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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Foreword

Why it makes sense to be a Chamber member

CONTENTS September/October 2013

Dear Reader, As we move into the second half of the financial year for many of you, I hope that business is good and business confidence strong. As your Chamber of Commerce, we are here to support and help you take advantage of the upturn in economic performance and confidence. Our services range from supporting start-up businesses and working with growing businesses to offering advice on local sources of finance, services on how to trade abroad and some amazing network and trade-to-trade opportunities. We also offer legal advice, access to joined-up local regulatory advice and much more. I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our outgoing President, Mr Amrik Bhabra, who will step down as President on 4th October, the date of this year’s AGM. For two years, Amrik has been of immense support to me and the staff at the Chamber, has Chaired the Chamber Board and has tirelessly represented the needs and wants of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMES) here in Coventry and Warwickshire. Amrik was one of the first set of Business Leaders to form the Local Enterprise Partnership, he continues to Chair and represent SMEs at the LEP SME Group and, during his two years, has best represented the local business community at countless meetings with MPs, Ministers, Secretaries of State and, indeed, the Prime Minister. More than anyone I know, Amrik recognises the huge importance of the SME community to Coventry and Warwickshire because he is an Owner/Manager of a local medium sized enterprise, ADECS. We will, of course, all have a proper chance to thank Amrik at this year’s Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Economic Conference on 4th October. Please put the date in your diary, it is not to be missed.

The Conference will have its usual great line-up of business speakers, including an economist who will, as always, do a little crystal ball gazing for us. This year, the Conference will also acknowledge and celebrate the 110th Anniversary of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, a company limited by guarantee that knows an awful lot about how you have to reshape, change, respond and respect your existing and future customer base in order to survive and thrive. At Conference, we will also place a focus on the importance of export, encouraging as many of our businesses as possible to think about export for the first time or to seek out ways in which they can increase their export and markets abroad. We live in a global world and all businesses need to think global as well as local in order to exploit what they do best in offering goods and services. The Chamber of Commerce, working with UKTI, offers some great opportunities to explore new markets for the first time or increase your markets abroad - through its highly successful programme of Trade Missions. If you are interested in working with us on our missions abroad, please get in touch on 02476 654321 or mickp@cw-chamber.co.uk Now is the best time to explore taking your goods and services abroad with UKTI offering export vouchers worth up to £3000 to any company committed to doing so. Finally, I want to make mention of skills as I continue to hear of the challenges that businesses face in terms of recruitment of staff. Again, please come to your Chamber of Commerce as a focal point of contact and local skills broker, we can help. Our own subsidiary company, Coventry Warwickshire Training (CWT) works with more than 1,000 learners every year and successfully places more than 800 apprenticeships with local employers. Get in touch and we will help. Louise

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Chamber News Services

Events International Trade Policy CWT Business Support Legal & Finance Profile Property

4-19 6

8-9 12 13 14 15 16-17 20-21 22-23

Around the Region 24-32 Business Direct 33-41 President & People 44-45 New Members 46 Chamber Events Diary 46

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Chamber News

CONTACTS At the Chamber

News desk

Members are encouraged to send any news about their firm – new orders, staff, new products, expansions or relocations – for publication in C&W in business. Whilst every effort will be made to publish submitted articles, we cannot guarantee inclusion. Send them to: news@cw-chamber.co.uk Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Chamber House Innovation Village Cheetah Road Coventry CV1 2TL T: 024 76 65 4371 F: 024 76 45 0242

Why it makes sense to look abroad for those all-important new markets Trading internationally offers great opportunities for businesses of all size but can be daunting if you do not know what you are doing. That is where the Chamber can help. With our experience and track record of success, we can help companies make those all-important breakthroughs. Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Services Team can point to plenty of success. For instance, in 2012, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber: • Provided international trade advice and assistance to 138 companies • Helped 37 companies export for the first time • Led six outward trade missions involving more than fifty local businesses * Issued nearly 3000 certified export documents.

At the publishers

Benham Publishing Limited 4th Floor, Orleans House Edmund Street Liverpool L3 9NG 0151 236 4141

Advertising Contact Alison Seymour alison@benhampublishing.com 07841 115444

C&W in Business is produced on behalf of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce by Benham Publishing Limited and is distributed to members free of charge. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in C&W in Business, neither Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, nor the publisher can accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber.

Services on offer include: • Trade Missions & Trade Shows – the Chamber’s International Trade Advisers lead overseas trade missions and encourage local companies to participate. The Advisors can offer advice on financial assistance that may be available to support participation in trade missions and attendance at trade shows. • International Trade Forum - the Chamber runs a local forum as a catalyst for its international trade activities • International Sales & Marketing through UKTI, the Chamber offers the Export Market Research Scheme (EMRS), which provides independent advice, at no charge, on carrying out marketing research. It applies to businesses looking at new markets or evaluating existing ones. In addition, applications can be made for financial help to research ‘on the ground’ in new markets. • Communications – through UKTI, the Chamber offers the Export Communications Review (ECR). This provides companies with impartial and objective advice on language and

cultural issues to help them improve their competitiveness in existing and future export markets. • Translation Services – the Chamber’s Acorn Interactive Service offers direct access to local providers of translation services. • Business Development – through UKTI, the Chamber offers the Overseas Marketing Introduction Service (OMIS). This combines a broad range of elements to suit the particular needs of a business. A typical OMIS package might include market/sector advice, analysis of market entry strategies, support during overseas visits and identification of possible business partners and, where appropriate, high level introductions. Promotional events can also be arranged, using UKTI overseas offices, to maximise attendance for a targeted audience. • Export Readiness Assessment - the Chamber offers a series of local export seminars and workshops, through UKTI’s Passport to Export programme, to assist companies assess their export readiness. Project-based help for existing exporters is available through UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth programme. • Export Market Seminars - the Chamber offers full or half day seminars which provide information on international markets, regions, sectors and potential distribution opportunities. • Export Training – the Chamber’s subsidiary company, CWT Chamber Training, offers a programme on international trade training which includes topics such as Understanding Export and Import Procedures, Export Documentation and Payment for Export. In addition, the Chamber’s International Trade Advisers provide access to a range of International Trade Master Classes.

• Access to Export Finance – through its International Trade Advisers, the Chamber provides an informative overview of UK Export Finance products such as the Export Payment Guarantee Scheme. • Foreign Exchange – the Chamber can offer guidance and support on Foreign Exchange planning and can access discounted Foreign Exchange services through the British Chambers of Commerce. • Getting Goods to Market/Export Trade Documentation – the Chamber has the ability to provide all trade documentation. This includes EC and Arab/British certificates of origin. The Chamber can also provide trade and shipping documents on line through its Acorn Interactive Service. • Logistics – the Chamber’s Acorn Interactive Service offers direct access to a selection of local logistics providers. • Insurance and Risk Management – the Chamber’s Acorn Interactive Service offers direct access to a selection of insurance providers, including cargo insurance. • Legal and Accounting Services – the Chamber’s Acorn Interactive Service offer direct access to legal and accounting services for international trade. This includes IP protection, international licensing and distribution agreements. • Distribution Channels – the Chamber’s International Trade Advisors can offer practical advice on agreements with agents and distributors as well as other routes to market such as joint ventures or licensing. For further information, contact 024 7665 4321 or email info@cw-chamber.co.uk Website www.cw-chamber.co.uk

C&W in Business is printed and distributed by Headley Brothers Limited

The official publication of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce 4

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Chamber News

Chamber conference to celebrate anniversary

Coventry & Warwickshire in business sponsored column

“It will focus on future economic prospects locally, nationally and globally as well as identifying opportunities for growth.” Helen Coombes, Associate Tax Director

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce will mark its 110th anniversary by identifying opportunities for economic growth. The Chamber’s twelfth annual economic and business conference – sponsored by Santander will take place at Stareton Hall at Stoneleigh Park on Friday, October 4. It will focus on future economic prospects locally, nationally and globally as well as identifying opportunities for growth. Speakers will include Sir Peter Rigby, the chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership; Charles Morgan, of the Morgan Motor Company; Barry Naisbitt of Santander; and there will also be a ministerial address. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be able to mark our 110th anniversary with this year’s annual conference. “It is important for us to identify future opportunities for economic growth within Coventry and Warwickshire in order to enable local businesses to develop and prosper. “Once again, we have a fantastic array of speakers including Sir Peter Rigby, who will be outlining the successes and challenges of running not only a global enterprise but also smaller enterprises, as a local investor in Coventry and Warwickshire. “A keynote address will also be given by Charles Morgan, chief executive officer of UK car manufacturer, Morgan Motor Company. “The firm grew up alongside Coventry’s historic motor industry and Charles will outline the importance of maintaining traditional values alongside modern techniques.” Dr Adam Marshall, head of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, will host the event which will also take a look back over the Chamber’s 110 years of history. MPs Marcus Jones and Chris White will also be speaking to the conference. For more information or to book on to the Chamber’s annual conference, call 024 7665 4321 or log onto www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Thinking ahead key to success in succession planning If you run a family business, the chances are that you’re kept busy with all the day-to-day demands involved, not to mention dealing with issues like keeping your accounts up to date and sorting out VAT returns. But with statistics suggesting that only around a quarter of family businesses successfully transfer to a second generation, and little more than ten per cent to a third, taking time to think about the business when you want to step down is crucial. Putting in place a succession plan will support smooth transition of the business to family members – or perhaps to trusted members of the existing management team – as well as maximising the tax efficiency of the arrangements. It’s fair to say that most people who have created or inherited a business would like their children or other relatives to take over, so they need to look at the skills, abilities and wishes of their family members as early as they can, to help them decide if this is the right option, particularly if they will need time to learn the ropes. If there is no obvious family successor, other options include a buyout by the existing management team or an external sale might be more appropriate in some circumstances. If the business is too small, or too closely linked to the owner’s specialist skills to attract a buyer, the best option may be to wind it up and realise its assets. Helen Coombes, associate tax director at HB&O, said: “Early forward planning also means that you can take steps to maximise the benefit of Entrepreneur’s Relief – which can significantly reduce capital gains tax payable when you sell a business – as well as using business relief to reduce a potential inheritance tax liability.” “At HB&O, we can provide comprehensive advice on tax and other succession planning-related issues.

For more information, please visit www.hboltd.co.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk

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Service of the Month

Compliance at your finger tips Chamber Launches Online Business Shop The Chamber, in conjunction with Qdos, the providers of ChamberHR, is making it easier than ever for Chamber members to stay compliant with easy online access to additional expert support and advice in employment law and human resource. This month sees the launch of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Business Shop where a range of business products and services are available online. As you are aware, ChamberHR is included within the Chamber membership fee giving members unlimited access to telephone advice from employment law specialists, coupled with an online reference manual with a bank of hundreds of downloadable template documents, policies and procedures. This excellent service saves money as there is no need to pay for ad hoc advice from specialists or solicitors, it reduces risk removing the fear of Employment Tribunals which carry significant costs and gives peace of mind as with

ChamberHR you have the confidence and knowledge that the guidance and support of experts is on hand whenever you need it. However, where do you go for additional services? Who do you trust to deliver excellent service? Where can you get discounted rates?

The Chamber Online Business Shop gives you this and more. Products and services include bespoke Contracts of Employment and Employee Handbooks, HR audits, How to Guides, training and more.

Why not take a look? For more information log onto www.cw-chamber.co.uk or contact the Membership Support Team.

Swedish bank opens in Leamington

ehB Commercial director Nick Evans (right) with Handelsbanken branch manager Paul Brooksbank outside the new Handelsbanken Leamington branch.

Swedish banking group Handelsbanken has opened a branch in Leamington after agreeing a deal with local commercial property consultants ehB Commercial to lease its former offices in Holly Walk. Leamington branch manager Paul Brooksbank said that even during the economic downturn, the bank had been able to more than double its British branch network to 155. The branch has been located and refitted in Myton House, on the corner of Holly Walk and Newbold Street, where two of the directors of ehB Commercial were based for almost 20 years. ehB Commercial has been crowned for the last three years in a row as Warwickshire’s ‘Most Active Agent of the Year’ by a leading commercial property magazine, Estates Gazette, and currently handles a raft of property instructions, including retail units, offices, warehouses and industrial units as well as providing such services as valuations, acquisition & corporate property advice, development, investment & commercial property management, rent reviews and landlord & tenant advice.

“Warwickshire’s Most Active Agent of the Year”

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www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

News

sponsored column

Funding boost for agricultural technology initiative Directors’ Loans –

Pictured at Stoneleigh Park, from left to right, are Chris Mitchell, Associate Director at LaSalle, Denis Chamberlain and Colin Hooper.

An industry expert at the forefront of Stoneleigh Park’s future as a centre for agricultural excellence has welcomed a £160 million technology boost for agriculture as part of a new Government initiative. Denis Chamberlain, ambassador of the Warwickshire estate being transformed into an agricultural science hub, said it was Government recognition of the significant contribution that agriculture can make towards the economy as one of the UK’s biggest industries. Stoneleigh Park is part of BEST Network (the Business Environments for Science and Technology Network), the largest privately-owned portfolio of science and technology parks in the UK, assembled and managed by LaSalle Investment Management.

The Agricultural Technologies Strategy aims to make the UK a world leader in agricultural science and technology and sets out a £160 million investment in developing cutting-edge technologies to deliver sustainable, healthy and affordable food for future generations. It includes £90 million investment in centres for agricultural innovation and £70 million of catalyst funding to help new agricultural technologies with specific support for small and medium sized enterprises. Denis Chamberlain, a former CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), said: “This is real evidence that Government recognises the contribution farming and food production can make to national economic growth. “We will now be looking at ways in which we can work with existing and new tenants to initiate programmes that can work with

Businesses join forces to cater for Asian weddings Three of the Midlands’ leading businesses have signed a landmark deal to cater for Asian weddings. Coombe Abbey country house hotel, Coventry, has joined forces with speciality food suppliers Mahirs Experience and Five Rivers to provide catering for Asian weddings being held in its new purposebuilt marquee. This will be the first time that the hotel, which houses its own fine-dining restaurant, has allowed the use of outside caterers for large-scale events and marks the venue’s intent to cater for more specialist celebrations. Ron Terry, General Manager at Coombe Abbey hotel, said: “We’ve held a number of Asian weddings here in the past and the launch of our new 350-seater marquee has seen a surge in enquiries. “This new deal with Mahirs and Five Rivers will allow those using the marquee to arrange their own catering with either of these suppliers, knowing they are guaranteed a good rate and high levels of service.” Birmingham-based Mahirs Experience has more than 30 years of hospitality experience. The award-winning firm, which specialises in providing event design, production and décor services specifically for marquee events, offers a wide range of www.cw-chamber.co.uk

authentic Punjabi, Gujarati, South Indian, Indo Fusion and European cuisine. Five Rivers combines event management services with the best in modern Asian cuisine. The firm, based at Walsall, only works with a select number of couples per year, providing each with a bespoke menu and services package, tailored to their individual budget and needs. For more information about weddings at Coombe Abbey hotel, visit www.coombeabbey.com/weddings For more details about the hotel’s newly appointed catering partners visit www.mahirs.com for Mahirs Experience or www.thefiveriversgroup.co.uk for Five Rivers.

On the left is Five Rivers Group- Sales and Marketing Director Shamim HM with Mahirs Experience Senior Sales and Events Manager Steven Chall

this initiative, accessing funds under the strategy to speed the growth of a key site such as Stoneleigh Park. “Britain is at the cutting edge of agricultural technology and science but we need to get more of that technology spread broadly across agriculture and food production to improve the international competitiveness of our food and agricultural sector. “This strategy envisages an effective public-private partnership designed to improve the uptake of new, effective technology. That fits perfectly with the strategy we have set out for the development of Stoneleigh Park and the wider BEST Network.” Stoneleigh Park is an established hub for the agricultural sector where a ten-year, £50 million programme by LaSalle is under way to revitalise the site as an internationally-renowned centre for agriculture, rural business, science and innovation. Flexible lease terms and associated setup and support costs are already available to help start-up businesses establish. It is also part of a new initiative, supported by Defra, to be the central hub of the Rural Growth Network in Warwickshire which will see the creation of a new innovation centre to support small businesses working in the rural arena. The estate is already home to RASE, the National Farmers’ Union, GEA Farm Technologies and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which sit alongside smaller businesses and organisations within the agricultural sector. Work has recently started on a major new home for the AHDB as part of LaSalle’s investment programme.

Washroom service specialist cleaning up with business Coventry-based washroom services specialist Pure Washrooms has significantly expanded all areas of the business since its re-location in January. Pure Washrooms, based in Exhall, has won 147 new customers this year as well as expanding the team with new staff in sales, administration, customer service and operations. The company moved premises in January as it had outgrown its warehouse and offices in Binley due to increased customer demand on its wide range of bespoke washroom services. It then went on to be shortlisted for the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards in May in recognition for its green credentials and corporate social responsibility.

tightening a loophole

Paul Spencer

It is not uncommon practice for ownermanagers to extract funds from their companies in the form of a loan. These loans are usually then cleared through the declaration of a dividend or the voting of a bonus. Where repayment is not made within 9 months of the end of the accounting period, HMRC levy a refundable tax charge of 25% of the balance outstanding. This charge is repaid to the company nine months after the accounting period end in which the loan is repaid but ties up working capital. Individuals have managed to avoid these charges by repaying the loan shortly before the year end, before then taking out a new loan days later – so called ‘Bed and breakfasting’. The recent Budget has introduced a number of changes to target this, and a number of other areas of perceived tax avoidance. The tax charge will now be extended to fresh sums that are advanced to an individual within 30 days of a significant repayment, and instances where there are plans to make a fresh loan at the time of the repayment. There is, however, a welcome exemption to these rules where the repayment gives rise to an income tax charge. The use of a dividend or bonus to clear the overdrawn balance would therefore be exempt from these additional rules. These rules are also being extended to cover loans made from companies to partnerships in which a participator (broadly, a shareholder or loan creditor) is a member, and loans to the trustees of a settlement where the trustees or beneficiaries are participators. This legislation received Royal Assent on 17 July 2013 and applies to all loan repayments after 20 March 2013. HMRC recently issued a consultation document proposing a number of further changes to these rules; however any such changes would be likely to fall within the 2014 Finance Bill. Individuals wishing to know more should contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas on 02476 257481 or ps@sgduk.com/ dt@sgduk.com respectively.

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Events

Women must be their own best friend in business

Yolanda Morley-McKay (Halo FX), Sarah Davies (Shakespeare Hospice), Sandra Garlick (De Marco Solicitors)

Julie White (D-Drill), Deborah Donaldson (Link Group), Samantha McFadden (Code Angel), Shakila Holden (Touch FM)

Jacky Isaac (Ricoh Arena), Liz Cooper (Ricoh Arena), Paula Deas (LEP), Lisa Watts (Shakespeare Legal LLP)

Pictured (left to right): Jason Adams (general manager of The Arden Hotel), Judy Groves and Angela Tellyn

Women must become their own best friends rather than their own worst enemies and make time to share and celebrate their achievements. That was the message from Judy Groves, the marketing director for the Rigby Group, when she addressed the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business is Good for Women group. Around 40 businesswomen from across the region attended the event at the Arden Hotel in Stratford and, as well as networking, got the chance to hear from Judy, a seasoned marketeer and chair for the Women of the Year Awards. She said: “There is a tendency for women to underplay and undersell themselves. We have a natural modesty that holds us back and makes us hypercritical of what we do. “If someone pays us a compliment we spend the next half-an-hour explaining it away rather than just saying thank you and accepting it.

