March / April 2019
Tim Strafford driven towards automotive Page 20
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March - April 2019 Go for Growth
Dear Chamber of Commerce Member,
by Louise Bennett OBE DL Chief Executive Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
In the midst of ongoing political and economic uncertainty, largely due to lack of clarity over BREXIT and some of our larger manufacturers showing the direct impact of a difficult China market and the movement away from diesel engines, your Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce continues to provide consistent, trusted and great support to its members. Businesses continue to utilise the Chamber of Commerce as a one-stopshop for support, including how to start your own business; how to realise growth aspirations in your business; how to export for the first time or increase your markets abroad; and how to access and get the very best out of a wide array of events and networking opportunities. Indeed, a huge thank you to our Exhibitors and the hundreds of Leaders that have turned-out for our Go For Growth, Trade Local 'Trade Expo' on 15th March. It promises to be a superb day and one which commences with a briefing for business by the 2022 Commonwealth Organising Team, where we are flattered to be joined by the Chair of 2022 Committee, Mr John Crabtree OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands. John also joined the Coventry Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, working with the Greater Birmingham and Black Country Chambers of Commerce, at a Queens Award Masterclass on 26th February, where some seventy world-class businesses networked and took timeout to learn how to apply for a Queens Award in Enterprise, probably the highest accolade for any business. A further Queens Award event will be held on 20th June at the very beautiful Hatton House and if you are interested in joining us, drop me a line on email@example.com.
Your British Chambers of Commerce has been working hard to present the views of business in BREXIT talks with Government and, on 27th March 2019, your Coventry Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce will host some 60 business leaders, from across the Midlands, at The Shard, London, where we will be talking BREXIT ahead of Friday 29th March! I fully appreciate that many of us are truly fed up with hearing about BREXIT and seeing very little clarity as to the way forward for the UK economy, but it is important to say that we, your Chamber of Commerce, continue to be 'the place to go' for BREXIT advice & support. Our International Trade Hub (which includes our Export Documentation Team) continue to support businesses in planning for BREXIT, looking at the logistics of import & export; potential documentation requirements; impact on staff & mobility; how to manage your cash & currency; and more. Workshops and Advice Clinics are now being held weekly - and they are well attended so if you need advice, give us a call on 02476 654321. Meanwhile, let's all remember the many positives about working and/or investing here in Coventry and Warwickshire, not least we are the fastest growth economy in the Midlands (and for much of the UK); we have two world-class Universities; we have a Local Enterprise (public/private) Partnership which continues to drive forward infrastructure investment; we are a mini-England of businesses of all sizes from all sectors, resilient and with great possibilities to trade "more" with each other. I look forward to meeting many of our members throughout 2019. Kind regards, Louise, Mrs L Bennett-Bayliss OBE, DL Chief Executive
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plant at Hams Hall and heard from Paul Collins, who had been an apprentice himself with the company and is now head of quality management and projects for the company.
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.
He told the audience that among the 1,000 plus jobs directly supported by the plant, they already employed 44 apprentices –and would be recruiting a further 14 this year, with open evenings on February 20 and February 25 for parents and school pupils in Years 11 to 13.
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C&W in Business Advertising Features for 2019 May / June 2019 Conference & Venues Our annual feature looking at the venues for hire for work events and conferences in our region.
Innovation & Development Many of the UK’s hopes post Brexit for a vibrant and growing economy is to invest in new innovations and emerging sectors. We provide support experts the opportunity to expand on the help they can provide to grow your business in this area. Copy deadline 26th April 2019
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Louise Bennett (Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber), Paul Collins (BMW) , Jonathan Browning (CWLEP), Jose Lopes (West Midlands Combined Authority)
Apprentices will be part of the driving force for future growth in the West Midlands region, a business event held in North Warwickshire has heard. The event, organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, was called to look closely at the economic climate across the region and, as part of that, the need to tackle the skills gap in order to continue the dramatic growth Coventry and Warwickshire has seen since 2009. The event heard from Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership; Jose Lopes, of the West Midlands Combined Authority; and Daria Luchinskaya, of the University of Warwick. Jonathan told the audience of gathered business people that a shortage of skills is a barrier to growth.
He said: “Our region has seen growth of 33 per cent since 2009, which is the fastest of the 38 LEP areas in the UK. “It used to be a case of having great assets but, to be honest, our performance did not match them. We are now performing better on every level but we need to keep driving up productivity. “A degree of that is down to skills and that is an ongoing challenge we have to tackle.” Jose Lopes added: “There is a mismatch between the skills of the population and the needs of employers, so have work to do on upskilling.
“Youth unemployment is part of the challenge and we are seeing a lot of 18 to 24-year-olds who are out of work for less than 12 months. So they are not long-term unemployed, they are drifting in and out of the workforce. “Apprenticeships is one of the key drivers of supporting young people into good jobs and, through the apprenticeship levy, we can take money from the larger employers and transfer it to SMEs who want an apprentice.” The event took place at BMW Group’s engine manufacturing
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great to see that BMW is investing in our region and investing in young people to grow its workforce. “The plant is a major employer in the north of our patch and is another example of the importance of the automotive sector to our region. “Apprenticeships are a very important part of the mix in tackling the skills gap and my advice to businesses would be to speak to their local provider of apprenticeships to make sure they are employerled and work for what they need in their business.”
“Apprenticeships is one of the key drivers of supporting young people into good jobs and, through the apprenticeship levy, we can take money from the larger employers and transfer it to SMEs who want an apprentice.”
Region ‘should target global markets’ The leading business membership organisation in Coventry and Warwickshire says the region must put itself firmly on the global stage – whatever the outcome of Brexit. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has signed up to be part of the regional delegation that will head to the south of France for the world’s biggest property and investment event. The Chamber attended MIPIM with the Coventry and Warwickshire MIPIM Partnership in 2018 and will return this year for the 30th anniversary of the show to help promote the region to potential investors across the globe.
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “MIPIM takes place just a couple of weeks before we officially leave the EU so it’s vitally important that we, as a region, go out there and tell a world of investors that we are well and truly open for business. “We are still some way off knowing what the final outcome will be. As a Chamber, we’ve worked hard to keep members informed and up-to-date with any new developments as well as providing information on what they can do to be prepared for any outcome. “But we cannot wait for a political settlement to tell our story to the world – that Coventry and Warwickshire is in
a very positive position and we want to attract investment to our region to take advantage of some of the incredible opportunities we have as a region. “As well as being in a good place economically, we are European City of Sport in 2019, UK City of Culture in 2021 and then have the Commonwealth Games coming to the wider region in 2022. “So it’s a perfect time to really promote and ‘sell’ the region to drive investment and create more jobs for Coventry and Warwickshire. “As a Chamber, we work hard to bring members together to do business with one another and that is reflected in our
Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign. However, we urge our members to think global too and that’s why we want to be out at MIPIM with partners from across the region who are striving to grow our economy.” Les Ratcliffe, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Place Board which helps promote the area, said the Chamber’s presence was more important than ever in 2019. “Our presence at MIPIM is very much a team effort to showcase Coventry and Warwickshire not only as a location for development and investment, but also in support which is on offer to companies looking establish a base in the region and those already here and growing.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Policy Go for Growth
Manufacturer turns to creative agency A South Warwickshire manufacturer, which exports to more than 40 countries worldwide, has turned to a creative agency in the region to assist with its continued global growth. CALGAVIN, which is based in Alcester, designs and makes tube inserts to improve heat exchangers largely in the oil & gas and petrochemical industry with more than 90 per cent of its products going overseas. And the firm, which employs 30 staff at its Alcester site, has recently engaged Hinckley-based Trident to sharpen up its branding, design and produce a new brochure as well as develop its website to help secure new business all over the world. Part of the web development will include having it translated into several languages to make it more user-friendly to more overseas markets. CALGAVIN’s link-up with Trident came about through the Coventry
and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, which recently launched its Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign. The companies were introduced at a Chamber meeting and that gave Trident the opportunity to tender for the contract and to win it in a competitive process. Chris Roberts, of CALGAVIN, said: “We ship all over the world, supplying heat exchanger manufacturers as well as working on behalf of the end-user too, including the likes of ExxonMobil, BP and Shell. “Our current markets are growing and there’s also potential in the new wave of electric vehicle manufacturing, where our hiTRAN™ solution is used in the inverter. They are in quite a lot of other products too. “We wanted to continue the internationalisation of the business and improve our image and branding. Not everyone searches the web in English and we want our website to reflect that and to be
accessible right around the world, whatever device is being used. “We had just started the tendering process when I met Adam Burrage from Trident at a Chamber meeting. I was asked to share what we get out of our Chamber membership and, as well as help from the international trade team and the HR support, we used it to find local suppliers. “I mentioned that we were looking for a creative agency to work with us and, on the back of that, Trident put in an excellent pitch and won the work competitively. “We were not only impressed with the creativity they showed and their client references, but also less tangible aspects such as flexibility and their work ethic, which are just as important. “Location helps too. We must be one of the most southerly businesses to be members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber and Trident are possibly the most northerly – but we are still
Jordan Foster (Trident), Tom Higley (CALGAVIN), Martin Gough (CALGAVIN), Chris Roberts (CALGAVIN), Adam Burrage (Trident)
working locally and it means we can come together for meetings really easily.” Adam Burrage, managing partner at Trident, said: “We are delighted to be working with CALGAVIN as it enhances its global brand. “It was a competitive tender process and we were pleased to
secure the contract. It is in our ethos to ensure that we go the extra mile for clients – we encourage clients to ‘delight’ their customers and we try to practice what we preach and do the same. “We regularly attend Chamber networking events and have met great contacts including both potential clients and suppliers – this is a fantastic example of that.”
In search of companies trading locally Now, we really went to talk to our members of all sizes and sectors who work with local suppliers and contractors.
It will help us to spread the word about the importance of trading locally and the benefits it brings to the businesses themselves – and to the wider economy.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce wants to hear from members who trade with each other to support a major campaign. The Chamber recently launched the Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign to highlight the outstanding companies which do business right across our region.
And let us know how the Chamber supported this – did you meet through networking or find each other through your membership. We want to highlight businesses trading locally across a range of platforms, including our social media channels, our website, our e-newsletter, our C&W in Business magazine and through the local media where applicable.
So if you work with fellow businesses from Coventry and Warwickshire, you can simply download our Go For Growth: Trade Local pdf, print it off and pose for a nice photo with your fellow business. Then either send it to us at the Chamber or post it on your own social media channels using the hashtag #cwtradelocal. Tag the Chamber in too and we’ll like, share and RT as many as we can.
just changed supplier to a fellow local company? So please, please get in touch so we can get more companies across the patch to Go For Growth as they Trade Local. You can send stories/pictures to email@example.com marked Go For Growth: Trade Local.
We will also be looking to turn some of those stories into press releases and case studies to help drive home the message around the region. If you have a press release of your own, then send it in.
You can post pictures on Twitter, tagging in @cwchamber; on Facebook using @cwcommerce; or on LinkedIn by tagging Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
Try to give us as much info as possible – are you neighbouring businesses? Have you worked together for many years? Have you
To find out more go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk or call us on 024 7665 4321.
Unemployment figures point to sluggish growth Business leaders say a pre-Christmas rise in unemployment across Coventry and Warwickshire reflects sluggish economic growth and uncertainty. In the month to December, the claimant count rose from 4,690 to 4,990 in Coventry and from
5,785 to 5,835 in Warwickshire. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the period before Christmas often saw a fall in the unemployment rate but that uncertainty was a factor in December’s rise.
She said: “We normally see a seasonal fall in unemployment but there is no doubt that low economic growth and the general uncertainty has had an impact in the most recent figures. “So it’s vitally important that we start to get more certainty back
into our economy and get businesses back to doing what they do best – investing, growing and creating jobs. “Businesses across our patch and across the country want reassurance that we will not see a messy and disorderly ‘no deal’ Brexit in the next few weeks and
want to see that our politicians can secure the right deal for our economy. “That would give companies more certainty but it would also mean that the Government could start to focus on other issues that could help to get our economy growing at a faster rate.”
EFX creates top football Supporters’ Awards
Special EFX has completed a commission to make the trophies for The Football Supporters’ Federation Awards 2018. As a sport that attracts widespread devotion and loyalty from its fans, the awards enjoy considerable importance amongst not only the players but the media and clubs alike and are the largest supporter-led awards in the UK. The trophies needed to reflect the prestige of the event and the EFX Design Studio suggested a strong, tower-shaped style in a mirror-finish, accented with contrasting green acrylic and decorated with laser engraving. The black-tie event took place at The Pavilion at the Tower of London. Ten of the fifteen awards presented were decided by a public vote, including Men’s Player of the Year, won by Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, and Women’s Player of the Year, won by Beth Mead of Arsenal. The Guardian was likewise in celebratory mood, scooping three Awards on the night for Newspaper of the Year, Football Writer of the Year won by Guardian sports writer Barney Ronay and Podcast of the Year (Football Weekly). The exclusive awards, manufactured by EFX, are made in solid aluminium and nickel-plated to produce a mirror-finish and the design is sliced through with a contrasting layer of vivid green acrylic.
Contract win for event management company An event management specialist has won a major contract to support train passengers across Merseyside as extensive platform work takes place. Stadium FM has been appointed by Merseyrail to provide support staff as it completes platform upgrade works to prepare for its ground breaking new trains on one of the busiest networks in the UK. The work will include both station and line closures, and Stadium FM staff will be on-hand to direct and assist passengers onto rail replacement bus services, provide timetable and general assistance, and help passengers with luggage. The company will be working across the whole network of stations in preparation for the arrival of the new train fleet in 2020. Stadium FM specialises in providing stewards and event support at both large and small-scale events ranging from
Stadium FM - Kirkby
festivals and music concerts to football matches and other high-profile sporting events. Current staff members will be used, and the contract may also create a number of new jobs for local people as the work progresses. David McAtamney, Managing Director of Stadium FM, said: “We are highly experienced in managing large crowds and will be working with Merseyrail to ensure that customers continue to have a smooth journey while the work takes place. “This is our first contract in this industry sector which gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in providing excellent customer service to large numbers of people, which we have been doing for almost a decade. “We invest in comprehensive training for all of our staff to give them the skills to deliver an excellent service.
“At peak times in the central stations there will be a minimum of 24 Stadium FM colleagues onhand to assist rail passengers to ensure they have an excellent onward journey.” Andy Heath, Managing Director of Merseyrail, said: “We are very pleased to award the contract to Stadium FM. Our main focus throughout the work is our
passengers, and Stadium FM share our values in providing exemplary customer service which they have demonstrated at countless events across the UK and overseas. “Working with Stadium FM, we will strive to make journeys as smooth as possible throughout the duration of the work as we prepare for our new trains.”
“We are highly experienced in managing large crowds and will be working with Merseyrail to ensure that customers continue to have a smooth journey while the work takes place.”
Flooring company breaks record An online retail company enjoyed its best month in more than a decade and sold enough flooring to cover the pitch at Wembley – 28 times over! UK Flooring Direct, which is based in Hinckley, had its best month of trade in November, fulfilling thousands of orders across the UK across a range of products – from vinyl and laminate to engineered wood. The company sold 201,206 square metres of its flooring – including a range of real wood and laminate – and that was the record in a calendar month since the firm was
UK Flooring Jason Ashby
established by Jason Ashby in 2005. London was one of the hottest spots for sales but they stretched all over the UK from Edinburgh down to Brighton. There were also strong sales in the local region, with buyers from Coventry, Leicester and Birmingham all flocking to the company’s website to purchase throughout November. The successful month included a bumper Black Friday and marked a positive end to a year of significant growth for the company that moved to Hinckley from Exhall just over 12 months ago.
In that time, it has grown from less than 80 employees to well over 100 staff and has invested heavily in technology and training to set it on a path to £100 million turnover over the next three years. Jason said: “It’s a testament to the hard work of the whole team that we recorded our best ever month in November. “We knew it was going to busy and that it would be all hands to the pump, but it surpassed anything we had seen before. I am a big football fan, so I loved the fact that the flooring we sold could have covered the pitch at Wembley 28 times over!”
Sponsor a School initiative is launched A Warwickshire company has launched the Coventry & Warwickshire ‘Sponsor a School Initiative Programme’. KAZ Type has urged local businesses to utilise their Corporate Social Responsibility budgets to sponsor a local school. They believe that in today’s world of technology, teaching students the 3Rs is not enough. The invaluable ‘life skill’ of touch typing is also essential and should be made
available and taught as early as possible, as it presents a huge advantage, preparing students for further education, the working environment and life. As for students with special educational needs, touch typing can be a life-changing tool, offering a new and powerful medium for learning and communicating and introducing them to an accessible academic world they can cope in and even excel in.
Developed with advice and guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust, KAZ’s new ‘Mainstream’ and ‘Neurodiverse’ typing software is suitable for both mainstream students, as well as students with one or a combination of the following neurological differences: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, Tourette's, amongst others.
As part of the sponsorship programme, businesses can choose from a selection of licenses to suit their budget. In return, Kaz Type will: • Double the number of licenses free of charge. • Showcase the company as a sponsor. • Award a digital certificate and badge to showcase on the sponsoring company’s website
More information is available at https://kaz-type.com/sponsor-school.aspx
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Safetyflex Barriers boost safety and security in the Capital A Midlands company specialising in anti-terrorism security bollards has completed a major contract in the heart of London to boost safety and security in the capital. Safetyflex Barriers, located on the GME Industrial Estate in Coventry, completed a major project in Oxford Street to install its Truckstopper bollards which can stop vehicle attacks of up to 80mph in their tracks. The company, launched in 2008, helps to secure potentially vulnerable areas such as shopping centres, sport stadiums, government buildings, military, utilities and key infrastructure centres
across the UK, USA, Singapore and Australia. Oxford Street is known as one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets, attracting an estimated 200 million visitors a year. Marcus Gerrard, director at Safetyflex, said: “We are proud to have been able to assist in making London a safer place for the people and buildings that make it such a great place. “It is vital in this day-and-age to have anti-terrorism measures in place and we have proven that our products are the best on the market. We have worked all over the world and are proud to be a leader in this crucial developing market.”
Safetyflex Barriers is rapidly becoming the world leader in anti-terrorist bollards thanks to its innovative and exclusive product range, which uses specialist steel to absorb high impact.This allows their bollards and barriers to be the most aesthetically pleasing and cost effective on the market, as well as being highly-effective in stopping attacks and easy to install. One of the company’s first major contracts saw the team work to protect 22 venues for the London 2012 Olympics and in the 10 years which have followed it has worked across the UK. Other projects in London include Horse Guards Parade,
Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge and the 2012 Olympic Park Marcus said: “We are seeing a lot of interest in our products from major cities across the world because of both their build quality and their aesthetic slim line appearance. “Most anti-terrorist bollards are very large and overbearing, but our products have been designed to be the most slim line bollards in the world. “They can be assembled quickly and have the power of larger bollards without the bulk thanks to the hard work that has gone into ensuring they are created to the highest specification possible.”
WNIE Live announces move to NAEC Stoneleigh for 2019 event What’s New in Electronics will begin a new chapter this September with the relocation of its WNIE Live event to a new venue - one of the premier conference venues in the Midlands; NAEC Stoneleigh at Stoneleigh Park. The new venue, located at the heart of a major centre of R&D, test and development and manufacturing within the UK, will provide the What’s New in Electronics team with a flexible event space with evolving facilities, offering the perfect
blank canvas for the latest evolution of its WNIE Live event, which will take place from 18th - 19th September 2019. Chris Hartley, Managing Director, NAEC Stoneleigh, said: “We are delighted to welcome WNIE Live 2019, the leading UK event for everything electronics and embedded, to NAEC Stoneleigh, which has established itself as one of the most versatile venues in the Midlands.” WNIE live 2019 will encompass Everything Electronics:
With speculation in some quarters that Entrepreneurs’ Relief would be scrapped altogether, entrepreneurs can be relieved at the relatively modest tightening of the qualifying criteria announced in the Budget. Now that some flaws in the first draft of the legislation have been corrected it is clear that this remains a valuable relief for individuals looking to sell or give away all or part of their business. ER can be claimed on certain disposals by individuals of unincorporated businesses, business assets or shares in trading companies. If ER is claimed, the gains arising on these qualifying disposals (up to a lifetime limit of £10m) are taxed at a Capital Gains Tax rate of 10%, rather than the usual 20% for higher rate taxpayers.
Embedded, Engineering, Design and Manufacturing and will provide visitors with the opportunity to witness hundreds of new products, as well as a plethora of industry innovation in action, focusing on all aspects of the electronics industry. Claire Saunders, Event Director, said: “WNIE Live 2019 will again deliver a platform for
industry to come together and connect, learn and make key contacts. We were highly impressed with the space and facilities on offer at NAEC Stoneleigh, and we are confident it will provide us with the prime location for this premier UK electronics and embedded event to evolve and grow.” www.wnie.co.uk/live/
Aircraft makes its debut
A new class-leading aircraft made its debut at Birmingham Airport at a special event to showcase it in the region. XLR Executive Jet Centre Birmingham hosted the Gulfstream G280 super-midsize business jet aircraft to guests and potential users. The aircraft has a range in excess of 4,000 miles with the capability of flying non-stop from the UK to New York and the event was the first time this aircraft type has visited the Midlands region. The event was also an opportunity for XLR, which is the premium travel
Relief for Entrepreneurs
brand and subsidiary of Rigby Group plc, to promote its state-of-the-art executive jet centre in Birmingham. Sir Peter Rigby, chairman of the Rigby Group, said: “We have an excellent relationship with Gulfstream and we were delighted to bring this world class aircraft to our XLR Executive Jet Centre Birmingham.” Nick Barton, CEO at Birmingham Airport, said: “We’re proud to have enabled the impressive G280 aircraft to be showcased in Birmingham, and to support our business partner, XLR, which plays a vital role in supporting executive flying for our region.”
Previously the shareholder needed to be an officer or employee of the company and hold 5% of the ordinary share capital and voting rights for one year prior to the disposal. Subject to enactment of the Finance Bill, for disposals of shares on or after 6 April 2019 the individual will need to meet these requirements for an increased period of two years leading up to the disposal. In addition, with effect from 29 October 2018 the individual needs to be entitled to a minimum of either 5% of distributable profits and net assets on a winding up or 5% of the proceeds of sale of the company. Despite these changes, ER still presents opportunities for significant tax savings where shareholdings are structured appropriately. Individuals wishing to review their entitlement to ER or to understand more about the potential benefits can contact Paul Spencer or David Thomas-Walls on 02476 257481 or firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com respectively. For more information, please visit our website, www.sgduk.com.
Nick Barton (Birmingham Airport), Gavin Thompson (Gulfstream), Sir Peter Rigby (Rigby Group plc).
