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Issue 72

July / August 2019

Clive Hickman Manufacturing Change Page 20





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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


CONTENTS July - August 2019

Time to book for Conference!

Go for Growth






Dear Chamber of Commerce Member,

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

We are approaching summer holiday season and I am in no doubt that most of you will be looking forward to a well-earned rest.

Hilton in Coventry where we will welcome an incredible keynote speaker and an outstanding journalist as our host.

As much as we love what we do and finding new ways to grow our business, there is absolutely no doubt that we all need to recharge our batteries from time to time.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes – the world’s greatest living explorer – will give an inspirational speech to round off the event, which will also include speeches, presentations and panel discussions with key business and civic leaders from across the region.

However, I am sure very few of us switch off and, even when we are meant to be taking time off, are always thinking about the next stage of development for our businesses. I think, in recent times, that’s become even more apparent. We’re all constantly connected and, because of the uncertainty around Brexit, it’s difficult to switch off from the latest developments in Westminster and Brussels and wonder how it might affect us in the day-to-day running of our business. The team here at the Chamber have been doing an incredible job at supporting companies across the region in preparing – as best they can – for what Brexit might bring. Although we are still not clear on what the outcome will be - and we certainly don’t want a messy, disorderly Brexit – companies have been able to put some plans and procedures in place, some of which would benefit them even if the EU referendum had never happened. A toolkit has been developed by several partners in the region to help companies across the patch ensure they are as ready as they can be and is available here: If Brexit does, indeed, go through by October 31, it will be just a couple of weeks ahead of this year’s Annual Conference, which takes place on November 15 at the DoubleTree by

Of course, Brexit will have to be on the agenda but we will ensure that we don’t let it dominate the whole day because we want to focus on other issues too. Our host for the day will be the wonderful broadcaster and journalist, Naga Munchetty, who you will know from her regular appearances on BBC Breakfast's famous red sofa. I’ve no doubt she will make sure we keep to our agenda! Conference is always attended by decision-makers and businesses from across all sectors – I can’t think of another event in our region where you get Government ministers, local MPs, our West Midlands mayor and local councillors & officers all in one room with small, medium and large companies in Coventry and Warwickshire. I’d advise that you look to booking on as soon as possible because I would expect it to be one of our most popular yet. For more information go to and also make sure you stay in touch with your Chamber and find out how they can support your plans for growth. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive

Corporate Profiles




Chamber Training




Legal & Finance








Around the region


Manufacturing & Technology


Education & Skills


QES New Members

43 44-45

President & People


Training & Events


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putting imagination to work


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

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

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 T: 07801 788880

Production Manager Mark Etherington

Accounts Director Joanne Casey

Media Number 1688 © 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 Sept/Oct 2019 Education and Training Aspirations and growth begins with a joined up approach made between companies, schools, colleges, universities and training providers.

Pre-Festive Looking to book a Christmas party for work? The region is blessed with excellent restaurants, hotels and venues as highlighted in our timely feature. Copy deadline 27 August 2019

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

Company’s ambition is rewarded with export success A Coventry company which helps clients around the world to solve gun crimes is set to double in size after being held up as a shining example to other firms on exporting. Arquebus Solutions is based on the Coventry University Technology Park and works with a range of organisations across the globe in identifying the guns used in criminal activity. The company, which employs six people, uses specialist computer-based modelling equipment to spot marks on the ballistic material that act like finger prints which help to identify the gun they were fired from. Arquebus now exports those services – as well as training, forensic hardware and consultancy work – all around the world, including southern Europe, northern Africa and the Caribbean. The UN is counted as one of its clients. The company, which has now worked in 40 countries, has been assisted in its exporting by the international trade adviser Parminder Hayer who is part of the Department of International Trade team at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Hub. That assistance could lead to new opportunities in more

markets and the company is planning to double in size over the next 12 months to meet demand. Arquebus has also recently been selected as an Export Champion by the Department of International Trade to help inspire other businesses in the region to find out more about the opportunities of selling overseas. Directors Matt Lewis and Paul James founded the company six-years ago having worked to establish the National Ballistic Intelligence Service in the UK. Matt said: “From a commercial point of view, there isn’t really anyone else in the world doing what we do. “The technology we use is the best on the market, but it is all about applying that technology and the skills and experience we have developed to enable our clients to tackle their criminal use of firearms challenges. “That is why we are seeing growth in the training and consultancy work we undertake around the world. “We have had incredible support from the Chamber’s International Trade Team and can’t recommend the work they do highly enough. “Thanks to exporting, we are now planning to invest in more equipment and more people

Louise Bennett, Louise Wall, Ajay Desai (all Chamber) and Matt Lewis (Arquebus)

in order to offer more services and tap into new markets around the world. “We have seen the benefits and opportunities that exporting has brought Arquebus and that is why we were delighted to be selected as Export Champions to hopefully inspire other companies to do the same.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said Arquebus was a fascinating example of the global work being undertaken in the region.

She said: “Arquebus is an incredible SME based here on our patch and is doing some amazing work in a whole range of locations around the world. “Our International Trade Hub works with businesses of all sizes and sectors on exporting opportunities and help to make this area one of the most active when it comes to overseas sales. “Arquebus are a great example of that and despite the very hightech nature of what they do, their success abroad has been about getting the fundamentals right which the team at the Chamber has supported.”

“The technology we use is the best on the market, but it is all about applying that technology and the skills and experience we have developed to enable our clients to tackle their criminal use of firearms challenges.”

City rides high in export chart Coventry is one of the top exporting cities in the UK, according to new figures, and business leaders are urging more firms in the region to trade overseas. Research by the Centre for Cities saw Coventry ranked seventh in the whole of the UK for the total exports per job in 2017 – two places higher than London – with a total export value of £4.7bn.

to other cities in the UK but is the second most reliant on China. Overall, 59 per cent of exports from the city were related to road vehicles. The figures were welcomed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Hub, which supports a range of firms in the city and the county with their exporting and importing.

The study ‘How do cities trade with the world’ also highlighted how Coventry was one of only a handful of cities outside of the South East to have both above average exports per job and above average productivity.

It ranges from market visits and research – through its work with the Department of International Trade – as well as assistance in completing the necessary export documentation when goods are being shipped abroad.

The study indicated that Coventry is less reliant on exports to Europe compared

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of

Commerce, said: “It is great to see Coventry performing so well according to this study, which focuses very much on cities in the UK and, therefore, doesn’t include Warwickshire. “As a Chamber, we work with hundreds of companies on their overseas trade activity and businesses on this patch really do benefit from some incredible experience and expertise when it comes to global trade. “Other research shows that companies that export have better survival and growth rates and we would encourage businesses of all sizes and sectors to look at some of the opportunities that are available to do business abroad. “So while this study is very positive news for Coventry –

and the wider region – we know there are more businesses out there that could be trading overseas and would urge them to find out more.” The study findings come at a time when two Export Champions have been announced in Coventry to help promote the benefits of selling goods and services overseas. Arquebus, based at Coventry University Technology Park, and Body Care Brand Development, based in Foleshill, both enjoy global success and are helping the Chamber’s International Trade team to encourage more companies to export. For more information on international trade contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.



Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Policy Go for Growth

Exciting times ahead By Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Coventry City of Culture Trust Winning the honour to host UK City of Culture 2021 was a massive moment in the recent history of the city and its surrounding area. It served to spark massive interest in Coventry from right across the UK – with more than 3,000 press articles appearing in the 72 hours that followed. Understandably, it also fired up the imagination of the local community and, 18 months on from that December evening, the excitement and expectation is palpable. I joined the 2021 team last year along with Creative Director Chenine Bhathena, and it has been our task to build an exceptional team which then delivers the best City of Culture possible – and one that will benefit Coventry and the neighbouring region for generations to come. The team are making great progress, starting to imagine events for 2021 and develop meaningful partnerships with Coventry’s artists, organisations and community groups. And while it is far too early to announce any details of the programme, there is already plenty going on in the city, with some wonderful initiatives which we have either helped create or are working with in partnership. Be sure to sign up to our newsletter via to keep up to date. But I wanted to explain what has been going on behind the scenes.

A key aspect of my role is to build the team which can deliver a year which is not just memorable but creates a lasting legacy for the city. The bid team was small – very small – and it thrived thanks to the help and support of several key partners. But as we’ve move into delivery phase, we have needed to expand, to ensure we deliver the lasting impacts we all want to see. Since September, we have already grown the team to around 35, with the recruitment of mostly Midlands-based, producers, finance, fundraising, technical, administration, marketing and programme manager roles within the team. Obviously with job descriptions, advertising and interviews, that has been time consuming but given the quality of colleague we have now recruited, it has been very productive. Expansion also means we have just moved from our base one Far Gosford Street into the city centre, where we can operate our administrative base from one location. We have recruited our campaigns agency which will work with us on identifying the key messages, supporting our ambitious plans to welcome 2.5 million extra guests to the city in 2021 and ensure that we are communicating what we are doing in a playful, accessible and innovative way to reach all audiences.

And soon, we will have confirmed details of our pioneering “single customer engagement platform”, a system which seeks to deliver a seamless ticketing experience that sets a world-class standard for customers and venues alike; whilst creating a legacy underpinned by inclusivity, innovation and data. This project is still in the proof of concept stage, and there is a long way to go, but it is an initiative which would leave a true legacy for Coventry. All of this, of course, requires significant financial investment and we are delighted with the progress being made with fundraising, from local government, lottery providers, philanthropists and businesses. There is no doubt that the scale of private sector support for the bid was a decisive factor for the judges, and I am delighted that we continue to strengthen our relationships with many businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire.

So, there is a lot going on, and our plans are swiftly taking shape. Our planning is further advanced than Hull’s was at the same stage, and in line with the timeline that was produced as part of the bid– but we’re not being complacent. There’s much to do – but we’re on track and will keep you posted!

“The team are making great progress, starting to imagine events for 2021 and develop meaningful partnerships with Coventry’s artists, organisations and community groups.”

Young people benefit from charity funding More than 3,000 young people are to benefit from 2019 National Express Foundation funding. The charity, which aims to support disadvantaged young people, has so far committed more than £300,000 in 2019 to support community groups and educational institutions, with another round of funding awards to come later in the year. The Foundation has announced that 17 community groups and two educational institutions have been successful in securing funding from the first round of awards. Combined with multiyear projects funded in previous years, over 3,000 young people are set to benefit from National Express Foundation awards in the first half of 2019 alone. The charity’s community group grants are awarded to grass-roots community groups or charities that need financial support with the delivery of positive, developmental activities for youth in the community. The Foundation’s aim is to help

others to engage young people and steer them away from becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and crime, whilst also offering opportunities to build news skills which will ultimately promote greater employability. Educational grants are awarded to colleges and universities that propose bespoke bursary programmes to support disadvantaged young students with costs during their studies. Longford Short Football, based in Coventry, will use a £10,000 grant to fund their ‘Grab a Football, Not a Knife’ campaign over two years. The voluntary group uses unique, small portable football ‘stadiums’ to take the game to as many areas as possible. The group deliver targeted activities using sport to foster cultural cohesion and reductions in anti-social behaviour. Jim Sweeney, Project Coordinator for Longford Short Football said: "As a voluntary group, coaching for the past

30 years within Coventry, our ‘Short Football’ project is completely overwhelmed to have been awarded this amazing National Express Foundation Grant of £10,000.” Voluntary Action Coventry will use an award of £10,000 to establish a new Friday evening youth club aimed at the most vulnerable young people in the Trinity Street area, a West Midlands Police defined ‘hotspot’ for antisocial behaviour. The group will offer a space that young people can safely access without judgement and recrimination from their peers or gang members. Through drop in sessions and engaging youth club activities, the group aims to tackle issues of knife crime and gang culture prevalent in the area. Sue Ogle, Chief Executive at Voluntary Action Coventry said: “Funding from National Express Foundation will enable us to offer a positive destination for young people right at the heart of Coventry City Centre.”

Anthony Vigor, Chairman of the National Express Foundation, said: “We are proud of the support we’ve been able to provide for young people in the communities that we serve. The £500,000 that the National Express Foundation have committed this year means we are able to support the largest group of young people since our launch.” The 19 new grants made by the Foundation in 2019 are: • Halesowen College £20,000 (over two years) • University of Birmingham £30,000 (over three years) • Balsall Heath CATS, Birmingham - £10,000 • Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid - £10,000 • D.I.M.E. Studios CIC, Birmingham - £2,500 • Smethwick Youth & Community Centre - £10,000 • Sport 4 Life UK, Birmingham £10,000

• Sport Legacy Foundation, Birmingham - £10,000 • The Stonehouse Gang, Birmingham - £5,000 • ConnectEd Partnership, Wolverhampton - £10,000 • Engage Trust UK, Wolverhampton - £2,500 • Heaven’s Kitchen, Dudley £20,000 • Kids In Communication, Walsall - £20,000 • Let Us Play, Wolverhampton £5,000 • Sandwell Community Hubs £20,000 (over two years) • Longford Short Football, Coventry - £10,000 • Voluntary Action Coventry £10,000 • Woodies Youth Centre, Medway - £10,000 • Young Women’s Trust, Kent £10,000



Booming Pooling sector drives haulier investment Harrison Beale and Owen to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks More than twenty members of staff from Harrison Beale & Owen will be taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September to raise money for Myton Hospice. The challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, covering a total of just over 24 miles and 1585m of ascent, in under 12 hours. The walking group will include staff members from both the Leamington and Coventry offices as well as the Financial Services team. The team are hoping to raise a total of £2,000 and will be fundraising over the next few months through bake sales, raffles and various other activities. Mark Ashfield, Managing Director at HB&O, said “The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a great opportunity for us to fundraise for Myton Hospice. We’ve had a fantastic response from staff and having such a big group of walkers will be fantastic on the day for morale and to keep us going! At HB&O, we are committed to raising funds for charity and this challenge will push us further than we have before. It will, by no means, be an easy task but training is well underway to ensure we are prepared!” If you would like to donate to support the team, please visit Just Giving Page at: harrisonbealeowen

Adam Carter, managing director of WR Carters & Sons with his new vehicle

One of Europe’s leading poolers of wooden pallets is spearheading a major boom in the industry and creating an investment charge that is generating new jobs across the haulage sector, according to new figures. IPP has forged stronger relationships with existing haulage partners as part of a strategic plan that is not only protecting jobs, but creating new positions and investment in trucks and equipment. The hauliers, who provide the essential transport link in the circular economy by delivering, retrieving and repatriating pallets, have, in some cases, seen more than quadruple digit growth

leading to the necessity to recruit additional drivers and invest in new materials handling equipment to manage demand. Dunstable-based FA Hawkins Transport has seen a 1,000 per cent increase in volumes since it started working with IPP in 2007, while Wishart Transport NI, which covers Northern Ireland postcodes, has seen an almost 3,000 per cent rise, as it only started moving pallets in the Province two years ago. Lincolnshire-based WR Carter and Sons, which covers many of the eastern UK postcodes, started work with IPP in 2010 with volumes for that year of nearly 6,000 pallet movements. Over the last eight years the volumes have increased by more than 17,000 per cent and in 2018 it moved more than one million pallets. Carter’s managing director Adam Carter, said: “We have developed a really strong relationship with IPP because they trust us to do the work in a professional manner – it is well-

oiled machine. The relationship has become such that we have taken on four new permanent drivers with two additional sub-contractors.” Another hauler, TJ Moore TPT Ltd, based in Halesowen, near Birmingham, is one of the new transport organisations which joined the partnership in 2018 when it dealt with more than 70,000 pallets from a standing start. “We’ve already had to take on another driver and a new truck,” said Steve Moore, whose business covers postcodes in Birmingham, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. “The relationship we have with IPP allows us to be both flexible and responsive – it is a good fit for both businesses,” he added. Both WR Carters and TJ Moore also deliver pallets into IPP’s brand new £2.5 million automated pallet inspection and repair service centre in Leicestershire, which will initially process more than three million reusable pool pallets each year.

Amadeus brings street food to the NEC

Leading event caterer Amadeus has launched a new concept at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) which captures the theatre and excitement of street food in an exhibition setting. Str(EAT) Kitchen, sees themed stalls serving up authentic street food designed in-house by Amadeus’ chefs and made fresh on the site daily. In true street food style, the team will look to change the menu every few weeks, developing new food concepts year-round that change with trends, seasons and the visitor profile of those attending events. Alongside dishes such as premium grilled sandwiches, tacos and chicken karaage, Str(EAT) Kitchen also offers a varied vegan menu, using high protein alternatives to create delicious, beautifully presented dishes. A café bar also serves artisan coffee and craft beer on tap. With seating and décor created from reclaimed materials and graffiti art from a local Birmingham artist, Paige Lindau, the bespoke concept is a step change from Amadeus’ other

successful retail concepts, enhancing the variety of F&B available at the venue. Marc Frankl, Food and Beverage Director, Amadeus, said: “Street food is one of the fasting growing market segments – recognising this trend within the industry, we looked at ways in which street food could be incorporated into the catering offering at the NEC. “We have set Str(EAT) Kitchen up to be agile so that the menu development process can take place in just two weeks, from initial scoping through to being sold at the venue. With everything created by our talented team of chefs, this allows us to innovate, be creative and truly authentic like the street food vendors we have taken inspiration from.” Kane Bridgman, General Manager for Amadeus (NEC), said: “While we wanted to introduce theatre and excitement to the NEC’s F&B offering, we also couldn’t lose sight of the things all exhibition visitors want when it comes to food and drink: quality, speed, variety and value for money. “In this way we have adapted the street food model so that it works in such a high

New Antiques Centre opens at Hatton Shopping Village! unique outlets which sell a wide range of products and services including a gin school & distillery, electric bike shop, hairdresser, swim school, children’s nursery, farm shop, ladies clothing, confectionary, plants, jewellery, furnishings, handbags and scarfs.

A new Antiques Centre opened at Hatton Shopping Village near Warwick on Friday 10 May. Hay Store Antiques Vintage & Interiors’ is run by Emma Sutor who has been dealing in


The facility on the Interlink Business Park in Bardon Hill, Coalville, near junction 22 of the M1 has safeguarded 50 jobs and is the biggest IPP service centre of its kind in Europe, processing in excess of 700 pallets per hour – a capacity of an incredible six million each year. IPP’s transport manager Wellington Nyatanga, who coordinates the pallets, said: “We are in the business of moving pallets in the circular economy but to achieve this, we have to be in the people business because we need to build strong and sustainable relationships with all our haulers. It is a reciprocal partnership that means that as we grow, they grow. “They serve as IPP’s ambassadors to our manufacturing and retail clients, which means we place a lot of emphasis in developing deeper bonds with our existing transport partners to guarantee that reciprocal trust. They understand our business and the needs of our customers in the same way that we understand theirs.”

antiques for nine years. Emma has another shop in Redditch and previously ran a shop in Henley-in-Arden before moving to Hatton.

Hay Store Antiques will be hosting a variety of 14 dealers who will be selling an eclectic mix of antique furniture, soft furnishings, up-cycled furniture and giftware. Local artist, Chris Swingle, who specialises in painting portraits and commissions, will also be based at Hay Store six days a week.

Hay Store Antiques now joins the other 20 independent and

Emma Sutor said “We are really excited to be opening our

store at Hatton and working alongside the other independent businesses. We look forward to meeting lots of new customers and adding to Hatton’s retail offer”. Johnnie Arkwright, owner at Hatton Country World, said: “We are delighted to welcome Hay Store to our quintessentially English shopping village. Hatton has been home to a very successful antiques centre for 30 years but relocated due to space. It’s great news that we have a new antiques centre open again at Hatton especially as homeware and antiques are incredibly popular and a muchloved and sought-after product.”

footfall setting. We’ve introduced cashless payments to keep queues down and we keep things simple, selling a menu of three signature items at any one time.Individual elements of dishes are also prepared in a kitchen back of house, with serving staff giving dishes a final decorative flair before handing over to the customer at the stall.”

The first ‘Internet of Things’ micro wind turbine UK based wind turbine manufacturer FuturEnergy Ltd have met the challenge of producing the first remote controllable micro wind turbine. Good wind turbine sites are often remote and off grid. The nature of these remote location’s present significant challenges to customers who are not always available to turn off a turbine in high wind conditions. AirForce Control solves this problem. FuturEnergy’s AirForceTM Control is a brand-new product that provides unparalleled performance monitoring and automatic system protection for their 3-Phase AC 1kW turbine system. FuturEnergy Wind Turbine systems are provided with a Davis Anemometer, which provides the system with both wind speed and direction information. AirForceTM Control offers access to a Web-based portal providing remote control & configuration, along with trending of historical performance data.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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World-leading Coventry events and security firm celebrates tenth anniversary

Stadium staff and guests with Stadium’s owner and Managing Director David McAtamney (front row, third from left), and Stadium’s HR Director Lorraine Baillie (front row, centre) next to Cllr Jim O’Boyle (front row, second from right) preparing to cut the ribbon outside Stadium’s Bodmin Road head office.

A Coventry events and security firm reaffirmed its ambitions to remain a world leader in event safety and training during its tenth anniversary celebrations at its new head office. StadiumTM welcomed about 50 clients, employees and suppliers along to the event at its Bodmin Road headquarters to share in its success. The firm is a specialist supplier of traffic management, stewarding, security and training services to the

events industry, both nationally and internationally. It also supplies award winning temporary Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers helping protect visitors at events against potential vehicle-ramming attacks. It officially rebranded as ‘Stadium’ at the event and marked the historic occasion with Coventry City councillor and Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration Jim O’Boyle cutting a ribbon.

The rebrand, complete with a new logo and website, aims to consolidate all the areas the business focuses on. In a speech to the attendees, David McAtamney, managing director of Stadium, said he was extremely pleased with the progress the firm has made and was looking forward to the future. He said: “This is a huge milestonein our company’s development. We’ve really come a long way in the past ten years. “The success of our services has led to officials from Qatar engaging us to train them in event safety and management ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is a great honour. “Our temporary Hostile Vehicle Mitigation barriers have seen us win a Midlands Business Award for Innovation of the Year, and we have been training clients in event safety from as far away as South Korea. “And our aim to raise £10,000 for ten different charities this year is going very well so far – our staff have braved abseiling down Coventry Cathedral and a team of 11 is set to take on the Three Peaks Challenge in June.

“We decided to rebrand as ‘Stadium’ to consolidate all the different parts of our business and give our brand more focus whilst maintaining our history and heritage. “Although we’re still experts in event services and traffic management, our original name of StadiumTM doesn’t cover the fact that we are also market leaders in HVM rental solutions and providing safety training around the world. “We work with clients all over the UK and the world, but we’re proud to be a Coventry company. We’re not afraid of competing with much bigger companies, and I genuinely believe we can do anything we set our minds to.” And Cllr O’Boyle paid tribute to Stadium’s enterprising services while staying true to its Coventry roots. He added: “We have so many great businesses and organisations right in the heart of the city, and Stadium definitely stands high among them. “Companies such as Stadium are absolutely crucial in bringing wealth and economic growth to Coventry. I really hope they go from strength to strength.”

Coventry businesses urged to protect themselves from liability claims Good health and safety in the workplace is vital for any business. Not only does it ensure the welfare of your employees, as well as members of the public, but following best practice advice will also help your organisation to comply with legislation. This can be particularly important where liability allegations may lead to claims of perceived negligence. Kathryn Moon, Managing Director of insurance broker, risk management specialist and consulting firm Gallagher in Coventry, explains: “Claims can occur in a number of ways, from loose flooring leading to a fall, to a back injury owed to lifting heavy objects incorrectly where no training has been provided.

With such a broad spectrum of potential claim scenarios, it’s important to take practical steps to reduce the risk and likelihood of your business receiving a claim, let alone having to defend one.” Ideally, a robust health and safety plan should incorporate some of the following elements: • Risk assessments – to be performed wherever a situation could potentially result in injury, with full written records following every assessment and each risk addressed based on its seriousness. • Adequate training – in place for all new employees and refresher training regularly provided to existing employees. It is important

that all participants sign a document to confirm they have attended and fully understood the training. • Occupational health schemes – to help you keep track of your employees’ fitness and identify work processes which may cause physical strain to your employees, in order to put systems in place to prevent injury. • Post-incident investigations – to understand what happened and how the incident could be prevented in the future, with supporting interviews and photographic evidence. • Documentation gathering – it is important to have a process in place which includes keeping

records from investigations, risk assessments, training records and equipment maintenance logs. Kathryn continues: “While you may not be able to prevent claims occurring, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of a successful claim being made against your business. By implementing the correct training processes, teamed with meticulous record keeping and regular risk assessments, the safety of your employees and your business will be better protected. In turn, this will make a significant difference to the number and value of claims received, and will ensure you have the relevant evidence on hand to successfully defend a claim.”

NAEC Stoneleigh comfortably mixing it with the big boys

An outstanding twelve months has seen one of Warwickshire’s best kept secrets stepping up to make an even bigger impression on the events and conferences scene. NAEC Stoneleigh, the events venue which combines indoor exhibition space with thousands of acres of prime outdoor real estate, is on target to deliver an increase of nearly 20% in the number of large scale events that it hosts this year. With event enquiries doubling year on year, an array of new exhibitions and conferences have already been signed up to use NAEC Stoneleigh as their new home in 2019. The new events added to the NAEC Stoneleigh roster for 2019 include Product Earth (a music festival and exhibition, raising awareness of the hemp and CBD industry) and Midlands Autofest (a “demonstration

of mind-blowing cars” and a celebration of the culture that surrounds them). Also on the list are The Big One, Let’s Recycle and the Practical Shooting Show. Car Chase Heroes have also checked in to make use of the venue’s miles of countryside roads and tracks for their car driving experience days. Newly established relationships with agencies like DRP and Capita have resulted in a number of large conferences being booked in. And there’s even a new Christmas Fair booking in place to round the year off. According to NAEC Stoneleigh Managing Director Chris Hartley, the upswing in the venue’s fortunes is a direct result of its sales and marketing strategy being overhauled a year ago. He said: “There were several things we wanted to change. We wanted to improve the customer experience by working far more closely with our preferred suppliers. We’ve done that in areas such as security; AV and rigging; and design and production.

