C&W January 2019

Page 1

Issue 69 January / February 2019

Frank Mills - delivering a vision for Coventry University Enterprises Page 20





With a focus on workforce development and talent management, the panels will map out the skills required for employers in the following sectors to prosper: + + + + +

Crea ve and Digital Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Construc on Leisure and Hospitality Professional Services

Via appren ceships and professional qualifica ons, Coventry College can assist with both the upskilling of exis ng staff and the recruitment of new employees, helping fulfil the new skills strategies put in place.

If you are an employer and wish to be part of Skills of the Future, please contact Gemma Knott, Assistant Principal - Business Growth, on gknott@coventrycollege.ac.uk.

where we mean business.

Coventry College are creating a series of Skills of the Future employer engagement panels, as part of our commitment to anticipating future job trends.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business



Chamber provides certainty in uncertain times

January - February 2019 Go for Growth






Corporate Profiles




Dear Chamber of Commerce Member, We are all acutely aware that 2019 is likely to feel a little bumpy with political and economic uncertainty around BREXIT.

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

So, our job - here at your Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is to support you, local businesses, in your efforts to survive, thrive and grow. In 2019, we will, again, be delivering an amazing line-up of events, networks and B2B opportunities. One of our larger events is on Friday 15th March 2019 - the 'Go For Growth, Trade Local, Trade Expo'. A great exhibition with huge footfall on the day, all of which will be kicked off by the "Commonwealth 2022 Team" breakfast event, where we will be highlighting the economic impact and business opportunities of these Games. Not to be missed so get in touch on 02476 654321 if you want to be part of this great Expo. We are already geared up to support a whole range of business issues related to import and export. As we exit the European Union, businesses will face a new trading landscape, with potentially new demands re: the movement of goods and our International Trade Hub and Export Documentation Service is here to help, whilst our business-led CW BREXIT Group continues to highlight the issues that matter most to business, not least at a visit to the House of Commons, recently, on 5th December 2018. A visit that was hosted by Marcus Jones MP, a huge thank you to him for listening to an eminent group of leaders who wanted to talk BREXIT and about other, more local, matters. I hope, as I do, you feel upbeat and optimistic about our future. Coventry & Warwickshire is a fabulously successful, dynamic and, importantly, resilient economy and I think we will continue to go from strength-to-strength.


Your Coventry Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce will be placing lots of emphasis on 'trade local', this year, which is not about creating a micro-economy, it is moreso a call to 'act' - by local businesses & partner organisations - to support, each other, in creating greater b2b and b2c opportunities. With the European Corporate Games, City of Culture 2021 and Commonwealth Games 2022, our region, and locality, has much to look forward to in terms of economic impact and I wish to see as many local businesses benefiting from local trading opportunities as possible. To hear more about this and learn about the launch of our new CW Growth Hub & CW Chamber Opportunities Portal (Trading & Tender Portal), I hope to see you at Trade Expo on 15th March 19. If you are starting a business; seeking to grow your business; want & need networking opportunities; if you import and/or export; if you have staff learning & education needs and an opportunity for an apprenticeship programme in your business, then do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website on www.cw-chamber.co.uk. Indeed, if you have a great business and want to apply for the most prestigious award of all a Queens Award - then visit our West Midlands Lieutenancy Masterclass on Tuesday 26th February 2019 and find out how you could ultimately showcase your business as the 'best of the best'! I hope your 2019 has got off to a fabulous start and I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive

Chamber Training




Legal & Finance News Profile Brexit Club Around the region

16-17 18 20-21 23 25-32



Age in the Workplace


Charity Corporate Giving


Education and Training 40-41 News


President & People


New Members


Training & Events



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

Platform offers bidding opportunities minute business opportunities to firms across the area.


The site will allow businesses – of all sizes and sectors – and public sector bodies the chance to post new contract and tender opportunities, allowing companies with a CV postcode to pitch.

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

At the publishers Publisher Ian Fletcher

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

Advertising Contact Karen Hall karen@benhampublishing.com T: 07801 788880

Production Manager Mark Etherington

Accounts Director Joanne Casey

The platform has been developed by the same company that created the CompeteFor site for the London Olympics in 2012 and it will bring together tender opportunities from other websites

Peter Burns (past president of the Chamber), Craig Humphrey (Growth Hub), Louise Bennett (Chamber), Jeremy Moore (Growth Hub).

Coventry and Warwickshire companies will be able to bid for new contracts with local and national organisations via a revolutionary new web platform for the region.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub to launch CW Connect to offer up-to-the-

There will be a £199 charge per user to gain access to the opportunities showcased on the

platform but existing Chamber of Commerce members will be given access for free, thanks to the collaboration between the Chamber and the CWLEP Growth Hub. Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Growth Hub, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for companies across our region to bid for and win new business.” Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the new CW Connect portal fitted perfectly with the Chamber’s Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign.

Uncertainty hits business confidence Business confidence took a dip in Coventry and Warwickshire in the final quarter of 2018. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce conducts a Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council to measure the feeling among firms across the city and county in both he service sector and manufacturing. The figures for the final three months of 2018 show that business confidence has fallen – particularly in the service sector – where it dropped from 76.2 to 69.8,

where 50 is the halfway figure between positive and negative. In manufacturing, the fall was not as big – going from 78.4 down to 76.0 – and it means that, while dropping, confidence still remains above the 50 mark and is also ahead of the national average. The survey of more than 434 businesses also found that the overall economic outlook had fallen from 65.2 to 62.3, that domestic and overseas orders were down and that investment and cashflow had dropped. Despite the dip, Coventry and Warwickshire remains above the national average and is

still well clear of the 50 benchmark in all categories measured. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Uncertainty is really kicking in and is undoubtedly affecting confidence among businesses across the region.” David Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Group Manager at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Until there is more clarity on the future for the UK in terms of Brexit, it is likely for this type of behaviour and attitude from businesses to continue.”

Media Number 1610 © Benham Publishing 2019 C&W in Business is produced on behalf of Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce by Benham Publishing Limited and is distributed to members free of charge. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in C&W in Business, neither Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, nor the publisher can accept responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber. ••••

C&W in Business Advertising Features for 2019 March / April 2019 Apprentices Looking at apprenticeships in the workplace and the mutual benefit they bring.

Retirement/Exit Strategy How to manage the latter stages of a business and planning for retirement. Copy deadline 26th February 2019

May / June 2019 Conference & Venues Our annual feature looking at the venues for hire for work events and conferences in our region.

Innovation & Development Many of the UK’s hopes post Brexit for a vibrant and growing economy is to invest in new innovations and emerging sectors. We provide support experts the opportunity to expand on the help they can provide to grow your business in this area. Copy deadline 26th April 2019

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

Escape company launches new experience One of the Midlands’ biggest escape game companies has expanded again – and its latest experience can be taken into offices and meeting rooms across the country. Escape Live, which operates venues in Birmingham, Coventry, Stratford, Leamington and Southend-on-Sea – attracting thousands of visitors each year, has developed a new concept for team-building exercises for commercial and corporate clients. The new Secret Service game can cater for between 10 and 48 players (soon to be more than 100) and can be taken to virtually

any location as an icebreaker for conferences, meetings or a team-building exercise. Already, major organisations such as Nando’s, Holiday Inn, DLA Piper and YMCA have pitted their staff’s wits against the game, which takes around an hour-and-a-half to complete. In the first hour, teams work together to eliminate suspects in a major crime and, once they’ve unveiled the perpetrator and graduated from their training it’s a race to find out where they are before it’s too late. Alex Sandham, of Escape Live, said it was a chance to bring the

excitement of its experiences to a company’s door. He said: “We’ve seen a growing number of corporate clients bringing their staff to our venues to take on our games because they can really see the value of them as both team-building and team-bonding exercises.

They boost morale and enhance productivity. “It’s lots of fun and highly immersive, but also a challenge that encourages teamwork and problem solving. Corporate team building is an area of the business that really continues to grow.”

Mecalac dealer seals multi-million-pound deal Northern Ireland-based Sleator Plant, a specialist capital equipment provider to the construction and materials handling sectors, has secured a record-breaking deal, worth in excess of £2 million, with multi-national plant hire firm CP Hire. The agreement will see 95 Mecalac site dumpers added to the CP Hire fleet. John Rawnsley, CP Hire (GB) Ltd Managing Director, said: “The quality and depth of the

Mecalac range is very attractive. The versatility of each site dumper allows us to offer the perfect option to meet our customer’s exact needs.” Jonathan Campbell, Dealer Principal at Sleator Plant, said: “Mecalac’s equipment, combined with our bespoke packages, prove a big draw in Northern Ireland. We’re proud to be able to work with CP Hire on its ongoing equipment needs.”




Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Policy Go for Growth

Legal firm named best employer in Leamington A leading law firm has been crowned the best employer in Leamington after a successful year of growth. Wright Hassall, which is based at Olympus Avenue, won the title at this year’s Leamington Business Awards, the fifth annual instalment of the event. It is the first time the legal firm has won an award at the ceremony, having sponsored awards and received nominations in previous years. The firm works for clients across a variety of sectors, covering agriculture, housing, manufacturing and more, with a number of new recruits brought in throughout the course of 2018. As an employer, Wright Hassall prides itself on offering structured career development for its staff, as well as training opportunities and social activities to ensure the business maintains a vital role in its community. Paul Gregson, HR Director at Wright Hassall, said: “We are

incredibly proud to be recognised as the best employer in Leamington, beating some high quality competition in the process. “Staff are the most important aspect of any business and we want our team to feel appreciated and enjoy working for us. “We have a collaborative and inclusive culture at the heart of our company and have confidence in the whole team to get the best results for our clients. “At the moment, we are enjoying a period of growth and have welcomed a number of new faces this year, each bringing qualities that will help us to support our clients.” The Leamington Business Awards is a not-for-profit awards scheme designed to celebrate local business success in the town. The awards were set up five years ago by photographer and

Coventry saw a pre-Christmas jump in unemployment while Warwickshire saw a small fall – and business leaders say uncertainty is starting to bear down on some firms in the region. In Coventry, the claimant count rose from 4,500 to 4,690 and in Warwickshire there was a small drop from 5,815 to 5,770.

The Wright Hassall team celebrate their victory

business owner, Karen Massey, and are now organised by Harrison Beale & Owen Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisers. Each year, the ceremony helps raise funds for charity, with £10,000 raised this year to be split between Springfield Mind and The Ups Of Downs. The event was held at The Assembly this year, with a team

of Wright Hassall staff attending on the night. Emma Marsh, Marketing Executive at Wright Hassall, said: “It was a great feeling when our name was called out. “There is a really great team spirit at Wright Hassall and as an employee it is really positive when I see that my employer is so respected in the local community.”

New business celebrates success New business Signature Sales Support & Representation Ltd are celebrating their success towards the end of their set-up year. Signature Sales Support & Representation is a hotel, venue and destination representation service for businesses who are serious about wanting to increase their profile and revenue from the corporate travel and meeting, incentive, conference and event (MICE) sector, through pro-active sales and marketing activity.

Together Kathryn Clarke and Jan Denning, company Directors, deliver an effective, strategic sales plan for their growing client hotel and venue portfolio to corporate and agency buyers.

Working with a growing collection of venue partners regionally and nationally the pair aspire to have international venue partners by the end of 2019.

Clarke said: “In a changing climate where the hospitality industry struggles to retain and recruit experienced professionals and are ever looking to cost save, we offer a cost-effective outsourced sales solution to deliver a comprehensive package of benefits.”

Jan said: “We are proud of our ‘Sales with Scruples’ ethos which is recognised and appreciated by all we speak with. Our valued relationships with agency and corporate buyers is also key to our success, introducing great venues, and keeping them up to date with news, offers, events and competitions. Having

delivered well over £2million of tracked, new event enquiries to or partners so far, we are proud of our achievements and are always challenging ourselves to achieve more.”


And the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has recruited a key figure to take on that role to help the city and county grow its own pool of talent to meet the needs of the local economy. Lizzie Mara has joined the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as an Enterprise Co-ordinator for the region, a role which is supported and part-funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company and enhances the service provided by the CWLEP Growth Hub. She will help schools and colleges to improve their careers and enterprise activities by brokering education and business links. The aim is to ensure not only consistency of provision across schools in Coventry and Warwickshire, but also opportunities to address the skills gap, while increasing young people’s experience of work

Over the course of the year, the figure in Coventry has crept up from just under 4,000 while in Warwickshire there has been an increase from 4,415 last December. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “There has been a steady rise in the claimant count across the region over the course of the year and, naturally, that is a cause for concern. “There are a number of factors at play and we shouldn’t overstate any of them but we have to recognise that uncertainty is starting to bear down on firms. “Companies want to be able to plot their future course and, for many, that is proving to be very difficult in the current climate. “On top of that, there is a shortage of skills to fill the roles that our economy requires and that’s nothing new – it’s something we’ve been highlighting for some time now. “Then, of course, there is the additional uncertainty on what could be happening with workers from the EU and the wider immigration policy after Brexit.

Kathryn Clarke, (left), Jan Denning

Appointment will help bridge gap

Bridging the gap between business and schools is one way of solving the skills shortage across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Mixed news on jobs front

situations to improve their future employment potential. Lizzie has experience in working with business and education having spent a year as the Events Officer for families and young People at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has previously worked as an Events and Business Engagement Officer, and as a Personal Learning Adviser for Stratford and Warwickshire College. She said: "The aim is to create a sustainable and thriving landscape of opportunity which will benefit both businesses, and importantly, young people from all backgrounds. “We want to ensure that every child and young person across Coventry and Warwickshire gets the opportunity to make the most of this network to help enhance their career chances.

“So it’s a credit to firms across the patch that they continue to invest and grow their businesses and that the economy across the region remains in robust health.”

“I want to connect with a variety of businesses who would like to work with us in ensuring that we can help to support young people and develop a pool of talent for the whole economy.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Chamber, said: “This is a very important role and Lizzie is a great addition to the team at the Chamber. “Businesses have been telling us for some time now that a shortage of skills is holding back growth in the region. “This work takes a positive step in trying to address that and will help to support children and young people from all backgrounds in our city and county.” If you would like to find out more, please contact Elizabeth Mara at elizabethm@cw-chamber.co.uk


News Benefits of VOIP for Business Just as Spotify helped kill the CD and NetFlix is radically altering how we view traditional TV, Hosted VoIP is bringing an end to the traditional PBX phone. In less than sevenyears, BT will begin with its plan to shut down existing public switched telephone network (PSTN) and transition to all calls being made using VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol, or Cloud phone) systems. If your business is still using a landline service, now is the time to make the switch to a Cloud-based phone system. Switching to a VoIP solution today can have immediate benefits to your business. 1. Save Money – If you’re using landlines in your business, you’re probably familiar with the extortionate costs involved – equipment, software installation and ongoing maintenance fees. A hosted VoIP system removes all these costs by transferring your business telecoms over to the Cloud. Moreover, employee productivity massively increases due to the flexibility of the system. Teams can work from a variety of locations by having calls diverted to a mobile, home phone, or simply by taking the handset with them and plugging it into an internet connection, wherever they are in the world. In addition, your business will already be paying for an internet connection. Cloud-based phone systems take advantage of your existing connection, meaning you don’t need to keep paying for a separate dedicated phone line. Lastly, call rates are also significantly less expensive when compared to a traditional phone line. 2. Flexibility and Scalability - When you're using traditional phone service, adding additional phone lines isn't always easy, often involving lengthy time spent scheduling and waiting for an engineer to install handsets and waiting long periods of time before the changes can happen. VoIP allows you to add phone lines easily within minutes, using just the handset and the ability to perform a few clicks. The flexibility and scalability of VoIP is ideal for businesses with seasonal fluctuations in staffing or companies experiencing rapid growth 3. Add-on Features - Hosted VoIP is flexible and can scale to your business’s needs. Start-ups may need a minimum of features to get started as cost-efficiently as possible, while larger, well-established enterprises may be looking to unlock the most features possible for more integrated communications. VoIP offers all the features of a traditional phone line and more, allowing you to quickly tailor features to your needs. Popular add-ons include: • Data Integration: Voicemail-to-email transcription • Automated Call Distribution: For contact centres or high call volume needs • Interactive Voice Recognition: Smarter call routing powered by intelligence built into the system • Remote Management: Web-based administration for adding phone lines • Video and teleconferencing 4. Contact Center Benefits - Hosted VoIP is primed for the needs of contact centres of any size - from a small handful of customer service representatives to hundreds of agents operating 24/7. With a hosted VoIP solution, benefits include: • Unified Communications (UC) - allows your reps to communicate with customers via phone, chat, email, and more. • Reporting and monitoring - easy access to the metrics and oversight needed to make smarter staffing and training decisions. • Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) - throw away old-school push-button phone trees and route calls to exactly the right department. • Smarter call routing - VoIP allows you to relay calls received according to CSR training, skill level and other factors. While VoIP still has many myths surrounding it, today’s Cloud-based telephony is a well-established platform for business communications and is quickly becoming the norm for businesses of all sizes. It is important that small businesses embrace the changing technologies such as Cloud phones and take advantage of all the benefits and features that they offer. You and your business can rest assured that a hosted VoIP solution means better cost savings, reliability and productivity. As a leading provider of Hosted VoIP and business communications tools, Syscomm offers complimentary, pressure-free consultations. Contact one of our expert representatives today to learn how you can benefit from switching away from plain-old-telephones. Article provided by Syscomm


DWP visit a Warwickshire project making a difference Young people in Warwickshire are being helped into work by Positive Futures, a training scheme targeting 15 to 24 year-olds not in education, employment or training who do not have basic maths and English qualifications. Co-funded by the Department for Work and Pensions’ European Social Fund and 50 per cent match funded by Warwickshire County Council and PET-Xi Training, the training course is helping break down barriers to entering the jobs market for young people in the local area. Deputy Director, Head of European Social Fund Division, Dr Catherine Blair visited young people taking part in the training course, to see first-hand the support offered by the training and education specialists. Since its launch in 2016, the project has seen over 350 young people secure jobs or enrol in education on completion of Positive Futures. The programme, launched by PET-Xi Training, has an ambition to support a further 400 young people move into employment or education.

Joined by Glenn Robinson, manager of the Skills for Growth programme run by Warwickshire County Council, the pair were given a tour of PET-Xi Training’s headquarters in Coventry by the project’s managing director, Fleur Sexton. After meeting employees, Dr Blair visited PET-Xi Training’s new Skills Hub in Nuneaton to hear more about the Positive Futures project and the impact it has had on participants’ lives. Dr Blair said: “It was fantastic to see how this project is making a real difference to the lives of young people at risk of social exclusion. “Staff can offer young people practical advice on a range of issues, including employment, and support individuals with their next steps such as moving or providing transport to interviews. “Youth unemployment is at a record low and it’s great to see the difference projects like this make, helping more young people move into work or education.” Cllr Colin Hayfield, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning at Warwickshire County Council, said: "The county council

Dr Catherine Blair from the Department for Work and Pensions (fourth from the left, front row) with trainers and participants from the Positive Futures course which is run by PET-Xi Training

has prioritised young people who are at risk of social exclusion and has established a planning and co-ordination group where we liaise with partners such as PET-Xi Training to provide our young people with the support in areas where it is most needed." Fleur, winner of Businesswoman of the Year 2017, said the legacies of Positive Futures include the impact on the lives of young people and the Skills Hub which has been opened to make it easier for young people in Warwickshire to gain qualifications and improve their career

prospects. She said: "For over 20 years, PET-Xi's vision has been to champion every single person to fulfil their potential through education and employment, find their place in their community and transform their life. “This scheme is designed to break down barriers to help young people in local communities to achieve essential basic maths and English qualifications and to improve their life chances by giving them the support they need to gain a job or a place in further education.“

All aboard for TruTac’s new Fleet Management Solutions at Euro Bus Expo TruTac, the transport software specialists and CPT commercial partners, presented five new features at the Euro Bus Show. All new and existing software tools were well received by PSV operators from all areas of the industry and the company had a hugely successful show. Designed in close cooperation with the CPT, each high-

performance compliance module is tailored specifically for PSV operator needs to deliver improved efficiency, reduced costs and dynamic data control. These included: WALKME: intuitive online help to assist with navigating systems and to maximise user experience, including WalkThrus and TeachMe guides to provide dynamic step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions.

TRULINKS: the market-proven high-level API management service for smooth data integration between TruTac’s products and any other system, where data share provides multiple management benefits. DIVISIONS: division management feature to simplify larger fleet management and reporting. Fast and accurate regional reporting with sublevels for dynamic KPI monitoring and control. MISSING MILEAGE ALLOCATION: simplifying ‘missing mileage’ management

with easy allocation and explanation for management control and auditing reports. EARNED RECOGNITION: ‘fully interactive’ ER reporting with drill-down and intuitive graphical data. Operators can view their own performance against Earned Recognition key performance indicators. Terry Ramsey, Managing Director for TruTac said: “We were delighted with the reaction to these innovative management tools.”

Employers receive Ministry of Defence awards

Fourteen employers from the West Midlands region received their Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Awards from West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (West Midland RFCA). The ERS was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces

Covenant. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for the employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families. The winners for 2018 were Accord, Aspire Supported Living CIC, Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Black Country Housing Group, The Busters Group, E.ON, Highways England, The Next Step (Veterans Transition) Ltd, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, Samuel Jones Pearls, University Centre Shrewsbury,

Wace Morgan Solicitors and Wasps Rugby. Paul Wright, Director of Specialist Support for Accord, said: “This award demonstrates our ongoing commitment to helping Reservists and Cadets in our employment, as well as Service leavers and veterans of the Armed Forces transition into civilian life through employment and housing.” Siamha Butt, Head of Engagement for West Midland RFCA, said “The award is a recognition of the passion and commitment that our employers invest in both those who serve, have served, and their families. It represents their contribution to the overall defence of the nation, whether it be in supporting a Reservist employee, a veteran,

Cadet Force Adult Volunteer or Cadet, none of this would be possible without the support of organisations like these.” The lunchtime awards ceremony event was held at the National Memorial Arboretum and Michael Collie, from BBC Midlands Today, kept the event running smoothly as the Master of Ceremonies. As well as highlighting the outstanding support of the employers the event also showcased the local Reserves and Cadets. Members of the Royal Naval Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force all had stands and the Army Cadet Force and Royal Air Force Air Cadets were on hand to help the event run smoothly.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


sponsored column

Celebrating two years in business

Entrepreneur Anna Chapman is celebrating the second anniversary of her new business. Anna started her small business with just a handful of clients and an idea that she wanted to use her skills to support individuals, teams and organisations to develop.

With more than 20 years’ employed experience helping people and organisations to learn and develop, Anna took the plunge in 2016 to set up her own business. The business, Anna Chapman Consulting, specialises in working with organisations to develop their teams and people. It offers executive coaching, management and leadership development and team development programmes to businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire. Anna said: “Leaving a secure, well-paid employed role to start up on my own was daunting and

regardless of its size or industry and Anna provides interventions to support the development of leaders, managers and employees. She said: “In a typical week I can be working with a large organisation with thousands of employees, to a small start-up. It is the diversity of my clients and their needs which makes my work so interesting.” Future plans for growth include reaching out to more local businesses within Coventry and Warwickshire and expanding the executive coaching business.

probably the bravest thing I have done. But it was the right decision and I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic people and organisations.” After two years in business, Anna has seen her client base grow significantly to include organisations of different sizes and across different sectors. Working with employers, Anna advises them on how developing their employees can support the effectiveness of their business. Leadership skills and effective teams are both critical to an organisation’s performance,

Bellini celebrates fifteenth anniversary with an offer to Chamber members Bellini Jewellery is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a jewellery manufacturer and supplier to leading retailers throughout the UK. Bellini was founded by Roberto Varriale in 2003 after he spent more than eight years in the jewellery manufacturing industry with one of the leading manufacturers in the UK. Having travelled the world experiencing the different ways of manufacturing and sourcing both diamonds and semi-precious stones such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds, he decided branch out on his own and created Bellini Jewellery.

The company has gone from strength to strength, supplying many retail jewellers throughout the UK to the point where it is looking to branch out into its own retail premises. Roberto said: “ In celebration of this achievement and in recognition of our second anniversary with the Chamber, we are offering all members the chance to purchase high quality jewellery direct from the manufacturer at trade prices. “This is an exclusive offer to members. We do not sell direct to the general public as yet so it is unlikely you would have heard of us. However, you may have seen some of our work in

many of the local shops and those further afield. “This is an opportunity for members to eliminate the retailer and come direct to the source for their jewellery. We are specialists in both 18ct and platinum jewellery, ranging from engagement rings to earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, bangles and many other items too lengthy to list. “We are specialists in antique and second jewellery for those looking for pieces with a bit of history to them as well as second Rolex watches. “We also have our own bespoke department where we will create your own design for you.”

Making Tax Digital Making Tax Digital (MTD) commences in April 2019 but what is it and will it affect you? You can see some of the creations on the website www.bellini-jewellery.com Facebook. @ bellinijewellery. Instagram. @ bellinijewels. You can get in touch with the company at rob@bellini-jewellery.com 07792 002902 or Natasha. Info@bellini-jewellery.com Tel: 01788 570865.

Putting bums on seats

A design and marketing agency from Leamington Spa has done what it says on the tin by putting ‘bums on seats’ for Coventry University. The brief from Dr Neil Pyper, Associate Head of the School of Strategy & Leadership (Enterprise and Commercial) was to drive registrations for the Coventry University’s Prince2 project management course.

The courses had not been running at capacity and often with many candidates from the University itself. Glued worked with Coventry University to tightly define the target audience of HR professionals in the IT, Telecommunications, Construction and Engineering within a 50 mile radius of the University. Then by working out a set of engaging propositions Glued generated e-shots, social media graphics, social media messaging and social media advertising. Over a six month period Glued managed and monitored an email and social media campaign. Monitoring progress, trialling a variety of messages and images to progressively increase reach, followers, click throughs and ultimately registrations to the course.

Newly extended Children’s Nursery opens at Hatton Country World! Hatton Country World welcomed the opening of its newly extended Children’s Nursery to its family run business in November. Hatton Children’s Nursery offers day care and sessions for babies and children up to 5 years old, combining the best in care and nursery education interwoven with the adventure of Hatton Country World. Situated next to Hatton’s new private Swimming School, the nursery now offers 100 places.


Not only does the Nursery now occupy a modern, air conditioned building with views over the Farm but children have the opportunity to play and learn in a clean indoor environment alongside free daily access to the Farm. This includes access to the indoor sensory and soft play areas and Forest School activities which will be available from January 2019. In common with all Ofsted registered child care settings, the Nursery follows the statutory welfare and

From partly filled courses with a majority of Coventry University, the latest two Prince 2 course programmes were not only full but also the majority of candidates were from outside the University. Rob Harrison from Glued said “It has been so fulfilling to see the efforts we went to delivering a result for Coventry University. We are looking forward to applying the same principle to other continuous professional development courses for the University.” Dr Neil Pyper from Coventry University added “After a period of struggling to fill spaces our last two cohorts have been fully subscribed and we are booking to extend the campaign to support recruitment into the future.”

educational requirements of the Early Years Foundation stage. Johnnie Arkwright, owner of Hatton Country World said “We’re delighted to open our newly extended Children’s Nursery. Children have daily access to our Adventure Farm, fruit and vegetable growing patch, chickens, rabbits, lambs and guinea pigs, huge indoor soft and sensory play centre and our outdoor play equipment. We provide plenty of fresh air, space, nature, exercise and adventure – just like a childhood in the countryside used to be.” Alison Deere, Director and Manager of Hatton Children’s Nursery said “Our Nursery has been established since 2002 but we have been operating from

smaller premises. By moving into our new larger building we are able to offer additional places to families. We offer a unique curriculum of education based on learning through play and adventure as big as a child’s imagination”.

MTD is the government’s project to use digital technology to make tax administration more efficient. While many are understandably wary of change, we at SGD have a positive view of the project overall and believe that, if implemented correctly, it will be beneficial to all by eliminating the duplication that exists in the current system. Any VAT registered entity (individual, company etc) with annual turnover over the VAT threshold (£85,000) must make digital submissions to HMRC from April 2019. The first VAT quarter starting after 1 April 2019 will be your first submission. Some entities have been deferred until October 2019 therefore have more time to prepare. These are trusts, ‘not for profit’ organisations, VAT divisions, VAT groups, traders based overseas and those on the annual accounting scheme. If your turnover is below the VAT threshold submissions are not yet required but this may change in years to come. It is possible to opt into MTD but once in you cannot opt out again. Software providers are now releasing new versions of their software which are compatible with the filing requirements. Anyone using spreadsheets to maintain their records can continue to use these, however bridging software will be required to submit this information to HMRC. If you prepare manual records you need to act now to ensure that you will be ready. SGD are ready for the change therefore if you wish to know more please contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas on 02476 257481 or ps@sgduk.com/dt@sgduk.com respectively. For more information please visit our website www.sgduk.com.



