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EP SCHEME CELEBRATES SUCCESS A pioneering University scheme to reward students for developing life and work skills with company internship places and other prizes celebrated its most successful year to date on June 2nd with its annual Rewards Evening. Now in its third year, The University of Kent’s Employability Points (EP) scheme saw a record 3,600 students taking part, with 110 companies offering 410 prizes to its most engaged students.

These include: involvement with campus events; student mentoring; organising student society events; presenting at international conferences; volunteering; part-time employment; work placements; international study; and completion of a world language module. Léo Wilkinson, Employability Points Ambassador, said: ‘With graduation being only 6 weeks away for me, I now realise how invaluable the scheme is bridging the gap between study and employment – whatever the field of study, or area of work. At the Rewards Ceremony – sponsored by Santander Universities – students with the highest points were presented with prizes such as training programmes, paid internships and vouchers, all of

Carole Barron, Director of Innovation and Enterprise, Gavin Esler, Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice Chancellor and Marcus Wright, Enterprise Manager.

which are sponsored by organisations or companies. Lord Mayor of Canterbury Councillor Ann Taylor, representatives from Santander, members of Medway and Canterbury City Councils and the University's Chancellor, Gavin Esler were among the guests who attended the ceremony. Carole Barron, Director of KIE, said: ‘EP goes from strength to strength. As well as opening doors to employers, getting involved in EP can lead to many new experiences and friendships which enhance the overall student experience.’ Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, ViceChancellor of the University, said: ‘The EP scheme recognises the commitment of our many students who are determined to stand

YABILITY PO LO

TS IN

For more information and news, visit www.kent.ac.uk/employabilitypoints Twitter: @EmPoints

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Developed by Kent Innovation and Enterprise at the University, EP encourages students to develop personal and work skills of value to future employers and offering reward points for their active engagement in activities outside their degree programme.

out to prospective employers, and often take the lead in developing new initiatives that will give them the edge. This event highlights the benefits of collaboration between local and national employers and our students and is a testament to the high value employers place on University of Kent graduates.’ If you have been inspired by this story and would like to become a sponsor or supporter of the EP Scheme, please email Employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk or phone 01227 824641. The university is committed to supporting the business community. If you are interested how you can work with us please contact enterprise@kent.ac.uk or phone 01227 816032.


CONTENTS

Welcome Welcome to the August/September edition of Thinking Business. Reading through you will see that there certainly is a lot happening in our County, as well as lots of future opportunities. On page 47 we have the long awaited news on the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal, which will see £447m invested across the area. What great news for Ashford businesses this month, they can now access the Expansion East Kent loan scheme and the area is included in the new Small Business Boost scheme, details can be found on page 18. Aside from funding, it’s always good to celebrate member successes and there certainly are plenty of them in this edition. Our membership covers all sizes of business from sole traders through to multi-nationals and from manufacturing to a magician. We will

soon be starting to promote further the opportunities for members to offer deals and promotions purely for the membership. You only have to look on page 12 for the diversity we have with Cottages to Castles based in Maidstone who are able to supply the perfect retreat in Italy! We are always looking at ways to enhance your membership and be of true value to you, so please do let me know if there’s something that we could be doing or a service that we could be offering that you feel would benefit the membership. Enjoy reading this edition, and scary to think, there’s one more edition and then it will be the last one of 2014!!

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Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: info@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Web: www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited 3tc House, 16 Crosby Road North, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com Published August 2014 © Benham Publishing

Front cover image by Carlos Dominguez mobile +44 (0) 7836717861 email cadaphoto@easynet.co.uk web www.dominguez.co.uk

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com

Members News The Economy Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Getting Started Regional News New Members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: studio@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1368 Disclaimer Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2014. Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

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CHAMBERNEWS

Maidstone closer to securing major new hotel

BitesizeNews Accountants celebrate 20 years of success!

Whitstable based PH Accountancy is celebrating 20 years in business. Owner Andy Page said: “We had a very humble beginning like most businesses. We started off in a tiny box room at our family home, but year on year the business has grown into the thriving business it is today which now employs 12 staff.”

PH Accountancy’s expansion has been achieved by giving an exceptional level of service to their clients regardless of the size of their business and also by giving every client free access to a business growth system called the Vault. The Vault arms PH Accountancy clients with the tools they need to grow their own business, enabling them to access this system for free has helped many of their clients to expand their businesses and increase turnover and therefore make more profit.

Lydd airport appoints specialists to manage runway extension project Lydd Airport on Kent’s Romney Marsh has appointed specialists Capita to design and manage its runway extension. Capita, part of the design team for London’s £14.8 billion Crossrail transport scheme, will be providing project, cost, construction and design management services for the airport as well as civil and aviation design services. Lydd Airport Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq said: “Capita has a wealth of experience in the highly specialised area of designing and building transport infrastructure, and was selected for this project partly on the basis of its recent work on the design of a similar runway extension at Southend Airport.” Lydd Airport’s 294m runway extension, plus a 150m starter extension, will be the first phase of its £25 million development plans, which also include a new terminal building. Once completed, the extended runway will enable B737-type aircraft to fly with a full payload of passengers, maximising the availability of routes and aircraft choice to operators. The airport is now nearing completion of a number of pre-commencement conditions required to enable planning permission for the runway extension to be implemented. Bosses hope to invite contractors to tender for the runway construction project in late summer and anticipate that work will begin before the end of the year. Lydd Holdings, which owns and operates Lydd Airport (also known as London Ashford Airport), has already spent £35 million upgrading the airport over the last decade – including the installation of a state-of-the-art instrument landing system; a new executive terminal with VIP facilities; improved passenger check-in and security; and a new departure lounge. It caters for a wide range of aircraft operations and provides extensive services, including full air traffic control and navigational aids, an FBO (fixed base operator) with 24-hr operating capability, full terminal services and engineering and cargo facilities.

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Kent’s county town is a major step forward to welcoming a 150bedroom hotel at Eclipse Park, next to Junction 7 of the M20, after it received full planning permission. Full planning permission for the hotel was granted to Gallagher Properties, part of the Maidstone-based quarrying, aggregates, construction and property developer Gallagher Group, after all the outstanding matters from the outline permission, were agreed. The final decision was taken by planning officers under their delegated powers. Nick Yandle, Chief Executive of Gallagher Group, said: “We can now enter into serious negotiations with a number of operators who have already expressed interest in developing a hotel of this size in Maidstone. It is clear that the site’s proximity to the recently opened Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, make it a very attractive proposition for a hotel operator. “The planning officers were particularly impressed with the quality of the proposed design and we look forward to delivering a hotel that

supports Maidstone’s business and visitor economy.” The plans for the 150-bedroom hotel on the 16 acre Eclipse Park, also include a restaurant and conference facilities. When built it will be clearly visible from the M20, and close to the offices of Towergate Insurance and the Next Home & Fashion store, which is currently under construction and due to open in November. Thanks to Eclipse Park’s location, it has become Maidstone’s premier business park, with the campus-style development now home to ASB Law, DHA Planning, accountancy firm DSH, and Orbit Housing Association.

Kent County Council extends growth loan scheme Dozens of small businesses in Ashford are set to benefit from loans of up to £50 thousand to help turn their dreams into reality. Expansion East Kent is aimed at a wide range of businesses including those in the manufacturing and service sectors. So far more than £20 million has been made available to companies in other parts of East Kent, but now the scheme has been extended to Ashford. Jacqui Ward, Regional Growth Fund Manager at Kent County Council, said: “I am pleased to announce that all companies across Kent now have the same opportunities to apply for the RGF loan scheme. Expansion East Kent welcomes Ashford to the scheme and looks forward to receiving and awarding loans to companies in Ashford to create additional jobs.” Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news for businesses within the Ashford borough who have plans to expand and employ more people. This scheme provides an excellent opportunity for greater investment from companies who recognise the

potential Ashford has, with its fast rail and road links to London and Europe. “With continued funding coming forward from Central Government, Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council to support growth within the towns’ economy, I would encourage local businesses to take up this wonderful opportunity.” Expansion East Kent has developed a list of priority sectors based upon East Kent’s key strengths and growth prospects, these include: Scientific research and development; Manufacturing, especially in the development of the supply chain to support the renewable energy industry; Tourism and leisure businesses If you would like to register your interest in the Expansion East Kent Ashford scheme you can follow this link; https://kentcc.firmstep.com/defaul t.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=Mgi 7q3BXHCS&HideAll=1


CHAMBERNEWS More employees have the right to request flexible working From 30 June, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service. Currently, only employees with children under 17 (or disabled children under 18) and those with responsibilities as carers have a right to request flexible working. Under new rules, however, any employee with 26 weeks’ continuous service can ask to work flexibly for any reason, whether it’s taking up a further education course, combining work with caring for the grandchildren, or simply wanting to spend less time at work. Eligible employees will be able to request a change to working hours, working time or work location – but it’s not all bad news for employers. “They will receive some flexibility as well,” says employment law specialist Melissa Nelson, a solicitor at leading Kent law firm Furley Page. “The amended Children and Families Act 2014 removes the prescriptive statutory procedure for dealing with requests, replacing it with a duty on employers to deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’ and to notify employees of their decision within three months, unless an extension is agreed. “The complexity of the current

procedure has come in for a lot of criticism so the relaxation of this process will certainly ease the administrative burden on employers. Also, while more employees will be able to request flexible working, it doesn’t mean they have the right to have that request granted. Similar principles are likely to apply when considering requests received and the grounds for refusing remain the same.” So are the new flexible working policies ultimately a good thing for employers? “Although the aim of the Act is to help people achieve a better work / life balance, employers can benefit too,” says Melissa. “Research suggests that flexible working not only helps motivate the workforce and improve staff loyalty but also lowers staff turnover and helps businesses attract top talent.” To help businesses prepare for the changes, ACAS has produced a statutory Code of Practice, currently in draft form, on the extended right to request flexible working and it’s anticipated that the Code will be supplemented by a separate good

Get your business recognised When it comes to a successful business one of the most important elements is promotion. Starting off as a new business can be tough, but in the correct hands promoting your business is easy. Vehicle wraps and graphics are one of the most popular forms of promotion for new businesses. Get your logo and details on your vehicle & wherever you go you’ll be recognised. If you don’t have a logo yet, don’t worry, the designers at SEC Signworks can help you create your own graphic to keep. Of course you mustn’t forget about your premises. Shop fascias, panels & A-boards are all ways to show passers-by who you are and what you do. Whether the premises is newly constructed or an older, listed building, there is always a way to make the most of the current features. The designers and fitters at SEC Signworks have years of experience and can guide you through the process and can also advise you of the legal requirements. There’s a good chance that whilst travelling around Kent you will have seen some of SEC Signworks handiwork. Canterbury Retail Park is one of the sign & wayfinding packages that we have produced, supplied & installed signage for as well as businesses including CWJ, Limelight Stage School, Mowll & Mowll, Watermark & most recently Mobility Networks, Whitstable. Although we are well known for these types of signage, please remember what else we have to offer. You can find details of our services at www.secsignworks.com or by visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/secsignworks.

Become a thought leader in Kent: Putting out a call for more bloggers! First of all can I say a big thank you to our members who already make such a valuable contribution to blog. The response we have been getting to it in the past couple of months since we’ve been heavily promoting it on Twitter has been amazing. Articles from our members have been linked to by blogs in The Netherlands, the U.S.A. and blogs from around the UK and virtually every tweet we make gets a retweet by someone. We have recently improved social media strategy and our current number of twitter followers has grown to 6086 and it picking up 50-100 people a week at the moment, with most of these followers being business people from the South East and the UK in general. • Have you got useful experience and knowledge that can be passed on to other business people and help grow Kent business? • Would you like to be a thought leader in Kent business?

• Do you want to help guide thinking and contribute to the topics being discussed in UK business? • Would you like to reach an international audience with your business ideas and experience? Then why not join the ranks of our current bloggers and contribute to the Kent Invicta Chamber blog? To contribute simply access the member’s area of the Kent Invicta Chamber website and select ‘write a new post’ and add your entry, tick the blog box and submit. Your submission will be added for verification by our staff and should be added the next day. The best submissions will be linked to via our twitter account and highlighted over the next month after posting.

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Economic upturn hailed by MP during debate at Kent Science Park Gordon Henderson, the MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, struck an upbeat note when he visited Kent Science Park to take part in a question and answer session with local businesses. Amongst topics discussed were the deregulation bill, something that Mr. Henderson has been championing for some time with previous Q&As suggesting that there is too much regulation. This time there was also much discussion about banks failing to lend to small businesses, especially in the construction sector. A number of businesses highlighted the need for changes in education and an overhaul of the curriculum as they struggle to recruit a skilled workforce.

Mr. Henderson said: “The economy is stabilising and the Government is creating conditions for growth across the whole of the UK. “The Government is making changes to facilitate an environment in which small businesses prosper but more can still be done. “As many pointed out during the session, procurement can be very difficult for small businesses, as can regulation in areas such as health and safety, so we must continue to look at ways of improving this. I am also talking to banks about the

West Kent Leading light Interclad (UK) Ltd is a leading light in manufacturing, supplying and installing interior hygienic wall cladding systems. Based in West Kent and servicing the whole of England, with offices in Ireland & Scotland, we are able to offer cost effective solutions to situations where hygienic areas are required. We are currently certified to ISO 9001 and working towards ISO 14001. All installations are carried out by our own directly employed teams of in-house trained installers. Our extensive list of clients includes those with commercial kitchens, clean rooms, food storage areas, pharmaceutical production units, hospitals, educational establishments and, indeed, many others who have a requirement for easily maintained and cleanable finishes. We are able to plan complete installations from inception to hand over. In addition we are contract flooring specialists, able to supply and install all types of contract flooring; including hardwoods, vinyl safety and carpet and carpet tiles.

We are delighted to have become members of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and believe that we can, with their assistance, continue to make a valuable contribution to both national and local commercial life.

struggle businesses have in obtaining funding for projects, despite banks advertising their willingness to lend. “The education system is another area where I am keen to instigate change, as a number of people have expressed concerns about the relevance of the current curriculum.” Mr. Henderson’s Q&A was followed by a presentation from David Batten of Jumpstart, one of the UK’s leading R&D tax relief specialists. He discussed how the business community significantly underutilised R&D tax credits.

Bluefin Insurance Services move to a new office After many years in Stone, Bluefin recently moved to a new office in Crossways, Dartford. Bluefin is one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers. We have over 1400 staff in over 40 offices across the UK and provide thousands of clients with guidance on creating the insurance solutions that best protects their assets, revenues, people and lifestyle.

We specialise in custom made primary and secondary barrier matting for use at entrances, and within, all varieties of buildings.

can, with their assistance, continue to make a valuable contribution to both national and local commercial life.

Our Dartford office means Bluefin has a local presence in Kent which enables our advisers to provide outstanding levels of service as well as access to a huge range of market leading products.

We are delighted to have become members of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and believe that we

To find out more about our services see our website; www.interclad.co.uk.

In Dartford we also specialise in the freight and transport industries including exporters, importers, manufacturers, freight forwarders, distribution companies and hauliers.

For further information on our services please contact John Bagshawe on john.bagshawe@bluefingroup.co.uk 6

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014


FOCUSONFINANCE

Auto Enrolment: a choice of two schemes Colin Bannister Director of Financial Planning, WK Financial Management 01622 238345 colinbannister@wk-fm.co.uk

In the last article we looked at which employees need to be automatically enrolled into the workplace pension scheme. As an essential first step in this process the employer needs to categorise the workforce into eligible, non-eligible and entitled workers. So, once the organising of the workforce has been carried out, a decision will need to be made on which pension scheme to use, to ensure that the automatic enrolment employer obligations, as set out by the Pensions Regulator, are met. New scheme or use existing scheme? If you do not already have a workplace pension scheme in place, then the answer to this question is easy – you will need to set one up. The use of a financial adviser here is absolutely key. Auto enrolment compliant pension schemes are offered by a host of pension providers and a financial adviser will be best placed to know which provider is most suitable. The adviser will also need to consider the Government pension solution - NEST (National Employment Savings Trust). Pension providers will have criteria that need to be met before they will agree to offer terms and set up a new scheme, usually based on potential membership or average contribution size. NEST, on the other hand, will accept any employer, regardless of employment population. If you already have workplace pension scheme in place, unfortunately, the task is far from complete. If you want to continue using your scheme for existing members, you need to check that it meets certain qualifying criteria. If you also want to use your scheme to automatically enrol new members, it will need to meet some additional criteria. What are the criteria? There is a full list of requirements (see www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers) that employers and advisers should be familiar with and use to check that the existing scheme meets the necessary requirements.