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Anna Porcherot (Neuromuscular Centre), Hania Knox (Stepnell Ltd), Katie Ryden (Barclays Bank), Laura Bielinski (Trinity Mirror), Sarah Davies (Shakespeare Hospice)

Colette White (Prime Accountants)

“That has to change. We need to celebrate our achievements and promote our success stories – not just for ourselves but as role models to inspire others to succeed. “There are many successful businesswomen out there and it’s vital that we shout about their achievements - not to mention pitfalls to avoid - and our own because that is what will encourage others. “You hear people say that there are few role models in business for women to aspire to – there are many but it’s like seeking out needles in a haystack!” The Chamber’s Business is Good for Women Group meets regularly throughout the year to discuss issues affecting women in business and to promote successes. Judy added: “We are currently taking nominations for Business Woman of the Year 2013. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for businesswomen to stand up and share their successes! “Please nominate yourself, or another businesswoman and let’s highlight and celebrate the success that’s really going on!” Angela Tellyn, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We were, once again, delighted with the great turn out from our businesswomen across the area. “It was great to welcome Judy Groves as our guest speaker. She delivered an amusing and inspirational speech which resonated with the whole audience.” For more information on Business is Good for Women, call the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on 024 7665 4321. To enter the Woman of the Year awards or to buy tickets for the event log onto www.womenoftheyear.uk.com or www.womenoftheyear.org.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Events

Coventry & Warwickshire in business sponsored column

The real worth of pensions

Hot stuff at networking event The Chamber staged a successful networking event at the King’s Head at Wellesbourne. The King’s Head is a Vintage Inn, part of Mitchells & Butlers plc, and, with it being a hot day, the attendees, more than 30 of them, moved out into the pub garden.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Brian King, Tax Partner at Dafferns LLP

It isn’t fair! We’re just retiring at the wrong time Many of us have spent years investing in our pensions. We’ve done the responsible thing, putting money aside and believing we were taking advantage of the tax breaks to try and secure a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, if we are now close to retirement, then unless we are lucky enough to be in a “final salary” pension scheme, we are likely to be punished because we just happen to be retiring at the wrong time. This is because (for most of us) the fund that we have built up will be used to buy an annuity designed to provide a guaranteed income for life. The annuity problem The problem is that annuity rates have steadily fallen over the last 20 years and now offer as little as 1/3 of the income they did in the early 1990s! In 1992 a 65 year old retiring with a pension fund after tax free cash of £50,000 would have enjoyed a pension of around £540 per month. Today someone retiring with the same fund could expect less than £200 per month. If you are retiring shortly, we can help If you are buying an annuity we can make sure you are obtaining the best rate available and we can show you the alternatives to buying an annuity with your fund. You should take advice! To meet for an informal discussion with a Dafferns tax partner and Dafferns Financial Services IFA, please contact Brian King at: brian.king@dafferns.com or tel: 024 7622 1046. Visit: www.dafferns.com

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News

Sir Peter to continue as head of LEP

Up, up and away for children Children at a Rugby primary school were blown away after they were paid a visit by a dragon-themed hot air balloon. Pupils at Dunchurch Boughton CofE Junior School in Dew Close were treated to the hot air balloon visit after freight firm Exact Logistics, also based in the town, organised the visit as part of the company’s fourth anniversary celebrations. The balloon is owned and operated by the palletised freight network Palletways UK and, as a member, Exact Logistics called in a favour to organise the visit to a local school in time to celebrate the firm’s anniversary. Pupils were able to ask questions about how hot air balloons work and the history of their use before heading outside to see one being inflated first-hand. Karen Shuter, of Exact Logistics, said: “We were delighted to be able to celebrate our fourth anniversary in such an unusual way. “The children were really excited to see the balloon and learn about how it worked and they were very enthusiastic about the whole visit. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support and help of other Coventry and Warwickshire businesses so we wanted to celebrate our anniversary in a way which would engage with and benefit the local community. “It’s not only the hot air balloon that has been inflating – so has our order book! The four-year milestone also coincided with our busiest ever week, so we are really extremely positive about the future.”

Sir Peter Rigby has agreed to extend his stay as chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The leading businessman was due to end his term as chair in September but has been asked by the board to stay on to oversee the area’s City Deal bid. The bid to Government has been designed to drive the economy by improving skills, innovation, productivity and jobs building on the area’s strength in engineering and manufacturing. Martin Yardley, Chief Executive of the LEP said: “Sir Peter has been very involved in the formulation and presentation of the City Deal bid to Government, and that process will now run until the end of the year. “The board felt that Sir Peter’s continued involvement was key to the success of the bid. He dedicates a great deal of time taking the LEP forward in all its key areas and it has made massive strides under his leadership.”

“Sir Peter has led the City Deal bid from its conception...” Karl Eddy, vice chairman of the LEP, said: “Sir Peter has led the City Deal bid from its conception through to this point and it is vital that he remains as chair during this process. He has done a great deal of work and spends an enormous amount of time helping us formulate our bid and present a compelling case to the relevant ministers and senior government officials. “I am delighted he is staying on for what will be an exciting period for the LEP and for Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Training day success for new Trelawny distributor Trelawny hosted a training day for its newly appointed UK distributor Fairport Construction Equipment. The day was started with a tour of the premises. The Fairport sales team then got to see the offices, warehousing and production lines, whilst meeting all of the Trelawny staff. They then went on to a training course which covered the entire range of Trelawny tools and machines. Area Sales Manager Glenn Chapman said: “We feel that these kinds of days are important for our customers as they give the opportunity to fully understand what it is that they will be selling. Once they have that firsthand experience, the game changes altogether in the market. I don’t believe in blind selling. The customer and the product must both be understood.” Fairport Sales Manager Steve Watkinson said: “The chance to get to know the guys and really get hands-on with the products is a great idea. If a customer has a query or a problem, it helps to have the knowledge and solutions for them straightaway, rather than having to get back to them later.”

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With Karen Shuter from Exact Logistics are pupils, l/r, Emily Cooper (11), Helen Warburton (11), Summer Dangerfield (10), Joel Rugman (10), Thomas Leader (11), Louise Shepherd (11).

“We were delighted to be able to celebrate our fourth anniversary in such an unusual way.”

Show to triple in size An engineering show specifically for designers is returning to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and tripling in size. The Engineering Design Show will this year occupy the entire 6,000 sqm of the Jaguar Exhibition Hall on Wednesday, October 2 and Thursday, October 3. This year’s event will also introduce the Electronics Design Show and Engineering Materials Live as around 200 exhibitors travel from across the UK to the Ricoh Arena. Conferences, workshops, seminars and exhibition stands are expected to attract over 2,500 visitors over the two days. Luke Webster, Sales Director from organiser Findlay Media, said the entire show is geared around design engineers since there had previously not been one centred on this specific sector. “We were extremely pleased with the response from exhibitors and visitors to the first Engineering Design Show in 2012 and there was no doubt that we needed to expand the exhibition this year,” he said. “We are hiring the entire Jaguar Exhibition Hall this year because we have increased the number of exhibitors from 80 last year to 200 this year which underlines the demand for this kind of show and we anticipate another sell-out event. “There will be workshops and exhibitors demonstrating cutting-edge technology and everything connected with engineering design under one roof.

“The conference will focus on a wide range of topical sessions from high-profile speakers connected with the industry. “The Engineering Design Show and Electronics Design Show will run 40 workshops providing practical demonstrations to showcase innovative products to allow engineers to understand how new technology can help them in their design projects. “The response to last year’s show was fantastic and we are confident this year will be even better. “The Ricoh Arena’s location is ideal and the fact the Midlands has such a strong manufacturing base is another plus since we are keen to attract the design teams from some of the key automotive OEMs to the show.” Chris Owen, Senior Events Manager at the Ricoh Arena, said the venue was gaining a reputation within the exhibition and conference industry of helping shows grow year-on-year at the venue. “Our flexible facilities mean we have the capacity for shows to expand without having the hassle of moving venue,” he said. “The Engineering Design Show is a perfect example of this and to be tripling in size underlines the demand from design engineers across the UK for this kind of event. “Last year there were around 1,600 visitors and that figure is expected to rise to over 2,500 in 2013.” Visitors can register for the Engineering Design Show for free by visiting www.engineeringdesignshow.co.uk

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

News

Company finds no barrier to success in awards Safetyflex Barriers has been shortlisted for the Innovation Award at this year’s National Business Awards. The leading manufacturer of highsecurity anti-terrorist bollards and barriers is part of the GME Springs group based in Coventry in the West Midlands Going up against finalists including Transport for London and Compass Group UK & Ireland they will compete for the prestigious award, with the winner being revealed at the National Business Awards gala dinner held on 12 November in London. Marcus Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have made it through to the final of the most prestigious business awards in the UK. “Innovation is at the forefront of every security product we design and produce to protect people and key infrastructure all over the UK and we are proud our achievements have been recognised by the judges.” Warwickshire-based Bright Assessing has been announced as a finalist in the Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year category of the National Business Awards. Bright Assessing is a leading online training provider, specialising in delivering Assessor, IQA and Teacher Training, through nationally-recognised qualifications nationwide. Stephen Dury, Managing Director of SME Markets at Santander Corporate &

Accolade for safety-conscious firm One of Coventry’s fastest growing automotive suppliers has received its third ‘Gold’ award in as many years from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Brose UK, a German family-owned automotive supplier of mechatronic systems and electric drives, was recognised for its dedication to workplace health and safety across its 11,000 sq metre facility on Colliery Lane in Exhall. David Rawlins, RoSPA’s Awards Manager, said: “Brose UK has shown that it is committed to striving for continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention and we are delighted to honour it through the presentation of an award.” Deborah Ritchie, Head of Human Resources, added: “We are very proud of our health and safety record and delighted to have achieved the Gold Standard again from RoSPA. This proves that our internal systems are operating to an extremely high standard and ensures working here is a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Pictured left to right: Rob Gerrard and Marcus Gerrard, directors at Safetyflex Barriers

Commercial and shortlist panel member, said: “Bright Assessing is committed to investing in the latest technologies and innovating the way they deliver training to give their trainees an edge. It is clear the team at Bright have established the foundations for continued success in this competitive market.” Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for a full list of all finalists and to book a table at the event.

Going for Gold: Ken Hinde, Alexandra Ecsy and Steve O’Shea (all Brose UK) with RoSPA Gold Award.

Accolade for refurbishment team

The successful team

A bungalow refurbishment scheme received a Highly Commended accolade in the 2013 (Local Authority Building Control) LABC East Midlands Building Excellence Awards The honour was announced in relation to the ‘Best Social/Affordable Housing Development’ category at the ceremony held in Nottingham. John Lester Partnership Limited of www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Lutterworth is employed as Contract Administrator by Boston Mayflower Ltd for refurbishment works being carried out on 69 prefabricated asbestos panel constructed bungalows. The project involves extensive asbestos removal and construction of new pitched roofs. Work started in April 2012 and is scheduled to be complete by August this year.

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International Trade sponsored column

If you are going to grow your business, go where business is growing For those who take a keen interest in overseas trade, they will know what I mean when I say the BRIC economies. This stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China – countries which have been seen for a few years as high growth markets, offering huge trade opportunities to businesses from Coventry and Warwickshire. The acronym has now been extended and we now talk about the BRICS. The additional ‘S’ stands for South Africa because it is emerging as the latest country to offer strong trade potential for firms. The latest figures from the British Chambers of Commerce and DHL suggest that more and more companies are seeing exporting as a way of growing their business and confidence in trading abroad is increasing. To increase our exports, as the Government is so keen for us to do, it means exploring markets such as South Africa rather than those countries that we may have seen as ‘traditional’ markets previously. In August, we are welcoming a market expert from South Africa to the Chamber and that event will open to any businesses wanting to find out more about the trade opportunities.

By Ajay Desai, of the UK Trade & Investment team at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Then, in October and November, we will be visiting Cape Town and Johannesburg with businesses from this region. There is already strong interest in the visit but places are available for those businesses who can see an opportunity to open trade links with South Africa. As I said above, the BRIC economies have been established as markets we should ‘go for’ for some time now and South Africa does represent a fresh opportunity, with many benefits. Firstly, there is no language barrier and that is always a positive – especially for those who might not be so experienced on the international trade scene. Secondly, their timezone is similar – therefore you don’t need to be making calls at 2am to try to sort out a business deal! Further to that, South Africa has opposite seasonal patterns to the UK so if your business is seasonal – it could be the perfect opportunity to make it work the whole year round. Finally, and this isn’t only true for South Africa but for most nations around the world, they have great respect for the UK and for British business. If a product is coming from the UK it is perceived to have great design and to be of high quality. They like the British values of fair play and integrity. So our advice to businesses is to get in touch and find out more about our event in August and then our trip in the autumn. Of course, when you speak to us, it may be that South Africa or the other BRICS are not for you but I know for a fact that there are international trade opportunities for the vast majority of companies across this area and we are here to help you make the most of them. There is international expertise and advice available free from international trade advisers from your local Chamber of Commerce as well as financial assistance for any market in the world. For more information on our South Africa event or market visit or, indeed, for any other international trade advice, give me a call on 07889 807476 or email ajayd@cw-chamber.co.uk

The game is on for forward-looking company A Coventry-base company has launched a series of innovations to develop international markets. Serious Games International (Game Science Group), based in Coventry Innovation Village at Coventry University Technology Park, uses video games, science and technology to create engagement and solve business problems. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to harness heavyweight games industry experience alongside academia to deliver the best in games based learning, simulations, avatars, data presentation and virtual worlds, adding value to a business and guaranteeing return on investment. The company has targeted Europe, US, Singapore and India with further markets including South Africa and Australia being identified.

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It took part in a UKTI Singapore event, which resulted in success with contracts from Singapore Airlines and United World College and the company is working with UKTI Washington on an event. Mick McLaughlin, of the company, said: “Working with UKTI has enabled us to significantly increase our markets and develop business on an international basis. “Their financial support alongside their business expertise and key contacts has been invaluable in ensuring that we can get in front of key audiences, promoting our innovative work and securing business to benefit the economy. “We are organising an event in India in September and we are hoping to collaborate with UKTI on this. We would also like to collaborate on new markets including Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.”

Exports are on the up Confidence surrounding overseas trade should provide a bounce for the economy, according to business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire. The British Chambers of Commerce and DHL have just produced their latest trade confidence index and it shows exporting activity is at its highest level since the recession began. It shows more firms are exporting – in both manufacturing and service sectors – and that confidence among the 1,700 respondents surrounding future exports and turnover is on the rise. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said this region had grasped the nettle when it comes to overseas trade. She said: “Here in Coventry and Warwickshire, the Chamber has been working extremely hard over many years to promote the benefits of exporting and, through our international trade team, have provided support for those trading abroad. “Last year, we embarked upon an ‘Exporting is Good for Coventry and Warwickshire’ campaign, which further highlighted the need to sell our goods and services overseas. “We have a range of companies across the region doing business right across the globe and we undertake a range of overseas visits and missions in order to strengthen contacts and foster even more business opportunities. “The latest index from the BCC and DHL is very encouraging and shows that the message is certainly getting out there with regards to companies trading globally. “But it’s vital that we all continue to raise awareness of the benefits of overseas trade and, in this patch, highlight the support available from the UKTI team based here at the Chamber.” For more information on exporting call 024 7665 4321.

Companies offered export support Exporters in Coventry & Warwickshire are being encouraged to grow their export business with new assistance from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). Under UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth programme companies can receive support from an experienced International Trade Adviser to help them take their exports to new countries or expand in existing markets. Companies joining the scheme will develop an export action plan and receive support to access international trade training for staff as well as financial assistance toward relevant international trade development work. The scheme is targeted at exporters with 2-10 years of experience and ideally those who have a specific export project or goal in mind, e.g. developing sales in a specific market or region. To find out more contact Mick Page of the Coventry & Warwickshire International Trade Team at mickp@cw-chamber.co.uk or ring 02476 654321 and ask to speak with a member of the international trade team www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Policy

Chamber leads bid to capture South African business A delegation of businesses from the UK, lead by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, will be attempting to tap into lucrative markets in South Africa in October. The trade mission to Johannesburg and Cape Town on behalf of UKTI, will examine opportunities across many areas with key agencies and businesses. Ajay Desai, who will be leading the mission for the Chamber, said: “South Africa is a sophisticated and promising market, offering a combination of welldeveloped First World economic infrastructure with a vibrant emerging market economy. “Since the current government came to power in 1994 the country has made tremendous strides towards becoming a major contributor in international markets. “South Africa has an abundance of natural resources, a well-developed banking system, good infrastructure with major capital injections to upgrade this further, a reasonable tax structure, a business culture that is not too dissimilar to that of the UK, with a time difference of only one or two hours, a fairly stable political climate, a stock exchange ranked among the top 20 in the world, and is the gateway to other African markets.” Mr Desai said delegates would be given help in arranging meetings with key contacts. He added: “There will be excellent networking opportunities through the support of the British Embassy and local SMEs.” The delegation leaves the UK for Johannesburg on Sunday, October 27, returning to Birmingham on Friday, November 1, or on a date to suit individual companies. Businesses can find out more about these opportunities at a Meet the Expert event at Chamber House on Friday 30th August. Melissa Else from the UKTI South Africa office will give an overview of the opportunities and challenges facing UK companies in this market and will available for 20 minute individual consultations. The trip is open to all sectors and financial assistance towards the cost of travel is available for eligible small and medium sized businesses. For further details contact Ajay Desai on 07889807476 email ajayd@cw-chamber.co.uk or Gemma Basterfield on 02476 654186 or email gemmab@cw-chamber.co.uk

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Recovery is underway A major industry barometer for the region has underlined the fact that a steady business recovery is underway. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has just completed its Quarterly Economic Survey for the second quarter of 2013. The survey is used to feed into statistics from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and acts as a measure for how the economy is performing. The BCC’s overall figures have just been released and show some momentum for the economic recovery but are yet to reach pre-recession levels. And in the latest survey locally, 56 per cent of manufacturers were expecting turnover to rise in the next 12 months and 41 per cent of manufacturers across Coventry and Warwickshire are forecasting a rise in domestic orders in the next three months. When it comes to overseas advanced orders, 56 per cent of manufacturing firms say they are up. In the service sector, the mood is very similar to three months ago with 68 per cent predicting a rise in turnover with advance orders both at home and abroad are up slightly. On the home front, 48 per cent of service sector firms said advance sales were up and 72 per cent of companies said

“Overall, the figures for the last three quarters have been positive ... we are slowly starting to see some momentum behind the recovery.”

overseas orders were up. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “If you compare quarter two with quarter one figures, then there is a small reduction in confidence in some areas but we believe that is just a slight rebalancing because the figures for the first quarter were very good. “Overall, the figures for the last three quarters have been positive and like the national survey, shows that we are slowly starting to see some momentum behind the recovery. “But it will take more time, more effort and further policy to make it easier for businesses to grow and take on new staff, particularly in the manufacturing sector. “That is what our manufacturing and engineering network is all about and that is why we have linked so closely with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) to ensure every company across this patch can access the very best support and advice to help them grow. “The Chamber also continues to offer a range of support to companies in the service sector to ensure that firms across our patch are given all the help they need to help make this a long-term recovery for our economy.” More than a third of respondents said that they had increased the number of employees (34 per cent) over the last three months and that a third of respondents (35 per cent) were anticipating recruiting more staff over the summer. Skills are still seen as a major issue in recruiting staff. Investment intentions in manufacturing have also risen sharply though much will depend on how the wider economy develops over the next year.

New governor makes a welcome start Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have welcomed Mark Carney’s steady start as governor of the Bank of England. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has kept interest rates at 0.5 per cent and has maintained quantitative easing at £375bn in its first meeting since Carney took charge. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce said the decision was widely anticipated. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “Few commentators believed that Mark Carney would come in and start adjusting interest rates and quantitative easing in his first week in his new job. “There is no magic wand which can be waved to transform the economy and a policy of steady but surely is important to lead the country out of the recession. “Here in Coventry and Warwickshire, we provide business support and advice as well as assist businesses by identifying and sourcing the kind of financial support which is right for their company. “But the major funding which is often needed can only be achieved by ensuring there is a clear pathway to access finance and for that to happen we need the support of banks and financial institutions.”

“Few commentators believed that Mark Carney would come in and start adjusting interest rates...”

Show of support on red tape reduction Small firms across Coventry and Warwickshire will show support to new measures that cut red tape. A new Small and Micro Business Assessment, which has been announced by Michael Fallon, highlights the burden of regulation on companies. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has been working with the FSB as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP’s SME Group to help tackle the issue. The group recently met a group of regulators to look at ways of cutting red tape for firms. Bodies including The Environment Agency, HMRC, The Health and Safety Executive, and Trading Standards met with

the SME Group to establish a way forward for cutting the burden. Three areas of improvement have been identified and they will be relayed to businesses through regular meetings held by the LEP, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the FSB. Angela Tellyn, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “More than 80 per cent of the companies surveyed recently perceived regulation as a barrier to their growth while more than half said they would like regulators to be more supportive and concentrate on rogue businesses rather than compliant ones. “It was clear from the workshop that a range of activities and initiatives were

already been undertaken by both local and national regulators, but that there was a lack of awareness and understanding of this support in the business community. “There has been some natural duplication of marketing and awareness activity through events and newsletters; and were therefore all targeting the same ‘customer’ but with a different message – this in itself was causing confusion for businesses.” Linsey Luke, of the FSB, said: “The SME Group work is really trying to tackle head on those issues affecting small and medium-sized businesses. “This latest announcement from Government is further example that the message is getting across that red tape is harming business.”

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CWT

Unleash the potential in your staff and see your business benefit Paul Rowlands, Warwickshire Police enquiry officer and Community Paramedic

Apprentices gain valuable business insights Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management Graduation Day on 10 July 2013

Act now… CWT Chamber Training are enrolling on the Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management, starting in September. A Foundation Degree is an ideal way of ensuring key staff have the relevant skills to make a difference. With demands on your business ever increasing, the need for staff to perform effectively in the workplace, contribute ideas and seek the opportunity for improvement is crucial to keep you ahead of the competition. A Foundation Degree is a highly flexible way of building the skills, knowledge and confidence of individuals with proven results. It brings together higher education and employment, being highly work relevant and practically applied. With minimum disruption and time away from the workplace, a Foundation Degree combines the best of both worlds – acquiring new knowledge and putting it into practice. It is a great way of bringing fresh ideas and innovation into the workplace.

So how will a Foundation Degree benefit your business? A motivated workforce, individuals with enthusiasm, challenged to make a difference… these are just some of the benefits you will see. Whatever your industry background, a Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management will inspire and motivate. Our results are proven, with a long line of individuals who have studied with CWT Chamber Training progressing in their careers and making a real difference in their jobs. According to Emma Lawrence, DSA Design, “I now have a lot more commercial understanding; I’ve had many light bulb moments during my Foundation Degree in Leadership and Management. Working with a group of likeminded managers has enabled me to hone my skills”. For more information please contact Christine Giles on 024 76231122 or by emailing giles.c@cwtcov.co.uk.