Beyond Brexit – Going For Global Growth

James Ahearne, Ian McKinney, Jenny Iatelese, Ajay Desai, David Hooper, Adam Revill

Export experts have urged firms across Coventry and Warwickshire to increase global trade and not be put off by the distractions of Brexit. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce partnered with Gallagher Insurance to stage the Beyond Brexit – Going For Global Growth event at the Ricoh

Arena as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival. The event heard from Jenny Iatelese, from the Institute of Export and International Trade, and Ajay Desai, Trade Director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which runs the Department of International Trade service from its International Trade Hub.

They were followed by an expert panel of Ian McKinney, of Gallagher Insurance; David Hooper, of Independent Freight and Hooper & Co; and Adam Revill, of Cranfield Business Finance. Jenny said: “UK businesses should be looking into this now. We are starting to close the gap on export and imports and we want to continue that. “We will need to continue to trade with the EU post Brexit as the EU remains our largest trading partner. “Companies were set the ambitious target of doubling exports by 2020 by the previous Chancellor but that was before the decision to leave the EU. We believe a more realistic target is to make export 35 per cent of GDP, increasing from 30 per cent.

“There is a world of opportunity out there and it’s important that companies tap into the support available to make that happen.” Ajay said firms should speak to his team at the Chamber to help them plan their export strategy. He said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is doing extremely well when it comes to international trade and our team has already smashed through its targets for the financial year with five months still to go. “It’s important to say that the help is here for businesses. We can advise on which markets to look at and how to approach them. We have a network of support across the globe and businesses across our region can tap into that.

“Brexit is happening and, whatever its final form, it doesn’t prevent businesses from looking at new markets right now.” Ian McKinney, of Gallagher Insurance, added: “We were very pleased to support this event. We have to keep getting the message across to companies that there are so many opportunities out there and lots of support to access.” The Chamber will be running a number of events in the coming months to help businesses prepare for Brexit. For more information, contact the International Trade Hub at the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or www.cw-chamber.co.uk/events

Automotive experts meet to drive forward new opportunities

Experts in the global automotive industry gathered in Warwickshire to discuss the growing opportunities for development in Central and Eastern Europe. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce was a partner at the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow, hosted by the Voice of Automotive Business as part of the Coventry and

Warwickshire Business Festival. It was also supported by the CWLEP Growth Hub. The roadshow gave an overview to the industry in Central and Eastern Europe and the business and export opportunities which are flourishing in these regions, with presentations from representatives from several countries and partners in the region. Ajay Desai, Trade Director of the Coventry and

Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We were very pleased to support the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow as official partners for the event. “We were delighted to present to the delegates on support for importers and exporters and it was a great opportunity for us to address the key figures in the European automotive industry.”

Paul Sullivan (52 Global), Brian Mountford (Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce), Ajay Desai (Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce), Les Ratcliffe MBE (Voice of Automotive Ambassador), Lubomir Rehak (Slovak Ambassador to the UK), Craig Humphrey (Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub), Jeremy Moore (Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub), Christopher Plant (The Voice of Automotive Business)

International business up for grabs

Chris Nagle (Chamber), Sharon Bell (WCG), Jamie Ades (Visit Britain), Yemi Alli (Alsters Kelley), Chris Best (Ardencote Manor)


Coventry and Warwickshire has been urged to try to win more international business tourism trade by the national body which runs the industry. Leading tourism and hospitality businesses from across the area heard the encouragement from Visit England at an event organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival. Jamie Ades, of Visit England, said the area’s central location, good facilities and proximity to Birmingham Airport should allow it to gain a bigger share of the market. London leads the way on business tourism, but the Midlands is the third most successful region in

attracting convention, trade show and exhibition business with a seven per cent share of the market. Chris Nagle, Events and Marketing Manager of the Chamber, said business should call on the support offered by Visit England. He said: “There are plenty of initiatives and campaigns run through Visit England and Visit Britain and Jamie made it very clear that businesses who made use of the organisation’s services were often the ones which won most business. “He was very positive about the potential that lies in Coventry and Warwickshire to cash in on the various assets we have in this region. He has offered help and

support in accessing the opportunities which lie in business tourism and we will also work with any members to allow them to tap into the help on offer.” The event, held at Ardencote Manor, near Warwick, also explored the implications of Brexit on the industry with presentations from Alsters Kelley’s immigration expert Yemi Alli, and Sharon Bell of WCG who outlined the college’s plans for a hotel training school at Moreton Morrell. Nagle added: “We have a very vibrant tourism and hospitality sector across our region, and while Brexit is clearly a major obstacle, there is clearly potential to drive forward the business on a domestic and international front.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


sponsored column

Annual Conference 2018 Review: Growth Foundations are strong

EU know it’s all about having a plan Happy 2019. What a monumental year lies ahead. Our country will face one of the biggest changes in its history. I’d be willing to bet there were a lot of New Year resolutions made in Coventry and Warwickshire not to talk about Brexit so much this coming year! Well that’s ok, because this is you reading about it, not talking about it. Coventry and Warwickshire has laid strong foundations for growth over the coming decades and must ensure all of its communities benefit from that, a major conference has heard. About 250 business and civic leaders from across the city, county and wider region packed into the Ricoh Arena for the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Economic Conference. From Brexit to broadband and from people to power, the conference covered a series of key topics that could affect the region’s economic growth in the next few years. The first session heard from Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, and from Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport before a panel session on the economy, chaired by Jonathan Browning, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Andy Street said the West Midlands had spent years of being the ‘sick man of the UK’ but was now undergoing a revival that

was helping to change perceptions of the region. And he told the audience that, within the region, Coventry and Warwickshire is leading when it comes to economic growth and jobs. He said the challenge was to think globally and that the economic growth had to be inclusive of all communities. Browning said there was a great deal to be optimistic about in the city and the county and that great strides had been made and that Coventry and Warwickshire was the best performing LEP area in the country in terms of growth, GVA and productivity. He said the region had attracted 53 foreign investment projects in 2017/18, creating 3,500 new jobs. “We should not obsess about the hype and hearsay,” he said, “we should look at the hard facts.

Jeremy Wright talked about the investment in broadband and touched upon the topic of Brexit before the conference heard from Maggie Philbin of Teentech. Skills was tackled after the coffee break in a panel led by Angela Joyce, of headline sponsors WCG Apprentices, and conference heard that there was a need to upskill local people. Angela said: “Our message to businesses is to come and talk to us. We can’t engage enough, we want to hear what companies need and see how we can support that.” Fleur Sexton, of PET-Xi – which also sponsored the event, added: “This is a great time to be working with young people.” Martin Reeves, chief executive of Coventry City Council, and Monica Fogarty, of Warwickshire County Council, spoke of a

more joined up approach across the region, before keynote speaker Jon Snow took to the stage and urged the audience to believe in people. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was fantastic conference and heard from key leaders across our region, concluded by a wonderful keynote speech by Jon Snow. “We know that there are big issues and still uncertainty around Brexit, which were touched upon throughout the event. “It was also clear, however, that there is a great deal to be extremely positive about, particularly in this region. We are growing and have a strong, diverse economy which our speakers talked about. “My message to businesses, in these uncertain times, is that they are a force for good in the region. We must continue to trade locally, grow our economy and ensure that our economic growth reaches into all of our communities.”

I’d love to be able to tell you that, as we enter the new year, Brexit is now crystal clear and therefore Dafferns can help you ensure your business is 100% ready for the impending change. But, at the time of writing this article, we’re simply not there yet. It’s not possible to say how specific regulations will impact your business. The potential effect of Brexit on SMEs is largely unknown. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take practical steps to protect and prepare your company. In fact, needing a plan is the only Brexit certainty I can give you. It’s not always easy to plan for the unexpected, which is where external expertise can help. As all business owners know, if your business is going to succeed, you need to be well managed and well advised. I’m sure you’ve got the well managed element firmly in hand. For well advised, I’d suggest getting some support on strategic steer and business agility to be ready to act swiftly when the Brexit outcome is clear and ready to be implemented. Wondering why this would be useful before the outcome as opposed to waiting until afterwards? Competitive edge. Dafferns could help your business have the tools to hand that will ensure you have effective import and export strategies, foreign currency tactics and have access to our international association of likeminded business advisers, AGN International. So regardless of the trade deal that is eventually decided on, you can be in a position to get the best out of Brexit. If you would like more information please go to https://dafferns.com/brexit/ or contact Andy Bewick, International Partner, on 02476 221 046 or andy.bewick@dafferns.com



Corporate Profiles

College Group dedicated to providing students with excellent employability skills

The North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group has recently marked the opening of the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI), set to deliver automotive engineering skills in areas including electrification and driverless cars. The development of this £9.5m facility was led by the Group in partnership with industry and higher education and is expected to become a global centre of excellence. The Group was formed on August 1, 2016 when federation partners North Warwickshire and

Hinckley College and South Leicestershire College merged to join forces. The work of the MTI complements the Group’s four college campuses serving the urban centres of Nuneaton, Hinckley and Wigston. The Group supports around 12,000 students and works with more than 600 employers. Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, said: “Throughout our 100-year history, we have been proud to serve our

local communities by delivering skills training that meets the needs of employers. “We believe that our success lies in making the connection between education and employment. That’s why we offer a range of ways to access training; through apprenticeships, or via workplace or online learning. “We also offer courses in English for Speakers for Other Languages (ESOL) that can help staff to become more integrated within their work environment.” Recent collaborative projects include the creation of joint venture company, Digital West Midlands, in partnership with Warwickshire College Group and Coventry College, designed to increase the number of digital apprenticeships, and the development of plans for the first dedicated Institute of Technology for logistics, with a hub based at Magna Park near Rugby, in partnership with Aston University, Gazeley, and Holovis. The group has also launched LifeWorks, a dedicated specialist centre created with funding from Warwickshire County Council, that enables students aged 19-24 with special educational needs or disabilities to gain employability skills and join the local workforce

through supported internships. Other collaborative projects have included the development of a unique faith-based apprenticeship for youth work employers created in partnership with the Church of England and the YMCA to offer qualifications from Level 2 to Level 4 in youth work within a faith-based setting. The group has also worked on the design of a new scheme for industrial capital projects company, TSL, enabling them to develop students through work experience, industry placements and apprenticeships into roles as project engineers. As part of its mission, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group is dedicated to providing its students with excellent employability skills. College students benefit from exposure to skills competitions, resulting in triumph at the

national finals of the WorldSkills UK LIVE competition in November 2018, putting the College in first place in England, and fifth in the UK. Marion added: “Competitions are an excellent way of enabling students to practice real-world employability skills including performing under pressure, delivering to tight deadlines and being judged by employers against industry standards. “We are extremely proud of our students’ success this year and look forward to a new year with plenty of opportunities to showcase their outstanding abilities.” To find out more about training an apprentice, accessing free ESOL training for workforces, or offering a student work placement, visit www.nwhc.ac.uk.

“As part of its mission, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College Group is dedicated to providing its students with excellent employability skills. “

After more than 50 years, the partnership between the Chamber and the Deeley Group is still going strong Deeley Group is celebrating more than 80 years working across Coventry and Warwickshire – and for more than half of the company’s history, it has had a relationship with the Chamber. The family construction and property development company was founded in 1936 and has been a key player in the Coventry business community ever since. In the 1940s the business were one of the biggest builders of airraid shelters in the city, a major council house builder throughout the 1950s and the largest school builder in Coventry during the 1960s. Until recently, Deeley Group had three divisions covering Property, Construction and Homes – all of which operate across the region. Recent major construction successes include Belgrade Plaza, a major investment site in the heart of Coventry.


The company has now launched a new fourth division, Deeley Affordable Living and has already built around 550 affordable homes in the last few years. Managing Director Peter Deeley, who has been with the company since 1958, said the Chamber was vital in giving businesses a voice in the region. “Our company’s relationship goes back a long time with the Chamber and it is an important part of the structure of Coventry and Warwickshire,” he said. “Part of the Deeley Group’s development has been to establish ourselves in the business community, and by being part of the Chamber, we are part of a team. “Business has its problems and you can’t always solve them yourselves. This is where the Chamber can help, it can be a collective voice. It works well, we work well as united body.”

Peter believes all new businesses coming into the region should get in touch with the Chamber to engage with the local business community. “I think it’s very important for any business, in any sector, wishing to put make a good stand in Coventry to come and talk to the Chamber. “It’s important that we as a local business put things back into this community and the Chamber acts as a very good voice for us all sometimes – which is needed.” Join Your Chamber Deeley Group has worked closely with the Chamber for over 50 years and still provide valuable support to each other. Breaking into the business community can be tough, but the best course of action still remains the same – join the Chamber.

To find out how your business can benefit from Chamber membership, call 024 7665 4321 or go to https://www.cw-chamber.co.uk/membership/

“Business has its problems and you can’t always solve them yourselves. This is where the Chamber can help, it can be a collective voice. It works well, we work well as united body.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Corporate Profiles

Future growth for creative service company A Rugby company, which produces a range of programmes for theatres across the UK, is following its own script as it plots its future growth. John Good Limited provides a full creative service, spanning both traditional printed material and digital. From branding and identity, graphic design, illustration and animation, through to account management, in-house production and distribution, it aims to deliver experience, creativity and support for a range of print and digital needs. One if its main areas of business – around 50 per cent of turnover – is working on behalf of producers and theatres to create programmes for plays and shows. The company, which moved to its site in Rugby three years ago, also has locations in Oxford and London. It works with some of the biggest names in theatre and arts across the country including The RSC, The National Theatre and Northern Ballet and produces up to 6 million

programmes each year which are all designed and printed in-house. As well as that, it works with a host of corporate and commercial clients – from schools to worldrenowned businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover. It has grown to employ close to 100 staff across its three UK locations and it is now looking to raise its profile – and that’s one of the reasons why it has enhanced its membership of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to become a Corporate Member. Simon McKay, John Good Ltd Operations Director, said: “We never really shout about what we do and we really want businesses across our region to know we are here. “It’s not all about us winning business, we might find great new suppliers on our doorstop – we know it works both ways and that’s why we wanted to raise our profile through the Chamber.

“We are specialists in theatre because many of the team here have worked in that sector and understand the needs of their clients. We know what goes into a theatre programme and can advise clients on what they want. “It’s definitely seasonal. We have peaks just before Christmas, just before Easter and then again in September. Theatres tend to go quite quiet in the summer periods. “We are growing the other side of the business and are always looking to expand into new markets. Having said that, we hope our links to culture might stand us in good stead as Coventry becomes UK City of Culture in 2021, which is right on our doorstep.” He added: “As well as print, we also offer digital services which has to be part of the marketing mix and is something more and more clients require in addition to traditional print.” For more information on John Good go to http://www.johngood.com/

“It’s not all about us winning business, we might find great new suppliers on our doorstop – we know it works both ways and that’s why we wanted to raise our profile through the Chamber.”

Waste pays back in to the community

Mick Golby, Gareth Windsor, Ashley Walsgrove Charlotte Todd and Janet O’Doherty.

Businesses are being encouraged to take advantage of the only commercial waste solutions service which puts its profits directly back into the community. Waste Solutions, the waste management service from Coventry City Council, uses

profits generated to support community services across the city, including provision for the elderly, maintaining parks and much more. Charlotte Todd has joined as Head of Commercial Waste and will lead the newly expanded service. She joins with a strong commercial background as a result of working for large corporate firms such as Amazon. Most recently from brand consultancy The Brandscape Group, where Charlotte lead as Sales and Marketing Director working for clients such as the BBC, Bentley, and Jaguar Land Rover. Waste Solutions offers its service to public, commercial and industrial sectors in Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull and Birmingham. It offers recycling schemes that send all recyclable material to specialist treatment facilities, with recyclable waste including cardboard and paper, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminum tins

and cans, plastic containers and film, green waste, wood, rubble and concrete, and electronic equipment. Services available include a wheeled bin collection service, waste compaction front end loader service (1700 litres), skip hire and pre-paid sack collections for small amounts of commercial waste. It is are also able to provide specialist waste management services such as Clinical and Hazardous Waste collections, or confidential paper/document shredding. A skip hire service is available to the general public as well as the commercial sector. Charlotte said: “When I took this position at Waste Solutions one of the key drivers for me was to be part of an enterprise which is giving back to the local community.” “Waste Solutions prides itself on being the only waste management service in Coventry that puts profits back into the community, helping to support valued services across the city.”

“We can help businesses of all sizes with their waste disposal and recycling needs, with options ranging from small to larger industrial sized solutions.” Waste Solutions has joined the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as a corporate member, as it seeks more businesses to take advantage of the service it offers. Charlotte added: “Joining the Chamber was a priority for us. We are committed to building a presence in the business community by engaging with businesses, and joining the Chamber as a corporate member will help us to do that. “We offer a wide range of services at competitive prices and would encourage all businesses to get in touch and see how we can help you.” To find out more about Waste Solutions from Coventry City Council visit www.coventry.gov.uk/wastesolutions or for a free no obligation quotation call 024 7683 2255.

“Waste Solutions prides itself on being the only waste management service in Coventry that puts profits back into the community, helping to support valued services across the city.”




Student stars shine as part of glittering College awards celebration

Successful students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College were celebrated at an event to showcase promising talent and to honour this year’s higher education graduates.

Coventry law firm retains Legal 500 status A Coventry law firm has retained its status as the most ranked law firm in the city in a national industry guide. The Legal 500, which is aimed at buyers of legal services and is read by four million people in the UK, has recommended Band Hatton Button in six different areas of practice – more than any other law firm in the city. This includes charities, corporate and commercial, employment, family, personal tax, trusts and probate, as well as real estate. Some of the firm’s work for Allied Irish Bank, The Albany Theatre and The Nicholas Chamberlaine School Foundation, amongst others, was highlighted in the commentary. Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “We are operating in a highly competitive region, so to retain our position as the leading firm in Coventry for legal services across multiple sectors is a fantastic achievement. “The Legal 500 is one of the most prestigious guides in the UK as it attracts so many visitors, and is a vital tool for us to be able to generate extra work – and to help us keep an eye on our competition. “The past year has seen the business achieve a record year of £4.5 million in turnover, driven by increasing caseloads across the majority of our departments so this listing is welldeserved as we gear up for another year of expansion in 2019.”

The event, which was hosted at the Jury’s Inn hotel in Hinckley, included an inspirational keynote address by guest speaker Penny Power OBE from Ecademy. Star students included Gemma Lee from Loughborough who works for handmade car interiors company, Ruskin Design, and was rewarded for leading a team that produced the first ever vegan interior for a Land Rover. Kacey Barker won the Principal’s prize for delivering excellent customer service in her role as a retail apprentice at Joco Interiors in Nuneaton. Jac Thompson from Earl Shilton was rewarded for progressing from a Level 2 programme into higher education as part of his performing arts studies at the College’s Hinckley campus.

Jac excelled as the lead in shows including ‘We Will Rock You’. In addition, about 60 graduates were presented with certificates for completing their higher education programmes, representing around 240 who successfully achieved a range of degree-level qualifications this year. Also recognised as part of the evening were the students who triumphed at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK LIVE competition that took place earlier this month, putting the College in first place in England, and fifth in the UK. The students won Gold medals for culinary arts and digital video production, and Silver and Bronze for customer service. In addition, as part of the Inclusive Skills competition for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, students won Silver and Bronze medals for media and woodworking and one student was awarded ‘highly commended’ in the IT competition. In her keynote address, Penny Power OBE said how impressed and moved

together to celebrate our students’ achievements. It was a magical evening of celebration for all our higher education graduates and a select number of stars from across the College who were nominated for special recognition. We were delighted to welcome guests from our partner colleges, universities and schools, and the business and organisations from our local communities that we work with closely throughout the year, to share in our celebrations. “It has been a fantastic year for the College group with many highlights including the completion of our new state-of-the-art training centre for automotive engineering, the MIRA Technology Institute, the endorsement provided by Ofsted for the significant progress we have made since our merger in 2016, and our students’ success in many prestigious competitions.”

Health Matters: Managing long-term health conditions at work Long-term health conditions (LTHC) are illnesses and diseases for which there is no cure. You will have heard of some – diabetes, arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis (MS), depression, anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD very different from IBS) family. I hope that from these examples you are starting to recognise that they are common. It is said that 10 million people have a long-term health condition in the UK. LTHC do not exist in isolation; often multiple conditions are present and having an effect on each other. So, it is complicated for the individual and you as an employer. The topic of long-term health conditions is huge, so I have limited to, in my opinion, to the top six key principles to apply in managing long-term health conditions. • Manage the individual not the condition. It can be very easy to gather information about health conditions but not understand how it impacts the individual, how treatments have an effect or not

workplace adjustments to enable the or result in side effects, understand person to live and work well with the how lifestyle, social aspects, thought condition(s). We are, of course, bound processes all combine to influence by legislation and professional codes the daily life and ability of the person. about confidentiality; thus, giving the Some people who have a long-term individual security to be able to talk health conditions may still see candidly. We are skilled in working themselves as healthy and well with the individual to be able to where as another person with the translate the medical diagnosis, same condition and symptoms will treatments, individual’s perspectives see themselves as sick. These into work relevant advice to return to different perspectives affect work communicate with you in the form abilities and are influenced by of a report usually. cultural, social, economic and environmental factors. • Involve the occupational health professionals at the right time. • Involve occupational health If the individual is off sick for 4 weeks professionals Nurses registered with then refer to OH; is the simple the Nursing and Midwifery Council – guidance ...... however, there are NMC and Doctors registered with the circumstances which mean referral General medical council – GMC who at a different time is appropriate!!! have gained a wide range and time in If in doubt, then ring OH to help clinical practice and then done decide an appropriate time to refer. further specialist training – degree and diploma levels in occupational • Have a sickness absence policy in health. We understand how longwhich there is guidance about term conditions impact the person managing people who have (the details in the first bullet point), conditions which are likely to the person’s ability to work and what mean that the demands of the Equality Act apply. can help in treatments, lifestyles,

Construction awards recognise outstanding performers

Stepnell joint managing director Mark Wakeford with members of the Royal Enfield project team, left to right, Richard Wood, Matt King and Liam King who won the Project of the Year regional title.

Trainee site manager Laura Barnett and the project team which created a cutting-edge development centre for iconic motorcycle firm Royal Enfield were among outstanding employees from the East Midlands recognised by construction contractor Stepnell at its Annual Awards. Laura was chosen as the East Midlands Trainee of the Year while the Royal Enfield project team – Matt King, Richard Wood, Liam King and Luke Herald - took the Project of the Year regional title for their work building Royal Enfield’s UK Technology Centre near Lutterworth, Leicestershire.


she had been by the students’ stories and emphasised the importance of self-belief, highlighting to the audience how it is possible to overcome adversity in order to achieve life goals. Penny was awarded her OBE in 2014 for her contribution to the social digital economy by being the first person in the world to launch a social network for business. Ecademy was launched in 1998, trail-blazing the concept of online friendship in business. Guests at the awards event included the mayors and consorts of Hinckley & Bosworth, Oadby & Wigston, Nuneaton & Bedworth, and North Warwickshire councils, plus local employers, and partners from the University of Leicester and the Midland Academies Trust. Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive said, “It was fantastic to see so many people coming

Other winners from Stepnell’s East Midlands region – which is based in Beeston, Nottingham were Nick Whitmore (Operative of the Year); Shaun Moses (Project Team Employee of the Year); Sarah Osbiston (Support Services Employee of the Year) and Sarah Osbiston, Richard Bamford, Laura Barnett, Liam King, Richard Wood and Louise Bilbie (named Team of the Year for their contribution as part of the Considerate Constructors committee which has driven substantial improvements in the region). Shaun Moses, Daniel Thomas, Jack Wood and Olson Murrain together took the Considerate Constructors Scheme Project of the Year title for their delivery of St Martins Lodge, a major refurbishment and conversion scheme which has brought stunning new luxury overnight accommodation to the historic centre of Leicester. Stepnell regional director Thomas Sewell said of the winners: “They exemplify the in-depth talent and specialist expertise which exists across our business and which enables us to continue delivering exceptional buildings for our clients.” Stepnell’s Annual Awards were held at the Dallas Burston Polo Club events venue in Southam, Warwickshire.

• Be flexible, this is probably the most effective adjustment in my experience and brings individual’s great relief. LTHC often but not always (diabetes and asthma if well managed will have very little symptom fluctuation, where as something like multiple sclerosis will have more fluctuation day to day and periods of severe symptom levels) have symptoms that fluctuate on a day to day basis and affect work abilities. • Regular wellbeing reviews, the frequency of these will vary according to the individual’s symptom fluctuation and length of time that the individual has known about the condition. Giving person specific positive feedback will build confidence, trust and relationships. Person specific means that you identify exactly the action(s) of the individual rather than the outcomes of the team. Anna Harrington RGN. SCPHN (OH) is an Occupational Health Advisor with Health Matters

Success at academic venue awards for Warwick Conferences Warwick Conferences has confirmed its position as a leading conference and events venue by winning the Best Conference Venue (more than 300 delegates) accolade at the Academic Venue Awards. The event was held at the University of Birmingham, and Warwick Conferences won the award after demonstrating its high-quality service to event organisers and the benefits to attendees. Showcasing a year-on-year increase in the number of events as well as continued customer satisfaction were just some of the reasons the team were successful, with the Warwick Conferences team finding new ways to offer organisers an engaging venue for their events and conferences. Clive Singleton, Commercial General Manager at Warwick Conferences, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by the Academic Venue Awards as being the number one academic conference venue in the UK. We’ve been working tirelessly to improve and develop the experience at our facilities, including the introduction of reimagined creative meeting concepts and working closely with clients to ensure a positive and engaging meeting or event is enjoyed by all attendees.”

Celebrating the best UK venues from a range of academic institutions, including universities, schools and royal colleges, the Academic Venue Awards are judged by an independent panel of industry experts, recognising industry leaders and innovators. Tony Howard, Director of Conferences, Food and Retail at Warwick Conferences, said: “We’re thrilled that the Academic Venue Awards have recognised our commitment to innovate our meeting spaces across our conference and training venues. We have taken some important steps over the last 12 months to build an even more sustainable venue, while transforming our creative spaces so clients can enjoy new ways to engage and inform their delegates.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


sponsored column

A mudnificent achievement

Nicky Rygielski (Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support), Stephen Hammon (Heart of England Conference Centre), Kevin Newey (Event Organiser), Charlotte Harris (Myton Hospice), Mohammed Wakas & Terri Jo Brooks (Children’s Christmas Wish List)

An obstacle race and mud run helped raise more than £50,000 for local charities, including Myton Hospice, whose team of 100 runners managed to raise £14,704.94. The Mudnificent 7 took place at the Heart of England Conference Centre in Meriden. Now in its fourth year, The Mudnificent 7 is a 7km obstacle course race which has seven obstacle zones, each designed and built by a different event company. Thrill seekers from all over the country flocked to the venue to crawl through mud, climb over walls and swim through lakes. Amongst them

were teams from a number of local charities, who use the event each year to help raise much needed funds. Event organiser Kevin Newey, who also works for Leamington Spa-based food manufacturer Shire Foods, said: “We’d hoped to help raise around £20,000 for local causes so to hit £50,000 is a massive achievement. We’re working with charities that need constant support through events like ours and it’s great to see people getting up off the sofa, having fun, conquering fears, and raising money at the same time.” Nicky Rygielski from the Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support Group, which is based in Nuneaton, has now participated in the event for the past two years and has already got the 2019 date in her diary. She said: “Mud7 is really important to Sophia PLS. It gives us an opportunity to link many bereaved parents together and achieve something that many thought they would never do. It also creates a massive amount of awareness for the charity, enabling us to try and break the silence around baby loss. The money raised will go towards the running of the charity

to enable more support to be offered locally and further afield.” Kevin said: “We’re now working towards our 2019 event which is taking place at the same venue on Saturday 17th August. We’ve set our sights on helping to raise £100,000, which is a very ambitious target but we hope people see the fun that can be had and the achievement felt when crossing the finish line. “There are so many local charities that people can get a free entry to run for, as long as they can pledge to raise £100 for them – Myton Hospice, Children’s Christmas Wish List, Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Sophia Pregnancy Loss Support, Loros, Little Hearts Matter, and many more. The event is open to anyone aged 14 years plus, and is suitable for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Come along, have fun, and claim your medal at the finish line.” For more information on gaining a free charity entry for 2019, go to www.mud7.com or contact Kevin at kevin@obstacleracemagazine.com

Chamber commits to help veterans

A leading business organisation has pledged its support to help members of the Armed Forces community back into work. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce made the formal pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant at the Ricoh Arena and received the Bronze Award for their support. The pledge states that the Chamber will support veterans, reservists, and military families of all ages in helping them back into the workplace with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) providing a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers. The Chamber is also promising to be actively involved in Armed Forced Day and will be offering a £25 discount to all army veterans who are looking to start their own business. Representatives from the Chamber met army veterans during a Wasps match at the Ricoh

Arena and signed the agreement pitch-side to confirm their commitment to supporting veterans looking for jobs. Employers are able to nominate themselves for an award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and once the Armed Forces Covenant has been signed the nomination is considered by the board before being awarded. Matthew Hammersley, HR Advisor at CW Chamber, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting forces veterans by signing the Armed Forces Covenant, and to be able to provide our help for such an important campaign. “We are also thrilled to have received the bronze award for our commitment to supporting veterans, their families and the wider forces community through our tailored employment pathway and also in helping them to start their own businesses.