We also created completely new customer offerings in marketing services and signage infrastructure. “A new website was created to showcase the venue in the best possible light. Behind the scenes, we also implemented a new event management and CRM system to help us work more efficiently. There was also a conscious effort to improve our agency relationships with a view to increasing our share of the corporate conference market. We’re now seeing the results of all these initiatives. Emerging as a viable competitor to some of our better known rivals, the only downside is that we might not be able to lay claim to being the event industry’s best kept secret for much longer!” NAEC Stoneleigh’s recent growth has brought with it a few challenges that the team is now working through. Large conferences, for example, have required the venue to ramp up their catering offer. Business Development Manager Ross Stewart said: “We’re well used

to running large trade shows and exhibitions where we may have thousands of people on site, eating whenever they want across different catering outlets. However, conference catering is a different undertaking altogether. Clients typically need all the food – often for hundreds of people – to be served in a very tight time window so we’ve strengthened our catering front of house team. At one of our most recent events, we managed to feed all 650 delegates in less than 15 minutes – so I’d say it’s something we’re getting quite good at now.” Alongside investing in its facilities and operations, NAEC Stoneleigh has also invested heavily in its personnel over the past year. New Heads of Finance, Operations and Marketing and Communications have all been added to the existing team, which has also taken on a new Business Development Manager and an Events Manager. If the business keeps growing at its expected rate, further additions in the near future seem likely.

Structures and Buildings Allowances The abolition of Industrial Buildings Allowances came as an unpleasant shock to business when it was announced in autumn 2007. The announcement of their resurrection in a different name (and slightly different form) last autumn was a much more pleasant surprise. At the time of writing, the detailed legislation has not yet been enacted but is expected any day. Structures and Buildings Allowance (SBA) will be given at 2% over 50 years on the cost of new commercial structures and buildings (including care homes and hotels but excluding dwellings), including costs for new conversions or renovations, demolition, and land alterations necessary for construction. Costs of land, land rights, SDLT and costs of obtaining planning permission will not qualify. SBA will be available where all contracts for the physical construction works were entered into on or after 29 October 2018. Expenditure relating to contracts entered into before this date will not qualify, regardless of when this expenditure occurs. This means that where work is carried out in preparation for the main construction work and this preparatory work is contract before 29 October 2018, the project will not qualify for SBA. SBA Claims can be made from when the structure or building comes into use. SBA may still be claimed during periods in which the structure or building is not in use. With all the uncertainty arising from Brexit, many business owners are quite reasonably cautious about undertaking major capital projects. This new allowance, along with the increase in the Annual Investment Allowance to £1m for two years from January 2019 provide some incentive to UK business to invest for the future. Anyone wishing to discuss the tax aspects of capital projects further can contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas-Walls on 02476 257481 or respectively. For more information, please visit our website,



Does your business deserve Royal recognition?

Chris Robinson (Boost Awards), George Marsh TD (Deputy Lieutenant), Roger Allen (Green Sheep Group Ltd), John Crabtree OBE – (Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands), Arabella Arkwright (Hatton House), Johnnie Arkwright (Hatton House), Tim Cox (Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire), Hazel Pilling (CW Chamber), Ajay Desai (CW Chamber), Rowan Crozier (Brandauer)

West Midlands businesses are being urged to put themselves in the national and international spotlight by applying for the ‘mother of all awards’.


The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce hosted an event with Lord-Lieutenants in the region at Hatton House in Warwickshire to encourage

more businesses to apply for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. A range of companies attended the event, where they heard that not enough businesses in the region are entering the awards and, therefore, the whole area is missing out. John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, said: “It is quite clear that our excellent businesses are not receiving the recognition they should. “Across the West Midlands and Warwickshire, business organisations are combining with the two Lord-Lieutenants to ensure that the business community fully understand the commercial benefits to be gained by seeking a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest accolade available for the very best businesses.” Firms are encouraged to apply for a Queen’s Award as they are seen as the highest form of approval for the way companies go about their business. For those who export, a Queen’s Award is renowned as being a ‘door opener’ for companies that hold the title.

Chris Robinson, Managing Director of Boost Awards – who spoke at the event, said: “Of the 3,500 awards in our database there is one award which stands head and shoulders above the rest – the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. “We refer to it within Boost Awards as “the mother of all awards” and for good reason as 201 awards were given out last year, and they are all delivering impact on sales, reputation and employee pride like no other award can.” Ajay Desai, of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “We actively encourage our members and all other businesses we come into contact with to look into applying for a Queen’s Award. “The application process does require time and effort but the rewards at the end can mean so much to a business.” For more information on applying for a Queen’s Award, contact the Chamber on 024 7665 4321.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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University of Warwick outlines expansion plans to business

Businesses have been talked through expansion plans at the University of Warwick – in a building named after one of its pioneers for growth. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast meeting for its corporate members and strategic partners in the Prof. Lord Bhattacharrya Building on the University’s campus. Lord Bhattacharrya, who passed away earlier this year, was the driving force, founder and Chairman of WMG and created close ties between academia and industry. The new building – and its state-of-the-art facilities – are just part of the University of

Warwick’s ambitious growth plans which could see it grow student numbers by more than 40 per cent by 2030 and add a further 2,000 staff to the 7,000 it currently employs. Vice Chancellor Stuart Croft told the business audience that the University had a strategy for growth after being largely led by the market over the past decade. He said: “Universities had previously been under obligation to meet a certain number of students – no more, no less. If you took in more, you were fined. If you took in less, you were fined for that too. “Then deregulation came along and suddenly we were in a marketplace and that has driven substantial growth here at Warwick.” In the past decade, not only have student numbers risen, capital spend has more than tripled from £46.6m to £142.8m. Research income has almost doubled in that time from £92.3m to £162.8m. Stuart said that the outcome of Brexit would have an impact on the sector but that the University of Warwick was still planning

for growth and was looking at how it could increase the number of students who stay in the region after they graduate. He also revealed how it was planning to develop its site at Wellesbourne and that it wouldn’t be sold off for housing. Stuart was followed by Dr Mark Swift, the head of the SME programme at WMG, who gave an insight into how it supported businesses and how bringing companies together in collaboration was a way of winning new business and growing the economy. Louise Wall, commercial director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are grateful to Stuart Croft and to Dr Mark Swift for keeping us up-to-date on developments at the University of Warwick and WMG. “The University is a key partner to the Chamber and is a massive force for good both socially and economically in our region. “The feedback we had from those who attended was that it was a very interesting and informative event.”

Business get inspired to go for growth Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire went back to the classroom to help them increase sales and grow their companies. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Commercial Academy Day to offer businesses expert insight into a series of topics that will improve their brand, marketing, sales, social media and customer retention. The event took place at the Dunchurch Hotel & Conference Centre in Rugby with four regional business experts delivering interactive masterclasses throughout the day. Chris Nagle, events and marketing manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Businesses occasionally need to step back from the day to day

challenges of running their company and look at how they can achieve growth and continued success. “We launched our Commercial Academy Day to bring businesses together with genuine experts in their field to deliver four exciting masterclasses during the day. The day was a huge success with over 50 delegates from all business sizes and sectors in attendance and taking a huge amount of new knowledge away from our expert masterclasses.” The day kicked off with a Brand & Marketing Masterclass, delivered by Glued, followed by a Sales Masterclass with Sandler Training. After a delicious networking lunch, the afternoon session began with a LinkedIn Masterclass, delivered by Armadillo Social, before the final masterclass delved into Why Happy

Customers Matter, delivered by XV Insight and Webropol. The day was brought to a close with an energetic team building activity delivered by Spellbound Events, showcasing the versatility of Dunchurch Park as a venue for meetings, events & training. Chris added: “The full day programme left businesses

feeling inspired and with fresh knowledge that they can implement in their business immediately – and feel the positive benefits straight away.” The next Commercial Academy Day is being planned for the Autumn and details will be available soon!

Buy-to-Let landlords taking a big hit due to tax changes Buy-to-let landlords are experiencing higher tax liabilities as their taxable income is increased by restrictions on the amount of interest they can deduct from their rents. Tax relief on interest and finance charges connected with letting residential property is gradually being reduced. This started with a 25% restriction in 2017/2018 and increases to a 100% restriction from 6 April 2020. This restriction does not apply to corporate landlords, or those letting furnished holiday lettings or commercial property. An individual’s tax liability is partially softened by a tax credit equivalent to 20% of the restricted interest. Brian King, tax partner at Dafferns LLP, indicates the tax consequences that arise from the way that loan interest is achieving tax relief: • As dividends are taxed as the highest slice of income, the interest restriction could push the dividend income into a higher tax band, attracting tax at 32.5% or 38.1% rather than at 7.5%. • Taxpayers who have significant savings income may enjoy their interest tax-free where it is covered by their personal savings allowance (PSA) or the starting rate for savings (0% on up to £5000). The PSA is set at £1,000 for basic rate taxpayers and £500 for higher rate taxpayers but is withdrawn for those in the additional rate band. The restriction on interest deductions may thus reduce the savings allowance to £500 or nil and eliminate the band available for the zero rate on savings. • The rate of CGT payable is dependent on the level of the taxpayer’s taxable income. The interest restriction could result in the taxpayer paying CGT at 20% rather than at 10%, or at 28% on residential property gains rather than at 18%. As a result of this loan interest restriction, landlords can end up paying more tax on rental profits but also extra tax on dividends and savings income as well as higher rates of capital gains tax. To discuss possible tax planning opportunities please contact Brian King on or telephone 02476 221 046.


Corporate Profiles

Amco Group – more than transport and warehousing warehousing offers customers specialist industrial packaging solutions covering all types of materials and designs from robust metal stillages to one use disposable cardboard boxes. Bringing ongoing efficiencies into supply chains and offering fully integrated services are key aims for Amco, as is the further extension of its customer facing online systems, geo-fencing technology and detailed tracking systems, delivering even greater levels of information, control and efficiency to customers across the globe.

Amco Group has broken the mould in what is perceived as a traditional warehousing and logistics service provider sector. It now offers a wider logistics portfolio of skills with value added services including tooling services for plastic injection moulding and metal stamping, specialist packaging for the automotive and related industries, as well as consulting on IT and logistics management solutions. Founded in 1983 as Amco Services (Motorsport), Amco was originally focused on providing specialist logistics, shipping and freight services to Formula 1 teams and the motorsport industry. Amco Services was later formed to handle all other general freight and transport. Today, European and international warehousing and logistics are still very much the Amco core business and the company has developed and established a proven reputation for adding value to their clients’ businesses, whilst remaining highly competitive by comparison with other recognised national and international suppliers.

Amco’s highly experienced team specialises in the supply of high-quality UK, European and international warehousing and logistics services to the defence, automotive, aerospace and FMCG industries. These industries demand extremely high levels of service including accuracy, precision and multimodal logistics services vital to their operations. With over 200 staff – who between them can speak 13 different languages, Amco operate from 245,000 sq. ft of warehouse space in four strategically located logistics and warehouse centres in the UK and have additional bonded warehousing and vehicles at their Eastern European Hub in Romania. The Amco UK flagship logistics and warehouse centre, Amco Park, is a 110,000 sq. ft general and customs bonded warehouse facility and logistics centre, built to a high specification on an impressive 10.7 acre site in Redditch close to exceptional travel networks for land, air and sea freight services. Telford is home to Amco’s Packaging Centre of Excellence, which combined with

suppliers, and deliver back into the Webasto UK assembly facility in Minworth. AMCO is currently providing logistics services to many major automotive OEMs, first and second tier customers including Sertec, Webasto, Futaba, DENSO, JLR, BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota, Morgan Motor Company, Lear Corporation, Magna, Grupo Antolin, Komatsu and Brose. For more information visit or call the team on 01905 758000.

It is this wide portfolio of talent, experience and resources that has helped Amco to win some valuable customers in the region. Sertec Group, based in Hams Hall in North Warwickshire, has recently agreed a major contract with Amco, which is now responsible for the management and implementation of the Sertec Group logistics network and transport requirements. June 2019, saw the appointment of Amco by Webasto Group to manage and provide the transport and logistics across its UK and European supplier base for its automotive roofing system components collections. Amco will use its own vehicle fleet to collect components from Webasto’s UK & European

“With over 200 staff – who between them can speak 13 different languages, Amco operate from 245,000 sq. ft of warehouse space in four strategically located logistics and warehouse centres in the UK and have additional bonded warehousing and vehicles at their Eastern European Hub in Romania.”

All about Quality Fans of the Spice Girls got to enjoy an award-winning experience when they visited Coventry on the Midlands leg of the band’s UK tour.

She said: “Even though we are an international brand, we offer a very personal touch because of the way it works as a franchise.

Quality Hotel Coventry, on the Birmingham Road in Allesley, is proving to be one of the most popular hotels for visitors to events at the Ricoh Arena and the NEC as it lies almost halfway between both venues.

“We have a very experienced team of staff with many of them having been here for ten years or more which, again, adds to the quality of service we offer.

And fans of the popular girl-band didn’t Wannabe staying anywhere else as the city hotel won the Best Quality Hotel at a recent Gala Awards ceremony in Amsterdam, when venues across the world were rewarded for their excellence. It was the second time in a row that the Coventry hotel picked up the prize based on its performance and, aptly, its quality. Lauren Hammersley, Sales Manager at Quality Hotel Coventry, said the personal, independent touch offered by the venue and recent investments had helped to set it apart.

“There is no sales pressure on customers – we are not constantly trying to upsell. If they want to upgrade, then great, but we are not here to oversell to them but make it the best possible experience. “All of our 80 bedrooms have recently been upgraded and there will be further investments to follow. “So those factors, and our great location, mean we are really popular for events at the NEC and the Ricoh. We were full for the Spice Girls at the Ricoh and we are hoping that we see that level of bookings when Coventry is UK City of Culture 2021 and when Birmingham hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2022.” As well as 80 en-suite bedrooms, some of which offer Sky Sports and Netflix, the hotel also includes leisure facilities – including a steam room and sauna – and a restaurant and bar. Both the bar and the restaurant offer the same menu but with slightly different atmospheres as some choose to relax and dine with friends in the bar while others prefer the restaurant setting.


The hotel, which has 150 car parking spaces, also benefits from meeting and function rooms for events, parties and weddings. To top off the creature comforts, Quality Hotel Coventry is even animal-friendly with a small fee for guests to bring their pet on their stay.

Lauren added: “We were delighted to win the award in Amsterdam as it is testament to everything we try to do to offer the best possible experience to all of our visitors – whether they are staying with us or here for an event or meal.” For more information go to

“We have a very experienced team of staff with many of them having been here for ten years or more which, again, adds to the quality of service we offer.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Corporate Profiles

Home Office award for safety firm A leading physical security company has received a ‘landmark’ national award for its range of anti-terrorism bollards as its international presence continues to grow. Safetyflex Barriers collected the Home Office backed ADS Security Innovation Award at the Security and Policing 2019 trade show, marking a milestone achievement for the team. The company was recognised for its innovative work to create the Springline 50, a new generation model of anti-terrorist crash fencing that stops an 18 tonne truck travelling at high speeds and requires only 400mm foundations to install. Safetyflex designed and produced the fence within six months of receiving a request to protect nuclear and high security sites where the foundations required for current products were too deep. It is now installed at all EDF Nuclear sites, with installation at other UK sites ongoing and new opportunities opening up in Europe and the US. Safetyflex Barriers Director Marcus Gerrard said: “The ADS Security Innovation Award is the pinnacle of recognition in our industry. “To receive an award that is backed by the Home Office shows how highly thought of our work is and how strong a reputation our products have. “We have used a combination of engineering pedigree with cutting-edge manufacturing technology to develop a product which is

bringing safety and security to protecting people and buildings right across the world. “The Springline 50 is one of the most innovative hostile vehicle products in the world, stopping vehicle attacks while protecting key infrastructure and members of the public.” As an international business, Safetyflex is consistently working on far afield projects and has recently completed two in the USA, where demand for the innovative Truckstopper products is high. Rows of the Truckstopper bollard, which can stop vehicle attacks of up to 80mph in their tracks, were installed at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City and the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia – the site of the 1996 summer Olympics, marking a successful start to the year overseas to complement the achievements back home. Safetyflex’s award-winning Truckstopper bollard is known for its aesthetically pleasing, slimline oval appearance and shallow foundation size of 20cm, meaning that it can be set up without the need to re-divert utilities making it highly cost-effective. Marcus added: “Our profile is rapidly growing in the USA at the moment and our products are in high demand. “The Truckstopper bollards have also recently been installed in London’s Oxford Street as well as at Brisbane tourist hotspots – the Brisbane G20 sign and the Wheel of Brisbane, so we are securing some of the most popular places in the world.”

“To receive an award that is backed by the Home Office shows how highly thought of our work is and how strong a reputation our products have.”

New service provider to help businesses grow with technology “There are seemingly endless emails from software developers and website designers who promise everything, but often don’t really have the commercial experience. “This means that businesses can end up with the wrong technology, or with something that costs little to start with, but simply won’t scale efficiently.” The XE2 team works differently, according to Managing Director Adam Smith.

XE2 is bringing its technology know-how to the region to help other businesses improve efficiency and grow revenue. The company builds software services using its in-house team, working with Microsoft and other brand name technology tools to deliver effective and scalable software and apps. With a long-established reputation for building and managing high availability software and messaging platforms, the company emphasises personalised service. “We know it can be very difficult for businesses that are users rather than builders of technology to work out how to get the best out of software,” said Nick Gittings, XE2’s Business Development Manager.

He said: “Our senior team has been building and operating software for over 20 years and, in that time, has been involved in everything from national telecoms network development to high volume email platforms and a whole range of software services and mobile applications. “We have learned that the key to good software is to fully understand the context and the aspirations of the client, and then to consider options in a way that the client understands, even if they are not familiar with all the software tools. “The other differentiator for XE2 is that all our team have had their own ‘been there, done that’ experience in operating businesses that use software. We think that makes a big difference.” XE2 has built a strong reputation in building digital finance platforms, helping a number of US businesses to launch

ground-breaking software services, and developing extensive skills in managing business-to-consumer applications and data analytics. In addition, it has been investing in a low-cost software design and management service platform that leverages the flexibility of Microsoft Azure. Nick added: “It’s easy to think that in-thecloud software platforms are easy to deliver, and are really cheap to run. “In our experience, there are some great advantages to the cloud, but there are also big opportunities to get it wrong, and find yourself out of control on costs. We take that risk away, making sure that the software we design is correctly optimised and efficiently scalable, and we provide a

complete software management service a truly managed cloud.” Nick lives near Stratford-upon-Avon and believes there are great opportunities in the area. “Living in the region has given me a great insight into the benefits of the area, with good transport links, and a growing economy,” he said. “We hope we can bring our personal approach to local businesses. And with our own technology business growing we appreciate the benefits of being part of a new UK Silicon Valley in terms of attracting employees and building further skills capability.” For any further information please contact Nick Gittings at

“Our senior team has been building and operating software for over 20 years and, in that time, has been involved in everything from national telecoms network development to high volume email platforms and a whole range of software services and mobile applications. “



Generous Gangsters and Molls raise more than £50,000 Generous ‘Gangsters and Molls’ have dug deep to make this year’s Zoe’s Place Ball a roaring success – raising more than £54,000 on the night for the Midlands only baby-specific hospice.

Special EFX Pots Mega Trophy for US Open Championship Special EFX, the UK design and manufacturing house of innovativelystyled, prestige trophies and awards, has added another world-class sports event to its trophy line-up. The US Open 9 Ball Championship is on each billiard player’s radar. Founded 43 years ago, it has grown into a giant in the world of billiards and enjoys an identity as revered as The Masters in golf or Wimbledon for tennis. The new promoters of the event, Matchroom Multisport, recently commissioned Special EFX to design and manufacture a new trophy to mark the auspicious occasion. The brief was to capture the essence of the original trophy design, which features the map of the United States, and to then enhance and augment its prestige and glamour. The EFX design studio was set to work and designer Richard Nash created the new design, complete with removable map section, support struts for attaching the map to the plinth and sufficient space to engrave the previous 42 winners on the plinth. Melanie Osborne, Director at Special EFX, said: “It takes honed skills and an innate understanding of the materials employed to be able to produce such a large and imposing trophy, which will stand the test of time. The EFX team designed, engineered and constructed this trophy here at our Stratford manufacturing workshops, using the latest 3D, water-jet and engraving technology and demonstrating an eye for detail for which we have become famous.” The Championship final took place April 27 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center in Las Vegas, US and was transmitted on television to more than 100 countries.

Hundreds of guests attended the annual extravaganza at Coombe Abbey Hotel, immersing themselves in the Gatsby-era glamour of the 1920s. As well as enjoying music from Coventry band the Kicks, guests were treated to a charity auction, which featured a line-up of once-in-a-lifetime experiences ranging from celebrity dinner dates to spectacular sporting events. Among the Aladdin’s cave of prized lots was dinner with Masterchef host Greg Wallace at London’s trendy La Gavroche restaurant, which fetched an impressive £1,600 on the night. There was frenzied bidding on other lots, too, including a corporate box at a Wasps rugby game – which raised £1,100 – a racing experience, which was secured for £600, and a Murder Mystery night in the Cotswold, which fetched £560.

A made-to-measure suit from Henley House in Henley in Arden raised an incredible £1,000 and one lucky guest won a pair of earrings donated by Matthew Robinson jewellers in Lutterworth, worth £1,500 – which was donated back to the charity and raised £1,000 from the auction. Organisers say they are overwhelmed by the generosity of local people, who have once again helped swell the coffers of Zoe’s Place – a facility which provides 24-hour palliative and respite care for children with life-limiting or lifethreatening conditions. Peter Jarvis, Managing Director of Warwick-based Contechs and Chairman of the Zoe’s Place Business Group, said: “What an incredible night. It was absolutely fantastic and we want to thank everyone for coming out and making it a roaring success. “A huge amount of work goes into our annual ball, but it is definitely worth it when you see the fruits of your labour. We raised a fabulous £54,000 for Zoe’s Place on the night, which will help keep the doors of this precious facility open for longer.”

Businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire have also been praised for their support this year, with Arden Foods signing up as the headline sponsor – having been a strong supporter of Zoe’s Place for the past four years. During the evening, auctioneer and radio personality JD, announced Peter’s appointment as the first-ever national Patron of Zoe’s Place – the result of a spectacularly successful four years as chairman of the charity’s business group. This hugely important role will see Peter support all three hospices – in Coventry, Liverpool and

Middlesbrough – both individually and collectively to given them greater fundraising power. Peter added: “I am incredibly proud of my association with Zoe’s Place. It is a remarkable charity which provides an essential lifeline to so many people who are enduring the hardest battle of their lifetime. “I hope that we will continue to host this spectacular event for many years to come and I know that the generosity of people across Coventry and Warwickshire will continue to make this annual fundraiser a massive success.”

Online flooring retailer hits £35m turnover

Jason Ashby

A national online flooring retailer, which has its headquarters in Leicestershire, has hit £35 million turnover for the first time. UK Flooring Direct, which is based in Logix Road on the Hinckley Commercial Park, reached the record figure for its year-end results in March meaning it now has five per cent of the market share of the UK wood flooring industry. The firm moved into Hinckley in 2017 and sells a range of flooring including real wood, laminate and vinyl via its website and also

has a showroom for local trade and retail customers at its headquarters. The latest figures also show 60 per cent year-on-year growth for the company, which has invested significantly in people, technology and products over the past 12 months to continue its sustained growth. In 2018, UK Flooring Direct strengthened its board with the appointment of a new chairman, Chief Technical Officer, Chief Finance Officer and a Non-Exec Director. The company also made a string of senior appointments across all departments. It has surpassed the 100 staff mark in the past 12 months and is on course to hit in excess of £50 million turnover in the next year, with ambitions to achieve £100 million in the coming years. That is on the back of more than £1.5 million investment in technology, including in e-commerce and AI, and more than £6 million in marketing across a range of platforms.

Chief executive Jason Ashby established the company in 2005 when he spotted the rise of hard flooring in homes and the growing online retail trend. He has overseen its growth and said the firm would continue to invest to reach its ambitious targets. Jason said: “We are very pleased to hit the £35 million turnover mark, another step in our very ambitious plans to grow UK Flooring Direct. “Over the past few years, we have invested massively – in our move to a new headquarters, in people, in profile-raising and in the very latest technology. That’s because we are very serious about reaching £100 million turnover in the coming years and continuing to grow the business. “There is absolutely no time to stand still. Online retail continues to evolve and you have to be at the cutting edge of technology if you want to attract and deliver for customers. “We are using all the very latest digital technology to make sure we stay one step ahead and it is paying off.

We have hit five per cent of the market share and our aim is to increase that by a further 1.5 per cent in the coming 12 months, building on the back of the investment we are making.” The company is also playing a positive role in its local community. Jason added: “Our aim, as well as being a successful business, is to be a great employer for our region, a good neighbour and contributor to the community and economy. “We have introduced a range of policies that enhance UK Flooring Direct as a place to work because we know that a happy team is a productive one. “The company also does a huge amount in the community – from sponsoring grassroots and local football teams through to supporting charities and community events. “As we continue to grow and thrive, we will ensure that we maintain that pride in being a positive contributor to the region because that is very important to us.”