Emma Lawrence, DSA Design

Apprentices Inspired by Jan’s Journey

Jan Ryan, Operations Director at CWT Chamber Training

CWT Chamber Training Operations Director, Jan Ryan, recently inspired Apprentices at the Hair Academy based in Radford, Coventry, with the story of her own career journey, which started out as a Hairdressing junior! Jan described how she started off her career in hairdressing, how important training has been to her success and what

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steps young people can take to progress their careers and improve their earning potential. The Apprentices heard how Jan started her own business as a 19 year old hairdresser, investing in a business and building it into a thriving small enterprise. They discussed the advantages of selfemployment and received some inspirational insights into running a business. Jan clearly demonstrated the value of good training and where that can take you. She inspired the young Apprentices to see a pathway where they too could own their own business and develop their skills to a high level. With the right awareness, aspiration and ambition, the Apprentices heard about the opportunities that lie ahead of them. Talks by employers, like Jan, to Apprentices are part of CWT Chamber Training’s commitment to making training relevant and in tune with what employers

value and look for in their workforce. CWT Chamber Training involve employers in the design and delivery of their Apprenticeships reflecting the partnership approach they have which make Apprenticeships into real success stories for employers. Jan showed how important it is for Apprentices to continually update their skills and consider the opportunities that are out there for them, whatever their starting point. CWT Chamber Training’s Apprenticeships are amongst the top successes in the country. In 2012, 93% of Apprentices achieved, taking CWT Chamber Training to within the top 3% of Apprenticeship providers in England. Find out how you can get involved with CWT Chamber Training’s Apprenticeship success story. Talk to the CWT Chamber Training Recruitment Team by calling 024 7623 1122 to find out how you can attract fresh, new talent to your organisation.

At CWT Chamber Training, Apprentices gain a range of highly valuable wider business skills – allowing them to add even more value to the organisation and succeed in their roles. The Business Administration Apprentices were recently visited by Paul Rowlands, a Warwickshire Police enquiry officer and Community Paramedic. Paul delivered an interactive session to the group, talking about his many experiences as a Community Paramedic. Paul also brought some examples of his equipment to the session to demonstrate to the Apprentices, discussing how the equipment is used to save lives. Paul explained the basic principles of first aid training – a valuable asset for any employee. Paul’s experience demonstrated to our Apprentices how important skills are to the success of any individual and how the training he has completed has got him to the position held today. Apprenticeships deliver skills and knowledge designed around your business needs, providing the expertise you need for the future and helping to improve productivity and competitiveness with a positive impact on the bottom line. Employers who take on Apprentices through CWT Chamber Training are introduced to a world of fresh new talent, eager to achieve and build a career that takes them into the future. Evidence demonstrates Apprenticeships deliver for businesses and help them grow by: • Reducing training and recruitment costs • Increasing productivity and your bottom line • Developing a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce • Improving customer service results • Providing financial return on investment If your organisation would like to benefit from an Apprentice, speak to our recruitment team today by calling 024 7623 1122 or email enquiries@cwtcov.co.uk.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Business Support Accolade for council and Chamber at awards ceremony

New company emerged from experience as a carer

Coventry City Council and its partner Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce received an award for the Best Small Business Friendly Programme or Campaign in the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Local Authority Awards. The award was for the Enterprise and Business Growth Package, a programme delivered in partnership by Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council. At the Federation’s annual Small Business Engagement lunch, Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment accepted the award on behalf of the council. The awards provided an opportunity for all councils in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull to showcase any project or initiative that promotes and champions local economic development. Ian O’Donnell, FSB Warwickshire and Coventry Chairman, said: “Coventry City Council’s application highlighted just how a targeted, effective and locally delivered initiative can offer real value to local businesses. “Access to finance is always at the top of the list of barriers faced by small firms and the city council identified how they had utilised European funding to offer the business community start-up, growth and efficiency support, as well as access to finance though their Enterprise and Business Growth package. The scheme has already created 130 new businesses, 135 new jobs and improved in the performance of 160 small businesses by helping them develop new products, improve productivity, and access new markets.”

A Warwickshire woman has been inspired to set up her own business after leaving her job to become a full-time carer for her mother. Dr Theresa Street launched STWise Technology & Science, which offers technical science editing and documentation services, antibody technology consultation and business services after receiving advice and support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. She has spent the last 17 years working in scientific research and industry and her roles include everything from postdoctoral research, new product development, to laboratory manager of the Monoclonal Antibody Service at Cancer Research. She gave up her last job as a senior research and development scientist so that she could devote more time to caring for her mother who suffered from a stroke in 2012. In the early stages, her new venture will be predominantly a digital business at www.stwise-ts.com, but Theresa hopes to eventually open a wet lab for contract research. She had already been considering setting up her own science, editing and consulting business but didn’t know where to start. After finding out about the Chamber’s start-up programme, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and local councils, she attended two one-day courses. She was assigned to business mentor, Margaret Bull, who was on hand to offer expert one-to-one advice and training on how to build and establish a new business.

Theresa said: “I wanted to have more freedom in how I worked so that I could continue to care for my mother. I decided that setting up my own business would allow me to utilise my strengths while simultaneously giving me the flexibility to work when I wanted. “I have always enjoyed teaching and passing on my skills to others and I already had experience with editing and creating documents. “The workshops helped me to gain the confidence I needed to go forward and develop my business idea. I was provided with great business networking contacts and I was also able to acquire the information and skills I felt I lacked. “My mentor, Margaret, was terrific. She provided me with great support and helped me to focus on what I needed to do to market my business. “I have now joined the Chamber under her recommendation and I am very pleased with the networking and business support services that have been offered.” Margaret Bull, business advisor at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am so pleased for Theresa. She came to us with a great idea and a lot of experience in the sector. It was really a case of focusing on the right marketing strategies as well as taking full advantage of networking opportunities in order to further develop the business. “Setting up your own business can be extremely beneficial if you require flexible hours, particularly if you are able to manage the business online. Theresa is now able to run a successful business as well as devoting time to care for her mother at home.”

“I was delighted to accept this award which endorses our work to support small businesses in the city.” Cllr Kelly, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment said: “I was delighted to accept this award which endorses our work to support small businesses in the city. We have a fantastic track record of supporting new and small businesses and we recognise their value in the city - both to the economy and in job retention and creation. “We have some really innovative companies working in our city and all many of them need is a small helping hand to secure their future and the future of the people they employ. We were successful in securing over £3.5 million from European Regional Development Fund and we have put it to good use - providing access to finance - one of the biggest barriers to small business growth.” Through the programme Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce delivers support and advice to those businesses which have growth potential. This includes 1:1 support and advice with marketing, business planning/ diversification, financial management and access to finance and grants. If you would like any more information on the programme, please e-mail supportforyourbusiness@cwchamber.co.uk or call 02476 654321. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Theresa Street, left and Margaret Bull

Support scheme is on the up Coventry and Warwickshire Aerospace Forum has continued major manufacturing growth for third successive year Formed in 2008 with ten original companies specialising in the aerospace industry, the Coventry and Warwickshire Aerospace Forum (CWAF) has recently taken on three new members - Bodycote (Coventry) Ltd, JJ Churchill and Harris RMS. The forum and was set up by the Council to support job creation and business opportunities in the aerospace sector. The cluster now boasts a turnover in excess of

£100m and saw turnover grow by 15% last year. 2013 is expected to see growth of over £20m, with the possibility of creating 50 new jobs. Notable achievements within the cluster include JJ Churchill’s completion of its new 38,000 sq ft aerospace facility in Mexico, Powerkut’s relocation to a new larger facility in Bayton Road and ten of the thirteen firms now operating extra shifts to accommodate growth. The CWAF is believed to be the most mature aerospace cluster in the Midlands and it also works to promote and share best practice in the sector.

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Legal & Finance

Law firm does its bit for charity A Midlands law firm is doing its bit to help staff support good causes close to their hearts. Leamington Spa solicitors Wright Hassall established its charitable trust two years ago in order to bring together the staff’s various fundraising efforts and maximise their contributions to charity. In that time, £3,500 has been donated to a range of local and national causes including, most recently, £1,000 to the Alan Morement Memorial Fund and £500 to Macmillan Cancer Support. Wright Hassall’s staff undertake various fundraising activities from quizzes to tea parties to raise money for a range of charities. The charitable trust then considers nominated causes from staff before meeting to distribute the money in the most effective way. The Alan Morement Memorial Fund (AMMF) is the UK’s only dedicated cholangiocarcinoma (CC) charity and was put forward by paralegal Marcella Smith, who lost her husband to the disease. Ryan McNally wanted to support Macmillan Cancer after his friend’s mother died from cancer three years ago and the firm donated £500 to the annual golf day in her honour. Rebecca Mushing, chair of Wright Hassall’s charitable trust, said: “We are constantly impressed by the efforts that our staff go to in order to do their bit for those less fortunate. “We had so much going on that we felt we could increase the impact of this great work by co-ordinating it through a charitable trust. “This has really helped us to make the most of the money raised and keep track of what is being done and the effect it is having. “We would like to congratulate Marcella and Ryan on their efforts and hope we can continue to contribute in such a major way.”

Shakespeares adds to team

Denise Sexton

Shakespeares, the second largest law firm in the Midlands, has strengthened its Stratford-upon-Avon office with the hire of property partner Denise Sexton. Denise is a leading property specialist and was previously a partner in the real estate practice of Field Fisher Waterhouse in London, specialising in investment, occupier and development work. Her expertise includes advising on acquisitions, disposals and the development and on-going management of individual properties and property portfolios. She also has extensive experience in advising clients on development agreements and joint venture arrangements.

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Pictured left to right: Rebecca Mushing, Marcella Smith and Charles McKenzie, from Wright Hassall

Understanding the implications of rail route move The Government has announced that the route for phase one of HS2, London to Birmingham, has been ‘safeguarded’ following the news that the cost has increased by nearly £10bn to an overall cost of £42.6bn and rising. So, what does safeguarding mean for businesses and homeowners adjacent to the proposed route? According to Paul Rice, partner of Leamington Spa law firm Wright Hassall. who provides legal advice to farmers, rural business owners, equestrian property owners and landowners on buying, selling and leasing farm, safeguarding is the process of protecting the proposed route from development. Under the Safeguarding Directions issued to all Councils along the route, HS2 Limited is now a compulsory consultee for all future planning applications within the safeguarded zone which extends 60 metres in each direction from the proposed route. Any new application within the safeguarded zone will have to be approved

by HS2 as well as local planners. The safeguarded route can be viewed at: http://www.hs2.org.uk/safeguarding The effects of safeguarding are twofold: The preferred route is sterilised, prohibiting or substantially limiting future development The residents within the safeguarded zone gain access to Blight Notices Limits on future development Safeguarding means that local planning authorities can only issue planning permission in accordance with HS2 Limited’s recommendations. Development will not necessarily be prohibited, but it is likely that any major projects in the area will be refused or severely restricted. This means that whilst household extensions may still be granted, new housing developments and commercial projects are unlikely to receive approval. Blight notices Safeguarding triggers what is termed a ‘statutory blight’ whereby qualifying property owners can serve a notice upon

the Government requiring them to purchase their property. Blight notices are designed to avoid the uncertainty associated with compulsory purchase orders. The Government has announced that properties within 60 metres either side of the route will qualify for purchase at full value, plus a 10% home loss payment (with a cap of £47,000) and a payment toward reasonable moving costs. In rural areas only, homes within 120 metres of the proposed line may take advantage of a similar scheme referred to as the ‘Voluntary Purchase Zone’. Land owners in these areas may qualify for property purchase but will not qualify for a home loss payment or a payment toward reasonable moving costs. In order to qualify you must be a residential owner occupier, an owner occupier of a small business premises (with a rateable value of up to £34,800) or owner occupiers of agricultural units.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Legal & Finance HSBC strengthens management team

Andrew Franklin

HSBC has appointed Andrew Franklin to the role of Area Commercial Director for Coventry and Warwickshire. Andrew will be based at HSBC’s Commercial Centre in Coventry and focus on supporting businesses with a turnover of between £500,000 and £30 million. He moves to his new role from a Senior International Commercial Manager position with HSBC in Northampton. Andrew said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is a key area for HSBC and we have been expanding our team over the past year to meet the needs of businesses in the region.” Roy Harris, HSBC’s Midlands Regional Commercial Director, said “It is important that we are able to invest even more time talking to our customers so we can better understand their business, the issues they face and their ambitions, and appointments such as Andrew’s enable us to do that.” The Coventry and Warwickshire team consists of seven Commercial Managers, two of whom are focused solely on supporting customers that trade, or plan to trade, internationally. HSBC has also appointed Simon Cartwright as Senior International Commercial Manager to support customers that trade overseas. He joins the bank from Natwest, where he spent 22 years, the last 11 of which were with the Commercial Banking team in Oxfordshire.

Significant client milestone for law firm Regional law firm Brethertons LLP has announced the engagement of its 100,000th client instruction. The cause for celebration came as the firm’s Conveyancing department issued a case reference number of 100,000 to a new property client, Hedley Phillips of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The champagne presentation to Mr Phillips took place at Brethertons’ Banbury office where the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Dibben and Heads of Department gathered to see him receive a magnum of champagne. At a time of economic uncertainty when many law firms are down-sizing rather than up-sizing, Brethertons LLP continues to grow. In the past year the firm has appointed seven new partners, set up two new practice areas and opened an office in the town of Bicester, to complement its Banbury, Rugby and London operations. Michael Dibben saids, “Celebrating a success milestone is important for any business. Just as important is the involvement of clients and staff in that success so welcoming Mr Phillips as our 100,000th client to our Banbury office to meet the team has been an absolute pleasure.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk

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More funding to help the high street Towns across Warwickshire are celebrating after obtaining county council funding for schemes aimed at getting more people back into the high street. Warwickshire County Council’s successful Operation Footfall scheme has also announced an extra £100,000 funding pot to help town centre business initiatives. Operation Footfall was launched in February as a key part of the county council’s Going for Growth agenda, and it aims to provide funding and support for town centre business groups to lead on and develop projects which encourage more people to shop and eat in the Warwickshire’s town centres. A further round of grants have been awarded to the following projects: • Nuneaton and Bedworth Citizens Advice Bureau, £5,000 for a community newspaper; • Love Coleshill Victorian Week and Small Business Saturday £7,750 • Visit Alcester new events programme £7,350 • Love Leamington, a month-long visitor programme during quieter months £8,550 • ‘How To Create Your Own Footfall’, a training programme for independent retailers in Rugby £8,000. Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council Cllr Alan Cockburn said: “We are pleased to announce that we have earmarked an additional £100,000 for Operation Footfall to continue our work in helping the local economy through local businesses. “The project has been a countywide success and we have been astounded at the positive response of the business groups and their creative proposals to increases footfall in town centres. “As well as supporting many thousands of jobs, town centres are also important hubs for our communities and we will do what we can to support their continued viability. We look forward to seeing even more town centre successes when these new schemes come to fruition.” Groups can continue to bid for some of the £500,000 pot, with the next deadline on September 1. More information can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/operatio nfootfall or follow the news on Twitter @OpFootfall

“The project has been a countywide success...”

Directors Cycling lesson warned about taking early dividends Company directors who take a proportion of their salaries as dividends could be building up a significant liability if things do not go according to plan, Coventry insolvency experts Cranfield Business Recovery have warned. It is common practice for accountants and financial advisers to recommend to owner directors of companies that they take a minimum salary and the rest of their annual remuneration as dividends, which are posted to the directors’ loan account. Dividends can only be declared out of retained profits and, while the business is doing well, it saves money on the PAYE and National Insurance bills, and is acceptable and legal practice. However, Cranfield is warning directors that problems can arise if the business starts to struggle and the directors’ loan account becomes overdrawn. This typically happens when a company enters an insolvency process, with directors being personally liable for any outstanding debts showing on directors’ loan accounts. If profitability is in question, the answer, according to Cranfield, is to incur the extra PAYE income tax and National Insurance by drawing a full salary rather than build up an overdrawn director’s loan account which may not get repaid via dividends at the end of the year. Profitability is one of the key indicators of whether a company is about to hit troubled times. Towards the start of this year the insolvency body R3 stated that 37% of small businesses were experiencing decreased profits, and almost a quarter of small firms were regularly using their maximum overdraft. These worrying statistics suggest that many business owners could be liable to repay their overdrawn director’s loan accounts when profits do not achieve expectations and dividends cannot be declared. Tony Mitchell, managing director of Cranfield Business Recovery, said: “During uncertain times, my advice to all owner directors is that if there is any doubt at all about the solvency or profitability of your company, consider very carefully whether the savings that can be made in PAYE Income Tax and National Insurance contributions are worth the risk of having to repay an overdrawn director’s loan account.” Cranfield states that other factors indicating a company may be struggling include cash flow pressures and staffing pressures as a result of pay cuts and freezes or redundancies creating discontent within the workforce, which can ultimately affect the viability of a business. Tony said: “Similarly, accountants and financial advisers should review all their clients’ arrangements, where directors receive minimum salaries and take drawings in anticipation of future dividends. They need to evaluate the solvency of client companies and where necessary advise clients to pay additional PAYE Income Tax and National Insurance, even if this incurs more costs for the business. In the long run, this might actually work out as a better option for directors.”

The Prime Cycling Team

Prime Accountants Group are currently halfway through their challenge to cycle to all 63 Olympic gold postboxes in a bid to raise over £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, that’s over 3,600 miles! In order to achieve this, a team of 18 riders (plus a few guests) are tackling 25 different routes, which generates not only a physical but a logistic challenge. Director, Morgan Davies discusses how this challenge has an under-lying business message… 1. Think big, if you do the same as you have always done without success, then change is required. 2. Break down big challenges into smaller pieces, sharing the responsibilities. Your team will have different skills, so use these to their full potential, if you try and do everything yourself you may end up thinking it’s too big a task and give up... (If you don’t have a team see point 4 below). 3. Planning, this is massive, we have to plan the routes, support, dates, fundraising etc, worryingly most business do not have a proper plan, they just act reactively instead of proactively. We see loads of businesses and without doubt the ones that are most successful have thought about their business and planned how to operate and where their future objectives are. 4. Get help from the experts, we are doing this to raise money for Macmillan, it will be pretty rubbish if we do all this hard work and don’t raise more money than usual. Therefore we have asked our wonderful neighbours NC Creative, to help with the marketing. They have experience and skills that we don’t and outsourcing leaves us more time to focus on the challenge itself. 5. Motivate your team. If your team are great then your business is great. Motivation does not have to be purely financial based, or even about the day job. Our team are buzzing about this and that makes the office a better place to be. Prime Accountants Group are a group of accountants and business advisers, if you would like to know more, visit our website at www.primeaccountants.co.uk. If you would like to know more about our Gold Postbox Cycle Challenge, visit www.goldpostboxcyclechallenge.co.uk

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News

Superfast Surprise, surprise for Tara broadband project is launched An £14.57 million project to transform broadband speeds for homes and businesses across Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire has been announced. CSW Broadband, a partnership of eight local authorities led by Warwickshire County Council, has agreed a deal with BT to help deliver superfast fibre broadband to around 91 per cent of premises by Spring 2016. The deal was celebrated at a launch event at Warwick’s historic Lord Leycester Hospital that was attended by many of the Local Broadband Champions who have helped the project, together with exservicemen who reside at the facility. The project will build on BT’s on-going commercial investment in fibre across the area, which has already pledged to bring faster fibre broadband to more than 1.7 million homes and businesses across the counties of the West Midlands by the end of Spring 2014 as part of its UK-wide £2.5 billion programme. As a result of the new partnership around a further 40,000 premises should have access to broadband speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of the project. On completion of the rollout, the aim is for all premises within Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire to receive a minimum of 2Mbps but with a vast majority achieving higher speeds well in excess of this. The project will transform broadband speeds across the partnership areas narrowing the bandwidth gap between urban and rural areas. According to Ofcom, Warwickshire’s average downstream speed is currently around 12Mbps whilst approximately 13 per cent of the population receive less than 2Mbps. BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The company is contributing £5.67m towards fibre deployment in “noncommercial” areas whilst the CSW Broadband Project is contributing £4.45 £3m from Warwickshire and the balance coming from other local authorities - with a further £4.45m coming from BDUK funds. Openreach, BT’s local network division, will now begin the work on the ground with engineers surveying locations around the county and analysing the best way to roll out the network across the county. Following initial planning and survey, the CSW Broadband Project should be in a position to connect the first premises in early 2014. Speaking on behalf of CSW Broadband, Warwickshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Alan Cockburn, said: “Good broadband connections are essential to modern life, whether for work, leisure or learning. Our rural businesses need broadband to be able to compete in today’s increasingly global environment, and in a rural area like Warwickshire travelling can often be difficult, so that being able to work or learn from home can make a real difference to the quality of peoples’ lives.”

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A school’s Golden Jubilee celebrations had the best possible start when a teacher won £1,000 for it in a competition. Maths teacher Tara Carter was taken by surprise when Free Radio’s evening presenter Adam Wilbourn arrived at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Wychall Lane, Kings Norton. Tara was presented with an award and certificate from Coventry-based training provider PET- Xi, who organised the competition on Free Radio to find out Birmingham’s favourite teacher, as well as a cheque for £1,000. The school is consulting with the students through their Junior Leadership Team to decide how the money will be spent. She was nominated by year 11 student Charlotte Flynn, who is going to spend part of her £250 prize money on an iPhone, and Tara won the online competition after the school’s pupils were galvanised by maths teachers Katie Meally and Nadine Elliman to amass 597 votes. Tara, whose children Milly (aged 12) and Daisy (13) attend St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School where she was also a pupil, said: “I didn’t find out I had been nominated until I was in the final three and I am really grateful to all the students for taking the time to vote.”

