Page 1

Issue 71

May / June 2019

James Davies the Wigley Group the company that keeps on developing Page 20 31




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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


CONTENTS May - June 2019

Offering clarity at a time of economic uncertainty

Go for Growth






Dear Chamber of Commerce Member,

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

As many businesses and organisations begin a new financial year (and reflect on last financial year, 2018/19), it is worth stating that Coventry & Warwickshire continues to be a strong and vibrant economy, despite the continued, exhausting and, at times, exasperating political climate.

be offering its Members a range of quality events and networking opportunities, including our unrivalled and well-attended annual Economic Conference, this year to be held on Friday 15th November 2019 and hosted by BBC TV Presenter and journalist Steph McGovern.

Yes, I am talking about BREXIT and the uncertainty that the latest deferment presents businesses and the urgent need for clarity and stability in our great trading nation.

So, if you wish to join us for what will be a fabulous event with an amazing line-up of speakers and a great networking opportunity, then book your place now on

I am pleased that your Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce continues to offer BREXIT support. What kind of support, one might ask? Well, through our own CW International Trade Hub and working with experts, such as Independent Freight, RationalFX and Wright Hassall, we are able to work with leaders to look at the potential impact of BREXIT, if any, on their business, cash flow, logistics, supply chains, people and staffing, forecasting costs of imports and exports and much more.

Thank you to all of our Members who continue to take part in our Quarterly Economic Survey (QES). This critical 'national' survey is used as a barometer of the economy and provides critical and timely intelligence into decisions made by important bodies, such as our Bank of England, when considering monetary management of the economy.

If you want to consider both the challenges and opportunities that BREXIT might present, then please get in touch with James Ahearne on The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is already planning ahead, into 2019/20, and will

More than 400 businesses take part in the Coventry and Warwickshire QES and if this is of interest to you, being part of the survey and accessing the results, please get in touch with Sean Rose on Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive

Corporate Profiles




Chamber Training




Legal & Finance






Brexit Club


Around the Region


Conference & Event Venues




Education & Skills




President & People


New Members


Training & Events


Earlsdon Park 53-55 Butts Road Coventry CV1 3BH 024 7663 2121

putting imagination to work


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

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

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

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Media Number 1612 © Benham Publishing 2019 C&W in Business is produced on behalf of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce by Benham Publishing Limited and is distributed to members free of charge. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in C&W in Business, neither Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, nor the publisher can accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber.

International focus earns award for exporter A Coventry company that launched six years ago with the aim of being a local success story has been chosen as national champion for exporting. Body Care Brand Development was established in Foleshill in 2013 by Hamzah Islam and Abrar Hussain creating toiletry products to sell in the Coventry area. But when the company was approached by Premier League football club West Ham United to create branded products to be sold in the club’s retail store, it led to the firm trading nationally and internationally too. It has been supported in its overseas efforts by Parminder Hayer, of the Department for International Trade team based at the International Trade Hub at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and now has products in a range of European football club stores including Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco and Feyenoord. The company is also in advanced talks in the USA where NBA, NFL and MLS clubs are looking to stock the Body Care Brand Development products, which now includes an extensive range from toiletries to branded grooming sets, and even jigsaws! Hamzah said: “It’s been an amazing six years. When we launched, we wanted to do well

in Coventry and that was about as far is it went. “Then West Ham asked us to provide products for their ‘Forever Blowing Bubbles’ range and we found we had a whole new market to pursue and now the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are clients – as are Coventry City. “We then started talking to the Department for International Trade and they were great in helping us to look at the potential for overseas markets, helping us to research where we could export and the way to go about it. “There are challenges to trading in international markets but that’s where the support is so helpful in getting you over some of those barriers. “Around 60 per cent of our products are now exported and the aim is to increase that with massive potential in the USA and also in other countries too.” The company has recently launched its new Pom Baby Organic product range, which is due to be launched in 60 pharmacies in Dubai, and the firm has been named as one of the Department for International Trade’s Export Champions. It will see Body Care Brand Development become ambassadors for exporting, encouraging other companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to fulfil their

potential for international trade as part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT campaign.

football clubs and that same commitment has helped it achieve success abroad.

Ajay Desai, the Director of International Trade at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great that we have an Exporting Champion on our patch and the company should serve as an inspiration to businesses across the region on the huge benefits to exporting.

“The support we have been able to offer has been help in finding the right markets, engaging with those markets and then ensuring compliance.

“The company’s commitment to quality helped to land huge domestic clients such as Manchester City and Liverpool

“There are so many opportunities available now to Body Care Brand Development in terms of new markets and we look forward to working with them to make the most of that, as well as using their story to encourage others to trade internationally.”

“There are challenges to trading in international markets but that’s where the support is so helpful in getting you over some of those barriers.”

Stratford MP backs growth campaign


The MP for Stratford has offered his support to a campaign to get businesses across the county doing more trade with each other.

C&W in Business Advertising Features for 2019

Nadhim Zahawi MP have given his backing to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign, which has been devised to encourage more firms to look locally for suppliers and clients.

July/Aug 2019 Connectivity Our annual feature reports on how good communications and IT can help a business securely grow.

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 Copy deadline 25 June 2019

For further information on the forthcoming features please contact: Terry Brannigan Chamber Sales DD 07841 115444

Back (left to right) Louise Wall (Chamber), Ajay Desai (Chamber), Louise Bennett (Chamber); Front (left to right) Hamzah Islam, Abrar Hussain.

Larry Coltman (left) with Nadhim Zahawi

when that happens it has a positive knock-on effect for the regional economy, and gives even more opportunities for local firms to work together to deliver contracts overseas.” Larry Coltman, the chair of the Chamber’s South Warwickshire branch, added: “We are delighted to have Nadhim Zahawi’s support for Go For Growth: Trade Local.

Mr Zahawi said: “I think it is absolutely right that businesses look to support one another locally and it is a great campaign for the Chamber to be running.

“We want companies and organisations to think about the businesses on our patch and the range of goods and services we can offer to one another.

“Of course, we also want companies to be expanding their horizons globally and

“The more trade we do with each other, the better it is for the local economy.”



Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Policy Go for Growth

Time in the spotlight ‘offers opportunities for growth’ The West Midlands will have two years in the international spotlight – and that will mean major opportunities for Coventry and Warwickshire businesses to help grow the regional economy. That was the clear message at a business briefing organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. The event, which preceded the Chamber’s Trade Local Business & Trade Expo at NAEC Stoneleigh, attracted 300 business people from across the region to hear about the contracts that are available now and will be coming soon and crucially, how to tender for them. The briefing was hosted by Olympic bronze medallist Katharine Merry and attendees also heard from Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Ian Reid, the CEO of the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and Neil Carney, project director for Birmingham City Council. A panel briefing also included Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, and Rebecca Battman, head of brand at RBL – the first major organising committee contractor. Louise said: “It is great to see the team behind Birmingham 2022 coming out to engage with businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire and presenting to them the opportunities that are available.

“It was very clear so our local SME community that there will be opportunities for them to tender for contracts and it is up to all of us to make the most of that. “With UK City of Culture in Coventry in 2021 followed by the Commonwealth Games in the region in 2022, it presents a fantastic opportunity for our area and our businesses. “I was out at MIPIM, where cities and regions from all over the world are competing and trying to sell themselves to potential global investors. “The fact that we have these incredible events coming to our region in 2021 and 2022 provided a real selling point for us and it is a great way of generating a buzz around Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider region.” Following his presentation, Ian Reid said: “I was delighted to see so many businesses from across the region at Stoneleigh. I’d like to thank the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for providing us with this excellent chance to explain the opportunities that will be available, the timescales for those opportunities and the benefits that hosting the Games will bring to the entire region. “We know that local businesses have local passion. They are hugely invested in making the Games a success, so we very much want to harness that passion and use it to ensure the Games has an even greater impact.” Katharine Merry, who was born in Warwickshire, spoke about her

Rebecca Battman, Neil Carney, Ian Reid, Louise Bennett, Jonathan Browning, Katharine Merry.

experiences as a young athlete growing up in the region, of her international athletics career and of her recent experiences of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and on the Gold Coast, where she was part of the BBC commentary team. After hosting the business briefing she said:

“I used to prepare to perform and now it’s the region’s turn to prepare to perform. Birmingham 2022 brings with it some exciting opportunities for local businesses and following this briefing, the companies that attended now know exactly what they need to do, if they want to be part of the

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.” Companies can register now on the Birmingham 2022 business portal at businessportal

“The fact that we have these incredible events coming to our region in 2021 and 2022 provided a real selling point for us and it is a great way of generating a buzz around Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider region.”

Midlands UK tells its story to the world The Midlands UK Pavilion showcased its wealth of investment opportunities with a series of successful events at this year’s global property show MIPIM in Cannes, France.

The Pavilion welcomed potential investors, property agents, developers and the media from across the world. The events programme alone attracted footfall of more than 3,500 visits, an increase of 18% from 2,900 last year. Examples from the region’s cultural and creative economy featured heavily in this year’s programme, with the most popular event of the week hosting Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. The writer and director spoke about the region’s creative quarter and his plans for a new film studio in the Midlands. He was joined by local poet Casey Bailey, who delivered an emotive poem called ‘Midlander’, which focused on the people, place and heritage of the region. The Midlands UK Pavilion hosted 43 events, including panel discussions and showcase presentations from a range of speakers. Other busy events included included Tuesday’s Welcome Reception, which

unveiled ‘The Midlands Engine is here’, a film focusing on the people, potential and opportunities that are brimming throughout the region. Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine, said: “The region’s diverse range of investment opportunities proves that the Midlands is a prime business and investment destination. MIPIM enabled us to present these schemes to thousands of potential investors during just one week. “The collaboration between both private and public sector partners was key to this year’s successes and is crucial to maintaining the global competiveness of the region in the long term.” Throughout the week regional leaders showcased £11 billion of major developments to potential investors. Announcements included the redevelopment of Nottingham Forest’s The City Ground; The Brewers Yard at the City of Wolverhampton, a 10-acre brownfield site that will regenerate

the local area; and Homes England confirming that it will trial shared office space in Coventry. Two updated Investment Prospectuses, from the Midlands Engine and West Midlands Combined Authority, were also unveiled at the Midlands UK Pavilion. The ‘Game Changers’ panel discussion discussed the drivers behind inward investment into the region, from its quality of life to the arrival of HS2 and 5G. Following the ‘Regeneration through Sport’ event, Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms joined the Midlands UK delegation for a lively ‘Question of Sport’ quiz. The private sector was out in force as part of the largest Midlands UK delegation to ever attend MIPIM. Key partners included Birmingham Airport, Court Collaboration, Jaguar Land Rover, Lendlease and St Joseph. Nick Spencer, Director of Property, Non-Production Purchasing and Trading Division at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The Midlands is a

fantastic place to live and work and by conveying this message to investors from around the world we hope to continue attracting investment into the region. "The Midlands is integral to our growth and success as a global automotive manufacturer. Our business is facing ongoing external headwinds however we remain optimistic and continue our commitment to the region. We have recently announced further investment in electrification with the new Battery Assembly Centre in Hams Hall, North Warwickshire and future Electric Drive Units which will be produced at our Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton." Anthony Cork, Director at Gleeds, added: “We are delighted to celebrate the diverse, innovative investment opportunities that the dynamic region of the Midlands has to offer. Gleeds is proud to be involved in a variety of ambitious public and private sector projects across the Midlands.”



Inaugural National Mentoring Awards go gold

The winners of the first ever National Mentoring Awards 2019 were in esteemed company when they were presented with a gold-plated NMA trophy at the event’s gala dinner at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel, London. The design of award was custom-created and then manufactured for the event by Special EFX. The NMA initials and plinth were produced in clear acrylic and then

decorated with gold-plating. Chelsey Baker, CEO and founder of the official National Mentoring Day, which takes place every October, said: “I loved the fact that our awards were bespoke and made especially for us to mark this wonderful occasion, where we honoured the UK's mentors and mentoring organisations. For such a high profile event we needed an award that was equally fitting for such a worthy

cause, so having 24ct gold plated awards was important to reflect the quality of our work and to give something special to our deserving winners. The results looked fantastic and I was so impressed with the quality, weight and design we were able to achieve with the EFX team.” The event was hosted by Rory Bremner, the impressionist, and 350 of the

Companies invited to take on It’s a Knockout in aid of The Myton Hospices The Myton Hospices is calling on charitable companies across the region to sign up for its second annual It’s a Knockout competition - it’s team building, but not as you know it! Think massive inflatables, ridiculous giant costumes, foam, water and obstacles designed to slip

you up every step of the way – then throw in a good dose of camaraderie, rivalry and the battle for the title of Myton It’s a Knockout Champions of 2019 - and you have the perfect recipe for a great Friday afternoon, out of the office. Myton’s It’s a Knockout takes place on the afternoon of Friday

UK’s top mentors and mentoring organisations were honoured. The ultimate accolade of National Mentor of the Year was awarded to Nichole Higgins of CIPD, who was recognised for her role supporting jobseekers as a CIPD Steps Ahead Mentor. She provides jobseekers with one-to-one mentoring sessions to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and find work.

Company achieves 25% increase in turnover ALM Translations, a member of the Association of Translation Companies and an ISO 17100:2015- certified company based in Warwickshire, has released provisional revenue figures for the past financial year. ALM has confirmed that it has yet again beaten its targets with a 25% increase in turnover. Rachel Coleman and Lisa Williams, the Directors at ALM, are delighted with the achievements of their team, stating “Our team has worked incredibly hard this financial year and it is exciting to be able to support customers wanting to trade internationally through these turbulent times.” ALM Translations puts a great deal of effort into looking after existing customers, as well as new ones. Additionally, ALM prides itself in offering their clients a consultancy style service by listening to them and helping them to achieve their international goals. Another strength is the power of recommendation. Winning business in this way is and always has been a good source of new business sales for the company. However, ALM has also invested in sales and marketing this year as well as technology and vendor recruitment. External business consultants have been mentoring the two directors to enable them to focus on growing the business further. ALM has seen growth in their own international customer base, winning new business in the US and France. The company already sells translation services to many European countries. ALM offers a range of essential translation services backed by years of experience after having recently celebrated 17 years in business.

Companies can get involved with an afternoon of fun team building, while supporting The Myton Hospices

28th June at Leamington Rugby Club with family and friends invited to come along, soak up the atmosphere and cheer on the teams. All money raised on the day will go directly to The Myton Hospices to help it continue to support terminally ill people and their

families across Coventry and Warwickshire.To take part in this fun-packed event, all companies need to do is get together a willing team of eight contestants. A trophy will be presented to the team earning the most points on the day. The event is being sponsored by Mazda Coventry and Leamington.

Hannah Morris, Partnerships Manager at The Myton Hospices, said: “Last year’s inaugural It’s a Knockout was such an amazing success and we are looking forward to it being even bigger and better this time around.” To find out more and register your team, visit

Tributes paid to Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Tributes have been paid to Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG at the University of Warwick, who passed away on Friday 1st March after a short illness. Sir David Normington, Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor of University of Warwick said: “Long before I joined the University of Warwick Council, I knew of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya as an adviser to successive Prime Ministers and Secretaries of State and a tireless advocate for the UK manufacturing industry. Then, as Chair of Council, I had the great good fortune to see close up his extraordinary


commitment to University of Warwick, to Coventry and the West Midlands and to UK plc. “He was a force of nature. He pushed at boundaries, he changed lives, he created jobs, and he set the standard for how universities should work with industry. Most of all, for so many of us, he was also a kind and generous friend. We shall miss him terribly but here at Warwick he will remain our inspiration for many years to come.” Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft said: “Professor Lord Bhattacharyya served for four decades at Warwick,

founding and leading WMG. However, his service goes far beyond this University. The achievements of WMG, particularly his own wisdom, passion, and advocacy of the importance of manufacturing, technology, research teaching, and training has helped guide regional, national and international leaders, business figures and policy makers. “He has helped preserve and create jobs and transform companies, economies, and individual lives, above all in our region. We mourn the passing of a unique man but we also celebrate all that he has achieved and are thankful that those achievements

will have a massive impact for years to come.” It was Professor Lord Bhattacharyya’s wish that the University ask Professor David Mullins to become the Acting Head of WMG and he has accepted that role. Professor Mullins said: “It has been a great honour and privilege to have worked so closely with Professor Lord Bhattacharyya for more than 20 years. At this sad time, we are all focused on growing the amazing organisation for research, education and impact that he created for national and international benefit.”

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. “He has been a driving force for industry in the region and, indeed, the whole of UK so this is a major loss. “His work will live on for many, many years to come and Coventry and Warwickshire will be forever grateful for his vision, energy and drive that has played a major part in our industrial renaissance in recent years.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Western Power Distribution Dragon sponsorship raises £125,000 for The Shakespeare Hospice

The Shakespeare Hospice has announced the return of its Dragon Boat Race in September 2019, and the continued support from their sponsor Western Power Distribution. Last September, the race attracted a total 27 teams from in and around Stratford and raised a fantastic sum of £37k for the Hospice. The 2019 edition of the annual Dragon Boat Race will be Sunday 15 September at Stratford

Boat Club on the River Avon. As a special ‘Early Dragon’ offer in March, teams can secure their place for the event and pay £100 registration fee, for a boat of up to 17 people. This has been specially reduced from the normal registration fee of £250. Michael Wigmore, Worcester’s Distribution Manager from sponsors Western Power Distribution, said: “We are delighted to continue our good relationship with Shakespeare Hospice which dates back to 2014. Operating across the Midlands including Stratford-upon-Avon, we are very keen to support local charities and communities. “We have been honoured to make a contribution to the hospice’s fundraising efforts through our annual sponsorship of the Shakespeare Hospice Dragon Boat Race. The event has raised more than £125,000 for the charity since our sponsorship and for that we are very proud. Once again, many of our local staff regularly take part and will compete

in two boats and we hope that this year will be well attended. It is always a fantastic day so we hope that many local businesses will get involved.” Caroline Lawrence, Fundraising Manager at The Shakespeare Hospice, said: “We are delighted that Western Power Distribution has agreed to continue to sponsor our Dragon Boat Race in 2019. We really hope that our local community will come back and join in this event, particularly as it was such an exciting grand final last year with six boats. We get fantastic feedback from everyone involved so we are hoping that we can increase the number of teams taking part this year and have another nail-biting finish.” If you are interested in taking part in this year’s Dragon Boat Race, please visit The Shakespeare Hospice website and download a registration pack, or get in touch with the fundraising team by emailing

Wingtips and Moonshine in abundance at Zoe’s Place ‘Gangster and Molls’ Ball Guys and dolls are being invited to put on their glad-rags, dig out the trilby and transport themselves back to the roaring 20s for a night of ‘Gangsters and Molls’ at this year’s Zoe’s Place Ball. Preparations are in full swing for the popular annual charity event – which is being set in the glamourous Gatsby era where wingtips were the height of fashion and moonshine flowed in abundance. Once again, the annual extravaganza is being held in the grand setting of Coombe Abbey and whether you’re going as Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone or Daisy Buchanan, the night is certain to be a roaring success. And with music from Coventry band the Kicks, there will be plenty of opportunity to strut your stuff on the dancefloor. This year’s event, which takes place on Friday May 17, is being sponsored by Arden Foods, which has been a strong supporter of Zoe’s Place for the past four years. Managing Director Gary Barr said: “We are thrilled to be the headline sponsor of this year’s Zoe’s Place Ball. It is an incredible charity and we are proud to help raise money for this deserving and much-needed hospice in Coventry.

“Four years ago, an employee at Arden suggested that we get involved with Zoe’s and we haven’t looked back since. In the past, we have supported the charity in a number of ways such as supplying birthday cakes, hampers and taking part in a number of challenges. We are delighted to be headline sponsors.” Arden Foods was first formed in 1991 initially to supply bakery and biscuit products to household names. The company has grown over the years and now employs more than 30 people. Every penny raised on the night will go towards Zoe’s Place annual running costs of £1.4 million per year. Fundraising activities take place each year to help the Midlands only baby-specific hospice continue to provide 24-hour palliative and respite care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Peter Jarvis, Managing Director of Warwick based Contechs and Chairman of the Zoë’s Place Business Group, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Arden Foods for agreeing to be this year’s headline sponsor of the Zoe’s Place Ball. “Every year, the event proves to be an incredible fundraising night for Zoe’s Place

and we are confident that this year’s Gangster and Molls-themed event will be no exception. The ball not only helps raise vital funds to ensure that Zoe’s Place can continue to provide this important service, but it also raises awareness of this fantastic charity.” Chris Ward, Fundraising Manager at the hospice, added: “We are very excited for this year’s Gangster and Molls-themed ball. It is sure to be a fun evening for all involved as well as helping to swell the coffers of this crucial service in Coventry.” Tickets for the ball start at £75 per person. There are also Gold, Platinum and Diamond packages available for tables of ten ranging from £750 to £1,350. To book tickets, or to find out more about how to support Zoe’s Place, contact the Hospice on or call 024 7636 1675.

Chamber helps business launch website Coventry based company IP Security Systems (IPSS) have launched their new website after receiving training and support from the Coventry Chamber of Commerce. Office Administrator Sharon Taylor attended free the ‘Wordpress Your Business’ day in March this year and was then offered a follow up mentoring session with the trainer Neil Batchelor. Sharon said: “I had been struggling with being new to using Wordpress and with what turned out to be a theme which was causing difficulties. With IPSS being a Chamber of Commerce member, I was able to access the free training day which gave me the basics of how Wordpress is structured and how to change the look and feel of the site.

“The second session, in which Neil visited our office and went through the website that we had, was absolutely invaluable. He was patient and resolved all of the issues I was experiencing. Using the advice and guidance provided I have been able to work on the new website and get it launched.” IPSS provide infrastructure, networking and electronic security solutions for businesses in Coventry, Warwickshire and the surrounding areas. They were recently awarded the highest industry accolade NSI NACOSS Gold Award for the quality of their work and are offering FREE security audits to all Coventry Chamber of Commerce members. Call 024 7644 6960 or email for more information.

sponsored column

Paying Stamp Duty Land Tax The payment window for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) has been halved to 14 days affecting all commercial and residential property sales. With effect from 1 March 2019 buyers need to ensure that their stamp duty is paid within 14 days of the sale transaction in a move which affects all land and property transactions in England. A completed SDLT return must be made within 14 days of the ‘effective date’ of the transaction (the date the transfer is complete) but can be when the contract is ‘substantially performed’ (eg most of the buying price is paid, the buyer is entitled to possession of property or the first rental payment made). This applies even if no tax is due because the sales value is under the £125,000 threshold. There is also a new penalty regime for late filings and payments. There is a fixed penalty of £100 for returns filed up to three months after the filing date, rising to £200 for returns later than three months. In addition, in extreme cases where a filing is a year or more late, HMRC will also charge a tax-based penalty, which could be up to the full amount of the tax due. There are a few exceptions to the requirement for a SDLT return, including some transactions where no money or other payment changed hands; property inherited in a will; and property transferred because of divorce or civil partnership dissolution. Individuals wishing to know more should contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas on 02476 257481 or respectively. For more information, please visit our website,



Companies urged to consider entering awards They also heard from recent winners of the award, including Terry Spall, of HORIBA MIRA Technology Park in North Warwickshire, which won the International Trade Award. Kate Birch, of Nuneaton-based Coachbuilt GB, which won the Innovation Award was also a speaker as was Karen Lynch, of Sustainable Development Award winner Belu Water. Louise Bennett OBE DL, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are always pleased to work with colleagues at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to stage this event for companies across the whole of the region. “Awards are a great way of business raising their profile and highlighting to clients that they operate to the very highest of standards and adhere to best practice. Louise Bennett, Tim Cox, John Crabtree and Paul Faulkner

Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire can put themselves in line for a major award from Her Majesty The Queen if they follow a series of tips from previous winners. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce organised a masterclass event in conjunction with the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to help businesses from the region apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. About 60 businesspeople attended the masterclass and heard from a range of speakers who have first-hand knowledge of the most prestigious business award it is possible to enter.

The event also heard that the region is behind other areas when it comes to Queen’s Award wins and that companies should be shouting their success from the rooftops to promote themselves and the region. In 2018, there were 258 awards made and just 15 were in the West Midlands compared to 52 in London. John Crabtree, OBE Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midland, and Tim Cox, Lord-Lieutenant of Warwickshire, both spoke at the event, which also heard from Chris Robinson, the Managing Director of Boost Awards – which can support firms in applying for a Queen’s Award.

tremendous as being a Queen’s Award winner elevates your business from a profile and reputational point of view. “We would encourage as many companies across our patch to look into entering and, if they need support in doing so, they can contact us here at the Chamber for support as we want as many winners from this area as possible. “The key point to take away from the event was that you need to be able to evidence your success and make sure you meet the criteria that is set out. There are hints and tips around how to fill in the application to give yourself a better chance of being successful but, ultimately, it will come down to the fact of whether your business really fits the bill.”

“That is absolutely the case when it comes to the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in all four categories of International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and Social Mobility.

The event also heard from Jenny Horscraft, of Honours List IQ, who spoke about individual honours from The Queen, and Paul Faulkner, of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

“And, because of that, it’s a very tough award to win but the rewards for doing so are

For more information on the Queen’s Award contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.

“Awards are a great way of business raising their profile and highlighting to clients that they operate to the very highest of standards and adhere to best practice.”

Hundreds of business people make Expo a success Hundreds of companies from across Coventry and Warwickshire came together at a major event to build links with other firms and do more business with one another. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its Trade Local Business Expo at NAEC Stoneleigh which brought more than 800 businesspeople together from a wide range of sectors. After a business briefing with the organising committee of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games which attracted an audience of 300, the main expo saw more than 140 exhibitors showcasing their goods and services to the region. The Trade Local theme builds on the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Go For Growth Trade Local campaign which


aims to get more companies from across the region trading with each other. Chris Nagle, the events and marketing manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We were thrilled with the event and it’s great to see so many companies committing to enhancing how much business they do locally. “The Expo is a great opportunity to meet hundreds of other businesses from across the region and it highlights what a fantastic cross section of companies we have here in Coventry and Warwickshire. “The more trade we can all do locally, the better it will be for the economy in our region and it’s something we will continue to champion.”