No requirement to make a choice: The pension scheme must not require the worker to provide any information or make any choices to join or remain a member, eg submit an application form or choose a type of fund. Ready from day one: The pension scheme has to be ready to enrol from day one of the workers employment. UK registered pension scheme: The scheme must be tax registered in the UK. Pension schemes that are administered outside the EEA cannot be used for automatic enrolment. Calculating specific minimum contributions: The pension scheme must be capable of calculating minimum contribution on a specific criteria. There are two main ways to check if a scheme can be used: • if it requires minimum contributions based on qualifying earnings, or • the employer self-certifies that it requires contributions in accordance with one of three sets of contributions.

Apart from the administrative requirements, the overriding factors are that the scheme must be a good quality scheme and provide value for money for its members. A financial adviser will be able to establish if the existing scheme can be used for automatic enrolment or can be adapted to meet the criteria. If it can’t be demonstrated that the scheme meets the criteria and is good quality, serious consideration needs to be given to setting up a new scheme, and setting up a new scheme takes time. Don’t delay Whether you already have an existing pension scheme in place that needs a review or need to set up a new scheme, you will need to factor in the time it takes to complete this, with the help of an adviser. New schemes can take up to six months to bed in and for each party to be familiar with the monthly processing requirements. Oh, and you will need to communicate these changes to the workers. This is where we will pick up from in the next edition.

You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action on the basis of the contents of this article. Information concerning taxation treatment is based on our understanding of current law and HMRC practice. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation depend on the individual circumstances of each client and are subject to change.

In short, the criteria include: No requirement to consent: the pension scheme must not require the worker’s consent to join – auto enrolment works on the basis of apathy.

WK Financial Management Limited is an appointed representative of Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning Limited (ARFP) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ARFP is entered on the FCA register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference 133576. Company no. 01799538. Registered office: 60 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4N 4TR. WK Financial Management Limited under reference 200591. Company No. 03919710. Registered Office: Gladstone House, 77-79 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9HY.

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews KSP welcomes artist in residence to Innovation Centre Kent Science Park has welcomed a new tenant to the site in the form of acclaimed artist Laurence Wood. Laurence is an artist, designer and academic, who has been painting for over 35 years. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and has paintings in the collections of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and The National Trust Foundation for Art amongst others. He has spent the last two years in South-East Asia working at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and as an artist in residence in Malaysia. Laurence said: “The Park is in a great location for me as an artist because of its close proximity to London and the wonderful Kent landscape. I will also enjoy the sense of innovation and entrepreneurship that first greets you when you arrive here.” James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park, said: “This is a completely new sector for KSP, and once again shows that we have space to suit all types of business. 2014 has already seen us diversify into a number of new industries and we continue to look at ways to accommodate different types of businesses with a variety of specialist requirements.” Don’t let the wheels fall off How many times have you sat in a traffic jam admiring the pearlescent, purring magnificence of the TVR Tuscan (or something similar) sitting in the lane next to you? Well, before you are consumed with jealousy examine the facts. Sure it does 195mph, but you are both caught in traffic so why worry? Console yourself with the fact that you are infinitely more comfortable in your VW Golf with climate control, lumber adjusted seats and a media player fitted as standard. That sports car might be what you want, but it certainly isn’t what you need. We need to give consumers and those that serve them what they want to buy, which is not necessarily what we want to sell. Fitness for purpose is fundamental to the long term success of any product and that requires clear and consistent market insight. What people want is right first time, right for me. This gives you the ability to create a price point that the market will be bear. Deliver right first time and obsolescence becomes, well, obsolete. There is no doubt that technology has enhanced every aspect of consumers’ daily lives. However, technology cannot be built in isolation. We must understand the difference between desire and require; from the users perspective. Paul Williamson – Realia Marketing

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11% of company directors in the UK are over the traditional retirement age of 65 More than a tenth of company directors in the UK are over the traditional retirement age of 65, says Wilkins Kennedy LLP, the top-25 accountancy firm. Wilkins Kennedy says there are 574,000 company directors in the UK who are aged over 65. This represents 11% of the total number of directors and shows that the older generation are already playing an important role in the success of UK businesses. There are 10.8 million people aged over 65 in the UK, which makes up 17% of the population. This number is expected to rise to around 15 million over the next 20 years. Wilkins Kennedy says that current influences, such as increased life expectancy and the need to provide financially for a longer retirement, mean that the number of company directors over the age of 65 is likely to increase in future years.

Although there is currently no official retirement age, the state pension age has now risen to 68 for anyone currently aged in their mid-40s, and 69 for those aged mid-30s. It is, therefore, expected that the majority of people will now have to work beyond the traditional age of 65 in order to fund their retirement. Wilkins Kennedy says it is not just company directors who are working past the retirement age. 37% of self-employed workers are over the age of 65, as the older generation is being forced to generate income through self-employment in order to support themselves financially.

Investing in Kent’s onshore wind potential Independent onshore wind developer Airvolution Energy are making a commitment to use local construction firms should their two Kent projects be approved later this year, and are asking for more local potential suppliers to come forward.

Awarded the 2013 Wales Green Energy Awards for “Outstanding Green Energy Project” for retaining over a third of the construction spend within Anglesey, the company says that there are many local companies who would be well-suited to get involved with their local wind farm supply chain. If they are approved, each project would also generate long-term funding for the benefit of those living closest to their projects, with a minimum of

£10,000 per turbine per year available for worthwhile causes. To find out more about the projects due for decision visit: www.agneywind.co.uk


MEMBERSNEWS

Hobbs Parker Sponsor Junior Cricket in Ashford

NETBOX Digital stays in fast lane with Motorsport deal

It’s ‘new balls, please’ for Ashford & District Junior Cricket League as the Hobbs Parker Group become the League’s newest sponsors.

Chamber member and sports marketing specialist Purple Tangerine has signed up NETBOX Digital, one of Kent’s fastest growing businesses, as a sponsor of British Touring Car Championship racing driver Tom Ingram and his team, Speedworks Motorsport. At 20, Tom is one of the youngest of the 30 drivers on the grid and has already turned heads with six top ten finishes in his rookie season, driving a Toyota Avensis.

Hobbs Parker is funding the cost of new cricket balls for the season as well as providing the League’s promotional material which has a new logo. League Chairman Kevin Burton said: “The League is here to encourage young people to develop a lifelong enjoyment and involvement with cricket. We have hundreds of children competing in the League and Hobbs Parker’s help means we’re equipping our players in the best possible way.” Roger Lightfoot, Chief Executive of the Hobbs Parker Group, said “Our history with Mersham Sports Club – home of the League - goes back a long way: my father was treasurer of the club and, as a boy forty years ago, I played cricket there, too. “Hobbs Parker very much supports the ethos of village cricket teams, indeed we have our own team. By encouraging children to play and be involved with sport, Ashford & District Junior Cricket does an excellent job and we’re happy to play a part in their success.”

NETBOX Digital managing director Paul Crewe, said: “Motorsport, and Tom in particular, is a natural fit for us. To be at the top of their game a driver needs to be the fastest, have the latest technology behind him and be supported by a speedy efficient service.” Nigel Jones, managing director of Purple Tangerine,, said: “Backing Tom is a great opportunity for NETBOX Digital to entertain clients and staff at one of the world’s best circuits, here in our very own Garden Of England.” The British Touring Car Championship is shown live on ITV and runs at racetracks all over the UK and will be at Brands Hatch, Kent on 11/12 October.

Voyage of Discovery for East Kent College East Kent College is to establish a new centre at Discovery Park, near Sandwich, demonstrating its commitment to serving the community. The further education college has also announced that it is to move the teaching of its science curriculum to Discovery Park. Students and staff will have the opportunity to use industry standard laboratories, and work alongside the growing community of science-based companies at the Sandwich site. The relocation of East Kent College’s 70 strong corporate services team will ensure that all its three campuses: Broadstairs in Thanet, and those in Dover and Folkestone, which it takes over responsibility from K College in August, will be of equal status. As part of the deal, East Kent College will take 5,390ft2 of office and training space within Innovation House, and 893ft2 of laboratory space at

Discovery Park. The vacated rooms and offices at the Broadstairs Campus will be used for other training and education. Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, said: “This move marks an important step in our plans to create a further education college that truly reflects our commitment to serving the whole of East Kent. We hope that it sends a strong message to students, their parents and businesses that East Kent College is determined to deliver for this part of the county.”

Taking your business beyond words The internet has become a more sociable place where people interact, not just view and do. It’s also more visual, thanks to YouTube and faster connectivity.

Research by 3M has shown that 90% of information sent to our brains is visual and this is processed 60,000 times faster than text. Quite simply, we like video because we remember images which trigger memories.

Research by 3M has shown that 90% of information sent to our brains is visual and this is processed 60,000 times faster than text. Quite simply, we like video because we remember images which trigger memories. So what does this mean for your business? A short promotional video about your business can say so much more about what you do than words and pictures alone. A video case study allows prospects to see their own situation through the eyes of others. And Google search loves video. But there are other uses. Have you ever made a bad decision and wished you’d been better informed? Short interviews with your experts help to simplify complexity and allow customers to make better choices. Have you ever tried to follow a flat-packed diagram and wished that someone could just show you? A step-by-step video watched on a smartphone makes it easy and creates a great after-sales customer experience. Video is a new frontier for many businesses; a fast and accessible way to connect with the people that matter and gives you a competitive edge. But to be effective, business videos need to be short, relevant and visually appealing. Make them easy to find and watch. And don’t forget, make the experience interactive on social media. Welcome to a more engaging online world.

The Discovery Park decision will ensure that each campus has equal access to the College’s central corporate services, including finance, IT, marketing, employer relations and human resources.

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Financial, Tax & Advisory Services

“DSH just made everything simple” Samson Hajalie, Mornington Cars

Advice that’s clear and simple 01622 690666 www.dsh.co.uk Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors Your Partners in Business

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014


MEMBERSNEWS

An ideal place to do business Calverley House Business & Conference Centre is a character building located at 55 Calverley Road, a prominent address in the heart of Tunbridge Wells, with easy access to parking and the mainline station. We provide both flexible serviced and non-serviced office space at affordable prices. We offer a range of serviced office space spanning from 1 to 15-man offices starting at £175.00 pcm, hot desk facilities are also available from £25 per day. We also offer a range of virtual office solutions to suit your needs, from a standard company address and mail handling to a full virtual office including telephone answering and secretarial services’. A serviced office at Calverley House will give you: • Flexibility of short or long term licences • Ability to upsize or downsize as your business changes • Latest telecom and communication technology • A friendly and efficient team to support you • All the office resources you need Benefits of using Calverley House: • Modern, fully serviced office space

• All-inclusive price • Easy in/out terms • Professional front desk support for all your clients/customers • No lengthy legal documentation or long term commitments

Add the value without the cost – use a Part Time FD Individuals who combine financial skills with demonstrable commercial expertise are much-coveted players in the business world but their services usually don’t come cheap. Your business may be at the point where it needs someone like this but cannot justify the cost of a full time expert yet... Step forward the parttime Finance Director! The part time FD will bring experience, knowledge and skills from previous work in a wide variety of industries to your business. The part time FD will typically assist in forward looking initiatives like planning, budgeting, forecasting & setting the business strategy, and planning the resources necessary to achieve a successful implementation. Further services include preparation of, and reporting on, management

accounts and year end results in a consistent and professional manner, with a high quality set of reports, highlighting key issues. Flexible Finance People specialise in providing costeffective part-time Finance Director services to growing businesses. We are now branching out into Kent with an associate in Tonbridge. Our clients are business owners and managing directors. They get FD-calibre support with no fulltime fixed costs, no ongoing liability, just advice, insight and support when it’s needed, leaving them to concentrate on their core business. Google us or contact Arno van Bodegom at arno@flexiblefinancepeople.com to see if we can be of assistance.

New rules make agricultural conversions easier New planning rules which come into effect this month will make it easier for farmers to convert redundant agricultural buildings into homes, according to Smiths Gore, the Kings Hill-based chartered surveyors and property consultants.

As of Sunday, April 6, the General Permitted Development Order that allows disused buildings to be converted to residential use without the need for a more formal planning application was extended to include farm buildings. Buildings with a floor space of up to 450m2 that were in agricultural use on March 20, 2013, can now be converted into a maximum of three homes. Full planning permission will no longer be required, although schemes will require prior approval from the local planning authority. “Changes to Permitted Development is fantastic news for farmers, property owners and developers who are able to explore conversion as a means of making buildings more economically viable,” said Michael Wooldridge of Smiths Gore. “Whilst an application for prior approval will need to be made to assess whether there will be any significant impacts on the local area, such as increased traffic, noise, and risk of flooding, the amended regulations simplify the planning process significantly and open the door to alternative uses.” “Local authorities will still be able to exercise some control over prior approval applications. Although the new legislation provides a standard whereby applications can only be refused where the proposed changes are impractical, it will be interesting to see how planning authorities apply these, particularly in relation to location and siting.” The new rules do not apply to buildings that fall within Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or Sites of Special Scientific Interest, safety hazard areas or areas used for military explosives storage, where a full planning application will still be required.

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Kent history and heritage attractions star in national campaign Many of the county’s top visitor attractions are featuring in a national campaign highlighting the best places to explore the country’s history and heritage. Canterbury Cathedral, The Canterbury Tales, Leeds Castle, Hever Castle, Dover Castle, Kent Life, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Penshurst Place are among the Kent attractions and places to stay starring in the VisitEngland’s Holidays through History marketing campaign. The campaign, supported by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, is part of the wider VisitEngland three-year Growing Tourism Locally initiative now in its final year. Growing Tourism Locally aims to create 9,139 tourism jobs nationally by March next year and boost visitor spending. Research shows that visitor spend for each new tourism job created currently stands at £54,000. Sandra Matthews-Marsh, Chief Executive for Visit Kent, said: “The VisitEngland marketing campaign highlights what a great destination Kent is for everyone, of all ages, wishing to have fun exploring our tremendous history and heritage.” HR GO Recruitment sees 11% rise in temp placements as Kent and Medway claimant count falls The number of temporary staff placed by Kent-based recruitment specialist HR GO Recruitment has hit an all-time high in the past three months. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics, published today (April 16), showing a countywide fall of just over 1,000. In the number of people claiming Job Seekers allowance, is underlined by HR GO Recruitment’s own figures. The long-established business with seven branches in the county – Ashford, Canterbury, Chatham, Dartford, Folkestone, Ramsgate and Sittingbourne – and a further 30 nationwide – has seen a steep rise in demand for temps between January and March, up 11% on the same period in 2013. Craig Vidler, Managing Director, based in HR GO plc’s Ashford head office, said: “We are delighted that the claimant count across Kent and Medway has fallen for the first time in three months. Our latest figures show an encouraging improvement in the jobs market and the economic signs suggest this may well continue.”

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

Discovering the joys of Italy Cottages to Castles was founded in 1983 with the purpose of offering self-catering accommodation in Italy. All in pursuit of their ideal: to affirm the cultural value and warm hospitality in Italy. In the beginning, the founder, Claudio Magoni, started by offering homes to rent for holidays in Tuscany, and whilst it is still the most popular region, the programme has been extended and today there are around 200 units in fourteen regions across Italy.

website is a landmark in its place with a distinction that is never uniform or standard, each with its own personality, its own history. Cottages to Castles is now a true family run company with Claudio’s son and daughter, Jonathan and Daniela, now working for the company. As well as staff in both the UK and Italy, there are Agents working on their behalf in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most European countries.

An increased number of destinations has been achieved without ever changing the company’s objective of being selective - they reject many more houses in a year than they actually contract. All in pursuit of their ideal: to affirm the cultural value and warm hospitality in Italy. Each apartment, cottage and villa featured on their

Mary Portas praises Ashford town centre Ashford has been singled out as a major success in the national Portas Pilot scheme - by Mary Portas herself. In her report to central government, Why High Streets Matter, retail guru Mary Portas reviews the first two years of her nationwide project to support and boost the nation’s high streets.

farmer’s market, transforming the town’s appearance through the Town Centre Action Team (T-CAT) and the creation of the LoveAshford.com website and ‘digital high street’.