Pictured from the left, Aaron Abbott (PET-Xi), Chris Bryniarski (PET-Xi), Adam Wilbourn (Free Radio) and Tara Carter (St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School).

Chris Bryniarski, marketing executive at PET-Xi which runs GCSE and GCSE equivalent courses through intensive programmes across the region, said both teachers had been caught by surprise. “It was fantastic to see their reaction and this has been a competition which has really caught the imagination of students

across Birmingham,” he said. “We work with teachers’ day in day out and we see the tremendous effort they put in to help young people succeed. Our competition was all about highlighting this commitment and celebrating both their success and how much they are appreciated.”

It’s all Cushty Coventry University top in the at Mask-arade! Midlands for student support Party mask makers Mask-arade is celebrating its fifth anniversary by opening a new Distribution Centre next to the head offices in Southam, Warwickshire.

The Mask-arade team prepare for their big event.

Nelson Mandela House will be officially opened by John Challis (aka Boycie) of Only Fools & Horses fame on 28th September at 2.00pm. After securing the license to produce official merchandise for the top BBC TV sitcom, the whole event will take on an Only Fools & Horses theme. Everyone is invited to what promises to be a fantastic afternoon for all the family, Director Ray Duffy said: “Del Boy cocktails will be served from the Nags Head bar, we will have the Trotters yellow three wheeler there and John Challis will be signing copies of his fantastic books. You will also be able to purchase Mask-arade products at a special discounted rate.” The range of ‘triffic’ masks depicting Del Boy, Rodney, Uncle Albert, Boycie and Marlene have become best sellers everywhere from Southam to Peckham!

Coventry University has been ranked the top university in the Midlands for its work supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure they achieve success in employment or further study. Figures from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) – the independent body established to promote fair access to higher education – show that Coventry spends 10.8% of its tuition fee income on work to support its students through their courses and onto employment, which is more than twice the national average. Coventry University’s expenditure in this area, which includes dedicated support centres and activities such as induction programmes and student mentoring, also puts it in the top 10 nationally. The University has previously won acclaim for its pioneering work establishing a maths centre on campus, which offers support seven days a week to

students on any course who need help with any aspect of numeracy. The centre receives 6,000 visits from students each year, and in 2011 it was awarded the prestigious Times Higher Education accolade for ‘Outstanding Support for Students’ in conjunction with Loughborough University. Vice-chancellor Professor Madeleine Atkins said: “Universities are investing a great deal to improve access to higher education and support students from disadvantaged communities, so it is particularly pleasing to see that Coventry University’s excellent work in this area is being recognised.”

Racing for life Members of staff from Wallace Robinson & Morgan Solicitors took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life on Sunday 23rd June. The Solihull event began in Malvern Park and ended in Mell Square. The law firm’s all female team enjoyed the carnival atmosphere and appreciated all the encouragement from local people who cheered the participants all along the 5K course. The ladies were all pleased to complete the course in a respectable time and have had tremendous support from friends, family and colleagues in helping them exceed their fund-raising target of £500. Race for Life is the UK’s biggest fight against cancer and the largest womenonly fundraising event in the UK.

With their medals - Marta Fisher, Valerie Warner, Maureen Thompson, Rebecca Maher, Sophie Murtough, Helen Gamble, Heidi Ryder, Kathryn Ferris,

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

News

Academy wins backing in attempt to bridge skills gap One of the region’s leading business organisations is backing a new academy for young engineers which will open in Coventry next year. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) formally endorsed and supported the WMG Academy for Young Engineers at its board meeting. The academy, which is being built in Mitchell Avenue, Canley, will cater for 640 students from years 10 to 13 from September 2014 and is being supported by business partners Jaguar Land Rover, Prodrive, SCC, National Grid, Tata Motors, Squires Gears & Engineering, Automotive Insulations, Bosch, Dassault Systèmes and the University of Warwick. Sir Peter Rigby, chairman of the CWLEP, said: “We have identified the skills gap in the engineering sector in Coventry and Warwickshire as part of our City Deal bid and the WMG Academy for Young Engineers is a positive step in providing young people with the technical and employability skills that companies need.

“The academy will focus on encouraging young people to learn to problem solve, show leadership, creativity, teamwork, communication and design skills as well as their entrepreneurial spirit. “These are all vital attributes which are needed to ensure automotive, manufacturing and engineering companies thrive in the future for Coventry and Warwickshire to maintain its reputation as a world-class leader in these sectors. “The CWLEP is focused on improving skills, innovation, productivity and jobs, and the academy is a step forward in narrowing the gap to provide employers with the workforce they need to take the engineering, manufacturing and automotive fields forward in Coventry and Warwickshire in future decades.” Dr Richard Hutchins, director of the WMG Academy and board member of the CWLEP, said employer involvement was paramount which was why the backing of the CWLEP was crucial. He said: “With the help of the CWLEP, we will be able to promote the academy to

Kop darling Kevin scores for Lodders

University’s efforts to encourage cultural harmony recognised in city awards

The latest Stratford Sporting Dinner, sponsored by law firm Lodders, raised £4,320 for the Heart of England Community Foundation, including a generous donation from Geoffrey Parker Bourne of £2,000.

Coventry University has received official recognition for the role that it plays in helping to promote the city as a culturally harmonious place.

Former England and Liverpool footballer Kevin Keegan was the star attraction. An audience of 300 at the Holiday Inn in Stratford-upon-Avon were thrilled with his reminiscences and anecdotes. Keegan, a two time European Footballer of the Year, also played for Southampton and Hamburg and managed Newcastle United. Also speaking was rugby legend David Duckham, who played for Coventry and England, and was a member of the Lions team who beat New Zealand in New Zealand in 1971. Lodders senior partner David Lodder said: “It was a terrific occasion – we were very pleased to sponsor such a popular event.” The next dinner is Thursday, November 7, with speakers the former rugby international Martin Corry and comedian Adger Brown.

The University was rewarded for its work at the Coventry Community Awards, held at St Mary’s Guildhall, in recognition of its Culturae Mundi (Cultures of the World) initiative. The UK Culturae Mundi team, part of the University’s International Experience and Mobility Service, was rewarded for its efforts both on campus and across Coventry in bringing people together from different ages, cultures, faiths and social backgrounds. Organised by the Coventry Partnership Equality and Community Cohesion group in collaboration with Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership, the annual awards celebrate the work of local people and businesses in helping to make Coventry a unified, welcoming and tolerant city. Yolande Nicholls, Culturae Mundi Project Officer at Coventry University, said: “We celebrate multiculturalism on campus through cultural festivals, educational events and social occasions as well as participating in similar city-wide celebrations.

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prospective students, their parents and the business community. “Employers will be involved by providing mentoring, projects and visits as we prepare students to be this area’s next generation of engineers, manufacturers and automotive specialists. “The graduates of the academy will possess skills which are relevant to employers because the teaching will be business-like and business-led and our business partners have had an input into the curriculum. “We are confident the academy will provide the inspiration to encourage and train the engineers of tomorrow that we need to continue to push the boundaries of development in these exciting industries. “We were delighted to recently attract more than 600 people to our first taster day, and our plans are moving forward encouragingly.” For further information visit www.wmgacademy.org.uk or email info@wmgacademy.org.uk

““We also work in close partnership with local authorities, the third sector and civil society in general to strengthen the connection between the University and the city. “All our work is ultimately geared towards supporting community cohesion so we are delighted to have won this award as recognition for our efforts.”

Pictured left to right: Teodora Grigorie and Yolande Nicholls from Coventry University’s Culturae Mundi Team with Councillor Gary Crookes, the Lord Mayor of Coventry and Sabir Zazai, Vice Chair of Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership

Russian revellers rejoice as Hogan’s hits Hamilton’s Regulars at a Russian pub are enjoying the flavour of Warwickshire. Hamilton’s Pub in Belgorod became the first recipient of Hogan’s Cider one-way kegs in the latest export adventure by the company, which is based in Haselor. The Irish themed Hamilton’s Pub, situated 420 miles south of Moscow, specialises in stocking Irish and English beers, ciders and whiskies. The owner first www.cw-chamber.co.uk

spotted Hogan’s Cider in a pub in the UK. Russian revellers will be able to enjoy Hogan’s award-winning bottled ciders and Vintage Perry as well as Hogan’s draught cider and three varieties of Hogan’s bag-inbox. Hamilton’s is the only pub in its region to sell cider. Allen Hogan, of Hogan’s, said: “Finland, the US, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Russia, what a year it has been so far for Hogan’s export

and the list is still growing. “The increasing desire from customers for authentic, premium cider is still gathering momentum and we are delighted to be able to share our cider with an increasingly global customer base.” For more information about Hogan’s award winning products, please contact Allen on 01789 488433 or visit www.hoganscider.co.uk

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Biography: Cllr Isobel Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council Married: Yes, 35 years in November Children: Two Favourite Film: Anything featuring new Warwickshire resident Daniel Craig as 007 or any Jack Nicholson film, especially As Good As It Gets. Favourite Car: She can often be seen driving a Volkswagen Passat estate, all the better for fitting in her dogs which are regularly the subject of her Sunday morning tweets. Gadget: A prolific user of social media (although taking the role as leader of the county council has curtailed that somewhat), it is little surprise that her iPad is among her favourite inventions although she stresses that the magimix might be the single most important household gadget.

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Cllr Isobel Seccombe is the leader of Warwickshire County Council and has been a county councillor since 2001. Married with two children, she initially came to Warwickshire with her family as a young girl and has spent a large portion of her life there since. Cllr Ann Lucas, the leader of Coventry City Council, also since May 2013, has been married for 44 years and has two children. She is looking forward to Coventry’s re-emergence and is optimistic about the its people’s resilience, skills and proven ability to adapt and change.

“... we have to be innovative and look for opportunities for doing things better, manage risks and adapt at the same time.” Cllr Isobel Seccombe

Since becoming the new leader what are your priorities and vision ? Cllr Seccombe: “Reductions in funding will mean that the landscape of local government will see a radical shift with many of the services that have been provided over the years changing within the financial constraints under which local government is working. “Undoubtedly, there will be changes to the landscape of local government but the public sector has always been shifting. Whilst people talk about how it will look greatly different in the future, it is worth pointing out that it already looks greatly different now to how it looked ten or 20 years ago. Change is nothing new in the sector.” Cllr Lucas: “We are having to make some tough decisions, all driven by finance, the biggest challenge we face. “For instance, my 20-point plan which formed the basis of my campaign included plans to merge the Customer and Workforce Services Directorate with the Finance and Legal Services Directorate, allowing target savings of circa E2m per annum recurring. I also said we would reduce Assistant Directors by circa one third from 27 to 20, making savings of circa E1m per annum recurring, and, at the same time, introduce the ‘Living Wage‘ for all Council employees.” What do you see are the challenges ? Cllr Seccombe: “The challenge for the www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Profile: Cllr Isobel Seccombe & Cllr Ann Lucas greater partnership working and an emphasis on its trade ambassadorial role. “I am keen that we work in conjunction with Coventry University and Warwick University and with the Chamber of Commerce and with the Institute of Directors and with the Trades Unions with a view to organising trade delegations and representations from the City to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, China and India to secure inward investment for Coventry. “We have to take action to seek innovative and creative ways of developing the City Centre, including a debate on the size and format of the City Centre, and with a focus on raising both the quality and quantity of the retail and leisure offer.” Cllr Seccombe: “Warwickshire also has an important role in helping to grow the business economy of the county and Coventry through the Local Enterprise Partnership. Going for Growth has been a frontline strategy for some time now and linking learning and skills to business is of vital importance for jobseekers. “I am keen to encourage a businessfriendly environment, seeking inward investment and forging strong ties to key businesses. “There is good reason for optimism in the county with it being the headquarters of a major business player such as Jaguar Land Rover and with BMW’s investment in the Hams Hall plant in North Warwickshire, MIRA and other exciting engineering companies.”

county council is to find a way to engage with communities, businesses and the third sector to ensure that services can continue to meet the needs of residents. “We know the market and we know what is needed. We, as a county council, need to communicate that information and link with businesses and the third sector to enable them to effectively deliver services. “The infrastructure for business and the skilled workforce are in place; the support to the business world is strong from the council’s economic development team, the Chamber of Commerce, and bodies such as the local enterprise partnership and the Federation of Small Businesses. Cllr Lucas: ”My 20-point programme included a plan to replace the City Development Cabinet portfolio with a Business, Enterprise and Employment Cabinet portfolio. “I also said we would commission a unit to ensure that every school leaver within the City who is not progressing to further education or employment is identified with a view to them being offered a work placement leading to a Modern Apprenticeship within the twenty largest public and private sector organisations within the City. No young person should be passed by.” What role do you see business playing in the future of the area ? Cllr Lucas: “I pledged to reorganise the office of the Lord Mayorality with a view to www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Biography: Cllr Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council Married: Yes, for 44 years Children: Two Education: She was educated in Coventry at Barrs Hill School Favourite Book: Her favourite books are The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) and anything by satirist Tom Sharpe, as well as a good murder mystery Favourite Car: Jaguar Gadget: The Remote Control (especially after the children left home)

“I pledged to reorganise the office of the Lord Mayorality with a view to greater partnership working and an emphasis on its trade ambassadorial role.” Cllr Ann Lucas

How do you see you working more closely together? Cllr Seccombe: “Stronger working links between districts and boroughs have to be maintained to ensure that there is a common goal and shared support. This would mean, for example, co-ordinating housing developments with transport infrastructure near to centres of employment to maintain shorter commutes, lower congestion and reduced pollution.” Cllr Lucas said: “I am keen to explore with other willing local authorities within the sub-region the possibility of establishing a Municipal Bank with two separate operational arms, with one being based on lending to small and medium sized enterprises, and one to provide mortgages for “first time buyers” and other groups currently excluded from home ownership whether whole or shared, and to bring forward any formal proposal at the very earliest date. “I also want to continue to commit to regional transport planning and operational commitments but also to appoint a Lead Member with responsibility for Transport with the specific remit of exploring the possibility of a Coventry and Warwickshire based public transport system with a request that any such proposals are brought forward by April 2014.” What are you looking forward to and optimistic about? Cllr Seccombe: “I came into politics to try and make a difference. Clearly, for all of us in local government, change will happen whether we like it or not. So now we have to be innovative and look for opportunities for doing things better, manage risks and adapt at the same time. It is daunting but I know that colleagues in the council, officers and members alike, are up for the challenge.” Cllr Lucas said: “Coventry are totally committed to joint working wherever appropriate and politically possible. People in Coventry and Warwickshire do not see barriers or boundaries to working in one place, living in another and enjoying leisure time in yet another – and nor should we.”

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Property

Former punk rock drummer builds property empire

EhB Commercial’s Simon Hain and Garry Moloney outside the Kong store in Bedford Street, Leamington.

A former drummer in a punk rock band is expanding his retail and property empire with help from a Leamington property consultancy. Garry Moloney, who started his Kong retail business in Leamington during the 1980s selling posters of pop and rock stars, now owns six shops retailing global brands in premium clothing. Garry, whose property advisers are ehB Commercial in Leamington, has just bought a new retail property in Leamington

and has opened new shops in both Leamington and Coventry. Born in Whitnash, near Leamington, and now living in Warwick, he spent the late 70s and 80s touring the world with punk rock band Discharge, co-writing and making singles and a much covered debut album Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing before setting up his first Kong store off Bath Street, Leamington, in 1986 selling pop and rock posters and badges. Within two years he opened a second Kong store in Birmingham’s Oasis shopping centre, also selling posters and badges, before opening a third in Coventry, where he began selling T-shirts and then moved on to skateboard hardware and skateboard fashion. He has now launched the first franchised Carhartt store in the UK, sited on The Burgess, Coventry. “Carhartt’s global appeal stretches to Milan, Paris, Rome, London and New York, to name a few,” he said. At the same time, with advice from Simon Hain from ehB Commercial, he has just bought the site of a former greengrocer on Bedford Street, Leamington, and turned it into another Kong shop. “We needed much more space for our Leamington retail operation so we have bought and opened the new, larger premises across the road from our existing store in Bedford Street and are now looking to lease the Kong store at No 6, off which we developed and won a council award in 2008 for the Best Regenerated Building in Leamington,” said Garry. Garry, who with his wife Vanessa also owns a partnership store with Adidas Originals, a Vans footwear store and another Kong outlet - all in The Burgess, Coventry, next to the Carhartt store – is hoping one day to further develop his new Leamington site. His former Kong shop at 6 Bedford Street (the site of the old Leamington Morning News) is now available for letting through ehB Commercial, details of which can be obtained by telephoning 01926 888181 or visiting www.ehbcommercial.com

Company supports groundbreaking housing scheme A Midland law firm is playing a key role in supporting a revolutionary sustainable housing innovation. Leamington Spa solicitors Wright Hassall is advising Mansfield-based SpineLock UK Ltd, which is providing a brand new solution for low-carbon, low-cost housing. SpineLock UK Ltd, part of SpineLock Group, uses state-of-the-art, patented technology to build spacious family homes. The Advanced Modular buildings are constructed in SpineLock’s Mansfield factory before being transported to site and ‘locked’ together using the company’s innovative locking mechanism. Not only that, but these homes include the highest level of energy efficiency and sustainability. Annual energy bills are expected to be below £300, saving over £1,000 per year compared to the average UK home. Lighting alone uses 95 per cent less electricity than traditional systems.

Pictured: Sat Bhandal from Wright Hassall (left) with Derick Wilson, CEO of SpineLock (right).

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SpineLock’s carefully crafted homes are built in four modules at a factory unit on Mansfield’s Crown Farm Park. The modules will be assembled on SpineLock’s first 18-home development at Westfield Lane, close to the town centre and appropriately named ‘The Green’. The latest technologies are used to provide the highest levels of carbon reduction. As well as being 30 per cent larger than other new homes in the area, the houses are also designed to be exceptionally easy to maintain. Derick Wilson, CEO of SpineLock, believes this new method of house building provides a practical solution to the UK’s housing needs. He said: “The UK housing industry is facing two major challenges over the next few years – to deliver enough affordable, quality housing to accommodate a growing population and to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, all in the midst of an economic crisis. “To overcome these challenges a new way of designing and building houses is needed. “We want to revolutionise the UK housing industry and demonstrate that innovative thinking, new technology and working closely with local authorities, businesses and communities can provide a practical solution to the UK housing crisis. “We wanted to create homes that people really want: bright, airy, spacious rooms that are comfortable to live in.” Wright Hassall is advising SpineLock on all its legal property matters and Sat Bhandal, who leads Wright Hassall’s experienced property team, is excited to be working on such a creative project. He said: “These houses are incredibly energy efficient and will deliver a high level of sustainability. Developers using SpineLock’s technology will be able to hit future government targets today and at prices that the market can afford. “There is already a high level of interest from organisations keen to roll this scheme out on a bigger scale. This new concept has huge potential.” For more information see www.spinelockgroup.com www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Cause for optimism

as park attracts more investment A major refurbishment programme at a Warwick business park has attracted a second new business to invest in the town. Chase Commercial, based in Stratford, has sold an industrial unit to Warwick firm Motion Drives and Controls, a leading distributor and integrator of drives and transmission equipment into the engineering industry. The company, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary, has opted to invest in a 7,000 sq ft freehold unit after renting elsewhere on the estates which is the home to around 50 business. The sale to Motion Drives and Controls also comes hot on the heels of the decision by Pinnacle Design – a UK-based design, engineering and manufacturing company – to locate its design centre and headquarters to a 7,241 unit at Budbrooke Point. Becky Yates, from Chase Commercial, said the creation of the units had allowed business to invest in freehold properties, something which was good for the local economy. She said: “We realised that there was a need for wellpresented units of this size in this area. Budbrooke is well located, both in terms of the national road network and also for in terms of the industrial landscape more locally. “The majority of interest has come from firms wanting to invest long term in the area and to purchase their own headquarters. “I think that bodes very well for the local economy. These have been, at best, uncertain times but Motion Drives and Controls has had the confidence in the market and faith in its own future to purchase this unit. “Budbrooke has long been a home to a range of companies in many different sectors and a consistent source of local employment. This deal just adds to that.” The sale means there are three units remaining ranging from 6,984sq ft, to 14,130 Yates added: “We have some strong interest in the remaining units – some local and some from further afield. “It is clear from the level of interest that manufacturing and engineering is thriving in some sectors such as automotive and that has been driving a good share of our enquiries, which is not only good for us but also for the region.” Budbrooke Point is being marketed by Wareing & Co, Bromwich Hardy and BNP Paribas Real Estate. Alternatively, visit www.budbrookepoint.co.uk for more information Left to right: Peter Monks (BNP Paribas Real Estate), Becky Yates (Chase Commercial), Andrew Wall (Wareing & Company), Tom Bromwich (Bromwich Hardy).