Events - Expo Preview
Top tips Reasons to attend the Trade Local Business Expo, by Helena Bassett, business adviser at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce In just a few weeks, hundreds of businesses will be heading to NAEC Stoneleigh for the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Local Business & Trade Expo. I work with dozens of companies each month on how they can raise their profile and win new business and, in just a few short bullet points, here’s why I’d urge you to make sure you get along to the event or risk missing out on potential new clients. • Gain direct access to the big brands with over 140 exhibitors • Engage with exhibitors and visitors. Expos are the perfect platform for meeting key people, making new contacts and existing contacts • Be inspired - learn about new companies, products and services • Expand your contacts - join in the speed networking event to increase your contacts • Discover the latest trends and innovations • In less than three hours meet hundreds of new contacts for your business, swap business cards and link up on LinkedIn. • It's free marketing, attendance is free to any business looking to promote their services – where else could you meet 120 exhibitors and 500+ other attendees in just a couple of hours? • Opportunity to find new markets and opportunities • Evaluate products and services, you get a competitive view of a wide range of products and suppliers in a short time • Place orders, check diaries and arrange meetings there and then • It's FREE ...The speakers, seminars, and exhibition floor are all free to attend. • Take a couple of hours out of the office and meet some valuable contacts face-to-face and who knows where it might lead. For more information or to book your attendance go to: For more information or to pre-register, go to https://www.cwexpo.co.uk/
Chamber event leads to growth for business An employment law specialist, which has offices around the globe, won a major new contract after exhibiting at a major Chamber event. Hinckley-based Croner, which specialises in employment law, health & safety and HR, took a stand at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s last Business & Trade Expo in September. And, on the back of the event, picked up a contract with a local organisation to provide support on all aspects of its employment and HR practices worth three times its average value contract. It also proved to be a ten times return on investment for the company’s costs in exhibiting at the event. Beaumont Hadley, of Croner, is now urging firms across the region is urging firms to make the most of the Chamber’s Trade Local Business & Trade Expo at NAEC Stoneleigh Park on Friday, March 15.
He said: “We are exhibiting at the next Expo and we’d urge other businesses to either take a stand or, at least, ensure they attend on the day. “At the last expo, we ran a competition to win an iPad if companies put their business cards into a prize draw. We contacted all of the entrants after the event and an organisation came back to us to say that they’d attend the event to specifically find company that could deal with all aspects of employment law. “We met them and secured the work, which is quite a substantial contract for Croner and has proved to be an extremely good return on the time and money we put into exhibiting. “My one piece of advice to anyone attending or exhibition is: take a colleague! I had so many people to speak to on the day that it would have been great to have someone else there with me. It means you can also get around the Expo yourself and meet as many other businesspeople as possible.”
Croner has been established for 75 years and as well as its headquarters in the region has opened offices in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and is one of the fastest growing businesses in each of those countries. Chris Nagle, events and marketing manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a great example of what can be achieved by either exhibiting or attending the Trade Local Business & Trade Expo.
“Through our Trade Local campaign and through our Expos, we want businesses to be as proactive as they can in securing new clients and contracts in the region. This really highlights how that can be achieved.” Businesses that pre-register for the Expo could win a Hospitality Box for 12 for a Wasps home game which has been kindly donated by the Ricoh Arena and also Premiership Rugby tickets, which have been kindly donated by Gallagher Insurance.
For more information or to pre-register, go to https://www.cwexpo.co.uk/
“My one piece of advice to anyone attending or exhibition is: take a colleague! I had so many people to speak to on the day that it would have been great to have someone else there with me.
Commonwealth Games insight Businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire will be given an insight on how to go for Commonwealth gold at an event this March. The Chamber has successfully secured a briefing session with the senior team behind the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the potential business & procurement opportunities that will be up for grabs in the build up to and during the event. The briefing will take place as part of the programme for the Chamber’s Trade Local Business Expo on Friday, March 15, at Stoneleigh Park which is an opportunity for hundreds of firms from across the region to come together to network and do business together. Around 80 per cent of contracts for previous Games have
been secured by firms in the region around the host city and firms across Coventry and Warwickshire are being urged to be alive to the opportunities. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Our Business and Trade Expos continue to attract hundreds of companies from across the region and preparations have been underway for the event in March for several weeks now. “Our Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign is all about getting companies across the patch doing business with one another and being more pro-active at events such as this when looking to land new work. “We are also keen to promote major opportunities through the campaign
with major public and private sector bodies. “The Commonwealth Games coming to the region is huge and we want companies across Coventry and Warwickshire to understand what opportunities are already available and what there is in the pipeline. “The evidence from previous games shows that businesses in the area around the host city tend to win the majority of contracts and we, therefore, want to bring companies across our patch up to speed with the potential opportunities and we are delighted to have secured a briefing with the organisers at our Expo.” To find out more go to www.cw-chamber/events
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Region well placed to weather Brexit storm Coventry and Warwickshire is in a strong position to meet the economic fall-out of Brexit after emerging as one of the fastest growing regions since the recession a decade ago. That was the message at the Chamber Means Business event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in in Coventry, organised by the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. The new event, which will deliver the latest business insight to firms across the region on a quarterly basis, heard from Dave Ayton-Hill, the Economy and Group Skills Manager at Warwickshire County Council. He reflected on the latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) data before the event heard from Jonathan Hunt, of Coventry City Council, on what European City of Sport means to the area in terms of both well-being and economically. Doug White, of the European Corporate Games – which comes to the region in August, spoke of the positive economic impact it would have on the city and county.
Dave Ayton-Hill said the potential economic storm clouds on the horizon in 2019 had subdued confidence slightly but that the majority of firms in both manufacturing and services were positive about the future. He said: “Since the recession a decade ago, Coventry and Warwickshire has outperformed the rest of the UK when it comes to economic growth. “Many might say that is all because of the Jaguar Land Rover effect, but even when we strip that away from the numbers, the region has still seen strong growth. “The forecasts for global growth are weaker for several reasons. There is a slowdown in China, the automotive sector is suffering from the diesel crisis and Brexit is going to have an impact. “Until we know what Brexit is going to look like and whether it is going to be orderly or messy, we won’t know the full extent of what that impact is going to be. “So we cannot be complacent but all the data coming out of businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire
Dave Ayton-Hill, Hazel Pilling (Chamber), Jonathan Hunt, Doug White
suggests it is stronger than most other regions to deal with the fall-out.” Sport, leisure and culture will play a key role in the region’s economic growth in the coming years as Jonathan Hunt revealed £100 million of sport and leisure facilities are being opened in Coventry during 2019. That will be followed by UK City of Culture in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
Chris Nagle, events and marketing manager at the Chamber, said: “Chamber Means Business is a new format for an event that we have introduced for 2019. “It’s a chance for businesses to network but also hear the latest insights into the economy and developments in the region. “We had a great mix of speakers who all gave a very positive message about Coventry and Warwickshire.”
Event celebrates resilience “I have developed resilience, networked hard and have observed both good and bad leadership and learnt from this. “One of the biggest challenges I have faced is fending off ageists and being just 30 I have had to shout louder to feel heard.It’s so important to give young people respect and listen to them, which is especially true in the education sector.
Gemma Knott, Assistant Principal - Business Growth, Coventry College; Kathryn Clarke, Director, Signature Sales Support & Representation; Keely Hancox, Operations Manager, Chamber,; Claire White, Director of Sales, Village Hotel Club Coventry; Sue Tonks, Founder & Director, HydroVeg Kit; and Louise Bennett OBE DL, Chief Executive, Chamber.
Being resilient and having the ambition to succeed were key topics at a business networking event in Coventry. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has held its first Women in Business networking lunch of 2019 at the Village Hotel Club. The event heard from three successful businesswomen Gemma Knott, assistant principal - business growth at Coventry College; Kathryn Clarke, founder and director of Signature Sales Support and Representation; and Sue Tonks, founder of HydroVeg Kit and winner of New Business of the Year award at the Coventry Telegraph Business Awards 2018. www.cw-chamber.co.uk
Each spoke passionately about the highs and lows of their career journeys and some of the professional barriers they have had to overcome. Gemma told delegates about her progression from a personal assistant to assistant principal in just 10 years, and how at the age of 30 she has had to fend off ageists and work harder to prove her value. After graduating from the University of Warwick and being rejected from a number of graduate schemes, she made her first step into education by securing a temporary position as the personal assistant to the vice principal of strategy at Warwickshire College Group.
She then went on to become policy and communications officer at 157 Group, in London, before returning to Warwickshire College Group as executive assistant to the CEO. Her first big career jump came when she secured the position of director of marketing, communications, admissions and sales at Stratford-upon-Avon College at the age of just 24 and then became director of business development and senior post holder by age 27 before moving to her current position. Gemma said: “I have always tried to go above and beyond during my career and have a real passion for the sector.
“My top tips in business would be to do what you love and love what you do, to know your business, stay confident and surround yourself with the best staff. “I now have aspirations to raise the profile of the college. Coventry is booming so there is a really good opportunity to make a difference.” Keely Hancox, Operations Manager of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was excellent to hear from such inspirational speakers for our first Women in Business event of 2019. “All three of them gave delegates an interesting insight into how they have achieved success in their careers and businesses. “Our women in business network continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to more inspirational speakers at our next event in April.”
Time to scrum down? How to adapt to change In a rapidly changing world it will be the organisations that are agile enough to adapt that will prosper. Scrum is an agile framework that successful businesses are using to organise themselves, releasing incremental products and services of value to their customer base. What is Scrum? Traditional management theory works on the basis of command and control. “Workers” in a business can’t be trusted to undertake intelligent and creative work, so it is up to the leadership to design and plan what needs to be done. Managers check whether these tasks are carried out; monetary rewards are used to stimulate good behaviour and unwanted results are punished (carrot and stick). Adapting to change is like “turning the tanker” and a blame culture can stifle innovation. Agile ways of working turn this on its head. Scrum uses small, cross-functional and self-organising development teams in a business to “address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.” The emphasis is on using short bursts of development work (sprints) to deliver a “done increment” of most value to the customer. The development teams demonstrate their work at the end of the sprint, obtaining feedback from stakeholders, learning what went well, as well as identifying impediments to them making further progress. It is a continual empirical process of “inspect and adapt”. At first, Scrum was a way for software teams to manage their new releases, but it’s quickly become a way of working that all kinds of teams are finding useful, from customer support, to marketing, to operations and more. It can drastically reduce project lead times and allow organisations to react quickly to changing needs. Your next steps So, if you want your organisation to be more fleet of foot and highly focused on what your customer really wants, talk to us about how scrum could make an impact in your organisation. Richard Miller is a Strategic Services Partner at Dafferns and certified as a Professional Scrum Master. If you would like more information, please contact Richard on 02476 221 046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amazon delivers military precision in Coventry
Amazon’s new facility is not only open for business, it’s open for public tours as well. Look up a definition for the term “with military precision” and you’ll find something along the lines of “in a very organised and exact way”. Look for a real-life example and you’d be hard-pressed to better Amazon’s operations network and its Coventry receive centre on Lyons Park. The facility started operations in July last year and is unique in the UK – it’s a receive centre which services Amazon’s 17 fulfilment centres in England, Scotland and Wales along with other facilities across the rest of Europe. The Coventry building is huge with a footprint greater than 400,000 sq ft (approximately eight football pitches). It contains more than 14kms of conveyor systems, across multiple levels – some connected by what look like helter-skelters – and has a workforce in the region of 1,000strong. It operates 24-hours-a-day and there’s a constant stream of boxes of goods. It looks overwhelmingly complex yet clearly runs with that military precision. Suitably enough, the facility’s General Manager Lee Shepherd spent more than 20 years in the Royal Artillery before joining Amazon. “In very simple terms, we receive products at Coventry; we identify if they’re meant to go out as individual items, as batches or specific numbers; they’re then sorted to match that requirement and to their respective
destinations,” says Lee. “We don’t store anything here, we refine the process, effectively making it more effective for our customers.” And when Lee says “customers”, he’s not just referring to the people who click “buy” – well over half of all products sold through Amazon UK, and which pass through the Coventry facility, come from a wide variety of small, medium and large-sized businesses. These businesses are also customers to Amazon – one of the many surprising facts which fascinate people about the company. “We’re well aware people are intrigued by our operation,” admits Lee. “Quite rightly, we’ve made the customer experience really simple and straightforward – you select what you want to buy, you click, and your order is placed and turns up, the vast majority of times, exactly when stated. People want to know how we do it, they’re curious.” And what does Amazon do when faced with curious customers? It responds in its best customer service fashion by opening its doors and letting people have a look around. “I think it’s a great response to a customer demand,” says Lee. “What better way to explain what we do than by showing people? We have a fantastic team at Coventry and they’ve taken a real pride in showing their friends and families around and now we’re opening this up to everyone.” Public tours are available at the Coventry facility twice a day, five days per week. You can sign up at www.amazonfctours.co.uk
“In very simple terms, we receive products at Coventry; we identify if they’re meant to go out as individual items, as batches or specific numbers; they’re then sorted to match Lee Shepherd
that requirement and to their respective destinations.”
Raring to go One of Warwickshire’s most popular racecourses is raring to go for a brand new horseracing season, with a new event to attract even more visitors. Staff at Stratford Racecourse are raring to go for the 2019 race season, which begins on Monday, March 11 after a lengthy winter break. And a new Peaky Blinders-themed race in June is a new attraction for racegoers in this season’s calendar. Visitors will be encouraged to dress up like the characters from the hit BBC show for the evening race. Stratford Racecourse manager Ilona Barnett said: “We’re really looking forward to another exciting season of racing at Stratford Racecourse this year. “While our more usual fixtures, such as Ladies Day in July and Super Saturday in September, will be making a return, we’re also going to introduce a new Peaky Blinders-themed race. “It’s such a popular TV show, and its strong connections to horse racing meant it was an obvious choice for a new event at Stratford. “We hope visitors will don their flat caps and vintage dresses and really get into the spirit of the evening.” Stratford Racecourse opened in 1755, and is one of the most popular smaller jump racecourses in the UK. Its season runs from March to November. Its many events regularly attract some of the
best jockeys and trainers in horseracing due to its high prize money given out to winners. Although its 19 races are of high quality, the attire guests need to wear when attending is less formal than other courses such as Ascot and Epsom, making it friendlier to newcomers to the sport. Families often come to races, with visitors encouraged to bring picnics along and enjoy the races from the centre of the racecourse. But for those who fancy spending a little more, Stratford Racecourse also has excellent hospitality packages on offer. The four packages offered all include a selected complimentary bar serving prosecco, wines, beers, lagers, ciders, and soft drinks until half an hour after the start of the last race. And each package offers a different selection of delicious food – from buffet food to sit-down three-course meals. Private boxes for between 10 and 250 people can also be hired at Stratford, and also includes a free bar and food for all guests. The racecourse is not only home to horseracing, but hosts festivals and other events as well. Stratford-upon-Avon Beer Festival is often hosted at the racecourse, and trade shows such as the Adventure Overland Show and the International Campervan Spring Show. For more information, visit the Stratford Racecourse website at stratfordracecourse.net
“Although its 19 races are of high quality, the attire guests need to wear when attending is less formal than other courses such as Ascot and Epsom, making it friendlier to newcomers to the sport.”
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
The future is bright A Coventry hotel is looking forward to a bright future after being taken over by a new company last year. DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry was acquired by Amaris Hospitality in October 2018 and becomes part of the group’s portfolio which includes several hotels with the DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton, and Mercure brands. And clients of the hotel can expect to see even further improvements to the guest experience on the back of the takeover. Carl Littlewood, general manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry, said: “ Amaris Hospitality is an excellent company with experience in running many successful hotels all around the UK, so we’re delighted to be a part of their team “While we have a strong corporate customer base at the moment and are doing well, we want to ensure that we continue to grow this segment of the market and improve the experience still further. “There are no immediate plans to make physical changes to the property but we can see where there is scope to make improvements and also to make sure that the business community in the region know exactly what we have to offer. “We’re very excited about the future of the hotel and we strongly believe Amaris Hospitality will help us grow and improve.” DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry is located on the outskirts of the city on Paradise Way,
close to junction 2 of the M6. It can easily be accessed by car from the motorway or from the Coventry Eastern Bypass. It has 172 rooms for guests, complete with complimentary WiFi, air-conditioning and free tea and coffee making facilities. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, including interconnected rooms, family rooms and deluxe rooms with extras such as fluffy bathrobes and a Nespresso coffee machine. Its restaurant, ‘The Larder’, serves British cuisine with a contemporary twist, and its bar is open for a morning coffee or a late-night drink. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s LivingWell Spa with a personalised beauty treatment, aqua class, steam or leisurely lap swim. For those who prefer more intense exercise, the hotel also has an on-site fitness suite with several stations for gym-goers to use. Businesses can use the hotel for conferences of various sizes. The largest room in the hotel can host 600 people, and it has 13 other rooms to cater for smaller meetings. The hotel can also be used as a wedding venue – its Minister Suite can host a large reception for between 80 and 400 guests. It also has several smaller banqueting suites suitable for many different kinds of parties and functions.
“While we have a strong corporate customer base at the moment and are doing well, we want to ensure that we continue to grow this segment of the market and improve the experience still further.”
Going from strength to strength A Coventry recruitment company is going from strength to strength by continuing to raise its profile across the region. Recruitment firm thefutureworks, a subsidiary of Coventry University, helps clients in the city as well as Warwickshire and the West Midlands find the staff they need. It also recruits staff for roles across all departments of the university. And the firm, which is based on the university’s campus, is aiming to stand out from the crowd through its corporate membership of the Chamber and was also among the sponsors of the 2018 Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival. Senior operations and business manager at thefutureworks Cheryl Dempsey said: “We want to utilise the Chamber to help raise our profile and to ensure more businesses across the region know all about the services we offer. “We also used the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival to raise our profile. It was a great event for the whole
region and attracted many investors, so having our name associated with it was brilliant for us.” Although it only recruited for Coventry University staff when it was founded in 2005, thefutureworks expanded over the years to help many external clients fill vacancies in their businesses when they come up. The firm recruits staff for a wide range of sectors, including accountancy, marketing, human resources, customer service, administration, logistics management, graduates, engineering, and information technology. These roles can either be permanent, temporary or fixed term. Alongside the traditional side of its recruitment business, thefutureworks also helps students at Coventry University by finding them opportunities for part time jobs and work experience during their studies. Cheryl said the company’s close association with the university meant it had a broader range of candidates than a usual recruitment
firm as it could easily contact highly skilled students, graduates and academics. She also said many clients choose to use thefutureworks as they are proud of supporting the local economy and would rather choose a company closer to home than from further afield. “Our clients and candidates experience a very hands on experience and we have excellent feedback on that basis,” Cheryl added. “They recognise thefutureworks operates with the responsibility for the reputation, credibility and social responsibility of Coventry University, as well as our own business.
“Whether a client requires staff to support short or long term, interim or for permanent appointments, thefutureworks has seven decades of experience collectively, and can assist across all commercial support functions. “This includes full resourcing for permanent vacancies, temporary support during the permanent recruitment process, secondments, project support, sickness or maternity cover and general busy peak periods requiring additional resource.” For more information go to http://www.thefutureworks.org.uk/
“Alongside the traditional side of its recruitment business, thefutureworks also helps students at Coventry University by finding them opportunities for part time jobs and work experience during their studies.”
Charities receive share of £30,000 from sales of carrier bags Fifteen charities across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire have received a share of £30,000 from the Heart of England Co-operative Society. The proceeds have been raised from the sales of 5p carrier bags across the Society’s network of 32 Food stores in the area. It is the latest donation made to charities and worthy causes since the introduction of a government levy in 2015. Over the past three-and-a-half years the Society has handed over £150,000 to charities and worthy causes through the scheme. With the most votes in each of their respective areas the Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, North
Launching to the trade in 2019 Valentine's Day marked three years to the day that Sarah Horne Botanicals was founded. A significant proportion of this time was spent developing and testing the collection, which comprises homewares and gifts based on Sarah’s fine line botanical drawings. After owning her award-winning floral design business for over 35 years and winning three Chelsea Gold Medals, Sarah discovered that she could draw and her deep love of flowers is the key thread running through the new venture.
Sarah and Rhiannon look forward to meeting you at the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Trade Local Business Expo on 15th March, Stoneleigh Park, 10am-3pm.
Hugh Sorrill, General Manager of Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind; Patricia Griffiths, Trustee Manager of the resource centre; Janet Arnold, Deputy Manager of The Co-operative Food at Earlsdon; Rosie Brady, Trustee Manager of the resource centre; Jo Dyke, Community and Membership Adviser of the Heart of England Co-operative Society and Clive Miles, Society President.
enabling blind and partially sighted people in the city to lead full, independent lives. Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Society, said: “We are delighted to be able to share £30,000 between these 15 worthwhile causes which span our trading area. “Every day they are working to help improve the quality of life for people in
their areas and this scheme allows ourselves and each and every one of our customers to play a small part.” The donation from the Heart of England Co-operative Society has been made in line with a government levy introduced in 2015 to reduce the use of carrier bags which are harmful to the environment. As part of the levy, every penny raised through the sales of 5p carrier bags goes to charity.
Hatton Country World launches new Swim School
The predominantly English-made collection, including fine bone china, home fragrance and art, made its trade debut at Top Drawer - closely followed by Spring Fair - at the beginning of 2019. Following the success of both trade fairs, the Sarah Horne Botanicals Floral Decadence range will now be available not only in the UK but also overseas in Switzerland and the United States.
Warwickshire Riding Centre for the Disabled, Menphys children and young person’s charity in Leicestershire, the South Warwickshire branch of Diabetes UK and Warwickshire Blood Bikes each received £3,000. The Enterprise Club for the Disabled in Coventry, Arbury Guides in Nuneaton, Emmaus in Hinckley, Kids Run Free in South Warwickshire and Hope 4 in Rugby each received £2,0000, while the Coventry and District Samaritans, Escape Arts in Nuneaton, Next Generation in Hinckley, Leamington Night Shelter, and Carers Trust in Rugby, each received £1,000. The Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind put its £3,000 towards general funds. It will be used towards
Hatton Country World has teamed up with leading leisure provider “Everyone Active” to launch its new Swim School. The popular West Midlands family attraction site opened its pool facilities
last November with lessons being held each week on Saturdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Since opening, the pool has proved popular and places for lessons are filling up fast. Set in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside, the 15-metre long, 1.2-metre deep swimming pool is situated next to the newly extended Children’s Nursery. It provides the community with small-focused fivestage award-winning swim lessons as well as a one-to-one coaching service. Premium swimming lessons are offered to children and adults of all ages and abilities and are conducted in tuition groups with qualified, talented and experienced Swim
England tutors. Aqua Fit exercise classes are also available. Everyone Active has been named ‘Operator of the Year’ six times in the last 8 years and manages 140 leisure facilities and cultural services in partnership with 42 local authorities nationwide. Customers that sign up at the Hatton Country World pool will receive a membership card, gifting them free swimming at over 100 Everyone Active pools across the UK. Johnnie Arkwright, owner at Hatton Country World, said: “We are thrilled about the Swim School which offers first class facilities. Everyone Active is one of the most renowned operators in the UK and we are
delighted to be working in conjunction with them. With our farm animals, indoor play, adventure world, laser combat and Children’s Nursery, we now have this fantastic private swimming pool on our doorstep”. Gareth Wagg, Contract Manager at the Hatton site, said: “Everyone Active is excited to be working in partnership with Hatton Country World to deliver quality swimming lessons in this spectacular setting. We are really proud of the facility created at Hatton; the pool offers an intimate and safe environment for children to learn an important skill that enables a lifetime of enjoyment in the water.”
Travel experts get a taste of the tourism and exhibition industry in Coventry and Warwickshire A taste of the tourism, exhibition and conferencing industry across Coventry and Warwickshire has been given to leading travel experts. Top venue and event organisers from across the country were invited to explore some of the leading hotels, tourist attractions, and conference and exhibition spaces in the region. The two-day event was hosted by Shakespeare’s England, a non-for-profit Destination Management Organisation (DMO), which promotes tourism to South Warwickshire and the surrounding areas. Guests were given a behind-thescenes look at the Ricoh Arena, a team building session at Warwick Castle and an exclusive showcase of the new hotel at the Baraset Barn Restaurant, which is set to open in March this year.
