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Issue 61 September / October 2017

Rob Hamlin Connections to Coventry - page 20





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We’ve achieved year-on-year cloud business growth of 283% and our client base both in the UK and globally is rapidly expanding. As a result, we’ve decided to rebrand Netmetix and launch a new website, further promoting our position as an innovative managed cloud services provider. We continue to provide enterprise grade IT services that are flexible, scalable and secure by using Microsoft’s global Azure platform. As a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Partner, we also pride ourselves on being in the top 0.2% of all UK Microsoft partners and last year, recorded the highest number of new client deployments on Azure in the UK. Our three pillars of distinction consist of Knowledge, Trust and Quality. Knowledge - our engineers hold the highest-level accreditations for the services we deliver, providing clients with the level of expertise they demand. Trust – our 99% client retention rate is a reflection of the confidence that clients have in our services. We don’t believe in tying them into long term contracts and offer a rolling monthly pay-as-you-use service. Quality - as our clients put their trust in us, we only work with the markets leading vendors, together, building the highest quality end-to-end solutions. Cloud computing has levelled the playing field. It’s time to think big – contact us today to see how implementing Netmetix cloud services can benefit your business. .

DISTINCTION ABOVE ALL ELSE 4 Sycamore Court, Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9BA 024 7640 8100 / /

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


CONTENTS September/October 2017

Confidence is in the air Dear Chamber of Commerce Member,

Go for Growth Chamber Services




Events I hope business is good. Attendance at your Chamber Events and Networks have been at a record high which suggests that businesses, in Coventry and Warwickshire, are doing well and maintaining strong confidence at a time of economic and political uncertainty. For your diary - our annual Economic Conference will be held on 3rd November 2017. It will be a morning of fantastic speakers, including Iain Duncan Smith MP and Janice Charette, Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, plus a Business Panel, an Economic Panel and a BREXIT Panel. So, a unique opportunity for local business leaders to hear the very latest news about our economy, exiting the European Union and much more. To book, please visit our website on or email Chris on The very latest economic statistics suggest that UK economic conditions are becoming challenging and, therefore, it seems more important than ever to achieve some sort of comprehensive agreement with the EU alongside placing equal emphasis on maintaining and nurturing a strong domestic business environment. I guess the most significant worry, at the moment, continues to be public-sector borrowing with a deficit of some ÂŁ6.9 billion which, if tax revenues decrease with a dampened UK economy, could present ongoing difficulty. However, to be positive, the UK economy is on-track to achieve a 1.5% growth and we know that, here in Coventry & Warwickshire, we tend to out-perform much of the UK economy. Some of the best in business, here in our locality, are the Chamber's Strategic Members and I would wish to take this opportunity to recognise the valued relationship that we have with these successful & dynamic organisations. Existing Strategic Members are

Birmingham Airport, Bit 10 Ltd, Burgis & Bullock, CityFibre Holding Ltd, Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Cranfield Business Finance Ltd, HSBC, HoribaMira, Netmetix Ltd, PET Xi Training Ltd, Prime Chartered Accountants, TNT (UK) Ltd, University of Warwick, Warwickshire County Council, Wigleys (Barby) Ltd and Wright Hassall Leamington Ltd. Many of these Strategic Members engage in some of our most critical, and more high profile, activity such as the work we are doing to highlight the voice of local businesses re: BREXIT. Your Chamber of Commerce launched its CW Business BREXIT Club in January 2017 and, since this date, has published a BREXIT Manifesto and held several well-attended BREXIT events with some excellent 'expert' speakers from Coventry University and the British Chambers of Commerce. At our most recent BREXIT meeting, in July, Members were able to highlight the issues of most concern or opportunity, including customs issues, export opportunities, skills & mobility concerns and more. Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber, working with the British Chambers, has now been invited to host a round table with the Home Office's newly established Independent Migration Advisory Committee in October. So, a further opportunity for your Chamber to be a voice of local business. I hope to see many of you at our forthcoming Trade Expo on Friday 15th September. It will be a great networking day, with exhibitions, huge delegate footfall and seminars & workshops for you to attend. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive


Corporate Profiles


International Trade


Corporate Profiles


Chamber Training


Business Support


Legal & Finance Property Profile Brexit Club

16 -17 18 20-21 22

Around the region





38 - 39


41 & 43

President & People



New Members


Training and Events



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Go for Growth

CONTACTS At the Chamber

News desk

Members are encouraged to send any news about their firm - new orders, staff, new products, expansions or relocations - for publication in C&W in business. Whilst every effort will be made to publish submitted articles, we cannot guarantee inclusion. Send them to: Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Chamber House Innovation Village Cheetah Road Coventry CV1 2TL T: 024 76 654321 F: 024 76 450242

At the publishers

Success for businesses large and small Manufacturing in Coventry and Warwickshire is thriving – and it’s not just major companies such as Jaguar Land Rover that are seeing the benefit. That’s the key finding of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) which it produces in partnership with Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team. The survey feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national QES and is used as a barometer for the whole economy. Business confidence among manufacturers across Coventry and Warwickshire rose to a remarkable 82.9 – up by 6.9 points from the first quarter of 2016. In the service sector it dropped by 3.2 points to 75.6 but that is still way above the balance score of 50 which would mean there were an equal number of companies believing the economy was going to better or worse. In manufacturing, companies are reporting rising orders domestically

(up to a score of 69.9 from 61.3) and in exports (from 67.5 to 70.2) in the past quarter. Domestic orders fell slightly in the service sector but held up better when it came to exports. Dave Ayton-Hill, who heads Warwickshire County Council’s Economy and Skills team, said Brexit and the resulting fall in the pound had impacted on the regional economy. He said: “The depreciation of the pound appears to be pulling the economy in two directions. On the one hand, businesses in the manufacturing sector are seeing strong growth both from overseas markets and on domestic orders. “Those domestic orders could be increasing because their clients are seeing an upturn in exports. “The service sector does, however, appear to be feeling the pinch slightly as price inflation is pushing past income growth and, therefore, reducing the spending power of consumers.

“The overall economic outlook index for the region is down slightly but is still significantly higher than regional and national comparators which means the Coventry and Warwickshire economy remains strong and buoyant.” Louise said: “With more than 500 responses to this QES, it’s fair to say it’s a very accurate barometer of our regional economy. “The results make fascinating reading and it’s great to see that manufacturing is growing in this area and is confident about its ability to grow in the future. “The likes of Jaguar Land Rover are a big part of that but what we are seeing is many other manufacturers thriving in our area and growing their order books.”


Ian Fletcher

Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ T: 0151 236 4141

Advertising Contact Karen Hall T: 07801 788880 Production Manager Mark Etherington Accounts Director Joanne Casey Media Number 1498 © Benham Publishing 2017 C&W in Business is produced on behalf of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce by Benham Publishing Limited and is distributed to members free of charge. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in C&W in Business, neither Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, nor the publisher can accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber.

The official publication of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Easy trade with EU crucial for businesses Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire are urging the Government to find a Brexit settlement that will help them trade with the EU easily. The British Chambers of Commerce has been surveying its members across the UK and companies in the West Midlands have said they are reticent to rely on WTO rules after the exit from the EU. Just four per cent said they were happy to rely on WTO rules following Brexit – 47 per cent want to stay in the Customs Union and the Single Market, 23 per cent want to stay in the Customs Union alone and 17 per cent want to stay in the Single Market.

Forty-three per cent of companies would like to see a three year transition period to help them ‘find their feet’ after Brexit, while 16 per cent of businesses wanted longer than three years – only 24 per cent would be happy with no transition period. Martyne Manning, the policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We launched a Brexit Club at the turn of the year to help advise businesses and to also hear their concerns. “We have heard individual stories of how Brexit could affect companies across the patch depending on the final deal but it has been good to take a view from firms right across the region.

“There isn’t consensus on the exact detail of what business wants but it is absolutely clear that they need to be able to trade freely and easily with the EU during the Brexit process, in any transition period afterwards and beyond. “These are the messages that we are taking to Government and data such as this helps to strengthen our voice when it comes to this issue. “It’s the biggest issue that businesses face across Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider region and, therefore, it’s vital that they are heard.”

Sponsor is named for conference Coventry and Warwickshire’s largest economic conference has a new sponsor. WCG Apprenticeships (part of Warwickshire College Group) is sponsoring the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Conference which will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon on Friday, November 3. The group includes seven Further Education colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, delivering a range of courses right up to degree level as well as a whole host of apprenticeships. Peter Allen, Director of Marketing and Communications at WCG, said engagement with business was vital for the group.

He said: “We are one of the largest college deliverers of apprenticeships across the region and we pride ourselves on the fact that we equip our students with the necessary skills to make them ready for the world of work. “In order to do that, we have to engage with businesses at all levels and be part of the conversation when they are talking about people being work-ready with the right soft and hard skills. “If businesses want us to do things differently, we will listen and incorporate what they need in the training we offer. “There is no bigger business conversation in the region than the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Conference and that is why we have decided to sponsor the event this year.

“There is no bigger business conversation in the region than the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Conference and that is why we have decided to sponsor the event this year.”

“It attracts hundreds of businesses as well as politicians and other key stakeholders in the region. We believe this is a great opportunity to get our message across and also to listen to what businesses want.” Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have WCG on board as our sponsors for our Economic Conference in November. “Each year we bring together business, civic leaders, politicians and other key stakeholders for what is the largest conference of its type in Coventry and Warwickshire. “We are looking forward to this year’s event in Stratford and no doubt skills and employability will be one of the topics on the agenda.” To book a place at the conference, log onto


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Policy Go for Growth

Top level briefing Around a dozen businesses from Coventry and Warwickshire have been allowed into the inner sanctum of the British economy. The firms from across the area were invited to hear Michael Saunders – a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) – give a lowdown on the economy at a behind-closed-doors session at Coombe Abbey Hotel. Saunders, a former economist at Citigroup, was one of three members of the MPC to vote for a rise in interest rates last month.

Louise Wall, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the session allowed businesses to raise financial issues with Saunders and also to hear his take on the economy. She said: “It was a fascinating session which covered topics such as inflation, currency exchange and Brexit. “It really is a two-way street – the Bank of England is keen to garner intelligence from businesses across the country and obviously hearing the thoughts of such a prominent figure in the UK economy is very valuable and interesting to our members.”

(L to r) Louise Wall, Michael Saunders and David Burton (Chamber of Commerce).


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Chamber Services

For more information on how to utilise this service please call the membership team on 02476 654 321 or email'. 6

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


When disaster strikes, the cloud has a silver lining The fall out of recent cyberbreaches, such as WannaCry, highlight that there are forces at work that can have a serious impact on the IT infrastructure of any business. It’s not only Paul Blore, Managing Director hackers that have at Netmetix the potential to make the lives of IT Managers difficult; from power surges to natural disasters, there are a range of factors that mean robust data backup and disaster recovery (DR) measures are an absolute must for every organisation.

Traditionally, dedicated disaster recovery systems have been used to address the issue. However, for smaller businesses, spending often significant budget on systems they may never need to use, is a difficult expense to swallow. Cloud technology has drastically reduced storage costs and made backing up entire systems much more cost-effective and straightforward. Additionally, a handful of leading cloud providers are building innovative DR capabilities into their services, specifically designed to minimise both cost and disruption for users. The system not only creates backups every 30 seconds, but has a DR function that comes into its own when disaster strikes. If a system fails, the provider automatically allocates alternative computing resources and uses the backups to spin up fully

sponsored column

functional servers, with all of the organisation’s applications and data. The process is completely seamless, meaning that users won’t be aware of any change and there is no disruption to the business. However, unlike a conventional DR solution, where potentially huge amounts of money are tied up in systems that are unlikely ever to be used, a business only pays for the computing resource if and when it actually uses it. Despite a huge increase in IT expenditure across every industry, there is still pressure to spend this efficiently and it is hard to justify ‘what if’ technology such as disaster recovery. However, as leading providers are now working to build DR into their services, the cloud offers an alternative way for businesses to prepare for the worst without the hefty price tag.

Turning 50 and raising money for Mind Reporting Colleagues at energy consultancy FEC Energy based at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire have been cycling around the county and singing their hearts out for mental health charity Mind. Eleven members of staff took part in a 50-mile bike ride that started and finished at Stoneleigh Park. The route took them around four hours and through Hunningham, Grandborough, Harbury, Offchurch and other local Warwickshire villages. Bike ride organiser Jon Swain, Senior Engineer at FEC Energy, said: “Cycling down the Main Avenue at

Stoneleigh Park with our director Andrew Kneeshaw after 53 miles completed and everyone safely back, emphasised for me how much can be achieved when you put your mind to it – great effort!” On the cyclists’ return to Stoneleigh Park, FEC Energy’s 50th anniversary party got under way. Staff members, friends and family, enjoyed a barbecue supplied by Stoneleigh Park’s Farmers Fayre, along with a raffle and games to raise money for Mind. The talented musicians and singers then took to the stage for one night only as the FEC Band to entertain the party-goers.

FEC Energy has a number of other fundraising activities taking place throughout the year for Mind. To support FEC Energy’s fundraising; donations can be made at

Andrew Kneeshaw, director of FEC Energy, said: “It was a relaxed, fun and enjoyable evening with everyone supporting those in the band although we perhaps played a few wrong notes!”

Andrew Kneeshaw, director of FEC Energy, is pictured at the front with cyclists taking part in the charity bike ride.

Howard Tenens teams up with TruTac and CMS

Howard Tenens, the leading logistics specialists, are investing in the latest compliance tools and technology to future-proof their business.

Their logistics division is working with TruTac and CMS Supatrak to implement a programme of upgrades, focused on delivering efficiency improvements for driver and vehicle management. These include combined remote vehicle downloading and telematics for instant analysis of driver and vehicle tacho data, tighter control over agency drivers and increased compliance. Using the software programme, TruControl – from transport software experts TruTac – with driver behaviour monitoring and live tachograph downloading

via CMS Supatrak, Howard Tenens no longer need to manually download vehicle and driver information. Instead, they can access full data on their 400-strong, national fleet at the ‘touch of a button’. National Fleet & Compliance Manager, Richard Philpotts, said: “The remote downloading system facilitated by TruTac and CMS provides a wealth of real-time, accurate information to ensure that no individual cases slip through the net and particularly so regarding agency drivers. In turn, this adds up to greater efficiency and truly effective compliance control.”

Farmers see new developments at college farm first hand Local NFU members visited Moreton Morrell College Farm to see for themselves the new developments which have taken place over the past year. The event, arranged with NFU Warwickshire County Organiser Luke Ryder, saw 25 members visit the new sheep and beef units, and venture out into the fields to see the arable enterprise. The visit was led by Velcourt Farms Director Nick Shorter, Farm Manager Henry Dingle and Head of Agriculture Mike Fairclough with the support of other curriculum staff. The visitors heard how the changes at the 250ha farm followed an extensive

review which was commissioned in light of changes in the sector and to ensure the farm was reflective of current industry best practice. The farm’s focus changed from dairy to sheep, beef and arable, and to bring a stronger commercial approach to the running of the farm, the college partnered with Velcourt - a leading provider of farm management services across the UK and internationally. Henry said: “Our vision is to make the farm as diverse as possible, to give our students as much opportunity to interact and develop different skills in terms of livestock handling, machinery use and looking at the arable side as well.”

Henry Dingle, farm manager, showing guests around

Mike Fairclough, Head of Agriculture said, “We were delighted to welcome so many local NFU members to the farm to show them the changes that we’ve been making over the past year. It’s great to see them so engaged and interested, asking lots of questions and giving us really useful feedback.”

Foreign Income and Gains In recent months HMRC has been seeking to raise awareness of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial information to which over one hundred countries, including the UK, have signed up. Under CRS, overseas financial institutions will be obliged to provide details to HMRC about anyone who holds investments with them and appears to be a UK resident. UK resident individuals must report and pay tax in the UK on their worldwide income and gains, subject to the provisions of any relevant Double Taxation Agreements. Common overseas sources of income held by our clients include bank accounts, land and property, shares in overseas companies and pensions. Where HMRC become aware of undeclared income and gains, the penalties charged can be severe. These penalties can be significantly reduced where individuals come forward without being prompted to do so by HMRC. If you are concerned that your overseas tax affairs may not be in order or would simply like some advice in this area we would be very happy to review your affairs and advise on what action (if any) is required. Individuals wishing to discuss this further should contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas on 02476 257481 or

For more information please visit our website


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Area leads the way on exports

David Myskow (Holiday Inn, Kenilworth), David Bharier, Dave Ayton-Hill, Louise Bennett

Coventry and Warwickshire is responsible for the highest value of exports in the country, outside of London, business leaders have been told. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its latest Business Outlook event with Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to assess how the region is faring and the prospects for growth over the next quarter and into 2018.

The event, held at Kenilworth’s Holiday Inn, attracted more than 100 people from business based across Coventry and Warwickshire – one of the largest economic briefings in the region. The Chamber, alongside WCC, presented analysis on the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) and also heard from David Bharier, business insight manager from the British Chambers of Commerce.

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s QES is now contributed to by more than 500 business people – making it one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind across the country. Dave Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Manager at WCC, said the data is drawn from a good split of manufacturing and service sector organisations. “This quarter we have seen a record number of respondents to the QES, and is firmly established as one of the leading surveys feeding into the national British Chambers of Commerce QES which influences key decision making at the highest level,” he said. “The Coventry & Warwickshire economy remains strong and buoyant, and high levels of business confidence bodes well for the future months. “Business confidence in the region is extremely high, with 73 per cent of manufacturers and 63 per cent of service sector respondents believing their turnover will increase in the next three months.

“Key to our economic performance is our strength in exporting. Coventry and Warwickshire has the largest value of goods exported overseas – £17.8bn last year – of all Local Enterprise Partnership areas in the country, aside from London, with two-thirds of this to non-EU countries.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “With more than 500 responses to this QES, it is a very accurate barometer of our regional economy. “We’re delighted our Business Outlook events are also growing tremendously, and our latest event was one of the largest economic outlook events held in the area. “The feeling within the room was that while we are still very much operating in uncertain times, particularly in regards to Brexit, the majority of businesses in the region are taking a business as usual approach, and this is reflected in the results of the QES.”

The full results can be downloaded here: The next Business Outlook event will take place in September and the next QES survey will go live on the Chamber website soon.

All set for the Expo Businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire are all set for the Chamber’s Business & Trade Expo this September. A preview event was held at the Village Hotel in Coventry to give companies hints and tips on how to make the most of the Expo, which is taking place at Stoneleigh Park on Friday, September 15. Louise Dillon, of Armadillo Social; Maxine Howe, of Identity Studio Limited; and Neil Curtis, of Net Visibility, gave companies a host of ideas to generate more leads both in person at the Expo and on social media. Already, 170 exhibitors have signed up for the event at Stoneleigh, leaving only 30

stands remaining. Hundreds more visitors are expected on the day, making it one of the most popular business expos in the region. Bethany De Thierry, of the Chamber, said: “Louise, Maxine and Neil gave companies some great ideas on how to maximise the Expo for their business. “We are all looking forward to September 15 and what promises to be another fantastic chance to network, meet new contacts and drive sales.” More information on Business & Trade Expo, which is being sponsored by WarwickNet, is available at

“170 exhibitors have signed up for the event at Stoneleigh, leaving only 30 stands remaining. Hundreds more visitors are expected on the day, making it one of the most popular business expos in the region.“ 8

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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The key to success A director of Birmingham Airport has spoken about how taking control of a situation and making it her own has given her the confidence to succeed as the travel and tourism industry was put under the spotlight at a business networking event. Jo Lloyd, commercial director at Birmingham Airport, gave delegates an insight into her career at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Business is Good for Women event, held at Twycross Zoo. She spoke about her journey from being responsible for 150 people while working for French resort operator Pierre et Vacances at the age of just 23 to looking after more than 50 per cent of Birmingham Airport’s income in her current position. Jo, who has also worked for London Luton Airport as well as Crystal Holidays, Specialist Holiday Group and PIT, said that her main priority is passing on her knowledge to others to help them grow and encouraging senior members of her team to do the same. She said: “I’ve had a great time in all of the organisations I have worked for, but I’ve never felt in the minority as there are a lot of women who work in travel and tourism. “I joined Birmingham Airport as marketing director before being appointed commercial director, and looking after 50 per cent of the airport’s income means there is a lot of expectation.

Victoria Emery, from HSBC Bank; Sharon Redrobe, CEO of Twycross Zo; Jo Lloyd, commercial director at Birmingham Airport; Julie De Thierry, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce; Colonel Rosie Stone, from West Midland Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association and Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England.

“When I first walked into the board room I found it quite an intimidating environment – there is quite often more than 20 people sitting around the board room table and I am the only female director. “I have found that you need to take control of the situation and make it your own. Preparation is key, and you need to set out your stall and be confident.” Other speakers at the event included Dr Sharon Redrobe, CEO of Twycross Zoo, who spoke about the importance of balance and speaking out against unconscious bias and Helen Peters,

Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, who gave delegates her three tips for success – taking opportunities, stepping up in a crisis and supporting each other. The event was sponsored by the West Midland Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association and HSBC Coventry. Julie De Thierry, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We had three incredibly interesting speakers, all from the travel and tourism industry, and each demonstrated that confidence is key to success in business.”

Take advantage of tax free allowances There are now several allowances that apply to an individual’s income. It is possible to potentially receive £22,500 of tax free income for 2017/2018. How is this possible? For 2017/2018, the personal allowance rose to £11,500. The personal savings allowance is available up to £1,000 and the savings starter rate can be up to £5,000. Then there is the dividend allowance which is available, and is currently £5,000. Because of the way these allowances interact, there is a hypothetical maximum of £22,500 tax free available.