“The Expo is a great opportunity to meet hundreds of other businesses from across the region and it highlights what a fantastic cross section of companies we have here in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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City of Culture to have long-term effect The impact of UK City of Culture will be measured over a ten-year period, businesses have been told. The Coventry City of Culture Trust is currently assembling the team which will deliver the year-long programme and for now, no details of what is in store will be announced. But the man charged with overseeing the initiative – the Trust’s chief executive Martin Sutherland -has revealed some of the numbers which are key to the success of Coventry’s big year. Speaking at a Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast held at the Council House in the city centre, Martin Sutherland said leaving a legacy in the city was one of the primary aims. “We will have producers embedded in the communities across Coventry and will be aiming to reach 80 per cent of the city’s population three or more times during the year. “Our year will be literally that – 365 days of activity. We will be developing and showcasing the fantastic talent we have in the city and while UK and international groups will also come to the city, all will need to demonstrate a long-term commitment to supporting artists, organisations and communities in Coventry if they want to be involved. “This will not be a traditional festival when there is a flurry of activity and then everyone moves on – we want this to be sustainable in every sense and we are

Malcolm Ward (CEO of AGN International), Martin Gibbs (Vice Chair) and Richard Hempe (current AGN International EMEA Regional Chair)

The importance of remaining excellent, connected and individual Leigh Hunt, Louise Wall, Martin Sutherland

embarking on a 10-year evaluation exercise to ensure that happens.” Martin revealed that 16,000 local volunteers will be recruited to work on 2021, while more than 6,000 visitors are expected to come to the city every day during the year. He was joined by Leigh Hunt of CityFibre, who outlined the company’s progress in rolling out fibre communications to businesses and homes across the city. Louise Wall, Group Commercial Director of the Chamber, said the sheer scale of the UK City of Culture 2021, presented

enormous commercial opportunities for businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire. She said: “It is going to be a landmark year for Coventry and one which will enhance our already growing national perception. “The numbers Martin detailed really brought home the economic potential the year will present, not only for those in leisure and hospitality but also a myriad of other sectors. “It is clear that the Trust is determined that maximum benefit from 2021 is felt by all communities across the city – and that includes the business community.”

Meeting spreads the word about new initiatives That was after Mandy Walker, of Warwickshire County Council, and Chris Lawes, of Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, had given an overview of the exciting Transforming Nuneaton plans. Partners involved in the project want to reimagine the town centre as a hub for transport, health, leisure, education, culture and retail. Chris Nagle, events and marketing manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’ve had great feedback on our latest Chamber Means Business event.

Major new plans for the north of Warwickshire have been highlighted to businesses in the south of the county at a breakfast event. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its latest Chamber Means Business event at Ettington Chase in Stratford-upon-Avon. The event heard from Coventry Live and Coventry

Telegraph editor Keith Perry on the evolution of the media and how the organisation reaches a larger audience now than at any other time over the past 40 years. Ivvet Modinou, director of the British Science Festival, told the gathered businesses that the festival was coming to the region for the first time in its 188-year history from September 10 to 13.

“We had four great speakers who all spoke on fascinating subjects that our audience found extremely informative. “Keith gave us an incredible insight into the way the media world continues to change and how they have had to stay one step ahead of that, while Ivvet was delighted to tell local businesses about the British Science Festival coming to the region. “The Transforming Nuneaton project could have a major positive impact on our region and it is a relevant topic to companies right across Coventry and Warwickshire.”

“We’ve had great feedback on our latest Chamber Means Business event. We had four great speakers who all spoke on fascinating subjects that our audience found extremely informative.”

The BREXIT saga rolls on, with the 29 March departure date missed, along with the 12 April deadline, our fate appears to have been deferred until 31 October. There is nothing like certainty to provide a solid foundation for business planning is there? Assuming the current political impasse is resolved (and that is quite an assumption) and the UK does leave the EU, we then move onto the difficult bit - trade deal negotiations. It took Iceland 5 years to negotiate its trade deals and all they do is export fish. It took the UK 11 years to gain entry to the EU and it may well take the same time to get out…. assuming that is really what we want. Whatever happens with BREXIT, UK businesses are being forced into a prolonged period of uncertainty. However, we know our Coventry and Warwickshire clients still want to do business in the EU and this can only happen with the right connections.

Dafferns and AGN International Dafferns are members of AGN International, an association of independent accounting and advisory firms, with approaching 200 members in 80 countries, delivering assurance, accounting, tax and advisory services worldwide. Through AGN, we are helping Dafferns’ clients in Coventry and Warwickshire do business across the EU and connecting EU businesses who want to do business in the UK. This has included setting up new subsidiaries, business acquisitions and tax advice, as well as having excellent connections who can help businesses communicate and grow across the EU. In June this year I take over as the Chair of AGN International’s EMEA region for the next two years. This will coincide with a critical period for the long term success of UK businesses. Not being in the EU does not mean we are not open for business. The UK may not have a seat at the table and a voice within the EU, but as Chair of the AGN International EMEA region, I plan to make sure that the UK and, most importantly, Coventry and Warwickshire businesses remain excellent, connected and individual and open for business across the EU. Martin Gibbs is Dafferns Managing Partner, he likes talking about BREXIT and can now do this across the EU. Dafferns BREXIT blogs and resources Dafferns and AGN International If you would like more information, please contact Martin on 02476 221 046 or


Corporate Profiles

Scaling new heights at Coombe Abbey Ron Terry, General Manager of Coombe Abbey Hotel, said: “The addition of Go Ape has already been a huge success for Coombe Abbey. There has been a massive amount of interest and we are so pleased with how it has been received and welcomed by everyone. “It can provide a wealth of opportunities for the corporate world as well as being something fun for visitors. “Packages are available now for businesses to book team-building days, and the Go Ape team can cater for large groups meaning that many people can get involved with a visit. “Not only is it perfect as a team-building opportunity, it could also provide an interesting activity for those who are hosting conferences and events at the hotel. “Getting clients and delegates to swing through the air and along zip wires is a really great way to make a conference or event memorable.”

The worlds of business and epic adventure have collided with the launch of a new attraction at Coombe Abbey. Go Ape swung into action at the park in April and is already proving to be a fantastic addition and drawing in the crowds. But, the new tree-top assault course is not just for tourists and visitors, since it can help

companies take their teams to brand new heights and help them grow together by hosting team-building events and corporate days. Coombe Abbey Park Limited, which operates the hotel and cafes within the park, has partnered with Go Ape to bring the attraction to Coventry and Warwickshire.

Located within the park, Go Ape features The Plummet, a 12-metre free-fall vertical drop, a dual Tarzan Swing, a 200m double zip course finale and much more for thrillseekers to enjoy. A number of jobs have also been created at the site, which will be open between February and December. The introduction of Go Ape is perfect timing as Coventry is European City of Sport for 2019. Go Ape at Coombe Abbey is open between 10am and 4pm Monday to Sunday. For further information about Go Ape visit days-out/midlands/coventry Call 024 7645 0450 or email for details about corporate events.

“Getting clients and delegates to swing through the air and along zip wires is a really great way to make a conference or event memorable.”

Investing in the Midlands Meggitt PLC is a global engineering group headquartered in the UK, specialising in extreme environment components and smart sub-systems for aerospace, defence and selected energy markets. Employing some 11,000 people with manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe and North America, and regional bases in Brazil, India and the Middle East, Meggitt is investing in a new, £130 million site at Ansty Park near Coventry. This new facility will consolidate a number of existing facilities in the West Midlands; will incorporate its international head office which is relocating from Dorset; and will provide a platform for growth and investment in the region for decades to come. It is a major aerospace investment in the region and is the largest single infrastructure investment ever made by Meggitt. The site at Ansty will provide a base for up to 1,000 employees, combining a range of manufacturing operations, headquarters and shared services support for Meggitt globally, and will be an international hub for innovation, research and development. Meggitt is a global company making significant investments in manufacturing operations across the world, with recent expansions to existing sites in Vietnam, the United States and China. With a global footprint, Meggitt made a choice to make its single biggest infrastructure investment in the Midlands, thanks to the appeal of the region with its economic revival with rapid growth.


The West Midlands Combined Authority has one of the fastest growing economies of any Combined Authority in the country, with a GVA growth rate of 20.2% over the last five years. With Meggitt’s distinguished heritage and skilled workforce also in the area, this has proved a winning combination. There is an abundance of talent here with a young, diverse and entrepreneurial population. Eight universities and world-class research institutions produce 52,000 graduates every year. There are more than 1.3 million under-25s living in the region, and it is an innovative place to be. The West Midlands offers a huge range of cultural interests, drawing around 120 million visitors a year. Quality of life in Birmingham is ranked higher than Rome, Los Angeles, Osaka, Shanghai and Dubai. Wolverhampton is undergoing a £1 billion transformation, while Coventry has been selected as the 2021

Artist’s impression of forecourt of Meggitt’s Headquarters at Ansty Park

UK City of Culture and Birmingham will be the next host of the Commonwealth Games. Also, the West Midlands is connected with an unparalleled strategic location at the heart of the country’s motorway and rail network. And finally, the region’s growing diverse economy is its key strength. Not reliant on one sector, the West Midlands is home to leaders in finance, life sciences, digital, automotive and aerospace making it more resilient in times of economic volatility.

“With the investment at Ansty Park, we will be even better positioned to deliver our commitments to our customers; catalyse our journey towards world-class performance and further develop our competitive edge in the global aerospace market.”

Chief Executive Tony Wood said: “With the investment at Ansty Park, we will be even better positioned to deliver our commitments to our customers; catalyse our journey towards world-class performance and further develop our competitive edge in the global aerospace market. We’re creating a world-class, high-performance facility in an aerospace R&D ‘cluster’; enabling a step change in the way we work together. “Innovation is at the heart of what we do and at Ansty we are creating a Centre of Excellence and innovation, harnessing ideas and enabling talent to flourish. We’re creating a Meggitt fit for the future: as an operational site, as a hub of innovation and as a corporate HQ.” Meggitt forms just part of the development, managed by Manse Opus, on the Prospero site. For more information contact or go to

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Corporate Profiles

Squab all set for expansion A Leamington-based removals and storage company is expanding its reach after it opened a new depot in Worcestershire. Squab, based on the outskirts of the town, opened a new site in Evesham in April, taking its total number of sites up to three. The company was on the lookout for new sites within a 40 mile radius of Leamington, and the site at Vale Park just off the A46 ticked a lot of boxes for Squab. Emlyn Evans, director of Squab, said: “When we saw the Evesham site was available, we felt we had to acquire it. Our business has been growing well so we needed a new site to keep us moving forward. “It was well within our range for new sites, and we felt there was a gap in the market in that part of the Midlands. “We’ve already had plenty of interest, so we’re confident Evesham and the south Worcestershire area could be a successful region for us. The early signs are good.” Squab started trading at its Harbury Lane site on the outskirts of Leamington in 2005. It was named after Squab Hall, which sits right next to it. Its focus was to provide a very flexible removal and storage business for its customers, whether they are simply a couple looking to move house or a large company looking for storage solutions.

Squab can provide a comprehensive removal service, or customers can choose to opt out of certain services, such as packing a lorry during a move, to save money. Instead, customers can opt to hire a van from Squab to do the packing themselves, as well as for any other projects they might need a van for. Similarly, Squab provides a whole range of storage options for its customers both inside and outside, and from a locker sized unit up to several thousand feet. Businesses can use Squab’s space to handle any overspill a company might have, or their units can be used instead of a warehouse, which a business may not be willing to lease long-term. And Squab’s staff can load and unload items into and out of storage so the client does not have to be there when it happens.

Emlyn added: “The whole concept of our business is to try to be as accommodating as possible towards our customers. “Whatever they require for storage, removals and van hire, we tailor our service towards their wishes.

“When we saw the Evesham site was available, we felt we had to acquire it. Our business has been growing well so we needed a new site to keep us moving forward.”

“We don’t tie our customers down to minimum-length contracts either – they pay for what they use and can opt-out when they don’t need us anymore.” After Squab experienced steady growth at its Leamington home, a new depot was opened in Daventry three-and-a-half years ago. The Daventry site at Royal Oak Industrial Estate proved successful for Squab and its storage units are often at capacity as Squab has helped many people in the area move house. The new site in Evesham is the latest phase of the company’s growth in the region. For more information, visit the Squab website at

The digital company with designs on growth

A digital design and development agency is set for a record year after doubling in size in the last 12 months. Image+ Limited, which is based in Coventry and designs and develops a range of websites and mobile apps for businesses, charities and other organisations, has doubled its staff and reached record turnover. Now the company, which built the website for, and worked closely with the successful bid for Coventry’s 2021 UK City of Culture crown, is set to expand again in 2019 as it heads towards its 25th anniversary.

Alan Hartin, who started the firm in his back bedroom, said the company’s expertise in mobile business apps was one of the main drivers of the growth. “We gained 32 new clients in 2018 which was a record for us, which meant we had to expand our team considerably and that growth does not show any signs of slowing up,” he said. “The new clients include Jaguar Land Rover, BID Leamington, Coventry University, the Manufacturing Technology Centre and health insurance company BHSF.

“We have really developed the web and mobile based apps part of our business, Apps Plus, and that has seen significant growth. Much of that is around simplifying business processes and allowing companies to improve efficiencies through real-time working. “We have always been very strong in our region, but much of this work has come from outside the Midlands with several new customers in London. In addition, we work with companies which are genuinely 100 metres from our offices, such as Advent Communications and Really Awesome Coffee.” Alan added that the economic strength and digital specialism of the region was also a key factor in the success of the company which is based in a large studio at Electric Wharf. He said: “A number of our clients are in the engineering and manufacturing sector which is not only performing well in our region but also is moving incredibly quickly in terms of the adoption of new technology.

“That means that businesses practices have to evolve at the same pace to make the most of those digital advancements. “Coventry and Warwickshire is also a hot-bed of digital talent and that has helped us recruit some very technically capable staff from various sources including graduates from Coventry University.” The approach of Image+ is to work very closely with their customers – effectively become their digital division. ‘We work on our clients projects, as if they were our own – looking to gain a return on investment as quickly as possible.” Alan said. Although the firm has several big-name clients, it also works with many small-tomedium enterprises, with many projects being funded by grants to help improve the efficiency of SMEs using innovative technology. For more information go to and

“Coventry and Warwickshire is also a hot-bed of digital talent and that has helped us recruit some very technically capable staff from various sources including graduates from Coventry University.” 11


Growing Your Business I believe that the best way to grow is Strategic Marketing.

That is where all the strands work harmoniously together, enhancing each others impact, thus delivering best results at lowest cost. I also believe that the purpose of marketing is to make selling superfluous. While that may seem far-fetched, if your marketing does the heavy lifting for you then your sales process will be far shorter and simpler. What is business growth? Politicians usually argue job-creation, however we know that it is all about generating additional profit. While for many that means additional sales, for others it means improving their overall margins. I am frequently asked “how can I get more sales leads?” If you are not generating the leads your business needs, it’s time to adopt the Strategic Marketing approach. That means understanding who buys your products and services, and why. Then identifying where they can be reached, and what language they understand, their specific jargon if you like, so that your message can be heard. By growing your business profits, you are not only helping the economy, but also enhancing the asset value of your business for when you decide to sell up. A robust Strategic Marketing System will further enhance that potential resale value, over and above a higher level of profitability. Despite these uncertain times, shouldn’t you raise your prices, thereby increasing your profits at a stroke? The majority of businesses that I speak to have not raised their prices in years! That is because they have failed to understand that prospects shop for value, not merely the lowest price. Provided that you can clearly differentiate between your product or service, and your direct competitors’ offerings, while also showing how you provide additional value, you can charge more. John Holder, Business Growth Specialist Profit-Growth Unlimited

Bardsley England looks to sustainable future with IPP

A long-established Kent family which is harnessing technology to buck Brexit, increase capacity and cut waste to zero has signed a distribution deal with IPP, Europe’s leading pooler of


a former Sandhurst-trained army officer, the business has invested in the latest automated technology at its packhouse and even introduced a ‘parent shift’ to develop home grown sorters to fit around school times if recruiting seasonal staff becomes an issue after Brexit. Phil Storer, UK and Ireland director of IPP, who first coined the phrase ECOnomics to describe sustainable deliver in the circular economy, said: “Bardsley England is a great example of business innovation in action. It is passionate about ideas and future-proofing its fruit production by squeezing every last drop of efficiency it can muster.”

Karting at Adventure Sports Warwick

Adventure Sports has announced the opening of its new Premier Outdoor Karting Track. The circuit is based at the 100 acre outdoor activity centre, at Wedgnock Rifle Range Warwick, and is available all year round, and in all weathers.The sessions are suitable for individuals, or groups of up to 72 people. Catering for all markets, the company offers three different packages:

Hogan’s Cider wins gold award Alcester based Hogan’s Cider was named a gold medal winner in the Class Tannic Cider 1.3 at The International Brewing and Cider Awards 2019 with their Libertine cider. They also scooped three Silver medals for Vintage Perry 2017(class Perry Traditional), Killer Sharp (class Tannic Cider 1.1) and Wild Elder (class Flavoured – Fruit & Flowers). The competition – attracting more than 1,000 entries from 200+ breweries and cider mills from around world – was judged by an international panel of 50 judges. An International Brewing & Cider Awards medal is considered among

sustainable wooden pallets, as part of its long-term strategy to become the UK’s biggest fruit grower. Now in its fifth generation, Bardsley England, which has its

headquarters in the Weald of Kent, in the heart of the Garden of England, harvests millions of apples, pears, plums and apricots for the UK’s fruit bowls, as well as producing and bottling its own range of high-quality fruit juices. The deal with IPP, secured after a competitive tender, ensures its fruits arrive at the UK’s leading supermarkets in a just-in-time manner, as part of the sustainable circular economy. Bardsley England, which operates across 17 farms across Kent and pack fruit on behalf of over 30 growers, is constantly researching best practice methods for delivering its products to market. Under the stewardship of Managing Director Ben Bardsley,

the industry’s most coveted awards. It runs every two years. Allen Hogan said he was absolutely thrilled to be awarded these prestigious medals. The win follows on from a Gold Medal awarded at the last International Brewing and Cider Awards in 2017 for Killer Sharp in Draught.

• Have-a-Go - Race against the clock ideal for individuals and small groups (1 to 12 people) • Grand Prix - Race against each other perfect for groups of friends or corporate events (8 to 36 people) • Endurance Racing - Team Racing - the ultimate team building corporate event (12 to 72 people)

Adventure Sports also provides corporate events, including Clay Shooting, Quad Trekking, Hovercraft, 4x4 Driving, Rally Karts, Powerturn Karts, Reverse Steer Jeeps, Archery, Axe Throwing, Segways, Pistol and Rifle Target Gallery, Paintball and a vast selection of Team Building Activities.

Elddis Transport use TruAnalysis for clearer compliance control Elddis Transport, the family owned logistics, storage and supply chain operator based in the North East of England, has reported all-round improvements in compliance and data visibility since using TruAnalysis by TruTac. TruAnalysis is part of TruTac’s TruControl software suite and makes tachograph management, driver debriefing and accurate reporting faster and easier, through automated email

reports and configurable dashboards. The tools have enabled Elddis to easily monitor and control compliance, whilst providing KPI reporting across multiple depots, drivers and vehicles. Richard Toner, Commercial Director for Elddis Transport, said: “Previously, we used a system which required too much hands-on work and individual responsibility to ensure data retrieval, reliable checks and monitoring.

Now, with TruTac’s TruAnalysis software, we have accurate, key information at our fingertips to ensure legal compliance across the fleet.” According to Richard, when utilising the TruTac Application on individual driver PDAs, alongside daily card downloads, the workforce can undertake their own infringement monitoring and drivers’ daily/weekly hours checks.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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Conference focuses on higher level skills More than 100 people from Warwickshire’s business and education communities came together at Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC’s) annual skills conference. Representatives from the worlds of business and education discussed ways higher level skills can help drive the region’s economic growth. During the breakfast conference, delegates heard from Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive, WCC who outlined the priorities of the new all-age Careers Strategy which the Council is currently developing and will consult on in the spring with a view to publication in the summer. David Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Group Manager, WCC, gave delegates plenty of key data and information to consider about the county’s skills picture now, and in the future including: • Between 2012-2022, 60% of jobs that will need filling will require higher level skills • Higher level skills are those needing qualifications at Level 4 and above. (Level 4 includes: Higher Apprenticeships, Certificate of Higher Education, Higher National Certificate and Level 4 NVQ.)

• The attributes associated with higher level skills and increasingly needed are: higher cognitive functions of creativity and processing complex information; social and emotional skills such as taking initiative, management and leadership; and technological skills including advanced IT skills and programming. • Despite Warwickshire seeing a strong growth in the proportion of the population with a Level 4+ qualification (increasing from 31% in 2010 to just over 40% in 2017), recent data suggests that up to 50% of people with these higher level qualifications are working in roles that do not require them. • There is a need to better connect our businesses with our education providers to enable a better matching of roles, skills and behaviours to support our continued growth and make best use of this growing highly skilled population. At the event Cllr Peter Butlin, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County Council Warwickshire County Council announced an innovative Apprenticeship Levy

Transfer Programme for small businesses. Many large employers, including the County Council, struggle to fully utilise their Apprenticeship Levy. Utilising the new flexibilities, the County Council aims to transfer up to £300,000 per year to help support smaller, non-levy paying businesses, such as organisations operating in the adult social and child care sector, and cover their apprenticeship training costs. Delegates at the free breakfast conference, which took place at Stoneleigh Park, also heard an interesting summary of how employers can access the graduate talent pool from Professor Pat Tissington, Academic Director of Employability and Skills, University of Warwick; insights

into how FE colleges can help, from Neil Coker, Director at Rugby College, part of WCG, and finally an overview of the range of exciting skills initiatives being undertaken at The Coleshill School from Headteacher, Ian Smith-Childs. Ian Smith-Childs, Headteacher, The Coleshill Schools, said: “The County Council Skills Conference is an invaluable opportunity for schools and businesses to network and I would encourage all schools to get involved.“ Cllr Colin Hayfield, County Council Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning, said: “It’s great to see so many partners from the worlds of business and education coming together to help shape our skills activity for years to come.”

Harrison Beale & Owen donates more than one hundred Easter Eggs to charity important equipment, pioneering research and all the important extras which fall outside the remit of the NHS. Staff from Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O) rallied together to collect more than one hundred Easter Eggs to donate to the University Hospital Coventry Warwickshire (UHCW) Charity. The UHCW Charity supports staff, patients and family members, providing funding for

The charity covers both UHCW Hospital and the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust and supports the full range of routine and specialist services, including cancer, cardiac, trauma and children’s’ services as well as the trust’s broad spectrum of ground breaking research.

The chocolate treats donated by HB&O helped the charity in two ways. Firstly, UHCWCharity hosted an Easter Egg Hunt fundraiser and, secondly, as an annual tradition, the hospital hosts an Egg Run on Easter Sunday, where eggs are handed out to patients that are spending the holiday on the ward. Lisa Harrison-Byrne, Community and Events Fundraiser for UHCW Charity, said: “We are overwhelmed by the donation from HB&O.”

Photographer making his “Mark” Whether taking photographs during a VIP visit or knee deep in mud at a construction site, Mark Varney from MV Photographic Imaging is establishing a reputation as a commercial, corporate, editorial and public relations photographer in Coventry and Warwickshire. With 15 years’ experience behind the camera and as an accredited portrait photographer with the British Institute of Professional Photography, Mark’s vision enables him to tell your story for that allimportant personal touch whether it is for you or your business. His photographs breathe new life into your website, develop company portfolios and annual reports, creates the basis of standout social media posts, brochures and adverts and provides bespoke stock imagery. His work has included projects published in UK and European magazines.

If you require up to date digital skills set with an eye for detail to create just the look you need, Mark is accredited with ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) which means he is an expert at editing images in Adobe imaging software. However, his photographs can also be ready immediately on location or at company events meaning that he has a versatile range of services available when time is at a premium. On-site Mark can sign a non-disclosure agreement and has a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) visitor card and his own protective clothing, which means he is up to speed with staying safe on construction sites and can work without assistance. Mark said: “I enjoy the variety of my job and putting businesses at ease by promoting their company brand, services or products with professional, engaging and contemporary images.”

This is a message for Business Owners who want more life! Are you frustrated that your life’s dreams and aspirations are being held back by the demands of your business? Do you feel like something really has to change right now, but you can’t see how? That’s how my clients felt when they first started talking to me: • Mark from PAB Coventry can now choose to allocate time building his dream home, whilst still controlling the Strategic Direction of the business and ensuring it goes from strength to strength. • Mike from MRW Skip Hire in Long Marston is now able to spend time away focusing on his family and other business interests whilst MRW operates smoothly and profitably. • Tony from The Events Company in Redditch is now able to enjoy more time focusing on the Strategic Development of his business and taking more holidays and has doubled his profits. You could too if you decided to. Here’s how Mark described it in his own words: “I have worked with David for a few years now and the transformation he has supported in my business and my personal life has really been amazing. If you need to evaluate how you work in your own business, free up quality personal time and have more money this is the man for you...... what have you got to lose?” As Mark says - ‘what have you got to lose?’ Why not find out if this could work for you too! Next Steps:

Terry Plant, Director: The Design Buro (Coventry) Limited, provider of Architectural Services, said: “Mark has provided some quite beautiful pictures of one of our recently completed buildings. The photos were needed for our National Building Awards submission. Everyone who has seen them has complimented us on how they have turned out".

For C&W business owners, I’m offering a free 60-90-minute Discovery Session to help you identify what you want to achieve and discover how it can be done. To see if you qualify, please message me, call me or visit to schedule an initial 10-15 minute conversation. David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390


Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

Working Closely with the NHS

Celebrating Achievement Rates It has been a successful year for Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, as the latest national apprenticeship achievement rates were released. The 2018 rates showed that Chamber Training’s overall apprenticeship achievement rate was 15% above the national average. Commenting on the results, Sally Lucas, Executive Director at Chamber Training said: “The achievement rates are testament to our team’s commitment to designing and delivering apprenticeships that are right for the business as well as the individual. “Over the past three years we have seen our achievement rates remain consistently good at over 80%. These great results have contributed to the successes we have had in securing apprenticeship delivery contracts with public sector organisations, including the NHS and local authorities.

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training are celebrating their success in securing a number of contracts with NHS hospitals and Trusts across Coventry & Warwickshire to support the development of the workforce through apprenticeships. The specialist team at Chamber Training has been awarded contracts to work with the NHS at University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust. Contracts are for the delivery of apprenticeships in business administration, customer service, management and health and social care from level 2 to level 5 and are part of the NHS Trust’s plan to utilise their Apprenticeship Levy fund to create a highly skilled workforce. The partnership between Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training and the NHS Trusts demonstrates how organisations can effectively develop teams, build skills and knowledge and create an environment in which individuals can thrive.

“We regularly speak to employers who voice concerns about business growth being held back by a lack of skills. By working closely with them to understand their business needs, we can design apprenticeships which are tailored and relevant.” To find out how Chamber Training can help your business to source the right apprentices to suit your requirements, please call the Business Development Team on Tel: 02476 231 122 or email


Sally Lucas (front) left Natalie Lane and Christine Giles

“The partnership between Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training and the NHS Trusts demonstrates how organisations can effectively develop teams, build skills and knowledge and create an environment in which individuals can thrive.”

A Well Earned Retirement for Karen

“We are looking forward to the prospect of working with more employers across Coventry and Warwickshire, helping them to make apprenticeships work effectively for their businesses. “We currently have over 500 apprentices working with companies across Coventry & Warwickshire undertaking apprenticeships in all sorts of disciplines, including management, customer service, business administration, accountancy, health and social care as well as children’s care.