Ashford was one of 27 UK towns to win Portas Pilot status in 2012 as part of the Government scheme to revitalise the nation’s high streets with the help of Mary Portas.

Ms Portas included a full case study of Ashford’s progress in her report – one of just five towns featured – and had many positive things to say about the town.

The town received a funding pot of £100,000, which was match-funded by the council using section 106 funding. Since then, the council and newly formed Town Team have forged ahead with numerous projects, including opening a PopUp shop, launching a food and drink festival and a new

She said: “There are strong themes that everyone can learn from in the case of Ashford. “Ashford had a clear strategy – so from the outset they had an agreed plan which they are implementing well.”

Prince Harry to visit Folkestone on 4 August News that HRH Prince Harry will be the guest of honour at the First World War Centenary event in Folkestone on 4 August has been warmly welcomed by all those involved in the project. The Step Short charity has been working on a programme of educational and commemorative events to mark the centenary for the past seven years. Prince Harry will visit the town to ‘unveil’ a commemorative arch being erected on the Leas in memory of the millions of people – men and

women, Red Cross nurses and soldiers - who passed through the port of Folkestone en route to or from the Western front from 1915 onwards. The charity has had support and financial backing from Shepway District Council and Kent County Council as well as funding from the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and many others.


MEMBERSNEWS

Assistance from Europe welcomed by Locate in Kent Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, has welcomed news that for the first time parts of Swale and Medway will join wards in Thanet and Dover, and be eligible to receive EU regional aid to support economic growth and attract investment.

The new areas approved by the European Commission means that these areas will now be eligible for Assisted Area Status (AAS) state aid - provided as regional aid - to promote the economic development of certain disadvantaged areas within the European Union.

Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, said: “This is a massive opportunity for these parts of the county as it now removes the barrier to Regional Growth Fund support for firms employing more than 250 people in these particular areas, while at the same time ensuring that smaller businesses are eligible. “Kent has a lot to offer businesses, but it is clear that there are parts of the county that need additional support in order for them to achieve their full potential. This decision will make Kent more attractive to larger firms and support the widest possible economic growth.” The decision follows a submission by the UK Government which put forward areas it believed should be eligible to receive regional aid, which included Kent Science Park near Sittingbourne, as well as parts of Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham that offer development potential.

Sandra appointed MBE in Queen’s Birthday honours Visit Kent chief executive Sandra Matthews-Marsh was named as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2014 for her services to tourism in Kent. Sandra said: “I am very, very proud and honoured to receive this award which was totally unexpected. “I have spent 17 years working in tourism in Kent – first at the South East England Tourist Board, then at Leeds Castle and for the past 10 years I have had the privilege of leading the most amazing destination management organisation team in the country – Visit Kent.

KCC award funding to local ‘Youth Projects’ community charity Stepahead Support has recently been awarded funding by KCC to deliver youth projects in rural areas of Shepway, Maidstone and Thanet for 2 years. Activities will be provided for 11 to 19 years olds that meet the Youth Work Principles including personal development, relationship building, resilience building, overcoming personal challenges, peer integration, challenging prejudice and raising personal aspirations. Sessions will be wide and varied including physical based activities, games, themed workshops, crafts, guest speakers and community events. Young people will be an integral part of the project and will be encouraged to take an active role in developing the projects, monitoring sessions, improving the project and leading on activities. Young people will be encouraged to share their ideas, including through the use of a dedicated social media forum. The project will provide support through a combination of evening, weekend and holiday activities in a range of safe and welcoming venues including community centres, parks, local businesses and pop up venues. The project aims to reach young people in the rural areas to offer positive and fun activities that support their transition through to adulthood. Susan Amos, newly appointed Manager of the new projects said; “We are really pleased to have this exciting opportunity to work closely with young people to transform their ideas into positive activities that will encourage young people to develop a sense of self, an awareness of the needs of others and enable them to realise their aspirations.” The projects are being set up and are currently recruiting part time staff, more details can be found at www.stepaheadsupport.org.uk/vacancies.

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“Tourism is a tremendous industry full of passionate, creative, can-do people who manage to retain their sense of humour and positivity however big the challenges. “I have been privileged to be surrounded by amazing people for 28 years working in this wonderful industry. And this honour celebrates their tireless work which has created the successful and innovative partnerships and support networks that deliver tourism services for our visitors and our businesses. The love of a wonderful family has been the backbone of all my achievements and this honour is for them too.”

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August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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INTERNATIONALTRADE

UK Trade Deficit Widens By Daniel Hunter The UK’s trade deficit widened to £2.4bn in May, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS said the deficit on goods trade was £9.2bn, but the UK is performing well exporting its services with a surplus of £6.8bn. Exports to the European Union (EU) fell by 0.2% to £12.bn, and imports increased by 1.6% to £17.4bn. There was a rise in exports to countries outside the EU. Exports grew by 1.5% to £11.9bn, but importantly imports increased by 1.7% to £15.9bn. Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy for the Institute of Directors (Iod), said: “While first impressions are indeed worrying, it should be pointed out that the widening gap is down to a rise in imports, which grew by 1.7% and are a sign of robust domestic demand”. “Contrary to expectations that the appreciation in

sterling would lead to a reduction in the export of goods, there has been an increase of 0.6%. Indeed, when compared with the previous three months, export prices decreased by 0.8% for the three months ending in May. Data from this period also show an increase in the export of goods to the EU by 1.7%, with the trade deficit narrowing for this period by £1.7 billion, compared to the previous three months. Meanwhile, exports to non-EU countries grew from April to May by 1.5%. “Perhaps more alarming is the drop in the UK’s trade surplus in services, which fell from £7.1 billion in March to £6.8 billion in May, although this is likely down to imports returning to higher levels. However, there is no room for complacency, and the Government is right to continue making export-led growth a priority.”

International FoodTec India 2014 The Indian Food and Drink industry is one of the fastest growing industry sectors in India and is expected to grow at an encouraging pace of 15% -20% over the next 5 years. FoodTec India meets all the needs of the food and drink processing industry, from processing to packaging to storage and distribution.

Date:

14 November 2014

Location: Mumbai, India Tel:

+44 (0) 1482 324976

Why attend and exhibit: • To showcase British technology on the British Stand, from processing to packaging (please see full list of opportunities on www.foodtecindia.com) • In market briefing by industry experts • Meet decision makers

• Gather market intelligence by participating in b2b meetings and seminars • Have your company listed in the official programme • Benefit from coverage, press releases • Benefit from UKTI Trade Access Programme grant of £2,500 per eligible company. For further details and criteria please contact Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce on

Did You Know? Iceland

Iceland: the best country to live in! That is, according to the U.N. Human Development Index. The U.N. Human Development Index considered Iceland to be the most desirable country to live in. The Index based this statement on the following: 1. People living in Iceland have a long life expectancy. 2. People living in Iceland are well educated. 3. People living in Iceland make good income. Yes, a frozen, dark, tiny island could be the perfect place for you!

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

Cross Border Trade Masterclass - Market Visit To Ghent Are you ready to trade with mainland Europe? Do you operate in the environment sector? Have you been trading less than 3 years? Is your business focused on sustainability? The University of Kent are running a FREE Masterclass programme for early stage businesses looking to trade with mainland Europe. The programme consists of: • A FREE face-to-face consultation with a qualified trade adviser • A FREE 1 day market visit to Ghent to learn first hand about the opportunities • A FREE seminar on the Belgium environment sector • An opportunity to establish contacts and new networks in Belgium Contact us 01233 503838 to register.

Port of Dover set new record for export freight vehicles A record number of freight vehicles departed on services through the Port of Dover yesterday, reaching numbers not seen since before the recession. 5,337 freight vehicles departed for Calais and Dunkirk from Europe’s busiest ferry port, beating the previous record of 5,322 set in 2008. It was also the third busiest day ever for total numbers, with 10,134 freight vehicles handled. The busiest day was in 2008 when the port handled 10,584 freight vehicles following the Eurotunnel fire in September of that year. Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, says: “This shows just what reliance there is on the Port of Dover

as a gateway for UK business. We have – and continue to develop – the infrastructure and facilities to provide the services which British exporters need. We have the essential levels of resilience for the nation when our major competitor gets into operational difficulties as it did this week.” The total freight vehicle traffic handled by the port on Tuesday equates to a queue of freight traffic from the Port of Dover up the M20, over the Dartford crossing and up the M11 all the way to Stansted Airport!

Government cuts export funding for small firms Match funding for various UKTI schemes, including Passport to Export, Gateway to Growth and the Export Communications Review (ECR) programme has been reduced or withdrawn by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), according to a report in the Telegraph.

The affected schemes help firms build international operations or overcome language barriers, and provide training and support for firms targeting new markets abroad. Around £1.5 million was spent on Passport to Export by UKTI last year, but this funding is reportedly to be re-allocated to

schemes that target medium-sized rather than small firms. Read more about the reported funding cuts at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ finance/businessclub/sales/10926 035/Small-firms-sidelined-forexport-funding.html


INTERNATIONALTRADE

Romania SWOT analysis

Find support in this market. Capital Bucharest

Area 238,391km2

Largest city Bucharest

Population 20,121,641

Administrative divisions 18 districts.

Calling code +852

Currency Romania leu (RON)

Official language Romanian

Strengths Low external debt and public debt Reduced rate of unemployment

Opportunities Re-localisation of the EU firms in Romania EU funds

Weaknesses Weak flexibility of the labour market

Threats Mechanism of allocation of the EU subvention

Romania’s trade with the UK

Ease of trading across borders Importing a standard container of goods into Romania requires:

6 documents

13 days

£922 Sector segmentation growth

Introduction Romania is the eighth largest country of the European Union by area, and has the seventh largest population of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest - the sixth largest city in the EU. Romania has a developing, uppermiddle income market economy. On 1 January 2007 Romania entered the EU. This led to some immediate international trade liberalisation. The Romanian government initially planned for the euro to replace the leu in 2012, however, this is now expected to happen as late as in 2014.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate) GDP Export of goods and services Import of goods and services Inflation Short-term interest rates (%) Exchange rate (per £) Population Unit labour cost

2011 2.2 10.9 10.4 5.8 -0.3 -

2012 2013-16 0.5 2.4 -3 5.4 -0.9 2.6 3.3 3.4 -0.2 -0.2 Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook Romania was admitted to the EU in 2007, but its efforts to join the visa-free Schengen area were frustrated by other EU members’ concerns about possible abuses to the ‘borderless’ system. Romania’s main trading partners are Italy, Germany, Russia, France, and Turkey. Romania’s intra-regional trade within Europe will be Romania’s fastest growing source of growth. Imports from the Middle East and North Africa region are also expected to witness solid growth.

Trade outlook Romania offers a marketplace of 22 million, an expanding economy, and access to the Black Sea and Asia. Romania offers significant opportunities to UK businesses with products, services, or technologies that either meet growing private demand or contribute to the country’s development priorities. In particular opportunities exist in the following sectors: banking, energy, biotechnology, manufacturing, electronic components, cable operation, consumer products, telecommunications and film production.

Sectors to watch: • Food • • Utilities • Metal products

Manufacturing • domestic appliances • electric fittings and repair • installation of machinery

Fastest-growing exporters into Romania

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2012 Bulgaria Hungary Turkey Italy Greece Egypt Germany Austria Czech France

Opportunities for UK businesses Romania offers a marketplace of 22 million, an expanding economy, and access to the Black Sea and Asia. Romania offers significant opportunities to UK businesses with products, services, or technologies that either meet growing private demand or contribute to the country’s development priorities. In particular opportunities exist in the following sectors: banking, energy, biotechnology, manufacturing, electronic components, cable operation, consumer products, telecommunications and film production. To find out what other trade missions or market visits are being organised by British Chambers go to http://exportbritain.org.uk/events.

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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24HOURSWITH

24 HOURSWITH Working all hours as the construction sector recovers

Nick Baster’s day starts early - he usually gets up just before 6am to take the dog for a walk. For Nick, it’s an important element of the working day because it allows him to clear his mind for the challenges involved in running his company.

Nick Baster Director, Logic PM www.logicpm.co.uk

When you’re passionate about what you’re doing and keen to grow your business, you don’t mind putting in the hours and you get a huge amount of satisfaction from starting a business and watching it develop.

Nick founded Logic PM two years ago and the RICSaccredited, independent, construction project management company has grown into a nationwide consultancy working from an office in Maidstone. Their project management and consultancy services mean that the team works with clients every step of the way, solving problems and taking as much of the worry out of the process as they can. Nick said: “That early time taking the dog for a walk is important to me because it means that I can clear my head and plan for the day. “During the working day, you can get so involved in meeting clients, advising them on projects, spending time on their development sites or answering emails and phone calls that it is sometimes difficult to get time to think. The walk with the dog allows me to do that. It allows me to get ahead for the day.” “A lot of my working day is spent on construction sites, meeting contractors and managing the project team. Our role is to take the hassle out of projects, allowing clients to concentrate on doing their job. “However, although I spend a lot of time meeting clients or visiting project sites, I do try to make sure that I have at least one or two days a week in the office. Even if I can’t stay for long, I try to make sure that I pop in each day - it allows me to check that the team is OK and for us all to catch up on current projects.”

As many business owners will understand, Nick tends to have long working days. He said: “We are only two years old as a company so you work the hours that are needed. It’s not uncommon for me to be working at 7am or 10pm. “When you’re passionate about what you’re doing and keen to grow your business, you don’t mind putting in the hours and you get a huge amount of satisfaction from starting a business and watching it develop.” “The business is certainly getting busier as the economy recovers. There is an increasing degree of market confidence out there and we have been able to bring in some good clients.” When recession hits, construction is always hit hard but coming out of a recession has its challenges as well. Nick said: “In my working career, I have been through three recessions and it is always the same. “Already people are talking about labour shortages and shortages of supplies because manufacturers can’t manufacture enough materials during these difficult times. “We’ve been planning for the economic recovery and are in a good position to take on projects for clients who feel that now is the right time to expand their business.”

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014


POLICY

Ashford joins the East Kent Party! It’s great news for Ashford based businesses as they are now eligible to apply for funding via the Expansion East Kent loan scheme, previously available for business in Canterbury, Dover, Shepway & Thanet. The loan scheme provides an interest free loan for businesses looking at creating or safeguarding jobs and included free application support from Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.

Eligibility You can apply for investment support from Small Business Boost if you meet the following criteria:

To find out more information or to apply, book a call back from an Advisor by visiting www.supportek.co.uk or email help@supportek.co.uk.

• If you have been trading for less than 6 years

New Scheme launched 23rd July – “The Small Business Boost�

• If you are a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not-for-profit business located or seeking to locate in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet

A new loan scheme under the Expansion East Kent Scheme has just been launched - The Small Business Boost economic growth fund. This scheme is also designed to support job creation for small businesses based in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway and Thanet.

• If you are seeking a loan between £2,000 and £50,000

The scheme is funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund scheme and managed by Kent County Council working in partnership other public and private sector partners and is part of the Expansion East Kent initiative. This scheme offers 0% interest loans between £2,000 and £50,000 to help startups, small businesses and social enterprises in the eligible areas, who are seeking to develop new or expand existing products or services, where these will lead to sustained employment.

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Kent Training and Apprenticeships is pa art of Community Learning and Skills

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

• If you have less than 50 employees • If you are seeking to provide employment – either by creating or safeguarding jobs in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway or Thanet • If your business has not yet paid out a dividend. How to apply To find out more information or to apply, book a call back from an Advisor by visiting www.supportek.co.uk or email help@supportek.co.uk.