Savings Starting Rate This is a nil rate band of up to £5,000 for savings income such as interest. How much of this nil rate band that is available will depend on your non savings income. If an individual’s non savings income is above £11,500, the excess is deducted from the £5,000 until it is reduced to nothing. So non savings income of £16,500 will mean that none of this allowance is available. Dividends are regarded as non savings income.

Personal Savings Allowance This allowance is available to basic rate and higher rate taxpayers only, and is set at £1,000 or £500 respectively.

The Planning Opportunity Many individuals will not be able to do very much to take advantage. The ideal scenario is for owned managed companies where a director shareholder has flexibility over their remuneration strategy. They will have loaned money to the company to provide working capital and in return receive interest at a commercial rate.


“We had three incredibly interesting speakers, all from the travel and tourism industry, and each demonstrated that confidence is key to success in business.”

The ideal scenario is achieved by taking a salary of £11,500, interest of £6,000 and a dividend of £5,000 all from the individual’s limited company. There is no income tax payable but there will be some employees and employers NIC on the salary. The company will achieve corporation tax relief on the salary, interest and the employees and employers NIC payable.

If you wish to discuss this planning opportunity further, please contact Brian King on 02476 221 046 or e-mail


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Corporate Profiles

Saville Audio Visual – C&W Chamber profile design and production, digital event services, AV equipment rental and venue support. Benefiting from an unrivalled level of experience in staging and producing events, the team is committed to offering solutions which exceed client expectation, and ensure live events run effectively and meet even the most stringent requirements. Boasting one of the industry’s largest equipment rental inventories, Saville is committed to investing in the latest equipment technologies and this, coupled with the launch of a specialist digital events division in 2012, has helped the company stay at the forefront of evolving client requirements.

AV/IT Systems

The complete Audio Visual partner Leaders in the industry for more than 40 years, Saville Audio Visual is one of the UK's most experienced and innovative providers of AV products, integrated AV/IT systems, unified communications technology and conference and live events production services. Located on Swallowgate Business Park, Saville Audio Visual has been situated in Coventry for over 15 years and thanks to

its respected industry-wide reputation, has secured recurring contracts with leading organisations including UK Sport, Coventry Building Society, Coventry City Council and Carillion PLC.

Conference & Live Events With over 100 specialists based across the country, Saville’s conferencing and live events division focuses on technical event

Set Yourself Free!

As one of the UK’s leading audio visual integrators, Saville also provides bespoke AV/IT solutions for a diverse client base across the corporate, education, healthcare and public sectors. As a unified communications specialist, Saville designs, builds and installs projection and display solutions, videoconferencing and telepresence environments, interactive technologies, digital signage networks as well as a complete range of custom audio visual furniture. In addition, Saville is a reseller for all major equipment brands and a fully accredited key partner for the world’s

How many times have you been tied to your desk waiting for an important phone call, when you really need to be out and about developing your business? Imagine the freedom you and your team could enjoy if you could answer your phones whenever and wherever you are as if you were in the office. Is it time to switch to VOIP? VOIP has been around for over 10 years and has become the number one choice for businesses who want to stay ahead of the game. A VOIP phone system opens-up a world of opportunities for your business: • The end of phone bills and the nasty surprises at the end of the month with all your UK phones calls, to both landlines and mobiles, included in your monthly fee. • The flexibility to work from anywhere; to be mobile and work seamlessly as if you are part of the office, be it out on the road, on a beach in the Maldives or in the rainforests of the Amazon, all you need is an internet connection. • Connect all your devices seamlessly; mobiles, tablets, desktops. Unify all your communication channels, perfect for employees out on the road.

leading communication manufacturers including Polycom, Cisco, Microsoft and Logitech. Saville integrated, interactive and collaborative solutions are to be found in many leading Midlands-based organisations including Coventry University and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

New look Saville 2017 has been a year of change for Saville, following the retirement of chairman and managing director John Sills after nearly 50 years at the helm, a management buyout has seen Colin Nixey and Andy Dyson pick up the reins as joint managing directors. Additional directorship appointments for Ann Pickard, Colin Etchells and Graham Carling – all of whom have held senior management roles within the business for many years, bringing significant experience and expertise to the board. This together with the continued expansion of its service offering, as well as a firm commitment of ongoing investment in its people, equipment and industry partnerships, looks set to support the company’s ambitious growth plan. Saville Audio Visual’s conference & live events division is also the AV partner for the Chamber’s Annual Business & Economic Conference taking place on November 3.

• Empower your employees and provide opportunities for more flexible working. The balance between work and life is more important than ever, with VOIP your employees can work from home as if they are at the end of their extension number. 13.7% of workforce is working from home, up by 12% from 2005. or 30% feeling that their productivity increased when they work away from the office • Future proof your business infrastructure, a VOIP phone system easily adapts to your business’ needs Discover more about VOIP and how it will improve your business by booking a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with your local VOIP experts, HBT Communications. HBT Communications is a family business based in Coventry, we specialise in implementing VOIP systems for SME’s across Coventry. Email to find out more.

Brand new training Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Corporate member and brand consultancy Glued has diversified into training and development. Commonly associated with design and marketing, Glued’s ability to relate those to the culture of an organisation has led them to gain experience in running workshops. Firstly, these were part of investigation and testing for clients. The workshops were re-worked as interactively creative events for both Aston University and the University of Worcester. Positive feedback from these more public ventures gave Glued the confidence to offer them to the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as a way for small and medium enterprises to develop their own unique propositions. Documented feedback and the involvement of stakeholders in the workshops has eant Glued are now delivering their workshops to: Coventry and Warwickshire


Chamber, Business Ready (a University of Warwickshire Science Park / Warwickshire County Council / European Regional Development Fund initiative) and the Chartered Institute of Professional Development Small Business Interest Group). The workshops provide attendees with a basis on which to develop their own unique proposition. For Glued they are a way of making new contacts, achieving awareness, occasionally generating income but they are always fulfilling and educational. David Wilson, Director, Glued, said: “We’re used to working in small teams to develop creative ideas so not only is this a departure for us it is also a bit scary. For all we may gain from it, the best is that the attendees learn something new and so do we every time.” Glued will be providing a taster session at the forthcoming Stratford Business Show, The ArtsHouse, 5th October.

David Wilson and Rob Harrison facilitating a workshop at The Ramada Hotel, Earlsdon

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

International Trade

sponsored column

GP’s health warning to exporters “Until now, British exporters have concentrated their efforts largely on the European market and executives travelling there usually rely on holding a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get medical support in the country they are visiting. But now the search for new, non-EU customers is likely to take exporters to more exotic climes where there may be a greater risks to health and little or no free state-provided healthcare.”

Dr Peter John

As British businesses square up to the challenge of exporting to new markets, a GP practice in Leamington is urging bosses to make sure the health of their staff is property protected when heading to exotic locations. Dr Peter John, of TFJ Private GP Services, who has worked as a voluntary GP for organised tours while travelling in Africa, said: “The drive to find new export markets is likely to take salespeople to less familiar parts of the world.

Dr John advises: Get destination-specific advice: Read the latest health and safety advice for the country you're visiting on the Foreign Office website and at Find out if you need vaccines to travel and make sure your existing vaccinations are up-to-date. If diseases such as malaria are a risk, you may need to start preventative treatment before travelling. Remember your medication: If you are travelling with prescription drugs, make sure they are in their original packaging and that you have enough to last the length of your stay. Take a copy of a recent prescription with you to prove to the authorities abroad that you are entitled to carry them.

Prepare a kit of travel health essentials: This should include painkillers and antiseptic. The NHS website has a useful list at travelhealth/Pages/Travelhealthkit.aspx. And don’t forget the sunscreen—a business suit doesn’t protect your face! When choosing sunscreen, it should provide least four-star UVA protection and at least SPF15 against UVB. Deep vein thrombosis: If you think you may be at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis while travelling by air, seek advice from a GP. On long-haul flights, wear support hosiery and get up from your seat to walk around and stretch your legs whenever you can. Drink regularly, but avoid alcohol, and wear loose, comfortable clothes. Jet lag: Jet lag is worse when you move from west to east because the body finds it harder to adapt to a shorter day than a longer one. Make allowance for this when timetabling business meetings. Travellers who take medication according to a strict timetable, such as insulin or oral contraceptives, should seek medical advice from a health professional before their journey. Travel insurance: Make sure your policy covers your destination, the duration of your stay, and provides for emergency repatriation to the UK.

International travel risk solutions As businesses grow, either nationally or internationally, it becomes increasingly important that they are protected from a greater exposure to risk. However, without an inhouse capability, identifying and mitigating the real risks facing any business, has traditionally been expensive at best and can sometimes result in unnecessary work. Because of this, SI Risk Ltd has just launched a service that is designed to help navigate the confusing world of security risk management. With extensive experience in enabling secure business by being transparent and supportive, we completely based our TASC24 service around being part of your extended team. The essence of the service is simple, its all about giving you fair and accurate advice with a fixed price tag. After working within large scale professional services consultancies, we realised that a lot of costs were placed on organisations just getting shown a risk product or integrating it. We also saw that most advice given would be generic and wouldn’t necessarily consider any current processes or individual client needs.

Whilst our advice is valuable, we didn’t see why those costs couldn’t be fixed and allow any organisation to look at their exposure to: • Cyber Risk • Information Security • Business Continuity & Resilience • Physical & Personnel Security • Travel Risk Management

“Businesses are already seeing greater press coverage about cyber risk and information security, due to the new General Data Protection Regulation and ransomware, but can often be unaware of their legal obligations or regulatory/financial exposure in other areas.”

Businesses are already seeing greater press coverage about cyber risk and information security, due to the new General Data Protection Regulation and ransomware, but can often be unaware of their legal obligations or regulatory/financial exposure in other areas. Through allowing businesses to understand where their risks lie, advise them on appropriate mitigation and provide expert support/management for any projects identified, we believe that we can bring transparency and a significant return on investment without large initial costs. All our support allows you to concentrate on the most important thing, growing your business securely and supporting your clients and staff safely.

As we approach Quarter 4, are you on target?

As we approach the final quarter, does it look like it will your best year ever? If yes, what needs ramping up to exceed your goal. If not, what needs to change? If you are still doing business like you did years ago, you are probably discovering that the same customers, project types, operational systems and processes will not deliver the results you want. Companies that use new work opportunities to improve how they do business are becoming the new leaders in performance and results. When was the last time you assessed the following areas of business to learn where there is room for improvement? 1. What works well in our company currently? 2. What doesn't work, needs to improve or needs to be fixed? 3. What is the biggest challenge you face doing your job? 4. What are your ideas to improve the following? • Long Sales Cycle, seems to take forever to close business • Not meeting sales goals • Only 20% of sales team hitting quota • Presenting/Proposals: giving away knowledge – Free consulting • Accountability and responsibility • Your performance Often improvements are related to sales teams, they are often talented but they aren’t in front of enough new prospects, if you recognise this then our business leaders workshop at Hogarth's Luxury Hotel, Dorridge, Solihull on Tuesday 24 October, 9.30am – 12pm (2 ½ hours) may be the opportunity to explore new thinking. To book your place call Neil Liddell on 0845 0573 563. ••• Written by Neil Liddell of Sandler Training. Providers of Sales and Management Training E: T: 0845 0573563 M: 07547 227442 •••

For more information go to


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Corporate Profiles

Venue proves increasingly popular

The NAEC Stoneleigh is reaping the benefits of a three-year, multi-million pound refurbishment scheme as an increasing number of blue chip and high street brands choose to stage their events at the venue.

Host venue for the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Expo, the NAEC Stoneleigh has undergone a series of technical and structural improvements in recent years to enhance its client and visitor experience.

This has resulted in brands including Joules, The National Wedding Show and Wyevale holding large-scale events at the exhibition and conference venue, based at Stoneleigh Park. The NAEC Stoneleigh is situated within 800 acres, with more than 21,000 squaremetres of indoor space. The largest of these spaces, Hall 2, can comfortably accommodate 3,000 people. The venue can cater for anything from small meetings to large conferences and exhibitions as well as outdoor events. Sales Director Ben Baseley said the investments made across the site have really paid off, and this has been reflected in the feedback received from clients. He said: “The response from clients both new and old has been incredibly rewarding. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, our personal service and a truly can-do attitude, and now we have the facilities to match our staff. “We have a rare – perhaps unmatched – combination of indoor and outdoor space

which gives a natural flexibility. So naturally we take the same approach to our business. “From a meeting for 10 people to an exhibition for 30,000 visitors, we have the facilities and staff to make clients’ plans a reality.” A portfolio of NAEC Stoneleigh-produced and branded events is also in development. The NAEC Stoneleigh Winter Fair was the first of these and was a resounding success last year. The fair is set to return again for 2017, and there will also be two Arabian Nights themed Christmas parties in December. NAEC Stoneleigh is a corporate member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Ben added: “The service that Hazel Pilling and her colleagues supply is excellent. We have increased our network of local businesses considerably since signing up and expect this to continue.”

Warwicknet welcomes new Director to drive growth Leading internet service provider for business WarwickNet has appointed a new Director of Sales and Marketing, as it looks to accelerate ambitious growth plans following its acquisition by CableCom Networking Group. James Warner, 29, has joined WarwickNet as part of the company’s plans to invest in the delivery of fibre infrastructure to business, science and industrial parks nationally. The expansion will see it increase its offering from 180 to 750 sites nationwide over the next 12 to 18 months. James has previously held Head of Sales roles at Eclipse and then KCOM, having started his career as Business Development Manager with Eclipse seven years ago. He said: “Potential, a huge opportunity for the business and our customers is what excited me the most. WarwickNet has identified a real gap in the market to help struggling businesses gain access to faster

more reliable internet services by deploying its own fibre infrastructure, targeting poorly connected business parks; it is a truly different thing that the business has established.” Founded by Ben King in 2008, WarwickNet is one of only five internet service providers (ISPs) across the country to be deploying Passive Infrastructure Access (PIA) commercially, allowing it to build its own infrastructure faster and more efficiently. Since 2011, WarwickNet has transformed its customer base from 36 businesses to more than 1,500, connecting more than 180 sites across the Midlands, Surrey and Berkshire. The deal with CableCom Networking Group, a group of companies specialising in broadband, market trends/insight and utilities for the student and residential markets, will help both firms achieve their ambitions of diversifying and expanding their offer, as well as allowing WarwickNet to

significantly scale the development of its infrastructure build programme. James said the plans to grow WarwickNet are focused on three key areas: • To continue to support SMEs in locations where the company has a physical infrastructure, and develop this on a larger scale nationally. • To open up our infrastructure to allow other ISPs and ICT resellers to offer services underpinned by the WarwickNet network. • To work with larger enterprises on a national scale, such as multi-site businesses, in taking advantage of faster more reliable network. He said: “Having worked for a business the size of KCOM, I can help us ensure we don’t fall into the trap of trying to be too big, too soon. It’s about the balance between small and big business, and applying those principles to a business which is slightly earlier on in its journey.”

WarwickNet’s new director of sales and marketing, James Warner

Growth on the agenda as agency celebrates anniversary

Glenn Clark, Director of Unitemps

A recruitment agency is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is looking ahead to future growth.


Unitemps, based at the University of Warwick, is marking 20 years of providing work opportunities on campus and in local businesses for students, recent graduates and the wider community. The company was launched in 1997 by the University of Warwick to meet a temporary staffing need. Rather than using an external recruitment agency, the university set up an in-house agency to both fill the positions and give students the opportunity to learn new skills and gain experiences that would enhance their employability prospects upon graduating. Unitemps has since expanded to fill both temporary and permanent job vacancies in the university as well as within local businesses. Companies using the agency benefit from competitive fees with all of the profits going back into the university.

In 1998 Unitemps began franchising to other universities and now has 13 branches across the UK and two in Australia, with further branches scheduled to open in the next year. Glenn Clark, Director of Unitemps, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating our 20th anniversary. We have grown considerably over the years and hope to continue this success going forward. “We are a recruitment agency with a difference as none of our staff work on commission. We are driven purely by finding the right candidates for our clients, which is a huge benefit to businesses and candidates using our services. “Our candidates are not just students looking for work experience or part time positions, we also have a lot of candidates who are looking to build careers. “We work closely with sectors across the region such as hospitality, catering and admin, and specialise in translation, thanks

to the amount of international students we have within the Unitemps network, to name a few. “We are able to support members of the local community who are looking for jobs as well as businesses who are looking for high-calibre staff members.” Unitemps is a corporate member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and is looking to connect with more businesses across the area for mutual benefit. Glenn added: “People can sometimes misunderstand what we do, believing that we only advertise university jobs to students, however this is not the case. “As a corporate member of the Chamber, we look forward to meeting with businesses and showcasing the services we offer.” Further information can be found at or by emailing

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Corporate Profiles

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) is one of the largest further and higher education colleges in the UK. With unique colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, including Moreton Morrell College with its long history of land-based teaching, Pershore College with its status as a Centre of Excellence for Horticulture and Warwick Trident College where Jaguar Land Rover and BT Fleet apprentices are taught, it aims to deliver learning experiences which lead to the development of wider skill bases and improved destinations for all of its students. WCG’s recent Ofsted inspection highlights its success and strong focus both on students and on meeting industry needs. It is also one of only five colleges in the UK to be granted Foundation Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council – meaning its higher education quality and standards are equal to any university. It has approximately 15,000 students across seven colleges; 1500 staff and a turnover of more than £47 million. Its other colleges are Rugby College, Evesham College, Malvern Hills College and Royal Leamington Spa College.

WCG believe it's not just about the vital qualifications and knowledge a student needs to get ahead, but also the transferable skills that their future employers expect. So WCG develop an entrepreneurial mindset by instilling enterprise and innovation skills and behaviours which help its students and their employers achieve and maintain success in a competitive world. The group offers all of the above in a supportive, friendly, high-quality and technologically-driven environment and its results speak for themselves. Student success rates and A-level results are at an all-time high of 98%, with students progressing onto a wide range of careers with globally recognised brands, and many students have also set up their own businesses and enterprise projects. Its apprenticeship success rates are 9% above the national average at 76%. WCG work with over 1,100 employers across the Midlands and nationally and is currently training over 2,500 apprentices so it has excellent knowledge and experience in delivering the best solutions for business and for students and employees. Its Work Based Learning team work closely with SMEs and larger organisations to understand their needs, challenges and

aspirations and then create bespoke solutions to support these; whether that’s by taking on new apprentice talent or by using the apprenticeship levy and new standards to develop existing staff into leadership roles while retaining all of their knowledge. WCG understands that the coming years will be particularly challenging for businesses in this region but believe that there are also great opportunities. So the group has made it its mission to ensure that every business is aware of the support available and to help them make the best use of these opportunities to secure their success for the future. WCG is committed to working with local and regional communities to provide the training and skills that will secure the future success of the local economy and local people.

Stepnell tees off on £6.6m Cotswolds Golf Club redevelopment

Artist’s impression showing the new hotel at Feldon Valley Golf Club. Image courtesy of Design Engine Architects.

Construction is under way by contractor Stepnell on a £6.6 million redevelopment programme at Feldon Valley Golf Club at Lower Brailes, near Shipston-on-Stour.

Nestled in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, the 18-hole course is situated in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The project, designed by Design Engine Architects, involves the extension and remodelling of the existing club house, and the construction of a small, 13-bedroom hotel as well as four woodland lodges. The transformation of the clubhouse building includes the redesign of the interior layout and the creation of enhanced external terraces overlooking the course, allowing members and guests to fully enjoy the course’s stunning location. The new two-storey hotel and singlestorey lodges – linked by an elevated boarded walkway - are sensitively sited in an idyllic woodland setting and will provide rooms for up to 60 guests, allowing the club

to provide overnight accommodation and attract a greater number of visitors. The new facilities are set for completion in summer 2018. High-quality, naturally weathering materials are being used for the new buildings to ensure that the development is fully in keeping with the attractive countryside setting in the AONB. The programme of work also includes increased car parking. Stepnell construction director Bill Haynes said: “This major redevelopment is set to transform the facilities available at the Feldon Valley Golf Club, making the most of its amazing location, enhancing the clubhouse and creating contemporary, architecturally interesting, state-of-the-art accommodation for members and visitors.”

Anniversary is marked by record turnover A Warwickshire-based construction company is celebrating a record turnover as it reaches its 150th year. Stepnell, which is headquartered in Rugby, has achieved a turnover of £128 million for the past year. The privately owned family-run business, now in its fifth generation, was established in 1867 and offers a complete construction and civil engineering service. It is headed up by cousins Tom Wakeford and Mark Wakeford, who operate as joint managing directors of the firm, with other family members Peter and Richard holding director positions. The company employs over 380 staff, with five regional offices across central and southern England – including Rugby, Nottingham, Poole, Wantage and Kidderminster. Stepnell is also expecting to start a multi-million pound redevelopment of ts Rugby headquarters in the next 12 months, having achieved outline planning permission for the development. The business has a commitment to developing young talent, targeting at least 10 per cent of its employees each year to be trainees or apprentices.

Tom Wakeford, joint managing director at Stepnell, said: “We’re delighted that after 150 years we are still going so strong and have been able to record a new high turnover. “Our business growth has been about people, ensuring we bring in the right staff, making sure we grow at the right speed and work with the right clients in doing so. “Our clients enjoy working with a contractor that they can engage with early in the process. We aren’t just an organisation that puts brick on brick, we add value throughout the whole project lifecycle. “We’re always on the look-out for partner organisations, who want to be a part of what we’re doing going forwards. “We pride ourselves on employing trainees and apprentices, investing in their future. The aim is to be connected to local schools and universities so we can bring youngsters through the system, because they are our future!” Stepnell is a corporate member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the board believes it is a crucial avenue to gain insight from other

industry organisations in the current economic climate. “We are a long term business in this region and we want to be a part of the business community; being corporate members of the Chamber allows us to do that,” added Tom. “The Chamber provides a great forum to talk about the shared issues - like Brexit that business has at the moment; to hear what is holding certain businesses back. “It gives a good opportunity to talk to other organisations, in other industries, both big and small, about their own views on the future.”

