

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

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

wheelbarrows, underground pipes and inspection chambers.

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

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

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





PHOTO DIARY Photography: Andrew Gleed and Rob Scotcher B4

B4 Ambassadors, Members and their guests recently enjoyed four very different events across the Thames Valley. First up was a new event format at the impressive West Wing, the new development built alongside The Said Business School in Oxford. This saw 4 B4 members present for fifteen minutes each in the smart new Harvard Lecture Theatre, followed by a lively Q&A. Either side of the event, guests enjoyed superb hospitality in The Said Club Room. Next up was Bucks New University and the opportunity for B4 Members to get to know more about this fascinating establishment based in the heart of High Wycombe. The following week we were at the magnificent Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor for a wonderful evening of fine food and excellent company hosted by our Platinum Ambassadors. Finally, The University of Oxford Examination Schools hosted our 2nd B4 Oxfordshire event of the year at a recently refurbished venue where guests were treated to a speech from the grandson of the building’s original architect Sir Nicholas Jackson. All great stuff, and if you weren’t there, why don’t you make sure you book in for our remaining B4 events of 2013 – see and click on B4 Events.



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


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

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

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

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


“UCC programmes empower drivers to gain enhanced car control and allow greater enjoyment and appreciation of the vehicles they drive.�


Flexible vehicle hire

ÂŁ55 from

per week

Now in Slough


New branch opening at Bath Road (A4)

Future proof your fleet with flexible vehicle hire from Northgate, designed to work around you and your business: t Add, remove or change vehicles without penalty

t Specialist equipment supplied and fitted

t Access to the latest fuel efficient vehicles

t No mileage penalties, no hidden charges and no contract

t Inclusive maintenance and servicing

t Fantastic opening offers for new business customers.

t 24/7/365 breakdown support and replacement vehicles

Contact us today on 0844 8266 555 to discuss our opening offers or email Terms & conditions of offer: Open to registered UK businesses only - new business customers only. Offer available at selected sites only. Prices are on selected vehicles only. Prices quoted are based on a minimum 3 month hire period, maximum 10,000 miles per annum and excludes insurance or any vehicle customisation.

Northgate Vehicle Hire Slough 361 Bath Road, Slough, SL1 5QA Branches also at: Snodland | Waltham Cross | Barking | Croydon | Crawley | Folkestone

Flexible Fleet Solutions


THRIVING £2.5BILLION LOCAL ECONOMY SEES NORTHGATE LAUNCH IN SLOUGH Slough’s £2.5billion economy and thriving business community has attracted yet another large national business to the area. Northgate Vehicle Hire, the market leader in flexible vehicle hire and complete fleet management solutions, has launched a new branch on Slough Trading Estate, the largest privately owned trading estate in Europe. The new branch, situated on Bath Road, spans across half an acre and will offer capacity for up to 70 light commercial vehicles and cars at any one time. The launch is expected to bring six new jobs to the area and forms part of Northgate’s 2013 plans to expand its UK branch network, providing efficient and effective fleet solutions to businesses where the running of vehicle fleets, whether it is one, one hundred or one thousand, is central to their operations. Northgate’s customer base operates across more than twenty industry sectors including construction, manufacturing, utilities, wholesale and retail trade and freight, logistics and transport. With many industries facing fluctuations in trading patterns through the year as well as uncertainty in trading from month to month, in an economy which is yet to emerge from the crisis of 2008, the flexibility Northgate can provide to businesses with vehicle fleets is becoming more and more valuable. The traditional method of fleet acquisition is purchase, with many larger businesses and organisations also entering in to contract hire agreements. These methods of acquisition however give no protection against changes in business trading. Should contracts be lost or business slow down, vehicles remain unused in yards but still have to be paid for. Add to that the impact on the company balance sheet of these depreciating assets and the spiralling cost of maintenance as vehicles age, more and more businesses are using flexible hire to support a proportion of their fleet needs.

