C&W in Business Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce May 220

Page 1

Issue 77

May - June 2020

Fleur Sexton Resilience and reinvention the key to recovery Page 20





Coventry & Warwickshire in business



Dear Chamber of Commerce Member, Well, these are the most unprecedented and, in many ways, challenging times of my lifetime in business and, I suspect, yours. Yet, I know we will get through this and, yes, we will do it “together” as a dynamic, resilient and inventive Coventry and Warwickshire Economy which went into this crisis as one of the strongest local economies in the UK.

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

My thoughts, first and foremost, are with those who have lost their lives to this terrible virus and their loved ones. Secondly, my heartfelt thank you goes to those that are supporting us through it, the NHS, our Police Service and Armed Forces, our Distribution and Retail colleagues and many other key workers. Thirdly, and whatever our party political choices, our thank you should go to national and local Government (our local Councils) for the incredible decisions and acts of support they have shown, to as many people as possible, through job retention schemes, funds for those working in charities, local cash-grant schemes to small businesses, business bounce back loans and much, much more; economic, health and social support combined. Of course, our minds now turn to ‘coming out of lockdown’ and the ‘recovery’ within our economy in the context of, inevitably, a global downturn. Crucial is supporting our manufacturing and construction sectors as we have to stimulate this economy. If you look at ‘recovery’ in terms of “spaces” (not industries or sectors), we all sense that hospitality & tourism will be hardest hit and the last to bounce back, so the Chamber (and partners) will be continuing to find ways we can offer support and it is great to hear that our plans for City of Culture 2021 are ongoing and solid. As we phase and stagger our economic recovery, your Chamber of Commerce which, I would like to suggest, has been the front line service to thousands of local businesses, will launch its’ “Covid19 Recovery Hub” where we will exploit and maximise and invent as much support and advice as possible in order to support our


Members/businesses in the year ahead. Acting in your (Members) best interests is what we are constitutionally here to do - in a not for profit way - and we intend to do it. On your behalf, our lobbying (the voice of local businesses) continues. We identify gaps in business support and we urge the Government to respond and, indeed, we have seen some amazing and recent responses such as the support for self-employed and financial support for BIDs. One of our biggest asks, currently, is that the national Government allow our Local Authorities (Councils) to retain any underspend (from the local, small business cash-grant scheme) and use it to ‘top up’ their new discretionary fund to, again, help local businesses and local people with, perhaps, a focus on recovery and stimulating an economic bounce back. Daily, Leaders of businesses get in touch with me with ideas and suggestions and calls for help (even copies of letters to Boris Johnson!) all of which is digested and used to find solutions or calls for more support. If you want to get in touch, please do so on louiseb@cw-chamber.co.uk Meanwhile, important to say that your Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has remained open for “your” business (including the bank holidays), we are supporting Members; recruiting new Members who recognise our unique value at this time; are running our series of successful “Policy Hour” Branch activity; and offering loads of e-events, networks and, indeed, one-to-one connectivity opportunities. We continue to support exporters and our Key Workers (Export Documentation Team & others) have kept Chamber House open to serve our customers. We continue to see interest in new business start-ups (I know, amazingly good news!) and continue to offer Advisor services. Critically, this is what we are here to do - support the Membership and your business, so get in touch on 02476 654321.

May – June 2020 Covid-19






Member Update


Corporate Profiles 10-11 News


Chamber Training


Chamber Talent










Around the region 30-39 Education & Training


President & People 44-45

Stay safe. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive

New Members


Member Offers



COVID-19: Restart, Rebuild, Renew The official publication of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce ••••


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 1731 © Benham Publishing 2020 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.

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce We are in the midst of a crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen before. The Chamber – as it has done for more than a century – has been working extremely hard to help members through this, at a local level, plugging in regionally and also lobbying directly to Government when we have seen or been informed of gaps in support. Through conversations with decision-makers at every level we have applauded many of the unprecedented measures that have been executed very swiftly to help firms survive this crisis. Measures such as the Job Retention Scheme that has allowed businesses to furlough staff have, genuinely, saved businesses and jobs. The take-up on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) hasn’t been as strong nor as easy to access and, while the Government has improved it and also introduced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, more grant funding may be required as firms remain reticent to take on debt with an uncertain future ahead of them.

Copy deadline 25 June 2020 For further information on the forthcoming features please contact: Terry Brannigan Chamber Sales DD 07841 115444 Terry@benhampublishing.com



Some sectors will return quicker than others and, again, support for some sections of the economy may need to remain in place for longer than for others. Firms will also need clear information on what activities can be undertaken, who can go out to work and what social distancing measures need to be in place.

But as we begin to rebuild an economy, clarity on how we can go about business and working patterns will be vital. None of us anticipate business returning to pre-crisis levels immediately but we would encourage Government to continue to listen to the concerns of business in order to begin to rebuild.

“It’s important that companies start to get a clearer idea of what the short, medium and long-term future might look like and it’s vital that the tap of support isn’t turned off as soon as we are perceived to be through the worst of the crisis.”

The question then is how do we recover? How do we get businesses and - from my perspective – manufacturing up and running?

July - August 2020

Health & Wellbeing The importance of wellbeing in the workplace, both physically and mentally is highlighted by Chamber members who can benefit both business and their most important commodity – their people

The Job Retention Scheme and the ability to furlough staff may need to remain in place in some form over the coming months as businesses start to return to whatever a ‘new normal’ looks like.

Again, one issue we have heard raised through this crisis is that companies haven’t always been 100 per cent clear on what jobs could continue and by whom. The past few weeks have been about tackling the medical crisis in hand and supporting firms to get through the very difficult circumstances that has led to.

Tom Mongan, Vice President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

•••• C&W in Business Advertising Features for 2020 Connectivity Our annual feature reports on how good communications and IT can help a business securely grow.

This brings me to my next point. The future. It’s important that companies start to get a clearer idea of what the short, medium and long-term future might look like and it’s vital that the tap of support isn’t turned off as soon as we are perceived to be through the worst of the crisis.

Having been involved in manufacturing for the best part of half a century, there is little doubt that the current crises could be as bad as the Great Depression from the 1930s. Although in my opinion, due to its very nature, what we are trying to deal with now has the potential to be even worse. The Great Depression started with a major fall in stock prices whereas the current crisis is health-related, resulting in an unprecedented global lockdown of people with all types of businesses unable to operate or function.

The truth is, there is no easy answer, no magic formula that will make our economy bounce back to pre-pandemic times. The Government has taken extraordinary measures to stave off mass redundancies and the amount of money they are throwing about to lessen the impact is staggering. However, they cannot continue to do that indefinitely, businesses need to get back up and running. Instead of distributing money to people for not working, they need to look at ways of stimulating the economy. From a manufacturing

point of view, adopting all the safe practices in the world and making use of the best technology available is meaningless if there are no consumers! The Government needs to find ways to incentivise and where necessary, alter existing strategies, or create new ones, especially for automotive, rail and now aerospace. This crisis has thrown up the importance of manufacturing, it has has shown we need to take back control and not depend on other countries making things for us. Going forward we need a strategy that secures our manufacturing needs so as to make us a lot less vulnerable. In short we need a GB Manufacturing PLC. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

COVID-19: Restart, Rebuild, Renew

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England Prior to the beginning of March, the region’s tourism industry was preparing for the start of peak season in Warwickshire, anticipating a strong 2020 season, but over the last six weeks, the position of these businesses has rapidly changed. On average, nearly 11 million trips are made to Shakespeare’s England every year, and the industry is worth over £777million to the region, employing over 13,000 people, 10 per cent of the overall regional employment, which makes it a particularly significant sector to be hit by the impact of coronavirus. Shakespeare’s England launched a series of surveys in partnership with the West Midlands Growth Company, North Warwickshire Tourism and several of the Business Improvement Districts in Coventry & Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham.

The results showed that over 80 per cent of businesses are experiencing a drop in revenue of more than 50 per cent due to coronavirus, with 65 per cent relying on the Government’s furlough scheme for support. Although the scheme has helped the majority of these businesses to retain staff for the time being, most said they could only survive the current ‘lock-down’ for one to three months, and highlighted the issues with the support on offer. Tourism is a very low-margin sector, with the majority of businesses relying on the peak summer season, so if lockdown remains in place for tourism businesses until later in the year, the results could be catastrophic without government support.

bodies, to ensure the most up to date information is available to our Members and to tourism and hospitality businesses in the area. As we start to move towards a potential easing of lockdown and looking ahead to our restart campaign, the focus will be on domestic visitors and more specifically our local supporters. Our priority is to support South Warwickshire tourism businesses, focusing on welcoming people back to the area once it is safe to do so, and we are looking at initiatives like postcode offers and discounts for local visitors once we enter this stage.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic will hit South Warwickshire’s tourism industry hard, but we are working to support businesses as we look ahead to when domestic tourism will become a focus for many.

“Tourism is a very low-margin sector, with the majority of businesses relying on the peak summer season, so if lockdown remains in place for tourism businesses until later in the year, the results could be catastrophic without government support.”

Shakespeare’s England has also been working with VisitBritain/ VisitEngland, UKinbound, Tourism Alliance, ALVA and other industry

Angela Joyce - CEO of WCG Like many businesses, we transitioned very quickly from a 100 per cent face-to-face organisation, to a 100 per cent virtual one in the space of a few days.

We will follow the Government advice very closely, but we will need to apply it in a way in which allows us to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

That – thanks to our system planning and a great response from staff and students – went very well indeed and now we are planning for our restart. Whatever that will exactly mean in terms of our people and our places is of course dependent on the anticipated government advice.

We want to play our part in economic recovery and to be a catalyst for improvement in our communities. We do not want to lose the positives we have learned, and I am sure others will be the same.

We are undertaking scenario planning for restart and it will of course ensure that students who are completing studies will not be disadvantaged in any way, whilst also ensuring the safety of staff and students.

How do we restart, reimagine and reengineer our region – together?

We are working hard at the same time to ensure that the lasting effects of CoVID-19 are not felt by the younger population, as their choices may now be more limited and we will ensure we can offer them a different route and of course the best advice.

As with every organisation, we are constantly evaluating out loss of income over the period and how that will impact us and for how long.

We will also be here to support the employed and the unemployed to provide them with the training they need as the economy restarts.

In terms of measures, we are looking at how we can function as an organisation which operates as we need to do, while maintaining all the social distancing requirements which may well still be in place in September.


Government has confirmed that it will continue the funding for 16 to 18-year-olds and adult education we are of course continuing to deliver this provision through different mechanisms.

“Government has confirmed that it will continue the funding for 16 to 18-year-olds and adult education we are of course continuing to deliver this provision through different mechanisms.”

However, we are a very entrepreneurial organisation and as a result only 53 per cent of our total income is received from government. We have a large apprenticeship provision and significant commercial enterprises, which are not yet protected through government backed schemes. So, unusually, having a diversified income base might have counted against us! Then again, nothing in this horrible time is logical or normal.


Eviction Management Services

Advertising Feature

Tenant Eviction Specialists with a Difference Eviction Management Services is a professional tenant eviction service founded by landlords for landlords. The team possesses extensive knowledge on the law relating to residential property and tenant eviction proceedings. Eviction Management Services pride themselves on their personal service, which they tailor to the needs of each individual. Unlike many of their competitors, this service will not ask for any money until it has reviewed your case, to both save you money and make sure they can successfully secure possession for you. Charles Anderson, Founder of Eviction Management Services, explains why it’s important for landlords to use services like theirs. What are the most common reasons for landlords needing to get possession of their properties back? Landlords come in all shapes and sizes; some have inherited a property, others are couples who rent their additional house after moving in with each other. There are also sophisticated portfolio landlords with properties of a variety of sizes and tenures. Regardless of what kind of landlord they are, most will need to secure

possession of their property, which to them may be a retirement nest egg or a strategic investment for more complex reasons. There are two common reasons for needing to evict a tenant to secure vacant possession; the first is to sell the property to realise capital and the second is simply because the tenant is not paying the rent. For the smaller landlord, nonpayment of rent can be crippling and, despite all the ‘landlord bashing’ we hear, many smaller landlords are far from flush with money and can find themselves in dire financial straits due to defaulting tenants. How do you help landlords secure possession in a timely and cost effective manner? Taking possession of a property and conducting possession proceedings can be one of the most stressful things that a landlord can be involved with. Whilst filling in a few forms might seem straight forward, there is limited guidance in the public domain. Things can very quickly go wrong when a claim is defended by a tenant or when the landlord has not adhered to the raft of regulations that has hit the private rented sector over the past few years. At Eviction Management Services, we carry out a complementary review of a landlord’s paperwork before we agree to serve notice or undertake possession proceedings.

There are unfortunately dishonest operators out there who will take landlords fees regardless of whether the case is capable of being successful at court. However, our approach is to only accept a commission of an eviction case if it is capable of succeeding in court. If a case is likely to fail, we will tell the landlord why and what they should do to resolve the issue before coming back to us. What are the biggest challenges facing landlords looking to evict a tenant? The biggest challenge is the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape, as well as the lack of consistency in county courts. Eviction Management Services takes the view that every case is going to be defended. We anticipate what could happen in a client’s specific circumstances, meaning we always have the perfect legal argument at the hearing. What advice would you give to a landlord experiencing difficulties with their tenants? • Try to keep a channel of communication open – it will pay dividends in the long run • Maintain accurate records and notes • Save text messages, as these conversations can be used in court as evidence

• Always stay professional – don’t lose your temper despite provocation • Don’t procrastinate when taking positive action • If you don’t know what you are doing – especially with serving notices or possession proceedings – find assistance instead of struggling by yourself • Carry out inspections on a quarterly basis where possible • Always get references and look into them • Be prepared to say no to a prospective tenant if you have a bad feeling about them Is there anything else you would like to add? Eviction Management Services have been around since August 2015 and assisted more than 2,000 landlords in getting their properties back. In that time, due to our ‘belt and braces’ approach to eviction work, we have not lost a single case. That means if a case will not succeed due to a technical issue, we will let you know so an alternative solution can be found. We operate on an honest and ethical basis and provide excellent value for money by securing possession via the best route possible.

IMPORTANT – Eviction Proceedings during the current coronavirus crisis Many people will have heard about a so called “eviction ban” being imposed by the Government for a period of 3 months. Unfortunately, this is being misunderstood by many, landlords and tenants alike, as being a complete ban on all activities that are “eviction” related. In a nutshell the following is currently the case: From 26th March 2020, all notices, whether they be a section 21 notice requiring possession or section 8 notice seeking possession, will need to be for a minimum of three months. The Government have stated that there will be a suspension of all possession proceedings for a 90


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day period from 27th March 2020. Possession claims already submitted to court prior to 26th March 2020 will not go ahead until after the 90 day period is up. Possession claims for which there are hearing dates already in place, will be adjourned to a date after the expiration of 90 days from 26th March 2020. As well meaning as the Government is, and as understandable as it is to put the brakes on the eviction process, – the fact remains that many of you will have had tenants who were not paying the rent prior to the spread of coronavirus. Also there may well be other reasons for seeking possession. A recent

get help. It can be a lot more technical than it seems and the Government website doesn’t tell you how to do it. A mistake can set you back 3-4 months now due to the additional notice period required. Be aware that after the 90 days there is likely to be a huge spike in the number of new possession claims submitted to court – in addition there will be a backlog of claims that have been adjourned. If you need further help and advice with serving a section 21 notice or section 8 notice during the period of this current eviction suspension, we will be only too pleased to help.

Tenant Eviction Specialists with a Difference • Need your property back to sell • Tenants not paying rent • Anti-Social Behaviour • Recovery of Unpaid Rent • Illegal sub-letting • Squatters • Damaging your property • Crack houses and other drug activitiy

e: info@evictionms.co.uk


commentator suggested that landlords were likely to lose around £15 Billion as a result of COVID-19 and lost revenue. So what can you do? Don’t forget that communication is key – keep lines of communication open with your tenants, especially during this difficult time If you need to serve notice, don’t put it off until the end of the 90 days – some landlords have misinterpreted the “eviction ban” to mean that you cannot do anything for 90 days – you can! Serving notice now will save you time even though you don’t have to enforce it. If you are uncertain as to how to serve a notice, especially a section 8 notice –

We provide a service that is tailored to your needs as we know only too well that everyone is different as are the circumstances you may find yourself in with your tenant.

Midlands and the North:

0121 728 55 88 / 55 99 London and the South:

0203 9126 299

www.evictionmanagementservices.co.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


PET-Xi Training supports Coventry BID businesses

A workforce development programme has helped Coventry Business Improvement District (BID) businesses improve their customer service knowledge and skills. In partnership with Coventry BID, training firm PET-Xi is delivering customer service training to Culture Coventry staff to prepare them for City of Culture 2021 and the expected increase in footfall

that the city centre will experience. Culture Coventry is the trust that manages three of the city’s finest visitor attractions. Coventry Transport Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world. The award-winning Herbert Art Gallery and Museum celebrates the city’s culture, history and arts.

The Lunt Roman Fort is a fully excavated and partially reconstructed turf and timber fort, including the only gyrus in the Roman Empire. Between them, the attractions proudly tell stories of Coventry’s unique history to more than 800,000 visitors per year from around the world. Staff from Culture Coventry have now completed a Level 2 customer service qualification and were invited to a special brunch event, held in the BID office at The Old Grammar School, where BID director Trish Willetts presented the learners with their certificates. She said: “It was fantastic to be part of this special event and meet all those who have completed their training. With 2021 on the horizon and some brilliant events planned in 2020, it’s so important for businesses to be customer

service-ready ahead of welcoming visitors new and old into our great city.” Kirsten McCoy-Ward from Culture Coventry found the programme stimulating and valuable and it fully met her expectations. She said: “It felt like individual training as the pace was not rushed. I am interested in the next level of the training; thank you very much!” The Skills Support for the Workforce Programme is funded by the European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency in partnership with Serco. For more information visit https://www.pet-xi.co.uk/

Warwick Conferences wins tourism award Warwick Conferences has triumphed at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards which celebrate the success of venues in helping to attract record visitors to the region. The conference, meeting and events venue at the University of Warwick was crowned Business Events Venue of the Year and will now go through to compete in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. Paul Bartlett, director at Warwick Conferences, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named Business Events Venue of the Year and be among the first winners at the West Midlands Tourism Awards. “This award recognises our excellent understanding of the market, exceeding the expectations of our clients and

having a strategic plan for future development with clear goals. “It is testament to our team who go above and beyond to make events across our four venues memorable and effective experiences, from small meetings to large residential conferences.” The win comes after another successful year for Warwick Conferences, with more than 17,000 events hosted and new wellbeing initiatives introduced for delegates. All of the surplus generated is reinvested into teaching, learning and research at the University of Warwick. The awards, supported by the West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC), aim to promote the strength of the business and leisure tourism industry

High-pressure die-casting operations at MRT

One of the UK’s leading die-casting companies is increasing its manufacturing space by 60 per cent and will open a new foundry with the help of experts from the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). An SME team from the MTC’s manufacturing support


Planning to sell your business? While current events may have given us all a fresh perspective on what is most important in life, the fact remains the announcement in March’s budget of a reduction of the lifetime allowance for Entrepreneurs’ Relief (‘ER’) from £10m to £1m was a blow for many owners looking to sell their business However, while the change does mean that a low effective tax rate is less easily achieved, this is not the end of tax efficient business sales. We would highlight two strategies we are using with clients at the moment.

Entrepreneurs’ Relief (still!) Gail Tomlinson-Short, head of business development at Warwick Conferences, is pictured with the Business Events Venue of the Year Award and right, Kerry Steward, senior sales manager at Warwick Conferences, and left, Claire England, Visit Coventry

across the region and its £12.6 billion contribution to the regional economy. Latest figures show the West Midlands welcomed a record 131 million visitors in 2018. WMGC and industry partners want to grow the region’s visitor economy over the next decade using major events such as UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry and the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as a platform. For further information visit www.warwickconferences.com

MTC helps castings company with new facility services operation worked with managers and operators from Queens Award-winning die-casting supplier MRT Castings, helping them with the layout for their new facility, automation and technology selection and robotic handling. Established in 1947, MRT Castings supplies aluminium die-castings and machine components to companies across the UK and Europe from its factory in Andover, Hampshire. The company approached MTC to help with the planning of its new 20,000 sq ft foundry, designed to accommodate the latest technology and improve productivity while at the same time providing

Sponsored Column

a first-class manufacturing environment. Working with MRT employees and managers, MTC engineers helped plan the layout for the new foundry, creating 3D CAD models of the existing and proposed equipment, laying it out within the architects’ plans for the building, and running workshops for MRT’s team, using virtual reality technology to enable staff to visualise and optimise the layout before construction was even completed. MRT Castings managing director Phil Rawnson said: “The new foundry underlines our commitment to providing our customers with the most flexible, productive and technologically-advanced

die-casting facilities in the UK, while providing an exciting, world-class workplace for our valued team. We are grateful for the help that MTC gave us and our people were impressed by the capabilities and vision of the MTC engineers.” Dean Baker, director of the MTC’s business launch centre and manufacturing support services team, said: “We are able to provide a de-risked environment for SMEs with the support of our team of engineers, and we were delighted to help with the planning of this great new facility for MRT.” For further information visit www.the-mtc.org

Where a few family members are involved in the business, each with a £1m ER lifetime allowance, a 10% tax rate can still be achieved on substantial gains. However given the two year qualification period, advice must be taken to structure shareholdings appropriately well in advance of sale.

Substantial Shareholdings Exemption (‘SSE’) A structure where subsidiaries are sold and the holding company retained can potentially result in no tax at all on the sale itself under the SSE. This can be an effective strategy where the intention is to reinvest the bulk of proceeds of sale, whether in active business ventures or passive investment portfolios. The right structure must generally be in place a year before sale for the SSE to apply. In summary, professional advice should be sought at least two years ahead of any proposed transaction, as more time and planning are now needed to maximise the “take home” proceeds of sale. If you are contemplating a business sale in the next few years and would like to explore the options available to you 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



Government “ready to act” to support businesses

Nadhim Zahawi at a Chamber event in 2019

A Warwickshire MP and minister has told local firms that the government is listening to their cashflow concerns – and said more support measures could be announced in the next few weeks. Business minister Nadhim Zahawi, who is also MP for Stratford-onAvon, made the pledge during a video conference with around 60 companies hosted by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and TalkBusiness, as part of the chamber’s first #PolicyHour. The minister took questions on everything from furloughing through to further support for company bosses who normally take a low wage but top up their pay with dividends.

He was also asked about further help for very recently established businesses – who slip through the net of the government’s coronavirus support so far – and also when lockdown come to an end.

there is a need to get the money through to companies at speed. The more flexibility and complexity we built into these systems would slow down how quickly we could get the support to businesses.

Mr Zahawi said: “Never in my lifetime have we seen such an extraordinary amount of money put behind the economy by a Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“We are listening and online meetings such as this are a really useful means of hearing from different businesses in order to get a feel for where improvements can be made.

“The £330 billion of funding, and the promise of more if necessary, over and above what was announced in the budget just a month ago is truly unprecedented. “The systems we have put in place to deliver this support are being built from scratch but we recognise

“What we have also shown is that, as a government, we are ready to act and bring in further measures if some businesses aren’t getting the support they need to survive. “We will therefore keep talking and listening to businesses because they

will be the backbone of the economic recovery when we come through this crisis, and come through we will.” Sean Rose, policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was a very informative call with Nadhim Zahawi who spent in excess of an hour on the call with businesses from across the area answering questions very openly, at what is a very pressured time for those at the top of government. “Throughout this period, we will maintain a very open dialogue with decision-makers in our area to ensure the voice of business is being heard. “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank TalkBusiness for hosting this event with us.”

“The systems we have put in place to deliver this support are being built from scratch but we recognise there is a need to get the money through to companies at speed. The more flexibility and complexity we built into these systems would slow down how quickly we could get the support to businesses.’