Tom Wakeford, joint managing director at Stepnell

IP Tip of the Month: Rolls Royce designs Rolls Royce is an iconic British car and engine manufacturer, founded by Charles Rolls and Frederick Royce in 1904. Mr Royce had already begun to manufacture cars and Mr Rolls owned a motorcar dealership, and together they set out to make the “best car in the world”. The onset of the First World War took the fledgling company into aero engine manufacture, and the Rolls Royce “Eagle” of 1915 was the first engine used in a non-stop trans-Atlantic crossing in June 1919. From the very early days, Rolls Royce protected their intellectual property using patents, trade marks and registered designs. In particular, registered designs have been used not only to protect the iconic shape of a Rolls Royce automobile, as shown in US design patent 353,351 filed in 1990, but also to protect their other products, such as the casing for a motor shown in Community registered design 001952151, filed in 2011 and even the graphical user interface protected by Community registered design 002519868, filed in 2014. Registered designs can be used to protect the appearance of the whole, or a part of, a product, resulting from the features of the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture or materials of the product, or its ornamentation. A “product” is defined as any industrial or handicraft item, other than a computer program. This can include packaging, graphic symbols, typographic typefaces and even parts intended to be assembled into a more complex product. Registered designs are often used to protect products which might not fall within the scope of a patent, or which have too short a life span for patent protection to be viable. Although often associated with the fashion industry, registered designs are in fact widely used to provide protection of up to 25 years for more “technical” products, such as the motor casing and GUI shown above. To find out more about how you can use registered designs to protect your products around the world, contact Marks & Clerk. person


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Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

Young Chamber ‘Bridging the Gap’

Apprenticeship & Career Advice Open Day The team at C&W Chamber of Commerce Training (CWCT) recently hosted an Apprenticeship & Career Advice Open Day at their training centre, Commerce House in Coventry. Following GCSE results day on 24th August 2017, the Open Day was perfectly timed to help school leavers who have recently left school and wanted to discuss their future options. The event was an opportunity for them to drop in and find out about Apprenticeship jobs, funded training courses and career opportunities.

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training is proud of its commitment to nurturing future talent bringing together young people and local business to provide meaningful insights into business, careers and the exciting range of employment opportunities that exist across the locality. By accessing the Young Chamber service, schools can source activities that are designed to develop young people’s understanding of the skills that employers look for in their future workforce. The Young Chamber offers students the opportunity to gain support from local businesses through a variety of means such as mentoring, business enterprise events, interview techniques and CV development workshops. Commenting on their uniquely placed connection to education with business, Jan Ryan, Operations Director said: “The Young Chamber programme is designed to ‘Bridge the Gap’ for schools to business. The service has proven to be very popular as we have been inundated with requests for support this year. “We have a range of businesses with a wealth of expertise whose support is invaluable going into schools to play their part in developing young people’s

A group of students from Barrs Hill School in Coventry attended CWCT in Coventry to hear about further education opportunities, including Apprenticeships and Higher Education.

understanding of careers and employment. Employers meet up with interested young people to talk about their industry knowledge and experience, providing them with a realistic view into the world of work informing future career decision making.” Some recent activities include providing mock interviewers with a range of employers from JLR, TNT, Wright Hassall, RSPCA, Costco and Domestic and General to name a few.

Apprenticeships Conveying Success Commenting on how the apprentices have helped Index Property Information to flourish, Kate said: “Obtaining the right person and support is a difficult task as my preference is to hire staff with the right values rather than purely on their skillset. Kate at CWCT managed to source some great candidates for me and I have found that the Business Administration Apprenticeship offers a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable work experience, an exciting job and training support from CWCT which is invaluable.

This year’s GCSE results introduced the 9-1 grading system for English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. Find out more at: news-and-media/news/gcses-newgrading-9-1/ At CWCT we offer high quality advice and guidance to help school leavers move on in the world of work as they take your first steps on the career ladder. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain new skills and nationally recognised qualifications whilst earning a salary and building invaluable work experience. If you are interested in employing an Apprentice or know a young person who missed our Open Day and would like to discuss their future options, please contact our Recruitment Team on 02476 231 122,


Other projects also included an Enterprise Day at North Leamington School and Barrs Hill School were invited to CWCT’s training centre at Commerce House in Coventry to hear about further education opportunities including Apprenticeships and Higher Education. To find out more or to discuss activities in more details please contact our Business Development Team on 02476 231 122 or

Kate Bould, MD at Index West Midlands at Index Property Information is shown next to Kate Glazzard from CWCT including the Apprentices

A Kenilworth-based Property Search and Conveyancing Solutions firm has taken on five Business Administration Apprentices with training support from Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training (CWCT). All five apprentices are based at Index Property Information which is part of a group of 22 offices across England and Wales. Kate Bould, MD at Index West Midlands returned from California, where she held

her real estate license and ran an award winning office, to work at Index Property Information as a Partner covering Leamington Spa and Coventry. In her first year back in the UK, she was awarded Banbury Woman In Business and also became a sponsor for the Warwickshire Law Society. Index Property Information recently moved from the High Street, in Kenilworth to another location to enable the growth to continue.

“All of the apprentices at Index Property Information have a willingness and ability to learn. Their energy and enthusiasm is fantastic as they are learning all aspects of the business so they can interact and cover each other’s workload when required. We offer a fast turnaround too as part of our personalised service. We recently returned a report in just 57 seconds which offers great service for those urgent searches. We are an extension of solicitors’ conveyancing teams and very much value a ‘relationship’ with our clients.” The apprentices are Matthew Wyatt, Hugh Bartlett, Jayne Rose, Lydia Woodhall and David Wright. They are all at various stages of studying Levels 2 and 3 Business Administration and are keen to progress and develop within Index Property Information, with some now continuing onto degree levels.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Business Support

How to take advantage of opportunities Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on the support available for established businesses and for those starting up under the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils. Helena said: “The Chamber can Helena Bassett, Julie De Thierry and Arpinder Bansi with MP Craig Tracey offer support in a whole host of ways and it’s important that we Companies in North Warwickshire have continue to get that message out there. been told how they can benefit from grant “One of the topics we touched upon was and business support to help drive their the grant support that’s on offer to companies growth plans. of all sizes and sectors. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of “Of course, we have to caveat that by saying Commerce held a networking event at that there are always criteria to be met and Atherstone Golf Club where firms of all sizes terms and conditions to adhere to, but if and sectors got the chance to discuss potential businesses are investing in their growth, business opportunities with one another. there is very often help available. The event was teed off by MP Craig Tracey “In the past 12 months, we’ve helped and businesses also heard from Helena Bassett companies access grants on everything from and Arpinder Bansi, of the Coventry and extensions and fit outs through to new

machinery and equipment to help them grow. We’ve also helped several businesses access grants of up to £50,000 towards the costs of new premises. “Further to that, businesses can benefit from one-to-one coaching through to help with business planning in order to aid their growth – they just need to ask. “Support is there for established companies that want to grow but Arpinder also outlined the help that’s available to individuals who want to start their own business from scratch or those businesses in their first year of trading.” Craig Tracey said it was vital the companies made use of the help on offer. He said: “It’s great to hear that the support is available and that it’s for start-up and established companies. “Once companies get started, it’s very important that they are given the help they need to scale up so they can make an even greater contribution to the economy and, hopefully, become the big businesses of the future.” For more information on support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce call 024 7665 4321 option Business Support, email or log onto

Restaurant succeeds with a little help from its friends A critically-acclaimed restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon says the business support it has received has been a key ingredient in its recipe for success. Salt has been praised in The Good Food Guide Editors’ Awards and named Best New Entry for 2017, with a cooking score of five. The fine-dining restaurant was opened earlier this year by Paul and Rhiain Foster, after Paul left his role as Head Chef at Mallory Court Hotel. The restauranteur couple ran a successful £100,000 crowd-funding campaign to open the eatery, and also received free help and advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce through the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme. Based on Church Street, the restaurant specialises in serving Modern-British food in a relaxed fine-dining atmosphere to the highest standard of cooking. Paul, who started out as a trainee chef at Henley College Coventry, has extensive experience as a chef in Michelin Star restaurants and Rhiain has a background in business, with a degree from Coventry University.

The pair decided to open the restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon after identifying a gap in the fine-dining scene in the area. Rhiain said: “We’ve been open for four months now and it’s going much better than we could have ever imagined, it was a big step and we have had a lot to learn. “We have lots of ideas long-term, we’ve already discussed opening more restaurants and running a cooking school upstairs in the restaurant. “You can’t learn about business in a book really, you need to talk to people who have actually done it and that’s where the Chamber were so helpful. “We were allocated our mentor Tanya, we’d come up with ideas and she’d be saying similar things which helped us to know we were on track. Having that positive feedback and confirmation gave us the confidence to move forward.” The pair also accessed free marketing and business planning workshops from the Chamber. Tanya King, business coach at the Chamber, said: “The restaurant is already a huge success story. Paul and Rhiain crowdfunded the venture

Paul Foster, Rhiain Foster and Tanya King outside Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon

from the start and took advantage of the free advice they were able to access from us, taking it all on board.” The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils. For more information or to book on to the Business Support programme call the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or log onto

Game proves a success 75 million times over high number of games developers in the area – that they could have landed jobs with existing firms. But after they met the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, they decided to set-up Well Played Games and bring back together the team that previously worked on games such as Angry Birds Transformers, which has been downloaded more than 75 million times and generated more than $20m of revenue. Rich said: “Adam and I had the idea of setting up on our own and discussed it with the rest of the group. We had worked with Helena Bassett at the Chamber previously and decided to get in touch once we knew we wanted to set up in business. “Helena, an adviser at the Chamber, gave us some great advice in getting started and she’s given us some really good opportunities to apply for grant funding. We attended events and really got to grips with the idea of launching on our own. “On top of that, we’ve also spoken to Parminder Hayer in the international trade team and he’s helping us to access key international events to help The team at Well Played Games take us overseas.

The team behind a mobile game that has been downloaded more than 75 million times have launched their own business in Leamington’s ‘Silicon Spa’. Well Played Games has been launched at Pure Offices in Tachbrook Road by colleagues who were all previously at Exient in Leamington. Adam Wells and Rich McClaughry have headed up the establishment of the business but the formation of the company as very much a team effort by colleagues who were all made redundant when the firm scaled back its UK operation after the Brexit vote. Their skills were so in demand – due to the

“The support has been really valuable and I am sure we will tap into it more and more as the business grows.” In its first three months of trading, Well Played Games has turned over £200,000 and is now looking for further investment to help the company grow. Rich added: “We’ve been working with another local developer and we are confident that we can bid for and win new business right across the world because of our track record.” Helena Bassett, a business adviser at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Leamington is popularly known as Silicon Spa because of the range of companies in the games development sector. “The team are developing an exciting company but, like many others in different sectors, they just needed some guidance on business planning and operations – and that’s exactly what we are here for. “The support we have given has helped to create ten, high-end jobs for the area and I wish them every success for the future.” Well Played Games accessed support and advice through the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils.

Where is your classroom? Apprenticeships and traineeships are becoming more and more popular nowadays, challenging not only the way organisations work, but also the way training providers engage with companies and apprentices. The award-winning training provider SCCU has been in the game for seven years now, during which they kept an innovative approach while delivering quality apprenticeships. As all of their apprenticeships are 90% or fully funded by the Government, SCCU has been helping organisation in the West Midlands by either improving staff’s skills or providing new forces of work, tailored after organisational needs. Scott Riddell, the director of SCCU, said: “Employers are now aware that apprentices can bring a new perspective and talent to a company but they need to have the right mindset and skills to do that. “We are trying to make sure that we can provide organisations with the right candidates, modelled after their needs. “The concept behind our framework is simple. We bring you the classroom, equipped with the best students who have been supported by industry expert tutors and you can choose who is going to answer your question.” Faced by so many misconceptions, the apprenticeship industry is going through a changing phase and SCCU’s aim is to reinforce the real values of an apprenticeship. Scott said: “Our aim is to bring everyone together- organisations, schools, people interested in doing an apprenticeship - and inform them about the advantages of joining ‘their classroom”-our concept of a unique learning and working experience.” By the end of this year, the company will also introduce three new apprenticeshipsFinance, Human Resources and Health and Wellbeing, adding to the current 20 apprenticeships which are already offered. “Your classroom can be anywhere- no matter what you are looking for, we’ve got your back,” said Scott, who’s expecting to diversify SCCU’s offering even further in 2018. SCCU has also been working on making the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy easier for the organisations and schools. The legal changes rose many questions on behalf of the employers, but SCCU has been dealing with the inquiries, supporting each organisation throughout the process. “Everything is handled by a Levy account manager within our team, so that the entire process is made easier for the client,” said Scott. As a fellow member of Chamber and Commerce, SCCU is offering a complete free consultancy pack, which includes: • Free LEVY Consultation for all organisations that are still unclear about this change or want to get a better insight of it; • Free Management support of the Digital Apprenticeship Account, where SCCU will be offering a brief tutorial of how to manage a company’s Digital Account; • Free Apprenticeship recruitment service for any company that wishes to take on an apprentice. SCCU will make sure that the employer is taken through each step of the whole process.


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Lodders takes foothold in Birmingham following merger Martin Green (Lodders’ Senior Partner) and Lord Digby Jones

Lord Digby Jones lifts the lid on the workings of British business Lord Digby Jones was guest of honour at an exclusive event hosted by Midlands law firm Lodders, where he spoke of his ‘insider view’ of the workings of British business. Ninety guests attended the event with the House of Lords peer and media personality, at the Alveston Manor Hotel in Stratford upon Avon. During the evening, Lord Jones gave his take on the workings of British business and politics, and spoke about Brexit, climate change and the recent General Election. He also gave his insights into the future direction of British business, hinting that that relations with Asia will become increasingly important in the evolving global economy. After his talk, guests were able to purchase copies of Lord Jones’ new book, ‘Fixing Business’, which raised £1000 of donations for his nominated charity, Ovarian Cancer UK.

Law firm Lodders has merged with one of Birmingham’s leading family and divorce legal practices, adding to its Midlands office network and taking a foothold in the city. Lodders’ merger with Divorce and Family Law Practice (DFLP) in Birmingham’s St Paul’s Square takes immediate effect, with all of its elevenstrong team, headed by partners and co-founders Beverley Morris and Joan Price, moving to the firm. DFLP was launched by Beverley Morris and Joan Price in 2002 and has consistently received top rankings from both Chambers and Legal 500 for its expertise. Lodders’ Martin Green, the firm’s senior partner, says the merger is a ‘perfect fit’ for both firms. He said: “Lodders and DFLP share the same ethos and values, with a focus on providing the very best advice, client care and service. “It is beneficial for Lodders to have a Birmingham office, and this important move is a significant step in our overall business development and growth

L to R - Beverley Morris, Martin Green, Jane Senior and Joan Price.

strategy, and for both firms, the foundation of solid succession planning. This is a fantastic opportunity for the firm, the team and the future.”

“It is beneficial for Lodders to have a Birmingham office, and this important move is a significant step in our overall business development and growth strategy, and for both firms, the foundation of solid succession planning. This is a fantastic opportunity for the firm, the team and the future.”

Beverley Morris said: “Lodders is one of Warwickshire’s pre-eminent private client law firms. We have many shared client relationships and have worked closely with members of Lodders’ team for several years, and know firsthand that the firm understands and supports our ethos, and operates a similarly partner-led and highly personal approach to client service.” Lodders’ matrimonial law specialist Christine Williams, an associate in the firm’s Stratford upon Avon office, joins the new-look family law team. A member of the national organisation of family lawyers, Resolution, she will continue to advise clients on all family law matters from Lodders’ Warwickshire location. Barbara Jordan, previously a partner in Lodders’ Cheltenham family law team, left the firm earlier this year.

Rise in revenue and profits at Wright Hassall Leading Midlands law firm Wright Hassall has announced a rise in revenue and pre-tax profits. The firm’s annual accounts reveal revenue generated in the year to 31 December 2016 has risen by 11.5 per cent to £19.6m – up from £17.6m the previous year. Pre-tax profit at the Leamington based firm also rose to £3.9m from £3.6m in 2015. Wright Hassall has seen a 74 per cent growth in turnover between 2008 and 2016, and a 43 per cent increase in headcount in eight years. The firm now employs around 300 staff, including 115 fee earners and 43 partners. Its achievements over the past 12 months led to Wright Hassall being named the best regional law firm in the UK at The Lawyer Awards 2017 last week. Sarah Perry, Managing Partner at Wright Hassall, said: “We’re pleased to report our latest annual results which show the firm has continued to go from strength to strength – with rises in both revenue and profits.


“Wright Hassall has achieved year-on-year growth in each of the last seven years and we’re pleased the hard work of our team has led to revenue climbing to close to £20m. “In 2016, as part of our growth strategy, we identified three priority sectors on which to focus - housing, agriculture, and advanced manufacturing and engineering. Performance across each sector has been extremely strong and has continued into 2017. “The growth strategy is underpinned by a robust strategic vision which places clients at the heart of the business and

we’re also delighted that our account managed clients achieved a 17 per cent increase in turnover last year. “In 2016, we continued our recruitment drive across the practice, including welcoming eight new partners and a new sales director. Adding these experts to our team has been crucial in continuing the firm’s ambitious growth drive. “We are confident Wright Hassall’s reputation and commitment to service excellence is continuing to grow across the UK and we remain extremely positive for achieving future growth in line with our targets.”

“We are confident Wright Hassall’s reputation and commitment to service excellence is continuing to grow across the UK and we remain extremely positive for achieving future growth in line with our targets.”

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Manufacturing drives economy The recovery of the UK’s manufacturing sector is encouraging for the health of the UK economy. However, as the sector only accounts for a about a tenth of all UK economic output, its resurgence has a marginal effect on the overall growth of the economy, reflected by the 0.2 rise in the overall Output Index.

Richard Rose, Midlands Tax Partner

The continuing recovery of the UK’s manufacturing sector is set to return UK business output to growth, according to the latest Business Trends Report by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP. In the latest report, BDO’s Output Index – which indicates how businesses expect their order books to develop over the next three months – has risen to 95.1 from 94.9 in June, returning above the point of contraction, 95.0. The small increase indicates that output is rising once again, albeit at a very slow speed. The report reveals that the return to output growth has been driven solely by the improving performance of the manufacturing sector as the services sector output continues to contract. BDO’s Manufacturing Output Index increased to 98.6 in July from 97.6 in June, and is rising closer to the long-term growth trend at 100.

BDO’s Services Output Index remained at 94.4 for the second month running, 0.6 below the point of contraction of 95.0. According to ONS figures, the services sector grew 0.5% in Q2 of 2017, but the Services Output Index indicates that order books in the sector are set to shrink in the coming three months, which would leave the growth of the UK economy stuttering towards the end of 2017. BDO’s Optimism Index suggests a more positive outlook for early 2018, particularly for manufacturers. The Optimism Index – which indicates how firms expect their order books to develop in the coming six months – increased to 103.0 in July, from 102.9 in June. Echoing this month’s Output Index, the manufacturing sector is responsible for the increase. The results show that UK Manufacturers are expecting a flurry

of business activity, with its sector Optimism Index climbing to 121.4, well above the long-term trend. However, the services sector outlook for 2018 is less optimistic. Its sector Optimism Index has fallen 0.1 to 99.5 in July, below the long term trend but still in growth territory.

“The report reveals that the return to output growth has been driven solely by the improving performance of the manufacturing sector as the services sector output continues to contract. “

The overall outlook from UK services has been on a downward trend since 2015, but this has been more distinct since the EU referendum. Richard Rose, Midlands Tax Partner, BDO LLP, said: “Amidst slowing growth in the economy as a whole, UK manufacturing is a definite bright spot at the moment. "However, our sense is that the recovery is weakening month on month. Given the continuing ability of the UK to create jobs at a surprisingly fast rate and the continuing relatively high levels of inflation, we can understand the calls for a hike in interest rates. “But considering the economy's direction of travel we think that tightening monetary policy at this stage would be a mistake.

Accountants hear from Digby Jones on surviving and thriving Members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) were among a Birmingham audience of business leaders to hear Lord Digby Jones give his expert opinions on what Britain must do in the changing global landscape. The event, organised by CIMA and held at Birmingham’s Council House, was held in association with accounting and advisory firm Moore Stephens and HSBC Corporate Banking. Digby Jones, Minister of State for UK Trade & Investment in 2007-08, was Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) 2000-06 and has a long career in business. He gave an entertaining view of the current political landscape in the UK, and what the country needs to do to

ensure it not only survives challenges and threats, but also makes the most of opportunities, which reinforced the education and training work CIMA is doing to keep its membership ready for business in 2017 and beyond. Paul Hopper-Keeley FCMA, CIMA Chairman for the West Midlands, said: “It was great to hear Lord Jones’ views on the challenges business faces – a timely reminder the world is changing, and how management accountants play a crucial role in driving organisations through these extraordinary times.” Lord Jones said: “Business has to do everything to build wealth, but also to ensure that the whole of society is taken with it – putting business on the side of people who feel that it has passed them by.”

