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Issue 74 November - December 2019

Angela Joyce The woman who is giving WCG wings Page 20 28 4



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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Conference will provide a platform to celebrate business opportunity

Contents November- December 2019 Go for Growth






Dear Chamber of Commerce Member,

by Louise Bennett OBE DL Chief Executive Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

With just a matter of days before our Annual Economic Conference, on the 15th of November, I look forward to seeing many of our Members amongst the sell-out audience, a major event which will examine the local and national economic landscape; reflect on our local educational achievements, challenges and aspirations for our skills-force of the future and hear about the early successes of our Warwickshire and our Coventry Career & Enterprise Hubs; plus more, and all ably hosted by journalist, broadcaster and presenter Naga Munchetty. One not to be missed! We live in unprecedented political and economic times, with some marginal progress being made with regards exiting the European Union, with the Government bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which is the legislation needed to ratify the UK’s exit from the European Union. Additionally, you will be aware that the European Commission has granted a flexible extension (flextension!) allowing for a debate of the Bill and a deal to be struck, one hopes, because despite the febrile atmosphere in Westminster, the British Chambers of Commerce – on behalf of Chamber Members – has been working hard to reinforce the key Chamber priority of avoiding a messy and disorderly Brexit as this is not good for business. Locally, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has led the way in providing practical support to all businesses who have (and should) consider how BREXIT may impact on their business.

Visit our “Are You ready For BREXIT” website on www.cw-brexit.co.uk More locally, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – through its Branch network of Coventry; Rugby; North, Mid and South Warwickshire – continues to work hard to support local businesses and focus on issues that matter most to business, such as investment in local infrastructure; connecting businesses with local schools and colleges and lobbying for local trade opportunities that may arise from City of Culture 2021 and Commonwealth Games 2022. Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, working with its key partners, the City and County Councils, continues to support new business startups; growing businesses and, importantly, those who wish to export for the first time. Despite all of the uncertainty around BREXIT, now is the time to be exploring export opportunities as the evidence shows that an exporting business is a more diversified and resilient business. For all your Membership needs and business support, get in touch on 02476 654321. I look forward to seeing you at Economic Conference or one of our many pre-Xmas events and networking opportunities. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive

Corporate Profiles News

10 11-13

Chamber Training




Legal & Finance Property Profile

16-17 18 20-21





Around the region




President & People


New Members


Training & Events


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putting imagination to work www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Go for Growth The official publication of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce ••••

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

At the publishers Publisher

Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ T: 0151 236 4141 Advertising Contact Karen Hall karen@benhampublishing.com T: 07801 788880 Production Manager Mark Etherington Accounts Director Joanne Casey Media Number 1690 © Benham Publishing 2019 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.

•••• C&W in Business Advertising Features for 2020 Jan-Feb 2020 Finance & Grants Profiling the many funds and grants available to businesses and sectors for growth and development. Apprentices Looking at apprenticeships in the workplace and the mutual benefit they bring. Copy deadline 13 December For further information on the forthcoming features please contact: Terry Brannigan Chamber Sales DD 07841 115444 Terry@benhampublishing.com

Accolade for fast-growing company A Coventry manufacturer has received one of the most prestigious business prizes on the planet – and announced it is on target to hit £15 million in overseas sales this year. Lawton Tubes, which employs about 100 staff from its base in Torrington Avenue, was handed the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its growth in international trade by John Crabtree OBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, who urged other firms in the region to put themselves forward for the prize. The company only began exporting seven years ago and has since been working with the team at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Hub to expand its markets. Lawton Tubes – which makes copper piping for a range of sectors, from plumbing to healthcare – grew export sales to £6 million in 2014 and is set to more than double that this year. The company’s products are now in 35 countries across the world and its efforts are supported by the Chamber’s international documentation service. And the firm, which was 100 years old in 2018, is looking to grow those markets even further on the back of winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Business development director Robert Lawton said: “When I posted on social media that we had won the

Queen’s Award, I had feedback from all 35 countries that our products are in. “Many of our customers wanted to know when they would be receiving products with the Queen’s emblem on them so it just shows how highly regarded this award is. “We are very proud to have been given this honour, which is one of the highest accolades a British company can receive. “And we are grateful to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for recommending that we go for this award and for the support they give to us when it comes to exporting. “The company is on target to reach £15 million in exports this year and hopefully the Queen’s Award will help us to achieve even more in the future.” One of the biggest areas for growth for the company is in supplying the copper tubing that runs through hospitals to deliver oxygen to patients’ beds. Ajay Desai, International Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted for Lawton Tubes and this award is very much deserved. “The Queen’s Award and everything that comes with it is held in very high esteem all over the world and is seen as a mark of quality and integrity for any business.

Ajay Desai (Chamber), Robert Lawton (Lawton Tubes), Louise Bennett (Chamber), Rolf Herold (Lawton Tubes).

“I would echo the words of John Crabtree, the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, in encouraging more companies in this region to apply because we all know the fantastic work that is happening here. “We would also recommend that companies make the most of the services available to them through the Chamber’s International Trade Hub and look to expand their horizons in where they sell their goods and services.” Lord-Lieutenant John Crabtree OBE said: “This is such an important aspect of my role, visiting companies such as Lawton Tubes who are doing such great things all over the world, and encouraging other companies in our region to seek this most special award which will open closed doors to UK businesses.”

Toolkit will help businesses

A leading business organisation has turned to a Warwickshire-based creative and branding agency to help its members make the most of the services and support it has to offer. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has worked with Glued Ltd, based in Leamington, to create a new toolkit for members that showcases the wide range of services and benefits it can give to businesses and how they can make their voices heard by decisionmakers. The new interactive kit is linked to the national Business Togetherness campaign, led by the British Chambers of Commerce, and

supports the Chamber’s own Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign to get more firms working together to grow the local economy. The toolkit outlines how members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce can tap into HR, legal, tax and health & safety support as part of their membership, the options available to raise their profile and the help available to find new clients and suppliers. It shows some of the additional help available, such as accessing grant funding and training courses available through Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training. David Wilson, of Glued Ltd – a corporate member of the Chamber, said: “We are a very active member of the Chamber and attend many of the networking events so we are wellschooled in the benefits of being part of the organisation. “However, it’s fair to say that there were some elements that we don’t use and some that we probably weren’t aware of. “So we were delighted to work with the Chamber to produce this

interactive guide on the benefits of membership that will be issued to all new members. “Our brief was to create something that is interactive and could be a constant reference point for members so they know exactly where to turn for support.” Hazel Pilling, membership manager at the Chamber, said: “This is another example of the Chamber looking to a local supplier and a valued Chamber member to deliver services for us. “It fits in very nicely with the Business Togetherness campaign nationally and also our own Trade Local ethos. “The feedback we get from many members is they join the Chamber for a specific reason and then don’t tap into some of the other services that could help their business to grow. “So we’ve produced the toolkit to make sure that they can see the value of their Chamber membership and all of the benefits in one place to make full use of what is on offer.” For more information on Chamber Membership contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Go for Growth

Wishing for a breakthrough Alex’s Wish is a charity set-up to eradicate Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an aggressive form of Muscular Dystrophy that affects 1 in every 3,500 boys born. Every single muscle is destroyed due to a lack of protein, including the heart and lungs. Alex’s Wish was set-up by Emma and Andy Hallam (parents to Alex) in late 2012 to help raise vital funds to help bring about new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this devastating condition.

They are striving for a world where Duchenne becomes a manageable and treatable condition that can be lived with, and the devastating impact Duchenne has on our children no longer exists. Their vision is to cure everyone affected by Duchenne and to bring new treatments to this generation of children and young adults. Everything they do is with this in mind. Netmetix are proud to be a regular sponsor and supporter of Alex’s Wish and one of many business that are

involved in this great cause, and even more delighted that experts advise a breakthrough is likely in the next 5-10 years. If you would like to know more about them and find out how you could get involved please go to https://alexswish.co.uk/

Marcus Jones (left) with John Nollett

Sweet success for Lisa

Pictured (left to right): Keely Hancox (Chamber) with Lisa Organ

A North Warwickshire business is enjoying the sweet smell of success after making the most of a business start-up programme. Lisa Organ, from Atherstone, launched Lisa’s Sweet Treats as a fulltime business earlier this year after giving up her job as a Project Manager at a technology company. And the company, which provides sweet carts for weddings and corporate occasions, has been ‘sweetening the experience’ for individuals and businesses who want to bring added flavour to their events. It was launched with the support of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s start-up team thanks to a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

It forms part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme, which is also funded by Warwickshire County Council and the district & borough councils. Lisa said: “I’d always wanted to be my own boss and I had been weighing up the idea of corporate sweets business for a while. “The more I looked into it, the more convinced I was that there was a gap in the market and that’s when I decided I wanted to pursue the idea more seriously.” Lisa’s foray into the world of bonbons, gummy bears and lollypops began in December 2018 when she launched the business on a part-time basis. But increasing demand for branded sweets at a range of events convinced her that she was ready to take the company full time – she just needed a nudge in the right direction. Lisa said: “I was always confident about my business case but I was also a little bit nervous about fully committing to the idea. “I searched online to find out more about the help and assistance that was available to start-ups in Coventry and Warwickshire and came across the Chamber of Commerce.”

Through the Chamber’s Business Start-Up programme, Lisa was given advice and guidance on a range of aspects involved in setting up a company full-time. She also received one-to-one mentoring from a Business Advisor who provided support on sourcing and securing financial assistance. Since going full-time, Lisa’s Sweet Treats has gone from strength to strength. Lisa said: “I’m working with a well-known hotel chain and enquiries are starting to pour in. I’ve been able to expand the range of products on offer and I’ve also established an online presence. It’s a really exciting time for the business and I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Keely Hancox, Operations Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are thrilled to see Lisa’s business really taking off. “It’s a great example of someone who wanted to launch their own company and had a great idea for a business, but just need some advice and support around the day-to-day running of your own firm.”

Chamber Network launches campaign to support the people at the heart of local business community The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the wider Chamber Network has launched a new campaign to celebrate, support and develop the most important part of any business – its people. Chambers will be working with government, academics, business communities and employees, to make the UK a more productive, attractive and modern place to work. At a time of critical levels of skills shortages, weak productivity and increasing changes in the way people work, the Chamber Network is launching a campaign to address these crucial issues. Chamber research shows that around three-quarters of UK firms trying to recruit are having difficulties finding the right person for the role, with some positions sitting empty for as long as six months. At the same time, many employers are thinking about the kinds of skills they’ll need in their teams in the future. Skills shortages put a brake on business competitiveness, growth


opportunities and productivity so addressing the issue is crucial. Investing in talent will not only benefit people but local business communities and the wider economy. The campaign will have three key chapters: • Shaping policy through the work of a new Workplace Training and Development Commission • Showcasing the range of diverse career paths on offer in towns and cities across the UK through Business Showcase Days • Championing a flexible working culture by encouraging firms to adapt their working practices in order to attract new and diverse talent Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “At the heart of every great business is great people. Finding, retaining and training talent is a core issue for firms of all sizes

and sectors. Chambers understand how important it is for businesses to have access to a flexible and skilled talent pool, so getting the training and development system right in this country is absolutely crucial. “The Chamber Network is made up of a diverse and innovative collection of local businesses, and there are so many great career opportunities in Coventry and Warwickshire. This campaign is all about bringing together business, government and employees to ensure local and national economies are attractive and productive places to work.”

Area’s economy ‘on the verge of take-off’ The economy in the north of Warwickshire could be on the verge of take-off – but the events of the next few months will be key. That was the over-riding message from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s north branch meeting of business leaders, local authorities and MP Marcus Jones at Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s Town Hall in Nuneaton. The meeting heard about the latest developments for Transforming Nuneaton, potential future upgrades to the A5, the ongoing plans for a Business Improvement District (BID) and the opportunity for national funding to boost the high street. Former Chamber president John Nollett, who has an engineering business in the area, chaired the meeting, and he said there was plenty to be positive about in the region. He said: “There was a really strong feeling that there is a great deal of potential for the north of Warwickshire and that could soon start to be realised should certain elements come together in the next few months. “We heard how the whole Transforming Nuneaton might soon have its first couple of developments ready to go and how that could kick-start further investment in the town. There was also the latest on the BID and all of the development going on along the A5 corridor, which will require the road itself to be upgraded. “There is also a significant amount of work being done around skills across our patch and ensuring we have a workforce that is ready to meet the needs of a changing economy. “It was great to hear about the new Chamber Talent programme that is looking to support the business stars of the future which was launched recently.” John added: “It was great to have businesses, local authorities and Marcus Jones all in the same room discussing these important pieces of the wider economic jigsaw for our region because this is a really important period for the area.”



Zoe’s Place Discovery Day is a success

A Discovery Day held by Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice was deemed a huge success with new sponsors coming forward to offer their help in supporting the charity. More than 30 guests attended and heard presentations from Fundraising and Corporate Managers Chris Ward and Muna Chauhan, who provided a history of Zoe’s Place and gave an insight into the fantastic work the charity does on a daily basis, corporate partners Wasps and Triton Showers and a heart-rending presentation from Head of Care Gina Harris and her Deputy Tracey Armstrong. It was the first time Wasps new CEO Stephen Vaughan had attended the hospice and he said that he he would like to get Wasps players involved more. Wasps back-row and Wales international

Thomas Young said: “I’ve been to Zoë’s Place before and I’ve seen first-hand the priceless work that they do. “I jumped at the chance of being able to go back and visit the staff, children and families as it’s such a special place, but equally you are reminded that without donations from the general public, the hospice can’t operate. “It was great to see so many businesses there on the night who are supporting the hospice in some way, and hopefully it has given the charity some reassurance of how wellsupported they are amongst businesses and in the wider community.” Tina Simpson, Marketing Director of Triton Showers, which has supported Zoe’s Place for over four years, outlined how Triton as a business as well as their employees have embraced the charity over the years, raising/ donating in excess of £22,000. It was an evening which clearly touched the hearts of those who attended, so much so that Coventry-based Fanuc. which specialises in CNC controls, robots and intelligent machines. donated a cheque for £2,000 and solicitors Wright Hassall & Co and HCB Solicitors Ltd (based


in Stratford and nationally) also pledged their support on the night. Peter Jarvis, the newly appointed Zoe’s Place National Patron and Managing Director of Contechs also spoke about how he first became involved in Zoe’s Place and stressed the need to continue to spread the word and raise awareness for Zoe’s Place. He said: “From the time I first stepped into Zoe’s Place I was instantly hooked. It is such a fantastic charity and one which really does touch the hearts of everyone involved however the reality is that it has to raise £1.2 million annually to keep its doors open. “It is a massive task, but the continuing support of the staff, corporate sponsors and the local community will ensure that the hospice continues to meet the challenges ahead.” Muna Chauhan Corporate Manager said: “It was a great event and provided us with a perfect opportunity to showcase what we do. We will definitely do it again. The response we received was just brilliant and we will look forward to working with our new sponsors.”



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Netmetix has added a 6th Microsoft Gold Accreditation to its list of Certified Competencies, elevating it to a level usually the exclusive province of much larger IT service providers. Microsoft award competencies are based on several key elements: technical, performance and experience: Achieving this latest Competency in Cloud Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions highlights to the company’s clients, partners and suppliers how much emphasis they place on being the very best they can be. They are working tirelessly towards achieving their 7th Gold award before the end of 2019. Netmetix focuses on ensuring that their clients benefit from the highest level of support by having the most skilled staff to deliver it – by sitting an external exam every three months, they are always keeping current with the fast-moving technologies and developments. Their drive for excellence has resulted in some exciting new opportunities, including winning a contract to implement an Azure cloud solution for the Australian Government of Queensland. This solution manages the emergency services vehicle fleet for the entire region, across an area bigger than the UK. Most of the company’s clients are UK-based SMEs who benefit from the reliability, flexibility and scalability that cloud solutions can bring, allowing them a level playing field with corporate organisations.

Landmark year for BDO


1160 Elliott Court, Herald Avenue, Coventry Business Park, Coventry, CV5 6UB

Netmetix hits gold (again)


Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has posted revenues of £578m, a 25% increase on the previous year. Marking a seventh consecutive year of growth, theheadline figure represents 15% organic growth, as well as a 10% boost following the firm’s successful merger with Moore Stephens LLP in February 2019. Profits at BDO – which has offices in Birmingham and Nottingham – increased by 26% to £134m.This substantial uplift – which includes five months of post-merger profits – will enable the firm to continue to make significant investments in its people and technology, including £4m on developing data analytics and audit processing software over the coming year. Average distributable profit per partner (PEP) increased 8.7% to £602,000(2). Investment in people has been a key business priority. This year, BDO promoted 13 partners internally and appointed 14 new partners from other firms. A further 1,500 promotions were made across the business, representing almost a third of BDO’s UK workforce, while 390 trainees were recruited

– including a record cohort of school leavers. BDO puts its success down to its focus on its ambitious and entrepreneurially-spirited client base, which has remained resilient despite the uncertain political and economic backdrop, as well as the firm’s people, who continue to deliver a world-class service to their clients. The merger with Moore Stephens LLP has further cemented BDO’s market position as the UK’s leading auditor to AIM-listed companies, and enhanced the firm’s expertise in sectors including financial services, insurance and shipping. Richard Rose, Lead Partner for the Midlands at BDO said: “We have had a landmark year, with continued organic growth being enhanced by our merger with Moore Stephens LLP. Together, we’ve created a leading UK accountancy firm advising entrepreneurial mid-sized businesses – but also a firm that can confidently challenge its larger competitors in all areas of audit, tax and advisory work.” All three of the firm’s service lines - audit, tax and advisory – witnessed a strong performance this year.

Red Marlin strengthens its leadership team

Red Marlin, the automotive communications specialist, has announced the appointment of Liam O’Neill as its commercial director, further enhancing its expertise in future mobility. Liam joins from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) – an organisation investing £1bn to develop low carbon vehicle technologies – where he was the corporate communications manager responsible for running the press office as well as its communications strategy, including launching APC’s connected and automated mobility arm, Zenzic. Danny Rughoobeer, managing director and founder of Red Marlin, said: “With the automotive industry going through such a period of transformation, it’s wonderful to be able to add someone of Liam’s calibre, experience and knowledge to our ranks.”

Liam O’Neill, commercial director of Red Marlin, said: “As an automotive enthusiast it has been a boyhood dream come true that I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest names in the business. Over the past decade I have seen millions of pounds handed to many agencies achieving a mixed-bag of results. With the current state of the automotive industry, I believe we need to change this business approach and push the boundaries to provide high quality, reliable, trustworthy and ultimately good-value PR to support the industry that I love.” Red Marlin, founded in 2009, is an independent PR and digital marketing agency specialising in the automotive sector based at the heart of the UK’s car industry in Leamington Spa.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Sponsored Column

Continued success in Hong Kong for the Organics Group The Organics Group, a UK and Thailand based wastewater treatment specialist, recently completed the turnkey design, manufacture and installation of its latest HK$ 38 million (US$ 4.8 million) thermal ammonia removal facility to treat leachate from the West New Territories landfill (WENT), the largest landfill in Hong Kong operated by SITA Waste Services. The facility is designed to treat up to 1230 m3 per day of landfill leachate with an ammonia

concentration of 4500 mg / litre. The stripped ammonia is oxidised thermally to nitrogen gas. Organics’ innovative air-stripping process incorporates several novel features that minimise operating costs including processing at elevated temperatures which avoids the need for alkali addition and minimises operator input. Organics specialises in the application of the patented process. The company has designed and built all 14 of the thermal ammonia strippers in Hong Kong. The smallest has a flow rate

of 480 m3/day and the largest 2,600 m3/day. Dr Robert Eden, Managing Director of Organics, said: “The handover of the WENT 3 thermal ammonia stripper further enhances Organics’ reputation for delivering high quality process engineering and pollution control solutions.” Significant improvements in efficiency have enabled Organics to dramatically reduce the energy required to run the processes involved and avoid the need for

primary fuel sources. There are now several potential options to convert ammonia rich wastewaters into profitable secondary revenue streams such as ammonium salts; liquified ammonia gas, ammonium hydroxide and electricity generation from ammonia fuel.

New members working together from the start

New chamber members Thorne Coaching & Consulting Ltd and Joyous Creative Ltd are already benefiting from membership after working with each other on the launch of the coaching business’s website.

Mike Thorne, director of Thorne Coaching & Consulting, said: “I attended a chamber ‘Branding Your Business Masterclass’ in June. Jess Hain and Christina Newman from Joyous Creative ran the workshop and it was clear from the start that they were the right people to develop my website. I’ve been really pleased with both the end result and the development process. And it wouldn’t have happened without the chamber connecting our companies together.”

In fact, both companies appeared in the new members listing in the July/August edition of ‘C&W in Business’ magazine. Jess commented: “We did a cheer when we saw we were in good company!” Mike said: “I couldn’t have got this far without support from the chamber in setting up my business and making connections through various workshops and networking events. The advice of Hardeep Sandhu, my chamber Enterprise Coach, has also been instrumental

in my transition from a corporate environment to running my own business.” Mike set up Thorne Coaching & Consulting after 20 years with National Grid to enable business leaders and managers to flourish in their role. He said: “My aim is to create a safe space for business leaders and managers to think objectively and honestly about what their real priorities are, and then commit to take action to move forward.”

Utility Team appoint new CEO as part of rapid company expansion Utility Team, who have become major players in the Energy Procurement arena, have announced not only the expansion of the company into the North East with a new arm of the business but the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, Delvin Lane. The new office will be based in Gateshead, Tyneside, and will create jobs in the North East, further expanding the companies physical reach as well as spreading and establishing the brand. The new Regional Director for the Newcastle branch, Sean Pinder, has 10 years’ experience of working in the field in various roles, within different companies, preparing him with the essential skills to pioneer this new branch. The new CEO of Utility Team, Delvin Lane, has more than 25 years in industry, helping and facilitating the progression and growth of large corporations. His new position

comes on the shoulders of nearly three years working with Utility Team as Non-Executive Director. Delvin will go on to expedite the transition from national company to international, as Utility Team continue to expand not only within the UK but in Europe and the USA as well. His drive and ambition will propel the mass employment plans of the company as they move forward with their strategy to double the size of their workforce over the next 12-24 months. Utility Team have recently celebrated 10 Years in business and have won the prestigious award for Best Customer Service at the TELCA Awards, as well as triple recognition for successful business practice and acumen, connecting and establishing their place with Cornwall Insights, a nationally recognised energy industry expert and research organisation, obtaining UK government

certification for protecting sensitive client data as well as obtaining the difficult to gain ISO certification in both ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015. Delvin Lane said: “The energy industry is constantly evolving with ever increasing levels of complexity, uncertainty and often poor customer service. Our key responsibility is to support our customers not just in managing this but making out industry ever more sustainable, transparent and professional. “Our past focus has been on the UK market and that will still be a key focus, especially with our new office in the North. As our customers have grown, we have grown with them, many of which have international portfolios and so to support our customers fully, the need to have the ability to operate overseas as well is incredibly important. “On par with this and something I believe is of vital importance in our

business is believing and developing my people and our team, without whom success is impossible.’ “An important area of concern in the energy industry is to ensure we are working towards a greener future, emphasised by government and the public overall and something which Utility Team feel passionate about. “My true vision is ensuring we look to our challenges and opportunities and in this industry it is crucially important to transition to a low carbon economy. That will be a key pinnacle of our success going forward.” Find out how Utility Team can help your businesswww.utilityteam.co.uk

Cyber security workshop spotlights data issues for businesses in event of No Deal Business owners were urged at an event organised by a leading Midlands’ accountancy firm to take steps before Brexit to ensure they can still receive data from Europe. Burgis & Bullock organised the cyber security seminar to help businesses protect their data against cyber security and GDPR vulnerabilities. Mike Kilby, of Xynics Data Solutions Ltd, was one of the industry experts speaking at the event and he informed businesses that the ability to receive data could be at risk if steps are not taken before the Brexit deadline on October 31.

Attendees learned that to continue lawfully receiving data from businesses in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, additional standard contract clauses will have to be put in place before leaving the EU in the event of a ‘No Deal’. Firms with a European office must also comply with UK and EU GDPR rules and may need to nominate a representative in Europe to handle data. Gerrard Fisher, of Astrid Data Protection, delivered a plea to business owners to help employees ensure passwords are secure and to be alert for Phishing Emails from cyber criminals looking for a shortcut to valuable business data. Jon Newlyn of Edward James Associates, explained how a cyber-attack would typically be executed, which starts with simple

Cherry Load, the Oxfordshirebased logistics solutions provider reports ‘instant control’ over driver and vehicle activities since switching to remote tacho downloading and data analysis from leading transport software specialists Mandata and TruTac. Established in 2011, the family-run company operates

a mixed fleet including temperature-controlled, curtain sided and bulk-tipping trailers. The company initially looked to Mandata for software to help manage everything from transport planning to operational monitoring, electronic proof of delivery and invoicing for their UK-wide operation. In November 2018, to speedup and automate the retrieval of driver and vehicle tacho information for simplified compliance, Cherry Load added a suite of software from Mandata

surveillance and how to avoid becoming a target. Jonathan Wooton of Clear Insurance Group introduced Laura Potts, Development Underwriter of Hiscox Insurance to explain the measures you can take to both prevent and most important, recover from a cyber security attack and how to mitigate the costs if the worst happens. Sean Farnell, a partner at Burgis & Bullock, said: “We had some of the cyber security industry’s leading professionals advising business owners on how to protect against one of the biggest dangers in modern business. “The aim of the workshop was to inform, educate, raise awareness and provide practical solutions to the businesses who attended.

“Businesses were also able to voice their concerns about their own cyber security and the damaging impact a data breach could have on their business. “Every day issues are being debated around Brexit, but the issue of data transfer and protection has not been widely discussed and we hope this workshop helped to highlight the possible problems to businesses that they could face.” The Cyber Security Workshop was organised as part of Burgis & Bullock’s Business Mastermind Group, which brings together professionals, business owners and leaders from a wide range of sectors for presentations, and discussions and clear action planning on how they can improve their business as well as making contacts that would be mutually beneficial.

Cherry Load take remote compliance control


and TruTac which enabled tacho data digital files to be downloaded remotely via Mandata’s service, Tacho Now, and then pushed to TruTac for analysis. Cherry Load’s Compliance Manager, Tracey La Porte, said: “This is valuable for monitoring information regarding our own drivers and particularly so for agency drivers, about whom we have little or no knowledge.” The combined Mandata and TruTac systems allow Cherry Load to remotely download and view data such as vehicle

speeds, break intervals and daily working times, all of which can be accessed on a single screen with individual driver averages and an automatic alert to flag up any anomalies. Cherry Load’s online compliance control is provided by a mixture of TruTac’s software products including TruControl – with TruAnalysis, TruView, TruDocuments, TruDriver Digital, and TruLinks – which analyses the remotely downloaded digital tacho files from Mandata.

Thinking of selling a house that used to be your home? Changes to private residence relief have been included in draft Finance Bill 2019-20 which are likely to increase the Capital Gains Tax due on selling your old home after 5 April 2020 in many cases. Final period exemption You are currently not usually liable to CGT for the proportion of the gain relating to the last 18 months of ownership of a property you have previously occupied as your main residence, even if you don’t actually live there during those 18 months. From April, the final period is cut to nine months in most cases. Lettings relief At present, lettings relief exempts up to £40,000 (£80,000 for a couple who jointly own the property) of gains from CGT if you have let all or part of property which has been your main residence at some point. Under the proposed change, lettings relief will only be available where the owner jointly occupies with a tenant, removing the relief entirely from many vendors who would previously have benefitted. Paying CGT From 6 April 2020, there is also a major change to the deadlines for paying CGT when disposing of a residential property. For UK resident individuals and trusts, disposals are currently reported via self assessment, and CGT is payable by 31 January following the end of the tax year of disposal. In future, there is a 30-day window after the completion of the property disposal in which to file a return, calculate and make payment on account of the CGT bill. If no payment is due, reporting will not be required. Property taxes are complicated, and it is always prudent to discuss the potential tax implications of any property transaction. Please contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas-Walls on 02476 257481 or ps@sgduk.com/dtw@sgduk.com respectively. For more information, please visit our website, www.sgduk.com



Businesses urged to take advantage of the digital revolution Skills on the conference agenda The way Coventry and Warwickshire is tackling the skills shortage will be one of the major topics to be discussed at a major conference. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Conference is taking place on Friday, November 15 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry. It features a range of regional and national speakers who will give their take on the economy and the latest developments that will affect companies across Coventry and Warwickshire. Skills is one of the hottest topics on the business agenda and the conference will see Angela Joyce, chief executive of WCG – the event’s headline sponsor, and Professor John Latham, Vice Chancellor of Coventry University, in an ‘interview with’ session with the conference host – presenter, broadcaster and journalist, Naga Munchetty, best known from BBC Breakfast. Chris Nagle, events and marketing manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Our annual conference will look at the myriad of issues that businesses face on a day-to-day basis – and skills is something that comes back at us time and time again. “So it is great to have Angela Joyce and Professor John Latham giving their expert view on this and also looking it how this region is already tackling this matter head on. “They add to a fantastic array of speakers that we will hear from at Conference this year and, once again, it will prove to be the biggest opportunity to network with the widest range of businesspeople and civic leaders in the region there is.” The conference is also being sponsored by The Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hub, which is giving every school and college in the area the opportunity to work together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals. The event will also be an opportunity to find out more about the new Chamber Talent programme, which is looking to identify the business stars of the future and help to develop them.


Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire have been urged to take advantage of the region’s digital capabilities to boost their bottom line. That was the overriding message from an event staged by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce at the Coventry University Technology Park Simulation Centre with the Institute of Coding. The event, for the Chamber’s Corporate Members and Strategic Partners, heard that companies are still unaware of the major advantages that technology could bring to their business by increasing efficiency and bolstering sales. Paul Fairburn, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at Coventry University, said the roll-out of 5G was a case in point. He said: “Businesses are hearing about the roll-out of 5G and it is a very exciting opportunity for Coventry to be one of the first cities to benefit from it. “But how many companies across the city know how they will actually be able to apply it to their business and utilise its full capability? That is why it is important that firms know that the technology is there but what they really want is support in applying that to their business.” A key Government initiative taking place in the area is supporting businesses to realise their digital potential the meeting heard. Richard Lane, of the Institute of Coding, said businesses in the region could tap into tailored help. He said: “We are here to equip companies with the key skills needed to compete in a global, digital market. More and more jobs now require digital skills and a lack of skills, it is estimated, is costing the UK £2.2 billion. “A stat that concerns us is that only 26 per cent of businesses lack confidence in their digital skills. You could look at that and think it’s positive that 74 per cent

Pictured (left to right): Paul Fairbairn, Louise Wall, Richard Lane

are confident but, actually, we believe they are just unaware of the technologies available to them to improve their business. It’s the unknown unknowns that they need to know about. “It’s important, therefore, to offer them support that works for their business because in 20 years’ time, 90 per cent of all job will require a level of digital skills.” Louise Wall, Commercial Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Every business – whatever size or sector – can benefit from enhancing their digital capabilities so it’s important to take the time to understand what those benefits are and take advantage of them.” For more information on the help available via the Institute of Coding, at Coventry University, please head to https://www.coventry.ac.uk/business/ partner-with-us/institute-of-coding/

Uncertainty ‘damaging business confidence’ A business figure with his finger on the pulse of the regional economy says a shroud of uncertainty has damaged confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire. Steve Harcourt, director at Prime Accountants Group, will be part of the Economic Panel at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Annual Economic Conference, taking place on November 15 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry. This year’s economic panel will be led by Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, and alongside Steve the panel will be joined by Mark Berrisford-Smith, head economist at HSBC Commercial Banking; Jonathan Browning, chair of Coventry and Warwickshire LEP; and Sarah Pullen, Managing Director of Reach Plc. Steve Harcourt said that Coventry and Warwickshire had bucked national trends over recent years but that the uncertainty is beginning to take its toll. He said: “Many factors impact on businesses, but by far the most concerning is uncertainty. Uncertainty in economic performance, uncertainty in how

rules and laws are to change and uncertainty in the workforce to mention just a few issues. “We are currently working within a mist of uncertainty and local businesses we talk to have many unanswerable questions. The impact of this uncertainty has affected not only those that trade internationally but all businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire to some degree, as well as the country as a whole. “We are expecting another drop in economic output throughout the region for Q3 of 2019 as the business confidence we were seeing this time last year takes a tumble. “Political and economic factors nationally and in the region over the last quarter have not been kind and we seem to be stumbling towards a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which could raise the chances of an economic downturn in the UK. “Coventry and Warwickshire will be no exception to this, even where our local economy has stayed strong and prospered, bucking national trends over recent years. We’ve seen a mix of some businesses that have made contingency plans for each eventually and others that don’t know where to start.

“The Chamber has always been a respected resource for local businesses and the advice they can provide allows the local business community to draw on resources that they perhaps haven’t got internally. “Prime has always embraced the opportunity to advise and assist the local business community and we welcome the opportunity to pass on our knowledge as part of the expert speaker panel. The conference, which is headline sponsored by WCG and supported by the Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hubs, will also hear from keynote speaker Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE – the recordbreaking expedition leader, who was the first person to reach both the North and South Poles by foot. Presenter, broadcaster and journalist Naga Munchetty, best known from BBC Breakfast, will host the conference, which will feature addresses and panel discussions with a range of business figures and key decision makers. For more information and to book your place at the conference visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Sponsored Column

Event seeks stars of the future “The launch of Chamber Talent is a perfect platform to start to overcome this barrier. It’s aimed at businesses to help them identify potential stars of the future and to sign them up to the programme. “It’s also a chance for entrepreneurs or university students who want to equip themselves with new skills and contacts to help them achieve their business ambitions.

Pictured (left to right): Tracey Sawrey, Keely Hancox, Dominika Walker, Sean Rose, Adele Wheatley, Alejandro Perez-Llabata

A packed room of young professionals from across Coventry and Warwickshire have been given an insight into how they can become the business stars of the future. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce launched its new Chamber Talent programme at WCG’s Stem Centre in Leamington to an audience of companies from across the region. The new membership package has been launched in response to businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire saying there is a shortage of skills and that a new generation of leaders needs to be developed. The launch event heard from Sean Rose, the Chamber Talent project lead; Keely Hancox, operations manager at the Chamber; Tracey Sawrey, of Coventry and

Warwickshire Chamber Training; Dominika Walker, of CityFibre; and Alejandro Perez-Llabata, of IUDRO. Sean explained the benefits of being part of the programme, including a series of networking and social events to help young professionals get together with and learn from their peers. It also includes training workshops on topics such as communication and problem solving to equip members with skills to help them develop their careers Those sessions will be delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training. Sean said: “Every time we get the results back from our Quarterly Economic Surveys from businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire skills is very high on the agenda and part of that is development leaders for the future.

“We were delighted with the response and have already had several individuals sign up to Chamber Talent on the back of it.” Dominika, who will be a founding board member of Chamber Talent, described some of the hurdles she has overcome to land her role as City Marketing Manager for CityFibre. She said: “I have faced many barriers during the early part of my career and have worked out how to overcome those in order to get myself where I am today. “The reason I wanted to be involved with Chamber Talent is I believe a programme like this would have helped me to get here much faster so it will be great to be able to support the next generation of business leaders in fulfilling their ambitions.” For more information on Chamber Talent go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk/ membership/chamber-talent/

Event offers advice on staffing issues Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire can take advantage of some free expert advice on everything from recruitment and retention through to managing staffing issues at an event this November. The Coventry and Warwickshire Employability Group is a partnership established by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and includes senior HR professionals, local employers, LEP and Local Authority representatives. It is staging an ‘SME – HR Resource and Support Centre’ on Friday, November 15 at 2pm at the Brandon Hall Hotel as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival. Businesspeople will be able to hear from a range of experts on a series of topics including staff rewards, apprenticeships, the management & wellbeing of staff and alternative avenues to recruitment. Angela Roberts, of The HR Consultancy, chairs the Employability Group which meets three times a year to help address issues around employment in the region. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

The Coventry and Warwickshire Employability Group’s latest meeting

Angela said: “We wanted to bring together a range of expertise in one room to offer businesses some free advice on a whole host of topics that relate to staff and employment. “It could be anything from dealing with a particularly difficult HR issue through to thinking outside the box when you are looking to recruit. “It won’t be a case of coming along, sitting down and having a ‘set menu’ of speakers. Businesses can choose

the people and the topics that are of most interest to them and then head to that area of the room to hear from them and ask questions. “There will be lots of partners in the room and it will be great to have such a range of experts all in one place.” Business wishing to attend are advised to register beforehand at https://cwbf2019.ticketleap.com/ sme-support/

Trustee Recruitment

Something I hear quite often is the difficulty charities have in recruiting Trustees to their Board. Often the approach adopted has been to ask existing trustees to talk to friends and colleagues to see if they would be interested in joining. Or, accepting on to the Board any person who expresses an interest regardless of their experience. However, as with a commercial business the Board should ensure that the appropriate skills and knowledge are being represented. This may vary to some extent based on the charity’s objects and purpose. Like any other recruitment it is worth investing some time to ensure you end up with the right people around the table so that your Board is able to meet the future needs of the charity: • Carry out a skills audit: understand the skills that need to be represented; identify those that are already represented and where gaps exist; and also, what skills might be needed in the future (refer to your strategy document or 3-5 year plan). • Look at the diversity of the Board – is there a bias to or absence of any demographic that needs to be addressed. • Create a role / person specification so your recruitment is clear. • Establish how and where you intend to advertise for new Trustees and then create the advertisement. • Create an information pack to explain to interested parties what the charity’s objects are, how your charity delivers these, and what the role will entail – be honest and explain your vision, mission, values and ethos. • Form a shortlisting and interview panel. Ensure this team understands the value that is given to differing skills and attributes when interviewing candidates. • Hold interviews. • Consider inviting candidates to a meeting to “get a feel” for the role. • Ensure that there is a formal induction process, provide an information pack, arrange a buddy system and confirm training expectations (i.e. safeguarding) etc. The role you are trying to fill is one of the most important since your Board will be driving the strategy. So why would the recruitment process be less robust than for any other key role. And, remember don’t be afraid to say no, a lot of time and energy is spent inducting new Trustees and ensuring they are up to speed, don’t waste that time if the candidate is not what you need. Geoffrey Cox Corporate Services and Charities Partner geoffrey.cox@dafferns.com www.dafferns.com


Corporate Profiles

Keeping staff appy

A new app is being made available to companies across Coventry and Warwickshire that will help them take care of the wellbeing of their staff – from offering video-calls with GPs through to discounts at the supermarket! Skye Wellbeing has launched the service in the region to both reward employees and also cut down on days lost through illness.

Firms pay a small subscription fee per user for the use of the app, which unlocks a whole range of benefits, including a service that links members of staff to GPs through a video call if they are struggling to get an appointment with their own doctor. On top of that, there are a range of services for company employees such as a legal helpline, financial help, mental wellbeing and other physical health benefits. The benefits also include lots of money-off rewards including restaurants, coffee shops, retail outlets, days out – such as Alton Towers – and even supermarket discounts. Andrew Bretherton, the founder of Sky Wellbeing, said the app was linked to a national service but was tailored to businesses in the Coventry and Warwickshire region. He said: “We launched recently and have already signed up around 5,000 users of the app across a range of businesses in the region. “Companies are looking for new ways to look after their staff and also reward them for all of their hard work. “Research suggests that staff look beyond just pay as a reason to stay with a company and additional benefits such as those that we offer are exactly the kind of things that people are looking for.

“Of course, everyone loves a pay rise but – equally – most of us live to our means so that money soon gets swallowed up. By choosing to reward staff in this way, employees link their employer to some of those treats that they might be able to afford thanks to the offers. “Then there are all of the health benefits that can be accessed via the app – and there are many. “The one that really captures the imagination is the video-call service with a GP that offers the opportunity to get an immediate ‘face-to-face’ chat with a doctor and not have to wait for an appointment with their own GP or speak to someone in a call centre.”

Skye Wellbeing has price plans set up for individuals and businesses, including a package of £10 per user for companies with less than 50 employees. For companies with more than 50 staff, Skye can develop tailored packages to suit the business’s own needs. Companies that sign up to the app are given passwords for their staff to access the benefits straightaway. For more information call Andrew on 07889 593951, email andy@skyewellbeing.co.uk or go to www.skyewellbeing.co.uk

“Research suggests that staff look beyond just pay as a reason to stay with a company and additional benefits such as those that we offer are exactly the kind of things that people are looking for. “

Securing the future A Rugby-based security firm has grown 400 per cent in four years – and providing great local service has proved to be one of the keys to its success. Stonewall Security has been in operation for 11 years, supplying staff to a range of industries and events in the region. In 2015, Clare Garrod bought into the business to run it with her, now husband, Martin Randall, and the company has gone from strength to the strength ever since. Turnover is up and the firm now employs 14 direct staff from its base in Somers Road, Rugby, as well as hiring a range of sub-contractors to complete roles when required. “We provide manned security to businesses and events,” said Clare, “so that can be static or mobile, while we also provide a key holding service and alarm response. “The static service is one of our biggest areas of work for everything from construction through to property management and car parking – basically any location that might need security. “We also work on events – such as Rugby fireworks and the Rugby Fan Village when it was in the town


in 2015 – and we go right across the region including Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and the wider West Midlands. “Another area of the business is working with local hotels to provide security for weddings or parties, which works well. “One of the toughest questions to answer is what sets you apart from others but I do believe that the great local service that we provide is really appreciated by clients. “We know everyone we employ as sub-contractors and that really does make a difference into the quality of service you can provide to clients.” All of the company’s security officers are vetted and have attained the industry standard SIA Licence. Clare added: “We are a family business and we really do care about giving the highest levels of service we can. “I bought into the company four years ago and, as both me and Martin are now here, it is vital that we make it as successful as possible. “He is a fantastic operational manager and the business had grown to a certain point through that understanding of the sector and quality of service.

“So, when I joined, I wanted to give it more of a business focus too and it is that combination that makes it work well. “We have very different roles in the business and we do find some time not to talk about work when we are at home too!

“We are both Rugby born and bred so we are delighted to be offering employment in our own town and running a business that give great service to anyone who needs a security service in the area.” For more information, go to www.stonewallsecurity.co.uk

“One of the toughest questions to answer is what sets you apart from others but I do believe that the great local service that we provide is really appreciated by clients.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

News CU Coventry biologist breaking new ground after thinking he couldn’t study science at all

Biological and Chemical Sciences students Hassan Hussain (left) and Sebastian Dworczyk (right) analysing the genetic sequence of a bacterial species

An aspiring biologist at CU Coventry is breaking new ground three years after thinking he might not be able to take a scientific degree at all. Sebastian Dworczyk, a third-year Biological and Chemical Sciences student at CU Coventry – part of the Coventry University Group – conducted a hi-tech experiment analysing the genetic sequence of a bacterial species using equipment commonly used by scientists working with the NHS. Sebastian performed the experiment in CU Coventry’s cutting-

edge labs at its Mile Lane campus, which became CU Coventry’s new home earlier this year. But he might not have been able to study a scientific degree at all if it were not for CU Coventry’s one-year access course in health and human sciences, which is specifically designed for people who do not currently have the qualifications to enter a degree-level course. He said: “I have always been interested in biology, but I thought I was unable to study it at degree level because I did not have the right qualifications when I left college. “When I had an opportunity to move to Coventry from London, I researched places I could potentially study, and CU Coventry’s access course caught my eye. “Choosing CU Coventry was perfect for me – it helped me get the skills I needed during my access course, and it really prepared me for my first year by getting me into that studying mindset again. The access course

was pretty intense but it got me up to speed very quickly. The move to Mile Lane was fantastic too. The facilities in the labs are amazing, and it enables us to perform much more interesting and complex experiments than we might otherwise have been able to. “I’m particularly enjoying the microbiology side of the course at the moment, and the new equipment in the labs means I can study specific bacteria more effectively.” The sophisticated genome sequencing equipment used by Sebastian, called MinION (Oxford Nanopore Technologies), is routinely used in organisations like Public Health England (PHE) and private research companies. Using equipment like this in practical classes helps improve the chances of future employment in the industry for students. Natasha Marin, microbiology lecturer and course leader at CU Coventry, added: “This course and our new Applied Biosciences course

are both designed with employability in mind, and the new facilities at Mile Lane make this far easier to deliver. “The labs are so much bigger here than at our old campus, which means we can teach far more students and we can use a wider variety of sophisticated equipment commonly used in the industry during experiments. This really gets the students prepared for a potential career in biosciences. “It’s also great to see just how far Sebastian has come since he first started at CU Coventry. His success proves you can still become a scientist even if you didn’t initially achieve the correct qualifications while at school. “Alongside the Access course, students can also apply to our Foundation Year in Applied Biosciences if they just missed out with their A-level results. “We’re delighted with the opportunities we’re able to offer our students now we’re here in Mile Lane.”

Leading figures in Warwickshire’s gaming industry create new digital character to help teenagers diagnosed with cancer The leading figures in Warwickshire’s technology and gaming industries have come together to create a new digital character to help teenagers diagnosed with cancer. Representatives from the Institute of Coding, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, One HealthTech and games developers from Leamington Spa brought their expertise together to create a new online digital character alongside the charity Molly Olly’s wishes. The character will develop the charity’s work in supporting young people through their cancer diagnoses and treatment by reaching an older teenage audience through an online platform. Molly Olly’s wishes, which was founded by Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw in 2011 following the death of their daughter Molly to

cancer at the age of eight, provides treats or equipment to children aimed at making dealing with cancer treatments more comfortable. The tech experts have come together to develop Olly, who features in the charity’s book series and is also a soft toy mascot with detachable hair, into an online character for teenagers suffering with the disease. The Institute of Coding is a Government initiative bringing together a network of employers, universities, training providers and professional bodies to create the skills needed for the digital economy. That expertise will help develop the new character alongside gaming designers, CWLEP’s digital connectivity arm and One HealtTech, who specialise in digital healthcare. Louise Phipps, from the Institute of Coding at Coventry University, said: “The work that Molly Olly’s wishes

does is so important for young people coming to terms with life-threatening illnesses and provides a really important tool for them to understand and share their experiences with the Olly character. “Bringing together these experts to help provide their time and knowledge to this has been an incredible experience to be a part of. Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a small charity to develop with the help of experts who have very kindly donated their time to help us, for which we are so grateful. “Alongside all the work we do with helping children to understand their illness, we also fund a consultant in Paediatric Palliative Medicine based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and in the local community.

Lauren Bevan (Head of Healthcare for BJSS), Louise Phipps (Institute of Coding), Stacy O’Connor (CWLEP) and Rachel Ollerenshaw (Molly Olly’s Wishes) at WCG’s Leamington Campus.

“Through all of these different methods, we are able to help support children and teenagers as they live with life-threatening illnesses and we’re so incredibly grateful for the support in expanding this help.”

Stepping out for charity fundraiser

Dave Moorcroft with dancer Sarah Smith

Coventry’s very own version of Strictly has hit the ground running this year with a local legend swapping the running track for the dance floor. Former world record holder David Moorcroft OBE, will be taking to the dance floor as part of the annual Strictly Christmas event, which is

returning for its third year, to raise money for charity. The former Chief Executive of UK Athletics will join a cast of 24 novice contestants for the charity event to raise crucial funds to support the work of Zoë’s Place Coventry on Friday, December 13 and Saturday, December 14 at the Royal Court Hotel in Coventry. The event, which was first organised in 2017 by James Sanders, Head of Geography at Bluecoats School, has raised more than £150,000 for Zoë’s Place Coventry in the last two years and with last year’s event reaching an incredible £91,000 in total. The line-up of 24 contestants will be put through eight weeks of intensive dance training to learn two routines in ballroom and Latin with their experienced dance partners, with the winning couple lifting the coveted glitter ball trophy.

Following the popularity of last year’s event, tickets for this year have already sold out due to unprecedented demand with performers now dancing in front of an audience of nearly 700 people. Dave Moorcroft expressed his excitement at taking to the dancefloor and trading his running spike for dancing shoes in aid of a good cause. He said: “I have been a guest at the event for the last two years and I’ve loved it. My wife and Jane McGaffney, from Zoë’s Place, have been trying to convince me to have a go so I’ve decided to take on the challenge. “I’m incredibly nervous to get started; I have got no rhythm or dancing skills so I’m very worried about falling in a heap on stage! “It’s all for a good cause though so I’m hoping everyone really enters into the spirit of things and enjoys watching me try my best.”

Jane McGaffney, Community Fundraiser at Zoë’s Place, added: “The Strictly Christmas event has been incredibly popular and we’re so thrilled with how quickly tickets have sold out for this year’s event. “The project is completely volunteer-led with a core organising team of five people and we are so grateful for their support in helping the event run smoothly and in helping to raise money for us. “We are still looking for sponsors from the Coventry and Warwickshire business community, so if anyone would be interested in supporting the event and helping us to raise as much money as possible for a good cause then please get in touch.” Businesses interested in sponsoring the event should visit www.zoesstrictlyxmas.org.uk

Insurance broker Gallagher strengthens Coventry team with strategic hire of business professional Gallagher, one of the UK’s largest providers of risk management and commercial insurance solutions, has appointed Ben Thomas as Development Executive, to further bolster Gallagher’s strength as a broker in the Coventry area and with specific expertise in the life science and technology sectors. Ben, who will be based in Gallagher’s Coventry office will be responsible for new business in the Midlands and managing relationships with key stakeholders and local networking groups, such as the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Ben joins the business with previous


experience in the healthcare sector. In his most recent role, as a Business Development Manager, he was highly valued for helping clients to streamline their internal processes and reduce overheads. One major achievement for Ben was successfully winning an NHS group of 54 surgeries that have since adopted the innovative solution Ben had proposed. He said: “I’m excited to be joining Gallagher. The client portfolio is already very strong however I am confident I can further support the business in its growth. I look forward to assisting new clients to develop tailored propositions for them which will protect their people and their business.”

Kathryn Moon, managing director of insurance broker, risk management specialist and consulting firm Gallagher in Coventry, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the team here in Coventry. His valued experience within business development positions him well to assist our clients with their insurance needs. “Ben joins the Coventry office at a significant time as we saw a 10% growth in revenue in 2018 and are investing in the team to ensure we enjoy continued success in 2019. He will be a valuable enhancement to the team and will be instrumental in maintaining this positive momentum, and take us even further forward in 2020.”

Hardeep Sandhu (left) with David Whittle

Chamber helps business make good start

A Coventry entrepreneur has launched a new recruitment company in the city – and it is already 30 per cent up on its business target. David Whittle has spent his career working for a small number of specialist recruitment agencies but decided to go it alone and launched Bespoke Recruitment in July this year, after support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Bespoke Recruitment specialises in professional recruitment services, in particular finance and accountancy professionals and, despite some companies holding back slightly on recruitment due to Brexit uncertainty, Bespoke is way ahead of its turnover target just a few months since setting up. The Chamber’s Start-Up Business Programme, which forms part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, provided invaluable information to support the first steps in setting up the business. David said he kept regular contact with the Chamber to discuss strategy and help him develop his business plan, while he attended regular workshops to help with matters such as cashflow forecasts, website optimisation and other day-to-day business practices. He said: “After 17 years working in the recruitment industry, I felt it was the right time to take the plunge and set out on my own. “The aim of Bespoke is to provide people with a high level of personal service, which I’ve always had a passion for, combined with 17 years of industry experience and excellent local market knowledge. “While I had great knowledge of the recruitment industry itself, and a substantial network of contacts, I had less idea on the practical side of how to successfully run a business by myself. “The Chamber’s support programme, its many workshops, seminars, and the opportunity to learn from others has helped me endlessly on not only achieving a great start, but also planning for the future. “I’d like to thank my mentor from the Chamber, Hardeep Sandhu, for her support along the way and providing extremely useful assistance as well as a genuine interest in my business and its success.” Hardeep Sandhu, Enterprise Coach Team Leader at the Chamber, said: “It’s great to see David doing so well in his new venture and we are very pleased to have supported the company in its infancy. “The support we offer is available to all business start-ups in the Coventry and Warwickshire region, and David is a fantastic example of how success can be achieved when you have all the right tools and advice.” For more information about Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s business support services visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk/business-support For more information about Bespoke Recruitment visit www.bespoke-recruitment.com


News Sponsored Column

Building the financial foundations for growth By Sean Farnell, Partner at Burgis & Bullock It’s always important for a business of any size to keep their finances in order and in times of economic uncertainty it’s even more vital. Once you have a full understanding of your figures and your financial position you can really start to drive growth in your business. SME owners can sometimes be stubborn about asking for help and advice, and that is no different when it comes to finances. At Burgis & Bullock, we work closely with businesses across a wide range of sectors, but it has long been a frustration of mine that in preparing monthly management accounts you never really drill down beneath the headline figures. Without establishing a detailed understanding of exactly what is happening in your business, it’s difficult to know where there is scope to improve or be able to identify very specific opportunities to improve profitability. To add to that, many business owners won’t be measuring the right things. As accountants, we feel it should be our responsibility to provide these answers and that’s why Burgis & Bullock has recently introduced the Virtual Finance Director (VFD) for a number of our clients. Gone are the days where the accountant’s role was to only draw up annual reports, we need to offer more and this is the equivalent of a small to medium-sized business having its own non-exec Chief Financial Officer. The VFD is already helping businesses unlock the drivers to improve performance, moving away from ‘accounts and compliance’ and giving the time to focus on a wider strategy and long-term goals. It’s a simple process too, as we work to break down numbers held in Xero and analyse data to quickly identify trends to improve financial results. Businesses who engage with us on the VFD might not know the potential value of their business in five years’ time – but just a few months into the process you can have this answer. As our support offer at Burgis & Bullock continues to grow, we are continuing to see our Business Mastermind Group thrive. This is much more of a hands-on option than the VFD and provides members with a nonexecutive board, made up of other like-minded business owners. The group works as one to solve problems, provide solutions and set ambitious goals. It is crucial that businesses continue to collaborate to take that next step, and that is something we are very good at in Coventry and Warwickshire – and the Business Mastermind Group is another avenue to do exactly that. To find out more about Burgis & Bullock’s Virtual Finance Director or Business Mastermind Group contact us today on 0345 177 5500 or visit www.burgisbullock.com Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.


Global industry giants heading to NAEC Stoneleigh Leading companies from across the globe will be heading to Warwickshire to showcase their ground-breaking ideas and techniques at a prestigious two-day event. NAEC Stoneleigh has been chosen to host four exhibitions next summer which will see some of the biggest trade names in the world, along with a number of top county businesses, unveil their latest designs and developments in a wide range of industries such as transport, energy, medicine, construction and agriculture. The Advanced Materials Show, Vehicle Electrification Expo, Battery Cells and Systems Expo and Ceramics UK, managed by Event Partners, will all be holding events at the exhibition and conference centre, after a collaborative effort between NAEC and bodies including Warwick District Council and Invest in Warwickshire. NAEC managing director Chris Hartley said: “These exhibitions will provide a unique showcase for some of the most exciting breakthrough technologies in the world, with experts from all sides of industry in attendance. “The support we have received from across Coventry and Warwickshire has been magnificent. It was a real team effort to bring these shows to Stoneleigh and we’re delighted to have taken part in such a comprehensive proposal. “Our region is a real hub for the motor industry and the Vehicle Electrification

Expo will enable automotive manufacturers to look at the latest powertrain solutions to improve the performance, efficiency, safety and sustainability of electric vehicles. ” Chris thanked the variety of regional organisations and groups for working alongside Stoneleigh, which hosts around 240 events a year, to clinch the deal to stage the high-profile events on July 8-9 next year. Invest in Warwickshire, Warwick District Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, WMG at the University of Warwick and the Warwickshire College Group all joined forces to champion NAEC. Ian Flynn, from Invest in Warwickshire, said: “We all saw this as an ideal opportunity to attract new business into the area and highlight those which are already here. “The region is a major centre of research and design, test and development and manufacturing. We have major auto, aero, rail and defence businesses such as Aston Martin Lagonda, Geely, Jaguar Land Rover, Meggitt and Rolls Royce Aerospace, CAF Rail and Vivarail, as well as their key supply chains. “There’s MIRA Technology Park, Quinton Rail Technology Centre, National Automotive Innovation Centre (Lord Bhattacharyya Building),

NAEC Stoneleigh will be hosting the Advanced Materials Show, Battery Cells & Systems Expo, Vehicle Electrification Expo and Ceramics UK on July 8-9, 2020 Chris Hartley, NAEC Stoneleigh managing director Professor Dave Greenwood, from the WMG at Warwick University

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, too, so this is a very advanced centre of excellence in a number of fields. “These businesses will share a synergy and a keen interest in a lot of the technologies being showcased at Stoneleigh so we are delighted to have been able to contribute to bringing it all to the NAEC.” Professor Dave Greenwood, from the WMG at Warwick University, will be playing a leading role at the event. He said: “We felt it was the right time to bring an international audience to the UK for a world-class battery and electrification conference and NAEC Stoneleigh is the ideal venue. ” For more information about any of the four shows, visit: www.advancedmaterialsshow.com www.batterysystemsexpo.com www.ve-expo.com www.ceramics-uk.com

Meissen Porcelain to take on UK HoReCa sector with the help of Studio William German State-owned porcelain manufacturer Meissen has appointed Studio William as exclusive Foodservice partner for the UK and Ireland, as they take on the UK HoReCa sector for the very first time in their 300-year history. Synonymous with wealth throughout most of its rich and tumultuous past, Meissen has always exuded an understated luxury that has, until now, eluded the world of commercial fine dining and high-end hospitality. But now, through their partnership with Studio William Hotel & Restaurant Supplies, Meissen has become a great deal more accessible.