With Northgate’s flexible vehicle hire product businesses can add and remove vehicles to their fleet at any time without penalty; ideal for these uncertain economic times. Servicing and maintenance is also proactively managed by Northgate meaning businesses spend less time on time consuming fleet administration and more time focussing on their customers. And it is not just standard vehicles which Northgate offer. The variety of customers means that requirements for specification and equipment can vary greatly. Anything from tow bars, beacons, internal and external racking and even company branded livery can be added. These needs are supported by Northgate’s network of wholly owned workshops. This adds to Northgate’s strength as a fleet supplier because they don’t have to rely on third parties, meaning they can plan for and react to customer needs quickly and to their own high service levels rather than have to rely on those of another provider. On the opening of the new branch in Slough, Marcus Strong, Northgate Vehicle Hire’s Area Operations Manager, commented: “Slough is listed as one of the top three most productive towns in the UK outside of London and is home to some of the best known names in business, including Amazon, Honda, Research in Motion, O2 and Mars. This allows us a unique opportunity to broaden our client base and offer our bespoke flexible vehicle hire packages to local businesses. Add to this, the new branch’s prime location, and we are confident that the new site will achieve strong results.”

Faraz Khanche, New Business Manager for Northgate Vehicle Hire’s Slough branch, commented: “We look forward to supporting the needs of the local businesses and establishing ourselves as an integral resource for companies of all sizes, from independent start-ups and SMEs to blue-chips and PLCs. We know how critical our customers’ vehicles are to them. Without them they are unable to meet the needs and demands of their customers. We aim to provide a service that is not only cost effective but also completely hassle free. Our customers need their vehicles to be on the road all the time and utilised 100% and that is our number one focus. We welcome anyone that is considering their vehicle acquisition options and looking to reduce fleet costs to pop in and discuss opportunities with us. ” The new Slough branch features contemporary and comfortable waiting areas for customers, with designated hire desk staff and access to the latest fuel-efficient vehicles from leading manufacturers such as Ford, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Peugeot. In addition to the opening deals on offer to local businesses, such as commercial vehicle hire packages starting from £55 per week, the recent introduction of Northgate’s daily hire product allows the general public to benefit from extremely competitive daily hire rates on both cars and vans. Northgate Vehicle Hire has branches across 65 locations in the UK & Ireland, with its head office in Darlington. For further information please visit Follow Northgate on Twitter at



“As specialist corporate lawyers with a wide ranging client base, we frequently see the impact of poor governance and lack of adherence to legislation.”



Michael Stace, a corporate lawyer and partner with law firm Morgan Cole, says that directors should take their responsibilities seriously as Government announces plans for a crackdown on failed company bosses. Business Secretary Vince Cable has outlined plans for a crackdown on failed bosses with fresh powers to ban negligent directors and hold them personally liable for company debts.

paper is the principle that enhanced transparency of UK company ownership increases trust in UK business and trust is an essential element to encourage investment and growth.

The proposals were unveiled in a discussion paper entitled “Trust and Transparency” and will also force companies to reveal their real owners, stopping secretive owners hiding behind trusts or offshore businesses.

The main proposals of the “transparency” section include: a central registry to help identify beneficial ownership; the abolition of bearer shares (which allow for the true owner’s details not to be disclosed on a company’s register of members); whether nominee directors should be required to disclose the person they are acting for and the abolition of the corporate director.

Bankers are given particular attention in the proposals after much public anger that more senior banking executives involved in the 2008 financial crisis have not faced financial penalties or been banned from holding future directorships. Ownership of businesses will be covered by a new national register to list the beneficial owners of all companies. The current system at Companies House requires companies to register their shareholders but these may be listed as other corporates. If these corporates are based offshore, tracing the ultimate beneficial owners may be very difficult, if not impossible. But will these proposals really encourage investment and growth or will they serve to stifle entrepreneurship at a time when the country is only just showing signs of economic recovery? A key foundation to the “Transparency and Trust” 50