BUSINESSISSUES

ASK THE

EXPERT Name: Geoff Hilton Title: Company: Web: email: Tel:

Q

Managing Director Kent & Sussex Security Ltd www.kentandsussexsecurity.com geoff@kentandsussexsecurity.com 01233 622025

What should my priorities be for keeping my business secure? Firstly, it’s worth making the point that good electronic security is better value now than it’s ever been. Like most electronics in recent years the performance has been improving dramatically, while the prices in real terms are often reducing. That said, I do appreciate that for many businesses, security is a grudge purchase, and even as things get easier as we emerge from recession, money is still tight, never more so than for new businesses starting out. So how should you set the priorities? No two businesses are the same but for most of us the priorities start off with: 1 Protecting people – staff, customers. 2 Protecting property – premises, contents. In my experience, many business people get the priorities the other way round, i.e. they tend to put property before people. That’s partly driven by the insurance companies, who usually insist on an intruder alarm for your premises. I agree

that a good alarm is essential, but it is only designed to operate when your premises are empty, i.e. no staff or customers present. Unless of course you have a personal attack facility built into your alarm so staff under threat can summon help, including the police. Every alarm should have one! Though an alarm is an essential starting point, depending on the nature of your business, there may also be other systems you should be considering to keep your people and property safe. Access control systems can keep intruders, customers and even employees out of specified areas, when premises are occupied. Modern networked systems can even provide an audit trail of who went where, when, or keep accurate records of when employees arrive or leave. CCTV often gets a bad press and we’ve all seen those grainy indistinct pictures of police suspects. But we now have the ability to produce and record high quality high definition images, viewable on your PC, lap-top, tablet or even mobile phone, anywhere in the world. CCTV helps deter offenders, makes people feel more safe and, as with the access control described above, can offer non-security benefits in terms of providing valuable management information. As I started by saying, no two businesses are the same, but if you want to learn what 21st Century electronic security could do for your business, please contact KSS.

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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SPOTLIGHTON...

A confident future beckons for the Thames Gateway These are exciting times for the Thames Gateway with new schemes offering the potential for many thousands of jobs and homes in the years to come. As the South East recovers from the dark days of recession, there is a growing sense of confidence and the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership is working to build on that confidence to help deliver sustainable economic growth in North Kent. The Partnership comprises of senior representatives from across the North Kent business and higher/further education communities, local authorities, the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), the Environment Agency, together with a North Kent Member of Parliament. The main aims of the Partnership are to create the best conditions possible to attract investment and deliver sustainable, private sector-led economic growth, promote collaboration between private and public sectors and work with partners in London and South Essex to ensure that the Thames Gateway remains a key priority for Government and other key decision-makers. To achieve its vision, the Partnership has set out a series of long-term economic objectives for North Kent, including improving the productivity of the North Kent economy, supporting the delivery of at least 50,000 new homes between 2006 and 2026, supporting the creation of at least 58,000 jobs between 2006 and 2026, particularly in high value sectors, and working with educational institutions to ensure that local companies have the most skilled young employees possible. The Partnership has identified a number of key developments that hold the key to achieving its objectives. They include: • Ebbsfleet Garden City – the Government has announced its support for a new generation Garden City at Ebbsfleet, with a development corporation to lead delivery • Swanscombe Peninsula – a 353 hectare site

Ebbsfleet Valley courtesy DBC

• Gravesend Town Centre – 1,250 new homes and 1,500 new jobs will be created in and around Gravesend town centre, focusing on four major sites (Heritage Quarter, Canal Basin, North East Gravesend and Clifton Slipways)

Sheppey Crossing

identified as the location for a world-class leisure resort under the Paramount brand. This huge development could generate up to 27,000 direct and indirect jobs. The main planning application is to be determined through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project process, with the scheme expected to start on site by 2016, opening 2019-20 • Dartford Northern Gateway – this mixed-use development will deliver 1,300 new homes, 1,200 new jobs and a range of supporting facilities including a primary school and a dedicated Fastrack rapid bus transit route

SUSCON

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

Chatham Maritime Aerial • Dartford Town Centre – Dartford Borough Council and the HCA are collaborating on proposals for the former Co-op site and redevelopment of the Station Mound, complementing the new station buildings opened in 2013, offering a mix of residential, retail, leisure and office development


SPOTLIGHTON... Rob Bennett, Chair of Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, said: “These are exciting times for the Thames Gateway area of Kent. “The new Garden City at Ebbsfleet and the London Paramount proposals at Swanscombe have the potential to provide huge opportunities for local businesses and residents. “As each month goes by, more businesses in North Kent are reporting a positive outlook and many are being helped in their growth ambitions by interestfree loans from the TIGER programme set up by this Partnership and managed by Kent County Council.” Thames Gateway bullet train • Chatham Waterfront and Centre - 2,250 new homes and 2,000 new jobs, enhancing the retail and leisure offer and the clustering of creative and cultural enterprises • Development sites on St Mary’s Island and next to Chatham Historic Dockyard, which will complete the regeneration of Chatham Maritime and deliver a further 1,400 new homes and commercial space • Rochester Riverside – this site will deliver up to 1,500 new homes and 29,400 sq m of commercial space • Rochester Airport – to be developed as a technology and knowledge-based cluster • The Medway-Swale Arc – this horseshoeshaped area has just been granted Assisted Area status by Government. The focus for the Arc is a network of sites totalling 340 hectares mainly on the Hoo Peninsula and the Isle of Sheppey with particular potential for growth in low carbon and renewable energy industries.

The Vision for North Kent was agreed by the Partnership on its formation in 2001 and includes work to create: • an area of exciting towns and cities complemented by an outstanding natural environment, providing an exemplar of urban regeneration • a thriving business centre attracting leading investors and businesses through its diverse and skilled workforce, high-quality commercial sites and local services, and through the accessibility to transport links • an area of strong, integrated communities where the benefits of development and investment are shared by the whole community. • a vibrant cultural hub with a thriving social scene and civic pride, attracting a growing student population, bringing youth and vigour to the community. Rob said: “The Partnership’s aim is that North Kent will be recognised as the place to be.”

• Sittingbourne Town Centre – a package of developments proposed for the town centre – the first phase of which is expected to start in Spring 2015 • Kent Science Park – expansion currently under way will provide 3,000 sq m of high-tech floorspace for innovatory businesses.

Gravesend Heritage Quarter

Building success Chris Whittington and Chris KirbyTurner, of Thomson Snell & Passmore’s top ranked Construction & Engineering team, discuss causes for real optimism as construction output shows signs of an increasingly sustained recovery. 2014 has seen a period of sustained good news for the construction industry, as at last there are signs of a more bullish recovery. Consistent growth in the construction sector recently, has seen contractors reporting increased opportunities across the board. As confidence grows, funding availability eases and schemes already underway prove profitable, the reality of the South East’s housing shortage may cause a tipping point to be reached, with development starting on many land-banked sites. Much depends on the outcome of schemes already progressing and policy makers’ and investors’ nerve. Broad cross party support for major strategic policy decisions is vital to avoid delay and uncertainty because of the general election. Government backing of key schemes will be essential for increased activity. The announcement of “Ebbsfleet Garden City” (with the creation of 15,000 homes and an Urban Development Corporation to oversee development) paves the way for new momentum for Eastern Quarry and the thousands of homes proposed. On Swanscombe Peninsula, the proposed Paramount Park (potentially creating 27,000 jobs with a target opening date of 2019) was designated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. This will enable the planning application to be submitted early next year directly to the Secretary of State, with a view to streamlining and accelerating the planning process (backed in principle by the relevant local authorities). Its impact upon the local and wider area in terms of demand for housing, supply chain services, hotel and leisure facilities cannot be underestimated. Such schemes create opportunities and a momentum in the immediate vicinity and beyond, with huge potential for associated development by UK and overseas investors. Much has been achieved in recent years, notwithstanding the recession: award-winning high end developments, major education sector projects, luxury hotel developments and commercial property investment. Huge potential exists to build on this investment with future schemes, however effective master-planning remains a key challenge to ensure the recovery does not lead to scattergun development. Many opportunities exist for construction to achieve sustained growth. The next twelve months will be critical, but represent the best and most real opportunity yet to entrench recovery.

Queenborough & Rushenden Creekside August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

Tax warning for workers with second incomes Workers with second incomes are being urged to get their tax affairs in order in a new HMRC campaign, according to DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors. The advice to disclose details of additional income comes with a warning that failure to do so could result in criminal prosecution. HMRC’s Second Incomes Campaign is aimed at UK employees who earn additional income by working for themselves. “Many people in employment look to bolster their income by doing a second job, such as taxi driving, consultancy, making and selling craft items or selling goods at market stalls or on the internet,” said Glen Thomas, Tax Partner from the Maidstone office of DSH. “While their main salary is likely to be taxed through PAYE, their second income can also be taxable. Some will realise this and will have made arrangements to pay tax, but others will not be doing so. “If you’re not paying tax, then you need to tell HMRC, a process known as Voluntary Disclosure. By not doing so, you run the risk of prosecution if HMRC finds out about your second income further down the line.”

Is Obesity a disability? Recent press coverage has returned to this debate, which is not a new issue for employers. There have already been cases involving employees unable to fit in uniforms and being unable to drive due to issues of size. Under the Equality Act 2010 a person has a disability for discrimination purposes if they had a “physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term effect on his ability to carry out normal day-today activities.” In 2013 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered Mr Walker who suffered from “functional overlay” compounded by his obesity. He had numerous physical and mental conditions but an occupational health specialist had not been able to identify a “physical or organic cause” other than his obesity. The EAT said, a tribunal must

concentrate on whether the employee has a physical or mental impairment. Mr Walker had been substantially impaired by both physical and mental impairments for a long time, it is not necessary to focus on the cause. Obesity does not of itself render a claimant disabled, however, it might make it more likely that they are. It is plain that it is the impairment itself that should be considered rather than its cause. For more information, contact Amanda Finn at Gullands Solicitors www.gullands.com a.finn@gullands.com

How to make sure you get the most out of each interview The key to any businesses success is their people. Attracting and selecting the best talent available is critical for all organisations, whilst making a poor recruitment decision can cost your business greatly! So how do we minimise the risk of recruiting the wrong person? A good interview process is the foundation for this. Too many Managers rely on ‘gut instinct’ or a ‘twenty minute chat’ to make this all important decision. Invest some time at the start and you can save a lot of pain later! Firstly, do not focus solely on the experience or technical skills required, but think about other attributes that are important to the role. Once you have a clear vision of what you need from the role it is worth devising an “Interview Plan”. The interview plan is a guide, interviewers should always look to probe and question further if the candidates answers are vague or lack detail. Never forget that the ‘candidate experience’ is critical to the recruitment process. Even if the person is not right for your business, remember that you are representing your company; the candidate should leave with a positive view of your company. Finally’ don’t compromise on quality. If you do not believe you have interviewed the correct person – do not offer them the job! Investing a little more time in finding the right person wastes a lot less time than hiring the wrong one. For further advice on either this subject or any other Employment Law queries, please contact John McNulty on 07966 112 109.

Hermitage Court is Superior choice Following growing demand for its care and support services, Superior Care is moving its Maidstone office to Hermitage Court, the business park near Barming and close to Junction 5 of the M20. The Whitstable-based company has agreed a 10 year lease on 1,290ft2 of Grade A offices in Unit G at Hermitage Court, the latest building to be constructed at the successful business park, developed by Gallagher Properties. Having occupied High Street offices since 2009, Superior Care’s directors identified Hermitage Court after searching for larger premises for its Maidstone branch to accommodate its expanding workforce. Superior Care provides care and support services for adults and children living independently at home, as well as in residential accommodation.

Kent Property Market Rep port >> headline sponsor and major contributor

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www.logicpm.co.uk Logic PM is an RICS accredited construction project management company based in Kent and London. We offer a range of business services, these include:

‡3URMHFWPDQDJHPHQW ‡&RQVWUXFWLRQFRQVXOWDQF\ ‡:RUNVSDFHRSWLPLVDWLRQ ‡)HDVLELOLW\VWXGLHV ‡&RQWUDFWWLPHOLQHV SURJUDPPHV Delivering Successful Projects 01622 535505 info@logicpm.co.uk

Bond Bryan Architects Verralls House 95 High Street Westerham Verralls House, 95 Kent TN16 1RE

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Tel: 01959 567 300 E-mail: kent@bondbryan.co.uk Twitter: @bondbryan @bondbryanED High Street, Westerham, Kent TN16 @bondbryanBIM

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

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Architecture Interior Design Education Advice Property Strategy Landscape Architecture Feasibility Studies


COVERFEATURE

The challenges and opportunities for Construction in Kent Ella Brocklebank is the Business Development Manager for locally based construction cost consultants Woodley Coles LLP, Chair of the Kent Construction Focus Group and part of the committee for Constructing Excellence in Kent. In 2014 she won two awards at the Kent Women in Business Awards for ‘Contribution to the Community’ and ‘Inspirational Business Woman of the Year’ for her close work with local charity Pilgrims Hospices.

In this article she gives an overview of the construction market in Kent, the importance of the KCFG and outlines the challenges faced and opportunities ahead within the industry...

“The construction industry just isn’t sexy enough” were the concluding words of the latest Kent Constructing Excellence meeting addressing the overwhelming issue of skills shortages in construction in a bid to build future talent in the sector. With award-winning buildings such as The Marlowe Theatre and Turner Contemporary nestled on our doorstep and London’s iconic skyscrapers and major feats of engineering just a stones throw, why aren’t we rousing future generations to enter the industry and themselves engineer a future landscape we can be proud of? When a recession strikes, the construction industry is always hardest hit and the road to recovery is long. In 2014 the Kent construction market is most definitely ‘on the up’ and a buzz of excitement could just about be heard above the tense sigh of relief if we all took a moment to standstill and reflect. The past few years have thrown some real challenges at the industry and particularly in a county such as Kent, on the periphery to the bustling and seemingly recession-proof city of London, it has been tough. It has been a hard-hitting downturn, diminishing profit margins, vastly reducing opportunity for growth and understandably leaving many nervous and pessimistic. With an increasing cohort of young people now actively avoiding the industry and an existing shortage of skilled blue and white collar workers, as the economy begins its upward climb we must be ready to face these issues that could otherwise threaten recovery. Whilst battered and bruised, I do feel we have emerged a stronger network of businesses as a result. If there is a positive side to an economic downturn it’s that it certainly teaches us the importance of relationships and finding our competitive edge. In tougher times people get out

Photographs credited to Carlos Dominguez Photography www.dominguez.co.uk.

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

there and talk. There is no room for complacency and business success relies upon reputation, added value and long-term business relations. That’s why I personally feel groups such as the Kent Construction Focus Group or KCFG (as it’s known to many); a cluster of Kent based construction businesses within the Chamber, that endeavours to promote local people for local projects, are critical to commercial recovery and beyond. As testimony to my words the group has doubled in size over the past two years to in excess of 150 member companies. It has come a long way since the handful of people who gathered around a table a decade ago. Opportunity for collaboration amongst this group increases steadily and prospects within both the private and public sector are tracked monthly to benchmark how the Kent supply chain are performing and the results are consistently positive, which is an encouraging sign. Collectively KCFG endeavours to have a ‘voice’ amidst a very ‘noisy’ industry and offers support on planning and development where it is felt to be economically and socially beneficial to the county. A superb line up of speakers including talks from Hadlow College on their exciting plans for the Betteshanger Sustainable Parks and key developers such as Land Securities ensures we have built good links with the local media and thus the KCFG’s credence has exponentially increased. As the legacy of localism strengthens through initiatives such as KCFG or Constructing Excellence and as we continue our pursuit to ensure fair local opportunity I’m sure the Construction Expo at the Kent Event Centre, Detling on 8th October, will act as further evidence to the excellence that exists within Kent. I predict this year will be busier than ever with organisations ready to do business, make


COVERFEATURE

CDM 2015 – another change The majority of us involved in the construction industry, either as Client, Designer, CDM Coordinator, contractor, Principal Contractor or a worker have been aware and implementing the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (CDM Regs) since 1994. So the concept of management of health & safety in construction projects, design risk management and individual/organisational roles and responsibilities should be embedded into our processes.

new connections and learn from our industry peers. Events of this nature are vital to reshape public perception and the image of construction, create opportunity and face our responsibility to future proof our industry with the skills it needs. I am delighted that this year’s event will have a focus on young people, it will be an opportunity to highlight to over 300 students the opportunities that exist within the industry and to view first-hand, the extent of career options available. With some 182 construction related career paths there is opportunity for all and we need to reduce the misconception that it is only vocational choices available. The industry needs professionalism running through its veins. From those on the ground laying the bricks to the consultants and managerial staff, every member of the supply chain is critical and has a responsibility to deliver. Those on the cusp of their future career need guidance and should be entering the industry because they achieved the best grades and because they have passion, ambition and a desire to succeed, not as a last resort. Apprenticeships and Traineeships create a wonderful opportunity to learn while you earn, gaining valuable life experiences along the way and chances like this should be grasped with both hands. With the number of apprenticeships entering the industry falling to 14,000 in 2012/13, a third less than in 2009/10 it is vital that we do everything we can to make construction a desirable career path for the people of tomorrow. There is so much reason to be optimistic as workloads and profits continue to grow so it is now the responsibility of the industry to invest in the future. We need to break down the barriers to entry and create a positive, lasting legacy of construction, leading young people to make the right choices and to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.

