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O f f i c i a l M a g a z i n e f o r Wa n d s w o r t h C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e | I s s u e 1 M a r c h 2 0 1 8

Inside • Standing Up

For a vibrant Wandsworth business community

Page 4

• Big Interview

Jeremy Chelot on embracing the digital world

Page 8

• Spotlight on Wandsworth Town

Now is a great time to invest in Wandsworth Town Centre. Page 16

• Hospitality

Maintaining a starring performance. Bruce Poole - 23 years at the top of his game.

Page 31

DEVELOPING WANDSWORTH Supporting Business is top on the agenda Page 11

Welcome and Contents

Welcome to the 1st Edition of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce Magazine

WELCOME to the very first edition of Business ConneXions, a quarterly magazine focused on promoting the best our businesses have to offer and highlighting the many opportunities in Wandsworth. Sharing news and views from businesses across the borough, this magazine is presented with connecting businesses as its main focus. The Chamber’s mission is to bring businesses together so that we speak with one voice, share concerns, influence and help each other to success.

Inside :

MARCH 2018

Imagine a borough where all businesses and residents truly value and actively support a Buy Local, Shop Local, live life to the full local, ethos. With over 300,000 residents and 19,000 businesses, Wandsworth has a great opportunity to help itself. By keeping the pound in the borough wherever we can, we will create employment, increase business prosperity and develop a bullet proof local economy where we all prosper. So, as you flick through the pages and read the stories, can I ask you to think about your contribution to Wandsworth’s













International The People behind the Business Patron Focus

success. If you are not already a member, why not join your chamber and help us to create a better business environment. If you are a member, thank you for your support and belief in what we strive to achieve and please tell more businesses about us. We are stronger when we work together and we can achieve great things when we help each other.

Steve Pinto

CEO Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce


Spotlight on WandsworthTown




Developing Wandsworth


14 15


Big Interview News


Spotlight on Wandsworth Town

Our Patron Members

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Business Connexions | 3

Wandsworth Chamber


for a vibrant Wandsworth business community We live in an increasingly connected world, which is why we have made Connectivity the main theme of this magazine.

The pages of the magazine explain how Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce is helping to bring together the many organisations and companies that make up the area’s business landscape. An obvious way to achieve that goal is to ensure that Wandsworth has the best broadband service. We want Wandsworth to have the fastest connections of any London borough, which is why the Chamber is working closely with London business Community Fibre, the company supplying the fastest broadband available at a cost far less than currently available to both homes and businesses in the area.

To support the work, we have been running an online survey to gauge broadband satisfaction in Wandsworth (which can be found on https://form.responster.com/fWKN8H) It is an old business adage that you can only solve a problem by understanding exactly what it is and the replies we have been receiving are helping shape our view of what needs to be achieved.

Connectivity is not just about digital technology, though. With so much money being invested in developments in the borough, we are keen to help small local businesses benefit by putting them in touch with larger concerns.

That is why we are campaigning hard for an ‘internal market’ that ensures that large companies who invest in Wandsworth, but are based outside the borough, do not overlook local businesses when it comes to awarding contracts.

Sometimes, the problem may be that the larger companies have long-standing agreements with other businesses, sometimes they may simply not be aware that there are excellent contractors in Wandsworth. Whatever the reason, too many

4 | Business Connexions

Wandsworth companies are losing out and we have to do something to break the cycle.

These are exciting times for Wandsworth and Wandsworth Chamber is committed to ensuring the local supply chain is truly open.

Our ultimate aim is to connect the majority of businesses in Wandsworth borough and promote an active internal trading market, where people and businesses Buy Local, Shop Local and live life to the full locally. If we are better connected, commerce in the borough can thrive.

As you will have deduced from my comments, we see standing up for business as a key part of the Chamber’s work and that means celebrating success as well as identifying challenges.

That is why we run the Wandsworth Business Awards and the hunt for the best businesses in Wandsworth in 2018 is on. Now in their sixth year, the awards, organised by Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce in association with Southside and supported by Wandsworth Council, aim to recognise and reward the achievements of the business community across the whole of the London Borough of Wandsworth.

Businesses are being invited to put themselves forward for this year’s awards, which will be formally launched in April with the finalists invited to a gala dinner and awards ceremony in November.

I continue to be very impressed with the quality, enthusiasm and passion of the businesses that enter these awards each year. The awards demonstrate that Wandsworth is an exciting place to work and recognition can make a difference when securing new customers and new business.

There are 12 categories, including Best SME Business, Entrepreneur of the Year, Best International Business of the Year and Business of the Year and you can find out more at www.wandsworthawards.biz

The awards are just one of the events we run and Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce has expanded its activities during the past year, with many events and partnerships.

Apart from being part of an organisation that speaks up for business, there are other reasons why it makes sense to join the Chamber.

We are always looking to add value to our members and that’s why we’ve created Chamber Advantage, a programme where you can save on a range of business essentials with our exclusive, handpicked benefits.

The benefits include our relationship with Branduin. Wandsworth Chamber has been working with Branduin since 2013 to provide quality-assured business support and we’re delighted to now be working with Wandsworth Council to provide you with even more free support to help you: • Plan and deliver the growth you want • Resolve any issues you have within the business • Manage your finances and make a big difference to your bottom line.

This support programme is for those thinking about starting a new business, for newly-formed businesses and for SMEs who have been trading for some time. If you are looking to improve your business, we can help.

Another thing we believe passionately about is the need to address the skills shortage, which is why the Chamber, in partnership with the University of Roehampton, has launched the borough’s first Young Chamber of Commerce.

Wandsworth Chamber

Your Chamber needs you!

Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce is seeking Wandsworth’s best established businesses to take part in out Patron Member's programme and to support the annual Wandsworth Business Awards, workshops and programme of seminars. You can find out more about the Chamber at www.wandsworthchamber.org The Young Chamber is designed to support young people, particularly graduates, as they enter business. It is developing a strong link between alumni, careers activities, current students and local business.

The local nature of the initiative means it encourages and supports graduates to build their careers or businesses in the local area, hence retaining them.

Members of the Young Chamber are able to access the main chamber’s networking events as well as a series of events specifically designed to meet their needs. Though only in its infancy, the Young Chamber is already considering how it could engage local schools and members. In addition, together with South Thames College, we have launched the Take One Young Person project, a challenge for Wandsworth businesses to ‘Take One’ young person to provide work experience, be it an Internship, a Traineeship, an Apprenticeship, support a volunteer placement or through mentoring.

All in all, the Chamber is set to grow and keep pace with the many great developments in the borough. We are putting a lot of effort into promoting businesses in the borough, both existing and start-ups, so we all can benefit from having a critical mass of companies in the area.

Steve Pinto is CEO at Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce. Having worked within the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce at various levels for the past 14 years on a voluntary basis Steve took on the role as CEO in April 2016.

Join Wandsworth Chamber Today

Business Connexions | 5


SURVEY SHOWS that UK economy remains sluggish

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published its latest Quarterly Economic Survey, which shows that the growth in the UK economy remains subdued. Based on the responses of more than 7,000 businesses, the survey shows almost all services indicators below their pre-EU referendum levels with the strong performance of manufacturers easing slightly in the final quarter of 2017.

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Almost £30 million in Government funding is being made available to help companies develop electric vehicles.

The findings of the survey indicate the skills shortages are reaching critical levels. Of the service sector firms hiring, the percentage reporting recruitment difficulties rose to 71%, the highest since records began. In the manufacturing sector, the proportion of firms reporting improved export sales and orders fell slightly compared to the previous quarter.

In the service sector, a key driver of the UK economy, growth remains muted and relatively unchanged from the previous three months, and is below historic averages. The proportion of firms confident that turnover and profitability will improve in the next year decreased, and firms reporting improved cashflow remains low. Both sectors saw considerable rises in the proportion of businesses expecting prices to increase.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “While there are many business bright spots across the UK, the evidence from the biggest private business survey in the country shows that growth and confidence remain subdued overall as we enter a new year.

“Labour and skills shortages are set to be the biggest potential drag anchor on business in 2018, since ultimately it is people that make businesses work. Business itself must do more – by training and investing wherever possible in people – but government must also give firms the confidence to put their livelihoods on the line and go for growth.

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Looking forward, the UK economy is set to continue on an underwhelming growth trajectory over the near term with uncertainty over the impact of Brexit coupled with high inflation and weak productivity likely to dampen overall economic activity.”

6 | Business Connexions

The investment supports vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies that could enable electric cars and other vehicles to deliver electricity back to the smart grid, to light homes and power businesses.