The main proposals of the “trust” section include: changes to the way unacceptable conduct by directors is tackled; allowing the courts to take account of previous conduct and the impact a director’s actions have on society when considering disqualification action; giving the courts the power to make compensation orders against a director when making a disqualification order; offering directors education in connection with disqualification orders; preventing directors disqualified overseas from being directors of UK companies and extending (from two years to five) the period within which disqualification action must be taken against directors of an insolvent company. Whilst the proposals seem at odds with the principle of reducing the regulatory burden for UK business it is difficult to argue that they do not have merit. However, it is our view that even if all of

them are enacted in some way they will not provide sufficient stimulus to make much difference to the UK’s economic recovery. Firstly, it is unlikely that any of the proposals will find a place on the statute book before the 2015 general election and, secondly, the prospect of increased personal liability for directors, even if linked to unacceptable conduct, is just as likely to dissuade rather than encourage the honest entrepreneurs referred to in the paper. As specialist corporate lawyers with a wide ranging client base, we frequently see the impact of poor corporate governance and lack of adherence to legislation. If any of these proposals become law, and the prevailing climate makes that extremely likely, then it will become more important than ever before for directors to take appropriate advice to ensure that their companies are structured appropriately to meet company law requirements not just to ensure compliance but to prevent issues that can frustrate or diminish value during an event, such as a disposal, merger, restructure or listing on the stock exchange. The alternative is the harsh reality of disqualification and potential criminal charges and it would appear that these sanctions may well become available for a wider range of conduct in the not-to-distant future. For further information please visit or contact Michael Stace on 0870 366 4644.

Winter Wonderland CHRISTMAS PARTIES 2013 ;/,9(*,*6<9:,5,>)<9@

The Sparkle Package s 2KM +IZ KWKS\IQT ZMKMX\QWV

n Snow Queein g &Snow K


ns for the competitio d lady e best dress an e & gentl m

Live Mu sic

ael BublĂŠ from Mich d DJ tribute an

s -Q[KW IVL -3 9IKSIOM ]XOZILM[ s 9IKSIOM ]XOZILM[ available


ÂŁ56 Pe r

Pe r s o n


-90+(@Â&#x2039;:(;<9+(@Â&#x2039;;/<9:+(@ -90+(@Â&#x2039;:(;<9+(@

)66256>!  9(*,*6<9:,5,>)<9@*6<2,=,5;:

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

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


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

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


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our performance management team have had huge success in advising education establishments in reassessing their existing cost base, and finding effective ways to make their operations work more efficiently




â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Network with our members in the stunning hotel groundsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

THE MANOR HOTEL Wednesday 2nd October 2013 6:00pm - 8:00pm

ABOUT OUR HOSTS The Manor Hotel at Weston-on-the-Green nestles in the heart of the Cotswolds. Proud of its 900-year-old history, The Manor is a country house hotel, opening its doors to guests who seek a truly relaxed escape, with fine food, fine wine and beautiful, fascinating surroundings. We invite you to treat our hotel as your home: we do not stand on ceremony here. Explore our house and gardens, take a dip in the pool or a walk in the grounds. Our doors are open and we invite you in.

Weston-on-the-Green, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX25 3QL, United Kingdom

The Manor Hotel is within easy reach of the beautiful city of Oxford, and only five minutes from Bicester Village shopping, Blenheim Palace, and many other attractions.

Dress code: Smart business casual

Join other B4 Ambassadors, Members and their guests at The Manor Hotel with its newly refurbished interior, beautiful grounds and first class hospitality.