The trip also included a table-top expo held at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Other Place, giving local businesses the chance to network and present their offerings to these industry professionals to draw more business to the area. Helen Peters, chief executive for Shakespeare’s England, said: “It was a really beneficial experience to welcome these travel industry specialists to our region to see all of what we have to offer. “The group were taken on an exclusive tour of the new Baraset Barn Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon which is set to open soon and will be an exciting addition to Stratford’s luxury hotel offerings with the impressive sixteen bedrooms it will offer alongside their popular restaurant.
“For each aspect of the visit, our members went above and beyond in promoting their offerings with Ricoh Arena even providing a backstage tour of the arena led by Wasps’ former captain, Chris Bell, followed by an exclusive polo game held at Dallas Burston Polo Club. “The afternoon was concluded by showing some of the team building opportunities on offer in the region with the Medieval Knight School at Warwick Castle and a tour of their event spaces. “Our members are always keen to be involved with welcoming guests and industry experts to experience their offerings and we are very grateful that so many members wanted to be involved in the two-day trip. “We have a whole host of fantastic businesses in the Shakespeare’s
Travel experts and members of Shakespeare’s England
England region that provide a range of services, so we wanted to make sure we showed some of them off. “We were able to illustrate all that our members have to offer and promote the region as a place to visit for business meetings, team building days and also for tourists both internationally and domestically.”
Meet ‘Mr Pinchy’ at Stratford Butterfly Farm! ‘Mr Pinchy’ is the latest inhabitant to take up residence at Stratfordupon-Avon Butterfly Farm within Minibeast Metropolis. The brightly coloured Red-Clawed Crayfish, also known as Cherax quadricarinatus, or Yabby, originates from Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Championing gender-diverse talent
The founding duo of Career-Mums Sally Dhillon and Nishi Mehta
CW Chamber members CareerMums Partnership has restructured to better meet its client’s needs by evolving into two separate businesses. CM Talent Ltd offers a range of services to help employers attract, retain and develop more genderdiverse teams and contribute to the closing of gender pay and leadership gaps. Working with large businesses, as well as smaller employers, they offer services such as maternity coaching, HR policy development, leadership programmes and campaigns to attract returners.
Co-founder Sally Dhillon said: “We are excited to have launched a business dedicated to supporting Midlands-based employers with closing their gender pay gaps. There is no one quick fix for any organisation that has a gap, but we strongly recommend taking a multiple approach to this opportunity. “The business case for gender diversity is very compelling – businesses that have gender diversity at all levels consistently outperform those that don’t.
Career-Mums has become a Community Interest Company helping parents return to work following a career break as well as supporting working parents to have thriving careers. Co-founder Nishi Mehta said: “Becoming a social enterprise business demonstrates our commitment to supporting our self-funding clients and puts us in an ideal position for attracting funding to reach a broader range of people”.
Sally and Nishi are committed to inspiring and developing more women leaders whilst contributing to the removal of gender barriers to career and business success. They will be running a Chamber Masterclass on 8th April on How to make Flexible Working work for your business. Further details from the Chamber’s website. They will also be exhibiting at the Chamber’s Trade Local Business Expo on 15th March.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Global steel provider switches to TruTac Barrett Steel, the UK’s largest independent steel stockholder, switched to TruTac’s compliance management software more than a year ago and, says the company, there’s no looking back. With 150 own-account vehicles operating on restricted licences throughout the UK and Ireland, Barrett Steel recognised the need for an integrated package which
could facilitate real-time monitoring and compliance control for every vehicle and driver within the fleet. Richard Tallis, Group Logistics Manager, said: “We moved from our previous supplier to TruTac because their software is intuitive and more ‘user-friendly’. Now, using their ‘TruControl’ portal, which combines TruAnalysis, TruView, TruDriver, TruDocument and TruLicence, we control
virtually all aspects of our vehicle and driver compliance.” Barrett Steel operates from 27 sites serving a cross section of industry sectors, including agriculture, oil and gas, off-shore, rail, construction, safety and access and materials handling – a diverse range which requires round-theclock vehicle support and compliance.
Events company celebrates rebrand Leading corporate events company Eventurous Ltd recognised 30 years of professional event management and teambuilding events with a rebrand and launch event at Mythe Barn, Leicestershire. Celebrating with Chamber of Commerce members and business professionals from across the Midlands, Eventurous released their new branding and fresh website, showcasing the dynamic vision and high-level expertise of their rapidly expanding corporate events company. The launch event, held at the Mythe Barn adjacent to where Eventurous operation is located, featured an inspiring talk by Cherie Concannon of Concannon Connection. Her interactive discourse ‘The Untapped Potential of Events’ explored the psyche behind sub-conscious awareness and responses at meetings and events. All in attendance left with a deeper understanding of the best methods for holding memorable events and the secret to increasing engagement levels at any meeting size or conference. Addressing those in attendance, Eventurous Director Joe Garland and Sales
The launch of the Eventurous rebrand paves the way for a bold new future for the organisation, including the release of innovative team building activities such as SpyFall, Reign of Thrones and a high-tech treasure hunt activity. In addition to new activities, Director Joe Garland also made the announcement that Eventurous will now be providing international events for clients.
Director Kieron Bowen described the exciting opportunities available to inspire, engage and ignite commitment through events. Kieron said: “Eventurous aren’t just here to create events, we are here to help achieve your objectives – whether that’s to celebrate a milestone, increase productivity or just help teams work better together, all our events are bespoke and designed specifically to meet objectives.”
Is your business a ticking retirement bomb? Many owners will be relying on selling their business to fund their retirement, when the time comes. Sadly, they often discover too late, that the business they have spent years building, is in fact just a job – because the business doesn’t work unless they do. And that can make finding a willing buyer at the right price, very difficult.
Likewise, many will be thinking that a management buy-out could be an option. Amongst many other criteria, banks will want to be convinced that a competent management team is already in place and capable of operating the business without you – otherwise they will not lend.
Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2019: Winners announced The top movers and shakers of the UK drinks industry gathered in London to hear the results of the Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2019. The nominees were voted for by Imbibe magazine’s readers in record-breaking numbers and the shortlist included the highest calibre of UK on-trade professionals. The Edgbaston, Birmingham, picked up the Bar Team of the Year award. The winners on the night included • The Edgbaston, Birmingham Bar Team of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Ketel One Vodka)
• James Bowker, Nocturnal Animals, Birmingham Hot Stuff 2019 (sponsored by Tanqueray No. Ten) • Jonathon Swaine, Fuller’s Pub Personality of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Licor 43) (Note: joint winner) • Christine Parkinson, Hakkasan Group Industry Legend 2019 (sponsored by Southern Comfort) • Hannah Lanfear, The Mixing Class Educator of the Year 2019 (sponsored by Brew + Press)
Whether you want to sell your business soon or just want the peace of mind that you are building a valuable asset for the future, then it’s a good idea to see your business as a potential buyer or funder would do. I invite C&W business owners to benefit from their own Value Builder Score which assesses 8 critical value drivers within your business. It is quick and free of charge and it provides you with actionable feedback. Access your questionnaire here: www.valuetool.info Interested in going a little deeper into discovering how you could increase the value of your business? For C&W business owners with 8+ employees who complete the questionnaire, I’m offering a free follow up 60-90 minute Strategy Session including a full report (valued at £995) based on your questionnaire. I will work with you to: 1) Gain clarity over what you really want
The Big One Fishing Show to take place at Stoneleigh Midlands anglers are set for an unmissable fishing show in 2019 as organisers of the famous Big One revealed its ‘all systems go’ for a new event at Stoneleigh Park. Taking over the two giant halls at the easily-accessed Warwickshire location, The Big One Stoneleigh has been
2) Identify the key areas of your business that will create the value increase you want 3) Make a plan to achieve it The first step is to access your questionnaire here: www.valuetool.info or contact me to discuss further.
confirmed for Saturday and Sunday April 13 and 14 2019. With the nation’s top retailers also booked in, there will be some incredible deals for coarse, carp and pleasure anglers. Event director Vince Davies, who has run The Big One Show in Farnborough for two decades,
says Stoneleigh has all the hallmarks of being an unmissable event for all anglers. BOOK TICKETS ONLINE
Opening times: Advance ticket holders can enter the event at 9am on both days. Tickets on the door are sold from 9.30am. The event closes at 5pm Saturday, 4.30pm Sunday.
David Lee ActionCOACH 07970566390 email@example.com www.linkedin.com/in/davidleeac/
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training Scoops Training Provider of the Year From Apprentice to Managing Director
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training, a specialist provider of Apprenticeships training has been awarded the prestigious award of Training Provider of the Year 2018 at The Coventry Freeman’s Guild Awards.
A Coventry company, which produces a range of perimeter security solutions, is building on a 15 years partnership with Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training. The first Apprentice employed at the company in 2003 by Chamber Training was Chris Hackett and he is now the Managing Director, proving that employees can achieve their dreams with the right support and guidance. Harper Chalice provides a range of perimeter security solutions which is tailored to meet specific requirements. It is an employee owned business which ensures that everyone is committed to the firm’s success by providing the best possible services to its customers. Commenting on the company’s longstanding relationship with Chamber Training, Chris Hackett, Managing Director said: “Over the past 15 years, we have engaged with a number of Apprenticeship and training programmes with Chamber Training including the most recent Apprentice who joined us in September 2018. The team at Chamber Training offer a complete range of business led training courses through to leadership and management training, all outside of the normal apprenticeship programmes. The training can be beneficial and supportive of all levels of the organisation and the courses offer huge opportunities for networking.” Karen Devany, Account Manager at Chamber Training remarked: “With the right attitude and a willingness to learn, there can be tremendous opportunities for Apprentices to grow into a senior member of the team. With over 30 years’ experience, our stats show that 96% of employers would recommend Chamber Training as we can offer highly flexible programmes to match employers’ needs.” Commenting on how Chamber Training has helped with his impressive career path, Chris said: “Throughout my Apprenticeship with Chamber Training, I attended a number of additional training courses including ILM Management courses and other general business skills training such as Marketing, Project Management and International Trade. “The Apprenticeship gave me an opportunity to progress to Chartered Accountancy status. I found that the rounded training also helped me to develop the skills I needed to progress to Operations and Finance Director in 2011 when I was heavily involved in the delivery of a multimillion pound project for the London Olympics in 2012. Following this success, I was appointed General Manager in 2014 and then Managing Director in 2016. We have since achieved great success with significant commercial growth and the ability to take on further Apprentices.” Harper Chalice Group Limited Harper Chalice Group Limited was established in 1998. They are the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of electronic and electrified perimeter security systems and complementary products which are specifically designed to meet the growing demand for reliable protection of people, property and assets worldwide.
The purpose of the Guild Awards is to celebrate the achievements of exceptional local, young people undertaking an Apprenticeship in Coventry area. Specialising in providing a wide range of exceptional Apprenticeships for employers across Coventry & Warwickshire, Chamber Training helps to develop individuals in their chosen career paths to gain new skills and nationally recognised qualifications whilst earning a salary and gaining invaluable work experience. The expert team of advisers based in Radford, Coventry has exceptional knowledge in working closely with employers and Apprentices, offering high quality individual advice and guidance. Chamber Training was particularly pleased as this was the second year they had been awarded such a prestigious accolade. Their Apprentice who received the Apprentice of the Year 2018 Award for the Small to Medium Employer category was Kathleen Cullerton-Underwood who works at Zenith Contractors in Coventry, recognised for her outstanding
development as an Accountancy Apprentice together with her extensive voluntary work across seas with under privileged children. Her dedication to charity work has also helped to develop her role in customer services at the firm as she has a deep understanding of people and an empathy in how to deal with a wide range of customer demands. Kathleen said: “It’s a great feeling just to be nominated for this award, especially when it’s the people you work with who have acknowledged your hard work put your name forward. Working in the accounts department at Zenith has given me an insight into various ways of running a business, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. I’d like to thank Chamber Training for nominating me for the award, and I am delighted to have won.” Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John Blundell was in attendance at the awards, which have been running annually since 2005, as President of the Guild. Sally Lucas, Executive Director at Chamber Training commented: “The Freemen’s Guild Awards celebrate the achievements of exceptional, local, young people undertaking an Apprenticeship in Coventry area, and Kathleen is certainly one of them.
“We’re delighted that Kathleen has been recognised for her outstanding development as an Accountancy Apprentice together with her extensive voluntary work overseas with under privileged children. Her dedication to charity work has also helped to develop her role in customer services at the firm, as she has a deep understanding of people and empathy in how to deal with a wide range of customer demands. “Chamber Training is currently working with over 600 apprentices to develop highly skilled individuals that can grow with the business to become valued members of the workforce. We liaise with over 1,000 organisations to help identify solutions which will enhance business performance by harnessing fresh new talent in the business. I’d like to congratulate Kathleen on this award. She has represented Chamber Training to the highest level and is more than deserving of the accolade.” Contact Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training on 02476 231122 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities in the city.
One Million Mentors help to break down barriers Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training has spearheaded the launch of a national initiative to support students with personal and professional development by offering an experienced, inspirational mentor to help fulfil their aspirations. One Million Mentors (1MM) aims to transform the process of mentoring for all in the UK and train, recruit and connect a million mentors to a million young people in order to increase youth employability, support social action and help break down social barriers. Commenting on the working partnership with IMM, Sarah Williams, Training Manager at Chamber Training said: “The mentors offer to talk to students for one hour per month, for up to 12 months either at Chamber Training’s offices in Radford, Coventry or the workplace, to
help with signposting and offering appropriate sources of support to develop students’ networks. “The mentors can also offer students support with their education, training and career choices by helping to set clear goals, encourage learning, promote self-reliance and facilitate reflection. All students with the right attitude and a determination to learn and grow can benefit from this initiative. The support and insight of a mentor and our partnership with 1MM offers the perfect mix for students who need help with their inspiration to realise their true potential. “So, if you are looking for advice and guidance about what to do next such as exploring the Apprenticeships Route and discussing your future options, then this is an excellent opportunity for you.” Sarah concluded.
The mentors from back row (L to R): Cathy Armstrong, Gurmeet Dhillon, Ian Burton, Hannah Atherton, Mark Baxter and front row (L to R): Sarah Williams, Katie Hilder and Julie Hobbins
The mentors are aged 25 and older, professional or retired professionals from a wide range of sectors including accounting, public services, creative
industries, technology and more, and they will have undergone 1MM mentor training and relevant checks.
To find out more, contact Sarah Williams at Chamber Training on 024 7623 1122 or email@example.com www.onemillionmentors.org.uk
“The mentors can also offer students support with their education, training and career choices by helping to set clear goals, encourage learning, promote self-reliance and facilitate reflection. “ www.cw-chamber.co.uk
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
‘Austerity still with us’, delegation told
The Coventry branch of the Chamber at Friargate as they meet Coventry City Council
Coventry City Council has consulted with local businesses on its future budgets and gave them a stark warning – austerity isn’t over for local authorities. The Council has a statutory duty to consult with the business community when setting budgets and does so through meeting the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Coventry Branch. More than half a dozen representatives from a range of companies – from manufacturing to training providers – met Barry Hastie, director of finance and corporate services, and Paul Jennings, finance manager, at the authority’s Friargate offices.
Barry Hastie said that the City Council was consulting on budgets up to 2021 but that it was still unclear what funding would be received from Central Government beyond the next 12 months. Despite that uncertainty, he outlined future development plans for the city and how the Council has had to become more business-like to generate new income streams. That included investment in a second speculative office building at Friargate, the creation of The Wave in the city centre and bringing forward new plans for the City Centre South scheme.
He also earmarked Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021 as a source of potential investment into the city. He said: “It’s difficult because we are consulting on our budget before we actually know what our budget is going to be. “The Government is carrying out a Fair Funding Review, which is looking at how money is allocated across local authorities across the country. However, we are not planning for austerity to be over. “Coventry City Council has had to look at other ways to generate income in order to deliver services and commercialisation is a journey we have been on and remain on. “We are looking at a range of ways to turn capital resources into revenue and the fact that we are a growing city means we are generating more revenue that way. “So we value the input and feedback from the business
community into how we continue to make this an environment in which companies across all sectors can thrive.” Peter Burns, former president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, chaired the meeting. He said: “We welcome the link with Coventry City Council as it is important for the local authority to meet businesses and gain their feedback on the city’s future plans. “The Chamber has been supportive of the council’s moves over recent years to become more commercially active and to be proactive in creating the right conditions for businesses to grow. “There are exciting times ahead for Coventry – from UK City of Culture in 2021 through to the creation of the UKBIC – and we, as businesses, must be ready to make the most of that.”
“The Government is carrying out a Fair Funding Review, which is looking at how money is allocated across local authorities across the country. However, we are not planning for austerity to be over.”
New Ghost Tour hits the streets Ghosts Unlimited have revamped their Warwick Ghost Tour and the new look features many new stories, some never been told before! The new tour launched at the end of January with a sell-out audience and was led by the organisation’s new guide. The iconic Medieval streets were a dominant feature of the tour, which still hold onto many dark secrets, but there were some refreshingly new contemporary ghost stories also featured, subtly
blending the ancient past with the present day. Towards the latter half of the tour guests were taken to a "paranormal hotspot" with some even saying they experienced something spooky themselves. Matthew Grange from Ghosts Unlimited said: “With this tour's relaunch being so successful we will be running two different ghost tours in Warwick as well as re-launching our Coventry tour by the Spring 2019.”
Business unveils new website To reflect the growth of wellbeing in the workplace, Worcestershire based business and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce member Hands On At Work has unveiled a new website https://handsonatwork.co.uk/ A healthy motivated and engaged workforce is hard working, makes a positive
contribution to the business and has respect for its employer leading to excellent customer service and satisfaction. Putting in place a health and wellbeing programme for your employees will show that you care and want to support your employees in an open and honest environment where engagement and motivation will thrive.
Workplace massage is a great way to introduce wellbeing into the business. Seated acupressure massage is ideal for both male and female employees and for all ages. It targets areas of tension and muscle soreness in your back, neck and shoulders, arms and hands providing relief from muscle aches and pains often
aggravated by repetitive strain and posture related issues. Kathy Scott, owner of Hands On At Work, said: “It was really important to us that we show our prospective clients that our workplace massage service is more than what is provided on the day – we’re looking after you even when we’re not on site.”
Take a chance to benefit from collaboration The business world can benefit more from collaboration today than it ever could in the past. Sharing ideas and experiences is key to growth and there are so many opportunities available to business leaders that it can be hard to decide where to start. One of the biggest challenges facing UK business at the moment is the productivity gap and at Burgis & Bullock we think this is partly to do with historical resistance from SME owners towards asking for help. In the professional world we have to undertake annual training but business owners can go their entire lives without any training or help. Of course, it may be that they simply haven’t known where to go and that information does need to be signposted more clearly. At Burgis & Bullock we have created the Business Mastermind Group, bringing together professionals from a wide range of sectors once every six weeks, for presentations and discussions on how they can improve their business or make contacts that would be mutually beneficial. After a successful launch last year in Leamington Spa with around 16 businesses signing up from backgrounds as diverse as recruitment, IT, telecoms, insurance and many more, the group is now expanding to welcome more companies from the area. Last year saw the Business Mastermind Group meet to discuss crucial business topics such as how to effectively use key performance indicators, internet security and GDPR. The discussions and presentations allow companies to bring their ideas and concerns to the table in the knowledge that they are surrounded by some of the sharpest business minds around, who can offer them assistance from a variety of angles. A taster event for those interested in joining the second incarnation of the Business Mastermind Group will be held on March 28th, at 9am and 2pm at the firm’s Leamington Spa office on Waterloo Place. We are looking forward to meeting with businesses who are interested in joining us on our journey to improve business connectivity. Burgis & Bullock, who have offices in Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Stratford-UponAvon, Rugby and London, boast a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience from Business start-up and owner-managed businesses through to national charities and international groups. Sean Farnell Contact us today or visit our website for more information. Tel: 0345 177 5500 www.burgisbullock.com Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.
Band Hatton Button to move into larger premises A Coventry law firm is moving into larger premises in the city in line with its growth plans and to ensure that the business is well placed for the future. Band Hatton Button, which currently occupies 7,500 square feet of office space on Warwick Road, is making the move to Earlsdon Park on Butts Road to acquire 11,500 square feet of open-plan office space on a 15-year lease.
Recognition for law firm
Coventry and Warwickshire law firm Alsters Kelley is celebrating after four of their service areas were recommended in the world’s largest independent legal guide. The firm has been recommended in the following practice areas: • Crime, fraud and licensing – Crime: general • Family • Private Client – Personal tax, trusts and probate • Personal Injury.
The move heralds a new era for Band Hatton Button, which has grown its workforce from 62 to 82 and increased its budget from £3.5 million to £4.5 million since forming in 2013 as a result of a merger between Varley Hibbs, Button Legal and Band Hatton. Band Hatton Button are set to move into their new premises over Easter and managing director Mark Moseley said: “This office move is laying the foundations for us to realise our long-term ambitions to grow – both organically and through acquisitions.
“Extra office space is key for us as we are keen to attract new talent into the firm which will help us to diversify our clientfacing services. “We are particularly on the lookout for individuals with commercial expertise in the agriculture and construction sectors, which are going to be two big areas of focus for us over the coming months and years. “We’ve enjoyed a successful journey of growth since the business’ merger in 2013, notably more recently with Coventry’s in-demand residential and commercial property markets, which is showing no signs of slowing down. “We are in the heart of a city that is attracting more students than ever before, is at the forefront of developing driverless
cars and is preparing to become UK City of Culture in 2021 – the future is bright for Coventry and we look forward to sharing in the city’s success.”
Law firm urges company directors to make sure they know their duties Lawyers at Mander Hadley Solicitors, which has offices in Coventry and Kenilworth, issued the warning amid fears that many directors might not be familiar with their duties and obligations.
In addition, 12 of the firm’s lawyers were given recommendations, including all three of the Crime department, six members of the Family Department, two from Private Client and one from their Personal Injury team.
Directors owe numerous duties to a company. These duties were developed by the courts over a long period of time before some were enshrined in the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006). The duties of a director set out in the CA 2006 sections 171-177 are often known as the general duties.
Cathy Wahlberg, Operations and Finance Member at Alsters Kelley Limited, said: “We are really thrilled with the outcome of the latest Legal 500 survey – having 12 of our lawyers recommended really reflects the hard work and commitment we have towards achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.” Legal 500 is an annual directory, now in its 30th year and is widely acknowledged as the world’s largest legal referral guide. It is an entirely independent guide and firms and individuals are recommended purely on merit.
“We are nearing maximum capacity in our existing offices whereas the new space will enable us to grow our workforce to around 120 staff which has been our plan for some time.
Professionals at a Coventry and Warwickshire-based law firm are urging company directors to make sure they know their duties.
John Morgan, a Senior Associate at Mander Hadley Solicitors, said: “The general duties include the duty to promote the success of the company, the duty to exercise
independent judgment, the duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, the duty not to accept benefits from third parties and the duty to declare interests in proposed transactions or arrangements. “It is also a criminal offence to fail to declare an interest in existing transactions or arrangements.” He said that the general duties are not exhaustive and directors should be aware of other legislation that may apply, such as in an insolvency situation where liability can arise for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading and transactions carried out at an undervalue or where a preference is given.