Sally Lucas, Executive Director at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training commented: “The tendering process was highly competitive but we were able to use our proven track record and wealth of experience in the delivery of apprenticeships to be successful. “We are delighted to be working with the NHS and relish the opportunity to work in partnership to develop the skills to enable the NHS to provide services vital for the local community.” Chamber Training is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships and wider vocational training and development in the region, with more than 30 years’ experience. The specialist team supports businesses in recruiting new talent as well as helping employers to upskill their existing workforce by designing and delivering tailored apprenticeships on a business by business basis. To find out more, call Chamber Training’s Business Development Team on Tel: 02476 231 122 or

After enjoying over 19 years at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, Karen Devany has claimed a well-earned retirement.

Karen started her career at Chamber Training in 2001 having spent a number of years in the training industry. In her role as a specialist Training Adviser, Karen has worked with businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire supporting them to develop their accountancy staff through apprenticeships. She has worked with nearly 1,000 accountancy apprentices in her time at Chamber Training, many of whom have gone on to senior roles in their profession, with some starting their own accountancy practices and recruiting apprentices for themselves supported by Karen. Commenting on her role, Karen said: “Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with and helping an impressive number of accountancy apprentices and employers. I have seen hardworking and extremely capable individuals achieving their potential, becoming senior managers, partners and even managing directors. It has been a massive privilege and a wonderful pleasure to have been part of their journey.

“There has certainly never been a dull moment in my 19 years at Chamber Training. I’ve made some great friendships with businesses and my longstanding work colleagues. The knowledge I have gained is tremendous and it’s been an honour to work with such fantastic people. However it is definitely not a final goodbye to my friends and colleagues, just ‘au revoir’.” Jan Ryan, Operations Director at Chamber Training remarked: “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Karen and being part of her role in guiding employers and helping them recruit the right apprentice. We will continue to work in partnership with these employers and help apprentices to follow their dreams and aspirations.” For more information on Chamber Training’s recruitment service for new staff or how your existing staff can benefit from an Apprenticeship, contact 024 7623 122 or email

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Karen and being part of her role in guiding employers and helping them recruit the right apprentice. We will continue to work in partnership with these employers and help apprentices to follow their dreams and aspirations.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


sponsored column

Regional Business Lender records best-ever year

A regional business lender is celebrating a “phenomenal” year as its support for small

businesses in the West Midlands surged with a thirty-eight per cent growth in lending.

BCRS Business Loans lent £7.2 million in the last financial year as part of its aim ‘to leave no viable business unsupported.’ Confirmed as its best-ever year of lending, the not-for-profit lender was able to support the growth of 153 businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have been able access finance from traditional sources. Paul Kalinauckas, Chief Executive of BCRS Business Loans, said: “Lending £7.2 million is a massive achievement for us and one that we are incredibly proud of. We have smashed through our original target of increasing our lending by 25%.

This is testament to the hard work and dedication from the whole team, who are committed to supporting small businesses with their funding needs. “It is the socio-economic impact of our lending that really motivates us on a daily basis and the knowledge that businesses are able to achieve their goals and grow. Our lending has helped create an additional 411 jobs and safeguard almost 500 jobs this year, which has provided a significant boost to the West Midlands economy.”

Netmetix secures another award Netmetix have done it again with another award, this time taking third place of Wildix partners within the UK for 2018. Wildix is a VoIP company based in seven worldwide locations with their UK office in Coventry, and Netmetix became a partner in 2017, since when it has risen to the top of their UK specialists. Simon Knapton, Wildix Product Specialist at Netmetix, said: “Wildix started recruiting partners in the UK at the end of 2017. The Wildix UK team were aware of Netmetix's reputation for outstanding customer service and technical excellence and we were, therefore, one of the ir products with

WebRTC, which allows them to provide direct audio and video communication support within a standard web browser and without the need to install or configure any additional software.” One customer of Netmetix, Keys Mortgages, moved over to a Wildix VoIP solution six months ago and haven’t looked back since with the company constantly offering them the latest innovations. The UK is lagging behind when it comes to VoIP telephony adoption as Germany, Japan and Sweden have set earlier timeframes for switching over. With traditional telephone lines set to be discontinued in the UK by

2025, it is only a matter of time before all businesses will have to switch over to IPbased technologies.

Glide Top Tips: Five easy ways business's can improve their internet speed When you’re in the flow of your work, there is nothing worse than a troublesome internet connection slowing you down Network speeds can massively affect a business’ productivity, so to keep your office running smoothly, business broadband provider Glide has listed its top five tips to get your internet running at full capacity. 1. Reboot your modem and router This first one might seem simple and obvious, but turning your router off and on again really is a very effective way of speeding up your internet connection. Unplug the device, wait for two minutes and plug it back in. After a few minutes everything should be back up and running at a greater speed. 2. Monitor your real time network Looking at your network connections in real time allows you to identify active devices, applications and users that could be slowing down your internet speed. If there is an app

that is not crucial to the business, such as media streaming on Netflix, it could be wasting valuable network speed. Once you have identified what could be slowing you down, your IT manager can set a cap on the amount of bandwidth allocated to a specific application or user, which will then reduce its impact on the rest of the business. 3. Virus and malware scans Make sure you are running virus and malware scans regularly and at a convenient time. High quality programmes that scan your computer for harmful software are essential, but they can slow down your internet speed. To make sure they are as unobtrusive as possible, you should arrange with your IT manager to schedule these at specific times, such as out of office hours. It is recommended that you run a scan at least once a week. 4. Clear your browser cache Your browser cache is where files are stored to help load web pages, especially those you

use most often. While they are generally quite helpful, when the cache becomes too full it may affect your browser’s performance and slow it down. Each browser has its own way of clearing the cache, so do a quick Google search if you’re unsure how to do it. It’s up to you how often you do this, but once or twice a year is the usual recommendation. 5. Check your internet speed If you have completed the four tips above and are still not happy with your internet performance, it’s a good idea to do a speed check ( Such online tests let you see what internet speeds you’re actually achieving. It’s advised to do several speed tests throughout the day in case your speeds are varying at different times. If you are getting a slower speed than you were promised by your service provider, get in touch and they should be able to talk you through your options.

Gallagher ‘Professionals Day’ at Wasps Rugby Gallagher, the global insurance, risk, and consulting firm, hosted a number of guests from professional services in the region at Wasps Rugby. Guests from the banking, legal, and accounting sectors joined Ian McKinney of Gallagher’s Coventry Branch and Wayne Craddock of Gallagher’s Employee Benefits Consultancy and were treated to the usual excellent hospitality from the Ricoh Arena team in the Premier Lounge at the Ricoh Arena.

Ian McKinney of Gallagher said: “We want to be engaged in the region and being able to invite some of our professional services colleagues who work in Coventry & Warwickshire to Wasps Rugby is a fantastic opportunity for us to cement our place in the region. Gallagher’s overall mission is to be the ‘go-to’ insurance broker and risk consultant in the communities in which we operate and we see Coventry & Warwickshire as very much a key community for us. As the only

multinational, multiservice insurance & risk firm in the region, we are perfectly positioned to provide the advanced technical advice on risk, and the wide range of services, that many businesses in the region need.” Ian also highlighted the additional opportunities provided by Gallagher’s Title Partnership with Wasps Rugby. He said: “Being the Title Partner of Premiership Rugby has been wonderful for Gallagher and it allows us to provide hospitality

Will IR35 changes affect me? By Anne Rose, partner at Burgis & Bullock HMRC is taking a number of high profile stars to court with its latest crackdown on tax avoidance but the implications could apply equally to less glamorous occupations. IR35 is tax legislation that is designed to combat the practice of workers supplying their services to businesses via an intermediary, such as a limited company, but who would be an employee if the intermediary was not used. HMRC can demand income tax and national insurance contributions plus penalties and interest, going back several years, resulting in tax demands reaching six figures. In truth, the legislation is not new – instead it is going through a period of increased publicity ahead of a raft of changes to be implemented in 2020. HMRC has had mixed success in court over recent months as it looks to tackle those deemed to be breaching the rules. Breakfast TV host Lorraine Kelly was ruled not to owe a £1.2m tax bill by a tribunal as she was not considered to be an ITV employee for tax purposes, while Hustle star Robert Glenister was defeated on his claim that his Personal Service Company did not owe £147,547 in NICs - as HMRC alleged over his IR35 status. The mixed bag of results has caused controversy, owing in part to the fact that IR35 has long been criticised for not being precise enough for businesses to fully understand, as well as the real harm it can inflict on smaller businesses. In fact, HMRC was recently criticised by an MP during a debate in Parliament for not being able to fully understand the rules around IR35 itself. The impending changes shift responsibility for determining tax status from the contractor to the business that hires them. This change was already introduced for public sector bodies in April 2017 but will now apply for private sector companies as well. Sectors such as the construction industry, which frequently make use of contractors, will find themselves having to shoulder this extra responsibility. What makes this crackdown particularly troublesome is that it comes at a time when there are so many other major issues for businesses to be dealing with, both on a day-to-day basis and in the long-term. A letter from HMRC claiming that an investigation of your company is going to take place is sure to trigger some degree of fear, but if this is the case or if you want to be safe in terms of avoiding that possibility, seeking assistance at an early stage is crucial. At Burgis & Bullock, we can review your processes and ensure that you are compliant, putting your mind at ease when the changes do come into play. With so much uncertainty around the issue and such severe consequences if you get it wrong, it would be a wise move to seek assistance from someone fully aware of what is going on.

Contact us today or visit our website for more information. Tel: 0345 177 5500 to clients and contacts such as today, but also allows us to take part in the community with Wasps. We are very keen to do what we can to showcase Coventry & Warwickshire, and to contribute to the region.”

Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.



Brethertons doubles size of Partnership

Divorce law overhaul welcome, says family lawyer

The new ‘no blame’ family law legislation announced in April will ‘overhaul divorce and reduce family conflict’ says Beverley Morris, head of law firm Lodders’ family law practice. Justice Secretary David Gauke announced the new legislation that is designed to overhaul divorce and reduce family conflict. Beverley said: “The proposals for change include the retention of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as being sole ground for divorce. This replaces the necessity to provide evidence of a fact to support this, with a requirement to simply provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown. “Another welcome move is the creation of the option for a joint application for divorce alongside retaining the current system of one party initiating the proceedings.” The Family team at Lodders are all members of the Resolution organisation (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association) and, through Resolution, have lobbied the Government extensively seeking a change in divorce law to end the need for blame when a petition is filed with the court. Beverley said: “Most family justice professionals took part in a public consultation and voiced their concern at the ongoing need to frequently cite reasons for the breakdown of the marriage which only sought to increase conflict between parties and often damaged their relationship long term, as well as the relationship with their children. “The announcement is such that divorcing couples will no longer have to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage and so we should now see a reduction in conflict at the commencement of a case.”


Top 200 law firm, Brethertons Solicitors has promoted nine members of staff to partner, effectively doubling the size of the Partnership in one fell swoop. Joining the Partnership are lawyers Amy Edwards; (Employment and Company Commercial), Tom Ansell; (Residential Conveyancing and Commercial Property), Daniel Boyle; (Wills, Trusts and Probate), and Matthew Montanaro; (Children and Care). The remaining appointments are all professional managers including Alison Gibbs; (Finance and Risk), Paul Bromley; (Legal Support), Tony Woodhouse; (Management Information), Simon Clough; (IT Infrastructure) and Debbie Phillips; (Property Management and Dispute Resolution).

Shaun Jardine, CEO at Brethertons, said of the new appointments: “I know I speak for all of the firm when I say how delighted I am to welcome these Brethertonians into the Partnership. All of my new Partners have worked at the firm for many years. We have recently concluded a large business restructure and it was only right that we promoted the individuals who were instrumental in restructuring our business.” Jardine continued, “Brethertons is an Investors in People Gold accredited business. Valuing personal development is one of our core values. I look forward to working with my new partners on helping the firm realise its vision”.

L to r : Simon Clough (Head of IT Infrastructure), Debbie Phillips (Head of Practice Area Property Management), Tom Ansell (Head of Practice Area - Conveyancing and Commercial Property), Alison Gibbs (Head of Finance and Risk), Matthew Montanaro (Family), Amy Edwards (Head of Practice Area - Employment and Company Commercial), Tony Woodhouse (Head of MI and Software Solutions), Daniel Boyle (Head of Practice Area -Wills, Trusts and Probate) and Paul Bromley (Head of Legal Support).

Nutrition on the agenda during visit

L to r : Paul Gregson, James Gaskell, Phil Wilding, Josh Bassett

Wasps rugby stars James Gaskell and Josh Bassett paid a visit to the Club’s legal partner to offer healthy living tips for staff. The duo led a series of health and nutrition talks at the Leamington Spa headquarters of Wright Hassall, which signed a five-year deal with the Club last summer to undertake the majority of Wasps’ legal work across a wide range of its activities.

The events were organised as part of Wright Hassall’s health and wellbeing programme for its 330 plus staff, which involves monthly talks on healthy lifestyle choices and will soon include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts with members of the Wasps squad. James Gaskell, who has racked up more than 100 appearances for Wasps, said: “We really enjoyed speaking to staff at Wright Hassall and offering advice on how they can lead a healthy lifestyle, both in terms of exercise and having the right diet. “Everyone has different commitments so it is about finding what works for you. “We hope that our personalised advice can go a long way. “As a club, we have a great relationship with Wright Hassall and we are looking forward to that growing in the near future, especially with the upcoming HIIT classes.” The talks focused on diet and exercise routines to fit in with staff’s busy schedules,

as well as shopping tips to ensure their hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste. They also touched upon nutritional myths and the training that goes into being a top-level athlete. Wright Hassall partner Phil Wilding, who leads on the firm’s relationship with Wasps, said: “The talks were really well attended, with James and Josh doing a great job in educating our staff. “They managed to cut through the vast amount of information out there and get across the simple facts about nutrition and exercise that lead to successful results. “Some of the facts were quite surprising, it was a really eye-opening session which I am sure everyone took something away from. “We were delighted to have joined up with Wasps last year and events such as this really help embed that collaborative culture between the two organisations.”

Band Hatton Button start new era with award win Midlands law firm Band Hatton Button is starting the next chapter in its history with an award victory. The Coventry business scooped silverware for Communication Campaign of the Year at the 2019 Coventry & Warwickshire FirstPro Awards, which were held at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry. Judges recognised Band Hatton Button’s efforts in sharing the news about their expansion, which will see them moving during the Easter period from their existing 8,000 square metre headquarters on Warwick Road, to 12,000 square metres of office space at Earlsdon Park. The award is the latest in a string of recent accolades for Band Hatton Button, who also

picked up Contribution to the Community and Leadership Team of the Year at the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards. This was followed by triple recognition at the Warwickshire Law Society’s annual dinner where the firm won categories including young lawyer of the year, lawyer of the year and team of the year. They also picked up the Professional Services Firm of the Year award at the Midlands Service Excellence Awards in March. Sarah Jordan, Head of Marketing and Client Relations at Band Hatton Button, said: “These awards reflect the exciting journey that we are on as a business.

“We are expanding our workforce and office space to reflect the increasing cases that we are taking on, and it’s

brilliant to be starting a new chapter in a modern building with this latest award win under our belts.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Armstrongs celebrates 40th birthday

The Armstrongs team celebrating at the event

An award-winning firm of chartered accountants, based in Coventry and Nuneaton, are celebrating 40 years in business.

Armstrongs Chartered Accountants began trading in 1979 and recently held an event for staff, clients and contacts to

thank them for their support over the past forty years. The event at the G Casino, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, was attended by more than 130 guests. On the evening, attendees heard about the history of Armstrongs and how the business has grown to what it is today – a mid-tier accountancy firm with two offices and a team of nearly 30. Armstrongs used the celebrations as an opportunity to raise money for local charity Georgie’s Gift. A raffle held on the night raised an amazing £500 –

the Armstrongs team thank everyone who bought tickets and donated prizes. Paul Farmer, Director at Armstrongs, said: “It was fantastic to celebrate the firm’s 40 years last week. It was great to see so many of our clients joining us on the night, which included longstanding clients as well as new customers to the business. A number of past partners of Armstrongs were invited too, which meant the occasion was a true celebration for everybody that has been involved with the firm.”

and payroll fraud, followed closely by financial sales fraud, such as online and telephone banking scams. “Another area to consider is cyber-crime, of which 1.9 million incidents were though to cyber related last year. “Fraudulent activity can often occur from within an organisation, including anything from misuse of credit cards and employees claiming false or inappropriate expenses, to fraudulent cheques. External fraud can include identity fraud by hijacking bank accounts or phishing emails, false invoicing and theft of databases to be sold on to third parties. “Fraud can affect any business no matter what size. That’s why it’s important to have a robust insurance policy in place so that,

if the worst does happen, your business can bounce back with minimal damage to your revenue, reputation and long-term financial health.” There are two types of insurance available: • Fidelity Guarantee or Employee Crime only – this offers protection and compensation should a business be defrauded internally by the finance director, employee or a temporary worker. • Crime insurance – wider protection that covers externally perpetrated fraud as well as internal, whether that involves the public, organised crime or temporary workers. Such cover may also include computer-based theft.

DSL Accounting has been selected by NatWest as the official accounting mentor for companies on the bank's start-up, accelerator and fintech programmes.

Businesses urged to protect themselves from fraud Fraud continues to be one of the most common risks in the business world and whilst it can have serious financial implications, it can also impact the brand and reputation of an organisation. Kathryn Moon, managing director of insurance broker, risk management specialist and consulting firm Gallagher in Coventry, said: “Fraud can be a massive problem and as businesses become increasingly digitalised, it is likely to get worse. “Global fraud research undertaken by financial service professionals Crowe reveals that annual UK losses to fraud are estimated at £110 billion, with the vast majority of this coming from the private sector . For the private sector, some of the most common losses are procurement

DSL Accounting chosen by NatWest as start-up mentor to “demystify” accountancy

DSL will provide accounting advice to innovative and fast-growing businesses at NatWest’s Bir-mingham and London hubs. This will help new businesses get to grips with accounting essentials and give them the financial foundations for sustainable growth. Ian McKinney, senior account executive at Gallagher, said: “In the past six months, Gallagher’s Coventry office has dealt with claims for six serious fraud incidents worth anywhere from £8,000 to £250,000, all against businesses who felt their fraud risk management systems were robust. This highlights the extent of the problem and it’s often a case of things just slipping through the net during pressure points in day-to-day business activities, which can’t always be foreseeable and therefore mitigated against.”

NatWest’s start-up programmes provide entrepreneurs at 12 hubs across the UK with funding, free office space and advice to help develop their ideas and grow new businesses. After several successful accountancy training sessions at the Birmingham and London hubs, DSL were invited to become official mentors for the programme. DSL’s Director Andy Revell said: “It’s so important for new companies to get the basic building blocks of accounting right

Inspire Insurance reveals top corporate insurance losses Research over the past five years shows that Professional Indemnity (P.I) is the top cause of loss to UK businesses, beating fire, storms, damaged goods and faulty workmanship! P.I claims are the top culprit in both value (28%) and number (34%) of claims. Your organisation’s risk landscape is in a

constant state of change making mitigation a little complicated. The market has reacted to this rise in losses with many Insurers withdrawing from the market. Those insurers who remain have been forced to harden their rates increasing premiums in some instances by over 300% and modifying and reducing covers.

from the beginning because getting things in order later can be a nightmare. By providing these new and exciting businesses with the essentials now, we hope to set them up for success. “Being invited by NatWest to become an Inspire Insurance are a leading broker in this market and can source competitive and comprehensive policies in these difficult times.

official accountancy mentor is a huge commendation for our dedicated teams. Through our training sessions we aim to demystify accounting and give business

Why businesses need to take tax changes seriously

By Sean Farnell, Partner at Burgis & Bullock At Burgis & Bullock, we have been making repeated calls for businesses to prepare for the implementation of Making Tax Digital for a long time. During a period of widespread uncertainty due to Brexit, this major overhaul to the UK tax

system has gone largely unnoticed, with new figures from the British Chamber of Commerce suggesting that one in five businesses above the VAT threshold still know little or nothing about Making Tax Digital. Whether this is down to poor communication from the Government or a lack of urgency from businesses, the statistic is concerning on a number of levels. We have been shouting from the rooftops that companies need to take the necessary steps to comply with Making Tax Digital for around 12 months. This ranges from ensuring they are up to date with software requirements to checking the quality of financial data available to share with HMRC. We have arranged numerous seminars

and put together countless communications not just for our clients but the wider business community to try and spread this message but with so many other pressing concerns, it is understandable that it has somewhat fell by the wayside. At present it looks as though that from April all VAT registered businesses, along with charities whose taxable turnover exceeds £85,000, will be required to submit all of their VAT returns directly through digital records, rather than inputting the information manually onto HMRC’s website. The Chamber’s call for a delay is to be welcomed in particular due to the close proximity to Brexit. For those that aren’t ready for Making Tax Digital’s introduction now, the weeks ahead are going to be very

tough as they try keep up with the ever changing wheel of Brexit outcomes and cram in the work required to comply with Making Tax Digital. A delay would give everyone some breathing space and providing that the message is made loud and clear that this is the last discretion that is going to be made, the message could sink in. However, the Government must be careful that the implementation doesn’t continue to be delayed, mainly because Making Tax Digital is a positive step forward that is going to help businesses for years to come. That is the message that needs to be spread but at the moment, it is drowned out by the overpowering and ongoing debate on Brexit’s impact for businesses.

owners the tools to really understand accountancy best practice.” As accounting mentors, DSL will be on hand to provide guidance on financial records manage-ment, VAT registration, cash flow, budgeting and much more. The Warwickshire based business has built a reputation as one of the UK’s most trusted small business accountancy firms over the past 20 years and is an accredited Xero, QuickBooks & Receipt Bank partner. NatWest’s accelerator is the biggest incubator programme of its kind in the UK, with up to 5,000 start-ups passing through its 6-18-month programmes each year.



Inspired Villages launches market-leading rental option at its Warwickshire retirement villages

The team at ehB Reeves and their office dogs at their base in Clarendon Place.

Newly-merged firm ready to extend its reach A newly-merged commercial property consultants with a management portfolio valued in excess of £100 million is targeting growth across the West Midlands after bringing all its staff under one roof. ehB Reeves was born from a merger between ehB Commercial and Reeves and Partners in July 2018, with both teams initially continuing to operate from their own offices. Both teams are now located at Somerset House, Leamington, and the merger has more than doubled the size of the company, which now has 15 full-time staff. Simon Hain, director of ehB Reeves, said the merger was about continuing the company’s strong offering and customer service for its existing clients, while extending its market share in the greater West Midlands area. Simon said: “A lot of hard work went into the move but everyone is delighted it has finally happened. Now we are under one roof we are looking to grow our presence across all of our commercial property sectors. “We will continue to work with our valued clients and new instructions in Warwickshire but also plan to grow our market share in the wider West Midlands. “It’s about offering a strong service which people will be able to look to with confidence, while enabling us to diversify the business even further. “We are all looking forward to an extremely exciting future for the company. This pooling of skills and specialist talent will be of huge benefit to our existing and future clients.”

Inspired Villages (‘Inspired’), an operator and developer of later living communities, has launched properties for rent at Austin Heath and Great Alne Park, its two villages in Warwickshire. Broadening its existing residential provision, Inspired Villages ‒ partners of financial institution Legal & General ‒ becomes one of the first operators of retirement villages to specifically provide this as an alternative to buying. Inspired has expanded its residential offer to accommodate the changing needs of the rightsizer market. Research by the Centre for Ageing Better has shown that 414,000 older people now rent a property, which is up 63% from 254,000 people in 2007. Inspired has recognised that with this increasing trend, more rental retirement housing is required to meet current and future demand.

Renters at Austin Heath, in Heathcote on the outskirts of Warwick, and Great Alne Park, near Alcester, will benefit from a fixed service charge with utilities included. But regardless whether residents choose to rent or buy, Inspired aims to ease the stress of running a home. It is all about choice and flexibility. Rental, delayed completion and guest suites all allow retirees to ‘try before you buy’ ‒ to experience life at the attractive later living communities before committing to purchase. Rental is just another way Inspired is expanding its offerings to meet the needs of a changing market. The renters will be able to experience all the benefits of an Inspired life. At Great Alne Park that means they can enjoy the fantastic clubhouse facilities, which include a pool, fitness centre, restaurant, bar, games room, library and cinema. Set in 78 acres of stunning

parkland, Great Alne Park boasts a collection of retirement cottages and apartments in the village of Great Alne, to the north of the picturesque Cotswolds. Over at Austin Heath, a development of spacious apartments, residents are eagerly awaiting the opening of their own clubhouse and wellness spa, scheduled for late spring. The stunning new facilities will feature a restaurant, sauna, steam room, treatment suite and relaxation spaces. James Cobb, Director at Inspired Villages, said: “We are proud to offer the option to rent

for the very first time. We want more people to embrace the lifestyle that is on offer at Great Alne Park, Austin Heath and our other retirement villages around the UK, with all of the positive health and wellbeing benefits. Providing a rental option enables more people to choose us. “The Inspired Villages rental product gives residents predictability in their financial outgoings, with the security of a long-term fixed monthly rental rate ‒ inclusive of service charges. This peace of mind is particularly important in terms of political and economic uncertainty.”

Society moves back to its Coventry roots after nine decades

The Heart of England Co-operative Society has returned back to its Coventry roots after almost 90 years in a move costing in excess of £1.5 million.

The Society’s Head Office, which houses its management, admin, pensions, IT and personnel offices, relocated from its former home in Abbey Street, Nuneaton, where it

had been based since 1929, to Whittle House, in Courtaulds Way, Foleshill, a stone’s throw from Lockhurst Lane where the Society was first established by nine ribbon weavers more than 185 years ago. The move marks the dawn of a new chapter for the Society which reported sales increases of 7.32 per cent in the first half of last year. Ali Kurji, Chief Executive, said: “We as a Society were sad to leave a site that was our home for almost a century but after an extensive search over many months we found Whittle House met our administrative and operational needs.” As part of the move the Society recruited 24 new members of staff. Each new recruit received extensive training before starting their employment. Among them are Steve Browne, the new General Manager of the Food Division, and Amanda Gibbons, the Society’s new Personnel Manager.

Deeley Group starts work on luxury new care home Construction work has begun on a £12m luxury care home that will create more than 100 jobs in Brackley, Northamptonshire. Kingsley Healthcare Group is developing the 66-bedroom nursing home, scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan said: “We are proud to have partnered for the first time with Deeley Construction in building this state-of-the-art home in our 20th anniversary year. We look forward to continuing the partnership on future projects.


“As well as setting the standard for elderly care we are passionate about making a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate. “This home will generate well-paid jobs from senior managers and nurses to chefs, support workers, maintenance and housekeepers.” Muj Malik, chief investment officer for Suffolk-based Kingsley, said: “The Brackley project is part of our Vision 2025 to expand further across the country and build next generation luxury care homes.”