The funding has been awarded to 21 V2G projects, to pay for research and design and development, with the aim of exploring and trialling both the technology itself and commercial opportunities. These schemes, including EDF Energy’s V2GO scheme, will demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could be borrowed by the electricity system during peak hours, before being recharged during the

off-peak in time for their drivers to set off on their next journey.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “As the number of electric vehicles grows and their battery capabilities increase, there is a huge opportunity for them to make a significant contribution to a smart grid.

“These projects are at the cutting edge of their field. Just like the visionary designs of Brunel and Stephenson in transport, they could revolutionise the ways in which we store and manage electricity, both now and in the future.” Dan Bentham, Head of R&D, Smart Customers, EDF Energy said: “Electric vehicles will play an important role in the future

of UK energy and its economy. They will have a beneficial impact on the environment by reducing emissions and improving air quality. Through our research, EDF Energy will use new technologies, business models and smart systems to make low carbon transport, and the infrastructure and market conditions needed for its success, a reality.” • Wandsworth is set to become one of the most electric vehicle-friendly local authorities in the country with plans announced for hundreds of new charging points and the establishment of an eco-friendly electric car club.

Steve Pinto, CEO of Wandsworth Chamber says, “Wandsworth Chamber has been using an Electric Vehicle to travel around London for the past 3 years. When poor air quality is seriously affecting the health of our members in front line business on our high streets, it makes perfect sense to promote 100% electric travel. As an added bonus some of our members advertise on our green vehicle which helps to make it cost neutral.”

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Business Connexions | 7

Big Interview

8 | Business Connexions

Jeremy Chelot Chief Executive Officer Community Fibre


Big Interview

the digital world

We live in a connected digital world where everyone from business people to families relies on fast broadband to carry out activities ranging from sending emails to playing games or watching television. But that does not necessarily mean that everyone is connected and, if they are, it may not mean that the service comes at a price they can afford.

As a result, there has been a growing concern about the ‘digital divide’ in areas of the UK where broadband is either not available, not fast enough or too expensive, areas like some parts of London, including Wandsworth. That situation is being addressed in Wandsworth through an innovative partnership that is connecting thousands of homes and businesses using fibre cables owned by London business Community Fibre, which is supplying the fastest broadband available at a cost far less than currently available. Just over two years ago, the London Borough of Wandsworth announced that it had teamed-up with Community Fibre to roll-out a new 1000Mbps ultrafast fibre optic (FTTP/H) broadband network to thousands of council homes in the area.

Community Fibre, headed by Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Chelot, has already provided the service to 10,000 homes and businesses in Wandsworth and is rolling the service out even further with the next target the 30,000-property mark.

As part of the work, Community Fibre has been running its networks to council-managed blocks and housing estates, supported by the millions of pounds in private investment that the company has raised over the past eighteen months.

It is a major change for some of the housing blocks, whether privately or publicly owned, which have previously had to make do with telephone lines because connecting large buildings with fibre optic cabling is far more complex than it is for a traditional street property. Once installed, households are able to access services including email, free digital television channels, digital radio and access to some online council departments.

For Jeremy Chelot, the work, which extends across other London boroughs as well, is a mission to change the way people live by connecting them to the best service available at a price they can afford.

He said; “If you look at digital infrastructure, the UK is way down the league table in Europe. Investment in fibre infrastructure is an area in which the UK is severely lacking, which doesn’t match its profile as the technology hub of Europe. “Digital infrastructure advances people’s lives by creating new opportunities

and providing access to a wider range of services. Deciding not to invest in digital infrastructure isn’t an option. Doing so means we can’t realise our potential. Not because we’re limited by our capabilities, but because we’re limited by our environment. “As we’ve begun to deploy our fibre, we’ve noticed a snowball effect. More and more people are reaching out to us to seize this amazing opportunity funded purely by private investors.” The catalyst for Community Fibre’s success has been the opening up of a market place which had been dominated by BT and its Openreach initiative.

Jeremy said:“BT Openreach laid the foundations of a strong infrastructure, now it’s time for Community Fibre to build on this to truly meet the needs of the future at a price everyone can afford.”

“Now that we’ve connected more than 10,000 properties in Wandsworth, our next goal is to connect all 33,000 council-owned properties in the borough.”

“Although the majority of properties we have connected to our new fibre infrastructure are residential, we are also connecting businesses to support the economic development of Wandsworth.” “At Community Fibre, we have a passion for changing the lives of people by connecting them to the best infrastructure you can find in the UK, and in Europe. In a world where people have an increasing reliance on online services and entertainment, digital inclusion is a priority for us. This is why we also run classes to help people learn how to access the opportunities presented by digital technology.”

“Now that we’ve connected more than 10,000 properties in Wandsworth, our next goal is to connect all 33,000 council-owned properties in the borough.”

Business Connexions | 9

SecondOffice Virtual Services In conversation with Richard Simpson of SecondOffice Virtual Services What exactly do you do? It’s very simple really. When you aren’t able to take a call for any reason, we will answer it for you in office hours. We’ll take a message and send you it within a minute.

How does it work? You will divert whatever line you want answered to a number that we give you and then all calls will divert to us. When you are able to answer line yourself, simply remove the divert from your line.

What does it cost? The idea is to give a greater value service at a great value price. The standard price is £35 per month for all your calls to be answered. We operate a fair use policy but it will be enough for 60 calls to be answered. If there are more than this, we will inform you that the limit has been reached and subsequent calls are charged at 60p each. Monthly fee is payable by standing order and any additional calls will be invoiced at the end of the month. The minimum contract is one year

When should I divert my calls?

How do you greet my callers?

You can choose when you wish us to answer your calls. Some people use this to filter all their calls as they do not want to waste their time answering sales calls et cetera, some of our clients prefer to only use it if they are unable to answer their call.

We would prefer our clients to tell us how they would like their lines answered but most do not. Obviously we answer in the company name in a cheerful voice and ask how we may help.

Can you put calls through to me? Not at this point. The service is purely an answering service but we hope to have this facility in the future

Can you screen sales calls? Yes as I pointed out above some of our clients use this to answer all their calls for this reason.

How & when do I receive my messages? We can send your messages by SMS or email. You normally receive them within a minute of us taking the call.

Do I need to change my phone number?

I currently divert to my mobile what is the advantage of using this service? Firstly, what happens if you are in a meeting when the call comes through? Up a ladder? Or otherwise indisposed? Using our service your caller knows a human being has taken the message and has actioned it and sent the details to the person concerned. Also, almost 100% of voicemails do not specify when the person will get back to them. So the callers never know if the call has even been picked up. This way gives great peace of mind to your clients.

I’m a small business so how can I justify costs?

No as your number will be diverted to us. Your customers will be phoning your office not us.

For most people it’s £35 a month. Just one missed call can result in thousands of pounds of potential lost business. Can you justify losing it?

Are there any set up fees?

What hours are you able to take my calls?

How quickly can you set up a service for me?

No. The service is designed to be simple one where we will take a message. We are not set up to give information out about your company or to take orders.

Office hours are 9 am to 6 pm. We used to run the service for longer but frankly we got maybe three calls a month outside these hours.

Within 24 hours. As soon as we receive payment for the first month the line will be set up and you’re good to go.

How do I divert my calls?

Are you able to capture specific information from callers?


We take their name, company, telephone number and a brief description of the reason for the call.

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Your telephone provider will have a call forwarding facility. It is usually available at little or no charge. You need to ask them how it works as each one is slightly different.

Virtual Services

Developing Wandsworth

SUPPORTING BUSINESS is high on the agenda for council leader

Wandsworth has been changing rapidly in recent years and with it has come the need to adopt new ways of thinking for its businesses if they are to take advantage of the investment.

Driving the changes has been the decline of some of the more traditional industries and companies to be replaced by newer ones and one of the challenges has been ensuring that local businesses do not miss out on the opportunities.

At the heart of the process has been Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia CBE, a former barrister who became a councillor in 1982 and leader in 2011.

Councillor Govindia, who represents the East Putney ward on Wandsworth Council, grew up in

Uganda, and was the third generation of his family to be born there. The reason he is in the UK is down to the reign of terror operated by then leader Idi Amin that forced his family and many others to flee.

After his arrival in Britain he lived in Plymouth before coming to London, where

he went to Queen Mary College to read law. After qualifying, he practised briefly before becoming the head of admin and fundraising with the then Greater London Action on Disability. He has had a long involvement in the voluntary and charity

Business Connexions | 11

Developing Wandsworth sectors, having served on boards of many local organisations; he was on the board of the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability, as well as renewing his association with Uganda after becoming a director of Volcanoes Safaris, a tourism business specialising in mountain gorilla safaris to Africa.

Today, he leads a Conservative council that has been in office since 1978 and is a strong believer that local businesses should benefit from the many millions being spent in Wandsworth.