Signature Sales Support & EMKA announces in-house testing laboratory Representation announced as finalist now accredited to highest international standards

Signature Sales Support & Representation Ltd has been announced as a finalist for ‘Best Representation of a UK Hotel/Venue’ in the CHS Awards 2019, one of the UK’s most prestigious awards, championing the hospitality industry. Now celebrating its fifth year, the CHS Awards are designed to be accessible for all types of hotels and venues, allowing even the smallest independent venue to be recognised for an aspect, service or feature of their property or service with 22 award categories.


The Awards are judged by an independent panel of more than 50 event professionals from leading agencies throughout the UK. Winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony held in Leeds in June. Signature Sales Support & Representation is a meeting, incentive, conference and event, (MICE) sales representation and consultancy to the hospitality industry, launched just last year by two directors Jan Denning and Kathryn Clarke. Kathryn said: “To have been shortlisted to one of four is an amazing achievement. We have tough competition in our category and as a new business we are thrilled to have got this far in the process. “Being recognised for our hard work and what we have achieved so far with demonstrated successes, including, placing over £2.5 million of enquiries into our venue partners last year is just wonderful.”

EMKA has always believed it is important to support their standard and custom products with a comprehensive in-house testing facility and now their Technology Centre has been accredited by the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH – DAkkS (The German National Accreditation Body) for ten selected test procedures. According to the standard DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025, it confirms the capability of EMKA as a world market leader for locking devices, hinges and seals in the performance of material, life cycle and environmental simulation tests. Their test laboratory thus meets all legal and standards requirements at the highest international level. The test laboratory is located in the company's technology centre which allows EMKA to offer a wide range of measuring and testing procedures –

always taking into account the highquality requirements for locks, hinges and seals. The facility has extensive equipment: from the water jet and dust test system, a salt spray and climate chamber on a spectral analyser to the tensile tester. The focus is on numerous processes in the field of environmental simulation testing, technical and mechanical testing of fittings as well as material analysis and life tests. Among other things, DAkkS examined the quality management system of EMKA, selected measuring equipment and the implementation of test procedures by trained personnel. They also tested the expertise of the laboratory staff and issued the relevant notification after successful completion of the accreditation process. Subsequently, DAkkS confirmed that EMKA possesses technically trained personnel as well

as the technical and organizational abilities to carry out selected tests in accordance with the relevant standards and regulations. Dr. Thomas Koliwer, CTO at EMKA, said: “The accreditation by the independent, higher-level national accreditation body leads to a higher acceptance of products”, “This gives customers greater confidence in the safety and quality of our test procedures and thus of our products.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


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International automotive software business grows UK presence with Coventry base

Members of the Cognitran team with Caroline Lloyd of University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Innovation Centre (third from left)

An international business with offices in the USA and Poland has expanded its UK presence with an office in Coventry. Cognitran, which specialises in Software as a Service solutions for automotive manufacturers, has added an office at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Innovation Centre in Binley to its

headquarters in Chelmsford and its development centres Poznan and Szczecin in Poland, as well as Michigan, USA. The move, which comes as part of the company’s ongoing expansion, will enable Cognitran to create more jobs in software development over the coming years. Chief Operating Officer Ben Schneider said the location was one of the key drivers behind the move. He said: “The highly collaborative nature of our work with our customers has been an important factor in ensuring they receive top quality service. The opening of an additional UK development base close to the location of many of our existing customers will help

ensure this success continues. Coventry has been the centre of the UK Automotive industry ever since the first British car was built in the city over 120 years ago and our presence in the region, allied to our close relationship with Warwick University, will give us access to a large pool of skilled software engineers and data scientists.” Cognitran is a market leading Automotive AfterSales Systems provider, their innovative SaaS solutions help Original Equipment Manufacturers improve profitability, productivity and customer satisfaction through the provision of more accurate, timely, vehicle and customer specific information.

Penny Robb, Centre Manager at the Business Innovation Centre, said: “Cognitran are a welcome addition to the Innovation Centre and this is a very good fit for them and us. “They work with a number of businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire and shows, again, the attraction this region has. “The fact that the company is working with University of Warwick too highlights the fact that the Science Park offers so much more than a base – it offers opportunities to tie in closely with the University itself and also tap into our business support services to help them grow.”

Wasps swap scores for saws at Moreton Morrell College Members of the Wasps rugby squad swapped rugby balls for saws and chisels when they attended a beginners’ carpentry workshop at Moreton Morrell College. The aim of the session was to introduce the players to some of the vocational skills and training opportunities currently on offer at college. As a professional rugby player’s career is relatively short-lived, it is important they have a second profession to rely on when the time comes to retire. Under the close supervision of instructors from the college’s Construction Centre, the teammates undertook a variety of measuring, sawing and chiseling tasks which included perfecting cross halving joints in order to make their own picture frame. All seven enjoyed a day of learning new skills away from the daily routine of training schedules and fitness sessions. The idea of a taster day came from Wasps flanker Jack Willis and fellow teammate Tommy Taylor, who both spent a

significant amount time off the pitch this season due to injury. Jack said: “The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for the lads to try out some new skills and decide whether it could lead to a new career path. As I have discovered, an injury can catch you out at any time and it really makes you think what you are going to do when you retire from the game. As we are all so focused on our training, we all really enjoyed doing something completely different.” Research conducted by the Federation of Master Builders revealed last year that a national shortage of construction workers is threatening the Government’s plan to build hundreds of thousands of houses annually. Its report stated that companies are particularly struggling to recruit bricklayers and carpenters, with demand for skilled plumbers, electricians and plasterers also outstripping supply.

John Billings, senior curriculum leader in construction at Moreton Morrell College, said: “It was a great pleasure to host the lads for the day. They enjoyed the challenge, were very competitive and completed their tasks to a high standard. “The UK construction industry is experiencing a boom at present with a national shortage of professionals to work in this sector. As a result of this skills gap, there will be plenty of job opportunities for skilled tradespeople for the next 20 years or more.”

The Myton Hospices marks Volunteers’ Week As Volunteers’ Week, another annual celebration of all things volunteer, comes to an end, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of volunteers at The Myton Hospices. About 1,000 people donate their time to Myton every year – some regularly, some on an occasional basis.Without them the charity could not continue to support people with lifelimiting and terminal illnesses or their families. Myton CEO Ruth Freeman said: “Whether it’s working directly with patients and families, shaking a tin or sorting through donated items, every single one of our volunteers makes the care we offer possible.

“The truth is, without our volunteers Myton’s services would not be anywhere near so diverse or holistic and our presence in the community and consequently our fundraising would not be so strong or widespread. “I would like to extend my personal thanks to every single Myton volunteer. I am acutely aware of the difference you make to our organisation, an organisation of which I am extremely proud, and of which you are a big part. We couldn’t do what we do without you!” Myton is always on the lookout for new volunteers to build its invaluable team and

replace those no longer able to support – either individuals giving up their own time, or employees using generous CSR hours to offer their help. If you or your organisation are interested in volunteering for Myton and fulfilling some Corporate Social Responsibility hours at the same time, please do get in touch with Corporate Fundraisers Chris Willmott or Yasmin Audhali by emailing; or calling 01926 358387.

Global transformation platform adopts local consulting model Local marketing brand and transformation consultant Phil Darby is celebrating. His Brand-Led Business Transformation programme has received the endorsement of the global transformation platform CXO Transform, which has adopted Phil’s new lecture series for exclusive distribution. Phil said: “Every business has to transform to survive the digital revolution. However, time has almost run out for those that haven’t already started and 70-80% of transformations are failing with many of the businesses concerned folding. To succeed this late in the game you need a different approach”.

There are as many reasons for the failures as there are failed projects, but there’s a theme common to most – an absence of focus. Phil said: “Transformation consultants will tell you, when they first meet with business leaders who want to change, they rarely have clear objectives. “This leads them to confuse “change”, which is basically automating existing business models, and “transformation”, or rebuilding the business from scratch. They also often start in the wrong area of the business. CEOs frequently look to their IT department to lead the

process and almost always that spells failure.” Phil rose to the challenge with Brand-Led Business Transformation, a programme that uses the power of brands to provide the missing focus. He said: “My approach will give any transformation a better chance of success, saving costs, time and pain and it’s fundamental to the success of any business in the digital economy. A business can show immediate improvements in efficiency, which, as we all know, is what separates success and failure in the new business paradigm.” Through the course, Phil offers executives who want to become the

agent of change every organisation needs, the insights to kick off transformation with the first essential component – Brand Modelling.

Discover how Business Coaching can Grow Your Business – RISK FREE! Are you a business owner with 8+ staff and some unsatisfied ambitions for the future of your business and your family? Perhaps we should talk – I’m an experienced business coach with significant business experience and access to a world leading business growth system that has been honed over 25 years across 10s of thousands of businesses worldwide. Maybe if we put our heads together we could make a significant difference to your business and life? This is how it works: Step 1 A telephone call - in 15 minutes or less we'll know whether or not you'll benefit from meeting me. Your Investment is £ZERO plus 15 minutes If it makes sense to meet: Step 2 We meet for a Strategy Session where we focus on whatever it is that you are trying to achieve. We'll drill down into what’s going on/how it is impacting you and come up with a few strategies that you can implement. Your Investment £ZERO plus 90 minutes At this stage people typically say one of 2 things: • Brilliant - I've got what I want - bye • Sounds good - I'd like you to help me implement it – in which case we proceed to: Step 3 We meet for an in-depth planning session where we get clear on what you need to achieve in the coming year and how you're going to do it. We'll create a 12 month plan with particular focus on the first 90 days. Your investment £1,250 plus VAT – but risk free because of my 100% No Quibble Money Back Guarantee At this stage people typically say one of 2 things • That was great – I’ve got loads of great ideas and a 12 month plan – I’m going to crack on my myself or • That was great – I’d like you to help me ensure that the 12 month plan gets implemented with and provide a mixture of support, education and accountability; in which case we proceed to: Step 4 We set up 1-2-1 coaching where we meet 2 or 4 times per month Your Investment - £1500+ per month plus VAT – but risk free for the first month because of my 100% No Quibble Money Back Guarantee Next Step Book a 15 minute call at

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Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training

Chamber Training Awards Evening Recognises Outstanding Employers and Apprentices Gavin Orton with Humairaa Khalifa (centre) and Grace Malbasa

Building Skills in Customer Service Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training is working in partnership with Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council to enhance customer service skills and knowledge across the organisation. The Council provides residents and visitors to the area with a wide range of council services and information, whether by telephone, in person or by email and through its website. The management team were looking to recruit staff, but found it difficult to find the right calibre of applicant. By working alongside Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, the Council looked to develop their own talent through Apprenticeships, giving individuals the added advantage of on-the-job experience combined with off the job knowledge development. Christine Giles, Account Manager at Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, worked alongside the Council to design Apprenticeships around the needs of the business, resulting in Grace Malbasa and Humairaa Khalifa joining Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council in September 2017 and undertaking Apprenticeships in customer service, aligned to the latest Apprenticeship standards and practices. Grace and Humairaa quickly progressed in their roles, developing valuable skills and knowledge, including team work and communication. With the support of their Training Advisor, Denise Paul from Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, they went from strength to strength becoming the first Apprentices to achieve distinctions in the final assessment on the new Apprenticeship standards, a superb outcome and testament to their dedication to providing excellent customer service. Sally Lucas, Executive Director Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, commented, “Grace and Humairaa should be incredibly proud of themselves with such fantastic results. The final assessment is a really challenging experience, requiring the demonstration of outstanding skills, knowledge and confidence.” Commenting on their progression within Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council, Gavin Orton, Customer Services Manager said: “We are delighted at how well Grace and Humairaa have grown and developed within their customer service roles. “Our organisation will be looking to recruit further Apprentices alongside Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, the partnership works extremely well for us and we are excited about developing further Apprentices in the future.”


Jan Ryan and Sally Lucas from Chamber Training with Peter Burns, past President of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training was delighted to host its annual Apprentice of the Year Awards recently to recognise the very best of talent amongst the employers in the area. Nearly 200 people attended the event which took place at Coventry Rugby Club on 20th June 2019 and recognised outstanding Apprentices in categories such as Accountancy, Business Administration, Health and Social Care, Children’s Care, Customer Service, Hairdressing and Management. It also offered the Apprentices an opportunity to celebrate their achievements with their employers, friends and family members. Guest speakers included Peter Burns MBE, a past President of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Kathleen Culleton-Underwood, City of Coventry’s Freemen’s Guild Apprentice of the Year 2018 from Zenith Contractors and Allana Watson, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT).

Peter Burnell with Alexis Considine from The Wigley Group with Peter Burns

Commenting on the successful event Jan Ryan, Operations Director at Chamber Training said: “We were absolutely delighted to host such a prestigious event and this year the standard of the nominations was extremely high and very competitive. It has also been a pleasure to recognise the support that employers give, working in partnership with ourselves to develop Apprentices’ skills and knowledge to the benefit of the business. “Across all of the categories, from accountancy to health and social care to hairdressing, there were fantastic achievements and countless examples of where Apprentices have made significant contributions to their organisations and the wider community. Alexis Considine of the Wigley Group was just one of the 30 Apprentices and Employers to receive an award for outstanding achievement on her Accountancy Apprenticeship.”

The winning Apprentices and Employers at Chamber Training Apprentice of the Year 2019 Awards were: Alexis Considine, The Wigley Group for Accountancy Higher Apprentice; Harry Bower, Gopsall Services for Accountancy Advanced Apprentice; Nathan Ellis, Thomas & Co for Intermediate Apprentice; Lucy Brooks, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT) for Business Administration Advanced Apprentice; Olivia Burton, Manufacturing Technology Centre for Business Administration Intermediate Apprentice; Andrew Daffern, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT)

for Customer Service Intermediate Apprentice; Chelsea-Lea Gallagher, Enchanted Nursery for Children’s Care Advanced Apprentice; Grace Chandler Miller, Tiny Teddies for Children’s Care Intermediate Apprentice; Annabel Scott, Geiko for Hairdressing Advanced Apprentice; Jessica White, Clipperz for Hairdressing Intermediate Apprentice; Catherine Anti-Nuamah, University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW) for Management Advanced Apprentice; Sandeep Bajwa-Nakra, OM Solutions for Digital Marketing Advanced Apprentice; Colin Twidale, Individual Support Services (ISS) for Health & Social Care Higher Apprentice; Victoria Winterman, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership Trust (CWPT) for Health & Social Care Advanced Apprentice; Linda Grinpukale-Grinfogele, Individual Support Services (ISS) for Health & Social Care Intermediate Apprentice. You can view the Apprentice winners on our website at: news-and-media/news/and-the-winnersare/ In addition to recognising the contributions of employers and individuals, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training asked its Apprentices to vote for their most outstanding Trainer and Training Advisor. The winners were L-R: Christine Cusick, Trainer, and Clare Ebbon, Lead Training Advisor, whose support and encouragement was acknowledged by the Apprentices under their guidance.

Christine Cuisick and Clare Ebbon from Chamber Training

To find out how Chamber Training can help your business to benefit from Apprenticeships, please call the Business Development Team on Tel: 02476 231 122 or email

“Across all of the categories, from accountancy to health and social care to hairdressing, there were fantastic achievements and countless examples of where Apprentices have made significant contributions to their organisations and the wider community.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Thinking local in time of need leads to new app Phil’s time became even more precious and he found tracking down the businesses he needed for certain services was becoming too cumbersome and that he was using various forms of communications to stay in touch so he wanted to devise a solution using technology. The new app – CastGrab – has been created to offer a quick and easy route to businesses and professional tradespeople for users who require any service, either personally or professionally. He has been given support by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce through the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to get the free app out to market. He received free mentoring from Chamber adviser Margaret Bull and also attended events and workshops, which proved invaluable in helping to lay the foundations for launching the business.

Phil Mattu with Margaret Bull

A Coventry technology entrepreneur is launching a new app, which makes busy people’s lives easier when trying to find local businesses, after being inspired by his father and supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Phil Mattu gave up his job selling software to help look after his father, who had suffered at the hands of several strokes and was later diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Phil said: “There were lots of things to sort out. I found I was repeating myself in terms of ‘what I needed’, using all forms of communications, email, phone, web forms, social media, it was getting difficult to track who was coming back to me, who was available and who could do the work. “I know from talking to so many people that it’s a problem they face, too, and we believe we have a great, easy-to-use app with huge potential. “I thought it would be so much easier if there was one place that would allow me to confidently request all type of services I needed and for people or businesses to come back to me privately, using one platform. “CastGrab offers all of this and more. We have also built a seamless chat live service which businesses can download onto their website which keeps them connected to customers at any time through the app.

“The support from the Chamber has been incredible. My business mentor, Margaret Bull, has been a great sounding board for me and sometimes you just need someone to be able to bounce ideas off. “The app was inspired by my father and family situation and I want it to be a success for him as well as helping to solve problems people face in their everyday lives.” Margaret said: “It’s a great concept and it has been really good to work with Phil and to see his journey thus far in creating an app that can be used by anyone who needs services. “We are here to help people when they want to establish a new business and need advice and support on the various aspects of what goes into that.” To get the free app – called CastGrab – visit the App store or Play store to download and use or go to

Chamber HR support praised as ‘exceptional’ A well-established uniform and workwear supplier based in the region says the HR support service offered by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has proved to be an extension of its own team. Peter Drew Group was established in 1995 and now supplies products to a range of clients across the UK including in security, logistics and hospitality sectors. Jane McKenna, the company’s Talent Director, said the firm’s own HR department could solve most

issues but have worked with the Chamber on more specialist matters.She said: “As a member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and a local employer of 24 staff, we have encountered some ‘people’ issues over the years and have relied on our internal HR department to solve them. “From time to time we have come across more specialist issues that have required specific knowledge and expertise that we could not address solely in-house.

“This is where the Chamber of Commerce HR service comes into its own. By contacting the Chamber’s legal experts (all included in the membership fee) we had immediate access to the most up to date legislation that ensured we worked within the letter of the law and did not expose the company to risk. Their solicitors came back to us immediately and we had the same follow up person so we did not have to keep repeating the situation we were dealing with.

“Even on the more day-to-day HR issues the Chamber’s HR service is able to reinforce our in-house policy, advise with personal guidance from a specialist and give us complete peace of mind when we make management decisions. “We view the Chamber’s HR service as an extension of our own HR department – they are exceptional.”

Praise for Chamber mentor Katie Evers (left) with Hardeep Sandhu, of the Chamber

A Warwickshire woman, who started a beauty and treatment business six months ago, says being her own boss has proved to be therapy in itself. And Katie Evers, who runs the Kianna Treatment Centre in Coleshill, has urged those wanting to establish their own company to follow their dreams and make the most of the support that is available. Katie started the business in November after a consultancy project with Jaguar Land Rover came to a close. She now has a diary full of appointments for her range of treatments, which include everything from semi-permanent make up to massages, until July. She had support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of

Commerce’s start-up team to help realise her ambitions thanks to a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It forms part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale Programme, which is also funded by Warwickshire County Council and the district & borough councils. Katie said the support and advice from business mentor Rita Booth had proved to be invaluable. She said: “I really wanted to do something for myself and that I could work around my two daughters. “I’ve always been into treatments and healing so I went on a specialist course to ensure I had the right skills to launch the business. “I absolutely love how I make my clients feel – some of the treatments, such as semi-permanent make-up help them to get their confidence back and it’s a great feeling to have helped another woman achieve that. “For me, owning my own business has been like a therapy in itself and I absolutely love it. I’ve been working with charities too, to help

Growing your business I think that now is a great time to grow your business, especially as the UK makes new trade deals While enterprising businesses will do what needs to be done, other fainthearts will merely tread water until they know what to expect from our realigned economy. Go for Growth now despite the uncertainty, and your business will gain a significant competitive edge! What is your sales conversion rate, is it as high as it should be? An obvious way to improve it

give something back, and I have just agreed a partnership with Lauren Elizabeth’s Beauty in Nuneaton to provide treatments they don’t currently offer. So it’s all going really well. “Rita, my mentor, has been absolutely amazing. She has helped to keep me focussed, commercialise the business and give everything a professional look and feel to help me market what we do. “I also enrolled on the Facebook and Instagram masterclasses, delivered as part of the Chamber’s business start-up programme, because what I do is very visual and is perfect for getting the message out on social media. On top of that, I attended the Chamber’s expo and got lots of business leads on the back of that. “So I can’t thank Rita and the Chamber enough and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of starting a business to follow their passion and make sure they tap into this kind of support.”

is a down sell strategy. This means you offer prospects who don’t buy your normal offering an alternative product or service, at a lower price. To be clear, this has nothing to do with discounting! This is, or should be, a lower quality offering at a lower price. Sometimes this can be at a higher sales margin than your main offering, if you get it right. If you gain new customers with a lower priced offering, it will be easier to sell your normal offering to them at a later date. The goal here is to turn the prospect into a client, so that you not only realise some short term financial benefit… but you gain the opportunity to do business with them again in the future. Another great way to grow your business, typically by 30% or more, is to increase

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Rita said: “It is great to see the success that Katie is having with The Kianna Treatment Centre. She had the courage to follow her passion and start a business and I am delighted that we have been able to help her to achieve her aims. “So many people out there want to establish a business and aren’t sure where to start so it is important that they know there is help available.” For more information on start-up support call 024 7665 4321. There are also a range of masterclasses and workshops taking place in North Warwickshire for business start-ups including Business Vision & Strategy, Winning & Keeping Customers, Business Planning, Instagram For Start-Ups and Building Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Venues include North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, the Centenary Business Centre and Atherstone Town Hall. Go to for more details.

the number of sales transactions per customer. We do this by implementing upsell and cross- sell strategies. Upselling is offering a higher grade or quality or size of the item that the customer may be interested in at the point when the customer is ready to buy. Cross-selling is offering other products or services which complement the item the customer is interested in, at the point when the customer is ready to buy.

Prepare for more capital gains tax changes By Rosy Hughes, Head of Private Client Tax at Burgis & Bullock The recent increase in capital gains tax receipts is hitting the private residential landlord business hard – but this is not the end of the story. An 18 per cent capital gains tax increase in 2018-19 compared to the previous year saw HMRC receipts reach £9.2 billion, a figure boosted by private landlords acting fast to sell less profitable buy-to-let properties as their margins narrow. Combined with a three per cent increase on stamp duty on second homes introduced in April 2016 and subsequent cuts to mortgage interest tax relief, the capital gains tax receipts increase has proven a step too far for many landlords. The future seems to be following the same trend, with the removal of lettings relief for landlords who let out a former residence set to be abolished from April 2020 subject to legislation. We are in the third out of four years of the gradual reduction in mortgage interest relief, until it reaches 20 per cent tax relief in the 2020/21 tax year. This is down from around 45 per cent depending on a landlord’s marginal rate not so long ago. This may lead to more sales in the property market as landlords get out prior to the full interest restriction being in place and sell while the valuable capital gains tax relief is still available. If this is the case, landlords need to be making a very clear plan for the next 12 months in terms of their property portfolio. All possible numerical outcomes need to be analysed in depth, taking into account a range of scenarios, to decide whether selling up is the best option. If it is decided that doing so is the right decision, you also need to be making sure that you are selling at exactly the right time, not just to get the best price possible but also to ensure a few weeks delay doesn’t see you paying out more than you need to. Developments are happening thick and fast and you need to have the facts on your side to ensure this period runs as smoothly as possible. The sector has clearly been seen as an opportunity to raise additional tax for the exchequer but whether these actions are better or worse for the wider economy in the long run remains to be seen. At Burgis & Bullock we are looking out for the businesses and individuals who are going to require assistance navigating the next year in a sector going through a period of heavy change. The story isn’t over yet, but there is time to ensure your narrative is a positive one through taking the right action at the right time.

Contact us today or visit our website for more information. Tel: 0345 177 5500 Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.

John Holder, Business Growth Specialist Profit-Growth Unlimited



Legal firm supports homeless charity Success for intrepid team Coventry and Warwickshire law firm trio raise more than £5,000 for charity as they complete gruelling Three Peaks Challenge A trio from Coventry and Warwickshire-based law firm, Mander Hadley Solicitors, has raised more than £5,000 for the Air Ambulance Service by completing the gruelling Three Peaks Challenge. Andriy Buniak and Matthew Riding, Solicitors at Mander Hadley, which has offices in Coventry and Kenilworth, completed the challenge on Sunday 19 May 2019 alongside the firm’s former Senior Accounts Assistant, Gemma Hoskin. The intrepid trio ascended Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, respectively – in a total time of 27 hours 27 minutes and 40 seconds, climbing approximately 10,000 feet and walking around 26 miles – the equivalent of a marathon. Matthew Riding said: “There were times when we didn’t think we were going to make it; moments when physically or mentally things got very tough there and we had to dig into our inner reserves to keep going against the odds. “Knowing that we were taking on the challenge to raise money to support the vital work of The Air Ambulance Service really focussed our minds – whenever one of us felt we couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, we reminded ourselves why we were doing the challenge in the first place.” Harrison Beale and Owen Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisers and Loveitts Estate Agents both kindly provided Corporate Sponsorship for the team’s efforts. Matthew added: “We would like to say a big thank you to Harrison, Beale and Owen and Loveitts. “Their generous support ensured that all the costs associated with taking part in this event were full covered. Importantly, this means that 100 per cent of the donations we have received will support the vital work of the Air Ambulance Service. “We are also immensely grateful for the fantastic support we have received from family, friends, colleagues, clients and members of the public who have sent good wishes and donated money.” The trio were supported on the day by a team of drivers in the form of the firm’s Managing Director, Jonathan Hall; Director, Elizabeth Jennings; and Accounts Manager, Laura Dale. Jonathan Hall, Managing Director at Mander Hadley Solicitors, said: “This was a gruelling challenge and Andriy, Matthew and Gemma really showed their grit and determination as fatigue ebbed in. “This is an incredible achievement that will help the Air Ambulance Service to continue their fantastic work for people across the region.” Chloe Bass, Legacies & In Memory Manager at the Air Ambulance Service, added: “This is such a fantastic accomplishment by Andriy, Matthew and Gemma; we’re so grateful that they chose to support the Air Ambulance Service. They have raised an incredible amount of money for our lifesaving charity, which will go directly to the patients who need us across our communities. Congratulations on completing the challenge and raising over £5,000!”


