Inspire - Hertfordshire Chamber magazine January 2020

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The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce January - February 2020


• SPOTLIGHT FOCUS Investment a key priority for Bishop’s Stortford p16

• ECONOMY Economic growth must be put front and centre again in Westminster p22

• CHAMBER EVENTS Forthcoming Business Events for 2020 p26

• HERTS 2020 VISION Hertfordshire The year of Culture p39


Examining the massive growth in Digital Technology p4

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Certainty offers hope for the economy’s recovery Briege Leahy Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Welcome to the latest edition of Inspire, which appears as a New Year heralds the usual optimism. For businesses, that optimism might just be warranted as, for the first time in three and a half years, we have certainty. Whatever you think about the General Election result, however you view the idea of Brexit, there is no denying that uncertainty was impacting on business. For three and a half years we had a government hamstrung by bickering between politicians and every inconclusive vote, every squabble, every delay was causing great damage to the economy. Now we have more certainty. Brexit will happen, it’s just the shape of it that we do not know.

decisive action to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU and to tackle the barriers holding back investment and growth here in the UK.” I agree. Who wouldn’t? Talk to businesses in areas like Hertfordshire and they agree with the priorities that the BCC has laid out for the new government. They include: • Avoiding a no-deal exit from the EU and delivering a smooth transition giving firms time to prepare • Acting rapidly to reform business rates and replace them with a fairer system

In the hours after the General Election result, the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) called for the new government to do everything in its power to boost the UK economy.

• Pressing ahead with improvements to transport infrastructure including HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and additional capacity at Heathrow

Dr Adam Marshall said: “Restoring business, investor and consumer confidence – and firing up the economy – must now be the Prime Minister’s top priority.

• Investing in our skills base and reforming the Apprenticeships Levy so that more small firms can access high-quality training locally, at affordable cost

“Campaign slogans must give way to a renewed focus on the details that matter. Our business communities need to see swift,

• Delivering a sensible immigration system that gives firms access to essential overseas talent at all levels.


Chamber Events 26-29 Venue Focus 30 Tourism & Hospitality 31 Building Connections 33 New Members 34 Members News 35-37 Sector Focus Herts 2020 39-43 News 49 The Last Word 50

Digital Marketing Inspirational Leader Patron Focus Spotlight Focus Economy Herts Global Staff Directory Inspiring Herts Awards

4-8 10 12-13 16-17 22 23 24 25

Editorial and General Enquiries Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce MacLaurin Building, 4 Bishops Square, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9NE Tel: 01707 502180 Email: Web:

Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Web:

There is a real urgency to implement that agenda because GDP growth is forecast to slow from 1.3% for 2019 to 1.0% in 2020, the weakest outturn since 2009, according to the latest economic forecast from British Chambers of Commerce published shortly before the General Election. Although this is a slight upgrade on BCC’s previous forecast of 0.8%, it indicates that by the end of 2020 the UK economy will have experienced its second weakest decade of average annual GDP growth on record. The BCC has upgraded its growth forecast for 2021 from 1.2% to 1.3%.

However, with tax revenue expected to weaken amid a slowing economy, stronger government spending is expected to come at the cost of higher borrowing. So, where does that leave us? Well, not out of the woods yet but, regardless of whether you voted for the Conservatives or not, the direction of travel is now clear. Yes, the Brexit negotiations will be complex and difficult but we have a government with a mandate to resolve the situation. I just hope and pray that they do not waste it. May I wish you a prosperous New Year and one characterised by certainty!

Briege Leahy Chief Executive Officer

The upgrades are largely driven by stronger expected levels of government spending - both observed in the 2019 Spending Round and the anticipated uplift in expenditure by an incoming government.

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22 Published January 2020 © Benham Publishing and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

Disclaimer Inspire is published for Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Inspire are not necessarily those of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. ©2020 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

Media No. 1681




Keeping on top of the message in a changing world

Marketing and communication is changing and changing rapidly and the reason is the massive growth of digital technology. It was not that long ago that most marketing practitioners focused solely on hard-copy methods, direct mailing or being published in newspapers and magazines, all of which took time. It could take days, weeks,



even months, for marketing material to hit home. That has all changed. Printed material remains important but today the industry is increasingly reliant on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Social media is key for many

marketing professionals and a message can be read within seconds and reaction can sweep the world within minutes. For all the changes, though, some things remain the same. Digital technology on its own is not enough - it has not removed

the need for good storytelling. Success is still about content that makes the client stand out. In this special feature, some of Hertfordshire’s finest practitioners of the art explain how they do it.