For Councillor Govindia, the transformation of the Nine Elms area is typical of the way the borough is changing.

The area was formerly mainly industrial but is now becoming more residential and commercial in character, dominated by Battersea Power Station, and with new residential developments and the US Embassy. Councillor Govindia said: “Working with the local business community is important to us as a council.The area has seen a lot of changes and we have always wanted the businesses to benefit from this change.

“When I became leader, we had already lost a lot of the bigger manufacturing businesses and some of the large stores but we were also seeing the beginnings of the Nine Elms development and we wanted local businesses to be able to take advantage of what was happening. “There were opportunities for people to live in the area, to undergo training in the area and to do business in the area and one of our big themes has been to ensure that local businesses benefit from the opportunities that come along when there is new investment coming into the area.

“You sometime get big companies coming into an area with their own list of contractors and contacts but I want Wandsworth businesses to get a piece of the action so it’s a case of making sure that people knew each other exists, of letting companies coming into an area know what about the local businesses on their doorstep. “As a council, we have worked hard to find out what new companies require, what skills and services do they not have in-house, what do they need. then making sure that both sides are aware of each other. We do feel that we have a leadership role to play.”

A key part of the council’s work has been to support the Wandsworth Business Awards, which are run by the Chamber of Commerce.

Having last year completed their fifth year, the awards aim to recognise and reward the achievements of the local business community across the whole of the Wandsworth Borough Council. Businesses are invited to put themselves forward for the awards, which contain categories ranging from Best SME Business to Entrepreneur of the Year. Councillor Govindia said: “We support the awards because we think it is important to celebrate the range of businesses that we have in the area,

“We take the view that working with the Chamber is fundamental. We will not always agree on everything and it can be useful when you disagree with something that you know who you are disagreeing with and why. “As I always say to our councillors and officers, councils and businesses are different. Council people inherit an organisation and procedures whereas for someone who is building up their own business they have to create all this from scratch.” One of the leader’s big priorities is supporting initiatives to improve the skills of local young people, which is why the council supports the chamber’s Take One

12 | Business Connexions

campaign, which asks businesses to support a young person by providing a work opportunity, including a paid job through an Apprenticeship, an Internship or short term work experience, or by mentoring a young person to help them get on in their chosen path,

The council also supports Wandsworth Young Chamber, which was launched at Roehampton University in September and works with Wandsworth's younger generation as they leave schools, colleges and Universities.

Councillor Govindia said: “We support both initiatives. It is important that our young people are ready to take the ball and run with it when it is passed to them.”

Another initiative the council has supported is the work being done to install faster broadband for the area’s residential and business site.

Just over two years ago, the Wandsworth Council announced that it had teamed-up with Community Fibre to roll-out a new super-fast broadband network to thousands of council homes in the area.

Councillor Govindia said: “Broadband is an incredibly important tool for everybody these days and we support anything that delivers the broadband people need.”

Developing Wandsworth

“As a council, we have worked hard to find out what new companies require, what skills and services do thy not have in-house, what do they need. then making sure that both sides are aware of each other. We do feel that we have a leadership role to play.� Business Connexions | 13



The University of Roehampton, in partnership with Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, have launched the borough’s first Young Chamber of Commerce.

HIGH STREET consultation staged

People living in Battersea have been canvassed for their views on a set of proposals designed to revitalise their high street.

The Young Chamber is designed to support young people, particularly graduates, as they enter business, whether as a business start-ups or supporting them building their own business networks. A total of 58% of students at Roehampton are the first in their family to attend university. As such, coaching students to understand their own social capital is an important part of the University’s careers offer.

The Young Chamber builds on this work, developing a tangible link between alumni, careers activities, current students and local business. The local nature of the initiative means it encourages and supports graduates to build their careers or businesses in the local area, hence retaining them.

Members of the Young Chamber are able to access the main chamber’s networking events as well as a series of events specifically designed to meet their needs. Though only in its infancy, the Young Chamber is already considering how it could engage local schools to develop a pathway approach as well as innovations in how it communicates with members and builds community.

Wandsworth council staged a public consultation on plans to improve the southern section of Battersea High Street between its junctions with Battersea Park Road and Simpson Street. The proposed environmental improvements have been drawn up in response to requests from local residents and businesses who want the high street improved and better facilities introduced for its small

street market and also for pedestrians and cyclists. Under the plans, the high street would remain essentially vehicle free but with better paving, less street furniture and a dozen new trees.

Parking provision would be retained for the existing businesses but relocated to provide improved space for pedestrians and cyclists. Cllr Kim Caddy, Wandsworth’s cabinet

A proposed new look for the high street

member for employment, skills and business development, said: “Local businesses have been calling for the high street to get a facelift and we’ve listened to what they’ve told us and drawn up a set of proposals we hope will meet with their approval. Our aim is to improve the look and feel of the high street, encourage shoppers to visit and support its economic growth and activity.”

REDEVELOPMENT of site to provide jobs and homes Councillors have approved plans for a housing and retail development on the B&Q superstore site in Wandsworth that will deliver up to 500 new jobs and nearly 200 affordable homes. The planning committee granted permission for the redevelopment of the 1.4 hectare site, including the

14 | Business Connexions

store’s car park.The store will be replaced with 13 new housing blocks containing 517 new homes and more than 8,000 square metres of business, retail and restaurant space. The scheme includes 184 affordable homes, representing 35 per cent of the total number being built.

All will have access to private outdoor amenity space including balconies, winter gardens or a terrace. The developers will also be providing a sizeable outdoor playground for young children. The developer is also proposing to plant 174 trees to replace 50 that would be lost during construction.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “As a result of negotiations with the developer, we have secured a good scheme for this large and prominent site in Swandon Way, which will not only deliver 184 affordable homes but also hundreds of new jobs for our residents.”



to the world

E-commerce is connecting many businesses, small and large, to consumers not only at home in the UK, but also Internationally. It is removing boundaries for businesses who can now reach new overseas markets which previously may not have been so readily available to them. As consumers, most of us have had some experience with e-commerce – whether that is buying last minute Christmas presents online, to selling items on EBay and Amazon etc. In 2016, the e-commerce industry in the UK was worth £135 billion (an increase from £116 billion in 2015*).

The trend is set to continue, providing businesses with even more opportunities for their products to enter new markets and gain increased chances of continued growth and success.

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We are helping to connect businesses to new audiences and our online platform Webship - enables businesses to have multiple plug-ins to it from websites powered by Magento, Shopify, Woo Commerce and many more. This saves businesses time, money and hassle!

*(IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index)

To find out how we can help your business get connected to the world Email: mohammed.haque@inxpress.com Telephone: 020 8432 0896

Business Connexions | 15

Spotlight on Wandsworth Town


to invest in Wandsworth Town

Wandsworth Town is changing and is fast becoming one of London’s liveliest neighbourhoods - full of shops, restaurants and culture with great opportunities for local shops and businesses.

The regeneration of Wandsworth Town started in the 1990s and will continue to thrive in 2018. New homes, shops and a new library are being built on the site of former council and South Thames College buildings in Garratt Lane.

The Wandsworth Exchange development on the site will see 201 new homes across four blocks, of which 29 will be affordable rent and 21 shared ownership. Building work is progressing well and should be completed by summer 2019.

Meanwhile, 663 new homes are being created at the Ram Quarter development, with phase one expected to be completed soon.

The development is on the site of the former Ram Brewery and the site’s brewing heritage will not be forgotten. Original listed machinery and equipment will be used in a new heritage centre, expected to open in November 2018. Beer has been brewed continuously on the Ram site for almost five centuries and former brewer John Hatch, who has been brewing small batches throughout the construction process, will be moving to a new microbrewery within the development.

16 | Business Connexions

The public will be able to stroll in areas that have previously been closed off, with a new boulevard

featuring hops planted in repurposed original Ram Brewery fixtures.

These will be harvested as part of an annual ‘harvest festival. In time, there will be three bridges connecting one side of the Ram Quarter to the other.

Developers Greenland have also re-created the river passes and natural flora and fauna that would have traditionally grown in the area, re-introducing 2,000 plants to the river bank and bed and commissioning a new river wall. For the first time in centuries, this stretch of the Wandle will be open to the public.

Both big town centre developments will see a wide range of new restaurants, joining the many that can already been found in the town centre, the expanded Southside Shopping Centre and in the popular Old York Road. This year, Old York Road will again be hosting Old York Road Unplugged on June 3.

This community event will include live music and stalls and is always a popular day out and businesses who want to get involved should contact the Wandsworth BID.

The BID (Businesses Improvement District) is a new way for businesses to shape their town centre. Businesses pay a levy which is used for improving the town and marketing it to visitors, businesses, staff and residents. This will help create a sustainable future for the town and get everyone involved in making it a success.