Policy hour helpful to local businesses A Warwickshire MP has given assurances to businesses in the region during a video call that he will do all he can to fight for the future of the economy, prosperity and jobs. Matt Western, the Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington, spoke to around 30 firms from across the area during a call set up by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as part of its #policyhour. He said he would not provide opposition to Government measures for “opposition’s sake” but would raise the concerns of business with the Shadow Cabinet, who are in regular contact with the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. During the video call, firms raised a host of issues around the support available to businesses as well as suggestions on how to improve cashflow within some sectors of the economy. They ranged from easier access to Coronavirus Business Interruption


Loans through to Government releasing cash now to those law firms who provide legal aid rather than holding onto it. Mr Western said: “It was a very good session with the Chamber and the many businesses from across the region who raised a series of issues. “It is important that we do not oppose the Government’s handling of the crisis for opposition’s sake but we must also ask constructive questions and that can also mean learning from other country’s handling of Coronavirus.

“When it comes to the help for business, there needs to be more flexibility in the system to ensure that some companies aren’t denied access to support because certain thresholds have been set. “As well as the very obvious health challenge that this crisis is presenting, we must do all we can to protect as many businesses as possible in order to ensure the future of the economy, prosperity and jobs.” Sean Rose, policy officer at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said it had been a very constructive call.

“It is important that we do not oppose the Government’s handling of the crisis for opposition’s sake but we must also ask constructive questions and that can also mean learning from other country’s handling of Coronavirus.”

He said: “That’s our third session with a local MP since the crisis hit and companies are making good use of the time to be able to talk directly to their elected representatives about the issues they are facing. “We’ve had some very good feedback from members who joined the call with Matt Western and there was certainly a variety of issues brought to light that he will be raising with the Shadow Cabinet and Government.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Member Update

Hazel Pilling, membership manager of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

In these very difficult times, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce team has been working incredibly hard to support our members. We are providing up to date information on Covid-19 business issues through personal calls and via our online toolkit. We continue to lobby on behalf of our members and support them in promoting and developing marketing strategies. There has never been a more important time to belong to your local Chamber as a support to you as business owners and leaders. As your membership manager, I wanted to keep you up-to-date on some of the services available to you within your membership that can support you through these times and help you to grow your business on ce again when we come out of the other side. Firstly, you may have read about the exciting, new Finditin CW portal that offers up-to-the-minute information on procurement and contract opportunities to businesses across the region. We have partnered with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise

Partnership, CWLEP Growth Hub and the Local Authorities to offer this incredible service and, what’s even better, is that Chamber members get free access to the ‘Executive Club’ level of this service enabling you to post opportunities and receive contract opportunity alerts. Organisations such as West Midlands Combined Authorities, Coventry Council, HS2 and many more are already available for viewing. This is a fantastic new initiative that we believe will help to increase business locally and we look forward to seeing our members making the most of it, so take a look www.Finditincw.co.uk As you can imagine, the Chamber’s Legal and HR helpline has been extremely busy over recent weeks supporting our members in a wide variety of issues raised due to Covid-19. Businesses are facing unprecedented issues that they will have never have had to deal with before – such as furloughing staff – and having the support of this 24-hour hotline has proved to be invaluable to many. Remember this service is included as part of your membership at no extra cost. In normal circumstances, many of you utilise the Chamber’s networking and events programme to meet new contacts and to keep informed with the latest information to support your company. We didn’t want that to stop completely during lockdown and

launched the ChamberLIVE series of events which have proved to be extremely popular. That has included online speed networking, webinars with key speakers providing advice and support on dealing with Covid-19, #policyhour sessions with local figures and decision-makers, Business Intelligence calls for our Corporate and Strategic Partners, and #CWChamberHour on Twitter every Wednesday. Remember at this time it has never been more important to continue to market your business and raise your profile and be assured people are still ‘doing business’. As part of your membership the Chamber has many channels for you to market yourself including your member offers and top tips. If you have a good news story, send it through to us as we will promote it on our Chamber website and, where appropriate, in our weekly Chamber News e-newsletter reaching over 14,000 subscribers every Monday. Again, it will be considered for our C&W in Business magazine as well as the possibility of promoting it on all of our social media channels which means your news will be seen by thousands of other businesses across the region. I hope you have found this update useful and please feel free to contact me if you require any support or have any questions about the services on offer to you as a valued member of the Chamber, take care and be safe.

Sponsored Column

Pivoting and adapting your business model to the new normal As the Coronavirus lockdown continues into May, we enter a time of huge potential change for UK businesses, planning our emergence into the new normal. We are seeing three phases for businesses through the lockdown, the initial survival phase that most businesses have come through, then the current phase where businesses need to pivot or adapt their business model, before ultimately thriving as they return to profitability in time.

Pivoting and adapting your business With most businesses now moving to the second pivot / adapt phase; exploring innovations, pivoting strategies, adapting and developing new products or services for an evolved marketplace, as a necessary step to ultimately returning to profitability, we share three resources to assist you in this phase:

1. Scenario planning for your business In the week after Easter we launched our video guide to scenario planning for your business, helping you plan to survive the Coronavirus crisis • Using NOW, WHERE, HOW planning • With our free online Growth and Profit diagnostic tool to drill down into your business • And creating your One Page Plan for the next 30 days

2. Change Success - free online diagnostic Clients who have already invested time working through our online Change Success diagnostic have created a framework and firm foundations on which to pivot and adapt their business model, by exploring the three key factors in change success: Capability, Capacity and Beliefs. It is never too late to start, so the question is how do you improve your probability of change success in your business?

3. Building Capability - free online business strategy training

Your Chamber of Commerce, in association with the CW Growth Hub, has launched Finditin CW, a brand new website for Coventry and Warwickshire businesses and we’re already publishing plenty supply chain opportunities. Chamber Members can sign up for FREE, select your sectors and you’re away! Use this free service to promote your business, post your own opportunities and find more sales leads.

One of the biggest factors in successfully pivoting and adapting your business model is the capability of your organisation and the people who work in it. To support you and your team during these challenging times we have a great offer for you with free access to two courses per person from our extensive online growth, learning and development catalogue. The following three courses may be a great place to begin: • Problem Solving Skills - Learn how to make robust decisions, rank the priority of key issues to turn a strategy into actions • Personal Growth - Revitalise your personal development, take control of your life • Personal Resilience - Bounce back from adversity and become more ‘bullet proof’ If you have team members on furlough, this is the perfect time to learn new skills and work on personal development and any courses registered by 31 May are free and valid for 6 months. All the resources in this article can be found at www.dafferns.com/cw-business-pivot Stay healthy, stay safe, survive, pivot and thrive Dafferns Chartered Accountants Trusted Advisers since 1896 Authentic, Agile, Connected

www.finditincw.co.uk/packages www.cw-chamber.co.uk


Corporate Profiles

Making a difference

The £6 million T1300 development off Plato Close in Tachbrook Park, Warwick, developed by AC Lloyd

An award-winning property development and investment company is set to continue to make a significant difference to Warwickshire’s economy. AC Lloyd, which was crowned Business of the Year at the Leamington Business Awards 2019 in its 70th anniversary year, specialises in a wide range of property activities including commercial and residential development and the promotion of strategic land. The business has been responsible for a significant number of both commercial and residential developments in the Leamington and Warwick area including the Sydenham Housing Estate and Tachbrook Park.

The company masterminded the residential and industrial development at Sydenham which involved creating over 2,000 homes, 50 acres of commercial buildings, transport infrastructure, schools, a nature reserve and a community centre. AC Lloyd has also a delivered a variety of commercial buildings and offices on the 150-acre business park at Tachbrook Park in Warwick over the last 35 years where it has its own headquarters. There are now over 100 businesses operating on the park which employ around 3,000 people and include Jaguar Land Rover, TATA, Holiday Inn, Ford, Renault, Bridgestone UK, Wright Hassall and Wolseley UK.

The latest development on Tachbrook Park is a £6 million development off Plato Close which is known as T1300. All but one of the 15 new units created on the 30,000 sq ft site have been snapped up by businesses and investors. Mark Edwards, Managing Director at AC Lloyd Commercial, said: “Tachbrook Park is the economic powerhouse of Leamington and Warwick and it continues to attract companies from a wide range of sectors. “Our latest commercial development, called T1300, has attracted a mix of businesses across the IT, gaming, construction and light manufacturing sectors as well as high net worth individuals that have bought these units as investments.”

He continued: “We have a strong pipeline of work in a number of commercial development projects including a scheme in Nottingham where we have received planning permission for a £30 million mixed-use development which will compromise a mix of a local centre including convenience retail and care home facilities, a trade park and larger industrial/warehouse units. “We are proud to have played our part in creating Warwickshire’s landscape over the last 70 years and our vision is to continue to be involved in developing the next generation of buildings and communities.” For further information, please visit www.aclloyd.com

“Our latest commercial development, called T1300, has attracted a mix of businesses across the IT, gaming, construction and light manufacturing sectors as well as high net worth individuals that have bought these units as investments.”

Advent adapts to changing times Leading PR and media firm Advent Communications has had to flex to meet client needs and changing trends during the last two decades – and the recent Covid-19 crisis has certainly put that adaptability to the test. The firm, which is based in Coventry and works across the UK and internationally, has seen activity at some clients severely impacted by the global pandemic, while others have become key to commercial recovery. Advent works across multiple sectors handling all communications for its clients – from public relations and social media to copywriting and press relations, and from speech writing and blogging, through to crisis media handling and video. It has a speciality in business support communications developed, in part, through a long-term relationship with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Managing director Adam Dent said the company ramped up its mobile capability after an early warning that Covid-19 was likely to hit the UK to a significant level. He said: “We had a client who contacted us after an employee returned from Italy in mid-February and that certainly made us very aware that, with the high levels of international travel, the problem was not going to be restricted to certain countries. “We scaled up our IT agility so that once lockdown arrived, all our staff were able to work just as well from


their homes and that allowed us to operate totally in tandem with our clients.” With the majority of clients in the same situation, it has meant a sharper focus on all communications. “The Chamber, as it has been for more than a century, has been a primary port of call for businesses across our patch so it has been vital that we have helped the organisation convey news, Government announcements and other developments with speed and clarity, and often clearing up confusions which have existed. “We’ve worked with the Chamber to get messages out through the mainstream media and social media as well as supporting it with content for its daily updates direct to members. “Ensuring that businesses receive the right information clearly and directly could make a significant impact on if, or how, they survive this downturn. “I think at a time like this, people look to leadership, be that from Government, relevant organisations or their own management teams and the Chamber, through CEO Louise Bennett, has shown exactly that.” The need for leadership, has seen Advent write a series of blogs and firstperson pieces for company leaders across its client base allowing them to communicate to their customers and employees, while Advent has helped clients showcase their expertise at a national media level.

“This area has certainly stepped up in terms of how it has reacted – through support and communication to the business community, the speed at which Government funding has been processed by local authorities and

also helping the national effort in fighting Coronavirus. We have heard – and conveyed – some fabulous stories about the great work businesses are doing to ensure we come through this as well as possible.”

“We scaled up our IT agility so that once lockdown arrived, all our staff were able to work just as well from their homes and that allowed us to operate totally in tandem with our clients.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Corporate Profiles

Digital exhibition attracts thousands of virtual visitors

A virtual tour of a critically-acclaimed exhibition which had to close its doors just five days after opening to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus is proving a massive success, with more than 10,000 people exploring the show digitally. Compton Verney, based in Warwickshire, is giving people the opportunity to view its exhibition ‘Cranach: Artist & Innovator’ online after being forced to temporarily close its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lucas Cranach the Elder was one of the leading German painters and printmakers of the early 16th century. This landmark exhibition – a collaboration with The National Gallery, London - not only showcases his artistic genius through his most beguiling paintings and illustrations, but also demonstrates his powerful legacy over the last five centuries through works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Michael Landy. For those who did not see the exhibition that The Daily Telegraph called ‘a temptation that should not be resisted’ before Compton Verney closed, the venue has recorded a tour of the show with Curator Dr Amy Orrock which is now available on its website for people to enjoy from their homes for free.

The tour is proving a huge hit with art lovers across the UK, with the digital offering being picked as a ‘Culture under Quarantine’ highlight by The Guardian, The Times, Tatler and many more. Compton Verney is now working on a programme of other innovative digital initiatives to keep people connected to, and enjoying, the art gallery and park during the lockdown period. The powerful contribution the arts can make to health and wellbeing was firmly established in 2017 with a report by an all-party parliamentary group called Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing. The report, which followed a two–year inquiry, found that the arts can help keep us well, aid recovery and support longer lives, better lived. Therefore, the importance of the arts at this time of national crisis cannot be underestimated. Meanwhile other members of the Compton Verney team are busy planning for when the venue’s doors can be opened again. Anona van Lawick, Event Sales Manager at Compton Verney, said: “At Compton Verney history meets contemporary.

“Our elegant and well-equipped event spaces combined with excellent facilities such as free, fast WIFI, superior catering and incredible gallery and grounds offering breakout spaces of all sizes to focus, relax and draw out creative thinking and idea generation, make us the ideal venue to host events. “Our experienced and welcoming staff look after our clients throughout, making Compton Verney the perfect place for conferences, meetings both

large and small), product launches, away days and retreats.” She added: “Compton Verney specialises in celebration events too. Our beautiful spaces create memorable private events including christenings, celebrations of life, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. “We can make a small party of 10 incredibly special and intimate and can accommodate a party of 200 with ease.’’

The Compton Verney exhibition ‘Cranach: Artist & Innovator’ is available to view online at https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/cranach-artist-innovator/

“This landmark exhibition – a collaboration with The National Gallery, London - not only showcases his artistic genius through his most beguiling paintings and illustrations, but also demonstrates his powerful legacy over the last five centuries through works by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Michael Landy.”

Futura Design completes move to Coventry A family-owned prototypes manufacturer has invested in the latest technology to expand the business after moving to Coventry following completion of its long-term business plan. Futura Design has relocated to Stonebridge Trading Estate and is now expanding the range of services it offers to clients after installing a range of high-tech equipment. The firm officially moved in to the site in April last year, and has since been completing a full set of works including the installation of high speed, high accuracy 5-axis and 3-axis CNC milling machines, 3D printing machines and industry-leading paint facilities for paint development and the finishing of highend prototype models. The new state-of-the-art facility has ample office space, a modern décor, and the business has invested in the latest rapid prototyping technology (RPT) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology to grow its services. Futura Design manufactures prototype models predominantly for the automotive industry, but also supports sectors including transport, aerospace, marine, product, medical and motorsport. It prides itself on quality, speed, and providing clients with innovative solutions which give the most


efficient way of producing prototypes. The business currently has more than 200 consultants working with clients based throughout Europe. Futura Design was founded in 1989 by clay modeller David Abel, and its ethos has always been to remain at the forefront of the newest technological advancements supporting the design industry. As Futura celebrated its 30th year in business in 2019, the owners began writing a business case to relocate their operations to Coventry, often seen as the hub of the automotive industry. Speaking about the move, CEO Mark Abel said it will put the business in a strong position going forward. He said: “Moving to the Coventry region has always been part of our long-term business strategy, so we are delighted to have finally achieved this goal. “Being local to so many of our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and Tier One clients will put us in a strong position to be able to support programmes in a more dynamic way, as well as giving us greater access to the talented resource pool around the Coventry region.” Futura also operates a technical recruitment agency from the premises which supports the transportation industry.

Since being established, the division has grown to provide resource solutions across a number of sectors on a global scale.

Further information about Futura Design and its services is available by visiting www.futura-design.co.uk or calling 0333 555 7000.

“Moving to the Coventry region has always been part of our long-term business strategy, so we are delighted to have finally achieved this goal.” 11

News Sponsored Column

Accessing the right funding for SMEs By Sean Farnell, Partner at Burgis & Bullock The problem with funding applications for SMEs is that often business owners don’t know where to go to access the right funding for them. The vast majority of SMEs will actually spend less than 30 minutes researching and identifying funding options for their business. Invariably they will then only apply to one funder. The chances of getting the most suitable package for their business, and within the right timescales, is very slim. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the need for easier access to financial support has become more prevalent, particularly with the introduction of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). For the last few months at Burgis & Bullock, we had been looking at how we can further support our clients and other local businesses from a funding perspective. We made the decision a few weeks before Covid-19 took hold to establish a relationship with funding platform Capitalise – which is a portal that helps SMEs hook-in with more than 100 funding providers. The portal has been a huge success with clients so far and we have a dedicated team, led by me, who manage our client relationships with Capitalise. The beauty of the portal is that SMEs can contact a wide range of funders that offer business loans and cash flow solutions – from top tier high street lenders, to second tier and specialist funders. A lot of time has been saved on CBILS application since only one application has to be made which goes to multiple funders. The platform has made it much more likely for SMEs working with us to find a solution. It is there for future business development and will be critical in supporting opportunities that arrive post-Coronavirus. Capitalise allows us to do indicative funding searches without submitting applications, giving clients an idea of the types of funding, levels of support and the cost that is likely to be available without making the final decision. Finding the right funding is more crucial now than ever for businesses of all shapes and sizes as businesses start looking at recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. To find out more about how Burgis & Bullock could help your organisation with funding contact 0345 177 5500 or visit www.burgisbullock.com/funding/ for more information Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.

Coventry security firm scoops top national award A Coventry security company is celebrating after scooping a prestigious national industry award for a highly successful 2019. Stadium won the ‘Best Security Company’ award at the Event Production Awards, held in London in March. The awards aim to recognise the very best suppliers to the major outdoor and live events industry. Stadium was able to win the award thanks to its rapid progress in 2019 – including winning a contract to train senior safety officials in Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Stadium’s founder David McAtamney was delighted the firm won an award in such an important category. He said: “Stadium had a fantastic 2019 – we hugely increased our stock and variety of hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) barriers, meaning we could appeal to far more customers than ever before. “Some of the events we installed HVM at included the ICC Cricket World Cup, NFL matches in London, the Fever Tree Tennis

Stadium’s finance director Steve McCabe (centre left) and HR Director Lorraine Baillie (centre right) collecting the ‘Best Security Company’ award at the Event Production Awards. Credit: Aniseed Photo.

more clients for our range of services, and our training programme in Qatar is continuing in earnest. “I’d like to thank all the team at Stadium for their amazing work in 2019 – we could not have won this award without them.”

“We’re continuing to make great strides this year – we are now accredited by training body Lantra to teach traffic management courses, have attracted more clients for our range of services, and our training programme in Qatar is continuing in earnest.”

Region’s commercial development market “moving fast”

Alastair Frew is a commercial property law expert and a partner at Lodders Solicitors.

The real estate practice of law firm Lodders is off to a flying start to the year due to the UK’s “fast moving” commercial development market and unprecedented demand for commercial and industrial schemes. Alastair Frew, partner and commercial property law expert at Lodders, said: “We have seen a hike in the volume of

commercial development work and are acting for numerous landowners, developers and private companies looking to take new Grade A industrial space on commercial development projects across the West Midlands – particularly in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

cranes manufacturer Fassi Gru Spa, on the construction, completion and purchase of a Grade A new-build commercial unit at the 132-acre premier business park Tachbrook Park in Leamington Spa.

“Whilst many are relatively small schemes when compared to the huge sheds and commercial units which grab the headlines, these are being snapped up by the market in double-quick time because they are pretty rare and in high demand.”

Fassi cranes are fitted to thousands of trucks and lorries and used throughout the UK in a range of construction projects. The Italian parent company, Fassi Gru Spa, was formed in 1965 and is one of the world’s largest truck loader crane manufacturers, producing more than 9,500 cranes each year and selling them in five continents.

Lodders recently acted for Fassi UK, the UK arm of Italian specialist lifts and

To meet growing demand for Fassi products in Britain, Fassi UK was established in 1979 and

today has a national network of approved main dealers and service points. Leigh Carter, Fassi UK MD, said: “Fassi UK is a flourishing engineering company and was looking for new space to enable it to service its growing order book from a highly accessible and UK-central location. The unit at Tachbrook Park, and its proximity to the M40 and wider motorway network, represented the perfect location. With help from Lodders, we can now realise the company’s expansion plans.” For more information: www.lodders.co.uk

Double success for Coombe Abbey Hotel in tourism awards A historic Warwickshire hotel is celebrating after scooping a top prize in an inaugural industry awards ceremony. Coombe Abbey Hotel has been named Large Hotel of the Year at the West Midlands Tourism Awards. Organised by West Midlands Growth Company and Reach with support from Visit England, West Midlands Combined Authority and Shakespeare’s England, this is the first year that the proceedings have gone ahead. At a glittering ceremony hosted in the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall, the hotel not only won gold in the Large Hotel of the Year category, but also scooped a bronze award in the Business Events Venue of the Year category. What makes the award win even sweeter is that it comes during a year of celebration


Championships and the Godiva Music Festival in Coventry. “We also won the contract to provide a bespoke training programme to safety officials and police in Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, and trained around 1,300 learners in the country in the last year alone. “We were so pleased the Event Production Awards recognised our achievements by crowning us Best Security Company at the ceremony. “We’re continuing to make great strides this year – we are now accredited by training body Lantra to teach traffic management courses, have attracted

as Coombe Abbey is marking 25 years since it first opened its doors as a hotel. There is also a chance for another award win for the venue, as West Midlands Tourism awards winners are automatically shortlisted for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020 to be in with a chance of being named a national winner.

of every single member of staff who work tirelessly to uphold the standards and reputation of the hotel, so a huge thank you to the whole team as well.” For further information visit www.coombeabbey.com

Ron Terry, general manager at Coombe Abbey Hotel, said: “We are extremely pleased and so honoured to have been named the Large Hotel of the Year. To have been up against some of the biggest names in the industry and come out with the gold is absolutely fantastic. “Not only that, we are so proud to have won this award in its first year and to be recognised by our peers across the region. We could not do this without the dedication

Coombe Abbey Hotel E-commerce and Marketing Executive, Pavan Gill, Sales Manager, Laura Moore, Sales Director, June Picken and Sales Office Manager, Nicola Felton show off their award.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


MTC named as one of UK’s best companies

Nick Rodrigues, The Sunday Times; Clive Hickman, chief executive, MTC; Vicki Sanderson, HR director, MTC

The pioneering Manufacturing Technology Centre near Coventry has been recognised in the prestigious Sunday Times list of “100 Best Companies to Work For in 2020”.

The accolade recognises the MTC’s strong employee engagement and teamwork. The organisation was rated number 77 in the list and accredited with a coveted two-star rating. Dr Clive Hickman, chief executive of MTC, said: “When the MTC was founded ten years ago there were just two employees. Since then we have grown to more than 800 of the most talented engineers and technicians in Europe. It is pleasing that we should get recognition for being an attractive employer, which will help us to continue to recruit the best talent available at all levels in the organisation. We have ambitious growth plans and the quality of our people is vital. “Despite our rapid growth, we have tried to maintain engagement with our employees and we operate as one big team. The enthusiastic support that our people give each other adds to our technical capabilities and allows us to offer great

support to manufacturing in the UK.” The MTC received its status in the list for its Best Companies index score from the Best Companies survey, which measures how engaged people are at work and how they feel about their employer. The awards were presented at a special ceremony held at Battersea Evolution in London. Jonathan Austin, chief executive and founder of Best Companies, said: “I would like to congratulate the MTC on its achievement. Best Companies has been producing the accreditation standard since 2006 to acknowledge excellence in the workplace. Organisation like the MTC have continued to focus on their employees and have been rewarded with an engaged workforce who tell us that this is a best company to work for.” For further information visit www.the-mtc.org

National success for Warwick Conferences Warwick Conferences has been recognised in a flagship awards scheme for the events industry. The conference, meeting and events venue at the University of Warwick won a bronze award in the Best Academic Venue category at the M&IT Awards 2020. The national accolade came in the same week that Warwick Conferences was named Business Events Venue of the Year at the inaugural West Midlands Tourism Awards. Paul Bartlett, director at Warwick Conferences, said: “Winning bronze at the M&IT Awards tops off a fantastic week of recognition for Warwick Conferences at both a regional and national level. “It is testament to our diverse venues and facilities and our amazing team who are dedicated to personalising every event to make it an experience which delivers the right outcome for delegates and organisers.