YOUR 2020 VISION STARTS HERE How to ensure your digital marketing is cost-effective

So it’s important to recognise that with digital marketing – as with everything else in life – you get what you pay for, although if done properly, it should be an investment not a cost.

Whenever I’m asked about my many years in marketing, it’s invariably followed by a pitying observation along the lines of: “it must be so difficult to keep up with all the changes…”

Marketing is, always has been and always will be about building trust and rapport, and giving the customer a solution that they want or need – even if they don’t realise it!

Clearly, the means by which we (try to) engage with our audiences have become increasingly fragmented, with digital and social media platforms abounding, and data analysis enabling us to profile and micro-target individuals.

Jeremy Silverstone is the Managing Director of Purple Marketing Communications Limited, and a visiting lecturer in marketing and copywriting at the University of Hertfordshire. 07710 723532

But the good news for anyone over 35 is that the principles we learned ‘back in the day’ are still as valid today as they were then. So for anyone setting out to achieve their 2020 vision, here are seven simple steps to ensure that you minimise the waste and maximise the ROI from your marketing budget: 1. Be clear about what you want to achieve 2. Define who you need to reach and influence in order to reach those goals 3. Consider what they want to hear from you that would make them visit, call, or message you 4. Build relationships, through curation and dialogue, without openly selling 5. Set a budget based on a realistic conversion rate and your average order value 6. Get advice from a marketing professional on the best platform(s) to use for each audience, and don’t try to cover every base from day one 7. Analyse, test and refine. And be patient. All the signs are that successful marketing in 2020 will be about compelling content – especially on video – and more personalised solutions.

GETTING NOTICED ONLINE - IS YOUR BRAND STRONG ENOUGH? Brands have the power to influence consumers, and in a digitally saturated market, the strength of these brands, and their presence plays a big factor in business success. But what makes a good brand? And how should brands be adapting to make the most of the digital market? Strong brands have many traits, but here at Barley House Agency we’ve handpicked our favourites for you to consider: A focus on the target audience: A strong brand knows its target audience, what they need and want. Creating content and messages tailored specifically to appeal to them. Knowing your Values and Benefits: Ensuring you stand out from the competition is key, therefore knowing what makes you different and unique will help identify your USPs and promote them.

Consistent messaging: Strong brands ensure consistency is withheld on all communications they produce. A mixed bag of visuals, tone of voice fonts and more means consumers simply won’t get it. If you’ve got a strong brand you need, you carry this through to your online presence, ensuring you have an effective digital platform. Including a website, social media, Google MyBusiness and more. Then it’s all about getting noticed. You can deliver the right messages, but if they aren’t being seen, they’re no use! Utilising SEO, PPC, Blogging, and Social Media to name a few, help make sure your messages are delivered and seen by the right audiences! If you are struggling with your brand and digital presence, take a step back and analyse all the communications you are delivering. Review the brand perception both internally and externally. Is there a perception shift between the two? If so, it may be time to rebrand. Or if you have a great brand and can’t get noticed, it could be time to invest in some digital marketing, creating a clear strategy moving forward. Written by Nick Fox, Marketing Manager, Barley House Agency 01707 876555

Keep an eye on competition: The best brands know their position in the market and track their competitor’s movements. This helps them see their own niche’s and promote to their target audience. A clear mission statement: Can you name yours in less than 30 seconds? If not, you may need to go back to the drawing board. A strong mission statement should guide everything you do!




TELLING YOUR BRAND STORY There are lots of challenges to be faced when you commission any kind of marketing material. In our experience, one of the biggest is how to tell the story of your brand. You need to work out how to communicate quickly and effectively what you do, how it well help your customers and why you’re passionate about doing it. If you can’t tell that story, you’ll never really succeed at face-to-face networking, in sales pitches or when you’re creating your marketing materials.