On the whole the current CDM 2007 is accepted and understood by Industry and working well but still with a few areas of significant concerns: • Had not resolved the issue of bureaucracy created by the industry; • Had created an industry approach to competence which was intense, over burdensome, in many cases disproportionate, especially to SMES; • The coordination function within preconstruction phase was often not very well embedded and not added value but cost. We are also in a time when Government are looking at current H&S Regulations and their effect on businesses with a series of evaluations, reports and consultations, including the ‘Red Tape Challenge’. The CDM Regulations have not escaped this process and a detailed evaluation and consultation has been carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and a revised regulatory package has been drafted and consulted on by the construction industry (CD261 Consultative Document). HSE are evaluating the responses from the consultation before issuing the final version of the revised Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015? We know that their policy objectives are: • maintain or improve worker protection; • simplify the regulatory package; • improve health and safety standards on small construction sites; • implement the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) in a proportionate way; • discourage bureaucracy; and • meet better regulation principles. The final set of regulations are yet to be released by HSE the actual content cannot be given but based upon the consultation document the following can be expected: 1 Structural Simplification of the regulations; 2 Replacing the current Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L144 with specific Industry Guidance;

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Replacing the CDM Coordinator with that of the Principal Designer (PD). 4 Removal of CDMs explicit requirements for corporate and individual competency. 5 Revised Client Duties including Domestic Clients. 6 Threshold for Appointment of Coordinators changed. 7 Notification of a project proposed to be a standalone duty where lasting longer than 30 working days and on which more than 20 workers are working simultaneously or exceeding 500 person days. The confirmation of the above and the fine detail will not be known until the new regulations are issued by the HSE. However if the above is adopted it can be seen that parts of the industry, especially small sites with less than 15 people, domestic clients will be encountering a regulatory regime hitherto not featuring greatly in their work and it is felt compliance may be a challenge as this is often regarded as the ‘dark side’ of the industry with alleged rogue traders. Those who have built a business or career as a CDM Coordinator (CDMC) will need a rethink and look to utilise the great CDM skills they have developed perhaps as a CDM Consultant or Advisor to feed into the project team. Designers need to upskill to be able to carry out the role of Principal Designer and perhaps an alliance with former CDMC will be seen. The coming months will define the above and the Construction Industry Press will no doubt have many commentaries. Les Johnson Regional Chair for South East England Region of the Association for Project Safety More information can be found at HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk. The consultative document can be viewed at: www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd261.htm. APS website also contains useful information: www.aps.org.uk.

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BIGINTERVIEW

BIGINTERVIEW

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Company celebrates 50th anniversary by looking to the future For a company to reach its 50th anniversary is creditable enough. To achieve it in the highly competitive construction sector is remarkable but that is what Kent company Baxall Construction has achieved this year. Formed in 1964, it has grown from a small company into a highly respected regional contractor that delivers new build, refurbishment, project management and design and build solutions to public and private sector clients across most sectors in London and the South East. Finance Director Jonathan Exall and Contracts Director Nigel Exall are part of the family that founded the business and Managing Director Malcolm Clarke has been with the Paddock Wood company for nearly 30 years. As a well known and respected name across the industry, Malcolm is a key figure with the National Federation of Builders (NFB) with whom he has progressed from local membership to National Chairman. His active involvement has included representation at National and European Government levels and ongoing support for SMEs in construction. The company has retained its family ethos throughout although that does not mean that things have not changed. Malcolm said: ”We may have retained the ethos of a family business developed over the past 50 years but we have also acknowledged that we have to evolve with an ever changing marketplace. “That has meant growing the company into the progressive organisation that it is today, one that directly employs over 50 staff, maintains a longstanding local supply chain and has a current turnover of £15m. “Key to that progress has been strategic and controlled organic growth. Eight years ago, for example, before the latest recession struck, we took a decision to develop our systems and processes for IT, quality management, sustainability, design management and training. Investment in these procedures and skill sets not only enabled us to deliver a more professional and efficient service but qualified Baxall to tender for public sector contracts. “Up until then we had worked largely for private clients but we wanted to bid for Local Authority projects and Frameworks as well. “Customer satisfaction and continuous improvement are the essence of Baxall’s culture and our strategic approach meant securing accreditation to the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard, upgrading our Investors in People status and improving our environmental credentials.”

Having successfully delivered projects to the stringent requirements of BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes, Baxall have signed up to the Construct CO2 initiative, a practical construction carbon measurement tool which enables staff to measure and benchmark their carbon footprint and that of the supply chain. This has resulted in real steps being taken to substantially reduce and better manage travel and encourage further local procurement.

We may have retained the ethos of a family business developed over the past 50 years but we have also acknowledged that we have to evolve with an ever changing marketplace.

Following appointment to the Sussex Cluster Framework in 2013, Baxall have successfully secured six school contracts, four of which are presently live on site. Malcolm and the Baxall management team are undertaking a collaborative and strategic role on the Framework, being actively involved in the KPI and BIM sub-groups.


BIGINTERVIEW

Baxall have always been about teamwork which has been at the heart of our success over the years Such successes are crucial in a volatile sector like construction. Malcolm said: “Construction is always hit hard when recession arrives and the recent one was the third I have gone through. What made it different was how long it lasted. “We went through hard times during the recession and had to reduce our numbers. It was a tough time for us. Private sector work reduced and public sector work virtually dried up. It has taken a lot of hard work and perseverance by us all to get through it. “We are now seeing confidence returning both in the private sector and the public sectors and, while the competition remains high, opportunities are in abundance and 2014 is proving to be a very busy year for Baxall. “It’s not solely about the lowest price anymore; a large focus is now placed on assessing capability and what added value and benefits companies like ours can bring to a project, above and beyond a construction service. “Baxall have always been about teamwork which has been at the heart of our success over the years. The industry and its clients are increasingly realising that by working together, exceptional performance can be achieved. This was demonstrated on the Olympic build project. “At Baxall, we strive to be the ‘best of the best’, not the biggest. It is our culture and drive that has structured the business for the last 50 years and long may it continue.”

Malcolm Clarke Managing Director Baxall Construction Web: www.baxallconstruction.co.uk

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MEMBERSNEWS

Adjudication could resolve your construction dispute If you are involved in a construction dispute, you should consider Adjudication.

Adjudication is a summary process for resolving construction disputes within 28 days which can be extended to 42 days. There are many benefits of Adjudications over litigating through the courts. Possibly the most significant benefit is the speed of Adjudication compared with drawn out court proceedings. However further benefits include that the cost of Adjudication would normally be lower

than going to court (albeit more concentrated), it is a statutory process therefore you can Adjudicate even if your contract does not provide for it and the proceedings are in private which can protect the parties’ reputations. However there are drawbacks, it is considered “rough justice” in that the speed of the process means there is limited time to fully prepare. Further the Adjudicator may not be able to Order that the loser pays the winner’s legal costs. The Adjudication process is not available for all disputes, in particular if the build relates to a residential property which the employer intends to occupy although again there are some exceptions so take advice. If you want advice regarding your construction dispute and Adjudication, please contact David Riordan on davidriordan@whiteheadmonckton.co.uk.

Restoration and Protection Limited (R & P) Restoration and Protection Limited (R & P ) provides the professional application of our innovative range of Nanotechnology protective coatings for numerous surfaces, including masonry, wood, metals, glass, GRP and heavy duty plastics. Nano-Technology is “the manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular scale, sized from one nano-metre or one billionth of a metre.” This equates to 100,000 thinner than a human hair. This cutting edge science gives our products greater strength, durability and longevity not found in traditional protection systems. They have the ability to ingress within the surface, bond with and actually become part of the substrate. They are not merely “surface” coatings. The capillaries are partially “filled in” to prevent the larger molecules of water, dirt and fouling to enter. However gases,ie air are able to still pass through, so inherent damp issues are not trapped.

With a typical extension taking an average of six months from submitting the planning application to getting a certificate of completion, now is the time to start the process to avoid another cramped Christmas. NuCADD Architectural is a design studio providing a complete bespoke design service for both domestic and commercial property enhancements and developments, right across the region. From re-modelling a property through to new build projects we provide a personal service from initial project inception to building completion. Our services include • Free initial consultation • Measured and photographic site surveys • Initial feasibility studies • Bespoke architectural designs to meet your requirements. • Commercial space planning

• Comprehensive detailing service which meets with current guidelines and regulations. • Structural detailing. • Managing all the statutory applications in relation to planning and building regulation applications. • Project co-ordination and management By offering a free initial consultation we are able to advise a client on the viability of their project and ensure the correct permissions are applied for. Here at NuCADD Architectural we also provide high quality, cost-effective out sourcing solutions to Architects, Interior Designers, Property Developers, Building Contractors and other design professionals. If you have any questions about our full range of services or wish to discuss as potential project please contact David Day david.day@nucadd.com

They will dramatically reduce cleaning and maintenance costs going forward and maintain the appearance and value of your property or asset. Our products are used within construction, transport, marine, aviation, oil & gas, renewable energy. We provide a comprehensive service from initial maintenance and clean through to full restoration, coating and protection. For more information visit www.restorationand protection.com

In need of a specialist construction solicitor? Andrew Flagg, Solicitor

NuCADD Architectural Remember last Christmas - everyone squashed around the table and wishing you had more space?

Our products are hydrophobic and highly resistant to UV, salt water and salty air.

CWJ’s Construction Projects Team already act for a range clients within the construction industry in Kent, South East London and the South East. By combining our solicitors’ expertise we are able to provide a full and specialist service to the construction industry at all stages in the process; from beginning to end. When faced with the many uncertainties in the industry our clients return to us for the certainty of our expert advice which allows for management of risk, control of the project and maintenance of our client’s relationships with the third parties involved in the project. Our team of specialist construction industry solicitors are on hand to assist you with: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Construction Contracts Employment Issues Commercial Property Construction Disputes Development Sales Professional Negligence Corporate M&A Health & Safety

For further information please visit www.cwj.co.uk or contact Andrew Flagg on 01689 887833 or email andrew.flagg@cwj.co.uk

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FSI - an insight FSI EUROPE LTD is a wholly owned, UK-based subsidiary of FSI Worldwide Ltd. The company was founded in 2006 to provide security solutions to high value assets in high threat environments including the British and US embassies in Iraq and Afghanistan (which FSI still guards today). FSI’s founders, Directors and management staff are predominantly ex British Army Officers and FSI’s security resources are predominantly ex-Army personnel (largely ex-Gurkhas in the static guarding roles). The company has a strong military ethos at its core and it brings a military style of leadership, planning and management to all its projects. Whilst the company’s core business has always been in security, the company has evolved into an international labour / manpower provider supporting major contracts worldwide. FSI’s ethical business practices and leadership have been widely recognised in the award of the 2013 UN Business Award for combating human trafficking (UNGIFT and UNODC) which was awarded to the CEO in Davos last year. Since May 2012 FSI Europe has been supporting a wide range of major infrastructure and construction projects as well as supporting corporate events and managing built assets on behalf of clients in London and the south east. FSI’s security services and capability have been audited, approved and indeed lauded by Network Rail’s outsourced security and resilience auditor. Outside of security FSI has provided a plethora of other managed manpower resources to facilities, construction and logistics roles using predominantly exmilitary resources from the Royal Engineers and the Royal Logistic Corps – surveyors, cable-pullers, vehicle marshallers, resource and stores managers, logistic coordinators, facilities managers and cleaners etc. FSI’s approach is always bespoke and involves a period of consultation at the beginning of each project to ensure the best level of managed service and most fit for purpose plan is delivered to our clients.

Agreement – harmony, accord, consensus Doing business is all about agreement - the price, delivery date, quality, components. Get the agreements right - everybody wins - get them wrong, no one does. Don’t hope for the best and perhaps have to deal with the worst - get expert advice at the right time regarding your contracts, terms and conditions and agency agreements. Whitehead Monckton’s Commercial Team can provide you with expert advice and support so contact us today.

Tel: 01622 698047 E-mail enquiries@whitehead-monckton.co.uk www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk www.whitehead-monckton.co.uk Whitehead Monckton Limited (no. 08366029), registered in If you are interested in any of the services that FSI can provide in the UK or overseas please visit our website: www.fsi-worldwide.com and / or email us: uk@fsi-worldwide.com. 32

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

England & Wales. Registered office 72 King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1BL. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under no. 608279. TB 8/2014


MEMBERSNEWS

New building offers opportunities James Logan, associate director at Caxtons, was recently invited by the Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust to attend the official opening of the Marsh Academy Community Hub in New Romney. He was invited in his capacity as their commercial property agent. Nicholas Fisher, the CFCT Chairman, thanked Caxtons for their hard work, which involves transactions on their land and property portfolio, and enables the Trust to fund projects such as MACH. The building was officially opened by Sir Roger de Haan CBE on 2nd June. MACH is a new facility on the site of The Marsh Academy, created for the community of the Romney Marsh. It provides office, workshop and meeting spaces and has been provided to enable local people to develop groups, start up businesses or to access support services. While The Marsh Academy works with a range of service providers, MACH is also for people to share their work or ideas and build relationships. The new MACH building will help students prepare for employment and self-employment through the engagement, by staff, with local

business and enterprise. In addition, they will help identify and intervene with NEETs - teenagers who are not in education, employed or in training. The development and construction of the building was made possible with funds donated by the ColyerFergusson Charitable Trust to support both the pupils of the Marsh Academy and the wider Romney Marsh community.

Audi arrives in Tunbridge Wells A state-of-the art showroom is coming to West Kent this summer with the arrival of Tunbridge Wells Audi.

The new environmentally friendly Audi Centre, which incorporates solar thermal water heating and energy saving LED lighting, will open in August on Dowding Way, next to Fountains Retail Park. The existing Tonbridge Audi Centre will be

relocated to this new premium and much larger site. With the move to Tunbridge Wells comes the opportunity to add to the 70-strong team of Audi experts, all dedicated to serving Audi customers with superior levels of care.

Linda Garcia

Business Performance Consultant Business is an evolving environment where Survival of the Fittest prevails. In the commercial world of natural selection those Survivors, metaphorically speaking, are bold, resourceful companies continuously adapting, fine-tuning and improving their “gene pool” on the inside, to stand out from the crowd. Every business, no matter how small or well established, has opportunities to improve. Many companies get stuck in their ways, thinking they’ve optimized resources and assets. Searching “outside the box”, moving “out of your comfort zone” is a daunting challenge, and its not always obvious where new opportunities lie. A fresh pair of eyes - a Critical Friend - can bring inspiration and practical solutions that you may lack the knowhow or resources to initiate internally. My international business performance and change

implementation experience, improves performance by working with you in the business. It’s not just about analyzing finances in the boardroom, but getting into the work place, observing current practices, designing practical solutions and implementing them. I can provide an effective route to move your company forward, in a shorter time frame than you could probably afford trying to implement new initiatives internally, whilst still managing your business.