“The M&IT Awards are considered to be the events industry’s biggest and most prestigious recognition programme, so we are incredibly proud to once again be among the winners and to be flying the flag at a national level for our region. “Warwick Conferences has achieved success in the Best Academic Venue category on more than 20 occasions and it is always particularly pleasing to reach the final as it is based on customer votes.” The M&IT Awards took place at Evolution London and were presented by TV and radio broadcaster Gethin Jones. The double success comes after another successful year for Warwick Conferences, with more than 17,000 events hosted at its four venues, from small meetings to large residential conferences. As a category winner at the West Midlands Tourism Awards, Warwick Conferences is now in the running for the VisitEngland

Clive Singleton, general commercial manager at Warwick Conferences, with the bronze award for Best Academic Venue at the M&IT Awards 2020 and Maxine Thacker, sales manager at Warwick Conferences

Awards for Excellence, which are scheduled to take place in June. For further information visit www.warwickconferences.com

Wearable technology to improve safety for construction workers

CityFibre and construction partner Callan Connect will enable the first testing on a live construction site of a new Britishmade technology that prevents Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), also known as “White Finger”. Developed by Coventry-based start-up, Feraru Dynamics, the HAV Sentry Glove monitors in real-time the vibrations created by heavy machinery when worn by construction workers operating tools such as grinders, drills and concrete breakers. The smart technology continuously takes into account the vibrations created and


analyses the data, alerting operatives when it reaches dangerous levels so they know to take a break and allow some time to recover. HAVS is a preventable condition; however, once damage is caused it is permanent. Symptoms of the condition include numbness, tingling, sensitivity, whiteness of fingertips and reduced grip strength. According to The Health & Safety Executive, nearly two million people across the UK are at risk of developing the condition, with construction workers who operate powered hand tools for significant periods of time one of the groups most affected. The HAV Sentry Glove will be tested by two of Callan Connect’s workers at sites across CityFibre’s Coventry build. CityFibre is rolling out its £60m citywide Fibre-to-

the-Premises (FTTP) programme, bringing gigabit-speed connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in the city. By participating in the trial, CityFibre and Callan Connect will provide valuable feedback on the effectiveness of this new wearable technology when used in a real construction environment, thereby contributing towards the development of future innovations that will help tackle thousands of preventable industry-wide injuries. Richard Thorpe, chief delivery officer at CityFibre, said: “As we deliver next generation connectivity, it’s fitting we are using connected devices to help monitor and maintain the health of our staff. It’s a combination that goes hand in glove.”

“HAVS is a preventable condition; however, once damage is caused it is permanent. Symptoms of the condition include numbness, tingling, sensitivity, whiteness of fingertips and reduced grip strength.”

Sponsored Column

A time for reflection

I’m writing this column at the beginning of May – lockdown is still in situ and who knows what the economic reality will be by the time restrictions are slowly lifted – hopefully the virus itself will be less impactful. Many of my clients have found this to be a time of reflection – setting aside the stresses of navigating their businesses safely through this storm, they have also had a chance to reflect on what they want out of life. I would like to ask you to reflect on that too. A business is supposed to give you more life – we all started our business with a dream of how our lives would be. Maybe we dreamt of happy abundant joy-filled days funded by a successful business that brought prosperity to owner, staff and customers alike. Yet even before the current exceptional circumstances, many business owners were already slaving away as the ‘operator’, i.e. the one who gets everything done – the first one in and last one out; the only one who knows how everything works. Being the operator is exhausting and never ending. Are you the operator in your business? Right now you are probably focussed on the short-term survival of your business – but what happens “after” – are you going back to how it was? My mission is to help owner operators of 8+ employee businesses make the transition from being an owner ‘operator’ to owner ‘investor’ – meaning that they step back from being so involved on a day to day basis but continue to receive an income, whilst it is run to their specification by other people. The result is a commercial profitable business, that works WITHOUT you – which in turn means you have the funds and time to do what you want, when you want to. Too good to be true? It’s not. If you’d like to know how to make that happen; call me for an explanation. David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390 davidlee@actioncoach.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/ www.actioncoach.co.uk/davidlee


Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

School Taster Sessions at Chamber Training

Tips on How to Cope with Homeworking during COVID-19

During these unprecedented times, how are you coping with working from home? At Chamber Training the staff are being encouraged to identify their personal stress triggers, adopt strategies to help control them and learn how to activate good stress into the working day. As an award-winning training provider, Chamber Training offers an accredited mental health training programme that supports mental health training practices and wellbeing policies for staff and our students. By using the knowledge and the tools provided, the staff have a greater understanding of mental health problems and stress which are really helping them to cope whilst working at home during COVID-19. Although some people thrive under pressure, others will struggle to cope with the sudden changes we are being forced to cope with. So, it is also important to pay close attention to your own mental health and perhaps liaise with organisations such as MIND as they have lots of hints and tips on staying mentally well. The team at Chamber Training has come up with seven ways to cope with working at home during this crisis and hopefully these will help you: 1. Simple tip. Although it’s tempting to stay in your pjs all day, it’s important to make an effort to take a shower and get dressed. This can really help to motivate you and put you into the right mindset for the day. 2. Designate a workspace for your home office. It’s important to keep your work and home life separate so that you can switch at the end of your working day. 3. Try and stick to your usual working hours. There are plenty of tools online to help you to organise your time and tasks more effectively. 4. Communication is Key. Stay in touch with your colleagues, especially your manager! Plan regular zoom meetings to upcoming projects and priorities. 5. Take regular breaks away throughout the day. Try setting a timer for your breaks. Throw in some laundry, make a hot drink, give your eyes a break away from all screens, including your mobile. 6. Plan some online exercise sessions. Go on YouTube and Instagram as there are plenty of free activities available to help you get moving! 7. Limit watching the news and updates on COVID-19 to once a day. Use distraction techniques such as listening to motivational music. To find out more about Chamber Training’s certificate in awareness of mental health problems, call 02476 231 122 or enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk


Two Coventry-based schools recently approached Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training to request a series of taster days to offer their students an insight to the world of Early Years Care and Hairdressing. Students from Whitley Academy School and West Coventry School were encouraged to attend a selection of taster sessions which were delivered by the specialist team of advisors at Chamber Training. The team of specialist advisors at Chamber Training developed a varied programme of sessions for the students including Hairdressing taster days which were delivered by the experienced hairdressing team at Chamber Training. The students were able to learn and practice new skills and receive experienced guidance on blow drying, braiding and how to correctly put hair up.

The Early Years Care taster days session were developed and hosted by experienced tutors within the Early Years Sector. The sessions gave the students an ideal opportunity to take part in activities such as children’s development and activities including how to make playdough and create a selection of models using their imagination. Sessions were also delivered on interview techniques and CV writing and these platforms offered the students invaluable advice on how to conduct themselves and make a good impression at interviews.

Jan Ryan, Operations Director at Chamber Training commented: “We were delighted to help our local schools by delivering taster sessions to guide students on their future career choices and ambitions. The sessions offered the students an insight into working in the childcare and hairdressing industries, including a perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience in both sectors. “At Chamber Training we are proud to offer a wide range of Apprenticeships as they offer a great way to gain new skills and nationally recognised qualifications while earning a salary and building invaluable work experience. So, whether you’re just leaving school or college or have been in a job for a while, come and have a chat with us. Taking an Apprenticeship could be the next and best step for you.” Find out more at www.cw-chambertraining.co.uk/ apprenticeships or call us on 02476 231 122.

“We were delighted to help our local schools by delivering taster sessions to guide students on their future career choices and ambitions. The sessions offered the students an insight into working in the childcare and hairdressing industries, including a perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience in both sectors.

Providing Support to Young People Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training is celebrating the success of one of its students who has successfully completed a Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) program, an initiative that supports young people who are not in education, employment or training, including the long-term unemployed or those not registered for job-seekers. Grace Lombard (Grai), who has a passion for art, fashion and a particular interest in tattoos was looking for guidance and advice in her future career path choice. She successfully achieved excellent A level results but she did not see university as her next step. After an exploratory meeting with the specialist team at Chamber Training, she was advised to consider an apprenticeship in Hairdressing as this would create an avenue to utilise her creative skills. Commenting on Grai’s dedication and hard work during the YEI program, Jayne Powell, a hairdressing tutor

at Chamber Training said: “The program has given Grai a platform to help demonstrate her natural ability to offer fantastic customer service. She is always very gracious and caring toward the clients and their needs. “Grai attended Chamber Training’s Hairdressing Academy for weekly training sessions where she developed her skills with the support of the Hairdressing Team. She has worked hard at increasing her skills using every opportunity available to her and has taken great pride in her work and the knowledge she has gained. “The next step was to find a salon to offer Grai some work experience workdays to help her to grow and develop her skills further. Our hairdressing and recruitment advisors worked extremely hard to find a work placement within Ruby Tuesdays Hair Salon in Coventry. “The salon is highly regarded for training and supporting young people.

“The salon is highly regarded for training and supporting young people. Grai really impressed the salon management and they offered her a full-time apprenticeship at the salon and she is now employed, which are huge achievements. She is a firm favorite with stylists and customers alike and we predict a fabulous future for her.”

Grai really impressed the salon management and they offered her a full-time apprenticeship at the salon and she is now employed, which are huge achievements. She is a firm favorite with stylists and customers alike and we predict a fabulous future for her.” To find out more about Chamber Training’s hairdressing apprenticeship and the YEI program which funds the provision of apprenticeships, traineeships, job placements and further education leading to a qualification, call our Business Development Team on 02476 231 122 or enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Chamber Talent

Supporting our young professionals Chamber Talent was launched to support the young professionals within Coventry & Warwickshire, delivering a comprehensive development programme along with opportunities to build valuable & sustainable networks with likeminded individuals. COVID-19 will not prevent this. Our Chamber Talent Board of Representatives have been discussing what new skills are

crucial to working effectively within this new world. These conversations were born from the challenges we are all facing, communicating remotely, remaining resilient and managing our time & motivation. On Wednesday 29th April, Chamber Talent hosted our very first virtual development workshop for members. This workshop was designed to provide insight and tips to support time management skills,

with a focus on remote working as the pandemic continues to affect us all. During the workshop, our trainer asked members to think about their top five values to gain an understanding of what was important to the attendees when planning their time and workload. It was interesting to read what values were most common throughout the group, Passion,

Loyalty, Efficiency, Fitness, Ambition and Happiness. Those values are as important during this pandemic as they have ever been. I look forward to continuing to work with each, and every Chamber Talent member. We will continue to hold virtual events, continue to develop and we will meet again. Sean Rose, Chamber Talent Lead

BLOG: Arran Kaur,

Chamber Talent Board Member I joined Chamber Talent as I found the personal development programme extremely attractive. Despite completing years of studying for my role, soft skills, which are essential for business, are often overlooked. I have attended Chamber Talent workshops and I have learnt some valuable techniques. The tutors focussed on what the members wanted to address which gave the training a personal touch and allowed everyone to make the most out of the training. Training is an important part of the membership and has been adapted so that members can access training online during the COVID-19 outbreak.


I also joined so I could attend networking events. In a world of business, it is essential to meet other businesses to understand what they do and how businesses can benefit from each other. I joined the Chamber Talent Board as I want to help shape the future of Chamber Talent and help give young professionals a voice. Our generation is tomorrow’s future so we need to get ourselves out there and make the most of every opportunity. I hope to encourage more engagement from current members and to attract new members so that we can all benefit from what Chamber Talent has to offer.



Quizzing for good causes charity, which supports and empowers people in the region who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Front l/r, Zoe Sweeney (CW Chamber of Commerce), Julie McGarrigle (Alsters Kelly). Back l/r, Paul Lawrie (HansonLawrie), Dale Ball (Alsters Kelly)

Time to Breathe with new HR tool

A regional law firm has hailed a new system for tracking staff holidays and absence as a major boost to efficiency within the business. Alsters Kelley, which has nearly 100 staff across four offices in Coventry, Nuneaton, Leamington and Southam, recently subscribed to the Breathe HR system through Warwick-based HR and recruitment company HansonLawrie. The two companies, both corporate members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, have worked together over several years after initially meeting through the Chamber. HansonLawrie has supported Alsters Kelley on the recruitment side and has more recently advised and implemented the new Breathe HR system across the business. It means all holiday is now booked and tracked through the cloudbased system, which also monitors staff absence, identifies trends and produces easy-to-understand reports. It has already led to efficiency savings and a reduction in paper use across Alsters Kelley’s four offices. Staff have their own online profile which allows them to keep tabs on their holiday allowance and they can even book time off outside of work hours. Dale Ball, senior HR business partner at Alsters Kelley, said: “Breathe HR has helped us to streamline everything and has been a major boost to the efficiency of the whole process, which has cut right down on the number of hours in a week we would spend managing these aspects of HR. Paul Lawrie, director of HansonLawrie, said: “Using a paperbased system for booking holiday and monitoring absence is a real-time burden for a company of this size and is so inefficient. We find that once this kind of system is implemented, neither the company nor the staff would want to go back to doing it the old-fashioned way.” Zoe Sweeney, corporate manager at the Chamber, added: “It’s great to see two corporate members working together in this way. Building these kinds of business relationships between local companies is exactly what the Chamber is all about.”


Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button has raised funds for its charity partner, local homeless charity Cyrenians, by hosting a quiz night at Coventry Rugby Club.

Twenty-three teams from across the local business community joined the quiz, held in the Band Hatton Button Marquee at Butts Park Arena, and were tested on various rounds from sport to advertising slogans, geography and movies. There was also a raffle which was generously supported by guests.

Held earlier this month, the event raised an impressive £808.67 for the Coventry-based

Mike Fowler, Cyrenians’ chief executive, said: “We’re really grateful to Band Hatton

Button for their latest donation following this successful quiz night. We rely on public support and donations to enable us to continue our work, and this sort of sum will make a real difference to us. We are also very much looking forward to the charity ball that Band Hatton Button is organising for us in May.” Sarah Jordan, head of marketing and client relations at Band Hatton Button, added: “We are keen to give something

back to our local community, which is why we have chosen to support Cyrenians and host another quiz night. Our quizzes are always well supported and we were delighted with the sum of money raised. The night itself was great fun and came down to a tense tie-breaker between Dafferns and Handelsbanken, with Dafferns just scraping a win by more closely guessing the height of the Eiffel Tower!” For more information about Cyrenians visit www.coventrycyrenians.co.uk

To read about the charity ball that Band Hatton Button is hosting, visit https://www.bandhattonbutton.com/charity-ball-2020

CityFibre completes FibreNation acquisition National digital infrastructure platform CityFibre has completed its acquisition of FibreNation from TalkTalk Group. The acquisition continues CityFibre’s long-term strategy of investing in critical national infrastructure and enables CityFibre to increase its roll-out ambition from five million to up to eight million premises, supporting an investment programme of up to £4 billion. It will also help to accelerate the availability of full fibre across the UK, a platform critical to social and economic recovery in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The completion also triggers TalkTalk’s onboarding as CityFibre’s latest major customer. FibreNation was founded in 2018, four years after a joint venture between

TalkTalk, Sky and CityFibre was launched to deploy full fibre infrastructure and services across the City of York. The FibreNation brand will remain in market and the company will continue to operate and expand its networks where nearly 60,000 premises can gain access to gigabit speed broadband services from TalkTalk. FibreNation has network construction projects underway in Harrogate and Dewsbury and most recently announced Bolton as the next town to benefit from full fibre. The company is currently mobilising in both Knaresborough and Ripon, with plans to make full fibre available to up to three million homes and businesses. CityFibre’s increased rollout plan to reach up to eight million premises is expected to span more than 100 towns and cities, and is

estimated to create up to 7,000 construction jobs outside London. To date, CityFibre has identified 62 towns and cities to benefit from its roll-out and connected thousands of public sector sites including hospitals, GPs, schools and community venues. Greg Mesch, chief executive of CityFibre, said: “Completing our acquisition of FibreNation marks an acceleration in our ability to deploy the critical future-proof digital infrastructure our country needs.” Tristia Harrison, chief executive of TalkTalk, said: “Now more than ever, reliable and affordable connectivity should be available to every single home in Britain, and this agreement shows that a full fibre future can be delivered through competition and investment by many players.”

NAEC Stoneleigh celebrates record year NAEC Stoneleigh has announced a record-breaking 12 months at the conference and exhibition venue. Set within 250 acres of the Midlands countryside, the venue has recorded unparalleled growth in many areas of the business, including the number of events hosted, visitor numbers and client wins. Chris Hartley, managing director at the popular Warwickshire venue, said: “It has been a tremendous 12 months for us at NAEC Stoneleigh. The headline news is that we staged more than 290 events in 2019, an increase of 21 per cent on

the previous year and welcomed more than 400,000 visitors. “We achieved a remarkable 86 per cent increase in new business and an 81 per cent jump in the number of conferences we hosted for more than 250 delegates. “The number of outdoor events we staged also grew by 18.5 per cent, with our 4x4 off-road track becoming increasingly popular with event organisers, showing a 43 per cent increase in use. A new partnership with Monsoon Venues has also boosted business, sparking a 300 per cent increase in the number of Asian weddings held here.

“Overall, it’s a real success story and we’re delighted with the progress we’ve made – but we’re already striving to improve on these fantastic figures and do even better in 2020.” One of NAEC’s most highprofile business wins has been to secure a deal with BETA International, which is moving one of the most prestigious equestrian trade shows in the world to NAEC Stoneleigh after 26 years at Birmingham’s NEC. Other new client wins saw Product Earth, The Target Shooting Show and The Big One join the fold.

Chris acknowledged that NAEC’s central location, outstanding road and rail links and free parking for 19,000 vehicles play a major role in Stoneleigh’s ongoing success. For more information on NAEC Stoneleigh, visit www.naecstoneleigh.co.uk

Historic Warwickshire hotel wins national acclaim

(L - R) Ron Terry, June Picken, Nicola Felton, Fraser Doyne-Ditmus

A historic Warwickshire hotel has been named third best hotel in the country after winning awards at a prestigious ceremony. Coombe Abbey Hotel was awarded silver for Best UK Unusual Venue at the M&IT Awards 2019 and bronze for Best UK Hotel – which is the most anticipated and competitive category of the evening.

The annual awards ceremony recognises the UK’s top hotels and venues and is highly regarded within the sector since it is known as the ‘Oscars of the events industry’. Coombe Abbey has won awards at the ceremony for the last four years, with nominees voted for by industry professionals and the hotel’s clients rather than by a judging panel – a system which shows how highly regarded the finalists are within the industry. The Best UK Hotel is one of the most competitive categories, with Coombe Abbey going up against other highly acclaimed hotels such as Celtic Manor Hotel and Chewton Glen. Ron Terry, general manager of Coombe Abbey Hotel, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted in these tough categories at the M&IT Awards.

To receive a silver and bronze award in two categories is a real success. “Following our win at the West Midlands Tourism Awards where we won Large Hotel of the Year and received Bronze for Business Events Venue of the Year, we are so proud to be receiving this recognition. The M&IT awards are a very high standard with the top hotels in the UK competing in each category, so to have received this recognition from voters is a great achievement.” The 12th century former Cistercian Abbey, the venue has 11 meeting rooms and a marquee with a range of options for conferences and events in unique settings. It hosts a packed calendar of live events throughout the year. For more information visit www.coombeabbey.com


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Tips for dealing with change: the role your business brand can play

By David Wilson, creative partner at Glued branding agency. As you’d expect at Glued we’ve been digging deep into our own reserves to find ways of dealing with the new “normal” that we all find ourselves in. Some of you may be really struggling while others have somehow found things easier to adapt to. I started reflecting on how our own brand at Glued could help in these challenging times. In the first instance we created an updated strapline for our business “let’s stick together, while keeping our distance”. A fun message not only reflecting what we as a business believe about your business brand: that it can help you, your team and customers all come together behind why you do what you do (even if that’s a little challenging right now). And of course, it also communicates the important message of social distancing. But can your business brand really help you with coping with this. Well, as

a branding expert I would of course say yes: your brand can help you remind your customers and your staff why your business is so special, what it values and why it’s so different to your competitors. How you communicate now can help bring your staff together at this challenging time. For a business, change can present opportunities and dangers: for many of us at the moment, we may be mostly focusing on the negative. During this period of uncertainty, we all need things to hold on to, things that appear to be normal and familiar. Most organisations will have a vision for the future, a mission statement and values, and now some of that may be seen to be in question. But reminding yourself, your staff, and your customers what you stand for can be a really powerful way of keeping everyone together. This is where your business brand can be such an influential tool to keep your organisation stuck together.

What does your organisation value at its core? Things it does every day can be a way of dealing with change. The direction of the organisation may need to be reviewed but if you can tie down why you do to what you do, you are likely to see that your future can still be bright. What your business was passionate about a week or so ago, it will still be passionate about tomorrow and that is at the core of your business brand.

So, over the next few days and weeks think about the following: • Listen to your staff and get them to ask questions about change

Business strategy – After 20 years of business I stopped writing an annual Business Plan but I’ve now written our short and long-term strategy and goals detailing how the company will attract customers, compete successfully with others and strengthen our financial performance. It provides real food for thought which I plan to share with my workforce when normality returns. Prioritise clients – Over the last few weeks I’ve been detailing our clients and can now clearly identify which customers are our most profitable. This is important information for future planning, marketing and strategy. Interestingly, I can also identify which customer

is now live, offering businesses

• Give them encouragement to discuss uncomfortable issues about the change

cover furloughed staff wages.

Holt Commercial has been named Coventry and Warwickshire’s most active office agent by one of the world’s leading sources of commercial property information.


Peter Holt, MD of Holt Commercial, said it was an outstanding achievement for the firm and its agency team.

Companies need to follow the correct furlough process and

• Bring your vision to life for your staff and customers by visually communicating it in a clear and exciting way

their staff to secure the funding.

• Keep people up-to-date with what steps you may need to take • Try to get them excited in any future opportunities you might see Where we find a fit with businesses, we work through a process that addresses issues of change such as those outlined above. Staff and teams can air views in a confidential way to a third party. Those concerns are then reviewed, debated and a refined as a shared vision for working together which can be communicated to your staff and customers: this is where we believe brand can be such a powerful business tool. Find out more at www.gluedlimited.co.uk

submit the right information about HMRC can retrospectively audit any claims, so they must keep furlough data for at least five years. That’s why Croner, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber’s trusted HR partner, has launched an online furlough navigator tool. It’s designed to save businesses time, make the furlough process easier and help them apply for the government funding. Part of BrightHR—award-winning HR software from Croner—the furlough navigator tool lets companies collect the data they need quickly so they can claim their Job Retention Scheme grants – and it secures all the data they collect online. All they need to do is log in through their computer or phone. Companies can set an employee’s status to furlough with the click of a button. An online calendar will let them see who’s furloughed, who’s on annual leave, and who’s off sick. They can also record how long staff

actively reviewed. Employment legislation changes and staff roles evolve over time. It’s worthwhile ensuring all employee-related documents are up to date. For more information visit www.health-matters.co.uk, www.lifeandprogress.co.uk and www.valentineoh.co.uk

Holt Commercial lands prestigious award Holt Commercial advised clients on at least 28 office deals across the year and that totalled more than 106,436 sq ft of space.

the chance to apply for grants to

• Use your vision for your business as a cornerstone for direction

bought from us most recently, how frequently and how much they spent. Database housekeeping – We have built an impressive database of 12,000 company names ranging from current and former clients, suppliers, prospective clients and business partners. This data should be a useful business tool but over the years it’s become stale, inaccurate and largely unusable. During the last month we have cleaned the data so it will again be useful for marketing and research purposes. HR tasks - Although all employees have a detailed Job description, staff handbook and employment contract, it had been a while since they were

The company was named Most Active Disposal Agent by CoStar in terms of both the number of deals done throughout 2019 and the square footage disposed of.