Any enquiries should be directed to Tina Rosser 01865 742211 or


This event is open to all B4 Ambassadors, members their guests and nonmembers in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Please register for the event here: b4oxmanorhotel

To find out more about B4 please visit WWW.B4-BUSINESS.COM t: 01865 742211 e: a: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT

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

“I enjoy getting the movement and

tension in pieces... ...It’s about getting it just right, right down to the fingertips”


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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



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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

9bekZ$$$5 ?jh[Wbbo^Widej^_d]jeZem_j^j^[iao¾         ?j^WijeZem_j^^eki_d]oekhXki_d[iiZWjWWdZ           Wffb_YWj_ediedW^_]^boWlW_bWXb["WbmWoied"fWo         cedj^bofbWj\ehc$ 

Oxfordshire Based IT Consultancy with over 25 Years in technology

CeijYbekZYecfWd_[im_bbjhoWdZ\_joek_djeWed[            i_p[iebkj_ed$7j9?Im[WffheWY^YbekZZ_\\[h[djbo"         m[kdZ[hijWdZoekhXki_d[ii\_hij"WdZj^[dm[cWa[          YbekZ\_j_dm_j^_j"WdZZ[b_l[hoekceh[$         9?I_iWd[nf[hjWjYb[Wh_d]kfj^[YbekZ         ?\oekWh[Yedi_Z[h_d]Wcel[je^eij[ZfbWj\ehci          ehYbekZ"Wh[oekikh[oek^Wl[j^[h_]^jiebkj_ed5          9edjWYj9?IjeZ_iYkiim^WjYbekZWYjkWbboc[Wdi"         ^em_jmehaiWdZjejWbaj^hek]^j^[efj_edi\ehoekh            eh]Wd_iWj_ed$ If[Wajej^[[nf[hji"m[^Wl[if[Y_Wb_i[Z_d^eij[Z          Wffb_YWj_ediWdZfh_lWj[YbekZi[hl_Y[i\ehel[h+         o[Whi"m_j^ed[e\j^[bWh][ije\\[h_d]i_dj^[KA$          CWdo8*c[cX[hi^Wl[cel[ZehWh[        jWba_d]jekiWXekjj^[cel["_dYbkZ_d]        8*j^[ci[bl[i 

9bekZi[hl_Y[i  D[jmehai[Ykh_jo  IjehW][_dijWbbWj_edi  Ie\jmWh[b_Y[di_d]  L_hjkWb_iWj_ed I[hl[hZ[iajef^WhZmWh[    Kd_\_[ZYecckd_YWj_edi  M_h[Zm_h[b[ii_dijWbbWj_edi   


!!**&'),--&&+++ **&'),--&&+++ m mmm$Y_ibjZ$Yec mm$Y_ibjZ$Yec [ [dgk_h_[i6Y_ibjZ$Yec dgk_h_[i6Y_ibjZ$Yec




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

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

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

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

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

To book call: 0871 222 4198 W:


â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Water Garden is

designed to enable families to enjoy outdoor space with a sense of adventure. Each house is linked by water, ensuring the rich wildlife habitat is protected and grows in and around each building Red Paxton



B4 R&R


This July marked the launch of the Water Garden at the award-‐winning Lower Mill Estate in the Cotswolds – an exclusive development of just 10 properties designed for the very best in outdoor as well as indoor living. The Water Garden is home to the UK’s first canoe safari – where homeowners can step off their doorstep, climb into a canoe and head out to the neighbouring Spinney Lake to catch fresh trout. They can then canoe back and cook the fish on their own roof terrace. Starting from £525,000, all 10 of the four‐bedroom Water Garden properties have been designed by leading architect, Andy Ramus, whose vision aligns with the eco-‐architecture credentials that Lower Mill Estate has won a multitude of awards for. Building work on the development will start in September, with completion expected in Spring 2014. Each of the 10 properties, which are perfect for families wanting to relax or seek adventure on calm, safe waters, epitomise open-‐plan living with internal living spaces leading out onto large external decks. In addition, the roof terrace on each house offers incredible views across Lower Mill Estate and the large open water Spinney Lake. The properties are also incredibly economic thanks to under-‐floor heating, LED lightingand a ‘master switch’ to ensure all electricity can be switched off at the flick of a button. Bespoke interior touches can be selected by the buyer as they wish and there is also the option to have pergolas and herb gardens integrated into the design plan for an additional cost.