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Property

Occupiers move into landmark building Prestige occupiers have moved into a landmark office building in Leamington Spa to reward a speculative high quality refurbishment by local owner, the developer Hatchback Limited. Victoria Court is a Regency-style office building constructed by Midland Oak Developments in 1991 and best known as the former headquarters of the Law Society. The 32,500 sq ft office is on the site of a former motor dealership overlooking the Royal Pump Room Gardens. Leading businesses Tata, Sega Games, Comprise IT and People People are in occupation just over a year from the commencement of the project. Hardeep Malle, of Hatchback, said: “Many investors and developers would have considered our decision to purchase the building and speculate on redevelopment as a risk too far in this slow office market. We had to think very carefully and undertake extensive diligence to ensure we could achieve our goals and bring this wonderful building back to its position in the market.” Wareing & Co provided professional appraisal, acquisition and agency advice to Hatchback. A further letting is currently in the hands of Blythe Liggins solicitors to dispose of part of the ground floor space and, on completion of the lease, Victoria Court will be 95% let. The owners have commissioned Martyn Howard of D&P Holt Limited to manage the building, service installations and tenancies and to work with Wareing & Co to continue the improvement of facilities and amenities at the property.

Businesses Benefit from Ultra Fast Broadband The region’s largest independent Internet Service provider has come to the aid of Coventry and Warwickshire businesses that were hungry for faster access to the internet. WarwickNet has rolled out its extensive network capability to businesses struggling with connectivity at Meriden Business Park, Coventry Business Park (near Canley) and Binley Business Park and has its sights set on the ten more by the end of the year. WarwickNet, a specialist high-speed internet and broadband network provider, is offering struggling tenants superfast broadband that is between 10 and 40 times faster than existing provision. Jon Earnshaw, sales and marketing director, said: “The problem for small, medium and even larger companies on these sites is that their wings are clipped by poor connectivity in a business world that relies upon easy and faster access to the internet and cloud services.” Among those who support the move was Neil Barber, the head of technology at Process Management International (PMI) a training consultancy on Meriden Business Park. “We love technology and are constantly looking at what is new and upcoming. One area in which we were lacking was our broadband speed which was awfully slow with a very poor service. WarwickNet will give us a real boost and enable us to stay here and expand our services.” Among the technology parks that WarwickNet supplies locally are Warwick University Science Park, Blythe Valley Business Park near Solihull, and Hatton Technology Park – perhaps the most rural of its locations.

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The Winning Ways of The Wigley Group The acquisition of many new Commercial Insurance and Financial Services clients this year has served to highlight one of the principal reasons for our success - personal, faceto-face continuous service, throughout the year, not just at inception or renewal, backed by solid and effective insurance and financial services partnerships. One of the most recent clients acquired were a local firm of Commercial and Residential Property Owners who had previously insured their properties on an Internet based site. The tick-box remote culture of such sites ignores the fundamental keystone of our service - face-toface professionally qualified risk assessment and accurate placement in the insurance market, and a personal claims service should disaster strike! For the client in question, we were able to improve the level and basis of the company’s protection and save them money!

Whether you’re a start-up business, SME or PLC, the Wigley service is the same, so you can be assured of first class and professional attention to your requirements and business solutions. Let us not forget fellow professional service providers either - we have expertise, and unrivalled market facilities in Professional Indemnity Insurance across the entire spectrum of service providers. Solicitors, take note with your SRA common renewal date on the horizon! Whatever your business requirements - let The Wigley Group demonstrate their ‘winning ways’!

To see what we can do for you, contact us on 02476 224 600, or visit our website www.thewigleygroup.com. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

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Area Focus: Coventry

Global leader offers new service Award-winning Pailton Engineering, the Coventry-based global leader in the design and manufacture of steering systems, is extending its offering by providing in-house strain gauge testing to customers. The additional service further reinforces the company’s unique position in the marketplace as a truly rounded “one stop shop” provider. A valuable addition to Pailton’s armoury of skills, strain gauge testing will give engineers more freedom in their designs because they will not have to rely on over-cautious theoretical calculations about how resilient a part will be. By supplying measured data on how a part performs in real-life situations, strain gauge testing gives engineers a clearer picture of the safe parameters within which they can draw up a design for a particular part. John Nollett, Managing Director, Pailton Engineering, said: “It is an exciting development that allows Pailton Engineering to offer a truly comprehensive service in the best traditions of engineering excellence.” The first customer to take up Pailton’s offer of strain gauge testing was iconic refuse collection vehicle manufacturer Dennis Eagle, of Warwick, which is completely redesigning its wide track (2.55m) chassis, both to make it Euro 6 compliant and to provide greater comfort for the driver.

Insurance firm helps company navigate a complex world Firms in the region are being thrown a lifeline by a Coventry insurance specialist that could save them from the costly pitfalls of not complying with health and safety legislation. An online tool designed for small and medium-sized enterprises highlights sector specific requirements for health and safety as well as risk management, and helps identify gaps in existing company policies. The bespoke package not only protects SMEs from being exposed to health and safety liabilities but could also result in lower commercial insurance premiums, according to Leigh Mackey. Leigh, managing director of Coventry-based Inspire Insurance Services, said: “SMEs can often fall short because they are not fully aware of their responsibilities under health and safety law which can be a minefield. “We have now started to provide this online suite of tools to our customers for free so that they can counter those shortfalls. “It will give them the support and information to allow them to implement the correct procedures specific to their industry and reduce the risk of being held liable for accidents and injuries at work.” It also allows access to relevant and up-to-date guidance on health and safety issues and legislative changes through regular bulletins to help avoid claims, financial penalties and higher insurance premiums. Leigh added: “If a business is able to provide evidence to an insurer that it has the correct procedures in place then a more lenient view is far more likely to be taken with regards to the pricing of a policy. “By enabling businesses to protect themselves from exposure to risks, it’s also protecting insurers because the likelihood of claims will be far less.” Having set up his own company in 2010, Leigh believes the online tool is of particular benefit to start-ups with a considerable financial saving to be made from access to free support and from ensuring they comply with the law. He said: “When I was establishing my company, I relied on similar support for HR and employment law as I didn’t have the knowledge and expertise in that area. “That proved to be invaluable when it came to recruiting staff to cope with our expansion and that level of support continues to be hugely beneficial in adapting to the changing needs of a growing business.”

Leigh Mackey

Empty home owners offered for up to £20,000 A Coventry housing association has secured £1.2m and is offering property owners up to £20,000 to improve their empty homes. There are more than 1,500 empty properties across the city that need to be refurbished. Thanks to money gained from the Homes and Communities Agency, housing association Whitefriars Housing, which is part of WM Housing Group, has launched a campaign to ask landlords of empty properties to get in touch so they can help give these homes a new lease of life. Owners of empty homes can receive a grant of up to £20,000 so that their property meets the Government’s Decent Homes Standard for rented accommodation. In return, they will need to grant Whitefriars Housing a lease for a number of years so the social landlord can improve and then rent the property to waiting customers. Owners will receive an income from the property’s rent during the time the property is managed and maintained by Whitefriars. Once the lease is up the property will be returned to the owner in its refurbished condition. The property must have been empty for a minimum of six months to qualify for the scheme. John Halton, WM Housing Group’s assistant director, development, said: “Empty properties are a commercial burden for owners and the community.

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Bringing an empty property back into use. Front: Cllr Ed Ruane, cabinet member for housing and heritage at Coventry City Council, Back: Mick Clifford, repairs operative at Whitefriars Housing

“Empty properties are a commercial burden for owners and the community.” Since April of this year owners of vacant homes must pay Council Tax, so their financial pressures have increased. “This scheme offers a win-win situation for owners of empty properties as it ensures the home is improved and then successfully let by our expert teams.” Councillor Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Heritage, said: “At a time when housing is desperately needed in this city it is ridiculous that there are such a high number of empty properties across the city. “Empty homes can attract anti-social behaviour and often becomes a magnet for pests as well as devaluing neighbouring properties, which is why Coventry City Council is committed to bringing as many back into use as possible.” For more information go to www.wmhousing.co.uk/development/ empty-homes, email emptyhomes@wmhousing.co.uk or call 0121 457 4620. www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

University’s new digital tech lab puts latest gadgetry at firms’ fingertips A new digital lab based at Coventry University’s Technology Park is offering help to West Midlands SMEs to integrate the latest technologies into their business and boost productivity. The Touch Digital tech lab – which is backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and run as a collaboration between Coventry and Aston universities – features interactive touch screen tables, an array of smart devices and a state-of-theart 3D printer. Small and medium firms in the region will be able to take advantage of five days of free expert advice and practical support in the new lab, where they can try out new technologies first-hand and explore ways to use them for their business needs. A separate ERDF-funded initiative – the Eco Business project – will also be launching at the event, and is set to support SMEs with grant funding towards efforts to save costs on energy, transport and waste reduction. The project offers grants of up to £2,400 to help businesses aid their transformation to become cost efficient, and includes advice on processes such as recycling and redesigning packaging.

Users take advantage of one of the Touch Digital tech lab’s interactive touch screen tables.

Richard Hooper (left) with Ben Browning

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Henley College Coventry working in Partnership with HBT Communications to provide workforce of the future

Touch Digital project manager Serena Malone with one of the tech lab’s new gadgets, a cutting edge 3D printer.

West Midlands-based visual communications specialist Alex Hughes is one example of an entrepreneur whose business has already benefited from the Touch Digital tech lab. Alex, a freelance cartoonist whose work involves using ‘visual reportage’ to create bespoke images for companies and individuals, was offered a tailored workshop as part of the project to help him understand his technology requirements. The result – the integration of new software into his digital tablet work flow – has helped him to connect with clients remotely in real-time and make huge savings on transport. Alex, whose clients include banks, charities and the EU, said: “Previously, I was doing a lot of travelling around to meet clients and was spending a lot of time on a train or in an airport, which is potentially all lost work time. I’m now getting up to speed with new software which basically enables me to meet my client and demonstrate work wherever I am in the world, and it’s likely to save me thousands and make my business a lot more in revenue.” For further information, visit www.touchdigital.eu or www.ecobusinesswm.co.uk.

Firm eyes up the next step in its development A Coventry IT firm has designs on further expansion after launching a new division of the business. PS4B, which is based at Electric Wharf, has been established for eight years and employs eight staff. It has more than 200 clients on its books offering a range of IT support services. That side of the business continues to grow but managing director Richard Hooper has spotted an opportunity to

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expand further by launching a new creative design arm. It will focus predominantly on web design but with other services available such as marketing and branding. PS4B has recruited the services of Coventry University graduate Ben Browning to work on the design side and it has already had positive results with three firms selecting the company to create new websites for them.

Mr Hooper said: “We are trusted by our clients when it comes to our IT support services so, naturally, they have started to ask whether we can provide websites too. “Until now, I have referred them elsewhere but I thought this was a real opportunity for us to grow the business even further and build on the trust that we have with our clients. “We’ve invested in Ben, who has excellent design skills, and it has already led to three website contracts with businesses in the region. “Of course, our IT support clients will have the opportunity to work with us on their website but we also hope to attract other clients too.” Former King Henry VIII pupil Browning is delighted to have joined the PS4B team. After graduating from Coventry University, he had been working in Hong Kong but returned to the city earlier this year. He said: “This is an exciting opportunity and it is great to be coming in at the inception of this idea and being able to help the business grow. “My background is very much on the design side and I will be using the expertise of other companies here at Electric Wharf to help build the ‘back-end’ of the sites. “There is also an opportunity to grow the design and marketing side of the business – not just the web design – but we need to establish ourselves in the market place before that is likely to happen.”

Mr Zamurad Hussain, Managing Director of HBT Communications and Paul Starkey, IT Programme Manager from Henley College Coventry

Henley College has been at the forefront of training for nearly 50 years and have consistently delivered successful training courses and apprenticeships to many businesses and organisations ranging from smes to blue chip companies. The College’s specialist staff can help businesses through the maze of government funding and training opportunities, so that you can make the right choice to support your company. They offer a range of business and professional courses that can be tailored to suit shift patterns and changes in legislation. They help local businesses to recruit apprentices and HBT Communications based on the Enterprise Business Park in Coventry currently have 5 apprentices working for them in several different departments. Managing Director Zamurad Hussain says “apprentices help bring young blood into any company and it gives young people job opportunities, plus it helps with our future succession planning and as the business grows we plan to take on more“. One of the apprenticeships Henley is offering is in IT and Ian Rowan the Technical Services manager at HBT has two on his team. He says “Jordan and Gavin are great lads they have their own responsibilities within the department and we are putting plans in place to advance their training once the apprenticeship finishes“.

If you are a local business talk to Henley College about the range of apprenticeships and professional courses available to start in September call 02476 626444 or visit www.henley-cov.ac.uk

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Area Focus: Coventry

Machine deliveries allows company to secure jobs A local engineering company based in Coventry has taken delivery of two new machines that will help to secure jobs thanks to some European funding secured by Coventry City Council. Burnsall Engineering, based in Binley, is a specialist tool making company that produces mould tools for rubber and plastic products used in the automotive, aerospace and other major industries. From its beginnings in 1954, Burnsall now has a well-established UK and international customer base. The family business which employs 35 people has achieved its steady growth by continually investing in machinery, technology and the skills and capabilities demanded by customers worldwide. And now, thanks to £60,000 from the European Regional Development Fund the company has recently taken delivery of two new five axis CNC machines from Mazak and Axa. The ERDF funding is part of £2.1m secured by Coventry City Council to help local Coventry and Warwickshire-based small and medium sized businesses with their plans to invest in capital equipment. Burnsall Engineering, is one of the first companies to benefit from a successful grant funding application. Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for City Development, said: “We have some fantastic businesses employing highly skilled people in this city. Many of them have the potential and the ambition for growth - but what they need is a helping hand to invest in the specialist equipment they need to grow. That’s exactly what this money is for. It’s to enable local firms to take the next step in their growth plans.

Alison Brindley

Alan Bratby, Colin Bull, Scott Pladdys, Councillor Lynnette Kelly, Rob Bent, Paul Kirwan (Alan, Scott and Paul are the management team at Burnsall Engineering).

This often secures and creates jobs - so it’s a real win for the city too. “Burnsall is one of the first Coventry businesses to take advantage of this cash and I wish them every success.” Alan Bratby, Burnsall’s General Manager, said, “We are delighted to receive an ERDF grant. This has enabled us to bring forward developments and create new jobs that were part of our future growth strategy. Being able to make these changes now will benefit our customers and have a positive impact on our future profitability.” While presenting an ERDF plaque to

Scott Pladdys of Burnsall Engineering, Councillor Kelly remarked that ‘it was good to see local companies taking advantage of local support and growing as a result’. The ERDF Access to Finance Grants programme is administered by the Coventry City Council Business Team and is currently available to eligible companies in Coventry and Warwickshire. Details are available from the Coventry City Council website at www.coventry.gov.uk/businessteam For further information please contact Colin Bull on 024 7683 3836 or email him on: colin.bull@coventry.gov.uk

Coventry firm supports the sporting life at academy Students from a Midlands academy are set to benefit from a £1.6 million sports hall development. Deeley Construction, based in Coventry, has started work on a new sports hall at The Holly Hall Academy in Dudley. The new development will include four badminton courts, a dance studio, a fullsize basketball court and space for netball and hand ball courts. A new fitness suite with modern gym equipment will also be installed alongside changing room facilities. The development is due to be competed by 31st March 2014 and will bring much

“It has been a fantastic year for British sport and we really want to drive our academy’s sports participation.” 26

needed sports facilities to the academy after its existing sports hall suffered severe water damage resulting in £30,000 of running repairs. Students on the basketball team are just a few who will benefit from the new fullsize basketball court, which will now be able to facilitate home games, including the England Schools Basketball Competition. Graham Lloyd, principal at the academy said: “We are absolutely thrilled. Our current indoor PE facilities are very poor for an academy of this size, so we are excited to welcome the new sports facilities. “Teaching children about healthy living and keeping fit is at the heart of our PE curriculum and we already produce fantastic sports results. These new facilities will enable us to offer a wider range of sports activities that will not only benefit this generation but also future generations to come. “It has been a fantastic year for British sport and we really want to drive our academy’s sports participation. We cannot wait for it to be completed.” Martin Gallagher, managing director at Deeley Construction, said he hopes to carry on the success of their previous involvement with the academy which included the construction of a new technology teaching block.

He said: “We are looking forward to working with the academy on this new development, which will see the construction of a fantastic purpose-built sports hall for all of the students and staff to enjoy. “Sports activities are an important part of an academy’s curriculum and we are thrilled to be involved in creating facilities that will help to develop the sporting skills of young people.”

Bridge awarded new contract A Coventry PR firm has continued to enjoy a year of growth after being awarded the public relations account for logistics expert BDA (Bespoke Distribution Aviation). Bridge PR & Media Services, which has already taken on five new clients so far this year, will spearhead a corporate campaign for the UK arm of BDA, to position itself as a leading business within the logistics sector. BDA is domiciled in Ireland and Germany and is a specialist logistics service provider, offering air-bridge and express final mile solutions for delivery In-night, early morning, same day and next day, with hubs and depot locations in Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and UK. Marketing Manager Alison Brindley said: “We feel that now is the right time for us to establish our brand within the logistics industry and reach out to potential new suppliers and customers to work with moving forward. Bridge knows the logistics industry inside out and is perfectly positioned to help us continue our growth with a corporate PR campaign.” Denise Taylor, Managing Director Bridge PR & Media Services, said: “We are delighted to be working with BDA and promoting some of the excellent work that they are doing to the trade press. “For a long time BDA has been under the radar and one of the Midland’s best kept secrets.”

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Gallagher (Deeley), Michael Price (Chair of Governors), Steve Turner (Deeley), Harrison Johal (15), Sophie Gibbons (15), Terry Nolan (Estates & contracts manager), Keith Bird (Deeley), Graham Lloyd (Headteacher).

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Rugby

In support of rehabilitation As I write, the Rugby branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce will be paying a visit to HMP Onley Prison to hear more about the important rehabilitation work they are doing. A member of HMP Onley came to our branch meeting recently and invited us to see the skills they are teaching inmates and the work they are doing to help place offenders with businesses in order to reintroduce them to the community. Many of our members are extremely interested in supporting this project so we are going to find out more with a view to helping people avoid returning to a life of crime. Recently, as part of my role with the Local Strategic Partnership, we had a meeting at the site of what was originally referred to as the Rugby Gateway now called Eden Park. This is a huge development and a really positive one for Rugby which will see hundreds of new homes built as well as a community centre, school, industrial units and other vital infrastructure. What’s great is that this is not the only big development in the town and the former GEC site is now well on the way to being developed as employment and residential land. Another big development will be the former mast site which will see over 6,000 new homes developed. We are lucky in Rugby with so many residential and commercial developments being attracted and approved while many other areas struggle to attract similar levels of investment.

“... we have a very forward thinking council and other partners who work well together for the good of the borough.” I think one of the reasons for this is that we have a very forward thinking council and other partners who work well together for the good of the borough. The Chamber, FSB, Warwickshire County Council and others all pull in the same direction and work to keep our MP, Mark Pawsey, well informed. Of course, with all big schemes, we will need to work to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place to deal with the extra demands placed on the town. There may be problems with congestion, but we can’t let the fact that some of our roads will get busier get in the way of progression. Finally, I would just like to underline my support for many of the comments in Mr Browning’s letter “A result of capitalism” in the Rugby Advertiser on Thursday, July 11. Mr Browning summed up the argument surrounding opposition to building Debenhams out of the town centre very well. The reality is it boils down to a case of do we want Debenhams in the borough or don’t we? A business like Debenhams is not going to open up a store in the centre of a small market town in this day and age and, I think most people would agree, they would rather have Debenhams in Rugby Borough than not at all.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Recognition – home and away for Rugby business A Rugby company that designs and manufactures green energy solutions has been recognised at the European Rental Awards (ERA).

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The Warwickshire Apprenticeship Hub is live The Hub was set up by the County Council in response to local businesses saying that the Apprenticeship programme is complex, ever changing and bureaucratic, we are a free and impartial business advice service to small and medium size businesses across Warwickshire to support them in recruiting Apprentices

Philip Halcrow (far right) and James Buckland (second from right) with other winners at the European Rental Awards.

At a ceremony held in Paris, Off Grid Energy fought off competition from across the continent to receive the prestigious Product of the Year Award. And, in a busy month for the company, it was also acknowledged in the Pride of Rugby Awards, winning its category – Green Business of the Year. Off Grid Energy designs and manufactures innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions for power supply where there is no access to mains electricity. The business is situated in Central Park, Rugby and was started in 2011 by former GEC engineer Danny Jones. Off Grid Energy’s Grid to Go hybrid generator was described by the ERA judges as “necessary product - we were impressed by a product that cleverly combines the benefits of lower energy use with reduced wear and tear on generators – a real double benefit for rental companies and their customers.” Danny Jones, managing director of Off Grid Energy, said: “We were honoured to be winners of the Green Business of the Year award at the inaugural Rugby FM, Pride of Rugby

“We were honoured to be winners of the Green Business of the Year award at the inaugural Rugby FM, Pride of Rugby award ceremony.” award ceremony. “The award recognises the impact our range of hybrid power generators -Grid to Go - have on CO2 reduction. To also win in Europe was testament to the commercial benefit of our product – it has proved to lower costs substantially for the building, events and agricultural industries. “Our team is predominantly a local one, from those in the office to our suppliers, and this is proof that the skills exist in Rugby to take on the world. We are attracting interest from as far afield as Australia and Ghana and we are currently negotiating some export contracts. It’s been a busy year already.”