A Coventry and Warwickshire charity supporting the homeless community has received major backing as it prepares to give an anonymously-donated house a major makeover. Band Hatton Button solicitors, based on Butts Road, has pledged a year’s worth of fundraising to Coventry Cyrenians after the law firm’s staff voted for them to be their official charity partner. Coventry Cyrenians has been providing shelter, accommodation and practical life support for the region’s homeless community since 1973, and currently helps around 400 people a year across Coventry, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon with 200 places of accommodation. The charity relies on income from accommodation charges as well as donations to provide its services, which also include offering vulnerable people counselling, and with training and skills to increase job opportunities. Mike Fowler, Chief Executive at Coventry Cyrenians, revealed that Band Hatton Button’s support has come at the perfect time for the charity. “We recently had a three-bed property donated to us by an unknown lady in her will, which was a marvellous gesture, but it needs thousands of pounds’ worth of investment to make it safe to live in,” revealed Mike. “We’re extremely grateful for Band Hatton Button’s support, which we hope will go a long way to helping us to undertake the necessary work including new central heating, before we can open it up to help make a difference to a vulnerable family’s life. “Another key project their funds will help towards is a service to help 13 to 18-yearolds who are victims of, or impacted by,

alcohol abuse – which is one of many ways in which we are helping people to rebuild their lives. “The number of people asking us for help is definitely on the rise. Around two thirds of the people who come to us have a mental health condition, so our service is just as much about putting a roof over their heads as it is helping them to rebuild their lives with counselling services and guiding them to other organisations that can also help.” Band Hatton Button raised more than £12,000 for their last charity partner, Shine A Light Support Service, in 2018, and are hoping to achieve a similar amount this

time round with activities including a quiz night, sponsored walk and culminating in a Charity Ball next May. Sarah Jordan, Head of Marketing and Client Relations at Band Hatton Button, added: “Homelessness is a big issue across the region and further afield, so we wanted to support a charity that is tackling this problem. “What Coventry Cyrenians provide is life-changing for those who, for whatever reason, have found themselves without a home, and we will be assisting over the coming year in way of donations, as well as volunteering.”

“The number of people asking us for help is definitely on the rise. Around two thirds of the people who come to us have a mental health condition, so our service is just as much about putting a roof over their heads as it is helping them to rebuild their lives.”

Annual Wright Hassall quiz raises thousands pounds for charity A quiz run by a leading Midlands law firm saw businesses from across the region come together to raise more than £4,000 for charity. The annual Wright Hassall quiz, held at the firm’s Olympus Avenue offices in Leamington Spa, saw 40 teams put their general knowledge to the test in a bid to be crowned quiz champions, with a team representing Lloyds Banking lifting the trophy. This year marked the 17th year of the quiz, with proceeds raised on the night donated to the Wright Hassall Charitable Trust which supports good causes in the local area or and those with which a member of staff at the firm has a close involvement. Each team was joined by a member of the firm’s staff, with partner Lucie Byron leading the way for the Lloyds team ‘The Boys from the Black Horse’. She said: “Our annual quiz night is always a pleasure to be a part of and there was a great atmosphere once again amongst the competing teams. “It was a close call in the end but the Lloyds Banking team and I were delighted to finish the night as winners.

“The most important thing is that we managed to raise money for the Wright Hassall Charitable Trust and contribute to good causes in our area.” Other teams on the night represented companies including accountancy and advisory firm BDO, insurance firm Gallagher, and Wasps, with which Wright Hassall signed a deal last year to become

the club’s legal partner. Sarah Perry, managing partner at Wright Hassall, said: “We are proud to have been able to raise such a significant amount of cash for our charitable trust through another successful and enjoyable event. “We would like to thank everyone who came along for making the night such a success.”

Chris Bell (Wasps), Phil Wilding, Robert Lee, Sarah Perry (Wright Hassall), Emma Davis, Rory Prentice, Daniela Forsyth (Wasps)

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Large customer insolvency can hit the supply chain hard Information is available through a variety of sources - formal and informal - including searches of the public registers at Companies House, at the courts or credit agencies, and enquiries of fellow customers.

So what can be done by the small and medium sized companies to try and mitigate their risk should the worst happen? Whilst companies are somewhat hampered by being removed from the end customer’s decisions, there are often some warning signs that a supply chain might be in financial difficulties:• Late or short payments • Deliveries not being made in accordance with schedules • Requests for amendments to terms and conditions

Some practical steps to take if there are serious concerns in relation to a member of the supply chain’s solvency are as follows:• A closely managed reduction of exposure by working with the customer will help to maximise recoveries whilst maintaining the relationship • If this is not possible, all deliveries or work in progress should be stopped pending enquiries being made • Any outstanding invoices should be collected before any further work is carried out or goods are supplied

The winners of the inaugural British Accounting Marketing Awards were announced at a presentation on the first day of Accountex, Wednesday 1st May. R&D tax credit experts, randd uk, announced that their Head of Marketing, Sam Warburton, accepted an award for ‘Best Personal Branding Campaign’. Managing Director Mick Keyse said: “We’re excited about the award and are proud to gain recognition amongst peers in the Accountancy & Finance sector.”

The award is recognition for randd uk’s tenth anniversary marketing campaign in summer 2018. This involved fundraising for local charity, ‘The Faith, Hope & Enterprise’, as well as Macmillan Cancer Support, Cure Leukaemia and ChildLine. The main activities included a skydive, 10K run, launching a real ale in collaboration with Chantry Brewery and a charity fundraiser with the Mayor of Derby. Head of Marketing Sam Warburton said: “When I approached the Directors at randd uk with my ambitious marketing plans, instead of laughing at my ideas, they said “go for it” and provided the resources to implement my campaign. “I was overwhelmed with the support from the whole company and I’m excited to say that the team’s efforts have been recognised with the award.” Founded by Amanda C. Watts from TwentyTwo Agency, the British Accounting Marketing Awards was supported by Accountex, the leading exhibition for the accounting industry and sponsored by MyFirms App.

“We’re excited about the award and are proud to gain recognition amongst peers in the Accountancy & Finance sector.”


Should notification be received that a formal insolvency process is underway, it is essential to identify what type of insolvency it is (e.g. administration, liquidation, CVA) as the level of exposure might vary as a result. In an administration, the company may continue for a short while before it is sold, liquidation would usually be more terminal as the liquidator would be selling assets only rather than the entire business, and a CVA would mean new terms being negotiated with a view to preserving trading relationships during the CVA and beyond. Should the need arise for you or one of your clients, please do not hesitate to contact Dan Smith or any of the team at BRI on 02476 226839 for a no obligation, confidential and free discussion. Further information can also be found at




• Any stock with the customer should be retrieved under retention of title clauses • Further immediate orders should be carried out on a proforma basis if possible





randd uk win award at Europe’s No. 1 Accountancy & Finance Expo

• Large scale redundancies or the sudden removal of key personnel • Complaints from other members of the supply chain • Unexpected price rises • Rumours and market intelligence


Insolvencies in the UK have been very low for the past decade but in the first quarter of 2019 a significant increase over Q4 2018 was recorded. Administrations were up by 21.8% year on year and company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) were up 43%. A significant proportion of companies are experiencing financial distress following the insolvency of a major customer and at BRI we have assisted a number of business owners who have seen their profits reduce dramatically or disappear altogether because of the insolvency of their biggest customer. A recent report by the insolvency trade body, R3, highlighted the issues faced by medium sized companies in the construction sector as a result of the liquidation of Carillion.

For many companies in the supply chain, Carillion would have been their main (or indeed only) customer and once it went into liquidation all new and ongoing work would have dried up overnight and work that had been completed or product which had been supplied couldn’t be paid for. British Steel, which is part of the supply chain of many manufacturing and construction companies, has recently entered liquidation and its future is currently rather uncertain, with interest from potential purchasers reportedly waning at the time of writing.






SUFFERING? We are your financial remedy. Whatever your circumstances, trust BRI to help you get your business back on track.

Our services:

From business recovery to CVAs, administration, debt advice and more, our highly-qualified insolvency experts are dedicated to giving you the best advice.

• Corporate Insolvency

• Restructuring

• Personal Insolvency

Whatever your business financial concerns, talk to BRI – we can help you on your way to a healthier future.


Call now on 02476 226839 Kings Chambers, Queens Road, Coventry CV1 3EH 17


New office opens to boost links with China and Coventry Auction house passes 1,400 lots sold milestone one month earlier than last year

The UK’s leading property auctioneer Auction House - operating as Loveitts Auction House in Coventry and Warwickshire - sold 1,409 lots in the months between January and May this year, a month before that figure was achieved in 2018. This represents a 76% success rate and puts the group 3.8% ahead of last year (1,358 lots sold) at a time when it is already showing record entries of nearly 550 lots for the month of June. Loveitts Director and Auctioneer Sally Smith said: “Once again, these are very healthy statistics for Auction House – especially at a time when the slowdown in London appears to be spreading outwards. Nevertheless, the supply of properties from sellers is strong, and our entries for the first half of 2019 are likely to be up almost 10% on last year. “We put this down in part to sellers preferring to sell in-region through a local auctioneer, plus the growing number of landlords exiting the rental market. The Private Rented Sector has been increasingly targeted by government, with the result that many landlords are now voting with their feet. “Auction is the regularly chosen route to sell rental stock, especially when mortgaged. The great advantage is that the tenants stay in-situ, so rent continues to be received by the seller up until completion, and by the buyer from their date of purchase.” May was a quieter month for Auction House. Despite this, and the political turmoil that has further upset buyer sentiment, the group sold 266 lots from the 381 offered at a success rate of 70%, with £36 million raised. Sally Smith said: “I expect that the climate over the coming months will remain challenging for all involved in the sector, but sellers will always have auction available as a speedy exit solution for surplus properties, whether they are vacant or tenanted. “The picture for auction buyers is especially attractive: more choice, an increased number of bargain-priced lots, and affordable lending. The market is balancing out, which means that both sellers and buyers should benefit. “The impact from the introduction of the tenant fees ban this month has yet to be fully felt, but it looks likely that rents are going to rise. With prices staying static, this means that yields should improve - which will further boost property as a long-term investment.”

Trade links between a major Chinese city, the UK and Coventry have been strengthened with the opening of a unique office at the Coventry University Enterprise Centre. To assist UK companies in understanding the opportunities offered by China, Sino-UK has taken up space at the Enterprise Centre after months of collaborative planning between Coventry City Council, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Hub and representatives from the Sino-UK Innovation Park in Dalian in the North East of China. The Sino-UK Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Park in Dalian recently opened as China’s first UK orientated business park in and will focus on working with the UK’s advanced manufacturing and automotive industries going forward. It is backed by both the UK and Chinese Governments and sets out to support UK businesses in accessing the massive opportunities presented by the world’s second largest economy. The new Coventry

office will serve as a space for links to be forged between companies in Coventry and Warwickshire as well as the wider UK and Dalian, a city which ranks high on the list of economic health for cities across the country and boasts a population of over seven million. An event to mark the opening of the Sino-UK office was held, with Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, cutting the ribbon after speaking with delegates. Councillor O’Boyle said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Sino-UK team for deciding to create an office here in Coventry. “This is sure to be the start of an extremely positive and successful relationship between businesses in Dalian and Coventry and Warwickshire. “It was a pleasure to be a part of the opening ceremony and to meet the delegates involved in this project, I wish everyone involved the best of luck going forward.” The opening ceremony saw gifts exchanged between the Chinese

An apartment scheme for the elderly in Coventry city centre has taken a major step forward with the laying of its foundation stone. Cllr Linda Bigham, Lord Mayor of Coventry, was on hand to lay the stone at Bonds Lodge near Belgrade Plaza. The £6.8 million development is being completed by Deeley Construction in partnership with Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities, with the scheme designed by Nicol Thomas Architects. It will see 45 self-contained apartments built within the threestorey building and is expected to be completed by Spring 2020.


delegates and Coventry City Council and Growth Hub representatives. Dr Mark Wareing, previously a senior Civil Servant within the British Embassy in China and who has been involved in the establishment of the Park for over three years has played a key role in the creation of the office and took the team of delegates on a tour around key landmarks in the area including Coombe Abbey and the Horiba MIRA Technology Centre. He said: “The creation of this office, offering a one-of-a-kind service to strengthen links between China and the region, is a real achievement for parties on both sides.” The Sino-UK team will be located next to the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub at the Enterprise Centre.

The Growth Hub, which is partfinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as well as Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council, has played a key role in bringing the Sino-UK team to Coventry and will assist their work through introductions to key businesses and stakeholders in the region. Phil Peak, Strategic Account Manager at the Growth Hub, said: “As an organisation working to boost the Coventry and Warwickshire economy through opening new doors for its businesses, we believe this project is a real opportunity for the region. “We will be working closely with the team to offer any support they require and look forward to seeing many successful business relationships grow over the years to come.”

Warwickshire firm acquires prime 40,000 sq ft warehouse in Southam The unit on Northfield Road, Southam, Warwickshire.

A leading independent property development, investment and construction firm is set to add to its portfolio after agreeing terms to acquire a warehouse in Warwickshire. The Wigley Group has agreed a deal to acquire a prime 40,000 sq ft warehouse in Southam, opening up an opportunity for a regional logistics operator to establish in the heart of the distribution network. The modern high-bay building with offices is located on the main industrial estate in Southam and is now available for lease, with The Wigley Group expecting interest from regionally-sized logistics and

distribution operators due to high demand for commercial buildings of this type in the area. The property boasts an eaves height of approximately nine metres, rising to around 13 metres at the apex, making it an attractive space for large-scale storage with extensive racking available. It also includes a 2,000 sq ft mezzanine, two self-contained internal office blocks, goods yard and on-site parking with 46 spaces. The unit lies within close proximity to Leamington, Daventry, Coventry and Banbury, with easy access to the regional motorway network. James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We are delighted to have agreed this deal, not only as a strong addition to our portfolio but also in continuing to

Foundation stone laid at Coventry city centre apartment block for elderly Martin Gallagher (Deeley Construction), Victor Keene MBE (Coventry Church Municipal Charities), Cllr Linda Bigham, Lord Mayor of Coventry, and Simon Peplow (Nicol Thomas).

Business delegates from China and Coventry unite to open the new Sino-UK office, with Coventry City Council cabinet member Jim O’Boyle helping to cut the ribbon

They will be the newest addition to the Almshouses, run by Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities as sheltered housing schemes for the elderly, which were founded in the early 1500s. Cllr Bigham said: “It was wonderful to be invited. This fits in so well with my own personal charities, one of which is Age Concern Coventry and Warwickshire. I’ve also been newly appointed to Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities. “I highly commend CCMC putting their efforts into providing new facilities for the elderly and it is fantastic that a local and wellrespected company such as Deeley Construction is delivering the project.” Victor Keene MBE, chairman of Coventry Church (Municipal) Charities, added:

“This marks a key stage in the development of the Almshouses and we’re looking forward to them being completed in the spring of next year. “It’s an exciting point and we’re thrilled that the Lord Mayor joined us for the occasion to lay the stone, which she did very graciously.” It marks the Deeley Construction’s first project awarded from Homes England's DPP3 Framework. Martin Gallagher, managing director of Deeley Construction, said: “We would like to thank the Lord Mayor for joining us for the ceremony. “This is an important development for elderly citizens within the local community who are looking to live in the city centre, as there is currently a lack of provision for them in the area. “Work is progressing well on site and we are on target to complete the development on schedule.”

support our local economy by helping to meet a real shortage of commercial property. “There is a recognised high demand with low supply of available buildings of this type and with its nine metre eaves and good connections to the M40, M45 and M1, we are anticipating considerable interest particularly from regionallysized logistics operators. “With our company headquarters closeby at Stockton in Southam, we look forward to the unit generating renewed business and employment opportunities in the area.” Wright Hassall is acting for The Wigley Group in the acquisition of the unit from FMAG Property Limited and completion is expected in September, with the leasehold now being jointly

marketed by Bromwich Hardy and Wareing & Company. Tom Bromwich, partner at Bromwich Hardy, said: “The Wigley Group has made an astute acquisition off market, capitalising on the lack of empty commercial stock. “The property is really welllocated on the main industrial estate in Southam with easy access to the central motorway network. “There are no buildings of this type with an eaves height of nine metres, and with good offices, yard and parking. With our knowledge of Southam, we expect there to be strong interest.” Further details regarding the lease are available through Bromwich Hardy on 024 7630 8900 and Wareing & Company on 01926 430700.

Stunning Edwardian building will make impressive business base An outstanding landmarked Edwardian Manor House in Leamington has come onto the rental market. Gables House, located on Kenilworth Road, features an impressive 10,104 sqft of office space and is set in 1.8 acres of mature woodland and landscaped gardens. An elegant residence built at the turn of the century, Gables House provides a mixture of offices and large meeting rooms, many of which retain period features, and are centred around an impressive galleried reception area. There is also parking for up to 76 vehicles in woodland within the grounds of the property. The quoted rent for Gables House is £160,000 a year and negotiations are being handled by leading Leamington-based commercial property consultants, ehB Reeves. Simon Hain, director of ehB Reeves, said: “This is a stunning Edwardian building which has undergone comprehensive refurbishment.

“It retains many period features, combined with modern, well-equipped offices, in a beautiful setting. “Gables House provides a unique base for any firm which is looking for comfort, ample parking, good transport links and a real wow factor. We don’t think it will be long before this fantastic building is snapped up by a forward-thinking firm wanting to make an impression.” ehB Reeves was formed by last year’s merger between Leamington-based companies ehB Commercial and Reeves and Partners. The new firm enjoys a growing management portfolio in excess of £100 million.

Gables House, a stunning Edwardian property which is now available for let.

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Profile: Clive Hickman On the face of it, Hickman is a Midlander and an engineer through and through, but that description only touches on the experience and skill-set that has taken him from Coseley to Coventry. That is only a 30-mile journey but for Hickman it has taken in India, Italy and Norway and seen him fill some of the most senior jobs in engineering. Now he is on a crusade to ensure that British engineering and manufacturing can compete with the best in the world and thrive in an increasingly global market. Like most good ideas, the philosophy behind the MTC is very simple. Pool the resources of large companies, allowing them to take part in advanced, collaborative engineering projects that would be way beyond their individual budgets - then enable the skills and processes honed at the MTC to be transferred back into those companies and implemented, often by staff who have come through the MTC graduate and apprenticeship programme. There are doubtless high-level strategies which guide the business but if you want to discover what lies at the core of the MTC, then just get Hickman explaining how the UK has developed leading technologies – which it has failed to capitalise upon. “There are two glaring examples for me. The first is lithium ion batteries. All the research was done in the UK but until recently we hardly made any of the batteries here. How can that be, how have we allowed that to happen?” he asks. “All the research for flat screen TVs was done here in the UK but we don’t make any. How can that be? How have we allowed that to happen? “There are so many examples and to be honest it just gets me really angry.” He’s fired up. Hickman studied mechanical engineering at Wolverhampton University, and went on to do a PhD at Aston University. He worked for a refrigeration company in Hereford between the two, but came back to the region and worked at Austin Rover in engine development. After a spell as engineering director at MIRA in Nuneaton, he joined engineering services group Ricardo and worked his way through the ranks to be the MD of the UK operation.

Manufacturing change It is quite easy to see what gets Clive Hickman fired up – and it’s the same thing which has taken the MTC from a demountable office to a £75 million turnover in less than a decade. 20

It was in that role that he caught the eye of Ratan Tata who, in 2005, recruited him to India for five years as head of engineering for Tata Motors, during which time he oversaw the development of the Nano people’s car. At the same time, he set up Tata Motors European Technical Centre at University of Warwick, and the job not only gave him a real insight into the Tata Group and Ratan Tata, but also brought him into close contact with Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, the one-man driving force behind British manufacturing, who died in March. He said: “Ratan Tata is a person with the highest integrity. He is very genuine, down to earth, is easy to talk to and very receptive of ideas. He trained as an architect but really wanted to do engineering, and often in meetings he would rather discuss the engineering as opposed to the business side of things.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Profile: Clive Hickman “Tata turned 100 years old in the UK while I worked for the firm. The guy who was in charge in the UK operations wanted to have a large event and really market the occasion and the landmark. Ratan asked him how much he was going to spend and when he said around one million pounds, Ratan said he would double the amount but, on the proviso, it was spent on under-privileged children in the UK as that was a far better use of it. He is a remarkable man. “Kumar is a massive, massive loss to our community here and to the whole of the UK. When manufacturing was unfashionable, Kumar continued to push for it and really was the main driver of its revival in the UK.” But the MTC is more than playing is part. “The idea had come about through the thinking of one man - Hamid Mughal of Rolls Royce. He maintained if you tried to take all the new product development into the manufacturing environment in Rolls Royce, one of two things would happen. “The manufacturing engineers would be too busy doing the day job meaning the technical advancement would not not happen or they would be so attracted to the technology, they would forget about the day job. “He knew it needed to be taken somewhere – a sandpit to test all the technologies and processes before we transferred them into the factories. That would allow engineers from different companies to work together and alongside academics and really drive development.” The East and West Midlands development agencies pooled their resources to create the £40million MTC, while the contribution of the first three members – Rolls Royce, Airbus and AEC – along with partners Nottingham, Birmingham and Loughborough Universities and TWI, provided working capital. The concept has flown from the foundation stone being laid. “We are about bridging that gap between great academic research and taking it into product and processes that can be applied by our manufacturers. “We don’t make anything but we develop all the processes to allow that product to be made. “We now have 109 members, more than 850 employees and last year we turned over £74 million with the aim to push that to £92 million at the end of this financial year. We are a company limited by guarantee which means we are not having to pay out a dividend and can really make decisions for the long term which is key.

“The MTC is getting bigger, not because we want to grow for the sake of it, but the larger we are the more impact we can have. We work with several hundred companies but need to be a lot bigger to be able work with several thousand and that is when we make the sort of impact we aspire to.” And even when Hickman and his team – two thirds of which remain with the organisation nearly a decade on – were seeing the steelwork of the first building coming out of the ground, they were already planning the second. “As well as developing the technology we have always had an aspiration to develop the skills to service it properly. Traditional apprenticeships did not teach people the advanced manufacturing skills we were developing. “We started off with four in our first year, and we grew that to ten-a-year before we could justify the funding to build our Training Centre. We needed to be able to show match funding to Government, Lloyds Bank backed us and have been with us ever since. “They came to our Portakabin and they must have thought we were mad. Our first building was not finished and I wanted them to sponsor something we had an idea for but was still a building plot.” The second building was finished in 2015, and its state-of-the-art conference centre now sees 34,000 people come through its doors ever year, not only raising profile but allowing Hickman and his team to further develop those future skills for companies of all sizes. He said: “If you are an SME, then taking on an apprentice is hard. It is a four-year programme and you don’t know what will happen in the course of four years. For the first two years they are learning and, to be frank, they are not much use to the business and it is during that time you get the biggest drop-out rate. “We take on the apprentices for two years, get them through that spell, plug them into the SME, which takes on the responsibility but we continue the training with block release. “Other companies have seen the value and they come with their own people and bring in their own apprentices that they take from day one, so it is a hybrid system now and we cover all sizes of companies.” That sees 100 apprentices a year come through the MTC door, and it has won the contact to deliver a similar-sized programme in Oxford – which means the UK manufacturing should be in good hands going forward.

And that makes Hickman a happy man.

“The MTC is getting bigger, not because we want to grow for the sake of it, but the larger we are the more impact we can have. We work with several hundred companies but need to be a lot bigger to be able work with several thousand and that is when we made the sort of impact we aspire to.”

Working Day There is no such thing as a typical day – but just one golden rule. Hickman lives an hour from the office, but works on the way to the MTC and is on duty from around 7.30am. “The only regular thing is that I get myself a cup of tea as soon as I arrive. That is top priority!” He is in the office until 5.30-6pm, but there are usually two evening functions a week. “I have 15 minutes with my PA – who really runs the place – we plan the day and it never pans out as we would expect.” There is an executive board of five, and then a team who report directly into them, while Hickman is out of the office three days a week on average. Away from the office, Hickman is a keen walker and tries to get his 10,000 steps a day which helps work off the fine dining of which is he also a devotee. He is also a season ticket holder at Leicester Tigers.