Trade is also likely to be boosted by the removal of the Wandsworth gyratory system. This busy one-way system cuts off much of the town from the riverside, but the council is in discussions with Transport for London to update and pedestrianise the out dated one-way system.


Spotlight on Wandsworth Town

Wandsworth town centre

One of the organisations shaping the future of Wandsworth Town up until at least 2022 is the new Wandsworth Town Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID was set up after Wandsworth Town businesses were invited to vote on whether or not they wanted to have more say over how the area is managed and promoted.

The yes vote will deliver in excess of £1million of investment into the area, directly controlled through the BID and aimed exclusively at improving the area.

BIDs have been operating across the UK for more than a decade. Businesses within a BID Zone contribute to and vote on the adoption of a five-year plan to address issues and opportunities for the area that they have helped to define. Subject to this ballot, a BID company and board is established to oversee and deliver the BID’s objectives.

All businesses above an agreed rateable value threshold within the defined BID area contribute a levy to deliver the initiatives set out in the plan. This levy is calculated as a small percentage of the business property’s rateable value.

Businesses are invited to participate on the board or wider group, and all rate-paying businesses will vote on whether to retain the BID at the end of the five-year period.

If you're interested to be a part of the Board and shape the way the town centre evolves please contact the BID team on info@wandsworth.town

Why does Wandsworth Town need a BID?

The way people use their town centres to live, work and shop is changing rapidly. New models of retailing, out-oftown retail, online purchasing and the ever-increasing impact of mobile technology present challenges that town centres must adapt to and capitalise on while maintaining the crucial social and economic role of the town centres. BIDs have proved to be key in helping town centres evolve and thrive. Many BIDs are already in place across London and others are emerging. With the emergence of major new developments, not least on the Ram Brewery site, it’s critical that the town centre prepares itself for the challenges and opportunities this presents. Despite Wandsworth’s obvious strengths, it cannot afford to stand still or potentially get left behind and must instead position itself to compete effectively. The BID puts businesses at the heart of this approach

with business people acting as a central partner in shaping the future of Wandsworth town centre.

How businesses shaped the BID proposals

Wandsworth Town Centre partnership led an extensive programme of research to understand businesses’ needs and ideas. This included face-toface surveys and workshops. Learning from these shaped the final consultation document that was shared in August 2016 with all those in the proposed BID area. Building on this, a range of actions has been developed that will begin to address the challenges and opportunities businesses identified.

BID objectives:

Working with and for local businesses, Wandsworth Town BID aims to deliver the following objectives: • Build the town’s identity and distinctiveness • Raise awareness of the town’s offer including an online presence and full events calendar • Enhance the town centre experience for shoppers, visitors and workers • Connect the town centre and its businesses more strongly with local communities • Represent business needs with a stronger, shared voice • Help Wandsworth businesses improve their performance The Wandsworth BID will: • Create a brand for Wandsworth Town centre as a priority • Acknowledge, via a marketing strategy, its place within the area but also highlight all the fantastic elements the town has to offer • Work with partners to introduce new signage,

• •

• •

highlighting the town centres key landmarks. Embrace online technology and connect the digital world with the physical place; building a relationship with its community and visitors online. Create a suite of digital marketing channels to reach visitors, residents and employees alike including a visitor website, email system, social media channels and online social advertising Use its digital channels to help promote both the day and night time economies throughout the town centre Create a business-to-business web portal connecting local businesses to reach each other and share services with a full business listing Target students and employees via a reward scheme featuring exciting offers, bonuses and money can’t buy experiences from a cross-section of businesses within Wandsworth Work with businesses to help create suitable offers and bonuses, to suit the most appropriate audience for their business needs Develop a comprehensive marketing and events strategy for the town centre Enhance the pre-existing series of family-friendly events taking place across the seasons, including the popular Old York Rd Unplugged festival and the Christmas Lights Switch-On event Provide a series of costeffective events throughout the town on key focused weekends to attract more visitors Regular local networking events to encourage Wandsworth businesses to do business together and strengthen the Wandsworth economy. (Cont. page 18)

Business Connexions | 17

Spotlight on Wandsworth Town

Accessing Wandsworth Town

Wandsworth Town has great travel links. If you want to visit by train, bus or car, there are options available to you. Wandsworth Town BID will help to ensure that information on the quickest, simplest and most cost-effective routes into the town is available to consumers and workers alike.

A Brand for Wandsworth Town Wandsworth BID will:

• Utilise the new town centre website and social media channels to update customers and businesses with important travel information • Work to make the pedestrian realm interesting introducing greenery and seating where appropriate • Liaise, feedback and update on progress with regards to the changes to the one-way system. • Provide printed maps of the area highlighting parking locations

• Provide online links to car parks in the area, linking to real-time information where available

• Work with parking providers within the borough to ensure staff who want to travel in by car (often because of unsociable working hours), are not prevented from doing so by cost

• Lobby car parking providers to trial and promote new ways to make Wandsworth Town centre more convenient and accessible to shoppers, visitors and staff.

Providing a stronger, shared voice for Wandsworth Town Wandsworth BID will:

• Continually engage and where necessary undertake lobbying with Transport for London and the Mayor for London on matters which directly affect transport into and around the area

• Provide a unified voice relieving the frustration and time that individual businesses spend in attempting to do this in isolation.

• Joint purchasing opportunities to reduce business costs, for example, purchase core utilities such as waste services as one. This could help many businesses save more than their levy payment.

A safer, greener Wandsworth Town

Even though Wandsworth Town is considered a safe place by businesses, this is still an important issue to keep on the agenda. BID for Wandsworth Town recognises this and will work to embrace Wandsworth’s reputation as a safe location.

The BID supports local initiatives that encourage businesses to work together to maintain the town centre as a safe environment throughout the day and evening.

Parent and Child in Wandsworth Wandsworth BID will:

• launch a child safe scheme, enabling parents to visit Wandsworth Town, safe in the knowledge that the business community cares about its ‘family-friendly reputation.

Reducing Retail Crime Cost to businesses Wandsworth BID will:

• Work with its members and partners to establish a ‘banned from one, banned from all’ exclusion notice system that aims to tackle the most prolific shoplifters who are often responsible for a significant percentage of stock loss

• Work with members and the local police to circulate photos of these prolific offenders so businesses can be wellinformed in this area.

Wandsworth Town Ambassadors Wandsworth BID will:

Provide a friendly team of Ambassadors to;

• update businesses on the latest news and updates for the area and work to respond quickly to any problems

• act as a friendly face to visitors, residents and employees alike

• work alongside existing agencies to co-ordinate a safer, more welcoming environment for visitors.

Welcoming Wandsworth

Wandsworth BID will:

• Declutter streets and remove any old, unnecessary signage

• Introduce planting and seating where appropriate

• Develop existing markets liaising with traders and working together to increase quality of offer and footfall.

18 | Business Connexions

The BID levy will be calculated as 1.25% of rateable value. So, for a business with a rateable value of £10,000, the BID levy is £125 – equivalent to just £2.40 per week. Individual business premises with a Rateable Value below £10,000 are not liable to a levy.

Get in touch

If you would like further information or to arrange a meeting to discuss these proposals please email info@wandsworth.town

Check out the brand new Town centre website on wandsworth.town and whilst there sign up to our free loyalty card and take advantage of all the local offers; browse the events guide and find out the latest news as well as exploring our business/ retailer directory.

Did you Know? Wandsworth Town BID are working year round to support local businesses • Build the town’s identity and distinctiveness • Raise awareness of the town’s offer including an online presence and full events calendar

• Enhance the town centre experience for shoppers, visitors and workers • Connect the town centre and its businesses more strongly with local communities

• Represent business needs with a stronger, shared voice • Help Wandsworth businesses improve their performance

To find out more visit



Come and have a look we’d love to show you around!

OPPORTUNITIES to partner with the UNIVERSITY OF ROEHAMPTON The University of Roehampton is committed to providing a first class experience to all of its students, providing them with key skills to better their future employment prospects.

Engaging with local business is essential to achieving this and the University would like to hear from individuals or businesses who feel they could contribute to this aim. The University have various employability initiatives aimed at upskilling our students and graduates including internships, networking events and our mentoring scheme. With a diverse student body and 10 academic departments, the University has an exceptional range of graduate talent, many of whom are local residents and keen to seek local opportunities. Supported by Santander Universities the University is able to offer local small and medium sized enterprises (SME) or businesses the opportunity to employ a student or recent graduate on a paid internship scheme which is part-funded

to a maximum of £1500. The Roehampton Internship Scheme (RIS), has been developed to provide employers with an uncomplicated and accessible opportunity to trial a student or graduate in their organisation and provide students with invaluable opportunities to gain key work place skills. Previously our students have worked as assistants and in other support roles in HR, marketing and in specific organisational development projects, with many going on to secure permanent employment. In addition to this and other placement/work experience modules across various departments, for its 2018 cohort the Roehampton Business School will be offering students the option of a year in industry with first year long placements commencing in Summer 2020.