Logistics firm saves time and money by renting bespoke software Rugby-based transport company Exact Logistics was finding it hard to cope with a deluge of faxes and emails from its growing international customer base. Needing a piece of software that would allow staff to co-ordinate the information, Managing Director Adam Shuter turned to fellow Rugbybased company Karus Systems, providers of the new RentUrApp™ platform. The platform allows businesses to commission bespoke software development without the burden of

upfront costs. In this case, the solution was PalSist™. Adam said: “A lot of our customers are based in Germany and the whole point of is to serve those customers. They send information to us in all sorts of different forms; some send faxes, some send emails, some send nothing at all. “We needed to have a way of being able to coordinate and collect that information, check delivery addresses and then enter it into our operating system. That’s why we rent PalSist™.” www.renturapp.com 01788 523803

Offering advice to businesses who might be interested in taking on an Apprentice, but would like more detail or have a few questions or queries they want answered. Through our website, over the phone or face to face the Hub is here to help local businesses understand what Apprenticeships are in 2013 and to help ascertain if they are suitable for your business - we will tell you when its not the right option as well. If you do decide to recruit an Apprentice we can give support and advice on selecting a Training Provider or a College to deliver the Apprenticeship for you as well as arming you with the information and questions you need to ask when engaging with the delivery partner. We also offer to promote any Apprenticeship vacancies throughout the County through the Councils websites and social media platforms as well as directly to local Schools using our established relationships as the Local Authority.

If you would like to find out more or use our services please have a look at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ getanapprentice, drop us an email at apprentice@warwickshire.gov.uk or call us on 01926 412649.

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Area Focus: North Warks

Speaking up for the area

Chamber takes ‘Pride’ in backing new awards

Paul Carvell, North Warwickshire branch chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

I have spoken on many occasions about the importance of championing this area and the great work that goes on within it. So I am absolutely delighted that the Chamber of Commerce and Oak FM will be working together in the coming weeks and months on the new Pride of Hinckley and Nuneaton Awards. It will not only celebrate the great achievements of businesses in this area – something I am very passionate that we should do more of – but also the great work that many unsung heroes carry out for the good of the whole community. At a recent Chamber branch meeting, we met Steve Orchard the managing director of the group behind Oak FM, and he highlighted other areas – particularly Stratford – where this type of awards ceremony has worked extremely well. What struck everyone in the room was the fact that we all know of businesses and individuals who, on a day-to-day basis, make a huge contribution to the north of Warwickshire but don’t always get the recognition they deserve. That can be anything from creating jobs to voluntary work and it does make you realise what a huge part business plays in the wellbeing of our area. I am very confident that the great pride we saw in the video clips from other events around the region can be replicated here, if not surpassed. I am also very pleased to say that this week was the first of the Chamber’s free business surgeries for small firms across Nuneaton and Bedworth, taking place in the Town Hall. These surgeries will take place on the first Thursday of every month and the next one will take place in the Town Hall before moving to other venues around the area. Issues to discuss with an experienced business adviser will include: low-cost marketing, identifying new markets, business planning, relocation options, cashflow, employing and managing staff, understanding your customers’ journey, optimising a company website, finance, signposting to support, funding and grants, succession planning and to discuss other concerns and ideas. As I said above, we must do all we can to shout about the great work that businesses across this area do but also make sure that help is at hand to help our small firms flourish. That is the idea behind these clinics, which are being put on in conjunction with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council. The more successful businesses we have, the better it is for everyone in the region and that should give us even more reason to be proud and more achievements to celebrate.

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A new awards event to show off the best of the north of Warwickshire and Hinckley is being backed by the Chamber of Commerce. Oak FM is launching its inaugural Pride of Hinckley and Nuneaton Awards and is working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s North Warwickshire branch. The awards are designed to recognise individuals and businesses across Nuneaton & Bedworth, Hinckley and the North Warwickshire Borough and the great work they do. The event is being sponsored by Triton Showers and will feature 13 awards from Business of the Year to Citizen of the Year. Paul Carvell, the chair of the Chamber’s North Warwickshire branch, said: “When Steve Orchard and his team from Oak FM came to present the idea to the branch committee we were simply blown away. “We were shown footage of a similar awards event in Stratford and the quality of the event and sense of pride it delivered to the town was something we felt should be replicated here.

“We are only too delighted to be supporting the Pride of Hinckley and Nuneaton Awards and believe it will be a great occasion for everyone across this area.” “We are only too delighted to be supporting the Pride of Hinckley and Nuneaton Awards and believe it will be a great occasion for everyone across this area.” The awards ceremony will take place on September 20 at the Hinckley Island Hotel and a range of sponsorship opportunities and packages have already been launched.

Angela Tellyn, partnership manager at the Chamber, said: “We have an excellent relationship with Oak FM and the wider Quidem Group and we believe this will be a great event for the area that really shows off the fantastic work of businesses and individuals.” For more information on the awards email jo.billings@quidem.co.uk or call 07824 829 642.

North branch welcomes plan Business leaders in the north of Warwickshire has cautiously welcomed a new plan for Nuneaton and Bedworth borough. Kelly Ford, the head of planning policy and economic development at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, presented the Borough Plan to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber’s north Warwickshire branch. The plan proposes to provide 75 hectares of employment land, 7,900 new homes, 43,750 square metres of non-food retail space, 4,050 square metres of food retail space and 30,000 square metres of new offices by 2028. Like every authority across the country, the Borough Council must provide a development plan in order to meet the

needs for future growth. Without it, the council has less control over where new developments could spring up. The meeting with the Chamber is part of the consultation phase on the Borough Plan, which ended on August 30. Paul Carvell, the chair of the Chamber’s north Warwickshire branch, said: “We were very grateful to Kelly Ford and the Borough Council for presenting the Borough Plan to us. “Our branch committee is made up of a range of companies across the area and they all had their own thoughts and comments on it. “But we all welcome the fact that we now have a plan and would encourage other businesses to log onto the council’s website and make their own comments.

“We need to have ambition for economic growth but also a plan that the council can show is deliverable. That is something we will be scrutinising further but, on the face of it, the plans for employment space and homes look positive. “Of course, these plans have to be backed up with an overall economic and infrastructure strategy and the Borough Council will have to show more specific details on this as the plan evolves over the next 12 months. “But the overriding message from the Chamber of Commerce is that we are pleased to see a plan developing and, while concerns must be addressed properly, we want it to be rubber-stamped as soon as possible so we can really get behind and sell the future of this area.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: North Warks

College principal welcomes ‘tech level’ announcement Mariane Cavalli, Principal and CEO of Warwickshire College, has welcomed the Government’s plans for ‘tech levels’, aimed at raising the status of vocational qualifications in England. Employers and trade associations will be asked to endorse the best occupational qualifications - known as ‘tech levels’ - so young people know which courses have the best job prospects. Courses, in subjects such as engineering, IT, accounting or hospitality, must be able to lead directly to a job, apprenticeship or further study and be equal in size to an A-level. Universities, meanwhile, will be asked by exam boards to back the best ‘applied general qualifications’. These vocational qualifications, which are not directly linked to an occupation but provide broader study of a vocational area, will need the explicit backing of three universities and will be equal to half an A-level. Mariane Cavalli said: “I welcome these plans to raise the status of vocational qualifications in England. Creating ‘tech levels’ and giving them the same status as A Levels will provide a boost to the reputation and quality of vocational education, which is vital for the economy.”

Mariane Cavalli, Principal and CEO of Warwickshire College.

“I welcome these plans to raise the status of vocational qualifications...”

New business offers top class training opportunities

Clinics to help

The Board of Nuneaton Training Centre has established a wholly-owned subsidiary named Midlands Professional Development Ltd (MPD). MPD is focused on helping local and regional organisations both large and small, with their training needs including performance management, talent management, leadership development, project management, coaching and mentoring, health and safety and IT courses. Local companies and individuals can now boost their management skills by studying for recognised industry awards. MPD has secured accreditation as an approved centre for the delivery of Chartered Management Institute qualifications. The Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards of management and leadership excellence. Clare McKenzie, business manager at MPD, said: “The CMI courses are an excellent addition to our already superb range of programmes. “Being a CMI-approved Centre will enable us to support local organisations in developing their managers to see the bigger picture, make better decisions, and better manage their people. “With only one in five managers holding a management qualification this is a need for both the private and public sectors. “We want to make this opportunity as accessible as possible, so are offering a range of ways to undertake the courses including, in-house delivery, tailored courses and distance learning options for individuals.” You can obtain more information from info@midlandsprofessionaldevelopment. com

Small businesses in Nuneaton and Bedworth are benefitting from a new service being laid on by the Chamber of Commerce and the Borough Council. From July 4, a business adviser from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is hosting free business clinics on the first Thursday of every month to offer specialist advice to companies. The clinics will offer firms support on a whole range of matters from low-cost marketing to succession planning and the first two were set to take place in the Town Hall in Nuneaton. After that, they will be moved to different locations across Nuneaton and Bedworth to make them more accessible for firms wanting to tap into the advice available. Helena Arundel, a business adviser at the Chamber, will lead the free business clinics which will take place from 12.30pm until 4pm – with 30-minute slots available. She said: “The idea is for businesses to know that there is a place they can come each month to get impartial advice that can help them run and grow their business. “We are offering half-hour slots and would ask companies to book in advance so we can make sure they are not waiting around.” Issues to discuss include: low-cost marketing, identifying new markets, business planning, relocation options, cashflow, employing and managing staff, understanding your customers’ journey, optimising a company website, finance, signposting to support, funding and grants, succession planning and to discuss other concerns and ideas. For more information log onto www.cw-chamber.co.uk, call 024 7665 4321 or 07901 515170 or email helenab@cw-chamber.co.uk

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

businesses grow

“The idea is for businesses to know that there is a place they can come...”

Company given its moment on the catwalk A Bedworth-based manufacturer of identity products, jewellery and regalia was granted its moment on the catwalk by Royal appointment. Toye & Co was one of the guests at the Coronation Festival, which was hosted by the Royal Warrant Holders Association. The Coronation Festival celebrated the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation and took place in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. It brought together more than 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment to celebrate innovation, excellence and industry through trade and craft. During the Festival a number of Royal Warrant Holders exhibited their crafts on the catwalk and took questions from the guests. Toye & Co exhibited an eye-catching dress handmade from all sorts of ribbons woven in Toye & Co’s textile factory. “We are extremely proud to hold a Royal Warrant from HM The Queen and so are pleased and excited to be taking part in the Coronation Festival in this way,” said Fiona Toye, chief executive of Toye & Co.

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Area Focus: Mid Warks

New report supports significant shopping growth in town centre Leamington town centre would benefit from a major new retail investment, a new independent report commissioned by Warwick District Council has revealed. The report, undertaken by planning consultants Strategic Perspectives, followed the refusal of a planning application for a major new shopping development on the Chandos Street car park in 2011. The Council wanted to understand whether there was a case for a major retailing scheme in the town centre. In summary, the report concluded: • There will be a significant growth in levels of spending across the district in the next few years and Warwick District Council will need to plan, to meet the need for new shops. • The evidence of the need for a retail and leisure scheme of the scale of the Clarendon Arcade proposal is compelling. This is both in quantitative terms (i.e. how much floor space is needed) and qualitative terms (what type of shopping is required). • A good quality scheme of sufficient “critical mass” would help to draw more trips, money and people to Leamington town centre. This will, in turn, benefit other retailers, services and businesses in the centre. • The market interest created by a major new scheme will help to generate demand from other retailers for representation in the town centre. This will offer Leamington the opportunity to “claw back” fashion-based and other non-food shopping trips that are currently “leaking out” of the town centre to other competing shopping locations.

Finally, the report states that, “there is sufficient evidence to support a significant critical mass of new retail and leisure floor space as part of the Clarendon Arcade scheme. “The evidence on the quantitative and qualitative need for new comparison goods floor space in Leamington Spa is compelling, and although this has been reduced over the years due to the impact of the economic recession and Internet shopping on expenditure growth, it has not “dulled” the requirement for the Council to identify, allocate and promote new retail development in the town centre in accordance with national planning policy requirements.” Councillor John Hammon, Portfolio Holder for Development at Warwick District Council, said: “The council has consistently worked to support the health and prosperity of Leamington town centre and has, over many years, sought to ensure that opportunities are created to allow the town centre to thrive. Following this report, we will continue to look at ways in which we can ensure the survival of the town centre and meet the needs of shoppers and visitors to the area.” Copies of the report, titled ‘Clarendon Arcade Appraisal 2013’, can be found on “Evidence Base” page of the Warwick District Council website: http://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/WDC/Planning/Planning+policy/ Local+Development+Framework/Evidence+Base/default.htm

Company extends business in automotive sector Voith Industrial Services, a leading service provider to the UK automotive industry, has won a key contract by adding Engine Dress to its existing modular assembly contracts at Vauxhall Motors’ Vivaro van manufacturing facility in Luton. The contract represents a major stepping

stone for Warwick-based Voith Industrial Services, which is increasingly growing its business into specialist technical areas of the UK automotive sector. At Luton, Voith has been working in partnership with Vauxhall to design and develop several different lay-out options for part of the engine assembly line for the

Voith technicians at work on the Vauxhall engine assembly line at Luton.

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Vivaro van. “The latest contract recognises our growing capability in specialist technical areas of the automotive industry,” said Martin Dunne, Voith Industrial Services’ regional manager who has 36 years’ experience with major automotive manufacturers in the UK and overseas.

Major plans get branch once-over Mid-Warwickshire businesses have been brought up-to-date with two major projects that could provide a significant boost to the regional economy. Bill Hunt, the deputy chief executive of Warwick District Council and a key figure within the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), presented to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Mid-Warwickshire branch committee at the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth. He outlined the latest draft of Warwick District Council’s local plan, which proposes to provide 12,300 new homes over the next 15 years – 6,630 of which can only be accommodated on new ‘greenfield’ sites – 22.5 hectares of new employment land and also new infrastructure across the area. Bill then gave the gathered businesses a run down on the CWLEP’s City Deal submission, which focuses on the advanced manufacturing and engineering (AME) sector and its growth. The idea behind Government’s City Deal project is to allow regions to lever in more powers and pool funding to concentrate on breaking down barriers to one area of economic growth. Bill said: “The Local Plan is crucial and, without it, we have no strategy for development or growth. “We have opted for a growth-led strategy that will bring new jobs and, therefore, new homes to the district.

“We have opted for a growth-led strategy that will bring new jobs and, therefore, new homes to the district.” “Our City Deal bid is called Reengineering Engineering and we want to tackle the issues that prevent some of the small and medium sized companies in that sector growing.” Sophie Howe, mid-Warwickshire branch chair of the Chamber, said: “We were delighted to welcome Bill Hunt because there is a great deal of interest around both the LEP, including City Deal, and the local plan. “One of the points raised around the City Deal was support available for business and the fact that some companies didn’t know where to go for help. “For all businesses across this area, the ‘go to’ place for any form of business support is the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber offers a raft of support itself but can also signpost companies to other organisations if they require more specialist help.” For more information on the Local Plan or to comment on it log on to www.warwickdc.gov.uk/newlocalplan www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Mid Warks

Exhibition celebrates great motoring name

Seeking the real deal Sophie Howe, chair of the midWarwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

‘Aston Martin: A Century of Craftsmanship’ project to tell the behind-the-scenes history of Aston Martin, from the employees’ perspective. © BMIHT - British Motor Industry Heritage Trust

A new exhibition has opened at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, near Warwick. Visitors can learn the behind-the-scenes story of Aston Martin’s first 100-years and the craftsmanship involved in making these iconic cars. Aston Martin - A Century of Craftsmanship features material from the collection of Roger Stowers, Aston Martin’s former historian. The Collection was donated to the British Motor Industry Heritage

Trust (BMIHT) by Aston Martin Lagonda Limited in 2001. This is the first result of a two-year Project, which was awarded a generous grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Aston Martin Lagonda and the Aston Martin Heritage Trust are also supporting the Project. Located on the Mezzanine floor, this exhibition runs until December 2014. Admission is included within the standard museum entry fees. For more information visit www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk

New crossing for Warwick town centre is welcomed A new pedestrian crossing is to be installed on High Street and Jury Street in Warwick. Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Transport, confirmed that the crossing will be installed following a recent meeting with Warwick MP Chris White. There have been calls to reinstate a crossing on High Street and Jury Street after the introduction of informal crossing points when improvement works were carried out last year. Cllr Peter Butlin said: “Safety is our primary concern and I am pleased to confirm that county council officers are now in the final stages of designing a pedestrian crossing facility for High Street and Jury Street to complement the retained informal crossing points. “We have always said we would allow the scheme to evolve and have listened to various local groups and held discussions with the local MP Chris White, and now we are working towards delivering a sensible solution which we are confident will suit everybody.” “It is clear that this is an issue which has triggered huge debate in the town and Mr White has championed this cause on behalf of his constituents. It is right that we listen to any concerns and ultimately ensure that we have safe highways for residents and visitors alike.” Following a recent redesign of the roads and pavements on the www.cw-chamber.co.uk

High Street in Warwick, many pedestrians, including those with sight loss, felt they could no longer use the street as there was nowhere for them to cross the road safely and confidently. Among those who repeatedly asked questions about the accessibility of the new layout and expressed concerns that the Council failed to carry out an equality impact assessment of the scheme was the RNIB. Rebecca Swift, RNIB’s regional campaigns officer for West Midlands, said: “Losing your sight can be extremely traumatic and often people lose confidence. Being able to make journeys safely when out and about is vitally important in ensuring people with sight loss remain independent. “The lack of a safe crossing made it extremely difficult and often very dangerous for people with sight loss to cross the road safely. We are pleased the Council has listened to our calls and now plan to install a crossing. “We now hope other councils will take note and listen to the concerns of blind and partially sighted people when designing and implementing schemes of this nature.”

Our most recent branch meeting was very informative and gave our committee a great opportunity to find out more about the proposed local plan for the district. We also heard the latest news from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the plan for a City Deal to aid the growth of our advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. While, of course, certain issues have been raised around Warwick District Council’s local plan, as a Chamber we do welcome the fact that we are getting towards a stage when there is a plan for the area. It’s vital that we grow our economy but in a way that is planned and follows a strategy rather than just seeing individual schemes spring up that aren’t joined up or don’t match the needs of the district. While the plan should be scrutinised and people should raise their concerns it is important that we get it in place as soon as possible. The absence of a plan does not mean development will stand still – it will happen but not in a strategic way. We all know the importance of being able to grow our economy so I would urge individuals and businesses to make their comments on the plan but, also, understand just what it means to this area to get one in place. “The discussion, led by Bill Hunt – the deputy chief executive of Warwick District Council and also a key figure in the LEP – then moved onto City Deal. He told us that City Deal’s are a government idea to help improve local economies. Originally, this meant major cities but it has now been extended to areas such as Coventry and Warwickshire. As an area, we now have to ‘bid’ for a City Deal based around an idea that can have a positive impact on our economy and create new jobs and bring new investment. The LEP’s bid is around Reengineering Engineering to assist small and medium-sized companies in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. In order to help them grow, the LEP wants to create a conduit which could steer businesses in the right direction for support in their expansion. This is something the Chamber does across all sectors at the moment and, if our advisers cannot provide the support needed they are excellent at signposting businesses to the help they need. The idea is for a focused effort on the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector which is seen as a key driver for growth. We were very grateful to Bill for his presentation and we were pleased to be able to keep our members informed of two such important developments. As I said, I would advise businesses and individuals to comment on the Local Plan by logging on to www.warwickdc.gov.uk/newlocalplan

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Area Focus: South Warks

MP in the spotlight at entertaining event Stratford MP Nadhim Zahawi fielded questions on subjects ranging from tax to energy at a session with the business community. The South Warwickshire Branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce invited around 25 members to raise issues with the Stratford MP at a special session held at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Henley Street. Larry Coltman, chair of the branch, hosted the event and said it was the perfect opportunity for businesses to ensure their views reached decision makers at Westminster. He said: “I think this was equally valuable to our members as it was to Nadhim, as it showed the range of issues that face business. “Having those aired first hand from businesses on the patch, really gives our local MPs a flavour of the commercial landscape in their areas.

Nadhim Zahawi (front) with (from left) Angela Tellyn, Larry Coltman (both Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce), Diana Owen (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust)

“Nadhim gave some fulsome and forthright answers and it was a very worthwhile session.” “Issues ranged from the problems of operating real time PAYE for temporary workers, through to “gold-plating” of health and safety legislation, and from air travel to alternative sources of energy. “Many of these are topics on which the Chamber is lobbying. For example, we supported Birmingham Airport’s response to Davies Commission on increasing capacity at regional airports and we are also working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership to make the regulation of business more efficient and less burdensome. “Nadhim gave some fulsome and forthright answers and it was a very worthwhile session.” Zahawi is a member of the BIS Select Committee and founded and ran his own business YouGov before stepping down on his election to the Stratford seat. He said: “There were several issues which I will take back and discuss with colleagues. It was a lively session with a range of views and issues raised. “I know from my own experience that business people want to be left alone to get on running their business with as little interference from Government as possible. So what Government needs to do is provide help rather than interference, something I firmly believe we are doing. “We’re beginning to see the fruits of that help and the hard work of the private sector with four private sector jobs for every public sector post lost, and the employment rate rising. In government we want to help more, and part of that is to listen to, understand and act on the issues they face.”

Business students raise £900 for charities Business students at Stratford-uponAvon College have raised £900 for The Brain Tumour Charity and Help for Heroes after running fund-raising events in Solihull and Banbury. Each year, learners studying BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business are tasked with planning and holding charity fundraising events. One group, comprising of students Jack Polson, Andy Flynn, Joe Handley-Bain,

Students raise money for charity.