A central garden, which appears to float like an island in the water, acts as the focal point and community hub of the development. The design concept sees each of the houses positioned like spokes on a wheel while a connecting body of water has been specially shaped to link each house to one another via canoe. The Water Garden houses sit within 550 acres of fresh air and space, with thousands of species thriving within the Estate, enabling owners to truly live side-‐by-‐side with nature. Home owners will further benefit from access to the Estate’s award-‐ winning Spa which is located just a stone’s throw from the development. Owner, Red Paxton, comments ‘The Water Garden is designed to enable families to enjoy outdoor space with a sense of adventure. Each house is linked by water, ensuring the rich wildlife habitat is protected and grows in and around each building.” Since it was founded 16 years ago, Lower Mill Estate has been at the forefront of offering fresh concepts to vacation home buyers, all of which put the habitat first. These include the recent launch of Lakeshore Reserve – an über-‐exclusive nine plot privately-‐gated development, with plots starting from £525,000. 01285 869489



‘One of Oxfordshire’s truly inspirational venues’

RHODES HOUSE Thursday 12th September 2013 6:00pm - 8:00pm South Parks Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3RG, United Kingdom Dress code: Smart business casual Any enquiries should be directed to Tina Rosser 01865 742211 or

ABOUT OUR HOSTS A hidden delight situated in the heart of Oxford, Rhodes House is a beautiful venue steeped in history. Ideal for dinners, business meetings, product launches and weddings, Rhodes House can now be yours for the day. For nearly a century, Rhodes House has been the gathering place for Rhodes scholars and distinguished guests. Now, the House has been made available so that others can enjoy the peace, quiet and unique atmosphere of this private, exclusive venue. It is deal for both corporate and private events, for large and small functions, and for photo shoots. Join other B4 Ambassadors, Members and their guests at this stunning venue, home of the Rhodes Scholars.

REGISTRATION Please register for the event here: b4oxrhodeshouse

To find out more about B4 please visit WWW.B4-BUSINESS.COM t: 01865 742211 e: a: The Firs, Headington Hill, Oxford, OX3 0BT

B4 contacts P

CONTACTS DIRECTORY Advice..................................................................................................................................................69 Business Services....................................................................................................................69 Charities & Government Organisations.............................................71 Conference, Events & Venues........................................................................................71 Event Managment Technology..........................................................................71 Education........................................................................................................................................71 Finance..............................................................................................................................................71 Health & Leisure.......................................................................................................................71 Travel........................................................................................................................73

ADVICE LEGAL Pitmans LLP P Christopher Avery Managing Partner 0118 958 0224 Field Seymour Parkes A Penelope Garden Associate 0118 951 6312 Gardner Leader LLP A Derek Rogers Managing Partner 01635 508080

0118 955 9114 Wilkins Kennedy 0118 951 2131 Wilson Partners 01628 770 770 Ardhurst Accountants Limited 0118 925 3286 Berkshire Accountants Ltd 07794 510499 Chariot Tax Services 0118 986 3738 Pareto Lawrence Ltd 0845 241 0207

Turpin & Miller A Emily Boardman Partner 01865 770111

Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP 0118 959 7222

Belinda Knight 0118 900 1712 Clifton Ingram LLP A Carl Rae Partner, Dispute Resolution 0118 957 3425


Grant Thornton A Jim Rogers Assurance Partner

The Business Growth Show 0121 632 2300 Clinical Professionals 0118 959 4990 Pace Equity Ltd 01491 577889 id-choices 0845 519 6237 Agenda for Change 01453 731 773 Bbite 07836 205262 Support Star Limited 07739 459469 JFP Strategic Planning 01344 872230

BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS The FD Group 0118 948 1080 Parfitt Cresswell 01753 271640 Strategic Finance Director Limited 07967 681774 Thomas International 01608 659910

ACCOUNTING BDO LLP A Simon Brooker Lead Partner 0118 925 4488


HR..........................................................................................................................................................73 IT & Telecommunications.................................................................................................73 Marketing & Design...............................................................................................................73 Printing.......................................................................................................................73 Public Relations...............................................................................................................73 Media......................................................................................................................73 Property & Building...............................................................................................................73 Restaurants & Bars............................................................................................................73 Retail....................................................................................................................................................73