The Job Retention Scheme portal

• Ask them to think about what makes your organisation great

Work on your business, not in your business during quarantine By Simon Hurley-Smith, CEO of Health Matters UK, Valentine Occupational Health, and Life & Progress Whilst all of our businesses are being affected by the changes to our working life, I’m attempting to spend my time wisely working on my business so when normality returns we will be stronger and fitter than ever before. As the CEO of an established company, there are elements of the business that need reviewing, updating and, in some cases, removing. Whilst working from home during this quieter period, I’m enjoying fewer day-to-day distractions, allowing me the opportunity to work ON my business.

Jobs portal goes live

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named Most Active Disposal Agent by CoStar for office space across Coventry and Warwickshire. “Over the past 12 months we have concluded a range of deals in the region and that is reflected in the statistics produced by CoStar. “In an uncertain economic period, our trusted experience and expertise means we have continued to attract clients – both existing and new – to assist with their office disposal.”

are on furlough, and retain the data and use it to work out how much they need to claim back for wages. Companies can get unlimited cloud storage space for their HR documents. This includes furlough letters used to support their claim. They can say goodbye to paperwork and hello to secure and easy-toaccess documents! The furlough navigator tool is the latest development from BrightHR, Croner’s software partner. BrightHR provides easy-to-use online tools to free companies from admin and help them secure government grants. Book your demo today: https://pages.croner.co.uk/ Furlough-Tracking-App.html



Coventry firm expands its overseas footprint

NAEC Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire, is focussing on sustainability as the venue looks to life resuming post-Coronavirus

‘Three Rs’ driving NAEC Stoneleigh’s sustainability aim The vital importance of the ‘three Rs’ has taken on a whole new significance for leading conference, exhibition and outdoor events centre NAEC Stoneleigh, as it looks to life post-COVID-19. NAEC is pulling out all the stops to ensure reducing, reusing and recycling is at the very top of its agenda. NAEC head of operations Rob Patterson said the 250-acre Warwickshire venue had conducted a thorough review of its internal operations and is committed to working closely with clients to cut down on waste and improve sustainability. Rob said: “The aim is very simple but incredibly important – to reduce the waste and be more sustainable. “The mindset of the industry is changing, and more organisers are now asking for a venue’s credentials regarding sustainability and putting the onus on the venue to deliver.

Rob Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers, left, presents Parminder Hayer, international trade adviser from Department for International Trade at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, with a miniature bollard.

A Coventry company that provides antiterrorism products to protect high-profile sites from vehicle attacks is celebrating a decade of government help by expanding into international markets.

“Our electrical energy is sourced from a supplier that uses 100% renewable energy. On site, we are replacing all failed lights with energy-efficient LEDs and have installed motion sensors in key areas, which automatically turn lights off after a set period. “We post our used printer cartridges back to the supplier who recycles them, with 89% turned into renewable energy. “In our toilets and bathrooms, we use wall-mounted dispensers with eco-friendly products to reduce our waste and impact on the environment. We are also moving away from paper towels and increasing the use of more efficient electrical hand dryers.” For more information visit www.naecstoneleigh.co.uk


Europe, the US and Australia to help secure a range of locations including government buildings, sports venues and public realm projects. “We have also recruited distributors in Germany, South America, Belgium and Sweden, and are now exploring markets in India, Middle East and Asia. “Export now accounts for 35% of the business and is expected to grow to 50% in two years, so is making a significant contribution to the success of Safetyflex.” Safetyflex marked ten years of DIT support by presenting Parminder Hayer, international trade adviser from Department for International Trade at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, with a miniature bollard. Parminder said: “Rob and his team are a real international success story – but one very much started and based in the Midlands. “Our relationship has been long-term and that continuity has allowed Safetyflex to plan its export drive in a strategic way and has therefore brought impressive returns.”

Accountant highlights Future Fund restrictions A leading accountant has welcomed the new Future Fund but believes that restrictions could lead to limited take up from businesses. The government announced the new scheme to support early-stage and start-up businesses which have been adversely impacted by Covid-19 – and are unable to secure finance under the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). It will provide between £125,000 and £5 million to qualifying early-stage businesses, with the government initially making £250 million available through

the Future Fund. The fund is being administered by the British Business Bank and will launch in May, remaining open for applications until September. Requirements set out to access the fund include that businesses must have raised at least £250,000 from private third-party investors in the last five years. Sean Farnell is a partner at accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, which has offices in Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford-upon-Avon. He said: “We understand the finance provided by the Future Fund can only be used for working capital purposes and not to repay existing borrowings

or pay dividends to shareholders or bonuses to employees. “The new scheme is a welcome addition to the range of government financial support for companies affected by Covid-19. “The future strength of the economy will be heavily dependent on the survival of the UK’s fast-growing and innovative young companies. “But the loans will be provided on a matched funding basis, meaning that at least the same amount of finance must be raised from other sources, such as existing or new investors or lenders.

Sean Farnell, Burgis & Bullock

“The requirement to have raised at least £250,000 in previous funding and to secure matched funding from other investors could prove a significant barrier. “During the current pandemic, this requirement is likely to restrict the take-up of the fund.”

Working from home? With full fibre we could all enjoy a more flexible future…

“At NAEC, we have already implemented a push for more sustainability and less waste throughout the business. “All of our waste goes through the vigorous sorting system run by the local council which specifically separates all the recyclable elements and treats them accordingly. Even the non-recyclable waste is sent to a processing plant which turns waste to energy.

Safetyflex Barriers has been assisted by the Department for International Trade (DIT) at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce since 2009, and has seen exports grow to over a third of its business. Safetyflex invented and manufactures ‘Truckstopper’ bollards and barriers, which can halt an 18-tonne vehicle travelling at 50mph. The company has benefited from several DIT programmes to help reach new markets and grow business overseas, and received funding to help create a strategic export action plan and exhibit at international trade shows. It has also received advice from numerous commercial teams within embassies, including the US and Australia. Rob Gerrard, director at Safetyflex Barriers, said: “When we began exploring the overseas market, we sought advice from the DIT before drawing up an export strategy focused on partnering with interritory distribution partners. “With that approach and with DIT support, we have since landed major contracts in

Over these past weeks, many of us will have adopted entirely new ways of doing everyday activities, such as attending meetings, completing coursework, joining exercise classes and catching up with friends and family. Likewise, many of us will have realised that all these activities now have one thing in common: a digital screen. This ‘new normal’ demonstrates exactly what we already suspected

– digital technology has transformed our lives. But, in reality, the way we work has been changing for a while now. Analysis from Aviva estimates that more than four million UK employees already work from home on a regular basis. Homeworking can bring a host of benefits, from spending less time and money on travel, to enjoying a better work-life balance. For businesses, it can also drive higher staff retention rates, encouraging loyalty from those seeking a better balance or increased flexibility.

The benefits are clear. But our technology isn’t there yet. Unfortunately, home broadband often isn’t fast or reliable enough to make permanent working from home anything more than a pipe dream for some parts of the country. The solution has to be full fibre digital connectivity – the fastest and most reliable option there is. As key workers, and the nation’s third national digital infrastructure provider, CityFibre has been asked by the UK Government to continue to expand the nation’s digital capacity. It is investing up to

£4bn in bringing full fibre within reach of up to eight million homes by 2025. In Coventry, this represents a £60m investment in a new future-proof digital infrastructure that will serve the needs of homes and businesses for decades to come. This investment will help to unlock the workplace – and workforce of the future. Soon, working from home won’t just be something that only a select few can make the most of. Instead, it will be the reality for millions more employees up and down the country. For more information visit www.cityfibre.com

Warwick Print rallies against Covid-19 Warwick Print has adjusted to self-isolation and remote working with surprising ease. Thanks to the support structure of being based on campus at the University of Warwick, we were quickly and effortlessly able to adjust our administrative and design infrastructure to the individual homes of our team members. This has meant we’ve been able to continue building on our recent pitch wins and supporting the organisations that awarded work to us.

We are supporting the Chamber on the development of their membership sales toolkit and building on our existing working relationship to support the Chamber in the ongoing development of their accelerated growth programme. We are also continuing to support Coombe Abbey in the development of their marketing programme, including their 2020 Christmas and special events brochures. In addition to this, we are supporting the university in

providing a continuous service in these challenging times. The year 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Warwick Print are working closely with their marketing team to develop a commemorative book and expo visuals. Most importantly, Warwick Print continues to support our hardworking NHS colleagues in University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire and South Warwickshire Foundation

Trust departments including emergency, health and lifestyle services, radiology, pharmacy, ICU, patient experience, community clinics, haematology and many more. For more information visit www.warwickprint.co.uk


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Nimbus DTI

Top 5 Cloud myths Cloud migration can be a very complex and sometimes daunting topic. Understandably businesses have many questions about whether moving to the cloud is right for them. As cloud migration experts, Nimbus Digital and Technology Innovations, who are leading on some of the public sectors largest cloud migrations, are combating some common myths regarding cloud migration. 1. The cloud is not safe This a common misconception about cloud computing, most security controls in the cloud are no different from any other IT environment. Security responsibilities and accountabilities are changed by the use of cloud computing. However, the cloud offers more flexibility, control and options on making your IT more secure than it is now. Additionally, you will benefit from the security work already undertaken by cloud service providers such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

2. Cloud migration is expensive

By Jack Hazell, Director of Operations

There is an initial cost to cloud migration; however, in the long term savings follow as as you only pay for what you use when you use it. Unlike standard on-premise solutions that require significant capital investments, often underutilised, the cloud offers you the ability to flex up and down as needed. This intelligent management of your systems will lead to significant long-term savings and efficiency.

3. My systems will not work in the cloud Modern tools and techniques to migrate legacy systems and data to the cloud allow for a full assessment of any system and pre-flight checks can be undertaken. This analysis assesses the viability and provides further details on what remediation work will be required to ensure that the systems can be migrated and that they will function fully in the cloud. Putting your legacy systems in the cloud can help to future proof your organisation and allow your company to realise many new benefits, such as remote working.

4. The migration will cause business downtime Changing your systems from onpremise solutions to cloud solutions can disrupt if incorrectly managed. The key to success is understanding your business processes and developing a Cloud Adoption Strategy and Cloud Implementation Plan that meets your business needs,

eliminating business downtime and disruption to your critical business processes. With careful planning and the skills of an experienced cloud migration specialist, you can fully embrace the cloud even for your critical business applications where downtime is not an option.

5. Cloud migration is only for large organisations A fundamental principle of running your business in the cloud is maximising access to your IT services from anywhere, using any device. Which will improve your organisations’ productivity and flexibility; this is a benefit to any organisation, large or small. Cloud computing models are now in a position where this is achievable to any business irrespective of its size. If you are considering how your business might start benefiting from cloud computing or you are part way through your journey and would like some assistance, please get in touch.

Nimbus lead the way in providing collaborative, agile and adaptive digital and technological innovations that enables our customers to benefit from running their business and IT services in the cloud.

Our success has been built by forming partnerships with our customers, allowing us to provide ‘best in class’ cloud solutions that meet their needs and solve their challenges. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

nimbusdti.co.uk 19

Profile: Fleur Sexton

Resilience and reinvention the key to recovery Fleur Sexton DL knows better than most how the world can turn upside down in business in a very short space of time.

“We’ll soon be operating in France, Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain and we are looking at the UAE too. We are working with the Chamber and DIT to get this moving.

It’s five years since Fleur was last featured as the main profile in C&W in Business and it’s incredible to note what has changed in both her world, in the region and across the globe.

Fleur, who runs training specialist company PET-Xi with offices in Coventry, Sheffield and Nuneaton, should have been celebrating the firm’s 25th anniversary in 2020 after coming through one of the toughest 12-month periods for her business. The business, which was established by Fleur while she was a French teacher in 1995, has worked with more than 200,000 learners during that time. The Coronavirus pandemic has meant the company, that works right across the UK, took a significant financial hit when GCSEs were cancelled as a big chunk of the firm’s work is connected to exam revision and helping students achieve their potential. Resilience is a quality that Fleur has had to call upon on numerous occasions during her business career and that, along with reinvention, is a big factor in PET-Xi reaching its 25th birthday. “Every five to seven years we’ve had to reinvent ourselves because of the changes in Government or change in policy – that’s how it has always been for us,” Fleur said. “Coronavirus has brought about another one of those situations where we have had to adapt, like others. We’ve enabled the whole company to work online and have used that to push into European markets by delivering English language training.

“When you look at new ways of working, it presents new opportunities and new places to work. You have to look at your skillsets as a business and, in this pressure cooker situation, try to get something positive out of it.

There was no Brexit, no President Trump and, of course, no Coronavirus back then.


“In 2010, a new Government came in and changed everything in that June around training and education funding and we had to reinvent ourselves as a business over the course of the summer holiday! “Last year was extremely difficult for us because there were a series of funding changes in the education sector that affected us and it meant cash became very tight. We lost a whole income stream and had to race against time to try to replace it. “We got through it and that has made us resilient as a business and has prepared us for this. You have to know your figures inside out and you know the importance of having a strong team around you. “It can be terrifying but you have to make some really fast decisions because there isn’t time to pause. “Resilience and reinvention are key to survival and there will be a lot of businesses who are having to do this for the first time because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Those who can reinvent are the ones who survive.”

“We didn’t realise how easy life was did we?” joked Fleur. Coventry has since bid for – and won – UK City of Culture 2021, something Fleur played a part in during the bidding process. PET-Xi was one of the Bid Development sponsors and has continued as the city prepares for its year, while Birmingham won the right to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Once again, Fleur is making her mark on that event too.

“It’s a rocket to a new life for some of those harder to reach people and communities.” Fleur also has other regional and local community board roles in which she typically brings her passion for community engagement to cultural and musical projects, or as a business leader as with the Chamber of Commerce board. On a personal level, PET-Xi bought its HQ in Westwood Business Park and Fleur picked up the Businesswoman of the Year title in 2017 which saw her catapulted onto the national media stage including slots on Sky News – usually as the voice of reason during political debates between the hard left and hard right. The title also saw her invited into schools and businesses to give talks and also led to a call of royal proportions. “I won the UK Businesswoman of the Year title and it meant a great deal to me,” Fleur said. “The big thing I based it on was to help women get on and be role models for one another – the concept that real queens fix each other’s crowns. One of my biggest role models in business is Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Chamber, because she inspires me to use business as a way to build the community. “After winning the award, I became Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in the April of 2018. I absolutely love it because it’s all about community and people. As DLs, we assist the Lord Lieutenant John Crabtree, who is the most wonderful, community-focused person and it’s such an honour to work with him and his Lieutenancy team. “I really love the Citizenship Ceremonies and I also do a lot of school visits and official events, meeting people who have done such wonderful things in their communities. I had my first Royal visit recently with the Duke of Kent at a school in Birmingham when I had to go and greet him, host him and then take him round the school. “It was very nerve-racking but he was a lovely man and it was lovely to see how excited all the children were to meet him.

“I am a member of the legacy board for Coventry 2021 and also for the Commonwealth Games in 2022,” she said. “I just adore the whole concept of something that can galvanise a community. A lot of what we do as a business is break down barriers for people to take part in their community and 2021 and 2022 are a massive gift to a region to help it do that. “Everything is always about the people, if not, what’s the point? If there are opportunities in an area, I want to see those opportunities go to local people so their lives become better and brighter. “It’s amazing for the city and the region. Getting people who have never been involved in their city suddenly being part of it, what’s not to love?


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: Fleur Sexton “I am just excited about people – meeting the Duke of Kent was amazing but I am also really excited to meet young people and love finding out about their hopes and dreams. “As you build a business, you should never forget why you do it and I just love being with people and I love breaking down barriers. I just wouldn’t be able to sit back and be a chief executive in an office. I would go out of my mind! “The reason we do it – our mission – is to break barriers and empower learners through education and employment and we take this very seriously. We have a zero-exclusion policy and we never exclude a learner. We will always find a way to help people however they come to us, whatever situation and however great the barriers may seem. “To give you an idea of how farreaching our mission is, we run a project to help homeless people into work and this is a long-term project funded by the WMCA, which is funding fabulous community development work across the entire region. We work with children who have been excluded from school or who are at risk of being excluded. “We have a contract with the DWP to get young people back into their communities and into work and education. We also work with long-term unemployed people helping them to get into work. And we work with businesses upskilling their staff, helping them to fulfil their career potential, which in turn helps businesses to break their own barriers. “The staff at PET-Xi are amazing people and are truly committed to this belief in second chances. The tougher the challenge the better!” Like everyone else in business, Fleur is waiting to find out what the new ‘normal’ is going to look like but is determined to continue to grow on the work it already does in schools; the contracts it delivers

to support adults and also the business contracts such as Skills4Growth. Fleur said: “We have created a whole remote delivery offer which uses our trademark high energy trainers helping people to engage with the subject, raise their confidence, overcome barriers and have fun! It’s not just courses online, it’s the whole PET-Xi experience of multiple trainers, life-affirming delivery and fun!” Whatever the future brings, it will continue to be a family affair for Fleur as her son, Jake (20), heads up recruitment. And while others have been getting used to see work blend with home-time over recent weeks, that’s something that has always come naturally to Fleur. “My family has already been part of my working life,” she said. “Some people have their life compartmentalised but somebody said mine was more like Spaghetti Bolognese, you can’t pick the individual bits and pieces out of it. “Staff tend to stay a long time at PET-Xi and the ones who leave tend to always keep in touch. We have always had a family feel to the company too as we invite staff to bring their whole families to the summer and Christmas fundraising balls, and children are always welcome in the offices. “It sometimes means you can’t switch off and I am not always that good at switching off. But it means I have the flexibility to work when I need to and then to be with the family when I could and they’ve all grown up loving the business and being very committed to being involved with their community. “Some people say business isn’t personal, but it is to me. I work in an area which is more a vocation than a job. You work with people who are friends and some I count as family (in my case, some actually are family!) and I think my resilience stems from knowing how much this means to me.”

“The reason we do it – our mission – is to break barriers and empower learners through education and employment and we take this very seriously. We have a zero-exclusion policy and we never exclude a learner. We will always find a way to help people however they come to us, whatever situation and however great the barriers may seem. “

Fleur Sexton Born:



Proud to live in Coventry


To Chris Sexton for 26 years (Childhood sweethearts. We met at school when I was 16 and he was 17)


Everything Coventry and West Midlands. I love actively supporting community events with the family. I also adore my garden & allotment, have six dogs (four of which are rescue dogs), love music (am the Chair of the Coventry Music Trust) and love going to the ballet and theatre with family & friends


Jake 20, Kate 15, Lara 10

Favourite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird Favourite Film: Coco


Last Holiday:

Family holiday by the sea (with the dogs) in Sandbanks


My phone



College appeals planning decision

NWSLC wants the Nuneaton campus to match its MTI facility so students learn in 21st century ways

Heartflood becomes new Chamber member

Heartflood is the latest company to sign up for membership of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

The company is a specialist in place management and development with particular expertise in the creation and management of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in town and city centres. With more than 20 successful BID development projects under its belt, Heartflood employs a dynamic team of professionals including place managers who are currently looking to expand their diverse client base. Chris Gregory formed the company in 2014 and has more than 20 years of industry experience.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) has lodged an appeal against the decision to reject proposals to build 195 homes on its Nuneaton site. The college wants to reverse the decision made last year by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council not to allow it to go ahead with the development. NWSLC is seeking to sell a portion of its Hinckley Road campus for development so it can invest in facilities – including new engineering workshops and digitally enabled learning environments – as part of its plan to achieve outstanding educational standards. The development would include up to 195 dwellings, an all-weather 3G sports pitch, associated public open space and other green infrastructure. Marion Plant, chief executive at NWSLC, said: “The college is at a crossroads. We need the funds from this redevelopment to change the campus facilities so that we can keep pace with demands to provide a

For further information visit www.heartflood.co.uk

NWSLC’s Nuneaton garage as it is today and as the college’s chair of govenors - Ray Linforth remembered it when he first taught there 40 yrs ago

Coventry College among the top four FE institutions

He said: “Although we have an extensive client base and are currently carrying out active projects in Dorset, Hertfordshire and Yorkshire to name but a few, we are very keen to carry out more work on our own doorstep and so are excited to be a new member of the Chamber.” As well as working on BIDs, the Heartflood team is qualified to carry out a range of commissions to improve towns and cities, including all forms of place management, making and marketing.

world-class, skilled workforce in a safe, modern and well-equipped environment. “We are appealing because there are no other timely alternatives to provide sufficient funds to sustain our virtuous circle. First you establish high teaching standards. OFSTED has recognised we’re already achieving those. That means you attract more students and more staff who reach ever higher so that students fulfil even more of their potential and get great job opportunities and life chances. But the foundation to all of this is an environment which fosters excellence. Outstanding facilities – great buildings, facilities and resources – help us deliver outstanding student results. “In common with colleges across the country, we have seen a 30% reduction in funding over the past ten years. We know the government expects colleges to be responsible for their financial health. With the introduction of the insolvency regime, colleges like us must invest in our future by using our own reserves or generating cash.

“For many reasons, NWSLC has been left behind in keeping our campus on track compared with other colleges’ facilities. We must put that right now, hence the appeal.” She added: “Whilst the government continues to announce funding for colleges to invest in their estates, much of this is match-funded from colleges’ own reserves or subject to colleges being able to demonstrate that they are already investing. The funding is also attached to specific qualifications – such as T levels – which the college has applied to provide but won’t be able to sustain in the medium term unless we make this investment in our estate now.” The college will use cash from the sale of the land for the development to invest in new facilities and restructure the campus. This would include investment in mobile and flexible technology, such as laptop banks and digital library resources, and modern industry-standard workshops to drive the development of much-needed automotive and engineering skills. Improvements to hair and beauty salons and repair and maintenance work on campus buildings would also be carried out.

A team of students have propelled Coventry College into one of the top four Esports colleges in England – just six months after forming. Six of the college’s interactive media and games design students – called Coventry Crosshairs – are celebrating after making it to the semi-finals of the British Esports Association’s Overwatch Tournament, which sees around 70 colleges competing

against each other in a group and knock-out format. Overwatch is an online first-person game played by more than 40 million people where players work as a team to defend and control locations on a map. After topping their seven-team group earlier this year, the Crosshairs then defeated Gower College Owls 3-0 in the quarter finals after a strong start, before facing three-time British Esports champions Seers Sunderland College. The Crosshairs eventually tasted defeat for the first time in the semi-finals, losing 3-0 to the defending champions. Reflecting on the team’s journey into the latter stages of the tournament, Crosshairs team manager Shoubna Naika-Taylor said their achievement had given the college

further encouragement to expand its team in future years. Shoubna, who is also the curriculum lead for creative and digital at Coventry College, said: “We have come so far as a team since October. The longer we are together, and if we can expand our roster, then who knows how far we can go next year? “We had to play our semi-final remotely from our own homes because of Coronavirus, but we put up a battling display against the reigning champions and I’m really proud of the performance that we put in. “Esports is a fast-growing industry, and to reflect this, we as a college have introduced Esports as an extra-curricular activity for all of our students who want to broaden their horizons beyond their existing course.”

Revival of export documentation Global exporting from Coventry and Warwickshire is starting to return to pre Covid-19 levels for some companies, it has been revealed. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce - which assists hundreds of the region’s businesses with export documentation - has said after a temporary dip in requests for processing export documentation when the lockdown was announced, it has experienced a significant revival in the past week. During the week that the lockdown was announced by the government, the Chamber handled around 50 export document requests from Coventry and Warwickshire firms, yet since then, there has been a steady weekly rise, culminating in around 100 requests a week during week commencing 20 April, with the transactions collectively worth more than £2.5 million.