What’s more, by utilising Studio William’s showroom in the Cotswolds, the same intimate personal consultations available in Meissen stores, will now be offered to F&B professionals at this inspirational setting. Each piece of Meissen porcelain has its beginnings in the oldest and largest treasury of models and moulds anywhere in the world. Each new piece that bears the Meissen swords is a modern interpretation of European art and cultural history. It’s a design ethos that inspires the work of Studio William Founder, CEO and Industrial Designer, William Welch. He said: “We are thrilled to be working alongside one of the world’s oldest and most famous porcelain brands, and

honoured to be chosen to assist them in breaking into a very competitive UK Foodservice sector. “Our team here in the UK have delivered exemplary customer service over the years and this has become one of the main reasons that brands like Meissen are attracted to our proposition; We’re brand ambassadors, we build brands, we drive sales, but more importantly we introduce our hotel and restaurant clients to a world of new and creative ways to innovate in the kitchen and elevate their dining experience. “The addition of Meissen to our portfolio signals another great milestone in the history of our company and further cements our position within the Foodservice industry as influential curators of global, design-led brands.”

Birmingham Airport revealed as one of the UK’s best large airports Birmingham Airport has been named as the best large airport in the country outside of London in Which? Travel’s 2019 Annual Airport Survey. Which? surveyed 4,499 of its members, looking at more than 6,000 airport experiences, highlighting the best and worst airports across the UK. Birmingham Airport finished second to London Heathrow T5 in terms of UK airports within the category of more than 10 million passengers per year. Heathrow achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 66 per cent, with

Birmingham earning a 65 per cent customer score and three stars out of five across all categories.

including airport seating, toilets, staff, prices across concessions, baggage reclaim and queue times.

Which? Travel’s 2019 Annual Airport Survey asked members to rate areas

Stuart Haseley-Nejrup, Head of Customer Experience at Birmingham Airport said:

“It has been a positive time for us, not only being recognised as the best large airport in the country, outside of London, but Birmingham Airport was also announced as UK Travel Agents Star UK Airport Award 2019 for the fifth time in six years. “Over the past year, we have heavily focused on our customer service and the Which? survey results are testament to the investment we have made to improve the overall satisfaction of passengers who fly with us.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Exciting expansion plans at Hatton Shopping Village

The “Alfresco Style Garden Boutique”, a unique plant centre located at Hatton Shopping Village, is expanding its garden boutique as well as taking over two existing businesses - the onsite café and farm-shop. The expansion plans mean that five jobs that might have been at risk in the farm shop and cafe have been secured. Four new jobs have already been created in the café, one in the garden centre and a further three, including a new chef, will be created when the renovations are complete. This will bring the total number of people employed by Alfresco to 16, including management. The businesses, which are run by Lottie Newitt, her partner Mark Henstone

and her parents, Barrie and Rachel Newitt, have been re-branded so they all fall under the Alfresco Style banner. The café, which is being renovated and extended to treble its existing covers, is being re-named “Alfies”. The farm-shop, which has moved into much larger adjacent premises, will be rebranded “Alfresco Style Farm Shop & Deli”. It is planned that all the renovation works will be completed by mid-September. The Alfresco Style Garden Boutique focuses on design led displays using colour, shape and structure to inspire the customer. Their main specialism is their large houseplant display as well as specialising in cottage garden plants, perennials and unusual varieties, coupled with friendly expert advice. There are specially created areas that focus on gardening for children, wildlife gardens and the kitchen garden plus a range of pots, stoneware and gardener’s gifts. The Alfresco Style Farm Shop & Deli ethos is to source as many products as possible within a small radius and showcases local artisan produce from Warwickshire and the surrounding counties. Visitors can buy freshly baked bread, cheeses, cured meats, quiches, eggs, sausages, olives, pies, fruit, vegetables and fruit juices sourced mainly from excellent local producers, as well as locally produced beers/ciders from Church Farm Brewery, Hogan’s Cider and Purity Brewing. The farm shop also sells fresh cut flowers as well as aspirational gifts.

Alfies now offers a far greater range of home-made breakfasts, brunch options, smoothies, salads, fabulous cakes and delicious fresh strawberries & cream served in large meringues. The new chef will be bringing in more wholefood, vegetarian and vegan options, sharing boards and light meals to complement the current menu. The expansion into larger premises will see the café increase its covers from 22 to 60 people. In addition there is an outside courtyard seating area accommodating up to 50 covers. At weekends a barbeque is operated serving bacon baps, light breakfasts and fantastic sausages from renowned local producer Lashfords, which are also available to buy in the farm shop. Lottie Newitt said: “When we took over the Garden Boutique in April 2018, it was always our plan to further expand the business. It’s great to be working in partnership with my parents and partner as we all share a passion for gardening, floristry and food. Once we are fully open we plan to offer a range of workshops and talks with our suppliers on subjects such as how to make pizza and sausages, along with wine and cheese evenings, so we can offer our customers a hands-on experience filling them with inspiration and knowledge”. Johnnie Arkwright, owner of Hatton Country World, said: “Just as The Alfresco Style is constantly evolving, so is Hatton Shopping Village which is now very much a destination.”

How IC Solutions have expanded and are continuing to do so IC Solutions 24/7 Limited provide infection control products and services for both domestic and commercial customers across the UK and beyond. This year has seen significant growth as they continue to expand their customer base across the world, from the zero base from which they started in 2010. Following three visits to Jamaica last year, they have signed contracts with a large

FMC to promote their products and services across the Caribbean. Their core NHS business continues to grow steadily and new clients include offices, transport, hotels, restaurants and even all of the UK Center Parcs sites who are now using the SaniGuard sanitiser range, helping to reduce the risks of environmental illness among their clientele and staff. There has also been a rise in interest from pharmaceutical

manufacturing plants and ambulance services as well as a range of other market sectors globally, showing interest and placing orders. The business has increased the number of services that it can provide, including Mould Remediation when properties have suffered water damage and ECONOMY PAT testing service to the local business community for all of their electrical items. They also offer local and national disinfection services

for offices and workspace areas using high tech equipment treating 99.9999% of all surfaces to reduce the risks of staff and visitor illness including colds and flu.

National Express - still cutting it on safety National Express West Midlands has won the British Safety Council’s Sword of Honour for the fourth year in a row. The British Safety Council explains that the Sword of Honour “represents the pinnacle of achievement in the world of health and safety management”. This year, only 84 companies across the whole world achieved the necessary standard. Mark Heffernan, National Express Operations and Safety Director, said: “This is a fantastic achievement - it confirms that National Express West Midlands is

among the safest companies in the world. This award is a testament to all our employees’ relentless focus on health and safety and doing the right thing - keeping our people and customers safe.” To even apply for a Sword of Honour, organisations must have already achieved a five-star rating in the gruelling 13-day British Safety Council Five Star Audit. They must then demonstrate that they are among the best of the best through a written application. In September this year, National Express West Midlands was judged the safest public transport

company of all those audited across the world by the British Safety Council. The Birminghambased bus operator scored an amazing 99.17% in their recent Five Star Health and Safety Audit, placing it 5th of all logistics companies audited by the British Safety Council. This year, the Sword of Honour application focussed on the increasing importance of mental health at work - a subject the British Safety Council takes very seriously. To achieve top scores, companies had to provide full evidence to show how they identify and support their people’s mental health.

College rewarded following Armed Forces Employment Pledge North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College has been recognised with a Bronze award for promoting employment policies that support Armed Forces veterans and their families The College has become one of 3,000 organisations across the country that has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, formalising their status as a forces-friendly employer. The College earned the accolade from the Defence Employer


Recognition Scheme (ERS) following its pledge to support employment for reservists, veterans, cadet instructors, and military spouses and their partners. The ERS recognises the commitment and support of UK employers for defence personnel. The scheme comprises Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employers who support those who serve, or have served, in the Armed Forces, and their families. Nicola Morrison, Director of HR, Organisational Development and

Marketing at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “We recognise the wide range of unique skills and experiences that Armed Forces members can contribute to the College, helping with our mission to diversify the talent within our workforce. “We are delighted to support the Armed Forces Covenant and will work closely with the ERS to ensure that our forces-friendly policies are well promoted throughout the military community.”

Sponsored Column

What if your business has the Potential for 30% Profit Growth (or more) AND you can choose to work 2 days a week less than you do now… A bold claim but the two commonalities I find in my work with business owners are money “left on the table” and inefficient processes causing the owner to be more involved on a day to day basis than they need or want to. That doesn’t mean those businesses aren’t already successful; in fact its precisely because they are successful that the owner is usually so busy they can’t step back and see what could be possible with less effort. The secret is working out what the current Performance is in terms of profit and ease of operation and then identify the true Potential which lies in your business. Then we diagnose precisely what “Interferences” cause the gap between your Potential and Performance - the habits or inefficiencies you tolerate and which stop you getting the results you want. With the Interferences identified and prioritised, we then get to work on systematically removing them to unleash the hidden potential of the business. That sounds great doesn’t it, but what’s the reality for you? Special Offer for C&W Members: If you run a business with 5 to 80 employees and you want to find the Interferences preventing you having the business and lifestyle you want… Step 1 – Call me on 079 7056 6390 to schedule a 10 minute call to answer a simple but profound question that will transform the way you look at the potential in your business and life. Step 2 – We arrange a Free 60-90 minute diagnostic session where we begin to identify the interferences that are stifling the potential in your business. Step 3 – You implement the changes necessary to unlock the potential in your business, with or without my ongoing help. Call me – 10 minutes is all you risk! David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390 davidlee@actioncoach.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/ www.actioncoach.co.uk/davidlee


Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

Changing Lives with One Million Mentors Apprentice of the Year Finalists for Chamber Training The team at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training are delighted as four of their Apprentices have been selected as finalists in the Apprentice of the Year 2019 category in the Coventry Telegraph Awards 2019. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards, so it is a special event that Chamber Training is delighted to be a part of. The four worthy Apprentice finalists are Alexis Considine, an Accountancy Apprentice at The Wigley Group; Allana Watson, a Business Administration Apprentice at Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust, Colin Twidale, a Health & Social Care Management Apprentice from Individual Support Services and Danielle Mousley, a Vehicle Paint Refinishing Apprentice at XL Motors Accident Repair Centre (in partnership with Warwickshire Garage & Transport Group Training Association). Commenting on the finalists and their achievements, Sally Lucas, Executive Director at Chamber Training said: “The Coventry Telegraph Awards is an excellent platform to celebrate our Apprentices’ exceptional progress and our four finalists have certainly earned their place at the prestigious event. We are excited to be part of the awards evening and we would like to wish our four Apprentices the very best of luck at the event and in their chosen career paths. “At Chamber Training we are currently working with over 700 Apprentices making great progress carving out exciting career paths. In addition, we are working with over 1,000 businesses to identify solutions to help their businesses flourish by developing talent within their organisations.” The Coventry Telegraph Business Awards will take place at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday 21st November 2019 and is being run in conjunction with BusinessLive to celebrate the region’s success. Find out more at https://www.coventrytelegraph. net/news/coventry-news/ coventry-telegraph-businessawards-2019-17006987 For more information about taking on Apprentice with Chamber Training visit www.cw-chambertraining.co.uk or call a member of the business development team on 02476 231 122


Following the successful launch of a national initiative to support individuals with personal and professional development, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training is providing a further opportunity for experienced, inspirational mentors to help young people improve their career development through mentoring support. One Million Mentors (1MM) offers young people high quality guidance and the opportunity to develop their career. By taking part more young people have the chance to grow their skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed choices about their futures. The unique opportunity connects young local talent with an expanding network of trained, volunteer mentors who are working, retired or on a career break, harnessing and sharing their experience and expertise. The programme boosts support and advice for young people in the areas of education, employment and social action. Commenting on the success of the mentoring programme, Sarah Williams, Training Manager at Chamber Training said: “Mentoring can provide a much

Chelsea-Lea Gallagher

Sarah Williams (centre) is seen here with the mentors for IMM new cohort.

needed intervention and 1MM proves that this works extremely well. The mentors support individuals for one hour per month, for up to 12 months either at Chamber Training’s offices in Radford, Coventry or the workplace. At Chamber Training, the Directors and Staff are instrumental in identifying suitable mentees for the 1MM programme. “One example of how 1MM can change lives is demonstrated by one of Chamber Training’s former Early Years Care Apprentices, Chelsea-Lea Gallagher who took part in the first year. Chelsea was offered a place on the One Million Mentors programme and was guided by her mentor, Gurmeet Dhillon. As a single parent who works full time, Chelsea was often challenged by the volume of work and impending deadlines.

She was keen to discuss the steps she needed to pursue in order to achieve her long-term goal of becoming a social worker. “The support and guidance offered by Gurmeet was invaluable to Chelsea’s progress in securing a position on early years’ care and education bachelor’s degree for 2020. She will be an absolute asset to the course and will no doubt thrive from the challenge. The 1MM programme also helped Chelsea to achieve strong recognition as Children’s Care Apprentice of the Year in 2019,“ Sarah concluded. To find out more about becoming a mentor or mentee on the 1MM programme, contact Sarah Williams at Chamber Training on 024 7623 1122 or enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk www.onemillionmentors.org.uk

“The unique opportunity connects young local talent with an expanding network of trained, volunteer mentors who are working, retired or on a career break, harnessing and sharing their experience and expertise.”

Hairdressing Academy Success for Chamber Training Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training’s Hairdressing Academy is committed to providing its Apprentices with high quality work experience and employment in salons across the city and county to gain practical skills and knowledge in the latest industry trends and techniques as part of their Apprenticeship training. Jayne Powell, Hairdressing Trainer at Chamber Training said: “The opportunities in hairdressing can be endless for individuals with creative flair and technical expertise. The secret behind a good hairdresser is the right training and there is no better place to learn a trade than in the workplace. There are also fantastic progression routes. You can become a senior stylist or salon manager; you can also move into the world of training; become a salon owner or consider options such as wig making, make-up techniques and work in theatre, film and television industries. “One of our many successful Hairdressing Apprentices, Chloe Young, began her Apprenticeship at Chamber Training’s Hairdressing

Academy after leaving school. Chloe gained Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas in Hairdressing at Essence Hair Salon and went on to become a firm favourite with her clients with her amazing colour transformations. After completing her training, she decided to open her own salon and is now the proud owner of Chloe’s Hair Studio in Coventry. From Apprentice to business owner, this showcases how hairdressing can offer a rewarding and fulfilling career.” Commenting on her success Chloe said: “Owning a hair salon is a fantastic achievement and my proudest moment. Knowing that my hair transformations have made such a difference to people is the best satisfaction I could ever wish for. The right haircut and colour can boost self-confidence and raise self-esteem. “The Apprenticeship programme at Chamber Training has helped me to build my future in hairdressing and I cannot thank the team enough. I have always wanted to work for myself and this would not have been possible without the support and guidance I received.”

Chloe Young is seen here with Jayne Powell, Chamber Training.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Celebrate the gift of giving this Christmas - and help change lives

Myton’s annual Santa Dash is a great way to get into the festive spirit and raise vital cash.

Christmas is a time of joy, of celebration and of thanks. And nowhere are these eAnd nowhere are these emotions felt more than at The Myton Hospices, albeit with an added sense of poignancy. Many patients and their families will be facing what will most likely be their last Christmas together – doing all they can to make sure every moment of every day is as special as it can be – and rightfully trying to embrace the yuletide magic to help them create special, everlasting memories. Which is why the season of goodwill is even more important to us. We rely almost entirely on the support of the local community across Coventry and Warwickshire to fund the amazing work we do, having to

raise a staggering £9.2million each year to run our three hospices in Coventry, Rugby and Warwick, our patient and family support services and our community services through Myton at Home. This Christmas we are appealing to all our fellow Chamber members to help us continue this work, to dig deep and support us in any way you can. And there are many ways you can do this. Our seasonal fundraising drive beings with #GivingTuesday on Tuesday 3rd December where we join charities across the world in trying to raise as much money as is humanly possible in just 24 hours. Last year we raised an amazing £6,470 – enough to fund an inpatient bed for two weeks.

This year, with your help, we are hoping to raise even more. Hot on the heels of #GivingTuesday is our Festive Fridays campaign – a fun and easy way for every business and every office to help Myton. We are looking for people to get into the Christmas spirit by wearing a festive jumper, flashing tie, sparkly earrings (or anything else suitably festive) on a day of your choosing in the run up to Christmas - it doesn’t even have to be a Friday. This December, we are aiming to raise £8,600 through people celebrating Festive Fridays, which could fund the cost of running of Inpatient Units at Coventry and Warwick for one day. You could also remember a loved one through our Light up a Life services at all of our hospices; dedicate a light on one of the magnificent trees at our hospices and take part in the remembrance services. There are big celebrations for our Coventry Hospice this festive season as it marks its tenth anniversary with a special Christmas Fayre – everyone is welcome and the date for the diary is Saturday, December 7 from 11am until 1.30pm. Last, but most definitely not least, is our annual Santa Dash – the perfect excuse to dress up

like Father Christmas and run, jog or walk 5k for the cause. This year’s fun-for-all-thefamily event takes place on Sunday 8th December at the usual venue of Victoria Park in Leamington Spa. So why not join the hundreds of fellow Santas and help us raise £38,000 for our hospices?! Finally, if taking part in any of the above events is not for you, but you would still like to support The Myton Hospices this Christmas, you can make a straight-forward donation via our website or by calling us on 01926 358387. Details of all the above events and how you can sign up can be found on the website – www.mytonhospice.org You can also support The Myton Hospices, and a host of other charities and good causes, by supporting the Advent of Change project. Advent of Change products are available in John Lewis stores and online at: www. adventofchange.com with donations being made to its partner charities from every sale. Thank you in advance – and wishing you a very merry Christmas from everyone at The Myton Hospices.

CityFibre wins Excellence in Innovation Award CityFibre brought home the gold at the Coventry Business Excellence Awards by winning the Award for Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Cloud Central and DATTO. It was one of three finalists, alongside Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd and Reality in Virtual Reality Limited, in a hard-fought three-way tussle. CityFibre was recognised for its creative approach to constructing its network in the city. Coventry is the first city in which CityFibre has deployed innovative aerial build techniques, minimising disruption to local communities and delivering transformational gigabit-speed internet to almost every home and business in the area.

Utilising the Well-Planned City methodology from the outset, CityFibre has put in place a design that will create a network architecture that supports the delivery of a whole-city FTTP network. The full fibre network will help to generate further inward investment, inspire more digital transformation and help future-proof Coventry as smart cities, the Internet of Things, and the digital economy become bigger factors of life in the city, helping Coventry City Council achieve its digital vision. The final element of CityFibre’s approach recognised for being innovative is the way the organisation engages with local stakeholders and communities.

In the two weeks to the run-up to the CBEA alone, CityFibre ran its largest stakeholder event in Coventry to date, Tomorrow’s Technology in Coventry Today, and supported the British Science Festival, hosted this year by the University of Warwick.

Team Amco wins Excellence In Industry Award Amco’s hard work and dedication was recognised at the Coventry Business Excellence Awards on September 19th, when they were awarded the Excellence In Industry Award. The award celebrates a company that has made strides in their field, be it manufacturing, science or technology while continuing to strengthen the regional economy. As a finalist, they were selected and judged on the quality of their products and services, whilst also looking at how


they uphold the traditions of the local area. Strengthening the economy is key whilst also looking at sales performance, sustainability and investment. The judges believe that the passion, determination, tireless energy and skill that goes into running a top-performing company likes Amco is what made them stand out. Amco Managing Director Don Mucci praised his team and thanked them for all their dedication and hard work.

The Wave’s waterpark officially opens Coventry’s £36.7m waterpark, The Wave, recently opened its doors to the public. At the centre of the state-of-the-art waterpark are six high octane slides, each offering a combination of speed and thrills. From the Torrent - which drops riders 20 metres into the plunge pool - to roller coaster rides like the Cyclone, each slide is a unique experience complemented by light and sound features which ensure complete immersion for the rider. Also found within the waterpark, a splash pad area with jets, tipping buckets and smaller accessible slides for toddlers, a lazy river, a poolside cafe and wave pool which churns over 20 million litres of water every day. Thanks to the help of pupils at Westwood School The Wave is one of the most accessible water parks in the UK. Feedback from the pupils during the design stage helped to ensure that all areas of the waterpark were designed to be easily accessible, via a ramp that spirals around the interior of the park. Between the six thrilling slides, the lower bowl with its splash pads and toddler friendly slides, wave pool and the lazy river, there is something for all the family. More importantly, thanks to the design and the input of local schoolchildren the waterpark is accessible for everyone. No other city has this kind of facility in the heart of the city centre and it’s the perfect legacy to the city’s year as the European City of Sport. The waterpark is a great way of keeping fit in mind and body. This was recognised by Sport England who also invested in the waterpark. Coventry City Council has invested £36.7m in The Wave and a further £13.5m in the new 50 metre pool at The Alan Higgs Centre, including a total grant from Sport England of £3m split across the two facilities. The opening of the waterpark follows on from the July opening of The Wave’s Lifestyles fitness facilities and Mana Spa. The fitness facilities, Mana Spa and the waterpark will all be managed by Coventry based company CV Life. Paul Breed, Chief Executive for CV Life, said: “Along with the waterpark, comes the state-of-the-art health and fitness suite, Les Mills gym classes and the tranquil Mana Spa - there is something for everyone - just pop in and come and have a look around.”


Legal Sponsored Column

Business assets in divorce In divorce proceedings the courts includes businesses when deciding the appropriate division of assets. Your solicitor will need to know how the business was formed, who owns it (the shareholdings for limited companies), each party’s involvement with the business and its future plans.

Band Hatton Button strengthens Legal 500 ranking A Coventry law firm has strengthened its position in a leading guide of UK legal practices. Band Hatton Button Solicitors, based at Earlsdon Park, has been recognised across seven practice areas in the Legal 500 – with its personal tax, trusts and probate team moving up a level to be ranked in tier three for West Midlands firms. The company’s commercial litigation department has also re-entered Legal 500’s rankings, which are read by more than four million people every year. Band Hatton Button’s wills, trusts and probate team elevated themselves to a number three ranking in a year that saw the team handle a variety of complex cases such

The Court will take account of all contributions, whether each party participated in the business or perhaps did not participate because they devoted time and effort into bringing up the children. The Court will not discriminate between husband and wife and if each has contributed to the family welfare it does not matter who earned the money or built up the business. Each party’s interest will have to be satisfied from either the business or other non-business assets. For any business its profitability and value will have to be disclosed and legal advice is essential.

Real Estate partner Caroline Nemecek is the head of Lodders new Town and Country Homes prestige property

Law firm Lodders has launched a new service to deliver tailored, personal legal services and advice for

“This is the icing on the cake for us in what has been a memorable year with an expansion into new offices, and various award wins for both our business performance and community work.”

purchasers and sellers of high value, high-end prestige homes and properties. The firm has created its new Town and Country Homes service in response to a sustained shift in the legal property services market. Caroline Nemecek, a partner in its Real Estate practice, is head of Lodders’ Town and Country Homes service, said: “We have studied the market closely and analysed the trends

and specific needs of our clients. The market for legal property services has changed considerably in the last five years, and we have identified a real need for a highly personalised, bespoke service for owners and buyers of high value prestige properties. “We have developed our new Town and Country Homes to match this specific requirement. The service is focused on providing an end-

to-end solution that delivers bespoke legal services, tailored to exactly match the high-end residential property market, its buyers, sellers and agents. “It represents a new kind of conveyancing experience for owners and buyers of prime residential properties, as it is proactive from start to finish, highly personal and with incredible attention to detail and the very best client service and support.”

New Director appointed to Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd’s ever-expanding legal firm Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd (CTTC Ltd) is a market-leading and forward thinking company whose approach to estate planning and financial services is both innovative and on point. Since being established 17 years ago, CTTC Ltd has worked hard to develop their product range and strategies, ensuring that they can provide the best solutions to clients, both private and business, and professionals alike. CTTC Ltd has now announced that Andrew Houston FCSI has joined as a Director. Andrew has headed Barclays Wealth Management business for the past three years so brings a wealth of industry experience with him to his new role.

Originally established with just three employees in 2002, the Countrywide Group has seen massive expansion with currently 84 and counting members of staff in-house, with thousands of partners working all over the UK. Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd places an exceptionally high value on training and actively encourages their employees to further their career by taking professional industry relevant qualifications, such as STEP and CILEx, by fully funding and supporting them at every step. The Countrywide Group is continuously expanding and are actively looking for new applicants who want to work in a

fast-paced and friendly environment in a variety of different sectors, from Solicitors, Administrators, Conveyancers, Marketeers and even Software Programmers.

Launch of Business Immigration Fixed Fee Services

Mrs Selina Gill and Mrs Ruth Goodman Family Department Hammons Solicitors The Old Bank 353 Walsgrave Road Coventry CV2 4BG Tel: 02476448585 email: enquiries@hammonssolicitors.co.uk Are your immigration policies, procedures and systems fully compliant?


corporate and commercial, and employment retained rankings of four and six respectively. Sarah Jordan, head of marketing and client relations at Band Hatton Button, said: “The Legal 500 is a prestigious guide to be in and informs a lot of people’s choices before they press ahead with their chosen law firm, so we are proud to have not only retained, but improved our overall position, and to have the strongest rankings of the Coventry firms. “Competition to get into the Legal 500 is fierce, and is testament to the growing blend of knowledge, experience and the strong work ethic we have in our team which continues to deliver results and referrals for us.

Lodders launches new prestige private property service

Full disclosure must be exchanged and the business must be valued. If the value cannot be agreed an independent expert may need to be jointly instructed. The interest of each party in the business will need to be determined and tax implications of sale of shares or the business as a whole will also need to be considered. The starting point is usually an equal division of assets, but the primary consideration will always be the welfare of any children of the family and how they can be housed and maintained. Non-business assets such as the house, savings and pensions will be taken into account in examining the whole financial situation of the parties. To ensure needs are met, one party may required a greater interest in the matrimonial home in exchange for a transfer of their share of the business. As well as meeting needs, sometimes other factors such as the short length of a marriage or recent inheritance of a business may lead to unequal division.

as advising on capital gains tax planning on a second home, and advising trustees on how to withdraw a bond from a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust and avoid an inheritance tax charge on the first ten year anniversary. The firm’s commercial litigation team achieved a number three ranking, with successes including advising an ex-director of a nursing company on a dispute over a personal guarantee on a commercial lease, and acting for an accountancy practice in a dispute over whether they or an ex-employee owed £50,000. Band Hatton Button’s charities, family, and commercial property departments retained their tier three rankings, while

Immigration law is becoming more rigorous, making it harder for businesses to hire non-UK based employees to work and live here. With this in mind, Coventry and Warwickshire law firm Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd has announced the launch of comprehensive fixed fees for key business immigration services. Yemi Alli, Associate Solicitor, for Alsters Kelley’s Immigration Department, said: “We offer a tailored immigration service with particular emphasis on understanding the sensitivity of every case. Experienced and highly successful, we have an enviable track record of

identifying solutions to some of businesses most complex, unusual or difficult immigration matters. We are extremely skilled at putting in place bespoke strategies to protect businesses and its employees. “We now offer five popular immigration services with associated fixed fees. Not only does this advice and applications service meet strict compliance requirements, but it also makes perfect business sense. This means businesses will be able to avoid any unwanted fines and penalties and remain on the right side of the law.’

Alsters Kelley fixed price services includes: • 1-hour initial assessment and advice sessions • 90-minute consultation sessions to check documentation • Training to ensure operational practices are compliant with regulations • Conducting internal right to work audits • Obtaining the right types of sponsorship licence For more information about the Business Immigration Fixed Fee services please email yemi.alli@alsterskelley.com


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Finance Charter Savings Bank partnering with Coventry Rugby to expand community initiatives Coventry Rugby and Charter Savings Bank have announced a comprehensive new partnership which will help the club expand its community work across the city of Coventry and the wider West Midlands area. Charter Savings Bank has become the title partner for ‘Rugby and Reading’, a programme designed to inspire children aged between 5 and 11 to exercise both the body and mind, with first team players going into schools to read with children for an hour before leading an hour of tag rugby. The bank will also support the club’s ongoing ‘Rugby in Schools’ coaching programme, and the newly launched initiative, Project:500, which will be using rugby and sport to improve the lives of children living in poverty in the city. Paul Whitlock, Executive Director, Charter Savings Bank said: “We’re thrilled to begin our new partnership with Coventry

Rugby Club, after being impressed with their desire to give back to the community and their unwavering determination to grow the club to see it compete at the highest levels, mirroring our own ambitions for Charter Savings Bank.” Charter Savings Bank has recently celebrated its fourth anniversary and received a raft of awards this year alone, attributed to them listening to customers and understanding not only their saving needs but their community and environmental values too. Coventry Rugby is dedicated to inspiring children and young people through sport, and Managing Director Nick Johnston says that the backing of Charter Savings Bank will help the club achieve its ambitions in this area. He said: “We are delighted to have Charter Savings Bank join our group of partners.