MARKETING, WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS, AND HOW IT IS CHANGING At its simplest level without marketing, how would anybody be aware of the products and services you sell. Yes, word of mouth is one option but this usually comes with some benefit to the user of the service, which in turn is a cost of sale in the form of the marketing budget. Take Bulb (Electricity and Gas supplier) as an example. They have grown to over 1 million customers in five years thanks to a clever marketing campaign involving a £50 sign up promotion. Businesses often think that marketing is expensive; they might not be sure which marketing channel they should use or indeed have the necessary skills inhouse. These are common issues for many business owners. Thankfully, with the growth of digital marketing over the last ten years and the re-emergence of direct marketing, highly targeted and measurable activities can now be used to drive marketing with a clear return on investment.



Have a question or a problem and the first word that springs to mind is “Google”. However, over the last few years, Google has been making significant changes to the search results pages to “improve the customer experience” which has coincidentally increased revenue from Google Ads at the detriment of organic / non-paid for search results. These changes have significantly impacted many businesses who have seen the need to advertise increase as their website results are pushed further down the page. With the growth of 5G coverage, we are expecting to see increased mobile traffic to sites as download speeds become faster, this will in turn impact on how much traffic will get as the mobile interface for Google is nearly 100% adverts. Google is just one channel for your marketing. More importantly, having a clear marketing strategy and plan aligned with your business goals and objectives is key for driving your business growth. Garry Davis – Marketing Consultant With over 25 years marketing experience across a range of sectors working with businesses of all sizes Garry uses this experience to advice and support his clients with their marketing activities.

Telling your brand’s story sounds like a straightforward idea. But you’d be surprised how many people come to us to commission a video without really fundamentally, deep-down - knowing what it is they do or being able to describe it effectively. So how do you figure out what your story is? No matter whether you’re the biggest multinational conglomerate or a oneperson local plumber, your business started with an idea. It probably also started with a passion. And hopefully by now, you’ve developed a product or a service that meets the market’s needs in a particular way. Keeping all of that in mind, see yourself as a storyteller every time you tell someone about your company Take them on the journey with you: what you did before you started your business; how you spotted a gap in the market; how you love to do what you do; how fulfilling it is to do be able to improve the lives of


your customers in even a small way Keep telling that story over and over. Keep it concise. Keep it consistent And tell it with a smile. Think about what you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand and your marketing. You don’t necessarily need to worry about selling them a product or a service. You just need to make them feel like they’re in the right place. One of our main jobs as a video production agency is to help you figure out what your story is. And once you’ve got a story, you’ll find other people will start telling it for you. As an example, we created a video campaign for a coach company, which involved a bit of humour, a professional lookalike and a really strong sense of what it would be like to be a passenger in one of their vehicles. The story of making the video made the local newspaper - with a great photo of the owner being hugged by Mr T - and it was also featured in the coach industry’s trade press. All free publicity, and a really great story. If you’d like us to help your tell your brand’s story, please contact

THE IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING FOR GENERATING LEADS Ask any lead generation expert how they do it, and they will always have their preferred methods. However the truth is, there is not just one tactic or channel that magically works for all businesses.

As such, Marketing and Advertising go hand in hand as lead generation is all about the promotion and selling of your products/services.

At a very basic level, your Marketing Strategy should be aiming to:-

Whether you need to sell direct online; drive consumers in store or pile up hot leads for your sales team - the requirement is the same. You need to attract the right people to your brand and secure a certain action be it a phone enquiry, webform completion, email or personal visit.

● Turn your customers into advocates (Engagement)

How does Marketing help you do this? It all starts with your Marketing Strategy. Whilst this does not need to be the most complex of documents, it should clearly define first and foremost your objectives and budget. Ask yourself ‘what does good look like’ in order to achieve your business goals for the year. Setting clear objectives, be it number of inbound enquiries online, revenue targets from online sales or number of customers with an average spend value - will help you determine the best channels to achieve this. If your lead generation is about generating inbound enquiries, then also take into consideration the average conversion ratio which your Sales Team historically achieve.

● Grow your brand (Awareness)

● Drive leads and sales (Conversions) ● Improve customer retention (Feedback) In order to do this, you must clearly define who you are targeting. At Cariad we are big fans of defining ‘Buyer Personas’. This tactic is about modelling your target customers based on profiles of your best type of customer and includes not just basic details of gender, age, sex and location but also defining factors such as hobbies, interests, habits, pain points and more. Further aspects your Strategy should define are an analysis of your Competitors (online and offline), SWOT Analysis and then of course, scoping of which marketing and advertising channels you will use in order to smash your targets. After all, you wouldn’t build a house or manufacture a product without a plan. So it stands to reason that if you are going to achieve your sales targets - you need a Marketing Plan to help you achieve this.