During that week, Turkey was the most popular destination for products requiring documentation through the Chamber at 38 per cent, followed by the United Arab Emirates (21 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (9 per cent). Ajay Desai, International Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Other countries are at different stages of overcoming Covid-19, with some overseas industries continuing to operate in some form or returning to normal, which is why some of our region’s businesses are starting to see similar levels of demand from overseas, and across a whole range of sectors. “There was, understandably, an initial dip in exporting while businesses digested how the lockdown would impact them, and what financial help they could access from the government.

“Since then though, we have seen a consistent increase over the past month, to the point where we are now back at our pre Covid-19 levels of fulfilling up to 500 export documentation requests a month. “We are seeing requests from sectors such as manufacturing and engineering, right through to IT and software. “These documentation requests give us a reflection of exporting activity, as they are required every time a UK business wants to move their products across borders. They don’t take into account activity with the EU because exports into the European Union don’t require the documentation service we provide to companies. “It shows that there is potential in a range of markets for our region once we start to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19. “The seriousness of Covid-19 has seen stricter behaviour from some

embassies who are wanting to receive ‘wet signatures’ on documentation on specific days, so the Chamber has been helping firms from our region by dedicating every Wednesday to finalising documents that will get their transactions over the line. “While this is a challenging time for business as a whole, we are seeing companies in the region diversifying to join the national effort against Covid-19, whether it is producing ventilators or gowns - which when combined with the strong levels of exporting - is an encouraging sign for the regional economy.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Shakespeare’s England members win big at West Midlands Tourism Awards

Top tourist attractions across Coventry and Warwickshire have been congratulated after being recognised in an industry award scheme. Shakespeare’s England, the destination management organisation for South Warwickshire, saw a host of its members honoured at the West Midlands Tourism Awards. This is the first year that the awards have taken place and were organised by West Midlands Growth Company and

Reach, with support from Visit England, West Midlands Combined Authority and Shakespeare’s England. A special ceremony was hosted in the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall a nd saw Shakespeare’s England members scoop gold, silver and bronze awards. A round-up of all the Shakespeare’s England members who won awards are: • Large Hotel of the Year Gold – Coombe Abbey Bronze – Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa • International Tourism Gold – Shakespeare’s Birthplace Silver – Go Cotswolds • New Tourism Business Award Gold – Shakespeare Distillery Silver – Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon • Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Gold – Royal Shakespeare Company • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Gold – FarGo Village Silver – Shakespeare Schoolroom & Guildhall

• Pub of the Year Gold – The Howard Arms Silver – The Millstone Hare • Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award Silver – Royal Shakespeare Company • B&B/Guesthouse of the Year Silver – Avonlea • Experience of the Year Silver – Royal Shakespeare Company • Small Hotel of the Year Silver – Baraset Barn, Lovely Pubs • Business Events Venue of the Year Bronze – Coombe Abbey Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England, said: “We want to say a huge congratulations to all of the winners. The awards were very well deserved and it was fantastic to see so many of our members being recognised in this way. “It’s extremely important that we recognise tourism in the region and this has been the perfect way to do it.” For further information about Shakespeare’s England and its members visit www.shakespeares-england.co.uk

Microlise completes acquisition of fleet compliance management provider Microlise, the telematics and transport management solutions provider, has completed the acquisition of TruTac. TruTac is a UK provider of fleet compliance and management software for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) and public service vehicles (PSV). The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed and as part of the acquisition, TruTac will remain an independent company as part of the Microlise Group. The acquisition underscores Microlise’s ongoing commitment to forge new partnerships and opportunities to increase

product and service innovation to support its international customer base in the UK, France, India, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Headquartered in Nottingham, Microlise is a UK provider of telematics and transport technology products, with more than 500,000 connections around the world. Its fleet performance, journey management, planning and optimisation and proof of delivery products are used by fleet operators while its solutions are also successfully deployed by OEM partners including MAN Truck & Bus UK, JCB and Tata Motors in India.

Founded in 1990 and operating throughout the UK and Ireland, TruTac has successfully established itself as a well-known designer and provider of fleet compliance software for HGV and PSV operators. Nadeem Raza, Microlise’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to announce this acquisition and we welcome the TruTac team to Microlise. This union strengthens our presence in the HGV and PSV sectors, and complements our group offering of real-time fleet management systems to enable smarter and more accurate operational decisions.”

Terry Ramsey, managing director of TruTac, added: “I am proud of everything TruTac has achieved in becoming the UK’s compliance software market leader and this is great news for old and new HGV and PSV customers. Microlise and TruTac are guided by the same ethos and passion for transport and this union is a positive one.” For more information visit https://www.microlise.com

Traffic management firm wins accreditation from major training body

Trainees being taught a Lantra-approved course at Stadium’s head office in Coventry

Highways workers looking to qualify to work on the UK’s roads can now earn their stripes from a Coventrybased event management firm after it earned accreditation from a respected industry body. Stadium has now been approved by Lantra, a major provider of training in


a variety of land-based industries, to deliver important traffic management courses at any venue they choose. The firm has been accredited to teach a course known as Highways Sector Scheme 12D, which ensures anyone who works on urban or rural roads, be they construction workers, highway inspectors or traffic management staff, are fully competent before they start work. Completion of the course means a trainee becomes a registered traffic management operative (RTMO). Jemma Baillie, HR and training manager at Stadium, said: “Being accredited by Lantra is a real boost for Stadium, as anyone wishing to qualify to work on UK roads in a number of roles will now be able to come to us to earn their qualification. “Not only that, we will also be able to head out and deliver this course

externally for those who aren’t able to come to Coventry easily. “Lantra qualifications are developed by industry experts, who we have been working alongside to get our course ready to go. “We are one of the best in the events industry when it comes to the training we provide, so being accredited by Lantra is another feather in our cap and enables us to meet even more of the needs of the events industry than we already do. “We’re really looking forward to teaching our first cohort of trainees and getting them qualified as RTMOs.” Stadium already provides training towards Level 2, 3 and 4 NVQs in spectator safety, SIA-accredited security courses, and in customer service. The company also provides bespoke training programmes to overseas clients.

Ricoh Arena to host tech giants at major conference Leaders from some of the UK’s biggest technology giants are visiting Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to discuss how 5G is impacting workforces working at height, and infrastructure among other issues.

The Mast and Tower Safety (MATS) Group Conference is set to welcome around 300 visitors and more than 40 exhibitors on Tuesday, October 6 – with MATS members such as Vodafone, EE, O2 and BT in attendance. Stewart Mardle is the chairman of MATS Group, which provides guidance to companies on up-to-date safety procedures when working at height on structures such as masts and towers, as well as radio frequency-related issues associated with broadcast and communications antennas. He said: “The roll out of 5G will really gather pace towards the end of this year, as more mobile phone providers begin to roll out 5G mobile phones, so this year’s conference will have a big focus on how this will impact engineers out in the field. “The speed of 5G will require the upgrade of existing cell towers in addition to the installation of additional ones, which is great for the industry, but with more powerful technology comes big changes to consider. “We are so used to technology getting smaller, but in actual fact the cell towers are becoming heavier and bigger to accommodate increasing volumes of data at faster speeds. “There are also some misconceptions flying around that the increase in cell towers could cause a risk to health, but we will have health professionals at the conference to allay fears around this, backed up by scientific evidence. “The conference continues to grow year-on-year – aided by the central location of Ricoh Arena – and we are looking forward to another successful year with some of the biggest communications companies in the country.” For more information visit www.matsgroup.info


Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust

Many small businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire owe their prosperity, if not their very existence, to the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT)… CWRT is a not-for-profit, FCA accredited, specialist finance and business support provider committed to supporting businesses and individuals primarily based in Coventry and Warwickshire. Our mission is to finance businesses and help people by providing services that are designed to fill gaps in the market and generates a beneficial impact upon the local community. CWRT, a not-for-profit organisation, was founded in 2004. Sixteen years later, its contribution to the region’s small businesses and the communities in which they operate across the region is colossal - and going from strength to strength. The Trust’s work between 2010 and 2020 had an Economic Value Impact of just over £40million. During that time, it provided 6,900 commercial, personal and start up loan’s worth more than £19million. That funding safeguarded 904 jobs and created a further 720. It enabled the creation of 250 start ups and 198 women-led businesses. But it’s not just about funding. Over the past 4 years, CWRT’s business support services have assisted over a hundred businesses across Warwickshire, 35 per cent of them from Nuneaton & Bedworth. In all parts of the county, businesses, families and communities have been built, protected and sustained by the work of the six-strong team at CWRT. Executive Director, Sheridan Sulskis is rightly proud of that team and the impact they have. “CWRT crucially fills a gap in the finance market, lending to those unable to raise finance from elsewhere, whether it’s individuals looking to start a business or existing businesses wanting to grow.” “Our business support programmes focuses on individuals wanting to explore whether starting up their own business is for them (JumpStart Project) and our Creative Springboard project is aimed at creative businesses trading less than 2 years who are now at the position where they are thinking about growth. We have a diverse range of services available to individuals and businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire

and thrilled that we are fulfilling our ethos by filling that gaps in the marketplace, whether that’s through our commercial or personal loans or our business support,” Sheridan said. “We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted majority of individuals and businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire and we hope that the range of financial and business support products we have available can help support them through this crisis. In addition, are working closely with our local Councils, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council, the Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub and the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to ensure that you have allround support.” CWRT provides loans (from £1,000 up to £100,000 with interest rates from 9.75% to 18.75% per annum) to existing businesses primarily operating in Coventry and Warwickshire. Support offered also includes CBILS Loans, The Duplex Investment Fund, Start Up Loans and Personal Loans, JumpStart (funded by Warwickshire County Council) and Creative Springboard (part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and managed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT) and Warwickshire County Council).

For more information, please call 02476 551777 or visit www.cwrt.uk.com Our Office: Enterprise Centre, Coventry University Technology Park, Puma Way, Coventry, CV1 2TX

“The Trust’s work between 2010 and 2020 had an Economic Value Impact of just over £40million. During that time, it provided 6,900 commercial, personal and start up loan’s worth more than £19million.” 24

Case Study A Leamingtonbased outdoor furniture manufacturer has begun work on ambitious new expansion plans which will lead to the creation of four new jobs when complete. Woodberry of Leamington Spa, which has been supplying venues in the hospitality industry for over 12 years, has experienced a sharp rise in demand for its environmentallyfriendly products and needed additional storage capacity. The company is currently building a 112-sq metre mezzanine floor which will enable it to store and assemble its range of 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic outdoor furniture during the winter months before demand picks up for the season. Woodberry received valuable business advice from the CWLEP Growth Hub, which introduced the company to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), a not-for-profit organisation providing highly competitive funding to businesses in the region. Through CWRT, Woodberry was able to secure finance from the Duplex Investment Fund, a new way to help finance capital investments by local businesses. Duplex combines public sector grants and loans to give financial flexibility and low cost. It is delivered by FCA accredited lending specialists CWRT on behalf of Coventry City Council (CCC), Warwickshire County Council (WCC), and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Duplex is open to businesses operating in Coventry and Warwickshire that can create jobs as a result of the investment. Tim Barr, General Manager Woodberry of Leamington Spa, said: “We are delighted with the support and assistance the CWLEP Growth Hub has provided to our business. Their expert knowledge of funding schemes has been invaluable for us to develop the Woodberry business for the future. “The funding to build the new mezzanine enables us to respond to our customers’ needs, grow the family business and further develop our environmental sustainability.” Andrew Scarborough, Loans Manager, CWRT, said: “Woodberry has strong ties with Leamington so it was great to be able to provide them with the funds to facilitate the next step in their development. “The new mezzanine floor will contribute to the local economy with the creation of new jobs which is great news for the area.” Martin Nwangwa, Account Manager, CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “Our association with Woodberry is an excellent example of how the CWLEP Growth Hub can assist businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire with their strategies for growth. “There is an increasing demand for environmentally-friendly products in the leisure and tourism sector and the new mezzanine floor will enable Woodberry to cater to this demand.” Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “Woodberry is a forward-thinking, small business with an impressive focus on environmentally friendly products and I am delighted that support from the Duplex Fund has enabled them to expand. “Warwickshire County Council’s £2 million investment in the Duplex Fund is part of our wider £5 million investment in access-to-finance programmes and underlines our commitment to support as small businesses as possible with their plans to grow.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Peace of Mind for Your Business with our Cyber Security Focused Solutions “IT support is something that all companies, whether big or small, should be taking seriously. As your business grows, you realise that the IT requirements also grow with it.” Simon Dickinson Managing Director

When is the right time to seek IT support? It is possible that you got your business to where it is today without professional IT support or with yourself or one or two employees managing your IT. Almost all businesses today use computers and the internet in their everyday activities. This has made professional IT support more of a necessity than an option. Why guess when you can hire professionals to advise you on what your company needs in terms of hardware, software, and even data security and storage.

“Our mission is to provide powerful solutions that are suitable for the largest of businesses, while having the ease of use and affordability that small businesses demand.” To put your business on the safe side, do not wait for a disaster to strike before you run around looking for IT professionals, contact us today. If you are searching for an IT company, Cipher IT are here to help you solve any technical problems you maybe having or worry about in the future. We are a personable and professional company ready to help.

Coronavirus : Is your business secure? Given the recent lockdown and staff working from home, is your business IT really efficient and secure?

Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) Combined with a VPN

You might think that if things get worse, your business will grind to a halt with all staff unable to work.

1. A Remote Desktop Server

However, there are actually a few ways that you can ensure you and your staff are able to work from home, keep on top of the necessary tasks and communicate with each other effectively. Cloud Solutions The easiest and most reliable method. Most major applications nowadays offer a cloud-based solution, Office 365, Sage, SharePoint etc. Many systems are in fact purely cloud-based. Using cloud tools such as Instant Messaging, Microsoft Teams or others can ensure collaboration between employees doesn’t suffer just because they aren’t in the same building. As long as there is an internet connection, these online programs work the same anywhere.

There are 2 Options: 2. A dedicated desktop at work that is powered on. Typically, the user’s work computer. These solutions allow users to connect and work in the exact same manner as though they were at the office. Only the screen is transmitted across the internet. This means you can work on any systems that would otherwise function slowly across an internet connection. Some companies don’t wish to utilise cloud solutions and prefer using on-premise applications. These businesses would benefit from such a solution. Voice Over IP Systems (VOIP)

If you don’t use intensive programs such as Sage, and just need users to access data on network drives on the server.

Having a VOIP phone solution means you can easily forward calls to mobiles or have VOIP handsets at staff homes. This can be a physical handset or a softphone running on your computer or smart phone.

These secure connections allow staff to work as though they are in the office.

This ensures your staff can make and take calls for your business from home.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

NHS – 3D Printing – Doing Our Bit Recently, a young lad named Quinn created a fantastic design to help ease issues for health care workers caused by wearing masks all day, such as sores on ears and the ability to adjust the mask to fit the face better. He released the design online for anyone else able to help. So to do our part, we fired up the 3D printer and are producing as many as we can. The initial batch got great feedback from the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. Looks like the 3D Printer will be very busy for sometime!

Helping with Face Visors King Henry the 8th School released an announcement on Facebook asking for supplies to continue manufacturing Visors for the NHS. Cipher-IT purchased and donated a supply of A4 Acetate sheets to help out.

www.cipher-it.co.uk info@cipher-it.co.uk Tel: 02476 102030 With our Managed services we’re always there to keep the wheels turning.


Responsive services to deal with your day-to-day issues as and when they arise.

Our responsive project support services seamlessly integrate with your team.

Bespoke Security Solutions tailored to meet your business needs.

Business Critical Out of Hours available

Coventry University Technology Park, Puma Way, Coventry, CV1 2TT


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Let’s get ready for post-lockdown! that these outlets are continuing to be mindful of everyone’s health and safety. Our range includes a whole host of options including safe distancing floor stickers, Please Queue Here signs, window stickers, posters and, for those who need them, protective screens. We’ve also developed a range built around the rainbow theme that was communicated by so many, young and old, across the country as a sign of hope and community spirit.

Are you ready to come out of lockdown? After weeks of being unable to work, many people will soon start returning to the office and as we enter this next phase, businesses, customers and employees will all be thinking how they can return and stay safe, be it at work or out and about during leisure time. We understand that many businesses may need a little help with how they can easily communicate some of these core messages and restrictions. We have developed a specific portal in response to this. www.socialdistancingkits.co.uk has a range of designs, colours, materials and messages to suit all businesses and ensure they can reopen with the reassurance that some measures are still in place to keep customers and employees safe.

Key to the success of this venture was to ensure that the designs were tailored accordingly. Manufacturing signs are illuminated in bold, bright colours with clear, straightforward messages. Retail and office signs have been kept light-hearted and friendly with less intrusive colourways so they do not cause concern but reassure customers

Our pricing and bundles have been carefully put together to be as competitive as possible, keeping our costs low to allow businesses of all sizes to find the right solutions. We only use high-quality materials that last and don’t trade in cheap items so customers can be reassured that what they purchase will last. Our site is now live and ready to take orders. For more information visit www.socialdistancingkits.co.uk

“We have developed a specific portal in response to this. www.socialdistancingkits.co.uk has a range of designs, colours, materials and messages to suit all businesses and ensure they can reopen with the reassurance that some measures are still in place to keep customers and employees safe.”

Cirkularis8 offers insight into post-COVID life London-based office design and build company, Cirkularis8, has appointed a CRM and operations manager, Lucy Flinter, and CFO Jo Ford to solidify and implement the COVID-19 survival processes. Steve Owens also joins the firm (from Sir Terance Conran’s Benchmark) as well as Heidi Magner (from Cushman & Wakefield) to build on the excellent design and contracts team to complete current projects and increase their ability to support business real estate across the UK. Cirkularis8 was founded in 2017 by Kristoff Dubose. Having become tired of the usual design and build practices he set out to break the mould and lead by being “better by design”. The firm continues to pick up clients even during the Covid-19 crisis. Cirkularis8 is a creative, innovative, consultative and problem-solving brand. The company believes in having a “Cirkular” design process, meaning that clients never get left behind. Clients are always treated


as though it’s the beginning so that there’s never an end. The company said: “Time and time again, clients get abandoned once their projects are completed. Such frustration and disappointment are the very foundation of the CK8 ethos. All too often you’re a client until you’re not a client, and then it’s over. Not with CK8. This emphasis on relationships is the key to thriving in a postpandemic economy. “Projects range from 5,000 sf to 50,000 sf. Clients like Splunk, Robert Half, Dods, Global Blue,

Blick Rothenberg and Zoom Communications consistently rave about the outstanding value proposition CK8 delivers, stating that they never leave any stone unturned in their commitment to outstanding service. Cirkularis8 has paused its expansion plans due to Covid-19 but is looking forward to building new relationships in Coventry and Warwickshire once lockdown and social distancing measures allow.” For more information visit www.cirkularis8.com/about-us/

New business hits the high note An exciting new business that supplies music for events and special occasions has launched in Coventry and Warwickshire. Debbie Lynne, a professional violinist for more than 25 years, is the brains and musical talent behind the new venture. She said: “Dad was a security officer and Mum was a housewife and there wasn’t anyone else in the family that was musical so I have no idea where it all came from, but one day at school when I was eight or nine, someone put a violin in my hands and that was it.” Fast forward lots of hard work, music exam grades and Conservatoire, Debbie joined the freelance circuit where she refined her craft. “I had my own small business in Birmingham some years ago, where I mainly played in orchestras with some string quartet work,” she said. “I moved to Paris where I continued working in orchestras and when I decided to return home, I was building my business back up when I got smashed into by a joy-rider. “I had injuries that stopped me working as a violinist and I had to consider other things, so I moved into teaching English before working as a careers manager. It took some time to get strong enough to consider playing the violin again, but it’s in the blood!” At Christmas last year, Debbie decided to start working with her violin again, and has launched her new business, Debbie Lynne Music, which will provide music for all manner of events, from wedding proposals to new car launches. She said: “I’ve been busy setting things up with the help of fabulously talented people; photographer Lorentz Gullachsen and Neil from Gabrielle Media, who has produced my video samples. I’ve also received lots of valuable support from Margaret Bull from the Chamber of Commerce.”



New headquarters for Midlands environmental consultancy Maximise your selling price? A business growth specialist has given his top tips on how to increase the resale value of a company. John Holder of Profit-Growth Unlimited said that while implementing a strategic marketing approach in the short-term could maximise profitability within the business, embedding that approach within systems and procedures could have a marked effect on the company’s resale value. He said: “Too many businesses approach the owner’s exit point without ensuring that the business will continue to thrive after the owner has gone; hence the dramatic improvement in the valuation of the business when there is a clearly demonstrable system in place that the new owner or owners can continue to operate smoothly, without the prior knowledge that the departing owner had. “Such a system will have a clear definition of the target market, why they might wish to buy whatever the business offers (be it a product or service), what makes this particular business so unique that they dominate that marketplace, together with one or more tailored marketing campaigns complete with followup processes. Ideally what I am describing will even include scripted openings and responses, so that everyone involved in the business continues “on message”. “If you are now approaching the time when you would wish to exit your business and extract maximum value, probably to fund your pension pot, how close are you to being able to demonstrate that you have in place what I have described above? It is not impossible to put in place such a framework relatively quickly, provided that you know the core definitions and how to move a prospect forward to become a customer/client. “Assuming that you have a well-oiled machine of a business, with a positive financial reporting regime, generating timely periodic management accounts, what I describe above can increase the resale value of your business by anything between 33% and 50%.”


A bumper crop of new work and new clients has seen thriving Midlands environmental consultancy Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants move into larger premises with the aid of property agency John Truslove. Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants provides topographical surveys, tree and ecology advice, working on a wide range of projects for a variety of clients including developers, architects, planners, local authorities and landowners nationwide. The company has seen annual growth of 20% over the past four years, leading to a need for new premises to cater for its ten-strong team as it outgrew its former home at Minerva Mill in Alcester. Working with Ben Truslove, joint managing director at property consultants John Truslove, Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants has now taken 1,035 sq ft of office space at Old Vicarage, Alcester Road in Coughton, near Alcester, on a five-year term. Peter Wharton, founder of Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants, said: “Ben and the team at John Truslove have been brilliant, really helpful throughout the process as we got the premises ready for us to move in. These premises are much more suitable for our needs and have had a real impact on our efficiency, along with some of the new technology

we are now using. Instead of all working in one office, we can now separate out, which helps us focus on the job in hand. “As well as making us more efficient for our clients, it is also helping us reduce our operating costs.” Ben Truslove added: “Helping a firm find the right premises is part of the DNA of our business. It makes all the

difference to how a business operates, enabling its people to worker better and smarter, improving their efficiency and the efficiency – and profitability – of the wider company. “Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants is a growing business in an increasingly busy sector and these offices will provide the platform for further secure growth.”

“Ben and the team at John Truslove have been brilliant, really helpful throughout the process as we got the premises ready for us to move in.”

XL Motors welcomes BMW & Mini XL Motors is delighted to announce it is now a BMW & Mini-approved body and paint centre. XL Motors adds these prestigious brands to the many motor manufacturers from which they have gained approval, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo to name just a few. Since 1990, XL Motors has demonstrated its commitment to excellence and become one of the region’s premier accident repair centres. The company has come a long way over the last 30 years. In the past five years alone, it has invested in state-

of-the-art equipment, environmental procedures and training to ensure it stays ahead of the market within the region. Never standing still, the company continues to invest heavily in technology and resources to drive growth. Managing Director Rob Ally said: “We are thrilled to have achieved another prestigious approval, this time from BMW & Mini. As we mark our 30th year in business, it is always a pleasure to increase our working partnerships and enhance our manufacturers’ brands. Our customer promise is that we safely deliver quality.