John said: “Potential liability also arises for a director under sector-specific legislation, for example in relation to unsolicited marketing communications where the Information Commissioner’s Office has the power to fine directors in addition to companies for nuisance calls and messages. “If a director breaches one or more of the general duties he may leave himself open to a civil action from the company with the possible consequences of damages or compensation, restoration of the company’s profits and an account of profits made by the director. “Directors should always seek legal advice before taking any action if they are unsure whether it would be in breach of their duties.”
Wright Hassall looks to the future with appointments A leading law firm established more than 170 years ago is looking to the future after hiring its first ever three legal apprentices. Wright Hassall, which is based in Leamington Spa, has welcomed a trio of young professionals on board as the firm looks to create a pipeline of talent for the future. Connie Bell, 19, from Whitnash, Sophie Hayne, 18, from Rugby and Molly Clarke, 19, from Leamington, are all looking to build a career at Wright Hassall, starting with the two year apprenticeship programme. Connie will work with the commercial litigation team, Sophie will work with the firm’s commercial solicitors and Molly will work with private clients. Molly said: “We are all delighted to be given this opportunity at a firm with such a great reputation; it is a brilliant chance for all of us.”
The firm has recruited apprentices before, but never in paralegal roles, and has struck up a relationship with law school CILEx to ensure it attracts the strongest candidates. CILEx advertised the vacancies on their website and relevant job boards, as well as contacting schools in the region to see if they had suitable candidates who had recently left. There are set to be more opportunities later in the year for apprentices to join Wright Hassall. Sarah Perry, Managing Director at Wright Hassall who started as a trainee with the company, said: “It is a real pleasure for us to welcome three bright and eager apprentices on board and offer them an opportunity to start their legal career with us.”
Sarah Perry, Connie Bell, Molly Clarke, Sophie Hayne
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Success inspires new talent
James Hancox, Shane Tull, George Cleary, Neil Mackey, Jack Shale and Ciaran Craven
A Coventry company’s first apprentice who went on to be nationally recognised as an industry rising star is taking its latest career hopeful under his wing. Neil Mackey became the first apprentice at commercial insurance broker Inspire Insurance in 2011 and within just three years had qualified as an
insurance professional, held up as one of the UK’s brightest stars in broking by industry experts. Neil’s success prompted the award-winning company to develop an apprenticeship scheme to allow other young people to enter and progress within the industry, and he has since supported nine apprentices as a role model and mentor.
George Cleary, aged 19, is the newest apprentice and is part of an intake of five who have all joined since 2017, as part of the Middlemarch Business Park company’s on-going investment in young, local talent and to support its continued growth. Ciaran Craven, aged 21, Shane Tull, aged 22, and James Hancox, aged 19, have recently completed their apprenticeships, and are either working towards or have achieved their Cert CII industry qualification. Nineteen-year-old Jack Shale has achieved his Cert CII ahead of his apprenticeship. Neil, corporate risks manager, said: “Our latest intake of five apprentices are all making a big impression and we have been extremely impressed with how they have taken to their new roles, particularly starting at as young an age as 17. “We are a growing commercial insurance broker with over 1,500 clients nationwide and we are looking at taking on another
15 employees over the next 18 months to support our expansion which is currently focused on the local and regional market. “Our plan is to recruit another five apprentices in the next 12 months by which time Ciaran, Shane, James, Jack and George are expected to all be taking a leading role in their departments.” The apprentices are assigned across all areas of the business including commercial accounts, business development, accounts, claims and compliance, and undergo intensive in-house and external training. Every member of the 23-strong workforce is either working towards Cert CII or has achieved Cert CII and is progressing to a Diploma. Neil said: “I always hoped that my achievements would encourage others and help promote insurance as a career, and so it’s great to be so involved in supporting our next generation of industry professionals.”
Businesses issued with a challenge A leading figure in angel investment has challenged the West Midlands to close the gap on the South East when it comes to attracting funds into early stage businesses. Alex Toft, who runs the University of Warwick Science Park’s Minerva Business Angels Network, was speaking at the organisation’s end-of-year round-up event at Warwick Business School. The event attracted investors from across the country as well as companies which have received funding through Minerva. It also gave those businesses an opportunity to update the audience on their progress. Alex told delegates that £1.8bn of angel funding went into companies in the UK in the past year but £1bn of that was concentrated in the South East while the West Midlands only made up 2.6 per cent. He said redressing the balance would create jobs and grow the regional economy. “We have to tap into that market,” he said.
“Companies move south to access those funds so the entrepreneurs are created there and the next generation of investors are there too so we have to break that cycle. “Angels are very important to the economy and the evidence suggests that we add more to GDP than previously thought. “So it’s vitally important for areas such as the West Midlands – and the North West, where we now have a presence – to attract more angel investment money. “In doing so, we will create more income, more revenue, more jobs, more entrepreneurs and more overall investment into the region.” The event heard that Minerva angels had invested more than £1million into businesses over the course of 2018 taking the total to more £11million over the past eight years. More than 350 companies had been reviewed by the network over the past 12 months with 17 achieving investment taking the total of companies invested in to 78.
Their range of services includes the design and installation of access scaffolding and temporary works, working with both system and traditional tube and fitting. Godiva Group is led by directors Colin Taylor and Karl Degroot who have been working with Steve Harcourt from Prime, who has been providing guidance on the financial aspects of the business and restructuring the company. Contributes to the firm by being on hand to offer financial
As an independent consultancy, we help businesses and institutions to access the government grants and incentives they’re entitled to. Could your company qualify for widely available funding? From R&D claims to Patent Box and Creative Industry tax relief, publicly funded incentives and grants are a valuable resource for businesses – yet so many fail to claim. Is your company one of the 97% of businesses that incorrectly assume they can’t apply for funding to support their innovative work? Don’t miss out on the potential of this valuable financial support simply because you didn’t choose to make a quick call!
We’re here to help you… We know that perceived barriers such as complicated reporting requirements and a lack of awareness or difficulty in identifying eligible activity can stop businesses from accessing this crucial funding. But we can do all that for you… With our proven track record of successful client claims and extensive experience liaising with HMRC, we’ve helped hundreds of SMEs and large corporates to get the funds they need to support innovation and improve cash flow. Alex Toft (second left) with some of the speakers and businesses at the Minerva end of year round-up
Professor Simon Barnes of Warwick Business School delivered a presentation on valuation and Ed Cotton, of Delio, showcased a new online Minerva Deal Platform. Matthew Rowell of Seed Legal delivered a presentation on due diligence while Aanisah Begg, of Midven, gave an update on the EIS Fund. Alex Toft added: “We had some fantastic presentations from
some really exciting companies. They included everything from medical equipment that improves the success rate in cancer operations right through to safety equipment in sport. “It was clear to see from all of the companies that the support of Minerva had given them a platform to get started and grow and that’s why it’s so important that we increase the amount of angel investment in the West Midlands.”
Chamber brings Godiva and Prime together Prime Accountants Group, which takes pride in the way it is integrated within the local business community, due in part to its involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, has started working with Godiva Group Limited. Offering financial advice, Prime was introduced to Godiva Group through the Chamber. Godiva are a Coventry-based firm who operate from offices within the city and also have additional offices in Manchester and Leeds.
We’ll help identify every R&D opportunity
advice and has provided guidance through quarterly financial and ad hoc meetings on issues such as tax efficient remuneration and restructuring the legacy of debt. Steve said: “We encourage all our clients to integrate us within their operations and see us as a consistent point of contact throughout the year so that we can be proactive rather than reactive. “In our experience, such relationships prove to be vital to the success of our clients.
We are committed to developing long term relationships with our clients and providing a service above and beyond a level that only fulfils your statutory requirements.” Colin Taylor said: “We have seen many benefits from having Steve on board at Godiva. Having someone assist us who is fully immersed in our business is critical to us as he truly understands what we do and how we are aiming to grow as a business.”
A stress-free experience from start to finish At MCS Corporate, we take care of the full process, ensuring that it’s smooth and hassle free at every step – to reduce the impact on you and your team. We can: • Find grants and incentives in your sector. • Evaluate your eligibility. • Identify the criteria you need to meet to get funding and assistance. • Prepare and submit full applications and documentation on your behalf. • Liaise with the awarding body, including HMRC, on your behalf.
Why choose to partner with MCS? MCS Corporate has years of experience working in the Research & Development cost recovery sector. We’re specialists in identifying and submitting eligible claims for R&D Tax Credits/ Allowance, Patents, Creative Industries and Grants on behalf of our clients. We have a proud track record of success and proven capabilities in securing larger-thanexpected claims returns. Better still, we work on a success fee only basis – meaning there’s no risk to you. We’ll do all the work and charge a fee only when your claim is successful. Give us a quick call today – that’s all it takes!
Give us a call today: 01926 512 475 Visit our website: www.mcs-corporate.com
Business units prove popular
Jon Blood, senior surveyor at ehB Reeves, inspects the Maricott Court site
New industrial units snapped up at £3 million Southam development Nearly all the industrial and warehouse units offered for sale and let at a new £3 million commercial development in Warwickshire have already been snapped up.. The Maricott Court development, adjacent to Holywell Business Park, in Southam is already proving popular with businesses, according to Leamington-based ehB Reeves – formerly ehB Commercial - a leading firm of Warwickshire commercial property specialists.
A development and investment company has secured planning permission to create up to 15 new business units in Warwick which could see 80 jobs attracted to the area. AC Lloyd has obtained planning permission from Warwick District Council to provide 30,000 sq ft of premises for business, production and warehousing off Plato Close in Tachbrook Park. The company, which is also based at Tachbrook Park, plans to start work in March to create up to 15 units for purchase or rental for a wide range of industries including hi-tech, engineering, light engineering and storage. Mark Edwards, a director at AC Lloyd, said ten of the units had been snapped up before planning permission had been granted at the site that it has owned since the 1980s. He said: “Warwick is a popular area for businesses
however large or small because of its location and transport links and Tachbrook Park continues to thrive yearon-year. “We have had significant interest in the scheme since we put forward the application to Warwick District Council and that will only grow now consent has been granted. “There could be as many as 80 people working at this new development and the fact we have attracted the attention of a variety of businesses is another positive since it highlights the breadth of skills in the area as well as successful businesses wanting to expand or move to the area. “We have agreed the sale of a further two units since receiving planning permission. Enquiries have remained strong, despite the wider economic challenges ahead of us, and we are confident the remaining units will be sold or rented in the near future and it would be great to have sold the
Mark Edwards (left) and Tony Hargreave from AC Lloyd at Tachbrook Park in Warwick
remaining units before the business park is ready to open for trading.” AC Lloyd bought the 132acre site in the 1980s, initially in partnership with P&O, and the bustling area has attracted
“There could be as many as 80 people working at this new development and the fact we have attracted the attention of a variety of businesses is another positive.”
Former office is sold part of a 35-acre plot bought by The Wigley Group in the late 1970s and 1980s. James Davies, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “The Royal Mail North Hub was the kick-start for The Wigley Group postrecession and from that point, we went on to sell and develop other sections of land within the Edgwick Park area.
Nine units are under offer at the site, with only one remaining for sale and three for let. The 13 properties range in size from 1,873 sq. ft. to 6,268 sq. ft. Jon Blood, senior surveyor at ehB Reeves, which is marketing the units for lease and sale freehold, said: “The huge interest being shown is truly indicative of how much demand there is for high quality commercial property. And that interest is not letting up. “Industry is thriving in our region, despite the fears that exist over Brexit and what is going to happen next. “Business owners in Warwickshire know the right thing to do is to invest in their future as this is the only way they will succeed. “We are delighted, but not surprised, to see how popular this development is proving.” The Maricott Court development is the final phase of the site, which is already home to businesses including Tesco, Find Me A Gift and The Tool Connection.
high-profile companies including Jaguar Land Rover, TATA, Holiday Inn, Ford, Renault, Bridgestone, Wright Hassall and Wolseley. Bromwich Hardy represent AC Lloyd.
The Royal Mail North Hub in Coventry
Midlands property, development and construction company The Wigley Group has sold the delivery office it built for Royal Mail in the north of Coventry for £3.5 million. The Wigley Group has sold its freehold interest in the Royal Mail North Hub to a private buyer. The depot, which comprises a 17,500 sq ft unit plus delivery yard and car parking, was built on land owned by The Wigley Group in 2009 for leasing to Royal Mail.
It is one of two Royal Mail delivery depots servicing Coventry and is strategically located to the north of the city, close to the A444 and M6.
It was built on land which once housed the worldfamous Alfred Herbert manufacturing works at Edgwick Park, and formed
“The Royal Mail North Hub was the kick-start for The Wigley Group postrecession and from that point, we went on to sell and develop other sections of land within the Edgwick Park area.”
“It marked an important stage in our regeneration of Edgwick Park which began in 1979, marking the start of our venture into the commercial property market, and has culminated with the creation of a vibrant commercial hub. “A decade on, we have sold our freehold interest in the delivery office and are actively in the market for new investments, seeking out further commercial property and land opportunities throughout the Midlands.” The Wigley Group were advised in the sale by Vining Management and Edgerley Simpson Howe. Frank-Steier Price acted for the purchaser.
“Award-winning destination centre oﬀering a variety of expansive indoor/outdoor event spaces with world-class facilities and hosting an assortment of private and public events throughout the year. With unique facilities for conferences, weddings, fun days and team-building events, Dallas Burston Polo Club oﬀers a centre of excellence in the heart of England.”
Dallas Burston Polo Club is the destination venue situated just outside Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
This award-winning events venue encompasses 600-acres of indoor and outdoor event space with six manicured polo grounds and the largest all-weather equestrian SuperArena® in Europe. In addition to its stunning outdoor facilities, the polo club boasts a range of unique indoor venues, perfect for weddings, business conferences and private/hospitality/public events.
The opulence of the 3,000 capacity IXL Events Centre and colonial stylings of the Clubhouse fuse with the quaint and elegant ﬁnishes of the QEII Jubilee Marquee and quintessential Britishness
of The Millstone Hare restaurant to create a truly special destination at the heart of Warwickshire. All venues are packed with quirky features and charming characteristics making every experience at Dallas Burston Polo Club exceed all expectations.
The IXL Events Team at Dallas Burston Polo Club hosts an assortment of exciting events throughout the year, from live performance evenings to family-friendly polo days. With unique facilities suitable for conferences, weddings, fun days and team-building events, it is also a major centre for all disciplines of equestrian eventing, oﬀering a centre of excellence in the heart of England which oﬀers national reach without forgetting local value.
Tel: 01926 811 111
Dallas Burston Polo Club, Stoneythorpe Estate, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 2DL
Profile: Tim Strafford
Engineering future success And his eye for accuracy and detail proved crucial in some high-profile projects for the world-renowned business.
“I developed that system and that launched in the cars in 2008 and every single Formula One car has been running that system since then right up to this day, which is a long time in technology.
“I was with McLaren for 18 plus years,” he said. “I started off on the Formula One side as a controls engineer and I was in McLaren Racing until 2007 – through all those good years when we were allowed to do things like traction control and launch control!
“I then led the development of our next generation engine control unit which again is still in use. Very soon after that, I moved into the commercial side and, in the last three years, I established a new business unit in McLaren Applied Technologies and have been growing that.”
“Then the FIA mandated a standard set of electronics for the all the teams in Formula One and McLaren Applied Technologies – another division within the company – won the contract to supply that.
Strafford, if one can pardon the pun, has always been driven towards automotive.
some major developments over nearly two decades with the company.
Few people know better than Tim Strafford that detail matters. Strafford has just joined Coventry-based automotive company Envisage Group as chief executive, allowing founder Bryan Campbell to take a step into a non-exec role within the business he established just over a decade ago and has been growing ever since. The new kid on the block joins with great pedigree and an enviable CV that traces his swift rise through the ranks at McLaren where he was responsible for
“So I moved across at that time and developed the gearbox control strategy which has to do seamless gear shifts in Formula One to 0.1 millisecond accuracy. If it gets the timing wrong, then it blows the gearbox out.
When he was opting to leave his Leeds home to go to university in the late 1990s, location wasn’t an issue, only the quality of the course. That eye for detail led him to Loughborough University to study automotive engineering and while the course served him well, it was a year out with a start-up company, Genesis
Electronic Systems, that gave him his grounding in the real world. “After I graduated, I worked for a small start-up where we developed some motorsport tyre pressure sensor technology that we were selling to various Formula One teams,” he said. “In the end, we decided to sell that system for exclusive rights to McLaren and I followed the technology to McLaren. “Going into an SME gave me huge opportunity to get into a wide range of different facets of the industry – from technical development through to engaging with customers. In a very large organisation you can be sandboxed into a small area of responsibility but if you are working for two guys who are the owners of a business, you lend your hand to a lot of things. “I initially started on a year out from Loughborough University and what I learned and achieved was way beyond what I ever expected.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Profile: Tim Strafford “I stayed on with them, graduated with them and ultimately moved into McLaren based, essentially, on what I had been developing with them. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to work in a small business.” And all of that experience provides the perfect platform to join Envisage – a selfstyled one-stop shop for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in the automotive sector, from design to build and everything in between. Strafford met C&W in Business on only his second day into his new role but it’s clear he has a handle on exactly what the company, which employs 250 people across a series of sites in the city, is all about. “It’s been great so far! There’s a lot of learning to do, as you can imagine,” he said. “Envisage does a wide variety of things, all supporting many aspects of vehicle development. A large part of what the company is about is as a trusted partner of established and new entrant OEMs, supporting their vehicle development, across a wide range of different activities from concept stage, design studios, manufacturing show cars through to engineering design. “The company is also supporting both OEMs and individuals with classic car recreations and even entirely bespoke cars on individual commissions. “In one instance, you are developing and building bodies using the old English wheel techniques of shaping metal, which to have that skill still thriving is just phenomenal. We are starting to see some of the classics being re-established such as the Jaguar D Type and to have a business that’s able to build those body panels, using those traditional techniques is fantastic. “We go all the way through to bespoke vehicles too. There are projects where we are developing absolutely unique and bespoke vehicles for individuals in runs from one through to ten plus. These aren’t widely known about as these are projects that we keep under the radar but there is still very much an appetite out there for unique and individual vehicles. “So we are working with OEMs, we are working with individuals and we are working across a wide range of companies but all focussed across professional automotive services provision.” The OEMs include the likes of Jaguar, Bentley, Aston Martin, Nissan, Williams and McLaren but such is the sensitive nature of the work the company undertakes for those clients, Envisage can’t shout about the details of what it does for them.
“Quality has played a large part in our success – the OEMs know that they can trust us to deliver to the highest quality,” said Strafford. “It’s frustrating, at times, that you can’t tell the world exactly what you are doing for clients, but it also adds to the mystique around what we do!” And, as the automotive sector continues to evolve, Envisage is perfectly placed to take advantage of that and has started to spread its wings with offices in the USA and China, all driven by Campbell over the last decade. “ROW used to mean the rest of Warwickshire to me,” joked Campbell, “but for Tim it means the rest of the world.” The company’s reputation now precedes it and as more and more challenger firms begin to emerge in the sector, Envisage is seen by many as the perfect partner. “Envisage has such a strong pedigree in what it does, working with all the major OEMs as well as the new entrants in the market that are popping up, because of the drive towards electrification and autonomous vehicles,” Strafford said. “The automotive industry is in a massively disrupted space at the moment and the established OEMs are recognising that they need to and want to do things differently to how they did in the past and Envisage is very well equipped to supporting that. “It’s an exciting new world and with the onset of electrification we are going to see more and more new OEMs coming in. There’s an increasing number across the west coast of America and I think we’ll see more over there and more here as well. The barrier to entry has been reduced as a result of electrification. “Those new OEMs are going to need a partner to support them right from the very beginning and that is what we are geared up to do.” Under Strafford, the company will continue its policy of growing its own future engineers. Last year the firm took on seven apprentices, continuing a trend built up over many years, and their training is supported by skilled staff – some in their 70s – who are passing on skills and knowledge developed over decades. And Campbell is thrilled to be putting their futures and the business, which has been his passion for 13 years, into safe hands. “Envisage is very lucky to have got someone of Tim’s experience and talent and vision to take over this business,” he said. “I feel comfortable for the first time in a long time that we’ve got someone who is capable of taking on what I started.” No pressure then…
“It’s an exciting new world and with the onset of electrification we are going to see more and more new OEMs coming in. There’s an increasing number across the west coast of America and I think we’ll see more over there and more here as well. The barrier to entry has been reduced as a result of electrification.”
Date of birth:
Ascot (but moving to the region soon!)
A boy and girl in Junior School
Favourite book: AA Book of the Car – a great book, helped build my knowledge from a very early age! Favourite film:
The Italian Job
Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Talent Coventry University work with employers to provide Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. The following apprenticeships will be starting in 2019: Engineering and Construction Development and Design Engineer (Level 6) Postgraduate Engineer (Level 7) Science and Health Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Level 7) Occupational Therapist (Level 6) Physiotherapist (Level 6) Social Care Social Worker (Level 6) Business and Administration Senior Leaders (Level 7)
Contact us to register your interest. Our full range of apprenticeship programmes can be found on our website.
For more information 024 7765 4960 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.coventry.ac.uk/apprenticeships
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Ministers urged to avoid ‘messy’ Brexit Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire are pleading with the Government to avoid a messy exit from the EU – and to be ready to support smaller firms whatever the final outcome of Brexit proves to be. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Brexit Club met at Coombe Abbey Hotel – two years on from its first meeting after it was established by the Chamber to support companies across the patch and feedback information to Westminster via the British Chambers of Commerce. Since being set-up, it has held a series of meetings and workshops to help best prepare businesses for the variable outcomes of leaving the EU and to also hear about individual issues from a range of firms. Hundreds of companies from across the patch have engaged with the Brexit Club and its latest meeting heard from companies from a range of sectors in the region.
The club also heard from David Hope, of Coventry City Council, who presented findings of research that has been taken into the impact of Brexit on the region. David Burton, who chairs the Brexit Club, said: “When we first met two years ago, our message to Government was to deliver a deal that businesses could prepare for and work with. “Two years on and the whole thing appears to be more complicated and more political than ever before. “We have been very keen to stay out of the politics and look at the real issues. We’ve also looked at the various ways that businesses can get prepared for Brexit in ways that would stand them in good stead any way. “It’s not all doom and gloom – there were manufacturers in the room saying how busy they are, that they are investing and that new orders are still coming their way.
“Others expressed frustration and believe that the current situation is the calm before the storm. “What is clear is that the majority of businesses want to avoid the messiness and disorderly nature of a so-called No Deal Brexit and have the transition period to get ready for the changes that are coming.” James Ahearne, the International Trade Hub Manager, added: “For many companies it’s too late for No Deal if they haven’t already started preparations – there’s just isn’t time now for businesses or the authorities to sufficiently prepare for it. “Businesses need a deal that they can work towards, with reasonable timescales for implementation. If they get that, I sense there is optimism about the future and that firms are getting ready to take a global outlook.
The Chamber Brexit Club, including front, centre, Louise Bennett (chief executive of the Chamber), David Burton and James Ahearne.
“What is also clear is that there needs to be support out there for companies to not just survive whatever comes at them in the next few weeks, months
and years, but also to thrive and grow.” For more information on events or support, go to www.cw-chamber.co.uk
“We have been very keen to stay out of the politics and look at the real issues. We’ve also looked at the various ways that businesses can get prepared for Brexit in ways that would stand them in good stead any way.”