(L to R) John Hindson, CIMA West Midlands area secretary, Paul Hooper-Keeley, CIMA West Midlands chairman, Lord Digby Jones, Gary Burton, regional director at HSBC Corporate Banking and Suk Aulak, partner at Moore Stephens

“Business has to do everything to build wealth, but also to ensure that the whole of society is taken with it – putting business on the side of people who feel that it has passed them by.”


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It’s a full house in Nuneaton

New home for business A West Midlands commercial agent has helped one of the UK’s leading housebuilders find a home of its own in the region. Crest Nicholson moved into a new Midlands regional office at Pacific House in Tamworth in August after being assisted by Jonathan Moore, director of Shortland Penn + Moore – which has offices in Birmingham and Coventry. The new 7,500 sq ft base will be home to the developer’s new Midlands division and is part of Crest Nicholson’s ongoing growth after hitting sales of £1billion in 2016. About 60 staff in a range of roles will be based at the office and will operate across Birmingham and the West Midlands and extend into Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire. Jonathan Moore said: “I was approached by a close contact at Crest Nicholson who wanted to expand and launch a new Midlands office. “After an extensive region-wide search, we settled on Pacific House as it met the company’s needs perfectly.” “We are, of course, delighted to be working with such a major name in housebuilding and we are very pleased to have assisted the company in finding a home of its own in the Midlands.” Ben Miller, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson Midlands said: “We are very grateful to Shortland Penn + Moore for the assistance they gave us. They were extremely helpful and supportive throughout the process and had great knowledge of the office market in the area. That mix was exactly what we needed to find the perfect Crest Nicholson Midlands base.” Adrian Griffith, of GVA, acted for the landlord


Albion Court is a terrace of 9 former cottages on Attleborough Road, Nuneaton, converted to small office units 25 years ago. The property came into the management portfolio at Drake Howard Property in November last year, with three vacant units and a unit due to be vacated August this year. It was looking quite tired, but an intensive management shake up of the quality of the available space and improvement of services at the estate has turned fortunes around. The three empty offices have been let and an existing occupier is about to sign up to the newly available space, to connect with existing, adjoining premises. No. 9 is a unit of 685 sq.ft. and was let in March to Gold Boutique Fashion Limited for a 3 year term. The premises is used as an administrative centre for on-line retail of ladies fashion. No. 7 was next to attract a new occupier. Applewood Support Limited moved into the 1,555 sq. ft. office on a 5 year commitment, as an administration facility for their adult care and support service.

No. 2 followed a matter of minutes later on the same Friday. Reed in Partnership Ltd., took 1,450 sq. ft. over two floors on the standard template lease, for a term of 6 and a half years. The Partnership is a recruitment agency providing training and support to help people into employment. No 5 will be occupied from the end of the month following a refit of the 1,450 sq. ft. accomodation and and forming an opening in the dividing wall with the next door office. A new co-terminus lease is to be completed by the existing tenant on the adjoinig premises, for a period of 5 years. Marie Farrell has facilitated the sea change at Albion Court and has had praise heaped on her by the client, Inglewood Investment Co. Ltd. Marie said, “Albion Court has always had a good place in the Nuneaton market, on the fringe of the town centre. It provides office space for micro and small businesses at competitive rents. The quality of the offer was achieved through a combination of former tenant dilapidation claims and client

capital input. We have been able to present the premises’ in an attractive condition and exploit strong demand in the office market over the last 12 months.” For further information on our specialist commercial property management service, contact Marie or Martyn Howard at Drake Howard Property.

Work starts to transform building

James Compton (SP+M), Neil Edginton (EDG Property) and Jonathan Moore

First steps are being taken to create a mixed-use development in the heart of Coventry.

The former Co-Op building in Corporation Street is being transformed into ‘The Co-Operative’, a mix of high-spec apartments, office, retail and leisure. Work is due to start soon on ‘Hawkins’, he office element of the scheme. The new offices are being launched by Coventry based agents Shortland Penn + Moore, on behalf of award winning developers EDG Property. Hawkins is a key part of The Co-Operative development and will see the period building transformed into modern open-plan offices in a prime location. As part of the Hawkins development, EDG Property will be restoring the period sash windows and the external stone and brickwork feature façade. The office space is available either as a whole or as separate floors, which are each just under 2,000 sq ft.

Jonathan Moore, a director of SP+M, said: “This area of the city is undergoing a major transformation and The Co-Operative is the central, key catalyst for this. The offices are going to be refurbished to a very high standard and will be extremely attractive to businesses who are looking to be at the heart of the city centre’s regeneration.” Plans for EDG Property’s scheme were approved in June to transform the iconic 1950s former Co-Op building into highspecification residential apartments set around a new internal parkland. Neil Edginton, managing director of EDG Property said: “We believe the offices will appeal to both creative and corporate companies wanting to be at the centre of the wonderful redevelopment in Coventry, with first class amenity on the doorstep and excellent transport links.”

Office space available KWB and Bromwich Hardy have been appointed as joint agents to market the first phase of a major Warwickshire office development which is expected to create about 350 new jobs. The new 34,000 sq ft grade A office building at Abbey Park, an established business park at Stoneleigh, will be the first phase of a 128,000 sq ft office development. The new high specification office building will be located on a 40 acre landscaped office campus, set within hundreds of acres of

historic grade II listed parkland, almost equi-distant to Warwick, Leamington, Coventry and Kenilworth. David Penn, Partner at Bromwich Hardy, said: “Abbey Park is a beautiful tranquil location, less than three miles from Jaguar Land Rover’s Global Headquarters, which offers high quality architecture coupled with everything a modern business requires, such as excellent IT connections. With strong recent take-up, this area has a real shortage of available quality offices, so we expect interest to be strong,”

The new office building at Abbey Park is available leasehold at a quoting rent of £19.50psf, though freehold offers may be entertained. Design and build opportunities from 15,000 sq ft are also available.

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Bridging finance tips for businesses Advertisement feature

Commercial Finance

Demand for bridging loans is soaring, according to the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL). Its latest figures showed that the value of applications for bridging loans increased by 13.9 per cent in Q1 2017, compared to the previous quarter; up 123 per cent on the same quarter in 2016. Historically, bridging loans have mostly been used for property; often to repair broken chains or to purchase property quickly. However, increasingly SMEs are turning to this flexible form of finance to raise capital for a much wider variety of purposes.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Mark Finucane, regional development director for the Midlands at Together, explains how businesses are increasingly using bridging finance. Here are a few tips on how businesses can make the most of short-term finance.

To seize an investment opportunity

Time is of the essence when it comes to commercial deals, whether it’s to buy into a new venture, or acquire another business, bridging loans can be arranged in extremely tight timescales, sometimes a matter of days.

To facilitate a management buyout

When opportunities arise for a buyout, funds are often needed fast to avoid negotiations being drawn out longer than necessary.

The short-term finance can then be repaid and the business finance restructured once the new management team is in place.

To provide funds for relocation

A bridging loan can be ideal for businesses that are looking to relocate, securing the chosen property and also helping with the associated costs, such as removals, furniture and IT. A bridging loan may save a company from dipping into their own cash reserves to fund the move.

To release cash-flow

Bridging finance can also be a great way of creating cash-flow by releasing equity; often against a residential property.

This can be particularly popular with start-ups that may struggle to get long-term finance until their business is fully-established.

To refinance existing debts

Refinancing can help small businesses by consolidating existing debts into one and making them easier to manage. Often, refinancing can help businesses to pay off creditors and maintain relationships with key suppliers, which can be crucial for the company’s reputation. For more information contact Mark on call 02475 060 369 or visit


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Connections to Coventry

The Hamlin family has made quite an impression on Coventry – in ways which are old and new. Bob Hamlin was the artistic director of the Belgrade Theatre in the 1980s and, among other things, was responsible for the re-introduction of the Mystery Plays to the city. Thirty years on, his son, Rob, is helping Coventry to become a Gigabit City as a member of the management team of CityFibre. CityFibre is working across the UK to lead the vanguard of infrastructure companies installing 100 per cent fibre optic networks to allow businesses, public buildings and eventually homes to take advantage of next generation internet speeds. As commercial director of the London-based firm, he has played a key part in seeing the company grow from an ambitious start-up into a major player in the sector.


The fact that Coventry was one of the first cities to be identified by CityFibre on its roll out programme was a coincidence – albeit a happy one. “I came to Coventry for my father’s job as director at the Belgrade,” Rob said, “I lived there through my childhood and left when I went to university. “He had worked across the country. He started the Mystery Plays in the Cathedral and was behind the push for big pantomimes which I know still play a major part of what goes on at the Belgrade. “I remember as a child standing on a balcony there watching the FA Cup go past the theatre in 1987, so I have very strong memories of the city even though we have all moved away now.” CityFibre is now centre stage in the push to bring the UK’s digital infrastructure up to speed – literally and metaphorically. The fact a need exists is beyond debate. The UK sits 17th out of 19 OECD countries on full-fibre deployment and less than

two per cent of British buildings have fullfibre. Spain enjoys 80 per cent coverage.

enjoyed that and ever since I have worked in communications, media and tech.”

It is a state-of-affairs that CityFibre founder and CEO Greg Mesch has labelled “a platform for digital failure, not future economic success”.

He moved to the parent company of the consultancy, working on a turnaround programme through acquisitions and refocusing of operations.

The fact that Hamlin is part of that commercial digital vanguard might have surprised his teenage self.

Rob added: “I really enjoyed that but I needed a new challenge and thought I should have experience in corporate finance so I joined Macquarie, the Australian investment bank which was one of the largest infrastructure specialists in the world.

His studies took him to Nottingham for his degree in geography and after an MBA at Leeds he could well have been set for a career in academia. But there was always a commercial flame flickering. He joined Shell on its graduate scheme working on operational process improvement and IT. It was the year 2000 and the dotcom age was in its infancy. Rob said: “There was a whole host of new business models, new ways of operating across very new markets and that really attracted me. I joined a start-up management consultancy working with new telecoms start-ups and really

“I was appointed to help them look at the telecoms media and technology sector and it was a very exciting time. We went in size from 100 UK based employees to 400 and had £30 billion of equity under management.” One of the first businesses he was charged with looking at was a towers and transmissions business which was part of ntl, and was running the TV and radio networks around the UK and providing base station infrastructure and towers for the mobile companies.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: Rob Hamlin

“We don’t just build an infrastructure without committed users because that would be more risk than investors are prepared to work with. We identify commercial demand and use that to justify either the acquisition of infrastructure already in the ground from which we can expand, or building totally from scratch.”

He then transferred to that company – rebranded as Arqiva – and worked on the switch over of television networks from analogue to digital in time for the London Olympics. “By that stage I had filled a range of roles and felt I needed something new,” Rob said. “It was a big year – both good and bad. My second daughter was born but unfortunately my father passed away. “When you reach 40 and you have filled a range of roles, I don’t think it is very unusual to look for a new challenge and I wanted something that was really meaningful and something I could help build and make a real impact. “CityFibre was in a start-up phase and I met Greg. As soon as I met him and the team I realised that it was a unique opportunity which met my ambitions and would leave a legacy for the UK. I am just coming up to my five-year anniversary and I am really proud of what we have achieved.” When he joined there was 20 people and the firm was raising early stage finance. It now employs over 250 after a recent acquisition and has raised well over £300 million in equity. York, Peterborough and Coventry were the first cities the company was involved with, working with the local authority and the business market and launching its ‘Gigabit Cities’ concept. They proved that full fibre infrastructure in a city could really be made to work. Rob said: “We certainly feel the battle is being won. There have been a great many milestones along the way. We were looking to develop in cities where we were working with an existing customer, to help roll out a network. “The purchase of the assets of KComm allowed us to add 20 more cities to the footprint and start to accelerate our programme. We are up to 42 cities now so the growth has been rapid.

“We don’t just build an infrastructure without committed users because that would be more risk than investors are prepared to work with. We identify commercial demand and use that to justify either the acquisition of infrastructure already in the ground from which we can expand, or building totally from scratch. “In every project, we ensure the network has the capacity to join all public sector buildings to bring efficiency, the capacity to connect all the businesses small and large and to be able to connect all mobile phone masts to improve networks and then ultimately to expand the infrastructure to every home.” The next stage will see homes being able to take advantage of the new network. “Having built a footprint across 42 cities we have most recently announced that we have raised the funding to start to roll out to homes across five to 10 of our Gigabit City projects,” Rob said. “That will be fibre connections to over a million homes. We have not announced which cities will be in the first wave of our roll-out yet, but Coventry is certainly a great candidate!

Working Day Flexibility is key to Rob’s working day. “We have tried to make CityFibre a flexible place to work,” he says. “I try to see my family in the morning and take the kids to school when I can. You will only be successful if you have a good balance with home life and work.”

where we are going, but also on getting out around the country meeting with our clients and end-users.” Rob is responsible for sales, marketing, product and new market development. There are teams in all those areas who report to him.

The family home is in Twickenham, so the commute takes around an hour.

“The time I arrive home depends totally on what is going on. It can be late afternoon – or late evening.”

“I try to balance spending time internally on what we are doing and

Aside family – and a new puppy – Rob’s interest include cycling and walking.

“This growth in digital infrastructure investment stems from a magic combination of a few things. The first is timing, in that use of the internet is only increasing along with a backdrop of the incumbent BT Openreach relying on a very old infrastructure of copper which was laid gnerations before the internet was invented.

About Rob Hamlin

“CityFibre has a clear strategy, the market is right for there to be an alternative infrastructure builder to drive the country’s digital infrastructure forward. We have a purpose and determination to make that happen – and knowing that consumers will benefit makes it a powerful combination.”

Favourite book: Favourite film: Last holiday: Car:

Date of birth: Birthplace: Married: Children: Hobbies:

Favourite gadget:

1975 Born in Coventry Yes Two girls Cycling, hiking, cooking, family and new puppy! Legacy by James Kerr Love Actually (makes you happy!) Family hiking in the South Downs Electric Mitsubishi 4x4 (we all need to go electric!) iPhone - can't live without it!


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Brexit Club

Preparing for Brexit Welcome to the Chamber’s new Brexit section

Andy Street (Mayor of West Midlands), Alan Durham (Chamber of Commerce), Robin Walker (MP) and David Burton (Chair of Coventry & Warwickshire Brexit Club)

Minister hears about Brexit concerns Coventry and Warwickshire businesses’ concerns over Brexit have been fed back to a Government Minister. Representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and its Brexit Club attended West Midlands Mayor Andy Street’s Brexit Summit at Aston University. The event focussed on manufacturing, higher education and life sciences and the effect that Brexit may have on them, with Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the European Union, in attendance. Martyne Manning, senior policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Our Brexit Club has been gathering opinion and information from our members ahead of the EU exit. “Many issues have been raised – some that will affect all businesses and some that are quite niche to individual companies – and we are working hard to ensure that we make those involved in the negotiations aware of those issues. “This was a great opportunity to speak to Robin Walker and I managed to raise several key points specific to Coventry and Warwickshire, which he said he would look in to.”

At the start of the year we chaired a meeting of leading local business representatives who had come together the form a core group that would advise, inform and help shape the Chamber’s activities as we move towards exiting the European Union. All the main business sectors are represented, and the members all have extensive business interests at home and within the EU and the wider world. The group quickly identified the key themes for business: trade, labour and skills, legislation, EU funding, regulation, and customs and taxation. There was no wish to revisit the pre-referendum debate, the focus being instead on keeping Chamber members informed, and, most importantly, making sure that the business voice is heard loud and clear by our Brexit negotiators (see Chamber’s Brexit Manifesto) to ensure a successful Brexit. We have already held productive meetings with Attorney General Jeremy Wright MP, and Lord Bridges, recently Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union. More are planned, including with the Canadian High Commissioner who will address members on the subject of a Free Trade Agreement at the Chamber’s annual conference on 3rd November. The purpose of this blog is to provide a platform for Chamber members and experts from external organisations to share their Brexit thoughts, experiences, recommendations and insights. There is no shortage of wild speculation in the media (combined with an unexpected election campaign!)-we are looking instead to provide practical and informed input for business people from business people. To start us off we have a piece by David Hooper of Independent Freight Solutions Ltd on practical issues around Free Trade Agreements and Mike Spicer on Policies to Ensure a Business Friendly Brexit. Look out for future postings from business leaders, and for future Chamber activity designed to help Chamber members succeed post-Brexit. Keep up to date with the latest articles on our online Brexit blog.

Opinion Piece: Brexit & The Value of Free Trade Agreements In this first edition, David Hooper of Independent Freight Solutions talks about Free Trade Agreements, origin rules and how new deals might impact on trade post-Brexit: "One of the main discussions over the last few weeks is around what sort of trade deal the UK will have with the rest of Europe. The PM has announced that we will come out of the Single market and the Custom Union so we can agree our own Free Trade Deals with other countries. If as mentioned by politicians we have a Free trade Deal with Europe this could be very complicated for business and of little benefit. Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) allow the customer in the receiving country to pay less import duty. E.g. the UK/EU has an FTA with Mexico. However, to benefit from an FTA World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules are used around Origin of goods which means where the goods were ‘manufactured’. Without going into too much detail here this can be very complex i.e. if the goods were manufactured in the Far East they will not meet the FTA rules. But a bigger problem will be for manufacturers who source materials from all over the world who will need to use using complex calculations to establish whether the good qualify for preference and not only that but they will need to keep their records up to date for potential audit purposes. This brings into thought a number of complex issues for companies in the future; 1. At the moment A UK company shipping to Mexico may be more competitive due to the reduction in Duty from the current FTA, which we have access to through our EU membership – the goods don’t have to be manufactured in the UK they could be manufactured anywhere in Europe 2. If just using Mexico as an example (this could be any country that the EU currently has a FTA with) the UK Company may not be able to take advantage of this as the goods will probably have to have been made in the UK – how do you prove that? 3. A much bigger issue however, is: If the UK does agree an FTA with EU 27 member states it may only be able to take advantage of this by proving Origin in the UK? How difficult might this be – more paperwork and bureaucracy which could be costly? It might just be easier to offer a discount to the customer so that any duty payable offsets this?

Obviously at this stage we do not know what the Government will agree to with EU there might be something that politicians have in mind which eliminates all the above issues – but based on existing FTA around preference and origin this might not be that beneficial to UK business trading with EU states. It might just be easier to trade without using it!" David Hooper Independent Freight Solutions

Opinion Piece: Ensuring a business friendly Brexit Ever since the result of the referendum in June 2016, the British Chambers of Commerce has been holding the government to account, to ensure that the when the UK leaves the EU it is with a ‘business-friendly’ Brexit. Aside from weekly engagements with the Business Secretary, the British Chambers has met with the Prime Minister and other critical Secretaries of State to advocate on behalf of Chamber business communities – the UK’s civic businesses – in the corridors of power. As we go into these engagements with Cabinet Ministers, I’m struck by how deep our knowledge of business interests is. In fighting for Chamber members, we can draw not just on best-in-class data and surveys, but also on discussions and input from the business community. I frequently meet firms with amazing stories to tell, from Coventry to Cumbria, and each conversation feeds in to our engagement with government on the issues that matter. And it’s not just about Brexit – the best deal available won’t matter if we don’t get the best domestic environment here at home. Our physical and digital infrastructure needs to improve, and businesses are fed up with being clobbered by a raft of upfront costs, from business rates and the Apprenticeship Levy to the migrant skills charge and Living Wage increases. Amid the public posturing on both sides, we are working with government to answer the practical, real-world questions that businesses face as a result of Brexit. Who can we hire, and from where, and for how long? Who do we pay VAT to? Whose regulations and standards do we need to comply with? And so on. As we engage with Whitehall in the weeks and months to come, we’ll be demanded answers to the questions that trouble businesses as we transition to a life outside the EU. Mike Spicer Director of Research and Economics at The British Chambers of Commerce

Confidence among the concerns

Business in Coventry and Warwickshire is buoyant, but major concerns about the lack of clarity on the route out of the European Union have been voiced.

Senior business figures from across the region came together for the latest meeting of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit Club. A clear message from the steering group, made up of representatives from sectors including manufacturing, automotive, construction, legal, leisure and logistics was that the government needs to be clear and let everyone know the timescale for exiting the EU. The session was chaired by David Burton, a Chamber board member, who said that businesses hate uncertainty and need more information on the timescales for exiting the EU and crucially on what arrangements will be put in place to deal with key issues like customs procedures and access to labour and skills. “There were very clear messages that were coming out of this latest meeting of the Brexit Club,” David said. “The main one was about making sure that all businesses have a timeline for leaving the EU.


“Businesses want to plan for the future, but at the moment there is a lot of uncertainty and they need some clarity. “There are crucial issues such as access to labour, skills, customs procedures and regulation and our representatives want to know that government has plans in place to minimise any potential disruption to business when we leave the EU. “But, despite that uncertainty, industries such as automotive, aerospace and leisure, said that lately they have experienced an upsurge in business. “This is positive news, but again questions were raised about whether it was because of the exchange rate of the pound against the euro and whether this buoyancy will continue after Brexit. “We will continue to collate all of the issues raised and make sure that they are all passed on to decision makers, so that they know exactly how businesses are feeling around the issue of Brexit.” Alicia Law, Director at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also attended the meeting and was very interested with the points that were made.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Chamber, added: “Once again the Chamber’s Brexit Club raised some extremely important issues that need addressing. It is crucial that businesses throughout Coventry and Warwickshire know exactly when and how the exit from the EU is going to happen. “We will be lobbying the Government on all of these issues, make them aware

of how businesses are feeling, what they are thinking and try to get some firm answers. “Brexit will be at the forefront of Chamber of Commerce activity in the coming months with key presentations at our Annual Business and Economic Conference on November 3 and a dedicated event called Making Brexit Work for Coventry & Warwickshire taking place as part of the Business Festival on November 22.”