According to Smart Insights, nearly half (45%) of businesses don’t have a digital marketing strategy, yet they are doing digital marketing, (Managing Digital Marketing 2019). This scattergun approach to online marketing can lead to disappointing results and a poor return on investment.


than short terms. All these approaches increase not only traffic to your website, but conversion rates too.

In the ten years since Distinctly was founded, we’ve seen SEO (search engine optimisation) go from a relatively misunderstood concept to something that any ambitious company places at the heart of its marketing activity.

In its infancy, SEO was widely perceived as simply stuffing the right words onto your website and hoping that Google notices. Really, it’s about using expert technical and creative insight to throw open your doors to customers, with content that’s highly relevant – well-written and top-quality – without ever losing the elements that make your business unique.

Simply having a website is not enough – today the sheer volume of online competition in every industry means it’s imperative to influence searchers’ behaviour and make your website more attractive to Google. Without SEO, searchers are far less likely to identify your business as the answer to their needs. SEO takes many forms, but in essence it’s the art of ranking highly in Google’s organic search results. It’s less a quick fix than a tactical, considered and longterm process that’s proven to deliver real, tangible results. An agency like Distinctly can identify the kind of under-the-bonnet technical improvements that enable Google to better understand your website, but that’s only the first step. SEO activity is varied and multidisciplinary. A comprehensive SEO plan should involve on-page optimisation to provide a good structure and digital PR activity to generate high-quality links from related websites. Blog content should focus on long-tail keywords, which are less competitive and easier to rank for



By Tom Shurville, Managing Director.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY We live in a digital world, with 4.5 billion internet users and rising quickly. Whilst some businesses have been reluctant to convert to the online world, many have not only adapted, but thrive because of it. The online world offers businesses the opportunity to reach out and raise awareness of their products and services as well as generate qualified leads. However, many senior marketing staff feel ill-equipped to cope with the everchanging demands of digital marketing and often the task of social media and website optimisation is handed to the younger, digital natives in the office, who understand the functionality of these tools, but don’t necessarily have the strategic overview required.

Marketing has never been more accessible to the small business, but the myriad of digital marketing platforms can be baffling and without a strategic direction or targeted plan of action a lot of time and effort can be wasted. Therefore, it is important to create an innovative digital marketing strategy in order to cut through the noise and stand out from competitors. A digital marketing strategy gives you the foundations for a campaign that will deliver the best return on investment. It allows you to make use of the digital data available in order to best target your investment, reach out to your target audience and understand what works. Identify your Goals One of the key reasons to create a formal digital marketing strategy is so that you can track success and plan out your budgets. You need to identify your goals – are you looking for brand awareness or to convert people online? The types of tactics that you will adopt can very depending on your goals. You also need a plan for what success looks like, and how to track what has worked and what hasn’t. Understand the Online Marketplace Your strategy will identify your target audience, the competitive landscape, the product range and the key messaging being used online. People tend to search for their problems, rather than the solutions that you are offering, so your content marketing should focus on the sorts of topics that interest the customer, as opposed to pushy sales messages. An effective digital marketing strategy allows you to make the right decisions and provides a framework to develop your campaigns in a measured and intelligent way. Make your marketing count, and make it trackable, with a robust plan of action.

idea that shareholders and directors are responsible for the direction and control of the company. However, there is often confusion as to who is responsible for what aspect of the company’s direction and control, especially in ownermanaged companies where the directors and shareholders are same people ‘wearing different hats’.

Daniel Burns, Partner and Head of Company Commercial, answers some common questions about Corporate Governance that all business leaders should know.


What is Corporate Governance?


A definition was helpfully provided by Cadbury Report, titled Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance issued in 1992: “Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled”.


What does it mean to me?

who has an A Anyone interest in or works for a limited company will be familiar broadly with the


What is the directors’ role in corporate governance?

The role of director is complex from a legal perspective and potentially onerous in terms of statutory duties and obligations. However, simply put from a corporate governance perspective, boards of directors are responsible for the governance of their companies. The responsibilities include setting the company’s strategic aims, providing the leadership to put them into effect, supervising the management of the business and reporting to shareholders on their stewardship.