Profile Born:

Coseley, West Midlands

Date of birth:





40 years to Judith


Katie & David


Walking, fine dining, rugby

Favourite book:

The Red Pony, John Steinbeck

Favourite film:

The Sting: Newman & Redford

Last holiday:

Japan tour

Car: Aston

Martin DB11


Hot tap


Brexit New Prime Minister ‘must provide certainty’

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have reacted to Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that she is leaving office. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said her successor must deliver a clear path forward for business and avoid a messy, disorderly Brexit. She said: “Very few on all sides of the political divide would question the Prime Minister’s efforts over the past three years in extremely testing circumstances. “Brexit was always going to be a very divisive issue and, ultimately, it has led to her departure. It is vital now that we get a new leader in place quickly as the clock is ticking down to the new deadline of October 31. “A new Prime Minister must work to deliver a clear and certain path forward, avoiding a messy and disorderly Brexit that would be damaging for business right across the UK. “Companies across the country have worked incredibly hard over the past three years to continue to grow and provide the wealth and jobs our economy needs. “But we cannot afford for this situation to drift along any further. Businesses need to know what our future relationship with the EU is going to look like and prepare accordingly. “We will continue to work with our members to ensure they prepare for every eventuality, as we have done since the referendum result of 2016. “Aside from Brexit, there are many fundamental issues within our national economy that need to be fixed and the obsession with Brexit over recent years has drawn focus away from those issues. “So whoever becomes our next Prime Minister has a huge job on their hands and businesses will be keen to see stability after a long period of uncertainty.”

Jobless figures cause concern

The unemployment figure in Coventry and Warwickshire rose again – amid growing concerns among business leaders about uncertainty in the economy. In Coventry, the figure jumped from 6,215 to 6,495 and, in Warwickshire it rose from 6,650 to 6,720 in the month to May. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have a very robust and strong economy here in Coventry and Warwickshire. “The region has a huge amount to be confident about, particularly as we look to the future and some of the areas of industry that are going to become increasingly important, such as battery technology and digital, where our area is leading. “However, there is no doubting that the uncertainty which has built-up in recent times is affecting firms across the patch. “It’s vital, therefore, that we get an orderly Brexit and we strike a deal with the EU which secures great trading relations with our closest marketplace. “Once that is done, there are fundamentals within our own economy around skills, infrastructure and employment space that must be addressed in order to sustain our economic growth.”


Tool to help businesses put ‘certainty into Brexit’ An online tool is being launched to help businesses “put the certainty into Brexit planning”. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce (C&WCC) have joined together to launch the Business Brexit Health Check. The free online tool helps businesses find information on how Brexit may impact their organisation, tailored to answers they provide in a questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire, which asks firms questions on export, import, recruitment and compliance, businesses receive a personalised report which includes suggested steps for preparing for Brexit related risks or taking up opportunities. Information provided via the tool will be a source of intelligence for the WMCA and Chambers on how businesses are impacted in preparing for Brexit. Data from the report will be used anonymously to shape policy responses and highlight of business support available in the area. Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “In order for businesses across the West Midlands to make a success of Brexit they need accurate, upto-date, and easily understood information. “Big businesses will have the resources and technical expertise to understand Brexit’s implications – but small businesses, charities, and many other organisations do not. “That is why the WMCA has joined forces with the three chambers of commerce to release the Business Brexit Health Check tool, which will help put the certainty into Brexit planning.” Paul Faulkner, chief executive at the GBCC, said: “Many businesses I speak to are baffled, burned out or just plain bored when it comes to Brexit. “The Business Brexit Health Check aims to help businesses cut through the noise and confusion surrounding Brexit and find the information of most direct relevance to them. “So far a previous GBCC version of the tool has been used by more than 200 businesses in Greater Birmingham.

“This new and improved West Midlands wide tool can be used by even more businesses across the length and breadth of the region. “Brexit remains the largest fundamental shift to the UK’s trading relationships for a generation. But unlike previous potential shocks to the system – we can see this one coming. “It is hugely important that businesses understand essential information on Brexit, how it may impact them and what they can do about it.” Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been keeping businesses across the patch informed of the latest developments ever since the referendum. “We’ve also listened to companies’ concerns and issues and have fed those back to Westminster. “However, there are still far too many companies that have not done any scenario planning and it is crucial that these businesses use the next few months to understand how the different Brexit scenarios could affect them and plan accordingly. “The Business Brexit Health Check can help identify areas of risk and fast track companies to the right support.” Corin Crane, chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “Chambers of Commerce across the West Midlands have done some fantastic work around Brexit since 2016 in their respective geographies. “To be able to work with our Combined Authority partners on a bespoke Brexit support package is genuinely exciting.

“It is imperative that businesses are consistently aware of what Brexit means for them. That means continuing our good work of engaging with government, promoting our useful literature and ensuring that our messages accurately represent the feeling on the ground. “In terms of the Business Brexit Health Check, this a fantastic tool to find out what

the key issues facing our businesses are, but also to ensure that we are providing support in the right areas. “From customs facilitations to intellectual property rights and the employment of EU-born staff to VAT payments, we will be working hard to ensure that businesses in the Black Country are as well prepared as is possible for the UK’s departure from the EU.”

To find out more or to access the Business Brexit Health Check, visit

Brexit Planning – Key dates For Your Diary: • Brexit Briefing Webinar: International Trade and Customs, 24th July, 10:00am • Brexit Briefing Webinar: Workforce, Skills and Business Travel, 31st July, 10:00am • Brexit Briefing Webinar: Regulation and Legal, 7th August, 10:00am • Customs Declaration Training Workshop, 19th September, 16th October. • Brexit Planning for Importers and Exporters Workshop, 11th September, 15th October • Brexit Briefing and Meet the Expert, October 2019 TBC • AEO and Customs Compliance, 19th December For further information on the above events log onto or email

Coventry & Warwickshire in business


No Deal Brexit causes serious concerns for company boss

A Rugby-based transport company – which delivers goods to Ireland on behalf of clients across the Midlands – says a ‘No Deal Brexit’ is the worst case scenario for its business. PTI Express found a niche in the market in transporting goods to the whole of Ireland in the early 1990s and has grown to employ 35 people, with around 250 consistent customers across the region. The goods range from clothes and shoes through to food and industrial parts and sees the company send 300 consignments a night to the Republic of Ireland, which accounts for 35 per cent of its turnover. Nick Putt, who runs PTI Express, has been preparing for Brexit ever since the decision to leave the EU was taken, including attending Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce events and training sessions. He said he knows what he will have to do in the event of No Deal – but can’t afford to make the financial outlay required on the basis of something that might or might not happen. And Nick believes there are companies across the region – and the country – in exactly the same boat. He said: “Right now, the 300 consignments we ship into the Republic

of Ireland are not considered exports while we are part of the customs union. In the event of no deal, every single one will need customs declarations. For us to provide these customs declarations we would need to employ at least another 10 people. “Our customers are understandably very concerned about this and have been asking me what to do, so I am communicating with them as best as I can to let them know their options. “I’ve been dealing with the Chamber, who have been keeping members informed and I have been to training sessions on customs declarations. “It was there that I discovered that every export declaration will take on average around 20 minutes. So on the basis of that, I could work out – if we offer that as a service – the additional costs that would bring to the business. “We worked out that it would cost an extra £295,000 annually to provide the service and we have no idea whether it is going to happen. I can’t put the business at risk for something that is so uncertain. “Our customers could get their own customs brokers but when you consider that Ireland alone will be jumping from one million imports to 30 million imports in the event of no deal, you realise just how

many more people will be needed and nobody is prepared for that! “Then when you think about Dover to Calais, you start to get an idea of the sheer number of people that are going to be needed. There is just not the capacity in the market. “It’s a very stressful time. At the start of the year, we saw an increase in business as companies stockpiled ahead of the original March 31 deadline but that has subsided now that everyone has overstocked themselves. “From a personal point of view, I accept that we voted to leave the EU and respect that but as a business we really need to be in a position that allows goods to move freely into Ireland and the rest of Europe. “No deal is just the worst case scenario.” A Brexit health-check toolkit has been made available to help businesses understand what they can do to prepare in advance. The health check It can be found at James Ahearne, International Trade Hub Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, has been leading the Chamber’s Brexit activity. He said that, as well as the health check, the Chamber would be running a series of

events, seminars and webinars in months leading up to October 31 to get firms prepared. James said: “PTI Express has ensured that it is completely up to speed with Brexit and the potential outcomes. “Of course, there are still many unknowns and the Chamber has been working hard locally, regionally and nationally to ensure the business case is heard and to help prepare as much as possible. “PTI Express is great example of how companies can understand the scenarios they may face and the potential impact on their business. When we get clarity over the Brexit process businesses like PTI will know how to respond and what action they need to take when the time comes. “So we would urge businesses to use the time between now and October to understand how they might be affected and what they can do to prepare now. “We will be here to support that with a range of events and webinars to keep companies of all sizes and sectors up to speed with what they need to do.” For further information, contact the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce on 024 7665 4321 or visit their Brexit Hub at

“We worked out that it would cost an extra £295,000 annually to provide the service and we have no idea whether it is going to happen. I can’t put the business at risk for something that is so uncertain.”


Cyber-security UK business faces a real and immediate threat from cyber-criminals. But are we really prepared to protect ourselves against a damaging cyber-attack? According to the most recent cyber-security survey by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), 32% of businesses in the UK suffered a data breach in the past 12 months. Most cyber-attacks are carried out using phishing emails, viruses and other malware, including ransomware, or by someone impersonating a colleague or professional contact online.

Don’t let your hard work become a hacker’s easy money

In its 2019 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR), NTT Security revealed that UK manufacturing and technology firms are now neck and neck when it comes to experiencing the most cyber-attacks by business type, and while manufacturing businesses may have improved their security situation since 2018, they still account for a fifth of all cyberattacks on UK organisations. Of course, when we think of cyber-crime, we think of headlinegrabbing ransomware attacks such as Wannacry, which infected more than 230,000 computers across the globe, including the NHS in 2017. Ransomware, however, is becoming less common as UK businesses beef up their cyber detection systems

and defences. Instead, the cybercriminal is resorting to other means to access computer networks and their data, and one of the most successful ways right now for them to achieve this is through social engineering or 'phishing'. ‘Phishing’ is when a fraudulent email or website is deployed to trick an individual into disclosing personal or confidential information such as bank details, passwords or credit card numbers. While it’s hardly a new phenomenon, what’s changed is the level of sophistication involved. Phishing emails are becoming that much harder to spot, so you need to be vigilant and make sure that the email or website you’re looking at is genuine, even when it appears to belong to a trusted or familiar source. Between 2017 and 2018 major data breaches occurred at Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Cisco, Oracle, Equifax, Deloitte, MyFitnessPal, Google Plus, and British Airways, among others. These are big, international companies with massive IT infrastructure to deal with malicious attempts to gain access to their networks and data. Yet, they all experienced serious data breaches. That’s because cyber-security is only as strong as its weakest link, and all too often, it’s human error, wrongdoing or carelessness that leads to its failure.

Insurance brokers, therefore, have an evident and necessary role to play in educating their clients about the risks posed by cyber-crime and to help them assess whether their current insurance provision can adequately cover them against malicious cyber-activity. In many cases, traditional insurance policies may not cover losses involving information systems, and not all cyber-liability insurance policies are the same. Equally, not all cyber-threats can be anticipated or prevented. So, having a risk management programme in place is more important than ever, with data breaches and cyber-attacks becoming more frequent and potentially damaging. That’s where CLEAR’s cyberinsurance specialists can help. We can work with businesses large and small to design a cyber-risk management programme that is supported by comprehensive cyber-liability insurance to minimise and mitigate any potential losses from cyber-security incidents.

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

South Koreans learn about event safety Lorraine Baillie, HR Director at StadiumTM (centre) and all

Members of a South Korean sporting body travelled all the way to Coventry to learn how to effectively run large events safely from a world-leading firm based in the city. Event management specialists StadiumTM welcomed the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) at its head office Coventry to teach them how to effectively manage large events and make fans’ experiences as good as they can be. StadiumTM is a specialist supplier of traffic management, stewarding, security and training services to the events industry, both nationally and

internationally. It also supplies award winning temporary Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers helping protect visitors at events against potential vehicle-ramming attacks. Its clients include Premier League football clubs, local authorities and universities and it has also worked for high profile events including the London Marathon, the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club and BBC Radio’s Biggest Weekend. This was the second time KSPO has received training from the firm. The federation first came over to Coventry four years ago to learn best practice, and wished to continue its relationship with StadiumTM by returning. StadiumTM’s week-long training course consisted of intensive lessons at its head offices, before delegates from KSPO were taken to Anfield to gain knowledge in a high-class football stadium.

David McAtamney, managing director of StadiumTM, said: “We’re so pleased KSPO chose to come all this way to learn from us for a second time. It’s a real honour. “But it’s also testament to our expertise. We are one of the leading companies in the world when it comes to event management. “Sport brings people of all nationalities together and is truly global. So anything we can do to help other countries raise their standards is massively important to us.” While many countries simply let the police handle pre and post-event crowds and traffic, David said the UK was unique in that private companies are left to do this. This means there is a much greater focus on providing a good experience for the fans when they arrive and leave a large event, as there is competition for business.

Improving the fan’s experience was also part of what StadiumTM taught KSPO, alongside their training around safety. David added: “When police control the fan experience, all they want to do is keep you safe. The experience for the fans is not a consideration. “But we make sure getting to and leaving an event is as seamless as possible. The idea is that the fans don’t notice the systems we have in place because they are so smooth. “If bad crowd and traffic management means it takes you too long to get you into a stadium for a football match and you miss kick-off, you’re going to be upset. We make sure this rarely happens. “We have passed this knowledge once again to KSPO so they can run their own events in South Korea much more efficiently. Our aim is to keep people safe.”

Celebrations as award is announced A Coventry construction company is celebrating its part in helping to secure a leading award for creating the first purpose-built recovery centre for people with mental illness in the West Midlands. As design and build contractor, Harrabin Construction, based in Harnall Row, played an integral part in the building design alongside the architects and projects managers of multi-disciplinary practice IDP whose head office is in Coventry, to win the Offsite Project of the Year award at the West Midlands Construction Excellence Awards held at the ICC, Birmingham, for its work at St Clair Gardens in Foleshill, Coventry. Coventry and Warwickshire Mind provides nursing and recovery support for adults with multiple needs and mental illness in two-year rehabilitation and recovery-based therapeutic programmes at St Clair Gardens.

The £2.5 million state-of-the-art Recovery Centre for the national charity includes 14 bedrooms for adults with mental health issues, lounge areas and a large garden along with meeting rooms, offices and training areas for staff on the site of the former swimming baths in Livingstone Road. Brian Harrabin, a director at Harrabin Construction, said they had proposed a modern method of construction as part of its tender submission and the award is the fruition of a successful partnership between the architects, project managers and Harrabin Construction. He said: “The swimming baths were demolished when the site closed five years ago and the striking design by IDP has been recognised with the award. “We worked with Coventry-based manufacturer Innovaré Systems to develop an offsite structural core as we followed Mind’s philosophy of promoting well-being and recovery and bringing IDP’s designs to life.

“While our staff at Harrabin Construction installed the foundations and slabs, the external and internal walls and roof were being constructed offsite. This enabled the main shell of the building to be erected on site in only six weeks and enabled us to start the fit-out ten weeks earlier than a traditional build. “Working in this way meant it speeded up the construction process and was a very effective solution to the challenges that remained on site from its former use. It led to time and cost savings not only in the installation but long-term costs for the client. “The major benefits are in energy consumption and the overall running costs of the building which are lower than in traditional building methods and St Clair Gardens has already become the most energy-efficient building in Mind’s portfolio. “We are really pleased to have been involved in this scheme and it’s

A £50,000 cash injection has been invested into the Holiday Inn Coventry M6 J2 to offer cutting edge technology for both businesses and events.

Coventry and Warwickshire Mind’s Recovery Centre

great that that the site has been put back to a form of community use at a time of increased awareness of mental illness issues.” Steven Hill, CEO of Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with IDP and Harrabin Construction on the development of St Clair Gardens and we are delighted for their award. “It has been Coventry and Warwickshire Mind's ambition to deliver the specialist facilities and services we are proud to provide at St Clair Gardens, and we are grateful to the team for realising this longheld vision through the creation of a unique space which will be enjoyed by residents to aid their recovery."

Mirius makes the prestigious Sunday Times SME Export Fast Track 100 This prestigious table ranks Britain’s 100 small and mediumsized (SME) companies with the fastest-growing international sales over the last two years. Only eleven businesses within the Midlands region have been voted into the top 100.

Coventry-based Mirius, manufacturer of cleaning and hygiene products, has made it into the Sunday Times WorldFirst SME Export Track 100 league table, which ranks Britain's small and medium-sized private companies with the fastest-growing international sales. Mirius announced that they have been placed 67th in the coveted 2019 Sunday Times 100 Fastest Growing SME Exporters league table.

The league table illustrates how British companies are increasingly looking beyond traditional export markets for growth, with Mirius now exporting to more than 80 countries worldwide. Mirius, formerly known as Coventry Chemicals, rebranded in June 2018 to better reflect its strong manufacturing position as a global market leader in own label and professional cleaning products, along with its internationally renowned range of healthcare and hygiene solutions. In March it launched Europe’s 1st cleaning products trigger spray

bottle made entirely from 100% recycled plastic (rPET) and was rewarded with two of the highest accolades within its industry - The CSSA Cleaning ‘Products Innovation Award’ and the ‘Best of the Best Award’ at the London Cleaning Show. As an own label manufacturer for some of the largest Facilities Management companies and Supermarkets in Europe, the new 100% Recycled Plastic bottles will be available instores shortly, ushering in a new era of sustainable and recyclable cleaning products and packaging. Mirius’s CEO Steve Quinlan said: “As a high-growth company that retains its entrepreneurial spirit, The Sunday Times SME award and our recent awards for recyclability & sustainability illustrate we are perfectly positioned to seize emerging opportunities. These awards showcase to the world what we truly offer in terms of innovation,

Holiday Inn Coventry invests £50,000 in cutting-edge technology

commitment to manufacturing excellence and environmentally friendly products.”

The hotel’s technology investment has transformed the 21 meeting rooms at the venue, with enhancements including a state-of-the-art ‘i3sync’ system, which allows delegates to connect laptops to High Definition 65” TVs or projectors wirelessly just by pressing a button on the wall. The investment at the 158-guest room property, which is operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, follows a multimillion-pound refurbishment of its meeting rooms and bedrooms in 2017/18. Darren Cooke, General Manager at the Holiday Inn Coventry, said: “This investment places our hotel at the forefront of what is offered in the meetings and events industry, enabling businesses and event professionals to conduct their meetings and events more efficiently than ever before.” Nicholas Northam, Executive Vice President – International, at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, said: “We believe that hotels need to keep up with the latest advancements in technology and the fast-changing demands of the meeting and events fields.

Liam Fox, secretary of state for International Trade, added: "SMEs are fundamental to achieving our target of increasing exports as a percentage of GDP to 35 per cent, so it is vital we give them the recognition they deserve. The exporters listed in this year's SME Export Track 100 are pioneers whose example should be followed by ambitious businesses across the UK."

“We’ve always been determined to stay ahead of the game, and now the most innovative technology which is simple and easy to use is at people’s fingertips. Less time spent on connecting equipment results in a more efficient, streamlined experience, and we’re thrilled to see the Holiday Inn Coventry leading the way in this area.”

Mirius continues to lead the field as a highly innovative Coventry based manufacturer, specialising in product excellence and sustainability. With double digit growth forecasted for the next few years the business is on target to outperform all of the competition within its sector.

The Holiday Inn Coventry M6 J2, on Hinckley Road, is home to 21 Academy Meeting rooms, as well as a dedicated, staffed Business Centre and complimentary parking for delegates.The hotel also houses a health club and all-day dining options.


Area Focus: Coventry

Investment helps Arrowsmith Engineering deliver soaring sales Coventry Rugby leads the way with SKINS Teamwear Coventry Rugby has announced a significant new partnership with SKINS Teamwear, who have signed a three-year deal to become the club’s Official Teamwear Provider. This is the first professional club partnership for SKINS Teamwear, who have built an outstanding reputation for the quality of their apparel across a range of sports. SKINS Teamwear has grown from its roots in pushing the boundaries of technology and compression – working with researchers and sports medicine practitioners from across the globe – to hone its product offering with a number of different teams, including Ultimate Rugby Sevens.

A leading Coventry aerospace supplier is tapping into the ‘march of the robots’ to help it capitalise on 20% growth over the last twelve months. Arrowsmith Engineering, which is part of the AS.G Group, has invested over £200,000 into a new Doosan 4th axis machining centre and robotic cell that will help it boost production speed and increase capacity by 50%. The company is using ‘lights-out’ manufacturing to run a precision engine part 24-hours a day, seven days per week, supplying more than 200 components every month to customers based in Spain and the US. Integrating robots into the process has removed the need for a second machine, freeing that up to cope with new contract wins that have seen turnover soar to £7.5m and the workforce grow a further 10% to seventy people.

Jason Aldridge, Managing Director of Arrowsmith Engineering, said: “I’m a big fan of automation and don’t’ sign up to the notion that it’s taking jobs - if anything it will make us more competitive so we can take additional people on. “The Doosan CNC machining centre and cobot system is our first investment in robotics and has been configured to suit our specific requirements for 24-hour manufacturing on a complex component for the aerospace sector. “It has removed the need for an operator to load and unload the parts and this person has gone on to a different production process that is more skilled. This is just the start of what we hope will be a continuous investment drive in robots at our factory on Bayton Road. “It’s made us 15% quicker and given us a 50% capacity boost, that’s some payback already. Automation

A photography exhibition charting two years of work in Coventry has been hailed as a great example of what being UK City of Culture can help to achieve in the city.

Coventry Rugby’s new look – which will retain the traditional blue and white hoops – will be unveiled later in the summer and will be available to order ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Gavin Vaughan-Evans, Sales Director for SKINS Teamwear, says that the partnership can be exciting for both club and company.


Jason Aldridge & Steve Jackson at Arrowsmith Engineering

of the first firms to be entered into the Competitiveness & Growth Programme. Jason said: “It’s all about pushing the boundaries in what we want to achieve, challenging our staff to drive growth by giving them access to training and the best technology. “The SC21 Silver Award is a great achievement for our business and proves that SMEs can compete with the best in the world when it comes to manufacturing excellence. This is just the start; we want to be at £9m by the end of 2020 and then looking at how we break the £10m barrier before too much longer.”

Photography exhibition 'great example' for City of Culture Tale of Two Streets, which was launched in early May, highlighted the people and places in Foleshill Road and Far Gosford Street and ran until June 2.

Coventry Rugby will be utilising all areas of this experience and expertise with a range of playing and training wear, along with compression garments and stylish leisurewear for players and supporters alike.

Managing Director Nick Johnston says that this new partnership can make a significant difference to He said: “SKINS Teamwear makes a cutting-edge product and we’re delighted to be their lead partner as they move into professional rugby. They are well known and respected for their compression garments, but the SKINS Teamwear playing range is equally impressive and I believe that our players and supporters alike will appreciate the quality.”

shouldn’t be seen as something that only the big boys do… SMEs can access it cost-effectively and we need to ‘grasp the nettle’ in order to bring the UK’s productivity up and in line with our international rivals.” Arrowsmith Engineering is a specialist in precision turning, milling, thread rolling and grinding, providing components to aerospace tier 1s and primes in titanium, nimonics, stainless steel, exotic metal and engineering plastics. The company, which has been supported by Coventry University and Coventry City Council on its latest investment, supplies parts that are used all over the world in aerospace engines, landing gears and air frame. It has been able to overcome Brexit uncertainty to boost its export business by 400%, thanks mainly to delivering world class manufacturing performance, with ‘On Time In Full’ at 98.5% and quality running at 99.95% for the past twelve months. This level of continuing operational excellence has seen it recently secure the Supply Chains for the 21st Century (SC21) Silver Award for the third consecutive year, which has contributed to it becoming one

Tom Tierney, Alex Taylor, Nilupa Yasmin, Niall McDiarmid, Chenine Bhathena, Jason Scott Tilley, Simran Vim, Jonny Bark

City-based Photo Archive Miners (PAM) were commissioned to produce the exhibition and has worked with ten young photographers from the area and with renowned portrait photographer Niall McDiarmid to capture images of the two streets over the past two years. The resulting work was exhibited across the city – from Greyfriars Green to FarGo Village and from Bodyworx Gym to Gurdwara Gura Nanak Parkash. Tale of Two Streets has been supported by the Coventry City of Culture Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund & Arts Council England, Coventry University, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, MotoFest and Coventry City Council. Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “When I took on this role, this was exactly

the kind of project I hoped we might invest in as part of UK City of Culture. “It tells people more about who we are – our people, our great places, our different lives – it is an investment in our local photographers giving them a platform to grow and showcase their work in their home cities.” Jason Scott Tilley, of PAM, said two years of hard work has paid off. He said: “The concept behind Tale of Two Streets came out of a conversation during the bidding phase of City of Culture. “We talked about retail and how habits were changing but then how you have these two streets in the city that are always busy with a real international mix of people and retailers. We decided it would be great to capture that and it has all built from there.“

Armonico Consort launches the Voice Squad A new scheme offering half-day workplace choir sessions to businesses and organisations in the Coventry area has been launched by professional choir Armonico Consort in a bid to boost staff well-being. Chamber members can take advantage of a SPECIAL DISCOUNT OF 10% OFF the regular cost of a half-day session. The Voice Squad began as a 12-week pilot, supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust’s Great Place Scheme and Arts Council England, which saw choirs established at four of Coventry’s biggest employers: Coventry City Council, the University of Warwick, Coventry University and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

There is strong scientific evidence to show that singing helps reduce stress and improves mental wellbeing. Our research shows it boosts productivity too. Workplace choirs also bring staff together from across the business in a social and fun activity to help create a happier workforce and boost morale. Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, said: “Nurturing a workforce that is both physically and mentally well and resilient is critical in this climate but is too often overlooked. Embracing the opportunity to free up your colleagues to engage in singing workshops and forming a choir, will not only improve their individual and collective sense of wellbeing; it will enhance productivity, too.”