The home in Turweston Road will have modern en-suite bedrooms and generous and comfortable living space. Luxury features will include a cinema room, library, café, hairdressing salon, quiet lounges and a conservatory. Steve Turner, construction director for the Deeley Group, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Kingsley Healthcare on this project which will bring much needed residential accommodation for older people in Northamptonshire, as well as some outstanding on-site facilities for residents.”

Muj Malik, second left, and Kingsley’s investment analyst Leslie Amanquah, second right, with developers on site at Brackley

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Profile: James Davies

The company that keeps on developing Companies – like people – go through stages of development and the Wigley Group, a successful property, development and construction company based in Warwickshire, has clearly moved into a new phase of its life in recent months. 20

The firm, which was founded 55 years ago by John Wigley, has had a diverse history which has taken in plant hire, storage, civil engineering, the manufacture of prison fencing and property ownership.

“John had recently died and my father was terminally ill,” he explains. “My father wanted me to come down and have a chat with Robert, and see if there were any opportunities in the company.

Today it has evolved into a thriving property company with holdings across the region and beyond, a successful construction arm and also a developer with some major plans coming forward.

“There was just really Robert and a couple of staff; one of which was Alan who is still with us now and he had looked after the gardens at the Wigley family farm.

But while it might not be recognisable from the firm John Wigley established, there is a clear line of continuity. John was supported by Gordon Davies who worked alongside him from the company’s incorporation in 1964. Now John’s son, Robert, chairs the company, while Gordon’s son, James, is the managing director. James was, perhaps unlike Robert, not always destined to work for the company. He was following a career in agriculture but came down from Yorkshire in 2007 to see Robert, who he had known since childhood.

“There was a chance to support Robert in helping develop the businesses but in those days, we didn’t have job descriptions or job roles. I was really one of the team and that was it.” James did his post-grad in real estate at Birmingham City University so he could back up the practice with the theory, and spent four years learning his trade very much at the coal face of the business. As the country emerged from recession, businesses were beginning to expand and move, and James spotted the opportunity to establish a complete one-stop service to help those firms.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: James Davies

“We had offered almost all the services for tenants when they moved in to our buildings, and we realised that companies needed the same set of supports even if they were taking other properties,” he said. “We were filling up fast and rather than saying no to people because we had no space of our own, I told them I could find what they needed. We struck up some very strong partnerships with agents, introduced a commercial property insurance arm and off we went. “That worked very well, but then you end up doing a lot of different things and we realised we had to properly understand what was truly working for us alongside what we didn’t offer and really start to focus growing the business overall because we had started to expand our own portfolio quite aggressively.” The principle missing ingredient was the ability to construct, and that was solved by bringing Ciexbe Limited into the Wigley Group, through a merger. Again, the construction arm bids for jobs outside the group as well as doing work on the firm’s portfolio. For years, the Wigley Group had worked from its various sites, but needed a central base so five years ago it moved to offices on the Middlemarch Business Park, but with an end date very much in mind. Robert and James were determined to find a permanent home which the company could call its own and which would be the base for decades rather than years. They were not sure what they had in mind – but it probably wasn’t a neglected Georgian country house last occupied by a religious group! They drove past Stockton House in 2017 and although it was in need of a large degree of love and attention and was being marketed as a domestic home, they saw the potential as a commercial headquarters. Around 18 months on – and after a great deal of love and labour – it is now the nerve-centre of the expanding group.

9,000 sq ft of office space, including conference space which we will offer to partners, and a separate barn building for the construction team. “We feel it says a lot about the sort of company we are, and we are really pleased with the results.” That has been funded through decades of creating home and workplaces for other people. The company has just landed a FirstPro Award for Property Deal of the year after completing a 40-year project to breathe economic life into Edgwick Park in the north of Coventry. It has just submitted plans for a new trampoline park and commercial buildings in Exhall after a fire devasted the building which used to occupy the site. And, most ambitiously of all, it is starting to plan for the creation of approximately six acres of mixed use development on its site in Sandy Lane, which borders the Coventry Canal. Daimler Wharf will include a mix of houses, apartments and employment spaces as well as cafes and outdoor leisure spaces and will also open up the canal-side for local residents. The site is home to the Daimler building – one of the first car factories in the world – which is being transformed into the Daimler Powerhouse arts complex for artists, engineers, architects and other creative industries by Imagineer Productions.

James has two young daughters and tries to shape his working life to suit home life.

But work has always meant more than just bricks and mortar to the company, and away from the day-to-day activities, there is a strong charitable thread running through the company.

“One great thing about the move to the new headquarters is that people want to come and see us here which really does cut down on travel time.”

Its Wigley Support Fund raises and distributes money to help former members of the Parachute Regiment make the successful transition from army life to civvy street, the bulk which is raised through a sporting celebrity golf day held in July.

“Finding the ideal commercial property is never easy, and this certainly was quite a bold move for us but, although it has been a huge task, it really gives us a very solid base,” said James.

“This area has some really good companies operating here. When I mean good, I don’t just mean successful, they are good in terms of values and their ethics, and we like to think we can count ourselves among them,” James said.

“The place had not been looked after and was a wreck, more of a wreck than we realised. It has been a labour of love for around 18 months but we now have

“We want people who are good at their job, good at the technicalities and good at the commercial – but most of all we want them to be good people.”

“Finding the ideal commercial property is never easy, and this certainly was a quite a bold move for us but, although it has been a huge task, it really gives us a very solid base.”

Working Day “That certainly doesn’t mean I work less, I just hopefully work smarter.” He arrives at work at around 8.30am, and is away by 5.30pm, but work starts again at 8pm when baths have been taken and stories have been read.

Inevitably, no day is the same and work is spread across planning new developments, keeping across the company’s holdings and seeing prospective partners. “I learned fairly early on to surround myself with people who are better than me at their individual jobs, and again that comes down to picking the right team.” Away from work, the Davies clan are big on the outdoors and country pursuits. Eldest daughter Isabella is a keen horse rider – and set to be followed by sister Matilda – while James has shares in a couple of National Hunt racehorses and is a keen race goer. They have recently finished a building project at home, only to decide to move to Warwickshire and convert a barn which will bring the family closer to Wigley HQ.

Profile Born: Date of birth: Live: Married: Children: Hobbies: Favourite book: Favourite film: Last holiday: Car: Gadget:

Coventry 27th April 1979 Northants Sarah (9yrs) Isabella (7) Matilda (2) Horseracing and the countryside Anything related to history/war – too many to mention The Godfather New York Land Rover My pen



Politicians ‘must act over Brexit’

Statement ‘reflects business thinking’ “In terms of the specifics, we welcome bringing forward the £700m for apprenticeship reform and also the additional £100m for policing.

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have urged politicians not to waste the next six months after the UK was granted a six month Brexit extension.

“It is good to see the issue of late payment is starting to be taken seriously although the help on that is only marginal at this stage with larger companies only having to reflect their practices in their annual statements.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which launched a Brexit Club to help local firms deal with the effects of leaving the EU straight after the referendum, says most companies will be relieved that a so-called No Deal Brexit has been avoided. But chief executive Louise Bennett has urged politicians to come together to ensure the UK is not in the same boat in six months’ time. She said: “The Chamber has been clear from day one that it’s vital to avoid a disorderly Brexit. “However, companies are crying out for some certainty to help them plan for the future and execute investments that are crucial to them growing their businesses. “Therefore, it is our view that the next six months – if that’s how long it takes – must see politicians come together, compromise and find a way forward and delivers a clear way forward. “Firms have been faced with uncertainty for well over three years now and they need a clear roadmap for the future very soon so they can plan for the final outcome. “The next six months cannot be wasted to the point where we end up in the same boat in October. It is time to find a consensus for a way forward and to deliver it.”

The Chancellor’s Spring Statement said what most businesses are thinking, according to industry leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire. Philip Hammond set out a positive outlook for the UK economy but insisted that it was based on the premise that the country secures a deal with the EU and avoids a disorderly departure. It was the Chancellor’s first Spring Statement since moving the main Budget to the autumn and was, therefore, light on any major new funding announcements and it came just

hours before MPs were due to vote on whether ‘No Deal’ should be ruled out in Brexit negotiations. Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the positivity being portrayed by the Chancellor hinged on the UK securing a deal with EU. She said: “The forecasts and economic updates from the Chancellor were largely upbeat but they had the weight of a nodeal Brexit hanging over them. “The consensus from business is that we don’t want a messy and

disorderly Brexit. That is what the British Chambers of Commerce is saying because we need of certainty of what the next few years are going to look like in order to get businesses investing. “So, in many ways, the Chancellor was saying what many businesses were thinking. It is absolutely vital that politicians use the next few days to find a way through the impasse in order to secure a positive deal with the EU that provides companies across our region with the clarity and certainty on which they can invest in and grow their business.

“There were also announcements around a new Environment Bill – although detail was light – and further commitments to build more homes, which is welcome. However, we would like to see similar priorities given to the next generation of employment land to ensure businesses have the space to grow. “So, on the whole, it was never going to be a Spring Statement full of major funding announcements because the Chancellor will use the Budget to do that. “It did, however, serve to highlight just how important a good deal with EU is going to be for the UK economy and for businesses on our patch. The decisions taken in the next few days are going to be vital.”

“There were also announcements around a new Environment Bill – although detail was light – and further commitments to build more homes, which is welcome. However, we would like to see similar priorities given to the next generation of employment land to ensure businesses have the space to grow.”

Lawyer issues Brexit prediction A leading business immigration lawyer has predicted that pre-referendum pledges to reduce immigration will ‘not survive’ Brexit and claimed the process will actually lead to great net immigration to the UK. With the Brexit deadline looming ever closer, conflicting reports on how it will affect immigration continue to come daily. While Home Secretary Sajid Javid claims that the Government will control the 'number and type' of people allowed to live and work in the UK, Migration Watch UK predicts a 100,000 increase in net migration. Recent statistics show that while EEA migration has dropped


sharply, non-EEA net migration is at its highest level for 15 years, with the Government further than ever from its target of “tens, not hundreds of thousands” a year. Matthew Davies, a partner at Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, said: “The general idea was that leaving the EU would allow the UK to ‘take control’ over immigration, implying more stringent restrictions on those coming to live and work here. The reality is more nuanced. “Changes are being implemented, but they are not necessarily following the path that many predicted. “It is hard to see how the prereferendum manifesto pledge to

reduce annual net migration to ‘tens of thousands’ will survive Brexit. “A UK economy exposed to new headwinds and with less funding for skills training and wages will be more dependent than ever on migrant labour. “The irony is that leaving the EU will, in the longer term, increase net economic migration to the UK, both legal and illegal, whatever people thought they were voting for.” Last December, a White Paper was published which set out the government's plans to introduce a new single immigration system, ending free movement.

Matthew, who has more than 20 years’ experience in business immigration law, said the paper suffered from a ‘striking lack of detail’. He said: The publication of the Immigration White Paper in December heralded a new system but quietly pointed towards modification and re-packaging rather than wholesale change. “After all, the current Points Based System for non-EEA economic migration was finalised only a decade ago. “It was expensive to introduce then, and there is less public money now. There was a striking lack of detail in the White Paper.

“The overall thrust, though, is toward a relaxation and liberalisation of controls, including the abandonment of the Resident Labour Market Test, the lowering of skills thresholds and special schemes for low-skilled work in areas such as hospitality, the care sector and horticulture where the loss of EEA free movement will hit hardest.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Reassurance offered amid Brexit confusion Concerns

at impact of Brexit uncertainty

The claimant count in Coventry and Warwickshire has hit levels unseen for several years. In the month to March, the claimant count reached 6,025 in Coventry, the highest since August 2014, and in Warwickshire it hit 6,615, which is the most since September 2013. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said firms were suffering at the hands of uncertainty. She said: “There is absolutely no doubt that many businesses are being put off making investment decisions due to uncertainty.

The Bank of England has offered welcome reassurance to companies in Coventry and Warwickshire – whatever the outcome of Brexit. Graeme Chaplin, the Bank of England’s Agent for the West Midlands, met a range of businesses from across the city and the county at Nailcote Hall to get a gauge for how firms are feeling ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU. The event was organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce for its Strategic and Corporate Partners and gave

companies the opportunity to discuss their preparations for Brexit and also find out how the Bank is preparing. Graeme told the assembled businesses that the Bank had taken steps to ensure that the UK banking sector is in good shape to withstand a more disorderly Brexit. He said: “We have contingency plans in place to maintain financial stability in the unlikely event of a disorderly Brexit. The major UK banks are now well capitalised – much more so than they were before the crash of 2008.”

Ajay Desai, International Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is a welcome opportunity to feedback how companies across Coventry and Warwickshire are feeling right now and their plans for the future. “Most of the companies in the room are getting on with running their businesses on a day-to-day basis and are now looking for certainty on what comes next. It was reassuring to hear of the Bank’s preparedness.”

“We have contingency plans in place to maintain financial stability in the unlikely event of a disorderly Brexit. The major UK banks are now well capitalised – much more so than they were before the crash of 2008.”

“We have also seen some very high profile announcements in this region where companies have revealed redundancies, which will be a contributing factor to these figures. “Fundamentally, the Coventry and Warwickshire economy is very robust and, actually, there are many firms out there who are still telling us they want to recruit but they can’t get people with the right skills. “That is a very real barrier to growth and it is something that, as a Chamber, we will keep firmly on the agenda when we meet our MPs and other decision-makers. “Brexit has had so much attention over the past two to three years and it is vital that we ensure other barriers to economic growth are not forgotten.”

Confidence rallies despite setbacks A major bounce in confidence among service-based companies in Coventry and Warwickshire in the first quarter of 2019 has made up for a dip in the mood among manufacturers. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has published the results of its first Quarterly Economic Survey of the year – and it shows an overall improvement in the business outlook for the region compared with the last quarter of 2018. However, it also highlights that many businesses are holding off investment decisions until there is more clarity about the future relationship with the EU. The survey is used as a key barometer for the regional

economy and also feeds into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national survey. The results are converted into an index where 50 is the balance and anything above means the majority of respondents feel positive. In the first three months of 2019, both the manufacturing and service-based businesses reported a fall in domestic orders although it was more prominent in manufacturing. There was a slight rise in overseas orders among companies in the service sector. Investment and cashflow dipped compared to the final quarter of 2018 as did the number of companies looking to take on new staff.

However, business confidence in the service sector jumped from an index of 69.8 to 83.6 meaning the vast majority of companies are feeling positive about the future. In manufacturing, it fell from 76 to 70.3. Taking all of that data into account, the economic outlook for the whole region compared to the final quarter of 2018 moved from 62.5 to 63.4 – a small, but not insignificant, rise according to business leaders. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The results show a mixed picture across the region, with differences in outlook between services and manufacturing.

“The uncertainty of where we are heading with Brexit is, possibly, weighing heavier on some in the manufacturing sector, while the service sector in the region is seeing no signs of a dip in morale. “What is clear, however, is that the outlook in this region compares very favourably to other areas of the UK which is a further sign of the strength and robustness of our economy. “The fact that, despite so many pressures, our outlook has actually improved means we are in a strong position to grow but it’s vital that we get clarity soon as businesses continue to hold off on investment.” David Ayton-Hill, Economy and Skills Group Manager at

Warwickshire County Council, interprets the findings of the survey, which is completed by more than 400 businesses. He said: “The national economic index recorded a fall in the first quarter of 2019 and, yet, our region has seen a small but important increase. “The service sector has, largely, driven that with some pessimism among some of our manufacturers around profitability and turnover. “Overall, we can still see that Coventry and Warwickshire is outperforming the national average – continuing a trend of the past few years.”


on s ar e y 110 a l l i t s d n a m ir F y l i Fam

Left to Right – Sarah Day, John Johnson, Joan Johnson, Pete Johnson & Richard Johnson

2019 is a momentous year for local company Johnsons Coach& Bus Travel. The Henley-in-Arden based operator celebrates 110 years in business, and is recognised today as one of the leading independent family owned coach and bus companies in the industry. Three generations of the same family have been at the helm throughout all those years. Currently, the company is run by brothers Peter and John Johnson (third generation), with John’s children, Sarah and Richard (fourth generation) having active roles within the business and their Mother, Joan (second generation) now enjoys holidaying with the firm and attending their events. The two brothers came together to run the family business back in July 1979 when the firm was only operating 4 coaches, a furniture removal lorry and a taxi. Being 3rd generation family members they took over the running of the business from their parents Roy and Joan Johnson, and now, 41 years later they have built the company to where it is now, with almost 100 coaches and buses operating from a purpose built 4-acre site, just north of Henley-in-Arden. Under their tenure, the business has gone from strength to strength; it has won many Coach Industry Awards including winning ‘Coach Operator of the Year’ in March 2019 at the British Coach Tourism Awards. The company invests heavily in new vehicles every year, including 4 new coaches this year and the fleets blue, yellow and white livery can be seen near and far – from Warwickshire to Switzerland!

Johnsons’ first vehicle, a Garner Bus Van 1922

To celebrate this momentous occasion Johnsons are putting on a Family Fun Day for their staff as well as inviting all their customers on a day trip to Salisbury on Saturday 10th August for just £25 each where £5 of every ticket will go to their chosen charities, Helping Hands of Birmingham who help the homeless and local Henley & Wotton Scout Club who are raising money to build a new scout hut. The company is larger now than it has ever been, but it is still very much a family firm with family values. John Johnson comments “Our company moto is ‘Travel with Johnsons… Travel with Friends’ and we maintain this culture with everything we do – in all our relationships with customers, staff and suppliers.” Pete Johnson also comments “Over the years we've built up a great reputation and an impressive fleet, all without compromising on our friendly family style. We're big enough to offer job security, career progression and top-class training, whilst still being small enough to deliver quality and keep that friendly and personal feel.” Johnsons Coach Travel specialise in providing a wide selection of coach holidays and day trips and provide coaches for private hire to businesses, groups, schools, clubs and private individuals. Their bus fleet operate local services throughout south Warwickshire.

For more details on Johnsons’ 110th Anniversary Day Out to Salisbury, please call 01564 797000 or visit The Johnsons team collecting their ‘Coach Operator of the Year’ Award

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Company celebrates 50th anniversary with growth plans

A family run design and manufacturing business is celebrating its 50 year anniversary with plans to expand and create new jobs. NDE Clarke Pitchline, based at the historic former Riley Motor Company Works on Aldbourne Road, Coventry, specialises in the design, engineering and manufacture of a range of industrial drive and power transmission products and services, with clients across the globe. A successful 2018, including the

acquisition of a new Hankook vertical turning and milling centre machine thanks to a grant from Business Support Programme Investment Fund and assistance from the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, has allowed the firm to break into new markets, increase productivity and recruit staff. The firm is expecting to increase its annual turnover by 25 per cent over the next 18 months off the back of the latest investment. Plans are also now in place to expand the firm’s premises in 2019 and bring in more staff as it celebrates 50 years in business. Chris Edgington, Commercial Director, said: “We are proud to be able to continue adding to the strong business heritage of our site, which many people in Coventry will remember as the thriving heart of the Riley Motor Company Works. “To have had 50 successful years of our own here is incredible and the fact the anniversary has come while we are in such a strong period of

growth is great for us and a credit to the whole team here.” “We have invested in new staff and new equipment over the last few years, with this new machine really helping to transform our working practices and product development.” “This investment has allowed us to be bold with our ambition and we are aiming to increase our long-term turnover.” NDE Clarke Pitchline currently employs around 45 people, two of which were brought in as a direct result of the machine investment, which created two skilled production posts. Last year, exports accounted for 30 per cent of the company’s revenue. Gary Thyeson, Account Manager with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub, said: “NDE Clarke Pitchline is a fantastic company with strong historical roots in Coventry and we are delighted to be supporting their growth ambitions as they hit their 50th anniversary.

“It is crucial that businesses in the Coventry and Warwickshire area are known as leaders in their field and bringing in new technology such as the Hankook VMC machine helps put Chris and the team ahead of their competition.” The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub helped NDE Clarke Pitchline access £20,000 of funding towards the new machine through Coventry City Council’s Business Support Programme, which is partfunded by the European Regional Development Fund. Kierandeep Bal, business development advisor at Coventry City Council, added: “The purchase of the vertical milling centre machine has had such a big impact on NDE Clarke Pitchline in such a short space of time, which from our perspective is encouraging to see. “The company is a fantastic example for other SME businesses in Coventry to look up to.”

Coventry company gains government certification for protecting sensitive client data A Coventry company which helps organisations and businesses drive down the cost of their energy bills has been given a UK government certification for protecting sensitive client data. The Utility Team advises, manages and assists a range of customers from social housing, schools and retailers to property management companies, to understand the best way to buy and manage energy. As well as a number of other steps they have taken to protect customer and staff data, (including obtaining the internationally recognised ISO Certification), the company is now verified by the government backed Cyber Essentials scheme. Cyber Essentials helps you to guard against the most common cyber threats and

demonstrate your commitment to cyber security Utility Team Operations Director, Grace Breen said: “ Our clients’ information is important to them and therefore it is important to us. We wanted to ensure we had the most secure system in place to protect their valuable data and going through the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification process was the best way to do this. “We were helped enormously by the team from Risk Evolves, who we brought in to take us through the certification.” Managing Director of Risk Evolves, Helen Barge said: “For many small to medium businesses, being compliant with the new GDPR (General Data

Protection Regulations) and having the time and staff resources to do the work needed feels like a burden. “However, it isn’t as onerous a task as people think. It proves to organisations how, by putting a few simple measures in place, they can show their clients they really do respect their data and have taken steps to protect it.” Utility Team’s IT providers, Zenzero, have been working with the company and their other customers to encourage take-up of the Cyber Essentials scheme. Zenzero’s Service Delivery Director, Mike Penny said: “We are pleased to be working with a company, like Utility Team, which takes security seriously and is investing in it. How you, as an

organisation or business, manage data, IT policies, firewalls is critical nowadays. “As an IT provider we believe the decision over cyber security has to be business led. We can implement all that is needed to make the systems secure but the will has to come from the organisation. Cyber Essentials is the first rung of the ladder and we would encourage all our clients to make this a fundament of their business decision making process.”

Councillors get closer look at Coventry’s digital transformation

Coventry’s digital revolution has taken a major step forward with the first households in the city now connected to a new full fibre broadband network. CityFibre is investing more than £60million into Coventry to bring gigabit-speed internet connectivity to the city as part of a strategic partnership with Vodafone. Network construction began in November last year, and now households in the Old Church Road and Gayer Street areas of the city are the first to enjoy Gigafast Broadband services from Vodafone, with Longford and Bell Green set to be the next locations to benefit. Progress on the digital infrastructure has been rapid thanks to the understanding of local communities, as well as CityFibre’s

pilot of aerial deployment, which has proven to minimise disruption to the local area while being more time efficient. To mark the milestone, two city councillors – Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, and digital champion, Richard Brown – took part in a tour of the first areas to benefit. As work continues, CityFibre is committed to keeping local businesses and residents up-to-date with the latest developments, as well as highlighting the benefits that access to full fibre will bring. Leigh Hunt, CityFibre’s City Development Manager for Coventry, said: “Coventry is among the first UK cities announced in our national rollout of full fibre broadband to five million UK homes and businesses. We’ve made huge progress and it is tremendous to see the first homes now reaping the benefits of full fibre. “This state-of-the-art digital connectivity will have a huge economic impact on the city, increasing productivity and innovation within businesses and allowing households to embrace smart tech while giving people the opportunity to work at home with ease. “Coventry City Council has been extremely supportive of the project, and really understand the benefits of

excellent city-wide connectivity, so it was fantastic to meet with Councillor O’Boyle and Councillor Brown to give them a closer look at the progress which has been made so far.” Cllr Richard Brown, Chair of Coventry City Council’s Audit and Procurement Committee, said he was pleased with the progress being made. He added: “A better and faster digital infrastructure will make a massive difference to local people and businesses. I’ve been really impressed with what I have seen, and CityFibre appear to be letting customers know why the improvement work is happening. This project is really positive for the city.” Vodafone is using CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to residential customers in Coventry. Jonathan Conway, Vodafone’s City Development Manager for Coventry, said: “With the first customers now connected to Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, we have begun the digital transformation of Coventry. I’m really excited, talking to our customers and seeing the difference a full fibre network infrastructure can make to the way people live and work.”

Cleaning and consumables company receives ISO 14001 Accreditation Coventry and Warwickshire chamber members Eco-Clean & Maintenance Ltd recently applied and successfully completed their accreditation in the ISO 14001 environmental management system. ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organisations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and the reduction of waste. Newly appointed commercial director Daniel Gibson said: “This was the most logical next step as we move forward. ISO 14001 demonstrates compliance with current and future regulatory requirements. It has allowed us to simplify our business model while engaging with both our employees and clients in new and beneficial ways.” Eco-Clean recently moved their headquarters from Princethorpe to Coventry, with their warehouse in Princethorpe still being the base for their consumable and delivery service.

Tony Robbins Trainer offers expertise to businesses ranging from Hollywood movie stars to athletes, lawyers and Tony Robbins, who has coached Medical Practitioners. some of the world’s top Miles, whose daily morning business executives, including motivational videos have been Marc Benioff (CEO of watched by more than a quarter, Steve Wynn of a million people online, has (CEO of Wynn Hotel Resorts) been offering Coventry and and Peter Guber (CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and Warwickshire businesses co-owner of the Golden State 60-minute session that promise Warriors and LA Dodgers). to help participants to: Tony, who has also worked • Learn the three strategies to closely with the likes of Wayne immediately start achieving Gretzky, Serena Williams, Hugh amazing results in any Jackman, Usher, Oprah and area of their life four of the last five Presidents of • Discover the five habits of the United States, has handeffective communication picked a group of Peak Performance • Discover the success cycle Strategists to deliver tools that and learn how to apply it to help businesses to maximise every situation results, one of whom is local to • Develop an unshakable Coventry. Miles Grant is using mindset that will give them Tony Robbins’ Peak a more fulfilling life Performance strategies to • Determine a clear target achieve results for some of the of what they want in every most influential leaders in the UK and has coached people area of their life.

There is a strong Coventry angle to the activities of


Area Focus: Coventry

Major Being Well event announced for the region

City hotel gears up for 2021 A Coventry hotel is investing a further half a million pounds as it gets ready for Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021. Ramada Coventry has, since 2017, ploughed £1.5 million into modernising its 166 guest bedrooms to developing a competitive food and beverage product and rebranded its exclusive meeting and events space. The hotel is now planning to continue those investments with another £500,000 on improving the guest facilities such as modernisation of all mechanical elements including lifts and in-room climate control. The investment will also see the face of the building improved while still celebrating the historic 1970s architecture of the original BT offices. That will be achieved with the use of up-lighting, new brand signage, decoration and upgrades to the car parking facilities. The hotel is also looking to grow its team by showcasing career opportunities in the hospitality sector to young people in the region. Mark Hills, General Manager at Ramada Coventry, said: “The right team is important for the future of any business and we believe by working with the right educational partners we have an opportunity to encourage the next generation of hoteliers, develop skills of our existing stars and bring new vibrant professionals into the hospitality sector.”