The University is also incredibly proud to be a partner in the Wandsworth Young Chamber of Commerce which was launched in September 2017. Part of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, the aim of the Young Chamber is to inspire the next generation, help them make their own local business connections through networking events and being able to access discipline specific mentors.

If you would like to find out more about engaging with the University through internships, other work experience opportunities or mentoring please email internships@roehampton.ac.uk or call Claire Shapland, Head of Placements & Work Experience on 07778 479 899.


Making a


Pioneer Sports Academy are the new kids on the block! With more than three years serving Wandsworth and Lambeth schools, they have made a huge impact to primary schools in a short space of time, increasing participation by 50%. The figure relates to Wandsworth-based primary schools in 2016/17. They supply schools with high quality sports and PE services, with a goal to inspire children to fall in love with sport and become more physically active.

Their main drive behind this is to reduce inactivity amongst the next generation and to reduce the obesity rates amongst primary school children.

What makes them special is that they have programmes throughout the school day using specialists coaches, some of whom represented Team GB nationally and internationally. Free CPD and taster sessions are on offer.

For further information visit: www.pioneersportsacademy.co.uk


At least for one week!

In a 2017 poll of more than 500 small business owners carried out by accounting software company Free Agent, nearly half of respondents (44%) had not felt able to take a week or more’s worth of holiday in the previous 6 months. And we know from experience that of those that did, a much smaller percentage would have done so without their laptops.

Have you ever heard the phrase “panda eyes”? Where you spend the whole time on holiday with sunglasses on and end up with tan lines around your eyes? There should also be a phrase “laptop lap”, for small business owners sat on sun loungers on their keyboards!

Yet the same poll revealed that 74% said they felt happy that they had a good work life balance which could be seen as a contradiction. But we understand where this comes from. The majority of business owners

started their business because they were passionate about it. Yes it may be long hours, but they’re doing what they want to do. We totally understand this at Engineering Business Growth. We see that passion from our clients and we feel it ourselves for our own business. But we also believe in the benefits to personal health and to your business health that ensuring having a proper break can bring.

But how to make that happen? We always say, “You have to take time to make time”. What we mean by this is, if you want to

create more time, freedom and flexibility in your business, you need to invest time in creating an effective strategy that will enable you to achieve that. You need plans to develop the structure and processes of the business to enable you to step away from it. Not only does this mean you can take the much deserved rest and return rejuvenated, with a fresh perspective, ideas, enthusiasm

and all the knock-on benefits, it also means that having focused on building the structure to be able to do that, you will have built a better, more sustainable, business – one that can survive and function without you!

We were delighted by the number of our clients who have said to us they’d had their first holiday for years. For us that really was an indicator of engineered growth!

To find out more about how we can help you to plan so you get a real holiday this year, go to www.engineeringbusinessgrowth.com/business-growth-masterclass

Business Connexions | 21



National Apprenticeship Week investing in the workforce of the future

As part of National Apprenticeship week a number of local businesses attended an Employer Apprenticeship Breakfast.

The event was organised by the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, in close partnership with the Banham Group, Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning, and education and training consultancy, Rinova.

An extremely engaging event, with interesting questions and discussions generated by local employers. The event focussed on the value of apprenticeships and how investing in apprentices can boost business performance. There was also a focus on how apprenticeships are structured, as well as the current funding available, including an explanation of how the new apprenticeship levy works. The apprenticeship levy was introduced by the government in April 2017.

Led by Steve Pinto, Chief Executive of Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, local businesses heard from: Martin Herbert, Managing Director of Banham; Kevin Faulkner, Head of Banham Academy and Santino Fragola, Head of Lifelong Learning for Wandsworth Council.

Elliot Veheary, a security apprentice with Banham Academy and Pareice Hassan-Wright, a Business Administration Apprentice with Wandsworth Council, provided valuable input on how apprenticeships work from a young person’s perspective. Both Elliot and Pareice talked about their experiences of being an apprentice and their future employment goals. Their contributions were excellent and clearly articulated the importance of investing the workforce of the future.

Pareice said: “I would strongly recommend an apprenticeship route to other young people. I have been fortunate in being able to expand my experience in all aspects of working in an office. I would say that the training offered has really improved my communication skills and my competence in using ICT. I now know what I want from my career and the apprenticeship has given me a very good basis to work from.”The Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Leslie McDonnell and Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP for Tooting, were also in attendance.

For further information on apprenticeships: Banham Academy and Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning: Banham www.banham.co.uk/academy/ Kevin Faulkner 020 7819 3786 Wandsworth Council Lifelong Learning www.wandsworthlifelonglearning.org.uk Carol Stewart 020 8871 5473

22 | Business Connextions



became a global hit

There is a saying in business that the most successful ideas are often the simplest and that is certainly the case with My Nametags.

Lars Andersen Managing Director

The Wandsworth company, which was founded fourteen years ago and has now gone global, was created in response to the remarkable ability of children to lose items of school uniform. Parents lose up to £150 a year replacing lost school uniform because they don’t use name tags and labels and My Nametags tackles the problem by manufacturing durable stickers and iron-on labels. My Nametags started making labels in 2004 in London under the guidance of by Lars Andersen, who is its Managing Director and who based his idea on his own children.

He said: “My children were born in 2001 and 2003 so I knew the problem with name tags. You had sew-on labels that had not changed for 150 years or ironon ones that kept falling off. We set out to manufacture tags that we guaranteed would stay on for ten years.

“It might look a simple product but there was a lot of technology in a small label and we have recorded 98 per cent in our customer satisfaction surveys.”

letters containing useful information, a helpline and the like, but we found that the same thing did not always happen in other countries.

Lars said: “I knew pretty much from day two that this was an idea that could work in other countries and a business that could trade internationally.

“We did receive some help in breaking into international markets but our success in the main has been down to finding out ourselves what will work in different countries.

Since 2004, My Nametags has expanded, employing 30 people at its busiest times of the year and exporting to 129 countries.

“I am Norwegian and have worked and studied in Germany, France and the UK and I knew that the idea would work there.

“We set out to find out how it would work best in other countries as well. We employ a range of nationalities and will also take people on if they have a specific knowledge of an area.

“We decided to employ our people in the UK. When we started trading, we received a lot of help from HMRC about employing people in the UK,

“There was a lot of bureaucracy when we sought to employ in other countries so we decided to take on people in the UK.

“There are cultural differences. Take Italy as an example. In the UK parents are left in no doubt that they need tags through nurseries and schools but that is not necessarily the case in Italy. In Italy, parents are more likely to resort to a haberdashers. We have worked hard to understand how to meet demand in different countries.” The approach has worked. My Nametags won the business of the year award for the year 2013 by the European Business Awards.

They were also adjudged Overall Winner at the FSB London Business Awards 2013, as well as winner of the Business Innovation category and won the Best SME category at Wandwsorth Business Awards 2014.

He said: “A lot of our competitors have expanded into personalised bags and mugs but we have not.

“We set out to manufacture the best nametags in the world and our testing suggest we do but I could not be sure that we could make the best bags or the bests mugs.

“I take the view that we should do one product and do it better than anyone else.”

Lars attributes their success to a single-minded commitment to the product.

Business Connexions | 23


24 | Business Connexions



undergoes a transformation It is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, recognised from its starring appearances in everything from paintings and album covers to films and television programmes.

Now, a new Battersea Power Station is fast emerging as it is transformed into a mixed-use site with international appeal.

The Battersea Power Station Grade II* listed building is half way through a comprehensive refurbishment / reconstruction that is due to be completed in late 2020. The five-year programme is the largest historic building project ever undertaken in the UK and, when finished, will become the heart of a 42-acre mixed use scheme.

On completion, 25% of the building will be residential, including more than 250 apartments, the majority of which have already been pre-sold.

A further 25% will be new office space which has predominantly been pre-let to Apple in one of London’s largest ever office pre-lets and the remaining building will be for retail and leisure use, accessed from the two historic turbine halls. It’s the latest phase in the history of a building that was first opened in 1933, although the break out of World War II meant that it was not completed until 1953.

During its operation, it supplied one fifth of London’s electrical power, including serving the war rooms and Buckingham Palace. The building finally stopped producing power in 1983.

Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) has been overseeing the dramatic transformation of the site into a place for local people, tourists and residents to enjoy a unique blend of restaurants, shops, parks and cultural spaces.