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Contact me on or linda@garcia05.wanadoo.co.uk

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APPPLY NO OW

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014


ECONOMY

The Economy & Us: Limits to Growth? The Leader of a major party in local government recently asked: “If we can’t have what we want [with no realistic prospect of affording it], how shall we live within what we’ve got?” Households and businesses face this challenge almost daily. Most of us view it as temporary: we expect that, with some judicious reorganization/ borrowing, we can usually have whatever we want. This political party was facing up to the fear that their priorities were indefinitely, maybe permanently, out of reach. They were avoiding the placebo: “soon things will be back to normal, soon we can have what we want”. What is the new normal? Are we seeing evidence of an indefinite slowdown in global economic growth? As in the early stages of the global warming debate, it’s too early to tell. But if politicians are facing up to this question, so should we. What, if anything, has fundamentally changed? I can’t model the global economy. Instead, identifying the socioeconomic changes I’d expect to notice in the event of slowing growth, I ask: “What is actually happening?” Rising costs across all primary industries? (i.e. mining, agriculture, fisheries, utilities including

energy, waste disposal, water and sewerage.) Yes, this is happening. Falling profits? Many global brands are doing well, exploiting the growing Asian middle class, but otherwise worthwhile profits are accruing to “special situations” and are not the norm. Falling wages & salaries? Yes; according to the OECD, median full-time incomes were flat from the early 1970s till the 2000s, since when they have been falling. Fewer opportunities for worthwhile Return On Capital Employed? Yes. In a world awash with cash chasing investment opportunities, compared with 2007 the developed economies’ collective borrowing is up 20 percentage points at 275% of GDP. Credit spreads are narrow, meanwhile, even though 40% of syndicated loans are to subinvestment grade borrowers. Many companies are borrowing heavily to buy back their own shares, not finding profitable business opportunities in their marketplace.

Less to go round in public services? Yes, across the board: armaments mothballed, soldiers made redundant; terms of employment rewritten for teachers and firemen; funding cuts to law & order, and to a supposedly ring-fenced NHS. Collusion among the “haves” against “havenots”? Yes. Even after the rise in personal tax allowance, the lowest-earning 10% pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes than the highestearning, or the UK average. Benefit cuts for lowwage working people, the “bedroom tax”, the ATOS vetting of disabled benefit claimants, university tuition fees, all suppress the already-disadvantaged. Even the Prime Minister has abandoned his mantra of “we’re all in it together”. The fact is, power is shifting back from labour to capital (land and kit). After 600 years of growth and social mobility, for most of us wealth is no longer what you can earn. As before the Renaissance, increasingly wealth is what you own, and is to be husbanded.

Nick Rowell Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email: nick@tpbs.co.uk

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Building Information Modeling (BIM) MLM is an important and influential local Engineering Consultancy. Currently on Eureka Park, Ashford they employ over 30 staff in the Ashford Office and over 300 employees nationally.

We spoke with their office Director Toby Crayden... How has BIM affected MLM? BIM fits with the MLM ethos of multidisciplinary working in a 3D environment. We pride ourselves on the way we work across different disciplines, whether they be MLM teams or other companies engaged on a project. We place different disciplines not only side by side in our offices but also create single project delivery teams under the direction of an internal project coordinator where the project would benefit from this approach. So the

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ethos and mindset is already there, leaving us with software and protocols to master. Has the software element come easily? We invested early in software and training and this has paid dividends now with several live BIM schemes on the books and many others successfully delivered. The challenge has been developing our skills at a consistent rate across the business given the different needs and expectations of Clients. Flash in the Pan or the future of the Industry? The future of the Industry is in better

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

cross discipline co-ordination, faster and more accurate design which leads to quicker cost forecasting, programming and identification of value engineering opportunities. The challenge is having all stakeholders bought in to the process and willing to embrace the concept for the best results to be achieved. What’s your best investment? People, first and foremost. It’s a people Industry and investing in individuals, and equipping them with the skills and technology so that they reach their full potential personally and professionally.

What’s your next investment? I expect 3d printing technology will be a useful investment in the short/medium term, although this may already be showing signs of being superseded by Conran and Beagle with their interactive hologram display technology. As the complexity of 3D design work increases the challenge will be making sure designs are understood and accessible.


MEMBERSNEWS

Digital publications – a tablet application The way in which users want to see information is shifting. What are we now expecting? We demand a connection, a bond, being able to interact and relate to the information that is being presented to us.

Strood business celebrates a decade of recycling Colin Harms and wife Eileen are partners both at home and in business. They’re the owners of Cartridge World Strood and have just celebrated their tenth business birthday.

Users are the ones in control –deciding whether to engage or ignore delivered information. Who wants to open and read a protracted document in a pdf? Who reads white papers these days? Have you even read as far as here?

businesses in Strood who choose to recycle their printer cartridges rather than buy new ones, over £500,000

It’s a challenge for business owners and there is a strong argument to present information for both online and offline audiences. In many instances, an offline solution that enables online interaction is the perfect solution. An exciting innovation The digital magazine market is growing steadily and shows no signs of slowing down. We’re working with clients, delivering digital publications with a fully interactive experience (video, audio, slide shows and more) on the tablet. Below are just some of the possible applications: School prospectus Perfect alternative to the printed version enabling parents to interact directly. Video footage and impressive imagery will bring a school to life. Annual report It’s not difficult to understand why a download for a company report would prove popular. Dry, financial material can be brought up to date with interactivity. Product catalogue Reach your audience with an offline catalogue. Manual When internet access is unavailable, downloadable manuals could be the answer.

Since opening their store in Strood, Colin and Eileen have added three further Cartridge World franchises in Canterbury, Maidstone and Sittingbourne. Initially just a husband and wife team, the couple now employ 16 full-time staff in Kent. Since they opened in Strood, they have recycled around 70,000 inkjet and laser printer cartridges. They reckon that over the last two years alone they have probably saved local people and local

Colin said: “We’ve a good customer mix, both Business to Business and consumer but mainly our success is down to good customer service. We do much more than simply refill cartridges. We offer a good value trusted alternative to the original, along with down to earth advice and expertise on everything to do with printers and printing. And, of course, our staff are always happy to have a chat. That’s something you can’t do online.”

Property brochure The offline brochure is an ideal accompaniment to property agents out on the field. If you think we can help, we would love to hear from you, please call Gary Fry, our digital publications expert on 01474 704400. www.mso.net

Mobile Businesses meet at Marriott Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club has everything to make your next meeting brilliant. Meeting spaces that reflect the changing way people work today. Rather than focusing just on dates, rates and room layouts, Tudor Park takes a more sophisticated approach based on objectives and outcomes.

Marriott Hotel, more local businesses are taking advantage of the free parking, free WIFI in our public areas and excellent facilities on their doorstep.

Ideally located just off J8/M20, Tudor Park is connected to all that is important. Our hotel Lobby and Mezzanine Lounge have become the new meeting destination for many of Kent’s mobile professionals and home based businesses. Confident their clients will be impressed by the great service that comes as standard at a

Transforming itself for mobile and global travellers, Tudor Park is building upon Marriott’s existing offerings which include: Meeting Services App and meetingsimagined.com For more information visit www.MarriottTudorPark.co.uk.

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MEMBERSNEWS

Furley Page Solicitor wins Kent Law Award A talented young solicitor at leading law firm Furley Page has been announced as Kent Law Society Junior Lawyer of the Year at the inaugural Kent Law Society Awards.

Forging ties between Kent companies and Europe Kent Science Park (KSP) has helped make possible a series of collaborations between Kent and European businesses.

Science Park, but to other Kent companies as well. Last year, Kent Science Park and CHAIN2 facilitated a visit for Restoration and Protection Ltd – a material restoration and protective coating business from Maidstone – to the Seawork International Exhibition in Southampton. Here, they were introduced to the Enterprise Europe Network, who put them in touch with a number of European businesses with whom they could potentially collaborate. John Ward, Sales Director at Restoration and Protection Limited, said: “Following our trip to Seawork last year we engaged further with Jeff Pedley and Valerie Pondaven of EEN. This has resulted in tremendous support being given to our business. Jeff, with his scientific background, has introduced us to not only the EEN networking system, but also to academics within the University world to assist with testing of our products.” “Valerie, in turn, facilitated seven one-to-one meetings for us at Ecobuild 2014, with companies from all over Europe interested in our business, including Italy, Portugal, Turkey, Latvia and Holland. She also recently arranged for a French business to send four key personnel over to us for two days to discuss ways by which we may gain mutual benefits in working together. Discussions with these various European businesses remain ongoing and are at differing levels of development.”

Alexandra Gordon, 29, part of Furley Page’s Private Client Team, was praised by judges for her ‘exceptional determination and commitment’. She was one of just three solicitors to be short-listed for the award from those nominated across the county.

As the Kent partner for CHAIN2 – an INTERREG project aimed at generating new business opportunities across the Channel – KSP has developed strong relationships with a number of organisations that support companies looking to trade internationally. Through links with Kent International Business, Kent Science Park and the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) informed tenant AbBaltis of an opportunity to secure funding for MEDICA – the world’s largest medical trade fair held in Dusseldorf, Germany. AbBaltis are an in-vitro diagnostics business based on the Park, and were offered a prominent stand at the exhibition free of charge, as well as the costs covered for one of their team to travel to Germany. Giedre Brandao, Managing Director at AbBaltis, said: “I highly recommend going to tradeshows like these, as it allows you to see what the market is doing and what future trends may be. We have learnt so much by liaising with people at MEDICA, and have built our product portfolio to reflect this. This year is even better as the funding has allowed us to bring an extra team-member to promote the company.” This assistance is not limited to the tenants at Kent

The Kent Law Society’s Awards, for the Junior Lawyer of the Year and the Outstanding Achievement Award, were launched earlier this year to acknowledge lawyers whose professional activities over the past 12 months, whether paid or unpaid, were worthy of recognition.

Port of Dover’s contribution to UK and European economy confirmed

Nominees were judged in a number of areas, including notable achievements, innovation and creativity, and the highest standards of professionalism. Alexandra, who specialises in long-term wealth planning and helping clients to safeguard their assets for future generations, was nominated by Furley Page Partner Harvey Barrett, Head of Private Client, Trusts and Estates. Harvey said: “Alexandra is a deserving winner. She has the ability to act effectively and professionally with private clients and colleagues alike, and her energy and drive are boundless.” The winners of the awards, which attracted strong nominations from law firms across the county, were announced at the Kent Law Society’s annual dinner, held at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes. Nominees were judged by His Honour Judge Richard Polden; retired District Judge Edwina Millward, former President of the Kent Law Society and former President of the Association of District Judges; and Nick Paterno, Managing Partner at McBrides Chartered Accountants. Trophies were presented by Edwina Millward. Alexandra Gordon is based at Furley Page’s Canterbury office and also works from their Chatham and London offices. 38

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

Proof that the Port of Dover is a national asset – and crucial to the performance of the Kent economy – has been demonstrated by an economic impact survey. Independent economic consultancy Oxera has calculated the 2.2 million freight vehicles a year using the Port carry goods worth an estimated £89 billion, reinforcing Dover’s reputation as Europe’s busiest ferry port. The report also highlights Dover’s role as one of Europe’s most important ports, with 98 per cent of its freight traffic by weight either originating in or destined for the EU. Tim Waggott, Chief Executive, Port of Dover, said: “This report shows the real, and too often unseen, value of the Port and the work of the team on behalf of UK plc, and the customers it serves. “The scale and value of goods handled by the people working at the Port is staggering and demonstrates its importance to the nation and the need for continued and major investment.” The report also found the combination of Dover’s location and the efficiency of its operations resulted in a net benefit to its customers of £2.3 billion. Tim Waggott added: “Being the closest UK port to mainland Europe means a reduced crossing time, coupled with excellent service and capacity, this adds up to a remarkable saving to hauliers who choose to travel through Dover.” To add further value, Dover Harbour Board recently

announced plans for the revival of the Western Docks with the development of a new cargo terminal and associated facilities. This includes the prospect of creating more than 600 jobs, which would generate an additional £25 million of Gross Value Added (GVA) per year for the district’s economy. Tim said: “The report is proof positive that every day we are delivering for the UK economy, as demonstrated by our current investment of £85 million to upgrade the Eastern Docks.” “We are also looking to protect this nationally vital trade route by securing long-term capacity through our Dover Western Docks Revival vision, and must secure additional powers in order to deliver this effectively. The timing is right, our customers share our vision, and so enabling the Port to quickly pursue the revival and regeneration of Dover’s Western Docks makes eminent commercial and economic sense.” Andrew Meaney, Managing Consultant of Oxera, said: “Following a robust economic analysis, it is plain to see the Port of Dover is a vital cog in the UK economy and European logistics chain. It already adds significant value and, given the right powers, can add so much more. Without it, the UK would be less competitive and the cost to industry would be substantial.”


MEMBERSNEWS

High-speed commercial internet deal clinched for Shepway Shepway District Council has enabled superfast commercial internet to be made available to businesses in the district’s main employment sites. The three-year agreement with Custodian Data Centre, a Kent based internet service provider and data centre, will initially transmit from a large aerial to be installed on the Civic Centre roof in Folkestone. High quality Internet connections – at speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second - will then be available to businesses located in the district’s main employment sites, and offered to those moving into the Civic Centre. Custodian Data Centre will be operating the service from their 24/7 network operations centre. The council anticipates the costs of introducing and maintaining this connectivity will eventually be met out of income from interested businesses. Premium connections will be available at a significantly reduced rate compared with those currently offered. Superfast broadband is already being made available in some rural Shepway areas by Call Flow Solutions, the internet service provider for this project, in Dungeness, Lydd, Lympne, and Stanford. This has been made possible by Shepway Council with funding from Kent County Council’s community broadband fund. Businesses can sign up to the new service now with details from sales@CustodianDC.com. Cllr Alan Clifton-Holt, Cabinet Member for the District Economy, said: “The contract we have signed with Custodian shows the strength of Shepway Council’s commitment to generating new business for the district.”

“The contract we have signed with Custodian shows the strength of Shepway Council’s commitment to generating new business for the district.”

“Businesses at our main employment sites have told us that this will give them a competitive edge, enabling them to secure more business, recruit more people and work more costeffectively.” “It is vital for firms to be competitive and we want to make that happen. This investment supports our ambition of being ‘Kent’s Connected Coast’: for culture, for business and for growth opportunities.” Shepway Business Advisory Board Chairman Geoff Miles, Chairman of Maidstone Studios, said: “Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh are in pole position to benefit from any upturn in the economy.” “The area has outstanding transport links, with High Speed 1, the Channel Tunnel and motorways, and businesses will soon benefit from the fastest internet capability of anywhere in the UK.”

Delivering quality telecoms Ketles.com LLP is focused on improving SMEs through meaningful innovation in the areas of Telecoms and Call Answering Services. Our commitment is to deliver quality telecoms and support is what makes the real difference to our clients and their customers. We believe that the best way for us to do this, is through understanding of people’s needs and desires and what will meet those needs. We have no ready made boxes on shelves just a deep knowledge in our area of expertise. We provide the right solution for every client every time. Ketles.com LLP is a quality Nationwide Telephone System Maintenance service including PC Support for both the Telecom Industry and Business end users. Ketles.Com has been trading since October 2000. In 2011 the company relocated to Medway and in 2013 became an LLP. Following the move Ketles extended its current Telecom services to internet based Hosted and IPPBX phones/systems to SME’s that want and need to have a different more flexible operation. Where working from the home or the office or overseas is normal and calls between handsets anywhere in the world are free. In February 2012 Ketles.com opened the KAS Call Answering Call Centre. This service provides call answering or reception services for a range of Businesses throughout the UK and overseas too. Having been the maintainers of answering services we had both the skills and the technical know how to do it better. We now include a 24/7 answering service too. KAS also has it own bespoke software for Answering Services designed to make a receptionists life easier but far more responsive.

“It’s a great place to live because of its proximity to sea and countryside, and a growing reputation for top quality arts, entertainment and places to eat; we now need to ensure that it’s also recognised as one of the best places to do business. We are determined to do all we can to see that businesses have the best chance of success.” Shepway’s main employment sites that could receive superfast commercial internet are: Folkestone and Hawkinge Shearway Business Park, Folkestone Cheriton Parc, Folkestone Park Farm Industrial Estate, Folkestone Hawkinge West, Hawkinge Shorncliffe Industrial Estate Highfield Industrial Estate Bowles Well Gardens. Hythe and North Downs Lympne Industrial Park Link Park, Lympne Range Road Industrial Estate Pennypot/Kengate Industrial Estate. Romney Marsh Mountfield Industrial Estate Harden Road Industrial Estate Station Yard, Lydd Kitewell Lane, Lydd Dengemarsh Road Industrial Area.