“As an organisation it is incredibly important to us that we support those from the armed services who have given amazing service to the country and we look forward to supporting veterans in their future careers or businesses.” For more information on the Armed Forces Covenant, contact the Employment Engagement team at West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadet Association on 0121 274 2227 or e-mail at wm-eeao@rfca.mod.uk.

Afternoon tea with a twist at 12th Century hotel

Brochure launch raises £1,130 for charity To celebrate the launch of their summer 2019 Door to Door Holiday brochure, Johnsons Coach Travel took 500 clients, to the National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s yearround centre of Remembrance. Transported in ten coaches, the event gave Johnsons an opportunity to meet their customers face to face and treat them to a fantastic day out at the Arboretum. The event also included a charity raffle, in aid of Johnsons’ Charity of the year, The Shakespeare Hospice - and a grand total of £1,130 was raised. Johnsons’ Summer 2019 Door to Door brochure is out now and packed with more than 200 departures between April and October 2019 in Britain & Overseas. They also have a Day Excursions Brochure that includes Theatre Shows and some fantastic places to visit in Spring 2019. Clients were welcomed to the Arboretum’s brand new conference venue with coffee and biscuits and had the chance to chat to Johnsons’ long established hoteliers and suppliers. John Johnson and Wendy Moore presented the new holiday destinations with a range of multiple props and hats that were in theme with each destination which kept everyone entertained.


An award-winning 12th Century hotel is revolutionising an esteemed British tradition by infusing it with a taste of East Asia. Coombe Abbey Hotel is launching a new Oriental Afternoon Tea menu, offering guests the chance to experience the 140-year-old custom in a classical setting with a contemporary Asian twist. A bento box will be served up, filled with a range of savoury snacks, employing mainly Japanese culinary techniques, whilst also taking cues from China and Korea. The Brinklow-based venue achieved recognition across the country for its afternoon teas including being voted as one of the top 30 places in the UK to indulge in the British tradition, as selected by Daily Telegraph experts. It is hoped that the new addition, which will be replacing the Knights Afternoon Tea, will be just as popular with visitors.

Included on the new menu is vegetable Gyoza – a Japanese fried dumpling, pork belly bao – a Chinese steamed bun roll, and Karaage chicken – a Japanese variety of fried chicken, as well as Wagyu beef with kimchi and a miso and tofu broth. A sweet section follows this with a matcha green tea cornetto, complete with stem ginger and lime buttercream, as well as yuzu and raspberry opera cake, and a choice of tea or coffee. Ron Terry, General Manager of Coombe Abbey, said: “I think everyone who tries the new menu will be extremely impressed. “It’s refreshing to bring a new perspective to an old tradition. Authenticity is important, but our main goal is to deliver an experience that guests will remember for a long time, and I think this unique combination is going to help us achieve that.

Protel Fieldwork receives certification Protel Fieldwork has announced that it is now certified with the International Quality Standard ISO 20252; for Market, Opinion, and Social Research. To obtain this accreditation, the business went through a thorough preparation and assessment process.This included a two-day site visit and inspection by an externally appointed assessor. For existing and prospective clients, ISO 20252 means that they now have the assurance that Protel Fieldwork will manage each stage of the research process according to the requirements of this Quality Standard.

The ISO covers all steps; from the recruitment and training of staff and interviewers, to the validation and monitoring process of data collection, through to the secure transfer and delivery of final data. Protel’s Commercial Director, Tina Lunn, the assigned Quality Manager and responsible for the Research Process Management System, said: ”Protel has always been highly regarded for its commitment and focus on top quality fieldwork. Through the continuous efforts of the team, it is fantastic to now have this officially recognised with the ISO 20252 accreditation.”

“It will replace the Knight’s theme that has been a firm favourite since 2014, but our other popular teas including the Abbott’s, Monk’s, Sparkling and Gin themed ones will still be available. “Oriental cuisine is rising in popularity all over the world, and we wanted to capitalise on that trend and deliver an original experience to our guests. “We felt that these two cultures complement each other extremely well, and I’m sure that it will be a huge hit with our guests at the hotel.”

Let it grow! Corporate members Marks & Clerk have been growing support for the Movember Foundation – taking part in the ‘Grow a Mo, Save a Bro’ and ‘Move for Movember’ challenges during the month of November. The Foundation aims to ‘change the face of men’s health’, and has funded more than 1,200 projects over 15 years, tackling the biggest issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. The M&C team cultivated an impressive array of moustaches over the 30 days, with varying styles, shapes, and sizes! Those for whom the ‘hairy solution’

wasn’t an option set out instead to run or walk 60km over the same period – representing the 60 men who are lost to suicide every hour around the world. The final tally was over 500km and fundraising achieved more than £250 for the charity. The attorneys and staff at Marks & Clerk run charity events throughout the year, including a MacMillan bake sale, a Poppy Walk, and a global challenge in support of Save the Children.

Making Dreams Come True Most of us who started a business did so because we had a dream of what life would be like once it was up and running. For most people that includes wealth and the time to enjoy it. Roll on a few years or even decades and often those dreams have been replaced by the feeling of relentless daily grind and very little freedom. Often my work with clients involves reconnecting them with the dreams they have for their lives and then helping them reshape their business so it works without them – which in turn frees them up to live life on their own terms. In my sessions I use a formula which you can try for yourself:

Dreams x Goals x Learning x Planning x Action Dreams:

Why did you start your business, what were your hopes and dreams, are these still current and are they strong enough to drive you to take action? Goals: What does your business need to look like in order to support your dreams? What milestones can we set to achieve your dreams – usually based on a high level 1-3 year year plan and a detailed 90 day plan. Learning: Typically, our business grows to the extent of the owner’s knowledge – what new skills or knowledge do you need to acquire to take your business to the next level? Planning: What needs to be done, by whom and by when and how are we going to monitor progress? Action: Time to get into action - execute the plan and ensure you and your team are accountable for delivering the results and staying on track. Interested in some help putting this together for your business? I’m offering a FREE 60 - 90 min Dream Mastery Session to CW business owners with 8+ employees who want to create a business that helps them realise their dreams. I’ll help you to: 1) Gain clarity over what you want to achieve 2) Identify the key milestones that will create the business you want 3) Create an initial 90 day plan The first step is to book an initial 15 minute conversation at http://chat415.co.uk David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390 davidlee@actioncoach.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/


Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

A Hole in One for Training Success in numbers Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training has been offering Accountancy Apprenticeships for over 20 years and has experienced many changes over that time. In particular, over the last 12 months as a result of government Apprenticeship reforms which have seen the introduction of a business skills element to the programme. This was swiftly embraced by the team introducing theme based workshops in areas such as Managing Change, Time Management, Professional Report Writing to name just a few. At the firm’s training centre in Radford, Coventry there is a dedicated Accountancy team with many years’ experience in providing Accountancy Apprenticeships who are skilled in the training and development of individuals together with supporting employers. Nicky Cheshire at Chamber Training commented: “Accountancy is a fundamental part of every business, so our aim is to help employers through my role as a designated Account Manager to understand the current Apprenticeship programme, including the funding available and the skills required to meet the new standards. “An Accountancy Apprenticeship is now available from level 2 through to the new Level 7 Accountancy Taxation Apprenticeship which incorporates the Accountancy Professional Qualification ACCA.” The dedicated Accountancy advisers, Karen Devany and Nicky Cheshire are on hand to support new and existing employers to identify the training and development needs of your staff, source the most suitable candidates for their organisation and ensure they have all the training support required. Working in partnership with Kaplan Financial Limited, which has an established range of high quality study programmes to support students to success, the accountancy team at Chamber Training provides students with a bespoke classroom tuition, high quality support and 1:1 workplace guidance for portfolio development. Coventry & Warwickshire is forging ahead with its accountancy achievement rates of 91.4% compared to 72.7% nationally, whilst 96% of employers would recommend Chamber Training, which places the training centre in the top quartile nationally. Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training is one of the largest private training providers offering Apprenticeships across Coventry & Warwickshire. It helps and supports businesses to reap the benefits that an Apprentice can bring, including business growth and new fresh ideas. For more information on Accountancy Apprenticeships, particularly the level 7 Accountancy Taxation Apprenticeship which starts in February 2019, please email enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk


A prestigious golf club based in Coventry is working alongside Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training to progress and develop its workforce using the art of social media for business. Coventry Hearsall Golf Club, established in 1894, is a 18 hole golf course that is open to all levels of golfers and is regularly used by the country for team matches. The course has recently completed a major project to

install a new state-of-the-art irrigation system and is recognised as one of the best courses within Warwickshire. Luke Ryan, General Manager at Hearsall Golf Club said: “As a growing and thriving golf club, we appreciate the role that social media can play in promoting the golf club whilst also offering a potential avenue for improving the company’s turnover. “Chamber Training was recommended as a training

provider to the golf club 14 years ago and we have always received excellent support and guidance. The training provided on social platforms including Facebook gave us a perfect opportunity to plan and create a regular flow of communication between our existing and new members. We can also use it to highlight forthcoming events, functions, member news, any special offers available and new initiatives.”

“Chamber Training was recommended as a training provider to the golf club 14 years ago and we have always received excellent support and guidance. The training provided on social platforms including Facebook gave us a perfect opportunity to plan and create a regular avenue of communication between our existing and new members.”

Luke Ryan, Jan Ryan and Clair Duffy are shown on the Hearsall Golf Club’s beautiful grounds.

To find out more about the training opportunities available at Chamber Training, please call the Business Development Team on 02476 231122 or email enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk

Building Leadership Skills skillset, with the support of Coventry Citizens Advice, I embarked on ILM Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management with Chamber Training. “The course has given me the ability to see what we’ve done well and where we could have done a little better across our work. I’ve brought my newly acquired skills and experience back into the organisation whilst my employers have also benefitted, not only from the funding but from the skills support available to local businesses. It’s a win for everyone and offers a great way to gain quality, academic study.” Natalie Lane, Account Manager at Chamber Training remarked:

Natalie Lane is shown with Julie Faulkner from Coventry Citizens Advice

Chamber Training is working in partnership with Citizens Advice Coventry to help develop and enhance management skills across their workforce. The charity, which has been based in Coventry for nearly 78 years, has a reputation for high quality provision of advice services and was keen to look into funding for skills training. Julie Faulkner, Integration Project Manager at Citizens Advice Coventry said:

“Our organisation was going through a period of change and I was asked to look into viable funding offers to help upskill the project management team with training and qualifications. I spoke to Natalie Lane our account manager at Chamber Training and she checked our eligibility for Skills 4 Growth funding. The training application was successful and the company is now looking to close skills gaps across our services. “In order to help my own personal development and

“Citizens Advice Coventry has also benefitted by placing two of their senior integration officers onto the ILM 3 Award in Leadership and Management, building leadership capabilities and developing teams throughout the charity. We encourage small to medium sized companies with under 250 staff to get in touch with us so we can check eligibility for Skills 4 Growth.” The ILM qualifications in Leadership and Management are designed for practising middle/senior managers to help develop skills and experience, improve performance and prepare for senior management responsibilities.

For more information, please contact Chamber Training’s Business Development Team on 024 7623 1122 or enquiries@cw-chambertraining.co.uk

“Citizens Advice Coventry has also benefitted by placing two of their senior integration officers onto the ILM 3 Award in Leadership and Management, building leadership capabilities and developing teams throughout the charity.“

Coventry & Warwickshire Skills 4 Growth is part-funded by the European Social Fund and receives further funding support from Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Business Support - News

sponsored column

Broadband support for businesses

Firms across Coventry and Warwickshire have been told not to let slow broadband or outdated IT stand in their way of growth and to tap into free advice and support. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce says that sluggish broadband speeds and a lack of knowledge of which technology can help a business to grow is holding back hundreds of companies from expanding. The Chamber is offering free, impartial advice to businesses

across the patch to help them find the right systems and there is also funding available, depending on eligibility, to increase broadband speeds. Neil Batchelor, a Chamber ICT advisor, believes companies are held back from making decisions about their IT and broadband because they are uncertain of what they need. He said: “I speak to businesses day in, day out and they know what slow internet speeds means to their business,

but are uncertain of what is available or how to upgrade. “And, because of that uncertainty, they are put off making decisions that could otherwise help them to become more efficient and grow their business. “That’s why it’s important for companies across the patch to know that we can offer free, impartial advice on a whole range of matters when it comes to IT and can talk about the benefits to the business rather than the science behind it. “Companies will, for example, have heard ‘moving to the cloud’ yet might not really understand what it means, how that actually makes their lives easier or how it brings business benefits. “We are keen to explain in very practical terms how that change could help them in their day-today work and what steps they can take to achieve it. The Chamber isn’t an IT provider – we have some fantastic members in this sector who would undertake the delivery of any service improvements.

“The Chamber would supply the impartial advice and support to allow companies to make better informed decisions. “There is funding available to increase broadband speeds too, subject to criteria, and that is something I would certainly urge companies to find out more about while the opportunity is available to them. “Better IT and faster broadband can boost a business’s bottom line – it’s just important to understand what steps to take to ensure you are investing in the right technology, not just for growth now but for the future.” If you want to upgrade your broadband or IT systems but are not sure what to do next, contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or email ict-advisors@cwchamber.co.uk This activity forms part of the Project: Extending superfast network and building SME ICT capability across Coventry and Warwickshire, and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Helping tackle the challenges of stress Being self-employed or owning a small business can be one of the most rewarding ways to work, but it can also be one of the most challenging and stressful. Long hours, dealing with clients and staff, Health and Safety compliances to name a few. Sometimes we need additional advice and support. The Life & Progress EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) will provide professional, impartial non-judgmental advice and support at the end of a telephone 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Stress is one of the main challenges we help with. We can through proper understanding and engagement help businesses and their employees deal with stress in their work and personal lives A Life & Progress EAP can provide support across a whole range of issues emotional and practical that we may face daily. Our MHR (Mental Health Responsive) workshops are delivered at a client’s premises, reducing disruption of staff and expense of being away from the workplace.

Client Alexandra Greenwood, Head of HR (Employment & Performance) at Foundation Housing, said: “Such an authentic workshop which really got under the skin of our organisation.” For less than the price of a cup of coffee and a cookie monthly, you could provide effective professional support for an employee. For more information on how we help email service@lifeandprogress.co.uk or visit www.lifeandprogress.co.uk

Corporate Social Responsibility – can your company afford not to be involved? Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR as it is more commonly referred to – three words that are having a far-reaching impact on businesses, organisations and charities across the country. Charities and community organisations receive vital support in the form of volunteer help and crucial boosts to the coffers. Companies reap the reward for their involvement with a happier and more involved workforce with a greater sense of belonging, the joy of giving to the communities around them and, last but definitely not least, a massive PR boost. Being a responsible employer can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting and retaining the very best staff. And a survey by the UK Small Business Consortium revealed that 88 per cent of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society. All of these benefits come at a small cost of giving staff a few hours off to volunteer for a good cause or a simple cash donation or sponsorship. So, the question really is – can your company afford to not be involved?


Here at The Myton Hospices we rely heavily on CSR. It doesn’t matter how small or large your firm is or how much time or money you can give, every single penny and every volunteer hour make a massive difference to us and a massive difference to you.

which allows employees to not only give something back to the community, but raise awareness of the amazing work Myton do, which is funded almost entirely by donations.

One of our loyal supporters is Staysure, who committed to providing 80 volunteer days to Myton throughout 2018, as well as helping us fundraise and taking part in our fabulous corporate events.

“The benefits to our business and our workforce are also fantastic – customers like to know we are a firm that gives back to the community and staff love belonging to a company that recognises the importance of doing its bit, especially for such a fantastic local cause.”

Staysure’s sales manager Cheryl Smalldon knows only too well about the work Myton does, as her dad was cared for by us in the final days of his life in 2017. She said: “Staysure partnered with Myton as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility agenda

If you would like to find out more about how your business and staff can benefit from CSR involvement, please call a member of Myton’s Corporate team on 01926 838817 or e-mail corporate@mytonhospice.org

“Being a responsible employer can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting and retaining the very best staff. And a survey by the UK Small Business Consortium revealed that 88 per cent of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.”

Your business beyond Brexit Putting the perceived rights and wrongs of Brexit to one side, all businesses should be ready for a wide range of eventualities by now. There is a never ending stream of conflicting stories flying around as to what will happen once we leave the EU but you have to look at things neutrally and think about what is best for your business using the facts that are available. Areas such as movement of goods, product compliance, contracts, financial planning and people are sure to be subject to changes, therefore there won’t be much chance of carrying on as normal, regardless of what industry you work in. At Burgis & Bullock we encourage that you seek professional advice on confirmed changes to be sure you are compliant. The key things to consider in relation to movement of goods include preparations for a new electronic customs system due to be implemented this year. Guidance has been published on the Government website on how to prepare for the Customs Declaration Service and HMRC have set up an EU Exit update service, which keeps you up to date with software required to comply with conditions. Other key areas are still being worked out and a simple compliance guide is not yet available to publish. Some contracts may need to be renegotiated or terminated after the UK leaves the EU, businesses might need to consider how they track the nationality status of employees and ensure immigration compliance, while VAT and custom duties are sure to be affected. There are many potential scenarios that could still arise but as a business it is key that you remain informed by trusted sources. We have assisted our clients throughout the process so far and now we are entering perhaps the most crucial few months, so as we hopefully move towards some clarity on the future relationship it is more important than ever to block out the excess noise and seek the right advice Sean Farnell Contact us today or visit our website for more information. Tel: 0845 177 5500 www.burgisbullock.com Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.


Legal sponsored column

Lodders retains top place in elite legal guide Senior lawyers specialising in family law and agriculture law at Midlands firm Lodders Solicitors have been named as amongst the UK’s best by the legal profession’s elite guide to the country’s leading lawyers, Chambers Directory. The latest edition of the guide, which ranks UK legal firms and individual lawyers based on their expertise and client feedback, has again awarded head of Lodders Family Law practice, Beverley Morris, its highest Band 1 position for family lawyers in Birmingham,

praising her for her significant expertise in complex financial cases and private law children matters. Sources quoted in the directory recognise Beverley for her ‘outstanding hands-on client management skills and excellent judgement’, and her ‘extraordinary work ethic and terrific intellect’. Lodders’ Birmingham-based Family Law team also again receives the highest Band 1 position in this year’s Chambers, with sources saying that Lodders is ‘a top-end firm that can deal with complex cases’.

Also retaining top Band 1 ranking is Lodders’ Agriculture and Rural Affairs practice in the Chambers round-up of firms in Coventry and the surrounding areas, and in particular recognises the team’s Ian Flavell for his strong tax matters, and focus on trusts and estates work for farming clients. In total, Chambers gives special recognition to nine of Lodders’ senior lawyers, including real estate lawyer and the firm’s managing partner Paul Mourton, who is described as an ‘exceptional development lawyer’. Head of Lodders’ dispute resolution practice Jane Senior is noted for her real estate litigation as an experienced property lawyer with an impressive ‘understanding of the

issues and requirements’ by clients, the ‘excellent’ Nick East for his handling of investment property transactions who ‘combines intelligence and knowledge with an ability to get the deal done’, and Mark Lewis, head of Lodders’ charities team, who is praised for his ‘well thought-out advise and expertise, and diligent and helpful approach’. Chambers names family lawyer Vivienne Middleton as an ‘associate to watch’, and Lodders’ agricultural law expert David Lodder as one of its ‘Senior Statesmen’, acknowledging that he is ‘highly respected, regarded and liked’, and recognised amongst his peers for his ‘experience and stature as an agricultural practitioner’.

Law firm wins award for the second year running

What are Directors’ Duties?

Directors owe numerous duties to a company. These duties were developed by the courts over a long period of time before some were enshrined in the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006). The duties of a director set out in the CA 2006 sections 171-177 are often known as the general duties.

The general duties include the duty to promote the success of the company, the duty to exercise independent judgment, the duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, the duty not to accept benefits from third parties and the duty to declare interests in proposed transactions or arrangements. It is a criminal offence to fail to declare an interest in existing transactions or arrangements. The general duties are not exhaustive and directors should be aware of other legislation that may apply, such as in an insolvency situation where liability can arise for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading and transactions carried out at an undervalue or where a preference is given. Potential liability arises for a director under sector-specific legislation, e.g. unsolicited marketing communications where the Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to fine directors in addition to companies for nuisance calls and messages. If a director breaches one or more of the general duties he may leave himself open to a civil action from the company with the possible consequences of damages or compensation, restoration of the company’s profits and an account of profits made by the director. For advice on Directors’ Duties please contact John Morgan at Mander Hadley Solicitors. John has wide and varied experience in all aspects of corporate and commercial law including company and business sales, acquisitions and reorganisations, banking and finance, share capital and structures, shareholders’ agreements, partnerships and LLPs, joint ventures, agency and distribution agreements, terms and conditions of business, and UK and international commercial contracts. T: 024 7663 1212 or 01926 857631 E: johnmorgan@manderhadley.co.uk W: manderhadley.co.uk Offices in Coventry and Kenilworth


A Coventry and Warwickshirebased law firm has won an award for the second year running. Mander Hadley Solicitors, which has offices in Coventry and Kenilworth, won the Warwickshire Law Society Law Firm of the Year (up to five partners) Award 2018, having won the same award in 2017. The award was presented to Elizabeth Jennings, a Director at Mander Hadley Solicitors, by Professor Stephen Hardy of Coventry University Law School, which provided the judging panel for the competition, at a ceremony

at the Manor Hotel in Meriden, on Friday 16 November 2018. The award follows a judging process which involved the firm making a detailed written submission about its work with private and commercial clients across the county and its commitment to the local community. The community work presented to the judges included the firm having last year supported Coventry’s successful bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 with a photography competition for students at Coventry College.

The judges were also told how two of the firm’s solicitors, Andriy Buniak and Matthew Riding, along with former staff member, Gemma Hoskin, are in training to take on the Three Peaks Challenge next May. This will see them ascend the highest peaks in each of England, Scotland and Wales within 24 hours. Harrison Beale and Owen, Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisers, are kindly providing Corporate Sponsorship for the team’s efforts. Jonathan Hall, Managing Director at Mander Hadley Solicitors, said: “We are delighted to have won this

award once again this year. It is a great endorsement of the efforts of our whole team and to have won in two successive years is particularly special. “At Mander Hadley Solicitors, we are committed to our clients and to the community and so it is wonderful to have received this recognition.”

Historic agricultural law firm expands ahead of Brexit A firm with more than 170 years of history in agricultural law has expanded to prepare for ‘fundamental change’ in the sector after Brexit. Leamington Spa-based Wright Hassall is now gearing up for a huge sector shake up after the UK leaves the EU next April. In both the recently published Legal 500 and Chambers UK legal directories the agricultural team has retained its top tier ranking, with Paul Rice, Alex Robinson, Joel Woolf, and Sarah Beer all cited as notable practitioners in Chambers. Feedback noted that staff have ‘an unrivalled knowledge around matters associated with development and reinvestment’ and that ‘they’re

technically excellent lawyers.’ As the firm prepares to help its farming and rural estate clients prepare for their post-Brexit future, it has brought three new agricultural specialists on board with a strong understanding of the sector and Wright Hassall’s history within it. Joel Woolf, a farmer’s son from Suffolk, has joined as partner from Foot Anstey in the South West advising on succession and business continuity, while Vanessa Blane joins as a senior solicitor from the Canal & River Trust to concentrate on HS2 and other compulsory purchase or planning matters. Jon Clifford, who joins from Lanyon Bowdler, heads up the Rural Disputes’ team. According to the

team the Agriculture Bill, which has just had its second reading, will play a key part in shaping the future of the farming industry. The bill has been described as an outline of Britain’s post-Brexit farming policy and one of the main concerns raised is that laws are set to be more susceptible to change based on political ideology. This is due to an increase in powers and decision making abilities being given to the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Joel said: “We are in a period where the face of the sector is set to fundamentally change. With Brexit on the horizon, there are sure to be plenty of big decisions being made

Brexit – 5 possible legislative changes? By Philip Costigan Partner - Commercial Property at Band Hatton Button.

As both a lawyer and also someone who takes a close interest in the legal consequences of Brexit, I am sometimes asked by friends and clients what are the most likely changes in the law which the government will implement once we leave the EU. In the absence of a crystal ball, this isn’t a particularly easy question to answer, particularly as there is no degree of certainty that a Brexit deal can be done, and that in itself means the likelihood of a General Election and with it the potential of a change in government) cannot be ruled out. Incidentally, I have tried to buy that crystal ball but alas, they all seem to have been snapped up by those trying to solve the Northern Irish border issue! It is important to remember that current legislation which derives from the EU comes from either EU Regulations (which are directly effective into UK law) or from EU Directives (which have to be implemented into UK law by UK Statutes passed in accordance with those Directives). The UK’s domestic withdrawal legislation will in essence ratify all current legislation deriving from the EU as at the 29th of March 2019, so when we leave the EU nothing will immediately change, as all EU derived law will remain on the Statute Book. The Government will then gradually

change any laws which it doesn’t particularly like on a case by case basis, for which new UK legislation will be required. So, without any degree of confidence at all, here are 5 possible areas where change is likely, assuming that there is no early change of government. Given that much of our current employment law, protecting the position of employees in the work place, derives from either EU Regulations or Directives, it is probably a fair bet that some aspects of our employment protection rules will change in time post Brexit. Another almost certain target will be the rights of free movement of workers from (and to) other EU countries, albeit that in the event of a “deal” being reached to secure an orderly departure from the EU on 29th March next year, rights of free movement will remain at least during the transition period until 31st December 2020. The position with regard to agricultural subsidies which farmers currently receive through the EU as The Common Agricultural Policy will also almost certainly change in time, although the UK Government has guaranteed to retain an equivalent subsisting level of subsidy for a limited period of time following Brexit. Critics of the EU’s Single Market consider that it creates too many seemingly petty rules which interfere in areas which shouldn’t be the EU’s

concern, and denies Member States control of their own affairs. For instance under an EU derived rule passed in 2013, any vacuum cleaners sold must meet energy efficiency standards. It is quite possible in the fullness of time, we will see some of these very precise regulations become more relaxed. Finally some members of this Government have been very critical about human rights legislation, and it is quite possible that the Human Rights Act will be amended in some shape or form. Human rights legislation doesn’t actually derive from EU law, it derives from the UK’s membership of the European Convention on Human Rights to which we signed up shortly after the Second World War (long before we joined the Common Market), and quite often human rights legislation is mistakenly attributed to our membership of the European Union. However, whatever the derivation, it is more than possible that some elements of human rights legislation will be on the government’s “hit list” after we leave the EU. Amongst all the uncertainty, one absolute certainty is that we are living through a time of change, but exactly what that change will amount to is currently far from clear. In the meantime, I hope the above suggestions are interesting, if only in due course to show wrong one can be!

which will impact on every rural business from small family farms upwards. “Wright Hassall’s long history of acting for the farming industry just shows why it is such a perfect place for me to continue my career in this sector which I care passionately about.” Wright Hassall’s agricultural team advises a range of farmers, landowners, rural businesses and farming-related organisations on all their legal matters and has close connections with the National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC and Warwickshire Farm Management Group.

Local Family Lawyer retains specialist resolution accreditation Local lawyer Emma Piff, who has worked for Coventry & Warwickshire law firm, Alsters Kelley Solicitors for ten years has recently been successfully reaccredited by the organisation Resolution which is an organisation of family justice professionals who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. Emma has been re-accredited in the specialisms of Complex Financial Remedies and Domestic Abuse. Emma, an Associate solicitor in the Family Department at the firm has worked exclusively in Family Law for more than 15 years. As well as being a Resolution accredited specialist Emma is also a collaboratively trained lawyer and a mediator. She is based in the Nuneaton office, situated in Dugdale Street and is able to offer flexible appointment times to clients experiencing relationship breakdowns.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


sponsored column

Armstrongs Chartered Accountants launches Wealth Planning division

IT Matters for R&D Whilst new legislation has not been announced for Research and Development Tax Credits for some time, clarification of certain aspects of the rules are regularly published.