“Contact XL Motors, your local approved BMW bodyshop centre, and arrange a suitable time to drop off your vehicle. If you are going through an insurance company, it’s important to always insist that they use a BMW-approved bodyshop to carry out any repairs. XL Motors-approved technicians will only use genuine BMW and Mini parts, paint and the most up-to date repair methods to give peace of mind that your BMW or Mini has been repaired to the highest standards and safety.” For more information visit www.xlarc.co.uk

“We are thrilled to have achieved another prestigious approval, this time from BMW & Mini. As we mark our 30th year in business, it is always a pleasure to increase our working partnerships and enhance our manufacturers’ brands.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Essential local company helps clean up Coronavirus Mirius Global Hygiene Solutions in Coventry is one of the few companies in our region who are closer than most to the current Coronavirus pandemic. The business supplies cleaning and hygiene products to professional, retail and healthcare providers across the globe and has experienced unprecedented and accelerated demand for its cleaning ranges since the start of the outbreak. Darren Langdon Commercial Director said “Early on in the pandemic it was clear to us that this was no ordinary outbreak of what many people thought was just a flu virus. Since 1962 we have been pioneering bio-security hygiene products and we work closely with governments, healthcare providers and local communities in disease prevention and control. At our site in Coventry we have an international healthcare team who constantly monitor such outbreaks and shortly after the disease started to emerge, the uplift in orders from our Chinese customers for bio-security disinfectants was an early warning sign.”

A normal week would see Mirius producing a vast array of different types of cleaning products, from a portfolio of thousands of formulations. This has changed beyond all recognition as their factory has had to prioritise the production of disinfectants, bleaches and hand soaps.

Over the years Mirius have developed a range of broad spectrum bactericidal and viricidal products proven to kill the likes of Bird Flu, SARS and Swine Flu. In January they sent a number of existing and newly developed products, to independent test laboratories across the UK to confirm their efficacy against Coronaviruses. Darren Langdon: “Although we knew we had a fantastic range of products both existing and in current development, that we were confident would render such a virus inactive. Having them tested and approved was of paramount importance. As expected, when the test results came back, they confirmed a number of products were - Effective according to EN14467 against enveloped viruses which includes coronaviruses.”

To support the professional cleaning sector Mirius expedited its technical development of a range of disinfectants under its brand name ‘Super Professional’, introducing a new 750ml antiviral trigger spray and 5ltr jerry can. This product is in high demand as people race to clean offices and educational establishments. In addition, the business was urged by its retail customers to do likewise for consumers. As stores across the UK saw unprecedented demand for cleaning products and shelves were left empty.

As the UK Government has classified the business as essential, it is now operating 24hrs a day 7 days a week, prioritising the production of antiviral disinfectants.

Darren Langdon “Supplying products to the three areas of our business; Healthcare, Professional and Retail has been a significant challenge, as all sectors are exceptionally busy and must be supported. As priority we absolutely must support our healthcare providers at the very frontline in the fight against the disease. We also have to supply products to the professional cleaning sector, so they can clean and disinfect offices, schools, supermarkets and public spaces. But just as important is the need for consumers to obtain disinfectant products, so they can clean their homes and protect their families.”

Darren Langdon “The retail trade in particular has been very demanding and we are acutely aware of our social responsibility to support the general public. Using a more consumer-friendly variant of our hospital disinfectant Hycolin™, we have managed to get the retail version of this brand independently tested, approved and into stores in record time. Hycolin™ Antiviral Surface Disinfectant is now one of the fastest selling cleaning products in grocery.” One of the key challenges the business has faced is the cost of raw materials and the supply of trigger heads which are manufactured in China. Darren Langdon “On a regular basis we run a number of disaster case study scenarios, so as a management team we are prepared for most eventualities. One of these scenarios was a strain on the supply chain, so very quickly our processes kicked-in and we secured substantial additional materials. Doing so has meant that unlike many of our competitors, we haven’t forced price increases upon our customers.” To keep running at higher capacity the business has implemented stringent health and safety measures to safeguard its employees including external wash stations, social distancing, uprated PPE and working from home. The business remains determined to provide its customers with the highest quality products and they are working tirelessly day and night to fulfil customer orders. So, what does the future hold for the business and how does Mirius see the

More information about Mirius can be found on their website www.mirius.com or you can connect with them and keep abreast of developments through their LinkedIn pages www.linkedin.com/company/mirius

cleaning landscape changing? Darren Langdon “Before the pandemic we were already working at record levels, as we continued to secure new customers across all areas. Testament to this was our 2019 Sunday Times Export Award and being placed 9th in the Alantra Chemicals & Coatings Awards, as one of the Fastest Growing Chemical Companies in Europe. Undoubtedly there will be a greater emphasis on products that support improved health and hygiene and our business is in a very strong position to support this demand. On a more personal note, myself and the rest of the team are thankful that such professions as cleaners and those in the health service are now receiving the recognition they so rightly deserve.” Its clear that Mirius is best placed to support its clients at this difficult time and its success is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone in the business. The future of the business really does look clean and bright.

Area Focus: Coventry

Coventry native joins local BID Plans announced for new Ricoh Arena hotel A new 150-room hotel at one of the Midlands’ premier sporting and leisure complexes is set to create more than 30 new jobs and have a substantial economic impact on the regional economy.

Wasps Group’s Ricoh Arena complex already boasts a 32,600-capacity stadium alongside 20,000 square metres of event space, including the 6,000-square-metre exhibition hall, casino and various lounges. The proposed hotel, which will be located at the stadium’s Car Park C, will further strengthen the group’s commercial operations. The Ricoh Arena stages more than 1,300 events a year, and an increase of bedroom stock on site could see it attract even more multi-day events. The new £15 million Hampton by Hilton hotel will complement the complex’s 121-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and will enable the Ricoh Arena to attract more conferences and exhibitions to the site. Plans for the new hotel will be showcased at MIPIM, the world’s largest commercial development and investment show, where Wasps are members of the Coventry & Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership. A planning application has already been submitted and, if successful, work on the new hotel could begin in the summer. The venue is scheduled for completion in Q4 2021 – in time for Coventry City of Culture and ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Birmingham in the summer of 2022. Stuart Cain, chief executive (venue) at Wasps Group, said: “This is an exciting project that will greatly benefit not only Wasps Group but the city as a whole. “The new hotel has the potential to create more than 30 new jobs in the hospitality sector and will bring in around £3.5 million per year to the local economy.” Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: “A hotel has always been part of the wider plan for the whole development, so I’m glad to see this progress. I’m sure it will enable the team to secure even more brilliant events at the Ricoh and of course it will create new jobs for local people.”


Michael Mogan MBE has joined Coventry BID as sponsorship advisor to lead with fundraising efforts and bolster its events offering, as it continues to showcase and support the best of the city. Michael, who is a Coventry native, previously worked for Coventry

Cathedral, the Armonico Consort and has also freelanced for a range of charities. He joined Coventry University as its head of development and alumni in 2012 before being seconded to Coventry 2021 as fundraising director. It was here that Michael supported the winning bid, generating more than £4m for the campaign. His hard work and dedication resulted in him being awarded an MBE in 2018, further securing his excellent reputation within the city. In Michael’s new role, he will focus on linking the upcoming BID events programme with businesses in the region, giving them an opportunity to support some of the amazing things going on in the city ahead of 2021. Michael Mogan MBE said: “As someone who is a proud Coventrian and father of eight-year-old twins, I have always been a big fan of what Trish

and the BID team have done in the city. When the opportunity to work with them came up, it was too good to pass up! “I am incredibly excited to get stuck into my new role and help build awareness and support for Coventry and its businesses as the year progresses.” Trish Willetts, Coventry BID director, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Michael on board! The opportunity to keep his knowledge and experience within the city and continue to grow our programme of events is invaluable. “All eyes are on our wonderful city in the lead-up to 2021 and we’re excited to bring the wow factor to our great city this year, whilst also working closely with our friends at the council and City of Culture teams to support their initiatives.” For more information visit www.coventrycitycentre.co.uk

HydroGarden merges with German wholesaler Coventry-based HydroGarden has announced its merger with German hydroponics wholesaler, Grow In. By joining forces, the two companies create the largest hydroponics wholesaler in the European market, with nearly fifty years’ combined industry experience. By working with Berlin-based Grow In, HydroGarden aims to futureproof its position as a market-leading wholesaler despite the changing landscape of trade between the UK and the EU. Founded in 1995, Grow In is the brainchild of Robert Salinger and Stefan Mack who established one of the first shops in Europe to specialise in hydroponic equipment. Grow In has since expanded to form a company of more than 50 hydroponics experts, operating across Europe out of its

Berlin-based warehouse space, which totals 6,000 m² and holds thousands of product lines. HydroGarden has been supplying specialist hydroponic equipment to the trade since February 1996, in that time becoming the largest hydroponics wholesaler in the UK. The company offers an unrivalled range of products for the grower, from world-leading brands to own-brand flagship ranges. HydroGarden’s head of sales Tom Ellis will be joining the management board of Grow In and will be based in Berlin. His new role will be to develop and expand the combined business in mainland Europe. Jonathan Aldridge, managing director of HydroGarden, said: “HydroGarden has a strong customer base in Europe and our desire to continue to supply

these customers, regardless of the changes brought about by Brexit, means that we have been looking for a European base for some time. “We consider the location of Grow In and their approach to business to be an ideal fit.” HydroGarden is one of Europe’s largest Hydroponic wholesalers and is based over three sites in Coventry. It currently employs just under 100 staff and has an annual turnover approaching £30m. For more information visit www.hydrogarden.com

New website for commercial property agency An award-winning commercial property agency has a bright new look – after launching its new website. Coventry-based Bromwich Hardy has taken the wraps off its new site – https://bromwichhardy.com/ - after a revamp aimed at making it easier to navigate for customers and clients. Bromwich Hardy founding partner Tom Bromwich said the redesigned site had already received widespread praise and met with a warm welcome from clients.

“The new site has been customdesigned to be modern-looking and make finding the right commercial property for your business as straightforward as possible,” said Tom. “We have an ever-growing portfolio of properties we are marketing and wanted to make it as simple as we could for clients and customers to be able to find properties that would meet their requirements. “We are delighted with the results and the feedback we have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We are also seeing an increase in activity connected to the website which is already beginning to convert into an increase in business.”

Bromwich Hardy – which has won the most active agent award in Warwickshire for the past six years – was shortlisted for two more prestigious awards earlier this month. The agency is in the running for the Deal of the Year and Best Use of Technology honours at the FirstPro 2020 awards run by Coventry and Warwickshire First. Bromwich Hardy is a multidisciplinary team of commercial property advisors, founded by two of the leading specialists in the Midlands. Based in Coventry, the company has the skills, experience and resources to offer 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

Area Focus: Coventry

Sales of 5p carrier bags raise £25K for charity Customers who have bought 5p carrier bags from the Heart of England Co-operative Society food stores have helped raise a further £25,000 for local charities and causes. The latest round takes the total from society carrier bag sales over the past four years to £175,000. Polling the highest number of votes, Sherbourne Fields School in Coventry, Abbey Theatre in Nuneaton, Age UK Leicester Shire in Earl Shilton, Wellesbourne Youth Service and Myton Hospice in Rugby each received £2,500. Mercia MS Therapy Centre in Coventry, Age UK in Nuneaton, Stoney Stanton Library, The Kenilworth Centre and Rugby Dementia Support each

received £1,500 after gaining the second highest number of votes. Coventry’s Theatre Absolute, Brandon Live in Nuneaton, the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley, Warwick Vision Support and Crick Village Hall in Crick, near Rugby, each received £1,000 after attracting the third highest number of votes. Operating three facilities in Warwick, Rugby and Coventry, The Myton Hospices last year supported more than 1,800 people and their families. The charity has to raise £9.2 million of the £12 million it costs each year to continue providing its range of patient and family support services both at the hospices and in the patients’ homes. The hospice recently launched a range of wellbeing services at the day

unit to help patients with a life-limiting illness to live well for longer, and to give support to their families and carers. Hannah Morris, partnerships manager (corporate and trust fundraising) at The Myton Hospices, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded such an incredible amount through the Heart of England Co-operative Society carrier bag funds. “Thank you to everyone who voted for us and to the society for putting us forward for nominations.”

Export boom lands Queen’s Award for Arrowsmith Engineering sales rise to £7.6million and investment in the latest CNC robotics paving the way for 10% growth in 2020.

Jason Aldridge and Steve Jackson (CNC Programmer at Arrowsmith Engineering)

A Coventry-based aerospace supplier that has pivoted to supply critical parts for ventilators is celebrating after it received the Queen’s Award for International Trade. Arrowsmith Engineering, which employs 76 people at its Bayton Road factory, secured the prestigious accolade after it recorded a 996% increase in export activity over the last three years, supplying precision components to global manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, GKN, ITP and Siemens. The company’s parts are used in aerospace engines, landing gears and air frames, with recent wins seeing

Bosses at the firm believe the Queen’s Award will play an important role in further expansion in Brazil, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States. “This is the highest honour a company can achieve and is a fitting tribute to the strides we have made to become a global aerospace supplier,” explained Jason Aldridge, managing director at Arrowsmith Engineering. “To be able to display the Queen’s Award logo on our letterhead, in marketing material and across all of our communication channels will be a massive boost to our business and will definitely generate new opportunities in overseas markets. Importantly, the award is a massive thank you to our staff, who continue to go above and beyond in meeting the exacting standards of the aerospace

sector, and in recent weeks, the NHS ventilator push.” Arrowsmith Engineering, which is part of the Aero Services Global Group, has been lending its manufacturing expertise to support the frontline fight against COVID-19 after being invited by Rolls-Royce Control Systems and Rolls-Royce in Derby to join their ventilator supply chains. Despite having 25% of shop floor staff self-isolating, the company responded immediately to the nationwide effort by creating a dedicated team to produce prototype and production parts for the Smiths ventilator assembly line. In total, more than 60,000 ventilator components have been delivered and a further order has now been placed to manufacture prototype parts for a new type of ventilator currently undergoing testing. For further information visit www.arrowsmitheng.co.uk

TruTac win Queen’s Award for Innovation TruTac, a designer and supplier of software solutions for HGV and PSV compliance control, has won a Queens Award for its innovative contribution towards safety and drivers’ hours management within the bus and coach industry. As long-standing providers and pioneers of tachograph analysis and compliance data control for the HGV industry, TruTac has worked closely with the PSV industry since 2012 to develop and adapt market-proven software solutions to suit the specific safety and legal requirements of the PSV sector. TruTac’s commercial operations and marketing director, Jemma James, explains: “Many of our coach and bus operator customers were relying on manual procedures to capture and record vehicle and driver activities and, not surprisingly, this was time-consuming and led to errors and difficulties in


analysis, not least in presenting data for DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency)-related checks and auditing.” In order to overcome these and other issues, TruTac’s software designers wrote an entirely different set of rules with unique algorithms, based on the PSV ruleset and the bespoke operational requirements of coach and bus operations within the UK and Europe. A resulting driver education software tool, TruDriver – which is part of a complete software suite developed for the industry – enables drivers to view and access their own data records, thereby helping to improve performance and reduce fatigue-related errors and infringements. Moreover, by using TruDriver, operators can improve auditing processes for driver debriefing and data management to comply with DVSA and traffic commission regulations.

Jemma says: “Our bespoke software development led to TruTac winning the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) tender in 2014. In subsequent times, through close working partnerships with numerous coach and bus operators, TruTac has set itself apart from other tachograph analysis providers – as this Queen’s Award demonstrates.”

Job success for Hereward students at West Midlands Police Two students at Hereward College in Coventry have secured full time jobs with West Midlands Police as a direct result of a supported internship with the force. A college for young people with disabilities and additional needs, Hereward manages work programmes with local employers to support young people who need extra help to move into employment. Six months after taking part in a pilot with the college, the supported interns at West Midlands Police made such a good impression they have now been offered full-time permanent roles. Joe, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, joined the criminal records team as a supported intern in September 2019 and starts his role as criminal records officer this month. Sahej has autism spectrum disorder and has been offered the role of business support assistant after working on placement within the partnerships team. Sahej said: “West Midlands Police has been great for me. All my colleagues have been incredibly supportive. I have felt included from my first day. They know about my disability and support me with my difficulties. They view me as an individual and don’t define me by my diagnosis.” Paul Cook, principal and chief executive at Hereward College, said: “Working with the team at West Midlands Police over the last few months has been truly inspiring. They are an employer which demonstrates exceptional inclusive practice and in doing so, have been able to bring the skills and expertise of our students to the fore.” Anthony Burnett, assistant director, diversity and inclusion at West Midlands Police, said: “It’s really important that we represent the communities we serve. Our partnership with the college helps us achieve that as well as tapping into students with amazing talent. “Joe and Sahej are great assets to the team. They’ve got great skills, great personalities and a real desire to serve.”


Staeger Clear Packaging

Staeger Clear Packaging recognised in Parliamentary Review

Coventry-based packaging solutions provider, Staeger Clear Packaging, has been recognised in The Parliamentary Review – a key document that shares best practice between policymakers and business leaders. Each edition of the review covers a range of topics across specific industries, featuring commentary from leading journalists and politicians, and is tied together by the former world trade editor of the Financial Times, The Rt Hon David Curry. Success for businesses of any size does not always come easily, and this year’s edition of The Parliamentary Review is indispensable for anyone who seeks to make a name for themselves in industry. It highlights significant developments and concerns for business leaders up and down the country. The co-chairman of The Parliamentary Review, Lord Pickles, praised the upcoming review as one of the most comprehensive yet. He commented that as Britain undergoes changes, it is “essential that politicians have a firm understanding of the challenges with which British organisations must contend” and that the review once again provides a perfect platform for this. In her foreword for The Parliamentary Review, the Secretary of State for International Trade, Elizabeth Truss, states that “commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility” and that she is “determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back”. Ian Jamie, managing director of Staeger Clear Packaging, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this year’s Parliamentary Review and we hope our story is read widely.”

Established in 2000 by the current MD Ian Jamie, and part of the Swiss group Staeger & Co AG since 2008, our packaging designers have decades of experience and know-how. The concept of supplying custom plastic packaging – via planet-conscious processes – sprung from our UK site in Coventry. There, we quickly established our diverse customer base of Small Businesses and Large Blue Chip companies. These turn to us year after year for our creativity, quality, service and industry “know – how”. Our packaging can be seen on retail shelves showcasing some of the finest consumer products. In fact, Staeger Clear Packaging is a preferred supplier to M&S for clear plastic packaging. Apart from food we also work across industries including: Confectionery, Cosmetics, Luxury Gifts, and many more.

Staeger Clear Packaging’s article can be viewed here: https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/ organisations/staeger-clear-packaging-limited

We are proud to announce that at Staeger we’re currently in the process of producing thousands of certified medical grade face visors for the NHS: that is 40,000 visors per day, and 200,000 per week. This is in response to the government plea to help protect our NHS. The shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been a real worry for all: without it thousands of NHS staff are left vulnerable and prone to catching the virus. And since we have the capacity to help, it just wouldn’t make sense for us to stand on the sidelines without doing our bit. So, we have now started producing certified medical grade face visors using our rPET plastic which is sourced from old water bottles. This will not only help protect the NHS staff, but its recyclable quality will ensure that we’re also protecting the planet in the long run. We’ve also been busy putting together PPE Parcels (containing plastic face visors) which we will be donating free of charge to various care homes, doctors’ surgeries, and hospitals around the country. On Friday 17th of April at 7pm, a news story aired on Channel 4. It opened with Ian Jamie, the Managing Director at Staeger Clear UK, explaining what Staeger can do in this time of crisis. In the episode, Ian speaks of Staeger’s capacity to produce up to 500,000 certified medical grade face visors a week. Watch the video to find out more at www.staegerclear.co.uk/channel-4-appearance/

TRANSPARENT PACKAGING SOLUTIONS At Staeger we specialise in producing high-quality transparent plastic packaging also known as acetate packaging for businesses. From plastic boxes, sleeves, lids & bases, tubes, to vac forms: we produce and have produced a wide variety of solutions for products of all shapes and sizes. Our well equipped production site full of latest technological developments allows us to offer you a myriad of options to personalise your packaging: hot foil stamping, litho printing, high relief embossing these techniques allow us to create a packaged product of your dreams.

For more information please contact us on 024 7658 1197 or email info@staegerclear.co.uk Unit 1, Swallowgate Business Park, Coventry CV6 4BL




Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Cloud computing company helps remote workers during pandemic “Lots of businesses do not yet have this infrastructure in place or are just at the beginning of their remote working journey and have, therefore, found this transition very difficult in the short space of time they have had to change their working practices.” Netmetix’s support staff have understandably seen a peak in calls over the past few weeks. They have been on hand to help current customers adapt as quickly as possible and assist in setting up computers and phones at home using the cloud. They have also been monitoring potential issues and rectifying them quickly to ensure customers can carry on with their work as normal. Netmetix is a local cloud IT specialist usually headquartered in Allesley, Coventry. But currently, all employees are working from their homes using the power of Microsoft Azure to keep the business running as usual. During the current pandemic crisis, many businesses have had to make a quick change to remote working – some more successfully than others.

Paul Blore, CEO of Netmetix, explains: “To enable staff to work from home, businesses need to consider many things; Do they have suitable infrastructure in place to allow all employees to log in remotely? Do they have an adaptable cloud service? Do employees have mobile devices to work from and user-friendly software that can be accessed from anywhere?

Reall, an innovator in affordable homes, made the change to cloud computing with Netmetix before the pandemic hit and Maryanne Meredith, corporate services manager was very glad they did. She says: “We are very appreciative of the support from your team in keeping all our staff connected and working well in these unprecedented times.” For more information visit https://netmetix.net/

Pulling together…whilst staying apart As a nation, we pride ourselves in pulling together in times of need and facing adversity head on – and these unprecedented times are no exception. No one could have foreseen the effects that this pandemic would have, not only on our personal lives, but businesses too. Coronavirus fears has meant a huge surge in demand for Will writing services and for companies like ourselves, which provide these services, we need to ensure that this need is met, despite the difficulties presented by Covid-19 health restrictions necessary to protect both staff and clients by keeping a safe distance apart. The restrictions have meant that taking client will instructions using traditional methods is no longer a viable option. This has led to the legal sector recognising the need for change and how technology is essential for firms to


continue to provide vital services to clients whilst still protecting the elderly and vulnerable against potential fraud and continuing to act with integrity ensuring that clients’ wills are valid. Winston Churchill once said: “It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them.” Here at Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation, we have always been committed to the use of new technology and our state-of-the-art will writing software is undeniable proof of this commitment.

Employees in Prime health Prime Accountants Group has recently achieved its Thrive at Work Bronze Accreditation after working with its teams, focusing on employee health and wellbeing. The Thrive at Work scheme was set up with the aim of encouraging and empowering employers to take an active role in supporting their employees’ wellbeing. This is something that over the past month has become more important than ever for most businesses, to give their business the best opportunity to rebound from the effects of the coronavirus and attain future growth. On average, 131 million working days are lost each year due to sickness, so the scheme aims to support employers to make changes and improvements to give employees the chance to improve their overall health. At Prime Accountants Group, there are many activities and systems in place that benefit staff and contribute to a happier and healthier working environment. These include daily stretching sessions, a lunchtime walking bus, online mental health support and a new online training platform, which gives every individual the chance to educate themselves on topics from health and safety within the working environment to musculoskeletal health. Since the introduction of the new schemes, the staff at Prime have embraced the changes to their working lives, and all enjoy the benefits they are getting out of them.

system, allowing instruction- those within the legal sector takers to still work effectively how they can continue to whilst fully meeting the service and protect their Covid-19 restrictions. clients whilst maintaining Ensuring people stay safe So advanced is the software good practice, as an industry is vitally important to us. that in response to the we can demonstrate that we By running live webinars, pandemic we were able to providing online training and can all pull together whilst meet these challenges head writing articles informing remaining apart. on and simply “tweak” the

Prime Director Steve Harcourt, who has overseen Prime’s Thrive at Work accreditation, said:

“Here at Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation, we have always been committed to the use of new technology and our state-of-the-art will writing software is undeniable proof of this commitment.”