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Jamie Hilliard, Amy Shaw and Brooke Barnes chose to organise a for jazz band to play at the Lazy Cow restaurant in Solihull Town Centre as well as obtaining raffle prizes from local businesses. They raised a total of £670. A second event, organised by Sam Brittain, Sam Jamie, Spencer Saunders, Harry Allwood, Ricky Thompson and James Nairne was held at The Chapel nightclub in Banbury and raised £222 for Help for Heroes.

Now that’s what we call a round! Players from the Menzies Welcombe Golf Club recently embarked on their 2013 Captain Pro Challenge, playing on four courses in four countries on the same day to raise money for charity. The challenge was successfully completed on Thursday 20 June and raised £3,000 for Breast Cancer Care and Prostate Cancer UK. Dan Hacker, Director of Golf and John Burton, Club Captain, played 72 holes in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. They first played at Faughan Valley Golf Club in Derry before flying to Campbeltown Airport in Scotland and playing at Machrihanish Golf Club. The third course of the day was at Anglesey Golf Club before the team flew to Wellesbourne airport and played their final course at Menzies Welcombe. The team flew in a six-seater Piper plane provided by Mike Roberts of Take Flight Aviation. The pilot offered his plane and time for free. The golf clubs all waived their usual fees. Dan Hacker, Director of Golf at the Menzies Welcombe Golf Club, said “Every year we have a Captain’s Challenge in aid of charity and this was probably one of the most challenging.” Located on the outskirts of Stratfordupon-Avon, the Menzies Welcombe Hotel Spa & Golf Club is situated just five minutes from junction 15 of the M40.

Train station starts to make a difference The new Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway is already proving that it is more than just a train station and is a hub of transport for Stratford – so much so that it now has a dedicated commuter bus service. The SP1 service (Stratford Parkway 1) is a new bus service, operated by Stagecoach, linking the Alcester Road area with the new Parkway station. It adds to the already good bus connections to the surrounding area from the Stratford Park & Ride, which is adjacent to the new train station. Specifically designed to meet the needs of commuters to and from the area, the service is scheduled to meet trains departing the Parkway station between 6.20am and 7.40am and trains arriving at the station between 5.15pm and 7.30pm. The new service has been launched as part of Warwickshire County Council’s Local Sustainable Travel Fund project for Stratford, which is funded by the Department for Transport, and is being promoted through the Choose How You Move Warwickshire campaign. Councillor Peter Butlin, Portfolio Holder for Transport & Planning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “The addition of this new commuter bus service will further enhance the transport options available to people living and working in Stratford-upon-Avon.” Details of the new SP1 bus service and links to service timetables, as well as information on all other transport options at Stratford Parkway, including the existing 221 Justin’s Avenue bus service and 222 Timothy’s Bridge Road bus service, can be found on the Stratford Parkway page of the Choose How You Move website at www.stratfordparkway.co.uk.

Dan Hacker (left) and John Burton in Scotland

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Business Direct: Business Support

Have you planned your exit strategy? “Grooming a business for sale is the key to a successful exit strategy,” says Martin Gibbs. “In fact exiting a business that may have been built up over a lifetime can require the same level of planning needed to launch it,” he maintains. With signs that the UK’s economic gloom may be lightening, increasing numbers of businessmen and women are looking for a way out, in search of retirement or pastures new. And there are some important points to bear in mind if they want to realise maximum value for their years of hard work. Martin points out: “Exiting the business is not a question of if, but when. Planning for the eventuality helps provide you with some say in how the future unfolds.” Owner managers have two options - transferring the business and ensuring its continuation, or terminating it and closing it down. “If you choose to transfer the business, you can sell to co-owners or unrelated partners, sell to staff –usually long term employees with the ability and financial resources - sell to third parties, or transfer to family members. The first three options will result in a realisation of the family’s wealth that is currently locked up in the business. The last, succession, often involves the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next, and entails a shared vision for the future of the business and a willingness to work cooperatively during the transition period to achieve results that meet the expectations of all parties. “Detailed planning is essential and some of the points to be covered include the process for choosing a successor, ensuring a meaningful and financially secure retirement

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Martin Gibbs

for the current leader, communicating relevant decisions to family, company employees and the community, and establishing career paths for key managers. Once complete, the plan should be reviewed annually to ensure that it keeps up with changing circumstances.” Martin suggests taking a few minutes to write a page in answer to

each of the following questions and reviewing them with your family, colleagues and advisers: • What do I want for myself? • What do I want for my family? • What does my family want? • What do I want for my business? Dafferns takes a three phase approach to the process starting with the optimisation of performance through profit improvement, freeing up cash to fund the entire process, and boosting the bottom line for years to come. The next step is to polish the business and solidify growth – ensuring a solid management team is in place and that the balance sheet is cleaned up. Phase three involves controlling aspects of the sale to your own advantage determining negotiating strategies, finding appropriate buyers, and overcoming tactics designed to depress the sale price. Martin points out that the whole process can take between two and four years. He comments: “Transferring a business can be accomplished more effectively if you fully understand the process and have planned it well in advance. It not only maximises the sale price, but also increases the likelihood that you can make a timely and graceful exit. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to have an enduring impact on the destiny of you and your family.” If you would like to discuss your exit strategy with Martin Gibbs, please call him on Tel: 024 7622 1046 or email: martin.gibbs@dafferns.com. Visit www.dafferns.com.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Business Direct: Business Support

Payday Loans -

socially acceptable or morally wrong? Did you throw a few pounds into the church collection on Sunday? If so, you may, indirectly, have invested in one of our well known payday loan companies. One minute the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, tells us the Church of England will put Wonga out of business; the next, embarrassingly for him, he tells us the Church’s investment portfolio includes a stake in Wonga. What’s all the fuss about? Over the last few years payday loans have risen significantly in demand and prominence. At present, there is very little positive press about the organisations that provide these loans. Some say their exorbitant interest rates and practices are blamed for fuelling the misery of many by inviting them to borrow money they cannot afford to repay. What are the current views on payday loans? In March 2013, the Office of Fair Trading reported that they had found ‘widespread irresponsible lending’ within this industry sector. This view was supported by many, who saw the misery and difficulty faced by individuals who had opted to take out payday loans as a last resort, only to find that they were unable to meet the repayments and faced spiralling charges. Why do we use payday loans? Searches of the internet reveal the seemingly eye watering interest rates charged by payday lenders, the lowest on a

price comparison site being 1,734%, rising to an almost unbelievable 5,853%. So, at these rates, why is there still a demand for this type of loan and why are they needed? Well, what if, a week before you were due to be paid your overdraft was at its limit and your car or washing machine broke down? What if the dog was seriously injured and needed urgent veterinary care? If you had nowhere else to turn would you wait? Some say it is only a short term loan, that you can pay back next week or next month. You can have the cash in your bank account in less than 60 minutes. In reality, the arrangement fee and interest for a relatively small loan, over a short period of time, is not an eye watering sum. Cash Lady offer a 28 day £100 loan for £291. Some might say that this is not too bad for an emergency, although this equates to 2,670% per annum. That’s fine if you can afford to repay in that timescale but behold the wrath of the payday lender if you can not. The former face of Cash Lady, Kerry Katona, recently parted ways with them for mutual reasons. Could that split have had anything to do with Kerry’s second

bankruptcy in July this year? On reviewing responses from borrowers, there are those who see a payday loan as a ‘sensible alternative to running up an unauthorised bank overdraft’. At first reading this may appear laughable. So, how does an unauthorised overdraft compare? One High Street bank recently reduced their unauthorised borrowing fee to £15, which it will charge for each day that the unauthorised overdraft increases by more than £50. A charge of £35 is made for each unpaid item, be it a cheque, direct debit or standing order. Interest is charged at 23%. To borrow £100 for 30 days would cost in the region of £17 but one unpaid item fee will increase this to £52. The future Whilst there does need to be better financial understanding by borrowers and more responsible lending by payday loan companies, there also seems to be an argument for payday loans to remain for those unforeseen emergencies where

John Rimmer, BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency

using an unauthorised overdraft would be an even more costly exercise. I want to know more If you, or someone you know is experiencing financial difficulty, for whatever reason, professional advice and help is available. Contact John Rimmer at BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency on 02476 253894 for an initial consultation, in confidence, without obligation and free of charge. www.briuk.co.uk 1

Figures correct as at 31 July 2013 from www.cashlady.co.uk

New Technologies for Automatic Identification Location and Sensing – Free support to SMEs in the West Midlands The New Technologies for Automatic Identification Location and Sensing (NTAILS) project is managed by IT Futures at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund*. The project is aimed at the West Midlands’ SME community to promote awareness and adoption of technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), barcodes and Quick Response (QR) codes, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and sensors. As part of the project, a Demonstration Centre has been constructed on the University of Wolverhampton’s Telford campus which includes a walk-through interactive scenario to illustrate to businesses how they could adopt the technologies. The scenarios include a warehouse, shop, pharmacy and library.

Visitors to the Centre can tour the scenarios and experience for themselves how such technologies could improve their business processes. Project Manager, Richard Przeplata, explains: “Our aim is to increase the take up of new technologies to make businesses more economically competitive

and their business sustainable. The technologies we are showcasing would only be affordable by large blue chip companies, but we are opening up the technologies to a wider economic audience. The Demonstration Centre enables us to show SMEs how they can adopt these technologies and improve their business processes.” The project can offer eligible businesses the following: • Free business assistance • Free equipment loans • Free to attend seminars and events • Free graduate placements Since its launch in November 2011, over 200 companies have visited the Demonstration Centre and over 100 local and regional businesses have expressed an interest in the business assists available to them. Ongoing collaborations have been established with GS1 UK (the leading

international barcodes standards agency), the Black Country Consortium and Dudley MBC; the Demonstration Centre has received international business visitors, most recently from Nigeria and Kazakhstan. The project will continue to showcase its technologies and support through its events programme until December 2013. Free to attend seminars have included topics such as ‘Making QR codes work for your business’, ‘Using RFID in Manufacturing’ and ‘Near Field Communication (NFC) – the New QR Code?’ which continue to be well attended by local and regional businesses from a range of sectors such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Legal and Financial Services and Creative Industries. To find out how your business can benefit from assistance through the NTAILS project, or to book a visit to the Demonstration Centre please contact us.

*The NTAILS project is part financed by the West Midlands - Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme, European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/europeanregional-development-funding.

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www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Business Direct: Finance

When the banks say no, P2P offers new options Local finance experts Ludgate Finance has seen business more than double in the last 18 months as the peer to peer (P2P) lending sector has emerged to support small businesses. Industry figures show that the P2P sector is growing at an exponential rate, and the biggest challenge facing the sector is finding good businesses that want to borrow money. Recent successes for Ludgate include the following deals:• £250,000 for a tier 1 automotive supplier needing finance for a tooling project • £600,000 for a mobile phone operator seeking to expand its marketplace • £380,000 for a courier business seeking to expand its services • £300,000 to refinance a niche market printing business • £275,000 to fund growth of a construction related business • £525,000 to finance the acquisition of a new business

Breathing space: Alan Pavis of AFP Medical (left) with Ludgate Finance director Richard Mason. Ludgate assisted Rugby-based AFP to raise £65,000 through ThinCats, which it will use to develop the latest version of its medical nebuliser, which it already supplies to clients in the UK, Australia and Europe.

So what is P2P? – it is an alternative way to borrow money which cuts out the banks, provides access to finance for businesses and a higher rate of return for investors. Potential borrowers’ proposals are the basis for online auctions where individual lenders bid to form syndicates that lend money to those businesses. Auction amounts vary greatly. The largest auction to date in the UK was for £2.05 million but finance is available from £10,000 upwards. Since the banking crash of 2008, many small businesses and their advisers have struggled to find finance to assist with growth. The P2P sector has provided the answer and from a standing start 3 years ago has provided over £200 million of finance for small businesses and a higher rate of return than the banks for the investors. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Ludgate works closely with ThinCats (www.thincats.com), a funding platform that uses businesses such as Ludgate to vet applications from potential borrowers. This process allows investors to get under the skin of a business rather than relying on a scoring matrix to underwrite the deal. Ludgate’s experienced team has been instrumental in helping ThinCats grow over the last 18 months, and there have now been over 130 loans provided to growing businesses with £30 million of investors’ funds earning an average interest rate of just over 10%. With the sponsorship model, Ludgate and ThinCats aim to provide the sort of service that the banks used to provide – a personal, tailored approach where the understanding of the business and its management team are as important as the financials,

forecasts and security. With over 60 deals totalling £12 million now having been underwritten by Ludgate, director Richard Mason commented “P2P lending is a great product in a marketplace where lender and borrower alike are not being serviced well by the mainstream lenders. Whilst the government is keen to see small businesses grow, there is much red tape and bureaucracy that get in the way of bank lending and the banks themselves have lost the ability to underwrite based on performance and order book, preferring to rely on bricks and mortar security to underpin their advances. It is ironic that banks are now introducing their clients to us as they know that there is a deal to be done but they cannot do it due to their stringent underwriting criteria.”

In 2013, Ludgate has raised over £7 million for 37 businesses. Martin Coyne, Managing Director, observed “We are delighted to have assisted so many businesses recently, the challenge we face is getting the message to the marketplace that there is finance available. Talking to small businesses and their advisers, it is clear that there has been a culture of no funding being available and a belt and braces attitude being adopted by most banks if they are to lend money. The solution to the last recession was to borrow for growth and move the country forward but the economic circumstances and pressure on the banks seems to be hindering the recovery. P2P is a great solution to this problem.” Over the coming months, we will be looking more closely at the challenges faced by small businesses in raising finance and the ways that different businesses have been helped through P2P funding.

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Business Direct: Internet Services

WarwickNet to the Rescue with Superfast Broadband WarwickNet, the region’s largest independent provider of internet services, has come to the rescue of companies on three local business parks that were desperate for faster access to the internet.

WarwickNet has rolled out its extensive network capability to businesses struggling with connectivity on Coventry Business Park, Binley Business Park and Meriden Business Park. The Coventry-based specialist high-

speed internet and broadband network provider has rescued struggling tenants on the parks by providing superfast broadband between 10 and 40 times faster than existing provision. Neil Barber, the head of technology at

(L-R) WarwickNet managing director Ben King with Neil Barber, the head of technology, at Process Management International (PMI).

WarwickNet Wins Contract with Stoneleigh Business Park WarwickNet, a Coventry-based company specialising in network connectivity and related services to business and science parks, has been appointed by LaSalle Investment Management to provide high-speed internet access to businesses on Stoneleigh Park. Companies at Stoneleigh, near Kenilworth, will soon be able to tap into ultra-fast broadband as WarwickNet manages the campuswide network and provides them with superfast broadband and leased line access. WarwickNet will also be utilising Sub Loop Unbundling (SLU) technology to supply outlying and neighbouring properties. LaSalle is introducing extensive Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) internet connectivity in a major capital investment programme to revitalise the site as an internationally-renowned centre for agriculture, rural business, science and innovation. Business tenants will be able to receive bandwidths of up to 1Gbit/s on the diversely connected site, substantially faster than the minimum standard set out in a government initiative to improve broadband availability in rural communities. Stoneleigh Park has 965,000 sq ft of commercial space and currently accommodates over 60 businesses which employ in excess of 1,100 people. Colin Hooper, estates director at Stoneleigh Park, said: “LaSalle is making a major investment to bring in a resilient broadband supply for our tenants and, as an independent specialist provider, WarwickNet was chosen following a competitive tender process with a view to supplying a high-quality and cost-efficient service to the growing science park. “A number of on-site organisations are already queuing up to take advantage of this new service, which will be a considerable enhancement to the existing provision.” Ben King, managing director of WarwickNet, the leading businessto-business Internet Service Provider in the region, said: “Many small, medium and even larger companies on business and science parks can be held back by poor connectivity in a modern business world that depends upon faster access to the internet and cloud services. “That’s why it’s really satisfying for us to be able to enable companies on Stoneleigh Park to be able to work more efficiently and so develop their business more rapidly.” Stoneleigh Park is among six science and technology parks in the UK which have been brought together as a long-term investment by LaSalle as the Business Environment for Science and Technology (BEST) Network. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Process Management International (PMI) at Meriden Business Park, said: “We love technology and we are constantly looking at what is new and upcoming, but one area we were lacking was our broadband speed which was awfully slow with a very poor service. WarwickNet will give us a real boost and enable us to stay here and expand our services. “We plan to move a lot of our technical services to the Cloud which, until now, we were restricted from doing. This is a gamechanger for us as it will be for many other local businesses that were previously straight-jacketed by poor internet connectivity.” Jon Earnshaw, sales and marketing director for WarwickNet, said: “The problem for small, medium and even larger companies on these sites is that their wings are clipped by poor connectivity in a business world that relies upon easy and faster access to the internet and cloud services. “At the start of this year, we aimed to target a further 12 business, technology and science parks - as well as other multi-

WarwickNet sales & marketing director Jon Earnshaw.

tenant business facilities. This is an important step towards that target - and we have several more business parks in the pipeline where tenant companies are desperate for superfast broadband.” Managing director Ben King, whose company also supplies superfast broadband to the likes of Warwick University Science Park, Blythe Valley Business Park near Solihull, Tachbrook Business Park in Leamington and Hatton Technology Park, near Warwick, said: “It’s really satisfying being able to enable the data-hungry businesses which typically inhabit these business parks to work more efficiently and so develop their businesses more rapidly.” For more information, call 024 7699 7225 or visit www.warwicknet.com

Technology Park Celebrates Superfast Broadband A rural business park in Warwickshire has bucked the national trend by celebrating its first anniversary of having superfast broadband. While the rest of the UK’s rural community is at least two years behind the technological link-up, Hatton Technology Park, near Warwick, is poised to sign new deals with commercial tenants for whom high-speed internet connectivity has proved to be the deal maker. WarwickNet, the region’s largest independent provider of internet services, has seen interest at Hatton and other local business and science parks rocket because of its ability to provide a service that is up to 40 times faster than conventional broadband. WarwickNet managing director Ben King said: “Many companies dependent upon high speed internet to remain competitive feel that they have no choice but to be part of a university or larger business or science park close to urban hubs. But over the last 12 months, Hatton Technology Park has exploded that myth in style.” A National Audit Office (NAO) report published this summer was critical of the lack of competition with BT holding a monopoly position, saying it had put back by two years the target roll-out of superfast broadband to

Celebrating superfast broadband are (left to right) Graham O’Neill from ACIS, Ben King from WarwickNet and Johnnie Arkwright from Hatton Technology Park.

95 per cent of the UK by 2015. Its views were shared by Johnnie Arkwright, owner of Hatton Technology Park, who described BT as ‘at best unhelpful and at worst obstructive’ in his vision to connect up the estate. Mr Arkwright, a director of Countryside Alliance, said: “It was because of this obstruction that we went to another, more local provider. WarwickNet has given us fantastic broadband connectivity – ahead of the majority of the UK - with a minimum of hassle for the tenants there.” Caroline Clifton, property manager for Hatton Estates, which runs the Technology Park, said: “We are in advanced talks with three businesses looking to locate here. The latest deal is a big company which has chosen us not only because it is a lovely place to work, but, more importantly, because it has the superfast connection which will help it to remain competitive in a global market. “Other businesses on the estate have either moved here specifically for superfast broadband, or decided to renew their leases once the decision was made to go for the superfast connection. Now we are almost at capacity at the business park, which is fantastic news during what is still a difficult time for small businesses in the UK.” Graham O’Neill, chief executive of ACIS, a not-forprofit distribution network serving the national automotive paint and refinishing industry, said: “We had been at Hatton for some time but had decided to move because we needed faster internet connectivity. We had even got as far as looking for other offices. However, we spoke to Hatton Estates about our needs and they responded by opening up a dialogue with all of the businesses here and WarwickNet. “As a result, we are still here a year on and we are delighted with the internet connection. We deal with businesses across the UK as well as some of the biggest global automotive brands so it was critical for us to have both fast and robust internet access.”

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News

Company goes from strength to strength A Warwickshire firm which is ‘changing all the rules’ of manufacturing components for the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors is going from strength to strength after marking a year in business – with backing from accountants Spencer Gardner Dickins. Innovate 2 Make (i2M) was launched in July 2012 before beginning trading in December and has worked with some of the UK’s major players in the sectors, including Formula 1 teams, to adopt Additive Manufacturing (AM) into production processes. The company has invested heavily in an EOS laser melting platform at its base on Tachbrook Park Industrial Estate in Leamington and is being supported by Spencer Gardner Dickins, which has its offices on Cheetah Road in Coventry. Within its first six months of trading, i2M has won work with Formula 1 teams to design and create lighter components such as roll hoops - making significant weight and cost savings. But it was a fashion company which first sought the support of i2M to create a titanium stiletto. Director Ian Campbell said: “This is 24/7 lights out manufacturing, and from a design point of view we are able to design components from the inside outward. “For instance we’re able to use this technology to create ‘impossible’ geometrics, which is incredible to see and is changing all the rules of creating complex components. “The AM process works directly from the

Pictured left to right: Bruno Le Razer, Ian Campbell (i2M), David Thomas from Spencer Gardner Dickins, and Mike Kelly (i2M)

Computer Aided Design model (3D CAD) and orients the components and slices the CAD data into layers which are then drawn in the build using a laser onto a powder bed containing fine metallic particles. Each layer is grown together to produce a final component. “We’re using our knowledge of engineering in the aerospace, automotive, motorsport and medical sectors to support major companies with this technology, but we have to admit it was a bit of surprise

that our first contract was in the fashion industry! “We were able to create titanium stiletto shapes no other machine could do, which goes to show how diverse the technology is.” David Thomas, partner at Spencer Gardner Dickins, added: “i2M has enjoyed a solid launch is well placed to build on the short-term success and grow to become a leading player in UK additive manufacturing.”