‘Be ready for anything’, businesses told Businesses have been told they should be preparing for a range of potential scenarios – including No Deal – in the run up to Brexit at a meeting in Warwickshire. Members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce met at the Holiday Inn in Kenilworth to hear about how they can best prepare for the different scenarios that could play out once the UK leaves the EU on Friday, March 29. Representatives from the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spoke at the event alongside David Hooper, director of international trade consultancy Hooper & Co, who broke down how four different post-Brexit scenarios could affect businesses. David explained how even a so-called soft Brexit, such as leaving the EU but staying within a customs union, would still impact trade for companies importing and exporting to and from the EU. Scenarios such as a Canada-style free trade agreement and a no-deal Brexit were also discussed.
David told the audience: “You can start to make your plans and decisions now – don’t wait to see what happens. “If we end up with a soft Brexit but you’ve prepared for no deal, it won’t have been a waste of time.” James Ahearne, International Trade Hub Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the speakers underlined just how crucial it was for businesses to look at how the different Brexit scenarios could affect them and to make plans to combat any disruption.
He said: “March 29 is getting very close and unfortunately a no-deal scenario is still on the table. That means our businesses need to prepare and look at what options they have and consider what measures they can put in place in the run up to Brexit. There’s a lot of frustration among businesses that they still don’t have the clarity they need just weeks before the UK leaves the EU. “The Chamber is always on hand to provide advice and support around Brexit to businesses that need it.” For further information on accessing help around Brexit visit www.cw-chamber.co.uk
“March 29 is getting very close and unfortunately a no-deal scenario is still on the table. That means our businesses need to prepare and look at what options they have and consider what measures they can put in place in the run up to Brexit.”
David Hooper presenting at the event
we're on ! e v o m e th As one of the leading law firms in Coventry and Warwickshire, we are thrilled to be part of a region that has such great plans for the future. Weâ€™re excited to announce that we are moving to new offices in the centre of Coventry, and, as of Tuesday 23 April 2019, our new address will be: Earlsdon Park, 55 Butts Road, Coventry, CV1 3BH Our new bespoke office sees us taking on additional space, reflecting our current success and vision for long-term growth. Itâ€™s certainly a great time to be in Coventry!
putting imagination to work 024 7663 2121 email@example.com www.bandhattonbutton.com
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Area Focus: Coventry
Talented athletes across Coventry schools benefit from university expertise
Aspiring young athletes across Coventry can now access professional training and support thanks to a national scheme designed to keep students competing while they study – all in the year that the city takes on its title of European City of Sport 2019. Coventry University has teamed up with four schools and colleges to help 40 athletes with potential to go further with a range of advice and support services to help them stay at the top of their game while progressing in their education.
The Potential Project, run in partnership with Sport Englandfunded Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), works with a select group of schools and colleges across the country – four of which are now in Coventry. Athletes aged between 16 and 18 and studying for their A-levels at President Kennedy, Finham Park, Cardinal Newman, and Coventry City College are now signed up to receive high quality support in everything from sport science; strength and conditioning; nutrition; physiotherapy and anti-doping education.
Sessions will be delivered by the Coventry University Sport and Recreation team and faculty of Health and Life Sciences university after they were awarded TASS Dual Career Accreditation last year. The project will help mark a celebration of all aspects of sport across Coventry after it was named the City of Sport 2019 by the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe) following a successful bid by the city council and supported by Coventry University and other partners. Gemma Lavery, head of sport and physical activity at Coventry University, said: “This is about celebrating sport across Coventry and enhancing the opportunity to support our young athletes with potential, in and out of school, and the fact that Coventry is now the European City of Sport is fantastic” The TASS Potential Project is all about offering opportunities to young talented athletes aged between 16 and 18 who are playing sport at county standard and above, to encourage them to continue training alongside their education.
At President Kennedy School, ten sixth form students with a background in a variety of sports are already taking part in their first TASS Potential programme. Steven Garlick, head of PE said: “All of our participants are studying for their A-levels and combining this with their own sporting commitments. Some of them will be looking at a future in sport at university and beyond, and this will give them a valuable insight into the life of a talented athlete and hopefully inspire them in their sporting lives.” At Finham Park School, those taking part range from academy rugby players, international track and field athletes, regional swimmers, badminton players and horse riders. Matthew Amos, Finham Park’s head of PE, said: “So far, the group has received fantastic presentations from strength and conditioning coaches, top level athletes and physiotherapy.” Kirsty Field, TASS national lead for institutions, said: “We are really excited to have Coventry University on board as a provider of the TASS Potential Project.”
Zoo backs Year of Culture Coventry’s plans for UK City of Culture in 2021 have received fresh business backing from across the region – and a thumbs up from one of the stars at a Midlands zoo. Support from the business community was a major factor in Coventry securing the title more than 12 months ago and the Coventry City of Culture Trust has continued to attract new backers in the year since. Leap IT, Rowley Auto, Utility Team, Aquarius Interiors and Skydome Coventry, managed by Colliers International, are the latest firms to join the 2021 Club alongside Twycross Zoo meaning there are now 141 companies in the club with the aim to get to 150. The firms headed over to the zoo to meet Nicole
Success for Gallagher in Coventry Gallagher celebrated an excellent end to 2018 as November saw four major new corporate clients choose to take their Insurance and Risk Management services to the business in Coventry. This, together with previous success earlier in the year, means that the office income has grown by more than 10% in two consecutive years. Clients who have made the switch to Gallagher have variously credited the technical knowledge of Gallagher staff (particularly in the specialist areas of Life Science, Technology, and Education), improved service, and attention to detail as the reasons why they have trusted Gallagher to handle their insurance and risk management needs.
Malatesta, the fundraising officer at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, and some of the animals. Nicole said: “We are so grateful to all of our new 2021 Club members as their support makes it possible for us to turn our plans for an amazing build-up, year and legacy into a reality. “We wanted a place to meet to thank all our new supporters and while they are all great places to work, none of them could offer the surroundings – and characters – that Twycross Zoo could! “It was so nice to see how the zoo has evolved and continues to evolve with conservation and sustainability at the heart of everything it does. “We had the chance to see a few of the animals as we walked round and we drew some special interest from
Sharon Redrobe (Twycross Zoo), Liz Steele (Skydome, Coventry), Pamela Offer (Aquarius Interiors), Julia Baron (Utility Team), Nicole Malatesta (Coventry 2021), Stuart Watson (Leap IT), Simon Chambers (Rowley Auto) and Tommy.
the chimpanzees – we’ve even got a thumbs up from one of them!” Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the team at Coventry City of Culture Trust and we’re excited by the opportunity this presents to put
the spotlight on the great work that takes place across our region. “We are looking forward to being part of the UK City of Culture 2021 accolade and welcoming visitors from around the world to visit Twycross Zoo.”
Coventry University leads £20m global research hub
Coventry University will lead a £20 million global research hub announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part an ambitious new approach – funded through UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) – to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub will see the university’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) join forces with universities and organisations from across the world to explore how the movement of people in the Global South is affecting inequality and development in less developed regions. The initiative is the biggest research project in the university’s history and is thought to be the largest study into global migration undertaken anywhere in the world. Over the next five years, the Hub will work with governments, international agencies, partners and NGOs on the ground in these countries and around the globe to maximise the benefits of South-South migration for development – and to investigate how it contributes to the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as ending poverty and reducing inequality. South-South migration is estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration (up to 70% in some places), but its potential benefits have been undermined by limited and unequal access to rights and to the economic and social opportunities that migration can bring. The Hub will explore South-South migration in six global ‘corridors’ linking origin and destination countries, the key routes of focus being: Nepal–Malaysia; China–Ghana; Burkina Faso–Côte d’Ivoire; Ethiopia–South Africa; Haiti–Brazil; and Egypt–Jordan. Professor Heaven Crawley, an expert in international migration at CTPSR, will lead the Hub’s network of partners . Vice-chancellor Professor John Latham of Coventry University said: “It’s a testament to Coventry University’s global standing and research calibre that we’ve been selected to lead this major UKRI project.”
Young friends and fans take centre stage with their local Wasps rugby heroes Pupils and children in need supported by a Warwickshire-wide befriending charity received a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity when they joined their local rugby heroes on the pitch at the Ricoh Arena and became part of official match day proceedings. As Wasps RFC prepared to take on Northampton Saints, local children from The Romero Catholic Academy and The Friendship Project received the honour of acting as mascots and flagbearers for the game, courtesy of insurance broker and risk management specialist Gallagher, the title partner of Premiership Rugby. Those taking part were given the opportunity to be on the pitch alongside their rugby heroes, in front of the cheering crowds, before watching the match as guests of Gallagher. Pupils from five of the eight schools which make up The Romero Catholic
Academy and young people from The Friendship Project partnered with Wasps players as mascots, while children from The Friendship Project and The Romero Catholic Academy acted as flag bearers, forming a ‘Guard of Honour’ as the players ran onto the pitch. The children were invited to join the special event — known as a Gallagher Game Day — by the broker whose local Coventry branch is one of a 50-strong network throughout the UK. It is one of 12 such events Gallagher is holding with each of the Premiership Rugby clubs across the course of the 2018/19 season in its bid to introduce rugby to a wider audience and bring together the rugby community. Kathryn Moon, Managing Director of Gallagher’s Coventry branch, said: “Our Gallagher Game Day at Wasps was a fantastic way to bring to life our partnership as well as get local children involved in and impassioned by a sport that is driven by the strong and
important values of trust, teamwork and respect. We were also delighted to reconnect with The Friendship Project — giving some of their young people a real experience to remember — having been a supporter of the charity for more than 30 years through our Coventry chairman Cheryll Rawbone.” Cheryll, who has been involved with the Friendship Project since its inception in 1986 and now serves as Chairman, said: “Boosting the selfesteem of local children and young people the charity supports, by giving them access to experiences they would not otherwise enjoy because of personal challenges, is what The Friendship Project is all about.” Pupils who took part in the Gallagher Game Day were selected from Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School
and SS Peter and Paul Catholic Academy, all part of The Romero Catholic Academy. Patrick Taggart, Academy Business Director at The Romero Catholic Academy, said: “Respect, integrity and excellence are all values we share with rugby and it was great for our pupils to see these principles brought to life in such a passionate and exhilarating atmosphere. I’m sure this experience will be one that lives long in our pupils’ memories.”
Area Focus: Coventry Fundraisers can Glow for Myton in Coventry The Myton Hospices is encouraging people to walk, dance or jog 5k around Coventry city centre to raise money so it can continue providing its services to people with life limiting and terminal illnesses, and their families. Taking place on Saturday 30th March, people can wear their best – and worst – neon gear and flashing accessories to take on the course which features neon powder paint, a UV bubble tunnel, Zumba warm up led by Matt Print, an international DJ and much more. Registration will cost £20 per person. As well as enjoying an evening out with friends and family, people are encouraged to raise sponsorship money to help the charity hit its ambitious target of £61,000. This money would mean more people like Mandy Kinsey can spend their final days surrounded by loved ones, comfortable and well cared for. After falling ill on holiday in Spain in 2016, Mandy was told she had Stage 4 Lung Cancer. She started treatment for the cancer and in January 2017 was told the treatment had shrunk the majority of the tumours. But just a month later another scan revealed she had a secondary cancer on her brain and spine. In June 2017 Mandy had a seizure and was admitted to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire. She spent five days in hospital but asked if she could be referred to Myton. As soon as they walked through the front door at Warwick Myton Hospice the whole family felt a sense of calm. They were able to stay in our family accommodation on site to be close to Mandy. She soon came round and although she couldn’t talk, she was able to sign to her daughters Cheryl and Dani that she loved them – something which they said was ‘perfect’. A few days after being admitted to Myton, Mandy’s condition worsened and her daughters knew they didn’t have long left with their mum. They sat either side of her bed, holding her hand and listening to her breathing through her final hours. If you would like to walk, dance or jog in memory of a loved one, or just for fun, whilst raising money for Myton, sign up online at www.mytonhospice.org/glow Rebecca Richards, Assistant Events Manager at The Myton Hospices, said: “We are really excited to bring Glow for Myton back to Coventry! We’re hoping this event will bring everything Ibiza to the city and will be our biggest and best glow event yet!” The charity also wants to thank Crowngate Construction who have kindly sponsored the event.
Safetyflex Barriers 9-40 Truckstopper bollards set up on site in Brisbane
A world-leading British manufacturer of anti-terrorism bollards has helped to secure two of Brisbane’s most popular tourist attractions from potential vehicle attacks. Safetyflex Barriers, based in Coventry, has installed preventative measures to counteract terrorism including Singapore and the USA, as well as recently helping increase safety at Oxford Street in London, using its innovative Truckstopper Bollard products. Its presence in Australia has grown in recent months after collecting Product of the Year award at the
Australian Security Industry Awards, before completing the contract to secure Brisbane tourist hotspots the ‘Brisbane G20’ sign and the Wheel of Brisbane. A shield of 9-40 Truckstopper bollards, which can stop a 7.5 tonne truck travelling at high speeds in its tracks, have been installed around the sites, which regularly attract thousands of tourists. Marcus Gerrard, director at Safetyflex, said: “We are proud to be able to help secure the beautiful city of Brisbane and two of its most popular tourist attractions. This is a major contract for us as a business that is really going to help boost our profile.
“We have a growing presence in Australia and a strong reputation for the quality of our work in installing the bollards quickly and securely. “The products themselves are also held in high regard due to their stylish aesthetic, they offer top of the range protection without impacting the beauty of the sites they help secure. “We are increasing our presence around the globe all of the time and becoming a key part of security against terrorism in major cities.” Safetyflex’s products help to secure potentially vulnerable areas such as shopping centres, sports stadiums, government buildings, military,
utilities and key infrastructure centres. The company teamed up with Australian distributors EZI Security Systems in 2018 after specifically testing the 9-40 for sale in the country, which has been on high alert since the January 2017 car attack in Melbourne which saw six people killed and 30 more injured. Its award winning 9-40 Truckstopper bollard is known for being easy to assemble or take down as required, with a shallow foundation size of 20cm, meaning that it can be set up without the need to re-divert utilities making it highly cost-effective.
Apps funding offers help for businesses A Coventry-based tech firm is helping businesses realise their potential by developing innovative apps thanks to local grant funding. App developers at Apps Plus, the App division of the established digital agency Image+ Limited based at Electric Wharf in Coventry, have helped many businesses improve their efficiency and their customer service by creating clever mobile apps. And in the past 12 months, seven local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) have had successful mobile apps developed by Apps Plus. These seven have all successfully applied for grants from Coventry University Enterprises, Coventry City Council and the Manufacturing Growth Programme to help them to pay for the app development costs.
Businesses wanting to apply for grants need to be an SME from Coventry and Warwickshire – although some funding can go to West Midlands businesses - and to have an innovative idea for an app which will improve their business. Alan Hartin, managing director of Image+ Limited, said: “A lot of problems faced by small businesses, whether it be gathering and recording information, drawing up quotes or trying to improve customer service, can be solved with a well-designed mobile app. “We would urge businesses which may not be able to afford the up-front costs of paying for app development, to apply for funding. It’s a great opportunity for a smaller firm to get ahead. The funding is typically 40 per cent of the cost of the app design and
development and can be given for to a project value of up to £30,000.” Two apps developed by Image+ helped out a mobile food and drink franchise business which travel around business parks in coffee vans to sell their products. The first app, an iPad electronic point of sales system, has greatly improved the speed of order taking and provided real-time visibility of sales at head office. And the second alerts office workers to when the coffee van has arrived, and then lets them place their order and pay from the warmth of their office. They then receive a notification when their order is ready so that they can pop out and pick it up. Further apps developed by Apps Plus include one for a home improvement firm which enables the
Alan Hartin and the Image+ team at Electric
sales representative to quickly take an order and schedule a time and date for a surveyor. And another for a construction firm allows its workers and subcontractors to record their timesheets on their smart phones, giving managers much quicker and more accurate visibility of the workforce.
Agency signs deal with fellow Chamber member
IP Security Systems Ltd gain NSI NACOSS Gold IP Security Systems have been awarded the highly prestigious NSI NACOSS Gold Award. National Security Inspectorate (NSI) auditors visited the IPSS Head Offices in Binley, Coventry for two days in January to undertake a thorough inspection of the business. This included checks to ensure that they operate to industry best practice, have demonstrated technical and managerial competence and can provide sufficient cover and support. IPSS was formed in 2007 when Andrew Convery and Peter Collins decided to use their skills and experience in the networking, infrastructure, access control and CCTV fields to start their own company. The company has gone from strength to strength and Andrew and Peter have continually pushed to achieve excellence by applying for certifications from a number of awarding bodies. Andrew said: “After achieving the NSI Silver Award, we continued to push ourselves and applied for the ISO 9001:2015. After gaining that we knew that we had everything in place to go for the NACOSS Gold so we wasted no time in making the arrangements for the visit. Both auditors were very positive about the work that we had put into the preparation and for the processes that we have in place.”
World-leading British manufacturer helps secure Brisbane’s tourist attractions from potential vehicle attacks
Gus Bhandal (left), owner of the M Guru is welcomed by Tom Pearson of The Wheelhouse Coventry.
A local digital marketing agency has started the new year as they mean to go on by becoming a member of the Chamber and signing-up to co-working facilities at The Wheelhouse.
The M Guru is a digital marketing agency specialising in helping local businesses with all aspects of marketing, with particular specialisms of copywriting and social media channels. The agency’s founder Gus Bhandal was looking for an office environment with meeting rooms to be able to deliver The M Guru’s range of social media marketing workshops. The Wheelhouse, which is based within the Council House in Coventry city centre, was the perfect partner as it provided a range of flexible options including the hot-desking facilities and meeting rooms, as well as the opportunity to network with other
local businesses. Gus said: “I know how time-consuming it can be to get to grips with social media for most businesses, especially start-ups and sole traders. ”The M Guru provides small businesses with marketing support, from one-off training right up to a full management service, all within cost-effective solutions. Not only is The Wheelhouse the perfect step-up from home-working for my own business, but the meeting rooms at the facility provide a base from which to deliver my social media workshops to help other local businesses.” Sanjay Mahtani, Director at The Wheelhouse said:
“The Wheelhouse Coventry is very popular, and our community is continually growing. “Aptly, Gus first contacted us via Twitter and attended one of our regular ‘Lunch and Learn’ events to have a look around. Our facilities are perfect for small businesses like The M Guru who are looking for a professional work space, meeting rooms and flexible pricing options, all in a city-centre location, as well as a friendly community to connect with. In this case, it is great to work with a fellow Chamber member.” The M Guru will be exhibiting at the Chamber’s Trade Local Expo at the NAEC Stoneleigh on 15th March.
Coventry company Utility Team gains success through triple recognition The sky’s the limit for a Coventry company who have received recognition for successful business practices three times over. Utility Team helps organisations and businesses drive down the cost of their energy bills, offering green energy management and advice as well as a host of other supplementary business utility services. They have connected and established their place with Cornwall Insights, a nationally recognised energy industry expert and research organisation, being ranked 1st for services offered and 25th out of 110 companies within the energy industry
overall (within industry and commercial). There are thousands of third party intermediaries for utilities in the UK alone and only a fraction make it onto these rankings. Cornwall Insight is the pre-eminent provider of research, analysis, consulting and training to businesses and stakeholders engaged in the Great British and Irish energy markets. UK government certification for protecting sensitive client data; Cyber Essentials has also been obtained by Utility Team. Cyber essentials is a government scheme which ‘helps you to guard against the most common
cyber threats and demonstrate your commitment to cyber security.’ Furthermore, they have also successfully obtained the difficult to gain ISO certification in both ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015. Working with both small to medium enterprises as well as large industry and commercial businesses, Utility Team have set up quality management systems (covered in the ISO 9001:2015 certification) demonstrating their dedication to excellent customer service. This ensures consistent and reliable practices, resulting in their customers reliably receiving an extremely high level of service.
Additionally, they are dedicated to ensuring their environmental management systems are monitored effectively (highlighted by the ISO 14001:2015 certification). This demonstrates their dedication to the environment and energy efficiency, further emphasising their values, knowledge and experience surrounding green energy.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Area Focus: Coventry
Top apprentices from Warwick Trident honoured at Coventry awards
Warwick Trident and Jaguar Land Rover apprentice Amelia Westbury has been awarded the title of Apprentice of the Year in the large employer category by the City of Coventry Freemen’s Guild. The Guild Apprentice of the Year competition is held annually to recognise the region’s best young apprentices. Each year it sees nominations from businesses and training providers for young people who have shown exceptional ability in their chosen apprenticeship and whose additional achievements will inspire others. The event was held in the historic St Mary’s Guildhall and the prizes were presented by the Lord Mayor of Coventry, Cllr John Blundell and Guild Master, Brian Jackson. The guest speaker for the evening was Dr Tracy Rae, Head of Business Operations at Lloyds Banking Group, and former Performance Director for Scottish Gymnastics.
The three categories, small/medium employer, large employer and the endeavour award attracts a number of entrants for these prestigious guild awards which can be traced back as far as the fourteenth century. Amelia is currently undertaking a six year degree trailblazer apprenticeship in applied engineering with Jaguar Land Rover where she is employed as a research engineer. After achieving a distinction in her foundation degree at Warwick Trident, part of the multi-site college group WCG, she is now in her first year at Warwick University studying for a Bachelor in Engineering (Honours) degree. The 20-year-old from Warwick is on placement with the battery research team, working on electric vehicle batteries and has suggested an alternative method for investigating battery choice. She is a member of the apprentice forum and has been involved in industrial liaison. Amelia said: “To have both Jaguar Land Rover and Warwick Trident College acknowledge my work and nominate me for this award makes me really proud of myself and makes me even more driven.” The runner up was Josh Painter, age 22, who is also employed by Jaguar Land Rover and is in his fourth year of an applied engineering degree apprenticeship at Warwick Trident College. Josh has successfully completed his first year of study
Bus takes to the road
Teezers Retro Golf and Cocktails welcome Las Iguanas Teezers Retro Golf and Cocktails were thrilled to have the staff from Coventry's Las Iguanas visit them to celebrate their Christmas Staff party on Wednesday 6th February. Although they were unable to celebrate Christmas in December due to the busy festive period, the staff had a great time and enjoyed the golf, retro cocktails and the food from the hangry moose menu. Teezers Retro Golf is an exciting, unique new venue in Coventry where you can play 18 themed crazy golf holes.
Pictured with the new-look Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice bus at the Travel de Courcey depot is Neil Mackey and Jane McGaffney.
A new-look Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice bus has hits the roads of Coventry & Warwickshire. The double decker has been given a Zoë’s Place makeover with sponsorship from Inspire Insurance. The striking yellow bus features the Zoë’s Place bear mascot and branding, and will help raise awareness of the hospice which relies on £1.4 million of fundraising a year to provide palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants. The new bus even features the name ‘Lady Jane McGaffney’ on the
and gained an NVQ Level 2 a year early and so far has achieved distinctions in all subjects. His achievements include finding an efficient way to analyse 2,500 vehicles that had a potential quality issue which helped to release £175 million of revenue back into the business within 24 hours. This, and other accomplishments, led to Joshua being selected to host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a visit, and talk to them about the apprenticeship scheme and young people in general. Director of Apprenticeship & Jaguar Land Rover programmes at WCG, Alan May said: “We are immensely proud of both these apprentices who promote the very best of the programme for Warwick Trident and Jaguar Land Rover.” Judy Ryder, a member of the judging panel since the awards started, said: “This year was by far the toughest we have ever had in terms of the very high quality of the applications and every single applicant would have made a worthy finalist. “ As winner of Apprentice of the Year (large employer) Amelia received a certificate, trophy and cheque for £1000 and Josh received a trophy and cheque for £100. Presentations of trophies were also made to WCG as training provider and Jaguar Land Rover as employer.
front windscreen to acknowledge the charity worker who has been behind the initiative. Jane, community fundraiser at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice based in Ash Green, Coventry, said: “We are so grateful to Inspire Insurance for sponsoring the new bus as we couldn’t have otherwise afforded the makeover.” Neil Mackey, corporate account manager at the Middlemarch Business Park firm, said: “As a locally-based company, we are proud to support Zoë’s Place, particularly as it is the only hospice of its kind in the Midlands and provides such incredible care.”