Having Coventry Rugby at the heart of the city’s community is one of our key pillars, and to have the support of an important West Midlands company like Charter Savings Bank is really important for us. “We share many of the same values when it comes to community responsibility, and we’re looking forward to this being the start of a long partnership which will develop over time.” To sign your school up to either ‘Rugby and Reading’ or ‘Rugby in Schools’ email community@coventryrugby.co.uk

Crisis incidents cost UK SMEs £8.8 billion last year Crisis incidents, such as cyber-attacks, extortion, industrial espionage and terrorism, are costing UK SMEs billions of pounds a year. Furthermore, subsequent trading paralysis is putting thousands at risk of collapse in their aftermath. UK SMEs paid out an average £6,416.50 last year to deal with crisis incidents, according to research by Gallagher, one of the world’s largest insurance broking, risk management and consulting services companies. This equates to a combined business cost of £8.8bn in 2018 alone. In a poll of 1,120 UK SMEs, nearly a quarter (24%) confirmed they were affected by a crisis event last year, equating to 1.4 million across the country – a 5% increase from 2017. One in six (17%) SMEs affected by a crisis spent £10,000 or more to combat crises, with nearly one in 10 (9%) paying out in excess of £20,000. A quarter of SMEs (23%) said they would survive for less than a month if rendered unable to trade by a crisis incident. Based on these findings, we estimate that nearly 57,000 UK SMEs could be at risk of collapse this year if unable in the aftermath of a crisis event. Commenting on the findings, Paul Bassett, Managing Director of Crisis Management at Gallagher, said: “Our research illustrates

the scale of the challenge facing UK SMEs. When it comes to crises, cyber and IT security clearly represent a “soft underbelly” of businesses that together account for more than 99% of private sector firms. Given that the UK economy is heavily tilted towards services, cyber-attacks and data breaches evidently present a growing and grave threat to small and medium-sized businesses. “Alongside regularly reviewing their crisis preparedness, response plans and forms of protection, such as insurance, it is critical UK SMEs also assess their ability to survive in the event of a major crisis incident when the risk of serious disruption and protracted recovery process is very real. “The cost of a crisis is by no means the only consideration. Duration is key — especially with a quarter (23%) of UK SMEs admitting they could survive for less than a month if unable to trade following an incident. For companies with tight margins and limited working capital, even a relatively short-term denial of access to premises or systems paralysis could be a crippling, possibly fatal, blow. “We urge all businesses to ensure they have the crisis cover and plans in place to strengthen their ability to anticipate, prevent, respond and recover from a major security incident —but also have access to emergency funds, 24/7 crisis response

consultants, post-incident counselling and business recovery advice, in order to stay solvent and help them and their people recover quickly.” The most prevalent crisis experienced by UK SMEs last year was a cyber-attack, data breach or cyber extortion incident, which accounted for 15% of all events. Financial services sustained the highest number of attacks by a significant margin. More than a quarter (27%) of financial services SMEs surveyed were hit by this form of crisis in 2018. Cyber-attacks, data breaches and cyber extortion also represent the areas of greatest concern for companies in 2019. Half (50%) of UK SMEs are most concerned about a cyber crisis taking place this year. Denial of access and business interruption was the second most concerning area, with one in 10 (11%) citing this as a major risk. Tom Draper, Cyber Practice Leader at Gallagher, said: “The prevalence of cyberattacks against UK SMEs has reached a tipping point – companies ignore these risks at their own peril. Ransomware has become relatively commonplace and pay outs to demands are often met simply in order to resume trading. Failure to comply can result in a crippling period of business interruption, which in many cases, leads to businesses collapsing.”

ICICI Bank UK PLC launches instant current account opening for mobile platforms ICICI Bank UK PLC has announced the launch of a digital account opening facility that allows customers to open a personal current account instantly using the Bank’s mobile application. The first-of-its-kind service by an Indian bank in the United Kingdom (UK), it enables Non-Resident Indians (holding an Indian or British passport) and expatriate Indians (holding an Indian passport) and moving to the UK for work, to open a current account. Customers simply need to download the Bank’s mobile application called ‘ICICI Bank UK iMobile’. They do not need to visit a branch and know your customer (KYC) information is conducted electronically, enabling the account to be activated instantly which allows customers to start transacting immediately. Customers will receive a contactless debit card at their correspondence address within a few days of opening the account, either in the UK or in India. They will also be able to remit money 24x7 instantly to any ICICI Bank account in India. Mr. Loknath Mishra, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank UK PLC said, “ICICI Bank has always leveraged technology to pioneer digital innovations and provide a world-class banking experience to its customers. We have introduced the opening of a current account in a digital manner to further improve engagement with our customers. This unique proposition heralds a new era of opening an account within a few minutes, a marked improvement over opening a more traditional bank account which can take a number of days. We believe that ease of banking is a key parameter for individuals when they look for a banking partner. ICICI Bank remains committed to meeting customer banking needs in the UK as well as providing hassle free remittance services to India.”

Positive Future as Prime accountants exceed growth plan

A Midlands accountancy firm has dramatically exceeded its own growth projections with an impressive surge in turnover. Prime Accountants Group, which has thriving offices in Coventry, Birmingham and Solihull, has seen

turnover soar from £4 million to £7 million in just three years. These figures are two years ahead of Prime’s target for growth, which had projected the accountants would hit £7 million in 2021. Managing director Kevin Johns said the remarkable success was the result of a strategic investment in the business, along with recruiting – and often retaining – top quality staff. He said: “We are delighted Prime’s growth is far exceeding the strategy we first set out in 2016.

“At that time, Prime was turning over around £4 million and employed 80 staff across two offices. “The directors’ strategy was to grow that to £7 million by 2021 but we have surpassed that in impressive fashion – two years ahead of schedule. This significant growth has come from a twopronged approach of investing both in the business and in talented new personnel. “Opening a new office in St Paul’s Square, Birmingham, following the successful acquisition of Rochesters Accountants in

Chains are only as strong as their weakest link The tabloid cry that “somebody should do something about it” is rarely followed by any sensible, practical or economically viable suggestions as to what should be done. The House of Commons Treasury Committee report “Economic Crime – Anti-money laundering supervision and sanctions implementations” goes some way towards trying to remedy this. Rogue directors, money launderers and out-and-out fraudsters are looking for places to hide and behind the corporate veil


seems like a quick and easy hiding place – for now at least. The Treasury Committee report chair, Nicky Morgan, highlights the role of Companies House and the ease with which companies can be set up without anti-money laundering checks – a clear weakness in the system. R3, the association of business recovery professionals, agree that “it’s far too easy for fraudsters to muddy the waters at Companies House by setting up different companies with different spellings of their name … even simple changes, like requiring ID from

someone before they can register … useful in the fight against fraud.” R3 make suggestions that go further than just the Treasury Committee recommendations but, as regards Companies House, they suggest:• Requiring directors to provide identity documents when registering with Companies House; • Requiring all directors, not just appointed directors, details to be included on annual returns; • To tackle company strike-off abuse (no formal process involved);

November 2018, has also played an important part. “There has also been a 30 per cent increase in our staff numbers. We now employ 105 people and this has helped the business to expand and to excel, giving our clients the very best possible service.” Prime is now one of the largest independent accountancy firms in the region and Kevin is predicting a continued upward curve for the business, which provides a range of services such as audit and accounts, wealth management and payroll processing. • To make restoration following strike-off an administrative process; and • To provide directors with unique ID numbers to ensure their various dealings can be readily discovered; The Treasury Committee are clear that company formation may be used in money laundering. Companies House presents a weakness. The UK cannot extol the virtue of a public register of beneficial ownership and yet not carry out the necessary rigorous checks of the information on that register. Reform is clearly required.

He also revealed fresh targets for growth are already in place, saying: “The company’s strategy has been revised and our intention is to continue to grow. This will again be done by investing further in both our business and our staff. “Our intention is to further develop our culture of operating as a service-focused business which provides expert advice to our clients across an extensive range of financial services. We also believe in providing a modern, working environment for staff including a 21st century, digital approach to new technology to keep the company at the cutting edge of advances and developments on all fronts.” Whatever your involvement, be it from a director, shareholder, creditor or investor perspective we can provide you with advice to ensure that your position, debt or investment is protected. John Rimmer is an accountant and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner of BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency. For your free, no obligation meeting please contact him or any of the other management team on 02476 226839 or via www.briuk.co.uk



New appointments follow £1.5 million of new business secured since merger Drake Howard installs Wet Global into new Warwick HQ At the end of 2018, the owner of 3&4 Welton Road in Warwick instructed Drake Howard Property to survey the premises to produce a schedule of dilapidations for service on the outgoing tenant, who was in the process of relocating. The Schedule was served and subsequently negotiated with the former occupier’s surveyor. A sum in lieu of the works was agreed and project management of dilapidation and upgrade works followed. Now, the building has a new resident in the form of fast-growing business WET Group (Water Enhancing Technologies). The building is unusual in that it has a high office content and a 6,000 sq. ft. storage deck to add to 10,000 sq. ft. of principal office and warehouse space. The offer to the market included the flexibility to remove part of the deck to increase full eaves height warehousing, but this did not prove necessary. Martyn Howard, of Drake Howard, said: “Dilapidation and upgrade work took four months’ to complete, but presentation of the facility to meet modern technological and efficiency expectations had an immediate impact on potential new occupiers. WET Group found the unique layout an ideal fit and the property was let in quick time to meet the tenant’s aspiration for early occupation.” WET Group (Water Enhancing Technologies) provides water quality management solutions to business, government bodies and affiliates, private homes and individuals. The company has developed cost efficient and environmentally-friendly means of producing clean, re-mineralised, alkaline mineral water, recommended by nutritionists and sports scientists. To continue growth and accommodate the increase in employees, identification of a suitable property to bring management, administration, R&D and distribution functions under one roof was essential. The business has found the property solution at Welton Road, Warwick. WET Group Director of Marketing & PR Luke Galliana said: “The move to Welton Road in Warwick is very exciting as it comes at an important time of growth for WET. We are revolutionising industries with our technology by offering a truly sustainable solution to other alternatives and Welton Road will enable us to deliver this, creating a larger centrally located HQ. “The move has been made easy by Drake Howard who were a pleasure to deal with as I have never experienced such a smooth, easy and fast entry into a business premises before, so hats off to Martyn and the Drake Howard team.”


A growing Warwickshire commercial property consultants has added two new members of staff on the first anniversary of a merger which is already generating growth for the firm. ehB Reeves was formed last summer after a merger between two longestablished firms, ehB Commercial and Reeves and Partners. Staff from the two companies are now based under the same roof in Clarendon Place, Leamington, and have two new faces among their number – agency surveyor, Sat Gill, and facilities manager, Adam Boxer. Sat, from Solihull, joins ehB from SK Group, one of the largest franchisees of Domino’s in the country, and the master franchise holders of Tim Hortons for the UK and Ireland. He managed the UK and Ireland store roll out programme for Tim Hortons and store builds from Belfast to Birmingham’s flagship store. On the Domino’s side of the business, he managed new store builds, adding to a portfolio of 200-plus stores and

the refurbishment programme of the group’s existing portfolio. Adam, from Wellesbourne, joins ehB from SAIC Motor, the Chinese company which owns the MG brand. He was responsible for the property management at MG’s famous Longbridge site. Simon Hain, director of ehB Reeves, said: “It has been an extremely exciting year for us all and we are delighted with the success the merger has brought. What has been achieved is a testimony to the commitment and teamwork of all our staff. “It was always our stated aim to grow after the merger, so we are delighted to have brought in Sat and Adam, who both have more than a decade’s experience in their fields and are important additions to our team. “This is an exciting and a challenging time to be in the commercial property business and we are very much looking forward to the future and the new opportunities presented to us.”

ehB’s new facilities manager Adam Boxer (left) and agency surveyor Sat Gill (right) are welcomed to the team by head of property management Stuart Gregory (second from left) and director Simon Hain (second from right)

Sat and Adam’s appointment follows the recent addition of commercial property consultant, Rob Hawkins, in July. Rob has worked in the commercial property sector for more than 25 years, in a range of roles including agency work, acquisitions, property disposals, property management and consultancy.

Loveitts strengthens team and invests for the future

Loveitts has expanded its team laying strong foundations on which to continue to build for the future. Under its new MD John Pugh, the firm – the oldest in Coventry and Warwickshire – has welcomed three key new appointments to the team across different disciplines. Now in its 176th year, the firm believes its ethos of providing excellent personal service will continue to lend it a competitive edge well into the 21st century. It is laying strong foundations for the future by assembling a diverse and

talented team who together have expertise spanning the market, from property auctions, new homes and land, to asset management, both commercial and residential. Mark Walmsley, who grew up in Leamington and lives in Coventry, is heading up residential sales as Associate Director and Area Sales Manager. A highly regarded professional he has a strong knowledge of the local market and nearly 20 years’ experience with local firms. Simon O’Brien joins as Senior Commercial Surveyor following a successful career in West London where he was an equity Director of a general practice property group for 14 years. He has vast experience in commercial property, asset management, real estate development, working with landlords and dispute resolution. He also played a key role in establishing an auction department that was swiftly named among the Top Ten London Auction Houses in the Telegraph.

Laura Wilson is spearheading Loveitts’ ambition to double its activity in the new build home market by next year. Appointed to the recently created post of Area New Homes Manager, Laura has 15 years’ experience of working locally both for housing developers and for estate agents, giving her a unique insight from inside the industry. John Pugh said: “We are really excited about the strength in depth of our new team who will help Loveitts offer the high level of personal service that has become our hallmark even while we embrace new technologies for efficiencies behind the scenes.” The business’s offices in Leamington, its South Warwickshire hub, have been refurbished and its North Warwickshire hub is in Church Street, Nuneaton, where it moved in 2018. Its Coventry office has also recently undergone a major refurbishment.

Bromwich Hardy completes multi-million pound office sale A high-specification 20,000 sq ft office in Coventry has been sold in a multi-million pound deal completed by leading commercial property experts Bromwich Hardy. The two-storey office site at 1410 Spring Place on Coventry Business Park – previously the home of education regulator Ofqual – has been bought by a Coventry-based company for a new head office. Bromwich Hardy partner Michelle Mills said the modern, self-contained offices had generated considerable interest after going on the market six months ago – illustrating the need for more high-quality office accommodation across the city.

She said: “These are superbly-located offices on a dynamic business park on the western edge of the city, offering excellent, up-to-date facilities and transport links and have proved particularly attractive since becoming available. “The fact that we have seen so much interest reflects the shortage of Grade A stock of all sizes in the city and the wider Warwickshire business environment. “There is no doubt that there is a lack of modern freehold opportunities for companies looking to purchase their own offices for owner-occupation and we are delighted to have been able to complete such a timely sale for our client, one of the largest privately

The offices on Coventry Business Park

owned property companies in the UK.” More than 35 companies are already based on the business park, including The Deeley Group, I-Nexus, Bellaway Homes, Palmer and Harvey, The Village Hotel and national retail outlets such as Sainsbury, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Citroen.

Coventry-based Bromwich Hardy is an award-winning multi-disciplinary team of commercial property advisors, founded by two of the leading specialists in the Midlands. The company offers a full service to developers, landlords and tenants looking to buy, sell or rent commercial property in the region and beyond.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Radial 1 Consulting

Conquering the unique Case Study challenges of Family Owned Businesses what makes people ‘tick’ you are never going to help them navigate change comfortably. This is Radial 1’s forte, to work on the softer issues, particularly when it comes to succession planning, whilst delivering practical success.

Family owned businesses have it tougher than most as they need to contend with family dynamics as well as creating and running a successful business. Something international best-selling author and cultural expert Gillian Anderson, co-owner of Radial 1 Consulting understands. Gillian has been in transformation management and a global citizen all her long and exciting career which has spanned across five continents. Passionate about working with families she has moved from the large corporate world to focusing on small businesses, especially ones that are family owned. There are some startling statistics for the contribution family owned businesses make to the UK’s economy - approximately 4.8 million family owned businesses contribute a quarter of the UK’s GDP and in 2017 paid £187 billion in tax! Family owned businesses have unique challenges whereby human dynamics and traits are all amplified when the formality of business is skewed. Individual personalities, competition, respect, insecurities, criticism and differing business styles may come into play. Gillian says that you can have the best systems and processes, but if you don’t understand

It was in 2009 that Gillian discovered the game changing Wealth Dynamics psychometric testing programme. Wealth Dynamics is based on the 5000-year-old IChing (Chinese book of Change) and was created by Roger James Hamilton a futurist and social entrepreneur and founder of Entrepreneurs Institute. A cornerstone of the programme is helping people to understand their ‘genius’ and how to keep in flow, which is the path of least resistance. The Einstein quote sums it up: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Gillian started to apply this peoplefocused approach with great success. She went on to lead some highly visible & media focused projects for the Australian Government including Project Director for Dept, of Climate Change to put a price on Carbon. She also had a realisation that these business tools are just as applicable in the family. From there Gillian created Family Relationship Dynamics (www. familyrelationshipdynamics.com). Working with parents and teenage children became her passion and hobby. She also wrote a book and co-authored ‘You are a Genius’ to be released on Amazon in November 2019. Making a conscious decision to leave the corporate world behind, Gillian

found herself working with familybased businesses, many involving the transition of the business to a new generation. Using her experience and recognising the sensitivities that exist in family-owned businesses, she was able to create mentoring packages that navigate change and recognise the individual personalities involved. Not only does this approach resolve human dynamic issues, but it also accelerates performance and growth of the company. Gillian has now returned to the UK and has started working with similar businesses in the West Midlands. Wealth Dynamics is just one of the diagnostic tools used for really getting to know the people she is working with so she can quickly build strong trust and lasting relationships and bring about transformation. When it comes to succession planning, Gillian also can provide partners who assist with estate and tax planning, HR legislation and other specialisations, as required. As a certified mentor for Entrepreneurs Institute, Gillian is also well versed on the trends of change for 2020 and beyond. This is being led by the Japanese and is known as Society 5.0. Her team will work with businesses to recognise how the next wave of technologies might impact their future operating models. Gillian says it is not about engaging her and her team for months at a time. They are respectful of the sensitivities that may occur and work collaboratively using a practical and more of a mentoring style. This makes it affordable even for micro businesses and packages can be tailored accordingly.

A chiropractic clinic was owned by a family. A year before the founder (John) was due to retire and the son (James) to take over, they acquired three more clinics. . James led the acquisitions and began to work both in and on the business. James and John were completely opposite personalities. James was a big picture thinker, moved fast and was always starting new projects. John was risk adverse, quiet and just wanted to treat his patients. One of the practice managers (Sue) had been with John for 17 years and had known James since he was 12. Sue was very similar in personality to John. After he retired Sue thought she could tell James what he was doing wrong (according to her). She also could not cope well with chaos, something James created in waves. She became very disruptive and other staff threatened to leave. Also, John came into the clinic everyday as he did not trust James to manage the business, even though he was actively bringing in more businesses daily, through his natural networking talents. After Gillian was brought in and everyone completed their personalities assessments, she confirmed that James was the absolute opposite to everyone else in senior positions. As a result, she realigned everyone’s roles, especially Sue’s, helped hire someone to fill the gap, and taught everyone how to communicate and work with each other, especially James.



Radial 1 Consulting work with businesses where change is necessary and specialises in helping family businesses and SMEs when retirement is imminent and transition needs to occur smoothly. We also can help with change relating to: • Poor team perfomance

• Exponential industry changes • Legislative changes

• Family dynamics

• New disruptive technology

• Changing customer behaviours

• Brexit impact

• Mergers & acquisitions

• Financial loss

Contact us for a Free Confidential Consultation & Diagnostics Assessment and discover how we can radically improve your organisation’s success.

Call NOW : 0247 722 0271 Email: Gillian@radial1.co.uk WWW.RADIAL1.CONSULTING



Profile: Angela Joyce

Flying high -

the woman who is giving WCG wings!

“I am the sort of person who likes a challenge, the more challenged I am the better I perform I think. I was sad to leave Peterborough but if I was going to move it needed to be to a bigger and more complex organisation; and also, ideally, with a strong land-based curriculum as the rural economy is important and sometimes forgotten.� 20


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: Angela Joyce Angela Joyce has a knack of turning misfortunes into success and that can only spell good news for WCG. Joyce – the CEO of WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) – never thought she would get the role when she was struck down with flu ahead of the selection process but, thanks to a couple of cans of a well-known energy drink, she stormed the second day of interviews and it is now WCG that has been given wings. It was certainly not the first time success arrived when she least expected it. When, as a pony-mad, new girl at grammar school, she put her name down for a cross country club, she thought it would involve horses and fences. It was, however, the two-legged human form of cross country – but it turned out she had a real running talent and a few years later, after lots of training at a London-based athletics club, she was wearing a GB vest competing at 10,000 metres and cross county. She still holds some records for road races over two miles. There was certainly nothing planned about the start of her athletics career and the same can be said of her rise through the ranks in the education industry. The daughter of a former racing driver and entrepreneur father and a keen equestrian mum, Joyce’s athletics took her to Loughborough University where she rubbed shoulders with some major figures in track and field as a member of the University’s team. She said: “I decided in the final year of my undergraduate degree I wanted to become a Physical Training Officer in the RAF; they required me to have a post graduate certificate in education so I stayed on for a year and did that before going through the officer selection process. “At RAF Cranwell they said I should sign up for 15 years, and I wasn’t sure about doing that and it made me think that perhaps I was not as driven to be in the forces as I had thought. “I went home and, to be honest, got under my father’s feet and he eventually told me to go and do something useful! And as I was a qualified teacher it made sense to utilise my PGCE; I managed to get a maternity contract as my first role as an NQT teaching English in a secondary school. “I hadn’t really enjoyed the teacher training but I loved ‘real’ teaching, and that was it.” The move into Further Education (FE) Colleges from schools came when Moulton College in Northamptonshire was looking to establish a sports curriculum from scratch, and Joyce landed the post in 2000 and stayed seven years, having worked through the ranks to be a director of faculty. She then moved to Peterborough Regional College as a vice principal responsible for curriculum and quality, and in less than three years was running the show. At the time it made her the youngest ever female College Principal/CEO in the UK. “Peterborough was a college which needed improvement and a new direction. Working with an excellent team, we managed to strengthen its financial base and improve its Ofsted rating, its standing in the business world and also the local community,” Joyce said. “I am the sort of person who likes a challenge, the more challenged I am the better I perform I think. I was sad to leave Peterborough but if I was going to move it needed to be to a bigger and more complex organisation; and also, ideally, with a strong landbased curriculum as the rural economy is important and sometimes forgotten.” Warwickshire College Group, as it was then, had all three elements – particularly the complex. “The group was in the Further Education media virtually every week and not for the right reasons when they advertised for a new CEO,” Joyce said. “It is fair to say the Group had been through some difficult times and this added to the appeal of the role for me as I hoped I could make a difference to its future.”

But it nearly never happened. Joyce said: “I withdrew from the interview process the night before. I had the worst bout of the flu I had ever had and I spoke to the recruitment consultant and said I am in bed I can’t do this, I am too ill. “He persuaded me to come. I had not been out of bed for three days but I threw together a presentation and I did my best on day one of the selection process. I had started to recover for day two of the process and once I got the role, the chairman asked me what I had done between day one and day two. “The answer was I had three cans of Red Bull for breakfast on the second day and it seemed to work!” Plenty of energy – naturally generated – has been a key attribute in turning around the group by sorting out its finances, repairing and strengthening relationships, and restoring the confidence of the organisation which had been badly dented by its travails. “It is fair to say that while there has been lots to do since I joined in 2015 (and still more to do), credit to staff and managers who had continued to put students first during the difficult times and so students and the College’s reputation had not suffered unduly. It was still well rated by Ofsted just before I started and again in 2018,” Joyce said At that time the group consisted of five colleges – Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick Trident, Rugby, Pershore and Moreton Morrell – and became seven when Evesham and Malvern Hills joined in 2016. The group includes a working farm, juice manufacture and various other entrepreneurial activities which means it relies on public funding for less than 60 per cent of its total income as opposed to the college average of 75 per cent. “We are a true group structure, with seven individual colleges with different personalities who benefit from the economies of scale provided by the Group,”said Joyce. “We are one team at WCG and I drive a positive culture across the whole of our organisation but we are not trying to make the individual colleges all the same. They serve different communities with different needs and that is great – and also vital. They have to be nimble enough to respond to those needs and I enjoy celebrating the diversity of all our Colleges. “There are lots of challenges in our industry at the moment and one of the questions is whether there are too many Colleges in England– but one massive advantage is that they are local and can be tailored to local needs. “Colleges work with their communities – young people, parents, schools, businesses, the voluntary sector – and that is something unique we offer. Very few of our colleges could stand alone and be financially viable so we are preserving those local services by acting as a group. Colleges play a vital role in the economy in so many ways providing education to people of all ages and at all levelssomething no other part of the education system can offer. It is Colleges like WCG who drive technical skills and workforce needs for the country.” Another challenge, one which is beyond Joyce’s control, is the amount of Government policy changes which have occurred in education in recent years. She said: “Whatever changes are made to any part of education policy it affects us. If there is change to schools’ policy or higher education policy or to adult education policy it all affects us given the range of people we serve. Other parts of Government policy will also affect us whether it business policy through BEIS or Home Office policy changes. “I like change but you do need some continuity because you cannot build sound foundations on shifting sands.” But it is probably change – as much as anything else – which will keep her at the helm of WCG.

“We are one team at WCG and I drive a positive culture across the whole of our organisation but we are not trying to make the individual colleges all the same. They serve different communities with different needs and that is great – and also vital.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Working Day There is no typical working day for Angela Joyce who has five people reporting directly to her. “We have a team meeting fortnightly and then one-to-ones in the alternate weeks; I also meet with managers and individuals at all levels on a regular basis. No week is the same - which I love. I have to be in different places and sometimes more than one place at the same time! Visibility is important across the group and I try hard but it is a challenge with seven colleges, 10 sites in total and 1,600 staff.” Mucking out at the stables starts at 5am for Joyce, who competes her horses, and the rest of the menagerie – which includes cats, chickens, ducks and geese – also need sorting before she starts in the office. “My husband wasn’t particularly into animals when we met but it was quite simple, I came with a menagerie!” Born:

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire


South Warwickshire (since August!)




Equestrian (eventing), sport, running a small holding


Kind of ……. they all have four legs or feathers!

Favourite Book: Most of the classics, especially DH Lawrence and Dickens. I have also read all the Dick and Felix Francis books. Favourite Film: Pretty Woman Last Holiday:

St Lucia




Economy Economic growth ‘must be a priority’ Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire say growing the economy must quickly become Government’s priority once the pathway to Brexit is clear. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce was reacting to the Queen’s Speech which signalled the opening of a new session in Parliament. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, says there is work to be done domestically to overcome barriers to growth for business but it hinges on avoiding a messy, disorderly Brexit. She said: “Brexit has been hanging over business for more than three years now and firms across the patch want a clear way forward and want to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’. “There is a huge amount of work to be done to give companies the confidence to invest and grow their business and the events of the next few weeks will have a major impact on that. “Then, what we really need is a domestic agenda that makes it a priority to get the economy growing – looking at areas around infrastructure, skills and trade. “In this region, we very much welcome the Government’s ambition to make the UK a leader on climate change because Coventry and Warwickshire is at the heart of new cleaner, greener technologies. “So, it’s vitally important that we settle the Brexit issue in a way that gives businesses confidence for the future and allows us to get on and plan how we grow our economy for the long-term.” Businesses wanting to find out how to prepare for Brexit can go to https://www.cw-brexit.co.uk

Guarded welcome for spending review Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire said there were ‘welcome words’ in the Chancellor’s Spending Review – but that Brexit continues to overshadow anything that emerges from Westminster. Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Firstly, the Spending Review passed most people by because of everything else that has happened in Parliament in recent days. “There were some welcome words from the Chancellor around additional funding for Further Education and the call for an infrastructure revolution – something that businesses across our patch will welcome both in terms of transport and digital. “We also applaud the announcement to invest in our UK Government global network which is crucial to trade, and will be vital to future economic growth. “However, there is no doubt that many businesses feel that everything is being left in limbo as Brexit continues to dominate discourse in Parliament. “It’s vital that we avoid a messy, disorderly Brexit and that we have a strong future trading relationship with our partners in the EU so companies are looking for clarity on what that may look like. “Businesses can access a free Brexit health-check via our website to see what more they can do to be prepared for our exit from the EU, whatever the outcome.”


Businesses ‘show resilience’ Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire have shown remarkable resilience in the face of unprecedented uncertainty, a key business meeting has heard. Firms from a range of sectors attended a briefing session with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Graeme Chaplin, the West Midlands agent for the Bank of England. Graeme meets the Chamber and a selection of members once every six months to gauge how businesses are performing, what issues they may be facing and whether they are investing for the future. The sentiment from businesses around the table was that some of the uncertainty surrounding leaving the EU was starting to bite but that not all the issues in the economy are Brexit related. Graeme said that the meeting at Nailcote Hall broadly reflected what he is hearing from companies around the region. He said: “There is a huge appetite from the Bank of England for this kind

of intelligence from businesses in the regions, so events such as this are very important. And you have to say that businesses in this area and around the UK have proved resilient in the face of uncertainty. “Aside from Brexit, there is a slowing of growth globally, with tensions between China and the US acting as a drag. Both the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank have cut rates recently in response. “The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee didn’t cut rates, although rates are still at very low levels as a stimulant to the economy.” David Penn, the president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and partner at property firm Bromwich Hardy, was among the business people feeding back to the Bank of England. He said: “It’s vitally important that an institution such as the Bank of England hears how businesses are feeling on the ground and we welcome this audience with Graeme Chaplin.