The Armstrongs Wealth Planning team - Michelle Staines, Alex Carruthers, Stewart Warden and Cameron Brannan

An award-winning firm of chartered accountants, based in Coventry & Nuneaton, have expanded their portfolio of services to include wealth management solutions for their clients. Armstrongs Chartered Accountants have recently launched a new wealth planning division, which means clients now have access to inhouse financial advice and support. The new wealth planning service is headed up by Stewart Warden, who has spent his career within the financial services industry. He is an experienced wealth manager who has focused on working with business owners and the self-employed to help grow, preserve and protect their wealth. Stewart and his team, which consists of a wealth manager, mortgage adviser and dedicated administrators, are committed to offering excellent levels of service,

face to face meetings and bespoke advice across numerous areas in financial advice, including retirement planning, investment advice and obtaining the most suitable mortgage available. They will be working within the current Armstrongs offices and will be on hand to assist the accountancy team to provide a joined-up approach to their clients’ business and personal financial needs. Paul Farmer, Director at Armstrongs, said “The launch of our new Wealth

Planning division is the perfect start to 2019 - the year in which Armstrongs celebrates its 40th birthday! Having our own financial services team will ensure that our clients receive the best possible service when they need advice on managing their personal wealth.” Armstrongs Chartered Accountants provide a wide range of services including accounting, tax, corporate finance, audit and assurance, business support and business development.

“The launch of our new Wealth Planning division is the perfect start to 2019 - the year in which Armstrongs celebrates its 40th birthday! Having our own financial services team will ensure that our clients receive the best possible service when they need advice on managing

Insurance broker Gallagher celebrates 30 years in Coventry Commercial insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher is celebrating 30 years in Coventry and has marked the milestone with one of its most successful years to date. The business set up in the city back in 1988 with just four employees and has grown steadily to reach its current size of 20. Having started in the attic of 4 Queen Victoria Road, the team soon outgrew the space and moved into nearby number 12 in 1992, where they have been ever since.


Headed up by Kathryn Moon — who joined Gallagher in 1996 and became managing director in 2015, after founding member Cheryll Rawbone moved into the position of chairman — Gallagher now provides insurance and risk management solutions for businesses of all sizes, from SMEs through to large corporates. In Coventry, it offers expertise across a wide breadth of sectors, with particular specialisms in technology and life sciences, education and med-tech. And, as part of a

UK-wide network of more than 50 branches and global network able to offer client capabilities in more than 150 countries, Gallagher’s Coventry team really can help clients manage and mitigate any risk, of any size, anywhere. Kathryn’s vision, to be the broker of choice for businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire, has seen her implement an ambitious growth plan to attract new clients to the current roster, which includes Wasps Rugby Football Club.

Part of the strategy includes bringing top talent on board and the company’s success has helped to facilitate a number of new appointments this year. Kathryn said: “It’s fantastic to see the business flourish year on year and mark this 30th milestone year by enjoying one of our most successful years to date. I look forward to leading the business on the same upward path by continuing to provide our customers with the tailored insurance solutions they need to protect and run their business effectively.”

Recent clarifications have been very helpful in the area of IT and software, with a greater focus on the allowable elements of a system development. It is a common misconception that what is considered ‘development’ in IT terms automatically qualifies for the scheme. In reality it is a much subtler definition, that requires careful consideration and understanding of the uncertainties and challenges incurred. The project must include some element of new technology that resolves and uncertainty, such as a new piece of code or application. For example, increasingly the application of API’s to allow bridging of information are pre-requisites within IT systems and therefore a range of existing tools are in place to enable this. This may be novel to the company undertaking a system development, but not be an advance in Information Technology. Valid R&D IT projects are still acceptable where there are relevant activities. This can happen as the result of a new software development identifying an opportunity in developing a new process, algorithm or structure for example. It may be the system is a completely novel requirement, such as developments in encryption or fraud detection. It could also be a new application of an existing off the shelf system. For example, where an existing system is bought for the purposes of an organisation and elements are not appropriate to the business, they may have to be developed or adapted. The core question here that must be answered here though is whether the development is advancing technology as a whole or simply enabling a company specific instruction. If you would like to know if work you have undertaken is qualifying for an R&D claim, please contact MCS to discuss on 01926 512475



Buildings are acquired

Hotel and designer outlet shopping centre join forces An award-winning Warwickshire hotel and a designer outlet shopping centre have joined forces to launch a VIP experience. A little bit of retail therapy and an overnight stay at a historic venue is now on the menu at Coombe Abbey Hotel. The 12th Century venue has an exclusive partnership with Bicester Village, which can be booked now. Bicester Village, home to more than 160 fashion and lifestyle boutiques, will provide people with access to a VIP shopping experience that includes access to the Apartment - a by-appointment only area to relax and unwind with refreshments as part of the partnership with Coombe Abbey. Not only that, they will get 10 per cent savings on purchases and access to priority parking directly outside of the Apartment. After a busy day of shopping, visitors can enjoy a stay in a Crown Bedchamber at the former Cistercian Abbey. The overnight visit will also treat guests to a full English Breakfast, a glass of prosecco on arrival and a three-course dinner from the Table D’Hote Menu to top off the experience. Ron Terry, general manager for the Brinklow-based hotel, said this was a perfect partnership for both Coombe Abbey and Bicester Village. “We are extremely excited to be working with Bicester Village and it certainly brings something new for our visitors,” said Ron. “Bicester is a major tourist attraction in the area with people coming from around the world for their shopping experiences, so to be working with the team on this is fantastic for both of us. “Here at Coombe, we are always looking for ways to provide something new and different for our guests. This partnership is the latest way of making sure we have tailormade packages to cater for all tastes. “Not only that, it is always great to be working with other local businesses and tourist destinations to forge new relationships. “We look forward to welcoming guests after a long day of shopping to continue their relaxation and pampering in our luxurious bedchambers.”


Drake Howard Property has acquired two office buildings fronting Wheler Road at Seven Stars Industrial Estate, for Coventry City Council. The properties will add to the portfolio of properties held by the Council for business occupiers in The City and provide a rental stream as a return on capital invested. They were acquired with vacant possession. The most recent occupiers were Kompass and Penderels Trust and the buildings are to be refurbished and marketed for new tenants. Martyn Howard of Drake Howard Property identified the opportunity to ‘buy-in’ the long-leasehold interest to merge with the freehold interest and to annexe with ownership of the adjoining Fairfield Court. He said: “When I saw Pegasus House on the market to let, a purchase enquiry was raised with the agent. It turned out the owner was willing to sell the long-leases of both Pegasus House and the next door single-storey office. “It made sense for the owner to dispose of the investments to Coventry City Council to reduce on legal documentation and for the Council to buy the buildings to assemble a larger site with extended road frontage, to future proof the holdings.” Pegasus House provides a unique opportunity for an office occupier with a

need for ancillary warehouse, or high eaves showroom facility. The office accommodation is laid out over ground and first floors and extends to just under 2,000 sq. ft. (180 sq. m). The workshop to the rear has an eaves height of 5.5 m, and provides an additional 1,150 sq. ft. (105 sq. m.), with roller shutter loading door and 14 parking spaces.

The single-storey office building is scheduled for a major internal re-fit to offer modern, mainly open plan offices, with the flexibility of lower height storage, or showroom uses to the rear. Again, with roller shutter access. The accommodation extends to 3,300 sq. ft. (307 sq. m) and has another, generous allocation of 16 parking spaces, set behind deep landscaped verges.

ADIPEC 2018 proves a success

CALGAVIN MD Martin Gough signing the contract

CALGAVIN had a highly successful second ADIPEC (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference) located in Abu Dhabi, based on the Arab Developments stand, working with MEISCO.

Established in 1984, the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference is a world-class business forum, where oil and gas professionals convene to engage in dialogue, create partnerships, do business and identify solutions and strategies that will shape the industry for the years ahead. ADIPEC this time attracted more than 145,000 trade professionals to the 2,200-plus exhibition stands in 15 halls, from over 60 countries, while 900-plus industry-leading experts shared their knowledge and understanding across the event’s line-up of strategic and technical conference sessions.

At ADIPEC 2018, a contract was signed between CALGAVIN Managing Director Martin Gough and MEISCO Managing Director Mr Salah Al Nuwais to represent CALGAVIN in the United Arab Emirates. The CALGAVIN stand showcased a selection of the company’s engineering services including Design Service, CFD, Air Cooler Troubleshooting as well as the companies turbulator technology hiTRAN Thermal systems. The exhibition visitors were introduced to the range of services on display and provided

with detailed information about the company and its activities. In addition, a number of business meetings and negotiations took place, both on and off the stand, during the days of the exhibition to discuss current and potential cooperation with existing and forthcoming projects. Alex Codreanu, of CALGAVIN, said: “The first impression that you get from ADIPEC, is that you cannot believe the thousands of suppliers catering for so many oil and gas professionals, in both upstream and downstream fields.”

Promotions for lawyers A growing Coventry law firm is seeing in the New Year in with associate level promotions for six of its lawyers. Band Hatton Button, based on Warwick Road in the city centre, has promoted lawyers Charlotte Macalister, Christina Polychronakis and Lisa Moseley from the firm’s wills, trusts and probate team to associate. Kristy Ainge and Raman Dhillon from the firm’s litigation department are also starting 2019 at associate level, as is residential property lawyer Rani Bola. The promotions come off the back of a strong period of growth for the firm, which currently has an annual budget of £4.5 million. Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “This particular group epitomises why we are growing

organically as a business with their positive customer feedback and dedication to personal development, whether that’s expanding their legal knowledge or engaging with community groups. They have around 50 years of service to the firm between them. “Charlotte, Christina and Lisa are all now accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly, and are signed up as Dementia Friends, ensuring they are tuned in to how issues affecting the nation’s elderly community can affect their assets in later life. “Having Kristy on board as a solicitor advocate also means we are able to represent clients in court as well rather than handing a case over to a third party – and because of her strong networking skills we are making significant headway with this service.

From left, Lisa Moseley, Charlotte Macalister, Christina Polychronakis, Kristy Ainge, Raman Dhillon and Rani Bola

“Raman joined us two years ago with a sterling track record of acting on multi-million pound cases and has developed her case load to drive strong year-onyear growth for the litigation department. “Rani is one of our longestserving colleagues having joined us in 2000 and has built up unrivalled relationships with a

range of the region’s estate agents, which has stood us in good stead, and the residential department continues to see exorbitant work levels. “This group of professionals are role models for other upand-coming lawyers which is particularly useful as we look to expand our teams further over the coming year.”


“Award-winning destination centre offering a variety of expansive indoor/outdoor event spaces with world-class facilities and hosting an assortment of private and public events throughout the year. With unique facilities for conferences, weddings, fun days and team-building events, Dallas Burston Polo Club offers a centre of excellence in the heart of England.”

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

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

Email: enquiries@ixlevents.com

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.

Tel: 01926 811 111

Dallas Burston Polo Club, Stoneythorpe Estate, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 2DL

Profile: Frank Mills

Still no stopping Frank

There are some people who keep working for financial gain, some who find it hard to let go, for Frank Mills it is easy to define “I really care about what I do, and as soon that stops, I will stop.” Clearly that is some way off. Frank, who, it is fair to say, is north of standard retirement age, is currently Managing Director of Coventry University Enterprises (CUE). CUE, which operates domestically and internationally, seeks to maximise commercial potential of Coventry University's IP skills, expertise and resources. It’s a simple enough definition but the reality is far more nuanced and sees Frank overseeing property, events, development, recruitment, technology and a rapidly expanding international arm. He has certainly come a long way from scaling telegraph poles in the West Midlands when he started his working life with, what was then, the Post Office. When he left “the tools” it was the corporate ladder he continued to climb, moving to customer-facing roles locally then regionally before – as national sales director then Regional Director for the Midlands – taking on an international responsibility. Whilst in the role of Regional Director, Frank was made an honorary doctor by the University of Central England for his contribution to the regional economy. That was when – although he did not know it at the time – he laid the seeds which blossomed into the role he now fills. “When I became regional director, part of my role was to not only know who the most 50 influential people were in the region, but to actually get to know them,” he said. “Madeleine Atkins, who was Vice Chancellor of Coventry University, was on that list and she introduced me to John Latham and that is how the relationship started. “I also got to know all the VCs across the Midlands through the Lord Stafford Awards which celebrated the links between universities and particularly SMEs and through that work I got invited to be a governor here at Coventry.” The relationship crucial to Franks’ arrival at the University was with John Latham, now the Vice Chancellor of the University.

“When I became regional director, part of my role was to not only know who the most 50 influential people were in the region, but to actually get to know them.” 20

“At that stage John was head of CUE, so since I first dealt with him he has always had a focus on the business side as well as academia,” said Frank. “In 1997 he – along with support from Advantage West Midlands and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce – put together the case to create the University Technology Park and it has been a real game changer on many levels.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: Frank Mills

Frank stayed with BT for four years as a consultant from 2003 before moving to a role with the NHS. It was not long lived.

our aim on driving business tenants that are involved in modern technology, digital media or green technologies.

He said: “In 2007, I joined the NHS as chairman of the Solihull Care Trust, but it wasn’t for me – the world didn’t move fast enough! There were only two care trusts in the country and we were being used as a test model.

“We also support companies such as accountants and legal firms who specialise in supporting SMEs.” But not all the work is local.

“The local council still owned the social care budget and it did not work well, it was a difficult relationship and I found it very hard to make progress as my style is to drive change and not just be part of it.

“Coventry Enterprises Singapore was formed by John to support a then UKTI programme called Soft Landing and was one of 15, which was maintained until the scheme ended, but we have maintained and grown our Singapore company, which probably accounts for 20 per cent of my time.”

He added: “John approached me in 2010 to come and have a look at the business for a few months and that is how it started. The MD at the time decided that he wanted to retire and I was asked to ‘stay around for a couple of months’ and I am still here!”

“We went on to win a two-million dollar contract to work on some games technology so we kept the operation going. At that time we met a Dutch software company called XVR who are in the top two in the world for disaster management simulation software.

“John really has been a visionary and he is the key reason why Coventry University is where it is today.

“We established that a big tender was coming down the pipeline in the fire service over there for the training of their commanders. CUE made a bid supported by XVR. It has involved us creating 280 virtual scenarios from a car fire through to a major explosion – it’s about dangerous incident command and decision making in a safe environment.

“He might have been in education for the majority of his career but he is very astute from a business point of view and maintains that focus along with his key academic objectives.” CUE comprises the Coventry University Technology Park, and also property agency FutureLets and recruitment agency thefutureworks. He said: “Our biggest revenue earner is our projects division delivering publically funded business support programmes particularly in new or green technologies. A great deal of that is done in association with Chambers, and we also do some work with the DIT and Innovate UK which is around export. “We also have the tech park, which has 20 buildings, and we are now full. We attracted European Regional Development Fund backing when we established which means there are covenants on site use which supports

“The Singapore police service then went out to tender and we won that. It is a similar type of project around scenario setting and incident management and control. “Conversations are going on with other South East Asia organisations about further links which will see greater spinoffs for the university as well as CUE. “This all goes back to John, who really is a visionary and has often put Coventry way ahead of the game. You can have a five-minute snatched conversation in a car park and get a clear understanding of his vision.”

Working Day Frank can usually be found in and around the Coventry University Technology Park – but is overseas around seven times a year on international business. “I am up around 6am and am usually in by around 8am. I usually finish at 6pm. “We get a lot of international visitors to the university who come and have a look at our model as part of their overall tour, as well as our own visitors who are interested in doing business and I tend to front those.

As for retirement…. “It’s not on my agenda yet!”

“I still cycle a bit, but cyclists would not call it cycling – just 10 or 15 miles at the weekend – I used to run about 50 miles a week and was a squash player. The knees have stood up to it well.”

“Our biggest revenue earner is our projects division delivering publically funded business support programmes particularly in new or green technologies. A great deal of that is done in association with Chambers, and we also do some work with the DIT and Innovate UK which is around export.”

Mills lives at Lowsonford and he and his wife spend a lot of time with their two daughters who still live close by. Live: Lowsonford, Warwickshire Married: Yes, forever and happily Hobbies: Pretending I am Peter Pan Children/ grandchildren: Two daughters, three grandsons and one granddaughter Favourite Book: Leading out Loud Favourite Film: Out of Africa Last Holiday: Italy Car: BMW 5 Series and Mercedes SLK Gadget: iPad



Innovate 2 Succeed Fueling Growth through Innovation Active Innovation – A Pathway to Profit.

If the events of the past couple of years have shown us anything, it is that businesses operate in an environment that can change very rapidly. The ability of businesses to respond to these changes is vital for their success, standing still is not an option.

For ambitious businesses that want to succeed and stay ahead of the competition requires continuing innovation of processes, products and services. However, this innovation and change is not without risk and that is where an ‘active innovation’ programme can help to manage the risk and get new products to market faster. Businesses which proactively manage innovation are outperforming those who rely on a more organic and ‘by chance’ approach.

‘Innovate 2 Succeed’ is a fully funded active innovation programme delivered by Coventry University Enterprises Ltd and supported by Innovate UK. Designed to help businesses to fully commercialise profitable new products and services, it helps businesses through the new product development process; from generating business ideas all the way to full commercialisation. This active innovation approach not only reduces risk but enables companies to react more rapidly to changes in the wider economy and the business environment.

The “Innovate 2 Succeed” programme is open to ambitious SME’s across the Midlands who are looking to their next stage of growth. Key points are: • Up to 7 days of individually tailored expert business support/coaching. • A fully bespoke approach to your needs.

• Support on accessing other business support. • No additional cost to business

If you would like to take the first steps on a pathway to “Active Innovation” then contact CUE Business Solutions to discuss the options available along with the full range of support we can offer.

Contact: 02476 236 406


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Companies express Brexit concerns

Louise Bennett, David Penn, Marcus Jones, David Burton

A delegation of businesses from Coventry and Warwickshire were told that a ‘disorderly’ Brexit was less likely during a visit to Parliament. But companies that formed part of the trip organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce reiterated the need for certainty as the withdrawal from the EU approaches.

About 20 companies representing a range of sectors from across the region heard from Adam Marshall, the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), and Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones, who hosted the event in Parliament. The meeting took place as MPs debated the EU Withdrawal deal in the House of Commons, with the companies present calling for

politics to be put to one side to help give business a more certain outlook. Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Chamber, said: “It was reassuring to hear that a disorderly or messy Brexit is now less likely on the back of the events of the past few days but we are still some way off a clear picture of where we are going to end up. “What we heard from businesses during the visit was that they want certainty and that the uncertainty is now starting to bite in many ways. We heard that investment decisions are being put on hold as some investors are operating with a ‘wait and see what happens’ mind-set. “There isn’t an appetite among businesses for this to be drawn out any more than it needs to be without being given some clear idea of what the future holds. Once they know whether it’s going to be the deal on the table or another deal, they can start to make firm plans. “As a Chamber, we’ve been working hard since before the referendum to offer guidance through our Brexit Club but we can’t have all the answers until there is more certainty about where we are heading.”

Business leaders also raised other issues affecting their companies such as supply of land, energy costs and skills during a session chaired by former president David Burton. Louise added: “We are delighted that, as a Chamber

of Commerce, we can offer this opportunity to companies from a range of sectors to have their voice heard and also to be informed of the very latest that is happening in Westminster at a time when the picture is changing by the hour.”

“What we heard from businesses during the visit was that they want certainty and that the uncertainty is now starting to bite in many ways. We heard that investment decisions are being put on hold as some investors are operating with a ‘wait and see what happens’ mind-set.”

Chamber delivers practical advice for Brexit Companies are starting to open offices overseas in preparation for Brexit, a business meeting in Coventry and Warwickshire has heard. Businesses at the event, organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, were told that they could not wait around for clarity on Brexit from Government and should be putting plans in place now. Firms were told that a ‘wait and see’ approach could leave them on hold for many months to come and that all companies should be conducting a Brexit risk assessment and should be scenario planning for the future. Mike Walsh, senior lecturer at Coventry University, was the guest speaker for the Selling Services Overseas: Now and Post Brexit event at Study Inn in Coventry. He warned that the West Midlands may be potentially more vulnerable if there is no deal with Europe, one reason being a large share of its s ervice exports go to the EU, compared to other UK regions.


He said: “The region exports a large share of its total service exports to the EU and it is estimated that if there is a hard Brexit, GDP in the West Midlands could be 13% lower by 2030. “A clear majority of studies come to the same conclusion, although with different magnitudes, Brexit will reduce the UK’s GDP by 2030, while a minority of studies indicate a gain. “Whatever happens, it is clear that businesses should make sure they are prepared for all situations.” This was backed up by a panel discussion with Paul James from Arquebus Solutons, Cheryl Rawbone from Arthur J Gallagher, Susan Bradley from Marks and Clerk and Paul Wrighting from the British Chambers of Commerce. The panel discussed a range of practical issues covering various sectors. They explained that many businesses were already putting plans into place, including setting up offices in EU countries to make sure everything is in place for a hard Brexit as the worst case scenario.

But the overwhelming message is that business owners should be scenario planning for Brexit now so that whatever the outcome in March 2019 or beyond, they are in the best position possible. James Ahearne, International Trade Hub Manager at the Chamber, said: “Any certainty on future UK-EU trade terms is years away, regardless of what happens on the domestic front, and there is a lot that businesses can and should be doing now to understand the implications of Brexit and adapt their plans accordingly. “If businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire adopt a wait and see approach when it comes to Brexit planning they may be waiting a long time. “Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has a number of events coming up in the New Year around Brexit, including our regular Brexit Club, so we are here to provide advice and assistance.” For further information on accessing help around Brexit or about the upcoming event visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk

(Back) Paul James from Arquebus Solutons, Cheryl Rawbone from Arthur J Gallagher and Mike Walsh from Coventry University with (front) Paul Wrighting from the British Chambers of Commerce, Susan Bradley from Marks and Clerk and James Ahearne from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Major campaign launched for Culture The City of Culture Trust has launched its first major campaign since Coventry won the title UK City of Culture 2021. The campaign - #HumansOfCov – will throw a spotlight onto the human rights of people across the city and beyond. It will both highlight the everyday heroes in Coventry’s communities and the grassroots activism of the city, as well as opening a conversation about human rights and what they mean for a modern and diverse city in the 21st Century. #HumansOfCov launched as world nations commemorated the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed on December 10, 1948, and was honoured around the world. To launch the campaign, a 14ft mobile, illuminated peace poem will tour to different parts of the city to open a discussion with communities and local people on what they perceive as human rights and where they fit into modern society. The poem, Paper Peace – by Robert Montgomery – will be accompanied by activities to develop conversations and reads: “A hundred years and the dream never ends. All our tomorrows are fragile. The peace builders are heroes of kindness. Peace is a dream of a shared human soul that we build every day with forgiveness and kindness and hope.”

As well as developing a programme of its own in the city over the next 12 months, Coventry City of Culture Trust has also become a commissioning partner with a group of theatres in London on a project called Fly The Flag, where a new flag has been created to celebrate Human Rights. Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director for Coventry City of Culture Trust, said the city was perfectly placed to be at the centre of this important conversation. She said: “The Declaration of Human Rights was momentous for citizens and nations around the world. It gave us freedoms never imagined and opportunities which previously were only for the few. “Throughout its history, Coventry has always pioneered activism, fighting for workers’ rights, promoting equality, tackling racism, making the case for arts in education, welcoming new communities, finding solutions for poverty and health inequalities. “Coventry has always been a city of migrants and #HumansOfCov will help us talk to our citizens to understand who they are, what they hold most dear and the challenges and barriers that they face in their everyday lives. “We want to throw a spotlight on the everyday stories of our people and communities, to show their heroic actions and pioneering spirit. “We will ask the questions: Why Coventry? Why are you living here?

Chenine Bhathena, Coventry City of Culture Trust, with Rashid Bhayat, of Positive Youth Foundation

Working here? Studying here? Bringing up families here? Why are you escaping to Coventry? “We are known as a sanctuary, a place of welcome, a safe home and a city that promotes peace. This is a great opportunity to explore our place in this global conversation.” The Peace Poem has been created by Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) and has been supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery. In each destination, it will gather stories, pledges and poems of peace for a National Peace Archive. Chenine added: “#HumansOfCov is our response to the 70th anniversary of the declaration of Human Rights and will be the start of a year-long campaign, which will see us work across our communities and with a range of artists as we develop our plans for 2021 and beyond."

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, feels that #HumansOfCov is a fitting first campaign for the City of Culture team. He said: “Coventry has an international reputation as a city of peace and reconciliation and throughout its history has been called home by a wide and diverse mix of people. “The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a significant milestone as this document underpins all international human rights law and inspires us to continue to work to ensure all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity. “I’m sure the mobile, illuminated peace poem touring the city will prove to be thought-provoking and start discussions about issues that many of us take for granted.”

Investments promise exciting future Coventry companies have been given an insight into major investments that will help to prepare the city for 2021. The Coventry branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce met at the Belgrade Theatre to discuss the latest developments in the city. The assembled businesses heard from Helen Hotchkiss, of the Belgrade

Theatre, and Leigh Hunt, of CityFibre, on how both were helping to gear Coventry up for 2021. Helen shared plans for a £4.7 million redevelopment project at the theatre that it aims to complete by 2020. And Leigh described how City Fibre’s £60m roll-out of full fibre broadband across the city will bring economic, social and cultural benefits ahead of the city’s year as UK City of Culture.

David Penn, the chair of the Chamber’s Coventry branch, said: “There’s a great deal of anticipation as we approach 2021 and we have heard recently about investments into the city from Government and organisations such as the Arts Council. “The work being carried out at the Belgrade Theatre and the roll out of fibre across the city are two great examples of how Coventry

will be better placed going into 2021 and beyond that. “We are grateful to both Helen and Leigh for sharing their latest plans and the positive effect they will have on Coventry.” The meeting also heard how firms in the city can benefit from free IT and broadband advice from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Connection work begins

CityFibre’s work to transform Coventry into one of the world’s most digitally connected cities has begun in Longford. Coventry residents and their neighbouring businesses are a step closer to accessing next-generation full fibre connectivity after CityFibre started construction work to extend its state-of-the-art infrastructure throughout the city. This latest phase of development is part of CityFibre’s national Fibre-tothe-Premises (FTTP) project, which


aims to bring full fibre to up to one million UK premises by 2021 in partnership with Vodafone. The construction project will trial partial aerial deployment as well as traditional build methods. Longford, Upper Stoke, Foleshill and Holbrook are set to be the first wards to benefit. Pivotal to the Coventry project is the recent appointment of Leigh Hunt as City Development Manager for CityFibre, who will act as a local point of contact for all city stakeholders, while also being a key advocate for the

project and the benefits it will bring to businesses and the wider community. She brings with her over two decades of experience in the technology and connectivity sector, including ten years as an e-business advisor. Leigh said: “We’re at a really exciting stage of our roll-out in Coventry as the build gets underway. This project comes at a key time for the city and the £60m investment from CityFibre will be transformational for residents and businesses alike. With the advent of ultrafast, full fibre broadband, residents of Coventry will be able to enjoy and take advantage of a range of possibilities.” Coventry is the fourth citywide FTTP project to get underway as part of the CityFibre and Vodafone partnership. It is now following in the footsteps of build projects in Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Peterborough, which started earlier this year and are now well on their way towards serving their first customers. Once complete, this private investment will futureproof Coventry’s infrastructure and deliver digital transformation across the city.

According to research by economic consultancy Regeneris, the local housing market could increase in value by £101m, while businesses could unlock £57m through increased productivity and innovation as a result of full fibre access over the next 15 years. Cllr Richard Brown, chair of the Audit and Procurement committee at Coventry City Council, added: “We are all well aware of the importance of effective communications. People buying or renting a new home and new starter businesses will weigh up a list of factors when considering where to locate, and the quality of digital communications is crucial. This will benefit households and will further retain businesses in Coventry.” Currently, full fibre is available to less than five per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the ‘gold standard’ in connectivity for its speed, near unlimited bandwidth and reliability. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps).

New apprentices take the next step at Amazon in Coventry A group of first and second year apprentices will take the next step on the journey to becoming fully qualified engineers and IT technicians at Amazon in Coventry. Nicola Elliott is among the apprentices who were recently welcomed to the Amazon team in Coventry for their first or second year of their apprenticeship. She will join ten other apprentices at Coventry studying Mechatronics, Controls and IT as part of Amazon’s Apprenticeship Programme. The courses typically run on average for three years and are fully funded by Amazon and mix theory and workbased training. The first year of the engineering apprenticeship is predominantly based in the classroom, before the scheme progresses to a work-based learning programme at the Amazon fulfilment centre in year two. Nicola Elliott, age 27, from Coventry, is excited to start the next chapter in her career. She said: “The first year of the Amazon Apprenticeship Programme has been brilliant. We did loads of classroombased learning and also got some hands-on experience at the local fulfilment centre. I’m really excited about the second year of the programme, it will be good to meet all the team be able put some of the content we have learned at college, in to practice on site.” The first and second year apprentices were welcomed to the local fulfilment centre by General Manager, Lee Shepherd. He said: “We are passionate about helping to develop the next generation of IT, operations and engineering talent and the Amazon Apprenticeship Programme is one of the ways that helps us to do that. We are looking forward to meeting the new recruits while continuing to help our year two apprentices on their career path.” Amazon’s Apprenticeship schemes are designed to suit candidates with a range of experience, from those with life skills to school leavers who are 18+ with GCSEs or A-levels.