“Keeping our staff healthy is vital and if we can assist in preventing our teams from getting seriously ill by keeping fit and healthy in the workplace and encouraging this to extend to their home lives, then we all see the rewards.”

“We began working towards our Thrive at Work accreditation after last year’s staff conference and staff quickly got on board and seem to appreciate the changes we were making.


Beechwood Trees & Landscapes

Providing Solutions for Tree and Vegetation Management Beechwood Trees and Landscapes Ltd are one of the country’s leading tree surgery, arboricultural, and site vegetation contractors.

COMMERCIAL SERVICES We have the specialist equipment, qualified, skilled operatives and an innovative approach, which enables us to provide a cost effective solution to the management of your site. We understand what is important to our commercial clients – a swift response, a professional job completed on time and to budget. Types of commercial projects undertaken include pre -development site clearances, annual tree maintenance programmes, planting programmes and large landscape initiatives. Contract sizes of all value and length are considered.

DOMESTIC SERVICES Client satisfaction at the heart of everything we do. Whether it’s a hedge that needs trimming, trees felling, a fence replacing or you just need expert advice we offer our domestic clients a professional, reliable and friendly service. Our teams are fully insured, knowledgeable and experienced and will complete your works for you on schedule and to budget.

ABOUT US Beechwood Trees and Landscapes Ltd was started by Simon Rotheram in 1998. Operating mainly in the Midlands area, but also covering the UK, the company employs over 30 staff and has an excellent resource of modern plant and equipment, which are used to deliver on the many contracts held by the business.

Clients include: local authorities, housing associations, schools, construction/developers, land agents and a large residential customer base. The teams complete tree surgery operations, from an individual specimen tree, right through to complete site clearance and de-vegetation projects.

Complete Solutions for Tree and Vegetation Management Local Authority and Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors

Enquiries: 0800 328 7988

24 hour Emergency Hotline: 024 76455500




Area Focus: North and Mid Warwickshire

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Tom welcomes the challenge of new role A leading business organisation in Coventry and Warwickshire has appointed a new Vice President. Tom Mongan, the general manager of Nuneaton-based manufacturing company Subcon Laser, has taken up the role of Vice President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Tom will continue in his position as chair of the Chamber’s branch that represents the north of Warwickshire as well as taking up his new position. He said: “I am extremely proud to take up this role and it comes at a time when every single business across the region – indeed the country, and the globe – is facing challenges, the like of which I’ve never seen before. “And the Chamber’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak is, for me,

a great example of why it remains such an important pillar of the business community and is why I am so proud to be taking up this new role. “Since it became clear that the virus was going to have a major impact on businesses across our patch, the Chamber has been at the forefront of delivering up-to-the-minute information to members as well as speaking up on what companies need to help them face this crisis. “Looking ahead, and I think it is important that we do look beyond the current crisis, there is so much to be positive about here in this region once we come through this situation. “As someone who works in manufacturing, I can see what a fantastic place this is for our sector with so many major companies

operating here and hundreds more in the supply chain. “I believe that strengthening the links between the largest manufacturers and the smaller suppliers in this region is something that we must look at and see how we can ensure that companies here can push themselves forward in order to see more contracts re-shored to this area. “I am also excited to look ahead to Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in this region in 2022. “Once we have come through the current Coronavirus crisis we are all going to need something to look forward to and this region is lucky to have two incredible events on the horizon.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted that Tom is our new Vice President. He has done sterling work as chair of our North Branch and is a positive voice for both our region and the manufacturing sector.”

Children invited to nominate their rainbow award heroes A manufacturer of prestigious awards and trophies has created a colourful way for everyone to say “thank you” to their NHS heroes, delivery drivers, family, shopkeepers and other people in the community. Special EFX has designed a fun range of virtual trophies to self-decorate and present to someone special. Free to download, the rainbow award designs are proving popular entertainment with children, in particular, who can let their creative talents run riot before sticking a completed trophy in a window, presenting to a family member via sharing apps or posting on social media. The company reports that its rainbow awards have been appearing

everywhere, including bin lids and post boxes, on social media and sent to friends working on the front line. One mother contacted the company to say: “Your awards have been so well received. My friend in the NHS has set the children’s picture as her screensaver so that she can share it with the nurses and doctors at work too.” Special EFX, the family-run manufacturer based at Ettington near Stratford-upon-Avon, produces design-led awards for major sporting events and awards ceremonies around the world, but due to Covid-19 has had to temporarily close its manufacturing facilities.

Director Melanie Osborne says: “This is our way of continuing to recognise excellence in our communities. Enjoying spending time decorating a rainbow award is a great way to spread positivity and make someone smile!” The virtual trophies are available to download on the company’s website home page. Each of the different trophy templates can be printed off in A4 size, with or without a colourful background, and the company welcomes photos of the finished work-of-art by sharing on its Facebook page and using the hashtag #rainbowawards. To download the Special EFX rainbow awards templates, visit https://awardefx.co.uk/

College responds to hospice appeal for PPE donations North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) has provided vital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to a plea from a Nuneaton hospice. The Mary Ann Evans Hospice, based at the George Eliot hospital, is stepping up its joint operation with the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust to ensure that people with life-limiting illnesses are not affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The college has supplied 5,400 pairs of disposable gloves, more than 3,000 aprons, ten pairs of goggles, 50 pairs of safety glasses and 60 face masks for use by frontline staff. The college uses PPE to protect students in teaching departments including motor vehicle engineering, hairdressing and beauty therapy. NWSLC remains partially open at its Nuneaton Campus to support the children of keyworkers, and students that are known to be vulnerable.


Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, principal and chief executive of NWSLC said: “Our staff have been quick to respond and have gathered together a great deal of PPE that we would normally use in teaching. We appreciate the importance of the work that the Mary Ann Evans Hospice does to provide 24-hour end-of-life community care and really hope that our contribution will help to keep their teams safe during this time of national crisis.” The Mary Ann Evans Hospice has launched a JustGiving appeal with the aim of raising £250,000 to fund the improvement of its services during the COVID-19 epidemic. In addition to funds and donations of PPE, the hospice is looking for craft items that can be sold to raise money. Anyone who is able to help should call 02476 865440 or email maehenquiries@geh.nhs.uk

Liz Hancock, chief executive of the Mary Ann Evans Hospice said: “We are delighted with the donation of PPE from the North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. This vital donation enables our team

to continue to work closely with our NHS colleagues to provide the very best community end-of-life care.” For more information visit www.nwslc.ac.uk


Wadsworths Solicitors


Wadsworths Directors Alexandra Tait, John Wadsworth and Michael Wadsworth

Wadsworths Solicitors is a well respected, community-minded law firm based in Solihull. Building on its successful 33-year history and an enviable reputation, this year has seen the company grow its family tree by adding two new offices. In February 2020, the firm opened its second office in Henley-in-Arden and office number three came through an acquisition in April, with Wadsworths bringing Duncan Watts Family Lawyers of Warwick into the fold. Boasting thousands of satisfied clients, Wadsworths offer an array of legal services for both families and businesses. They pride themselves on working to the highest standards of professional service, an approach that’s been recognised by numerous awards programmes including the Federation of Small Businesses and the Birmingham Post Business Awards. Most recently they were shortlisted for both ‘Company of the Year’ and ‘Family Business of the Year’ at the Midlands Service Excellence Awards 2020. Wadsworths also has a well-earned reputation for reliably serving the community, and proudly invests a

Family-run law firm branches out across Henley and Warwick

proportion of its turnover into support for local charities, schools and events. The firm also supports discounted legal fees for workers in the NHS, Police and Armed Forces. Founded in 1986, the firm now employs 29 staff across three locations, including ten solicitors and other fee earners. Four of the staff, including two of the firm’s Directors, are members of the founding Wadsworth family.

Wadsworths Solicitors arrives in Henley-in-Arden In February 2020, Wadsworths Solicitors announced the opening of their second office in the beautiful Warwickshire town of Henley-inArden. Located at 129 High Street, the office has helped the firm to meet the growing demand for its services. John Wadsworth, Managing Director, said: “We chose to open our second office in Henley-in-Arden for several reasons, not least because of the town’s thriving community and large number of independent businesses.” Alexandra Tait, Director added, “This has been an exciting time for the team at Wadsworths Solicitors. We’ve enjoyed further assisting our Henley-in-Arden based clients by opening an office on their doorstep

as well as welcoming new customers, who can safely leave personal and business matters in the hands of our expert team.”

Duncan Watts Family Lawyers in Warwick joins Wadsworths Wadsworths went on to acquire Duncan Watts Family Lawyers in Warwick on 3 April 2020. Like Wadsworths, the niche family law firm has had over 30 years of success. The team-up increases the firm’s overall presence to three locations and 29 staff. This includes Martin Croom, a partner at Duncan Watts, who now joins Wadsworths as Head of the Warwick office. The town centre offices at 26 Market Place, Warwick will still be home to the family law specialists of Duncan Watts, with the addition of Wadsworths’ complete range of legal services across both family and business law. The office will be re-badged as ‘Wadsworths Solicitors, incorporating Duncan Watts’ later this year. Croom stated, “We are excited to be joining Wadsworths and expanding our offering of legal services to the people of Warwick and surrounding areas. Our clients will benefit from the broader expertise we can now provide across a wider range of services,

meaning that we can cover all their legal needs under one roof.” John Wadsworth, commented: “We are delighted that the team at Duncan Watts are joining us at Wadsworths. Duncan Watts has an excellent reputation in the field of family law and we are thrilled that this expertise will be added to our existing service provision.” He added “We had been looking to open a Wadsworths office in Warwick for some time, given how thriving and vibrant the town is. This tie-up with Duncan Watts allows us to establish ourselves in the area with an existing firm and client base. We look forward to building on the firm’s close links to the community and extending our charitable support activities into the Warwick and Henley-in-Arden areas too.”

The future of Wadsworths Solicitors in the Midlands On the question of further expansion, John Wadsworth said “We will continue to look for new opportunities in Warwickshire and the West Midlands in the months and years ahead. We’re committed to acting in the best interests of our clients, so if continued expansion meets that goal, we’ll always be open to the possibility.”

Personal Injury Claims • Family Law • Commercial Property Law • Residential Conveyancing Lasting Powers Of Attorney • Wills • Employment Law • Clinical Negligence Claims Services For Businesses • Dispute Resolution • Court Of Protection • Probate Henley:

129 High Street, Henley in Arden, B95 5AU

Warwick: 26 Market Place, Warwick, CV34 4SL

t: 01926 493485

Solihull: 325 Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 3BL

t: 0121 745 8550

www.wadsworthslaw.co.uk 36

t: 01564 337 070

enquiries@wadsworthslaw.co.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: South Warwickshire

Shakespeare Distillery hits gold at tourism awards Shakespeare Distillery has won a gold award in the prestigious West Midlands Tourism Awards. The Stratford-upon-Avonbased independent artisan spirit producer picked up the award in the New Tourism Business Award category at a special ceremony held at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall. As a gold winner, Shakespeare Distillery will automatically be entered into

the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which takes place in June. Supported by the West Midlands Growth Company, which aims to attract visitors and events to the region, the awards celebrate the venues that have helped to bring a record 131 million visitors to the area in 2018 – a 2.6% increase on the previous year. The West Midlands’ tourism industry is now worth £12.6 billion, a rise of 6.7% and supports more than 135,000 jobs. Peter Monks, director at Shakespeare Distillery, said: “We are absolutely thrilled

to have won Gold in the West Midlands Tourism Awards. Having established our business five years ago, our gins have gone from strength to strength and we introduced our distillery tours and gin school a year ago. Winning this award is testament to our brilliant team who work incredibly hard in producing high-quality, locally made handcrafted spirits. We are continuing to expand and improve our visitor offering and are currently renovating a larger area for groups to enjoy our tours and experiences at our distillery.” Neil Rami, chief executive of the West Midlands Growth

Hotel Indigo Stratford-uponAvon has won a silver award in the prestigious West Midlands Tourism Awards. The boutique hotel picked up the accolade in the New Tourism Business Award category at a special ceremony at the University of Birmingham’s Great Hall. Supported by the West Midlands Growth Company, which aims to attract visitors and events to the region, the awards celebrate the venues that have helped to bring a record 131 million visitors to the area in 2018 – a 2.6% increase on the previous year. The West

Midlands’ tourism industry is now worth £12.6 billion, a rise of 6.7%, and supports more than 135,000 jobs. Carl Davies-Phillips, general manager of Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, said: “We are thrilled to have won a silver award in the West Midlands Tourism Awards, especially in our first year of opening and in such a popular category. Winning silver is testament to the exemplary high standards and commitment to excellence we maintain, and which would not be possible without the dedication and professionalism of my team.”

Formerly The Falcon Hotel, Hotel Indigo Stratford-uponAvon opened its doors in April 2019 after a multi-millionpound major restoration project. The Grade 2-listed historic building, which dates back to the 16th century, was painstakingly restored over a 22-month period.

Company, said: “The West Midlands Tourism Awards provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the very best of our region’s visitor economy offer, which is enjoying a real renaissance. We are entering a defining period where the West Midlands will be in the global spotlight like never before. This ceremony recognised the people who make this region such a great place to visit and the valuable contribution that tourism makes to the local economy.” For more information visit

ehB Reeves celebrates major www.shakespearedistillery.com successes at Hotel Indigo wins silver at prestigious tourism awards CoStar Awards

The hotel was also shortlisted in the Hotel of the Year category in the Midlands Service Excellence Awards. For more information about Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon visit https://stratford.hotelindigo.com/ For more information about the West Midlands Tourism Awards visit http://westmidlandstourismawards.com/

Local business supports volunteers with innovative app

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has made an impact on our lives, some more than others. But it has also been a great testament to our communities who have come together in a national effort to create a shield for the NHS and help save lives.

This was certainly the case in Coventry and Warwickshire, where various companies and communities responded to the government’s pleas. But there was one group in particular who took initiative even before the NHS volunteering scheme was a seed of an idea. It was Kate Bamford who came up with the concept for the Warwick and Leamington COVID-19 Mutual Aid group. A group of resident volunteers ready to help self-isolating members in the community: organising troops to get food supplies and medicine to their door. This seemingly simple idea was well-received, gaining 150 volunteers in just one night. But it was one of

our Chamber members, Apps Plus – a subdivision of Image+ in Coventry – who saw an opportunity to make a great initiative even better. Alan, director of Image+ and Leamington Spa resident, said: “A leaflet came through our letterbox looking for volunteers. I contacted them as I could see real merit in creating a solution to manage their several hundred volunteers and tasks. They were very keen on the idea as they were then using a combination of a Google Sheet, Whatsapp group, phone calls and texting to manage and coordinate everything. And this just wasn’t efficient enough for the sheer volume of volunteers and tasks they were receiving.

Alan’s app development team then created the Good Egg app, which was rolled out to the Leamington and Warwick Mutual Aid group in April. It can sort requests for help by location and need, notifying volunteers on the same street as someone who needs help that their assistance could be useful. It can let someone who is making a trip to the shops know that a neighbour could do with them adding a few items to their trolley. It also ensures that a volunteer with a car knows that someone in an isolated village has a prescription waiting for them. For more information visit www.apps-plus.co.uk

Private clients at the heart of law firm’s history Premier law firm Lodders is recognised for its outstanding legal advice for individuals and privately owned businesses from its offices in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Henley in Arden. The firm’s private client practice is just one of its specialist legal teams with a national reputation for excellence. With a dedicated team of six partners, nine solicitors and chartered legal executives and six additional staff, Lodders’ private client services include all aspects of wills, trusts, estates and tax planning and care and capacity matters, which


year-on-year have earned it the highest rankings from both the Chambers Guide to the UK Legal Profession and the Legal 500. “Our flexibility, fresh thinking and commitment to the highest standards of client service and legal excellence have stood the test of time throughout Lodders’ 230-year history,” says partner Louise Igoe, who is head of Lodders’ private client team. “Generations of clients have chosen Lodders for its personal, approachable, discreet and thoughtful service and excellent legal advice.” Most recently, the team’s agile-thinking ensured all will writing and future-planning

services and advice for clients has been maintained, with a move to virtual meetings and consultations within days of the coronavirus lockdown. “We are here to support every client, their family and business whenever they need us,” Louise says. “As a law firm that has protected and advised clients for over two centuries, we remain committed to helping clients in every way possible over the coming weeks and months. Our private client specialists have been particularly busy since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, with clients seeking advice on their own individual situations.

“For many individuals, the pandemic has triggered a drop in the value of property and shares, and this brings some clear opportunities when considering a client’s estate and tax planning.”

A growing firm of Warwickshire commercial property experts is celebrating no fewer than five topfive placings at a leading industry awards ceremony, following a year of major success in Coventry and the wider West Midlands. Leamington Spa-based ehB Reeves won two top prizes at the national CoStar Awards, as well as finishing second in two other categories and fourth in another. Simon Hain, director of ehB Reeves, said: “Being recognised in this way at one of the industry’s key awards is a real honour and testament to the hard work and dedication our team has demonstrated in this period of growth. “Since we merged with Reeves and Partners in 2018, increasing our footprint in Coventry and the wider West Midlands has been a real focus for us, so to be independently recognised for doing just that is incredibly rewarding.” The CoStar Awards are held to recognise the efforts and successes of the UK’s top commercial property agents, rewarding those which achieve the highest transaction volume in commercial real estate deals and leads in their respective markets. In the Office Award section, ehB was ranked as the most active single branch agency for acquisition and disposals in Coventry, in both the Square Foot Leased and Deals Done categories. The company also ranked as the second most active disposal agent in Coventry in these two categories. Finally, ehB ranked fourth in the Industrial Award, measuring the most active single branch agency for acquisitions and disposals in terms of the number of deals in the West Midlands. ehB Reeves was formed in 2018 by a merger between Leamington-based companies ehB Commercial and Reeves and Partners. The new firm has a growing management portfolio in excess of £100 million. For more details on the awards, visit www.costarawards.co.uk/winners For more details on ehB Reeves, visit https://ehbreeves.com


Are You Taking Time To Reflect? Beyond the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis, many business owners are reflecting on their priorities for the future. Maybe you are one of the owners that has come to realise that life is just too precious to be spent working in the business like you did before. I work with owners to reshape their business to create more time and money so they can enjoy life more; so they are free to do what they want, when they want.

Contact me for more information. David Lee (ActionCOACH) Tel: 07970566390 Email: davidlee@actioncoach.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/ www.actioncoach.co.uk/davidlee

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Rugby

Fundraising in difficult times The Myton Hospices – like all businesses and individuals – is facing an unprecedented and turbulent time, both now and in the months and years ahead, as we all look to steer our way through the coronavirus pandemic and life post-crisis.

We have to raise £9.2million a year (£750,000 a month) to continue to provide our services free of charge to terminally ill patients across Coventry and Warwickshire, so we had to look at new ways of bringing the money in and maintaining our services.

Firstly, we would like to wish you all well in these difficult times – on a personal and professional level.

Our efforts began with the launch of an urgent appeal online – and the response has been inspiring, having raised £78,000 as of April 16.

We would also like to, through the space kindly afforded to us by the hugely supportive Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, say thank you to everyone who has supported Myton through the crisis so far and tell you what we’ve been doing and what you can still do to help in what is a very concerning time for us. Almost overnight, our fundraising income was crippled by around 80% following the closure of our 27 charity shops, the postponement or cancellation of our fundraising events and countless third-party fundraising events, which have also fallen by the wayside.

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated – and to those who do in the future here: www.mytonhospice.org/appeal We’ve also had to think outside the box to still be able to offer some fun events for people to get their fundraising teeth into. We’ve hosted a virtual zumba event and a virtual quiz night via Zoom and we have two further ongoing campaigns for supporters – individuals, families and businesses – to sign up to and help boost our fundraising efforts. For more information visit www.mytonhospice.org

“Our efforts began with the launch of an urgent appeal online – and the response has been inspiring, having raised £78,000 as of April 16.”

Myth-busting the view of supported living services Following the success of Kings Court, New Directions is delighted to be able to offer Queens Court which has fifteen modern, spacious, self-contained flats which we will be opening soon. Like Kings Court, our services at Queens Court will challenge traditional views of supported living. We support many young people in their teens and 20s with complex needs to be as independent as they can, to

work and volunteer, manage their first home, to have a family of their own and to participate in community activities. New Directions is actively mythbusting how local people perceive our support services and Queen’s Court will continue to be an example of good practice. The people we support sometimes come from an institutionalised setting where their choices and freedom were restricted.

Young people aged 16-18 fall between child and adult services, changing social workers and losing their leaving care advisor. The worst thing that can happen is that they move into an institutional care setting such as a dementia ward. In comparison, people we support have a breakfast club, play pool regularly, go glamping, start romantic relationships online, work in security, enjoy dinner parties together and some are taking the next steps to having a baby. We have provided transitional skills training at our short stay facility, Milner House, for many years to help people to gain

experience before moving into their new home. We have many tenants who have taken this route stage by stage until they feel confident about living in their own flats. We are actively looking for new tenants with complex needs to live at Queens Court who would like to become more independent, live their life to their full potential with the opportunity of moving into a new home in the Rugby town community. We provide additional support when needed and all of our services are accessible to the people we support from age 16 to the end of their life.

“We have provided transitional skills training at our short stay facility, Milner House, for many years to help people to gain experience before moving into theirnew home. We have many tenants who have taken this route stage by stage until they feel confident about living in their own flats.”



FUTURE-PROOF YOUR WORKFORCE FOR FREE Living or working in Coventry or Warwickshire? If you work in a digital role or in the culture and tourism sectors, you could be eligible for free training

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For more information and to book onto a course, contact us on 0330 135 6008 or centreforskills@wcg.ac.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Education & Training

Speed-dating event boosts career prospects of Coventry students

Students and staff from CU Coventry with mentors from various companies taking part in the Springboard Mentoring Day

Coventry students recently threw themselves into a speed-dating event on campus – but they were looking for something other than love. Around 50 tourism and hospitality management students at CU Coventry – part of the Coventry University Group – had several short, oneto-one interviews with seven mentors in the industry, who were matched to students to help them develop their career. Organised by The Springboard Charity as part of its Graduate Education

Mentoring Support (GEMS) programme, the scheme aims to help young people studying hospitality courses gain a better understanding of the industry and help support their transition at the early stages of their careers. The mentor will pair with a student for three years, and will provide advice and guidance about their career while they study and beyond graduation. Mentors at the speed-dating event were from a variety of top companies, including pub and restaurant manager Mitchells

Launch of Post-16 relief scheme

& Butlers, luxury hotel operator Hand Picked Hotels, hospitality and catering firm BaxterStorey, and drinks giant Diageo. The programme also includes mentors from a huge range of tourism and hospitality disciplines and covers the whole of the UK. Marion Greenhalgh, course leader for hospitality and tourism at CU Coventry, said: “Having a mentor gives our students added motivation and empowerment. They are able to hear about the reality of the business and see in a practical way how their studies are preparing them for employment. “We are really pleased to host opportunities like this for our students, as it gives them a real advantage when it comes to carving out a successful career. Events like these are a win-win - our students get to speak with and learn from a range of industry experts, and the mentors are able to establish links with the next generation of talent we are nurturing here at CU Coventry.”