Graeme Chaplin (left) with David Penn

“The businesses in the room speak under Chatham House rules so they can have an honest and frank conversation, which is exactly as it should be. “The key take-away for me is that Coventry and Warwickshire is proving to be a robust economy but that we do need an end to the uncertainty and an avoidance of a disorderly Brexit to give companies the confidence to invest and grow for the future.

Companies urged to prepare for list post-Brexit A leading business organisation has warned companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to take urgent action now to prepare for Brexit. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce says uncertainty around the path the UK is taking in exiting the EU has caused many firms to put off vital preparations. The regional Chamber, in conjunction with fellow Chambers in the West Midlands and across the UK, carried out a survey among companies to find out what action they have taken. Fifty per cent of the companies across the West Midlands said they are yet to carry out a risk assessment on the impact that Brexit would have on their business. This was despite the exit date being less than two months away at the time. The Chamber has supported hundreds of firms across the region to prepare for the EU exit since the referendum in 2016 but is urging companies from right across the patch to make sure they have done everything they can to be ready.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Around 47 per cent of the companies surveyed in our region said they had carried out a risk assessment, which is relatively high compared to the national average. “However, to have half the firms on our patch still saying they’ve done no form of preparation is a major concern. “In our view, there is so much noise around Brexit that it’s made companies believe they don’t need to be ready. The original date shifted, there’s been a change of Prime Minister, there have been calls for a second referendum and there have been some advocating No Deal. “Some businesses maybe thinking that they will just wait and see what transpires but they should move now to see what preparations they can make as a matter of urgency.” More than a quarter of companies said they would revise recruitment plans should the UK leave without a deal and revert to WTO rules while 36 per cent said they would revise investment plans.

Seventeen per cent of firms said they planned to move some or all of their business overseas in the event of no deal. Louise said that there are schemes already available that could help firms who trade overseas to be better prepared. She said: “Our team at the Chamber is well-versed in schemes such as Authorised Economic Operator (AEO), Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP) and Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG) and can offer advice on those and other opportunities to mitigate the potential for disruption. “The Chamber successfully campaigned for EORI numbers – which are critical for trading across borders – to be automatically issued by Government and we’d now urge them to auto enrol companies to make the process easier.” To access advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to prepare for Brexit, call 024 7665 4321 or go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk To take a free Brexit health-check go to: www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com/ BrexitHealthCheck

Conference hears how urban regeneration is at the forefront of Coventry’s construction agenda Urban regeneration is at the forefront of the construction agenda in Coventry, delegates heard at a top conference. More than 100 business delegates attended the annual Wright Hassall Construction Conference at the Ricoh Arena, which saw the industry’s leading voices come together to discuss upcoming projects and challenges they are facing. Strategic Director for Communities at Warwickshire County Council, Mark Ryder, outlined the efforts that the council is putting into urban regeneration, with a particular focus on supporting the local community, with Gary Johnson, Director of LK2, discussing the relationship between building communities

and the importance of sports and leisure facilities. The speaker line-up also featured Tracy Keep from Gallagher who discussed the complexities around the PI market, Brian Whale of Swisslog showcasing innovative technology, Mazars highlighting tax issues for the sector, Katie Foster of RSK dealing with challenging environmental concerns, and Philip Harris and Paul Slinger from Wright Hassall highlighting topical legal issues. Michael Hiscock, construction law partner at Wright Hassall, said: “There are exciting times ahead for Coventry and Warwickshire and the construction industry

is working hard to support that progress. “It was great to see so many people at the conference which is firmly becoming established as one of the leading events in

Coventry and Warwickshire for the construction industry.” This year the conference was run in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Front Row (Left to Right) Katie Foster (RSK), Claire Lea (Mazars), Gareth Jones (Mazars), Dinesh Pancholi (Mazars), Philip Harris (Wight Hassall), Tracy Keep (Gallagher Insurance). Back Row (Left to Right) Brian Whale (Swisslog), Gary Johnson (LK2), Michael Hiscock (Wright Hassall), Mark Ryder (Warwickshire County Council), Paul Slinger (Wright Hassall).


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Car company signs £3.6 million contract with Japanese firm Alvis Car Company, founded in Coventry in 1919, is celebrating after signing a distributor contract for Asia worth £3.6 million with Japanese automotive firm Meiji Sango. The story of Alvis Car Company began 100 years ago when naval architect T.G. John took over a small carburettor manufacturer. Over the next twenty years, the company would go on to establish itself within the British automotive industry, producing some of the most iconic vintage cars of all time. Innovation has always been at the heart of the business. Their cars were technically advanced with the world’s first allsynchromesh gearbox, independent front suspension and servo assisted brakes. When the German Luftwaffe hit Coventry hard in 1940, the Alvis car factories suffered severe damage, resulting in

production being suspended. Business resumed after the war, but an evolving automotive landscape led to an end in production in 1968. The company continued to operate, servicing and maintaining existing models. Now the company once again manufactures its beloved cars with the Continuation Series which faithfully reproduces the 1936 designs and original works drawings. After enjoying great success domestically over the past decade, owner Alan Stote recognised an opportunity for the cars to be brought to an international market. Exporting cars, however, is no simple feat. Alan said: “In the automotive sector, transporting cars overseas is expensive. It’s one of the particular challenges we face, especially as companies rarely commit unless they first see the products.” Connecting with the Department for International Trade (DIT) provided him with the opportunity to attend export training events and networking. After being put in touch with International Trade Adviser Liz Roberts, the business applied for an ERDF

SME International Growth Project grant to exhibit at the Automotive Council 2019 in Tokyo. The successful application ended up being highly lucrative for the business as it was during this trip that they formed the relationship with Meiji Sango, who had previously distributed for Alvis Car Company in the 1950s. Everything indicates a bright future for Alvis Cars as they focus their attention on manufacturing the new orders and building their exports at a sustainable rate. “If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to other companies looking to grow internationally, it’s to reach out to the DIT. They can offer you fantastic advice events and access to funding opportunities – all free of charge.” Want to emulate their global success? An experienced teams of International Trade Advisers are ready to help you become a global success story. Get in touch today to discover the support you could receive to grow your exports. E: info@tradewm.co.uk T: 0345 222 0153

Mecalac celebrates 60th anniversary of the backhoe loader Leading compact solutions provider, Mecalac Construction Equipment UK, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its backhoe loader. Originally licenced under the Massey Fergusson Agriculture brand, the company’s Coventry manufacturing facility has assembled thousands of models since the very first unit rolled off production in 1959. Sixty years later, each backhoe is still renowned for its robust design and classleading performance, but now features a whole host of innovative technologies to maximise efficiency, safety and comfort for the operator. For 2019, key updates have included the introduction of direct drive transmission (which passes the drive shaft through

the centre of the torque converter to optimise output), Auto Ride Control (which automatically engages/disengages the ride control dependant on machine speed) and the option of powered sideshift on the TLB890 and TLB990. To coincide with the introduction of Stage V emissions legislation, each model has transitioned to the Perkins Syncro engine platform. Alongside complying with both EU and US (EPA) regulations, this move offers numerous productivity benefits. For example, torque output of the 55kw TLB870 increases 9% (to 424Nm), while power output of the TLB890 and TLB990 increase by 10% (to 82kw). Further updates to the portfolio include a new side console (480 x 270 LCD screen), which displays operating information, settings and error codes. A rotary selector provides access to all-new machine settings including auto idle, quick attach timer, ISO/SAE selection, thumb slider sensitivity, auto ride control speed and auto idle torque setting.

Coventry Rugby and Utility Team partner up for new deal to benefit club, company and supporters Coventry Rugby and Utility Team have announced a multi-faceted partnership which will benefit the club, its supporters and the company alike. As one of the club’s key partners Utility Team will benefit from having the company’s logo on Coventry Rugby’s playing shirts, branding around the stadium, and recognition as the club’s Official Energy Partner. For Coventry Rugby this agreement represents another opportunity to develop a strong relationship with a local company that has a national presence and excellent reputation. For the club’s supporters there will not only be the potential to save money on their energy bills but to contribute to climate change. This is due to the special energy deals which will be on offer from Utility Team and the chosen supplier. Good Energy’s mission is to transform the UK energy market by helping homes and businesses to be part of a sustainable solution. “We believe that this is an outstanding partnership,” said Coventry Rugby’s Managing Director, Nick Johnston. “Utility Team is a national company with


local roots, and they have approached the agreement with a positive attitude towards our supporters, too. “We welcome this type of partnership as it brings together the company, the club and our supporters, who can all benefit as time goes on.” Based in Coventry, Utility Team is one of the UK’s leading utilities and energy consultants, responsible for over £1 billion of annual spend on energy. Utility Team provides a comprehensive range of support services for its clients and believes in building value through the strength of customer satisfaction and producing superior operating results. Delvin Lane, Utility Team’s CEO, is excited by the new partnership with Coventry Rugby, saying: “We’ve been impressed by the recent developments at Coventry Rugby Club, both on and off the field. On the field the team and coaches are putting Coventry back where it belongs among the leading clubs in the country, while off the field the ambition is just as strong, as we’re seeing with the installation of the new pitch and plans for the rest of the Butts Park site. This is an exciting time for the club and we’re looking forward to being a part of their journey.”

To celebrate 60 years of success, a special offer campaign will be launched, a number of Mecalac backhoe models will feature a limited edition decal and attractive finance support packages will also be available. Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac CEUK, said: “Since developing our very first backhoe loader unit in 1959, we’ve been hugely proud to manufacture some of the market’s most acclaimed machines. “Renowned for excellent build quality and impressive performance – all at a highly affordable price point – our backhoes are the perfect addition to any job site. With 60 years manufacturing experience, we’re confident that the latest range ticks every box for the owner and operator.” For more information about Mecalac, the company’s backhoe portfolio, visit www.mecalac.com/en. To find out more about the finance support packages, contact your nearest dealer.

Godiva scoops Leadership Team and Sustainability awards Godiva received a double helping of recognition at the 2019 Coventry Business Excellence Awards by scooping the coveted Leadership Team and Sustainability awards. In a glittering celebration witnessed by more than 500 people, the Awards’ Judges commended Godiva’s senior management team for developing skills and capacity among all employees and in particular the way in which they engage, encourage and support all employees. The way Godiva has campaigned to raise the sensitive issue of mental health in its workforce was also praised. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. However, male site workers are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average male in the UK and suicide kills more construction workers than falls. Godiva is a benchmark for others to follow. For the second year in a row, Godiva walked away with the Sustainability Award. The Judges praised Godiva for creating a long-term sustainable business which has a large focus on health and safety. One fifth of the work force is Black Hat qualified, the highest level of safety qualification available on a construction site. Karl Degroot, managing director at Godiva, said: “This double award demonstrates the total commitment of everyone at Godiva and shows that we are delivering the highest quality, efficiently, sustainably but above all else, safely.”

UK City of Culture 2021 secures £3m National Lottery boost Plans to ensure that UK City of Culture 2021 has a major, positive impact on heritage, nature and the environment in Coventry have received significant national investment. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is awarding £3 million to the Coventry City of Culture Trust after a successful bid from the organisation that will deliver the year in 2021 and ensure it leaves a lasting legacy. The funding - awarded in The National Lottery’s 25th Birthday year - will support the Trust’s plans to invest in initiatives that will protect and develop the city’s natural environment and promote health and wellbeing. The funding will enable the Trust to develop an ambitious programme of events and activities, across the city, in a range of Coventry’s green spaces, urban sites, waterways and heritage locations. Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We are committed to ensuring that UK City of Culture 2021 will be a responsible, environmentally sustainable year but this funding goes further than that.

“It will help to reconnect the city and its people with Coventry’s green spaces, its environment and its heritage. “The support ensures that we can be ambitious in what we deliver during the year and enables us to leave a legacy from which Coventry and the wider region will benefit after 2021. “We are delighted that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has put such faith in our plans and that it will play a major part in delivering a successful 2021 that will have a positive impact on the environment and heritage of Coventry for future generations.” Ros Kerslake, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s CEO, said: “City of Culture status presents Coventry with an incredible opportunity to drive economic and social prosperity by putting heritage and culture at the centre of its place strategy. Our investment of funding from the National Lottery will ensure Coventry’s nature is front and centre of Coventry 2021, creating a lasting connection with the natural world that future generations will benefit from.”


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Area Focus: Coventry

Coventry City of Culture Trust lands funding for leadership training programme

Adam Dent, Jason Dickens, Alan Hartin

Everybody needs good neighbours! A trio of creative companies in Coventry are showing the benefits of having good neighbours. Advent Communications, The Jade Studio and Image+ are based within 100 yards of one another at Electric Wharf – cutting-edge mixed-use development of offices and homes close to Coventry Canal. And the three firms are the perfect example of why the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce launched a Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign. PR and media agency Advent, graphic design company Jade and web and app designer and builder Image+ all regularly utilise one another’s services and also recommend each other to clients. Advent managing director Adam Dent said working closely together with neighbouring companies makes good business sense. He said: “When there is such knowledge, expertise and creativity on your doorstep, it’s absolutely ideal. “We’ve worked with both companies over many years and while we now live in a digital world, it’s great to be able to meet face-to-face at short notice to be able to discuss our latest projects, and to refer the companies on to clients who might need their services. “The Chamber’s Trade Local campaign is a great way of highlighting the benefits of working with other firms in our region – and our example couldn’t be any more local!” Jason Dickens, business development director at The Jade Studio, added: “Electric Wharf is a hive for creative companies and it’s great to be able to make use of each other’s skills and experience. “There are many other businesses here too that work with each other and, while we have national contracts, being able to tap into services within a matter of yards of our front door is invaluable.” Alan Hartin, managing director of Image+, said: “We have enjoyed really strong growth over recent years and while that is good news for us, it should benefit the local economy too. “So that fact that our success is shared by neighbouring companies shows that trading locally really does work for everyone.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “When we launched Trade Local it was to get companies right across the patch to think about how they could work together and tap into expertise in our area. “Advent, Jade and Image+, who are all Chamber members, are the perfect example of how working together locally brings benefits to the businesses and to the local economy.”


Coventry City of Culture Trust has been awarded funding from Arts Council England to deliver a new leadership training programme for the city. The Trust has been granted £450,000 by Arts Council England, following a highly competitive process to deliver its Transforming Leadership programme over two-and-a-half years to a diverse cohort of 15 established, independent and emerging cultural leaders. The cohort, aiming to diversify and strengthen the leadership of Coventry’s cultural organisations, museums and libraries, will co-create a management training programme to help nurture a new generation of cultural entrepreneurs who represent and reflect the city of Coventry. The programme, which will begin in January 2020 will contribute to the legacy of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021. Participants will be selected through an inclusive recruitment process that will seek out individuals with a passion for their city, creative business ideas that need to be nurtured and an understanding of the impact that cultural activity can make have on the lives of all citizens. The programme is inspired by Arts Council England research which shows that there

is unequal access to cultural management and leadership opportunities across the UK. It is also intended to address similar issues as set out in Coventry’s 10-year cultural strategy. Coventry City of Culture Trust led the application for funding from Arts Council England and will now work with a range of partners to deliver the Transforming Leadership programme, including People Make It Work, Coventry University, Warwick Arts Centre, CUSE CIC, Beatfreeks Collective, and TRG Arts. Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This investment will help us, and all partners involved, to support brilliant cultural leaders to thrive beyond 2021, ensuring a meaningful legacy for the city.” Doreen Foster, Director of Warwick Arts Centre, said: “Being UK City of Culture is so much more than putting on a great show for the year that Coventry holds the title. “It is an opportunity to use this time, this spotlight, to create real and lasting change and developing leaders in the arts and culture sector who reflect the city and society we live in is a great way of doing that.” Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “A key part of the Arts Council’s role is to invest in people to ensure

Helen Cuthill (Coventry University), Doreen Foster (Warwick Arts Centre), Martin Sutherland (Coventry City of Culture Trust)

the sector is led by diverse, resilient and creative individuals. “This programme led by Coventry City of Culture Trust will support an exciting cohort of diverse, cultural entrepreneurs working in Coventry, nurturing a new generation of leaders to help ensure that the legacy of UK City of Culture 2021 is reflected in arts and cultural organisations across the city for years to come.” The Trust expects to begin recruitment for participants in Autumn 2020 and encourages anyone wishing to be notified when the application process begins to email TL@coventry2021.co.uk

GCSEs: Best ever year for Coventry College

Students at Coventry College recorded its best ever year of GCSE results. The college, which teaches maths and English GCSE courses to hundreds of 16 to 18-year-olds and adults who are re-taking their exams, achieved 455 grades of level 4 or higher – with 4 being the equivalent of the old C grade,

and 9 the equivalent of an old A*. The figures are an increase on last year, and saw 252 passes of level 4 or higher for English, and 203 for maths. It was a 19th birthday to remember for Sabina Di Nicoli, who achieved a level 6 in English and level 5 in maths at Coventry College after arriving in England from Turin in October 2017. Sabina said: “English is not my first language so I was really shocked in a good way by my result. I needed to achieve at least level 3 in maths and a

Coventry Principal named as Finalist in Women of the Year Awards The Executive Principal of a Coventry academy has been named as a finalist for a national award celebrating women’s achievements. Mrs Kate Tague, who runs WMG Academy for Young Engineers, made it onto the shortlist of the Business Woman of the Year Award after being announced as one of ten chosen from more than 500 applicants. The accolade, part of the Women of the Year Luncheon & Awards, promotes positive female role models who provide inspiration across all areas of society and business. Mrs Tague, who has run the Mitchell Avenue academy since it opened in 2014, said: “I am delighted and humbled to be shortlisted for this award. It is all down to the fantastic team of staff, students, governors and trustees who work together to make WMG Academy the success it is.

“This award nomination is really for all the women who work in science, technology, engineering and maths. I have always been passionate about encouraging more girls and women into the sector and will continue working towards that goal.” Under Mrs Tague’s leadership, WMG Academy’s sixth form was this year ranked number one in Coventry in the school performance tables, based on the Government’s main measure, ‘Progress Score’. It was also ranked top in the city for the percentage of students achieving a minimum of AAB at A-level. In 2016, Mrs Tague and her team launched a second academy in Solihull, and both academies have since been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Students from both academies have gone on to careers with top national and global companies.

level 4 in English to get on to my access course in business and administration to prepare for university, all is going to plan and I’m really thrilled.” It was third-time lucky for 18-year-old Riley David-Guild, who after missing his English GCSE exams in secondary school due to a migraine, eventually passed his English GCSE at Coventry College with a level 4. “I wanted to make sure I had my English GCSE because if there were any doors

that I wanted to try and open in the future, I now know I have some strong qualifications behind me if they are needed,” said Riley, who has ambitions to work in the automotive industry. Gill Banks, CEO at Coventry College, said, “A lot of our students who have achieved these results have had to overcome some form of adversity – be it taking their exams for a second time or returning to learning after a long break – so tutors and students alike should all be proud of themselves.”

Mirius wins Coventry Business Excellence Award Coventry-based Mirius, manufacturer of cleaning and hygiene products, won at this year’s Coventry Business Excellence Awards for its continued success in Export sales. Recognised for its disruptive approach to industry marketing, product development and its continued growth in Export sales, the judges were impressed with Mirius’s corporate strategy and most recently its rebrand from Coventry Chemicals to Mirius – Global Hygiene Solutions. Chris Richmond, Head of Marketing at Mirius, said: “With more than 55 years’ manufacturing experience, we’re hugely proud of our Coventry roots and consider it a real honour to be recognised by our peers.” Over the past 12 months, Mirius has redesigned much of its product offering, moved into new markets and categories and further expanded its product offerings. Chris said: “We believe that industry disruption and continued innovation plays a driving role in our commercial success and this has been born out in our near 20% sales increase in the last year.

The momentum of the group’s business improvement programme has gathered pace through 2018, exemplified by the rebranding of the group’s corporate identity.” Mirius believes that 2019 is on track to be another highly successful year for the business with further improvements in profitability and sustained growth across its three business divisions – Retail, Professional and Healthcare. The award follows on the back of a number of accolades for the business this year, including the CSSA Cleaning ‘Products Innovation Award’ and the ‘Best of the Best Award’ at the London Cleaning Show. Most recently the business was placed 67th in the UK’s fastest growing export businesses by The Sunday Times. With double digit growth forecasted for the next few years the business is on target to outperform all of its competition within the sector.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Secretary of State marks one year of progress for CityFibre in Coventry One year into CityFibre’s Gigabit City project in Coventry, Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visits build site. The first anniversary of CityFibre’s £60m fibre-to-thepremises (FTTP) rollout of gigabitcapable full fibre infrastructure to nearly every home and business in Coventry was marked by the visit of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Minister revealed details about a new law which will mean more than nine million people living in blocks of flats aren’t left behind in the Government’s nationwide upgrade to gigabit

speed broadband. The measures will make it easier to install faster internet connections in blocks of flats where landlords repeatedly ignore requests for access from broadband firms. It is estimated that an extra 3,000 properties a year will be connected as a result. As part of the drive to level up the country’s infrastructure, the Government has set ambitious targets to accelerate the rollout of full fibre infrastructure nationwide by 2025. Rapidly establishing itself as the third digital network provider of scale in the country, CityFibre’s Gigabit City programme is currently into its second phase of rollouts, with mobilisation and build underway to over 2m homes across 26 towns and cities. When completed, CityFibre’s Gigabit City programme will bring wholesale full fibre infrastructure to more

than 5m homes and businesses by 2025. The visit to Coventry saw the Minister join CityFibre’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Mesch, at one of several build sites in the city. Progress in the past year has seen a huge amount of sustained mobilisation to engage with local stakeholders, communities and the supply chain, bringing the network within reach of Longford, Upper Stoke, Foleshill and Holbrook, generating dozens of jobs in the area. The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “It was great to be in Coventry with CityFibre to see the work they are doing putting fibre in place to connect the city. “We are determined to deliver nationwide coverage of gigabit

broadband so that the UK has the infrastructure in place to support businesses and our economy.” Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre, said: “We are encouraged by the Government announcing these proposals to support the industry. Barrierbusting measures such as these will help the industry to rollout full fibre networks efficiently, which will be essential if we are to meet the 2025 target. As CityFibre grows to become the third digital network provider at scale, we welcome all the support that the Government is able to provide. “There are huge transformative benefits to be had through greater connectivity for businesses and residents in communities like Coventry, and we look forward building on the progress we have already made in the city.”

Businesses urged: ‘Play Your Part’ in Belgrade appeal Businesses can help Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre take a stride towards a fundraising target by taking a step in its new development that will make it more self-sustainable in the future. The Theatre, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2018, has ambitious plans for growth as Coventry heads towards UK City of Culture in 2021. It is undergoing a £4.8m development project which it will complete by September 2020. Work on phase one – to refresh the Main Stage Auditorium to create a more enjoyable experience for audiences and visitors – has now been completed and receiving positive feedback from visitors. Phase two – the redevelopment of the café and first floor Burbidge Room, which will help secure the Theatre’s long-term sustainability – requires further money to be raised and businesses across the region are being asked for their support in the Play Your Part campaign. The Belgrade Theatre, which is a registered charity (number 219163), is aiming to raise £600,000 from individuals, businesses and trusts by September 2020 through Play Your Part. One way in which companies can back the campaign and take centre stage in the

new development is to Sponsor a Step on the new staircase that will be a centrepiece of the redeveloped café. Already, several businesses have sponsored a step at £2,020 (+VAT) and will see their names grace the staircase when work is completed next year. However, there are a variety of ways to recognise support to meet the varying budgets available to companies. The Theatre is also ready to have conversations with potential naming rights sponsors for other elements of the development, such as the new café itself. Helen Hotchkiss, Head of Development at the Belgrade Theatre, said business support will be key to the completion of the 2020 Redevelopment Project. She said: “We are all very excited about 2021 and Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture. The Belgrade Theatre will play a major role in the year and also the legacy that it leaves. “That is why this is the perfect time for our redevelopment to take place because we are striving to become even more sustainable into 2021 and beyond. “But we can’t do it without the help of our wonderful supporters and we are keen to

Businesses hear how to ‘Play Your Part’ at a breakfast event at the Belgrade Theatre

engage with more businesses who can both back our cause and also raise their own profile with us through Play Your Part. The new staircase is going to be a very striking feature in the new café and sponsoring a step will certainly draw attention to those businesses who value the transformative power of the arts and particularly the charitable work of the Belgrade.” A range of local businesses found out all about the project at a breakfast event at the Theatre. If you would like to play your part in the legacy of 2021 and the work of the Belgrade, please email corporates@belgrade.co.uk or phone 02476 846 758.

Mecalac receive business excellence awards Mecalac Construction Equipment UK were shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Coventry Business Excellence Awards, Excellence in Industry and Excellence in Innovation, and walked away with runner-up awards in both. Organised in partnership with Metro Newspaper, the awards celebrate success and achievement from the region’s most innovative companies.

Recognised for its disruptive approach to product development, significant investment in technology and continued adaptation to the changing marketplace, the judges were impressed with Mecalac’s ambitious corporate strategy and recent model launches. With 6% of revenues re-invested into innovation every year, the company’s focus on R&D helps it to remain at the forefront of

the global compact equipment marketplace. Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac Construction Equipment UK, said: “Being finalists in two categories at the Coventry Business Excellence Awards is testament to the team’s continued hard work and dedication. With more than 60 years’ manufacturing experience, we’re hugely proud of our Coventry roots and consider it a real honour

to be recognised by our peers.” Over the past 12 months, Mecalac has continued to refine, redesign and expand its product offer. Alongside unveiling Connect Energy Link technology, the company has launched three new cabbed site dumper models and a new marque of its MCR crawlerskid excavator. Paul said: “We believe that innovation plays a driving role in our commercial success and, as such, keep it a fundamental part of our operations.”

Coventry University launches engineering degree apprenticeships Coventry University is launching two new degree apprenticeships for students looking to combine top-level academic study with practical work experience. The two new degree apprenticeships are in Manufacturing Engineering and Product Design and Development Engineering. The first intake of students start the courses in September 2019. Applications for the January 2020 start are now open. Delivered in partnership with MIRA Technology Centre and Coventry University staff, the


apprentices will split their time between studying their course in five day blocks twice a semester and getting real-world industry experience. Both schemes will deliver an effective approach to achieving high level skills and knowledge fit for current and future engineering requirements and apprentices will benefit from world-class facilities both at MIRA and Coventry University. The programmes have attracted support from a wide range of companies in the automotive, engineering and manufacturing industry.

Paul Green, Associate Professor at Coventry University, said: “The degree apprenticeship scheme is a great initiative that can offer huge benefits all round. Industry has the opportunity to upskill staff via a structured programme that can provide competitive advantage and future growth, while apprentices can gain access to expertise that helps ensure their skills stay relevant and up-to-date.” Situated in the birthplace of the British motor industry and historical heart of UK manufacturing, Coventry

University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing enjoys a global reputation for business-focused research and teaching. MIRA Technology Institute represents a unique partnership between North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Coventry University, Loughborough University and University of Leicester. It provides students with a bespoke curriculum aimed at satisfying an ever-increasing need for specialist skills in the UK automotive sector.

Coventry College tutor lands additional role at historic rugby club Coventry College’s Head of Rugby and Academies Manager, Pete Glackin, has landed himself an additional role at one of the UK’s best-known rugby clubs. His new role will see him juggling his full-time role heading up Coventry College’s 40-strong Rugby Academy with coaching Birmingham Moseley’s senior squad for the 2019/20 season under the stewardship of the club’s newly-appointed Director of Rugby, Adam Balding. Birmingham Moseley first team players Danny Wright – who represented England Under-20s Gloucester Rugby, and played alongside James Haskell at Stade Français - and former Coventry Rugby player Joe Foreman are also part of Pete Glackin’s coaching team at Coventry College’s Rugby Academy. Pete, who has spearheaded the Coventry College Rugby Academy since 2006, said: “I’m thrilled to be working at such historic rugby club as well putting in a structure for the club to become sustainable as it looks for a return to the Championship” “Former Coventry College students Jamal Gask-Clarke, Harry Barnes and Josh McMurray are already plying their trade in the Birmingham Moseley set up as senior academy players – which will hopefully inspire the existing crop of Coventry College students to try and follow in their footsteps. “It’s fantastic to see this player pathway developing with Harry Barnes also gaining first team exposure in a National League 1 campaign, this is well deserved for Harry who has applied himself so well during his transition into the semiprofessional game. “Having existing and former professional and semiprofessional rugby players such as Danny and Joe on board at the college only serves to strengthen our aim of developing our rugby union education programme, which replicates the lifestyle of an elite level rugby athlete when it comes to training, nutrition, game day and recovery.” “As a college we want to nurture the best up-and-coming talent while ensuring that the education programme is built on solid foundations in order to continue to develop aspiring 16-18-year-old players within an academic setting.”