Area Focus: Coventry Coventry business listed as one of Microsoft's top sellers

A Coventry computer business which jumped on board with cloud technology before its allencompassing rise has been listed as one of Microsoft’s top sellers in Europe.

Netmetix, which was launched in 2001, has evolved over the years from an IT systems specialist to UK leaders in the world of cloud technology, aided along the way by accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, who have assisted director Paul Blore and his team since day one. The company, who saw an opportunity to evolve with the cloud technology market in 2010, have now been named as one of Europe’s Top 10 Microsoft Azure consultants and implementers by the IT giant. Staff from Netmetix, which is based at Sycamore Court, travelled to Microsoft’s European HQ in Dublin to discuss plans for the future of the Azure network and how the two companies can continue to work together. Netmetix Director Paul Blore said: “We have had a number of transformations over the years, from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) specialist to an IT systems specialist and then in 2010 we began seeing more and more about cloud technology and recognised the enormous opportunity it presented. “I think you can always look at any revolution in business as either the end of something or the start of something new. “The team and I really felt this was going to take off in a big way so we began focusing on that and it has paid off. “We now have customers across the globe and to be recognised by Microsoft as one of their top sellers is incredible, it just shows how far we have come after taking that chance.” Netmetix began its relationship with cloud technology by creating its own infrastructure before teaming up with Microsoft. The company ensures it maintains high standards among employees by giving quarterly exams in a variety of areas to improve their all-round knowledge of the technology industry. Sean Farnell, partner at Burgis & Bullock, who has worked with Netmetix for a number of years, said: “They have set an incredibly high standard and crucially managed to move with the times when required. “The choices Paul has made have really paid off and for the company to be recognised by Microsoft as one of the leading Azure specialists in Europe is a huge boost.”

Coventry College hosts major Digital Skills launch Coventry College hosted the first meeting of the new West Midlands Digital Skills Partnership – welcoming major political figures and business leaders to the launch event. The partnership brings together tech firms, businesses, universities, colleges and training providers from the region, and is aiming to find ways to improve local people’s digital skills and qualifications. Stourbridge MP and Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, as well as Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street attended the inaugural meeting of the partnership. Principal and Chief Executive of Coventry College Peter Brammall spoke at the meeting on his vision for the future of the digital economy across the West Midlands how Coventry College can play its part in that. The partnership has been organised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to address that challenge and help link local people to training and opportunities in the region’s booming digital industry – a sector which grew by over 33% between 2011 and 2015 and could contribute £8.9bn to the West Midlands economy by 2030.

A copper dinosaur walks into Ricoh Arena… As much as this might sound like the opening line of a joke, it’s actually an announcement for the latest stop on the Coppersaurus’ UK road trip. Brought to life by CityFibre, the two-metre-tall dinosaur is touring the UK as part of the full fibre infrastructure provider’s national campaign to make misleading broadband adverts extinct. It visited Ricoh Arena, giving locals the chance to find out about misleading broadband ads and the truth about the cables beneath their feet. Still confused by all the broadband jargon? Well, you’re likely to be in the same boat as other unsuspecting local broadband customers – many of whom are still receiving their internet via ageing copper infrastructure but paying a premium for ‘fibre’.

Raising the stakes


Yanguo Jing – Coventry University, Clare Hatton – WMCA, Andy Street – West Midlands Mayor, Peter Brammall – Principal at Coventry College, Dave McLean – WMCA Digital Board, Kevin Vashi – WMCA, Clare Streets – School of Code Graduate, Dr Chris Meah – School of Code

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, said: “The West Midlands is the place to be for digital: we’ve got the fastestgrowing digital sector outside London, we will act as the UK’s testbed for ultra-fast 5G internet, and we have ambitious plans to double our digital industry’s economic output over the next decade. “To do that, we need a pipeline of skilled, qualified digital staff: and we want those staff to come from within the West Midlands. “The Digital Skills Partnership will take a very local view – developing training provision and new career pathways across the West Midlands. It will make suggestions to improve how we recruit and retain the skilled digital staff we need, and ultimately help double the size of our digital

Coppersaurus ‘unearthed’ in Coventry, fresh from slowing down local broadband

Steering system manufacturer Pailton Engineering has invested in a purpose-built staking rig from machine builder BalTec. The equipment is used for assembling steering universal joints and will improve throughput and deliver an improved degree of consistency throughout Pailton Engineering’s manufacturing process. BalTec was chosen to complete the build for Pailton Engineering because of its expertise in joining technology machinery.

Companies working in cyber security, video gaming, artificial intelligence and creative digital disciplines in the region will require a steady stream of qualified digital staff to sustain record levels of growth in the industry – it’s estimated the West Midlands will need as many as 29,000 more skilled digital workers over the next ten years. The partnership will also help to define the region’s digital strategy, including a £5m package for digital training. Peter Brammall said: “It was an honour to host the inaugural meeting of the West Midlands Digital Skills Partnership and a pleasure to welcome representatives from the organisations which form it. “The West Midlands has a thriving digital community, and at Coventry College we want to make sure we are educating our students to the highest possible standard so they can fill roles across the industry in the near future and make a major contribution to the digital economy going forward. “To be able to play such a major part in the launch of this partnership is a major coup for us and we look forward to working with the West Midlands Digital Skills Partnership in the future.”

For Pailton Engineering, a system was needed for the assembly of steering universal joints, just one of the many bespoke steering parts the company manufactures. Investment is a core part of Pailton Engineering's business transformation; more than £700,000 has been reinvested in the company each year, for the past two years.

Will Brayne, Director of Marketing and Communications at CityFibre, said: “The Coppersaurus represents the UK’s neglected digital infrastructure and its equally redundant advertising rules. Copper is masquerading as fibre across the UK, leaving us stuck with a relic from the past rather than focusing on the digital connectivity of the future. “That's why we've brought the campaign to Coventry, so residents can help us make sure the practice of advertising copper-reliant connections as fibre gets its very own asteroid moment. It is time the rules were changed once and for all.” At present, the UK’s advertising rules (enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)), do not require advertisers to distinguish between full and part-fibre services, despite the services they provide being completely different, both in terms of capability and service.

This means that consumers are often misled into paying for ‘fibre’ internet services, which are in fact only part-fibre and not equipped to consistently provide the speeds and services promised, because of the copper in the network slowing them down. The city has been selected as one of the next locations to benefit from a complete full fibre transformation as part of CityFibre’s strategic partnership with Vodafone, which aims to deliver full fibre to five million homes by 2025. Over the coming months, CityFibre will continue its work to extend its state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to almost every home and business in the city – a futureproofing investment worth £60m, which will enable residents and businesses to experience ultrafast speeds and limitless bandwidth for the very first time.

economy to create a sustainable £9bn industry for the future.” MP Margot James, said: "We are completely committed to improving the digital skills of people from all ages and backgrounds so everyone can enjoy the benefits of our thriving digital economy. "The West Midlands Local Digital Skills Partnership will help employers plan for the future, recruit a skilled workforce and boost the region's economy, as part of the government's modern industrial strategy that is building prosperous communities across the country." Coventry College offer a wide range of digitally focused courses, including Level 3 Digital Arts Diploma, Digital and Technology solutions and more.

National Express Coventry trials first fully electric bus National Express has been leant a vehicle for its first trial of a fully electric bus in Coventry. Scottish manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd lent the bus operator one of their new electric Enviro200Ev for a week to test it on the streets of the city. Bernie Cassidy, UK Engineering Director at for the bus operator, said: “We believe that electric buses are the future. We’re working closely with central government, local councils and Transport for West Midlands through the Bus Alliance to make this a reality. Within 18 months, National Express plans to have electric buses operating regularly in Coventry, as well as Birmingham and Solihull.”

Spring Action cleaning – doing business differently “There were a lot of times when I felt depressed and lonely. I was so grateful to get this job. It’s boosted my confidence, helped me make friends, improved my English and importantly, earning an income means I can now support my daughter.” Anastasia, one of Spring Action’s employees, talking about the difference it has made to her life since she began working for the ground-breaking cleaning business six months ago. Set up by Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre in April 2016, staff at the charity identified the need

for the social enterprise after finding people they worked with struggled to secure work, despite having the skills suitable for vacancies. Uyiosa Osawe, Manager at Spring Action, said: “Because refugees and migrants can’t provide examples of UK based experience or references, they often get rejected from roles that they could easily do. Spring Action was setup to solve this.” This business model has worked and it now offers cleaning services to 14 customers across Coventry including Citizens Advice Bureau, Positive Youth Foundation and Fargo Village.

Voluntary Action Coventry is another of its customers and a statement from the organisation said: “Our cleaner is brilliant, very reliable and undertakes a professional job ensuring health and safety is maintained. She communicates any problems to us promptly and is friendly and helpful in undertaking additional cleaning tasks.” This business helped Spring Action to provide 5,000 hours of paid work to ten cleaners in 2018. Each cleaner goes through a thorough vetting and training process to ensure they can d o the job.

Uyiosa aims to secure new business in 2019 so that Spring Action can employ more people. He said: “We offer commercial, domestic, end of tenancy and deep cleans and are excited to be entering into the next phase of growing our business and increasing our social impact.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Intersect: where business and creative industries meet

On the 20th September, 2018 Vortex Creates Ltd, headed by its Directors Nicola Richardson and Marianne Taviner, held the first INTERSECT event as part of their 10 years in business celebrations. The event was not about what 2021 is going to ‘do for us’, but how we all make the most of it and create our own opportunities together. Vortex Creates turned ten as a company in 2018. All of us reflect and plan but significant birthdays get us to reflect deeper about where we’ve been and where we’re going. As you would expect their planning has included discussions around 2021 Nicola Richardson said: “It is such an exciting opportunity for Coventry and Warwickshire: It’s already

stimulated wider conversations about culture, and the arts and has got people in rooms talking and sharing. We’re excited. For us it is a stimulus to decide what we want to do in 2021, with an even greater sense of ambition as it feels like a whole other level of possibilities is open to us whether we’re part of the official programme or not.” Vortex have talked about the practical – what are they actually going to do, and how they might do that, but they have also had discussions about the bigger picture – what they hope for the city and the lasting legacy of that year. For young people to not only experience but to actively lead on activity as leaders of the future, for Coventry to be proud of the city that it is and the achievements it has made, for Coventrians to expect something to be happening and actively look for what’s on, for Coventry and Warwickshire to not be seen as the poor relation to Birmingham, for ecomomic growth in the region. But bigger than that they think there is an opportunity for arts and cultural activity to be more sustainable.

The business community has invested a staggering amount of money to ensure 2021 is a fantastic year of happenings. It’s a good way to spend a marketing budget, but past the exposure of 2021, and even for 2021 Vortex believe there has to be something more, a greater relationship between those investing the money, and the work that goes on, it’s not just about a company’s logo on a banner. The creative duo also think it’s about more than money. They think that cross sector relationships are the really interesting and exciting part. Bigger conversations about the assets and skills we all have within the region, and how relationships, partnerships might be created and grow. The event began with an opening address by Peter Knott from the Arts Council and included talks by Derek Lawrence from Arup and Louise Richards from Motionhouse who showed first hand the benefits of cross sector collaborations. Nicola said: “If we can all be curious about the possibilities of

doing something differently, and taking a bit of time out of our busy lives to connect and discover, what we can achieve could be exciting and prosperous for everyone: to unleash the power of good collaboration that us Vortex girls know so well! What have we got. What might you need, or value – time, space, skills, by products – or something we can’t even think of now, but could after a few cups of tea together.” The event saw 68 delegates with an even split of people aligning to businesses or the Creative industries and many connections were made and continue. The next event will be held on Wedensday 27th Febuary, 3pm – 5pm at the Old Grammar School in Coventry creating further possibilities to expand networks and explore opportunities to work together, solve problems together and to be critical friends helping to push our companies further. To reserve your space email inspire@vortex-creates.co.uk.

Ricoh Arena's record year lands industry recognition A key member of the team at the Ricoh Arena has been listed as one of the top ten professionals in the UK’s conference and exhibitions industry after a record-breaking year. The Head of Sales at the Ricoh Arena, Jenni Ford, has been recognised for her work in bringing a record

number of events to the venue with a prestigious award win. Jenni, who has worked at the Ricoh Arena since 2014, led a team that has sold event space for a record 793 different events across exhibitions, conferences, banqueting and weddings in the year leading up to August 2018. As a result, she was shortlisted for a space on the MIAList at the Meeting Industry Association’s (MIA) awards and can now take her place amongst the top sales staff in the country after being chosen by judges as a winner. Jenni’s success comes after the Ricoh Arena won Best Venue Under

8,000 square metres at the Exhibition News Awards, and the Best Sporting Venue for Events at the National Venue Awards. Jenni said: “It is a real honour to have earned a place on this year’s MIAList. The awards are highlyrespected and just to have been nominated was wonderful, but I am proud to have made the final list.” Jenni also created a new revenue stream for the venue by setting up a short-lead sales desk after noticing an increase in event organisers requesting last-minute meeting space, leading to a 20 per cent

Pioneering theatre portal takes top spot at global education awards A pioneering project which allows Coventry University students to rehearse with actors thousands of miles away as if sharing a stage, has once again been praised as one of the best new ideas in education - scooping three accolades in one week. The Immersive Telepresence in Theatre project won in the Hybrid Learning category at the 2018 Reimagine Education Awards in San Francisco on Thursday, impressing judges to be placed among the ten strongest category winners overall. The pioneering project was also named as the best in the Arts and Humanities category at the global finale, as well as scooping success back in London where it was highly commended in the Excellence and Innovation in the Arts category at the Times Higher Education Awards on Thursday evening. Developed in partnership with the University of Tampere in Finland, the immersive space offers a way to explore theatre rehearsal and arts education, allowing students to work with experts and peers thousands of miles away minimising the need for global travel. It is made possible using cutting-edge videoconferencing technology, life-sized rear projections, high-speed internet connections and directional sound - all hidden from view to give the impression that users are in the same rehearsal room. Dr Tom Gorman, senior theatre lecturer and project co-ordinator at Coventry University said: “We got gold for the best arts and humanities project, gold for hybrid learning, and made the top 10 highest scoring projects which is a first for the competition. We were also the only arts project to make it into the final 10 at the Reimagine awards.

“We are absolutely thrilled especially given the really tough competition this year as we were up against world leading innovators from universities across the world. It is a testament to the hard work of a lot of people here and in Finland over the past two years. “This is a totally new way to rehearse and teach and to have it recognised and see the interest from other universities and artists across the globe is thrilling. It is exciting to realise we have discovered something unique in theatre.” This is the second Reimagine win for the project which won its first award for innovation in the arts when it was developed back in 2016. The project has since helped students to explore and perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays together despite being in different countries, and supported Coventry’s City of Culture bid by allowing academics, business leaders and cultural officers in Finland and the UK to dine together as if in a single space. The innovation also featured at the GREAT Festival of innovation in Hong Kong in a showcase of the best of UK education; and was part of a groundbreaking performance at the New World Symphony Centre in Miami using a mixture of actors in the city and motion captured actors in Tampere.

increase in short lead sales in 2017. On awards night, Jenni was listed in the top ten of 24 final applicants, who were whittled down from hundreds of applications and were noted as being ‘the cream of the crop’ by judges. Stuart Cain, Managing Director at the Ricoh Arena, said: “Everyone at the venue is happy for Jenni and her team, they all deserve praise for their hard work and incredible results. Jenni’s role is vital in allowing us to leave event organisers happy with their experience and hopefully coming back in the future.”

Shining a light on Coventry-based children’s cancer charity

Shine A Light Support Service, a children’s cancer charity, offer support to families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. They support the whole family from diagnosis for as long as they are needed. 2018 was a rollercoaster year for this charity, who had 28 days’ notice to quit their premises in Coventry Point at the beginning of the year. They have bounced back! Their new family centre and headquarters is located in the Koco Building in Spon End and from here they offer their services such as drop in sessions, counselling service, activity days, family events and parties, days out, teen events, after school clubs and tuition sessions. Shine A Light was founded by Sam Schoolar, the Chair of Trustees, in January 2017. As a survivor of childhood cancer, Sam wanted to offer the type of services that she would have liked to receive to other families now who have a child with cancer. Sam said: “We are all volunteers and we work with local hospitals, health care providers and organisations and we receive tremendous support from local businesses and the general public. Without this support we could not continue to offer our much-needed services. “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our ongoing success and invite local businesses to partner with us and help us to raise money so that we can continue to provide our vital services. “Our membership with the chamber has enabled us to make some great connections in 2018 and we look forward to building on this in 2019, and attracting more families in need of our services.” There is a full length article on the news page of their web site (www.shinealightss.org.uk) and a roll of honour listing all the people that have made this year so successful for Shine A Light.

IPP signs distribution contract with leading fresh convenience food producer A fresh food producer which counts Tesco, McDonalds, Aldi, Zizzi and Sainsburys among its clients says a drive to grow in an environmentallyfriendly way has led to it signing a distribution deal with Europe’s leading manufacturer and pooler of sustainable wooden pallets. Natures Way Foods, which supplies retailers and food service companies with prepared salads, prepared fruit and fresh ‘food to go’ products, has partnered with IPP Logipal, part of Pooling Partners, in an agreement which will see 400,000 Euro and standard UK pallets moved per year. Based on four sites in West Sussex, Natures Way said the motivation behind the switch to Meriden-based IPP was the offer of a simple, flexible service, as well as a commitment to reducing environmental impact. Natures Way has a variety of systems in place to reduce waste, including plastic recycling and incinerating non-recyclable waste to produce electricity, and has a zero waste to landfill policy in place. Paul Harmer, head of sales for IPP, said: “Natures Way like our ethos and culture, enjoy working with our people and appreciate our supportive attitude to helping streamline their supply chain. “They were frustrated with the inflexibility of their previous suppliers, who had not been providing the kind of service they expect. “We know it’s important to Natures Way to receive the best possible service with a company which focuses on its environmental impact, ensuring suppliers’ businesses are using sustainable materials and methods, so we were a natural fit.”

Natures Way has signed a distribution contract with IPP, part of Pooling Partners

Phil Henshall, transport manager at Natures Way, said: “We’ve found the switch to IPP to be calculated and seamless, with no impact on our operations. The communication is brilliant and we receive a really personal service. “Clear plans were put in place for the implementation with achievable timelines and realistic targets. Everyone knew their place in the process and the switch launched exactly as anticipated. “We are looking to grow our business with IPP with as many pallet movements as possible throughout the supply chain. It’s a partnership we think will work very well.” Pooling Partners has a long-standing commitment to the circular economy and is the only pallet pooler to be able to manufacture its own products, as well as retrieving, repairing and repatriating pallets. Phil Storer, UK director of Pooling Partners, said: “Like ourselves, Natures Way has a clear plan in place to minimise its environmental impact and backs up its pledges with clear action. “The products it makes are enjoyed by millions of people across the UK every week, so it’s imperative it receives an efficient, quality service it can rely on. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”



Area Focus: Coventry & Mid Warwickshire

Culture success is celebrated Coventry has marked the first anniversary of being named UK City of Culture – and is looking ahead to 2021. The Coventry City of Culture Trust eld a celebratory lunch at FarGo Village to mark the first year since the historic announcement in Hull. The lunch event, hosted by awardwinning singer and songwriter Sandra Godley, was a nod to the day the city welcomed the UK City of Culture judging panel in 2018 when civic, community, cultural and commercial leaders came together to represent Coventry.

Lindsay lives the dream A stylish new interior design studio in Southam town centre is the realisation of a 25-year-old ambition for owner Lindsay Vincent. She’d dreamed of running her own furniture and accessories firm for a quarter of a century and in the autumn she finally decided to act. Lindsay opened the Simple Interior Company store in Coventry Street just a few weeks later to make her dream come true. She said: “This has been my ambition for 25 years but I have only just plucked up the

courage to go for it. I know it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges of my life but that’s much better than a lifetime of regret. “That was the clincher for me in the end – I didn’t want to be left looking back in a few years’ time and saying to myself ‘I wonder’.” Once she’d made the decision, Lindsay, from West Haddon, Northamptonshire, was scouring the area for a suitable property to launch her new venture. It didn’t take long, thanks to Warwickshirebased commercial property specialists ehB Reeves, who

He said: “This is a key moment for Coventry and the City of Culture Trust – an opportunity to reflect on what was achieved 12 months ago, to thank those who had the vision and expertise to imagine and deliver a successful bid, to reflect on what has been achieved since but also to look ahead, together. “I’m approaching my first 100 days in post and I feel very privileged to have been invited to join the team charged with delivering an inclusive, youthful, truly memorable City of Culture and to plan the legacy from 2021. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who have made me so welcome to the city, and to those partners who continue to pledge their strategic, financial, and artistic contributions. Sutherland said that while ideas for the artistic programme for 2021 were still be worked up, the team had put key foundations in place in 2018. “We’re in such a good place already. There is no blueprint for delivering a City of Culture, no set schedule for planning or preparing, so I’m grateful for all the work that has been done so far. Our government partners reassure me that we’re ahead of where Hull was 12 months on, but we’re not complacent. “So far this year we’ve recruited the leadership team and have made excellent progress in unlocking the funds needed to deliver the vision. In addition to the support previously pledged, during the last few months we’ve been able to confirm support from Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, West Midlands Combined Authority, DCMS, the British Council, and the BBC and we’re continuing to attract new support from businesses in the city and region every week. “We’re all looking forward to the spectacular Sunrise event at the Cathedral for New Year’s Eve and to revealing details of our first campaign next week. In early 2019 we’ll undertake a next wave of recruitment, with our producing teams being assembled. “We have achieved so much but there is much more to do and the ongoing support is much valued and much needed.”


has been really positive and complimentary.” Jonathan Blood, senior surveyor at ehB Reeves, said: “We are delighted to help Lindsay find the ideal property for her to launch her first interior design store and we wish her every success in Southam. “Simple Interior Design certainly brings something fresh, stylish and quirky to the town centre and we’re glad there’s been such a positive reaction to it.” ehB Reeves is a firm of chartered surveyors, commercial estate agents

Lindsay Vincent at her new venture Simple Interior Company, in Southam town centre

and commercial property consultants based in Leamington Spa. It was formed earlier this year by the merger between Leamington-based companies ehB Commercial and Reeves and Partners.

Major winter campaign is launched

About 150 guests – many of whom were present 12 months ago – were entertained by a range of artists from within the city and heard from Coventry City of Culture Trust’s Chairman David Burbidge, Creative Director Chenine Bhathena and Chief Executive Martin Sutherland. Martin thanked the city for its support and said it was a chance to reflect but also look forward.

helped Lindsay complete a deal on a converted cottage in the heart of Southam town centre. Lindsay said: “My daughter Amy lives in Southam and I’ve always thought it was a lovely town and would be ideal for me to open a shop. “Now it’s happened and happened very quickly. I saw the premises, I spoke with the landlord and with ehB, I told them I wanted it and the next thing I know I’m open for business. “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind but I’m loving it and the response from local people

Tina Costello and Aaron Greaves, of the Heart of England Community Foundation.

A major campaign which will support some of the most vulnerable people across Coventry and Warwickshire during the winter months has been launched. Heart of England Community Foundation has launched its 2018 Surviving Winter appeal to provide much-needed support to those affected

by isolation, homelessness and food poverty during the winter. The Foundation, a specialist grantmaking charity which awards funding to projects across the West Midlands and is the only one of its kind in the region, is asking businesses to make a donation to the campaign. It is also encouraging people in stronger financial positions to donate all or part of their Winter Fuel Allowance, as well as organise fundraising events to support the appeal. The previous year’s Surviving Winter campaign raised more than £6,500 for grassroots community projects supporting vulnerable individuals including the homeless,

isolated older people and those affected by food poverty. The annual campaign was first launched by the Foundation in 2011 and in 2017 supported more than 400 people across the West Midlands. Tina Costello, CEO of the Heart of England Community Foundation, said: “Our Surviving Winter appeal has supported thousands of individuals across the area during one of the hardest times of the year. “Recent figures show that more than nine million people in the UK are either always or often lonely, more than one homeless person dies every day and in 2018 food bank use has reached its highest rate on record.

“These statistics demonstrate how vital the Surviving Winter appeal is, funding grassroots community projects which tackle social issues right across the West Midlands. “There are a number of ways people can support this year’s campaign including making a donation or holding fundraising events. “The appeal has received a huge amount of support over the years and we hope that this year’s will be just as successful.” To make a donation or support the campaign, visit http://www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk/ giving/surviving-winter/

One degree – two universities Coventry University has partnered with an Australian institution to offer the first to offer wholly-online, co-created entrepreneurship degree. The University and Deakin University will offer a new postgraduate degree in entrepreneurship, allowing digitally connected students from around the world to engage in a rich learning experience – learning with the world without leaving home. Offered on the social learning platform, FutureLearn, this degree has been designed and positioned to enable maximum global participation. It has been co-developed drawing on research, teaching and practical expertise from these two universities, both driven by employability and digital innovation. The course will provide students with a truly interactive, international learning

experience, linking students from across the globe. Deakin and FutureLearn first partnered in 2017, with the Australian university becoming the first in the world to use such a platform to offer several fully online postgraduate courses. Professor Beverley Oliver, Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, described this new collaboration as the future of postgraduate education enabled by global platforms; giving learners access to expertise from leading researchers and practitioners. Professor Oliver said: “The course is designed to ensure students network with their peers – in the digital economy, their communities and future customers will be global.

“At Deakin, we are committed to providing the best possible learning experience and outcomes to our students, wherever they are in the world. We share this value with Coventry University and this has been made clear by the new partnership. Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at Coventry University, said: “Just over a year ago we started working with FutureLearn to become the first UK University to offer fully online postgraduate degree courses on the platform. “This new partnership goes even further and sees us working with Deakin, a leading Australian institution, to offer a joint qualification to our global learners. “At Coventry, we are committed to offering the very best learning experience to our students,

wherever they are in the world. This new way of working means we can offer that significant international learning experience to even more people in our communities.” Simon Nelson, Chief Executive at FutureLearn, said: “This collaboration between Deakin and Coventry University is a great example of the huge potential for universities when they work together. They can expand their range of course offerings, reach new audiences, enrich the experiences of their students and truly challenge what is possible in higher education. “We’re proud to be working with these trailblazing universities and to be playing a part in this collaboration which we believe is a big step forward for the industry.”

Michael collects MBE after beating illness A Coventry man, who was awarded the MBE earlier in 2018, was within hours of missing the chance to collect the honour from Prince William. Michael Mogan, who was key to the fundraising effort for the bid and delivery of UK City of Culture in Coventry, found out in June that he had been given the title in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list after more than 25 years of fundraising in the city. But he fell ill with an infection just days before his trip to Buckingham Palace and faced a race against time to be fit to head down to London to collect the honour from the Duke of Cambridge. However, thanks to the staff at University Hospital Coventry

and Warwickshire he was given the all clear to make the journey and enjoy the once in a lifetime opportunity. Michael, who made the trip with his wife, Karen, and twin daughters, Hattie and Alice, said: “I was so proud to receive the call earlier in the year to say I was being made an MBE and the whole family and I have been looking forward to the trip to the Palace. “So when I fell ill, which left me on a drip for a few days, the whole trip was in doubt. “I can’t thank the team at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire enough because they got me back to being well enough to make the trip. I wasn’t 100 per cent but felt strong enough to go, which

my family were delighted about! “It was such an unforgettable day. Prince William was charming – he told me the girls had behaved impeccably and that he’d enjoyed his recent visit to the city. “The general reaction since the news broke about me being honoured with an MBE has been amazing and uplifting and, as I’ve said all along, it’s an award for all the organisations I’ve helped to fundraise for over the years.” Michael grew up in Wyken and attended St John Fisher Catholic Primary School and Cardinal Wiseman School before studying at Lanchester Polytechnic.

He began his career as a fundraiser in 1992 with the ExtraCare Charitable Trust where he was part of a team that raised millions of pounds – including taking part in a parachute jump. He moved to Coventry Cathedral in 1996 where he worked under David Burbidge DL CBE for the first time. He stayed there for 12 years but has also helped raise money for the Cathedral on a voluntary basis for which his efforts have been praised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby. Michael has since worked on behalf of the Armonico Consort before freelancing for a range of charities, often giving his time freely to the causes.