The new half-day Voice Squad workshops are fun and friendly, and absolutely no musical experience is needed. Sessions are led by one of Armonico Consort’s professional

choir leaders with a rehearsal pianist and can be tailored for between 10 and 100 people at a time to suit you.

To discuss your requirements and to take advantage of the 10% discount offer, please contact or find out more at

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Coventry

Business rallies round to help the Samaritans

Lady Mayoress Lindsey Blundell, Peter Deeley, Lord Mayor Cllr John Blundell, Andrew Jones (29th of May 1961 Charitable Trust|), Trevor Montague.

A project to help secure the future of oneof the area’s most valuable community support services has been heralded as a “fabulous achievement”. Coventry & District Samaritans, which takes more than 30,000 calls a year, have returned to their Earlsdon home after the complex has undergone a total refurbishment which will guarantee its future on the site. City-based Deeley Construction carried out the works which have been funded through the 29th of

May 1961 Charitable Trust, the National Lottery and the Coventry Churches Charity as well through Samaritans funds. The 135 volunteers returned to their Moor Street base to be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Councillor John Blundell. He said: “The Samaritans volunteers undertake vital work and offer a superb resource – all from a desire to help other people. Not only is that service lifeline to people who need help, it is also very demanding on the volunteers themselves.

“This project shows what can be achieved when everyone comes together and pulls in the same direction to help a good cause and it is a fabulous achievement. “I would like to thank everyone involved in the project on behalf of Coventry City Council and the people of Coventry.” The renovations have seen a complete refurbishment of the facility, including improved access for disabled volunteers, more storage for the fund-raising shop and enhanced acoustics to assist in secure, sensitive conversations. The organisation’s shop, which is Earlsdon’s oldest and first opened in the 1860s as a provisions merchant, raises around £500 a week for the group. Many of the companies involved carried out the work at cost, while the Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind offered the volunteers a base from which to work while the project was carried out on their Moor Street offices. Trevor Montague, Director of Coventry & District Samaritans, said: “We have been working on this project for several years. In February 2017 I met Peter Deeley and he inspired me with his vision and stressed the importance of

future proofing the work we did – and we now have a base which will serve us well for years to come. “There has been so much work carried out by so many people and the results will make such a difference to our volunteers and to the support they offer the people of the city and the district.” Mike Ballinger project managed the work for the Coventry & District Samaritans alongside city-based architects IDP, and other contractors assisting on the project included Umberslade, Claddagh Electrical, CDE Contractors, Naughton Interiors, D B Heating & Plumbing, Nationwide Windows, Midlands Flooring, Cladding Components, Midlands Floor Screeding and G&M Carpentry. Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group, said: “I think the efforts put in by so many people simply reflect the appreciation of the work undertaken by the Samaritans and its volunteers. “The refurbishment will not only make working conditions much better for the volunteers but it will also improve efficiencies while the work to the shop will hopefully boosts the funds it raises.”

Supporting good causes Whiteley Brooks Engineering Co Ltd, who are based in Binley, Coventry, recently raised £672 from various raffles and have donated it to The Laura Centre, Coventry & Warwickshire.

Jat Purewal, Director at Whiteley Brooks Engineering, which specialises in CNC Machining, wiring and grinding, said “It gives us great pleasure in donating this money to such a worthwhile cause.” Jat and Tom Patrick, Operations, also recently

completed a half marathon which raised further monies for the charity. The Laura Centre provides dedicated bereavement counselling to parents whose child has died and to children or young people who have been bereaved of a parent or significant person.

Butts Park agreement for Coventry United Coventry United F.C. have announced that Butts Park Arena will be the club’s home for at least the nextten years. Agreement has been reached with Coventry Rugby after two successful years as tenants at the ground. The deal will see both United's men's and women's teams play their home games in the city, with the junior sides and academy likely to make the switch in the near future. The club, which is already playing fixtures at Butts Park Arena, announced the long-term deal to play at Coventry

Rugby Club’s home at its annual awards ceremony on May 24. The club, which has both men’s and women’s teams, has big growth ambitions and Coventry United Ladies will be competing in the FA Women’s Championship next season after winning promotion. Shortly after paying tribute to Coventry Rugby Club for its support of Coventry United, Chairman Peter Reynolds announced the deal. He said: “I am very pleased to share that here in my hand the ink is dry on a ten-year deal to play at Butts Park Arena.”

Award-winning legal firm extends Coventry Rugby partnership Coventry Rugby has announced that Band Hatton Button has extended its partnership with the club. The award-winning legal firm, whose new headquarters are within a short drop-goal of Butts Park Arena, will have its logo on the Coventry Rugby playing shirts for the 2019/20 season, representing an increased commitment to the club. Both Coventry Rugby and Band Hatton Button are committed to building strong relationships, and

the club’s Managing Director Nick Johnston says that shared principles like this are important when agreeing new partnerships. “We’re delighted that Band Hatton Button want to develop their relationship with us Sarah Jordan, Head of Marketing and Client Relations from Band Hatton Button, says that there was no hesitation from the firm in agreeing this new deal.

Sarah Windrum (CWLEP) and Cllr Jim O’Boyle.

Scheme opens up long-forgotten view of Coventry city centre

Much-loved sculptures can be seen in their full glory for the first time in more than 50 years as part of a scheme to open a longforgotten view of Coventry city centre. The People of Coventry statues which feature four groups of figures depicting Coventry past, present and future have been obstructed from public view by the Nationwide building on Hertford Street facing Broadgate House. But following the demolition of the 1970s Nationwide building to create a new walkway between Broadgate and Hertford Street, the sculptures by Trevor Tennant – who also designed the Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom Clock – have been illuminated. The work is part of a £2.3 million project, which includes funding of £642,000 from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), and has also involved removing existing concrete paving slabs and installing new LED lighting. The second phase of the work will now get underway to replace the temporary tarmac surface on Hertford Street with new surfacing and lighting before the end of this year. It is the first time for 50 years the link from Broadgate to Hertford Street has been opened to the public to make it more accessible as Coventry starts the countdown to being UK City of Culture in 2021. Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “It’s a long-forgotten view of Coventry City Centre, and many local people and visitors will love it. “We have lots of plans to revamp and improve parts of the city centre and this project is important because it helps to link Hertford Street with Broadgate. “The next phase will be to lay new paving on Hertford Street so we’re hoping it will improve the look and feel of the pedestrianised street too, and be a boost to businesses.” Sarah Windrum, a board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said giving a new lease of life to this area of the city centre will encourage footfall. “The completion of this project will mean a whole new audience will be able to see The People of Coventry lit up in their full glory which is fantastic,” she said. “Opening up this area in Broadgate and Hertford Street will make it more accessible to more people which will be good news for traders and shoppers alike. “The CWLEP is committed to boosting economic growth and increasing culture and tourism throughout Coventry and Warwickshire and this scheme will help to rejuvenate this area in the present and the future.”


Area Focus: Coventry

Two contracts awarded as part of £82m Coventry Station Masterplan

The West Midlands Combined Authority urges Coventry businesses to sign up to Inclusive Leadership Pledge Businesses in Coventry have been urged to help tackle a lack of diversity in the boardrooms of major companies and public bodies. The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street has called on business leaders to sign the Inclusive Leadership Pledge and make a commitment to tackle inequality, boost diversity and embed inclusivity into their organisations. The Inclusive Leadership Pledge was launched in Coventry at a Business Breakfast on Tuesday, June 25 at Coventry City Council’s offices at One Friargate. Andy Street, who also chairs the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “I know from my time as CEO of John Lewis how important diversity can be to a boardroom. “And while diversity is one of the key strengths of the West Midlands region, many of our boardrooms could be missing fresh talent purely because, consciously or subconsciously, they are ignoring a more diverse range of candidates for leadership roles. “It’s not acceptable that some sections of our society are not getting chance to help shape and influence at a leadership level. “The Inclusive Leadership Pledge is a commitment from employers and organisations in the West Midlands that they will actively seek to improve diversity in their leadership – whether by reviewing recruitment, improving staff support or sharing their own best practice with others. “I’d encourage all businesses in Coventry to sign up to the Pledge as soon as they can and underline their commitment to do more to ensure a range of diverse voices can be heard in senior positions in the region.” The Inclusive Leadership Pledge was borne out of a hard-hitting report – Leaders Like You – published last summer by the independent West Midlands Leadership Commission. Leaders Like You focuses on the career experiences of black and ethnic minority communities, women, the LGBT community, disabled people and lower social economic groups such as white, working class boys. Set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Commission warned that the lack of diversity at leadership level risked damaging the region’s economy and wider society. The Leaders Like You report sets out a number of recommendations, including a call for existing leaders to ensure diversity in their workplaces, identify talent and mentor and coach that talent to produce future leaders. Sarah Windrum, a board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “We fully support this initiative to encourage greater diversity in boardrooms because it is important all groups within society are represented to help shape the future of their organisations. “We know there is still work to be done to address imbalances at senior decision-making level but this Pledge is an opportunity to inspire the next generation of board directors and we hope as many businesses and organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire will grasp the opportunity as possible.” Businesses and organisations can get more information and sign the Inclusive Leadership Pledge online at:


Sarah Windrum from the CWLEP with Cllr Jim O’Boyle from Coventry City Council at Coventry Station

A leading construction company has been awarded two major contracts as part of the £82 million Coventry Station Masterplan to transform the fastest growing station outside London. Coventry City Council is working in partnership with Network Rail, Virgin Trains and other rail operators, Transport for West Midlands, Friargate Coventry LLP and other stakeholders to create a new-look gateway for the millions of passengers who arrive in the city by train each year. Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd has been awarded contracts to deliver phase one (footbridge and canopies) as well as phase two which comprises a multi-storey car-

park, bus interchange, a second station building facing onto Warwick Road, a new taxi rank and boulevard ready for Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021. The work involves constructing a new footbridge and canopies along with the structural completion of the access tunnel under Warwick Road, new station entrance and building a 633-space multi-storey car-park which will provide an additional 300 spaces at the site. This part of the project has received £27.510 million funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). Minister for Local Growth Jake Berry MP said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the Midlands Engine and building a Britain fit for the future. “With support from over £27 million from the Local Growth Fund, Coventry Station will provide more train services for hardworking commuters and better access in and out of the station. The upgrades also mean greater

capacity for visitors seeking to do business and see the city’s muchloved attractions. “Our modern Industrial Strategy has transforming transport infrastructure at its heart, and this project is a positive example of it in action.” Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd has begun work at the station which is a Grade II listed building to create a structure with a similar ‘light and airy’ feel. The canopy extensions will also be sympathetic to the existing building. When it is completed, the new footbridge will improve passenger flow and congestion on the platforms and will connect the new station entrance and multi-storey car park once the future phases of work are completed. Marc Riley, Construction Director – Rail at Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, said: “Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd is naturally delighted to have secured these contracts, and to build on our existing relationship with Coventry

City Council, in this exciting phase of the delivery of the Coventry Station Masterplan. “The project will be a key part in the creation of the new Gateway Station that will benefit the millions of passengers who use the station each year and support the city’s preparations for City of Culture.” Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said it was exciting to watch the Coventry Station Masterplan become a reality.He said: “This is another step forward in creating a railway station which reflects the needs of Coventry and the wider area in the short, medium and long-term. “Money from the Local Growth Fund is being invested in this project which will really transform the station. It’s the fastest growing station outside London and this investment will ensure it provides an impressive welcome to the city. It will also help us attract business and leisure visitors to the city.”

The Myton Hospice’s Butterfly Effect campaign takes flight A thousand hand-made butterflies are set to emerge from the historic walls of Coventry Cathedral as The Myton Hospices embarks on its most ambitious campaign to date. Hoping to harness the power of ‘The Butterfly Effect’ the charity and its project partners ARUP have created a 3D installation of butterflies – inspired by the Tower of London poppies - which will be on display at the Cathedral from 19th July – 2nd August 2019. Each limited edition butterfly – costing just £30 – will ‘celebrate the life’ of a loved one and, after forming part of the installation, be returned to families to treasure forever. The Butterfly Effect suggests that even the smallest action can create a ripple with far-reaching effects. And The Myton Hospices is hoping the campaign will not only raise vital money directly, but will also have a lasting impact on awareness and fundraising moving forward, enabling it to continue its ‘amazing work’ supporting terminally ill

patients and their loved ones at its three hospices in Coventry, Rugby and Warwick. The campaign is being spearheaded by former Casualty, Waterloo Road and Doctors actress Holly Matthews whose husband Ross Blair died at Myton’s Warwick Hospice in 2017 following a brave brain tumour battle. Ross was just 32 when he died, leaving behind Holly and their two daughters, Brooke and Texas who were just six and four at the time. Urging people to back the new campaign, Holly said: “I felt a huge sense of relief when Myton enabled me to be a wife again, to be there for the small, flitting moments of Ross being Ross. “Myton provided a safe place for my young family to play and laugh a place of warmth and support for us all. “I hope that you will join me, my family and others in becoming part of The Butterfly Effect.

“Together we can help to make sure Myton will be there for more people like us, who need their support, now and in the future.” Myton CEO Ruth Freeman echoed Holly’s calls for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire to support the campaign. She said: “We are really excited about our Butterfly Effect campaign which, as well being a sight to behold at Coventry Cathedral, will help us spread our message about the services we offer here at Myton, who we support and how you can help. “By buying one of these beautiful butterflies, you will not only be a part of this amazing installation, but will help play a part in the future of our hospices, our patients and their families. “Our vision – and hope – is for The Butterfly Effect of the campaign to have a lasting impact and prove that just one small action now can make a huge difference in the future.”

Olivia Bowskill, Community Engagement Manager at The Myton Hospices and Holly Matthews at Coventry Cathedral supporting The Butterfly Effect.

To find out more about The Butterfly Effect and to buy your very own butterfly visit: butterflyeffect

Insurance Broker Gallagher swaps pens for shovels at local school Insurance Broker Gallagher from Coventry has been getting busy in the garden at local school Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School. Several teams have visited the school in April and May to carry out some clearance, tidying and re-planting in the school garden. As part of its commitment to ethical behaviour and social responsibility, Gallagher provide all staff with 3 volunteer days each year and many of the staff in the Coventry office have taken the opportunity to use some of their volunteer time at Corpus Christi. With a very overgrown garden in front of them, day one involved some difficult conditions with heavy rain and wind but thankfully those working on the second day had a much easier time with

sunny skies throughout. Everyone really enjoyed the gardening work especially as it will provide the school with better access and use of the garden space which has a pond, ‘forest’ and planted beds. This will allow the school to provide more interactive and exciting lessons for the children on wildlife, gardening, plants and animals. Over the course of 4 days, Gallagher staff battled with thick brambles, nettles and general weeds to clear and make safe the area. Some of the Gallagher staff had their first experience using a wheel barrow to transfer the waste to the skip, which was overflowing at the end! Barbara Dainty of Gallagher said: “It was great to see the progress made by the Gallagher teams during our time at Corpus Christi.

All team members obtained a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the fruits of their labour and it was great for the team to work together on a manual project, which is very different from our clerical day jobs!”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire

College hosts games event to inspire the next generation of talent Students across the region who are interested in developing a career in the Games sector got to hear from leading players in industry at an interactive seminar at Royal Leamington Spa College. Hosted by the college’s Games Art department, the two-day event included talks and panel sessions with experts working for internationally-recognised studios such as Playground, Ubisoft and Pixel Toys, along with leading games designers such as The Oliver Twins, Pete Barnard and Alex Darby. Leamington is nationally recognised as leading the way in games development, from small ‘indie’ teams up to international studios working on highly anticipated blockbuster games. The college, part of the multi-site educational group WCG, offers a range of full-time courses at all levels in games art and design. Following a welcome address by Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Weston, visiting students from Stratford upon Avon School, North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, The Chase School, Malvern and the

college’s own Games Art students got a direct insight into the range of specialisms in this dynamic and fast-paced creative sector. Subject matter included the history of game development in Leamington, specialist skills and techniques in animation, 3D modelling and concept art. Students also received key advice and insider tips on how to succeed in the competitive world of games development. Several WCG games art alumni who have gone on to create successful careers in the industry also returned to talk about their personal journey. According to a recent report by the Entertainment Retailers Association, the video games sector now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entire entertainment market. The industry is worth £3.86bn making it more lucrative than the video and music industry combined. Amber Silcock, a student on the BA Honours Games Art course at Royal Leamington Spa College, said: “The Let's Talk Games event was inspirational to students of various levels with information relevant to those just starting to

study games and those seeking to break into the industry.” The 21-year-old undergraduate from Leamington has already secured a full-time job as a Live Operations Coordinator at Excalibur Games, based in Banbury when she graduates this year. She added: “Studying Games Art has allowed me to explore the different sectors of the games industry and excel my skills in environment art and project management. Seizing all opportunities the course offered me helped open the door for me to this role.” Head of Department for Higher Education Games at WCG, Mike Acosta, said: “The event was designed to showcase that 'Silicon Spa' is very much alive and kicking and to give local schools, as well as our own games students, access to leading experts from across the country.” Development Director of Excalibur Games, Steve Stopps addressed the event on the secret of creative collaboration. He said: "Video Games are at the heart of the UK's digital manufacturing

Steve Stopps, Amber Silcock and Mike Acosta

industry, yet so few people are aware of the career opportunities we offer, and our growing contribution to the UK economy. “People can only aspire to jobs they know exist, and this event provides a snapshot of the incredible work done by Leamington Spa College do to ensure its students understand the creative and commercial realities of working in the sector." Matt Weston MP said: “It’s crucial that we foster young talent and the ‘Let’s talk Games’ event was fantastic at providing students with the industry knowledge to kick start their career in the sector.”

Stunning Grade II listed building comes to market A stunning Grade II Listed building, nestled in the heart of historic Warwickshire village Henley-in-Arden, has come onto the market for sale. Commercial property specialist ehB Reeves, based in Leamington Spa, is marketing the sale of George House, on Henley High Street, which consists of two occupied retail units at ground floor level and five apartments at ground and upper floor level – all of which have been sold, subject to ground leases. Part of the attractive building dates back to the 17th Century and was formerly the old George and Dragon Inn.

This part of the building, which overlooks High Street, has an impressive timber façade with a balcony to the first floor, overlooking an imposing solid oak doorway. Jonathan Blood, senior surveyor at ehB, said: “This is a great opportunity to own a truly impressive Grade II listed building which boasts a stunning timber façade. “Henley-in-Arden is an attractive, historic market town with a good range of shopping and leisure services which makes it a hugely desirable location, with George House situated in High Street, in the very heart of it.”

The Grade II Listed George House, in Henley-in-Arden.

Junior footballers will attend parade thanks to sponsor's support

Lillington Juniors’ float at the 2018 Leamington Carnival Parade

A Leamington football club will be able to celebrate the summer in style thanks to the support of a Warwick-based property company. Lillington Juniors FC will once again attend this year’s Leamington Carnival after AC Lloyd renewed their sponsorship of the club’s parade float.

Twenty players from the across the club’s age groups will be on show as the parade makes its way from Campion Hills before heading through Clarendon Avenue and the Parade and stopping at Dormer Place. Last year’s parade saw Lillington Juniors players travel with their float in front of thousands lining the streets in the centre of Leamington. Jodi Cranton, club treasurer at Lillington Juniors, said: “The children who take part in the carnival have a fantastic time and love the atmosphere. The feedback last year was brilliant with those taking part asking to join us again. “This year the float will be a table top football theme. We will have an artificial green floor and tubing to create the pitch, and we have asked all the children involved to draw a face which will be used to create a crowd on the side of the float. “The support from AC Lloyd means that we are able to take part in the Carnival. We don’t

budget for these kinds of events so this kind of financial support is hugely appreciated. “We would like to say a huge thank-you to AC Lloyd for their continued support for Lillington Juniors FC.” The club is now approaching the second of a two-year sponsorship deal with AC Lloyd after enjoying a successful 2018/19 campaign. Alistair Clark, Managing Director of AC Lloyd Homes, said: “It has been a pleasure to continue our relationship with Lillington Juniors. They are a fantastic local club, and an integral part of Leamington’s community. “We are committed to supporting community organisations within the local area, and it’s great to see Lillington Juniors will be able to make the most of their summer celebrations on the back of another excellent season. “Hopefully, we can continue to play a small role in the club’s growth and success for years to come.”

Bear Cleaning celebrates success at ‘The Worthies’ A wheelie bin cleaning service has won ‘Start-Up of the Year’ at The Worthies, an annual award ceremony that honours the people and the businesses who help put the ‘worth’ into Kenilworth. Husband-and-wife team Ted and Kate Hunter founded Bear Cleaning Ltd in October 2017. They have since cleaned thousands of domestic and commercial bins with the support of Kate’s father, Martin Openshaw. The coveted ‘Start-Up’ trophy was presented to the entrepreneurial couple at the Chesford Grange Hotelduring an event hosted by award organisers Kenilworth Chamber of Trade. Kate, who is a former social worker, said: “Everything Ted and I do is for our three boys: Dylan, Tom and Archie. We have given up our secure public sector jobs and invested everything we have into making Bear Cleaning the go-to cleaning company in Coventry and Warwickshire. ‘We’re so grateful to receive an award at such an early stage in our business journey and we’d like to thank the judges and the Chamber for recognising the progress we have made to date.” Bear Cleaning has secured several highprofile commercial cleaning contracts from municipal buildings, regional waste management companies and national chains. They also offer a range of domestic cleaning services – including guttering, driveways, patios and thatched roofs, as well as soft washing rendering and painted surfaces. Kate said: “Ted founded the business initially. Having left the police in 2014, he retrained to become a plasterer but soon realised that blocked guttering was the root cause of damp in most ceilings and walls. He spotted a gap in the market for a cleaning company that could tackle this problem head on, saving property owners thousands in structural damage. ‘Over time he added on more services; then in October 2017 he asked me to come on board so we could start cleaning wheelie bins together. I had this vision of myself wearing pink overalls and red lipstick shouting: “Come on lads! Let’s get these bins cleaned!” but I’m glad I went for it. “My dad volunteers three days a week and my brother lends a helping hand during busy periods. It’s definitely a family-run enterprise that takes a lot of effort, but I believe that anything worth having involves hard work.” Bear Cleaning are registered with the National Association of Wheeled Bin Washers and operate in a highly regulated environment to avoid any polluted water reaching storm drains. Kate said: “Penalty fees for unregulated jet washing of bins in the street can run to tens of thousands of pounds. We’re proud to be offering local companies and individuals a way to enjoy the benefits of a clean bin and a clean conscience without having to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work.” For a full list of winners at The Worthies, visit: worthies-winners-2019/


Area Focus: North Warwickshire

Joco Interiors secures award It's official! Joco, based in the Abbeygate Shopping Centre, Nuneaton, is one of the best gift retailers in the UK and has been announced as the winner of The Greats Gift Retailer Awards 2019 – Independent Gift Retailer Midlands and Wales The Greats Awards, now in their 17th year, were launched by Progressive Gifts & Home magazine to recognise and reward the UK's very best gift retailers across the retail spectrum. Sue Marks, Editor of Progressive Gifts & Home, said: “These dedicated awards for gift retailers have risen immeasurably in status over the years and are now universally acknowledged as being true accolades of excellence. Being selected as a finalist was a fantastic achievement. There was a huge entry this year, with some outstanding, first class entries." All retail finalists were decided as a result of an industry-wide poll of gift suppliers, reps and agents and validation by a panel of experts. The winners of this year’s gift retailing Awards - The Greats 2019 – were revealed at an Awards lunch at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. The Awards recognise and celebrate not only the top independent and multiple gift retailers regionally and nationally, but also outstanding retail employees. Joco were finalists in two categories this year, Independent Retailer of the Year Midlands and Wales and Shop Manager Linda Tandy was a finalist in the Retailer Employee of the Year.


UK Flooring Direct CEO backs his former sports club in Nuneaton The founder and owner of a multi-million pound flooring business has lent his support to the sports club where he used to play football in Nuneaton. Jason Ashby, the chief executive of UK Flooring Direct – which is based in Hinckley, has sponsored Ambleside Community Sports Club and the company’s logo now adorns two boards around the perimeter of the adult football pitch. The pitch is used by Ambleside FC’s Saturday team – who play their matches in the Coventry Alliance Football League – as well as the club’s Sunday side.

They are part of a wider sports club that has more than 3,000 members, half of which who are under-16 and take part in everything from junior football through to taekwondo. Jason used to play on the Ambleside pitches for local side Frank Parker FC and is delighted to support the club. He said: “As the business continues to grow, we are keen to be a great neighbour and have a positive impact on the community. “Ambleside is a club that is close to my heart and we are thrilled to be able to help them.

There is so much more to the club than football and it’s great to see so many youngsters benefitting from the fantastic facilities they have on offer.” UK Flooring Direct moved into Hinckley in 2017 from Bayton Road and sells a range of flooring including real wood, laminate and vinyl via its website and also has a showroom for local trade and retail customers at its headquarters. John Bosworth, chairman of Ambleside Community Sports Club, said: “Jason was a very good player although I don’t like

to say that to his face! It’s great that his company are in a position to give something back to the club. “We have a lot going on here and we have worked hard to make ourselves self-sufficient with events in our function room, such as weddings and birthdays. “The money we get in through sponsorship is a massive help and ensures we can deliver such a wide range of sports for the local community, especially in keeping young people fit, active and engaged.”

Company backs show again

Paul Doherty and Charlie Weetman

A thriving petroleum company fuelled its support for the region’s agricultural industry by backing the Kenilworth Show for a tenth year. RIX Petroleum Midlands, based on Station Road in Coleshill, was the principal sponsor for the show which

took place on Saturday, June 8 on the showgrounds opposite Stoneleigh Park. The company opened for business in the region in 2009 and has supported Coventry and Warwickshire’s largest one-day agricultural show ever since.