Coding project under way Coventry University’s Institute of Coding is carrying out crucial work with the NHS to help the healthcare sector make the most of digital advances. The University’s Institute of Coding is creating a range of digital courses focused on allowing staff to meet the needs of patients in innovative new ways as part of the NHS’s long term plan to improve digital competency, Nationally, the Institute of Coding is made up of 25 Higher Education Institute partners working to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. Each takes the lead on a different aspect involved of the transformation,
with Coventry University’s Institute of Coding leading on ‘Digitalising the Professions’. This will see new flexible master’s programmes created, as well as online learning modules and Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses, influenced by the digital skills gaps which need addressing in the NHS. Louise Phipps, business development manager at the Coventry University Institute of Coding, said: “This is a prestigious project for us to be a part of, we are going to help introduce changes which will have an impact on society for generations to come.”
Coventry copywriter celebrates first birthday
Coventry copywriter Anna Lewin has celebrated one year in business. Anna set up her copywriting and content writing business, The QWERTY Keyboard, in February 2018, bringing with her more than five years’ marketing experience having worked in both small and large marketing teams.
Having developed a keen interest in the writing element of marketing during her previous roles, she underwent a comprehensive copywriting course which inspired her to set up her own business where she could focus on helping businesses to use the right words in their online and offline marketing. She’s written and edited content for more than 15 businesses and agencies, working on more than 51 projects across 12 industry sectors. In addition to her copywriting and content writing services Anna offers digital marketing support, helping businesses to get their content seen.
Anna received free startup business advice from Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce through their Business Support Programme and worked on a one-to-one basis with Business Advisor, Wendy Brown. Wendy said: “Anna gave her business the very best chance of success by seeking the right support before she started and throughout her first year.” Since then, the Coventry-based copywriter has utilised the networking and workshop opportunities at the Chamber to develop the business further and build relationships.
She said: “To say the year has flown is an understatement! It’s been great to meet and work with so many passionate businesses in my first year. I’m grateful to have had the Chamber’s support from the beginning and feel very lucky to have had access to the numerous workshops and IT support, alongside the one-to-one sessions. It’s provided a strong foundation for my business and I can’t wait to get stuck into year two.” While Anna primarily serves clients in Coventry and Warwickshire, the remote nature of her business means she can work with clients globally.
Jas Sodhi, Jane Talbot, John Dalziel
Escape Live expands into new Midlands office A successful escape experience company, which was established by two Coventry entrepreneurs less than five years ago, is expanding into new offices in the region to continue its growth. John Dalziel and Jas Sodhi set up Escape Live in 2014 with its first venue in Birmingham made up of two rooms and three staff. Now, with more than 40 staff and more experiences in Birmingham, Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon and Southend-on-Sea, the company has taken an office at the Venture Centre at the University of Warwick Science Park. A team of five office-based staff will work out of the Science Park and where it will carry out research and development for the the company’s future escape experiences, as well as providing office support to the venues. It marks another milestone in the company’s growth and will provide the perfect base for further expansion. Jas, who recently joined the business fulltime as managing director, said Escape Live was constantly evolving to meet the demands of the growing market. He said: “When we launched Escape Live, we were one of the few British businesses operating in this field outside of London. “We quickly grew in Birmingham and were ranked on sites such as TripAdvisor as the most fun activity in the region. “That has led to expansion across the region and the country and we’ve also seen a growth in the sector generally too. So we have to ensure that we stay fresh with new experiences and new attractions to keep visitors coming back to us. “The vast amount of tech and IT based companies based at the University of Warwick Science Park was a big draw for us. The Escape Live team based here will be heading up our research and development so being around like minded creative people was a must for us.” Escape Live’s experiences see teams of between two and six people locked in a room which they must escape from within an hour by solving a series of clues. They have proved popular with family and friends but also businesses too which have used the experiences for team bonding and team building. The company has also recently launched a corporate game that can be taken into offices and meeting room settings to offer a great ice-breaker for a business meeting or away day. Jane Talbot, of the University of Warwick Science Park, said: “We are delighted to welcome Escape Live to the Venture Centre. “They have moved into the centre because of the great location and the flexibility of the space as that gives them a great starting point from which to expand further. “But there is also lots of business support available here at the Science Park too, which is something we recommend that all of our tenants look into.”
Area Focus: Coventry
Elite training for young cricketer Company presses ahead with expansion A Coventry firm which helps protect visitors to some of the UK’s largest events against potential vehicleramming attacks has taken on new members of staff and is expanding its services after securing almost £55,000 of funding. Event management specialist StadiumTM has employed eight new members of staff and is continuing to create new roles after relocating from Coventry University Technology Park to a new, bigger premises in Walsgrave after engaging with the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub. The business, which supplies traffic management, stewarding, security and training services to the events industry, is also expanding its hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) product service side of the business. The unique and mobile temporary security barriers are used to protect members of the public from vehicle ramming attacks, and StadiumTM is investing in additional equipment to continue meeting the needs of its network of high-profile clients. Following discussions with Gary Thyeson of the Growth Hub along with both Kieran Bal and Matthew Dillow of Coventry City Council, StadiumTM received a £50,000 grant from Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme and a further £4,679 grant from its Green Business Programme. This money has been invested in the renovation of the new premises in Bodmin Road, the purchase of additional HVM equipment and also helped improve the energy efficiency of the new site. The grants, which were secured through the company’s work with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub, are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and are being delivered by Coventry City Council who are an accountable body. In 2018, StadiumTM provided services to local events including Godiva Festival, BBC Radio’s Biggest Weekend and the Rolling Stones performing at the Ricoh Arena as well as events across the country including the London Marathon, the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club and the Blackpool Illuminations switch-on event. StadiumTM managing director David McAtamney said: “We have seen a 61 per cent increase in revenue in the past 12 months, and have ambitious plans to grow this further in the coming year. “The grant has not only helped us move into our new headquarters, facilitating our growing number of staff, but has also enabled us to expand the range of HVM solutions we offer.” Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “StadiumTM has experienced a considerable amount of growth, and unlocking this funding means we have been able to instil confidence in the business to continue its momentum.” Caption: (back row l-r) Kierandeep Bal, business development advisor at Coventry City Council; Gary Thyeson, account manager with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub and Steve McCabe, StadiumTM finance director; with (front row l-r) Maria Holmes-Keeling, StadiumTM marketing manager; David McAtamney, StadiumTM managing director; Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub and Lorraine Baillie, StadiumTM HR Director.
A young Coventry cricketer is set to receive elite training after being called up to the England Women’s Cricket training squad. Ria Fackrell, 19, who is in the final year of her BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport Studies at Coventry College, is now learning alongside the best young female cricketers in the country, having worked her way through the ranks since she was seven-years-old. Ria, who is primarily a batter, was introduced to the sport through her neighbours as a child, learning the ropes in the
back garden, before joining local teams and eventually progressing to play for Warwickshire county. She then impressed at last year’s School Games, which brings young athletes from across the country together, where she was spotted by scouts for the England Women’s Cricket training squad based at Loughborough University. The young cricketer has her sights set on securing a professional contract this year and will receive elite level training twice a month through the academy to help her achieve this.
She said: “It is an honour for me to get a call-up to the England Women’s Cricket training squad, it gives me real confidence in my ability and I am excited to learn more about the sport. “I started in the back garden with my neighbours and have just progressed through the levels since then, but this feels like a major step. “My time at Coventry College has been very helpful for me in terms of opening up opportunities and the support I receive from my tutors is very helpful, too.”
Ria will benefit as she nears the end of her studies at Coventry College from the college’s recently acquired Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme accreditation, which helps future athletes in education to balance their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two, supporting over 600 pupils across the country. Alysia Bastock, Teaching Coach and Lecturer of Sport at Coventry College, said: “I am incredibly proud of Ria’s achievement. As a college we focus on helping our
Ria Fackrell and Alysia Bastock
athletically talented students go as far as they possibly can, while continuing to get their academic qualifications. “On a personal level she really deserves it, a lot of our work together has been focused on the psychological side of sport and she has really improved during her time here. She has a big future ahead.”
Work well under way at new centre
From the left, Professor Steve Maggs (WMG, University of Warwick), Gemma Gathercole (CWLEP) and Marion Plant (CWLEP) at the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre
Work is on track to open a new WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick in Coventry this year to equip young engineers with the high-level skills businesses need in the future. The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre was awarded £10 million funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and
Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). The steel frames for the centre are now in place in the first phase of creating the complex, which is scheduled to open in September this year. The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, at the University of Warwick, will provide apprentices with the opportunity to study on degree programmes to develop the skills needed by advanced engineering and manufacturing companies. The Centre will run training programmes up to Master’s Degree level initially for 1,000 students, who will complete their studies at the University campus in conjunction with their employment at companies throughout Coventry and Warwickshire. The Centre will feature flexible teaching and lab space, and an
environment for technology-enhanced learning as well as provide advice and support to apprentices and organisations. The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre is the first stage of a future Degree Apprenticeship complex at the campus to train students in a range of Degree Apprenticeships. Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the Midlands Engine and whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. “The Government’s £10 million investment in the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre will give young people the cutting-edge engineering skills they need to secure high-value jobs and ensure advanced manufacturing companies have the
qualified staff required to grow their business and competitiveness.” Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, said: “The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre will provide the opportunity for apprentices to study whilst supporting our manufacturing base by learning the skills necessary for the UK to stay competitive.” Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, said: “It is great to see the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre taking shape since this will be a valuable resource to train students with the skills which employers need to drive their businesses forward. It is vital we equip apprentices with high-level skills and this centre will bring huge benefits to the advanced engineering and manufacturing sector in the area.”
The business benefits of being a Myton Hospices sponsor Securing good publicity is the holy grail for many businesses – and often a tricky feat. But, there’s one way guaranteed to paint your firm in a good light - securing extensive regional exposure and supporting patients with terminal and life-limiting illnesses in the process. And that’s by becoming a sponsor of one of The Myton Hospices’ many fabulous events or essential literature. Packages come in all shapes and sizes. For as little as £150, you can sponsor a hole at our annual Golf Day and enjoy your company branding at your chosen hole, in prime position on display to some of our key corporate supporters.
Meanwhile, a £5,000 donation could see your name featured across all the marketing literature, social media and advertising of one of our headline events such as Glow for Myton, Light up a Life and the ever-popular festive Santa Dash – not to mention exposure to the thousands of people taking part in our events. Sponsorship opportunities exist for all our events – ranging from £1,000 to £3,000 - and are priced based on the number of people attending and the level of the marketing and promotion. But, there’s much more besides. You could see your company name printed
on our annual events calendar – distributed to thousands of businesses, organisations and individuals every year – for as little as £1,000. Or you could sponsor a feed station at our Walk for Myton and Cycle Challenge events for as little as £250. Whatever the budget you have, Myton will be able to find a sponsorship opportunity to suit. So, what’s in it for you and your business? Being associated with Myton is great publicity for any company and our following, through event attendance or our online presence, is huge, so you know your support will be seen by thousands of people and fellow
Contracts to help develop skills
Coventry College will play a key role in completing two major contracts to offer learning opportunities for people from across the West Midlands who may not be able to access them. The college will be working with North Warwickshire and Hinckley College on Midlands Engine Strategy plans to introduce new and innovative ways of improving English as a second language skills for hard-to-reach community groups. It will also work with other selected colleges across the West Midlands to offer
English, Maths and ICT skills assistance to people already in work through the Department for Education’s Flexible Learning Fund. The duo of tender wins marks a great start to 2019 for Coventry College and a major opportunity to connect with more businesses across the region. Rosie Bonner, Head of ESOL and International English and Maths at Coventry College, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to deliver these programmes for the Midlands Engine Strategy and the Flexible Learning Fund. “It is a real show of trust in our capabilities to deliver adult education of the highest level and a big opportunity for us to build relationships with businesses and communities across the region. “We are going to be able to assist employers help their staff who require English
language support to up-skill for free and flexibly. “This will have a major impact on the Midlands Engine Strategy as it will lead to better access to work and career prospects for individuals and enhanced productivity outcomes for employers.” The Midlands Engine Strategy work will see Coventry College teaching in the community, going directly to people in hard-to-reach groups and offering them oneto-one assistance in a project that will run through to the end of this academic year. Gemma Knott, Assistant Principal Business Growth at Coventry College, said: “We are excited to extend our reach to offer assistance to those who need extra training but are unable to access it, this can really help both their career prospects and the local economy.”
companies all across the region. Coventry-based Crowngate Construction have been the headline sponsors of our ‘Glow in the City and Glow in the Moonlight’ events for the last three years. Director Raza Ullah said: “Sponsorship within the local community enables us to increase awareness of our brand and generate media exposure and sponsoring Myton Hospice has enabled us to increase reach and exposure to new clients, customers and businesses, raising our profile in order to generate new business.“
University to sign independent commission’s Civic University Agreement Coventry University is set formalise its commitment to improving the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of its home city and surrounding area. Coventry joins 30 other institutions, including the University of Warwick, in committing to produce a “Civic University Agreement” in partnership with local government and other major institutions. The new agreement is a key recommendation in a report published by the Civic University Commission set up by the UPP Foundation and chaired by the former Head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake. Coventry played an active role in the Commission’s review, submitting examples of its civic activity, which includes volunteering programmes, community based health
initiatives, support for social enterprises in the city, and a project to maximise the benefits of migration. John Latham, ViceChancellor of Coventry University said: “We are very proud of the contribution that our sites in Coventry, London and Scarborough make to their surroundings not just through the provision of education but by supporting jobs, leading innovation, sharing skills, and opening up opportunity and experiences for all.” Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council said: “We are very pleased to see the university’s strengthened commitment to working strategically with the Council and other partners to support and grow the skills of the local community as Coventry looks to the future.”
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Area Focus: Mid Warwickshire
The UK e-learning and creative services sectors are growing, and so is Comtec Translations Leamington Spa-based translation provider, Comtec Translations, has seen record growth in 2018 with a 35% increase in revenue from the creative and e-learning sectors during the last quarter. With this steady growth, Comtec has expanded, recruiting new employees and moving to larger offices. Their recent relocation to the heart of Leamington Spa provides Comtec with space for further
expansion in line with predicted continued growth. E-learning, training and the creative services sectors have also seen significant growth in recent years. Director Sophie Howe said: “Our growth shows how sectors like e-learning, training and creative services are booming and that indicates growth in other industries too. Many of our clients provide services for multinationals;
whether they require training and e-learning content for a global workforce, or marketing content for their international customers. “The creative sector is a great example where initiatives like the 2018 Exporting is Great campaign have had an impact. Between 2010 and 2017, the Gross Value Added of the UK creative industries rose by 53.1% compared to the UK average of 29.7%.”
Comtec has provided translation services for more than 30 years and is a nationally recognised and trusted provider for leading companies in the e-learning and creative services sectors, including Sponge, Logicearth, Insights, Aardman Animations and Turner Broadcasting. “Our students have come away inspired and with a lot of food for thought for their future career choices.”
Regional renaissance ‘under way’ West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said that Coventry and Warwickshire is leading a ‘regional renaissance’ during a meeting of business leaders. The latest instalment of the quarterly Coventry and Warwickshire First business breakfasts, held at law firm Wright Hassall’s headquarters in Leamington Spa, saw the Mayor deliver a speech highlighting how job opportunities, business development and transport links are continuously improving before taking questions from the 50-strong crowd on what lies ahead for the region. He said: “We are currently in the middle of what I would call a regional renaissance, with Coventry and Warwickshire playing a major part in that. “In Coventry, after years of strife, unemployment levels have dropped and of course, the city is looking forward to its time as City of Culture. “Both Coventry and Warwickshire are also at the heart of this country’s plans to integrate Connected and
Autonomous Vehicles, with plans for major developments already underway. “There are also challenges that need addressing such as the skills gap and improving performance on our high streets, but there is a clear plan in place for sustained progress across Coventry and Warwickshire. “The test run of 5G is a real win for the region as digital skills continue to grow in importance and we will see the benefits of that here in Coventry and Warwickshire.” Coventry & Warwickshire First is a forum for professional and financial services firms in the region, offering advice and support to businesses from entrepreneurial start-ups to family firms and global organisations. James Oliver, vice chair of the group, said: “We would like to thank Andy for taking the time to speak with our members while highlighting the excellent work being done across the region.
Three new Businesses breathe new life into historic Leamington building The pulse has returned to a prominent building in the heart of Leamington town centre which had lay dormant for nearly two years, with the arrival of three new business tenants. Advertising agency Adgen, international hotel developer and operator Castlebridge, and leisurewear distributor Tri Distribution have all taken leases and moved into 2 and 3 Chapel Court, in Holly Walk. Adgen and Castlebridge have taken over three suites at the site, formerly home to accountants Burgis and Bullock, while Tri Distribution has taken the ground floor suite. The owner of the building has invested £50,000 to convert the property for multiple occupancy and it was let jointly by Leamington-based commercial property agents ehB Reeves and Wareing and Company. Simon Hain, ehB Reeves director, said: “This is a prime town centre location which has been brought back into use, which is of course good for business and good for the local economy.
L/R Andy Street, David Slade and James Oliver
“The discussion was informative and well-received, it really gave everyone an insight into some of the positive developments taking place across the region and how they all link together.” Wright Hassall, who hosted the event, are members of the Coventry and Warwickshire First group. Pete Maguire, joint head of the firm’s manufacturing
group, said: “The Coventry and Warwickshire First quarterly breakfast event was a huge success, which we were proud to host. “For us it was great to welcome representatives from a number of key businesses across the region and get everyone networking. We look forward to assisting with future events.”
“Coventry & Warwickshire First is a forum for professional and financial services firms in the region, offering advice and support to businesses from entrepreneurial start-ups to family firms and global organisations.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk
ehB director Simon Hain (left) with the new tenants at 2 and 3 Chapel Court
“It’s a further sign of the resilience of the commercial property market in the town at a time when the struggles of the high street have been well documented. “We’re delighted the full 6,300 sq. ft. available in the building is now let again and we are retained on the management.” Aliya Harris, project coordinator at Castlebridge, said: “We were originally based in Coventry but my colleague spotted this property and immediately fell in love with it. And the area it is situated in is just great. “The looks on people’s faces when they see we are based in this beautiful old renovated chapel is superb. “The move went really smoothly as all the companies we dealt with were fantastic. It could have been difficult because of everything involved but it went brilliantly and we couldn’t be happier in our new location.”
Area Focus: North Warwickshire
Prospectus goes live A prospectus showing plans to regenerate Nuneaton Town Centre and the surrounding area has gone live, launching the Transforming Nuneaton programme. The visual representation shows the aspirations of Warwickshire County Council, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and other key partners, including the Local Enterprise Partnership. They are seeking, over the coming years, to create more of a vibrant and thriving town centre offering a wide range of opportunities for shopping, leisure, socialising, entertainment, education and, in time, a desirable place for town centre living. The programme was kickstarted in the autumn with £7.5m of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The prospectus, which was produced with the input of the commercial sector and other stakeholders, shows the tremendous potential of the town centre for developers. How attractive a proposition it presents for large scale private investment will be key to making the changes sustainable. Attractive and easily navigated entrance points to the town centre are essential to present the initial good impression to visitors and plans for public realm are within the prospectus. The work to tackle the congestion at Coton Arches is the first stage of the programme. Town centre living will help to reinvigorate the area, increasing the footfall during the evening and increasing the market for restaurants, cafes and bars so the prospectus shows the plans for residential areas. Although related to the ongoing regeneration opportunities specific to Vicarage Street and Abbey Street, this prospectus demonstrates that the ambition for the town stretches beyond even the town centre and surrounding area. Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, said: “Nuneaton has immense potential, the town already offers occupants a fantastic base to live and work providing impressive transport links, a rich cultural heritage, abundant parks and green spaces and an excellent retail mix. “This conceptual project aims to maintain and build upon the existing potential and formulate a plan which will capture the huge possibilities for the future.” Cllr Izzi Secombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and its portfolio holder for economic development, said: “This is not a final version of how the town will look. Nor is it definitive. It is an aspiration, an ambition for the town that partners hope will be achieved over the next 30 years or so.” Sean Farnell, a board director at the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “The prospectus highlights the ambitions of everyone connected with the Transforming Nuneaton programme to make the most of the fantastic opportunities to regenerate the area.”
Mayor sees how training is changing communities West Midlands Mayor Andy Street visited PET-Xi Training’s new Skills Hub in Nuneaton to see first-hand the difference digital training is making in communities. Skills shortages is one of the key areas that the Mayor is keen to address throughout the region to ensure businesses are able to employ qualified digital staff. Andy met staff and learners taking part in the Positive Futures and ITQ programmes run by PET-Xi Training to break down employability barriers at its Skills Hub in Abbey Street. The Skills Hub provides work experience opportunities, support to lone parents through childcare and parenting courses, selfemployment enterprise programmes and expands on the quality of careers advice for young people through tailored interventions. Positive Futures is aimed at 15 to 24-year-olds not currently in education, employment or training – or at risk of becoming so – to achieve qualifications and employability skills including being provided with advice and support on applying for jobs, CV writing and interview tips. The ITQ scheme was also taking place which helps
unemployed people back into the workforce through a seven-day level 2 IT user skills qualification. Andy said: “I have come to have huge admiration for PET-Xi Training and since they have recently expanded into Nuneaton, I wanted to come and see what they are doing in a different community which has got slightly different challenges. “It has been fantastic to chat to people taking part in the Positive Futures and ITQ programmes and find out more about the work being done to encourage digital skills. “We know through our research into developing the region’s economic plan that there is a real challenge around the depth and breadth of people’s understanding of digital skills. “It is great to see people coming together to obtain these skills whether they are changing careers, returning to work after a career break or having not taken these courses at school, because they will have improved their chances of securing their career ambitions through digital training and in turn, that will benefit businesses.” Fleur Sexton, managing director of the award-winning PET-Xi Training, said: “We are
Front, from the left, Simon Fitzgerald (PET-Xi Training), West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Fleur Sexton (PET-Xi Training) with learners and other members of PET-Xi Training staff
known for operating at a community level to engage marginalised 16-24 year olds and have a constant track record of success in community engagement – and we are also renowned for going the extra mile to help learners stay engaged and on-track to success. “We have responded to the CWLEP skills strategy by using the hub to create employment opportunities, equipping the right people with the right skills to meet future employer demands. “The Skills Hub for North Warwickshire is the focal point of all our courses which interlink to help more people have access to learn digital skills.