He joined Coventry University as its Head of Development and Alumni in 2012 and it was here that he was seconded to Coventry 2021 where he is Head of Fundraising, and that money raising effort is widely acknowledged as being a key contributor to the successful outcome.


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire

Careers event is a hit with students L/R Sarah Fisher, Holly Austin, Sarah Bennett, Jenna Morgan and Emma Fisher

Accountants, police officers, computer games designers and more offered up job advice to students at a prestigious girls’ school careers event. The Kingsley School, based at Beauchamp Hall in Leamington Spa, welcomed more than 50 companies to the careers fair, where staff from various sectors set out their stalls to give advice to youngsters for their future.

Amongst the professionals in attendance were Emma Fisher and Sarah Fisher, from Leamington Spa based accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock. Emma said: “It was great for us to get out and speak to the students at The Kingsley School about working in accountancy. “Ours is an industry that can be misrepresented, people tend to think it is all about working with numbers behind a desk, but it is about building relationships and helping businesses realise their full potential. “You get to develop a real understanding of how companies work

and what goes into making a successful business, which is incredibly rewarding and ensures you never stop learning. “We had a lot of interest from pupils, which was great. I hope that we have helped give them a positive impression about our profession. “The Kingsley School were fantastic hosts and the careers fair was brilliantly organised, so I would like to thank them for inviting us to attend and to offer guidance to the children.” Companies represented at the c areers fair included Jaguar Land Rover, Wright Hassall and Siemens, as well as independent music producers, graphic designers and authors.

Pupils from years 7 to 13 were given the chance to speak to guests at various points throughout the day. Sarah Bennett, careers coordinator at the Kingsley School, said: “The event was a huge success, with a real buzz and positive atmosphere. “We had an excellent turnout from businesses and the feedback from students has been brilliant. “Everyone who came out to represent their company really helped contribute with clear and concise information about their working life. “Our students have come away inspired and with a lot of food for thought for their future career choices.”

Insider Knowledge: How to brief a creative agency For some people ‘being creative’ seems very foreign. Often we hear them say ‘well I can’t draw, I haven’t got a creative bone in my body’. We beg to differ. Our experience is that pretty well everyone has some form of creative capability – whether that is the more traditional things we think of a creative such as drawing, writing or performing, or the less obvious ones of finding different ways to do the same job. Which is why we want to boost the confidence of people who have to brief creative agencies – so they get the quality creative work they deserve. We thought what better way to do this other than explaining how we conduct internal briefings – creative people briefing creative people if you like. So this is the insider’s guide to creative briefing. Ideally the briefing should take place face-to-face or at least over Skype (or similar) that way we can use our full range of expression in describing the brief and in sharing ideas about it. Sometimes waving your arms around

or sharing an expression communicates the point where words alone miss the point. Make sure you are fully prepared and to this end we recommend preparing a creative briefing before convening the creative staff due to be involved. This might be written in a compiled form if that suits you and your team, but it could as well be ordered thinking and sample images and words torn from magazines or printed from web sites. You need to gather the following information: client name and contact; key deadlines to be met; project name, and budget. Then onto the substance of the brief: • What has the client requested? Although this might not be what the creative team recommend; • What is the product or service on offer?; • Who is the target audience for the message and how engaged with the product or service are they?; • How does the client want the audience to react on encountering the communication?;

Glued internal briefing

• What is the context of the communication? What are the market conditions, where might the communication occur etc; • Does the communication form part of a strategy and if so how?; • Is there a tone of voice or style that the communication needs to follow? For instance professional, rustic, clinical etc; The attendees of the briefing are given the opportunity to take in the brief, if you don’t like writing things down and want to talk through the topics above then we suggest recording the session. Any questions that arise will need to be answered so that everyone can confirm their understanding of the brief and the

creative challenge. Then it is usual to allow time for initial ideas to be banded about. At this stage all ideas are accepted that includes the obvious, the obscure, the foolish, the cliched and the over complicated. Only by debating all ideas can the truly right ones ‘rise to the surface’. It takes patience to do this and attendees need to accept that fresh ideas can be prompted by those we might otherwise reject. Once all parties feel that initial ideas have been exhausted and any general direction that can be agreed is confirmed it is time to let the creative heads set to. Article by Glued

Restaurant that starts and ends with family Residents in Leamington Spa have been encouraged to embrace their ‘family’ spirit’ after new restaurant Hart + Co opened its doors to the public. The restaurant is situated in the popular eatery area in Leamington, Augusta Place, and is open seven days a week for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. Hart + Co has been established with the ethos to embrace all things family with its home-from-home décor, a menu designed to share with family and friends and a cocktails list inspired by family members past and present. Everything in Hart + Co draws the family together and creates an

environment for friends and relations to meet up and eat and drink together. The founder of Hart + Co, Louise Hart, is the curator of the menu as well as designer of the unique layout of the restaurant, which includes a bright yellow bath. Louise, 24, is from Leamington and has always dreamt of opening her own restaurant with the family at the core of the operation. The youngest restaurateur in Leamington Spa and probably in the whole of Warwickshire, she saw a gap in the market for this type of restaurant and decided to create her dream in her hometown of Leamington.

She said: “I always eat with my family, whether it is a Sunday roast, a sharing platter or even just quick drinks and nibbles and a good old catch up. My family is the heart of what I do and I wanted to create a restaurant that puts the family at the very centre.” Louise has taken inspiration from her family to create dishes in the menu, which include ‘Nannies homemade doughnuts’, freshly prepared doughnuts including a novelty syringe where you get to inject your own filling of your choice. Louise said: “I have drawn inspiration from my family to create each dish and

the cocktails have been especially designed around my family members and memories of what we have done together.”

Warwickshire to build on multi-million pound games industry success Warwickshire's importance in the nation's games industry is to be celebrated as the county plays host to an inaugural event in Leamington Spa. 'Interactive Futures' will offer a range of sessions and opportunities across three days for some of the world's leading games professionals, content creators and curators as well as game players and families. Hosting the conference is the culmination of nearly 30 years in which the area has established its reputation as a hotbed of talent and innovation in the industry. Leamington Spa is the heart of Warwickshire's games community and, along with surrounding towns including Warwick and Southam, is fast developing a reputation as one of the country's leading centres of gaming outside of London, with the cluster known locally as 'Silicon Spa'.


About 130 of the UK's best gaming companies are based in the West Midlands, creating 3,000 to 3,500 full-time employees (FTEs). Over 50 of these companies are situated in and around Leamington Spa with between 2,000 and 2,500 FTEs working there, over 10% of the total UK games development workforce. It is a fast-growing industry. According to UKIE (The Association for Interactive Entertainment) the games industry generated an estimated £224 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) in the West Midlands of which £188 million came from the Warwickshire companies in 2015 and figures have been growing ever since. Local names include Playground, Codemasters, Exient, Sega Hardlight and a recent addition, Ubisoft Leamington. Warwickshire businesses have, over the year, been behind some of the industry's

greatest successes including Colin McCrae, F1 and Forza Horizon. Recent developments have included mobile hits for Disney, Warner Bros and Sega. Warwickshire County Council, alongside SEGA and Ubisoft, is supporting initiatives like Digital School House, developed by industry trade body UKIE, to encourage the development of a diverse and talented pipeline for creative industries. Bridging the skills gaps, and supporting a more exciting pathway into computer science, is key to delivering success and the Digital School House programme is one way of doing this. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: "The figures for the games industry show just how important it is to the future of Warwickshire. The county, the district and other partners work extremely hard with the industry to make sure that they have access to grants and the right workforce

London Street Food Safari inspires catering firm’s new service offerings Leamington Spa-based T (n) S Catering selected nine staff from operations and chef management to participate in a full street food scoping day organised by its supplier Bidfood. Bidfood, one of the UK’s largest food wholesalers, designed the Street Food Safari to support T (n) S in developing new menu concepts by experiencing innovative, international food trends. A spokesperson from Bidfood said: “Our tour featured various street markets and new, popular foodie concepts across London, with attention on what would easily fit within T (n) S’s catering sites.’ Staff were given the task of finding inspiration through London’s best street food concepts in the firm’s never-ending quest to bring the latest food trends to its customers. The team began the day in Marylebone, moving to Camden market, which showcases a huge range of cuisines and ending with full bellies in Borough Market, London’s most renowned food and drink market. A favourite was the Korean ‘On The Bab’ street food eatery based at three locations across London. Serving steamed hirata buns filled with braised meat and topped with super fresh, raw, shredded vegetables giving a crunchy texture contrasting with the soft, light as air steamed bun. Finished with a spicy sauce, they really are a taste sensation. Marylebone’s Hippy Fish restaurant excited the team with its take on Poke. Originating from Hawaii, Poke is a concept of serving dressed raw fish, meat or tofu protein, with rice, fresh vegetables and tangy dressings. Development Chef Manager, Wayne Sullivan said: “I was particularly impressed by the Bourguignon burger, it’s a French beef stew in a bun. A super-rich, herb infused, onion studded triumph of a casserole that will make you want to put all future stews in a bun’. The Bidfood street food day inspired us by shaking up our taste buds as we sampled so many different cuisines. We can’t wait to our new inspirations on our menus.”

with the right skills to help them to continue their growth." Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Councillor Noel Butler, said: “Our ‘Silicon Spa’ games cluster is already the third largest in the UK. At Warwick District Council we recognise the need to work closely with local companies to ensure that they have the support and skills base they need which will enable them to continue to grow. Over the next ten years our plans to develop a new Creative Quarter in Leamington Spa will we hope encourage even more talented and innovative businesses to set up in the area.” Stacy O'Connor, Digital Creative Lead at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The statistics highlight the value of holding the Interactive Futures event in Warwickshire because of our recognised expertise in this increasingly important sector.

There are some fantastic, innovative businesses based in the area which are making a major contribution to the UK’s digital industry.” 'Interactive Futures' will take place at the Royal Spa Centre on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 February, will celebrate the heritage and success of 'Silicon Spa’s games community, whilst also providing a platform for all UK-based games professionals to gain industry insights, network and collaborate. The event is backed by Warwickshire County Council, Warwick District Council and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Further information including tickets for the event are available by going to www.interactive-futures.com or by following the event also follow the event on social media @int_futures


Area Focus: North Warwickshire

Welcome for Nuneaton project

Gold Medal haul makes for England’s highest performing College Students from North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College have triumphed at the national finals of the WorldSkills UK LIVE competition, putting the College in first place in England, and fifth in the UK. The students won Gold medals for culinary arts and digital video production, and Silver and Bronze for customer service. In addition, as part of the Inclusive Skills competition for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, students won Silver and Bronze medals for media and woodworking. The competitions were held at the NEC in Birmingham as part of the UK’s largest showcase for skills, careers and apprenticeships. Gold medals were awarded to Chloe Lloyd-Hughes for her flair in the culinary arts, and to Sam Ebdon, Oliver Hargreaves, Niamh Preston and William Smith for their skills in digital video production. Abdirahman Ibrahim picked up the Silver medal for customer service, while the Bronze medal went to Tia Rowe. Jordan Tolley was Highly Commended for his skills in IT. In the Inclusive Skills competition, James Coates and Molly Boughey won Silver medals for media, and James Deacon secured the Bronze for woodworking. Creative Media student, Sam Ebdon told how he had worked with his team to produce a two-minute video based on WorldSkills UK using the poem ‘Desiderata’ by Max Ehrmann, designed to inspire a 1618-year old audience. Sam said, “This is the first film competition I have ever won, and the experience was absolutely amazing. We all took different roles to make sure every element was right and were very pleased with the end result.” Chloe Lloyd-Hughes who studies Professional Cookery was tasked with preparing a range of dishes within a strict time limit and impressed the judges with her interpretation of a bread and butter pudding which she prepared with hazelnuts and yellow raisins. She was most proud of her duck recipe which she created using celeriac puree, dill oil and port sauce. Chloe said, “Taking part in the competition was a brilliant experience and I really enjoyed it. Competitions help to build your confidence and it’s great to meet so many different people.” College Principal and Chief Executive, Marion Plant OBE said: “This achievement is simply amazing and provides further evidence of the exceptional talent of our students and the capabilities and commitment of our teaching staff who have devoted many hours to supporting their students to become competition-ready.”


Business leaders have offered their backing to a major project to catapult Nuneaton town centre into the future. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s North Branch was given a brief overview of the Transforming Nuneaton plan at its latest committee meeting at the headquarters of Subcon Laser. The meeting saw early concepts for the how the town centre could be reinvented to make better use of its green spaces and heritage and offer a more welcoming approach into the town via the ring road. They heard from architects and masterplanners IDP and John McGuigan, who is meeting with key stakeholders in the region to get buyin for the project to create a sustainable town centre in terms of retail, residential, business, health, transport and open space. The event was attended by a range of businesses from across the area

including manufacturers, professional services and retailers as well as representatives from Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council. Marcus Jones, the MP for Nuneaton, also attended to hear from companies from across the region. Tom Mongan, who recently took over as chair of the Chamber’s North Branch, said: “It was a great meeting and showed that there is plenty to be positive about in this part of the region. “I was pleased to see such a good cross section of businesses in the room and, also, our MP and representatives from the Borough and County Councils. “The Transforming Nuneaton plans are at a very early stage but everyone in the room was excited by the concepts that we saw and, above that, the approach that is being taken.

Tom Mongan (seated, front) with Marcus Jones MP, Louise Bennett (chief executive of the Chamber) and representatives of the North Branch of the Chamber.

“The idea is that this is not a quick fix but a long term plan for the town centre that delivers everything a modern town centre will need and that all parties are on board before the plan goes through its next phase of development.

“The Chamber of Commerce will represent the views of business as the plans move forward because it’s vital that we have a town centre that can act as the focal point for the whole borough and offers the kind of hub for business and services that we all want to see.”

New skills hub opened in Nuneaton

Staff, young people and partners at the opening of the PET-Xi Skills Hub in Nuneaton

One of the UK’s leading training and education specialists has launched a skills hub in Nuneaton. PET-Xi Training has opened PET-Xi Skills Hub in Abbey Street in the town centre to break down the barriers faced by people living in North Warwickshire to make it easier to access support to secure employment and better-paid jobs. Representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Skills for Employment and the Department for Work and

Pensions were among those who attended the official launch. PET-Xi Training will run its Positive Futures and Employment Support schemes, which have been funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, the European Social Fund and Warwickshire County Council and co-funded by PET-Xi, from its new location to reach its target of helping over 1,000 people find work or secure a place at college. The PET-Xi vocational team will be working with employers, colleges and

training providers to particularly focus on young people, disabled people and other vulnerable groups through its specific job advice sessions and specialist support. An ITQ suite has also been installed to increase skills as part of the wider West Midlands Combined Authority Digital Strategy by teaching highlyemployable IT skills in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and IT security. Cllr Colin Hayfield, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Education and Learning at Warwickshire County Council, told those attending the official opening that this was a brilliant project by PETXi Training involving different partners. He said: "As part of the county council's education and employment strategy, we have prioritised working with partners to tackle the issue of young people who are not in, or at risk of not being in, learning or employment. “This Hub, in an area where there is a high proportion of young people at risk of not being in learning or employment, ties in with our strategy of providing services where they are most needed. “This is an opportunity to raise expectations and increase confidence

levels to encourage people to apply for jobs with the right support and training. I wish this project every success.” Fleur Sexton, managing director of the award-winning PET-Xi Training which has its headquarters at the Westwood Business Park in Coventry, said opening the PET-Xi Skills Hub in Nuneaton was a fantastic opportunity to help more people. She said: “We want to help people regardless of their age to take the next step in their lives whether that is a better-paid job, securing an apprenticeship or gaining a place at college by helping them to secure the skills they need. “Opening the PET-Xi Skills Hub will make it easier to engage with local residents and to encourage the communities themselves to use their existing social networks to help spread the word about the opportunities and support there is available. “We’re here to provide help and support and it was truly wonderful to see everybody at the opening and I’m looking forward to working together with all our partners to make this a success.”

Town centre scheme is approved A major scheme to transform Nuneaton town centre and boost economic growth and jobs has been given approval. Warwickshire County Council and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council are working together in partnership to deliver the Transforming Nuneaton Programme to create a vibrant, attractive and prosperous town. The scheme has now received £7.5 million of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to kickstart the programme of transformation. This funding package will focus on the development of Vicarage Street and the area around the railway station, creating a modern, highquality and vibrant gateway to Nuneaton. Other key developments include Horiba MIRA Technology Park and the growth of Bermuda Park employment site. The plans also involve improving the use of public space in Nuneaton town centre and investing in the road,

rail and transport infrastructure to improve connectivity in the North/South corridor. In addition, flood protection will be improved in the town centre to protect businesses and more sites will be opened for other uses including housing schemes. The overall vision for the town has been encapsulated within an outline concept plan which is being shared with businesses and developers as part of the Councils' engagement process. Feedback from the commercial sector and other stakeholders will allow the plan to be refined and developed with the aim of encouraging future investment. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for economic development, said: “The county council is committed to working with our partners towards the development of Nuneaton town centre. This £7.5million funding will act as a catalyst to attracting private sector investment to the town. "We have very high ambitions for the town – the work that is about to

start will do a great deal to create a vibrant, modern atmosphere that is welcoming, making it a great place to visit and do business.” Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “We are absolutely clear on our vision for Nuneaton and have put in place plans to make that vision a reality. The Transforming Nuneaton programme sets out how we will grow the town centre economy and transform our town to attract greater investment, further improving the quality of life for our residents. “Nuneaton is ambitious, innovative and open for business; we want to demonstrate high quality, vibrancy and creativity at every level, we want to inspire people with our plans and I think that we’ve made a very good start by attracting such a major cash injection.” Jonathan Browning, Chair of the CWLEP, said unlocking key development sites within Nuneaton town centre would transform the area. He said: “Investing in Nuneaton town centre will support

economic growth within the town and the wider area. “Creating high-quality easily accessible housing in the town centre along with diverse leisure opportunities would boost footfall to the town centre and increase the number of people working there. “These regeneration plans involve creating the infrastructure for Nuneaton to thrive and supporting the growth of existing businesses as well as improving its potential to attract developers and investors in the future.” Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Nuneaton, we have £7.5 million backing from the government and some significant development sites owned by both Councils. “Everyone must now work together to attract the investment opportunities that are undoubtedly out there for Nuneaton, timing is crucial and all the stops should be pulled out to get new development moving.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: South Warwickshire

Lauren is the face of new campaign Butterfly Farm supports nature conservation and community living in Kenya

Representatives from the Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm have returned from the annual International Association of Butterfly Exhibitors and Suppliers (IABES) conference, which was hosted by the Kipepeo Project in Kenya, a community project that the Stratford Butterfly Farm have been working with for more than twenty years. Richard Lamb, General Manager, and Sarka Bohac, Livestock Manager were able to see firsthand how the source of live African butterfly pupae has changed subsistence farmers into conservationists, thus saving the Arabuko Sokoke Forest and supporting the livelihoods of the people living around it. The Forest covers an area of 41,600 hectares and is the largest single block of protected coastal forest remaining in East Africa. Butterfly farming and ranching have demonstrated that it can provide economic incentives to villagers and has encouraged them to appreciate the forest which provides their livelihood. They no longer see the conserved area as a source of firewood or an area for illicit fly grazing. The project packages and exports the pupae to butterfly houses in Europe and the USA and many of the butterflies can be seen flying around at the Stratford Butterfly Farm. To support the project, visitors back in Stratford recently donated money to help the cause. Richard and Sarka were delighted to hand over $400 to project managers Hussein and Mathias. This money will help them continue to promote nature conservation and community living. Richard Lamb, General Manager at Stratford Butterfly Farm said “Visiting the Kipepeo Project was an absolutely invaluable experience. To see first-hand the progress that has been made in Butterfly breeding and the conservation of the Arabuko Sokoke forest was overwhelming.”

An event manager who had ambitions of becoming an air hostess until a career-changing opportunity took off with Warwick Conferences is flying the flag for working for the organisation. Lauren Watson, aged 23, from Coventry, is taking a leading role in a new careers initiative by Warwick Conferences. It has launched a dedicated platform on its website to better showcase its employment opportunities and dynamic working environment. Lauren’s impressive progression from apprentice to event manager in just three years is featured to inspire others to join and develop their careers with Warwick Conferences. The award-winning conference, meeting and event venue based at the University of Warwick is a major employer in the region’s hospitality sector.

About 250 permanent staff work across its four venues – Scarman, Radcliffe, Arden and The Slate – and Conference Park, with facilities to host small meetings to large-scale events for up to 1,200 delegates. They are regularly supported by temporary staff sourced through Unitemps, the on-campus recruitment agency, during peak times and for larger events. Lauren had always wanted to be an air hostess and studied travel and tourism at Coventry College before deciding upon a career in events and successfully applying for an apprenticeship with Warwick Conferences. Ahead of completing the apprenticeship, gaining a Level 3 extended diploma in hospitality, Lauren was made a member of the front of house team on reception and subsequently promoted to an event manager.

She said: “Although it was a massive step to go from a receptionist to an event manager, the apprenticeship had given me a real insight into all areas of the business and I’m loving every minute. It’s so varied. “One of the events that I am currently working on is the British Science Festival which will be coming here next September. I’m really looking forward to it because it is such a flagship event. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work my way up and everyone here has been really supportive.” The new careers section promotes a wide range of opportunities, from chefs and food and beverage assistants to event production and management roles, and gives an insight from members of the team into working at Warwick Conferences. Andrew Taylor, head of conference centres at Warwick Conferences, said: “We are a people business and our

people are essential to our service delivery. The fact that we achieve 79.9 per cent repeat business speaks volumes. “We want to be able to attract the best and be known for developing great people. It’s not always about the skills that someone has, it’s about their attitude and desire to achieve an ambition. “Lauren is a fantastic example and we hope that her, and other team members, sharing their experiences will be a powerful tool in achieving that. We’re a great place to work – and some members of staff have been here for over 30 years.”

Sporting opportunities on offer Businesses from across the region are being urged to take advantage of the new sport and fitness complex being created at the University of Warwick. The new Sports and Wellness Hub, which is part of a £49 million investment in the centre and adjoining sports facilities at the University, is set to open in April. Located on campus, the centre will have free parking available for the public and will be easily accessible by road or cycle, with cycling routes into the heart of the Hub.

The University is assembling a bespoke package that will serve the business community in Coventry and Warwickshire – as it strives to be the most active campus in the UK by 2020. The centre will include a spacious 230-station gym with inspiring woodland views and the latest cardio, resistance, free weight and functional training equipment as well as a large number of fitness classes weekly. The 25-metre, 12-lane swimming pool will – like all facilities – also be available for community and be accessible to all with moveable floor depths and a wide range of water access options. A cutting-edge climbing centre, featuring bouldering and speed walls,

will be available, alongside six glassbacked squash courts and outdoor sports pitches. It will feature a 12-court sports arena and a smaller four court sports hall, catering to a variety of team sports and activities. The flexible sports arena can also serve as a large conferencing and exhibitions space, and the University is keen to drive custom from the commercial community as well as local residents and students. Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities at the University of Warwick, said: “We are committed to promoting active lifestyles, not only at the University, but through making our facilities widely available to all parts of the local community.

“A part of that is to engage with the business community and that’s why we’re encouraging businesses, and business people, to take advantage of the world-class sporting and leisure facilities we will have at our new facility. “It will be one of the finest university sports centres in the UK and raise the bar for fitness provision in Coventry and Warwickshire. “We are working on a set of unique packages that will cater to the leisure needs of the modern business and would ask any interested businesses to get in touch with us to find out more.” To find out more about the University of Warwick’s Sports and Wellness Hub or to register interest visit www.warwick.ac.uk/sporthub

Warwickshire welcomes news of up to 300 jobs at Wellesbourne research centre Warwickshire County Council has welcomed the news of a partnership between Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) which has chosen the University of Warwick's site in Wellesbourne for the Research and Development of its Smart City Mobility Centre; an initial step towards driverless capability and a future without congestion, emissions and road accidents. The centre will prototype vehicle modular architectures, structures that will enable driverless cars, and revolutionise transport in the UK. The partnership combines the

research expertise of WMG with JLR's engineering ability and is expected to bring around 300 jobs to the area. Further jobs will be created at the University of Warwick's campus where driverless vehicles will be tested. The announcement was made at the Coventry and Warwickshire Automotive Dinner last night by WMG's Chairman, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya. Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council's Deputy Leader, said: "Everyone in Warwickshire should delight in this wonderful news. It will give a huge boost to the

local economy and employment opportunities. It is further proof that Warwickshire is on the map for major high tech companies looking to develop their businesses. "The local universities provide a wealth of talent. We are working hard to align business requirement with a workforce that has the skills to match. "It is also very encouraging for Warwickshire that such high-profile, high-tech enterprises are starting up, or expanding, here. Everybody at Warwickshire County Council wishes the new centre at Wellesbourne the very best with its work."

Special EFX ramps up 3D Technology and designer trophies

The UK’s pioneering trophies and awards manufacturer Special EFX, has announced the completion of a seven-year £400,000 investment programme in 3D technology. The resulting advances in its design and manufacturing capabilities are winning the company new customers and contracts, including podium trophies for ABB FIA Formula E, as it leads the way in innovative and exclusive product design and high-quality production. Special EFX reports that this season’s trophies for Formula E are the most complex and sophisticated designs it has ever produced and would not have been possible without 3D capabilities. Likewise, the company is winning commissions from the automotive industry, replicating iconic truck and car profiles in the form of business trophies and customer souvenirs.


Melanie Osborne, Sales and Marketing Director, Special EFX, said: “We operate in a global marketplace that is fiercely competitive and recognise that being able to turn company’s iconic brands and logos into prestigious 3D works of art that amaze the recipients makes EFX the go-to producer for trophies and awards”. Special EFX works from its factory outside Stratford-uponAvon, where it employs more than 40 personnel. The company designs and manufactures, in a wide variety of materials, contemporary-styled recognition awards for business and events, sports trophies, plaques and medals – all unique and exclusive. Acclaimed by customers for its design originality, EFX initially focused on investment in the design side of the business. This was spearheaded by the acquisition of the latest 3D design software, 3D modelling technology

and 3D scanning equipment. This initial investment transformed EFX’s design, rendering and surface decoration capabilities, including facilitating the ability to accurately miniaturise large-scale sculptures and models, and turn 2D graphics and logos into stunning 3D trophies and awards. Earlier this year, a 5-axis milling machine was successfully installed at the company’s works, followed by a major upgrade of its 3D printing capabilities. However, staying ahead of the market requires relentless drive. Melanie said: “If I look back just five years, there has been an astonishing sea-change over that period in the sophistication of the trophies and awards we produce. But, customers’ expectations continue to build and we are constantly looking to challenge the impossible.”

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Listers SEAT Coventry Brandon Road, Binley, Coventry CV3 2AN Tel: 02476 456700 www.listers.co.uk/SEAT *No ownership option. Business users only. Based on a 36 month, 10,000 mile per annum Contract Hire agreement. Excess mileage and damage charges may apply. All Prices Exclude VAT. VAT payable at 20%. 18s+. Subject to status and availability. T&Cs apply. For orders placed between 02/10/2018 and 02/01/2019 from participating Dealers. Indemnities may be required. Not available in conjunction with any other offer and may be withdrawn at any time. Accurate at 11/2018. Freepost SEAT Financial Services. Listers Group Limited is a credit broker and not a credit lender. Any information provided by Listers Group Limited or any of its representatives is done so on a non advised basis. We will introduce you to a small number of carefully selected finance providers who may be able to help you finance your purchase. We may receive payment from the finance provider if you decide to enter into an agreement with them. This introduction does not amount to independent financial advice. Listers Group Limited, Othello House, Stratford-upon- Avon Business and Technology Park, Banbury Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7GY is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. At the end of the agreement the vehicle must be returned. Model shown: Ateca FR Sport. Official fuel consumption for the SEAT Ateca range in mpg (litres per 100km); urban 40.9 (6.9) - 54.3 (5.2); extra-urban 55.4 (5.1) - 67.3 (4.2); combined 49.6 (5.7) - 61.4 (4.6). CO2 emissions 129 - 120 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are obtained under standardised EU test conditions (or, in cases of vehicles with WLTP type approval, are the NEDC figures derived from WLTP testing). These figures facilitate comparison between different models from different manufacturers, but may not represent the actual fuel consumption achieved in ‘real world’ driving conditions. NEDC figures derived from WLTP testing may not be equivalent to figures from NEDC testing, so comparisons may be unreliable. More information is available at www.seat.co.uk/wltp. Choice of wheels and other options may affect fuel consumption and emissions data.