Morgan Cole LLP A Michael Stace Partner 0118 955 3000

Rickerbys LLP 0118 925 6100


BUSINESS SERVICES BUSINESS CONSULTANTS Direct 2 PA A Emma Watts Executive PA 0118 932 6698

Institute of Directors, Berkshire Branch A Barry Lewis Chairman, Berkshire Branch 0118 942 9608 FSB A Richard Knight East Berkshire Branch Chairman 01256 767837 Click Berkshire A Harriet Slingo Owner 07725 740311 The Business Wealth Club 01869 278900 Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group 01753 870500 69

Direct Dir ect Mail Magic

O Our ur cclient lient ttook ook a 3 300% 00% rreturn eturn o on n iinvestment nvestment from from d direct irect mail. mail . We W e ccan an sho show w yyou ou how. how. mailing designed, esigned, p personalised ersonalised Am ailing we we d and a nd printed printed d delivered elivered tthis his rresult esult w ithin 10 10 days days of of being being mailed mailed out. out. within To T o grow grow your your b business usiness using using direct direct mail mail ccall all us us now. now.

Call C all 01494 539300 orr visitt www ww

Delivering D elivering R Real eal Business Business Results Resu ults

Do you want to feature in B4 Berkshire Issue 7? Contact us for advertising and editorial rates. Out in November 2013 Tel: 0118 317 7183


Refreshing levels of quality


B4 contacts Bracknell Business Club 01256 767837

BUSINESS SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT Archway Business Solutions Ltd 0118 324 0135

INSURANCE Coversure Insurance 0800 093 57 80

Fredrick’s Hotel, Restaurant & Spa 01628 581 000

Barclays Corporate 07766 362053

Holiday Inn Reading, M4 Jct 10 0871 942 9067


The Forbury Hotel A Peter Farquhar General Manager 01189 527770

VENUES Vision Vehicle Solutions Ltd 01628 780011

SECURITY RISK Management Security Services 01494 469189

TRANSPORT EMT Jets Global Aviation 08453 888248

CHARITIES & GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS Berkshire Community Foundation 0118 930 3021 Connect Reading Clare Wright Managing Director 0118 959 1236 Daisy’s Dream 0118 934 2604 Child Matters 07788720612 Sue Ryder 0800 917 8123

CONFERENCE, EVENTS AND VENUES Malmaison P Richard Lockstone General Manager 0118 956 2300 Oakley Court Hotel P Richard Smith Sales Manager 01753 609988 The Bird in Hand Country Inn 01628 826622

The Vineyard P Marwan Hemchaoui General Manager 01635 528770

EVENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY The Active Network 0207 313 5744 Lime Blue Solutions 01628 780211

Your Money Friend A Ted Yeates Founder 0208 123 1193

HEALTH AND LEISURE ARTISTIC & CULTURAL Stanley Spencer Gallery 01628 471885

BEAUTY Electric Hair A Alan Short Director and Salon Manager 0118 957 1010

FITNESS Berkshire Fitness 07825 259612



Reading College P Lesley Donoghue Principal 0118 955 4300

Reading FC Limited P Sir John Madejski Chairman 0118 968 1100

Reading University 0118 987 5123

Bearwood Lakes Golf Club A Martyn Norris Head of Marketing 0118 979 7900

FINANCE BANKING Lloyds TSB Commercial P Paul Smart Area Director Thames Valley, SME Banking 01442 233261 RBS Corporate Banking A Donald MacDonald UK Head of Deposits & Director, Professionals 07768 427379 Santander Corporate Banking A Paul Robinson Relationship Director 0118 921 1621 Coutts Reading A Robert Woodthorpe-Brown Client Partner 0118 373 3509

Hennerton Golf Club 0118 940 1000 Newbury Racecourse P Amanda Ellis Conference & Events Business Development Manager 01635 40015 Magnolia Park P 01844 239700 Hennerton Golf Club 0118 940 1000

LEISURE ACTIVITES Team Activity Group 0845 130 2248 Bedlam Paintball 08453 707571


Our client, Adrian Evans says,

It’s simple. They do what they say they‘re going to do. I trust them, I like them and I respect them.