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New Member Profile

Caroline Middleton Centre Manager, Fig Offices, Friars House, Coventry For commuters, it’s also ideal, with Coventry Train Station located 2 minutes’ walk away and easy links to the region’s motorway network. Train journeys to London Euston are approximately one hour, Birmingham International is ten minutes and Birmingham New Street in twenty.

Caroline Middleton – Centre Manager Tel: 02476932201 Who are Fig Offices? Fig Offices are the serviced office arm of FI Real Estate Management, a fast growing UK-based property and asset management company. FIREM manage buildings throughout the country, and identified within their portfolio a strong demand for smaller space rather than whole floors. Fig Offices has been formed to satisfy this requirement, and Coventry is Fig’s first centre open in the UK. Where are you located? We are based on the 4th floor of Friar’s House, Manor House Drive, Coventry. Friars House is the iconic blue glass building right in the heart of the City centre. Our office space benefits from fantastic views over the city and has excellent natural light with extensive glazed areas to all elevations.


What do you offer? We provide tailored, fully furnished offices and meeting rooms. Offices start from 1 person upwards with telecoms ready for when you move in. Each location also has a selection of meeting rooms, boasting the latest ClickShare technology allowing simple transfer from laptop to large screen monitors. We offer a range of virtual office packages, where you can choose from a simple address service, right through to a bespoke package that includes meeting room and /or flexible office usage. Hot-desking and shared space is available, allowing clients to access our facilitates on a short term basis. What makes you different from other serviced offices? Our aim is to provide a contemporary environment based on traditional values. Rather than a hard sell, we offer a consultative approach. We tailor every deal to client requirements. Fig want long-term business relationships built on mutual trust. What’s different about your Coventry Centre? We know how important it is to businesses of all sizes to not only have a great address but to also have high quality, modern offices

that promote their company in the best possible way. Fig’s investment in Friars House has created contemporary offices to a high specification which lifts the bar in Coventry’s serviced office market. We offer our clients a selection of contemporary glass walled meeting rooms with ample break-out space and catering if required. We currently provide 19 offices catering for 1 to 12 workstations with all of these benefiting from natural daylight. All our offices are equipped with new and stylish office furniture, finished in a striking Nordic Ash. Where did the name Fig come from? The brief was to come up with a name that was short, snappy, memorable and different. During the initial feasibility reports and costings, rather than referring to the company as FI Group, this shortened to Fig. After a while, with everyone using the name, it stuck. The added advantage was that we immediately got a corporate colour in fig purple, and a great logo. What’s your role? I am the centre manager and my role is to ensure that our clients receive the best possible customer experience. I am based at the centre and always accessible to talk to our clients when needed. I take charge of the day to day running of the centre, including operations, finance, sales, marketing and customer service. An important part of my role is to instil and promote a 'community feel' at our Coventry centre, so I also involve myself in encouraging clients to network via sporting

activities, social and charity events. That way, it helps to create a friendly, happy and positive working environment that benefits everyone that works here. How can people contact you? We are proud of our centre, so ideally want people to come in and say hello. You can call me on my mobile 07740 546 268 to arrange a visit. Whilst we use our website and social media for clients to make contact, our preference is always “face to face”. This way, we can really understand the customer requirements and expectations first hand and then meet and match them. It is a very important stage in the relationship that we want to build with our customer. Have you any other centres planned? We have just opened in Gloucester and Swindon, with further openings planned for later in the year…… so watch this space!!

Open Day Thursday 21st September 2017 10am – 4.30pm Come and say hello!

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Fabulous Fine & Country raises cash for Homeless Charity Polo ponies, players and a recordbreaking crowd of spectators enjoyed one of the finest sporting and social events in Southam. Five and a half thousand people poured through the gates of Dallas Burston Polo Club for the ever-popular Fine & Country Gold Cup. The Warwickshire Gold Cup has grown in popularity since it was launched four years ago with the packed programme of activities and the number of spectators increasing with each event, although it has been nine years since Fine & Country’s Leamington office held a BBQ within the RLS Polo Club from which the current event has stemmed.

More than just a day of high octane polo, Fine & Country is also a firm family favourite, alongside Dallas Burston Polo Club’s annual Polo in the Park, with entertainment to suit visitors of all ages. The 600-acre site was lined with a range of exhibitors which featured some stunning displays of woodwork as well as the expertise of the Honesberie Shooting School. And for car enthusiasts there was a dazzling array of impressive automobiles including La Ferrari, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 and even a Noddy car for younger visitors.

Director of Operations at Dallas Burston Polo Club Major Richard Carney MBE said: "We are delighted to say that once again the Fine & Country Gold Club was a resounding success for all who attended." The event was also a fundraising success collecting £5,000 for the Fine & Country Foundation, a charity which combats the causes at the root of homelessness.

Advice centre helps thousands

Lucy McGovern from Coventry City Council, left, with Clare Gurney, Tracey Kahrman and Cheryl Pountney from City College Coventry

Nearly 4,000 people have boosted their prospects of securing jobs, apprenticeships, training or work placements after receiving help at a new advice centre in Coventry which was launched with government funding. The Advice Centre at City College Coventry in Swanswell Street officially opened last March after receiving £77,000 of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). The free service, which is open from Mondays to Fridays, provides support for the college’s students and residents living nearby ranging from employability sessions

offering guidance on writing CVs, application forms and preparing for interviews to co-ordinating work experience placements for the college’s students and employers. Since opening, 419 people have applied for apprenticeships through online recruitment or following apprentice information events organised by the Advice Centre which has led to employers interviewing better matched and prepared job-seekers. More people have been placed on the right courses, reducing drop-outs and improving progression after 2,153 people were helped with pre-entry information, advice and guidance interviews from March 2016-June 2017. And 1,023 young people secured work placements after receiving support from the Advice Centre between September 2016 to June 2017 while 382 careers guidance and employability support sessions were held between August 2016 and May 2017. Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP, said improving skills was one of the CWLEP’s key priorities. He said: “The opening of the Advice Centre has made a significant difference to the lives of people living near City College Coventry who are searching for jobs,

training courses or an apprenticeship as well as helping students gain valuable work placements. “Experienced staff at the Advice Centre have provided quality information, advice and guidance whether that is in in person, over the telephone, online or by email to help people progress into training or employment. “The value of their advice should not be under-estimated because it has meant employers have interviewed candidates who are better prepared and have the right qualifications for their vacancies and some employers have held their interviews at the hub because of the standard of the facilities. “Improving the skills of the area’s workforce is vital to the future of employers in Coventry and Warwickshire and the services offered by the Advice Centre have a major role to play in ensuring people have the right skills to drive growth in the area.” Jo Lawrence, assistant principal at City College Coventry, said to have helped nearly 4,000 people in 16 months proved this was a centre which was benefiting students and the community. “The Advice Centre has been busy since we opened last March and we are working on how to further improve our service,” she said.

Belgrade Theatre announces continued support from Arts Council The Belgrade Theatre has announced that it will remain an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and that its proposal for future funding from 2018 – 2022 has been approved. This means that the theatre will receive no change in the funding it receives from the Arts Council over the next four year funding period, enabling them to continue their work within the community and to produce high quality theatre. Arts Council England have also announced a £170million investment in organisations outside of London including an increase in funding for Coventry and the West Midlands overall. Hamish Glen, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Belgrade Theatre said, “We are delighted that our funding proposal to has been approved and would like to thank the Arts Council for their continued support. The feedback we have received

from the Arts Council has been highly positive and puts the theatre in a strong position going forward. “We are equally pleased to see an increase in funding for Coventry and the West Midlands, with particular benefit to our friends at Culture Coventry and Open Theatre Company. Every £1 invested in the arts generates at least £4 for the local economy, so this is excellent news for the city and for our bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.” Other successful applicants for Arts Council funding in Coventry include Culture Coventry and Open Theatre, who will both join the National Portfolio 2018-22. This news is expected to deliver a boost for Coventry’s bid to win UK City of Culture in 2021, who are currently hoping to be one of four cities to be shortlisted. The Belgrade is a registered charity and receives revenue funding from Coventry

City Council and Arts Council England as well as project funding from these and other government sources. The theatre is working towards increasing its earned income to become less reliant on public funding, namely through its set and costume manufacturing arm Belgrade Production Services and by running its catering operations itself. The theatre has recently reported its earned income has increased to 72% in 2106/17 compared with 46% in 2008/09.

Front, Alice Williams Middle, l/r, Zita Barabasz, Doreen Kibble, Diane Shortland, Bridget Williams, Sheila Chamberlain. Back l/r, Fred Richings, Catherine Groom, Ryan Boyce (Heart of England Community Foundation).

Windfall for theatre A Coventry charity has received more than £3,500 to deliver theatre workshops to the elderly to improve their health and wellbeing. The Albany Theatre Trust has received a grant of £3,595 from Heart of England Community Foundation to hold theatre workshops at care homes in the city. The Foundation, a grant-making charity which is the only one of its kind in the region, has distributed almost £380,000 to projects and organisations across Coventry, Warwickshire, the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull during the last quarter of the year. The funds awarded to the Albany Theatre Trust will go towards paying for a specialist facilitator from the Belgrade Theatre to host the workshops, which will not only promote wellbeing but also encourage creativity. Catherine Groom, of the Albany Theatre Trust, said: “We are always looking at ways to promote health and wellbeing and take theatre out into the community. “Coventry statistically has a young population and people can often forget about the older generation, which is why we wanted to launch a project to benefit them. “We have done something similar at one of the larger care homes in Coventry, however this time we wanted to work with a number of smaller care homes which may otherwise not have an opportunity to experience something like this.” Tina Costello, CEO of the Foundation, said: “Over the past year we have been able to award an incredible amount of funding to some truly amazing projects making a real difference at grassroots level. Going forward we will continue to distribute funding where it is needed the most in communities across the region, and we look forward to working with more organisations like the Albany Theatre Trust in the future.” Further information about Heart of England Community Foundation is available by visiting


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Area Focus: Coventry

Award for Chairman

The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University.

Coventry University to play five-year host to UN academic council

The hard work and dedication of a Coventry academy’s chairman has been recognised with a prestigious award. Dean Kavanagh, Foundation Director and Chairman of the Romero Catholic Academy, has been named the Institute of Directors (IoD) West Midlands Non-Executive Director of the Year. Dean impressed the judging panel, by displaying the same energy and drive into his non-executive role that he would in his day job as Managing Director of gas analysis technology firm Geotech UK, based in Leamington Spa. Dean, as a founding director, produced a vision and mission that unified the Romero Academy Board and helped to set strategic objectives for the organisation - which now has a budget of £15million, more than 520 employees and more than 3,100 students. He also established aims and values that underpin the work of the board and serve to

This significant appointment brings the headquarters and secretariat of ACUNS outside North America for the first time. Previous hosts include the Ivy League institutions Dartmouth College, Brown, Princeton and Yale in the US and Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. ACUNS, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has 900 institutional and individual members from more than 50 countries – each sharing a common commitment to the UN Charter – and acts as an interface between global academic and practitioner communities and the United Nations system. As host institution, CTPSR will – among other responsibilities – run international conferences and manage a global network that brings together researchers and professionals from around the world who have an interest in maintaining international peace and security, and promoting global development and human rights.

Front, Grace Tipson (iLECSYS Group) with, back, from the left, Lewis Westbury (iLECSYS Group), Kevin Minns (Minns Network Developments), Des Wynne (AC Lloyd) and Steve Turner (Deeley Construction)

A Coventry construction company has landed a £2.9million contract to build a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Buckinghamshire.


Dean will now progress to the national awards, which will take place at the Lancaster Hotel in London on September 22.

Deeley Construction has been appointed by Leamington-based developer AC Lloyd to create a new 40,000 sq ft complex on land in Princes Risborough. The property will be occupied by iLECSYS, a multi-disciplined company working predominantly within the electrical control sector. Its main areas of operation include electrical distribution products, rail, hazardous area, engineering and sheet metal fabrication. Work has just started on-site and the build is scheduled to be completed in February 2018. Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “We are very pleased to be working with AC Lloyd once again.

“The two companies have developed a very strong relationship and this adds to the range of schemes we have worked on together, which include a bus depot and a college teaching block.” iLECSYS Group is relocating from its current site in Tring, which has been its home for the past 15 years. A total of 50 members of staff from its head office will be re-locating to the company’s new location in February. Des Wynne, director at AC Lloyd, said: “Deeley Construction came forward with a great tender and we are delighted to be working with Martin and the team again.”

Coventry widow funds new lifeboat after naming RNLI as sole beneficiary in her Will A Coventry widow who left her entire estate to charity has funded a new lifeboat after naming the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as the sole beneficiary in her Will. Audrey Deakin lived on Wall Hill Road in Allesley until her death in April 2015. She lived there with her husband Dennis Deakin but he passed away in September 1991. Audrey and Dennis enjoyed holidays by the sea, and were impressed by the work of RNLI volunteers and loved the idea of having a boat named after them both as part of their legacy. The RNLI chose Wicklow lifeboat station to receive a new lifeboat, and the boat was officially handed over by Audrey’s solicitor

Michelle Gavin from Band Hatton Button to RNLI trustee David Delamar at a Naming Ceremony last month. Named the Dennis-Audrey, the new D class lifeboat can operate closer to shore than other lifeboats and is ideal for working in shallow waters. Des Davitt, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “Every rescue is powered by our generous supporters, people like Dennis and Audrey.” Michelle Gavin, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate at Band Hatton Button, acted on behalf of Audrey’s Executors, and said: “I was really pleased, as I am sure Audrey would have been,

Contract wins

Coventry University’s Professor Math Noortmann, who will become executive director of the council next year, said: “We’re very much looking forward to becoming the new ACUNS headquarters and secretariat next year. The council is ready for the next step in its progressive development, and the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations is dedicated to helping it advance as a global and inclusive organisation to further build its organisational capacity and stretch its international outreach.” Vice-Chancellor Professor John Latham said: “It’s an honour for Coventry University and for our Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations to be selected to host the ACUNS headquarters and secretariat.”

Dean Kavanagh is congratulated by Academy Business Director Patrick Taggart at the awards ceremony held at Edgebaston Cricket Ground, in Birmingham

Big contract win for company

Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) has been selected to host the headquarters of the prestigious Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) for five years starting in 2018. The university’s research centre, which is based on its Technology Park and which specialises in trust, peacebuilding and human security, will assume the role of secretariat to ACUNS from next year.

guide the decisions being made at an operational level. “I am extremely proud and honoured to have been named the IoD’s West Midlands Non-Executive Director of the Year,” said Dean. “The whole board has worked extremely hard to make the Romero Catholic Academy the success it has become and this award is a testament to them all. “I am now looking forward to the national awards as it gets the Romero name and the work that it is doing out there to a wider, national audience.” The awards celebrate the very best in business and the non-exec category recognises the important role those Directors play on the board of a company, regardless of its size. The IoD is the national, and longest running, organisation for Directors and professional leaders, holding a Royal Charter.

Robert Cook, business development manager at Utility Team and Allan Durning, director at TBG.

A leading utilities consultancy has been appointed energy partner by two national industry organisations. Utility Team, which works with businesses from all sectors around the UK to manage their utility contracts and reduce their energy consumption is the official energy partner for membership organisations OBN and Timber Buying Group (TBG). OBN supports the UK’s innovative life sciences companies, corporate partners and investors all over the UK and has more than 400 members.The organisation offers networking, partnering, purchasing, training,

From left, Connie O’Gara (RNLI crew member), Michelle Gavin and Alan Goucher (RNLI crew member).

to hear that the lifeboat has already been called into action when the Coastguard responded to a casualty who had fallen from the quayside onto the Strand beach while cycling at Wicklow Harbour.” advising and advocacy activities to its members – and Utility Team will now be able to manage their energy acquisition needs. Utility Team, which has offices in Coventry and Birmingham, has also been selected by TBG to support its membership of timber and building merchants. TBG specialises in helping small and medium-sized timber and building merchants to benefit from group deals on materials, and they will now also be able to access a range of services from Utility Team. Robert Cook, business development manager at Utility Team, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with both OBN and TBG and have worked hard to understand the needs and requirements of their members to ensure we deliver the most effective energy efficiency and procurement advice.”

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Arena takes a further step into the digital age

From left, Chas Moloney (Ricoh UK Marketing Director), Phil Keoghan (Ricoh UK Chief Executive Officer), Nick Eastwood (Wasps CEO), Rebekah Wallis (Ricoh UK Director of People & Corporate Responsibility),

A lounge equipped for the digital age has been opened at the Ricoh Arena for the general public to work and study while on their travels. The Ricoh Business Lounge – situated on floor one and big enough to host 500

delegates – is part of Ricoh’s programme to champion flexibility and remote working. It is a flexible working space with interactive whiteboards and high-speed Wi-Fi, and is tailored to different ways of working, including private pods and hot desks to think and concentrate, and break out areas for informal meetings. A designated Ricoh Suite is also now open inside the lounge for private meetings. The Ricoh Business Lounge represents part of Ricoh’s Workstyle Innovation strategy – a long-term company initiative to help businesses bring positive change by empowering people with new ways of working. Chas Moloney, Marketing Director at Ricoh UK, said: “The Ricoh Business Lounge reflects the demands of the four different generations now operating in the work place as those born in the year 2000 begin to enter work. “We believe people are an organisation’s greatest asset, and so creating a working

style to suit everyone will help a business to maximise output from its employees. “Working remotely is on the rise as we are expected to be at work almost all the time, even on our travels, so the Ricoh Business Lounge is the perfect environment for that. “It has something for everyone, whether it’s concentrating without being disturbed in private pods, contemplating an idea at a hot desk, or communicating and presenting to team members in quiet, open plan environments.” The lounge is open Monday to Friday for visitors to use for free, subject to availability, and the space can also be pre-booked exclusively for events. Jenny Shortt, Head of Partnership Management at Ricoh Arena and Wasps, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this cutting-edge working environment to our visitors.“The Ricoh Business Lounge adds another string to our bow when pitching for events as we look to beat last year’s record of holding a total of 777 events.”

Coventry University awarded Gold rating Coventry University has received a Gold rating in a new Government ranking of how well students are taught across UK universities. The university achieved the top accolade in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). A total of 134 higher education institutions took part in the TEF with just over 30% achieving Gold, meaning that Coventry scored higher than several Russell Group institutions. The TEF assesses universities on the quality of their teaching by looking at measures including student satisfaction, student retention rates and graduate employment levels. Its award ratings of Gold, Silver and Bronze are valid for up to three years.

Free BT work placements to help youngsters get ‘work ready’ BT is offering free work placements to help young people in Coventry and Warwickshire prepare for their future careers. The three-week course, combining hands-on work experience with coaching and training, is open to anyone aged 16 to 24 not currently in education, employment or training. Work placements are a great opportunity for people to build confidence and learn practical work skills such as CV writing and interview techniques. Although the course does not carry a formal qualification, attendees are given a certificate showing

their attendance and achievements to demonstrate their commitment to prospective employers. The next local course is at BT’s offices in Little Park Street, Coventry, from September 11 to 29. There will be more later in the year in the West Midlands. For more details or to apply visit Colin Bannon, chair of BT’s West Midlands regional board, said: “BT work placements give local, young people the opportunity to experience the working day and gain invaluable insight of what is expected in the workplace.”

Expansion leads to move An expanding logistics and warehousing company has taken on almost a whole industrial estate in Coventry to consolidate its operations and accommodate growth. KB Transport Solutions now occupies 130,000 of the 136,000 sq ft at the Sandy Lane Industrial Estate, on the edge of the city centre in Radford, which is owned by leading commercial property company The Wigley Group. Its main site had been at Henley Road Industrial Estate in Coventry, also owned by The Wigley Group, where it occupied around 70,000 sq ft, in addition to 54,000 sq ft at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate. KB Transport Solutions was established in 2010 and specialises in pallet distribution, warehouse storage, logistics and transport services in the West Midlands and throughout the UK. Alan Mohomed, finance director at KB Transport Solutions, said: “Our business has grown over the years and now reached the point where we needed to expand our premises as we were at capacity. “We have had a smaller presence at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate for some time and this full relocation here will enable us to develop further and bring all of our warehouse operations together on one central site rather than being fragmented at different locations. “It is an exciting development and we’re looking forward to building on

our success which is driven by customer demand for our range of services.” KB Transport Solutions has retained a small presence at Henley Road Industrial Estate for its home delivery business. Sandy Lane Industrial Estate and Henley Road Industrial Estate are part of The Wigley Group’s extensive portfolio of commercial property which spans well over 1,000,000 sq ft across the West Midlands. James Davies, director of The Wigley Group, said: “We are delighted to have provided this opportunity at Sandy Lane Industrial Estate to support the company’s ongoing expansion and consolidate its main business operations. “The move makes KB Transport Solutions the single largest tenant of The Wigley Group in terms of space occupied.”

From left, Alan Mohomed (KB Transport Solutions), Ricky Davies (KB Transport Solutions), Charlotte Steele (KB Transport Solutions), James Davies (The Wigley Group) and Kevin Bennett (KB Transport Solutions).