A major health and wellbeing event to support a breast cancer charity is coming to the Midlands this autumn. The Being Well Festival aims to promote happier, healthier lives by educating people about their health and general wellness, and is being held at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena in October. The free event on Thursday 24 October will give visitors the opportunity to shop at a ‘wellbeing marketplace’, take part in activities and taster sessions, hear from inspirational speakers and get one-to-one advice on health and wellbeing. As part of the day, there will also be a special ticketed lunch, celebrating some very inspirational people and featuring star guest chef Jane Devonshire, MasterChef 2016 winner, who has had her own battle with breast cancer. The festival coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Mary Rhodes, BBC Presenter and Chair of the Breast Cancer Haven Development Board, believes the festival is a great way for people to learn how to make changes to their lives to improve their health.

She said: “We can all find a way to look after ourselves through better nutritional choices, increased physical activity and a more conscious approach to our overall health. “The Being Well Festival aims to assist with all of this. So, whether you’re going through breast cancer, experiencing other health issues or are just more conscious of a need to change your lifestyle, we’re here to help. “I hope people see the Being Well Festival as an opportunity to learn more and to make positive changes to their health and wellbeing.” Ricoh Arena is also anchor sponsor of the Being Well Festival which is hoping to attract thousands of visitors, while other cancer charities will have an opportunity to feature at the event. Nick Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Wasps Group, which owns the sports, business and entertainment venue, said: “Health and wellbeing is rightly at the top of people’s agenda and the Being Well Festival will allow everyone to access a huge range of advice and guidance.

Left to right: James Gaskell (Wasps), Mary Rhodes, Ashley Johnson (Wasps) Nick Eastwood (Wasps)

“Being very much involved in sport right across the range from elite athletes to community events, we fully appreciate the need to be in the best condition mentally and physically and we will be working with the organisers to ensure a successful and very relevant day for all those who attend. “The Being Well Festival is a chance for people to really learn more about their health, no matter what their individual circumstances are.”

Breast Cancer Haven, which will benefit from funds raised on the day, operates from eight locations with four in the Midlands. The charity offers emotional, physical and practical support for anyone affected by breast cancer including one-toone therapy for visitors, as well as counselling for their family and friends. Although the event is free, guests will need to book tickets to attend.

Please go to and places can be booked on places can be booked on, Visit to find out more.

CityFibre partners with YMCA to bring digital skills to young women CityFibre has underlined its commitment to widening access to digital skills by giving a charitable donation to YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire in a bid to empower young women by teaching them digital skills. As part of its work to improve digital confidence and literacy in Coventry, CityFibre has made a donation to the YMCA’s Flourish programme which aims to boost digital skills among young vulnerable women in the region. The donation has enabled the charity to invest in specialist training and buy the relevant technology to encourage digital skills. Through the project 12 young women have begun work on a social action campaign, using Instagram and Twitter.

One young participant, Molly, joined CityFibre and YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire staff for a photocall at YMCA’s offices in Daimler Green on 12 March, where they set up and launched the official Instagram account for YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire. At the digital skills workshop, they worked together to develop a social action campaign using the hashtags #flourish and #thisiscoventry to help empower young women in the local area. Molly, who participated in the programme said: “I’ve loved being part of this project and learning more about empowering others. Photography is a passion of mine so getting involved in the digital project and seeing our campaign on social media has been really exciting”.

Leigh Hunt, CityFibre’s City Development Manager for Coventry, said: “CityFibre’s Gigabit City vision for Coventry, where almost every home and business will be able to access nextgeneration full fibre connectivity, puts local communities at its the heart. We are creating a goldstandard full fibre network in Coventry, one which will deliver genuine benefits for all members of society. “We want to do everything we can to tackle the digital divide, and a partnership with the YMCA made perfect sense. The amazing young women taking part in the Flourish programme are seeing first-hand how access to digital skills can improve their lives and that is a cause worth supporting.”

Lisa Carroll, Director of Youth Work and Fundraising at YMCA, said: “YMCA is thrilled to be working with CityFibre to encourage young people to develop social action through social media online. The first campaign centres around female empowerment and encourages young women to use their voices to make social impact.”

Students celebrate National Express Coventry going Platinum National Express Coventry has recently invested in £5 million worth of new buses for the city. Seventeen Platinum-brand double deckers have now been fully rolled out on the university routes - the 11, the 11U and 12X, which also serve the station. Customers boarding at the railway station can reach the University of Warwick campus in as little as 17 minutes and enjoy travelling in style, with extra leg room, free WiFi, USB chargers, high backed leather seats and next stop announcements. Matt King, National Express Coventry Operations Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to introduce our brand


new top-spec Platinum double deckers to our university routes. University of Warwick students and all other customers using these beautiful buses enjoy extra leg room, free wi-fi, USB chargers and next stop announcements. “As well as being good news for our customers, these new Platinum buses are great news for the environment. The engines inside them are smart hybrids - some of the cleanest on the market. They emit extremely low levels of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, so they are better for people’s lungs. “These fantastic new vehicles are our pledge as part of our Bus Alliance with Transport for West Midlands – to increase the amount of people taking

the bus, to keep our customers happy and to keep the air clean across Coventry.” Suzanne England, Programme Director for Keeping Campus Moving, University of Warwick, said: “We are delighted with this upgrade to the whole fleet of National Express buses serving the University and connecting our students, staff and visitors with Coventry and Leamington. “Working in close partnership with the University, National Express Coventry has listened and responded to customer demands, introducing new routes and a much improved travel experience with these new buses. We look forward to closer working, and more innovations to come."

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Coventry charity calls for action

Tina Costello, CEO of the Heart of England Community Foundation, and the team at Rugby RoSA.

A grant-giving charity is calling for action after its latest round of funding was oversubscribed by applications totalling more than £700,000. Heart of England Community Foundation awarded £162,076 to 20 organisations through the Tampon Tax Community Fund, which provides grants to projects working with some of society’s most vulnerable women and girls. This included £38,406 given to five organisations across Coventry and

Warwickshire which applied for a slice of the funding raised through the levy on sanitary products in 2017/18. The Foundation has now revealed that it received a total of 99 applications amounting to £863,025, meaning the fund was over-subscribed by more than £700,000, and is calling for action. The specialist grant-making charity, which awards funding to projects across the West Midlands and is the only one of its kind in the

region, is urging any potential donors to come forward to offer their support. Businesses, organisations and individuals are being asked to contact the Foundation to find out more about how they can make a difference in their communities by starting a fund, setting up a legacy or making a donation. Tina Costello, CEO of the Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to distribute so much money to grassroots organisations supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society, however there is still more to be done. “So many of our funds are hugely oversubscribed, and it’s extremely difficult to see such a large number of projects missing out on vital grants due to the demand outweighing the supply. “We are now appealing to any potential donors who would like to make a difference to get in touch. “We have the knowledge to help anyone looking to maximise their Corporate Social Responsibility, and together we can do more to

support the groups and organisations that are making a difference to communities across the West Midlands.” One of those to receive a Tampon Tax Community Fund grant in Coventry and Warwickshire was the charity Rugby RoSA which received £8,340 to provide life skills workshops for women and girls who have been victims of sexual abuse in the region. Sue Balcombe, Community Engagement Officer for RoSA, said: “We are grateful to Heart of England Community Foundation for the grant which will enable us to reach out to more survivors. “The Life skills workshops will provide an encouraging, empowering and safe environment for women and girls to develop coping strategies, improve their confidence and cultivate a positive shift in their general wellbeing.” Anyone wishing to find out more about becoming a donor is asked to visit or contact 02476 883297 or email

Success for company’s new idea A Coventry company’s innovative idea of supplying temporary barriers designed to prevent vehicle-ramming attacks in crowded spaces has been recognised at the 2019 Midlands Business Awards. StadiumTM, which lends temporary hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) security barriers to organisers of all sorts of public events, won the ‘Midlands Innovation of the Year’ award at a ceremony in Leicester. The company was also given a ‘highly commended’ award in the Midlands Service Provider £1m+ of the Year by the judges. David McAtamney, managing director of StadiumTM, said the firm’s idea to buy different kinds of HVM solutions and then rent them out to clients was a natural extension to the firm’s event management specialist business. He said: “We’re the first company to offer temporary HVM solutions for hire, rather than customers facing an option to buy permanent solutions which comes with a high price and a storage issue or simply

not protecting a crowded space from potential vehicle attacks. “Before us, clients would have to consider spending a fortune on buying barriers and gates outright for one event, and then have to keep them in storage for the rest of the year. “With us, they can hire what they need for when they need it, reducing costs. In the 12 months we’ve offered this service, our HVMs have been used more than 300 times at events like the Godiva Festival and BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Coventry, as well as the Fever Tree Championships in London. “So we’re delighted the judges at the Midlands Business Awards recognised how we’ve led the market by giving us the Innovation of the Year award, as well as a highly commended award in the Service Provider of the Year category. “We have won awards within the event management industry before, but never an award of this magnitude. “But we won’t rest on our laurels. We’re continuing to innovate by

Tony Probert of awards sponsors LightMedia, with StadiumTM’s Steve McCabe, Lorraine Baillie, Neil Farmer, Maria Holmes-Keeling, Abi Watt, and Jemma Baillie.

investing in new designs of HVMs to cater for all sorts of different needs for our clients.” To win the two awards, StadiumTM was first assessed by judges from the Midlands Business Awards in the two categories and given a score in both based on a range of criteria. Their scores meant they were eligible to be a finalist in both categories. Once they were named as a finalist, representatives from the company were the interviewed by the judges face-to-face.

The judges then used the interview to decide overall winners in each category. Harj Sandher, managing director of the Midlands Business Awards, said: “Innovative companies like StadiumTM really make our economy thrive. “They have a real passion for what they do, and it’s no surprise our judges picked them for not one, but two awards. “StadiumTM is a credit to the region and we hope to see the business continue to grow and grow.”

Escape Live launch their new room

Fearless thrill-seekers will be tasked with the crucial mission of preventing the destruction of Europe and the entire planet in a new escape experience in Coventry. Escape Live’s third experience at its Fargo Village venue is Armageddon and is the first in the company’s new brand. The narrative behind the new experience sees players given one hour to solve a series of clues and challenges to launch a nuclear missile in order to stop a meteor from causing global devastation. It builds on the success of Escape Live in Coventry and is part of wider growth for the company across the region. John Dalziel, owner of Escape Live, said: “While our Prison Break and Casino Heist rooms have proven very popular already, this new room will be our most dramatic yet. “We want to keep pushing the boundaries of our experiences and to create new challenges for our players. It’s important to not stand still when it comes to escape game experiences because the industry is evolving rapidly." Along with its rooms in Coventry, Escape Live has venues in Birmingham, Stratford and Southend in Essex, all of which are very highly-rated on sites such as TripAdvisor. Armageddon is aimed at teams of two to six people, and participants should be aged ten or older.

Spirit of 2012 awards £200,000 to help Coventry City of Culture 2021 develop its plans Spirit has announced an award of £200,000 to the Coventry City of Culture Trust, confirming its commitment to backing the city’s plans to deliver an exciting and pioneering programme during their time as UK City of Culture 2021 and beyond. The grant will fund four Associate Producer roles, as well as the training and development of four volunteer community evaluators who will begin the task of monitoring the progress and impact of the City of Culture year. The Associate Producers will be based in one of four local

organisations: Grapevine, an advocacy and support service for those in need; the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre; Positive Youth Foundation, a service provider for young people; and the Central England Law Centre, based in Coventry. Each producer will work with service users and leaders to develop community-led, inclusive artistic responses to Coventry’s City of Culture programme. Debbie Lye, Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive, said: “We’re really excited by Coventry’s vision for 2021: an arts and culture programme made for and by everyone in the city.

Coventry’s drive to represent, include and excite a modern, diverse and youthful Britain chimes with our own funding mission, and we’re delighted to be on board from the start of what promises to be a thrilling journey. “We were also a principle funder of Hull City of Culture 2017, joining the programme in its earliest stages, and we learned a great deal about how City of Culture impacts on individuals, organisations and whole communities. The key is inclusion: and this grant is designed to support the Coventry team as it puts that at the heart of all its plans.”

Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive for the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said “Receiving this grant from Spirit of 2012 will provide a fantastic boost to our ongoing work with our communities, and is a real endorsement of our vision and mission.” Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust added “Coventry is a Marmot City, committed to reducing health and wellbeing inequalities. We are a city of migrants, a city without walls, a city with a strong social conscience. This funding will support the City of Culture Trust to work with

pioneering community organisations, leaders and activists for social change, to consider the role culture can have in highlighting and tackling the big issues being experienced across our global communities. We're delighted that Spirit are backing our movement for change."


Area Focus: Coventry

Brose reaps the dividends of new driverless vehicle logistics solution

Shortage of space still an issue for city

The shortage of employment space in Coventry and Warwickshire will remain a challenge – whatever Brexit brings. That was one of the messages from the Coventry branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest branch meeting at Loades Ecoparc in Exhall. Plans to expand the industrial development were highlighted at the event, which also heard about the work the Chamber has done on behalf of members to help them prepare for the UK’s exit from the EU. David Penn, President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Coventry branch, said: “Understandably, there is a great deal of talk about Brexit and the Chamber has done an incredible job in deciphering each new development and making it relevant to businesses across the region. “We heard from James Ahearne, David Burton and Alan Durham who have led the Chamber’s work on Brexit in this region and have helped feed into the national picture through the British Chambers of Commerce. “For me, one of the biggest issues around Brexit is the fact that it has dominated our public discourse for so long that the focus has been lost to some degree on other important matters affecting our economy. “Coventry and Warwickshire is very robust and, in recent weeks, I’ve seen lots of evidence of great work that is taking place here in the city and the county that will see our economy continue to grow. We also heard many positive stories from companies in our meeting around investment and growth. “And that means we will still need more land for employment across our region in order for companies to grow and also to attract new inward investment. That won’t change with Brexit. “We need more new developments like Loades Ecoparc and, therefore, it is vital that we have the space to create quality stock for companies in a range of sizes and sectors. “It is something the Chamber has been calling for over recent years and it is a message we will continue to press upon decision-makers at a local, regional and national level – no matter what the final outcome of Brexit is.” The shortage of power was also raised as a barrier to growth, along with a shortage of skills in some sectors of the economy. The event also heard from Dr Andrew Roadknight, of the University of Warwick, who highlighted the opportunities to make use of the West Midlands Europe Hub in Brussels for meetings.

Automotive supplier Brose is actively using ground-breaking technology to optimise its logistics operation, improve efficiencies and win new business on future model launches. Brose, which provides seat structures and window regulators to Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota, has invested nearly £2 million over the last two years into the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) that will speed up the movement of finished goods and eliminate any prospect of human error. The factory in Colliery Lane in Coventry has fully embraced

driverless vehicle technology, with AGVs expected to make more than 650,000 different journeys every year in seat production. Travelling at one metre per second, the AGVs will cover 67,000 kilometres per year, which is the equivalent of travelling around the earth 1.5 times. Typically, they are used where high volumes of repetitive material movements are required and where little or no human decision making is needed. Steve Wilkins, Managing Director of Brose UK, said: “The automotive sector is extremely demanding and there is a continuous need to produce parts quicker and react to fluctuating patterns in demand – logistics is crucial to us being able to achieve this.

“Coventry was chosen as one of the pilot locations due to the compelling business case we put forward for helping us to win future contracts.” AGVs use laser reflectors for navigation and are programmed by CAD-based software that routes available paths and indicates locations that allow vehicles to pick or deliver a load or empty stillage. Using the Brose Transport Guidance System, the AGVs are able to communicate with each other to ensure materials are moved smoothly through the warehouse, whether they are being stored for future use or sent directly to shipping lanes. At the same time, they can be programmed to work alongside human counterparts on the same

production line, depending on where there is a need for capacity, making them extremely flexible. Steve said: “AGVs have little downtime and operate at a fixed rate so it is easier to plan operational activity. In addition, they are computer controlled, which eliminates human errors in terms of damage to the facility, spillage to inventory and improved safety of pedestrians.” The AGVs are the latest in a long line of strategic investments in logistics by Brose at its Coventry facilities, including a state-of-the-art paint plant, tugger trains and a bespoke Transport Guidance System. The company celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018 and marked that major milestone by securing the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Award for new centre A new sport and wellness facility received national recognition ahead of opening its doors. The University of Warwick’s Sport and Wellness Hub has won the ‘Award for Excellence’ at the annual Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) awards. The facility, which is part of a £49 million investment in the hub and adjoining sports facilities at the University, opened in April. SAPCA promotes excellence, professionalism and continuous achievement throughout the industry. The Sport and Wellness Hub was designed by David Morley Architects LLP, who are members of SAPCA and received the honour at the award ceremony. It beat off 10 finalists to win the national award and the project has been now completed by main contractor Wilmott Dixon.

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities at the University of Warwick, said: “The Sport and Wellness Hub is part of our wider strategy to promote health and wellbeing across the campus – with the goal of being the most active campus community in the UK by 2020. “This is truly a world-class facility and it is fantastic that it is receiving national accolades such as the award from SAPCA before it has even opened.” The building is designed for to be accessible and inclusive for all, encouraging everyone – of any age or ability – to try something active. The design also has sustainability at the heart, incorporating architectural and technical to leave a smaller footprint on the planet. It will include a spacious 230-station gym and a 25-metre, 12-lane swimming pool – both enjoying views of the surrounding woodland. It also

Stars show escape skills Coventry City stars’ problemsolving skills were put to the test as players saved the world, burgled a casino and broke out of prison in the space of sixty minutes. The Sky Blues’ first team squad visited Escape Live Coventry, which is situated at Fargo Village, to crack codes and uncover clues

in a short break from training. The squad were split into three teams to tackle three of the venue’s toughest escape challenges – including Casino Heist, Prison Break and Armageddon. Sky Blues players embarked on a crucial mission to prevent the destruction of the planet in

features a 12-court sports arena, six glass-backed squash courts and a cutting-edge climbing centre. Andy Mytom, Partner at David Morley Architects, added: “We are proud to have worked with the University of Warwick to create a campus wide master plan and major new facility to support their vision of being create the most active campus in the UK. “This project fits perfectly with our ethos at David Morley Architects to enhance life through design, and encourages participation through a combination of ‘people, places and programmes.” David Hammond Director of Capital Programmes at the University of Warwick Estates, said: “The Sport and Wellness Hub is designed to inspire everyone who walks through the door to be more active. “We are delighted that the fantastic design has received this recognition

from SAPCA and the award is testament to the hard work completed by all involved in the design and build process. “It’s very exciting that construction has now been completed and we’re looking forward to opening the doors next month to staff, students and the general public.” Andy Reed OBE, Chairman of SAPCA, said: “I was delighted to see this project win as it encapsulates all that we are striving to do to create an Active Nation – thinking differently about the way we build our environment to encourage greater participation and physical activity.

Armageddon – the newest escape experience at the Coventry venue. First team stars Dom Hyam, Dujon Sterling, Jordy Hiwula, Amadou Bakayoko and Liam O’Brien joined forces in Prison Break. Fan favourites Jodi Jones and Tom Bayliss joined forces with Max Biamou, Brandon Mason, Lee Burge and Jordan Willis to tackle Casino Heist.

Coventry chemical company cleans up with new international contracts

Mirius, a Coventry-based chemical manufacturer-supplier, has secured a trio of new contracts to export its products to Iran, Taiwan and Brazil, creating eight new jobs at its Coventry office. The contracts to export AquaOmnicide, an aquatic health disinfectant for use on fish and shrimp farms, will boost Mirius’s revenue by


£340,000 per annum. The new deal will support the business’s ongoing export growth, which increased by 26% in the last year. Mirius, founded in 1963 as Coventry Chemicals, is a leader in the manufacture and supply of cleaning liquids, powders and tablets to suit all professional, retail and healthcare cleaning and hygiene requirements. Mirius secured the deals with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), which provided a grant to enable the company to obtain its accreditation for exporting to Taiwan and Brazil. Located in Willenhall, the business currently exports to countries across

Europe, South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Mike Button, Healthcare General Manager, said: “Exports significantly contribute to our turnover annually, and exporting has become an integral and essential part of our business.“The demand is definitely out there but exporting for the first time can be daunting. “We found there are often exacting regulations that differ from country to country. This means dealing with legal requirements, particularly for more niche products, like ours, can be complicated. “The Department for International Trade and our International Trade

Adviser have been a great help to us in navigating complicated paperwork and understanding what we need to do to get overseas. My advice for other businesses looking to export is to look past potential obstacles and consider the wealth of opportunity out there.” Ian Harrison, Head of Exports for the Midlands, DIT, said: “Exporting is a brilliant way for businesses to capitalise on the popularity of British products abroad. Goods and services produced by British companies have a well-earned reputation for quality and integrity, and UK business can tap into a rich market of global opportunity.

“Our job is to connect British businesses with the right contacts and know-how in order to reach their full potential. Mirius is a brilliant example of a business that has been able to strengthen its success by trading overseas and expand the range of its trading partners.” “We have a team of specialist International Trade Advisers on the ground in the West Midlands, who are on hand to support firms as they look to start or build their exports.” Companies can find information and a current list of opportunities at

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

City Council unveils new £20m funding programmes for local businesses

Cllr O'Boyle, Karl Haggett, Alchemie, John Cullen, Mobilerecon (Front Row L-R) Roger Estrada, R53 and Cliff Jones, Alchemie (Back Row L-R)

One hundred and twenty organisations from Coventry & Warwickshire made their way to the Coventry Transport Museum to learn about accessing new funding opportunities for their businesses. Following the success of three European Regional Development Funded (ERDF) programmes

which ran from 2016–2018, where a total of £4.6m was provided in grants to local businesses, Coventry City Council launched three new ERDF programmes in the areas of Business Support, Green Business and Innovation. If you are a small to medium sized business (fewer than 250 employees) in Coventry and

Warwickshire, then you may be eligible to receive business support, including grants from the three current ERDF Programmes to help grow and develop your business. Cllr Jim O Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs & Regeneration opened the event, and reflected on the successes of the previous programmes that have provided some of the foundation of Coventry & Warwickshire’s recent economic success, outlining reasons why the region has been the fastest growing economy of all LEP areas since the 2008/09 recession. Andy Williams, Director of Business, Investment & Culture at Coventry City Council outlined all the funding opportunities that are available to SMEs around business support and capital investment grants to enable growth going forward. These include; supporting

new start-up businesses, assisting existing businesses with grants, improving energy and resource efficiency of business premises and supporting businesses to develop innovative new to market products and services. The delegates were able to learn first-hand from Mobilerecon, Alchemie Ltd and R53, three organisations who had received grant support in the past. Cllr O’Boyle added: “It is wonderful to see that all three programmes which are part funded by the ERDF, have supported the development of new start-ups and the growth of SMEs in our region. In addition the programmes have created 770 new jobs, which is testament to the fact we have targeted successful business growth projects.

Course leader has designs on success The leader of a further education course taught only in Coventry is looking to shape the city’s future through training the next generation of architects and designers. Andrew Marshment leads the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Transport and Architecture at Coventry College, the only course in the UK to offer practical design and Model Making Skills to college level students. Through drawing studies, computer modelling and practical model making sessions, Andrew, a Coventry University graduate, wants to help students understand the city’s heritage and help them contribute to its future development.

The course, which Andrew leads with his colleague Dave Craddock, is in its fourth year and has doubled in size with that figure set to increase to 40 in September. He said: “We have been growing year-on-year and I think that is down to the exclusive nature of our offering and students wanting to join a course which lays out a clear and exciting career path. “Coventry has a rich transport tradition and developing architectural skyline and I hope that our students can help contribute to the progress of our city in the future. “Some of our students have enjoyed really successful work experience placements but we

L/R: Valenskie Caiado, Kayleigh Goodrem, Keon Dempsey, Andrew Marshment, Mariya Mujtabai, Laura Crutchlow, Chisomo Tembo.

would love to build links with more businesses in the area. “As our course continues to grow we want to build our reputation for producing top quality students with skills that others don’t possess.” The course gives students access to a number of guest speakers to see first-hand how their future industry works. Students can also build up a strong portfolio with recent projects including the creation

of a lightweight sports car design, architectural structures, public spaces and much more. Gemma Knott, assistant principal for business growth at Coventry College, said: “We are very proud to be able to offer young people in Coventry the chance to access a course unique to our college. “Andrew and Dave have built an exciting course and we would love to increase our business links as the uptake continues to grow.”

University and FEV join forces to launch £50m centre A £50m facility for creating cleaner mobility has opened in Coventry, giving a major boost to the UK automotive industry. The Centre for Advanced Low-Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), an innovative collaboration between Coventry University and global engineering specialist FEV Group, is

Dr Norbert Alt (FEV), Steve Parker (Coventry University), Professor Bernard Biermann (FEV), Jorn Behrenroth (FEV) and Carl Perrin (Coventry University) Professor Stefan Pischinger (FEV), Richard Harrington (Minister for Business and Industry) and Professor Richard Dashwood (Coventry University)

looking to harness cutting-edge academic and commercial expertise to support the development of the next generation of electric, hybrid and combustion engines. Over 30,000 sq ft of purpose-built space on Cheetah Way will house some of the most advanced internal combustion and electrification test bed facilities currently available in the UK, creating a dedicated resource for testing current and future powertrain solutions quickly and efficiently. The capabilities will be available to OEMs, SMEs in the supply chain and technology partners keen to accelerate the creation of new propulsion systems for use across automotive, aerospace, marine and rail sectors. 36 new jobs will be created initially, with a number of apprentices and graduates from Coventry University already appointed. Professor Richard Dashwood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University, said: “This collaboration is very encouraging news and a welcome boost for the UK automotive industry,” “We have a real opportunity for the country to lead the rest of the world when it comes to

developing low carbon propulsion systems and C-ALPS has a major role to play in making this happen. “It’s all about bringing the best of both worlds together, using the expertise and track record of FEV Group in engineering consultancy and combining it with the academic knowledge of our professors to create a real centre of excellence that can attract funding, build capacity in the supply chain and, importantly, offer commercial testing services to car makers. “Automotive is naturally the first target, but the technology will also be available to support the evolution of other sectors.” FEV UK moved into the new facility in January and this will serve as its UK Test Centre, expanding its business operation here and further increasing the local execution of projects close to its customers. The location in the heart of the Midlands automotive industry was a major attraction and the investment will create world class test bed facilities that will prove invaluable to the sector’s move towards new powertrain solutions.