Adrian Evans Search & Selection ALLAN WILSON Director, Wilson Partners



We think your business. For a free consultation call us: 01628 770 770.


Trusted advisors, exemplary service Business support and insolvency Corporate and commercial law Commercial property and construction Dispute Management and debt recovery Employment, pensions & benefits Family law Succession and tax planning Discover the difference we can make to you and your business. Contact our Client & Sector Development team on 01865 262613 or visit:

B4 contacts The Lookout Discovery Centre 01344 354400 Nirvana Spa 0118 989 7500

TRAVEL Momentum Hub A Andrew Riley Chairman 0800 0726075x Livingstone’s World of Travel Ltd 0844 888 8383

MARKETING Strangebrew Brand Alchemy P Phil Strachan Proprietor 07770 753975 The Social Media Café A Amanda Hill Founder 0844 3305679 Glooo A Robin Parker Partner 01865 595707


HR HR2YOU P Sarah Morris Managing Director 07789 711997


Hills & Saunders A Richard Shymansky Photographer 07878 162452 Take One 01494 898919



In Touch CRM P James White Managing Director 0800 056 6452

Advent Colour P Mike Ackerman Sales Director 01264 359359


Dartnell UK Ltd 01635 278568

Everything Everywhere P Mike Tomlinson Small Business Marketing Director 07968 107671

Grundon T: 01491 839212 W:

PROPERTY & BUILDING PROPERTY SERVICES Haslams Surveyors LLP P Conrad Hill Managing Partner 0118 921 1500 Synergy Facilities Ltd A Liz Maloney Managing Director 0844 800 2823

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SERVICES Oxford Innovation Ltd P Jo Willett Marketing and IC Development Director 01865 261400 Berkshire Centres at: Crowthorne Enterprise Centre 01344 751 600 Lily Hill House 01344 317 900 Quintons Specialist Commercial Property Advisors 01635 551441



Amarestone 0845 2608070



Esplin PR A Louise Esplin Freelance PR Consultant 01235 850115

B4 Magazine P Richard Rosser Managing Director 01865 742211

Morgan PR A Nigel Morgan Founder 0845 00 33 666

Island Bar and Restaurant 0118 9479530

Focal Point Advertising Solutions 01256 767837



Reading 107fm P Tony Grundy Acting MD 0118 986 2555

Buildbase A Tim Felton Regional Director South 01635 573716


The Vintage Affair 07855 951825


DESIGN Clever Little Design 01628 627853 Blink Design & Print 01865 742211 Voyage Design 01189 835510

Gavin Jones A Martin Ford Business Development Executive T: 01932 833833 W:

Browns A 0118 950 3137



te tic a 5 as eleg ÂŁ3 nt fa y d m da fro w es ne kag c pa

The Perfect Locationâ&#x20AC;Ś for exhibitions, conferences, product launches, meetings, awards dinners, Christmas parties or why not combine business with pleasure at a raceday... Contact our Events Team 01635 40015

Revitalise your meetings Get a fresh perspective and enjoy something a little different this summer. As well as plenty of activities to inspire and motivate, make the most of your breaks with revitalising morning drinks, healthy snacks and afternoon energy boosting treats. s"ARBEQUE!LFRESCODININGWITHWINEANDCOCKTAILPAIRING s7INEMASTERCLASSES s4HECHEFSTABLEWITH$ANIEL'ALMICHE s7INECELLAR KITCHENANDARTTOURS Day delegate rate - ÂŁ50pp + VAT* 24 hour delegate rate - ÂŁ250pp + VAT* 01635 898463 |


B4 Berkshire Issue 6  

B4 Berkshire Issue 6

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you