College seeks help to supports students as they make their way in life Hereward College, a general further education college in Coventry, is offering inclusive provision with specialist facilities for students with a wide range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities. A key area which the college is developing in involves Employability. The College supports students to develop wider skills such as travelling independently, initiative and confidence through the use of job coaches with a view to transferring their academic skills into the workplace. The college has an Employability Skills Developer who works in partnership with CSWP to provide careers education, guidance and placement experience, all of which are endorsed by the college to satisfy insurance and health and safety requirements. The positive partners programme has been designed to support students into a placement located outside of the College. The programme looks to support both the Student and the organisation in ensuring the experience is enjoyed by both parties. Amongst the initial benefit of supporting a young person each organisation is given the opportunity to develop wider links with the college whilst promoting equality and diversity in their workplace. If you feel that you could offer the opportunity of an employability placement to a student from Hereward College, please contact Nathalie Neill Employability Skills Developer. Telephone 024 76 426185 or e-mail Tilly.Absalom@hereward.ac.uk

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Businesses cycle for gold in charity challenge Midlands professional services firm Prime Chartered Accountants has set up a challenge to cycle to 62 Olympic gold postboxes in the UK to raise money for cancer charity Macmillan. The Gold Postbox Cycle Challenge will see staff, clients and other business partners cover 3,600 miles visiting boxes in places as far afield as Lossiemouth in Morayshire, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Sark in the Channel Islands and Penzance down in the far south west. The Challenge started on July 1 from Prime’s offices at Corner Oak Solihull, one year to the day that the Olympic torch past the same spot, and is scheduled to be completed on Friday September 27 when riders set out from Prime’s Coventry office on the final leg. The 62 gold postboxes to be visited have been divided into 25 routes of varying distances and difficulty, with the shortest being eight miles and the longest 598 miles (over six days). This will allow novices and experienced cyclists alike to get involved in the Challenge.

“The idea has really caught the imagination of our staff, clients and business partners, so much so that all the talk in the office is about bikes, lycra and training schedules.” Prime Managing Director Kevin Johns said, “Macmillan is our chosen charity this year and we wanted to do something a bit out of the ordinary to raise money. We also wanted to keep the spirit and legacy of the 2012 Olympics alive, so we came up with idea of cycling to every post-box that was painted gold in honour of the British Olympic gold medal winners. “The idea has really caught the imagination of our staff, clients and business partners, so much so that all the talk in the office is about bikes, lyrca and training schedules. We think we can raise a really good sum of money, get a lot of people participating in the Challenge and have a lot of fun and exercise along the way.” Details on the Gold Postbox Cycle Challenge can be found at www.goldpostboxcyclechallenge.co.u k and everyone will be able keep up to date with the latest progress on the Challenge via a facebook page www.facebook.com/goldpostboxcycle challenge and on twitter using the hashtag #GPCC2013.

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

News

Grant scheme supports businesses It all adds up at the Plus One Party The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is encouraging small rural businesses in the area to apply for grants from a new £500,000 funding programme. The micro-enterprise grants, delivered as part of a package of support to businesses through Warwickshire’s Rural Growth Network, are designed to help small rural firms achieve their potential for expansion. The funding for the scheme is from the Rural Development Programme for England. The grant scheme is being managed by Warwickshire County Council on behalf of the Local Enterprise Partnership with proactive advice and support to applicants being provided by the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Support team and targeted to businesses in rural areas of the county. Firms with 10 or fewer employees with an annual turnover or a balance sheet not exceeding ¤2 million euros can qualify for the funding. Cllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Local Enterprise Partnership board member, said: “The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network offers a range of support including specialist advice, one-to-one mentoring, coaching, loans and grants to existing rural businesses and those looking to start their own business. “The whole ethos of the network is to provide that specialist help, support and finance for rural enterprises to help give

them the best possible chance of succeeding and growing. “Initiatives such as this, which gives firms access to finance, will enable rural enterprises to grow and unlock more investment in the economy from other sectors.” Applications for the grants are particularly sought from micro businesses operating in the manufacturing, digital media and low carbon sectors. Applications from women-led businesses are also encouraged. Grants from £10,000 to £100,000 are available for eligible projects and applicants will be supported by Warwickshire’s Rural Growth Network Team and the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Support team. The micro-enterprise grants are part of a package of Local Enterprise Partnership access to finance activities including Growing Places. The £500,000 grant to establish the scheme brings Defra’s total investment in the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network to £2.9m. For more information visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ ruralgrowthnetwork or www.cwlep.com or call 01926 412709.

Plus One Personnel held a Summer Party in the grounds of Overthorpe Hall, Near Banbury. The event was extremely popular, with clients coming from all over Oxfordshire and Warwickshire to join in an evening packed with food, drink and entertainment. With the weather on their side, they enjoyed reception drinks on the lawn with entertainment from Dorian, an internationallyrenowned magician. After a hog roast, everyone took to the floor to dance to the live Beatles Tribute Band. Kirsty Leahy, from the Banbury Sound Breakfast Show, was the compere for the charity raffle in aid of Katharine House Hospice. A total of £600 was raised. Claire Kingsbury, Director of Plus One Personnel, said: “We would like to thank everyone for making the evening so spectacularly successful. All the companies that donated such generous prizes for our raffle and to everybody who bought raffle tickets on the night.”

Chinese visit to city engineer

Pictured left to right: Xu Hongri, Hu Guolei, Michael Collins (Sales Director), Daniel Hurcombe (Managing Director), Zhou Xiaoming, Mark Eaton (China-Britain Business Council), Brian Mountford (Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce), Paul Sullivan (Business Development Director)

A Coventry-based development engineering company has given key members of the Chinese government the lowdown on its innovative services. Penso, which works with some of the world’s most prestigious vehicle brands, wants to further develop its overseas trade and is being supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the China Britain Business Council (CBBC). Through those relationships, Penso welcomed Mr Zhou Xiaoming, Ms Hu Guolei and Mr Xu Hongri, the First, Second and Third Secretaries of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to its headquarters at Middlemarch Business Park. Paul Sullivan, Business Development Director of Penso, said: “We are continually looking to grow the business and find new markets, and China offers great potential. “We are working with the Chamber and www.cw-chamber.co.uk

UKTI to develop our international trade opportunities so it was great to host such key figures from China at our offices in Coventry. “Personal relationships are vitally important in business – especially when trading overseas and that is particularly true when dealing with China. “Working with Mark Eaton (CBBC) who has a vast amount of experience working in China gives us a good head start.” Brian Mountford, of the UKTI team based at the Chamber, said: “This was a great opportunity to introduce this delegation to one of Coventry’s cutting edge companies. “Penso’s technical offering is of great interest to many overseas companies and this was particularly evident from the discussions they held. “Both CBBC and UKTI are delighted to give ongoing support to assist Penso to develop China and other overseas markets.”

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President & People

Lodders promotes from within as two make partner

Amrik Bhabra

Giving business a chance As you will read in this edition of the magazine, I recently met Prime Minister David Cameron and urged the Government to keep up its drive to help businesses. Such events have been a crucial part of my Presidency and the job has given me a golden opportunity to press the business case with politicians of all parties. My determination to communicate the message has been strengthened because, during my time as President, I have met many of our local business people and have been inspired by their approach to the task in hand. My meetings have reinforced my admiration for the incredible sense of innovation that we have here in this area. Everywhere you look are companies using new processes, new products, new ways of working and new ways of thinking. Established companies are evolving and new companies are emerging, which augurs well for our area. The same message comes over time and time again when I meet our local business people. They have a determination to succeed and a strong sense of being part of their local communities and all that they require from Government is the right support to help them grow and protect and create jobs. Give SMEs that support, a less bureaucratic system, easier access to funding and the opportunity to bid for public sector contracts and business will do the rest. Businesses are not looking for handouts or special treatment from politicians. What they are looking for, though, is fair treatment and I hope the Chamber has played its part in communicating that message in the corridors of power. On a personal note, I would like to thank Louise and all her staff for their support during my time as President. They are a terrific team and the Chamber owes its fine reputation to their work and vision. I would also like to thank the Board and the many members for their support, too, and I look forward to supporting Peter Burns as my successor from October. It has been an honour to serve as President and play a part in the brilliant work that the Chamber does.

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Lodders Solicitors has promoted two of its rising stars to partner. The appointment of Sofia Tayton and Alex Robinson takes the number of partners at the Warwickshire and Gloucestershire law firm to 23. Both have risen through the ranks of Lodders, from trainee level, through associate to partner status in just 12 years. Sofia Tayton joined Lodders in October 2001 and was appointed an associate in July 2008. She heads up the care and capacity team, specialising in care funding, mental capacity, Court of Protection and powers of attorney. She is one of a select few in the UK appointed to the Panel of Deputies of the Office of Public Guardian, and a member and joint regional coordinator of the Warwickshire and Worcestershire Branch of Solicitors for the Elderly. She said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed a partner at Lodders where I have worked since joining as a trainee in 2001.This is a firm that recognises both talent and hard work and is very much forward looking in its approach to training and retaining its staff.” Alex Robinson started work at Lodders as a secretary in December 2001. Having previously been awarded a Masters degree in Classics at the University of Liverpool,

she chose to follow a new career and now 12 years of hard work have paid off. She became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in October 2007. She was the first legal executive ever to be promoted to associate at Lodders and has now been appointed a partner. Her specialist areas include agricultural and rural property transactions, including sales, purchases, auctions and agricultural landlord and tenant matters. She also advises on highways issues, private rights of way and access to land, the property aspects of trusts and estate planning.. She is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association and the Country Land & Business Association. She said: “Since earning a degree my career has hardly followed the “classic” route, but I am delighted to have been appointed a partner having come through the legal executive channel. This demonstrates that Lodders is a firm where you can craft a career for yourself, whatever your starting point.” Senior partner David Lodder said: “Lodders is keen to recognise talent and in appointing Sofia and Alex we are demonstrating that this is a firm where merit is identified and recognised appropriately.”

Bright future beckons for Charlotte

College welcomes new Chief Technology Officer Haydn Jones, Charlotte Fisher (from Band Hatton Button)

Yousef Fouda

A new Chief Technology Officer has taken up his post at Warwickshire College. Yousef Fouda’s new role has been introduced in response to the growing importance of technology in further education. He brings a wealth of experience from previous further education roles, including as Assistant Principal for Curriculum Innovation at Reading College, where projects with IBM, Apple and Google transformed the teaching and learning

experience through technology. Yousef said: “My role as Chief Technology Officer is to work with staff across the college to bring in the best and most suitable technology that is out there to enable us to do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. “Technology development over the last few years has been very exciting and my responsibility is to support staff across the organisation deliver an exceptional learning experience for our students.”

A Coventry legal professional is celebrating after fully qualifying as a solicitor. Charlotte Fisher, 24, who has spent two years as a trainee at legal firm Band Hatton Button, in Warwick Road, completed her training contract. The Oxford Brookes University graduate initially completed work experience with the firm seven years ago before returning on a permanent basis to complete her training. “It has taken a lot of hard work to qualify as a solicitor and is a massive personal achievement for me,” she said. Haydn Jones, partner at Band Hatton Button, said: “Charlotte’s recent qualification underlines our commitment to developing the careers of promising young legal professionals. She has become an invaluable asset to the team and we are extremely proud of her achievements. “Nurturing talented individuals also allows us to offer the highest quality of services to our clients, and is something we hope to continue to offer in the future.”

www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

Top award for NFU finance director NFU finance director Ken Sutherland picked up a top honour at the inaugural Business Finance Awards. He was named UK finance director of the year – public sector and voluntary – during a glittering ceremony at London’s Millennium Mayfair hotel. Organised by Financial Director magazine, the awards recognise finance teams, businesses and individuals that have demonstrated success and innovation over the past 12 months. The event, hosted by former Conservative minister Michael Portillo, also featured a lifetime achievement award for Morrisons group finance director Richard Pennycook. There was also a special award for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Ken said: “I am delighted to receive this award but it would not have been possible without the support of my team and of all my colleagues at the NFU. “I hope this also reassures our members that their money is in safe hands.”

President meets the PM!

www.cw-chamber.co.uk

“It is excellent news for this area that he has been given this role...”

Training Marketing - The Essential Guide Communicating Assertively Health and Safety in the Workplace Level 2 Award (CIEH Accredited) Understanding Import and Export Procedures Telesales - Getting Results Microsoft® Word - Intermediate to Advanced Appraising People and Performance Business Email Writing Inspirational Leadership Risk Assessment Principles and Practice Level 2 Award (CIEH Accredited) Planning and Monitoring the Teams’ Work Briefing the Team Microsoft® Excel - Basic to Intermediate Customer Service Essentials Effective Communication Motivating the Team Directors Personal Legal Liability On-line Marketing Managing Difficult People Business Report Writing Export Documentation - Getting it Right Developing a Team Understanding Training Coaching and Mentoring

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October

September

CWT TRAINING DATES 2013 Days

A prominent industry figure from Coventry and Warwickshire is urging the Government to keep up its drive to help businesses – especially SMEs. Amrik Bhabra, who runs Adecs Ltd and is president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, had a brief audience with Prime Minister David Cameron at Number Ten Downing Street. Bhabra was there as part of the launch of a ‘Supporting Small Business’ campaign being launched by the Prime Minister. On the same day, Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones was announced as the Small Business Ambassador for the Midlands and is one of 12 ambassadors across the country. Bhabra said: “I had a brief but very positive conversation with the Prime Minister and made the point that small businesses should be given more opportunities to bid for public sector work, including NHS contracts. “The Prime Minister agreed and said it

was something we should discuss with Marcus as both a local MP and also as the new Small Business Ambassador for the region. “That is exactly what we intend to do because Marcus has always been very happy to engage with the Chamber to find out the needs of business across the region. “It is excellent news for this area that he has been given this role and I am sure it will lead to further engagement with the Chamber.” Marcus Jones MP said: “The Government has done a huge amount to help small business, but there is much more to do. “I am delighted to have been appointed the Conservative Small Business Ambassador for the Midlands region and I will be putting forward the case for small business across Government.” Bhabra said the Chamber hoped to welcome a key Government figure to its annual conference later this year. Bhabra, who is also chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership SME Business Group, said: “The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s presence on the national stage has never been more prominent and that is very good news for our members because it means we can feed their concerns direct to decision makers. “Locally, the Chamber is working very hard with the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to help tackle some of the issues that smaller businesses face through its SME Group. “But having a route straight to Government is extremely beneficial too and we will be inviting a prominent cabinet figure to our conference later this year.”

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New Members & Events sponsored column

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Flight Simulators West Midlands Coventry Airo Club, Rowleys Road, Coventry CV3 4FR T: 0783 116 1477 E: info@crigby.f9.co.uk W: www.flightsimulatorswestmidlands.co.uk

BDA Ltd Canberra House, Rowley Rd, Coventry Airport North, Coventry CV3 4FR T: 02476 303010 E: alison.brindley@bdaviation.com W: www.bdaviation.com

Frances Maude at The Old Bridge Club 17 Spon Street, Coventry CV1 3BA T: 07825302357 E: louisedixon1977@yahoo.co.uk

Becoming Light 43 Portland Street, Leamington Spa CV32 5EY T: 07815 843744 E: m.s.newdawn@live.co.uk W: www.spiritual-therapies.co.uk

Franklin - Hackett Ltd 43 Carnation Way, Bermuda Park, Nuneaton CV10 7SR T: 02476 5012870 E: johnhackett@me.com W: www.franklinhackett.co.uk

Bego Ltd 8 Osbourne House, Queen Victoria Road, Coventry CV1 3JD T: 024 7610 0236 E: gaston@bego.org.uk W: www.bego.org.uk

Grapevine (Coventry & Warwickshire) Ltd 123 Upper Spon Street, Spon End, Coventry CV1 3AR T: 02476 631040 E: knichols@grapevinecoventryandwarwickshire.co.uk W: www.grapevinecovandwarks.org

Business In The Community - Area West C/O BLAKEMORE WHOLESALE, Wolverhampton Science Park, Coxwell Avenue, Wolverhampton WV10 9RT E: jayne.magee@bitc.org.uk W: www.bitc.org.uk

IDT Financial Services 132 Gretna Road, Coventry CV3 6QD T: 07769359458 W: www.idtfinancial.co.uk

Centro Centro House, 16 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3SD T: 01212147077 W: www.centro.org.uk

Jill Roberts 37 High View Road, Cubbington, Leamington Spa CV32 7JB T: 07830376675 E: jill.therapy@live.com W: www.leamingtontherapy.co.uk

Evolyst 32 Archer Avenue, Braunston, Daventry NN11 7HD T: 07986441062 E: info@evolyst.com W: www.evolyst.com

Key Forensic Services Ltd Unit 1, Sir William Lyons Road, University Of Warwick Science Park, Coventry CV4 7EZ E: brian.thomas@keyforensic.co.uk W: www.keyforensic.co.uk

Flex Recruitment Salisbury House, Wheatfield Way, Hinckley LE10 1YG T: 01455 638088 E: adrian.hobbs@flexrecruitment.co.uk W: www.flexrecruitment.co.uk

Kudos Catering Royal Pump Rooms, The Parade, Leamington Spa CV32 4AA T: 01926 311 978 E: kate.allen@rls-dining-events.co.uk W: www.rls-dining-events.co.uk

Lord Presentation Solutions 1 Thoresby Place, Cawston, Rugby CV22 7TF T: 07849 164598 E: stuartjameslord@gmail.com W: www.lordps.co.uk Lumejet LumeJet House, Rowley Drive, Coventry CV3 4FG E: info@lumejet.com W: www.lumejet.com MCD Import and Export Ltd Wesley House, East Street, Long Compton CV36 5GT E: manu.duggal@mcdie.com PRM Wealth Management Ltd 10 Jury Street, Warwick CV34 4EW T: 07528 327765 E: paul.morgan@sjpp.co.uk SAI Import & Export Ltd 4 Eastleigh Avenue, Coventry CV5 6DE E: saiukexport@gmail.com SDI Group 22 Waterfield Way, Sketchley Meadows Industrial Estate, Hinckley LE10 3ER T: 01455 330010 W: www.sdigroup.co.uk STWise Technology & Science 22 Meadowside, Whitestone, Nuneaton CV11 6NF T: 02476 346163 E: theresa@stwise-ts.com W: www.stwise-ts.com The Warwickshire Outsourcing Centre 2 Mayfield Mews, off Mayfield Rd, Southam CV47 0JX T: 01926 298535 E: enquiries@thewarwickshireoutsourcingcentre.co.uk W: www.thewarwickshireoutsourcingcentre.co.uk Yogamasti 450 Aldermans Green Road, Coventry CV2 1NP T: 07723423719 E: info@yogamasti.com W: www.yogamasti.com

Events 11th September

25th September

Access to Finance & Export Masterclass Manufacturing & Engineering

Debt Recovery for your Business

7:45am – 9:30 am International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) at University of Warwick, University Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL Hear from partners on how to access finance packages to support your business needs, including local grants and funding plus the new £3000 export voucher for SME’s Presentations on Access to Finance initiatives to include: Grants and Loans accessible to SME’s, Export Information and UK Export and UK Export Finance 19th September

Chamber Networking 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Costco Coventry, Torrington Avenue, Coventry CV4 9AQ This event fits nicely onto the end of your working day and is the ideal opportunity for you to make new business relationships and grow your customer portfolio. Networking is one of the most effective ways to promote your business and with a large number of delegates to meet and it’s relaxed and informal setting this event is not to be missed.

Join the Chamber at one of the events and receive 10% off your annual membership fee. Find out more information or to book a place please visit www.cwchamber.co.uk Remember to book onto member only events you will need to log-in to the website

9:30 am – 11:00 am Wright Hassall, Olympus Avenue, Leamington Spa, CV34 6BF Come along to hear practical tips and guidance on recovering outstanding debts and unpaid bills within your business. What can you do legally and commercially to improve your cash flow whilst, at the same time, protecting your reputation and the relationships with your customers. 3rd October

LEP Inform & Engage Mid Warwickshire 7:30 am – 9:30 am Holiday Inn Kenilworth, 212 Abbey End, Kenilworth, CV8 1ED CWLEP inform events are being held across the Coventry and Warwickshire area to provide you with an update on the Local Enterprise Partnership. Cllr Craig Humphrey, CWLEP board lead will be opening this event with a presentation about the CWLEP and City Deal and what the LEP means to your business. Friday 4th October

12th Annual Business & Economic Conference 9:30a.m – 1:15p.m followed by lunch Stareton Hall, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ £37.50 +VAT member, £55.00 +VAT non-member Book now to join us at the Chamber’s prestigious Annual Business & Economic Conference which, this year, coincides with the Chamber’s 110th anniversary. The Conference will importantly focus on the future prospects & opportunities for economic growth, locally, nationally and globally. www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Profile for Benham Publishing Limited

C&W In Business  

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce magazine. September-October 2013

C&W In Business  

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce magazine. September-October 2013

Profile for benham