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

IOSH | NEBOSH | CCNSG | ECITB | CIEH


CHAMBEREVENTS

Chamber Events, Seminars & Workshops BUSINESS BREAKFAST

AFTERNOON TEA NETWORKING

Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 8:00am - 9:30am Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT

Time: 1.30pm – 3.00pm Members: £15.00 +VAT Non-Members: £20.00 +VAT

Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking. Friday 1 August 2014 Brands Hatch Thistle, Main Road, Gorse Hill, Dartford, DA3 8PE

Join us for an ‘Afternoon Tea’ where you will have the ideal opportunity to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships.

Tuesday 2 September 2014 Guest Speaker Elliott Reid from Revitalize Health and Fitness Clinic, Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA Tuesday 9th September 2014 Cadenzza, Greenhythe, Dartford, DA9 9ST Tuesday 16 September 2014 The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU

Friday 15 August 2014 Mercure Hotel Maidstone, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE

During the afternoon, we will serve you a selection of finger sandwiches and a selection of cakes and a plain scone served with clotted cream and jam, plus a selection of teas and coffee.

Tuesday 9 September 2014 Chilston Park, Sandway, Lenham, Maidstone, ME17 2BE

Wednesday 13 August 2014 Frasers, Barham’s Mill Road, Egerton, Ashford, TN27 9DD

Tuesday 23 September 2014 The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, ME14 2AE

Thursday 18 September 2014 Best Western Coniston Hotel, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1NT

Thursday 22 August 2014 Royal Wells Hotel, 59 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8BE

Tuesday 7 October 2014 The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR

Thursday 25 September 2014 Brands Hatch Place, Brands Hatch Road, Fawkham, DA3 8NQ

Tuesday 7 October 2014 Guest Speaker Jason Jarvis from Inspireus Media Ltd “Going beyond words” Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA

BIG Breakfast Time: 7.30am - 9.30am Date: Friday 19 September 2014 Eastwell Manor (The Pavilion), Boughton Lees, Ashford, TN25 4HR GUEST SPEAKER - Damian Green MP Damian was born in 1956. He was educated at Reading School and Balliol College, Oxford. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1977. He is a former financial journalist and worked in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit from 1992-94. Damian contested Brent East in the 1992 General Election. In May 1997 he was elected Member of Parliament for Ashford and he was re-elected in 2001 and 2005.

BUSINESS LUNCH NETWORKING ANNUAL SUMMER BBQ Time: 12.00pm - 2.00pm Members: £20.00 + VAT Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Date: Thursday 4 September 2014 Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH Located within a beautiful and inspirational environment, in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce shall be hosting a networking Summer BBQ. Two Course Barbeque with soft drink on arrival. Menu includes; Homemade Beef Burger, Sausages and Vegetable Kebabs served with a selection of Chef’s salads. Mixed fruit platter. Tea and coffee.

AFTER HOURS No booking required. Just turn up! Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 18:00 - 19:30 Free to Members and Non-members. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is often available. The After Hours Club is a popular and highly successful ‘casual’ networking event. The informal atmosphere and relaxed environment is the ideal place to relax and chat to fellow business people. This event is open to Members and non-members. Come and join us for an evening of networking. Tuesday 5 August 2014 The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR Tuesday 5 August 2014 Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA Tuesday 19 August 2014 The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU Tuesday 26 August 2014 The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, ME14 2AE Thursday 28 August 2014 Best Western Coniston Hotel & Restaurant, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1NT Tuesday 2 September 2014 The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR

Tuesday 16 September 2014 Medway Innovation Centre, Maidstone Road, Rochester, Chatham, ME5 9FD

GENERAL WORKSHOPS Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace

Tuesday 19 August 2014 Tudor Park, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT No matter how well you manage your staff, there will be times when you have to deal with conflict in the workplace. And, let’s face it, no-one likes to deal with these tricky situations. This workshop will help you deal with the “elephant in the room” and give you the confidence to have difficult conversations with your staff. This could include giving negative feedback about performance, telling someone bad news or dealing with redundancies. It will also help you deal with conflicts between employees at work where you are stuck in the middle! The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR. Rachel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and she is a qualified mediator. She has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of industries in the private, public and not-for profit sectors. In addition she runs her own business and has extensive experience of delivering difficult messages and resolving disputes at work.

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CHAMBEREVENTS

GENERAL WORKSHOPS continued Getting Started with Social Media

Thursday 21 August 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Not sure where to start with all the buzz of Social Media? Join Zoe Cairns for a seminar where she will give you a taster of how you can start using Social Media in your business and its features and benefits. What is Social Media? Building a Know, Like and Trust; Social Media Etiquette; What Social Media Profiles should you be using; Overview of the Social Media profiles you can be effectively using in your business; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Google +; Where to start

Essential Sales Skills

Friday 29 August 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will be of interest to those who are involved in selling and want to improve results from their sales contact with customers. There will be an opportunity to practice skills during the workshop. At the end of the workshop delegates will have an understanding of: • Planning and preparation for the sales call • Presentation structure and techniques • Establishing the customer need • Handling and overcoming objections • Closing the sale Delegates should be prepared to bring along the sales materials they have for use during the workshop.

Starting to Hire Employees

Wednesday 3 September 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop is aimed at helping new and potential employers take their first steps in recruiting and employing new staff. It will take you through the decision-making process of whether to hire staff and what issues you may need to consider before taking your first steps. It will then look at how to go about the recruitment process, including writing job descriptions, how to advertise and the selection process. Finally the session will cover the first steps in employment, including contracts and handbooks, basic employment law issues and the induction process. The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR. Rachel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and has a Master’s degree 42

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

in Employment Law. She has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of industries in the private, public and not-for profit sectors. In addition she has experience of running her own business and has gone through the process of hiring employees many times!

Successful Marketing Workshop

Tuesday 9 September 2014 Tudor Park, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Understand why your brand, positioning and marketing messages are so critical to success • Learn the 9 building blocks of successful marketing • How to develop effective marketing messages and then how to get the right messages to the right prospects • Develop a marketing action plan that you can implement right now Includes Tea / Coffee and Bacon Rolls

Getting the Most Out Of Employees

Tuesday 16 September 2014 Medway Innovation Centre, Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, ME5 9FD Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Your staffs are your greatest asset! Highly motivated staff will result in lower staff turnover, lower sickness absence, higher productivity and a great advertisement for your company! This workshop will show you how to motivate your staff in order to ensure that you have committed hard-working and happy employees. It will show you how to find out what motivates your staff and how to ensure that they are engaged and committed to your business. The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR. Rachel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. She has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of industries in the private, public and not-for profit sectors. In addition she has experience of running her own business and has motivated teams that have become highly successful!

Mastering the Power of LinkedIn for your Business

Tuesday 16 September 2014 Tudor Park, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME 4NQ Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will be a hands on session where you can come along and learn how to master Linkedin for your business and also make sure that your LinkedIn profile is set up and fully optimised to get noticed.

We will be setting up your LinkedIn profiles and your company page on the day. We will also be going through some LinkedIn strategies on how you can effectively use LinkedIn for your business. What we will cover • What is LinkedIn? • How you can use LinkedIn effectively for your business • How to setup and fully optimize your personal LinkedIn profile. • How to setup your LinkedIn Company Page • A tour of LinkedIn features – groups, recommendations, answers, adding slide share and videos to your profile. • Learn the tools you can use to build your LinkedIn connections. • How to master LinkedIn advanced search • Your LinkedIn strategy

Pay Per Click (PPC) Workshop

Wednesday 17 September 2014 Mercure Tunbridge Wells, 8 Tonbridge Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4QL Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Pay Per click can be a very frightening thing to manage and at first glance can seem very daunting and complicated. In this workshop, we will cover what an AdWords account should look like and best practice for setting up an account and optimizing it to give you better cost per acquisition. This will cover the techniques and top tips to research and build an account that will be quicker and easier to manage, from keyword research, campaigns, ad groups, advert copy, bid management and tips on better landing pages to help with your conversions.

Negotiating Profitable Sales

Tuesday 23 September 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will be of interest to those who are involved in selling and negotiation and want to improve results and bottom line profit from their sales and contracts. At the end of the workshop delegates will have a basic understanding of: • The 7 steps to a successful negotiation • The importance of research and what to establish before the visit • How to plan for a negotiation • How to open the negotiation and the sequence to follow • How to establish the customer position • How to successfully trade concessions • How to summarise and close • The importance of follow up and final agreement


CHAMBEREVENTS

Sage 50 Accounts - Refresher / New Businesses Workshop

Wednesday 24 September 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH 9.00am - 12.00pm Time: Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Just starting up in business and need bookkeeping knowledge, or returning to bookkeeping after being away? Course covers • Company Set Up • Customers - invoicing, Receiving payments, debt chasing • Suppliers - invoicing, Making payments, working out who you owe • Bank - reconciliation and transfers • VAT - VAT Returns and submissions • Reporting • Data Maintenance and Backup

Preparing for Auto Enrolment using Sage Payroll

Thursday 25 September 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Free Event • Processing in 2014/15 tax Year • New Penalty Regime • Other things to consider in 2014 eg, Childcare Vouchers, Child benefits, Bike to work schemes, AutoEnrolment etc

Twitter For Business Basics – Set up your Twitter Account and learn the Jargon

Friday 26 September 2014 Medway Innovation Centre, Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, ME5 9FD Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will enable you to set up your Twitter account, learn the twitter language and how to function twitter. It will be a hands on session where you are required to bring along your laptop in order to get set up on the day and ask for any additional help needed where you are struggling with setting up your account. You are required to make sure that you have a folder on your desktop of your company’s logo and pictures you wish to use for your Twitter profile. MEMBERS ONLY

The Procurement Point of View - How to win Contracts and Tenders in Kent

Monday 29 September 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue,

Sevington, Ashford, TN24 0LH Time: 9:30am - 12.30pm Price: Free Event Join us for a half day seminar and learn how to find and access public sector contracts for SMEs here in Kent. Hear from the Procurement professionals about what they look for and how they make their choices, tap in to the expertise of a professional bid consultant and connect with possible consortium partners.

How businesses should be using Digital Marketing in 2014

Thursday 9 October 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT Come and find out about Search Engine Optimization (How to do a simple SEO), Succeed Online (Outlining some do’s and don’ts of online marketing), Online Marketing (A quick explanation of the different Channels), Pay Per Click (PPC) (Which businesses will get the best results from PPC).

Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace

Friday 10 October 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, TN24 0LH Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT No matter how well you manage your staff, there will be times when you have to deal with conflict in the workplace. And, let’s face it, no-one likes to deal with these tricky situations. This workshop will help you deal with the “elephant in the room” and give you the confidence to have difficult conversations with your staff. This could include giving negative feedback about performance, telling someone bad news or dealing with redundancies. It will also help you deal with conflicts between employees at work where you are stuck in the middle! The session is run by Rachel Downer of Canterbury HR. Rachel is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and she is a qualified mediator. She has over 20 years’ experience working in a variety of industries in the private, public and not-for profit sectors. In addition she runs her own business and has extensive experience of delivering difficult messages and resolving disputes at work.

The Key Elements of a Sales Strategy and Plan

Monday 13 October 2014 Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Waterbrook Avenue, Rochester, ME5 9FD Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will be of interest to business owners and managers who are involved in planning and delivering effective sales activity that sustains or grows income and profit.

At the end of the workshop delegates will have a basic understanding of: • The key elements of a sales strategy and plan • How to define your target customers • How to define your competitive advantage and Unique Selling Points • Competitor analysis and response • How to produce an effective and efficient sales activity plan

Facebook For Business Marketing

Tuesday 14 October 2014 Medway Innovation Centre, Rochester Airport, Maidstone Road, Chatham, ME5 9FD Time: 9.00am - 12.00pm Price: Members £75+VAT Non-Members £90+VAT This workshop will enable you to set up your Facebook Page and its features needed in order to start marketing and benefiting from the features of Facebook. It will be a hands on session where you are required to bring along your laptop in order to get set up on the day and ask for any additional help needed where you are struggling with setting up your page. You are required to make sure that you have a folder on your desktop of your company’s logo and pictures you wish to use for your Facebook Page branding. You will also be required to complete a questionnaire which will be used to fill in your Facebook Business Page “about section”. This will be provided on time of booking. Why attend this workshop This workshop will enable you to get your Facebook Page up and running and to learn all the features of Facebook Page so you can go away and start using straight away. What we will cover • What is Facebook? • Benefits of using Facebook • Setup of a Facebook Business Page • Adding your cover page / profile pic • Completing your About Section • Learn how to post, schedule, comment and share • Facebook Page tour of all the features and how you can use them for your business • Learn how to monitor, engage and measure your page. Who should attend This workshop is for beginners who have not yet set up their Facebook Business Page and looking for guidance on how they can start using Facebook for their business.

To book either visit www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events or email events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk or call 01233 503838

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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GETTINGSTARTED

Name: Company name: Start up date: Website:

Donna Stanley (who runs the business with Andrew Smitherman) Stanny’s Smokehouse BBQ Ltd, Rochester 01.05.14 www.stannysbbq.co.uk (still being developed)

Q1 Tell us a bit about your business? We operate as a traditional American Smokehouse BBQ Takeout (and event catering), cooking the mid-west classics such as Hickory Smoked Ribs, Texan Beef Brisket, Burnt Ends and Pulled-pork. Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? We are the only BBQ Smokehouse in the UK to offer a menu you would get in America with no adaptation. Everything is cooked from scratch. We make all our own sauces, rubs and marinades and cook our meats low ‘n’slow on Hickory for 12-16 hours at a time. We compete in a team at the American Royal, Kansas City, Missouri every year and two years ago placed 4th in the rib category out of more than 570 teams. Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? When we came back from America last year the penny dropped and we reasoned ‘we are good at it,

we enjoy it and when others try our food they love it so let’s make a business out of it‘. Secondly, who really wants to be a slave in the corporate world if they don’t need to be? So after 15 years, and eight years respectively with our global employer we decided to take a leap of faith. Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? Every day comes with a new set of challenges, from the obvious pressures to issues that you would never anticipate or see coming. Life is exciting and our business allows us to run as fast as we can without being inhibited by anything other than our own personal limitations and goals. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? When we catered for an event where our brief was to feed 500 people within 1.5 hours. There was a lot of ‘prep’, time pressures and budget restraints but it came together well. Q6 What has been your lowest moment? The business is doing brilliantly, better than we could have ever hoped for, but on a personal level, my lowest moment was that my father died a couple of months before we opened so he never saw our plans turn into fruition (he was my BBQing idol as a kid).

Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? Our 5-year plan is to open a chain of Stanny’s Smokehouses. Maidstone is the next on our list and we will roll out from there. We are thinking about going down the franchise route so, readers, please feel free to contact us to register your interest. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Don’t sit on an idea. Research, deliberate and act. The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce has all the resources available to assist and support new business start-ups in Kent - use them. We would never of been able to get off the ground without their guidance, help and support. The Chamber was our first port of call, we attended a business workshop specifically for people thinking about starting a business and we haven’t looked back since. With the help of the Chamber we were able to secure a startup grant from our local council, free HR business advice, free one-to-one access to a business advisor, start-up funding, as well as endless opportunities to network and win business amongst our local business community.

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014


REGIONALNEWS

Government has announced that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) has secured a £442.2 million funding package to boost economic growth across Kent, Medway, East Sussex and Essex - with a particular focus on transport schemes that will bring new jobs and homes and major investment in transport & business support earmarked for Kent and Medway.

The funding allocation follows SE LEP’s submission of an innovative ‘Growth Deal’ to drive economic expansion over the next six years – supported by business, local authority and education leaders across the area - and its bid for support from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. The £442.2 million funding for the SE LEP area includes £358.2 million for new growth schemes on top of £74 million already committed for large transport projects. The Deal will see at least £84.1 million invested in the SELEP area next year, supporting the delivery of up to 35,000 jobs and 18,000 new homes and over £100 million in private investment over the period. SE LEP can also now bid separately for additional funding – increasing the amount the organisation has already secured. Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP, commented: “This initial funding is tremendously good news for our businesses and residents – addressing years of under-investment in the south east’s transport network. It’s not only a matter of improving connectivity around the area but providing links which open up major new sites for housing and business development.”