Over the past decade RIX Petroleum Midlands has seen significant growth, growing from two tankers and drivers to a fleet of 13. RIX Petroleum is a fifthgeneration family business and has a history of strong relationships in agriculture. Director Paul Doherty praised the firm’s relationship with the agricultural community in the region as a key driver behind the business’s growth. He said: “We do a tremendous amount of business within the agricultural sector across Coventry and Warwickshire and supporting the Kenilworth Show is a fantastic way to give back to a community that has always supported us. “When we set up the business in the region, the Kenilworth Show was one of the first events we supported and year-on-year

it has been a very successful relationship. “We are continuing to expand our client base in the agricultural sector and our success is directly associated with the loyalty of the local farming fraternity.” The Kenilworth Show is organised by Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society (KADAS). Charlie Weetman, Director of the Kenilworth Show, added: “Having support of companies like RIX Petroleum is vital in helping us to put on the best possible show each year. “Paul has been a valued friend of the show for many years now and joined the KADAS committee to further support us.”

First NUCKLE phase completed as trains run though from Coventry to Nuneaton Trains will be running hourly from Nuneaton through to Leamington, calling at Coventry and Kenilworth, as the first phase of the NUCKLE development comes to an end. The announcement marks years of work to achieve the through service which will see a significant

improvement in Warwickshire’s rail connectivity. The service will also enjoy improved rolling stock. New class 172 engine and two carriages will operate on the service replacing the current 153 engine and single carriage. It marks further good news for the county’s train users following

the announcement that Kenilworth Station, which opened last year, will be offering a Sunday service from May 19th Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities at Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is excellent news for the county, opening up greater transport

choices for travel to employment, learning and leisure destinations, previously only accessible by car. We hope to see more and more people opting to take the train and leaving the car at home, improving air quality and reducing congestion and travel times”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Area Focus: South Warwickshire

Businesses encouraged to ‘talk rubbish’

Businesses in Stratford are being encouraged to check their waste management contracts to see if they can save money under a new commercial waste deal brokered by the local Business Improvement District (BID) team. Stratforward BID and Coventry-based waste management provider Waste Solutions have teamed up to deliver the new scheme, which gives over 400 BID member businesses in the town exclusive prices for a new complete waste management service. It is hoped the deal will not only save money for businesses but also help improve the local street environment by offering a twice-daily seven-day-a-week collection service.

Stratforward Director Joe Baconnet said: “Everyone knows we are in unprecedented trading times. Doing business on the High Street is tough, so every penny we can save our members helps. "Waste collection may not be glamorous or an outwardly obvious cost to a business but it is vital to every business and far more expensive than you would think. "We went out to the market on behalf of the businesses in Stratford and Waste Solutions came back with by far the most competitive prices. "But it is not just about the money. When you live and work in a place as beautiful and famous as Stratford, with tens of thousands of visitors a year, it is vital that the town looks its best

all the time. Many of our businesses struggle to get the waste management service they need and this often results in unsightly rubbish on our streets. By working more closely with a preferred service provider across the town we hope this problem will be reduced." Businesses will be able to take advantage of services including the collection of general waste and recycling as well as several specialist services including clinical and hazardous waste or confidential paper collections and skip provision. Charlotte Todd, Head of Commercial Waste for Waste Solutions, the commercial waste

"Waste collection may not be glamorous or an outwardly obvious cost to a business but it is vital to every business and far more expensive than you would think.”

Work starts on multi-million pound development in Warwick Work is under way on 30,000 sq ft of new business, production and warehousing units in Warwick. AC Lloyd has appointed Coventry-based Deeley Construction to complete the £6 million development which will see 15 new units created off Plato Close in Tachbrook Park. Completion is expected in December 2019 and over half of the units have already been sold – with planning permission secured from Warwick District Council earlier this year. The units are available for purchase or rent and cater for a

wide range of industries including hi-tech, engineering and storage. It could attract 80 new jobs to the region. AC Lloyd, which is also based at Tachbrook Park, has owned the 132-acre site since the 1980s. The development and investment company has previously worked with Deeley Construction on a similar successful project, a £9 million development at Kites Park in Princes Risborough. Mark Edwards, managing director at AC Lloyd Commercial, said: “We are delighted to be working with a local company again in Deeley Construction to

arm of Coventry City Council’s waste services team, said: “ We are delighted to be the official waste partner to Stratforward BID. We want to help save businesses money whilst providing them with a safe and reliable service. We’re looking forward to working with BID members. “We don’t view ourselves as a contractor but as a partner, so we will discuss waste needs with a business before they sign any contracts. “We offer a range of services suitable for any size of business at competitive prices and encourage all businesses to get in touch to see how we can help.”

Mark Edwards (AC Lloyd) and Martin Gallagher (Deeley Construction).

deliver this much-needed commercial development in Warwick. “Work is starting on-site in difficult times but despite those wider economic circumstances, there is still a clear demand for units such as this in the region. “Over half of the space had already been sold before we began construction and we have had significant interest in the remaining units. “It is the next stage in the expansion of Tachbrook Park as more and more businesses are attracted to a hugely successful development.”

Martin Gallagher, managing director at Deeley Construction, added: “Our team has now set up on-site and work is underway on these important new units to address the need for more commercial space in the area. “Creating business space such as this can only provide a boost to the local economy. “We have had a great relationship with AC Lloyd for many years and we look forward to working closely with them again at Tachbrook Park throughout this development.”

Contechs boss named as first national patron of Hospice

Warwick businessman and devoted fundraiser Peter Jarvis has been named the first-national Patron of Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice. The Contechs boss was chosen for the new role following a successful four years as chairman of the charity’s business group in Coventry. Since its inception the business group has been dedicated to ensuring the hospice has enough income to provide baseline nursing and ancillary staff – allowing it to open its doors 24/7, 365 days a year. The charity’s trustees say Peter’s ‘limitless’ energy and passion to raise money and awareness of the exceptional work of Zoe’s Place, makes him ideally suited to the new role. They are confident his determination and drive will now be felt across all three hospices – based in Coventry, Liverpool and Middlesbrough – which collectively have the challenge of raising £4.4m each year to remain open. Peter said: “I am thrilled to have been chosen as the first-ever national Patron of Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice. It is a huge honour for which I am incredibly proud. Zoe’s Place is a remarkable charity which touches the hearts of everyone who becomes involved. “My years on the business group have been hugely rewarding and I hope to replicate the success of the last four years in my new role. It will be a huge challenge, but one that I look forward to greatly.” Zoe’s Place provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants suffering from life-limiting or lifethreatening conditions. Each facility provides an essential lifeline to many families enduring the hardest battle of their lives. Being dependent on donations, the charity faces new challenges every year in its continuous bid to remain open. In his new role, Peter will help support the three hospices both individually and collectively giving them greater fundraising power. Zoe’s Place Chairman of Trustees Professor Jack Scarisbrick MBE said: “We are delighted that Peter has agreed to take on this new role, which is pivotal to the charity’s future fundraising efforts. “Peter’s dedication and commitment to Zoe’s Place is unrelenting. He works tirelessly to raise awareness of the charity in Coventry and ensure that the hospice has enough money every year to continue its vital service in the city. “We are confident that Peter will help the charity to capitalise on the untapped potential of bringing all three hospices closer together and we wish him the very best of luck in his new role.”


Area Focus: Rugby sponsored column

Rugby care home celebrates VE Day with 1940’s themed spring fayre

Understanding your business's true potential As many businesses have discovered, growth not only takes a strong vision but also a clear business strategy. The difficulty in building this strategy occurs in navigating an ever-changing financial environment. At Cottons, we have encountered numerous businesses that have either stalled in their growth or have been simply unable to get off the ground due to the vast array of challenges presenting themselves at every step of a business's development. Introducing Corporate Finance. Corporate finance is not a familiar term for many smaller businesses. Many business owners are not aware of the wealth of services offered by partnering your business with a Corporate Finance team. From start-ups with a new idea to develop, to the assisting in the raising of expansion finance and offering strategic and employee incentives advice during development phases, to ultimately advising on business succession, a Corporate Finance team can offer you true business support when it is most needed. With the assistance provided, business owners are able to focus on developing new ideas, products and direction. Indeed with the support, expertise and advice delivered by involving a Corporate Finance team a vast array of options not previously identified can be pursued. Being able to assist and support clients is a key part of the ethos of Cottons, so having our own Corporate Finance Team is a real benefit enabling us to be there in partnership with you throughout your business lifecycle. Who to contact next? Cottons Corporate Finance, based in Rugby, understand the needs and challenges faced and offer competitively priced assistance to help give businesses and their owners a competitive and strategic advantage. If you would like to discuss your business with Cottons Corporate Finance or arrange for an initial no-obligation meeting, please contact either Guy or James on 01788 579033 or email or

A Rugby care home recently celebrated VE day by hosting a 1940s themed spring fayre for residents, relatives and members of the local community. Anya Court Care Home, on Dunchurch road, hosted the celebration to mark 74 years since the surrender of Germany in World War Two. The special event, which also raised £320 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, was attended by more than 80 people, including the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Tom Mahoney. At the event, team members dressed up in wartime outfits and invited visitors to enjoy an array of stalls, a raffle, tombola and special performance from Rob Wilson, who sang a variety of classic songs. During the afternoon, pony rides were available for visiting children, alongside face painting, a petting zoo and a replica war tank. General Manager at Anya Court, Laura Russell said: “I couldn’t be prouder of what my team achieved. “It was such a wonderful day for the residents at the home, their family and friends, members of the local community and the team here at Anya Court.” Lifestyles Team Leader at Anya Court Care Home, Sue Mitchell said: “It was an absolutely amazing afternoon. Every single smile melted my heart and made all of the planning worthwhile. Resident Amy Cooke, 90, said: “The spring fayre was a lovely afternoon with so much going on. There was an amazing variety of activities on the day.”

“At the event, team members dressed up in wartime outfits and invited visitors to enjoy an array of stalls, a raffle, tombola and special performance from Rob Wilson, who sang a variety of classic songs.”

Major development in Rugby already boosting local economy The new Houlton development is already having a positive impact on the Rugby economy and that is only going to increase, business leaders have heard. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Rugby branch held its latest committee meeting at the Visitor Centre at Houlton where over 140 homes are now occupied and first primary school has been opened. The Urban & Civic development – on the former Rugby Radio Station site – will eventually see 6,200 homes built, three primary schools, a secondary school, a district centre, a GP surgery, community facilities and open spaces. Sixteen hectares have also been set aside for employment space including small industrial and office accommodation, which the Chamber has been campaigning for right across the region.

Several local companies have already played a part in the scheme and a new £35 million link road, which will be r eady in July, will help to drive residents into the town centre. The branch event heard from Urban & Civic’s Joh Thomas, who said houses at the development were selling well. The meeting was also given updates from Rich Warren, the new operations director at Rugby First; from Warwickshire County Council’s Melanie Adekale on health and wellbeing; and the Chamber’s Lizzie Mara on the work the organisation is doing to bring schools and business together. Karen Shuter, the chair of the Chamber’s Rugby branch, said: “The sheer size and scale of Houlton is incredible and to see the first elements taking shape is fantastic. “The Tuning Fork, the award- winning eatery on-site, is already trading extremely well, more than 140 families are now living there and the first school is open.

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

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


Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Further growth for law firm’s rural sector team dynamics of those in the rural sector, especially that uniquely long-view farming families and businesses have to take, as well as recognising the challenges they face each day. “Twelve-months on from the launch of our rural sector focused group and we have recorded significant growth in both instructions and our dedicated team.” Lodders has worked with farmers, landowners and rural businesses throughout its 230-year history. Through its Rural Sector team, it brings together legal experts that reflect the modern and changing legal needs of businesses, families and individuals working and living in the rural community and countryside.

Agricultural solicitors solicitors Priscilla Macleod (left) and Sarah Richardson (right) have joined Lodders’ Rural Sector team headed by James Spreckley (centre).

Following sustained demand for its specialist rural sector legal advice, law firm Lodders has made two new hires to its team of legal specialists dedicated to agricultural and countryside sector clients. Returning to Lodders is agricultural property specialist Sarah Richardson, who rejoins the firm as a solicitor after a period in the Rural Business and Landed Estates team at Cheltenham firm Charles Russell Speechleys. A specialist in land and rural property, land transfers, agricultural tenancies and licences, rights and covenants affecting land and commercial tenancies, Sarah is a member of the CLA and ALA. Sarah said: “As I know from my previous time working for the firm, Lodders has a great reputation and is a good working environment and

I am looking forward to again being involved in a variety of high-level, interesting work, as part of a firm that is focused on delivering specialist rural sector legal advice combined with exceptional client service.” Also joining as a solicitor, Priscilla Macleod specialises in residential and commercial property law, including landlord and tenant matters, acquisitions and disposals, and property development work. She was previously at Thomas Legal, Gloucester. The latest appointments grow Lodders’ Rural Sector team to 22 lawyers, which includes ten partners and the firm’s ‘rural ambassadors’ David Lodder and Rod Bird. James Spreckley, head of the Rural Sector team, said: “Lodders really does understand the demands and

James said: “The Rural Sector team enables us to offer a full range of legal services that are focused on the needs of those in all parts of the rural economy; the demand for this type of joined up assistance has exceeded expectations. Sarah and Priscilla’s appointments add complementary skills and knowledge to the team. “With the legal world getting ever more complicated, there is significant appetite for our client friendly legal advice from both businesses and individuals living and working in the rural community. “Lodders’ portfolio of specialist legal services and sector teams work with every aspect of the rural community, such as providing advice on farm property matters including the development of land through strategic land options, and succession planning, but can also help with issues such as contentious probate and matrimonial matters.”

“Lodders really does understand the demands and dynamics of those in the rural sector, especially that uniquely long-view farming families and businesses have to take, as well as recognising the challenges they face each day. Twelve-months on from the launch of our rural sector focused group and we have recorded significant growth in both instructions and our dedicated team.”

Martin Green, head of Lodders’ Private Client Practice and its Senior Partner

Lodders crowned Best Private Client Law Firm in national awards

Lodders Solicitors has been voted the UK’s Best Private Client Law Firm in the first ever ‘Legal Awards’.

The independent Legal Awards, organised by SME News, recognise and spotlight the very best small to medium sized legal enterprises across the UK, with The Best Private Client Law Firm 2019 judged by a panel of independent judges from business, media, and journalism. With offices in Stratford upon Avon, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Henley in Arden, Lodders’ private client work has been at the heart of its business for almost 230 years, and today the firm works with private individuals and privately-owned businesses, agricultural and rural enterprises. The firm’s private client practice has a dedicated team of seven partners, twelve solicitors and legal executives and five additional staff, and provides a range of legal services including all aspects of wills, trusts, estates and tax planning, tax compliance, succession planning, and care and capacity matters. Martin Green, head of the Private Client Practice and Lodders’ Senior Partner, said: ”We are thrilled to receive the award and such great recognition of our personal, partner-led service, and exceptional legal expertise and talent. “We seek to provide every client with the very best discreet legal advice, service and support, and each member of our team is approachable and supportive, with the expertise to solve even the most complex legal problems. “Generations of clients have chosen Lodders for its friendly, personal service and thoughtful advice, which I believe are amongst the reasons for our national reputation for excellence – that is most recently recognised by this award, as well as by our consistent top tier rankings from both Chambers guide to the UK Legal Profession and the Legal 500.”


Manufacturing & Technology

What tech solutions are UK manufacturers utilising? By Tom Mongan Manufacturing, as you might expect, is one of the most heavily technological industries in today’s society. With the advent of a new era of industry dawning, what new solutions are UK manufacturers taking advantage of – and what more could be done to take firms even further into the future of industrial development? The aerospace industry has historically been an arena for new tech to be tested and perfected. Airbus, although not a UK company, have a huge presence in the British aerospace industry. The airline manufacturer employs thousands at its sites in Bristol and North Wales, and the company has been trialing the use of autonomous vehicles at the latter site with the aim of implantation within the next few years. Outlined in their trails, Airbus aims to use transport vehicles to carry the vast wing assemblies to be mounted on the fuselage. Automated machinery in factories is nothing new, but autonomous vehicles – especially ones carrying out such an important task – are definitely pushing the envelope of what’s possible. Britain’s automotive industry has also taken advantage of a host of innovative new technologies in their manufacturing processes. McLaren Automotive, Britain’s answer to the supercar establishment, recently opened a dedicated composites production facility in the north of England. The facility – which creates composites such as carbon fibre weaves for the marque’s road and race cars – makes use


of Stratasys Additive Manufacturing. McLaren’s adoption of 3D printing, one of the most advanced and efficient methods of manufacture, makes them a frontrunner globally when it comes to embracing the most up-to-date technology out there. Jaguar Land Rover, although owned by the international Tata conglomerate, is another jewel in the crown of British vehicle production, and their plants make use of advanced manufacturing methods. Recently the company announced that it would be opening a facility specifically for IT and software development in order to implement interconnectivity in its cars and also in the manufacturing process itself. There’s one term that has been on everyone’s lips for a while and that is Industry 4.0, but what does that actually mean? For comparison, the term Web 2.0 signified a monumental shift in internet and communications from the very basic early websites and tech to WiFi-enabled devices, social media, user-generated content and other game-changing developments. Industry 4.0 is much the same, and this term signifies the fourth era of modern industry. Industry 1.0 was the birth of the modern industry in the 1800s, 2.0 ushered in electrification and assembly lines, and 3.0 was the age of the computer. Industry 4.0 is the age of AI, cloud computing, and interconnectivity to maximise efficiency and push the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to manufacturing. These new technologies can be utilised to turn production facilities into ‘smart factories’, where production can be managed and optimised through AI and automated systems. So, what can UK manufacturers stand to gain if more 4.0 tech was incorporated?

Artificial intelligence not only allows for more efficient factories and could, in fact, have uses across the entire chain of production from supply to production to customer interaction. With the ability of AI to monitor and intelligently adjust systems to maximise efficacy, human error and inefficient can be trimmed out of supply chains and distribution. Cloud computing will also allow for connected machinery in factories and could potentially be coupled with advanced artificial intelligence so that analytics can be processed and any necessary changes to the manufacturing process can be done automatically. You may have heard of the ‘Internet of Things’ with regards to the interconnected network of phones, tablets, computers et cetera. In the world of manufacture, the specialised Industrial internet of things or IIOT is very much the same. Here, instead of being able to control a smart TV with a smartphone, for example, an entire factory or assembly line can be monitored by sensors so that data can be harvested.

Predictive maintenance is another huge potential benefit for UK manufacturers that decide to implement more 4.0 tech in their facilities. A faulty machine in an assembly line is a huge hassle – the cost of fixing or replacing, the time lost, the sub-standard products being made – but AI may be able to stop this. With AI’s ability to make predictions based on data, a connected smart factory may be able to spot a fault before it happens and save a huge amount of money, time, and resources. The UK has long been a leader in technical innovation in developing new products, but now the focus of UK manufacturers must turn to implementing the benefits of industry 4.0 into how these products are made, in order to remain competitive with global manufacturers. But the future looks bright as the government continues to invest in industry 4.0, and soon we may see a radical transformation in how products are made, distributed, and developed.

“There’s one term that has been on everyone’s lips for a while and that is Industry 4.0, but what does that actually mean? For comparison, the term Web 2.0 signified a monumental shift in internet and communications from the very basic early websites and tech to WiFi-enabled devices, social media, user-generated content and other game-changing developments.”

The University of Birmingham brings cutting-edge UK science and innovation to solve SMEs’ product, process and R&D challenges The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a research and innovation organisation at the forefront of UK Science and Technology. Through the Bridging for Innovators (B4I) programme STFC is funding the University of Birmingham to deliver Science 2 Industry (S2I) in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre. Science 2 Industry aims to solve technical product, process and R&D challenges that may be impeding productivity or stunting business growth in the Midlands region and beyond. We have launched the Science 2 Industry project, to offer small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), across the region, funded access to a suite of high-tech scientific capabilities, facilities and knowledge. Some of these capabilities include: l Supercomputing, Computational Chemistry, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Imaging, Cyber Security and Blockchain Technology l Advanced Imaging and Material Characterisation l Space Science l Materials development l Micro-electronics l Lasers l Photonics Regional SMEs across all sectors can receive funding from this programme. Alongside access to these UK-wide and globally recognised facilities the programme also supports access to a community of over 2000 scientists, technologists and engineers – at the forefront of their field, whom are ready to solve your technical challenges. Science 2 Industry is the Midlands’ home for big science. By combining STFC together with the University of Birmingham and the Manufacturing Technology Centre; Science 2 Industry has an unrivalled one-stop technical solutions offer for businesses across the Midlands. We want to help your business maximise productivity, minimise costs, reduce waste and create a positive economical and societal impact.

DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT As a global leader in aero-engine provision Rolls-Royce strives to make continuous improvements in crucial areas such as fuel efficiency, noise reduction and emissions performance. With innovation at the forefront of the company’s reputation RollsRoyce wanted to improve its design to assembly process and its overall product quality. Working with scientists, technologists and engineers from STFC, they was able to speed up its design to build process by using state-of-the-art high-performance computing and enhance the quality of its components by using cutting-edge imaging technology that could detail component performance from the atomic to the whole assembly level – supporting Rolls-Royce in maintaining its global position.

The University of Birmingham also offers a variety of initiatives that support SMEs across various Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Our academic links can help to nurture your project through its life cycle; from developing skills, resources and personal development, to establishing feasibility and proof of concept. We engage in ground-breaking collaborative and contract research partnerships and can source funding support to transform ideas into realities. Each year thousands of students graduate from the university, creating a motivated and sizeable talent pipeline for your business.

The Science 2 Industry programme welcomes interest from businesses who require support to solve their technical challenges. After your initial request for information, we will work closely with you to understand the technical problem, support your application process and match you to an appropriate facility to support your desired outcome.

For further information on how we can help solve your business challenge, please get in touch at: or visit


ARE YOU SEARC HI N G F OR YOU R N EX T EN GI N EERI N G AP P REN TIC E? Become an MTC Partner Employer and benefit from Apprentices exposed to new and emerging technologies.

We will support you in recruiting the right fit for your business and provide essential apprenticeship funding advice. The role of the MTC is to train the next generation of young engineers and then deploy them into businesses to support the future of UK manufacturing.

IN TERESTED AN D WAN T TO F IN D OU T M ORE? Contact Colin Bancroft, Employer Placement Leader, using or call 02476 701 554.

Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre | Pilot Way | Ansty Business Park | Coventry | CV7 9JU

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Welcome Centre Coventry

The perfect place for your next event

for showcasing any exhibition, corporate event or celebration. Located on the ground floor, the auditorium offers easy access for guests and loading.

The Welcome Centre is a purpose built conference and events centre in the heart of the Midlands. Catering from groups of 5 up to 650, we are situated in the city of Coventry. With excellent transport links, state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional customer service, the Welcome Centre is the perfect place for your next event!

The Inspire Room can accommodate up to 150 theatre or 100 cabaret style. The room offers sweeping views of Coventry city centre with natural light in abundance.

The Grace Auditorium is an impressive, purpose-built room designed to accommodate up to 650 delegates theatre, and 300 cabaret. Flexible seating layouts, a large raised stage and no pillars, provides a blank canvas suitable

Inspire can be divided into two soundproof interconnecting rooms each having their own installed projector and screen. In split configuration Inspire 1 seats 90 and Inspire 2 up to 20 in theatre style.

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CRE 8 is the perfect setting for executive meetings, with an emphasis on innovation and productivity, above formality. Suitable for up to 8 delegates, CRE 8 has a variety of special features included in the room package such as magnetic walls, comfortable sofa seating, unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks, and snack bars - both healthy and sugary! Serenity seats 50 in theatre style benefiting from an installed data projector and electric screen. The room has its own lounge and refreshment area (Serenity Lounge)

and has conveniently located restroom facilities on the same floor. Elegance seats up to 25 theatre style or 15 cabaret style. Large windows provide plenty of natural light. Elegance is equipped with a data projector and electric screen. The Amy room is ideal for smaller gatherings, seating up to 20 in theatre style. It has a small self contained kitchen area, lending itself to more practical meetings. Telephone : 024 7622 6064 Email:

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The Welcome Centre 47 Parkside Coventry CV1 2HG


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Sound advice in an uncertain world

When there is uncertainty you need someone you can trust – whatever the challenge – as multi-award winning Accountants you’ll be in safe hands with us. Burgis & Bullock are Chartered Accountants who offer more than basic accounting services. If you’d like to deal with a local firm who are not simply interested in your history, but are more focused on your future – your business growth, your ambitions, planning your retirement and making sure your assets are adequately protected, you need to talk to us. With over 125 years of helping Warwickshire businesses, our team of specialists are committed to your success and as members of TAG Alliances, one of the top three service associations in the world, we have access to international support when you need it most. So for help on securing your financial future, tax planning, raising finance, cloud accounting or simply keeping on the right side of HM Revenue and Customs, talk to us.

Contact us today or visit our website for more information.

Tel: 0345 177 5500

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


Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Wealth Management

Investment Planning Reliable wealth management advice and the right investment strategy are crucial to securing your financial wellbeing. If you are looking to invest for income or growth, I can provide quality advice, comprehensive solutions and ongoing service. I believe that investors are looking for two simple things; the maximum return, for the lowest possible risk. With that in mind, True Potential have built their own range of Portfolios with the aim of helping you do more with your money in today’s rapidly changing world. As a client, you will also have 24/7 access to your investments on your personal client site and the ability to top up on-the-go with True Potential’s world-first impulseSave® technology.