Demonstrator to help businesses adopt smart manufacturing An innovative "Factory in a Box" demonstrator to show businesses how they can grow through the adoption of smart manufacturing techniques and processes has been launched at the Manufacturing Technology Centre. Developed by the Coventry-based MTC working alongside the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and a team of industrial partners, the Factory in a Box is an industrial scale demonstrator, showcasing how advanced industrial digital technologies can benefit manufacturers and their supply chains. The launch event brought together industry thought-leaders, academia and the MTC's Smart Manufacturing Accelerator team, which delivers integrated manufacturing and supply chain improvements based on industrial digital technologies. Delegates saw the Factory in a Box demonstrator working on complex pipe-work manufacture and assembly for the thermal energy industry, but the principles are applicable to a wide range of manufacturing sectors. The Smart Manufacturing Accelerator process helps companies design, develop and operate a remote Factory in a Box and provides tools to adopt advanced manufacturing technology in a traditional manufacturing facility. The Factory in a Box demonstrator which is part of the £60 million Innovate UK-funded Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) programme - was formally launched at the MTC in front of an audience of nearly 300 manufacturing leaders. Presentations demonstrated how their businesses could benefit from the adoption of a smarter, more digital approach. The Factory in a Box demonstrates a number of industrial digital technologies in an autonomous, rapidly deployable, remote controlled, modular unit. Dr Hannah Edmonds, technology specialist at the MTC, said, "A Factory in a Box provides for a disruptive supply chain solution for manufacturing enabled by the latest digital technologies. It can provide a rapid route to market for manufacturing innovations, while quality, product variation and maintenance can be controlled remotely.” Professor Martin Freer, director of the Energy Research Accelerator said that after several years of research and development, the MTC had delivered the manufacturing dimensions of the project to optimise a manufacturing supply chain. "This is a great opportunity for British manufacturers to grow their businesses by using technology across the spectrum," he said. The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.


Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire

Schoolfriends work on same project

Pupils enjoy a hearty breakfast at Hatton Adventure World! A healthy full English breakfast was served to 27 school children at Hatton Adventure World. Children aged 6–7 from Ferncumbe Church of England School in Hatton were collected by tractor and open-top trailer and transported to Hatton Adventure World, where they learnt about the benefits of eating a hearty breakfast, while enjoying locally sourced bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, baked beans and wholemeal toast. Breakfast was served by local farmers and members of the Warwickshire branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Matt Western, MP for Warwick & Leamington also enjoyed breakfast with the children after meeting with local famers to discuss farming issues. He said: “I enjoyed meeting the children and eating breakfast with them after a very productive meeting with local farmers to discuss the big issues in our community”. Chris Mann, NFU Branch Chairman, Central Warwickshire, said “The NFU are pleased to encourage children to eat a good hearty breakfast. Going to school having eaten a nutritious breakfast gives children many health benefits and helps them perform well in the classroom”. Kerri Grubb, a teacher from Ferncumbe School, said: “It’s great to have Hatton Adventure World on our doorstep and for children to visit the Farmyard so they can appreciate the link between the animals they feed and the healthy food they eat.” Richard Craddock, Adventure World Manager at Hatton, said: “Hatton Adventure World enjoyed working with the NFU and feeding pupils from Ferncumbe School. It’s so important for children to understand why breakfast is so essential, especially at this time of year when many are susceptible to colds”. After breakfast the children were accompanied around the farmyard to feed and pet the animals.


L/R AC Lloyd’s Steve Essex, Dan Whiting and Shay Browne at Oakley Grove in Leamington

Two apprentices who have known each other since primary school are working alongside each other at a new housing development in Leamington. Sixteen-year-old Dan Whiting and Shay Browne, aged 17, have been recruited as apprentice carpenters by Warwick-based AC Lloyd Homes and are working on helping to build properties in phase 1B at Oakley Grove in Harbury Lane, Bishop’s Tachbrook. The teenagers have been friends since meeting at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Leamington and they also both attended Myton School in Warwick.

Now, Dan and Shay are studying for their NVQ level two in carpentry and joinery at Moreton Morrell College, which is part of Warwickshire College Group, one day a week and the rest of the week they are putting their new carpentry skills into action from adding stud walls to skirting boards in the two, three, four and five-bedroom homes at Oakley Grove. Dan is fully au fait with homes created by AC Lloyd since he lives in Oakley Grove 1A with his parents, David and Kerry, and brothers, Michael (24) and Callum (15). He said: “We love living in our AC Lloyd home and I am enjoying working with people on the site because it is hands-on work.

“I thought I might be sweeping up but I am learning all about carpentry from more experienced colleagues which is a much better way to learn than sitting in a college all day.” Shay, who lives in Whitnash, agreed that being an apprentice was a great insight into the world of work. He said: “I have known Dan since primary school and we went to the same senior school and now we are working on the same housing development and going to college every Monday. “I have always preferred practical learning rather than book learning – design and technology was one of my favourite subjects since it was practical.” Steve Essex, health and safety officer at AC Lloyd Homes whose headquarters are in Tachbrook Park, Warwick, said apprentices are vital to the construction industry.

“It is great we are helping Dan and Shay to learn the carpentry skills they need at the start of what I hope will be a long career in the sector,” he said. “AC Lloyd Homes is no different to any other property development business – we need apprentices coming through the industry and apprenticeships are a great way to encourage young people. “I have been really pleased with the level of skill and dedication Dan and Shay have shown since they joined us. “It can be daunting joining a site where around 80 people are working but they have fitted really well into the team and they are both learning important skills.” Around 130 properties are being built at Oakley Grove IB which are expected to be completed towards the end of 2020.

“It is great we are helping Dan and Shay to learn the carpentry skills they need at the start of what I hope will be a long career in the sector.”

A positive association for Sarah Tomson Associates and Glued Two Leamington Spa based companies have seen the benefit of trading locally. Sarah Tomson Associates already had a brand identity for their new start HR services business but the business was struggling with how to express and get their message across. Sarah met fellow chamber member David Wilson of Glued at a networking event and agreed to meet to see if there was anything their respective businesses could work on together. It became clear in the first meeting that Sarah Tomson Associates had a strong and valuably different business

proposition. The challenge was how to express that. This is where Glued’s strengths lie. Following a subsequent intensive meeting with Sarah Tomson David Wilson was able to draw out a narrative theme that expressed the rationale behind the Sarah Tomson Associates’ business proposition. This concluded with a range of potential straplines. With the narrative and straplines as the creative brief Glued went on to develop and build the look, feel and messaging for the Sarah Tomson Associates brand guidelines, web site and exhibition graphics.

Sarah Tomson of Sarah Tomson Associates and David Wilson of Glued celebrating their association and local trading.

Sarah said “The work Glued have done has given me the confidence and story to go out and promote my business faceto-face and on line. And as a consequence business is good.” David Wilson of Glued was keen to convey what his business

had got out of the engagement “We were invigorated and refreshed by Sarah Tomson’s proposition and it’s that which makes it all the more fun and satisfying to create her communications and marketing material.”

“The work Glued have done has given me the confidence and story to go out and promote my business face-to-face and on line. And as a consequence business is good.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: North Warwickshire

MP backs move to increase trade The MP for Nuneaton has backed a campaign to get more companies across the region trading with one another. Marcus Jones MP has given his support to the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Go For Growth Trade Local campaign, which has been devised to encourage more firms to look locally for suppliers and clients. Marcus lent his support to the campaign at the latest North Warwickshire branch meeting held at the offices of Subcon Laser in Nuneaton, which also heard information on how the local economy has been performing over the past few months and an update on the exciting Transforming Nuneaton plans. The event also heard how the Chamber is working in the area to bring together schools, colleges and businesses in order to highlight the opportunities and careers available to young people in the area. And Marcus agreed to jointly write to local businesses

alongside the Chamber to ask them to get involved with the programme. Tom Mongan, the Chamber’s North Branch chair, said it had been a very positive meeting. He said: “It is great to bring together the Borough Council, the County Council, our local MP and businesses all in one room. “It was interesting to hear how plans are moving forward with Transforming Nuneaton and what the next stages of that are going to be. The Chamber is fully on board with the project and can see the potential of it, even at this early stage. “We welcome the fact that it is looking to create a town centre of the future which includes health, education, culture, transport, offices, retail and other amenities. “It’s vitally important that we, as businesses, make sure we are across the latest plans for the area and feedback in a constructive way. “It is also crucial that, during these times of uncertainty, we explore every opportunity

Centre set to bounce back

Tom Mongan (left) with Marcus Jones

possible to grow our business and that is why the Go For Growth Trade Local campaign is so important in urging companies across the patch to do business with one another in whatever way possible. That way we can continue to grow our economy. “It is great to have Marcus Jones backing us on that and it is great that we, as businesses, are

able to raise our concerns with him directly at branch meetings.” Marcus said: “It’s important to me to listen to and hear from businesses across the area. “I am pleased to back the Chamber’s Trade Local campaign to get more firms doing business with one another right across the county and the region.”

Charity benefits from business’s support

Kay McEwan (left) with Carol HadenMP

A homeless charity in Nuneaton that provides care, support and advice to young people has been given a generous donation from a national flooring company. UK Flooring Direct set up an initiative asking employees to show their support and give generously in aid of Doorway in Nuneaton over the winter months. The caring colleagues at the Hinckley-based business did their

bit for the good cause collecting a whole host of items – which are already being put to good use by those who need them most. Team members filled several bags with everything from clothes to food and toiletries so that the charity could create starter packs for the young people it helps. UK Flooring Direct - which sells a range of flooring including real wood, laminate and vinyl via its website – has had a long association with the charity and

over the years has made a number of donations. The plan is to now run a series of collections throughout the year in a bid to support the Dugdale Street-based charity with further donations on an ongoing basis. Kay McEwan, of UK Flooring Direct, said: “We were extremely pleased with all the donations that we had and we want to thank all the staff that contributed. “We set up collection points for staff to donate whatever they wanted and we got everything from clothes, food and toiletries. “This is just the first collection of the year and we will be working closely with Doorway to make sure we collect items that they really need. “Doorway has been supporting homeless young people for so many years, so we it felt it was a fantastic charity to support and help with the donations. Created in 1997, Doorway’s mission is to give homeless young people a future through advice, accommodation options, support and life skills development. The charity provides a range of core services which are supported by other initiatives all of which aim

to tackle all aspects of social disadvantage including poor housing, low levels of household incomes and low educational attainment. Carol Haden, project work at Doorway, said it is always best to contact the charity direct to see what they are in need of if people are thinking about making donations. She said: “I would like to say a huge thank you UK Flooring Direct and all its staff for their contributions, they were all very much appreciated. “It is through the generosity of the community that we can help as many young homeless people as we can through our services. “We are always in need of donations of all kinds, and there are times when we may be running short of certain items more than others so we would put a call out for those, so it is best to get in touch with us and see what we are in need of and I know that UK Flooring Direct plan to do that.” For further information about Doorway or do offer help visit or call 024 7634 5583.

Joco Interiors reaches national final Joco Interiors, based at the Abbeygate Shopping Centre in Nuneaton, has been selected as a finalist in The Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2019. The Greats Awards, now in their 17th year, were launched by Progressive Gifts & Home

magazine to recognise the UK's best gift retailers across the retail spectrum. Sue Marks, Editor of Progressive Gifts & Home, said: "Being selected as a finalist was a fantastic achievement. There was a huge entry this year, with some outstanding, first class entries."

All retail finalists were decided as a result of an industrywide poll of gift suppliers, reps and agents and validation by a panel of experts. The Awards recognise and celebrate not only the top independent and multiple gift retailers regionally and nationally, but also outstanding retail employees.

A trampoline centre destroyed by fire last year could be set to bounce back into action as part of a major new development near Nuneaton. The building which housed the Red Kangaroo Trampoline Centre was devasted by a major blaze last October. More than 70 firefighters attended the blaze School Lane but were unable to save the building which had been converted to a trampoline and play centre earlier in the year. Now the Wigley Group, owners of the site, have submitted a planning application to create a bespoke home for Red Kangaroo as well as an additional office or industrial building. It is hopeful that if plans are approved, work could start this summer with a provisional re-opening date in early 2020. Mike Vining, who is heading up the project for The Wigley Group, said the new centre would be purpose-designed for Red Kangaroo and would provide one of the best centres of its type in the UK. “The fire, which was proved to have been started accidentally, was devasting for us and for Red Kangaroo but we vowed at the time that we would ensure that the site was regenerated. “We have had to work at great speed to bring this business back to the people of Nuneaton, Bedworth and Coventry and are pleased that the plans are now lodged with the council for the rebuild. The council have also been massively supportive and we are all grateful for their assistance.” The new unit will be 32,000 sq ft and will include a 7,000sq ft mezzanine, and the second unit will be around 25,000 sq ft. The Wigley Group is ploughing extra investment into the site on top of the insurance settlement to create the two new buildings. Paul Wrightman, managing director of Red Kangaroo, said: “We were totally devasted by the fire so this is really good news. We had worked hard to create a family facility and had been totally embraced by the local community. “We employed local people and had built up a loyal customer base in the short time we had been open and that is just what we will do once again – but this time in a purpose-built and designed complex.” James Davies, manging director of The Wigley Group, said the new layout of the site would create local jobs. “While on the one hand we never wanted to be in this position and the fire caused massive harm, it does allow us to plan this site from a clean slate and to be able to deliver a state-of-the-art centre for Red Kangaroo alongside providing some industrial and commercial employment at the location and that will be good for the local economy.”


Area Focus: South Warwickshire

MP calls for more help for disadvantaged young people

Larry Coltman, Ilona Barnett (Stratford Racecourse) and Nadhim Zahawi MP with other members of the Chamber’s South Branch.MP

Stratford-upon-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi encouraged businesses to continue to help disadvantaged young people in the wider region - no matter the outcome of Brexit at a recent meeting in the town. At a meeting of the South Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce at Stratford Racecourse, Mr Zahawi met with businesspeople from across the region

to hear about their work and to update them on the government’s negotiations with the EU. Lizzie Mara, enterprise coordinator at the Chamber, told the meeting about the work the Chamber was doing to help young people, including those with special educational needs (SEN) or who have come out of care, get into work. She said more than 40 schools in Coventry and Warwickshire had signed up to date to

have an enterprise adviser, who provide schools with guidance on their careers strategy, from a unique and highly valuable business perspective. Many more business volunteers are joining the network to participate in events and projects with local schools and colleges. Lizzie also spoke about the low employment rate of young adults with SEN and encouraged businesses to give them opportunities. Finally, she said the Chamber would be supporting the Care Leaver Covenant – an initiative introduced by Mr Zahawi in his role as Minister for Children and Families – which allows businesses to pledge support to children coming out of care by giving them apprenticeships, work experience, or free goods or services. The Chamber has committed as gold sponsors of the Care Leavers Awards event in October. Lizzie added: “This is a social mobility issue, and an issue of social responsibility for us as businesses. Getting disadvantaged people into employment is so important. “We need to be doing as much as we can to help our young people. It’s not easy for businesses to know how to support them, but

they would be following a very simple process that does not deviate far from what you would expect any other employee. Collectively, we need to work on easing that transition.” Her work was praised by Mr Zahawi, who said it was crucial businesses were doing everything they could to help vulnerable people, no matter what the outcome of negotiations with the EU. “It’s wonderful to hear the Chamber is doing this kind of work,” he said. “It’s so important that businesses continue to support young people from all backgrounds – they are a pool of human resource that cannot remain untapped.” Larry Coltman, chair of the South Warwickshire branch of the Chamber, said: “It is great to be able to share the great work that Lizzie and the Chamber team are doing with young people in the region. “And we were grateful for Mr Zahawi for explaining his position on Brexit to us – we hope businesses in Coventry in Warwickshire will get the certainty they need soon.” To find out more about the Chamber’s work with young people, please contact

Young people get a taste of the hospitality industry in Warwickshire Young people received some great insights into the appeal of a career in the hospitality sector during the first My Hospitality World Warwickshire campaign. Young people received some great insights into the appeal of a career in the hospitality sector during the first My Hospitality World Warwickshire campaign. The campaign which was coorganised by Warwickshire County Council, delivered a series of events around the county. Like many sectors, the hospitality industry faces ongoing recruitment problems with young people in 2019 facing more career options than ever before. That means that employers need to be proactive about recruitment and many got involved with the My Hospitality World Warwickshire Campaign to speak directly to young people. Among businesses to host events was the Stratford Manor Hotel, where the campaign was launched. Joanne Hammick, general manager of Stratford Manor and a member of the steering group behind My Hospitality World Warwickshire, said: "When I was first introduced to the concept of

My Hospitality World, I welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the campaign and even more so to help shape its contents and be an industry voice. "The workshops were a great success and myself and the teams involved really enjoyed having direct interaction with pupils. The campaign not only allowed us to share our opportunities but also created relationships with two local schools, which I really value and will build on in future months. "I would like to thank Warwickshire County Council for their investment in the sector and bringing together a project team to drive the campaign forward. I believe that having a combined panel drawn from local authority, industry and education was a big factor in its success as the panel gave consideration to every aspect of the campaign's delivery. I have already pledged my and the hotel's support for the next campaign and look forward to encouraging other businesses to join us in our quest to inspire future talent." Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said: "We are delighted the campaign has been such a great success. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for more than

200 of our young people to get a real insight into the breadth of employment opportunities available in this fast growing industry. The campaign is an example of partnership working at its best with experts from the local authority, industry and education coming together to achieve a shared goal. I’d like to thank everyone who supported and took part in the campaign. We are working on developing a wider programme for 2020 and look forward to sharing more of this soon." The project's number one objective was to get young people engaged with the hospitality sector - and that was emphatically achieved judging by feedback from the schools involved. Pupils and staff alike from Shipston High School, who visited Stratford Manor, were inspired by the presentations by the hotel. Louise Moorman, careers leader at Shipston High School, said: "We had a fantastic day at Stratford Manor as part of the My Hospitality World Warwickshire campaign. It was really inspiring to the students and staff and the event was really enjoyable. "The students had a lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves but,

Hospice celebrates new range


more importantly, the event achieved exactly what was intended." Year 9 student Isabelle Webley said: "The hotel manager showed us a film about the hospitality industry and we couldn’t believe how many opportunities there are. It was very inspiring and taught us that there are many people behind the scenes that you don’t see during your stay at the hotel. These are the people that create your enjoyable stay." My Hospitality World Warwickshire was organised by a steering group comprising Joanne Hammick,

The Shakespeare Hospice Charity Furniture Shop at Avenue Farm in Stratford upon Avon is being re-launched as a ‘Furniture and Homeware Shop’ and is extending its product range to include Home Furnishings, introducing linen, curtains, cushions, small furniture items, and books. The charity shop accepts donations and its furniture collection and delivery service has been increased to five days a week from Monday to Friday. Avenue Farm, which is situated to the north of the town and is accessible via the Birmingham Road, opened in April 2012 and was recently given a loving facelift by volunteers from NFU Mutual using decorating materials provided by Brewers Decorator Centres. Funds raised through the Furniture and Homeware shop play an important part in helping The Shakespeare Hospice provide caring and compassionate support to adults and young people living with a life limiting illness in South

Nicholas Brosnan (Proactive Education), David Lennox (The Careers and Enterprise Company), Lisa Redding (Eden Hotel Collection) and Fay Winterburn (business skills advisor at Warwickshire County Council). Lisa Redding, speaking at the Arden Hotel, Stratford, who hosted an Afternoon Tea Masterclass said: "We are immensely proud to have been part of this exciting initiative. The opportunity to welcome teachers, students and parents into our hotels enabled us to really showcase our exciting industry."

Warwickshire and the North Cotswolds, and those who matter to them. Kirstin Wright of Avenue Farm said: “The new Furniture and Homeware Shop’ has enjoyed a great start, with plenty of locals visiting the store.” The store will collect larger items of furniture from within a radius of 10 miles. Anyone with pre-loved items to donate, small or large, is asked to call 01789 205333 or email The Shakespeare Hospice would like to encourage local people, supporters, families and visitors to Stratford upon Avon and the surrounding areas to come and shop at one of its charity stores and to donate pre-loved items. There are three stores in Stratford upon Avon including a Bookshop / Coffeeshop, as well as shops in Kenilworth, Alcester, Henley in Arden and Wellesbourne. All the shops are open from 9.00am until 4.30pm.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Rugby

WCG delivers interactive hi-tech careers event for Construction, Engineering & Rail Secondary school pupils from across Warwickshire had the opportunity to learn all about the variety of jobs in the construction, engineering and rail industry at an educational taster day at Rugby College. The college, which is part of the multi-site educational group WCG, organised the event in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the National College for High Speed Rail. The aim was to give youngsters from Rugby and Coventry an introduction to the range of careers available, and hear from industry experts and employers in these sectors. The day started with welcome presentations from Group Vice Principal for Curriculum at WCG, Neil Coker, who is also Director of Rugby College, along with Phil Warwick, from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Eva Fryc from STEM Learning UK, and Neil Eagers from the National Skills Academy. Phil Warwick from the CITB told his audience that construction was “not all about building” and that there was much more to the construction industry than the stereotypical building site labourer role. He said that over the next five years it was estimated that 168,500 construction jobs will be created in the UK and the sector offered long term local career prospects for a skilled workforce. Following on from that, students from Avon Valley, Rugby Free, Westwood and Blue Coat schools participated in interactive workshops and demonstrations hosted by Comau, BAM Construction, HS2, Balfour Beatty Vinci, Laing Murphy, Effiage Kier and many more. These showcased a variety of technologies used in the

workplace including virtual reality, robotics and drone technology. The visitors also went on a tour of the college and got the opportunity to engage with some of the region’s employers such as Deeley Construction, Colas Rail, Impact Ariel and Stepnell in the main exhibitor hub space. Phil Kerry, assistant head at Rugby Free School, came along with 13 Year eight pupils. He said: “It’s been a really interesting day for pupils with the hands-on nature of the workshops and problem-solving tasks. I’ve also learnt a lot and had my eyes opened to the wide variety of local jobs available in these sectors. It has also been good to engage with our local college so we look forward to retaining the link.” Twelve-year-old Tom Edwards from Rugby Free added: “I’ve seen how robotics and computing can be used to make tasks simpler in construction using technologies such as virtual reality. I particularly liked seeing how drones are used in engineering projects to do surveys. It’s been a great day and has shown me that there are thousands of jobs available in these areas.” College Director for Rugby, Neil Coker said: “The aim of the day was to challenge the perceptions that young people might have regarding careers within these industries and get them to think differently about STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) subjects. “The engineering sector is of vital importance to the UK, yet there is a huge shortfall in skilled workers and a demand for people with engineering skills within the region. The key to addressing the future demand for engineers is encouraging young people to study STEM subjects and pursue the engineering and

Tax Health Check construction-related qualifications that we offer here at Rugby.” Account Manager Robotics UK & Ireland at Comau, George Thompson, said: “We were pleased to take part in the day and bring our interactive activity e.DO Experience, designed to test problem solving as well as show the participants how robotics work.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is absolutely vital that we, as businesses, do everything we can to support young people in understanding the world of work and giving them as much information on the opportunities available in our local economy.Companies across Coventry and Warwickshire are ready to offer their experience and expertise to our young people because they will be our future workforce.”

Development ‘is helping local economy’

The Chamber’s Rugby branch assembled at the new Houlton development

The new Houlton development is already having a positive impact on the Rugby economy and that is only going to increase, business leaders have heard. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Rugby branch held its latest committee meeting at the Visitor Centre at Houlton where over 140 homes are now occupied and first primary school has been opened. The Urban & Civic development – on the former Rugby Radio Station site – will eventually see 6,200

homes built, three primary schools, a secondary school, a district centre, a GP surgery, community facilities and open spaces. Sixteen hectares have also been set aside for employment space including small industrial and office accommodation, which the Chamber has been campaigning for right across the region. Several local companies have already played a part in the scheme and a new £35 million link road, which will be ready in July, will help to drive residents into the town centre. The branch event heard from Urban & Civic’s Joh Thomas, who said houses at the development were selling well. DevelopThe meeting was also given updates from Rich Warren, the new operations director at Rugby First; from Warwickshire County Council’s Melanie Adekale on health and wellbeing; and the Chamber’s Lizzie Mara on the work the organisation is doing to bring schools and business together. Karen Shuter, the chair of the Chamber’s Rugby branch, said: “The sheer size and scale of Houlton is incredible and to see the first elements taking shape is fantastic.

“The Tuning Fork, the award- winning eatery on-site, is already trading extremely well, more than 140 families are now living there and the first school is open. “It is great that local businesses have played a part and Joh Thomas, of Urban & Civic, said the company will look to do even more with firms in the borough where they can. “That fits perfectly with the Chamber’s Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign which is encouraging more businesses to work together across the Coventry and Warwickshire region. “We are all keen to see Houlton have a positive impact on the town and the new link road should encourage more people to visit the town centre and we also heard how Rich Warren and the Rugby First team intend to make it an even more attractive place to go with events and leisure, rather than just retail. “It was great that we could bring so many different people together at the meeting and hear about some key developments that will affect everyone in Rugby and the surrounding borough.”

Rugby care home to bridge the generation gap A Rugby care home will attempt to bridge the generation gap by hosting a weekly sing-along activity for 0-4-year olds and their parents within the local community. Anya Court Care Home, on Dunchurch Road, will host a weekly session called Songs & Smiles held in association with not-for-profit social enterprise, The Together Project. Songs & Smiles has been designed to entertain and engage everyone from the youngest to the oldest members of the group, through singing, movement, instruments, coloured scarves and bubbles. Each session lasts approximately an hour, with the creative activity followed by refreshments and a meet and mingle with the homes residents and care team. The purpose of the activity is to reduce loneliness, improve well-being, tackle ageism

and unite local communities through joyful intergenerational activities. Lifestyles Team Leader at Anya Court, Sue Mitchell said: “We are delighted to be hosting a weekly Songs & Smiles activity at our home as we know that intergenerational activities can help to improve both the residents’ physical and emotional well-being. “We are really looking forward to our first session and we hope that local parents and their little ones will come along and join us for a great morning of socialisation and fun.” Founder of The Together Project, Louise Goulden said: “We're so pleased to have partnered with Anya Court Care Home. It means we can spread the Songs & Smiles joy to children, parents and older people within the Rugby community, bringing everyone together for music, fun and friendship.

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“It's an exciting step for The Together Project and we're thrilled to be working with a care home that shares our commitment to enriching the lives of people living in residential care.” Anya Court’s first Songs & Smiles session will take place on Wednesday 17th April at 11am. Each session is free – however, donations are welcome.

Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credits are a government incentive to encourage companies to invest in innovation. If you have spent time and money developing new products, processes or services or enhancing existing ones you could be eligible for R&D tax credits. One of the benefits from the R&D tax relief is that it provides support not only for profitable companies but also those companies who may also be struggling to make ends meet. We’ve recently helped a client who was in this very position, they were in need of an injection of cash in order to stabilise the company and enable it to move forward on a stronger footing. As a result of our conversations with them, it was established that they were undertaking some work creating a brand new piece of software. Further discussions around this project highlighted that the work being undertaken would qualify for the R&D tax relief. In terms of our client, we were able to identify the costs relating to the project such as a proportion of staff and director costs, overheads, subcontractor fees and various support costs. This gave us a basis to work out the potential tax savings available to them. Working with our client we proceeded to prepare a report supporting the R&D tax claim. Due to the generous nature of the tax relief, there are a number of conditions which are required to be met. Through preparing the report we were able to highlight these in a clear and concise manner. In our experience, the clearer it is for HMRC to see the qualifying conditions satisfied minimises any additional enquiries they may wish to make. By the time we had finished helping our client, we were able to achieve £65,000 tax savings of which £46,000 was in a direct cash injection and the balance by not needing to pay corporation tax. The scope for qualifying for R&D is broad, it exists in all sectors. We have been able to help several clients identify projects eligible for the relief and help them through the application process. If you think you may be eligible to claim the research and development tax relief or would benefit from more information then please contact Matt Harrison to see if your company could qualify.