Area Focus: Coventry Coventry’s music scene is getting a pre-2021 health-check

Essity’s carbon reduction partnership with IPP is more than a hygiene factor One of the world’s largest hygiene and health companies is working collaboratively with its strategic supply chain partner to reduce the carbon footprint created by the delivery of more than two million pallets a year. Essity, which owns tissue and paper towel brands including Cushelle and Plenty and manufactures products for both the retail and professional markets, has a partnership with IPP, one of Europe’s leading pallet poolers as part of its mission to ‘create sustainable value together.’ Coventry-based IPP delivers more than two million pallets per year into 21 locations across the UK and Ireland for Essity, an operation where both parties are looking to reduce CO2 and NoX emissions at the same time as reducing costs and boosting operational efficiencies. Since November last year, the two multi-million pound businesses have been looking into augmenting their existing relationships and those with joint transport partners to reduce empty running, the practice of returning vehicles with no payload that contribute to pollution and create additional congestion on the UK’s already busy roads and motorways. The collaboration includes incentivising transporters and identifying empty running legs where additional Essity products could be decanted and trans-shipped to reduce redundant journeys, which will also reduce supply chain costs. Terry Scott, planning and logistics manager at Essity, said: “We work closely with IPP to troubleshoot these thorny issues because we are a global brand with a mission to reduce our impact on the environment. “The fact that working with IPP means that we can also achieve high levels of waste reduction more costeffectively is a major bonus to both businesses.” Shelley Harris, commercial director at IPP, said: “Customers such as Essity recognise and embrace the issues around carbon reduction through partnership working. “The company has a very high profile in both the retail and medical markets and it rightly has a zerotolerance approach when it comes to inefficiency in its supply chain. We work in partnership with the business to deliver reductions in empty running and total transparency so everyone can see the savings. “This is a good example of proactivity as companies like Essity recognise the ECOnomics of sustainability – not just as a ‘nice to have’, but as an economic and environmental necessity.”


Coventry’s music scene is being given a pre-2021 health-check to understand the wider value and impact that music has on the city so it can play a major role in UK City of Culture and ensure that there is a lasting legacy. The Coventry City of Culture Trust is working with Sound Diplomacy, a global adviser to music cities on understanding the current market place, barriers, issues and challenges as well as the opportunities for growing and develop the market. They are carrying out a root and branch research of the music sector currently and will put forward recommendations for how the city can cement its status as a Music City, with a clear action plan for 2021 and beyond. It will look at the value of music has on a city’s people, its identity and its visitor and working economy.

The health-check builds on initial work undertaken by the Coventry City of Culture Trust with the music sector in Coventry and will offer a comprehensive mapping exercise of what the sector looks like, not just as a place to be a practicing music, but also in terms of education, music supply chain and also as a place to run a music business. Sound Diplomacy, which has worked with cities such as London, Vancouver and New Orleans, will carry out a qualitative and quantitative research process into everything from performance, recording and rehearsal space through to business and educational institutions that are involved in music. Music industry roundtables are being held on Monday, 23 September, and Tuesday, 24 September, and will offer members of Coventry’s music

‘ecosystem’ the chance to share their experiences and feedback on any gaps they see in the sector. Sound Diplomacy is also very keen to hear from anyone that wants to log their activity and register their work in the music sector, by making submissions online at www.sounddiplomacy. com/coventry Jon Davis, Senior Producer at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is a music city, it has a rich music history and people from the city have created many firsts so music will be a key element of our programme in 2021. “This health-check will be extremely detailed to ensure

any issues and gaps across the music sector in the city are identified ahead of our year as UK City of Culture. However this is reliant on everyone involved in music in the city logging onto the website and registering their activity. This health-check and the resulting action plan will be the platform to grow and develop the city’s music scene as part of the legacy of 2021.” Danny Keir, Project Lead and Director of Business Development at Sound Diplomacy, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Coventry on this exciting project exploring the rich music heritage the city celebrates.”

Large business holds the key to auto skills training for a generation Automotive sector businesses that pay the Apprenticeship Levy are being urged to use their funds to upskill their own workforce, take on new apprentices, or help other organisations to do so. Under new arrangements now in place, levy-payers can share training funds with any non-levy payer, including smaller businesses within their supply chain or even within their local community. The call comes from the MIRA Technology Institute, which was built with a £9.5m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy. The MTI is located within the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone. Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said, “We know that apprenticeship starts have taken a hit since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which is paid by large

organisations with a turnover of £3M or more. The engineering and manufacturing sector saw a 21 per cent decline in apprenticeship starts between 2017 and 2018, down from 75,000 to just 59,000 . “It is imperative that businesses do not lose the opportunity to spend the levy on training an apprentice or upskilling their existing workforce. The levy works on the basis of ‘use it or lose it’ and if it is not spent, that money is subsumed into general taxation, meaning that the workforce will lose out on opportunities to improve their careers, and UK productivity targets will not be met. “Earlier this year, the Government opened up the levy transfer scheme which enables levy-payers to move their training funds into the accounts of smaller organisations within their supply chain. We’re asking organisations to take a broad view on this. Any improvement in skills within their overall network is bound to benefit their business in the long run.” “This money is being ring-fenced by the Government to train a nation and it is a great pity that some funds are being re-directed through lack of use.”

The MTI will be responsible for at least 110 new apprenticeship starts by July 2021. Coventry University has launched degree apprenticeships in product design and development and manufacturing engineering which both include full honours degree programmes and can be accessed via the MTI. Paul Green, Associate Professor at Coventry University, said, “The degree apprenticeship scheme is a great initiative that can offer huge benefits. Industry has the opportunity to upskill staff via a structured programme that can provide competitive advantage and future growth, while apprentices can gain access to expertise that helps to ensure their skills stay relevant and up-to-date.” The MTI is keen to hear from levy-payers within the automotive sector who have not yet used their funds and is happy to advise any business on the best way to upskill their team. Visit www.miratechnologyinstitute.co.uk call 024 7693 5680 or email enquiries@miratechnologyinstitute.co.uk

Coventry restaurant receives national acclaim One of Coventry and Warwickshire’s most established Indian restaurants has hit new heights by receiving nationwide acclaim from multiple national and regional awarding bodies. Situated at the heart of Coventry, in the city’s Medieval Spon Street, Turmeric Gold has continued to go from strength to strength. It was listed as a finalist in the SME Business Awards for Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant also recently secured the nationally acclaimed Visit England Gold Taste Award, a taste scheme which recognises businesses offering the warmest of welcomes and excellent customer service, alongside high-quality food and drink. Earlier in the year Turmeric Gold also reached the finals of the Midlands Food and Hospitality Awards. This is not the first-time the Indian restaurant has earned recognition from awarding

bodies. Winning multiple awards, Turmeric Gold has established itself as one of Coventry’s elite restaurants, earning praise from recognised critics such as Match.Com who voted it as one of the best Asian restaurants in the UK. Also, with more than 3,000 positive reviews on Trip Advisor, Turmeric Gold’s status is not only well-established throughout the county but has received high praise from well beyond the county’s borders. Due to its stellar reputation, Turmeric Gold is no stranger to celebrity visits with a host of illustrious stars walking through its doors since its establishment nearly 18 years ago. Its high-end offering has attracted a number of international and national celebrities over the years, including several rugby Wasps players, national celebrity cook Rosemary Shrager, renowned actor Sir Ian McClellan, former Sky Sports presenter Gary

Newbon, snooker player and regular Jimmy Hendry. More than just serving delicious dishes, proprietor chef Jay Alam and his dedicated team work tirelessly to create a unique dining experience encapsulating Indian culture amid medieval beauty. And their efforts have earned the restaurant accolades from around the country, with many food experts ranking Turmeric Gold among the best in the UK. Jay said: “We have been honoured to receive numerous awards throughout our 18 year history and we are again delighted to have been shortlisted for two awards already this year - with one set to be announced – as well as achieving the Gold Taste Accolade; which has been a significant highpoint of the year. “Turmeric Gold’s reputation speaks for itself. With more than 20,000 diners walking through our doors per year, Turmeric Gold has won the hearts of diners from around the world

and is today recognised as a premier restaurant with a reputation for fine dining offering a choice of diverse and exotic food, excellent service and an unrivalled experience within luxurious surroundings. “Over the years, Turmeric Gold has become one of the outstanding Indian restaurants in the Coventry and Warwickshire area and we are now aiming to build on those foundations to take Turmeric Gold to the next level. We are proud of our reputation for fine dining, excellent service and our emphasis on healthy eating.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Creating a legacy

By Martin Sutherland Chief Executive of the City of Culture Trust While most of our current investment and energy is focused on staging a memorable 12 months of activity in 2021, we know how vital it is that we leave a legacy from which Coventry, and Coventrians, can prosper in the future. Investing in the people of the city is how we will truly realise a legacy. Therefore, a significant part of our work is to help build capacity so that the cultural scene in the city is financially and environmentally sustainable and will continue to flourish in the future. We are, therefore, creating and supporting initiatives that strengthen individuals and organisations working within culture and have made progress in achieving this aim already.

We’ve successfully bid for £450,000 from Arts Council England to run a Transforming Leadership programme in the city over the next two-andhalf years – winning a very competitive process. We will work with 15 established and emerging cultural leaders, supporting them to become key figures in the city’s cultural organisations to develop successful and influential careers in the sector. It’s a huge investment in talent and has been inspired by research which highlighted the unequal access to cultural management and leadership opportunities across the UK. We will be recruiting people who display a passion for Coventry and for culture, who have creative business ideas that need to be nurtured, who may not have pursued a traditional education route and who also possess an understanding of the impact that cultural activity can have on the lives of everyone. We will be working with a wide range of partners on delivering the programme which will also help establish stronger working relationships. Soon we will appoint the team who will develop a gold-standard apprenticeship programme, which we expect to launch in early 2020. This programme, sitting alongside our planned mentoring programme, will create

opportunities for predominantly young people in Coventry to access employment in the cultural sector. We will be equipping them with the skills that will be of value to the city’s cultural organisations in and beyond 2021. We were delighted by the announcement of Corey Campbell, Balisha Karra and Justine Themen as Creative Leads at the Belgrade Theatre. Our investment has enabled the leadership team there to launch this innovative approach to theatre production for 2021 –playing a pivotal role in developing the city’s next generation of artistic leaders. It’s early days for this new partnership, but knowing the talent involved – we’re confident that something extraordinary will be created for 2021, laying the foundations for the future. We’ve also been developing the skills of our team and are committed to continuing to do so. A number of colleagues visited the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe as well as Le Voyage À Nantes to network, see events and test the visitor experience (for domestic and international visitors). We seek to learn from great examples elsewhere, adapting all the good stuff to work here. As well as looking to build the capacity and prospects of individuals, we also want to ensure that organisations are also in a position to deliver

long-term benefits to the city. We’ve commissioned a company called TRG Arts to work with 10 cultural organisations in Coventry to develop programmes that build audiences and membership loyalty. They have had great success working with theatres, museums, galleries and festivals across the globe, but this is the first time they have been able to work with a group of organisations in one location. Part of my role as Chief Executive of the City of Culture Trust is to fundraise and unlock investment so that 2021 is a huge success. However, we recognise that we have a responsibility to ensure that others across the city also gain from the opportunities 2021 brings. We’ve been running meet the funder events across the area, welcoming major funders from across the region and UK to meet with community groups, artists and the voluntary sector. So far more than 200 organisations have attended these events, so we’ll continue to deliver them - so that new relationships can be brokered resulting in increased investment locally. Details of all these opportunities, and more, are featured on our website www.coventry2021.co.uk where you can also sign up to our newsletter.

Business Secretary opens MTC’s aerospace additive manufacturing innovation hub The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Andrea Leadsom, officially opened the Manufacturing Technology Centre’s new innovation and knowledge hub for metal additive manufacturing, ahead of a major industrial launch event in October. In a significant advance for the UK, the new hub aims to lead research, development and collaboration on metal additive manufacturing, developing and testing ideas for taking the technology forward. The new hub, in the MTC’s Aerospace Research Centre on its Ansty Park, Coventry campus, will be formally launched to industry on October 15, and will also be the home of an online reference resource as well as a manufacturing facility. Its opening underscores progress in the £15 million MTC-led DRAMA (Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing facilities for Aerospace) project which encourages suppliers to the UK aerospace industry to adopt additive manufacturing. Supported by £11 million from BEIS’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, DRAMA has already engaged with more than 50 aerospace supply chain companies, and is still inviting applications for new projects. Unveiling a plaque in the new facility, Andrea Leadsom said: “I am delighted to launch this new facility. It is a great example of the strength of the UK’s capability in cutting edge manufacturing technology and has significant potential to help boost the competitiveness of UK companies and their supply chains. We’re investing £11 million to help build it and support aerospace suppliers to develop their manufacturing capability. “The Manufacturing Technology Centre is making an important contribution to ensuring the UK remains a world leader in advanced manufacturing and I’m looking forward to seeing companies from across the sector make use of this facility.”


The new hub includes a workshop and design, research and test facilities for additive manufacturing users and experts who can shape the technology, which is among the most important developments in advanced manufacturing for many years. The hub is among the first such centres in Europe. As well as a manufacturing facility and online resource, the new centre will offer training at all levels, expert advice on AM suitability, business case and implementation, research, both bespoke and collaborative and face-to-face and online business and technical support. Participating companies will have access to facilities and expertise in a commercially neutral but technologically world-class environment. They can also get advice on funding technology development. The MTC houses the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM) bringing together one of the most comprehensive combinations of equipment and capability in the UK. The three-year DRAMA project is encouraging the UK aerospace industry’s supply chain to adopt additive manufacturing technologies, which are increasingly being demanded by the country’s prime aerospace manufacturers. Suppliers are able to test products and processes in parallel, both digitally or virtually, or in a real environment, either at the MTC’s facility or at Renishaw’s UK AM solutions centre. Dr Katy Milne, chief engineer for the DRAMA project at the MTC, said the importance of additive manufacturing to the aerospace industry and other sectors could not be overstated. She said: “The new hub will provide space and facilities for additive manufacturing designs and processes to be discussed by like-minded experts and users and taken forward.

The Secretary of State talks to MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman and MTC engineers.

“Additive manufacture has the potential to revolutionise design approaches and supply chains. There are more than 4,000 companies involved in the aerospace industry, and there are current examples where aerospace primes have reduced the part count by an order of magnitude, this could be really disruptive for the existing supply chain. For companies who move into this space, there are major opportunities. Additive manufacturing offers the biggest opportunity since the introduction of composites.” The funding for the DRAMA project is being delivered by Innovate UK and supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute. Other partners delivering DRAMA are Renishaw, the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, which is mobilising other UK aerospace groupings, ATS Applied Tech Systems, Autodesk, Granta Design, the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Birmingham. The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.

XL Motors bags a hat trick at Coventry Business Excellence Awards The Coventry Business Excellence Awards were a night to remember for XL Motors, who came away from the awards ceremony with a hat trick of awards that included the prestigious Company of the Year accolade. In a room packed with some of Coventry and Warwickshire’s most high profile businesses, it was the Coventry based accident repair centre that stole the limelight by taking home the most awards on the night. Celebrating its first ever event, the Coventry Business Excellence Awards recognises excellence from across the Midlands applauding all that is great about local business within the county. Securing Company of the Year, SME Business of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year, XL Motors and its Managing Director Rob Ally proved victors despite being up against several esteemed businesses in their respective award categories. Now in its 29th year, XL Motors has become one of Coventry and Warwickshire’s leading accident repair centres, with four state of the art facilities totalling 50,000sq feet within the city. The business has grown from strength to strength in recent years and now acts the industry standard – working in a range of different markets and having several manufacturer approvals from many of the motor industry’s household names such as Jaguar, LandRover, Toyota, Lexus and Ford just to name a few. XL Motors Managing Director and Founder Rob Ally was also celebrated on the night – winning Entrepreneur of the Year – by being recognised for his inspirational journey from redundancy at 21 to running a thriving multimillion pound business 29 years later. Rob said: “Words cannot describe how honoured both myself and my team at XL Motors is to secure a hat trick of awards at the Coventry Business Excellence Awards. “We are incredibly proud of our history and I am delighted that our achievements as a Coventry accident repair centre have been recognised in our home city. “Behind any successful business is a close-knit team that works together to build solid foundations for the future and every member of staff behind the scenes at XL Motors do exactly that. “Not only is it a tremendous achievement to be presented with these three prestigious awards but it also a testament to the dedication and hard work of our employees. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has made this possible and look forward to continued success for many years to come. “Our congratulations go out to the other winners as well as those who were shortlisted on the night.”


Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire AC Lloyd renews its sponsorship of Old Leamingtonians

HB&O reaches new heights with charity challenge Led by Managing Director Mark Ashfield, sixteen members of staff of Leamington and Coventry based firm HB&O completed a gruelling one day challenge, by climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks on Saturday 14 September. Time Out, whose staff viThe Yorkshire Dales walk is a circular twenty five miles walk of the hills, with an elevation of over 1500m. Alex Clarke, Jatinder Hayer and Fred Gorvin were the quickest team members, completing the challenge

A Leamington-based property developer has renewed its sponsorship of Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club who have recruited two Wasps players to their coaching staff in their bid for promotion this season. The club’s senior teams’ shirts will again display AC Lloyd’s name following a successful partnership last season as the club came close to promotion to the Midlands 2 West (South) division. Essential match day and training equipment will be provided to all teams, including three senior men’s teams, colts rugby, ladies’ and girls’ rugby, mini and junior age groups, and mixed-ability rugby, that play on its 27-acre site at The Crofts as a result of the support from AC Lloyd and other sponsors. Phil Eales, Chairman of Old Leamingtonians Rugby Club, said: “The sponsorship by AC Lloyd for a second year running is extremely welcome as we look to mount another promotion challenge. “Their sponsorship allows us to provide our teams with the highest quality equipment and facilities available anywhere in the country at this level. “Adam Canning, a former Coventry RFC squad member, has stepped up to take on the head coach responsibilities for this season, and we also welcome as coaches Wasps front row players Ben Harris and Tom Cruse who will add hugely to our forward players’ fitness and skills as they commence their coaching careers. “We are looking this year to have that extra level of fitness and concentration that we were lacking last season in order to take the step up, and the support from our sponsors will help us achieve that.” AC Lloyd’s Tachbrook Park headquarters is based less than five miles away from Old Leamingtonians’ Bericote Road home ground. Peter Beddoes, chairman of AC Lloyd, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to continue this partnership with a fantastic club that is so important to the Leamington community. “Hopefully our relationship will continue to grow over the coming season and we wish them the best of luck in the new campaign, going one step further in their quest for promotion.”


in nine hours and twenty minutes. More than, £4,000 was raised for the chosen charityThe Myton Hospices, a vital local provision, with hospices in Coventry, Rugby and Warwick, providing care for adults with terminal illness. Mark said: “I am so proud of the grit and determination of each and every team member. They pulled together to support each other when times were hard to complete this tough challenge, with the aim of raising money to support a great local cause.”

Product Earth - the UK’s largest Cannabis, Hemp & CBD show - announces long-term partnership with NAEC Stoneleigh The success of Product Earth 2019 at NAEC Stoneleigh has led to a five-year deal between the venue and the show’s organisers. Product Earth, now in its fourth year, is the UK’s longest running and largest cannabis, hemp and CBD trade expo. The show was held at NAEC Stoneleigh, nestled in the heart of Warwickshire’s countryside, for the first time last month. The world-famous NAEC already hosts around 250 events a year including prestigious events such as The Horse of The Year Show, The British Show Jumping National Championships and prominent agricultural technical events such as the British Pig & Poultry show and Grassland & Muck. This new deal puts the NAEC on the map at the centre of the nascent, rapidly growing UK cannabis and hemp industry by entering into this mutually beneficial partnership with Product Earth. The success of the 2019 event combined with the ambitious future growth plans have led to an agreement

for the NAEC to become the home of Product Earth for the next five years. Visitors to the 2019 Product Earth had the opportunity to sample and buy products from over 130 businesses in the cannabis, hemp and CBD industries. Education about cannabis and hemp are fundamental to the Product Earth experience, and there were talks, panels and seminars from innovators and pioneers on various aspects of hemp and cannabis. Product Earth is unique in being held over multiple days with various camping options for those who want to make the most of the entire experience, and the NAEC estate provided a visually stunning backdrop for the weekend event. Product Earth founder James Walton said: “NAEC Stoneleigh and Product Earth really are the perfect match. “The NAEC sits at the heart of the UK’s agricultural life and is physically located in the centre of the country. With its unique combination of immense exhibition space and countryside setting,

we had no hesitation about committing to a long-term partnership with Stoneleigh. “It is a forward-thinking, ambitious venue and the ideal location to host an exciting, innovative show such as Product Earth.” Chris Hartley, managing director of NAEC Stoneleigh, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled about working with Product Earth for the next five years. “The show was a massive success and reflects the ever-increasing interest in CBD, hemp and cannabis. “This is a big show, with even bigger ideas for the future, and we were delighted that they made great use of our large indoor halls and our immense outdoor space.”

Leamington-based Wright Hassall reinforces its position amongst the industry’s top performers in UK guide A leading Midlands law firm has reinforced its position amongst the industry’s top performers after appearing in a distinguished UK guide of legal firms. And in this year’s Legal 500 ranking, the Leamingtonbased law firm Wright Hassall has, for the first time, been ranked in the top tier for its private wealth team which looks after the legal affairs of a wide range of individuals and families Wright Hassall has retained its position as one of the leading firms in the West Midlands in the guide which

highlights the country’s top lawyers and firms, with two of its lawyers included on the rising stars’ list. Nathan Lapsley from the firm’s corporate team and Jennifer Russell from the private wealth team were added to the ones to watch list in this year’s rankings. Jennifer, who joined Wright Hassall in 2010, said: “I am delighted to have been acknowledged in the Legal 500 and for the private wealth team to ranked in the top tier is a great achievement. “As a team, we have worked hard to continue delivering

impressive results for our clients so for that to be acknowledged is a real win for the team.” In the Legal 500, the firm maintained its tier 1 ranking in five other practice areas including real estate, commercial litigation, business immigration, agriculture and corporate/ commercial. Susan Floyd, partner in the private wealth team, added: “We are delighted to break into the top tier for our tax, trusts and probate work; it’s a great tribute to the team’s hard work over the year.

Susan Floyd, partner at Wright Hassall

We’re also pleased on behalf of our clients, many of whom have been with us for years. Overall, the rankings are a fair reflection of the firm’s achievements which highlight the consistently strong work carried out by staff across all our teams and sectors. “The Legal 500 is a wellrespected guide and so it’s wonderful to have once again been recognised.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: North Warwickshire

Nuneaton businessman’s investment in longer-life food packaging pays off

From left, Sarah Gambrall, Ali Sayed and Kierandeep Bal

A young Nuneaton businessman’s vision of alternative packaging for the dry food market has moved a step closer to reality after landing a major investment. Ali Sayed, a business graduate of Coventry University, channelled his frustration with existing plastic packaging into an extensive research programme to revolutionise how food is prepared, handled and stored fresher for longer. After much testing, Ali eventually found the perfect prototype in the form of a multi-layered plastic film with oxygen barrier properties which is recyclable after use. The 23-year-old carried out his research while based at the Centenary Business Centre in Nuneaton, and with his new concept lined up, he founded AM Foods International in 2018. Following his investment to design the packaging, Ali was awarded a £4,852 grant through Coventry City Council to prepare the business to bring its products to market. He also received support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.

The grant helped to fund the purchase of machinery to fill dry foods, such as pure basmati rice and lentils, into the new unique packaging. The investment also secured a transport vehicle to deliver products across the region. The grant programme forms part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and has also helped with the appointment of new staff members in sales and business development. Ali said: “I am really proud to have designed a product which I believe truly transforms the experience for our future customers. “To give an idea of the quality, we tested the packaging on some almonds by opening the packaging every day for two months – usually when first opened they become stale after three to four days but in this case, they were still fresh and edible state after eight week testing period. “My father, who has years of in-depth food packaging experience, supported me in testing this concept idea. I also spent a lot of time testing various types of existing packaging, which has allowed me to solve problems along the way to come up with a first-class product that helps to extend the life of dry food. “After overcoming the barriers of completing a fully functional prototype and developing the right infrastructure, we were still faced with the operational challenges of how we were going to fill the packs with dry food and distribute to customers.

“I was put in touch with the Growth Hub by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, who have been brilliant in recognising the potential of my business and helping me to fund equipment that will enable me to distribute my products nationwide before going global. “I have been demonstrating the product to some of the UK’s biggest supermarket names and have already started working with independent supermarkets as we look to grow the business over the coming months.” Ali has received business development support from Sarah Gambrall, Business Navigator at the CWLEP Growth Hub, and Kierandeep Bal, Business Development Advisor at Coventry City Council. Kierandeep said: “I am pleased that we have been able to support Ali and his business by providing the correct advice and guidance in developing his new packaging and I look forward to seeing it hit the shelves.” Sarah said: “Ali is a brilliant example to upcoming entrepreneurs that prove perseverance and networking are the keys to success. He has a business that is striving to carve out its own niche by solving a problem, and through his determination is now in a position to secure clients and grow his business. “By asking for professional help and guidance, Ali has shown that cost isn’t always a barrier to developing an idea, and through this new equipment, AM Foods International now has the right foundations in place to capitalise on sales opportunities.”

College Principal commended for lifetime achievement Marion Plant, OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, has been recognised with an award for lifetime achievement at a glittering ceremony in Leicester. The award was made in recognition of Marion’s business skills as part of an annual quest to find the most successful and inspirational businesswomen in the region. Finalists were selected from dozens of nominations for the fifth annual Leicestershire Live Women in Business Awards devised to celebrate the outstanding achievements of female entrepreneurs and professionals in our region. Winners were announced by TV presenter Emma Jesson at the ceremony on Thursday, 26 September at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. From individuals running a business from home to high-flying career professionals, the awards highlight the achievements of a wide range of businesswomen from across Leicestershire and celebrate female role models to inspire future generations. The lifetime achievement award was presented to Marion for her outstanding contribution to the business community and was selected by an expert panel including awards sponsors Growth Partners plc, Howes Percival and Vacancy Filler Recruitment Software who presented the award. As chief executive officer for the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group and the Midland Academies Trust, Marion


has worked to develop a commercial culture to help tackle increasing competition within the education sector and protect resources for the future through growth. She has successfully led the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group, securing its financial turnaround and increasing the impact of the Group through high profile partnerships, delivering training that helps businesses to compete. Marion’s influence extends to a national level, as a member of the Education & Skills Funding Agency Advisory Group and Trustee of the National Society Council (Church of England). Marion sits on the programme board for the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) and is Skills Lead for the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), where she has helped the Group to forge links with local and regional industry. Showing determined leadership, Marion secured the successful merger of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College three years ago, by communicating a vision of a productive future partnership. Marion’s ambition to support successful futures for young people was at the heart of the decision to sponsor local schools and establish a multi-academy trust. The Midland Academies Trust (MAT) is an independent charitable organisation, sponsored by the College. As deputy chair and trustee of WorldSkills UK, Marion has placed

significant emphasis on the importance of competitions to showcase skills and abilities, giving students the chance to challenge themselves, build self-confidence and develop skills for employment. Working with HORIBA MIRA and in partnership with Coventry University, Leicester University and Loughborough University to identify demand for specialist skills in the automotive sector, Marion led the project that saw the launch of £9.5m skills centre on the MIRA Technology Park site last year. Marion received an OBE for services to further education in 2009. She is a Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute and was included in the Leicester Mercury’s list of Leicestershire’s most influential people in charity, religion, politics and the public sector in 2017. She said: “I am thrilled to have been selected by such an esteemed panel and delighted to have been singled out for this award. I am particularly proud of the achievements of my colleagues within our Group who work tirelessly in the interests of giving young people and adults the very best opportunities to become the very best they can possibly be.”

(left) Sue Yildiz and (right) Gennine Cope who launched Kopek Security last year and it is going from strength to strength.