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Area Focus: Coventry Oldest business in Coventry embraces the cloud Leicestershire-headquartered BrightBridge Solutions Limited, a leading ERP solution provider specialising in cloud based technology, is moving John Astley & Sons Limited (Astleys) to the cloud with NetSuite. Trusted by more than 40,000 organisations worldwide, NetSuite is the leading integrated cloud business software suite, including business accounting, ERP, CRM and ecommerce software. Established in 1730 and reputed to be the oldest continually trading company in Coventry, Astleys are a family owned and managed business with more than 4,000 customers from all types of operations. The business operates from a modern purpose-built warehouse and offices which also includes a trade counter sales area, and offers a range of more than 15,000 products across a huge spectrum of categories from cleaning and hygiene materials, to safety footwear to PPE clothing, hand and power tools and so much more. Astleys have been running and managing its own proprietary software system for nearly 40 years. The incumbent system is a heavily bespoked application written using the Mumps programming language, with Caché as the database. Mumps was first developed in 1966 and the latest release was in 1995. David Astley, Operations Director at Astleys, said: “We invested a lot of time and effort in developing our current system at Astleys but we realised we needed something that would improve our business as our company evolves and we required a solution that would streamline and enhance our existing processes to make us more efficient.”

University tackles nursing gender gap with first bursary for men Coventry University is addressing the growing gender imbalance on nursing and healthcare courses with a new bursary aimed at encouraging men into the field. The university has announced a fund of £30,000 to help ten men in subjects where they are under-represented, including nursing occupational therapy, physiotherapy, midwifery, operating department practice and dietetics. Men account for just 10 per cent of the total nursing students placed at UK universities, according to UCAS data with 2,800 men accepted compared with 26,000 women last year. The award, spread across each year of the degree, is believed to be the first created specifically for men taking nursing and healthcare courses in UK higher education. The funding was won by Coventry following a bid to the National Express Foundation. Rob James, Academic Dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University, and chair of its Athena SWAN committee for gender equality, said: “We support all initiatives taking positive action to address unequal gender representation in any subject discipline, and this bursary does so across healthcare training. “While there’s lots being done nationally - and at Coventry - to encourage women into sciences and engineering we hope this new initiative will lead the way in addressing the persistent low proportion of men working in many healthcare professions.” Colin Harrison is one of just two men in his year on the Learning Disabilities Nursing BSc at Coventry, and said tackling stereotypes is the first step to address the balance and remove the stigma of men in healthcare. The 32-year-old from Solihull said: “Nursing is very much seen as a women’s profession but for many patients, especially male, to be treated by another man or to see men on the wards can be very important.”


Inspiring creativity An Innovation Hub is inspiring the next generation of digital and creative talent in Coventry and the wider area. Coventry College’s flagship Fujitsu Innovation Hub is part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) project which provides a focal point for delivering new projects, new ways of learning, wider interactions with industry and the local community. The facility is a key part of the college’s digital strategy and has supported the training of more than 270 students since its launch. A range of new Digital Apprenticeships are being launched from the Centre in September. The project has received £220,000 of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

Wider support from major companies including Fujitsu, Intel and Brocade has also contributed to the on-going success of the hub in Swanswell Street. The funding has enabled Coventry College to kit out the Innovation Hub with the latest digital and networking technologies, including games design PCs, tablets and interactive digital screens. Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP, said: “The Innovation Hub is having a hugely positive impact on the way Coventry College is able to teach technology courses and inspiring the next generation of digital and creative experts.” Clare Hatton, Assistant Principal Employer Engagement & Growth at Coventry College, added: “The facility is supporting us to inspire and develop the next generation of skilled technology graduates, from the College and

Golf day a success

From left LCpl Luke Hirst (Red Devils), Pte Cameron Clark (Red Devils), host John McDonald, James Davies (director, The Wigley Group), Kevin Keegan OBE, Robert Wigley (managing director, The Wigley Group), LCpl Gavin Prue (first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund), Capt Joseph Palmer (Red Devils).

Sporting celebrities and business professionals clubbed together at an annual golf day held by a Coventry company to raise £17,000 for a new fund to equip soldiers with new skills for a new start.

The Wigley Support Fund has been launched by The Wigley Group to help retrain soldiers identified by the official Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras. The commercial property company based in Coventry has now raised more than

Back – Billy McKenna, Clare Hatton, Timothee Hunt (Coventry College). Front - Lucy McGovern (CWLEP), Shoubna Naika-Taylor (Coventry College)

schools across the area, and it is having an extremely positive impact on developing the teaching of a vast number of courses.” £80,000 from The Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner over the last five years for Support Our Paras, which supports the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families. For the first time, money raised from this year’s event held at Staverton Park De Vere, near Daventry, will go directly to The Wigley Support Fund to specifically help soldiers towards the cost of training for a new career. About 200 business professionals attended with special guest Kevin Keegan OBE, former England football player and manager, and other sporting figures including darts legends Steve Beaton, Mervyn King and Colin Lloyd. Kevin said: “It was a great day raising money for The Wigley Support Fund which is a fantastic cause. ”Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “This is the fifth year of our annual golf day and the first time that the money raised from it will go to The Wigley Support Fund which we have set-up to help retrain soldiers identified by Support Our Paras.”

Miromedia assist History of The Myton Hospices with penned for charity’s 35th birthday community innovative app

The idea of documenting the first 35 years of The Myton Hospices started with a conversation in June 2016 between Myton’s Chair of Trustees Noel Hunter and Mike Cotton, who has been involved with Myton since its inception. And the rest, as they say, is history. Noel realised after his chat with Mike, who he describes as one of Myton’s ‘founding fathers’, that the early history of the charity could soon be forgotten. He approached his friend and accomplished local author Michael Jeffs about the possibility of writing a book about the history of Myton. Many records and details of events in the history of Myton were missing or no longer accessible but Mick has had a helping hand from plenty of people along the way in researching and writing the book to mark the charity’s 35th birthday. Although Myton’s first hospice, in Warwick, opened in 1982 the campaign to fund the project was launched in 1979. By June 1982 over £500,000 had been raised by the founding trustees and dedicated fundraisers.

Noel Hunter said: “The people who founded Myton took a real risk on it. If those people hadn’t put the effort in and taken the chance, Myton would never have happened. If we didn’t write about Myton’s history now, some things could have been completely forgotten.” The book is available to buy from the reception at each of Myton’s three hospices, as well as their charity shops across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Myton Author Michael Jeffs Myton, CEO Ruth Freeman and Myton Chair of Trustees Noel Hunter

As part of their involvement with the Bladder and Bowel Community, Southambased online marketing agency Miromedia have brought the Community’s ‘Just Can’t Wait’ toilet card into the 21st Century with the development of an iOS app. Designed for use by sufferers of bladder and bowel related conditions who may need to use the toilet at a moment’s notice, the original card allowed the holder to explain and avoid a potentially embarrassing situation quickly. The app does the same but is now even more convenient due to being with the holder wherever they have their phone. By opening and showing the app to staff in locations including retail outlets, restaurants and coffee shops, holders can be granted access to a toilet usually not accessible to the public. Using the universally acknowledged W.C. signage, the app provides the benefit of discreet and clear communication for those moments where you just can’t wait to use the toilet. The app was designed by Miromedia and developed by LimeNinja free of charge. Available to download in the UK, US and Europe, it is available in 14 different languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Mandarin and Hindi. Miromedia’s involvement with the Bladder & Bowel Community stems back to February 2015, when they built a website for the charity.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire

Independence day for students as White House officially opened White House, learning about budgeting, shopping, healthy lifestyle choices and independent living skills. Students on higher level courses working with WCG Inclusion Team access the House to develop work awareness, social inclusion, healthy lifestyles, personal safety and independent living skills. Romy Dixon, Head of Supported Learning at WCG said, “The house is set up to give a real experience of domestic life but with some very special features and facilities to create a flexible learning environment that is accessible and structured around experiential learning. It is a fantastic place to learn and the students love it here.”

A traditional farmhouse at Moreton Morrell College has been transformed into a place where students with special educational needs can learn to live independently, thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council (WCC). The White House was officially opened by Group Principal and CEO of WCG, Angela Joyce and Cllr Colin Hayfield, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Education & Learning from WCC.

WCG were awarded £292,375 from WCC to renovate and convert the existing farm buildings at Moreton Morrell College as an independent living and learning resource

to teach life skills for supported living, employment skills, health and well being and social inclusion. The project - which was developed in response to the SEND Reform and Children and Families Act 2014 and from feedback from parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs - was designed as a hub to bring together the key agencies involved in successful transition for students from school to college and from further education to wider opportunities in adulthood. WCG Supported Learning students from Leamington and Moreton Morrell use the

Cllr Colin Hayfield, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for education and learning, said: “Warwickshire County Council is committed to exploring and extending opportunities for learning to our most vulnerable residents. The facilities at the White House are now outstanding and the county council was pleased to support the excellent work that is taking place there." Luca Webster, 21, from Napton-on-theHill is on the Skillbuilder course. She said, “At the White House I learn independent living skills - such as shopping and cleaning - to prepare me for when I move into my own flat. The White House is in such a lovely setting out in the countryside and all the students really like coming here.”

Environmental success for abm abm Catering Limited has once again passed its ISO 14001 audit, retaining its Environmental Management Accreditation.

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard for the management of businesses; recommending controls for activities that have an effect on the environment. These include the use of natural resources, handling and treatment or waste and energy consumption. Neil Floyd, Group Finance Director, said: “We are delighted to retain our ISO 14001 Environmental Management Accreditation, which demonstrates the continued importance and focus that abm places on being a responsible, environmentally aware business. “It demonstrates to our clients that we are not just passionate about providing exceptional food, exceptional service and exceptional people, we are also proud to do so in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.” abm Catering Limited was founded in 1983 and operates contracts across the UK, from clients in education, business, industry, care and stadia.

Hairdresser takes its service to villages A hairdresser is using a caravan as a mobile hair salon to bring his skillset to small villages in Warwickshire. Bravo Barbers, owned and run by Julian Rahau, is travelling around the region to give haircuts to people who can’t travel and do not have a hairdresser nearby. Julian was working as a window cleaner, before a fall from his ladder led him to seek a new career path and now he has set up his own business, after receiving free help and advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, through the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme. His mobile hair salon can be seen in villages around Warwick and Leamington Spa – and currently parks up every Monday in Barford to cut gents and ladies hair in the village. Julian offers services including haircuts, skin fades, hair patterns, threading, waxing and eyelash extensions. Originally from Romania, Julian moved to the UK three years ago and then to Warwick a year later. Following his ladder fall, Julian’s landlord introduced him to a hairdresser, who started his training in the profession – before going on to complete a course at Warwickshire College. Julian said: “I broke my heel when I fell from the ladder and that accident changed my whole perspective on life. “I’ve always been good with my hands, so I started to train as a hairdresser, took a college course, worked as a barber in a salon and that has got me to this point - where I’m ready to begin my journey with Bravo Barbers. “I’m going to reach people in areas without a hairdresser – they don’t have to drive or find a parking space, watch the time and be in a rush. They can just walk-in and relax. “You have to have the courage to take that step but I have always thought myself as an entrepreneur with a lot of creativity. “The Chamber of Commerce have been with me since the beginning. As well as teaching me

about finance, branding, legal and commercial – they helped me to meet people with ambitions similar to mine, developing new contacts and friends through networking. “I did some startup training, and then had my own mentor Tanya King, who helped me set it all up, she was Julian Rahau and Tanya King in the brilliant, she Bravo Barbers caravan recommended some other courses I could attend and helped to further my business development.” Tanya King, business coach at the Chamber, said: “Julian is providing a fantastic service for those in Warwickshire who can’t reach a hairdresser and having his shop in a mobile caravan is very innovative. “He took on board all the advice we gave regarding legal, finance and branding his business. He had the ambition and now has the tools to go away and get his business started. “Julian is a very ambitious and determined individual, a great example of what you can achieve if you put in the hard work, and I wish him success going forward with Bravo Barbers.” The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils. For more information or to book on to the Business Support programme call the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or log onto To contact Bravo Barbers e-mail, follow and share on Facebook, or call 07405 657272.


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Area Focus: North Warwickshire

Croner named as chosen suppliers CIPD has chosen Croner as the preferred supplier for its telephone support line, offering employment law and health and safety support to members around the clock. In a new appointment, Croner, with more than 70 years’ experience in employment law and health & safety, will provide 24/7 telephone support and guidance for members of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. Croner’s telephone service will work alongside the CIPD’s HR-inform platform, which already provides subscribers with a wealth of information on employment law issues. Darren Chadwick, Chief Commercial Officer of Croner, said: “Our team of dedicated experts are ready and waiting to serve the community of CIPD members. Available around the clock, we offer accurate, up to date, sensible and commercial advice. Our experienced advisors provide detailed and relevant advice in matters relating to employment law and health & safety; we look forward to working closely with CIPD members to help them address and resolve their issues in these areas.”

Government campaign places Empress Ale on the world stage

A craft beer company based here in Warwickshire, which launched to the market 18 months ago, will stand alongside such organisations as Aston Martin and Burberry in a Government campaign to promote the UK.

IC Solutions secures standard

Ashley-Thomas Jones (Marketing Executive), Oliver Canty (Managing Director), Kerri Harris (Business Administrator) and Geoff Edwards (Senior Technician).

IC Solutions 24/7 Limited are one of the first companies within their sector to be successfully audited against the ISO 9001: 2015 standard. The Nuneaton-based company delivers the latest infection control products and services to the United Kingdom and Europe. It was established in 2010 by Oliver Canty, who had previously worked within the infection control sector. Oliver said: “We are excited to be awarded the latest ISO 9001:2015 standard, making us one of the first companies in Warwickshire to receive this international quality standard.”


An ISO 9001: 2015 certification provides businesses several benefits as it enables them to show their customers that they’re constantly striving towards quality and service. The decision to work towards the new standard was agreed upon by Oliver and Sharon Burbidge, the Office Manager. The company passed on first attempt. Auditor Stuart Smith from CQS, carried out the audits. Sharon said: “Once the audit was completed, we received a certificate to prove our compliance. It has taken pride of place hanging in our small reception area, so that customers and staff alike can see that we deliver quality.”

Empress Ale, which was founded by Surj Virk to complement spiced food, is featuring in and supporting the global Great Britain campaign. The campaign showcases the best of what the UK has to offer the world, encouraging people to visit, do business, invest and study in Britain. GREAT is now active in over 144 countries worldwide and the promotional campaigns can be seen from Shanghai to San Francisco. It has secured over £2bn in economic benefit to the UK, with a further £2bn currently in the pipeline. Other eminent companies taking part include Mulberry, Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren. Surj, 37, said: “We are so pleased to be featured in HM Governments Great Britain campaign, especially as we are such a new company. To be included next to some of the biggest and most successful names in British industry is a huge honour and is one of which we’re extremely proud.” It is certainly an exciting time for Empress Ale, having also just secured investment from notable business entrepreneur Grenville Turner. With almost 40 years’ experience in retail banking and the property sector, Mr Turner was a non-executive director of the Department for

Communities and Local Government and holds the same position for Zoopla Property Group and is vicechairman of the English National Ballet. He said: “When investing in a business, you are looking for a great product that addresses a clear market need, driven by a passionate leader. Empress Ale stands out in this way and I am delighted to support Surj in elevating it to new markets.” Surj said the entrepreneur’s support was a huge coup for the company. He explained: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that Grenville has shown such faith in Empress Ale and we are really grateful for his backing. We’re sure that his vast experience and wealth of knowledge will help us take the beer to the next level.” Empress Ale is available to buy online, while it is also on the menu of a number of high profile restaurants including Michelin-starred Benares and The Leela Palace’s Jamavar, both in London’s Mayfair. For more information about Empress Ale, visit or email You can also follow the ale on Facebook and Twitter.

Employee relocation – an increasing need Extensive knowledge of the property market and a long standing working relationship with agents and private landlords have contributed towards Warwick-based Central Relocation Services (CRS) celebrating more than 20 years of successfully providing relocation services to many large and small companies in Warwickshire and the West Midlands. Jenny Dawe, Director of CRS, said: “I am convinced that local knowledge is vital in supporting employees moving to a new area, especially in the fast moving property market in the Midlands, so that they can settle-in quickly. “This in turn allows the employee to start their new job, happy in the knowledge that their family is being guided through the maze of rules and regulations which confront the incomer – especially those from overseas”.

Although the benefits of assisting employees to settle-into their new job is now appreciated by the larger employers, it is surprising how much scope there still is for smaller firms in the area to benefit in the same way. An employee coping with the numerous problems of finding a house or flat, suitable schools for their children, doctors for the family and so on, cannot possibly give their full attention to their new job. Additionally, Jenny points out, that the supply of employees is becoming increasingly multi-national and therefore, in greater need of help. The experienced relocation agent will have managed this situation many times before and will understand exactly the employee’s needs, including finding somewhere to live, registering with a doctor, settling educational problems and possibly arranging for rental furniture to be delivered while the employee’s shipment is on its way.

“I am convinced that local knowledge is vital in supporting employees moving to a new area, especially in the fast moving property market in the Midlands, so that they can settle-in quickly.“

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: South Warwickshire

Warwick Conferences’ commitment New partnership in Warwickshire to sustainability rewarded Peter Drew Contracts, based in

Warwick Conferences, the award-winning collection of meeting venues on the University of Warwick campus, has been awarded Gold accreditation by Green Tourism for its newest venue – The Slate – just seven months after opening. In addition, its three other dedicated conference venues – Arden, Scarman and Radcliffe - have received Silver accreditation as part of the organisation’s mission to create an eco-friendlier environment. In order to be accredited by Green Tourism, businesses must satisfy specific criteria which covers all aspects of sustainability, from energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity to social and ethical choices. As part of the world-leading University of Warwick, Warwick Conferences has aligned its objectives with the University’s mission to make the campus greener, resulting in both organisations working together to ensure a positive impact on the wider community. The Slate, which opened in December 2016, was designed and built with

sustainability in mind, and boasts low-energy consumption. Its Gold standard accreditation indicates an ‘inspirational and outstanding’ commitment to sustainability with the use of the latest technologies, efficient control of resource use such as flow control values on all taps and WCS to reduce water consumption, and the use of sustainable fish and meat products. Arden, Scarman and Radcliffe have all achieved an ‘excellent and progressive’ Silver accreditation, with the venue teams already working towards securing Gold in the coming year. Each of the venues has demonstrated significant use of recycled products, the sourcing of supplies from ethical and local areas, as well as energy and water efficiency. Richard Harrison, Head of Conference Centres, said: “We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to reduce any negative impacts our business may have on the environment. To have four of our venues accredited either Gold or Silver by Green Tourism, the natural leader in green grading, is an outstanding achievement.”

Bidford on Avon, won a new contract with the Commercial Strip Out Site Services company Goldhill Contracting, situated in Alcester. Tim Drew, Managing Director for Peter Drew Contracts, (pictured left), said: “Although we are a nationwide supplier of work wear and uniform, we strive to develop relationships with local businesses in the area which is why our opportunity to supply Goldhill Contracting Limited is particularly good news for us.” Peter Drew Contracts have successfully built a robust client base in the area working across a diverse range of organisations from transport and logistics to security. James Morrall, Contracts Manager for Goldhill Contracting, (pictured right), said:

“It is their capacity to deliver bespoke workwear in a speedy manner that made Goldhill Contracting choose Peter Drew Contracts as their new supplier.”

Billesley Manor heralds new ownership The Burman Family, promoters of Dabur India Limited, one of India’s leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies, along with India’s BI Group, has announced the acquisition of Warwickshire’s historic Billesley Manor Hotel. Alongside the change in ownership, Bespoke Hotels has been appointed to manage the property, completing a unique milestone for the group, which first took ownership of the historic 16th Century estate in 1999 before its sale in 2005 following a period of outstanding performance. The historic manor house has 72 bedrooms set within 11 acres of picturesque landscaped grounds and topiary gardens, alongside an AA Rosette-awarded restaurant, extensive

conferencing and events facilities, as well as a health and beauty space. Located in the heart of Shakespearean England, on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon, the building’s library is even said to have been visited by the Immortal Bard himself. “We are tremendously excited by the potential of Billesley Manor”, said Mr Bhagat, Chairman of the BI Group. Haydn Fentum, CEO of Bespoke Hotels, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Warwickshire and resuming our relationship with Billesley Manor. Having overseen our initial purchase of the property some two decades ago, it is a great source of pride to have been invited back to the helm and we are looking forward to working alongside the new owners.

Lecturer turns talents to breakout business venture A Visual Arts lecturer at Stratford-uponAvon College is enjoying entrepreneurial success, offering unique, quirky and sometimes outrageous fashion designs to clients. Jen Burton, originally from Devon and now living in Shirley, is the owner of Bunny Pumpkin Boutique, a design studio that creates customised shoes, bags and accessories to satisfy any customers’ extravagant flair for style. She launched the business six years ago and, when asked what inspired her to do so, she has one clear answer. “My big feet - I simply couldn’t find nice shoes to wear! I make shoes from size 1 and a half to size 12 for women and even higher for men.” Having created numerous ranges of shoes, clothes and accessories, Jen is most proud of the extravagant shoe designs she produced under the name Seven Deadly Sins. The range was showcased on the catwalk in London, and worn by internationally-acclaimed pin-up model October Divine.

She is particularly excited about an upcoming product designed to alleviate the pains of many a high-heel wearer. No More Sore Paws is a foot spray that allows people to wear heels all day without hurting their feet. Over the next few months Jen is also set to launch a Game of Thrones-inspired range, including dragon boots and a White Walker pair of flats. Despite running the burgeoning business, Jen has no plans to leave teaching. She said: “I love working with young, creative, artisticallyminded people. If I didn’t teach, I don’t think I’d be anything like as creative myself - I get as much from them as they do from me.”

Tribunal claims ‘to soar’ The Supreme Court has ruled that Employment Tribunal fees are unlawful. Following the introduction of fees in 2013, there has been a 79% reduction in the number of tribunal claims. Trade Union Unison argued that the fees prevented workers from accessing justice. The Supreme Court ruled the Government has acted unlawfully and unconstitutionally when the fees were introduced. Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, said: “These unfair fees have let law-breaking bosses off the hook these past four years, and left badly treated staff with no choice but to put up or shut up”.