Geoff Miles, Kent Vice Chair of SE LEP and Chairman of the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership, commented: “This funding announcement heralds intensive investment in transport improvements for the south east – and a powerful new working relationship with the Government. In addition to major transport investment in Kent and Medway, the Government has also confirmed funding for a Kent & Medway Growth Hub, which will provide innovative support services to help local businesses to expand and prosper. This is only the beginning of our ambitions: through SE LEP and the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership we have bold further plans for economic growth in Kent & Medway and will be seeking further funding to make them a reality.” The Growth Deal also brings a commitment from Government to develop new local freedoms and flexibility to support new jobs and homes. SE LEP and its partners will be able to review scheme priorities with the Government on a quarterly basis, making changes as necessary according to local need and opportunity to ensure maximum impact. A full list of all projects throughout the SE LEP area can be found on the SE LEP website http://www.southeastlep.com/aboutus/activities/262-developing-a-growthstrategy-and-prioritising-investment-in-thesouth-east Lord Heseltine has backed the South East Growth Deal at a recent event in Ebbsfleet. Speaking to developers, councils and housing providers, Government Growth Adviser Lord Heseltine backed SE LEP’s plans for business and housing growth. Revealing details of ambitious housing plans, SE LEP presented a new report with national think-tank Localis to highlight barriers and solutions to housing development in the South East. The report calls on business and Councils to deploy the size and scale of the South East area to deliver ambitious levels of housing growth. It lays the foundation for a new relationship between public and private investment and delivery - to realise a much more flexible and responsive way to develop the homes, and related skills and jobs we so urgently need in the South East.

Backing the LEP’s Growth Deal, Lord Heseltine emphasised the need for a holistic approach to development, which provides communities where people want to live and also gives them good access to employment and education. Lord Heseltine commented on how the Growth Deals will help accelerate much needed housing development saying: “Government has taken the first step with the Growth Deals, what follows next is exciting. This is not a one off initiative but a rolling programme of investment over several years to give certainty to the investing world so development can be identified, planned and this galvanises the commitment of the private sector, for them to get behind and invest.” Peter Jones, Chair of SELEP, commented: “Housing should be seen as critical infrastructure in its own right. We have evidence from business and inward investors, prevented from looking at potential sites to locate because of a lack of suitable housing for their future workforce. “We must find ways of increasing the attractiveness of areas of growth and build communities with a sense of place of belonging, not simply dormitory estates. The return we will get on our investment will be even greater as a result.”

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

47


Meet Edward Walter Buss Murton Law LLP has this month appointed Edward Walter as Senior Associate in the Private Client team, based at its Tunbridge Wells office. We catch up with him to find a bit more about him and his career to date.

Where have you worked before? Round and about the Tunbridge Wells area (Sevenoaks, Brighton, Uckfield), but never in the town itself, despite having been a resident here since the age of 9 months old. Before becoming a Solicitor, I practised law in the Isle of Man and am a ‘retired’ Manx Advocate.

What areas of law do you specialise in? All aspects of Inheritance tax planning and Capital Gains tax planning. Drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Declarations of Trust re properties, drafting, amending and ending Trusts, and advising on associated tax implications, registration of Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney, making Statutory Wills and gift applications at the Court of Protection, Probate administration and post death Variations for Inheritance tax and Capital Gains tax purposes, advice on (tax) domicile and residence issues. How often should someone review their estate planning strategy? Estate planning is a term to cover not just trying to legitimately minimise various taxes on death, but also to ensure that assets pass to the person you intend them to pass to, and in some cases, in a particularly safe manner to protect against the ill-

effects of future divorce or bankruptcy on their part. I would suggest every 4-5 years, or as frequently as their personal/ family circumstances change or their financial circumstances change, whether for the better or worse. Families are becoming increasingly fragmented and many have complicated arrangements following second or more marriages, how best should you approach estate planning in this situation? There is no one size fits all approach which works, and arrangements must suit the personalities involved. However, there are perhaps some types of Will which are usually best avoided. I tend to be concerned for clients where a couple who have been married before and may have children from those relationships specify that they wish to leave assets to each other on an outright basis under their Wills, and/or chose to hold property

on a joint tenancy basis. The survivor has unrestricted ownership of the assets and can gift during their life to their own children/leave to them by changed Will etc. Whilst the couple may trust each other to do the right thing, frequently one sees a succession of Wills after the death of the first to die being made by the survivor which may progressively disenfranchise the nonsurvivor’s children and may do so in a manner which leaves them little or no remedy on their step parent’s ultimate death. A flexible life interest Will may be a more appropriate choice, or else something else which is more bespoke to the blended family’s particular needs. Edward Walter is a Senior Associate at Buss Murton Law LLP and can be reached on ewalter@bussmurton.co.uk T: 01892 510222 www.bussmurton.co.uk

Meeting room hire from just £50 At Ashford International Hotel, we know that you’re trying to cut costs wherever possible – but this shouldn’t mean having to lower your expectations when it comes to meetings and conferences. We have the knowledge, expertise and experience to guarantee all of your objectives are met. We proudly hold a gold award from Venue Verdict, proving that our guests are actively recommending Ashford International Hotel. s#ONFERENCEANDEVENTROOMS s,UXURIOUSBEDROOMS s3UPERBLEISUREANDSPAFACILITIES s*USTOFF*OFTHE- s&REEPARKING

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ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

ASHFORD INTERNATIONAL HOTEL Kent


NEWMEMBERS

Welcome to new members Able Acoustics Ashford 07817 110866 www.ableacoustics.com Noise & Vibration Consulting (solving problems related to noise)

Compaid Paddock Wood 01892 833664 www.compaid.org.uk Charity Providing Services for Disabled People

Aerial Pro Media Ashford 01233 226363 www.aerial-pro-media.co.uk Aerial Photography & Video

Demelza Sittingbourne 01795 845200 www.demelza.org.uk Charity

Auditel Gravesend 01474 556320 www.auditel.co.uk/consultants/ terrythornhill Cost Management

Direct Financial Planning (UK) Ltd Rochester 01634 730800 www.closetoretirement.co.uk Independent Financial Adviser

Austen Allen Homecare Dartford 01322 424558 www.aa-healthcare.co.uk Homecare

Diversity Business Magazine Chatham 01634 407157 www.diversitybusinessmagazine. co.uk Diversity Business Magazine

Bespoke Performance Management Ltd Ashford 01233 641146 www.performancemanagement. co.uk Training & IT Consultancy

Enterprise Foundation Chatham Aylesford 03001 231060 www.enterprisefoundation.net Enterprise Centres for Start Ups & Charities

Bloomsbury Communications Tunbridge Wells 01892 518980 www.bloomsburycommunications .com Public Relations

Fourfront Telecom Ltd Maidstone 01634 825626 BT Telecoms for Local Business

Cablesheer Group Sidcup 08442 252997 www.cablesheergroup.co.uk Construction & Environmental Solutions Canterbury Golf Club Ltd Canterbury 01227 453532 www.caterburygolfclub.co.uk Golf Club, Driving Range, Golf Academy Certitude Wealth Rochester 07776 141442 www.certitudewealth.co.uk Financial Advice - Business & Personal Protection. Mortgage, Building & Contents Cineworld Rochester Rochester 01634 719948 www.cineworld.com Mutliplex Cinema Classic Lettings Ltd Ashford 01233 623534 www.classiclettings.co.uk Residential Lettings & Property Management

Hever Castle Golf Club Hever 01732 700771 www.hever.co.uk Golf Club Hollywood Bowl - Rochester Rochester 01634 715403 www.hollywoodbowl.co.uk/ rochester Bowling and Entertainment Centre Inspireus Media Ltd Bexley 01322 407418 www.inspireusmedia.com Corporate Video Production and Consultancy Interclad (UK) Ltd Biggin Hill 01959 572447 www.interclad.co.uk Interior Hygienic Cladding & Contract Flooring

M & C Cleaning Services Maidstone 01622 809199 www.mandccleaningservices. co.uk Commercial Cleaning and Support Services Make That Difference from Drastic to Fantastic Ramsgate 01843 449813 www.drastictofantastic.com Life, Health and Wellbeing Coaching Medway Drum Studio Walderslade 01634 304399 www.medwaydrumstudio.co.uk Drum Tuition, Drum Circles Metro Bank Plc Bromley 0203 402 7560 www.metrobankonline.co.uk Banking Move It Man Longfield 07513 085885 www.moveitmankent.co.uk Removals (NFU Mutual) JJ Hodge & DJR Isard Canterbury 01227 451088 www.nfumutual.co.uk General Insurance, Risk Management, Financial Services Nucadd Architectural Ashford 01233 640066 www.nucadd.com Architectural Services Nucleus Arts Chatham 01634 812108 www.nucleus-arts.com Charity - Providing Support for Start Up Artistic & Creative Businesses Partnership Finance Ltd Tonbridge 01732 783533 www.partnershipfinance.co.uk Invoice Finance PMSG Limited Sevenoaks 01732 783600 www.pmsg.co.uk Promotions & Incentives

Real Selling Sales Training Ltd West Malling 01732 422005 www.realselling.co.uk Sales Training Rotary International District 1120 Aylesford 01622 716529 www.rotary1120.org Charity Working to Benefit Local, National & International Communities Striped Leopard Accountancy Ltd Maidstone 01622 618755 www.stripedleopardaccountancy. co.uk Modern, Dynamic Chartered Accountants Specialising in Tax & Mitigation SuperReel Productions Ltd Maidstone 01622 535085 www.superreel.co.uk Corporate & Website Video Production The Secretary (UK) Chatham 07731 523084 www.thesecretaryuk.co.uk Virtual Office Services Tiga Creative Marketing Limited Meopham Green 01474 815714 www.tigauk.com Advertising/Marketing/Design/Develop ment TRS Ltd Dartford 08452 249000 www.trs.ltd.uk Business Development, Operations

London Ashford Airport Ltd Romney Marsh 01797 322411 www.lydd-airport.co.uk Airport

Proheli Arial Photography Maidstone 01622 370652 www.proheli.co.uk Aerial Photography and Video, Thermal Images Surveying

VPTS LLP Gillingham 01634 377009 www.vpts.co.uk Mail & Print Finishing Equipment Sales & Servicing

London Hire Ltd Dartford 02083 204200 www.londonhireltd.com Vehicle Leasing and Hire

Pure B2B Rochester 07779 326502 www.pureb2b.co.uk Business Masterminding

Wirsol Solar UK Limited Pulborough 01798 812000 Development of Solar Projects

August-September 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

49


LASTWORD

MOVERS&SHAKERS

The Last Word

Name: David Gurton Company: Caxtons, Chartered Surveyors Job title: Marketing and Business Development Director I was born in London but raised in Kent, and educated at Dartford Grammar School. After a brief spell working in life insurance, I moved into the property industry where I have remained ever since, working initially in residential management and accounting. I still head Caxtons’ management accounting, lead our property insurance team, and am the director responsible for marketing and business development. Q. What was your first job and what was the pay packet? A. I took a temporary job in a soft drinks factory before my first proper job which was an insurance clerk with Sun Life Assurance in Cheapside, London at £732pa! Q. What do you always carry with you to work? A. My briefcase. Mainly to take papers home if I need to work on them, although IT has pretty much negated the need for this. Q. What is the biggest challenge facing your business? A. Beside the plethora of regulation affecting our business internally and the property we manage, it is the fluctuations in the property market which lag behind changes in the general economy. Q. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? A. A huge proportion of our time is spent on regulation of one kind and another, instead of generating business. So my change would be to drastically cut red tape. Q. What can you see from your office window? A. A busy road with lots of activity, and a swathe of concrete which represents the 1960s Civic Centre. Fortunately, it is broken up by a large and splendid plane tree. Q. If you could do another job what would it be? A. I always fancied being a wildlife photographer, but it wasn’t to be. I still retain an interest in wildlife, less so photography. Q. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A. Others would be a better judge than me but I would like to think I am fair, conscientious and very focused on providing good customer service. Q. What was your biggest mistake in business? A. I was very naïve when we first set up Caxtons, and the first year we came close to winding up. So the mistake was not planning for that possibility. Q. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? A. Do something that you enjoy, research your market and prepare a realistic business plan before you take the plunge. Q. Who do you most admire in business? A. I would probably have to pick Richard Branson for his vision since a very early age, and his ability to turn that vision into a variety of successful business opportunities. 50

ThinkingBUSINESS August-September 2014

Top marks as Bradley Group pupil is best in country Jan Mills, Managing Director at The Bradley Group (left) and Erica Moore (right) with her award. A student of The Bradley Group has received the highest marks of anyone across the whole of the UK in the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety. Erica Moore, who works for Amphenol in Whitstable, received 89% for the qualification, which comprises a mixture of written and practical assessments. The Bradley Group, who offer consultancy and training in risk management and health and safety, are accredited by NEBOSH as one of the leading course providers in the country.

Connecting with business key for Sophie

Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club welcomes Sophie Lowther to our Sales & Events Team. Sophie brings with her a wealth of hotel & sales experience including 3 years working for Marriott’s London Sales Office. Sophie’s focus will be on working directly with local businesses in Kent, building new relationships and strengthening existing ones. She said: “Tudor Park Marriott is a great asset for local businesses. I can’t wait to get the message out that we have great conference, golf and accommodation facilities offered at very competitive prices. It really is impressive.”

The company has seen sustained growth at Kent Science Park since its tenancy commenced in 2002 and now employs seven staff and a large group of associates.

Whitehead Monckton solicitors has appointed Associate Solicitor Dan Cowley to their Commercial Property team in Canterbury

New challenge for Gemma Sinclair

Dan trained and worked in Oxford (qualifying in 2005) for almost 11 years at Manches solicitors (now Penningtons Manches LLP) before relocating and joining Whitehead Monckton in 2014.

Gemma Sinclair – Centre Manager of St Georges Business Park, Sittingbourne, was recently promoted to take on new challenges of managing her own centre, Gemma is now based at St George’s Business Park in Sittingbourne. Responsible for the customers of this thriving centre and after spending almost 4 years as a Deputy Centre Manager at Churchill Square in Kings Hill, Gemma has a good understanding of what growing businesses need with regards to managing premises. Gemma’s background, before CapitalSpace, includes working for Mercedes Benz, Reuters and EMI in London. An excellent organiser Gemma is keen to see her experience develop in this new role. HR Experts appoint new HR consultant

HR consultancy, HR Experts Ltd in Tunbridge Wells has appointed Carly Gregory as HR consultant upon successfully completing her CIPD professional development scheme qualification. Carly spent 3 years training with HR Experts Ltd and is a fully qualified HR professional. Carly advises and supports employers to help reduce the risk to their business. Prior to working at HR Experts Ltd, Carly worked as an HR Officer looking after the Company’s internal HR function. Neil Williams, development director and qualified coach and mentor at HR Experts “We are delighted with Carly’s progress and the wealth of knowledge she has to help employers deal with difficult employment situation.”

He specialises in all commercial property matters including: Acting for Landlords and Tenants in commercial lease transactions; Acting for further and higher education establishments in respect of their property portfolio management (previous clients include Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford); Acting for developers and landowners in respect to site assembly, development and sale of development land including joint venture, promotion agreements, overage agreements and mixed use regeneration projects; Property securitisation and secured lending; Acting for investors in the sale and purchase of commercially tenanted properties; Acting for affordable housing registered providers in their development site acquisition and plot sales. Whitehead Monckton solicitors has appointed Senior Solicitor David Riordan to its expanding Dispute Resolution team in Maidstone After qualifying as a solicitor, David practiced as a property litigator for two years with a large regional firm and then relocated to Kent with his wife where he practiced as a civil litigator for 4 years prior to joining Whitehead Monckton in April 2014. While practising he completed a Diploma in Advanced Litigation with Law South and has since continued to develop his interest in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He has a firm belief in seeking to successfully resolve cases through mediation where possible prior to going to trial. David has expertise in Litigation and Dispute Resolution including: Landlord & tenant; Property disputes; Commercial litigation; Company, director & shareholder disputes; Partnership disputes; Professional negligence claims.


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Comprehensive, clear & 444 years old Thomson Snell & Passmore is the UK’s oldest law firm. We’re proud of our reputation for providing high quality, intelligent advice for business. If you want clear, sensible legal advice that results in the best outcome for you, then you have come to the right place. We have a market leading construction, commercial property and property litigation practice which

combines the knowledge and expertise of specialist lawyers to tailor a solution to meet your needs. It’s a common sense approach to business that’s surprisingly uncommon. It’s what makes us different. Thomson Snell & Passmore. In business since 1570.

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Thinking Business  
Thinking Business  

August-September 2014. Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.