“Since we opened the Skills Hub in November, we have noticed we are helping a high proportion of people achieve digital skills as well as basic level English and maths qualifications as part of our Positive Futures course, particularly those with disabilities since our office is accessible to all and learners feel comfortable here. “Digital Skills is an area which the Mayor is determined to improve and upskilling people in Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft opens up new career paths and also builds a workforce for the future to attract and retain skilled people in the West Midlands.”
Firing up enthusiasm for new apprenticeships
The ‘blaze a trail’ theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week, which was held in early March, is reflected in the number of new apprenticeship programmes being taken up by businesses across the region through North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. Numbers are particularly strong in childcare, and in health and social care, including residential care. Businesses have been benefiting from the introduction of new apprenticeship standards that are gradually replacing the former framework qualifications with additional elements of endpoint assessment including tests and face to face discussions. The College has now added the new apprenticeship standards for HR practitioners to its portfolio
starting from Level 3 and leading to the HR Professional qualification. Students from Coventry Hospital have been signing up with the support of their employer, as well as many others from within the manufacturing sector. New standards include an associate project manager apprenticeship with teaching based at the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) near Nuneaton and Hinckley, a new specialist centre that focuses on skills development for the automotive industry. The project management apprenticeship, however, is appropriate for any sector or industry. The MTI also offers apprenticeships across the range of automotive engineering including electric and hybrid vehicle maintenance. Other new standards include customer service specialist,
digital marketer, event assistant, plus qualification to suit multiple job roles within retail and hospitality. The customer service standard has been broadened to include back office elements such as data and customer relationship management. In response to issues highlighted by local employers in the tech sector, the College is collaborating on a joint venture to increase the number of digital apprenticeships so that businesses can grow their own talent and future-proof their business in this burgeoning sector. Digital West Midlands is a collaboration between three partner colleges, Warwickshire College Group (WCG), Coventry College, and North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College. The College is keen to reassure businesses that taking on an
apprentice can be easy and rewarding. The College itself employs seven apprentices across a range of disciplines including within the Midland Academies Trust group of schools. Katy Urwin, director for apprenticeships at the College said, “Levy payers are really starting to see how investing in apprenticeships can bear fruit for their businesses.” “Non-levy payers should remember that they will pay only 10 percent of the cost of training an apprentice, with the Government supplying 90 percent of the funding. This proportion will increase to 95 percent from 1 April 2019. Employers can also benefit from a £1,000 incentive by employing an apprentice aged 16-18, or aged 19-24 with an education, health and care plan.”
“The College has now added the new apprenticeship standards for HR practitioners to its portfolio starting from Level 3 and leading to the HR Professional qualification. Students from Coventry Hospital have been signing up with the support of their employer, as well as many others from within the manufacturing sector.”
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Area Focus: South Warwickshire
BT Fleet Solutions apprentice programme success
The first cohort of BT Fleet Solutions motor vehicle apprentices at Warwick Trident College have successfully finished the company’s inaugural apprenticeship programme after three and a half years of study to create the next generation of technicians. The twelve apprentices, who each gained an Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair qualification, picked up their certificates at a special event at Warwick Trident. The dozen are based at BT Fleet Solutions depots up and down the country and had travelled to study at Warwick Trident College on a block release basis. BT Fleet Solutions has responsibility for the operation of BT’s own fleet – the second largest in the UK at 33,000 vehicles – while providing fleet management services to a further 90,000 cars, vans and trucks for household names including the AA, National Grid and
Environment Agency. Services are provided through a 65-strong, UK-wide garage network, with more than 500 partner garages and more than 50 mobile technicians. Henry Brace, Managing Director, Fleet Solutions, said: “I really enjoyed attending the apprentice graduation event at Warwick Trident College to recognise the year group becoming fully qualified technicians. It is enormously encouraging to see that several of them have already assumed leadership roles in the business and this is testament to the capability of them as individuals and the quality of the course.It has been a pleasure to work with WCG who have supported our apprentices throughout their learning journey.” The apprentices were given their certificates by Mark Eden, Director of Work Based Learning at WCG, and two individuals were given special awards in recognition of their exceptional efforts.
Will Lester, aged 25, was awarded the title of Apprentice of the Year as voted for by staff at the college.The vehicle technician from Sheffield said: “It was a complete surprise to win this award, it’s great to know that my efforts have been recognised.” Will dropped out of studying science and maths at A-level when he realised that going to university was not for him. He spent more than two years working in his local newsagents before his mum suggested doing a motor vehicle apprenticeship.
Mitchell Sewell, from Glenfield in Leicestershire was awarded Most Improved Apprentice of the Year. Mitchell, who works at the Magna Park depot in Lutterworth was delighted to win the award. The twenty-threeyear-old said: “I wasn’t expecting this at all so I am really pleased.” Although he always had excellent practical skills, Mitchell allowed a new relationship to distract him from his studies earlier on in the programme. There was a real risk of not completing his apprenticeship but with support from staff at Warwick Trident and his colleagues, Mitchell became very focused and applied himself at college and work. So much so that he is now the night shift technician in charge at the depot. Geoff Allison, Garage and Mobile Services Director, Fleet Solutions, told the graduates that they were the future leaders of the business if they had the ambition. Mark Eden said: “It gives a great deal of satisfaction to the team at WCG who have worked with these apprentices throughout their journey, to see them achieve their goals and become successful in their chosen career path.” WCG is one of the largest apprenticeship training providers in the West Midlands, with more than 2,000 apprentices in more than 1,000 different employers across a diverse range of industries and sectors.
“BT Fleet Solutions has responsibility for the operation of BT’s own fleet – the second largest in the UK at 33,000 vehicles – while providing fleet management services to a further 90,000 cars, vans and trucks.”
Stratford Upon Avon is first UK Donor Town A nationwide life-saving initiative has kicked off in Stratford Upon Avon. The aim of the Donor Town Project is to bring the community together to promote, support and save lives through organ donation. It aims to increase the number of people who make their wishes known to their loved ones and sign the organ donor register. Stratford Upon Avon was the Launch Host Town. The title of ‘Donor Town’ will be passed on to the next town after 12 months. Every day in the UK, three people die waiting for a donor organ. Many of
these lives could be saved if more people donated their organs when they died. Under the new initiative, a network is formed via the local council, businesses and local organisations. Every individual in each organisation or household makes a commitment to have a conversation with those around them to educate and promote the benefits of organ donation and make their wishes known. The community will show their support by signing the organ donor
register and celebrating their involvement with posters in shop windows, window stickers, car stickers, banners on refuse trucks, buses and on local business websites. The launch was held at Stratford Butterfly Farm because the butterfly is a symbol of new life. The Donor Town project was founded By Sally Bee, a heart patient with a rare condition called SCAD. She has survived five heart attacks and is an ambassador for the British Transplant Games.
“Every individual in each organisation or household makes a commitment to have a conversation with those around them to educate and promote the benefits of organ donation and make their wishes known. “
Area Focus: Rugby sponsored column
Businesses given chance to learn the ropes
Making Tax Digital in a Nutshell Making Tax Digital (MTD) is a government initiative to revolutionise the tax system in the UK and bring it crashing into the 21st century. HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, modernising the tax system to make it more effective, more efficient and easier for customers to comply. What Does This Actually Mean? From April 2019 businesses above the VAT threshold will be mandated to keep their records digitally and will need to send their VAT information to HMRC using third-party commercial software. HMRC’s online portal will only remain available to businesses that complete a VAT return and have turnover below the VAT threshold. How to Keep Digital Records HMRC is working with a number of software suppliers who have said they’ll provide MTD compliant software in time for April 2019. This list includes Xero, Sage (v24+) and QuickBooks. HMRC have stated that they will not be providing any free software. Cottons Advice Our advice at Cottons is to embrace the change. Our cloud team are trained and experienced on a range of cloud-based solutions that will be MTD ready and are helping multiple clients every day make the change. We are hearing great reviews from our clients on how much easier, quicker and useful their book-keeping is now and how pleased they are to have moved from manual cashbooks or excel spreadsheets into the cloud. We offer a free 1 hour consultation with our cloud team to discuss your options for MTD and to put a plan in place to make sure that you will be compliant. We then also offer a range of setup and training packages to suit every business. If you are concerned you are not ready, or simply want to find out more information, please contact Mike Jefferson on 01788 579033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chestnut Field House, Chestnut Field, Rugby Tel. 01788 579033 www.cottonsllp.com
A conference or meeting could be combined with a bit of high-octane fun as a brand new high ropes course is opening in the region. Go Ape is coming to Coombe Abbey in the spring and it will be the very first in Coventry and Warwickshire. In a bid to appeal to all markets it will be tailoring packages both for leisure and business – meaning it could
be a great location for teambuilding with a difference. The course will feature a whole host of hair-raising obstacles and work is expected to get started on soon in Coombe Abbey Park. Richard Harrison, managing director of Coombe Abbey Park Limited, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Go Ape has chosen to build its first course in Coventry and
Warwickshire here at Coombe Abbey. “As well as being great for local residents, the course will be a unique attraction for businesspeople looking t o have a bit of fun while attending a conference at the hotel. “It would also be a brilliant choice for those looking to book a company away day or try a team-building exercise
with their employees. Where else could you find a top-class conference venue with a high ropes course right next to it?” Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee, which is the governing authority for Coombe Abbey, gave approval for Go Ape in December. About 30 jobs are expected to be created for the site, which will open from February to December each year.
New school for Rugby announced It has been revealed that a brand new secondary school is to be built in the new neighbourhood of Houlton, on the site of the former Rugby Radio Station, known locally as the “mast site”. Developers Urban&Civic, who are leading the 1,200 acre development on the eastern edge of Rugby, have this week announced that Department for Education (DfE) funding approval has been given to turn the Grade II Listed Building, which was the hub of global communications in the 1920s, into a multi-million pound Free School. Through a funding deal agreed between Urban&Civic and the DfE, the secondary school at Houlton, which has outline planning permission, is anticipated to open in September 2021. The school will be led by the Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET), of which the Ofsted Outstanding Ashlawn School is part of. Richard Coppell, Development Director at Urban&Civic, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce that we have agreed a deal to accelerate the secondary school at Houlton. We have worked closely with the DfE, Warwickshire County Council and TLET over the past year to form a partnership that will deliver a brand new secondary for Rugby. This will be run by a Trust that is already delivering Outstanding secondary education in nearby Ashlawn School. “We now get to progress the exciting and unique challenge of turning this 1926 Grade II Listed Building in Houlton into an inspiring place to learn.” Stewart Jardine, Chair of the Transforming Lives Educational Trust, is keen to stress that the community will play a key role in its development. Mr Jardine added: “What is really exciting about this site is that we have the opportunity to not just shape a new school, but also play a key role in the development of a community. “Over the coming months we will be working with all our stakeholders to put in place plans for the new school. This will be such an aspirational place to learn,
and we will be building on all the good practice across the Trust to ensure that the education on offer is of the highest standard. It is important, however, that we also allow this school to develop its own identity and ethos.” Mark Pawsey MP, Member of Parliament for Rugby and Bulkington said: “Delivering the infrastructure needed to support Rugby as the town continues to grow has always been an important part of the proposals at Houlton. I am very pleased that Urban&Civic, who have worked hard to put the community at the heart of Houlton, have brought forward an innovative solution to deliver this much needed secondary school, which will be welcome news for parents throughout the local area.”
This new secondary school forms part of the outline planning permission for the urban extension of Houlton, which is a joint venture between developers Urban&Civic and Aviva Investors. The site, when complete, will comprise 6200 homes as well as extensive green spaces and local amenities. The first primary school at Houlton is already built and open (St Gabriel’s CofE Academy) and there are a further two primary schools planned for Houlton in addition to the secondary school. A new link road connecting Houlton to Rugby town is another piece of key infrastructure accelerated by Urban&Civic at Houlton and this road is being constructed now and will be open in summer 2019, providing access to the new secondary school.
“What is really exciting about this site is that we have the opportunity to not just shape a new school, but also play a key role in the development of a community.”
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Burgis & Bullock
Leading Accountants enjoy success in Nuneaton number of local companies we work for across a wide range of sectors, and because many of our long-serving staff are local. “The client base has increased since the move and we are delighted to have started working with so many new clients and to have strengthened our presence amongst the Nuneaton business community.” Burgis and Bullock commissioned the building of Gethin House on Bond Street, and have now let it to skills firm APM which was previously based in Mill Street, Nuneaton. The move has coincided with a period of change both in practices and attitude across the accountancy industry, with Burgis & Bullock putting themselves at the forefront of new ideas and technology. Leading accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock has grown its presence amongst the Nuneaton business community after expanding to new offices. The firm, which employs around 60 staff, moved to Eliot Business Park last May after 30 years in the town centre at Gethin House. The way in which the accountancy industry works has changed so much over the years that the growing firm required a more modern working environment - so when the chance to take a unit at The Courtyard became available, it was the perfect fit.
Since then, the firm have consolidated their successful relocation, bringing in a further 42 clients over a 10 month period. Partner Sean Farnell said: “The move has been a huge success so far, we had big ambitions and we have surpassed our aims. “One of the main factors behind moving from Gethin House to the Courtyard was to increase efficiency by ensuring our space was as suitable as it could be to the changing environment we work in today. “Moving away from Nuneaton was not an option because of the
p l e h n a We c a d n i f u yo r e t h g i r b future.
This has included introducing clients to Xero software in preparation of the incoming Making Tax Digital scheme and the creation of the Business Mastermind Group. Sean said: “We have certainly had a busy period in terms of day to day
activity, but we have also been looking at the bigger picture and preparing businesses for the introduction of Making Tax Digital, which has been a huge task over many months. “Our work in this area has involved numerous seminars and meetings with clients to discuss best practice going forward. “It has also involved a lot of work with Xero, learning about the advancements in their software which will help us help our clients. “We have also experienced real success with the launch of our Business Mastermind Group, bringing together professionals from a wide range of sectors once every six weeks, for presentations and discussions on how they can improve their business or make contacts that would be mutually beneficial, thus increasing productivity and profitability.” For more information on the Business Mastermind Group, or the Making Tax Digital Seminars, please visit the Burgis & Bullock website at www.burgisbullock.com.
“We have certainly had a busy period in terms of day to day activity, but we have also been looking at the bigger picture and preparing businesses for the introduction of Making Tax Digital, which has been a huge task over many months.”
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 @BurgisBullock
www.burgisbullock.com Offices in Leamington Spa, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Nuneaton, London and Rugby.
The transformation has begun Work has started on ambitious plans to transform Nuneaton town centre.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
With several major projects underway or already completed, the town is on course to achieve the vision set out by the Transforming Nuneaton (TN) Partnership in its new ‘Prospectus for Growth’, which can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/transformingnuneaton. The TN Partnership, which was established in 2016 by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, has already made its mark – residents and visitors will have noticed significant road improvements at Coton Arches and the start of building work for a new residential development at Church Street by McCarthy and Stone. Soon to come will be the redevelopment of the old Co-op building on Abbey Street, recently purchased by the Borough Council in order to advance the TN programme.
Transforming Nuneaton – the ambition The new Transforming Nuneaton Prospectus for Growth sets out a vision for the town’s future as a vibrant and thriving place, full of opportunities for shopping, leisure, socialising, entertainment, education and town centre living. Capitalising on the town’s assets and superb location, the prospectus shows the tremendous potential of the town centre for large scale private investment. The Transforming Nuneaton programme was kick-started in the autumn with £7.5m of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The prospectus has been produced with the input of the commercial sector and other stakeholders. It can be viewed at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/transfor mingnuneaton, alongside a short video highlighting some of the ambitions. Transforming Nuneaton – improving access Improvements to the town’s road networks have started with the completion of a £3.7 million scheme
at Coton Arches. The scheme creates a new road going through the centre of the roundabout, diverting traffic travelling south and establishing new pedestrian and cycling facilities. The new signalising means that access to the roundabout is controlled and shared with multiple sets linked together. The signals have traffic control systems that can detect vehicles and adjust settings to respond to fluctuations. The road running through the centre of the roundabout island avoids the need for southbound traffic to travel around the roundabout, increasing the capacity for turning onto Avenue Road and Coventry Road. The scheme is the first stage of the Transforming Nuneaton project to be completed and is particularly important to the Partnership’s ambition to make entry to the town more attractive.
Transforming Nuneaton – boosting town centre living McCarthy and Stone acquired the Council’s former Church Street car park at the start of the new year and didn’t waste any time before starting work on their new retirement development. This new complex will breathe new life into this side of town, support local employment and make the entrance to the town centre more attractive. The scheme will create some fifty retirement living apartments, contributing to an increase of residential developments in town and capitalising on the ‘grey pound’. A spokesperson for McCarthy and Stone said: “Our development will deliver substantial economic benefits to Nuneaton, as residents of retirement living schemes prefer to shop locally and often on a daily basis, bringing additional spending to the town centre, improving
local vibrancy. The development will also act as a catalyst for further regeneration and investment in the town centre, further contributing to its overall long-term sustainability.”
Transforming Nuneaton – influencing development Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has purchased the former Co-op building in Abbey Street, to ensure that the future development of this large site is in line with the Transforming Nuneaton programme ambitions. Plans for redevelopment are progressing swiftly. Ultimately, the design and use of the development will depend upon future investment, but the Council is moving to start work on the preparation of the site as soon as possible. With such a large site in a strategically important position, the aim is to create a development platform that will prove attractive to potential investors. Plans are at a very early stage but will be guided by a number of high level principles, namely to keep those parts of the building that are commercially viable and, as far as possible, also preserve aspects of architectural merit or historical significance. The New Century Way units are to be retained and potential development opportunities for these shops and offices explored. In the meantime, short term leases with lower rents are to be offered to attract temporary tenants and encourage new businesses to test the water with a town centre unit. Some parts of the building are physically or economically obsolete and the Council will apply for planning permission to demolish them. This will make way for new development suited to modern needs.
“With such a large site in a strategically important position, the aim is to create a development platform that will prove attractive to potential investors.” www.cw-chamber.co.uk
NUNEATON & BEDWORTH THE IDEAL PLACE TO LIVE, WORK AND VISIT HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY
1. Accessible location in the heart of the Midlands
Situated in the logistics golden triangle, the Borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth is ideally located. With easy access to the national rail networks and motorways, plus two international airports within a stone’s throw, it’s the perfect location for bringing everyone together.
2. Rich Industrial heritage
From 13th century mining roots and the ribbon weaving boom of the industrial revolution, Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough has evolved over time. Now home to many specialist advanced manufacturing companies and a wide variety of other industries, we continue to attract those who want to take advantage of our superb strategic location and the wide range of skills we have on offer.
3. Strong knowledge and skills base
With a wealth of world-class universities on the doorstep and an abundance of high achieving schools and colleges nearby, Nuneaton and Bedworth is certainly not short of local talent. With the new MIRA Technology Institute being a real draw for skills and knowledge across the globe, our local talent pool will continue to grow from here out.
4. Horiba – MIRA
The Technology Park offers a wide range of engineering and test facilities at the heart of the automotive centre of the UK. Our close proximity to this world-class facility provides a unique collaborative environment, fostering progress and innovation.
5. Historic Cultural Offer
2019 is the bicentenary of George Eliot’s birth. The Nuneaton-born author of novels such as Middlemarch and The Mill on the Floss draws an international audience and puts the Borough firmly on the map. During this special anniversary year, we’ll be spreading the word about George Eliot’s achievements, far and wide, attracting more visitors to her hometown. www.georgeeliot2019.com #GE2019
6. Home to an ever-growing network of strong businesses
We’re already home to major national and international businesses, from Holland and Barrett and Dairy Crest in the food industry to Brose and Gibbs Amphibians in the automotive industry. These highly successful companies attract others into the Borough helping the area grow from strength to strength, year on year.
7. Green spaces and sports
The region has a great leisure offer and outstanding green spaces, including the historic Riversley Park in Nuneaton and the Miners’ Welfare Park in Bedworth. The Borough is also renowned for its excellent sports facilities and services, enabling you to balance the stresses of work with healthy and enjoyable leisure experiences.
8. Support for businesses
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council works with partners to ensure that local businesses have access to some of the best support packages in the country. From small business-friendly procurement packages to specialist commercial advice, we do all we can to boost local industries through assisting businesses within our economy.
9. Markets and Town Centres
Our famous, award-winning local markets have been drawing visitors since the 13th century and Nuneaton town has one of the best retail offers in Warwickshire, making the town centre a great place to relax and spend time.
10. Vibrant local community
Nuneaton and Bedworth is home to a friendly community of individuals with a passion for life and an entrepreneurial spirit. You’ll feel right at home here!
024 7637 6376
Rich Industrial heritage
Strong knowledge and skills base
Network of Strong Businesses
Support for businesses
Historic Cultural Oﬀer
Horiba – MIRA
Green spaces and sports
Markets and Town Centres
Vibrant local community
Find out why Nuneaton & Bedworth’s central strategic location, business sectors, innovation and space to grow will ensure your business flourishes in the Borough.
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Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Cash is king The two common insolvency tests are the balance sheet test and the cashflow test A business is considered insolvent if either of those two tests are met. However, a business does not necessarily fail if it is only balance sheet insolvent but it will inevitably fail if it runs out of cash. Failing to monitor and manage your cashflow can put your business at serious risk. There are a number of different factors that can affect cashflow; reduction in sales, increased costs, late payments from customers or even suffering a single bad debt. If you do start to notice any changes in your business that you know will have a negative impact on cashflow, revise your forecasts accordingly, continue to monitor carefully and make adjustments to your business plans to account for those changes. Some other tips to keep on top of your cashflow are: Agree clear payment terms Establishing clear payment terms with your customers and suppliers from the outset is important. Once you have agreed payment terms, stick to them. Invoice regularly Get in the habit of invoicing customers at the earliest opportunity, ideally as soon as the work is completed. If payment is then not received in accordance with your
payment terms, chase for payment. Keeping on top of debt collection is important for maintaining positive cashflow. Avoid overtrading As difficult as it may be, be prepared to say no to new work if you don’t have the resources. Overtrading can put a serious strain on cashflow and has, in numerous cases we have dealt with, been the sole reason for the failure. Monitor sales/income If your sales/income starts to decline, consider what your contingency plan might be and how quickly you can adapt and make changes if things do not improve. How fixed are your overheads and how quickly can they be scaled down, or up, depending upon trade. All of the above points may seem like common sense. However, you would be surprised at how many business owners we meet that do not monitor the cashflow of their business. Cash is king and without it a business will fail. If your business is experiencing cashflow difficulties, contact BRI Business Recovery and Insolvency on 02476 226839 for advice. All initial meetings with clients are completely confidential, without obligation and free of charge.
“There are a number of different factors that can affect cashflow; reduction in sales, increased costs, late payments from customers or even suffering a single bad debt. If you do start to notice any changes in your business that you know will have a negative impact on cashflow, revise your forecasts accordingly, continue to monitor carefully and make adjustments to your business plans to account for those changes.”
BROKEN DOWN? We’ll help you get up and running. Whatever your circumstances, trust BRI to help you get your business back on track.
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 • Personal Insolvency
Whatever your business financial concerns, talk to BRI – we can help you on your way to a healthier future.
For a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL and NO OBLIGATION consultation
Call now on 02476 226839 Kings Chambers, Queens Road, Coventry CV1 3EH
The Warwick MBA
For the Change Makers
The Warwick MBA enables you to apply the latest leadership thinking to a changing and uncertain world. Study full-time or part-time. Come and meet us to find out more. W
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Education & Training
Six realities of doing a Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School
A Warwick MBA is truly transformational, developing you into a global leader who makes an immediate impact in business. Available as a Full-time MBA, or Part-time as an Executive MBA or a Distance Learning MBA.