The Government have confirmed that they will be taking 'immediate steps' to stop charging fees and will set up refunds for the £32m of fees already paid. With the prospect of “no-cost tribunals”, we are likely to see a significant increase in the number of cases. Tracey Hudson, Managing Director of The HR Dept (South Warwickshire), a local HR outsourcing company, said: “Whilst there’s likely to be more tribunal claims, there’s no need to panic. We give professional and sound guidance at The HR Dept, and our retained clients have full tribunal insurance to protect them from costly tribunal claims.”


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Area Focus: Rugby

Construction students enjoy success at competition “We’re really proud of Paul as this is the second year in a row he has achieved first place the Skillbuild event, and the judges commented on how good his work is.” Rugby College construction students and apprentices excelled at the regional heats of a national construction skills competition. The three students, representing the college’s carpentry and joinery department, visited South and City College in Birmingham to take part in the CITB Skillbuild competition, pitting their talents against the best students from across the West Midlands.

Elliot Bates from Rugby won first place in the New Entrant Carpentry competition, Nigel Mills from Coventry won first place in the New Entrant Joinery competition while Paul Edmonds from Rugby was awarded first place in the Senior Joinery competition. Paul has just completed his Level 2 Carpentry and Joinery and was recently named Construction Student of the Year at the Rugby College FE Awards. Bernard Wale, Paul’s tutor, said: “We’re really proud of Paul as this is the second

year in a row he has achieved first place the Skillbuild event, and the judges commented on how good his work is” Elliot and Nigel are both apprentices at Stepnell Ltd in Rugby, completing their training at Rugby College. They were recruited from the college after completing work experience at the company. Karen Ryan, Best Practice Manager at Stepnell Ltd, said: “Originally, we only had one vacancy for a joiner, but they impressed us so much we recruited both -

Nigel as an apprentice joiner and Elliot as a site carpenter. “We’re really proud that both Elliot and Nigel have done exceptionally well at the Skillbuild competition - it shows that we really are recruiting the best people.” John Billings, lecturer in construction at Rugby College, said: “We are really proud of all the students who took part in the competition - they did a fantastic job in what can be a very stressful environment so they are a credit to the college.”

The Houlton community is taking shape “As part of the third phase of the operation, Crest Nicholson will be building 200 homes within its development Hansford Park. Once again, the name is link to the site’s heritage. R V Hansford was a key figure in the development of Rugby Radio Station back in the 1920s.” Progress is well underway on the house sales front at Rugby’s newest community. Premium housebuilders Davidsons has been selling homes for some months now, and the number of enquiries and sales has been encouraging. The future residents of Houlton are obviously recognising the benefits of the vision that’s taking shape there. A fabulous location, beautiful country settings, fine homes and easy connections to the rest of the country. The pace looks set to pick up considerably in the coming months with the arrival of two more high-quality housebuilders. Morris Homes and Crest Nicholson will join Davidsons Homes in the design and construction of properties at the site. The Morris Homes development will be named The Beacons – a fitting name for the former radio station and mast site.


As part of the third phase of the operation, Crest Nicholson will be building 200 homes within its development Hansford Park. Once again, the name is link to the site’s heritage. R V Hansford was a key figure in the development of Rugby Radio Station back in the 1920s. Finally, construction is commencing on the new link road connecting Houlton to Butlers Leap. As well as easing congestion around Hillmorton and Clifton, the new road will provide access to the services and amenities of Rugby. Benefits will abound for both communities as links develop and the new Houlton community begins to take shape. For further information on quality homes at Houlton, visit and For more details on the progress of the new link road, visit

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


The importance of education Never has the need for developing skills of new and established staff been more apparent for businesses as the economy works to tackle increasing challenges, including the skills gap. It’s a joined up process and it begins with schools, colleges and universities who aim to motivate and support young people to raise their levels of achievement and aspiration, gain relevant work related

Graduate Opportunities Established in 2003, conceived and led by Aston University, Graduate Advantage (GA) is the UK’s longest running Higher Education Institution Partnership of its kind. Engaging primarily with small to medium sized business (SME) in the West Midlands GA works to increase the amount of graduate employers within the region through the provision of impactful, graduate opportunities. We offer a FREE recruitment service and aim to retain our talent in the region and take the pain out of the process for both our employers and graduates. Graduate Advantage c/o Aston University Aston Triangle Birmingham West Midlands B4 7ET

Flexible, life-shaped learning opportunities Gaining a Higher Education qualification has never been easier with CU Coventry, part of the Coventry University group. Offering flexible, life-shaped learning opportunities such as Saturday University, will help you to complete your degree by studying one day a week, in just three years. With the opportunity to choose from six different start dates throughout the year, you can begin your studies at a time that suits you. With a variety of subjects available, including Management and Leadership, Law, Sales and Marketing and Accounting and start dates available in October, January, April and June, you’re sure to find a course to suit you. If finances are a concern then don’t worry, student loans are available which means no upfront costs. And you don’t start paying the loan back until you earning over £21,000. Our Access to HE programmes are an ideal way to get back in to higher education if you don’t hold any formal qualifications.

skills and develop an understanding of the world of work. Training and Continuous Professional Development can also play a key role in helping companies to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them and can allow staff to bring forward fresh ideas because they have been exposed to different ways of thinking. It is important not to forget that education does not stop when you leave college or university, it is a lifelong

process. Training programmes can provide the vital skills to maintain this culture throughout the working lives of employees. Training typically falls into two categories; the training of people for new roles and the training of those already in jobs who wish to develop their skills further. A key part of training is teaching practical skills, everything from understanding the fundamentals in leadership to keeping on top of effective customer service, but

training programmes also help employees to recognise opportunities when they see them. Sometimes, the opportunity to step aside from the day job and spend time on a training programme can have dramatic outcomes. Coventry & Warwickshire is rich in nationally recognised providers and we are highlighting a selection for you in this special Education & Training feature. We would highly recommend engaging with the following to the benefit of your company.

Not looking for a full degree? Our professional courses are available to further your current career or start your progression onto another. Offering courses ranging from Level 2 to Level 6, with some courses lasting as little as 10 weeks, whatever your circumstances, there is a starting point for everyone. With formal qualifications not always required for entry, and student finance available for some courses, our professional qualifications can help you to build on new and existing skills. Visit or Search ‘CU Coventry’ to book on to an open day and find out more. Talk: 024 7765 8787 Write:

Local Businesses to benefit from College partnership

skilled and motivated workforce, contributing to improved performance and success for your business. We have excellent business and industry partnerships and positive relationships with over 1100 employers nationally, from household names like Jaguar Land Rover and BT Fleet to regional SMEs, delivering training to over 2500 apprentices every year. We work around your needs We offer a bespoke solution that makes it easy to upskill your existing workforce or take on a new apprentice. We’ll guide you through the process, handling all administration and training arrangements. “Having two apprentices is invaluable as it has enabled me to accelerate the growth of my business in a cost effective manner, whilst providing two young people with an opportunity to gain valuable business skills in an exciting entrepreneurial business.” Charlie Rodman, Founder and Director, Doodletogs Contact our Work Based Learning team about: • Getting the most out of the new levy • Funding your staff development • The right solution for your skills needs 0300 456 0046 Team on 01789 266245

Choosing your Apprenticeship provider North Warwickshire & Hinckley College is a leading further education training provider located in the Midlands. We work closely with small, medium and large businesses to provide Apprenticeships in: Business and Administration, Construction, Education, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Health and Life Sciences, Logistics and Motor Vehicle. Why choose us? • Ofsted Good rating • We are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers • Extensive experience – we work with over 600 employer partners, training approximately 1,800 Apprentices • Central, easy to access locations across North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire To find out more, contact: 024 7624 3000 For further information please contact: Amanda Rowland-Jones 024 7624 3041

Stratford-upon-Avon College, along with its chosen merger partner, Solihull College & University Centre, looks forward to a secure, successful future for the local business community. The target date for the merger is 1st January 2018, and both organisations are excited about the potential to offer greater training provisions for businesses throughout Warwickshire and beyond. Stevie Edmund-Jones, Head of Employer Engagement commented “The merger will allow us to develop deeper relationships with local employers, forge new apprenticeship opportunities and better serve the community. There have been many changes to apprenticeship funding and together as a larger organisation we will be in great a position to support employers.” To discuss the range of training opportunities available, call the college Work Based Learning

Give your business a boost with WCG WCG (Warwickshire College Group) is the largest training provider in the region, with seven colleges across Worcestershire and Warwickshire. We can help you develop a

“It is important not to forget that education does not stop when you leave college or university, it is a lifelong process. Training programmes can provide the vital skills to maintain this culture throughout the working lives of employees.” 35

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Accountancy Apprenticeships – so what’s changing? “We are one of the largest college deliverers of apprenticeships across the region and we pride ourselves on the fact that we equip our students with the necessary skills to make them ready for the world of work.” The accountancy apprenticeship programme advisers from left to right: Karen Devany, Sally Lucas, Andrew Wade, Jan Ryan and Christine Giles.

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training (CWCT) recently hosted a breakfast briefing to announce the exciting new changes to the Accountancy apprenticeship programme. Over 25 firms attended the exclusive briefing with CWCT. The briefing highlighted the changes in accountancy apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 4 and covered the new funding arrangements, assessment requirements, and apprenticeship delivery models and how business can contribute to staff development in the new world. Jan Ryan, Operations Director at CWCT commented: “The government is keen to improve the quality and rigour of apprenticeships so the frameworks have been replaced by ‘employer-designed’ standards. These new standards still include the AAT qualification and have been enhanced with a renewed focus on the broader job role, improving the performance of apprentices within the workplace, with enhanced assessment criteria and a 15-18 month minimum duration leading to an end point assessment.” The new funding arrangements for apprenticeships will be accessed via the Levy for larger employers or 90% from the Education and Skills Funding Agency with a 10% contribution from business. For smaller employers (under 50 staff) employing a 16-18 year old apprentice the training is fully funded. All employers will receive £1,000 incentive for 16-18 year old apprentices. CWCT has joined forces with Kaplan Financial Limited as they have an established range of high quality study programmes to support students through these new challenges. The team at CWCT can provide students with a bespoke classroom tuition, high quality support and 1:1 workplace support for portfolio development. We would urge accountancy firms to get in touch with one of our advisers to find out how these changes can assist them to train the next generation of accountants for your business. To find out more, please contact Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training on 024 7623 1122 or email Patricia Merrett at


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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Festive Season

Despite all the turbulence in this postBrexit Referendum world, people still want to celebrate the festive season – perhaps even more than usual.

Party on regardless! Summer may have just come to an endbut it’s the time of year when people are already thinking about booking that all-important Christmas Party. 38

A good Christmas Party can do wonders for staff morale, which is crucial in these uncertain times, and the chance of finding the best venue for your needs is very high indeed as long as you take care in preparing the groundwork. The Coventry & Warwickshire area is blessed with excellent restaurants, hotels and other alternative venues that can stage the best parties possible, taxi and executive car companies that can take you home or hotels and guest houses should you decide to spend the night. So how do you know how to select the best venue? Well, it’s all down to first impressions - do you like the décor, does the ambience feel like it can generate a good atmosphere, are the staff friendly? It is crucial to selecting venues that make everyone feel welcome. Some staff members might not appreciate a busy pub, others might not want a restaurant so it’s worth putting a bit of thought into making a choice that strikes the right balance. Choosing the right menu is important as well. People like choice so even though most guests will go for the traditional Christmas meal, it’s a good idea to make sure the venue offers an alternative - and definitely a vegetarian option. Also, people like to be appreciated. Maybe your staff and suppliers have gone over and beyond what was expected of them to help the business. A good boss knows to acknowledge that at the Christmas party. Maybe a tribute in a short speech or a thank you note on place settings would be a good idea. And, yes times, have been tough for some, yes, budgets have been tight, but a cheap party looks cheap so if you are a boss who is determined to hold one, loosen the purse-strings a little - err on the side of generous and your staff will appreciate the gesture. However, for some people a straightforward party is not enough and there is a growing trend for something a bit more ambitious to celebrate the festive period. Themed parties can work really well so consider what will generate the most goodwill and what kind of event will appeal to most people. That could mean bringing in specialist companies to dress up venues to mimic everything from Thirties America to space-age celebrations. Anything is possible. Whatever you fancy venues or specialist events companies can oblige, providing the right décor and costumes and guaranteeing the right ambience. Such events could happen everywhere from hotels and restaurants to marquees in gardens – it does not really matter where because venues and events companies are adept at making magic happen. All you need to bring is that initial spark of imagination and they can make the rest happen.

Coventry & Warwickshire has an excellent array of fine restaurants, hotels and other venues that can host the best parties possible. Featured here are three chamber members who can be highly recommended. Sherbourne Park is the ideal location for corporate entertaining. Have exclusive use of the house itself or our self-contained meeting / dining suite with in-house chef. Hire the house to entertain overseas visitors in style or to come back to and relax. We have open fires in the downstairs rooms and a real country house atmosphere. Easy access to local transport links saves valuable travelling time. We offer a flexible timetable to suit your requirements and over 1000 acres including woodland and the River Avon for recreation.

Celebrate this festive season at Macdonald Ansty Hall Hotel. Macdonald Ansty Hall is a grade II listed Georgian house set in 8 acres of grounds and one of the finest 4-star hotels in Warwickshire. Set in the heart of Shakespeare Country, the hotel offers fantastic views of the rolling countryside, delicious food, fine wine and the warmest of welcomes. Christmas here is truly magical. Why not join us for one of our Christmas party nights throughout November and December. Enjoy a festive 3 course feast with friends, family or colleagues before putting on your dancing shoes and sparkling on the dance floor. Hold your own private party in the Orangery Suite or Rose Room or alternatively join one of our mixed party nights. Prices start from £29.95 per adult, discounted drinks packages are also available to pre order. Fancy making a night of it? Discounted accommodation is available to all our party guests and includes the full Macdonald Hotels breakfast. For further information and to book please contact our Christmas Coordinator on 02476 612222 or email

The Chronicles of Christmas come to Southam “Whether you are looking for a top-notch venue to host a celebration, organising a high-profile conference or simply keen to learn a new sport, Dallas Burston Polo Club is the place to be. Nestled in the heart of England, our supreme destination venue in Southam is an award-winning facility that couples first-class service with a picturesque location. Home to many popular annual events in Warwickshire including the glamorous Ladies Day, the family favourite Polo in the Park and the prestigious Fine & Country, our Club is more than just one of the country’s most impressive sports facilities. For our four days of festive fantasy we combine live entertainment, a three-course dinner, and an array of Christmas novelties. See our advert for further details. Our 600-acre estate consists of indoor and outdoor event space, offering a choice of unique venues for conferences, team-building days, sporting spectacles and a whole range of live entertainment.” For further information call 01926 811111 Email:

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Festive Season

SHERBOURNE PARK Impressive Grade II listed Georgian house The perfect venue for corporate events

Facilities include: • Exclusive accommodation in the house itself • Private self-contained meeting / dining suite / in-house chef • Three croquet lawns ideal for corporate team-building • Heated swimming pool June-August • Tennis Court • Choice of Marquee sites • Parking for up to 250 cars • Easy access to the M40, NEC, airport and rail network Within 20 minutes of Birmingham Airport and NEC Sherbourne Park is a perfect centre for entertaining visitors to exhibitions and from overseas. _________________________________________________________________ Sherbourne Park, Warwick, CV35 8AP 01926 624 215 website


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C & W September issue 61_C&W master Layout 05/09/2017 08:37 Page 41

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Chamber backs Coventry to land culture title Welcome for

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce welcomed news that Coventry made the UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist and is now in a five-way race to win the title. The eleven bidding cities have been whittled down by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Coventry is joined by Paisley, Sunderland, Stoke and Swansea on the candidate city shortlist. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have backed the bid to be UK City of Culture since very early on in the process because we can see clearly the social, cultural and economic benefits it will bring.

“You only have to look at the impact it has had on Hull to see what it could do or Coventry and the wider region. “We are delighted that Coventry has made the shortlist and we must now all work as hard as |we can to help the city land the title.” Coventry City of Culture Trust, the organisation behind the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021, must now put together a final bid document and will present it to a panel of judges later this year. The bid’s themes build on the city’s reputation for being human and welcoming people from across the world, as well as being a city of invention and underground culture.

David Burbidge, Chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “A huge amount of hard work has already gone into the bid from a whole range of people and organisations across the city and region. Now, we are more determined than ever to win this for Coventry and its people.” Coventry City Council, the University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Adient, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, PET-Xi, SCC, Pertemps, CEF (City Electrical Factors) and Listers are also Bid Development Sponsors. To show your support for Coventry’s bid on social media, go to @Coventry2021 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information, log onto

The shortlist in full: Business Tourism Award • Conference Coventry and Warwickshire • Shakespeare’s England • Warwick Conferences • Woodside

Best Venue Live Music / Arts / Theatre • The Ricoh Arena • Stratford Artshouse • The Tin • Theatre Absolute • Warwick Arts Centre

Small Hotel / B&B / Inn / Accommodation • Avonlea • Hilltop Hideaways Ltd • Twelthnight Guesthouse • One Abbey lane

The Culture Award • Coventry Priory Visitors Centre • Heritage & Culture Warwickshire • Motionhouse • Warwick Arts centre

Best Hotel • Chesford Grange Hotel • Coombe Abbey Hotel • The Episode Hotel • Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa • Village Hotel Club, Coventry

Cultural Education • ASH Stage Productions • Highly Sprung • In2Cultures • Warwick Arts Centre

Best Pub • The Boat Inn • The Folly Inn • The Hatton Arms • Twisted Barrel Best Restaurant • The Fourteas • Manor Farm Shop & Farmhouse Kitchen • Oscars French Bistro • Turmeric Gold

Artisan Award • Caking & Baking • Swirls • Twisted Barrel Ale • Wilde Nuts Ltd History & Heritage Award • The Royal Shakespeare Company • Shakespeare’s New Place • Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall • World Rugby Hall of Fame

Kids & Families Award • The MAD Museum • Mr Karting • Rugby Art Gallery & Museum Customer Care / Team Award • Aubrey Allen • Bubble Boba • The Hatton Arms • Mr Karting • Swirls Visitor Attraction • Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park • FarGo Village • The MAD Museum • Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall Tourism Event • OVO Energy Women’s Cycle Tour (Warwickshire County Council & University of Warwick in partnership) • Coventry Transport Museum • Godiva Festival • Leamington Art in the Park Festival

Erratic internet a worry for small businesses The smallest businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire are the ones suffering with the least reliable internet services. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council, asked firms as part of its Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) how they rated their broadband. Nearly 500 companies responded and 37 per cent said it was extremely reliable, 47 per cent said it was fairly reliable and just 13 per cent said it was not reliable. But of the businesses that said their broadband services were not reliable, the majority were micro-sized companies which means they have between one and nine employees.

Of those asked, 52 per cent said they received fibre broadband, 15 per cent were on copper broadband and 15 per cent had dedicated internet access through a leased line or Ethernet connection. No business surveyed uses dial-up. The vast majority of firms (87 per cent) believe that internet is extremely important for their business. Martyne Manning, policy officer at the Chamber, said: “We asked additional questions in our latest QES on the subject of broadband to gauge how businesses rated these vital services. “It is clear from the results that it is microbusinesses who need the most help in accessing reliable broadband services.

“It shows there is scope to improve reliability across the city and the county and, as a Chamber, we will be working hard to ensure that companies can access vital, reliable broadband services.”

For more information go to

Business leaders say the new A46 link road scheme is a positive stepping stone for economic growth in the region.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has been making the case for a new ‘outer ring road’ for the area, which local authorities are now proposing, and the new link will be the first part of a ten-year development. It will be on the south and west of the city, connecting the A46 at Stoneleigh/Gibbett Hill to the A45 beyond Eastern Green and would be delivered in three phases. The Stoneleigh Junction scheme is planned for delivery by mid-2019 and will see a major improvement implemented at the Stoneleigh Junction on the A46 between Coventry and Kenilworth to form a gyratory layout with two bridge roundabout.

Event will showcase the best the region can offer The shortlist for Coventry and Warwickshire’s best pubs, restaurants, venues and attractions has been drawn up – and it includes everything from independent venues through to international arenas. The Coventry and Warwickshire Tourism and Culture Awards is being held on Thursday, September 21, at Coombe Abbey Hotel and will see 14 awards handed out in a range of categories as well as a few special surprises on the night. The event is being organised by Touch FM and Rugby FM and is being supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust – the organisation behind Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture – Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council, Shakespeare’s England and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. The black tie event will be hosted by Touch FM’s Ollie Gallant and Si Alexander and this year is priced at just £30 + VAT per person to make it more affordable and accessible to smaller venues and businesses who may want to attend with staff. Businesses and venues from right across the region have made the shortlist and Jo Billings, Regional Events Director of Quidem Media – the company behind Touch FM and Rugby FM – said making the final was an achievement in itself. Jo said: “The strength of nominations this year has surpassed anything we have seen previously. More than 120 businesses put themselves forward for an award so it really is a major achievement to have been shortlisted in any of the categories.”

road plan

This will involve installing a new bridge to the east of the existing junction and realigning Stoneleigh Road and Dalehouse Lane. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber fully supports the economic growth of Coventry and the sub-region and key new infrastructure like this is essential if we are to deliver on the ambitious plans we collectively have for our future. “Our Go For Growth campaign highlighted many issues that would impact economic growth – and infrastructure in the region was one of those. “So we are delighted to see this new phase of work beginning on what will be a vital link in the region’s road network. “This new outer ring road will both open up and service important new housing plans but also ensure that the economic growth of the University of Warwick, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Westwood Business Park and others can be enhanced. “It will also deal with the existing traffic problems already being felt in that part of the city and in Kenilworth as our economy goes from strength to strength. “This links through to another issue we have been highlighting – the need for more employment land across the area. The improvements to infrastructure very much opens the door for more land to be developed across the region to meet the growing needs of business wanting to expand and to meet all of our aspirations. “We’ve highlighted it before, but it’s worth saying again, it’s absolutely vital that we ensure there is the space available for companies that want to grow in order to keep existing and bring new investment and jobs to Coventry and Warwickshire.”