Area Focus: Rugby sponsored column

Company grows global share

Robert Dyer (left) with Parminder Hayer

Keeping pace with technology The world in which we live and work is becoming increasingly digital, with continually evolving ways to collect and communicate information says Emma Reid, Partner at Cottons Accountants. It is important that accountants keep pace with the new technology, and help their clients engage with it effectively and efficiently. Like many accountancy practices we have fully embraced Cloud Accountancy practices, rolling them out both in house and to clients, but we wanted to look at how best to incorporate these with peoples favoured way of accessing technology – mobile devices. This has led to us being able to provide an app, available to everyone completely free of charge on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. With this app people will be able to use their devices to collect and record data digitally. Key features that are proving to be very popular include a GPS mileage tracker, where trip details are recorded accurately and stored throughout the year. Receipt management enables you to track receipts and expenses at the touch of a button, storing them safely and Income tracker allows users to keep track of daily, weekly and monthly income. The way the app directs the user to store and categorise their information makes sure that it is easily accessible to accountancy professionals for bookkeeping purposes. Working with industry specialists and listening to clients needs we have been able to incorporate these financial functions with up to date tools aimed at making life easier on the go. The very latest tax tables and calculators are accessible as is a handy currency convertor and the latest financial news. If you would like to discuss this in further detail please contact Emma Reid on 01788 579033 or email ER@cottonsllp.com. The app is available at Google Play and the App Store – search Cottons Accountants

Chestnut Field House, Chestnut Field, Rugby Tel. 01788 579033 www.cottonsllp.com


A business based near Rugby that makes, supplies and installs surveillance and security equipment – including covert devices – has grown its global market share after receiving a decade’s worth of support. Pace Systems, which is based in Thurlaston, provides everything from technology to training in the field of security and surveillance and has expanded into offering technical surveillance counter measure inspections (TSCMI), or bug sweeping, for clients. The company was established in 2001 and, over the past ten years, has been supported by the

International Trade Hub at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce with its export market. Pace now works around the globe including across Europe, the Far East, Middle East and South East Asia. The company has recently enjoyed significant business wins in South America for its TSCMI sweeps and it is a market that continues to grow with major corporations and states as well as high net worth individuals. Robert Dyer, of Pace Systems, said: “Our international markets are growing all the time.

Obviously, because of the nature of what we do, we have to be careful about saying exactly who we work for and where we operate but we are active in countries right across the globe. “We are renowned for our exceptional design and engineering expertise in the security and surveillance market and have been since our foundation in 2001. “On the back of that, we have developed the TSCMI side of the business to help us to diversify and grow. It basically offers a wide range of clients – from individuals to multi-national companies – products and services that can protect them from industrial espionage threats. “We’ve worked in offices, boardrooms, private homes and even super yachts on behalf of clients who have concerns that they are the subject of espionage. We work comprehensively and confidentially and clients appreciate our high levels of professionalism. “Working with the Chamber has helped us to grow our overseas markets, including utilising the

contacts of the Department for International Trade all around the world to help us to grow in those places. “We would encourage other businesses in the area to make the most of that help.” Parminder Hayer, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Team, said it was vital that businesses in all sectors looked to broaden their horizons. He said: “Pace Systems is a very interesting company in an exciting field that is growing significantly. “The firm has worked with us here at the Chamber for ten years and have developed a strong presence around the world. That is expanding even further with its new range of products and services. “It’s a great example to other companies across this region of how to grow a business through overseas trade – something that is becoming more and more important – and how it’s important to access support with that.”

Brilliant: our summer with a Warwick intern Locally-based inclusive communities champions, Circles Network, reflect on their experience of hosting a University of Warwick student for a short internship. Circles Network is a UK-wide voluntary organisation based near Rugby, renowned for building inclusive communities on the foundations of justice, advocacy, empowerment and friendships. It was founded in 1994 by CEO Mandy Neville. Last year, Circles Network hosted two Warwick student interns at their Cawston HQ, as part of the Warwick Summer Internships Programme (WSI), a University-funded internship programme that offers opportunities for Warwick students to work with a regional or national small or medium sized enterprise for six weeks over the summer. Neelam Gill, Circles Network’s HR Manager, describes how they found the experience: “I had recently joined Circles Networks when our CEO passed on some information from Warwick about their WSI programme, which sounded like it would meet our immediate needs really well – we wanted an intern because they bring fresh new ideas, question processes and it could lead to potentially hiring them in the future. “The advertising process was easy to follow, so we put forward two quite different roles; one was a facilitator for our “3D Community

Support” project, which offers 1:1 and group support to people who are at risk of isolation due to disability and disadvantage, and the second was for an intern to support with Business Administration and writing reports. We ran our own interviews, and Warwick confirmed our funding and provided an employer pack to support with preparation for the internship I found the section about working with millennials particularly useful! “Both interns were brilliant: they were full of life, worked hard and got involved. One produced an insightful, practical report and catalogued some of our main achievements from working through our archives in preparation for a publication timed for our 25th Anniversary next summer. While the other had

great impact as an extension to our facilitation team, working with the children and adults we support; she particularly liked working on our Equine Programme, involving ponies in an educational and therapeutic basis with a range of children. Both were of the calibre where further work was an option. “ Neelam’s three top tips for getting the most out of your interns are: 1. Make sure that you have a programme of work planned for the intern 2. Varied work takes advantage of their existing skills, potential strengths and new interests 3. Encourage them to speak up and share their ideas and opinions.

Pottery sessions create a sense of achievement

Emma Dredge, from Paint and Glaze in Rugby, showed people who receive support from the charity New Directions how to decorate mugs and ceramic dishes with their own designs,

which were then fired so that they could keep them forever. Funded by money raised for art therapy through a New Directions’ charity quiz, the

creative session was an opportunity for individuals to express themselves and improve their confidence and self-esteem. New Directions provides support services to vulnerable people, including those with a learning or physical disability. The services include support to people in their own homes and in a supported living environment, short breaks and respite, day opportunities and residential services. Paint and Glaze is a mobile pottery providing blank pottery items that can be painted and fired. Emma spent time with Ian, Jonathan, Linda, Pauline, Mark, Maureen and Joyce, who are

supported by New Directions, and who learned how to use colours, glaze effects and stencils. Emma said: “I have enjoyed providing these paint and glaze sessions for New Directions and was thrilled to be asked back again after the first one. Using our hands to make something is an outlet for our creativity where the sense of touch is of great significance. “The people who took part in this pottery group found it a social experience but it still allowed for positive silence. By creating pottery that can last a lifetime, learning new skills and having a finished product it can lead to enjoying a creative pastime.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Expo to return with focus on growth The region’s premier business expo is heading back to Warwickshire in 2019 – and will be focused on getting firms from across the area trading with one another. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Trade Local Business Expo 2019 at NAEC Stoneleigh on Friday, March 15 and aims to help grow the Coventry and Warwickshire regional economy – by encouraging more companies to do business with each other. More than 100 exhibitors and more than 500 visitors are expected and the Chamber is taking bookings now from companies wanting to exhibit at the event – including an early bird discount with stands from just £99 + VAT for members.

Go For Growth: Trade Local was launched earlier this year and is encouraging companies from across Coventry and Warwickshire to tap into the goods, services and expertise in the city and the county. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “As a Chamber, we represent members right across the region so it was important for us to move the expo to Warwickshire in 2019 and the NAEC is both a fantastic location and a valued member. “Trading locally is something I am really keen to push over the next 12 months. As everyone knows, the Chamber does great

work helping to support companies to do business all around the world so this is not a campaign designed to only look inwardly. “It’s about businesses really thinking about where they can utilise suppliers across our own patch to help grow our economy. “Nothing encapsulates that whole idea more than our business expo, which has hundreds of businesses in a room from a variety of sectors showcasing so much that is great about business in Coventry and Warwickshire. So I would urge companies to book stands and register for the event now and use it as an opportunity to plan who you might like to meet and the potential to find new suppliers of goods and services.

“Then, on the day, I’d urge companies to become a bit more urgent when it comes to making sales. We all want to meet, we all want to network and we all want to build up our contacts – but we need to make sales and we shouldn’t be shy about using the expo as an opportunity to grow our own businesses.” As well the main exhibition, there will three seminars to help firms grow, fast and furious speed networking sessions and international trade and automotive zones.

For more information, email events@cw-chamber.co.uk or call 024 7665 4321. Alternatively, go to www.cwexpo.co.uk

Going for Commonwealth gold Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire will be given an insight on how to go for Commonwealth gold at an event this March. The Chamber has successfully secured a briefing session with the senior team behind the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the potential business & procurement opportunities that will be up for grabs in the build up to and during the event. The briefing will take place as part of the programme for the Chamber’s Trade Local Business Expo on Friday, March 15, at Stoneleigh Park which is an opportunity for hundreds of firms from across the region to come together to network and do business together. Around 80 per cent of contracts for previous Games have been secured by firms in the region around the host city and firms across Coventry and Warwickshire are being urged to be alive to the opportunities. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Our Business and Trade Expos continue to attract hundreds of companies from across the region and


preparations have been underway for the event in March for several weeks now. “Our Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign is all about getting companies across the patch doing business with one another and being more pro-active at events such as this when looking to land new work. “We are also keen to promote major opportunities through the campaign with major public and private sector bodies. “The Commonwealth Games coming to the region is huge and we want companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to understand what opportunities are already available and what there is in the pipeline. “The evidence from previous games shows that businesses in the area around the host city tend to win the majority of contracts and we, therefore, want to bring companies across our patch up to speed with the potential opportunities and we are delighted to have secured a briefing with the organisers at our Expo.” To find out more go to www.cw-chamber/events


Age in the Workplace

A new age in apprenticeship What do you think of when you see the word: Apprentice? Perhaps it invokes scenes of Sir Alan in a studio boardroom somewhere in Canary Wharf or maybe, for the purists amongst us, it conjures up images of fresh faced school leavers taking their first steps into the world of work... Chances are that unless you are undertaking an apprenticeship none of you thought about yourselves, which is a shame as apprenticeships are an ideal opportunity for organisations to invest in their existing staff’s CPD as well as being a cost effective way to attract new talent to your business. Apprenticeships have come a long way since the introduction of the Statute of Apprentices in 1563 and should no longer be seen as cheap labour for young people wanting to learn a trade. There is still a focus towards traditional vocational disciplines, however the recent reforms have seen more and more senior level apprenticeship standards introduced. These include subjects like Project Management, which would be more suited for established team members who have previous project management experience and are looking to improve their performance whilst working towards a nationally recognised qualification that fits around their existing working patterns The latest stats released from the Education and Skills Funding Agency show that last year 41% of all apprenticeships started were for learners aged 24 and over. These figures are encouraging as they show that more and more people and employers are turning to apprenticeships as a viable and flexible option for continuing professional development and reinforces the notion that apprenticeships really are for everyone, regardless of age. Find out more about apprenticeships for you and your business at www.hoet.co.uk or www.instituteforapprenticeships.org

ACAS conference:

Coping with an older workforce One of the advantages of increasing health in the community is the fact that many people work until they are at, or beyond, retirement age. A new survey shows that employers value the differing skillsets and knowledge that a multi-generational workforce can bring, but many worry that with this comes the increased potential for conflict in the workplace, a new survey has found. The YouGov survey of middle market businesses commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM found that seven in ten (72%) of firms in the Midlands and East Anglia said that an age diverse workforce helped the company to have a more comprehensive skillset and knowledge base. Almost eight in ten (77%) felt that a multigenerational workforce brought contrasting views to their organisation. However, four in ten companies (38%) said that a multi-generational workforce also increased the risk of conflict in the workplace. The survey also found that managers tend to find managing their own generations easier than managing others. The results are likely to be replicated in other parts of the UK and Emily Robinson, a senior consultant from RSM HR, said: “Having five generations under one roof doesn’t have to create friction or management headaches. “As our survey found, many organisations value the diversity of opinions, experience and knowledge that a multi-generational workforce can bring. But taking advantage of those benefits will depend on the ability of organisations to create a culture where everyone feels heard, valued and understood.”

Key trends and challenges for HR in 2019 and beyond 13 March 2019

09:30am to 15:30pm

Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG To book: 0300 123 1150 events@acas.org.uk £170


RSM has published a new report called New Forces at Work which advises employers to consider new approaches to people management and incentivisation. Practical steps include: Work out your age profile – carry out a workforce audit to get a clear picture of the age profile of employees to ensure that those at the top can understand why the company’s approach to people management may need to change. Create an inclusive culture – Those at the top of the organisation need to lead by example to create an inclusive and dynamic culture. Go beyond stereotypes – Don’t rely on stereotypes about baby boomers and millennials to inform your strategy. The only way you'll find out what your workforce wants is to ask them. Organisations need to run regular employee engagement surveys to

understand what people think about your organisation and what will motivate them to do a good job. Find similarities, celebrate differences – Stagnant wage growth and rising living costs have toppled the longheld belief that each generation should have a better life than the one that came before. As a result, cross generational tensions have begun to rise. Consider ways to strengthen inter-generational relationships, for example, by setting up reverse mentoring to allow younger generations to share their ideas and perspectives with older employees. Watch out for age discrimination – With an ageing workforce, the potential for age discrimination claims can increase. To protect your organisation, you must make sure your policies, procedures and practices don't help one generation while alienating others.

The legal and economic landscape and how it affects your business or workplace is constantly evolving, particularly against the background of the ongoing political and economic uncertainty…Legislation is also frequently introduced and amended. • Join ACAS and leading industry experts for an insight into the key HR challenges facing your organisation in 2019, in order that your business can stay informed, legally compliant and well prepared.

• Experts in the world of work will provide a pertinent insight into some of the barriers impacting employee engagement and workplace productivity, and key measures organisations can take to overcome these.

Suitable for delegates from all sectors of industry including managers, supervisors, HR professionals, business owners, Trade Union and employee representatives and individuals who wish to enhance their CDP.

The Conference will include presentations regarding the following:

How to improve productivity and performance through effectively managing bullying and harassment in the workplace - Allan Halse; Director of CultureSafe (New Zealand) Ltd.

This unique international perspective will discuss how the learning gained from tackling workplace bullying in New Zealand can help inform best practice with regards to effectively managing bullying in your organisation, which in turn helps improve overall morale and productivity.

Modern Slavery - Lys Ford of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

Millions of people worldwide, of all ages and backgrounds, are victims of human trafficking and forced labour. The GLAA’s role, in partnership with other agencies, is to protect vulnerable and exploited workers. This presentation will focus on trafficking awareness for business, spotting the key indicators and next steps.

Menopause in the workplace case study Dr Vanessa Beck of Bristol University and Joanna Brewis of Leicester University. Vanessa and Joanna are two of the four co-authors of the 2017 Government Equalities Office report ‘The effects of menopause transition on women’s economic participation in the UK’. This presentation will share some headline findings from the author’s recent survey of more than 5000 people on attitudes to, beliefs about and experience of, menopause at work and provide guidance regarding how employers can act in this important area.

Recruitment - Tracey Evans FIRP; Group HR and Quality Director of Pertemps. Employment Law Update - Damien Kelly of Higgs & Sons gives a round-up of the most recent and forth-coming changes in employment legislation and case law.


...training for a brighter future

% ers 7 y 9emplomend

Still unsure about apprenticeships? Looking for a cost effective opportunity to of om up-skill and invest in your current staff? c ! s e r u Want to attract new talent to fuel your business growth? Need advice on ways to use your unspent levy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or have others of your own relating to apprenticeships or staff training, visit hoet.co.uk or call 0800 0281 576 to find out more today... Offices in Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester & Rugby

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Charity Corporate Giving

Tina Costello, Chief Executive Officer of Heart of England Community Foundation explains how chamber members can get the maximum impact from their generosity How can we support you in delivering your CSR ambitions and why would you want to work with the Heart of England Community Foundation? That’s easy. Our knowledge of Coventry, Warwickshire and the rest of the West Midlands is second to none. So, wherever you want to see change, that’s where you’ll see it. With over 23 years of grant giving experience the Foundation has distributed more than £16 million to local community organisations. Many of these groups fall under the radar of national charities, however the organisations we work with have a huge impact on the lives within the communities that they operate. The Foundation is constantly striving to improve in a bid to remain at the forefront of local giving. Our collaborative work with universities, public bodies, organisations and philanthropists, not to mention the thousands of community groups we have supported, ensure we know our region. Unsure where you want to make a difference? We have the knowledge to aid your decision making, ensuring your generosity has maximum impact. With us helping to implement your corporate giving strategy you know lives will be changed while your brand awareness will rise. Letting others know how you’re making a difference is a great tool for business yes, but for the greater good it encourages others to do the same. Give your business the recognition it deserves and be a trailblazer in community support. We tailor our work to fit your capacity and need, we’re not all about the millions.

Whether you want to start a fund, set up a legacy or just donate there is something for everybody and every organisation. A donation of £5,000 could support 5 local organisations, but we wouldn’t say no to a million! Our grants make a difference at a local level, in the areas that your business and your employees are a part of. That being said, one of our main selling points is that our donors can see the tangible benefits of their social investment. Our grants often produce almost instant results, supporting programmes, activities and initiatives that address all the issues you could think of, benefiting individuals that represent all the different demographics in our communities. This is brilliant to see and being involved with us will allow you, and your staff, to not only witness this but contribute where you see fit. With opportunities to get your hands dirty through visiting and volunteering at the projects you’ve supported it offers the chance the raise morale and increase employee engagement. Our locality means you can really give back to the projects that tug on your heart strings. The majority of organisations we support rely on the kindness, dedication and motivation of volunteers so helping to share the load by offering vital support in a nonfinancial way could make a real difference! Whatever your social ambitious we can help you achieve them, but don’t take our word for it. Caroline Hill - Chief People and Strategy Officer at Wesleyan Assurance, our largest corporate donor said:

“None of this would be possible without our wonderful partners. Tina Costello and her team have worked tirelessly to make every penny of Wesleyan’s investment into communities count.” Still not convinced? We take the difficulties out of giving. As experts in our field we take care of the reporting, the administration and the due diligence that comes with having your own charity and believe me, there is a lot! This way you can have confidence in the projects and people you’re supporting, you can relax and be involved in the exciting bit, the giving! Another partnership that we’ve really enjoyed is our relationship with the Coventry City of Culture Trust. Michael Mogan MBE, Head of Fundraising at the trust, said: “Having worked as a fundraiser in the City for more than 25 years I was well aware of the great work undertaken by the Foundation. “Through the Coventry City of Culture Trust, I have come to know the work of the Foundation better: When we wanted to establish funds so that potential partners could trial ideas and build their skills set, I suggested we ask the Foundation to manage the pot. This has worked incredibly well. “Giving grants in a fair, even handed and transparent way is essential, yet not a straightforward undertaking. The expertise of the Foundation has helped us to plan our giving; the application process and the reporting mechanisms.

“I would wholeheartedly recommend the Foundation and its team.” We’d love to work with you. Whatever your ambitions are the Heart of England Community Foundation has the tools, knowledge and experience to match. Give us a call and we can discuss your ideas, advise and put into play an action plan to make a difference in the communities you care deeply about. Tina Costello Chief Executive t: 024 7688 3060 e: tina@heartofenglandcf.co.uk Twitter: @hoecf

“We knew when we set up the Wesleyan Foundation that we would need help to run it. While we’re experts in financial services and have an experienced Corporate Responsibility Manager, we don’t have the capacity or expertise to manage the huge amount of administration and due diligence that comes with running a grant giving body of the size and scales of the Wesleyan Foundation.

Foundation Live


“Heart of England Community Foundation have been on-hand since the beginning to advise and guide us through the whole process. We can fully rely on them to manage the distribution of funds the right way which means we know that our Foundation is being expertly managed, and the money is going to the people and causes that will benefit most from it.

Communities Uncovered Launch




Own Label

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Manufacturing own label

Supplying facilities management

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cleaners with professional


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ReFresh! Supplying independent

Omnicide Providing healthcare cleaning

retailers with off-the-shelf

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consumer focused

agricultural industries

cleaning products



Contact us today to see how we can help your business E-mail: sales@mirius.com | Call: 02476 639 739 www.mirius.com

the new name for

Woodhams Road, Siskin Drive, Coventry, CV3 4FX, UK

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Member Profile

Mirius – a business with history Mirius may sound like a new high-tech business start-up, but its Coventry origins date back more than 55 years. In June 2018 the business formerly known as Coventry Chemicals rebranded to ‘Mirius - Global Hygiene Solutions’ to better reflect the company’s global operations and its expertise in driving innovation within the manufacturing and supply of household and professional cleaning and hygiene products. Founded in 1963 it now employs over 150 people at its 135,000sqft site close to Coventry airport. It is the UK’s leading manufacturer of cleaning liquids, powders and tablets for retail, professional and healthcare users. With hundreds of customers in over 80 countries and millions of end-users the business produces 1 in 4 household cleaning products in the UK and its customers include some of the largest UK and European retailers. As a multiaward-winning business it produces private label products frequently proven to beat the bestselling high street big brand names. Due to strict non-disclosure agreements with its customers Mirius is unable to say who they produce own label for, but they have been allowed to mention Ocado, a very recent success story designing developing and manufacturing all of the on-line retailer’s own label ‘under the sink’ cleaning products. As well as producing own label and branded products the business also supplies some of the largest UK facilities management companies and independent professional cleaners with their own label ranges. In addition, they also offer a range of over 90 off-the-shelf cleaning products under the ‘Super Professional’ brand name, the fastest growing professional cleaning range within its sector.


In 2014 with a turnover of £17m, the company received an investment boost of £1.5m from Birmingham City Finance to help drive its ambitious growth plans. In 2018 the company turnover was £24m and its on-target turnover for 2019 is £30m, a phenomenal growth acceleration unheralded within its sector and due predominately to product, packaging and automated manufacturing innovations. The company rebrand, which took place in 2018 has had a huge positive effect, helping to represent the business throughout the world to such an extent that Mirius has recently been independently verified as one of the fastest growing manufacturing companies in its sector in Europe. Under the guidance of Steve Quinlan (C.E.O.) and Darren Langdon (Commercial Director) and a forwardthinking progressive management team the business is full of passion, ambition and drive, that will no doubt ensure the firm continues to capitalise on new and exciting commercial opportunities. Despite wide spread uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the business has impressive growth plans for 2019 and beyond - Mirius remains highly upbeat and has recently received over 40 tender requests to supply private label products and its Omnicide healthcare brand across Europe, Asia, Russia and South America. As a Coventry based manufacturer, it has a strong ethos to support other local businesses and has recently moved its warehousing, picking, packing and distribution to KB Transport Solutions Coventry in a deal worth over £2 million per annum. As part of the new deal a fleet of Mirius branded trailers will be hitting the roads in the New Year. The business is also a member of the 2021 City of Culture Club helping to support and promote the City on the runup to 2021.

As a local employer and as part of their social commitment to the community, Mirius has been supporting the Coventry Food Bank, part of the Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK. It’s easy to forget that items like washing-up liquid and laundry powder are important for good health and wellbeing and the business regularly donates products to help those in need. Mirius combines more than 55 years of experience with new innovations and insights to serve as a trusted partner in

the cleaning and hygiene sector. The business is working hard to build a strong, sustainable future and has exciting and unique developments planned in the areas of recyclability and sustainability all of which are strictly under-wraps at present but are guaranteed to be game changers in the cleaning and hygiene sector. The management team are ‘positively disrupting’ what is often seen as a traditional business sector and is certainly a business to keep a close eye on over the coming years.

“Despite wide spread uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the business has impressive growth plans for 2019 and beyond - Mirius remains highly upbeat and has recently received over 40 tender requests to supply private label products and its Omnicide healthcare brand across Europe, Asia, Russia and South America.”

Steve Quinlan CEO and Darren Langdon Commercial Director


Education & Training

College teams up Coventry College has become the first further education training provider in the West Midlands to team up with a Sport England funded support system for up and coming athletes.

Coventry College has become the first college in the West Midlands to join the scheme after it was opened up to include further education sites earlier this year, having initially worked exclusively with universities.

The college, which has two campuses in the city, has partnered up with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) to help provide elite sports students with financial and practical support.

Charlotte Healey, TASS Dual Career Co-Ordinator at Coventry College, said: “Coventry College has an outstanding reputation for its sports provision and we are now among only a handful of training providers across theUK to have gained this elitebadge of recognition.

The TASS scheme helps future athletes in education to balance their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two, supporting over 600 pupils across the country.

“A number of our students progress into elite squads in a number of sports, playing at both regional and international levels.

“This is really going to help us continue that tradition and produce more special athletes. “Balancing academic duties and athletic ambition can be difficult but making sure they are both properly looked after is crucial for the development of our students as people and athletes. “The up and coming athletes who will study with us in the future are sure to benefit from this partnership and everyone at Coventry College is proud of the work that has gone into getting this recognition.” TASS is a Sport England funded scheme, with athletes including Olympic weightlifter Sarah Glanvill and elite rower Hugo Coussens already benefiting from participation. The Dual Career Accreditation Scheme acknowledges an enhanced level of

academic flexibility and understanding within an institution, allowing talented athletes to balance their studies with a hectic sporting schedule. TASS Dual Career student athletes at Coventry College will benefit from termly workshops with guest speakers, which will provide support and guidance for aspiring athletes. They will also benefit from flexible academic arrangements to work around training and competition schedules, including for deadlines and internal exams, and the support of a dedicated tutor. Coventry College has a wide range of elite sporting provision, with academies set up for talented rugby and football players, featuring professional level coaching and boasting links with local clubs.

WCG joins the Chartered Institution for Further Education The Chartered Institution is devoted to developing the potential, reputation and standing of the further education sector. Its mission is to bring together the best training providers across the sector and collectively to promote, recognise and celebrate their professionalism and success.

WCG CEO Angela Joyce said: “Our students, employers and wider stakeholders all have choices to make and membership of the Chartered Institution for Further Education is a powerful endorsement of our quality. The Institution also provides a network for like-minded, high quality colleges and providers to work together and to demonstrate the significant impact of the further education sector.”

Dan Wright, CEO and Secretary of the Chartered Institution for Further Education said: “We are very pleased to welcome Warwickshire College Group to Membership of the Chartered Institution for Further Education. Their offering is a great example of providing fantastic services for a wide range of both students and businesses. We look forward to working with Warwickshire College Group alongside our existing Members.”

“We believe in excellence in all we do we want to be recognised for our commitment to this in all the areas assessed by the Chartered Institution for Further Education: governance; leadership; professional development; teaching practice and community impact. The sector is going through tremendous change and challenge currently; Chartered status celebrates the highest performing Providers in the sector and we are delighted to be

WCG is now a member of the Chartered Institution for Further Education.


working with like-minded colleges and private training providers. We look forward to collectively being a powerful voice in the sector.” WCG (formerly known as Warwickshire College Group) is one of the largest further and higher education colleges in the UK, made up of seven colleges based across the West Midlands. It places a strong focus on meeting both individual student and

wider industry needs, offering courses from entry level to degree level. The Group is also one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the Midlands, training about 2,500 apprentices each year from more than 1,200 businesses of all sizes.

“We believe in excellence in all we do - we want to be recognised for our commitment to this in all the areas assessed by the Chartered Institution for Further Education: governance; leadership; professional development; teaching practice and community impact.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Education & Training

sponsored column

Pershore College wins apprenticeship training award

Michelle Wood, Group Head of Learning and Development at Sanctuary Group, Mark Eden, Director of Work Based Learning, Pershore College, Peter Husband, Group Deputy Principal, Apprenticeships, HE & Innovation for WCG, Angellica Bell, BBC TV presenter and awards host

Pershore College won Training Provider of the Year at the recent Worcestershire Apprentice Awards ceremony. The awards, organised by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council, was of one of twenty five given to the county’s best apprentices, apprenticeship employers, schools and training providers at glittering ceremony held at West Midland Safari Park.

This award, sponsored by housing association Sanctuary Group, was given to a training provider which excels in its contribution to Worcestershire Apprenticeships through its drive to increase provision to meet the local area needs, improve quality and success rates, maintain good partnership working and promotion of apprenticeships to young people, schools and employers. Pershore College delivers a wide range of apprenticeship training to over 300

apprentices working with more than 100 employers in the Worcestershire area. The renowned horticulture college is part of WCG, a group of seven further education and specialist colleges based in Warwickshire and Worcestershire and is one of the largest training providers in the West Midlands. The award was given in recognition for its work in the delivery of a range of land based apprenticeships in horticulture, landscaping, arboriculture and a griculture since the UK government implemented a range of significant reforms to apprenticeship funding, what they contain and deliver. Judy Chadwick, Worcestershire LEP Skills Lead, said: “Pershore is a specialist college with a distinctive horticulture heritage. The combination of state-ofthe-art teaching laboratories alongside traditional agricultural engineering workshops means it plays a key role in the advancement of the essential land based sector skills that the Worcestershire region needs to economically prosper. I congratulate the apprenticeship team on winning this well-deserved award.” Mark Eden, Director of Work Based Learning, Pershore College, said: “I feel very proud to have the opportunity to accept this prestigious award in recognition of all the hard work the work based learning team at Pershore have invested in their apprentices over the last year.”