Female run security firm gains national accreditations

A national security company that is exceeding all expectations has been recognised in a prestigious scheme that honours firms which actively support the Armed Forces community. Nuneaton-based Kopek Security is one of a select group of organisations which have been honoured in this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The company had already achieved a Bronze Award last year and has now progressed to a Silver Award after signing the Armed Forces Covenant and demonstrating outstanding support for those who serve and have served. Kopek Security was founded by Sue Yildiz and Gennine Cope just 18 months ago and is already smashing all estimated financial targets. The pair, who have more than two decades of industry experience between them, thought it was important to sign the covenant, not only to pay tribute to people who have served or are serving, but also because many of their team were or are in the military. Gennine said: “It is such an honour to not only be recognised by the scheme once again, but to have improved on last year is fantastic news. “After gaining the bronze accreditation last year, we did not want to rest on our laurels, we wanted to improve and we have to achieve a list of criteria to make sure that we got it. “That is something that we did and we are so thrilled with the result. Now we have to keep going and reach for the gold standard.” Both Gennine and Sue will be honoured at a special ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum in October when they are presented with the award. One of the testimonials that was provided for the ERS was from Lee Jordan, who said: “I have now worked for Kopek Security for just over a year now. “In this time I have been able to use some of the skills I learned within the Army Cadet Force and for that reason I have been promoted to supervisor. “The large majority of our personnel have served and I feel it’s great that Kopek really strive to gain such individuals. What a fantastic company to work for and what fantastic people that made Kopek Security happen.” Kopek provides a range of security services including manned security, security dogs, event security and detection dogs. The company’s aim is to provide a down-to-earth, professional and discreet, working closely with our clients to offer value at competitive costs in an ever-growing and evolving industry. Its mission statement is deter, detect and defend. “It has been tough as security is a maledominated industry,” said Sue. “But we have been determined to make this a success from the beginning. Part of that has been our commitment to investing in accreditation schemes such as the Employer Recognition Scheme, as they help us to strive to be better and work harder to achieve the standards set for us.” Industry accreditations that the company has achieved include the Contractor Health and Safety Assessment scheme, Achilles, achieved Gold Membership status with Constructionline, as well as being a Living Wage Employer, working towards the ISO, SIA ACS and more. Sue added: “We could not have done any of this over the past 18 months without all the support that we have been given. “Now we want to keep pushing forward, continue to spread our business across the country and internally as well. “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in particular our team, Ash Rishiraj from LDP Luckmans, Jaspal Signh Chouhan from Barclays, Lesley Mouncher from Ultimate Finance and councillor Chris Watkins, who showed us support during his Mayoral year.”


Area Focus: South Warwickshire

FRP continues growth in Midlands

Award for new business iSTORM has been named as winners of The Coventry Business Excellence New Business of The Year Award. The business provides specialist consultancy and security services for organisations who are dealing with a wide range of Cyber Security and Data Protection related standards, frameworks and regulations. The award recognises one of the region’s brightest new businesses in Coventry & Warwickshire. Judges were tasked with analysing business plans, achievements to date and potential for growth within the next few years. Sponsors Birmingham City University rated the business honesty when it came to highlighting the challenges they had faced in the marketplace. This included gaining the certifications needed to compete in a heavily competitive marketplace which the business then spent the first six months if operations focussing on. As a self-funded startup, the business was also praised highly for overcoming cash flow problems by securing two largescale contracts within their first three months. Another element which stood out was iSTORM’s commitment to improving their performance. iSTORM provide solutions to several Midlands based businesses including NFU Mutual, Homeserve, and Bionical. Further afield in the UK, clients include The Alan Turing Institute, and Checkatrade. The business was founded by Richard Merrygold and James Pearson from the Stratford-uponAvon area. Between them, Richard and James have more than 20 years of information/cyber security and data protection experience with engagements across multiple sectors including healthcare, financial services, automotive and manufacturing, delivered in locations throughout Europe, North America and the Middle East. Richard is also a highly regarded speaker at data privacy / protection events. iSTORM provide Data Protection Officer as a Service, Penetration Testing, the building of regulatory & statutory compliance frameworks (ISO 27001, ISO 22301, DSP Toolkit, GDPR / DPA18, Cyber Essentials & Cyber Essentials Plus) and training.


A specialist manufacturing business has doubled its presence in Warwick and taken on more staff as part of its fiveyear growth plan. Manufacturing consultancy FRP has signed a new lease on its regional hub at Athena Court in Athena Drive, Tachbrook Park, and has opted to take over an adjacent unit. Warwick-based property development and investment company AC Lloyd, which owns Athena Court and has major holdings in Tachbrook Park, worked with commercial property agents Bromwich Hardy to secure the deals on the units which both measure 506 sq ft. Doubling its office space means FRP, which provides full production quality components and assemblies for the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors, is recruiting additional staff within its project management, quality, and logistics departments to continue growing their team in Warwick. The additional space means the business is adding same day inspection and shipping to its rapidly manufactured

components and assemblies which are supplied to customers on a local and global basis. Nick Osborn, Managing Director at FRP, which has its head office in Cambridgeshire, said this move was a key part of its five-year growth plan. He said: “Athena Court is an ideal location for us since Tachbrook Park is central to automotive development and innovation in the wider Midlands area. “We can be on-site with any of our local customers within a matter of minutes which is a critical part of our service to supply ‘Quality at Speed’ within highly regulated markets such as the automotive, aerospace and medical sectors. “Our Full Service Rapid Manufacturing process continues to deliver significant commercial advantage for our customers and this expansion is a key part of that service.” Tony Hargreave, Property Asset Manager at AC Lloyd, said Tachbrook Park remained an extremely popular

From the back, Andy Prior, Dean Hands, Lauren Hill (all FRP), Michelle Mills (Bromwich Hardy), Tony Hargreave (AC Lloyd) and Nick Osborn (FRP)

location for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. He said: “It is great news that FRP is expanding at Athena Court. Within a week of the previous tenant moving out, we had agreed terms for FRP to expand into Unit 23. “A number of renewals have taken place recently with other tenants, which is a sign perhaps of the continuing strength of demand for space in Leamington Spa and Warwick.”

Stratford Butterfly Farm raise £540 at charity event The Stratford Butterfly Farm raised £540 when it hosted a charity coffee and cake morning in memory of a beloved employee who recently passed away.

Pat Hudson had worked at Stratford Butterfly Farm for more than ten years in the Gift Shop and was a much valued and loved member of staff. The Butterfly Farm raised money in her memory which will be donated to The Shakespeare Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Jane Kendrick, Marketing Manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm said, “The Butterfly Farm and Pat’s family are delighted with the amount we raised in Pat’s memory. We would like to thank everyone that joined us for coffee and cake and to those who donated delicious cakes”.

The Shakespeare Hospice celebrates 10 years of CEO’s success The Shakespeare Hospice recognised 10 years’ success of the charity’s Chief Executive Officer, Angie Arnold, at its 2019 AGM in Stratford Town Hall. Since joining the Hospice in January 2009, Angie has implemented innovations which have seen patient referrals treble in number and a diverse range of new services introduced to support those with life limiting illnesses in the local community. These include the pioneering 24/7 Hospice at Home Service, introduced in 2004, and a unique Children and Family Support Service,

established in 2014 as a result of a hugely successful £1.2m fundraising campaign. A life-long Warwickshire resident, Angie began her career as a Registered General Nurse in 1984. Since then, she has held many senior posts in the NHS and hospice sector, from Ward Manager to Director of Nursing, specialising in cancer support and palliative care. A key achievement of her time at The Shakespeare Hospice to date has been the GSK/ King’s Fund Impact Award, which the Hospice received in 2016. Selected from more than 400 health care organisations nationwide, the award

recognised the Hospice’s excellence in improving health and wellbeing in the local community. Jo Poyner, Head of Clinical Services, and Karen Davies, Head of Income Generation, said: “We feel very privileged to work with Angie at The Shakespeare Hospice and are incredibly proud of the transformation she has made over the past ten years to the services we provide. The work we do ensures every adult and child in our community living with a life limiting illness, and those who matter to them, are supported with the care and compassion they deserve.

Instagram provides a boost for tourism Tourist hotspots in Warwickshire are bringing a new generation of visitors to the region after being featured in the list of most instagrammable places in the UK. Warwick and Stratfordupon-Avon have made it into the top 25 list of the most Instagrammable historic towns in the UK following research by HometoGo, the world’s largest holiday rental search engine. The research, which will help visitors find the best location for the perfect travel

selfie, shows which historic towns have the most tagged hashtags used on Instagram, with Warwick coming in at 19 and Stratford at 24. Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for South Warwickshire who work to promote the region both domestically and internationally, has expressed how important it is that the county’s historic towns are recognised as some of the most beautiful in the UK.

She said: “It’s wonderful to see that our locations have been featured on this list alongside some of the most beautiful historic towns in the UK. “Both Warwick and Stratford are towns with rich histories, with Shakespeare’s connection to the region and Britain’s ultimate castle in Warwick continuing to bring visitors there and to the wider region to experience the range of other attractions and activities we have to offer. “Warwickshire is a beautiful area and it’s great to see

“Angie provides excellent leadership to the team at the Hospice, who work tirelessly to ensure that we deliver first class care and we look forward to continuing to work together to improve our services and respond to the changing needs of the local community during the next ten years, and beyond.” that this is bringing in a new generation of selfie-takers looking for the perfect backdrop to come and experience the history of these towns. “This summer has been a particularly positive one in terms of visitor numbers to Warwickshire and we’re hoping this growing trend of new visitors will continue into 2020.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Rugby

The Wigley Group helps risk and intelligence company move into new market

Stewart Griffiths, CEO and co-founder of Albany Group, James Ellerington, director of operations at The Wigley Group, and James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group.

A risk and intelligence company at the forefront of cutting edge technology to help businesses manage regulation and compliance is moving into a new market with the help of a Warwickshire firm. Albany Group, which is headquartered in London and has an office in Rugby, specialises in creating bespoke software and systems within the financial industry.

Its award-winning online portal, Conect, manages and organises all regulatory, compliance, contractual and professional needs of a supply chain, allowing companies to identify risk and stay compliant. Albany Group has identified a gap in the property and construction market, highlighted by the fallout from the collapse of construction

giant Carillion, and is now working with The Wigley Group to develop a system specifically for the sector. The Wigley Group, based in Stockton, Southam, is a leading property, development and construction company in the Midlands. Stewart Griffiths, CEO and cofounder of Albany Group, said: “Conect brings 21st century capability to the regulation, performance and auditing of suppliers, and has been a real game-changer for businesses we work with in the insurance and banking sectors. “We are now looking to develop it for other industries, including property and construction. There is huge risk in the construction industry and the financial impact can be massive, as has been seen with Carillion. “The Wigley Group is an ideal partner for us to be working with to test the market and fully

understand the requirements and needs, and with us will be pioneering a new way forward in regulation management for the sector.” James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said:“Risk control runs right through every area of our operations at Wigley and working with Albany Group enables us to monitor and manage our assets and supply chain in a far more efficient and effective manner. “Its technology brings all of the information we need into one place, from financials to performance and change, which means we can easily and quickly identify any risks from a financial and best practice perspective. “It will help us set up for the future both in terms of our business plans and industry standards, and future proofing ourselves from any uncertainty in the market or downward cycle in the economy.”

Rugby care home scoops awards at national gardening competition Anya Court Care Home in Rugby was awarded ‘Best Gardening Club’ at the annual Hallmark in Bloom gardening competition. During the special event, resident at the home, Gerald Dyer, 81, was also presented with the ‘Carry on Gardening’ award in recognition for his efforts in helping to create a wonderful garden for everyone to enjoy. The home, which offers residential, dementia and nursing care was praised for its use of outdoor space, garden innovation and their resident engagement in the company-wide competition. The Hallmark in Bloom competition first established in 2003, encourages residents and the local community to get involved in gardening, be it by planting pots or simply sitting in the garden and joining in with the conversation. As part of this year’s celebrations, visitors to the home enjoyed a 1940s themed celebration with live entertainment from vintage singer, Cathy Brady. The special event also included cream tea being served in the beautiful gardens.

Lifestyles Team Leader at Anya Court Sue Mitchell said: “We were especially happy to win the ‘Best Gardening Club’ award at Hallmark in Bloom this year. “As a club we had a vision of what we wanted to achieve in our little garden sanctuary and the residents and lifestyles team worked very hard to achieve this. The residents are incredibly proud and are spurred on to even better results next year.” Entrants were judged on resident and community involvement, innovation in their garden areas and the overall garden experience. Training, Education and Consultancy Manager for Thrive and Hallmark in Bloom Judge, Damien Newman, said: “It was, as ever, a pleasure to be involved in Hallmark in Bloom. I always receive such a warm welcome and it’s lovely to see so many familiar faces and new enthusiastic team members. “The standard of gardening and using gardens for health and wellbeing across the homes, continues to get better and better. Amongst the homes, there are outstanding examples of how gardens

can become an extension of care home life and enhance the wellbeing and health of the people you care for.” Anya Court Care Home is part of Hallmark Care Homes, the award-winning care provider established in 1997 with 18 care homes across England and Wales. Hallmark Care Homes’ registered nurses and trained carers are highly qualified and take pride in delivering 22 years of excellent relationship-centred care. Anya Court Care Home provides residential, dementia and nursing care.

Strategy firm uses crime-solving approach to get businesses growing Evidence bags, secret stashes, incident rooms and crime scene markers are not what you’d expect to find in your average business workshop, but for one local strategy firm these are tools of the trade and carry a serious message about hunting down business growth. Fiona Lomas, Founder and Director of strategy consultancy The Brand Detectives, believes the answers to critical business challenges are often known internally, but there aren’t enough opportunities to share and discuss opposing ideas. “Aligned views on challenges and solutions are great, if they’ve been thoroughly investigated, but if they’re reached too quickly, and without candid input from the key team members at all levels, it can stifle differing views and allow businesses to choose a path that will later prove to have been wrong.”


This can be hugely costly for companies trying to reach their growth objectives. In workshops attendees are encouraged to step out of their day-to-day roles and work together as a squad to solve the challenge. They’re asked to be candid, share their gut feelings, consider different perspectives and challenge their current thinking, much like detectives hunting for evidence to solve a crime. The benefits of a workshop like this can go beyond just solving the business problem the squad is working on, it can also help teams to feel more comfortable sharing their ideas, doubts and different views, in an open, non-confrontational way. The Brand Detectives work with businesses of all sizes using this evidence-led, investigative approach. Feedback from previous workshop attendees has been incredibly positive

with one firm saying: ‘Super pleased! Great workshop using the evidence-based approach, including the props – loved it. Good to have an external view on our challenge, facilitating us to come to the right strategic direction.’ Investigate page 35 for further information.

Sponsored Column

Property Time Bomb 6 April 2020 is a date to be aware of, when the latest raft of changes come in and the landlords’ property tax time bomb well and truly goes off! The key changes coming in are: • Restriction of Principle Private Residence Relief (PPRR) • Letting relief changes • New Capital Gains Tax payment date • New Capital Gains Tax only returns • Full impact of interest restrictions If you’re in the position where you: • Own a property, and • Have previously, but no longer live in it, and • Currently let it Then the combination of all of the above changes will make a significant tax difference to you if you sell after 5 April 2020. In addition to the changes to Principle Private Residence Relief, the government is also introducing a reporting requirement on the sale of all UK residential properties. This would include residential investment property and also situations in which the sale of a person’s home is not fully covered by PPRR. In such situations a new “Capital Gains Tax only” return must be completed within 30 days of completion of the property sale and any liability arising is due at the same time. Currently the need to report a capital gain is undertaken on a regular Self-Assessment tax return and any payment of tax on the gain due on 31 January following the tax year in which the disposal is made. Hence, the new requirements are a significant increase in administration and reduction in cashflow. The most important next step is to stop and think as to what you want to do next and not just bury your head in the sand hoping it will go away! There are many ways of structuring a self-disposal based on your individual circumstances. As such if this is an area you would like to explore further then please contact Matt Harrison on mh@cottonsllp.com to arrange a one to one consultation.

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Here for your journey

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

The Brand Detectives

Countdown to 2020: Are you hunting for growth? Having a clear and compelling strategic plan can be the difference between growth and decline. With 2020 approaching it’s a great time to sharpen up your strategy and plans, ensuring your business is fit for growth in time for the new year. Many SMEs hove no formal strategic plan and for those that do, it can be tempting to take the previous year’s plan and make a few tweaks. If you delivered a strong year, and nothing significant has changed in your market, then small changes may be enough for 2020. However, if you forecasted better results, or you are ready to take your business to the next level, it might be time to take a closer look. As a strategy consultancy, The Brand Detectives is focused on hunting down sustainable growth for established businesses and brands, using an investigative, evidence-led approach. Whether delivering a strategic planning process, or tackling a specific business challenge, we help our clients across the Midlands, UK and Europe to grow, despite the challenging commercial environment. Fiona Lomas (MSc, MCIM) founded the company in 2018 after spending more than 15 years in marketing developing and turning around much-loved UK and global consumer brands, including NIVEA, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Fox’s Biscuits. During her time working in both the UK and Germany, Fiona developed an ability to cut through the layers and find the key challenge that would unlock growth if solved, even in brands that had not grown for years. Since launching the business Fiona

has worked with clients from diverse sectors, including consumer brands, charities, professional services and online retailers. “I believe strategy is about making choices. Reasoned, considered and consistent choices. Choosing your market, your offering, your customers and how you serve them. Then considering all of this in relation to your competitors, and the impact of other stakeholders on your business. It’s about aligning your whole company behind achieving a compelling, differentiating vision and commercial objectives, through effective strategies and plans. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from working in this way.” The Brand Detectives offer big business thinking, distilled into an effective strategic planning process for SMEs. We understand how challenging and time consuming running a strategic planning process can be without support, especially if it’s been some time since the last strategy review. Our process is designed to support you and your business, with us taking the strain behind the scenes. Using our bespoke PLAN IT! Toolkit to build the strategy, we work together to answer three critical questions: 1. Where is the business now? 2. Where do you want the business to be? 3. What’s getting in the way? The first step is to complete a full analysis of the current internal and external situation, following the clues to uncover where the business is now. This might include interviewing

key team members, customers and suppliers, customer and sales data interrogation, market research, competitor strategy reviews and investigating market trends. We often find the symptoms are known, but the root causes can be more elusive. The second step explores where the business is going; the long-term vision, mission and values, as well as 1-3-year objectives. This is an iterative process as we understand and explore the implications of different directions for the business. Modelling the commercials is key to ensuring the objectives are realistic and achievable. Getting a business ready for sale needs a different strategy than a company in turnaround, or a business going for step change growth. In the final step we identify what is stopping those objectives from becoming a reality; what’s in the way? This might be lack of investment or existing customer behaviour, but it is just as often about focus and internal systems and processes. Once we know what’s in the way we develop differentiating strategies and plans to overcome them. We develop the critical elements of the strategy during interactive workshops together with you and your team across 2-3 days. A full project takes 1-2 months, depending on team availability and the breadth and accessibility of data. You’ll work directly with Fiona, plus experienced associates when a project requires it. We use the detective theme to encourage teams to be more questioning, objective and analytical.

We ask you to bring all your businessand market understanding to the table. In addition to supporting with data interrogation and analysis, we bring a tried and trusted process, facilitation and constructive challenge, to help develop a strategy you feel both committed to and full ownership for. That ownership is critical for implementation back in the business. At The Brand Detectives, we don’t give off-the-shelf advice; each project is tailored to your needs. Working together we can build a clear and actionable strategic plan to help you grow your business. With two months to go until 2020, if you’d like to find out more about working with us, visit our website or call us to book a FREE initial case consultation. We also have a Chamber Member Offer below for a ½ Day Strategy Review.

Want to solve challenges, grow faster and find new opportunities? There’s still time to call for back up. Using our PLAN IT! Toolkit The Brand Detectives help you get to the bottom of your business challenges and build a strategy to overcome them. A compelling strategic plan will help you focus your resources and hunt down growth in 2020.

***Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Member Offer*** Book a ½ Day Strategy Review Workshop before 31st Dec 2019 for the Special Price of £495+VAT.

Subsequently book and start a PLAN IT! Strategy project within 90 days, the workshop fee will be discounted by £495+VAT*. *Subject to project completion.

fiona@thebranddetectives.com www.cw-chamber.co.uk

| 0121 517 0179 |

www.thebranddetectives.com 35

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Carl Jarvis

Why Outdated Marketing Strategy Kills Manufacturing Businesses questions. The tough, specific, brutally honest, focused and clearly stated questions necessary to decide exactly where you’re sailing your ship and where the biggest future opportunities are. The Microscope is the operational or tactical side. It’s very much an internal focus, looking at YOUR business needs, the short term here-andnow, examining your navel, and being very insular. I always look at the Microscope as being the tactical side of your marketing activities. It’s also focusing on doing your website, your brochure, your PR, social media, or exhibition stand, etc. The premise for my book ‘Marketing for Manufacturers’ is that too many small to mid-size manufacturers spend too much time looking down the Microscope and not enough time looking through the Telescope. You see, the Telescope is about the thinking, external, observational and market intelligence aspect of marketing, whereas the Microscope is the internal, myopic, activity part of marketing.

“When was the last time you did a robust review of your marketing strategy? In fact, when was the last time you considered your business strategy at all?”

I believe the Microscope must always be a function of the Telescope and not the other way around.

I’d like you to think about your marketing from two perspectives. One is you looking down a Microscope and the other is you looking through a Telescope. Which one of these methods did you use to arrive at your current marketing strategy? And which method do you continue to use to develop your future marketing strategy?

But too many manufacturers tell me, we just need to get the website done (tactics) then we’ll take a look at the strategy. The trouble is, the website should be a function of the strategic thinking, not the other way around. It’s like the photographer who says, I’m too busy to properly focus my camera (strategic) I’ve got to press on and take these photographs (tactical). This is what I call the busy-ness of marketing. How many small to mid-size manufacturers are operating with this kind of blurred, fuzzy view of their marketing strategy and wondering why they’re not getting effective results? It’s a large number!

The Telescope is about looking and considering where the future is heading, what are the trends, what are others doing in your industry, where are your customers heading, where are your customers’ markets heading? It’s the blue-sky thinking regards what’s happening out there in the big wide world. It’s certainly the thinking, research and intelligence part of marketing. Ultimately, it’s about asking and answering better strategic

I believe this indifference and apathy towards telescope marketing is what I call in the book ‘The Great Marketing Gap”. And it’s costing manufacturers, and the UK economy, around £24billion a year. You see, too many manufacturers either have no marketing strategy for their business, or the strategy they have is obsolete. And guess why it could be obsolete? It’s because of rapid change.

Call to Action:

#1 Bestseller on

Chapter 10 of Carl’s book has 14 of the most powerful questions you need to ask yourself to develop an effective marketing strategy.

You can download a free list of the top 9 questions, from his website, at www.carljarvis.com/topquestions www.cw-chamber.co.uk

You know, today change itself is changing. In the last 20 years’ it’s gone from incremental change to exponential change. Which means the change gap is widening at an ever-increasing rate. So, you need to ask yourself: “When was the last time I did a strategic marketing review of where my manufacturing business is today and where is it heading?” I’m often asked: “How regularly should you be reviewing your marketing and business strategy?” It depends on how dynamic your industry is, but as a rule of thumb you should be considering it at least every 2 years, if not sooner with a more technology driven industry, especially checking for market disrupters. You could be in a market where a new development or innovation can bring about a dramatic and disruptive impact on your entire industry, let alone your business. But if you’re not taking the time to review its impact you could be the BlockBuster working really hard trying to press on renting more videos and DVDs in a market where you’re not adapting to the changing landscape and environment towards digital downloads. And I don’t need to tell you what happened as a consequence. You see, when you set a strategy you have a certain set of assumptions. i.e. This is the way my industry is…this is the way it’s going to be…this is what I’m doing in order to take advantage of it. But when you have dramatic changes in the economy, industry and technology, what you have to do is pull back and say…the situation here may have changed…so my strategy has to change. The problem is, if you don’t have a strategy… you are forced to OPERATE! But when you’re just operating, you’re like the person who’s constantly looking down the microscope, too focused on your next step instead of looking at the road ahead. This can be the difference between a thriving growing business and one that’s continually struggling or stagnating. So, when was the last time you reviewed your marketing strategy? If it’s been more than two years ago you need to make this a top priority, and SOON!

About The Author: Carl Jarvis (MCIM and Senior Marketing Advisor) specialises in private consulting for small to mid-size (SME) businesses under £10million, with an emphasis on Manufacturers. Originally a qualified mechanical and production engineer, since 1999 he’s been an independent senior marketing advisor, guide, educator, mentor, and speaker who brings a refreshing perspective to top-level boardroom decision-making. As a bestselling author, also working internationally, he delivers independent strategic marketing consultancy to SME business owners and managers to help them win dream customers. www.carljarvis.com

Looking for Grant Funded Marketing Support? As a Business Ready Growth Specialist for the University of Warwick Science Park, Carl can deliver his strategic marketing consultancy to SME’s, based within the Coventry & Warwickshire area, paid for by UWSP, ERDF & Warwickshire CC, which is completely free of charge to you, the business owner. If you have the characteristics and ambition for growth, want to access new markets, and are interested in securing new customers, winning new orders and looking for proven marketing methods, then email Carl at Carl@CarlJarvis.com, express your interest in the ‘Business Ready Marketing Support’ and Carl will arrange a brief phone call to check your eligibility & requirements. T: 07968 960 542

E: carl@carljarvis.com W: www.CarlJarvis.com


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Education MTI leader adds employer voice SSW Skills Support for the to emerging technical education Workforce - Esmie Restaurant Lisa Bingley, the MIRA Technology Institute’s Operations Director, is set to join the body responsible for the development of highprofile T-Level qualifications and apprenticeships as a panel member for engineering and manufacturing. Lisa joins the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education as part of a team led by Dr Graham Honeyman CBE, Chief Executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, that includes representatives from E.ON UK, Jaguar Land Rover and the Ministry of Defence. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education is also responsible for T-Levels, the twoyear technical study programmes set to become one of three major options for students to study at Level 3 alongside apprenticeships and A-Levels. This commitment, which Lisa takes on alongside her full-time role at the MTI, involves detailed oversight of apprenticeship standards and T-Levels to ensure that they meet the needs of students, businesses and the wider economy. Panel members for the Institute are experts in their industry, with outstanding occupational knowledge, exceptional experience and a critical grasp of the future skills

needs of their sectors. Selected to represent the employer voice within the Institute, panel members are all passionate advocates for apprenticeships and T-Level qualifications. Lisa said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been selected to join the engineering and manufacturing route panel for the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education and look forward to making an impact at this critical time for British industry and education. “It is essential that we enable organisations to upskill their workforces in the most meaningful way, bringing highly relevant skills to an employment market that is experiencing rapid change. With the current spotlight on green energy, we are especially keen at the MTI to make sure that companies put themselves in the best position to compete in the new and disruptive technologies affecting the automotive sector, particularly those affecting emissions, driverless and electric vehicles.” The MIRA Technology Institute was built with a £9.5m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy. MTI is located on the MIRA Technology Park in Nuneaton.

PET-Xi’s Skills Support for the Work Force Programme, funded by European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency in Partnership with Serco, has been successfully used by Esmie’s Restaurant in Coventry to improve their customer service knowledge and skills. SSW focuses on small and medium sized businesses. PET-Xi is delivering vocational training to meet the needs of both individual employees and the business, in the form of accredited Level 2 IT training, Customer Service training and Team Leader courses. The programme develops employees’ expertise and knowledge to improve skills and productivity to the workforce About the business Esmie’s Caribbean Kitchen is a familyrun restaurant. The business is inspired by her family’s heritage, the love of food and of good times with family and friends. Situated in Fargo village in Coventry, Emsie’s is part of the Digbeth Dining club who are well known for their street food. The challenge Esmie’s has recently undergone a restructure and new brand profile. When PET-Xi met with their consultant, a training-needs analysis highlighted the improvement of customer service skills for their front of house team. The team had very low confidence and understanding of how to effectively handle customer complaints. Emsie’s wanted to improve the personal development of the team as a means of boosting productivity, which is making them a great fit with our programme. The Solution Five of their front of house staff completed a Level 2 Customer Service

qualification. This qualification provides learners with the knowledge and understanding in customer services for learners who deal or intend to deal with customers daily as part of their job role and is applicable to a variety of work environments. The results Julia works as a waitress at Esmie’s. She enrolled on the programme to improve her customer service skills, completed the 4-day programme with PET-Xi and successfully achieved a Level 2 in Customer Service. ‘I have progressed and gained better understanding of customer service and developed skills in handling customer problems and working effectively as a team. I now understand the importance of interpersonal skills such as listening skills within the team to improve effectiveness and productivity’ “In the current financial and political climate, employee development training like our Skills Support for programme is invaluable in helping businesses to flourish and grow. Skills growth is supporting employees not only to stay in secure employment but also progress, by gaining more responsibility and improving their earning potential,” explained PETXi’s Managing Director Fleur Sexton.

Lean Awareness

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BOOK TODAY: www.manufacturinggrowthprogramme.co.uk/workshops 40


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Sponsored Column

Principal speaks on future jobs at World Skills UK Russia Conference

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College was represented as part of a global debate on training the future workforce at an international skills conference in Russia this summer. Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of the NWSLC college group and the Midland Academies Trust spoke at the WorldSkills Conference in Kazan, Russia in August. The conference, which welcomed 1,200 participants from around the world, including industry leaders, policy makers, education

and training providers, researchers, and changemakers, enables ideas and trends in technical and professional training to be discussed against the backdrop of future skills demands. As part of the ‘Skills for Change’ conference theme, Marion joined panellists from the International Labour Organisation and the Youth for Technology Foundation to discuss how the world can train an agile generation of skilled young people for the future and help them to make sure that their skills will remain relevant in the face of economic, social and technological transformation. Marion said, “The pace of change and developments in technology, including AI and machine learning, will bring fast-paced changes to the employment market to the

extent that it is impossible to predict all the jobs of the future. We need to think about how training will change and how we can properly support our teachers and trainers to adapt to the demands of this new world. “Teaching will need to focus even more on stimulating creativity and innovation to equip young people with the skills to solve some of the problems facing the modern world from sustainability and transport, to disease and hunger. Teachers will increasingly be required to create the conditions in which young people can be curious and use their imaginations to explore ideas that expand horizons and generate new ideas. “I was pleased to contribute to the debate which sets the scene for a broader development agenda and

influences the priorities set by the UN Agenda 2030, as well as the Youth Declaration on the future of skills and technical education.” Delegates at the WorldSkills Conference represented more than 65 countries and were joined by more than 600 participants from Russia who were identified as changemakers across the country. The conference is part of the bi-annual WorldSkills competition which attracts more than 1,600 competitors. At this event, young people from all corners of the globe gather together for the chance to win a prestigious medal in their chosen skill. Competitors represent the best of their peers and are selected from skills competitions that are held in WorldSkills Member countries and regions.