Chestnut Field House, Chestnut Field, Rugby Tel. 01788 579033


Focus on Conference & Event Venues

World class venues for all your events

Despite all the turbulence in the world and ongoing BREXIT negotiations, the Midlands conference, exhibitions and events sector is still central to economic growth in the region in 2019. Venues across the region are constantly coming up with new and improved ways of staging events which linger long in the minds of those who attend them. From the use of technology ranging from lighting and interactive display boards to staging events in unusual and landmark buildings, the sector is showing itself to be as competitive as ever. The Midlands conference, exhibitions and events sector has always been resilient, even during economic downturns, thanks to the ability of providers to constantly try out new things while never losing touch with the

needs of clients, namely the desire to network and develop personal relationships with their clients. Coventry and Warwickshire has a particularly buoyant events sector with plenty of fine venues from hotels and conference centres, historic buildings to riverside attractions. One trend increasingly being observed is the arrival in the market of venues which were not always considered for such events. Hotels and business centres have always hosted conferences and exhibitions but increasingly other venues are becoming involved. From polo clubs and sports stadiums to cathedrals and churches, such venues offer something a little different in support of the excellent core of conference facilities already favoured by local business leaders.

Many companies can see the value in taking a client to an event like a football or cricket match or day at the races or maybe a concert, events which allow for mixing in a relaxed atmosphere. And it’s a big market both for the Midlands and the wider UK PLC. Recent research into the UK’s conference and business events sector revealed that, in 2018, expenditure is up to an estimated £18.1 billion of direct expenditure generated by conference and meeting delegates in venues and in wider destination spend in 2017. The overall number of conferences and meetings held is slightly lower than in 2016, but on average the events of larger in size. Some 1.29 million meetings took place across the UK in 2017. Other key findings from the research include: • In 2017, there were an estimated 92.8 million delegates accounting for approximately 147.4 million delegate days. These delegates generated an estimated £18.1 billion of direct expenditure in venues and the wider destination, down slightly on 2016 (£18.6 billion)

• The average duration of conferences and meetings was 1.6 days (unchanged from previous years), although almost two-thirds of events lasted only one day or less • Conference and training centres (592 events), hotels (445 events) and academic venues (387 events) hosted higher than average numbers of events • Two-fifths of events in 2017 (40 per cent) were organised by a professional conference organiser (PCO) or event management agency. This was up on 2016 and continues a trend of increasing use of third party organisers by event owners • Just over a tenth (12 per cent) of venues hosted a significant proportion of international conferences – 11 per cent or more of their conferences. However, of those venues that do not target international conferences, a fifth are very interested in targeting this market in the future. Venues tended to target international conferences through trade shows and / or in partnership with a conference bureau. There is good cause for continuing optimism in the market, and to believe that growth is possible. This is reflected in sustained levels of investment by venues, with 82 per cent of venues reporting that they had invested in their property in 2017, with 15 per cent investing over £500,000.

Exceed your expectations indoor venues, perfect for weddings, business conferences and private/hospitality/public events.

Dallas Burston Polo Club is the destination venue situated just outside Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. This award-winning events venue encompasses 600-acres of indoor and outdoor event space with six manicured polo grounds and the largest all-weather equestrian SuperArena® in Europe. In addition to its stunning outdoor facilities, the polo club boasts a range of unique


The opulence of the 3,000 capacity IXL Events Centre and colonial stylings of the Clubhouse fuse with the quaint and elegant finishes of the QEII Jubilee Marquee and quintessential Britishness of The Millstone Hare restaurant to create a truly special destination at the heart of Warwickshire. All venues are packed with quirky features and charming characteristics making every experience at Dallas Burston Polo Club exceed all expectations. The IXL Events Team at Dallas Burston Polo Club hosts an assortment of exciting events throughout the year, from live performance evenings to family-friendly polo days. With unique facilities suitable for conferences, weddings, fun days and team-building events, it is also a major centre for all disciplines of equestrian

eventing, offering a centre of excellence in the heart of England which offers national reach without forgetting local value. Email: Tel: 01926 811 111 Dallas Burston Polo Club, Stoneythorpe Estate, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 2DL

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Focus on Conference & Event Venues

The perfect place for your next event The Welcome Centre is a purpose built conference and events centre in the heart of the Midlands. Catering from groups of 5 up to 650, we are situated in the city of Coventry. With excellent transport links, state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional customer service, the Welcome Centre is the perfect place for your next event! The Grace Auditorium is an impressive, purpose-built room designed to accommodate up to 650 delegates theatre, and 300 cabaret. Flexible seating layouts, a large raised stage and no pillars, provides a blank canvas suitable for showcasing any exhibition, corporate event or celebration. Located on the ground floor, the auditorium offers easy access for guests and loading. The Inspire Room can accommodate up to 150 theatre or 100 cabaret style. The room offers sweeping views of Coventry city centre with natural light in abundance. Inspire can be divided into two soundproof interconnecting rooms each having their own installed projector and screen. In split configuration Inspire 1 seats 90 and Inspire 2 up to 20 in theatre style.

CRE 8 is the perfect setting for executive meetings, with an emphasis on innovation and productivity, above formality. Suitable for up to 8 delegates, CRE 8 has a variety of special features included in the room package such as magnetic walls, comfortable sofa seating, unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks, and snack bars both healthy and sugary!

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Operations Manager at Dubai World Trade Centre, who were aiming to become a leading exhibition, conference and sporting destination (as well as holidays). Dubai Desert Classic Golf; Rugby 7’s World Cup Qualifying; Dubai World Cup Horse Racing; Off shore Powerboat Championships were all events that Les helped deliver. Returning to the UK in the new Millennium and

continued to be part of teams that delivered major challenging events; World Leader Summits; Party Political Conferences; Olympics; Papal Visit; Royal Show; BBC Biggest Weekend in Coventry; IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham; Tour of Britain and Womens Tour cycle race Warwickshire stages, all requiring their own unique planning and delivery operations.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Audit seeks new opportunities

The UK City of Culture programme in 2021 could be coming to a street near you. The Coventry City of Culture Trust is carrying out an audit across the city to discover what spaces, places and venues could stage a wide range of events or activities during 2021. It is asking members of the public to complete a survey to ensure that places aren’t missed as they begin to plan the programme for the momentous year. Anyone who completes the survey will be put into a prize draw to win an experience at Escape Live. Laura McMillan, Director of Operations and Legacy at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is full of interesting places and spaces which may be utilised in 2021, and we’d love to hear about locations which the people of our city would like to see feature in our year as UK City of Culture.

“We want to hear your thoughts on spaces that are interesting, unusual, loved or in need of a lPittle TLC. Don’t worry if the space isn’t used for any kind of cultural activity at the moment; if it’s a space you think could be useful, we want to know.

“It could be a significant building or vacant site, an outdoor public space or a local haunt that could be transformed to serve your community in 2021. “Whilst we have engaged with lots of people so far, this is a brilliant way to find out from the public about the places and spaces that haven’t been previously on our radar.” The Trust is working with We Made That in order to scope the city and discover possible locations to stage parts of the programme. Through that work, 230 spaces for potential cultural programming in 2021 have already been identified and it has highlighted innovative and unconventional sites such as underpasses and undiscovered public realm. A large number of potentially available vacant sites have been found, which could be used to host large-scale cultural events. The work has also uncovered opportunities for spaces that could host temporary structures, and strong opportunities for the development of public and street artworks have also been located. Oliver Goodhall, of We Made That, said: "Our mission has been to find and uncover space in Coventry. This has involved a wide-ranging search and on-the-ground visits, but we’re sure the people of Coventry will reveal even more than we’ve found so far. We’re fascinated to see what will be highlighted!”

To complete the survey go to:

“We want to hear your thoughts on spaces that are interesting, unusual, loved or in need of a lPittle TLC. Don’t worry if the space isn’t used for any kind of cultural activity at the moment; if it’s a space you think could be useful, we want to know.”

Show makes a return

The 4x4 & Pick-Up Show, sponsored by Terrafirma, is back this June after a hugely successful inaugural year in 2018. The show was so well regarded by the industry, organisers Assignment Media were nominated for the Best Launch Show award in the Exhibition News Independent Organisers’ Awards. The UK's Motor Show for the 4x4 and pick-up market, the 4x4 & Pick-Up Show is the ideal event for anyone who either owns or aspires to own a 4x4 or pickup, whether for their work or as a personal car. The ideal event for commercial, professional and personal users, the show has dedicated days for commercial and professional users and the general public. The Commercial Users Day is held on Friday 28th June and visitors will simply need to register their details in order to attend. The Public Day is on Saturday 29th June and is free to all visitors. Ian Argent, Show Organiser said, “The 4x4 & Pick-Up Show is the only exhibition of its kind where both professional users and the general public can not only test drive the latest vehicles on the market but see the latest products and ideas for 4x4s and pick-ups all in one place; and with free entry this year there is no reason for visitors not to attend!” As publishers of 4x4 Magazine, organisers Assignment Media have a large amount of knowledge about the 4x4 industry. Alan Kidd, Editor of 4x4 Magazine and Group Editor for new sister title Pick-Up & 4x4 Pro, said, “The UK pick-up market has never been in better shape; with more customers than ever deciding on a 4x4 pick-up as their choice of commercial or personal vehicle.”

Tata Steel Europe trust Glide with point to point data connection Global steelmaking powerhouse Tata Steel Europe’s decision to relocate and combine its two offices into one brought a unique challenge with its data back-up, and they sought Glide’s expertise to guide their forward journey. In October 2015 the business relocated their offices to the University of Warwick Science Park, where businesses are provided with the facilities they need for their growth, including high quality, business broadband. In 2018, Tata Steel Europe turned its sights to combining its existing offices to drive greater efficiencies. Prior to the

move, Tata Steel Europe were provided data backup from one office to the other. However, the change of location would mean that the company faced the prospect of being with off-site data backup. With a project of such a scale, Tata Steel Europe looked towards the expertise of Glide Business to guide them through: Jeremy Quilter, Facilities and UK Health and Safety Manager R&D, UK, Tata Steel Europe, said: “With our prior relationship through the University of Warwick Science Park, which gave us two dark fibre links thanks to Glide, it was logical to progress with Glide Business.”

Glide Business is all about building broadband for businesses. As a long term client of Glide Business, Tata Steel Europe knew how Glide operated and its strength in providing quality business connectivity solutions. When Jeremy contacted Glide Business he spoke to his Strategic Account Manager, Simon Ward. From their conversations, Jeremy and Simon were able to develop a plan that recommended a 4 gbit/s point to point circuit. With clients from the wider automotive industry, this circuit would be designed to support Tata Steel Europe’s customers’ data-backup requirements.

When it came to data back-up, the speed of the data connection between two sites can make a tremendous impact on day to day operations. With the 1 gbit/s link, Tata Steel Europe were finding that it took 3-4 hours to perform a data back-up, with that being a necessity as part of their work with the wider car manufacturing industry. Now, Jeremy, the design engineers and researchers are in an entirely different world. With a 4 gbit/s connection there is a reduction in the potential for down time, and a healthy boost in productivity.


Education & Skills

Event launch to help businesses tap into the talent

North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Rugby Businesses: Call to Action Businesses in the North of the countymaximise your membership and join the Enterprise Adviser Network. An Enterprise Adviser is a business volunteer from management who works closely with the headteacher or Senior Leadership Team of a school or college to provide strategic support. You will use your business experience and professional networks to help develop and implement an effective strategy that puts opportunities with local employers at the heart of a young person's education.

Warwickshire currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. With just 1.5% of the working population unemployed, businesses are broadening their talent searches to tackle skills gaps. Across the county there is a rich talent pool of young people with special educational needs and disabilities who are proving that they can add real value to the workplace. Young adults who train for work through a Supported Internship programme are being described by business leaders as ‘Untapped Talent’. Businesses says that these young people really flourish and are highly valued, hardworking, reliable, conscientious members of the workforce. The Holiday Inn Kenilworth Warwick is among exemplary employers leading the way by accommodating Supported Internships for students at Hereward College. The hotel’s relationship with the college which, in partnership with Remploy, provides opportunities highly valuable internships for SEN students who, as the statistics show, would otherwise

More than 80 per cent of businesses that Warwickshire County Council consulted were unaware of Supported Internships and the skills and abilities these young people bring. With a whole host of support available, sharing good practice and demonstrating the benefits could be invaluable to the sustainability and growth of companies across the county. An event was organised for Friday, May 10, at Stratford Manor Hotel as the first of a series around Warwickshire designed to bring supportive, inclusive employers in Warwickshire together to form Supportive Employers Inc.

be marginalised and unable to work. This is the case for around 94 per cent of SEN learners who graduate from secondary education with few opportunities for work available. Louise explained that, following a successful interview, interns take on roles such as housekeeping, maintenance and serving breakfast. When asked

• Seize a unique Personal Development opportunity • Nip skills shortages in the bud by liaising with your local talent-pool • Raise aspirations in your local area

I would recommend undertaking this role because it’s not only an opportunity to give something back, but could also help build a pipeline of future talent for your organisation. It keeps you current in how careers advice is being provided and understood in schools and colleges, which is useful in understanding how the needs and expectations of the upcoming workforce are changing. Finding time in an ordinarily busy schedule can be challenging, but I’ve realised that even small interventions and insights can make a big difference.


Our aim is to offer them employment at the end of their internship. I would definitely recommend Supported Internships.”

AGCO apprentices pass through tough new standards

• Use CSR hours productively and meaningfully

Craig Bentley, Bentley Management and Consultancy, is an Enterprise Adviser for King Edward VI College, Nuneaton

At the launch event, delegates heard from employers and supportive organisations who have incorporated Supported Internships into their recruitment process, the impact it has had on their organisations and the benefits they have enjoyed.

about the challenges that the interns present, Louise said: “There aren’t really any challenges, and the student’s job coach is always here. We ensure we spend time training the students at the beginning but then we just leave them to it. Having the students here provides us with a richer workforce, and I can’t imagine the hotel without them!

How your business can benefit:

• Take advantage of our network meetings

Companies will be provided with training opportunities, the chance to develop key networking opportunities and explore how employers can benefit from this regular talent stream.

Apprentices at Moreton Morrell College are celebrating being the first in the UK to pass through the tough new national educational standards for their industry sector. Fourteen land-based service engineering apprentices who are apprenticed at AGCO dealerships across the country were delighted to learn that they had passed through their End Point Assessment (EPA) taken with Lantra at the land-based college at the end of February. An EPA is the final assessment apprentices undertake to make sure they are fully competent and can do the job that they have been training for. Government legislation states that a rigorous and robust EPA must be delivered by a separate body to the training provider to give employers the confidence that apprentices have achieved occupational competence. Apprentice Jacques Marshall, who works at Thurlow Nunn Standen Ltd in East Anglia

as a trainee technician was very pleased to learn he had passed all elements of his EPA. The 20-year-old from Norfolk said: “It feels great to pass after all the hard work and effort put into the four-year programme. Agricultural technicians are highly sought after so it’s really good to know that I now have the skills that can take me around the world and will give me a good career for life.” Anthony Linfield, AGCO’s training development manager, said: “I am delighted that AGCO’s dealer apprentices have become the first ever within the agricultural engineering sector to undertake their End Point Assessment exams. The EPA represents a key element of the AGCO landbased engineering apprenticeship scheme, and serves as demonstrable proof at pass, merit or distinction of their qualification to the employers who have invested in them.” Mark Eden, Director of Work Based Learning at WCG, said: “As their training

provider it was really pleasing to see our latest group of AGCO apprentices complete their Land-Based Service Engineering Apprenticeship programme.” “The group demonstrated a wide range of knowledge, skills and behaviours during the intense process of assessment spread over a two week period. This is testament to all the hard work this group have committed to their apprenticeship and the support and guidance received from the team at Moreton Morrell College and the AGCO franchised dealer network these candidates represent. “I would like to thank Land-Based Assessment Limited and the team at Lantra who have supported WCG throughout this process.” Lantra provides expert training and qualifications for land-based industries. Its Chief Executive Marcus Potter said: “We’ve worked closely with all parties behind the scenes to ensure the end-to-end process has run as smoothly as possible.” The AGCO Academy Apprenticeship is now in its twentieth year, and in partnership with Moreton Morrell College, part of the multi-site college group WCG, has been the starting point for some of the most highly-respected and sought-after agricultural engineers in the sector. It combines classroom and workshop training with practical, work-based development to lay the foundations of a successful career, working with such brands as Massey Ferguson, Fendt and Valtra. Anyone interested in finding out more about the AGCO apprenticeship scheme should email Richie West via or call 0300 456 0047.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Education & Skills

Clarity from Business Coaching

Are you a business owner / MD in the Coventry, Warwickshire and surrounding areas? Would you like to have more time to work on your business, look at your next strategic move, and free up your time to actually enjoy the reasons why you built your business in the first place? Before working with me, my clients often felt frustrated that they were working endless hours, getting bogged down in operational duties and constantly hearing moans and groans from their teams. It doesn’t have to be like that, but finding a way out of the wood can be a challenge when all you can see are the trees – you need clarity.

Business coaching gives you that clarity, together with focus and a step by step process to ensure you achieve the results you want in your business – and quickly too. Those results are usually a combination of more profit, more free time and more effective teams. If you are feeling stressed, on the verge of burn out and not spending the time you want with your friends, family and hobbies – I understand how you feel. Because that was me. Even though my very successful corporate career was giving me a high standard of living – it wasn’t giving me an equally high quality of life and something had to change. Being a business coach means I can use my years of experience to support local businesses – you can save a PLC a million pounds and they barely notice – enable a business owner to take their first 2 week holiday in decades and their whole family benefits.

I do this work because it matters to me and I love seeing the results my clients achieve. Nobody wants to be ‘coached’ but if any of the above makes sense to you then would it be a crazy idea to invest 10 minutes talking to me about how it might work for you – this could be the year your business starts giving you more life! “David has such a breadth of business knowledge and benefiting from David’s experience has been invaluable to my business” Karen Guile ToBook Ltd “David's approach, his coaching and his ability to challenge/support us has ensured we have focus on running our business for greater results.” Dean Rochester Target Maintenance GB Ltd For more information contact David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390

“Being a business coach means I can use my years of experience to support local businesses – you can save a PLC a million pounds and they barely notice – enable a business owner to take their first 2 week holiday in decades and their whole family benefits.”

Businesses urged to take on apprentices A college leader has urged businesses to use billions of pounds’ worth of unspent apprenticeship levy money before it is lost. Recent figures have revealed that £3bn of apprenticeship levy contributions from large businesses, which covers the cost of training apprentices, remains unspent. The money has come from 53,449 employers’ contributions, yet 80 per cent of those have failed to take advantage of the system. Gemma Knott, assistant principal for business growth at Coventry College, asked for employers to ‘give young people a chance’ and take advantage of the money available to them. From May, unspent levy funds will return to the Treasury on a monthly basis, with around £168 million estimated to return in May alone. She said: “Companies need to see this as their pot of money, it is a dedicated resource which can be used to up-skill or re-skill staff, so I would

Celebrating Rugby Success Coventry College Rugby Development Programme offers students a unique opportunity to combine study with developing their sporting skills. The programme, which is the official college partner of Wasps Rugby Academy, is going from strength to strength with some notable successes over the last couple of months. 17-year-old student, Jamal Gask-Clarke, has been invited to take part in the England 7s Academy Talent Identification Camp 2019. He will have the opportunity to train with some of the best young talent in the country for the chance to represent England at an international tournament. The England 7s Academy was created in 2015 and has since seen a number of players advance into the senior squad where they have featured regularly on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. This is a fantastic achievement for the rising star. Pete Glackin, Head of Rugby at Coventry College, said: “Jamal is a real success story for our Education Programme and this is another positive step forward for him.

encourage business leaders to use it before they lose it. “Invest in your future workforce, this is not about just looking at current skills gaps but anticipating the future in a globally competitive market. “Research shows that apprentices hired by companies are loyal, progress well and contribute massively to overall turnover, so give these young people a chance and they will pay you back. “There is a much wider range of opportunities available too, companies can pass on up to 10 per cent of their levy monies to their supply chains, so if they cannot use it, they can at least help to make their supply chains more efficient and effective. “At Coventry College we have a broad offer ranging from IT infrastructure to management apprenticeships, delivering value for money, great outcomes and equipping companies with the staff they need to future proof their organisations.”

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“He has a fantastic attitude towards working hard on his game, he has developed his technical skills and we feel he’s going to have a great future in the sport.

The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 and is paid by all employers with a payroll of more than £3 million. It is paid monthly at a rate of 0.5 per cent of a company’s total wage costs, with employers then able to access the funds through an online account.

Coventry College offers an ever-expanding programme of more than 70 different apprenticeships, ranging from recruitment to painting and decorating, and deals with around 700 companies in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

“Research shows that apprentices hired by companies are loyal, progress well and contribute massively to overall turnover, so give these young people a chance and they will pay you back.”

“We have created a really strong team spirit here and everyone is backing Jamal to do well.” Alongside this, the team has had incredible successes; winning their group stage at the Rosslyn Park 7s, reaching the finals of AoC tournaments, and making it to the semi-finals of the Portugal Youth Rugby Festival where they played teams from across the globe. The programme allows budding players to combine their sporting development with academic studies at the College’s RFU-accredited Henley Campus, preparing them for a career either as a player or in their chosen industry. To find out more about the programme and our other sporting academies, visit academy-of-sport



Museums Trust plans for Looking forward to equestrian future following longevent term lease agreement

Birmingham Museums Trust is planning its long-term future following agreement on a 25-year contract and leases with Birmingham City Council. The Trust manages the city’s internationally important museum collection and nine museum venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. The renewed agreement demonstrates the commitment to partnership between the two organisations, working together to deliver better services to citizens and visitors to the city. Birmingham Museums’ future plans include an ambitious capital programme that will see the redevelopment of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery as a 21st-century museum.

Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture at Birmingham City Council, said: “This new, agreed lease demonstrates the council’s continued commitment to work in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust to help conserve the city’s heritage for all and to deliver a museums’ service fit for the 21st Century.” Dr Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “The 25-year contract and leases are great news. They form a solid foundation for our ambitious plans for capital projects and audience engagement.”

A flagship equestrian event in Warwickshire for school and riding club competitors from all over the UK is saddling up for its best ever year with two local businesses on board. The Two Day Event run by Stoneleigh Riding Club and held at Princethorpe College has been boosted with property companies The Wigley Group and Howkins & Harrison as joint main sponsors. They are now encouraging other local businesses to show their support for the horse trials which is the only event of its kind in the UK. A total of 240 riders are set to compete in the ‘long format’ event which encompasses dressage, show-jumping, roads and tracks, steeplechase and cross-country disciplines over two days on the estate at Princethorpe, Rugby. They will be joined by a bigger field of supporters and spectators during the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Wendy Bell, chairman of Stoneleigh Riding Club, said: “We are very fortunate to have The Wigley Group and Howkins & Harrison as joint main sponsors. The costs of putting on the event are quite considerable and we couldn’t do it without them. “The Two Day Event is now in its 16th year and with their support, we are hoping it will bring even more competitors and spectators from across the UK.”

Back, from left to right: Jeff Paybody (Howkins & Harrison) and James Davies (The Wigley Group), with, from left to right, Andy Ruyssevelt and Wendy Bell (both Stoneleigh Riding Club), Alex Darkes (Princethorpe College) and James Ellerington (The Wigley Group) at Princethorpe College.

Both main sponsors have strong connections with Princethorpe College, and The Wigley Group has created a water jump in the grounds which will be a main feature of the cross-country course. James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We are delighted that Howkins & Harrison are joining us as main sponsors this year and hope that other local businesses will support our ambitions to build on the success of this unique event for schools and riding clubs.” Jeff Paybody, partner at Howkins & Harrison, whose daughter is again due to compete as part of the Princethorpe College team, said:

“With our connections with property and the countryside, it is a great event to be supporting and we would encourage other companies particularly with rural interests to get involved as a fence sponsor or trade stand exhibitor.” Alex Darkes, assistant head at Princethorpe College, said: “This is the fifth year that the Two Day Event has been run on the estate and we are incredibly grateful for the support of The Wigley Group and Howkins & Harrison as main sponsors and Stoneleigh Riding Club as organisers, all of whom have very strong Princethorpe connections.” Admission for spectators is free, with the event running from 9am to 6pm on both days.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Appeal for businesses to support peace forum

Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire are being encouraged to be part of a major international event in the city this autumn. The RISING Global Peace Forum, now in its fourth year, brings leading politicians, policymakers, academics and community organisers from around the world to Coventry, the UK’s only International City of Peace and Reconciliation, to discuss and promote new ways to make and sustain peace, both in local communities and on an international level.

This year’s event, ‘RISING 2019: The Ecosystem of Peace’, will be held at various venues in the city centre between Wednesday, November 13 and Friday, November 15. The theme of this year’s Forum acknowledges that building and sustaining peaceful relations at all levels is a complex and interconnected business that is vital to our economic prosperity and the thriving communities in which we live. Amongst the keynote speakers already confirmed are a former Commonwealth Prime Minister and the Chief Executive of one of the world’s largest international charities working to help children change their lives. The RISING 2019 programme will also include the award of the Coventry Peace Prize and the annual Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture. This year the Forum has also decided for the first time to offer a proportion of delegate spaces free of charge to 6th form students at

local schools so that they can be inspired about the importance of building peaceful communities as they decide what to do when they leave school. Richard Dickson, RISING Development Manager, said: “RISING is organised through a partnership between Coventry City Council, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry University, represented by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. “Coventry is a city with a long history of looking outwards and doing business innovatively with people around the world, and for many centuries has been prepared to have peaceful dialogue and trade with people from other cultures. “The local business community helped get RISING off the ground in 2015 and, whilst the City Council, Cathedral and University each contribute financially towards some of the costs, we wouldn’t be able to put the event on without the generous sponsorship and donations of local businesses.”