A BPSDC spokesperson said: “Battersea Power Station is one of the most culturally iconic buildings in the world. It lay empty for so many years while plans for its future came and went.

“The chimneys were fully rebuilt last year and are visually identical to the originals - it was an honour to restore these iconic symbols to the London skyline so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

A key part of the scheme is Circus West Village, which is fast becoming the place to spend time on the banks of the River Thames with a range of events and restaurants, making it one of London’s most exciting new food and drink destinations. Battersea Power Station recently announced the next wave of businesses to open. They include an independent cinema, a craft brewery, a bakery, a florist and new restaurants offering international cuisine.

The new additions will join a selection of restaurants, cafes, shops and businesses that have already opened, bringing the total number of confirmed retailers at Circus West Village to 20 and putting it on the map as an exciting new food district for London. The venues announced recently are: • Archlight Cinema: An independent cinema that is a sister venue to the awardwinning Olympic Cinema in Barnes. It will be a boutique, three-screen cinema uniquely located inthree totally transformed former railway arches • Baker and Spice: Authentic bakery and all-day café serving breads, pastries and cakes baked the artisan way • Cinnamon Kitchen: A contemporary Indian restaurant featuring modern food created by celebrity chef, Vivek Singh • Moyses Stevens: A boutique florist that has been designing fresh flower bouquets since 1876, winning them two royal warrants. As well as a flower shop there will also be a floristry school where

visitors can learn how to make their own beautiful bouquets

• Tonkotsu: An authentic Japanese restaurant serving a menu of ramen, gyozas and a selection of other sides and desserts. The restaurant has imported a noodle-making machine from Japan and diners can watch the noodle making process in action

• Battersea Brewery: A craft beer micro-brewery with adjoining bottle shop and tap-room

They join the likes of The Battersea General Store, selling goods from around the world, and Boom Cycle, providing spinning classes and healthy drinks. Also coming to site are Ben’s Canteen, a neighbourhood hangout specialising in burgers, Bloody Marys and brunch, Paul Edmonds, a luxury hair salon widely known throughout the industry as a style innovator at the forefront of hair trends for the last 30-years, and Pedler Cru, an all-day neighbourhood eatery.

Businesses already open include Mother, a pizzeria from Copenhagen offering simple soul food (voted the third best pizza in London), No.29 Power Station West, a relaxed neighbourhood bar and restaurant, Italian restaurant Fiume where chef Francesco Mazzei serves classic Italian food from Calabria, a new riverside seafood restaurant from the renowned London oyster and shellfish specialists the Wright Brothers, The CoffeeWorks Project, a family-run business serving the best coffees and tea from around the world, and Vagabond, one of the UK’s first urban wineries offering 100 wines and a range of craft beers and seasonal food.

Developments occur every day. More than a thousand residents have now moved into their new homes at Circus West Village and over half a million people have already visited the new riverwalk since it opened. Business Connexions | 25



boosts development

Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) recently confirmed that Battersea Project Holding Company Limited has entered into an exclusive transaction aimed at reorganising the long-term ownership of The Power Station building.

The MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus service is now operational, putting Battersea Power Station within 15 minutes of the West End and less than 40 minutes from Canary Wharf. A new pedestrian entrance has also opened, connecting Circus West Village with the rest of Nine Elms via Battersea Park Road. The developments have been widely welcomed. Rob Tincknell, CEO of BPSDC, said: “Battersea Power Station is fast emerging as London’s newest and most exciting food and drink destination.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, said: “I am pleased to see these entrepreneurs moving into this new site. As well as homes, this development is supporting new businesses and delivering economic prosperity for the Capital.”

A BPSDC spokesperson said: “We are delighted to welcome fantastic operators that share our passion for creating a new, unique community focused destination for London.

“Over a thousand residents have now moved into their new homes at Circus West Village, the first phase of the development, and over half a million people have already visited the new riverwalk since it opened. A new pedestrian entrance has also opened, connecting Circus West Village with the rest of Nine Elms via Battersea Park Road. 26 | Business Connexions

“Ten carefully curated businesses have already opened in Circus West Village. Others opening this year include Cinnamon Kitchen, Paul Edmonds and Ben’s Canteen, bringing the total number of confirmed retailers to 20 and putting it on the map as an exciting new food district for London. “The Power Station is due to open in 2020 and will be mix of homes, shops, restaurants, offices, events spaces and a six-acre park. “

Keeping the air clean

The team behind the development is also acutely conscious of its responsibility to the environment, including protecting air quality.

A BPSDC spokesperson said: “At Battersea Power Station we work to improve air quality in several different ways.

“We use river transport whenever we can: for example, river barges were used to remove excavated material from the Northern Line Extension tunnelling.

“This saves hundreds of road journeys by heavy lorries, reducing motor emissions and particulates released into the area and, incidentally, easing congestion as well.”

The shareholders in the proposed new structure will be Malaysian investors Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), one of the largest asset management companies in Malaysia, and the Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia (EPF), who already own about 70% of the entire project.

Subject to further due diligence and negotiations, the transaction sum is estimated to be £1.6bn, to be paid in stages through the rest of the construction phase of The Power Station building.

A BPSDC spokesperson said: “The Malaysian shareholders purchased the site in September 2012 and have since made significant progress, including the successful completion of the first phase of the development which is now home to more than 1,000 residents and a collection of independent retailers and restaurateurs. The proposed transaction reflects the shareholders’ long-term commitment to Battersea and London. “

The proposed new agreement will not affect the shareholdings of Sime Darby Property, S P Setia and EPF in the Battersea Project Holding Company, the joint venture company which is the holding company of the project. BPSDC will remain the manager of the development.

SUCCESS FOR AN IDEA that was ahead of its time Ten years ago, the idea of co-working centres was alien to many people in business. Then along came Le Bureau in Wandsworth and everything changed.

Today, the company has 220 desks for hire and is looking at opening up new centres across the borough as its popularity grows.

Based in Battersea Studios on Silverthorne Road, the centre provides desks, meeting rooms and support facilities such as broadband to small local businesses in a beautifully designed space. Because co-working was a novel concept when the centre opened, the business started out with 45 desks. Those filled quickly and encouraged the company to double in size to 90 desks. In 2014, they more than doubled their space in Battersea Studios again and now provide their 220 desks to more than 90 small businesses. Managing Director Paul Mitchell said: “We were the first co-working centre in London and probably the UK and when we set up it was a new concept.

Director Kinga Herrera

“People were still locked into the idea of long-term office leases but we offered something more flexible for them.

“We appealed then, and we appeal now, to those people who were working from their bedroom or the coffee shop and we offered them something different.

“Not only did we offer them a place to work, we offered them meeting rooms and lounges with style and impact. If they wanted to bring a client to see where they worked, it was not a case of taking them into the kitchen or Starbucks but they could offer them an office environment that radiated professionalism."

“The success of the concept is not just about infrastructure, though. One of the biggest attractions is the atmosphere that is created, the chance to talk to other people in business, the conversations that take place round the coffee machine.

“In the early days, there was perhaps a concern that if you were working on something confidential that you did not want your competitors to see, that perhaps a co-working centre was not the place to be. However, we offer confidential areas where people can work if they need and if anyone was snooping round someone else’s desk they would soon be challenged.

The People Behind the Business

Managing Director Paul Mitchell “However, that has not really been an issue and a key reason for our success has been the camaraderie that exists in our working spaces.”

Some of the centre’s residents, known as Members, have been with the company from the outset, but others are joining all the time. Some are sole traders, some are teams of 6-8 and the centre hosts architects, recruiters, web designers, graphic designers, PR agencies, financiers, journalists, events managers, and many more professions.

Paul, who runs the centre with a team including Director Kinga Herrera, said: “In the early, days co-working centres tended to be for businesses employing just one or two people but that has changed and we now have businesses with eight, nine or ten people. “We have even had some that started small but outgrew us and moved into larger premises and we are delighted with their success.

“I think the financial crash of 2008 set people thinking. They looked at long-term office leases with deposits and guarantees and decided that there must be a different way of arranging their office space. “The result is that we have a really diverse and interesting collection of energetic small businesses. The social and professional interactions help create a wonderful vibe. “We try to support this by hosting regular events for Members – ranging from the “professional” with clinics on topics such as HR, Law and more, to the purely social such as wine tastings, the Christmas Party or the summer Sports Day.

“We are now looking to expand and see Wandsworth as an ideal place to do it with its range of small businesses. We are talking to building owners and developers in Wandsworth to explore the opportunities.”