New Apprenticeship Provider supports businesses with Digital Transformation Primary Goal was established in June 2015 with the remit of creating a high-quality digital apprenticeship programme as an innovative approach to bridging the digital skills gap, providing cost effective IT support for schools and businesses, and assisting organisations with digital transformation. The first two years were focused on research and development to trial the concept and demonstrate industry need. Primary Goal began delivering the programme in October 2017 and have grown to almost 70 on programme in just over a year, with a target of 92% completion rate. Primary Goal’s Technology Apprentices provide low level technical support, maintain equipment and software applications, update website / social media presence, handle IT projects and support their digital transformation strategy. In schools they also support to embed technology across the curriculum in teaching and learning. 383 is a Birmingham based digital design studio. They approached Primary Goal when they were reviewing their IT support options. They felt that the programme was a good fit for their


organisation and that the introduction of an apprentice as a means of 1st line technical support would mean they could start to work on some of the IT projects that were on their wish list. Primary Goal supported the entire recruitment process to ensure 383 got the right apprentice for their specific requirements. Having a designated role for IT, they now have a proactive and creative approach to day to day IT tasks and larger infrastructure projects. They feel they can be more visionary, have effective delegation, better organisational communication mechanisms and can see visible progress on their digital transformation journey.

Glen Duncan, Operations Director at 383 said: “Primary Goal’s programme has allowed us to quickly scale our business and support our IT programme with ease. They understood the needs of our business and confidently matched the right profiles for us, and outlined a complete apprenticeship programme so that we could support our apprentice through their training plan and compliment it with the right type of experience. It’s been a great, and very simple, process for us to get involved with, and we’re super happy with Primary Goal’s approach, and our apprentice, who is doing brilliantly in their role with us.”

“Primary Goal’s Technology Apprentices provide low level technical support, maintain equipment and software applications, update website / social media presence, handle IT projects and support their digital transformation strategy. “

Skills of the Future Coventry College is committed to increasing growth in the local and regional economy. We are working to overcome the existing skills gap and ensure we are developing a workforce with the skills necessary to prosper. As part of this commitment, we are setting up a series of Skills of the Future employer engagement panels. These panels will cover creative and digital; advanced manufacturing and engineering; construction; leisure and hospitality and the professional services. We aim to anticipate future job trends in order to map out the skills required for employers to prosper in line with the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Regional Skills Plan. These Skills of the Future panels will become the foundation for mapping out new and ambitious skills strategies across the above sectors and will provide an ample opportunity for employers within the West Midlands to engage with us. A key focus of the Skills of the Future panels will be workforce development and talent management. We aim to create strategies for employers, enabling them to forecast the future skills they need to harness, both through the up-skilling of existing staff and through the effective recruitment of new employees. The Apprenticeship Levy is a key enabler for achieving the above, but with the recent announcements at the Conservative Party Conference and the Budget; there are significant opportunities for those smaller employers who make up key supply chains and will shortly be able to access up to 25% of the Levy pot from the larger companies. For any employers wishing to be represented on the Skills of the Future panels, Gemma Knott, Assistant Principal – Business Growth, is the key contact and welcomes any approaches on gknott@coventrycollege.ac.uk



Broadband improvements benefit media firm

FootFall – May Your Foot Fall Lightly on the Earth Mindfulness – Stress Management – Personal Development I’m Frances Flint. I’ve been involved in mental health and wellbeing for most of my working life, including my own journey to taking better care of myself and noticing when I’m overdoing things. For more than 20 years now, I have developed my sole trading work in complementary therapy alongside employment in the charity sector. Since my late twenties I’ve taken up opportunities for meditation and what we all now know as Mindfulness. This is not a new, concept as I’m sure you’ll know, but it is exciting that so many more people are taking the opportunity to develop their own practice of appreciating right now, this very special moment. While you are reading these words, concentrating on what I’m saying, (and I am grateful for your attention) you are allowing your mind and body to relax and explore new opportunities. It’s good to just be for a moment isn’t it, let your eyes scan these words, and your mind relax and notice how you are feeling just now, maybe you want to breath a little more deeply, to shift your position so that you are not straining any muscles. Noticing you in this moment is the very basis of being mindful, and I want to create opportunities for anyone who wishes to explore this to come together with me, in groups and/or one to one, to develop their own life enhancing practice of mindful meditation. My goal is to run Mindfulness courses that will help people reduce stress, develop techniques and create practices that are simple and effective on a daily basis, and to support people as they build resilience and selfawareness. Please contact me to discuss these opportunities; Email: f.flint@btopenworld.com


A leading Midlands PR and media firm is in tip-top health after adding extra fibre to its communications diet. Advent Communications, based at Electric Wharf in Coventry, has offered multi-media content alongside other public relations and services for several years and they have helped the company to record growth this year. The need to transfer increasing numbers of video and photography meant the company’s previous broadband service was being tested to the limits. The team at Advent met Neil Batchelor, a Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce ICT advisor – who as part of a European Funded Project is offering free, impartial advice to businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire to help them take up a better broadband offering and also advise on potential funding available. With a couple of options available, Neil helped the company decide in which technology to invest in and the firm has upgraded from 8mb

download speeds to 100mb and from 1mb upload to 20mb. With Neil’s help Advent were also able to take up the Gigabit funding, a national scheme that offers up to £2,500 towards the installation costs of getting an internet service capable of 1000Mbps! Adam Dent, managing director of Advent Communications, said: “We had been considering upgrading for a few months. “Speed and fast reaction time is a big part of our ethos here at Advent and it’s vital that we can supply content to clients and media quickly and efficiently. “Such is the demand for video content and other large files, we knew it was a must to upgrade to faster speeds. Speaking to Neil at the Chamber impartially meant we could make an informed choice about what we really needed. “Following that, the move to ultrafast broadband happened really quickly and we’ve noticed the difference straight away. What previously was an onerous and time consuming job waiting to transfer files it is now something that we don’t even think about,

Adam Dent, Lee Corden (both Advent) with Neil Batchelor

which frees up our team to be working with clients and enabling us to work faster and smarter. “It’s come at a time when demand for our video services is growing and it means we are able to service clients’ needs at any time of day with no issues around our broadband system.” Neil said: “Advent are a great example of a business that could see the benefit of upgrading its broadband for now and the future; they wanted to ensure they were making the right move and this is where the Chamber can help.

“We were able to look at their needs and work with Adam and the team to make the necessary recommendations. If you want to upgrade your broadband but are not sure what to do next, contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or email ict-advisors@cw-chamber.co.uk This activity forms part of the Project: Extending superfast network and building SME ICT capability across Coventry and Warwickshire, and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Rising star scoops Mecalac accolade

Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd (MCEUK), has awarded its 2018 Construction Equipment Shield to a star student from Harper Adams University. The award recognises academic excellence for students enrolled on the BSc

(Hons) Off-Road Vehicle Design course at the university. Nick Finlay (23) from Tranent, East Lothian, received the shield following his final year project, which saw the student design and install a safety system for an allelectric quad bike. It reflects the long-standing relationship between the two parties. This also includes a 12-month placement scheme for second-year students at the Mecalac manufacturing facility in Coventry, UK. From new product development and factory operations management to equipment testing and industry research, each successful scheme applicant gets hands-on training experience across a range of roles within the business, developing practical skills to support their academic studies. The award was presented by Steve Price, Engineering Manager (site dumpers) at

Mecalac. He said: “Congratulations to Nick, whose impressive performance, both in grades and in his final year project, made him the very worthy recipient of this year’s award. We are very proud of this academic partnership and of the opportunity it presents to build relationships with the rising engineering stars of tomorrow. “Since partnering with Harper Adams in 2013, we have helped numerous students gain valuable experience in equipment production as part of our internship programme, with the aim of encouraging and fostering new engineering talent in this area. Indeed, we have even recruited one of the programme’s very first students as a full-time team member. We look forward to continuing to inspire the next generation in this way for many years to come.”

Award for hotel Billesley Manor have won the prestigious Best Loved Hotels award for ‘Hotel of the year Heart of England’. The accolade is voted by customers booking stays via the hotel marketing company which works with many luxury hotels in the UK. General Manager Stephen Fearnley and Sales

Director Joanne Reeves accepted the award on behalf of the hotel team. Billesley Manor is now privately owned and to embark on an extensive refurbishment and significant investment to the public areas, bedrooms and stairs. From May, the Topiary gardens will be licensed to conduct Wedding ceremonies.

Powershift technology now available on Mecalac TLB870 Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd (MCEUK), part of Group Mecalac and a global leader in compact equipment design and manufacture, has launched Powershift transmission capability for its class-leading TLB870 backhoe loader. The innovative technology delivers smooth and more efficient gear changes. When

paired with an automatic shift gearbox, Powershift helps operators to select the correct gear for the required application – regardless of terrain, ground conditions or carrying weight. Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac CEUK, said: “The perfect blend of style and performance at an

affordable price point, our TLB870 is proving a firm favourite with owneroperators worldwide.” “Adding the option of Powershift transmission provides yet another innovative way to further boost efficiencies and reduce job times for busy construction professionals.”


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Polo Club announced as best purpose-built venue for a second time The IXL Events Team at Dallas Burston Polo Club (DBPC) has lifted a prestigious hospitality award, winning the Best PurposeBuilt Venue category in the Midlands Asian Wedding Awards (MAWA) for the second time in three years. Held annually to recognise and showcase best practise across the Midlands wedding industry, MAWA celebrates the businesses making a difference to the wedding market. Internationally acclaimed caterers Sanjay Foods manage and cater for all Asian functions at DBPC, welcoming celebrations from every faith and culture with understanding and sensitivity. With their international team of chefs, Sanjay Foods is able to accommodate an impressive array of cuisines including North Indian,

South Indian, Thai, Indo-Chinese, and Lebanese, as well as regional variations such as Punjabi and Gurjuati. Major Richard Carney picked up the award on behalf of

Dallas Burston Polo Club and said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious award for Best Purpose-Built Venue for a second time. Our reputation for

hosting Asian weddings is growing rapidly and is testament to our offering an outstanding, high quality and multi-faceted venue to bridal parties.”

Warwickshire hotel set to launch Destination Spa Ardencote has opened Destination Spa. Set in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, Ardencote Destination Spa is a purpose-built facility, harnessing natural daylight, a tranquil atmosphere and unrivalled surroundings. It is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The launch of Destination Spa took place on Tuesday 4th December, with Spa Industry Press, Local Press,

AP Racing ‘brakes’ new ground The relationship will see Prova deliver a bespoke service to the road and race car brand, generating inspiring content, while driving profile for the hugely-respected Coventry-based firm. The appointment comes at an exciting time for AP Racing, as the company continues to invest, while achieving outstanding success across global motorsport formulae and with leading vehicle manufacturers.

World-renowned performance brake and clutch system manufacturer AP Racing has appointed the UK’s leading automotive and motorsport PR agency, Prova, to manage its worldwide communications following a competitive pitch.

With a track record dating back nearly 100 years, no other brake firm can boast such a list of championship success, across international single seaters, sports cars, touring cars and further afield. Joe Bennett, marketing engineer at AP Racing, said: “Prova came highly recommended, with significant experience across our key markets of motorsport, automotive OE and the aftermarket. The team delivered a well-

researched pitch full of industry knowledge and campaign creativity. We look forward to achieving great results together.” Prova’s Richard Postins said: “We’re passionate advocates for the AP Racing brand ethos and are excited to be working with a company that has such a strong track record in automotive. AP Racing has established itself as a key supplier at all levels of international motorsport formulae, including single-seat racing, rallying, sports car racing, stock car pedigree. Alongside its road and race activities, which are both close to our hearts, we’re looking forward to getting stuck into AP Racing’s innovative work elsewhere.” Prova’s appointment by AP Racing follows on from a successful close to the year in which the agency has secured projects with Texan motorsport business VP Racing Fuels and Canadian SaaS organisation RAPID RTC.

The £1.1 million investment includes a Himalayan Salt Sauna, Aromatherapy Steam Room, Tepidarium, Tyrolean Kilo Sauna, Foot Spas, Ice Fountain, Monsoon Shower, Relaxation and Tranquillity Lounges. There is also the existing Outdoor Hot Tub and Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool which complete up the Destination Spa Facilities. The new thermal facilities allow visitors to truly relax. Time spent in each room will help soothe aching sleep, detox the body from impurities mental health to. Ardencote Destination Spa is designed with health

Beef Up Breaks Ask employees for ideas, their engagement will ensure great results. Maybe create quiet areas for staff away from a bustling work environment. For an alternative make an activities space for e.g. TableTennis, Scalextric, or Giant Jenga? Happy work relationships can positively impact staff productivity and retention. Just two ways you could help people relax.

and wellness in mind and visitors will leave the Spa with a renewed sense of calm and relaxation. • 12.5 million working days were lost due to stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/2017. The Health and Safety Executive • Manual workers have 2.1 ave. more absence days annually CIPD Survey 2016

SWITCH OFF CHALLENGE Try our Switch Off challenge for one month and see the benefits to your organisation. It’s simple just: • No emails and no phone calls between 7pm & 7am weekdays • No emails or phone calls on Saturday and Sunday • Encourage use of staff rest areas for breaks


to offer.

and help improve both physical and

Your competitive edge Help Employees’ Work-Life Balance If there’s a culture of managers checking in with teams after they’ve finished for the day, try to discover the reason and discourage after hours emails and calls. Take a break yourself and encourage colleagues lunching at their desk to join you in the canteen or a walk, agree work won’t be discussed.

first glimpse of the new facilities and what the new Destination Spa has

muscles, relieve congestion, aid with

Staff wellbeing Technology use like mobile phones, lap tops, tablets and social media has exploded. Consider how this impacts your employees. Previously employees just stayed late to complete tasks, now often they continue working at home. Are you and your employees truly switching off from work? Improving the mental wellbeing of employees can benefit productivity and performance.

Bloggers and a chosen few afforded a

Post photos of how you’re helping staff to Switch Off on Facebook: Skybluesafety with #SwitchOff for a Chance to WIN Cineworld Vouchers We have two prizes of 1 x £20 Cineworld Voucher to give away. Entries closing date: 15/3/19 See prize draw rules: www.skybluesafety.co.uk

Managing Director Dale Huckerby said “Over the years Ardencote Spa has attracted a loyal following, Destination Spa is the result of guest feedback and detailed planning, providing our Spa guests with a truly unique experience.” As well as Destination Spa, Ardencote also has 110 4* bedrooms, an 18 Hole Golf Course, 18 Conference Rooms, state of the art leisure facilities and Brasserie Bar and Restaurant. The Hotel is surrounded by 83 acres of stunning countryside and a 3 acre lake, complete with island and pavilion, perfect for wedding ceremonies.


President & People

C&W Chamber Board Members

David Penn, of Bromwich Hardy, was sworn in as President of the Chamber at the final Board Meeting of 2018. The board is made up of eminent business leaders

from across Coventry and Warwickshire and from a broad range of sectors. They represent businesses, of all sizes, on the Chamber’s board and also represent the Chamber at events locally, regionally and nationally.

New President promises to tackle local issues The new president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce will use his time in the post to try to solve one of the biggest issues facing the local economy. David Penn, of Bromwich Hardy, has been handed the presidential chain by his predecessor John Nollett and follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Sydney Penn, who was president of the junior chamber in Coventry in the 1930s. David, who has worked as a property professional in the region for more than 20 years, says he will bring passion and determination to the role. And his number one priority is to ensure there is enough employment land for Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy to continue to grow. He said: “This is great time to become president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, with so much going on in the region. We have a very strong economy and there are very exciting times ahead, which we must maximise. “I am very passionate about Coventry and Warwickshire and I am passionate about business and the role it plays in making this region a great place to live and work. “That is why it is absolutely vital that we tackle the issue around the chronic shortage of employment land. It is a topic that the Chamber of Commerce has been very vocal about in recent years and I want to make sure our voice continues to be heard. “We need land supply for companies to be able to expand and also to attract inward investors into the area to create jobs and opportunities here. “So that will be my number one campaign during my time as president but I also want to help continue to raise the profile of the Chamber and the great support that it offers to local businesses. “Whether it’s helping businesses to start-up or helping them to trade overseas, the Chamber does a fantastic job in ensuring companies have the help they need to grow.” He added: “I am proud to be following in the footsteps of my grandfather, Sydney, who was active in the young Chamber and also all of the fantastic businesspeople who have gone before me in this role. “It’s a very prestigious position and I intend to make the most of my time as president of the Chamber.”


Tom Mongan Subcon Laser

Mark Bailie Finham Park Multi-Academy Trust

Doug Squires Squires Gear & Engineering

Kathryn Clarke, Signature Sales & Support & Representation

Amrik Bhabra MBE adecsmaple

David Burton Agri Farm Services

Larry Coltman Coltman Warner Cranston

Peter Burns MBE JP

John Nollet Pressmark Pressings

David Penn Bromwich Hardy

Steve Halkett Wright Hassall

Paul Sullivan 52 Global Consultancy

David Myskow Holiday Inn Kenilworth-Warwick

Fleur Sexton DL PET-Xi Training

Ian Coulson HSBC UK

Karen Shuter Exact Logistics

Michael Collins MSC Consulting & Services Ltd

Steve Twigger LDP Luckmans


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

President & People

New General Manager for central Coventry hotel The ibis Coventry Centre hotel, which has just undergone a £1.2 million refurbishment, has appointed a new member to its management team. Faris Thowfeek has been named as General Manager for the hotel, which is owned by Cannock Group and Hetherley Capital Partners and operated by leading third party hotel management company Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Originally from Sri Lanka, Faris brings with him a wealth of experience which began while studying in Cardiff and includes periods as General Manager at ibis hotels in both Newport and Birmingham. Faris said: "I am delighted to be working with Interstate Hotels &

Resorts as General Manager at the ibis Coventry Centre hotel. "I love to arrive every day, ready to take on the engaging and unique challenges that face me and to make an impact in the best way I can. More than anything, the people you meet, the stories you hear and the experiences you can give to guests really make you proud at the end of the day about the job we do.” Nicholas Northam, Managing Director for the UK at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said: "We are really pleased that Faris is joining the team as we push on across the UK to achieve new levels of excellence wherever we can.”

New MD of bus business National Express West Midlands has promoted its Commercial Director, David Bradford, to be Managing Director of its bus division. David previously worked in First Group's rail and North American operations. Tom Stables will continue as Managing Director of National Express UK & Germany, overseeing the national white coach network, bus operations and contract businesses, as well as the company’s German rail interests. David said: “I'm delighted to be taking over as MD of our bus businesses. “This is an exciting time for public transport in the West Midlands there’s massive investment into our region. And the only way to

accommodate this growth is through better public transport. We are investing millions to meet this challenge - in vehicles, in facilities, in technology and in our people. “I’m very proud of the important service everyone at we provide, and how well we do it. This year we are indeed carrying more happy passengers, more safely than ever. “But we need to continue to earn the right to serve our customers. Whether it's innovations like contactless or electric buses; relentlessly tackling congestion and delays; or just a smile it's all about delighting the people we carry. And my focus will be on working with our people to ensure we do our customers proud.”

UK ISP Glide Business, formerly WarwickNet, is aiming to accelerate its growth plans with the appointment of Daniel Alvarez as head of channel. Alvarez, who brings more than 20 years of industry experience, made the move from channel sales at Daisy Wholesale.

Surprise award for Reuben Founder and President of the Circle of Toastmasters, Reuben Lynch, received an award for his services to toast-mastering at the glittering Jamaican Local Hero Awards held at Aston Villa Football Club. Reuben, who was officiating at the function, was surprised and honoured to receive the award. Among the dignitaries present was the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, the Metro Mayor of West Midlands Combined Authority Dr Andy Street , the Vice Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands Dr Beverley Lyndsey ,Ministers from the Jamaican High Commission in London and high ranking officers from HM Forces.


ISP targets channel to get to hard-toreach businesses

Glide specialises in broadband for businesses in previously neglected areas such as industrial estates and business parks. The company says it has seen “huge growth” in the past year. It builds, deploys and maintains its own core network, which has resulted in the building of 550 live cabinets, translating to 100,000 premises passed. The company expects this figure to rise to 750 cabinets by the end of next year. By further opening up Glide’s infrastructure to the channel market, Alvarez plans to build and expand on strong reseller and service provider partnerships to “double connections” over the next 12 months. Daniel said: “We have a unique proposition. The fact that we own, run and manage our network means we have a huge opportunity to equip channel partners with innovative and reliable services. We can help partners to enable their own customers’ digital transformation.”


New Members

Welcome to new members Corporate Members

Essential Members

Ettington Chase

Armadillo Social

Ettington Stratford upon Avon CV37 7NZ 01789 740000 enquiries.ettington@thevenuescollection.co.uk www.ettingtonchase.co.uk

07801 816793 louise@armadillosocial.com www.armadillosocial.com

XE2 Ltd John Loftus House Summer Road Thames Ditton KT7 0QQ 08455 550000 enquiries@xe2.co.uk www.xe2.co.uk

Armonico Consort Ltd 2 New Street Warwick CV34 4RX 01926 800109 admin@armonico.org.uk www.armonico.org.uk

Auburn Creative Ltd Pure Offices Plato Close Warwick CV34 6WE 01926 407766 www.auburn.co.uk

International Trade Members Autosmart International Ltd Lynn Lane Shenstone Lichfield WS14 0DH 01543 481616 www.autosmart.co.uk

Auto Craft Engineering UK Ltd 11-13 Springfield Farm Ansley Nuneaton CV10 0QU 02476 398217 info@autocrafteng.co.uk www.autocrafteng.co.uk

Bailey Business Solutions

Caribbean Trade Ltd t/a Vincy Foods 171 Bell Green Road Coventry CV6 7GW 02476 682020 ct@caribbeantrade.co.uk www.vincyfoods.co.uk

07496 015019 kerry@baileybusinesssolutions.co.uk www.baileybusinesssolutions.co.uk

Bren Parker Soft Tissue Therapist

Faro Technologies UK Ltd Unit 1A Great Central Way Butlers Leap Rugby CV21 3XH 02476 973020 www.faro.com

Flat 12 Newbold Lawn Newbold Terrace East Leamington Spa CV32 4EU 07855 766103 info@bren-parker.com www.bren-parker.com


Green Sheep Group Limited

70 Earlsdon Street Earlsdon Coventry CV5 6EJ 02476 679636 admin@brightlys.co.uk www.brightlys.co.uk

The Green Snitterfield Stratford-Upon-Avon CV37 0JE 01789 734022 trade@greensheepgroup.com www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk

Cawston Surveying Limited

Konduit Ltd


Innovation Centre Warwick Technology Park Warwick CV34 6UW 01926 623280 info@konduit.co.uk www.konduit.co.uk

34 Coopers Close Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 0RS 01789 330270 hello@encode.host https://encode.host

Medicleanse Unit 5a Brailes Industrial Estate Lower Brailes Banbury OX15 5JW 01608 686626

Pace Systems Ltd PO Box 7088 Walsall WS9 1ED 08000 885861 info@pace-systems.co.uk www.pace-systems.co.uk

27 Noble Drive Cawston Rugby CV22 7FL 01788 700601 enquiries@cawstonsurveying.co.uk www.cawstonsurveying.co.uk

Excelerate Resources Ltd 2 Emscote Rd Warwick CV34 4PP 01926 747606 www.excelerateresources.co.uk

ibis Hotel Coventry Mile Lane Coventry CV1 2LN 02476 250500 www.accorhotels.com

Intouch Care Solutions Ltd 87 Roseberry Avenue Coventry CV2 1NB 07944 938934 https://intouchcaresolutions.co.uk/

JPG Restoration & Spectrum Antiques 18 Stirling Avenue Royal Leamington Spa CV32 7HN 01926 770707 jpgrestoration@live.co.uk www.jpgrestoration.co.uk

Midlands Connect 16 Summer Lane Birmingham B19 3SD 01212 147528 www.midlandsconnect.uk

MSC Consulting & Services Ltd 142 Church Road Wolverhampton WV3 7EJ 07525 183315 www.mscconsultingltd.com

Ove Arup & Partners Blythe Gate Blythe Valley Business Park Shirley Solihull B90 8AE 01212 133288 www.arup.com

Penny Appeal 214 Ladypool Road Birmingham B12 8JT 07714 249215 www.pennyappeal.org

Retail Spa 4 Church close Alveston Stratford Upon Avon CV37 7PG 01789 293121 www.retailspa.co.uk

Russell Groundworks & Construction Ltd 57 Berrybanks Bilton Rugby CV22 7JJ 07787 546591

Sarah Horne Botanicals 86 Warwick Street Leamington Spa CV32 4QG 01926 424826 www.sarahhornebotanicals.com/

Teejay International Ltd

180 Brookside Avenue Coventry CV5 8AD 07896 327315

The Old Forge Main Street Thurlaston Rugby CV23 9JS 07415 102646 www.teejayinternational.co.uk/

Gareth Bown

Teezers Retro Golf & Cocktails

Whitecroft Kineton Road Oxhill CV35 0RH 07383 552898 www.garethbown.co.uk

Hertford Place Coventry CV1 3JZ 07737 905198 bookings@teezersgolf.co.uk www.teezersgolf.co.uk


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


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Training & Events Chamber Member Price +VAT

Non-Member Price +VAT

Customer Service Essentials


Key Account Management


Microsoft Excel - An Introduction - New

C&W Chamber Training Seminars


Jan 2019


Half Day - am



Half Day - pm




Full Day


Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems - Level 2



3 Full Days


Professional Telephone Techniques



Half Day - am


Professional Email Writing



Half Day - pm


Introduction to Mental Health - New



Full Day


Professional Telephone Techniques



Half Day - am

15 15

Professional Email Writing



Half Day - pm

Export for Beginners - New



Full Day


First Aid at Work - Day 1



3 Full Days

18, 25

Feb 2019

Mar 2019


Managing Change Successfully



Full Day


Understanding Export & Export Documentation



Full Day


Microsoft Excel - Basic to Intermediate



Full Day


Effective Communication



Half Day - am


Conducting Team Briefings/Buzz Meetings



Half Day - pm


Building the Team



Half Day - am


Motviating the Team



Half Day - pm


Incoterms 2010 - New



Half Day - am


Rules of Origin - New



Half Day - pm


Project Management - The Basis of Success



Full Day


Website Optimisation (SEO)



Full Day


Setting Goals & Targets



Half Day - am


Training & Coaching the Team



Half Day - pm


Managing Difficult People



Half Day - am


Understanding Discipline in the Workplace



Half Day - pm


Microsoft Excel - Intermediate to Advanced



Full Day


Principles of Continuous Improvement



Half Day - am


Problem Solving Skills



Half Day - pm


International Documentation & Customs Procedures



Full Day


Emergency First Aid in the Workplace (HSE Recommended)



Full Day


Communicating Assertively



Half Day - am


Complaint Handling



Half Day - pm


Social Media Analysis



Full Day


Appraising People & Performance



Full Day


Marketing - Your Key to Success



Full Day


Microsoft Excel - Advanced Plus



Full Day


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

Events Chamber Masterclass: Get Your Business Media-Savvy! Monday 14th January 2019 9.00am – 12.00pm Sketchley Grange Hotel, Hinckley, LE10 3HU Members: £10.00 + VAT Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT

Chamber Networking Thursday 17th January 2019 3.30pm – 5.30pm Ramada Hotel & Suites, Coventry, CV1 3GG FREE

Women in Business Networking Lunch Thursday 24th January 2019 11.00am – 2.30pm Village Hotel Club, Coventry, CV4 9GZ Members: £35.00 + VAT Non-Members: £45.00 + VAT

New Member Workshop

Queen’s Award for Enterprise Masterclass

Thursday 31st January 2019 10.00am – 11.30am DoubleTree by Hilton, Coventry, CV2 2ST FREE (Only open to New Chamber Members)

Tuesday 26th February 2019 9.00am – 1.00pm Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, B15 3DH FREE

Chamber Means Business Economic Update & European City of Sport Briefing Thursday 31st January 2019 11.30am – 2.00pm DoubleTree by Hilton, Coventry, CV2 2ST FREE

International Trade & Customs Post-Brexit

Tourism, Leisure & Culture Networking Lunch Wednesday 27th February 2019 11.30am – 2.00pm Holiday Inn Coventry, CV2 2HP FREE

Thursday 7th February 2019 9.00am – 11.00am Holiday Inn Kenilworth-Warwick, CV8 1ED £25.00 + VAT

Chamber Networking Wednesday 13th February 2019 4.30pm – 6.00pm Venture House, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0HR FREE

Find out more information or to book a place please see the events pages at www.cw-chamber.co.uk or contact events@cw-chamber.co.uk www.cw-chamber.co.uk



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