A new relief fund will help apprenticeship and adult learning providers survive the Coronavirus crisis so the skills gap does not get any wider, according to business leaders. The Education & Skills Funding Agency has launched a post-16 provider relief scheme to give those organisations who deliver training and apprenticeships for young people and adults an opportunity to apply for funds so they are in a stable position once the crisis is over. Sally Lucas, executive director at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training, said the fund would help vital training providers get through the next few months. She said: “The relief scheme is exactly that – a relief for providers such as Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber Training as it means that we can apply for funds to help see us through these difficult months and then come back strong when some sense of normality resumes. “Businesses won’t see any immediate benefit from the fund but those who have apprentices or have staff utilising adult learning through a provider such as ours can rest in the knowledge that this fund will help us to survive the crisis and be ready to provide a full service once it is over.

“There was a skills gap way before the Coronavirus crisis hit and we can’t afford for that to widen as it is vital for UK plc that we continue to invest in skills for the future of our economy. “The only shortcoming in the fund is that it doesn’t apply to apprenticeships for levy paying organisations so we can only apply for those costs that don’t relate to those who haven’t come to us from apprenticeship levy payers. “But, on the whole, this is further welcome intervention from the Government.” BCC Head of People Policy Jane Gratton said: “This much needed fund will help to ensure SMEs and their apprentices can continue to access training throughout the pandemic and into the recovery period. “To ensure businesses have the skills they need for the future, it is vital that apprentices are supported to complete their apprenticeship programme. The relief fund will put many training providers in a stronger position to support employers now and in the year ahead. “Businesses have invested in apprenticeships to boost the quantity and quality of technical skills in the workplace and provide routes to well-paid career opportunities for employees of all ages.”

Skills programme puts automotive supplier in the fast lane An automotive supplier is benefiting from a workforce development programme designed to boost employees’ skills in IT, customer service and management. Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a funded skills support programme delivered by Serco. Training specialist PET- Xi delivers the programme on behalf of Serco within Coventry and Warwickshire. Several local firms have benefited from the scheme including Liberty Pressing Solutions, a European supplier of pressed and welded assemblies for the automotive industry and other applications. The company has substantial industrial experience in its in-house engineering, tool design and project management teams, all of which support customers from initial concept through to volume production. PET-Xi contacted Liberty with details of a fully funded Level 2 IT qualification to help support staff in their day-to-day roles within the business. www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Neal Bowers, tool room team leader at Liberty, was keen to enrol on the course as he wanted a better understanding of Excel in particular to assist him within his role. He said: “As I use Excel and spreadsheets on a daily basis, but with quite limited knowledge so only using basic functions, I really wanted to learn how to use Excel more effectively to ensure my time is used more efficiently. The PET-Xi programme exceeded my expectations and was fast-paced and well organised.” Through the SSW programme, PET-Xi delivers vocational training to meet the needs of employees and businesses in the form of accredited Level 2 IT training, customer service training and team leader courses. The programme aims to develop employees’ expertise and knowledge to improve workforce skills and productivity. SSW is funded by the European Social Fund and Education and Skills Funding Agency in partnership with Serco. For more information visit https://www.pet-xi.co.uk/

Are You Taking Time To Reflect? Beyond the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis, many business owners are reflecting on their priorities for the future. Maybe you are one of the owners that has come to realise that life is just too precious to be spent working in the business like you did before. I work with owners to reshape their business to create more time and money so they can enjoy life more; so they are free to do what they want, when they want. Contact me for more information. David Lee (ActionCOACH) Tel: 07970566390 Email: davidlee@actioncoach.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/ www.actioncoach.co.uk/davidlee


We understand that the current COVID-19 outbreak has caused one of the biggest changes in the business landscape for over a generation. This rapidly changing situation has raised a number of challenges for all businesses. Operating as part of Innovate UK’s Growth Services, CUE Business Solutions delivers Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) services across the Midlands helping innovative businesses to grow and to internationalise. EEN is part of the Innovate UK family that works with businesses on the commercial, business and practical side of innovation. As well as offering tailored information services and access to international networks and partnerships, our flagship Innovation coaching programme, Innovate 2 Succeed, diagnoses the pain

points your business is experiencing and helps you overcome barriers to commercialisation and growth. If as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you would like support or advice to assist you in managing your way through the current shut-down, then please do not hesitate to contact us. This could be around short term implications of the outbreak and tactics to mitigate these, or strategies for growth in the longer term. Being part of Innovate UK, our advice and support is fully funded and impartial.

If as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you would like support or advice to assist you in managing your way through the current shut-down, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact CUE Business Solutions: businesssolutions@cueltd.co.uk or have a look at our website www.cuebusinesssolutions.co.uk 42


CUE Business Solutions Generating business resilience is vital in uncertain

market conditions. Innovate2Succeed is a fully funded business coaching programme that can assist innovative businesses develop this as well as assisting them to grow and exploit market opportunities. This could be through the products or services offered, or the processes they use. Our team of expert advisers can advise on all stages from strategy to execution. This helps accelerate progress and minimise risk, which is especially useful when the business landscape is changing rapidly. Thinking of starting a digital business or recently started a business then C&W Technology Business Start–Up project can offer flexible one-2-one sessions. Developing new products / services or looking to better understand and improve your business model? C&W Innovation Test bed can offer one-2-one business support and usability trials to help with prototyping and implementing business change.

Available from Innovate 2 succeed, C&W Technology Business Start-Up, C&W Innovation Test Bed and Focus Digital projects.

CUE Business Solutions provides fully funded workshops on a range of

topics from accessing funding, investability, marketing and branding, social media and many other topics. Please see our Eventbrite page for eligibility criteria and booking details www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/cue-business-solutions-13651209205

Available from C&W Technology Business Start-Up, C&W Green Business, Focus Digital and C&W Innovation Test Bed Projects.

CUE Business Solutions can support your business to grow through our range of grant funding opportunities. This includes:

• Providing grant support to SMEs that are collaborating on the development of innovative new products, processes or services accessing grants to enable proof of concept for early stage development work • Providing grant support for acceleration to market or help to implement new products/ services/processes within the digital media/ICT domain • Grant funding for the development of Sustainable and Low Carbon Products and Services. • Support to access grant funding to stimulate international trade activities within SMEs • Advice on how to access European funding

Available from Proof of Concept, Innovation Networks, Focus Digital and C&W Green Business Projects.

Contact CUE Business Solutions: businesssolutions@cueltd.co.uk or have a look at our website www.cuebusinesssolutions.co.uk

President & People

Midlands law firm expands litigation team A Midlands law firm is continuing to expand its litigation team following the arrival of two new property litigators. Leamington-based Wright Hassall has appointed two experienced professionals, Anna Albini and Perveen Dhami, to the property litigation team.

Eating my words So…, within a week of penning my last column, it was clear that my optimism was already out-dated; I am not the only one who under-estimated the coming pandemic. From Alphabet Soup, to Eating My Words. Terrible times. But there is always optimism and a whopping amount of credit to so many; I am immensely proud of the actions and behaviour of course of our medical superheroes and of civic and governmental leaders (my comments are absolutely NOT political). Also, our great public, as I had feared considerably more nihilistic and anti-social behaviour than we have seen. The Bank of England has just forecast a 14% drop in GDP for 2020, as against 2019. Undoubtedly, companies have been tightening their belts and surveys show that the vast majority have utilised the option of furloughing staff during this incredibly tough time. Despite the incredibly difficult times, we have not been short of positive news. Chamber members Arrowsmith Engineering and Trutac picked up Queen’s Awards - which is the most prestigious business award in the world, while we have seen others rise to the challenge of supporting the effort to produce ventilators and PPE. I am also extremely proud to be part of the fantastic Chamber organisations we are members of. The British Chambers have been right at the forefront of influencing Westminster; Baroness McGregor-Smith’s letter last week to the Prime Minister, encouraging the adoption of a Restart, Rebuild and Renew strategy made headline news; as it absolutely should! Business will create the wealth to pay for future public services. I am no less proud of the performance of our very own Chamber. To remind you, we are members of a not-for-profit organisation, which is not, of course, itself immune to COVID-19 impact. But we are in good health for the future to continue to provide the crucial member services businesses depend on. That is why I want to share great credit to the Executive Team that have performed and communicated so effectively on a daily basis, as I know firsthand the amount of member support and advice has been huge, not least in assisting with the delivery of funding support. The Coronavirus Toolkit has been exceptionally helpful to many companies, as have Policy Updates and the COVID19 Business Tracker poll. Events and networking continue online, and take-up has been extraordinarily strong. It is therefore no surprise to me that membership retention has been positive, as the Chamber is at the fore. If any businessperson reading this is not a member, I hope you will surely join. As we start to move from the survival phase to the restart and recovery, it is clear, that companies want to get back to business but with clear guidance from Government around measures such as social distancing. Support must also remain in place and not hit a cliff-edge.

Best regards David Penn


Anna joins the company as a partner, bringing with her 16 years of experience after qualifying and working for Weightmans and then latterly at Birmingham firm Emms Gilmore Liberson where she worked with Perveen. Perveen has more than 13 years’ experience in property litigation, having worked at Anthony Collins Solicitors and then as associate director at Emms Gilmore Liberson. She has also held positions at Gowling WLG, Squire Sanders LLP and Squire Patton Boggs. Both specialise in the commercial side of property litigation and will join the growing team at Wright Hassall. Anna said: “Wright Hassall has a very impressive client base and an excellent reputation, which was why I was keen to join the company.

Members of the Litigation team at Wright Hassall

“The firm has big aspirations for this year and, working with the property team, I am keen to continue to build the commercial aspects of our practice. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the firm’s growth and reputation as one of the top legal firms in the region.” Wright Hassall is ranked in the top tier in the Legal 500 for its commercial litigation team. Perveen said: “It has been a seamless transition into the team for both me and

Anna and the fact that we have worked together before is particularly useful. “The team has been very welcoming and supportive and I am looking forward to working with them all.” Gemma Carson at Wright Hassall added: “Both Anna and Perveen are bringing some highly relevant, specialised commercial experience to the property team, bringing more strength and depth to our dispute resolution team.”

Health Matters appoints marketing manager through concept stages of new branding designs along with the production of a highquality, high-performing website. “I am also really looking forward to driving new campaigns and generating new enquiries to the business to help it go from strength to strength.” Health Matters UK has strengthened its management team with the appointment of a marketing specialist.

In her new role, she will focus on bringing the Health Matters brand to life and creating some exciting campaigns.

Group marketing manager Rabia Bagurai joins the financial services company with more than 12 years’ experience in marketing.

Rabia said: “I am so thrilled to join the team here at Health Matters. I am currently working on bringing the Health Matters brand up to speed as we are going

Brodie Simmons is also progressing her career at Health Matters after moving to the new business team. Her new role includes discussing employee benefits in more detail and being able to build bespoke packages for new clients. She joined Health Matters nearly two years ago, starting as an account manager in the retention team.

Brodie said: “I really enjoy my new role as a benefit advisor because I’m able to see the differences that we can potentially make by introducing different benefits to the workforce and how it can help the employee as well as the employer. I look forward to continuing my role here at Health Matters and being able to advise and guide new clients on their benefits journey.” With Brodie moving to the new business team, Debbie Mason joined Health Matters in January as an account manager, dealing with the day-to-day account management and renewal of healthcare and group risk schemes. Debbie has been in the healthcare industry since September 2005.

New recruit boosts Alsters Kelley family team One of Coventry and Warwickshire’s most prestigious law firms has announced the appointment of Sarah Ingram as a solicitor into its expanding family department. Sarah brings to her new role at Alsters Kelley Solicitors a wealth of experience dealing mainly with financial matters arising as a result of relationship breakdown and also advising clients where there are concerns relating to children. Sarah has a special interest in issues arising between people who have separated after having lived together but not married.

Commenting on her appointment, Sarah said: “Alsters Kelley is a very well-established law firm with an excellent reputation. I was looking for a new challenge and to develop my skills further. I am thrilled with my appointment and looking forward to a very exciting future.” Erica Kemp, director and head of the family department at Alsters Kelley, said: “Sarah brings considerable experience and will be a great asset to our clients, the family department and to the rest of the firm.”

Alsters Kelley has offices in Leamington, Coventry, Nuneaton and Southam. Sarah is based in the Leamington Spa office but also sees clients in the Southam office.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

Holt Commercial expands valuation team

Luke Whittaker (left), who recently qualified, with new appointment Andrew Oliver

West Midlands-based Holt Commercial has strengthened its valuation team with the appointment of Andrew Oliver. The commercial property agency, which has offices in Coventry and Birmingham – covering the wider region – has added the experience of Oliver to its growing valuations team. Holt’s new addition has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial

property valuations largely across the West Midlands including stints at BNP Paribas and, most recently,

Towler Shaw Roberts in Wolverhampton. Andrew will be drawing on his expertise to conduct valuations for banks, selfinvested personal pensions (SIPPS), pension funds and property companies together with private valuations. He said: “It is great to join Holt Commercial as it expands its valuation team. I know many of the individuals here from a previous spell in Coventry and also through my wider networks so it has meant settling in has been very easy. “I will be working with a cross-section of businesses and organisations when it comes to commercial property valuations across

the region alongside the great team we have here.” The team also includes the recently qualified Luke Whittaker, as well as managing director Peter Holt and Roger Stanway. Peter Holt said: “The valuation team was boosted at the end of last year as Luke Whittaker qualified and became a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as part of our investment in the future of the company. “The addition of Andrew to the team – alongside myself and Roger – stands us in very good stead in this area of the business.”

“It is great to join Holt Commercial as it expands its valuation team. I know many of the individuals here from a previous spell in Coventry and also through my wider networks so it has meant settling in has been very easy.”

Willsons Solicitors offers opportunity for trainee solicitor Manisha Walia has begun her journey towards becoming a trainee solicitor at Willsons Solicitors.

her community and is keen to support those who are looking for a career in law.

Manisha joined Willsons as a paralegal in June 2019 and since then has gained a wealth of legal knowledge. She has also shown great aptitude in her desire to become a solicitor – so much so that the company offered her the opportunity to realise her ambition.

Away from work, Manisha is a keen gym-goer and reader, has a keen interest in performing arts and trains in Bhangra and Kathak dance.

Bob Willson, managing partner of Willsons, said: “It is always great to see young members of the profession start at the beginning and grow in their knowledge and confidence with us to become proficient solicitors. I am really happy that Manisha has chosen Willsons to be the firm where she wishes to work and where she wishes to qualify as a solicitor.” A local girl and a fluent, articulate speaker of English, Punjabi and Hindi, Manisha is currently working within Willsons’ corporate and commercial department. She is keen to use her knowledge and experience to develop


Willsons has grown consistently since moving to new premises four years ago – and has ambitious plans for further expansion. The company has steadily increased its workforce, recently taking on an apprentice and junior lawyers to develop the next generation of legal talent in Warwickshire.

Willsons is keen to grow its presence in the area, especially with local solicitors who are keen to improve their local community and work hard in a local firm. For more information visit www.willsonssolicitors.co.uk

“It is always great to see young members of the profession start at the beginning and grow in their knowledge and confidence with us to become proficient solicitors.”

Leisure venue appoints new senior team

Draycote Hotel and Whitefields Golf Club in Rugby has appointed a new senior team to expand its market presence and commercial activity. Philip Philippou, former director of Etihad Airways, joins the business as general manager and Isabelle Ambert, former sales manager of Birmingham Botanical Garden, has been hired as business development manager. The new senior team will oversee the management and development of the hotel and golf club. Their aim is to drive sales for the 49-bedroom hotel, restaurant and bar, 18-hole championship golf course and Toptracer driving range, whilst establishing new commercial activity for corporate events, weddings and special occasions. Isabelle Ambert said: “These are exciting times for Draycote Hotel and Whitefields Golf Club. As a wellestablished venue in Warwickshire, it has a loyal customer base but we’re looking to grow our relations with local communities and businesses and further develop our corporate identity.” Philip Philippou added: “This is a new opportunity for me in the UK having spent the last decade in roles across Europe, focusing on strategy for marketing, sales and PR in the travel and hospitality industries. “Draycote Hotel and Whitefields Golf Club is a great venue for both special occasions and business, and under new ownership it has already seen a significant investment in the new 15-bay Toptracer driving range, an innovative technology used by pro golfers. We have several other redevelopments in the pipeline.” Situated next to Draycote Water, Draycote Hotel is home to Whitefields Golf Club and Golf Course, an allweather course at a testing 6,289 yards with a par of 71, challenging golfers of all handicaps. Open to the public seven days a week, guests can enjoy delicious Sunday lunch, afternoon teas and celebrate events such as Mother’s Day and Easter. To find out more, visit www.draycotehotel.co.uk


New Members

Welcome to New Members Corporate Members Compton Verney Stately Home/Wedding & Conference Facilities 01926 645500 info@comptonverney.org.uk www.comptonverney.org.uk

Volvo Group Uk Limited Commercial Vehicle Distributors & Dealers 01926 401777 kim.duffy@volvo.com www.volvogroup.com

International Trade Members Global Fruit and Nuts Limited Food Importers & Exporters 01926 457450 info@globalfruitandnuts.com

Kokoso Skin Limited Health Care Products & Equipment 07949 314246 info@kokoso.co.uk www.kokoso.co.uk

MP Filtri UK Ltd Hydraulic Equipment 01451 822522 mbrittan@mpfiltri.co.uk www.mpfiltri.co.uk

Piltec Limited Cable Manufacturers & Suppliers 01789 778271 diana.p@piltec.com www.piltec.com

Essential Members 1 Mill Street

Serviced Offices/Hot Desk Facilities 07980 240940 hello@1millstreet.com www.1millstreet.com

APTIV Services UK Ltd



Automotive Engineers 02476 053653 alison.ellis@aptiv.com www.aptiv.com

Drainage Contractors & Consultants 08452 237112 anna.knight@dalrod.co.uk www.dalrod.co.uk

Property Consultants 02476 376590 info@nabcel.co.uk www.nabcel.co.uk

Aston Centre for Growth Aston Programme for Small Business Growth Educational & Training Establishments 0121 204 3225 centreforgrowth@aston.ac.uk www2.aston.ac.uk/aston-businessschool/business/centre-for-growth/ aston-programme-for-smallbusiness-growth

Aurelius Print Media Limited Printers 02477 712290 hello@aureliuspm.co.uk

Bamboo Creations Ltd Graphic Designers & Commercial Artists 01295 279300 info@bamboocreations.co.uk www.bamboocreations.co.uk

Beechwood Trees & Landscapes Ltd Tree & Vegetation Management 08003 287988 office@beechwoodtrees.co.uk www.beechwoodtrees.co.uk

Bravissimo Limited Clothing reception@bravissimo.com www.bravissimo.com

C B Accountancy Ltd Accountancy Services 07961 891275 bali@cb-accountancy.co.uk www.cb-accountancy.co.uk

Caniican Ltd Life Coaching 02476 446969 hello@caniican.co.uk www.caniican.co.uk

Golf Gloves Direct Golf Equipment ken@golfglovesdirect.com www.golfglovesdirect.com

Great Exhibitions Ltd Exhibition Consultants 07422 508879 jmgreatrex@gmail.com

Hunter Ward Healthcare Service (UK) Ltd Health Care 01926 942110 lisa@hunterwardhealthcare.co.uk www.hunterwardhealthcare.co.uk

John White Community Centre Conference Centres gillblythe_jwcc@hotmail.co.uk www.facebook.com/ johnwhitecommunitycentre

Jutton Associates Limited Energy Conservation Surveyors & Consultants 01789 268132 davidj@juttonassociates.com www.juttonassociates.com

Kenilworth Bridge Club Clubs 07802 622557 rdmackenzie@mac.com www.bridgewebs.com/kenilworth

Learnpac Systems T/A The Mandatory Training Group Educational & Training Consultants 02476 100090 info@mandatorytraining.co.uk www.mandatorytraining.co.uk

Cirkularis8 Limited

Make Good Grow

Website Designers 01788 220026 info@adao.co.uk www.adao.co.uk

Office Refurbishment & Fitting Out Specialists 020 3879 4950 info@cirkularis8.com www.cirkularis8.com

Voluntary Services 07980 240940 hello@makegoodgrow.com www.makegoodgrow.com


Clarke Consultancy Limited

Agricultural Development Projects 02476 692051 gemma.smith@ahdb.org.uk www.ahdb.org.uk/contact-us

Land Surveyors 07782 336449 nicolasclarke@btconnect.com www.clarkeconsultancy.co.uk


Mobius Improvement Limited

Premium Sure Ltd Insurance Brokers 02477 220619 harj@premiumsure.co.uk www.premiumsure.co.uk

Red Laces Business Consultants 07855 757565 jonathan@redlaces.co.uk www.redlaces.co.uk

Social Distancing Kits Sign Makers 01295 279300 hello@socialdistancingkits.co.uk www.socialdistancingkits.co.uk

Sue Hulme Coaching Life Coaching 07980 430408 sue@suehulme.co.uk


The Henley Golf Courses 01564 793715 lee@henleygcc.co.uk www.henleygcc.co.uk

Thomas Anne Interiors Ltd Manufacturing 07974 671065 lorraine@thomasanne.com

TyMedia Ltd Website Designers 033 344 3487 info@tymedia.co.uk www.tymedia.co.uk

Virtual Moneypenny Virtual Assistant stephanie@virtualmoneypenny.co.uk www.virtualmoneypenny.co.uk

Weave Research

Market Research Consultancy Management & Business Consultants 07505 476979 alison@weave-research.co.uk info@mobiusimprovement.co.uk www.mobiusimprovement.co.uk www.weave-research.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

Member Offers

Featured Offers from our Strategic Partners & Corporate Members:

Wright Hassall LLP Members Discount on COVID-19 Guides for Employees Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Integrity Wealth Solutions

Croner Group Limited

20% Discount on all initial fees for Chamber Members. Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

Furlough Navigator - 10% Discount for Chamber Members Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Essential Member Offers:

Hello Hospitality

ALM Translation

IC Solutions 24/7 Ltd

Keep Calm & Carry On Business Support Services - ‘Per Hour’ Special Offer Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

25% off any translations that members need related to COVID19 communications Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

15% Discount on Whole Room Decontamination Service specifically for COVID-19 Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Profit Growth


Core Clinics

Electric Zoo

Mastermind / Ask-The-Expert Group - Free weekly on-line group meeting Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Free licence for survey software & COVID-19 surveys Expiry Date: 30/09/2020

Telehealth consultations by phone or secure video link Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Free Zero Emissions Delivery Service Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Hays Specialist Recruitment

Personalised virtual Zoom backgrounds for only £15 for Chamber members Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

ADAO Free Website Callout for COVID-19 Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Social Distancing Kits 10% off first order for all members on social distancing kits Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

ActionCoach Warwick Free coaching calls Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

JBMPS Ltd 10% reduction for members on new sturdy hand sanitiser stations Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

Thrive, a completely complimentary online training portal Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

Shakespeare Martineau Free Legal Helpline and 20 Minute Video Session Expiry Date: 31/07/2020

MindsetShift Free Recharge sessions for business leaders Expiry Date: 30/06/2020

The M Guru

CM Talent Ltd Wellbeing Webinars for your employees during Coronavirus Crisis Expiry Date: 26/06/2020

To view these and all of our Member Offers, head to cw-chamber.co.uk/marketplace www.cw-chamber.co.uk




TAKE ON AN APPRENTICE Attract new talent and skills

Increase productivity & performance

Upskill your current staff

Build a loyal workforce


Early Years Education



Stockperson (Beef, Pigs, Sheep, Dairy)

APPRENTICESHIPS STANDARDS ALSO AVAILABLE IN: Accounting Adult Care Agriculture Animal Care and Welfare Auto Care Bricklaying Business Administration Carpentry & Joinery Customer Service Dental Nursing Electrotechnical Events Equine Farriery Hair Horticulture HR Hospitality IT Marketing & Digital Marketing Plumbing Team Leading Trees and Timber Veterinary Nursing Welding

Contact our Business Development Team:

employerenquiries@wcg.ac.uk | 0330 135 6940


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