New careers strategy for Warwickshire Warwickshire residents are to benefit from a new Careers Strategy which addresses the needs of anyone wanting to enter the world of work, change jobs, or re-train. After a public consultation which took place over the summer, Warwickshire County Council has approved the Strategy, which is flexible, adaptable and forward-looking as it promotes the key transferable skills and competencies that are being increasingly recognised as the foundation for future employment. It is also inclusive and reflects the County Council’s commitment to ensuring that all residents, whatever their age, or abilities, are supported in fulfilling their potential. One of the strategy’s key benefits is holding a wide range of supporting information and advice in one place. New web pages on the County Council’s website are being developed which will contain all the information needed for anyone wishing to find out how they can progress. Whether they are a young person; a parent; an adult looking to retrain; a care leaver; or a business

planning to recruit or develop its existing workforce – they will be directed to the relevant information and support available. Cllr Colin Hayfield, County Council Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning, said: “Effective careers and employability advice and support are critical components of a successful local economy. They can help people gain the skills needed by local employers, and also facilitate social mobility by raising aspirations and highlighting career pathways individuals may not have thought of. “We are fortunate to live in a county with a strong economy and high levels of employment, but this will only be maintained if we continue to help our residents, whatever their age, or stage of life, make the most of their potential in the world of work. “The new Careers Strategy focuses on supporting our young people as they prepare for employment, but it also recognises that we have an adult population who may want to re-enter the workplace, change careers, or progress

at work during their working life. We are placing a significant focus on supporting our more vulnerable residents, such as those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to move into employment. We also give special consideration to residents with mental health needs and the resources available to support them in the workplace.” The County Council’s new Careers Strategy has five key priorities: • Raising the awareness of the range of career and employment opportunities locally, inspiring residents of all ages to develop their education and skills as far as possible • Building the capacity of our education providers to deliver effective and sustainable Careers support and advice • Providing targeted support and help to our most vulnerable learners • Improving alignment of demand and supply of skills, now and in the future • Encouraging and enabling businesses to recruit from a richer and wider talent pool.

Career Support for Warwickshire State-funded secondary schools and FE colleges How careers guidance in secondary schools and FE colleges is managed and delivered is changing and the provision has recently become subject to Ofsted inspection. Chamber Member Career Seekers Direct, who deliver ‘an all age, all stage career guidance and employability skills service’, are supporting Warwickshire schools and FE colleges with the implementation of these changes.


Having recently been awarded a contract funded by Warwickshire County Council’s Skills for Employment programme, the opportunity gives state funded schools and FE colleges a free day’s career support. This will be delivered by Career Seekers Direct’s experienced team and could for example be a “Mocksted Inspection” of the existing career activities or a review of the existing career’s programme. After the day’s support, Career Seekers Direct will provide the school or FE college with a report including best practice ideas that they could implement.

The support is available between now and the end of March 2020 and Career Seekers Direct look forward to supporting schools and FE colleges with this key activity. Warwickshire schools and FE colleges interested in applying for the support should contact Eva Harrison, Career Seekers Direct via enquiries@careerseekersdirect.co.uk Or for more information on the Career Support Service or Warwickshire County Council’s Skills for Employment programme please contact Glenn Robinson at glennrobinson@Warwickshire.gov.uk

Bringing through the next generation of talent Companies in Coventry and Warwickshire are being urged to take advantage of government funding that will enable them to bring through the next generation of talent at minimal cost. Coventry College, the city’s leading further education provider, has revealed eight key apprenticeship roles that employers can take advantage of by using the Apprenticeship Levy. The Levy enables employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million to take on apprentices and pay 5 per cent of the cost of training, with the remaining 95 per cent funded by the government. Companies with a wage bill of more than £3 million have to pay 0.5 per cent of it towards the Apprenticeship Levy, and are also being urged to ensure they are reaping the benefits by hiring apprentices. Coventry College currently has apprentices seeking opportunities in the following roles: • Events Officer • HR Support Officer • Recruitment Assistant • Marketing Executive • Safety Health and Environment Officer • Project Management Support • Commercial Procurement Emma Ingram, Head of Employer Engagement at Coventry College, said: “These apprenticeship roles have been created by the college to reflect the demand from employers, and we are urging companies of all sizes to contact us about hiring an apprentice. “Millions of pounds of central funding is sat there waiting to be used, and the eight roles that we have available barely scratch the surface of the different apprenticeships that are available by working with Coventry College. “Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular route for school leavers and adults looking to retrain – we currently have more than 400 apprentices alone. “There are many benefits from employing an apprentice. They enable employers to take on individuals who can put into practice the skills that they have already learned at the college, meet increasing demand from customers to improve their bottom line, while increasing chances of employee loyalty.” For more information about taking on an apprentice, contact Emma Ingram via eingram@CoventryCollege.onmicrosoft.com or call 024 7679 1700.



Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire continue to benefit from £4.5m skills training fund Small and medium sized enterprises in Coventry and Warwickshire, are urged to take advantage of a £4.5m skills training fund to upskill their workforce. The training is delivered as part of the Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme, which Serco is managing across Coventry and Warwickshire. Serco works in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to provide skills development that focuses on upskilling employees in key priority sectors as identified in the CWLEP’s strategic economic plan. What does this mean for your business? Through SSW, eligible businesses can benefit from funded training, tailored to their specific needs. Training is flexible and businesses can select full qualifications or mix-and-match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. SSW programme participants typically benefit from increased employee confidence, motivation and increased productivity,

improved employee loyalty and staff retention rates. Business participants will benefit from a bespoke Training Needs Analysis that identifies requirements for upskilling or skills gaps in their workforce. Training for participant businesses could cover subjects such as; IT and digital skills, leadership and management, marketing or more vocationally relevant courses. Esmie’s Caribbean Kitchen, based in Coventry, recently upskilled staff in an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service and Level 2 IT Training through Skills Support for the Workforce. One waitress reflected: “I have progressed and gained better understanding of customer service and developed skills in handling customer problems and working effectively as a team. I now understand the importance of interpersonal skills such as listening skills within the team to improve effectiveness and productivity” Skills Support for Redundancy – Are you facing tough decisions? The SSW programme in Coventry and Warwickshire also offers

support and training for individuals at risk of redundancy or those who have been made redundant within the last three months. Individuals facing redundancy will be provided with access to funded skills training, retraining and careers guidance to assist with their re-employment. The programme also supports employers to ensure their employees get the skills support they need. Get involved – Find out more The SSW programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Serco has partnered with expert training organisations, who know the local business landscape, to offer both accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses, aiming to enhance employees’ skills and increase the competitiveness of the businesses. W: www.serco-ssw.com E: skillssupport@serco.com T: @serco_SSW

Skills Support for the Workforce in Coventry and Warwickshire Funded training to help your business grow! You could be eligible to benefit from: •

Fully funded courses and recognised, accredited qualifications

A detailed needs analysis to identify your training needs

Tailored, flexible training packages

Contact us at: skillssupport@serco.com to find out more and apply. SSW is delivered by Serco and co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency



Recycling and reducing landfill for your business The Council looks after hundreds of local services that help the city to keep moving, keep the city’s streets clean and improve the quality of life for everyone.

Flexible, safe and secure

Alongside this the local authority also provides commercial projects that can help businesses, universities and schools manage the work they do on a day-to-day basis.

This includes its commercial waste service, which in recent years has grown and is proving

a popular choice for a range of organisations in the way they manage waste.

Here’s a quick guide to what customers can expect from the Council’s commercial waste service.

A range of services Waste Solutions offer a variety of services at competitive prices including hazardous and clinical waste collections, wheeled bin collections, waste compaction, skip hire, bulky waste collections, confidential waste collections and a variety of recycling programmes.

A solution to waste

Wheelie bins are ideal for customers that produce small volumes of waste on a regular basis or for areas that have problems with vehicle access. On larger industrial premises, Waste Solutions can offer

either multiple containers or daily collections, if needed. For very large amounts of waste, it can provide rollon roll-off containers, large skips or compactors.

A key strand of the Council’s Waste Solutions services is that it is reliable and can help convert waste direct to energy, according to business manager Charlotte Todd. Charlotte said that it offers a one stop solution for waste management needs. She also says that it is a quality approved business supporting the collection, management and disposal of all waste. She added: “I’ve been part of the team here for 15 months and genuinely believe that our local and experienced workforce has a real knowledge of the area – which can make a big difference.

“We offer safe and secure waste collections at competitive rates. We help businesses of all sizes with their waste disposal and recycling needs as well as providing a skip service to local residents. “As a Council, people can trust us to offer a safe and reliable service. Our expert waste team is happy to talk ‘rubbish’ with you and provide a bespoke quote and service.”

Flexibility is key Waste Solutions provide flexible services operating from: MONDAY to FRIDAY 7am to 11pm

SATURDAYS 7am to 1pm

They offer recycling schemes that can help businesses reduce waste disposal costs and become virtually zero-to-landfill. The recycling material collected is sent to specialist treatment facilities and where waste cannot be recycled, it is sent to the waste to energy plant where it will be incinerated and converted to energy.

Suitable for everyone! If you have waste – they want it. If you are a retail

outlet, pub, restaurant, office, wholesale or warehouse facility, industrial unit, school/college or medical facility then please get in touch! For a free no obligation quotation or discussion please do not hesitate to contact the expert waste team on

024 7683 2255 or visit coventry.gov.uk/wastesolutions

President & People

Advent picks Berry as latest recruit

Fighting the good fight Dear All My day job is as a Chartered Surveyor; I am a Commercial Property Agent and a Registered Valuer. What I do is to help people find or rent commercial property including land and investments and tell them what its value is (or its worth, which is a different concept). We are very busy at Bromwich Hardy as, although the marketplace has a shortage of available stock, whether factories, warehouses, offices, development sites etc., there is consistently excess demand over supply in our region and the picture is particularly acute in Coventry and Warwickshire. As a result we have been experiencing strong rent and capital growth, which means commercial property continues to get more expensive. In fact we have set new records in a number of areas. This is down to the market dynamics of demand and supply. One of the causes for this is the lack of development of new commercial property, particularly in the small to medium size range, where SME’s (many of our members) operate. The reason for the lack of development is due to a lack of available land, high land purchase costs, high build costs and the difficulties in obtaining finance. Another reason for lack of supply and rising prices and rents is the amount of previously commercial space that has been redeveloped for residential uses, restricting supply further. The lack of development land is a particular issue that needs to be resolved, which is why your Chamber – as the Voice of Business - continues to lobby hard for Local Authorities and the planning system to come up with the goods. We have recently welcomed the Market Signal Study commissioned by our region’s Local Authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership, which reinforces our long-held view that current land allocations are woefully short of what the market needs. Given that there is at last a route to fixing the Brexit impasse that has caused paralysis to businesses, through the forthcoming general election, there’s a strong chance that 2020 will see a resurgence of pent-up investment activity. But this could be cut off, without businesses having space to grow. So we continue to fight on to ensure that our region’s businesses can have the opportunities to thrive, grow and support jobs in a strong economy.

Midlands PR and media firm Advent Communications has continued its growth by appointing a new account manager. Rhys Berry has joined the Coventry-based company from an industry trade publication, where he had worked as a reporter before becoming news editor. The appointment comes on the back of a series of new client wins for Advent, which has been in business for 21 years. Rhys will work across a range of clients in the firm’s portfolio

including in the education and professional services sectors. Director Lee Corden said: “It’s great to have someone with Rhys’s experience in journalism on board. Working for a trade title means being able to take quite technical information and turning into copy that’s engaging and interesting for the reader.” Rhys said: “Making the move into PR was something I had been considering and when the opportunity arose to join Advent, it was too good to miss.”

Advent director Lee Corden (left) with new recruit Rhys Berry

Creavo appoints Andrew Mullen to Board of Directors UK medical device company Creavo Medical Technologies has appointed its Operations Director Andrew Mullen to its Board of Directors, a role which will see him lead on research and development (R&D) and regulatory affairs. Andrew has held the Operations Director role at Creavo for more than a year, where he advised the Board on regulatory matters and product development. He has been formally appointed to the Board in preparation for the company’s next regulatory phase, and ahead

of commercialisation of its portable magnetocardiography (MCG) device Corsens® in the EMEA region. Steve Parker, CEO of Creavo, said: “Andrew’s experience and leadership will be vital in ensuring that we rigorously follow our roadmap for the development of Corsens®, which involves moving from product development to fullscale manufacturing ahead of commercialisation. R&D will be focused on ensuring the device is as user-friendly as possible within its intended emergency department setting, where we see it playing a transformative role in the rule out of acute coronary syndromes.” Andrew said: “I am proud to join Creavo’s Board of Directors and I am committed to driving forward the next phase of development. We will be beginning several clinical studies early next year, which will provide

us with crucial data to inform ongoing device improvement.” Prior to joining Creavo in 2018, Andrew had more than 18 years’ experience in senior operational roles. Most recently, he held the role of Group Operations Director for global radiotherapy business Xstrahl where he was responsible for manufacturing, customer service, and quality & regulatory activities covering the UK, Germany and North American business units. Corsens® has the potential to help physicians accurately and quickly rule out acute coronary syndromes with a simple, non-invasive scan within minutes at a patient’s bedside. Early identification of patients who are not at risk potentially reduces patient anxiety and saves the healthcare system valuable time, resources and bed space.

International recognition for Midlands solicitor A Coventry solicitor has secured her position as a leading lawyer in the region after making it on to an international list targeted at high net worth individuals. Michelle Gavin, head of the wills, trusts and probate at Band Hatton Button solicitors at Earlsdon Park, has been listed in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2019. The guide uses in-depth analysis from consumers and other professionals to recommend advisors such as lawyers and accountants to high net worth individuals across the world. The Chambers High Net Worth Guide interviewees say that Michelle is “very approachable, knowledgeable and always delivers what she says she will,” adding that she “goes above and beyond, and there’s no such thing as a stupid question” and is “deeply professional and committed to what she does.”

It comes off the back of a year of growth for Band Hatton Button’s wills, trusts and probate team which also saw it move up a tier in the similarly prestigious Legal 500 guide – while the firm as a whole also improved its ranking in the guide, which is a leading directory of UK legal practices. Michelle said: “I’m honoured to be recognised in such a prestigious guide which will hopefully contribute to the firm’s future long-term growth. As a team we are committed to helping our clients put their personal affairs into good order. “As members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) we are at the forefront of legal developments and best practice in asset protection and wealth management. Our team also includes members of other national organisations such as Solicitors for the Elderly and the Law Society’s Private Client Section. We have one of the largest and most successful private client practices in Coventry.

Michelle Gavin

“To have moved up a ranking in the Legal 500 and received recognition in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide is a great achievement for my team and testament to the work we do day in, day-out and we look forward to another strong year.”

Best regards David Penn



Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

MTC announces Sir David Brown as new Chairman Another string to organisation, whilst at the same Engineering, a Chartered The Manufacturing Engineer and a past president Technology Centre has time delivering considerable Debbie’s bow of the Institution of Electrical announced the appointment productivity benefits to Engineers. of Sir David Brown as Chairman. Sir David brings a wealth of experience to the MTC following a distinguished career in telecommunications and electronics, including Chairman of Motorola Ltd and Chairman of BSI. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of

Sir David said, “I have been greatly impressed by the contribution that the MTC has made to UK manufacturing and I am very much looking forward to joining the Board as the MTC embarks on the next phase of its development.” He David succeeds Alex Stephenson CBE, who has been instrumental in guiding the MTC through a period of unprecedented growth for the

manufacturing companies across several sectors. Chief Executive Dr Clive Hickman said, “I would like to thank Alex Stephenson for his unwavering support for the MTC during his tenure. He has been a fantastic advocate for Great British manufacturing. “I am looking forward to working with Sir David, as we embark on the next stage of our remarkable journey.”

Major appointment at Deeley Group A senior Midlands property figure has taken up a new role – and will ensure a respected name lives on. Eleanor Deeley, formerly a partner at Cushman & Wakefield who headed the Midlands residential team, has been appointed as the deputy managing director of the Deeley Group, a firm started by her grandfather in 1936. Eleanor has 20 years’ experience in the property industry, including a nineyear spell at director level at CBRE, and has expertise in housing, mixed-use schemes and land development and investment across a range of property sectors. Her new role will see her guiding the day-to-day operations of the £50 million turnover firm which includes construction, development and housing, as well as developing a longer-term

strategy for the company which is based in Coventry. She said: “I am really excited at the prospect of joining the Deeley Group as it is a company which has played a massive part in my life. “I can remember going into the offices as a child, so to be going back there as a director having worked for two decades in the property industry is a great opportunity. “I have seen the company go from strength to strength from very close at hand over decades, but to now be given the chance to help guide its fortunes is a massive privilege. “My grandfather might have started the company before World War II, but the ethos of developing sustainably and responsibly while always adhering to the highest professional

Peter Hartill, Eleanor Deeley, Peter Deeley

and ethical standards have remained true through the intervening years.” The Deeley Group has developed across the UK and internationally under current managing director Peter Deeley, and has been behind some key developments including the 40-year regeneration of Bermuda in Nuneaton, Belgrade Plaza in Coventry and a whole range of housing and

industrial developments throughout the region. Peter Hartill, chairman of the Deeley Group, said: “This is a very exciting appointment for the company. Eleanor is a massively respected figure in the industry, having held very senior positions at leading international companies but working extensively across this region.”

Coventry and Warwickshire violin teacher Debbie Lynne is taking time out to start a new business. After more than 20 years of teaching she has decided she wanted a change of focus, and as she is also a qualified and experienced careers guidance practitioner, setting up a Career Coaching business is the obvious choice. Debbie Lynne Coaching has been set up to meet the need of professionals wishing to change or improve their current employment situations. There may be a variety of reasons for this, such as reducing stress, working out why they may be overlooked for projects of promotion, or wanting a change of direction. Debbie said: “Market research shows that a lot of people are unhappy at work and would like to change jobs. Many of these people have been employed for several years and are not sure how to get started looking for a change, so that’s where a career coach becomes useful. Working with a career coach can result in a better work - life balance, promotion or change of focus, reduced stress, job recognition and improved mental health”. It isn’t all about changing career. Many clients value the opportunity to talk about barriers that they believe they are facing at work. Sometimes having an experienced third party can bring long-term solutions. So, what’s happening with the violin? Debbie, who studied at Coventry School of Music and later at Birmingham Conservatoire, said that music is in her blood and she will be continuing to play for weddings and events.

From legal eagle to travel genie Leading Midlands law firm expands its private wealth and tax teams with a new appointment completely out of sync with the

A leading solicitor, and employment law lecturer, has taken a leap of faith to change her career of ten years to focus on her biggest passion in life. Toni Sharp is retiring from her career as a solicitor to pursue her dream to work within the travel industry. She has recently joined the Chamber of Commerce with her business, My Travel Genie. After realising that her experiences in the legal sector were


reasons why she entered the profession, Toni decided to turn her hand to a passion which she had been working on since 2014 – a role in travel. Toni now works under the banner of award winning company, Holidaysplease, and supports businesses and individuals with booking and organising anything from international conferences, employee reward programmes, club travel (e.g. golfing and cycling trips) and all personal travel & holidays. Toni said “I care about my customers’ travel plans as I would my own. I like to create a bit of magic and, although it may sound a little cheesy, I really do like to make those dreams happen.” My Travel Genie offers the security of ABTA registration under the banner of Holidaysplease and uses ATOL protected operators.

A leading Midlands law firm has expanded its private wealth and tax teams with a new appointment. Leamington-based Wright Hassall has appointed Jordan Hamilton-Cox to the team as a Trust and Tax Executive to assist with the management of tax and trust matters for clients. He joins the company from Baldwins Accountants and also had four years working for HM Revenue & Customs. His appointment to the role of Trust and Tax Executive comes as the firm deals with an increasing number of tax queries and continues to expand the team following the appointment of Israr Manawer as a Tax Consultant earlier this year. Jordan has already introduced new software to the team to help streamline the process of reporting

matters to HM Revenue & Customs and make their work more time-efficient. He said: “I’ve looked to bring in some new software for the team that automates the process of tax filing and also performs additional checks on paper returns to make the process far simpler and more efficient in my new role. “I’m really looking forward to the new role at Wright Hassall and in particular the challenges of moving from an accountancy firm to a law firm, which will be an interesting change. “The team have all been incredibly helpful and I feel as if I have settled in very quickly. Hopefully I can bring a different perspective to some aspects of the work because of my accountancy background.” The award-winning law firm offers advice on mitigating tax liabilities, avoiding and preventing a tax risk or issue

and also assists clients in pursuing professional advisers who have fallen below the standards required. Eamonn Daly, Partner at Wright Hassall added: “We’re pleased to welcome Jordan to his new role and in particular we’re looking forward to seeing the efficiency of the filing process and understanding of HMRC processes that he can bring from his previous roles. “He brings with him important experience and his knowledge will be incredibly useful for the team.”


New Members

Welcome to New Members Strategic Partners

Essential Members

Askews Legal LLP’s

ActionCOACH Warwick (Kevin Riley)

02476 231000 enquiries@askewskegal.co www.askewslegal.co

Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd 01926 514390 enquiries@countrywidegroup.co.uk www.countrywidegroup.co.uk

Nimbus Digital & Technology Innovations Ltd 02476 158712 information@nimbusdti.co.uk www.nimbusdti.co.uk

Corporate Members H I A International Limited 02476 238000 nhibberd@hiaint.com www.hiaint.com

Skye Wellbeing 0800 7734020 info@skyewellbeing.co.uk www.skyewellbeing.co.uk

International Trade Members

01926 942144 kevinriley@actioncoach.com www.warwick.actioncoach.co.uk

AJB HR Consultancy Services Ltd 07808 727883 andrew@ajbhrcs.co.uk www.ajbhrcs.co.uk

Assisto! Ltd 01789 748208 info@assisto.co.uk

Attingham Consulting Engineers Ltd 07760 778525 info@attingham.com www.attingham.com

British Coatings Federation Ltd 02476 935390 nadine.saxon@bcf.co.uk www.coatings.org.uk

info@kootabmyoot.com www.kootabmyoot.com

Wickman Coventry Ltd 02476 547900 o.coyne@wickman.co.uk www.wickman-group.com

Ink Marketing 01216 957906 nick@inknewsletters.co.uk www.inknewsletters.co.uk

KLP Events Ltd 07920 841244 kylie@klpevents.com

Leam Financial Services

F Dixon Precision Grinding and Engineering 02476 688672 sales@fdixon.co.uk www.fdixon.co.uk

Go Ape Coventry 07833 402918 coombe.abbey@goape.co.uk www.goape.co.uk/regions/ midlands

Greybridge Search & Selection Ltd 07779 145997 matt.neale@greybridge.co.uk www.greybridge.co.uk

Proactive Education & Training Ltd 07843 561879 info@proactiveeducation.co.uk www.proactiveeducation.co.uk

SANTex Apparels Ltd 02477 990021 account@santexapparels.com www.santexapparels.com

Shakespeare Martineau 01162 576171 mark.platt@shma.co.uk www.shma.co.uk

Sixcessful Projects and Insights Ltd 07833 160860 mark@sixcessful.co.uk www.sixcessful.co.uk

The United Fresh Consortium 01926 332231 kal@leamfinancialservices.co.uk 01274 743744 www.leamfinancialservices.co.uk christian@unitedfresh.co.uk www.unitedfresh.co.uk LMJ Consulting Group

info@lmjconsultinggroup.com 02476 341809 accounts@mes-systems.co.uk www.mes-systems.co.uk

01788 544561 accounts@fridgexpress.com www.fridgexpress.com

02476 690298

07875 735793 sales@idgenie.co.uk www.idgenie.co.uk

M E S Systems Ltd

02476 635599

Kootab Myoot Community Ltd

ID Genie

01788 521800 mail@draycotehotel.co.uk www.draycotehotel.co.uk

Fridge Xpress UK Ltd


07539 184638 enquiries@ hayescolesconsulting.co.uk www.hayescoleconsulting.co.uk

Draycote Hotel

Brooklyn Bow & Ribbon Co Ltd sue@brooklynbow.co.uk

Hayes & Cole Ltd

Manufacturing and Operations Excellence Ltd 02476 417714 nlawrencemoe@gmail.com

Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa 01789 842424 ha0i8@accor.com www.mercure.com

Miro Logistics Limited 01214 812800 rob@miro-logistics.com www.miro-logistics.com

Open Theatre Company 07891 661001 michelle@opentheatre.co.uk www.opentheatre.co.uk

Tony Fossey 07943 782327 tfossey11@gmail.com

Total Training Company (UK) Ltd 01217 060851 info@total-training.uk.com www.total-training.uk.com

Toyin Dawudu Photography 07717 222324 hello@toyindawudu.co.uk www.toyindawudu.co.uk

Utility Mapping Group Ltd 0800 024 8627 info@u-map.co.uk www.u-map.co.uk

Utility Stream Ltd 01926 935343 hello@utility-stream.com www.utility-stream.com

Vivid 07977 448823 sarah@vividcommunication.co.uk www.vividcommunication.co.uk

When contacting members listed above, The Chamber request that, in line with the Marketing and Advertising Law, you provide a clear ‘unsubscribe’ option. Further details can be found via www.gov.uk/marketing-advertising-law/direct-marketing 46


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Training & Events Chamber Member Price + VAT

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*Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems Level 2 Accreditation



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Import Procedures & Inward Processing (IP)



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Microsoft Excel - Intermediate to Advanced



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Grow Your Business through Social Media



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Time Management



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4 Dec - FULLY BOOKED 10-Dec

C&W Chamber Training Seminars

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Introduction to Mental Health



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Microsoft Excel - Basic to Intermediate



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Prices subject to VAT. * Up to 50% funding may be available for this course, subject to eligibility through Coventry & Warwickshire Skills 4 Growth which supports eligible SMEs to improve skills amongst their workforce

Course dates for the quarter are shown above, please contact C&W Chamber Training on 024 7623 1122 or visit www.cw-chambertraining.co.uk for other course dates and further information

Your Chamber Events Trade Briefing: Intercoms 2020 Tuesday 12th November 2019 9.00am –11.00am Holiday Inn, Kenilworth, CV8 1ED Members: £20 + VAT Non-Members: £25 + VAT

Access to Finance & Business Support

Thursday 14th November 2019 8.00am –11.00am Fanuc UK Ltd, Sapphire Way, Coventry, CV7 9DR FREE

Coventry & Warwickshire’s Annual Economic Conference

Friday 15th November 2019 8.00am –2.00pm DoubleTree by Hilton, Coventry, CV2 2ST Members: £50.00 + VAT Non-Members: £65.00 + VAT

Getting ready for UK City of Culture 2021

Chamber HR & Recruitment Forum

Monday 18th November 2019 10.30am –1.30pm The Box, Fargo Village, Coventry, CV1 5EN FREE

Tuesday 26th November 2019 10.00am –1.00pm Croner Group Limited, Hinckley, LE10 1TG FREE

Innovation in Construction

Annual ALL Branch Lunch

Tuesday 19th November 2019 2.00pm –4.00pm Wright Hassall, Olympus Ave, Leamington Spa, CV34 6BF FREE

Coventry & Warwickshire’s LARGEST Speed Networking Wednesday 20th November 2019 2.00pm –5.00pm Best Western Plus Manor Hotel, Meriden, CV7 7NH FREE

Coventry Telegraph Business Awards Thursday 21st November 2019 Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Cv6 6GE

Friday 6th December 2019 12.00pm –2.30pm Dallas Burston Polo Club, Southam, CV47 2DL FREE

Festive Chamber Means Business Thursday 12th December 2019 11.00am –2.00pm Dunchurch Park Hotel, Rugby, CV22 6QW FREE

Member Drop-In Session Thursday 12th December 2019 10.00am –11.00am Dunchurch Park Hotel, Rugby, CV22 6QW FREE

Check out & book all of our forthcoming events at www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events www.cw-chamber.co.uk Call 024 7665 4321 Email events@cw-chamber.co.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk




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Profile for Benham Publishing Limited

C&W In Business November 2019  

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Managemen...

C&W In Business November 2019  

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Managemen...

Profile for benham