Kristen Rossi, Full-time MBA participant, discusses the realities of doing a Full-time MBA at WBS. 1. Forget working Before I started I had this grand idea that I would get a part-time job. Thank goodness I didn't. I would not have been able to do my studies justice and I would not have slept! At the end of Term 1 there was a ten-day stretch where I was in school 12 hours every day. Even if we did not have class, with group projects and evening guest speakers, the days were packed! 2. Forget a social life outside of school I say "outside of school" because in school there will be LOTS of opportunities to network and socialise. Because you are with your classmates all day, drinks,
dinner or a "nights-out" tend to (for better or for worse) casually pop up and roll over into the wee hours after class. Take full advantage of this as these new friends are your new network. 3. You will find a new found love for current events I must admit, before staring I was already quite a "news nerd", but my current event reading skyrocketed upon commencing the course. In every class the professor will discuss at least one, if not several multi-national companies and so the more you stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world the more you will be able to contribute to discussions. 4. LinkedIn will be your new best social media app Throughout Term one there is a strong focus on cleaning up
your CV and tweaking your LinkedIn Profile. At WBS you will also attend several Careers Plus lectures where you will be advised to connect with people on LinkedIn in the industry that you want to transition into. 5. Making time for an extra-curricular activity is beneficial If you can get involved in at least one other activity a few times a month, then it will deepen your university experience. These activities add that extra bit of diversity to your CV and allow you to broaden your network. It also provides a change of scenery outside of your course; during stressful periods this can be helpful. For more information visit wbs.ac.uk/go/springexpo
Education programme helps develop young footballers The college’s partnership with Sky Blues in the Community also enables players to compete against professional clubs such as West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, and Derby County in the Educational Football League. Bedworth United FC have also partnered with the new programme, and hold training and home matches for the academy on their professionalstandard 4G surface. Course Leader Jamie, who made over 500 non-league appearances during his playing career, said: “We are trying to mimic top-level academies in our methods, and the continuation of this partnership allows our teams to access UEFA standard coaching, and to play under the Coventry City FC badge against other recognised EFL sides. Coventry College Football Education Programme players and coaches sporting their new CCFC tracksuits, alongside Sky Blues first-team players Dominic Hyam, Brandon Mason, and Tony Andreu.
Developing football stars in Coventry are set to be given their best shot at success after the launch of a brand-new education programme, and some expert advice from Coventry City stars. BTEC Level 3 Sports students at Coventry College had the chance to pick the brains of Sky Blues first-team players Dominic Hyam, Brandon Mason, and Tony Andreu, after they visited the college’s Henley campus to celebrate the Coventry College Football Education Programme in partnership with Sky Blues in the Community and Bedworth United FC. The 45 Coventry College Academy players were provided with Coventry City away kits and club tracksuits for the season at the visit, marking the
continuation of a successful five-year relationship with the Sky Blues. Jamie Lenton, a UEFA B licensed coach and Bedworth United first-team coach, recently took the reins as a lead coach at the college. He said: “It was fantastic to have some of Coventry’s first-team players join us at the college. Not only did our students get to hear first-hand about their careers and progression routes into professional football, but also about the day-to-day life of a footballer.” Coventry College’s Football Education Programme provides students with access to high-level UEFA football coaching alongside the opportunity to study BTEC qualifications to support their careers in the sports industry.
“We have three college teams at the moment, and we are looking to grow over the next few months. We are hosting several open evenings and school visits to build as best we can.” Other lead coaches at the academy include Stuart Storer, Bedworth United first-team manager and ex-professional footballer with Everton, Brighton, and Bolton, John Woodward, Coventry Sphinx first-team manager, and Anthony Childs, Sky Blues in the Community Coach and ex-professional footballer with Stevenage and Northampton Town. Chloe Groves the Football Development Manager, of Sky Blues in the Community, said: “The Football Education Programme is a great opportunity for young people to continue to study whilst being part of a football academy. “
Coventry College: catering to your business needs
With customer expectations constantly rising, it is more important than ever for the Hospitality and Catering industry to have a highly-skilled and motivated workforce. Apprenticeships are an efficient and cost-effective way for businesses to build a workforce of this kind. Coventry College are proud to offer a wide variety of apprenticeship programmes at a range of levels for this sector, from Senior Chef and Hospitality Team Member to Customer Services. These programmes are tailored to specific businesses requirements to ensure the needs of both the employer and apprentice are met. When taking on an apprentice through Coventry College, you will be introduced to a dedicated Hospitality and Catering Assessor. They will offer you and your apprentice full support taking the time to understand your business needs, identify any skills gaps and provide the training needed to close these gaps. The Holiday Inn Kenilworth – Warwick recruited Thomas, a Coventry College apprentice, in 2017 and haven’t looked back since. They said that his hard-work, commitment and focussed attitude have led him to become a valued member of the team. Louise Sheepy, Deputy General Manager said that one of the best things about apprenticeships through the College is “the fact that assessors come out to visit the apprentice. This means we don’t lose them for a valuable amount of time and it also helps build their confidence, it shows they are settled in and lets them really show off the improvements they have made”. Louise has seen Thomas grow in confidence and grow into the role. He has developed the values of the team and the wider organisation.
To take on an apprentice is to invest in the future of your business. Get in touch today to find out how Coventry College can help you! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 02476 932932
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President & People
Law firm appoints head of sales and marketing
Addressing barriers for growth I am very proud to be writing this; my first column for C&W in Business as the President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. My grandfather, Sydney, was president of the Junior Chamber in the 1930s so this organisation is very much in my blood and I whole-heartedly believe in what the Chamber represents and the work we do on behalf of members. On that note, as well as being President and chair of the Coventry branch, I am a member first and foremost. So I am very much here to represent all of you and want to hear from businesses across the patch on the issues you are facing and look at ways the Chamber can support you. The issue that will form a major part of my Presidency is the lack of employment land across our region. We are suffering from a chronic shortage of land for businesses to grow into and that’s at every level – from start-ups looking for their first premises through to major inward investors. It’s something that the Chamber has been working on tirelessly over the past couple of years and we have certainly raised the profile of the issue at a local, regional and national level. We will continue that work and would like to hear from members who are finding this is a problem for them and is a barrier to their growth. However, I don’t want to be a one trick pony. I know that businesses are facing a series of issues that could be holding back growth. I won’t preempt what all of them are as I’d like to hear it directly from you. As well as being an organisation that represents businesses on a range of issues, the Chamber offers a fantastic network for you to tap into to find new clients and suppliers. By day, I am a chartered surveyor that helps businesses with a range of commercial property services and, as a member, I look to promote those services to potential clients. That’s exactly what we should all be doing. The Chamber’s Go For Growth: Trade Local campaign is designed to encourage members to be much more pro-active in their efforts to do more business locally and to make sure we are not backward in coming forward. To that end, I would urge you all to attend the Chamber’s Business & Trade Expo on Friday, March 15 which is another great example of what a great B2B networking organisation the Chamber really is. Finally, I would like to thank Tim Squires who is now the vice-chair of the Coventry branch of the Chamber and he will take on the role of chair at the end of this year. Also, I wish to pay tribute to John Nollett, the previous president of the Chamber. He’s a great example of the manufacturing and engineering expertise we have in this region and did a superb job in this role. I will no doubt be calling on him and other past presidents for advice but, as the old song goes, I’ll also be doing it my way. Thanks for reading and I look forward to meeting as many members as possible over the coming weeks and months. David Penn
A leading law firm has appointed a head of sales and marketing who brings more than 25 years’ blue chip experience in the industry to the role. Graeme Parrott has taken on the role of sales and marketing director at Midlands based Wright Hassall, having worked with a range of multinational firms during his career. Graeme will work to boost the profile of Wright Hassall across the country, highlighting the firm’s ethos, range of expertise and success rates through marketing campaigns and communications. He said: “Moving to Wright Hassall is a great chance for me to bring my experience and passion for sales and marketing to a leading firm with a fantastic history and a very strong reputation.
“I am looking forward to working with the marketing team to widen awareness of the outstanding level of service Wright Hassall provides and helping to enhance the firm’s status as an industry leader.” Graeme’s previous role as Director of Business Development at London based law firm Ashurst saw him manage a team of 100 people across the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia on all aspects of marketing and business development, he also had a ten-year spell at Linklaters. Sarah Perry, managing director at Wright Hassall, said: “Graeme is a blue chip appointment who will play a major role in our progression over the coming years.”
Sarah Perry and Graeme Parrott
New role for Paul
Leading venue and event caterer Amadeus has appointed a new Executive Chef for the National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
Paul Connolly has worked for the business for more than 30 years, starting out with Amadeus as a trainee at just 17 years old.Since joining the company, he has steadily risen the ranks, holding a number of varied catering positions with the NEC Group before being promoted to Executive Chef for the NEC. Paul said: “After my first day with Amadeus as a trainee, I knew I wanted to make a career in event catering. I’ve never looked back – it’s such a varied and exciting industry to work in, there’s no chance of feeling unfulfilled. “While I’ve been working at the NEC, I have seen the both the industry and
customer expectations change dramatically. Our food offering is almost unrecognisable to where we were 30 years ago – today, the F&B concepts we are creating and the level of service we offer customers is comparable to that you’d find on the high street.” Marc Frankl, Food and Beverage Director for Amadeus, said: “Paul has a fantastic track record of creating innovative concepts and improving restaurant standards and profitability. He is the ideal candidate to drive the F&B offering at the venue forward, ensuring Amadeus remains competitive in an increasingly challenging market.”
Leading law firm appoints new Company Commercial solicitor One of the region’s leading law firms has appointed a new Company Commercial solicitor to its team of legal specialists.
Sukhdeep Thandi joins Brethertons from an energy company where she was working as an in house lawyer. Her experience extends to work on commercial contracts,
NDA’s and JCT construction contracts, corporate advisory and banking and finance related transactions. in an increasingly challenging market.”
Promotion for Daniel Eco Clean & Maintenance Ltd Area Manager Daniel Gibson has been promoted to Commercial Director. Since starting with the three years ago, he has helped to make changes to processes within the business to drive sales and productivity.
Eco Clean & Maintenance Ltd are making the move from their office in Princethorpe to serviced offices in Coventry, thus separating from their warehouse. That will still be located at the same site in Princethorpe and run company separately by their Warehouse Manager.
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Help for young people leaving care
Catherine Goodwin, Marketing Manager at Fostertalk; Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council; Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-upon-Avon and Minister for Children's Services; and Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry
Young people leaving care in Coventry will be given the platform for success thanks to an initiative set up by local councillors. Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce offered their support to Warwickshire County Council as their annual Care Leavers Covenant returned. The event welcomed a range of local figures to the Old Shire Hall in Warwick, as delegates heard from two young adults about their successful apprenticeships at Jaguar Land Rover and the County Council. The scheme, which is part of the Government’s strategy to support people leaving care, is designed to provide them with improved access
to employment, education and training, as well as the opportunity to prepare for independent living. Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "Whilst employers are facing recruitment difficulties and skills shortages, we all need to look as flexibly as possible at this fantastic pool of young adults who are keen to be given a chance of work. “The Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with the County Council to encourage employers to look at the prospects of employing young adults who are leaving the care system to make this an option for employers across the region.”
Vehicle workshop facilities set to open Europe’s largest automotive R&D cluster, MIRA Technology Park, is set to open five new vehicle workshop facilities as it invests further in developing its world-class campus. The purpose-built vehicle workshops are each equipped with an integral office and amenities and located in the North Sector of MIRA T echnology Park. Positioned next to HORIBA MIRA’s 100km automotive proving ground, the workshops are ideally located to support vehicle test and developmentbased operations.
With significant expansion of its autonomous vehicle test environments, including replica city test tracks, high-speed dynamic test areas, campus deployment and links to public test infrastructure, MIRA Technology Park is quickly becoming a campus for mobility test and development. Terry Spall, Commercial Director at MIRA Technology Park, said: “The new vehicle workshops of around 1,300 sq ft. each, are designed to help get companies setup on site quickly whilst allowing for growth as teams develop and expand.
The facility is expected to be ready for occupation around mid-year. “MIRA Technology Park has become a global destination of choice for automotive R&D. With the growth of the Park accelerating, we’re committed to continuing to invest in our facilities and services to ensure we can anticipate and fully satisfy the needs of companies already based within the Park and those
aspiring to join us.” Since 2010, MIRA Technology Park has welcomed 38 globallyrecognised businesses to the site and has become one of the UK’s top performing Enterprise Zones. It has also recently been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of ‘International Trade’ for significant growth in international companies setting up on site.
grounds to take donations from the public. Dallas Burston Polo Club then donated a further £3,000 from ticket sales after the event. Director of Operations at Dallas Burston Polo Club, Major Richard Carney MBE, said, “We have been aware of the fantastic work of The Shakespeare Hospice for some time. After collaborating at the annual Bonfire celebration, and seeing the difference the money donated has made, we knew we wanted to contribute to the cause further. We are therefore delighted to make The Shakespeare Hospice our primary charity partner for 2019.” Angie Arnold, CEO of The Shakespeare Hospice, said “Our Corporate relationships are key to our support at a time when demand for our services is at an all-time high. Our relationship with Dallas Burston Polo Club, whilst in its infancy, is very exciting. We really appreciate the support offered by the Major and his whole team. We are very much looking forward to working with the team this year.” DBPC has previously helped several great causes. Last year
As we all know, innovative products are grabbing the world by storm, ideas that make you say, “Woah, that is SO cool!”, which leads ERS onto introducing their
Club backs charity Dallas Burston Polo Club has named a new charity partner for 2019. The entertainment and events hub based in Southam has announced a corporate charity partnership with South Warwickshire and North Cotswolds based organisation, The Shakespeare Hospice. The Shakespeare Hospice supports young people and adults in the local community with a life limiting illness, providing the care and compassion they and their families need. As charity partner for Dallas Burston Polo Club (DBPC), the hospice will benefit from a donation of profits at major events and will have representatives on site raising funds and awareness. The Shakespeare Hospice will be the exclusive beneficiary for the majority of DBPC events throughout 2019. It was at the Bonfire Night event in November last year that the Polo Club began raising funds for The Shakespeare Hospice. The annual extravaganza saw a record breaking 7,000-plus attendees enjoying the festivities, with hospice fundraisers on hand with buckets throughout the
Making an impact: the Skywell Atmospheric Water Generator
latest product, the Skywell® 5TE Atmospheric Water Generator. Having the ability to generate clean fresh water from the air with no need to lift bottles or connect to an external water source, this innovative gadget produces up to 18 litres of pure filtered water per day, priced from only 35p a litre. A perfect addition to your staff room. the estate contributed to the Southam in Bloom festivities, sponsored local roller hockey club Midland Mooseheads trip to Spain and provided a safari tent venue for nearly 400 Girl Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and Rangers. The club also contributed to the remembrance warmemorial commissioned in Southam, raised £1,000 at the Charlotte Trophy for Helen & Douglas House and then achieved an astonishing £14,000 in donations on Ladies Day for The UK Sepsis Trust and The Prince’s Trust. Ladies Day alone has raised over £40,000 for various charities over the last 3 years. The Charlotte Trophy remains dedicated to Helen & Douglas House and the Fine & Country
Warwickshire Gold Cup will continue to raise funds for the Fine & Country Foundation in 2019. Proceeds from this year’s Ladies Day will be shared between The Shakespeare Hospice and a second charity to be chosen by an external partner. The multiple award-winning Dallas Burston Polo Club, Pride of Stratford Business of the Year 2018, features Europe’s largest all-weather SuperArena® for equestrian events, six polo grounds, Colonial Clubhouse, wedding venues, the IXL Events Centre and The Millstone Hare – a £2.4m Olde English styled pub with state-of-the-art facilities and incredible views over the grounds.
The Skywell® 5TE takes in ambient air and collects the moisture through condensation. Then, it uses a six-stage water filtration system, ultraviolet purification and ozone treatment to remove contaminants in order to create clean drinking water. Before serving, the water dispensers built in monitoring systems continuously inspect every drop to ensure that the water produced is of exacting quality and clarity every time. ERS provides high quality office equipment and stationery supplies.
Welcome to new members Strategic Partners
The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd
Action Coach Coventry & Warwickshire
Pilot Way Ansty Park Ansty Coventry CV7 9JU 02476 701600 email@example.com www.the-mtc.org
Henley-in-Arden firstname.lastname@example.org www.actioncoach.com/davidlee/engage/
Barclays Bank Coventry & Warwickshire Business Team 48/50 The Parade Leamington Spa CV32 4DD www.barclayscorporate.com
Best Western Plus Manor Hotel
International Trade Members A H Spares Ltd 7 & 8 Westfield Road Kineton Road Industrial Estate Southam CV47 0JH 01926 817181 email@example.com www.ahspares.co.uk
127 Main Road Meriden CV7 7NH 01676 522735 firstname.lastname@example.org www.manorhotelmeriden.co.uk
Henley-in-Arden 01564 792295 email@example.com www.greysteas.co.uk
Amco Services (International) Ltd Unit 15c Blackpole Trading Estate East Blackpole Road Worcester WR3 8YB 01905 758000 firstname.lastname@example.org www.amcogroupservices.com
Image Plus Ltd Unit 1 The Depot, Electric Wharf Coventry CV1 4JP 02476 834780 email@example.com www.image-plus.co.uk
Meggitt PLC Shared Service Centre Holbrook Lane Coventry CV6 4AA 02476 666655 firstname.lastname@example.org www.meggitt.com
Marketing Bridge Strategic Communications Ltd
Michael Sharma Group Ltd
41 Abbeygate Shopping Centre Newdegate Street Nuneaton CV11 4HL 02476 342121 email@example.com https://joco.gifts
Whitecroft Kineton Road Oxhill CW35 ORH 07383 552898 firstname.lastname@example.org www.edwardlawrenceaccounting.co.uk
Distribution Centre Walsingham Drive Bermuda Park Nuneaton CV10 7RG 02476 378800 www.dairycrest.co.uk
Joco Interiors Ltd
Coventry email@example.com www.coventry-ip.tv
Edward Lawrence Bookkeeping
Dairy Crest Ltd
27 Railway Crescent Shipston on Stour CV36 4GD 01608 239023 firstname.lastname@example.org https://istormsolutions.co.uk/
Highfield House Dancers Drive Loxley Warwick CV35 9LB 07872 963420 email@example.com www.themarketingbridge.com
07957 264226 firstname.lastname@example.org www.diversematters.co.uk/
10 Fleet Place London EC4M 7RB 020 7791 600 email@example.com www.uk.cdw.com
Intelligent STORM Solutions Ltd
Groupcomms Ltd Long Marston 08006 446688 firstname.lastname@example.org www.groupcomms.co.uk
Hays Specialist Recruitment 2nd Floor Friars House, Manor House Drive Coventry CV1 2TE 01926 352540 email@example.com www.hays.com
Hereward College Bramston Crescent Tile Hill Lane Coventry CV4 9SW 02476 461231 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hereward.ac.uk
Inspire Insurance 6 The Cobalt Centre Middlemarch Business Park Coventry CV3 4PE 02476 998924 email@example.com www.inspireinsurance.co.uk
The Apex 2 Sheriff's Orchard Coventry CV1 3PP 02477 360066 firstname.lastname@example.org www.michaelsharmagroup.com
Miles More Customers 4 Fusiliers Close Coventry CV3 1PU 07786 710467 email@example.com
S3F Consulting Nuneaton firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Perkin Health & Wellbeing Consultant Warwick email@example.com https://simonperkin.webs.com/
Sure Creative Limited The Oddfellows Hall 6, Clarence Terrace Leamington Spa CV32 5LD 01926 312903 https://wearesure.agency/
TEH Therapy 179 Longford Road Coventry CV6 6EE 07591 988110 firstname.lastname@example.org http://tehtherapy.co.uk/
The M Guru: Marketing Strategist Coventry 07958 478590 email@example.com https://themguru.co.uk/
WebMark Creative 55 Burton Close Allesley Coventry CV5 9EG 07818 240803 firstname.lastname@example.org
When contacting members listed above, The Chamber request that, in line with the Marketing and Advertising Law, you provide a clear 'unsubscribe' option. Further details can be found via www.gov.uk/marketing-advertising-law/direct-marketing 46
Coventry & Warwickshire in business
Training & Events C&W Chamber Training Seminars
Chamber Member Price +VAT
Non-Member Price +VAT
Microsoft Excel - Basic to Intermediate
International Documentation & Customs Procedures
Emergency First Aid in the Workplace (HSE Recommended)
Half Day - am
Half Day - pm
Appraising People & Performance
Marketing - Your Key to Success
Microsoft Excel - Advanced Plus
Microsoft Excel Formulae - Top Up
Half Day - am
Microsoft Excel Data Tools - Top Up
Half Day - pm
Letters of Credit - Methods of Payment
Finance for Non Financial Managers
Certificate in Awareness of Mental Health Problems Level 2
3 Full Days
AEO Customs & Compliance
Introduction to Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace
Microsoft Excel - Intermediate to Advanced
Professional Telephone Techniques
Half Day - am
Professional Email Writing
Half Day - pm
Grow Your Business Through Social Media
Introduction to Finance
Import Procedures & Inward Processing (IP)
Mentoring - Understanding Good Practice in the Workplace
15 + 22
Course dates for the quarter are shown above, please contact C&W Chamber Training on 024 7623 1122 or visit www.cw-chambertraining.co.uk for other course dates and further information
Speed Networking @Trade Local Expo Friday 15th March 2019 1.30pm – 2.30pm NAEC Stoneleigh, CV8 2LZ FREE
Chamber Networking Thursday 21st March 2019 4.30pm – 6.30pm Best Western Manor Hotel, Meriden, CV7 7NH FREE
Birmingham 2022 Business Briefing Friday 15th March 2019 8.00am – 10.00am NAEC Stoneleigh, CV8 2LZ FREE This briefing will offer practical information on the opportunities for businesses arising from the Games themselves and related infrastructure projects. There will also be panel discussions exploring their potential impact on the city-region and will hear from the first businesses to secure Birmingham 2022 tenders. It will be open to all sectors and sizes of business and provide introductory information about the Organising Committee’s contracting and procurement approach.
Manufacturing & Engineering Conference Thursday 28th March 2019 8.30am – 1.00pm The Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry, CV9 9JU Members: £25.00 + VAT Non-Members: £75.00 + VAT
British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference Thursday 28th March 2019 9.00am - 5.00pm QEII Centre, Westminster, London Member: £169 + VAT Non-Member: £399.00 + VAT
HR Masterclass: Turning Flexible Working into Smart Working Monday 8th April 2019 10.00am - 1.00pm Croner Group, Hinckley, LE10 1YG Members: £10.00 + VAT Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT
Chamber Means Business - April 2019 Tuesday 9th April 2019 8.00am - 10.00am Ettington Chase, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7NZ FREE
New Member Workshop Tuesday 9th April 2019 10.30am - 12.00pm Ettington Chase, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7NZ FREE
Women in Business Networking Lunch Thursday 11th April 2019 11.00am – 2.00pm Billesley Manor Hotel, Stratford-on-Avon, B49 6NF Members: £35.00 Non-Members: £45.00
Find out more information or to book a place please see the events pages at www.cw-chamber.co.uk or contact email@example.com www.cw-chamber.co.uk
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Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Managemen...
Published on Mar 7, 2019
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Managemen...