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Hansonlawrie supports foundation

In the lead up to William Syndrome month, hansonlawrie decided to organise a Gala dinner to kick-start fundraising. Hansonlawrie co-founder Paul Lawrie has a special connection to the cause as his daughter was diagnosed with this rare genetic condition at a young age. William Syndrome affects people in the way they interact with others, and is usually characterised by the individuals

outgoing, engaging personalities, they tend to be overly and empathetic, even to strangers. Danger arises from their friendliness being exploited. The aim of the night was not only to raise funds but also raise awareness of this rare condition. The night enjoyed by 180 people, raised more thah £10, 700 in funds from ticket sales, raffles, bar sales and auction items.

The night was a success thanks to the participation of Paul Lawrie’s network of contacts and clients. Some noteworthy prizes dished out on the night included a weekend in Wales that went for £400, a signed West Brom shirt that bagged £300 but the biggest auction sale was to 2 tickets to watch Scotland v New Zealand that went for £575. A representative from the foundation said: “Without the help of those such as Paul who volunteer to fundraise for the Foundation or donate to us, we would not be able to support our population and, given the rarity of the condition, they would have nowhere else to turn.’ Paul Lawrie said: “It’s so difficult to be engaging in charitable activities throughout the year so, to organise an event on this scale was a pleasure. The whole team looks forward to our continued alliance in support of such a worthwhile cause. We know that every penny is making a genuine difference and can assure you that it will be a regular part of the Hansonlawries calendar”. For more information visit and if you would like to reach us for collaboration please email us at

Two new conflict resolution services for Coventry and Warwickshire Family Mediation & Counselling Services (FMACS) and its sister organisation Mediation Matters UK (MMUK) have new services aimed at working with people in conflict or dispute whether in their person or professional lives. FMACS offer couples on low combined incomes facing separation reduced fee mediation for mediating divorce settlements. The courts require divorcing couples to have childcare arrangements in place and a statement of finances for creating a court order before the divorce is finalised. It is a mandatory requirement that all couples seeking divorce should first try mediation. This not only reduces court time

Championing talent and dedication

Warwickshire business Signature Sales Support & Services is sponsoring the national Meetings Industry Awards. The outsource solution for sales support to the hospitality and meetings industry is proud to sponsor the MIA’s (Meetings Industry Association), miaList 2017 awards event held in October this year at the Park Plaza Victoria, London. People are at the heart of the meetings and events industry; more than 530,000 of them are employed in the sector and every year the miaList recognises and celebrates the dedicated and passionate individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty and the super stars who make the business successful. Business owner Kathryn Clarke said, “I’m delighted to sponsor the miaList 2017 recognising the individuals at the heart of the businesses within an industry I have enjoyed being part of for some years and am still passionate about. The mia is one of the fastest growing associations in the conference, meetings and events sector.”

and costs, it can also save a couple thousands of pounds in legal fees. A solicitor is still required to draft the court papers but mediation can not only drastically reduce legal costs, it can speed-up the process considerably. MMUK works with the commercial sector, providing workplace and contractual mediation services. More and more businesses are turning to mediation to help resolve disputes as it potentially removes the need for costly legal action. Workplace disputes not only affect the individuals involved, it can also have a major impact on a company’s profitability, moral and overall productivity. Mediation can very

often help resolve conflict in just one day. Disputes can arise as a result in a variety of circumstances. This may include staff and management conflict, disputes with customers or suppliers, even issues with local communities and other traders.

Outsourced, local HR makes huge difference in company relocation challenge When Simona Novelli, Managing Director of Cox Exhibition Consultants, planned to relocate the company from its base in Hemel Hempstead to a new location in Solihull, she knew that she would need some HR advice and support, as keeping her whole team would mean that the business could continue with little interruption. Not having their own in-house HR advice, Simona found local HR expert Julie McGovern to assist with the big move. Julie, Director of HR Dept Stratford, was appointed as the HR lead in the relocation. Her priority was to ensure that all staff had the opportunity to work in the new office and that the transition for those that decided to make the move was as smooth as possible. The outcome was that virtually all staff were able to remain with the company and extra local staff have also been recruited. Simona said, “We are truly grateful for all the help and support Julie McGovern from HR Dept has given us. She has guided us through so many situations in relation to HR matters and we simply couldn't have done it without her. She is always helpful, accommodating and goes the extra mile to help us and nothing is too much trouble.” HR Dept Stratford and Evesham provides support to small and medium sized businesses in the area.

Superfast connectivity coming

to business parks Expanding internet service provider (ISP) WarwickNet is set for a busy summer spent liberating business parks across Birmingham from poor connectivity. Nearly 50 cabinets will be installed across the Second City before the end of September by WarwickNet, with firms based at King’s Norton Business Centre, Garretts Green Industrial Estate, Duddeston Mill Road, Aston Cross Business Park, Thimblemill Lane and Gravelly Industrial Estate, among others, set to benefit. This significant investment expands WarwickNet’s reach across the Midlands, with sites including Minworth Industrial Estate, Coleshill Industrial Estate, Birmingham Business Park and Tile Cross Trading Estate, plus parks at Milton Keynes, Northampton, Coventry and Leicester, all connected by the growing ISP.

As part of its offering, WarwickNet delivers fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technologies, with firms benefitting from business-grade broadband of up to 100 Mbit/s, uncontended Premium Internet Access with unlimited data transfer allowance, gigabit dedicated leased lines, as well as hosted voice over IP solutions. In order to help deliver FTTP, the company is one of only five ISPs across the country to be deploying Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) commercially, allowing them to build their own infrastructure faster and more efficiently, without seeking permission from BT’s Openreach. WarwickNet’s business-grade broadband packages start at £60 per month and uncontended Premium Internet Services at £150 per month.

WarwickNet founder Ben King said: “With a rapidly-evolving marketplace for many industries, suffering with inadequate broadband can cripple productivity in what is now a lean business generation. We are happy to help industrial estates and business parks get up to speed with a broadband service every business should expect.”


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President & People

Red Marlin ‘hooks’ two new account managers Leamington Spa public relations agency Red Marlin has appointed two new account managers to further enhance its reputation as one of the UK’s leading automotive specialists.

Sensing a way forward

Dear member,

I was delighted, recently, to welcome David Penn as the vice-president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. David has contributed a great deal of time and energy to the Chamber for many years and I am very pleased to be able to count on his support before handing over the presidential chain to him in 2018. It’s been another very busy couple of months and the air of confidence continues across the region – despite some of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. My feeling is that the Government is beginning to set out a plan for exiting the EU and, while we won’t have genuine stability until everything is finalised, at least we are starting to get a sense that there is a way forward. As I say, there seems to be no stopping Coventry and Warwickshire at the moment and we are all very much looking forward to the Chamber’s Business & Trade Expo on September 15 followed by the Annual Economic Conference on November 2. The Expo, at Stoneleigh Park, is a truly fantastic opportunity to meet and network with fellow businesses from across the region and to build relationships that can lead to new deals and contracts. The Conference, this year at the Crowne Plaza in Stratford, also offers a chance to network but it’s against a backdrop of information and opinion from key figures in business and politics at local, regional, national and even international levels. One issue that should be at the forefront of all of our minds in business is cyber security. It’s a topic I have mentioned before (just prior to the NHS debacle) and I have had good feedback from IT companies for raising this issue, but it appears that micro businesses that generally work from home aren’t dealing with this, thinking that they will be safer as they won’t be targeted. However, they are easier to target, as the “internet of things” means that hackers can get access through CCTV cameras, games consoles and even lightbulbs. I would like to get people thinking about Industry 4.0 and how they can adopt technology into their business, but they do need to focus on security before they begin. I am hearing people say that Industry 4.0 is for manufacturing companies like mine, but I am seeing it being successfully adopted in a variety of sectors. After all, collecting data about the market, your products, your customers and a variety of other information is helping businesses make informed decisions, obviously reducing the risk for their business, particularly in future investments. Warwick University are currently running some great projects for businesses nationwide and as local businesses, we should use the support which is right on our doorstep. Again, it’s an area where I believe this region can lead the way and by networking and tapping into the support and expertise available, Coventry and Warwickshire businesses will be stronger for it.

David Campbell and Chris Box will manage some of Red Marlin’s most high-profile clients who benefit from the agency’s expertise in digital PR such as social media management, as well as more traditional marketing, PR and media relations. David spent his early years in the specialist motoring press before moving into PR. Chris has a wealth of automotive public relations knowledge having worked for a number of major car manufacturers.

Red Marlin team, left to right, Jas Ghata-Aura (digital executive), Chris Box (new account manager), Lucy Burman (account executive), Danny Rughoobeer (managing director) and David Campbell (new account manager).

Margaret Casely-Hayford named new Chancellor The first black woman in the UK to be made a partner at a City law firm has become Coventry University’s first female Chancellor. Margaret Casely-Hayford is Chair of international development charity Action Aid UK, a Co-op board member and co-manages rap artist Kelvyn Colt. She takes over the ambassadorial role at Coventry University from Sir John Egan, former BAA and Jaguar Land Rover CEO, who held the post for ten years. Ms Casely-Hayford studied Law at Somerville College, Oxford University,

and was called to the Bar in 1983. She joined Denton Hall Law Firm (now SNR Denton) four years later to specialise in planning law, and in 1998 was made partner, becoming the first black woman to hold the role at any City law firm. Margaret champions the representation of young people, women and ethnic minority groups on boards of directors and is Chair of the advisory board of Ultra Education, working to develop young entrepreneurs.

Band Hatton Button look to the future

A growing law firm has made significant changes to its board so it can continue developing in the post-Brexit business landscape. The board of Coventry-based Band Hatton Button has converted to become an Alternative Business Structure, which allows the firm to attract inward investment from external sources and appoint external expertise on to the board. The move comes as Band Hatton Button continues to increase turnover year-onyear and appointed 20 members of staff spanning across corporate, commercial, litigation and private client teams.

The law firm now employs 84 people, and services in excess of 30,000 clients spanning Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond.

Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “There are no immediate plans to change any parts of the business, but this does now give us the flexibility to invite people on to the board outside of the law sector so that, should we ever need to assess potential growth opportunities in other sectors, we will be able to.”

John Nollett


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

Accolade for David A Coventry businessman, with family links to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce going back more than 80 years, is the organisation’s new vice president. David Penn, partner at Bromwich Hardy, is following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sydney Penn who was

president of the Junior Chamber in the city in the 1930s. He will succeed the current president, John Nollett, in autumn 2018 but is already a driving force within the Chamber, especially around its campaign to ensure there is a greater provision for employment land in the region.

David Penn (left) with John Nollett

David, who the is chair of the Chamber’s Coventry branch and has been working the city for 20 years, said: “I am delighted to become vice president of the Chamber and I am looking forward to learning from John as well as the many great presidents who have gone before him. “My grandfather was heavily involved with the Chamber and was president of the Young Chamber for some time so you could say that this kind of role is in my blood. “I am fourth generation of Penn to be working in professional services in the city and I am extremely proud and passionate about Coventry and Warwickshire. “This is a great place to do business and the Chamber is uniquely placed to help companies grow and support the economy of the future. “It has a history that stretches back more than 100 years, that has helped business survive recession, depression and war, and yet it has its finger on the pulse of what companies need in 2017 to be able to grow. “It provides a voice on topics such as business space, skills and Brexit and also helps firms if they are looking to access grants or advice to help them expand. I have been involved for around a decade and I look forward to being even more active in this new role.”

Lodders makes trio of senior appointments Warwickshire law firm Lodders has boosted its private client and corporate teams. The firm has hired John Rouse, Vicky Khandker and Nicole Romera who are all based at Lodders’ Warwickshire office in Stratford upon Avon. Experienced wills, tax and trusts lawyer John Rouse joins the firm’s Private Client team as

a partner, after 17 years at Leamington Spa firm Wright Hassall LLP, where he had been a partner since 2004. Also starting at the firm is property litigation specialist Vicky Khandker, who joins Lodders’ Dispute Resolution team as Senior Associate. The firm’s third new hire is Nicole Romera who joins as a solicitor in Lodders Corporate & Commercial team.

(L to R) John Rouse, Nicole Romera and Vicky Khandker all join law firm Lodders

Moore Stephens strengthens innovation and technology team

(L to R) Sarah Boyes and Ross Northall from Moore

Moore Stephens has expanded its Midlands Innovation and Technology team with the appointment of an experienced engineer. The Top Ten accounting firm – one of the UK’s leaders in claiming research and development (R&D) tax relief – has appointed Sarah Boyes as a senior executive to further strengthen its R&D activity in the region. Sarah is a qualified mechanical engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the sector.

She has joined Moore Stephens following 17 years as a product and manufacturing engineer with Alcoa Fastening Systems and Stadco, and most recently three years with a boutique R&D tax claim firm. Ross Northall, partner at Moore Stephens in Birmingham, said the growth in R&D work has led to the expansion. “Sarah is a fantastic addition to our team and brings a wealth of engineering experience to the role,” he said.

New Principal appointed to lead Coventry College Peter Brammall has been appointed as the new Principal and Chief Executive of Coventry College.

He was previously the Principal and Chief Executive at Guildford College. Peter, who has held a number of senior positions across the education and skills sector, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Further Education in Coventry as we create a larger and more resilient college. “I am looking forward to leading the new college and I will be working with our partners to develop a new ‘Coventry curriculum’, which will provide exceptional education, high quality skills and training for our learners and meet the needs of our growing economy in the West Midlands.”

New specialist joins Brethertons

Brethertons has welcomed Daniel Boyle as the new Head of Department to its experienced Wills, Trusts and Probate team. Daniel joins Brethertons from the Oxford office of national firm Knight’s 1759 where he was a Senior Associate, and previously he was an Associate at national firm Clarke Willmott. He has more than ten years’ experience as a Private Client Solicitor and a well established reputation within the region. He advises on Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection, Trusts and Tax Planning for clients.


C & W September issue 61_C&W master Layout 05/09/2017 08:39 Page 46

New Members

Welcome to new members Strategic Partner

Corporate Members

International Trade Member

Birmingham Airport Birmingham B26 3QJ 08712 220072 University of Warwick University House Kirby Corner Road Coventry CV4 8UW

Box-It Central Ltd Squab Hall Harbury Lane Bishops Tachbrook Leamington spa CV33 9QB 01926 332244 State Bank of India 35 Smithford Way Coventry CV1 1FY 02476 234900 University of Birmingham Metallurgy & Materials (96) Pritchatts Road Birmingham B15 2SE 01214 143436

Blanc Aero Industries UK Ltd Butlers Leap Rugby CV21 3RQ 01788 559000 Cleaver Scientific Ltd Unit 41 Somers Road Industrial Estate Rugby CV22 7DH 01788 565300 The Gym Chef Unit 41 Lythalls Lane Industrial Estate Lythalls Lane Coventry CV6 6TL 07590 530184

Bellini Jewellery PO Box 6349 Rugby CV21 9NY 01788 570865 Circles Network The Penthouse Coventry Road Rugby CV23 9JP 01788 816671 Coventry & Warwickshire Association for the Deaf Henry Fry Centre Hertford Street Coventry CV1 3JZ 02476 520378 Coventry Irish Society Unit 1 11th floor Coventry Point Market way CV1 1EA 02476 256629 Curtis Design 20 Chiel Close Eastern Green Coventry CV5 7LQ 07902 910297 Empress Ales 18 Willes Road Leamington Spa CV32 4PY 01926 679247 FL1 Digital Stanta Business Centre 3 Soothouse Spring St Albans AL3 6PF 01727 739812


Flight Simulators West Midlands Coventry Aeroplane Club Rowleys Road Coventry CV3 4FR 08454 747737 Freelance PR consultant 4 Mullard Drive Whitnash CV31 2QE 07725 551374 Honesberie Shooting School The Grange Priors Marston Southam CV47 7SG 01327 262922 Hot Nut Company Ltd 9 The Woolpack Market St Warwick CV34 4WP 02030 120162 Hunter Audio Visual Unit 4, 96 Hearsall Lane Coventry CV5 6HH 02477 673030 Ilan Oshri 17 Priorsfield Road Kenilworth CV8 1DA 07799 378980 Infinity Plus 78 Pettiver Crescent Hillmorton Rugby CV21 4JF 01788 840732 James Harris Photography 58 Dudley Road Kenilworth CV8 1GQ 07886 953815

Keltek Ltd Shottery road Stratford upon avon CV37 9QB 01789 565806 Monard Precision Eng Ltd Unit 6 A & B Avon Industrial Estate Butlers Leap Rugby CV21 3UY 01788 569998 Obstacle Race Magazine Modderig Ltd 370 Wheelwright Lane Ash Green Coventry CV7 9HL 07932 411592 Parker Masters 36 Centenary Business Park Attleborough Fields Nuneaton CV11 6RY 08454 749575 Pathway Recruiting Ltd 8 Jury Street Warwick CV34 4EW 07740 656573 Piparia Consulting Ltd 31 Droyldon Park Road Coventry CV3 6EQ 07966 390296 piparia-consulting Primary Goal Business Innovation Centre Binley Business Park Harry Western Road Coventry CV3 2TX 02477 771487

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Shakespeare Martineau Bridgeway House Bridgeway Stratford-upon-avon CV37 6YX 01789 416449 Socially Contented 68 South Green Drive Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HP 01789 552174 Solutions Services Limited Solutions House Earl Street Rugby CV21 3SS 01788 547979 The Business Manager Ltd 12 Brittain Lane Warwick CV34 6DX 07817 152749 The Employment Solicitor 8 Basin Road Diglis Basin Worcester WR5 3GA 01905 354012 The Mongan Group 10 Bugle Close Rugby CV23 0WE 07525 934342 Woman Who Limited Number Three Siskin Drive Middlemarch Business Park Coventry CV3 4FJ 02476 214440 XV Insight Limited Bibury Cottage Weston under Wetherley Leamington Spa CV33 9BP 07500 005449

C & W September issue 61_C&W master Layout 05/09/2017 08:39 Page 47

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Training & Events Chamber Member Price +VAT

Non-Member Price +VAT



Effective Communication



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Conducting Team Briefings/Buzz Meetings



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Export Documentation - Getting it Right



Full Day


Building The Team



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Motivating The Team



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Online Marketing



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Setting Goals & Targets



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Training & Coaching the Team



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Successful Sales Techniques



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Appraising People & Performance



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Managing Difficult People



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Understanding Discipline in the Workplace



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Finance for Non Financial Managers



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Working with a Budget



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Problem Solving Skills



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Developing Effective Presentation Skills



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Communicating Assertively



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Letters for Credit for Exporters



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Microsoft Excel Intermediate to Advanced



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Social Media Strategy



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Negotiating To Win



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Microsoft Project (An Introduction)



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C&W Chamber Training Seminars



Course dates for the quarter are shown above, please contact C&W Chamber Training on 024 7623 1122 or visit for other course dates and further information

Events The Warwickshire Business Outlook Breakfast Thursday 21st September 2017 08:30 – 10:30 Mythe Barn, Atherstone Join us to hear how our region is shaping up during this time of great movement and discuss the recent results of the British Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey. Guests will hear from speakers including; • Dave Ayton-Hill - Head of Economy and Skills at Warwickshire County Council • Louise Bennett, CEO of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Manufacturing Sector Network Event Wednesday 27th September 2017 08:00-10:00 Engineering Technology Group Ltd ETG Group Headquarters & Operations Wellesbourne Distribution Park Unit 16 Loxley Road Warwickshire CV35 9JY Charges apply Our manufacturing sector events will give manufacturing companies in Coventry and Warwickshire the chance to build valuable relationships with other local manufacturers.

Meet Your Chamber Lunch Friday 29th September 2017 11:30-14:00 Holiday Inn Kenilworth, 212 Abbey End, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1ED Free of charge Join us for a free and informal networking lunch, this event offers businesses a fantastic chance to network with local companies and expand their network.

Women in Business Lunch Friday 06th October 2017 11:00-14:00 Mallory Court Hotel, Harbury Lane, Bishops Tachbrook, CV33 9QB Charges apply This event will provide excellent networking opportunities and the chance to hear from inspiring and motivational speakers over a delicious two course lunch.

B2B Networking Tuesday 10th October 2017 14:30-16:30 Ramada Hotel and Suites Coventry City Centre, The Butts, Earlsdon, CV1 3GG Free of charge This event will provide excellent networking opportunities and the chance to hear from inspiring and motivational speakers over a delicious two course lunch.

Joint Networking with the Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber Tuesday 17th October 2017 08:30-10:30 Alcester Management Services Ltd, Minerva Mill, Station Road, Warwickshire, B49 5ET Charges apply Join us for a free and informal networking lunch, this event offers businesses a fantastic chance to network with local companies and expand their network.

As a Chamber member you can exhibit at any of our events for just £50 + VAT. Stand out from the crowd and book your stand today. Find out more information or to book a place please see the events pages at or contact


C & W September issue 61_C&W master Layout 05/09/2017 08:39 Page 48

C&W in Business October 2017  
C&W in Business October 2017  

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce business magazine October 2017, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accounta...