Paul Wilkinson - Financial Adviser As a Financial Adviser with True Potential Wealth Management, part of the highly-successful True Potential group of companies, I’m committed to delivering better value and choice for my clients. For me, planning for the financial future is more than just looking at numbers; it’s the people and dreams behind the figures that matter the most. I like to help people and think of myself as an artist starting with a blank canvass , the blank canvass being YOU. I put myself in YOUR position and using my years of experience ask myself the question “What would I do if I was you”? Recognising that everyone’s personal situations are unique, I will take the time to get to know you and what’s important. Whether it’s a worry-free retirement, saving for your children’s education, fulfilling a lifelong ambition, running a prosperous business or leaving

a legacy to your loved ones or a cherished cause, I can work with you every step of the way. Managing your wealth can be complex and time-consuming. I can simplify your life by addressing all aspects of your financial wellbeing from investments and insurance to tax and estate planning while offering exclusive opportunities. Through the use of True Potential’s award-winning technology, I can provide straightforward and transparent advice in a simple and convenient way along with giving you 24/7 online access to your complete financial affairs. As a result, you will be better informed, confident and empowered to reach your financial goals. For over 30 years, I’ve been helping individuals and families reach their financial goals. I became a qualified adviser and since that time, I’ve continually enhanced my knowledge and expertise through industry events and formal training.

Beyond Wealth Management

I encourage you to take the time to explore my website and discover more about my ‘Beyond Wealth Management’ service and how you can benefit.

My clients say...

“Since Paul became my financial adviser he has been involved in all of my investments and has monitored the financial markets for the best way forward. He has arranged my portfolio to give me flexible income using tax efficiency and has given me peace of mind in retirement. He is always able to answer queries and explains complicated investment terms in an easy to understand way and in the rare times where not, he knows a qualified person who does. I have recommended him to friends of mine and would not hesitate in continuing to do so. Mrs S Mason Warwickshire” S M, Warwickshire

At True Potential Wealth Management, our clients are better informed, con dent and empowered to reach their nancial goals. We achieve this by using the latest technology to provide straightforward and transparent advice in a simple and convenient way. Plus, unique to True Potential, you can top up your investments at any time from anywhere in the world with impulseSave®. We make no compromise. We are beyond wealth management. To bene t from our innovative approach to managing your wealth, contact me today:

Paul Wilkinson DipFA MIFS (MP&ER) With investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can uctuate in value and you may get back less than you invest. Tax rules can change at any time. Head Of ce: Gateway West, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 8NX. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN 529810. Registered in England and Wales as a Limited Liability Partnership No. OC356611.

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Education & Skills

What would you do with an extra 20 hours per week?

Coventry training company celebrates Apprentice success JBC Skills Training has announced that two of its infrastructure technician apprentices have gained distinctions as part of their level 3 IT apprenticeship results. The company has congratulated Dalvir Sandhu and Rian Chauhan on their hard work and excellent results. The company is also supporting The Geek Guy, who have done some great work providing schools in India with much-needed IT equipment, affording the community opportunities to develop their skills using technology.

Maybe spend more time with the family, focus on growing your business, or just have some extra time for yourself? As a coach, I see business owners doing everything themselves and working much harder than they want or need to – and still do not have time to do whatthey want. Also working like that usually means you’re compromising other important areas of your life – precious family time with your loved ones often being sacrificed. If that’s you, then there are 3 things that you can do that will make a huge difference: • Remodeling your week so you only spend time on the work you love and which makes the biggest impact. • Significantly improve the effectiveness of your team so they carry more of the load for you. • Massively improve your ability to recruit and retaining A grade staff capable of delivering incredible results.

Think that can’t be done? It can just ask my clients for example: Mark from PAB Coventry who can now choose to spend time away from his business whilst driving the strategic direction ensuring it continues to go from strength to strength. Tony from The Events Company who can now take more holidays, focus on the Strategic Development of his business and has doubled profits. Interested in finding out how this could work for you? I’m running a free workshop for C&W Business Owners with 8+ employees who want to identify how to free up 20 hours per week to focus on whatever is most important. In the workshop, I will share with you 3 simple exercises which will guide you to freeing up significant amounts of time very quickly. The first step is to book an initial 15 minute conversation at

David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390

Coventry University courses score highly in Guardian University Guide 2020 Coventry University has retained its place in the top 15 ranked universities in the UK and seen more of its courses highly rated in The Guardian University Guide 2020. The university has been placed in the top 15 for the fifth year in a row and has seven subjects featuring in the top five rankings. Course highlights include social policy and administration (3rd) hospitality, event management and tourism (3rd) mechanical engineering (3rd) nursing and

midwifery (4th) film production and photography (4th) building town and country planning (4th) architecture (5th) journalism, publishing and PR (8th) and geography and environmental studies (10th). The biggest rise was for social policy and administration that moved up eleven places from 14th last year to 3rd this year. Journalism, publishing and PR also saw a big jump increasing six places with mechanical engineering moving up four places.

Building, town and county planning, geography and environmental studies, as well as nursing and midwifery courses all moved up three places each. English and creative writing, geography and environmental studies as well as design and crafts also feature in the top 20 subjects. In total Coventry University has 35 subjects in the Guardian University Guide 2020. Overall, the university received scores of 89% student satisfaction on the quality of teaching, 87%

students’ satisfaction on their courses and 81% of students in employment six months after graduating, based on ratings given in last year’s National Student Survey (NSS) Vice-Chancellor John Latham said: “Seeing more of our courses placed in the top five rankings is something we are all very proud of. Together with high student satisfaction scores, we are pleased to see our investment in teaching and facilities being reflected in such a positive way.”

MTC apprentice to compete on world stage An apprentice trained at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre in Coventry is to represent the UK at the international Skills Olympics competition in Russia. Jack McCarthy, who was one of the first cohort of apprentices to be trained at the AMTC - part of the Manufacturing Technology Centre - will compete at the WorldSkills competition in Kazan in August, having successfully competed in WorldSkills UK to win his place. Jack, who is 20 and comes from Coventry began his apprenticeship at the AMTC in 2014, completing it last year. He now works for DMG Mori in Coventry. He will compete in Russia in the CNC turning category.


Apprentices from all over the world will battle it out to win gold, silver or bronze in their chosen skill. The UK is currently tenth in the WorldSkills rankings. Paul Rowlett, managing director of the AMTC, said it was a great achievement for Jack. Steve Finn, managing director at DMG Mori said, " Jack is a fantastic example of how the crosscollaboration between different industrial partners - in this case the AMTC and DMG Mori - can produce exceptionally wellrounded engineers that will go on to shape the future of British manufacturing."

The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers. The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

Education & Skills

sponsored column

Creative businesses given a glimpse into the future at AR/VR event An exploration into how museums and creative businesses might work in a virtual world in the future was held in Coventry. Coventry University’s Institute of Coding and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum put together the event in order to support the creative sector in navigating the complex world of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR). The event was centred on a roundtable discussion on how to best utilise the new technologies before an afternoon workshop took place introducing attendees to some of the hardware involved. Representatives from museums across the country, the team that will deliver UK City of Culture in Coventry and the University of the Arts London attended the event, which was designed to open their eyes to how AR/VR can boost their understanding of its practical uses. The day was also organised to help the Institute of Coding shape training courses around the technology by analysing

what kind of job opportunities could be created by companies looking to utilise AR/VR. The Institute of Coding is currently preparing a range of courses aimed at everyone from management positions and below across a variety of sectors, to help build a greater understanding of technology.

Helping hand at Godiva helps bring our creative students to forefront

Louise Phipps, Business Development Manager at Coventry University’s Institute of Coding, said: “A lot of businesses in the creative sector could massively benefit from working with AR/VR but need to build their understanding before investing. “That could include getting a grasp of the cost behind purchasing equipment or commissioning someone to create an immersive experience at their site, or even just a general understanding amongst their team. “As we look to create our portfolio of courses, the opportunity to hear first-hand from such a wide-ranging group on what they know about AR/VR and what they may need from it is invaluable.

Richard Lane, Louise Phipps of the Institute of Coding alongside Tony Guillan of the Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum’s Kerrie Suteu at the event to educate businesses on the benefits of AR/VR

“We now have a better idea of the type of skills that are going to become more and more prominent as the technology continues to grow.” Kerrie Suteu, Creative Media and Digital Manager at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, said: “Working with the Institute of Coding Coventry

University on this event has been a positive experience for us. The interest it has generated and the dialogue during the roundtable discussion has shown us the potential of AR/VR for museums such as ours and highlighted how this can be done in simple terms over the coming years.”

WMG Academy Coventry ranked as the TOP sixth form in Coventry WMG Academy Coventry Principal Matt Brady said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as number one in Coventry. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff and students.” WMG Academy Coventry achieved a 100% pass rate at A-level and BTEC in 2018. The academy in Mitchell Avenue opened in 2014 and is now the number one University Technical College in the UK for students moving on to degree WMG Academy Coventry has been ranked as the TOP sixth form in Coventry, according to official school performance tables published recently. The academy’s sixth form is number one out of 26 in the city, ahead of all state-funded and independent schools.

WMG Academy Coventry boasts the only sixth form in the city to be classed as ‘well above average’ in the Government’s main sixth form measurement, Progress Score. It is also the top non-fee paying sixth form for percentage of students achieving at least AAB at A-level.

apprenticeships, with companies paying students’ university tuition fees and a salary. It is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted across all categories and is partnered with the University of Warwick and businesses including Aston Martin, Bosch, National Grid, Severn Trent, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt and Jaguar Land Rover. Its sister academy in Solihull has also recently received a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating.

“We are thrilled to be recognised as number one in Coventry. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff and students.”

By Martin Haynes, Head of Marketing, Coventry College Anyone who attended the recent Godiva Festival may have noticed some of our bright young students offering a helping hand to ensure your experience was as positive as possible. Whether that be our catering students serving up top quality dishes for all to enjoy, our hospitality students assisting you with any queries or our media students capturing those special moments to treasure for social media, we are proud to have played our part. This was a fantastic opportunity for Coventry College to showcase what we can do but it also gave our individual students a platform to grow, express themselves and get some real life experience under their belt. This experience will no doubt be invaluable as they develop in their respective careers and become something they look back on with great fondness. To be given such a huge platform to showcase their talents is a fantastic learning experience and one that can only be made when business and education work together for the greater good. We teamed up with Godiva to ensure that this mutually beneficial opportunity wouldn’t slip by and in the end it was more than worth the work put in. I believe this is something we as a city should be looking to do more of. Obviously, our students have placements in all manner of industries such as construction, logistics and childcare, but our creative students are flexible, hard-working, talented and eager for opportunities. We can bring added value to the right event and our students will put everything into ensuring their big chance goes as well as possible. Godiva was a fantastic example of this but it would be great for us, for business and for the city if this can be a starting point for more of these types of relationship. Get in touch with our Business Development Advisors to discuss how Coventry College can help your business. Call 024 76 791 700 or email


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Coventry & Warwickshire in business


Survey reveals the cost of uncertainty Business confidence in Coventry and Warwickshire has taken a steep dip – according to a major survey of firms across the region. Figures from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) shows a reduction in companies in both the manufacturing and service sectors that feel confident about the 12 months ahead. The QES questions more than 400 businesses across the region, acting as a barometer for the local economy, as well as feeding into the British Chambers of Commerce’s national survey. The local results are analysed by the Economy & Skills Team at Warwickshire County Council and are given a rating between one and 100, where 50 is balance, anything above shows growth and anything below shows contraction. Confidence in the service sector dropped from 83.6 in the previous quarter to 68.1, while it fell from 70.3 in manufacturing to 67.6, so both are still above the 50 mark and are well ahead of the national average. The overall economic outlook – where domestic and overseas orders are taken into account, alongside investment & cashflow and employment intentions – was down from 63.4 in the first quarter of 2019 to 60.9. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the region was holding up well compared to other areas of the country but believes uncertainty is having an impact. She said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is a strong, robust and forward-thinking economy with fantastic businesses right across the patch, who have faced many challenges over the past decade or so. “Uncertainty is starting to kick-in and is impacting on the way businesses are thinking about the present and the future,

which will be a major factor in why we have seen a fall in confidence. “The fact that Coventry and Warwickshire is above the national average shows the underlying strength we have in the economy but we are not immune from external factors that affect the way businesses operate. “My message to Government and to the next Prime Minister would be to ensure we avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit and give companies the conditions they need to thrive and grow now and in the future.”

both the manufacturing and the service sectors in Coventry & Warwickshire, with increased cost pressures, competition internationally and surrounding uncertainty “Overall, Coventry and Warwickshire is seeing from both the service and manufacturing sectors that animal spirits are starting to kick in as businesses start to realise clarity on the surrounding economic conditions is becoming increasingly distant.

The bright spot was overseas orders in both the manufacturing and service seeing a rise, from 52.1 in the service sector to 55.9 and from 55.8 to 63.0 in manufacturing.

“The outlook for the next quarter sees businesses using investment and overseas sales to drive themselves forward. There are still naturally concerns and decreased business confidence as a result of competition, cost pressures and exchange rates but both sectors remain resilient.

David Ayton-Hill, Strategy & Commissioning Manager, Economy & Skills at Warwickshire County Council, said: “As a result of the surrounding economic climate it comes as no surprise that business confidence is falling for

“The manufacturing sector in particular stays strong and optimistic for the quarter to come as contingency plans come in to play with the service sector hopeful for increased consumer confidence and orders in the near future.”

From the next quarter, the QES will be sponsored by Prime Accountants. Steve Harcourt, Director, Prime Accountants Group, said: "Prime Accountants Group is delighted to be working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce going forward as the new Quarterly Economic Survey Partner. “As accountants we appreciate the power of numbers to paint a picture of a situation and the data provided in this report will be essential for local SMEs, and other regional stakeholders, to make informed decisions to progress their organisations with the view of the current economic environment. "Our region, like the rest of the country, is currently going through a period of uncertainty and the regulatory of these reports will document the thoughts and concerns of the local business community and how these views change as do the external factors."

Summary of 2019 Q2 Key Numbers: Economic Outlook:

“The overall economic outlook – where domestic and overseas orders are taken into account, alongside investment & cashflow and employment intentions – was down from 63.4 in the first quarter of 2019 to 60.9.”

• Overall 60.9, down from 63.4 • Service Sector 60.7, down from 64.7 • Manufacturing Sector 61.4, up from 59.9

Domestic Orders: • Service Sector 61.7, down from 62.5 • Manufacturing Sector 62.3, up from 59.7

Overseas Orders • Service Sector 55.9, up from 52.1 • Manufacturing Sector 63.0, up from 55.8

Employment • Service Sector 58.3, down from 60.3 • Manufacturing Sector 56.0, down from 57.2

Investment & Cashflow • Service Sector 56.7, down from 57.4 • Manufacturing Sector 58.2, up from 54.0

Business Confidence • Service Sector 68.1, down from 83.6 • Manufacturing Sector 67.6, down from 70.3


New Members

Welcome to new members Corporate Members

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Coventry & Warwickshire in business

New Members

Welcome to new members GE Energy Power Conversion UK Ltd

Mallory Court Hotel & Spa

PAC Global Services Ltd

01788 563563

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07545 775405

Graydon Sports Ltd

Maxival Recruitment Consultancy Ltd

07432 242555

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Really Awesome Coffee

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Sara Andrews Consulting Ltd

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Joyous Creative Ltd 01926 313180 Kopek Security Ltd 07928 738734 Linkit Communications 01926 911291 Luxurian Homes 02476 309918 Magnum Refurbishment 07944 653649

Midlands Project Management Services Ltd 01789 761348 Momentum Partnership Limited 02476 662004 Online Business School Ltd 02476 465763

Quadrant Events 01213 596377 Radical Courier Service 07940 177536

Stories Marketing Ltd 07789 207567 07940 487862 The VA Network 07789 207567 Thorne Coaching & Consulting Ltd 07969 141481

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President & People Band Hatton Button boosts commercial property department with new appointment

Reasons to be Cheerful – Part [issue 72] This is not your usual President’s column. Instead, just read the following for some amazing things you may not know about the region in which we do our business.

Industrial/Commercial/Homes • UK Battery Industrialisation Centre - £110m investment, work under way. • Meggitt Developing - UKs largest new manufacturing facility for Meggitt at Ansty. • Opening of Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya building at University of Warwick. • Investments from LEVC, Fanuc, FEV with new facilities. • Successful relocation from London to Leamington by Vitsoe. • Most successful LEP area outside London. • Strong and much needed housebuilding programmes underway across the region.

Profile • Sunday Times has recently showcased Coventry, Leamington, Shipston and Kenilworth in the Homes and Features sections. • Recent BBC World News piece on automotive and transport centred on our region. • MotoFest drew 120,000 people into the City Centre. • Events such as Pub in the Park in Warwick and Coombe Weekender. • Stones, Bon Jovi, Spice Girls etc. at the Ricoh. • Rising – International Peace and Conflict Resolution Symposium.

A Coventry law firm is building up its commercial property department with a key senior appointment. Cormac Glynn has joined Band Hatton Button solicitors as a Senior Associate from Cocks Lloyd Solicitors where he was previously Head of Commercial Property. Glynn joins the Coventry firm with extensive experience of acting on six and seven-figure property deals for corporate occupiers and high street banks through to landowners and developers. His arrival takes Band Hatton Button’s commercial property department to 20 strong, with the department seeing an 8 per cent increase in caseloads in the last year. Glynn is also the first new recruit into the firm since Band Hatton Button moved into new 11,500 square foot premises at Earlsdon Park on Butts Road.

He said: “Band Hatton Button is in the thick of a lot of major property deals across Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider Midlands region. “The firm is going in the right commercial direction and I want to be part of that growth. This growth is evidenced by their new state of the art offices and for me joining them was too good an opportunity to turn down. “My initial impressions are very good, and it is clear there is a culture of delivering an excellent service to clients, with a human touch. “The commercial property market is usually a good indicator of how the business community is performing and despite the current political landscape clients are transacting property – particularly in Coventry and Warwickshire where there’s a healthy mix of different sectors doing deals.

UK medical device company Creavo Medical Technologies has appointed Jaspal Singh as its new European Director of Sales, in preparation for the next phase of growth and the EMEA commercialisation of Corsens® , its portable magnetocardiography (MCG) device. Jaspal brings more than 15 years’ sales experience in the medical device industry. He joins from Fresenius Medical Care, where he worked as the UK Business Unit Manager within the renal sector.

calibre is real coup for us as a firm – he has a loyal client base and is extremely well connected, which leaves us well-placed to deliver another strong year of performance. “Despite Brexit uncertainty the commercial property department continues to grow, and Cormac’s appointment will assist us with our growth aspirations and also to plan for succession in the future. The department is well placed to continue to assist existing and new clients.”

Prior to this, Jaspal held various senior sales roles with medical device company, Stryker UK. He will be responsible for building a direct sales operation and has ambitions to grow the commercial team across the UK and EU by 2020, in order to support distribution partners in key EMEA markets. Jaspal will develop the company sales strategy and execute it in a prioritised subset of countries to deliver key goals for the business. Steve Parker, CEO of Creavo, said: “Jaspal is highly regarded with significant international

experience, industry knowledge and commercial expertise. We are delighted to welcome him to our senior management team - his input will be vital as we move into our next phase of growth.” Jaspal said: “I am truly excited to be joining a company which, at its heart, is truly innovative and progressive. The company has a strong value proposition and I wanted to be part of the ambition to revolutionise the healthcare market. I’m very much looking forward to working with the remarkable team at Creavo.”

Leading law firm brings two new Private Wealth recruits onto the board A leading law firm has welcomed two new recruits to its Private Wealth Team - bringing a range of expertise on board. Leamington Spa based firm Wright Hassall has welcomed Tracy Ashby and Katie Nightingale as the team continues to expand. Tracy takes on the role of senior associate, while Katie has joined as a solicitor. Tracy, who qualified as a solicitor in 2005, has wide ranging experience in Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection matters. In addition she has a niche specialism in care fees and NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, as well as assisting with trusts for vulnerable people and their families. Tracy is also a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

She said: “I have always wanted to work for Wright Hassall, it is a highly respected firm in terms of its private wealth offering and its service to clients. “I am pleased to be joining the team and helping to build on that offering, bringing together my experience with the team already in place. The current range of issues in private wealth means this is a great time for me to make this move. “There are numerous changes being proposed to Wills and inheritance laws, as well as the administration of trusts and estates, so I am delighted to be part of a team where we can make a real difference.” Katie qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and specialises in all private client

matters including Wills, Tax, Trusts and Lasting Power of Attorney. She said: “This is a fantastic move for me, working at Wright Hassall will give me a range of huge opportunities to assist clients, using my expertise to help grow the firm’s private wealth offer and learn from more experienced staff around me.” Tracy has previously worked as a partner with Worcestershire-based MFG Solicitors and more recently as a Senior Associate Solicitor with Thursfields Solicitors in Solihull before joining Wright Hassall, while Katie completed her training contract and qualified at Franklins and further developed her experience as a solicitor at Wilson Browne. Susan Floyd, partner at Wright Hassall and leader of the Private

Carmella Inguanta (Head of Real Estate), Tracy Ashby, Katie Nightingale and Susan Floyd (Head of Private Wealth)

Wealth team, said: “Tracy and Katie bring experience, an eagerness to evolve and a desire to boost our team, so we are pleased to have them start and look forward to seeing their development over the years to come.”

Popular family run garden centre brings in fourth generation to help growth A family run garden centre and nursery business is looking to the future by bringing in a fourth generation family member to assist with diversification and growth plans. Smith’s Nurseries and Garden Centre in Baginton, has seen turnover increase from £630,000 to £1.65m over the last five years while investing approximately £250,000 into expansion over the same period.

• City of Culture. • Commonwealth Games (Ricoh and Leamington). • Etc. etc. • Need more land … Stay positive and keep fighting the good fight.


From left, Daniel Blood with Cormac Glynn at Band Hatton Button’s offices

Creavo appoints new European Director of Sales

Oh and …

Best David Penn

“Day to day there is stable occupier and investor appetite – when the Brexit pathway finally becomes clear there will be opportunities for wellfunded buyers. In particular, the development sphere is buoyant with many landowning clients opting to get land under contract with housebuilders and promoters. “Coventry is an attractive place to invest, there is a sense of this strategically well-located City being on an upward curve. The city and surrounding area have a longstanding association with manufacturing, industry and commerce. “In addition, there are two cracking universities and City of Culture is on the horizon. I’m looking forward to helping the team to grow in line with demand across the region.” Daniel Blood, Head of Commercial Property at Band Hatton Button, added: “Hiring somebody of Cormac’s

Luke Smith, Mick Smith, Trevor Day (Burgis & Bullock) and Tara Smith

The family business was started in 1942 by Eric and Pete Smith as EW Smith and son and is now run by Mick and Tara Smith, with 36 staff employed part time and full time at the site, boasting a garden centre, garden furniture store, café and more. The team’s family tree is now continuing its growth after welcoming on board Mick and Tara’s eldest son Luke, as the couple look to capitalise on 23 years of persistent growth by laying out a solid plan for the future. The company has recently started working with accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock as it plans for expansion over the coming years and deals with the implications of successful diversification. Mick said: “We are in the middle of a crucial period at the moment and thankfully for us, it is a successful period. “Welcoming Luke on board has been great, we are family business at heart and he has unique skills he can bring to the table. “Essentially, he is in a trainee manager position, but he has a lot of experience in

graphic design, so that will be a boost to our marketing over the coming years. “We have big plans in the pipeline to grow in the near future and after celebrating our 75th anniversary recently, we are looking forward to what lies ahead.” Luke said: “The business is something that we take a lot of pride in as a family and I am pleased to be on board, bringing my experience in graphic design with me while learning more and more about the running of a successful business from my parents.” Trevor Day, a Corporate Services Partner at Burgis and Bullock, has worked with a number of rural businesses which have undergone successful diversification in recent years. He said: “Diversification is the key to growth for rural businesses and Smith’s Nurseries and Garden Centre is a perfect example of a family business with a strong plan, ambition and drive. “It is great to see that a fourth generation member of the Smith family has joined and having Mick and Tara still in place to oversee his development will be crucial.”

Coventry & Warwickshire in business

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Your Chamber Events Security & Risk in International Trade Tuesday 16th July 2019 9.00am – 11.00am Best Western PLUS Manor Hotel, Meriden, CV7 7NH Members: £25.00 + VAT / Non-Members: £30.00 + VAT

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

Warwickshire County Council – Business Crime Training Session Tuesday 30th July 2019 8.30am – 12.30pm Eliot Park Innovation Centre, Nuneaton, CV10 7RH FREE

Member Workshop Tuesday 20th August 2019 9.00am – 10.30am Mallory Court Hotel & Spa, Leamington, CV33 9QB FREE

Chamber Means Business & Summer BBQ Tuesday 20th August 2019 11.00am – 2.00pm Mallory Court Hotel & Spa, Leamington, CV33 9QB FREE

The Chamber’s Annual Economic Conference is the region’s largest business event, with a high-profile and influential audience of over 250 delegates. It provides exclusive opportunities for you and your team to hear from civic & business leaders, policy makers and opinion formers on the key challenges affecting the business community, both in our area and across the UK. We’re delighted that our conference will be hosted and facilitated, throughout the morning, by presenter, broadcaster and business journalist Naga Munchetty. And for 2019, Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE, the world’s greatest living explorer, will address the business community as the keynote speaker to share inspiring stories at the region’s largest business event. The conference is unrivalled for its networking opportunities – the chance to meet with fellow business and civic leaders, as well your Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Network.

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C&W July 2019  

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

C&W July 2019  

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

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