Peter Deeley, Managing Director of the city-based Deeley Group, has supported RISING since its inception. He said: “This is an idea which was spawned from a meeting of business people and Coventry University, Coventry City Council and Coventry Cathedral have developed an event which is growing in status and attracting global speakers. “RISING is a unique and valuable opportunity to learn how successful interventions have been made in some of the longstanding and troubling issues round the world and to see how those are being promoted and supported by Coventry. “It can only be good for the reputation of the city regionally, nationally and internationally and helping the Coventry and Warwickshire’s business community have a positive image can only be good for business as a whole.” For more information about sponsorship opportunities, email or visit

Businesses told ‘use your time wisely’ Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire were told to use the next few months to prepare for Brexit at a major briefing in the region. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held the event at the Holiday Inn, off Junction One of the M6, where delegates heard from representatives from Government, international trade advisers and legal experts. The event was introduced by David Burton, a past president of the Chamber and the chair of its Brexit Club, which was established in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union. He told the audience that many businesses were frustrated by the whole process but that it was important to stay engaged. David said: “We have tried to keep politics out of it and focus on the issues that affect businesses in our area. “We haven’t even reached Brexit yet and until we get some kind of agreement, no deal cannot be ruled out. It’s difficult, however, to see another extension if we don’t get an agreement.

“It is still unclear what will happen with the transition period – will that now be extended to 21 months after we reach an agreement? It is important that we get clarity on this and so many other issues. “Many businesses have made preparations and I suspect that there are a few who are pretty fed up at having warehouses full of goods that they had stocked in the event of Brexit. “However there are, of course, still too many companies who have not prepared and it’s vitally important that we continue to drive the message home that firms need to look at how they might be affected and seek advice.” Alessandro Stuart Di Bona, of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, agreed that the ‘Flextension’ did not rule out a No Deal Brexit and said the Government was offering a range of information for business in nine key areas including import/export and employing EU citizens. David Hooper, of Hooper & Co International Trade, has been briefing since the referendum and said that many of the processes he is

James Ahearne, Alessandro Stuart Di Bona, Matthew Davies, David Burton, Patrick McCallum, David Hooper.

advising firms to take will be relevant whatever the outcome of Brexit. Patrick McCallum, of law firm Wright Hassall, offered an insight into what might change when it comes to contracts with EU clients or suppliers, while his colleague Matthew Davies, gave an update on immigration and the processes businesses – and their staff – will need to take if they employ people from the EU. Matthew said the Coventry and Warwickshire economy would prove to be resilient – whatever form Brexit takes – and he believes that, ultimately, there will be more immigration once the UK leaves the EU.

James Ahearne, international trade hub manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is vitally important that businesses use the next few months to understand how the different Brexit scenarios could affect them and plan accordingly. “We don’t claim to have all the answers but we can help companies to scenario plan and, as Matthew Davies pointed out, areas such as getting Settled Status for workers from the EU can be sorted out now as it is something that the Government has given a definitive answer on, whatever Brexit looks like.”

Hatton Shopping Village welcomes several new retailers!

Hatton Shopping Village, the quintessentially English shopping village near Warwick, has welcomed several new retailers. These include the Electric Bike Shop, Moores of Warwick and Hair at Hatton. These new retailers join and complement the other 15 independent and unique outlets located at the popular shopping village.

The Electric Bike Shop stocks a range of electric bikes as well as offering servicing for all types of bike - electric and non-electric and will be offering an electric bike hire service facility as well as test riding events. Owner Karl Haden said: “The electric bike market is growing all the time as more and more people discover their various health benefits. They are popular with a wide range of people, from older cyclists and those who can only sustain low impact moderate exercise due to a long term injury or condition, through to motor homers, commuters and those who can’t keep pace with their partner on a traditional cycle or haven’t ridden for a long time and are low in confidence”.

Moores of Warwick is owned and run by husband and wife team Martin and Lorraine Moore. Believed to be Warwick’s first gin distillery, Moores of Warwick, makes smallbatch hand-crafted gin using a selection of 12 botanicals, including honeysuckle, the flower emblem of Warwickshire and known as Shakespeare’s Woodbine. Their gin school is also already proving popular. Groups are invited to hear a short presentation on the history of gin before concocting their own unique recipe using the mini stills, then bottling it and adding a personalised label, whilst enjoying some G & Ts. Records of each unique blend are also kept so re-orders can be made. Lorraine said "We are thrilled with our new premises at Hatton and we

have been made to feel very welcome. Our Gin school has created a lot of interest - people love the idea of creating their own unique recipe.” Hair at Hatton is a new salon offering a full range of ladies, gents and children’s services. The salon offers solutions and the latest trends in haircuts, colour, hair care and styling. The salon has disabled access and fully accessible disabled backwash basin and section for colour and cut. Johnnie Arkwright, owner at Hatton Country World, said: “We are delighted to welcome these three new exciting businesses. Hatton has always been home to local independents and those who are just that little bit different in what they sell and the personalised services they provide.”

Precision engineering company flying high A family owned Coventry business has benefitted from a grant to make their premises more eco-friendly and save them money on bills. Graham Harris and Deborah Walters, managers of Harris RCS on Bayton Road Industrial Estate, received £8,500 provided by the Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme, which is partly funded by the ERDF and is being delivered by Coventry City Council, towards making energy efficiency savings. The manufacturing company of aviation and commercial machined parts, has been based in the same unit for more than 40 years and the building was in need of updating. Graham and Deborah decided to invest £28,000 to bring the building up to scratch and were successful in obtaining the Green Business Grant towards this. Graham said: “We occupy an ageing factory unit with the energy inefficiencies associated with it. The funding we have received has addressed some major issues which has resulted in significant cost savings on our energy bills.” Since the improvements, Harris RCS has seen their electricity and gas consumption drop by 60% and is helping to reduce 31 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The measures have included cutting edge sensor-controlled LED lighting throughout, the construction of an insulated internal wall to minimise heat loss and replacing all external steel security doors with new insulated doors and a fast action roller shutter door. Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “Taking a sustainable approach to energy consumption is a change many companies will have to make sooner or later – and often all they need is a bit of support to help them. That’s where the Green Business Team comes in – they provide free energy audits and grants enabling businesses to make investments that are good for them and good for the environment. It’s a win, win really.” If you are interested in finding out more about the Green Business Programme, visit

Mother’s Day success at Queens Road Mediterranean Kitchen A magical Mother’s Day took place at Queens Road Mediterranean Kitchen, located in the Ramada Hotel & Suites in Coventry. The day saw more than 120 people from across Coventry & Warwickshire enjoy an afternoon of celebrations and a treat for the mums. Diners were entertained by Jester Styles, the Coventry magician, who wowed the guests and hotel staff with his tricks and sleight of hand. Hazel Pilling, Membership Manager, from the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce joined the restaurant for Mother’s Day with her family. Hazel said “The Ramada Hotel & Suites Coventry, including Queens Road Mediterranean Kitchen, have been a valued Corporate Member of the Chamber for a few years now and it was a natural choice when my family wanted to take me somewhere to celebrate Mother’s Day. “The whole afternoon was excellent, from the amazing and friendly staff, the quality of the food, the entertainment by Jester Styles and we had a fantastic, relaxed afternoon.” Queens Road Mediterranean Kitchen showcases Mediterranean-infused ingredients in its dishes but also supports the local community by using local suppliers.


President & People

Mander Hadley Solicitors recognises Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust

Offering a helping hand We all know that life is so often a matter of what you get out of something being a function of what you put in. My experience of the Chamber is absolutely that but recent activities have still come as something of a pleasant surprise. Lots of companies are Chamber members simply because they feel they ought to be members and have always done it. There is always more available to members than many realise. My own firm, Bromwich Hardy, recently received a services refresher from the Chamber team. Chamber membership automatically means free access to a whole host of services including HR, ICT, Legal and Training. Since our update we are now using the HR services, are receiving ICT guidance from the Business Support Team (such as in search engine optimisation), and are now working on a package of training activities with Chamber Training. As a result we are now also considering an enhanced membership package! So engaging with the Chamber will help you get so much more out of it and a good place to start is through the branch network. There are branches in Coventry, North Warwickshire, Rugby, Mid Warwickshire and South Warwickshire who meet on a regular basis to address business challenges, often with the support of a local M.P. It is a great opportunity to meet fellow members and discover new opportunities. The Chamber is the voice of business so we can say things that sometimes others can’t; our work on raising awareness of the lack of land for development for jobs is a good example. I remind you of the Chamber’s Go for Growth; Trade Local Initiative. To find out more visit our website: or come to see us at a branch meeting. We are encouraging members to enter the Chamber Business Awards 2019 programme which is open for entries until the 28th June. This is an opportunity for recognition on a regional and national level. Finally, I was pleased to represent the Chamber at MIPIM, the world’s largest property conference in Cannes, in March. Some may find it strange that people need to go to the south of France to do business, yet the Chamber achieved a huge amount including progressing a Memorandum of Understanding for trade with the North France region. I was personally pleased to deliver a number of new members to the Chamber including at a Strategic Partner level. It was also fantastic to learn more about the incredible things that our region is delivering through collaboration with all of the local stakeholders. This C&W in Business magazine is a great place to start to find out more.

Coventry and Kenilworth-based Mander Hadley Solicitors has recognised the achievements of the Chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust, Ian Harrabin. The firm sponsored the Outstanding Achievement category at the Coventry and Warwickshire First Pro Awards 2019, which were presented during a glittering ceremony at the beautiful Coombe Abbey. Ian Harrabin was recognised for his work as Chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust, a charity which aims to acquire, restore and reuse heritage buildings in the city so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. Last year, he was made an MBE for services to regeneration and heritage in Coventry.

Furthermore, he is a Trustee of the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, the organisation behind the city’s winning bid. Jonathan Hall, Managing Director at Mander Hadley Solicitors, presented the award to Dr Geoff Willcocks, who attended the event on behalf of Ian Harrabin. Jonathan said: “It was wonderful to be able to recognise Ian Harrabin with the Outstanding Achievement Award. This is very well deserved recognition for years of work for the people of Coventry.” Ian Harrabin said: “The winning of City of Culture 2021 and the immense effect this can have on Coventry, its vitality, cohesion, image and economy, for years to come are not to be underestimated.

Jonathan Hall (L) presents the award to Dr Geoff Willcocks (R)

“Yet this comes with a huge burden on ‘Team Cov’, from the Council through to the smallest voluntary organisation, to make the best of this once in a lifetime opportunity. “I gratefully accept the award on behalf of the very many people who have put their personal lives on hold to deliver what will not only be a fantastic year but a turning point for future generations.”

Coventry hotel celebrates winning European service quality award The ibis Coventry Centre is celebrating its success after winning a European industry award. The hotel has won the title of European Customer Service Champions 2018 by Accor Hotels, beating 224 other Accor Hotels across the UK & Ireland. Ibis Coventry Centre was declared the best performing hotel for customer service, showing the greatest growth across customer service, accommodation and breakfast categories. The 90-bed city centre hotel, operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts and owned by The Cannock Group

and Hetherley Capital Partners, underwent a £1.2milion refurbishment last year to enhance the hotel bedrooms, guest lounge and dining areas. Faris Thowfeek, general manager of the ibis Coventry Centre Hotel, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win the European Customer Service challenge. To be recognised across the Accor Hotels groups for our excellence in this area is a real credit to the team who work so hard to deliver the best possible experience for our guests. “Our fantastic refurbishment has had a really positive impact

on everyone here – staff and customers alike. The investment and subsequent transformation of the hotel has contributed significantly to our recent success, but it is our people that really make the difference. “We are determined to continue with our customer-focused

approach as we look to build |on our future growth plans.” Nicholas Northam, managing director for the UK at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said: “We’re proud to see the ibis Coventry Centre achieving such great success and reaping the rewards of the recent refurbishment.”

Rugby First appoint new Operations Director Rugby First has appointed a new Operations Director, Rich Warren, and bid a fond farewell to Aftab Gaffar. Aftab had successfully steered Rugby BID for 13 years, first as the Operations Manager and then as the Managing Director and will be taking up a new national role in the retail sector. Rich is an experienced Business Relationship Manager and qualified Business Mentor. He has been supporting businesses across Rugby for the past four years in his previous role with the CWLEP Growth Hub.

The Growth Hub has supported more than 300 Rugby businesses with their growth plans during his time there and he was one of the founders and Chair of the Rugby Drive Collaborative business initiative. Rich said: “Aftab has done an excellent job and on behalf of Rugby First and the local business community I would like to extend our thanks and wish him well in his new venture. He has successfully steered the town centre through some extremely challenging economic times and been responsible for the introduction of the Rangers and Cleaning team, the transformation of the CCTV

Control System and the development and delivery of an exciting events programme. “I am passionate about Rugby. It is a great place to live and do business and I am keen to make a difference in my new role. “Key priorities for me will be ensuring a smooth transition that continues to deliver quality services in line with the existing mandate, engaging with town centre businesses to understand how best Rugby First can support them now and in the future, working with key local stakeholders to investigate opportunities to improve the town centre as a place for

people to do business, live, shop, socialise and to understand what support town centre businesses need to be successful and where they can find that help.” Aftab said: “Rugby BID was one of the first BID’s in Warwickshire and part of the initial pilot scheme. There are now over 300 BIDS in the UK with Rugby BID being used nationally as an example of best practice and many BID’s visiting Rugby BID for training. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 13 years and wish them well under the leadership of the new Director.”

was delighted by his appointment, which means he will continue as a member of the team! Luc said: “I have learned so much in my time at

Myton and through my apprenticeship, and I am so happy to be able to remain in the Marketing and Communications team.”

Luc secures role The Myton Hospices has announced that one of its apprentices has now started a new role at Myton following the end of his apprenticeship. Luc Ord started his Digital Media Apprenticeship at The Myton Hospices in January 2017 and recently completed his Level 4 qualification. In the past two years Luc’s contribution to the Marketing and Communications team has

been invaluable and shortly before Luc finished his course, he was successfully appointed to the new role of Junior Digital Marketing Assistant. Luc was keen to continue working at Myton and applied for the new role. With his knowledge of digital media, social media and the workings of a hospice environment, the Marketing and Communications department

David Penn


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

Accolade for firm

Leigh Mackey and the Inspire Insurance team at the Coventry & Warwickshire First FirstPro awards 2019.

An independent commercial insurance provider has been living up to its name after success at a major regional business awards ceremony. Inspire Insurance has received the People Excellence award at

FirstPro 2019, the annual awards run by Coventry & Warwickshire First, after displaying significant commitment to the development of professional talent within their business. Business leaders from across Coventry and

Warwickshire gathered at Coombe Abbey Hotel as prizes were handed out at the FirstPro awards, which are held annually to showcase a range of achievements within the region’s professional services sector. The company, based on the Middlemarch Business Park, took home the award after demonstrating how its staff are given the platform to succeed, and for displaying successful investment in professional development and teambuilding. The accolade comes just six years after Leigh Mackey, Managing Director of Inspire Insurance, was named FirstPro Young Professional of the year in 2013. The company, founded by Mackey less than a decade ago, now has a team of 23 and an annual turnover of £5 million. He said: “We are always looking to grow as a team and as a business, and we are succeeding

in doing so by constantly bringing in and nurturing new talent. “As someone who has worked their way up from a standing start, to have won in this category is particularly pleasing. We put a lot of work into ensuring our people have the best possible path to success available to them. “We are committed to inspiring Coventry’s next generation of industry professionals, and we are all thrilled to have been recognised for our work. “This award marks a fantastic period of growth for Inspire Insurance, and we are focussed on continuing on that trend of development. “I’d like to thank our team for their hard work over the last year. Their willingness to learn and adapt and to support others has been phenomenal, and I’m looking forward for more of the same over the next 12 months.”

Law firm looks to the future with key appointment Law firm, LDJ Solicitors has welcomed Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts specialist, Lorna Watts, into its Partnership. Lorna joined the firm as a Senior Solicitor in its Private Client department in 2011 and was appointed as the Head of Department in April 2018. Lorna has been a key member of the Private Client team ever since. Alan Edgington, Managing Partner, said " Over the last eight years, Lorna has proven to be a great asset to the firm and she possesses all the right qualities and skills required to be a Partner. We always look to recognise the dedication of our people and

promote from within wherever possible. We are therefore delighted to welcome Lorna to the partnership and we look forward to working alongside her in her new role for many successful years to come”. Lorna Watts said “I first undertook work experience with LDJ whilst at school and this certainly contributed to my decision to become a solicitor, however, I did not expect (at the time) that one day I would become a partner in the firm. After several years now working at LDJ I am delighted to be joining the partnership and I look forward to playing a meaningful role in its future success.”

New Family Solicitor is appointed Brethertons has welcomed a new Solicitor, Priti Vadgama, to their Family team. Priti’s experience is varied across all aspects of Family Law including, divorce, cohabitation issues, financial issues arising from divorce and separation and financial issues and disputes between parents in relation to the arrangements for their children. She said: “I understand that a divorce or separation is a major change and that clients will be worried and concerned for both themselves and their children. I am able to offer understanding, support and empathy at this difficult and challenging time.”

Managing Partner, Alan Edington, welcoming Lorna Watts into the Partnership.

New appointment Kieran wins national Prince’s Trust Breakthrough Award for Serious Injury Team at Brethertons

A young man who participated on a Prince’s Trust programme delivered by WCG has received royal recognition for turning his life around. Kieran Egan, from Nuneaton, was given the top award from HRH The Prince of Wales after transforming his life following a period of homelessness, unemployment and an arrest for hooliganism. The twenty three-year-old scooped the prestigious national HSBC Breakthrough Award at an Oscar-style ceremony held at the London Palladium on 13 March hosted by Fearne Cotton and Phillip Schofield. The award

recognises the progress of young people in overcoming barriers and developing new skills. By his own admission, Kieran wasn't an attractive proposition for an employer. However, participation on a youth personal development programme taught him not to be defined by his past and he is now working and studying for his Level 2 qualification in Active Sports Leadership. On winning the HSBC Breakthrough Award, Kieran said: “It’s been a whirlwind of emotions digesting what has happened but I now have a parttime job and I volunteer on the

programme. I’m studying at college and can see a career for myself doing something I love. My future is looking so much brighter now thanks to The Prince’s Trust. I feel more confident and happier.” Professional footballer Marcus Rashford, who presented Kieran’s award, said: “Kieran has used his passion for football to turn his life around. He’s faced adversity but, with the support of The Prince's Trust, has overcome it to take control of his future and help others, and that is what true leadership is all about.” The Prince’s Trust Team programme helps unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence they need to find work. Kieran enrolled on a programme at Nuneaton Fire Station and it was the local homeless charity, Doorway, which suggested he might like to participate. It was during the four-day residential element that he experienced a significant breakthrough. Kieran confided to Project Coordinator at WCG, Paul Harrison, about how his life

had taken a downward spiral following the sudden death of his best friend at the age of 16. He had never previously spoken about his grief before and it was a massive weight off his chest to tell someone. From then, on life become more hopeful and Team Leader at WCG Casey Frampton continued to support Kieran’s personal journey of transformation. Casey said: “As soon as I met Kieran I knew he had huge potential.” Kieran now wants to be a football coach and help other young people in the community. He said: "As someone who has done it, I want to tell them about how you can turn your life around, how you can get a second chance if you take a positive path." Multi-college group WCG has been a Team programme delivery partner with the Prince’s Trust for more than 15 years. Head of Department for Re-engagement and Schools at WCG, Chris Gately, said: “We were all extremely proud to see Kieran collect this National Award at the London Palladium.

Brethertons has welcomed Allison Fitchett as a Senior Associate to their Serious Injury team. Allison brings a wealth expertise in all aspects of serious injuries law which will enhance the team’s nationally recognised niche spinal cord injuries and brain injury litigation profile. Allison is an APIL Accredited Senior Litigator with an excellent track record of successfully pursing difficult cases on behalf of people who have suffered life changing injuries. Jon Rees, partner and Head of Practice Area for Serious Injury at Brethertons, said: “I am delighted to welcome Allison to our team. Her experience of more than 20 years, and her expertise in successfully helping people who have suffered life changing injuries, will compliment and enhance what we do. It is great that she is joining us as she will help build on our successes in recovering six, seven and sometimes eight figure compensation awards for the people we help.”


New Members

Welcome to new members Corporate Members

Essential Members

SafetyFlex Barriers Ltd Unit C, GME Industrial Estate Boston Place Coventry CV6 5NN 02476 662166

C.A.R Cosmetic Auto Repairs Coventry 07392 739995

International Trade Members Afinia Label Ltd 7 Harriott Drive Warwick CV34 6TJ 08452 507949 Creative Network Consulting Ltd CITIBASE 101 Lockhurst Lane Coventry CV6 5SF 02076 822836 Dayton Progress Limited Holly Farm House Honiley Kenilworth CV8 1NP 01926 484192 Emka (UK) LTD Patricia House Bodmin Road Coventry CV2 4DG 02476 616505 Intrepid Control Systems Ltd MIRA Technology Park NW05, Suite 1.03 Watling Street Nuneaton CV10 0TU 00324 710131

CarveCo Ltd Bank Gallery High Street Kenilworth CV8 1LY 01926 800455 Chilli Promotional Products Ltd The Estate Office Lauriston Park Pitchill Evesham WR11 8SN 01295 269800 Clear Insurance Management Ltd South Lodge Cranford Manor Kenilworth Road Leamington Spa CV32 6RG 01926 466922/07384891790 Dean Bennett Consulting Kenilworth 07917 302141 DOTS Technical Solutions Ltd 71-75 Shelton Street Covent Garden London WC2H 9JQ 01224 548846 Electric Zoo Bayley House Bayley Lane Coventry CV1 2RJ 08456 444993

PFW UK Machining Ltd Unit 1 & 2 Teal Way Hemdale Business Park Nuneaton CV11 6GZ 02476 321343

Energy Buzz Limited Unit 16, Cornwall Business Centre Cornwall Road Wigston LE18 4XH 01164 021222

Phil Ayliff Products Ltd 25 Alliance Close Nuneaton CV11 6SD 02476 343741

Jamie Gray Photography 12 Little Church Street Rugby CV21 3AW 07969 670333

PTI Express Ltd 140 Wood Street Rugby CV21 2SP 01788 542500

JCA Jim Clark Advisory 26 Kinnersley Road Alcester B49 6FL 07715 212384

K Walters Installations Ltd 07779 229784 Lorentz Gullachsen Photographer 3 Holland Meadow Welford on Avon CV37 8JD 01608 695050 Martin Sutliff Golf Ltd Proshop Coventry Golf Club St Martins Road Coventry CV6 1FF 07949 995608 MCS Build Limited Station Works Station Road Claverdon CV35 8PE 01926 842500 Nazar Wholesale Ltd Unit 5, Status Business Park 1-2 Holbrook Lane Coventry CV6 4AF 02477 988091 Pawprints Dog Rescue Dunsmore Kennels 248 London Road Rugby CV23 9HX 07415 030165 Peter Drew Group 4 Bidford Road Broom Bidford B50 4HF 01789 774777 Protechtio IOT Technologies Limited Unit 5, Status Business Park 1 - 2 Holbrook Lane Coventry CV6 4AF 07957 456775 Proximity Public Relations Warwick 07767 813086 randd uk ltd Judge's Court The Old Courthouse St Peter's Churchyard Derby DE1 1NN 01332 477070 Remote Interpreting Ltd t/a Languages International Ty Crochenydd 296 Birchfield Road Redditch B97 4LZ 08443 300939

Reprographic Imaging Limited 5 Bridge Cross Road Burntwood WS7 2BU 01543 679248 Rugby Pest Control Ltd Cosford Rugby 01788 298693 Saltem Elliot Park Innovation Centre 4 Barling Way Nuneaton CV10 7RH 02476 796 455 Sanders Solutions 07776 385609 Sheldon Bosley Knight Morgan House 58 Ely Street Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LN 01789 292310 Tech Shops 20 Holsworthy Close Nuneaton CV11 6YH 02476 741427 The Family Business Consultancy Group Oakwood 110 Banbury Road Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7HU 07717 433153 The Four Alls Binton Bridge Binton Road Welford on Avon CV37 8PW 01789 330881 The Full Effect Company Leamington Spa 07747 068369 True Potential Wealth Management LLP 49 James Dawson Drive Coventry CV5 9QJ 01676 522473/07963759524 Unmuted Ltd Unit 8 Common Lane Industrial Estate Kenilworth CV8 2EL 08000 096348

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

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May 2019

Introduction to Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace



Full Day


Microsoft Excel - Intermediate to Advanced



Full Day


Professional Telephone Techniques



Half Day - am


Professional Email Writing



Half Day - pm


Grow Your Business Through Social Media



Full Day


Introduction to Finance



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Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems Level 2



3 Days


Import Procedures & Inward Processing (IP)



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Mentoring - Understanding Good Practice in the Workplace



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15 + 22

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Conducting Team Briefings/Buzz Meetings



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Microsoft Excel - An Introduction



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Export for Beginners - New



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Building The Team



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June 2019

Motivating The Team



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Settings Goals & Targets



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Training & Coaching The Team



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Customer Service Essentials



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Key Account Management



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Health & Safety in the Workplace



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July 2019

Managing Difficult People



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Understanding Discipline in the Workplace



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Time Management



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Principles of Continuous Improvement



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Problem Solving & Decision Making



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Understanding Export & Export Documentation



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First Aid at Work (HSE Recommended)



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5, 12, 19 10

Microsoft Excel - Basic to Intermediate



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Project Management - The Basics for Success



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Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) - ILM 2 Accredited



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Managing Change Successfully



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Communicating Assertively



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Coaching - Understanding Good Practice in the Workplace - ILM3 Accredited



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

Your Chamber Events Customs Declaration Training Tuesday 21st May 2019 09.00am – 4.30pm Chamber House, CV1 2TL Members: £280.00 + VAT Non-Members: £350.00 + VAT

Chamber Speed Networking Thursday 23rd May 2019 08.30am – 10.30am Coventry Rugby Club, Coventry, CV1 3GE FREE

Chamber Networking: Behind the Scenes at Amazon BHX4 Tuesday 4th June 2019 3.30pm – 5.00pm Amazon BHX4, Coventry, CV5 9DR FREE

Customs Declaration Training Tuesday 4th June 2019 09.00am – 4.30pm Chamber House, CV1 2TL Members: £280.00 + VAT Non-Members: £350.00 + VAT

Chamber Commercial Academy Day Thursday 13th June 2019 8.30am – 4.30pm Dunchurch Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Rugby, CV5 9DR Members: £20.00 + VAT Non-Members: £40.00 + VAT

Chamber Networking at PET-Xi Training Wednesday 19th June 2019 08.30am – 10.30am PET-Xi Training, Coventry, CV4 8LB FREE

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise – A Celebration Thursday 20th June 2019 6.00pm – 8.30pm Hatton House, Warwick, CV35 7LD FREE

Women in Business Networking Lunch Thursday 4th July 2019 11.00am – 2.00pm The Stratford Park Hotel & Gold Club, Snitterfield, CV37 0QE Members: £35.00 + VAT Non-Members: £45.00 + VAT

Nuneaton & Bedworth Business Expo 2019 Friday 5th July 2019 7.30am – 10.30am Ambleside Sports Club, Nuneaton, CV11 6AT FREE

Chamber Networking at Prime Accountants Group Tuesday 23rd July 2019 5.00pm – 7.00pm Prime Accountants Group, Coventry, CV3 4GA FREE

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C&W in Business May 2019  

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

C&W in Business May 2019  

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

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