“One of the biggest attractions is the atmosphere that is created, the chance to talk to other people in business, the conversations that take place round the coffee machine.” Business Connexions | 27

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COMPANY MARKS four years in Wandsworth

Patron Focus

Based at Battersea Reach development, BoConcept Danish Design furniture and home accessories is now well established after four years in the Wandsworth community.

Its urban concept aligns with the contemporary apartments not only alongside the river up to Nine Elms and the iconic Battersea Power station but all over the fast-changing Wandsworth area.

Maria Bano, Store Manager, said: “Our store is a destination point compared to a high street store. We have a large 350 sq meters store which allows us to showcase all our best sellers in inspirational, totally coordinated room sets. This enables our experienced interior design team to offer a comprehensive free Design service in a relaxed atmosphere.” Serene Huynh - Metson Business Manager, stated: “We will visit you at home to understand your needs and challenges followed by further consultation in store around a cup of coffee. We will then produce free 3D proposals for either a complete makeover or just adding one piece to your existing furniture.

“Since our opening we have been delighted to see regular customers coming back to complete their look either for a new room, accessories or just asking us for a quick advice. We are always warmed up by the great passion they have for our brand.” Maria explained: ”As a regenerating town, Wandsworth, with its industrial heritage, has a diverse mix of properties within the housing and rental market. “Our customisable and modular furniture can suit different needs and tastes , depending on what the customer wants to achieve.

“At BoConcept we understand well the needs of the very necessity of offering space saving solutions in urban living. For example we have a trendy footstool becoming a bed, many extending tables, storage beds, a coffee table which can become a desk then can also become a dining table for eight persons just to name a few.”

Serene advised: “We are also well established with investors in the rental market which is fast developing in our area. We offer turnkey solutions packages with a range based on property size and budget. The office and hospitality is also part of our business proposition and is a growing market for us. We have helped modernising many work place environment.” Mireille Baumgart, BoConcept London Chairman, reported: “Our Battersea Reach Team and myself are delighted to

be a Chamber Patron. It is very important for us to be part of the local community.

“Together with the Chamber we have created some great events in our store, inviting our Wandsworth business colleagues and always very keen to attend other events ourselves. “We have gained a lot of contact in the community and feel it is always great to discuss common issues or opportunities with likeminded business owners and managers.”

“We are also well established with investors in the rental market which is fast developing in our area. We offer turnkey solutions packages with a range based on property size and budget. Business Connexions | 29

Walk the

Beautiful Corfu Trail ... in Luxury

If, like us, you enjoy warm weather and clear blue seas, but hanker after something more fulfilling than lying on a crowded beach have you considered walking the Corfu Trail? Created by Hilary Paipeti the Trail runs for 220 kms crisscrossing the island as it travels from the southernmost tip to the coast in the north. The views are spectacular and extremely varied. You can walk on quiet tracks or footpaths through sun dappled olive groves, on golden beaches, climb challenging hills and mountains and pass through innumerable quaint villages. Our guesthouse is situated in the hillside village of Dafnata. It has beautiful views from the terrace, which is a lovely place to sunbathe and relax, have a barbecue and watch the wonderful sunsets while you sip a glass of wine before retiring.

Now we’re all for the rugged explorer approach if that’s what you like, but we feel that our guests may prefer the holiday approach, where cramming the miles in isn’t as important as savouring the moment.

We have therefore put together a two week package where you will walk the trail, guided or not (it’s your choice). We will take you to the start of each day's walk and pick you up at the end. All meals and drinks will be provided (wine, beer and soft drinks, tea, coffee) The advantage of the one centre holiday is that you aren’t living out of your rucksack. You just need a lightweight bag for the walk and can leave your belongings safely at the house. In addition, we offer a day tour of the island by car as part of the package and can chauffeur you anywhere you wish on a non-walking day. And if you feel you would like to sample some nightlife after your day's walking, we can arrange transport.

We are currently taking bookings for 1-15th September and 16th-30th September. Price is £1,250 per person based on two people sharing a room. Flights are not included.

Please feel free to call if you have any queries and we will be happy to discuss your requirements

walkthecorfutrail.com mycorfu.eu 0207 8013105



a starring performance

Ask Bruce Poole why his Wandsworth restaurant has been able to thrive for the past 23 years and he will tell you that its success is down to a belief in constant improvement.

Director Bruce and business partner Nigel Platts-Martin opened Chez Bruce in 1995 and since then the restaurant at 2 Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common has grown in popularity and is approaching its 20th year with a Michelin star.

Bruce was born in Guildford, Surrey in 1964. After attending Charterhouse School and Exeter University – where he read History – he entered the hotel and restaurant industry via a one-year hotel management course at Westminster College. After several years working front-of-house, he started cooking professionally in his mid-twenties as a junior chef at Bibendum Restaurant, London in 1990.

The relationship between Bruce and Nigel had begun when Bruce worked as a junior chef at a central London restaurant that Nigel owned.

After a year in the kitchen at The Square, he went on to work at acclaimed restaurant Chez Max as sous, and latterly Head, Chef.

Bruce and Nigel met up again when Nigel decided to rename and revamp Harveys in Wandsworth and brought in Bruce.

Within a couple of years, Bruce had become his business partner and part-owner of the restaurant, continuing for several years in the twin roles of businessman and chef.

Bruce said: “Going into business was something that myself and my wife had been considering for some time. “I think we would probably have ended up running a restaurant in the country but then this opportunity in Wandsworth came up.” After Chez Bruce opened for business in 1995, the partners added The Glasshouse, in Kew in 1999; and La Trompette,

in Chiswick in 2001 to the London-based group.

Now 53, Bruce no longer cooks, having turned that responsibility over to Chez Bruce Head Chef Matthew Christmas and his team, who produce high quality French food with a Mediterranean twist.

Bruce said: “I think that being a chef is a young person’s game. It’s very psychical. Also, I had found myself being pulled in various directions and I think that a Head Chef must focus 100 per cent on the menu.

“I am still involved, though, spending time on the business, popping into the kitchen, meeting customers front of house.

“I think the key to being a successful restaurant is to continually seek ways of improving.

“I do not take the view that you have taken a restaurant as far as it can go, there are always things you can do better.”

He cherishes the restaurant’s Michelin star. Last year, several high-profile French chefs handed theirs back, arguing that they produced too much pressure, but that is not a view shared by Bruce.

Bruce said: “We are proud of our Michelin star and work hard to retain it. I think it does perhaps raise customers’ expectations.

“For example, we have not changed the kind of wooden chairs we use pretty much since we opened and some people do point out that we are Michelin-star but using the same chairs! But we like having a Michelin star.”

We are proud of our Michelin star and work hard to retain it. I think it does perhaps raise customers’ expectations. Business Connexions | 31

Putney Business Hub

Chamber Events For further details go to www.wandsworthchamber.org/events


Battersea Reach Business Big Breakfast Tuesday 28th March 2018 8-10AM

Venue: Bo Concept, Battersea Reach


Fore Business Golf Invitation Thursday 5th April 2018 7.20AM - 1PM

Venue: Silvermere Golf Club, Surrey (and other clubs around London)

Metro Bank Mondays Monday 9th April 2018 6-8PM

Venue: Metro Bank, Clapham Junction

Earlsfield Business Network Wednesday 11th April 2018


Venue in Earlsfield: To Be Confirmed

Putney Business Hub Tuesday 17th April 2018


Venue: Wandsworth Oasis & Lahore Central Restaurant, 240 Upper Richmond Road, Putney London SW15 6TG

32 | Business Connexions

Mayor's Parlour Reception

Tuesday 18th April 2018 6-8PM Venue: Mayor's Parlour, Civic Suite, Wandsworth

Business Masterclass Tuesday 24th April 2018 8:30AM - 12:30PM Venue: Battersea Dogs Home, 4 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4AA

PR Masterclass for SMEs Tuesday 24th April 2018 6-8PM Venue: South Thames College, Wandsworth Campus


Fore Business Golf Invitation

Thursday 10th May 2018 7.20AM - 1PM Venue: Silvermere Golf Club, Surrey (and other clubs around London)

Metro Bank Mondays

Monday 14th May 2018 6-8PM Venue: Metro Bank, Clapham Junction

Earlsfield Business Network

Wednesday 9th May 2018 6-9PM Venue in Earlsfield: To Be Confirmed

Tuesday 15th May 2018 6-9PM

Venue: Wandsworth Oasis & Lahore Central Restaurant, 240 Upper Richmond Road, Putney London SW15 6TG

iPhone Film Making Masterclass for SMEs Tuesday 24th May 2018 6-8PM

Venue: Roehampton University

Wandsworth Chamber Big Breakfast Tuesday 30th May 2018 6-9PM

Venue: To be confirmed


Fore Business Golf Invitation Thursday 14th June 2018 7.20AM - 1PM

Venue: Silvermere Golf Club, Surrey (and other clubs around London)

Metro Bank Mondays Monday 4th June 2018 6-8PM

Venue: Metro Bank, Clapham Junction

Earlsfield Business Network

Wednesday 13th June 2018 6-9PM

Venue in Earlsfield: To Be Confirmed

Putney Business Hub Tuesday 19th June 2018 6-9PM

Venue: Wandsworth Oasis & Lahore Central Restaurant, 240 Upper Richmond Road, Putney London SW15 6TG

New Members

WELCOME to new members

A2i Dyslexia

Houston Lawrence

Bluis Forster Business Services

It Iz What it Iz

Battersea Elizabeth Kwarteng-Amaning 020 3818 6219 (Ext 3209) info@a2idyslexia.org.uk www.a2idyslexia.org.uk Charities

Nine Elms Charles O'Rourke 0203 290 9910 charles.orourke@bluisforster.com www.bluisforster.com Accountants and Bookkeeping

Bunga Bunga

Battersea Miss Megan Buffington megan@bungabunga-london.com www.BungaBunga-London.com Restaurants, Pubs & Clubs

Chit Chaat Chai

Wandsworth Tania Rahman tania@chitchaatchai.com www.chitchaatchai.com Restaurants, Pubs & Clubs

Coaching Businesses Ltd

Wandsworth Susan Jackson Cousin 7764586609 susanjacksoncousin@actioncoach.com Business Coaching and Support


London Sandeep Arora arora@codeworksltd.co.uk www.codeworksltd.co.uk Computers & Web Services

Community Fibre Ltd

London Sam Soares 0800 082 0770 sam.soares@communityfibre.co.uk www.communityfibre.co.uk Utilities

Creative by Roopa

Battersea Roopa Basu 7929635472 info@creativebyroopa.co.uk www.creativebyroopa.co.uk Media, Design, Photography & Print


Battersea John Clarke 020 7223 0297 jclarke@devasclub.org www.devasclub.org Charities

Dumond Moving & Storage Ltd

Wimbledon Cicero Almedia 020 8123 2375 cicero@dumond.co.uk www.dumond.co.uk Taxis, Transport and Motoring

GraftinGardeners Tree Services

Putney Peter Arnold Wandsworth info@graftingardeners.co.uk www.graftingardeners.co.uk/tree-surgeonswandsworth Tradesmen

Wandsworth Partner Chris Jago 020 7801 9023 chris.jago@houstonlawrence.co.uk www.houstonlawrence.co.uk Property Services, Refurbishment & Developers Battersea Geniyo Geniyo 07931 705644 urban_meditation@yahoo.co.uk www.londonhometutors.co.uk Schools and Education

Kastel Property Solutions

Tooting Thomas Jones tom.ben.jones@gmail.com www.kastelproperty.co.uk Property Services, Refurbishment & Developers

Local Buddy

Earlsfield Alastair Lyon 2038840002 alastair@localbuddy.co.uk www.localbuddy.co.uk Marketing, Advertising & Promotions

London Home Tutors

Balham Mary Lonsdale 0208 444 9685 mary@londonhometutors.co.uk www.londonhometutors.co.uk Schools and Education

MA&Y Ltd

New Malden Julian Johnson 7715380603 info@ma-y.co.uk www.ma-y.co.uk Sports Clubs & Fitness Centres

Mi Decor

Putney Michal Jacek 7540101550 midecorlnd@gmail.com www.checkatrade.com/MiDecor/ Building Services


Tooting Anita Chakraburtty 7757540436 anita@multidimensionalhealing.co.uk www.multidimensionalhealing.co.uk Health & Beauty

Narratorial Ltd

Wandsworth Shelley Instone 7527177334 shelleyinstone@gmail.com www.narratorial.co.uk Computers & Web Services

On Point Property Management Ltd

Wandsworth Anna Agyekum-Wilson 2037358977 aw@onpointproperty.co.uk www.onpointproperty.co.uk Property Services, Refurbishment and Developers

Paul's Cancer Support Centre

Battersea Sceharazade Ameer 020 7924 3924 sameer@paulscancersupport.org.uk www.paulscancersupportcentre.org.uk Charities

Property People Care Ltd Tooting Mohammad Zahoor Ahmed 2089467171 info@property-people.net property-people.net Property Services, Refurbishment and Developers

South Five Digital

London Daniella Walters 7961208089 daniella@southfivedigital.com www.southfivedigital.com Marketing, Advertising & Promotions


Putney Nick Wavell-Smith 2087803756 nick@spinbrands.co.uk www.spinbrands.co.uk Marketing, Advertising & Promotions

Springbok Security

Wandsworth Logan Stewart lolikat2012@gmail.com www.springboksecurity.com Building Services

Straker Cleaning ECO Carpet & Rug Care

Wimbledon Chris Straker 020 8644 8892 chris@straker.cleaning www.straker.cleaning Cleaning Services

The Earlsfield PH

Southfields Steve Novak steven.novak@me.com www.theearlsfield.com Restaurants, Pubs & Clubs

Visual Monkeys Limited

Battersea Peter Roach 07714920353 peter.roach1@virgin.net www.visualmonkeys.co.uk Media, Design, Photography and Print

Wandsworth Mediation Service Battersea Jenny Reid 020 7223 7744 wms@wandsworthmediation.co.uk www.wandsworthmediation.co.uk Charities

Wandsworth Mediation Service Battersea Jenny Reid 020 7223 7744 wms@wandsworthmediation.co.uk www.wandsworthmediation.co.uk Solicitors and Legal Services

Weller Mae

Tooting Claire Powell 02031370769 claire@wellermae.com www.wellermae.com Business Services

Business Connexions | 33

5 Minutes with...

with ... 1. Who are you?

John Perrott,Senior Client Relations Manager, ARC UK Technologies Ltd

2. What’s your business all about?

ARC Document Solutions, One source for all your Printing needs. 190 Locations Globally. ARC UK specialises in Large format Graphics and Installations, High Quality Digital Printing, Managed Print Services and Technology solutions, Scanning and archiving primarily.

3. Three words to describe yourself? Positive, Calm, Professional.

4. Ideal customer?

Perfect client would be one that I have won from word of mouth. There is nothing greater than being recommended time and time again for hard work on projects.

5. Biggest achievement?

Professionally – winning the highest % Sales growth Globally for ARC UK, after landing a contract for Office graphics in London to the value of over £800k. Personally – getting married 

6. Biggest gripe?

Negativity, I cannot stand it! I often leave the room …the most demotivating tool in life.

7. Your Inspiration?

Dilo Wijesuriya – Chief Operating Officer - ARC Document Solutions Dilo works tirelessly for ARC. He never fails to motivate his teams globally. He spends time travelling to every location and listening to his staff on a professional and personal level. Apart from this he is a very kind and generous person to the staff of ARC and many charitable causes.


Philosophy in Business?

Positivity – I genuinely believe if you turn any situation into a positive outcome it will shine through. I often attend meetings and ask myself on the way there – what is the outcome I want and drive the meeting towards that.


Sporting Hero?

Golfer Ian Poulter because I like his passion he shows on the course!

10. Biggest tip for success?

Get your work life balance right and stay focused and motivated.

Always challenge yourself and colleagues to learn more and seek exciting opportunities that keep you driven.

“I have won from word of mouth. There is nothing greater than being recommended time and time again for hard work on Projects.” 34 | Business Connexions

Business relocation Commercial property sales/lettings Consultancy Valuations Planning advice Rating advice

Handelsbanken Clapham: local relationship banking for you and your business At Handelsbanken, relationship banking still lives up to its name. Our simple aim is to provide the best possible service. • Direct line access to your account manager • Key decisions are made locally by us at the Clapham branch • Our experienced managers work with you to develop solutions to fit your requirements We provide a wide range of banking services, from mortgages and current accounts to savings for personal customers, and business banking services including finance for specific funding requirements, asset and trade finance specialists and cash management solutions. Founded in 1871, Handelsbanken has over 800 branches in more than 20 countries. The Clapham branch is one of 50 branches in the South East. To find out how you might benefit from a more personal banking relationship, please call us on 020 7498 5022 or email: clapham@handelsbanken.co.uk

Office 5 16 Porteus Place Clapham, London SW4 0AS handelsbanken.co.uk/clapham

Handelsbanken is the trading name of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Registered Office: Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY. Registered in England and Wales No. BR 000589. Incorporated in Sweden with limited liability. Registered in Sweden No. 502007-7862. Head Office in Stockholm. Authorised by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

Profile for Benham Publishing Limited

Business Connexions March 2018  

Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Business T...

Business Connexions March 2018  

Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Business T...

Profile for benham

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