What is the shareholders’ role in corporate governance?

a corporate A From governance perspective, the role of shareholder (whilst wearing his or her ‘shareholders

hat’ rather than as a director) is fairly limited, and is primarily to appoint the directors and the auditors and to satisfy themselves that an appropriate structure is in place. In smaller private companies it is usually desirable to have a shareholders’ agreement in place, which regulates the dealing of shareholders as between themselves, and often contains specific provisions regarding the appointment of directors and may identify matters that require the unanimous consent of shareholders, for example significant acquisitions, borrowing or entry into material contracts.


Why think about corporate governance in my business?

Even in smaller owner managed business, applying good corporate governance principles is likely to improve decision making by providing guidelines, checks and balances for the directors the management team. Improved decision making is likely to reduce risk for shareholders and other stakeholders, including employees, trading partners such as suppliers and customers and HMRC. More importantly, sound decision making should lead to increased profitability.


How do I implement good corporate governance principles in my business?


Companies whose shares can be bought and sold by the public on the London Stock Exchange are required to run their businesses in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, however the requirements of the Code are not suitable for smaller private companies. A set of corporate governance principles for larger private companies (the Wates Principles) was issued in December 2018. Smaller private companies may wish to consider using the Wates Principles as framework for their own corporate governance regime. Greater detail as to how these may be applied is available in the Wates Principles document published by the Financial Reporting Council, however the headline principles are: 1. Purpose and Leadership 2. Board Composition 3. Director Responsibilities 4. Opportunity and Risk 5. Remuneration

6. Stakeholder relationships and engagement

Please note the contents of this article are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.




Jean Freeman - the vision inspiring the growth of Sharp-aX Computers Those who succeed in the fast-moving world of digital technology need to have vision to allow them to stay ahead of today’s technological advances. Such vision drives inspirational leaders and has characterised the career of Hertfordshire businesswoman Jean Freeman, the managing director and a founder member of Sharp-aX Computer Systems Limited. Her ability to spot gaps in the market and a determination to focus on developing the most modern, powerful and flexible software is what has driven the success of Sharp-aX in its first three years. The result, Sharp-aX based in Berkhamsted, has grown to employ 22 local Hertfordshire people. Specialising in distribution software and with an integrated website, the company is perfectly set to focus on new business sales. The roots of the business can be traced back twenty five years when Jean joined Singer Business Machines as a Systems Engineer, installing new computer systems and training customers in accounts and payroll technology. She moved South and joined Data 100 in Hemel Hempstead as a Computer Systems Consultant. Quickly promoted to Head of Training & Education, running a team of ten across the UK, she gained vast experience and knowledge of the industry and identified what was still missing. Jean subsequently joined her husband Mike Munnelly to form Ramtac Computers Systems Limited in Berkhamsted as a reseller for Intact Ireland. Establishing a strong foothold



in the UK market place with 75 employees and a customer base of more than 500, the company thrived. Jean, who is Sharp-aX Computer Systems managing director, said: “It felt like a natural decision to create Sharp-aX Computer Systems Limited. We had worked in the sector for so many years, creating and selling integrated systems for other people. “We were writing more and more of our own software and, when Intact approached us to sell them the Intact customer base, it was perfect timing! “For the first three years, we focused on our own Sharp-aX software and integrated website development, ensuring that it became the most modern, powerful and flexible system available. “It is important to lay those foundations; everyone in our company is involved in R&D as we continue to develop new modules and apps based on our close scrutiny of the market and our customers’ needs. “The result is that our systems are capable of uniquely

flexible and powerful complex functions, rules and workflows designed around exact company requirements - automation from sales quotation to sales order/purchase order/invoice/ statement allied to integrated Mobile sales and warehouse apps. “Our delivery routing module is vital for our customers who have heavy delivery commitments. Orders are allocated to vans by route, time, weight and size, legally essential when failure to comply with weight restrictions can lead to instant prosecution. “Our integrated website uses the customer and product information held within the Sharp-aX system so that customers may order on line 24/7, accessing their products, their pricing, with instant access to historic orders, invoices and statements.” One recent typical Sharp-aX Customer has embraced all that Sharp-aX had to offer - DDC Foods Limited, a 40User food distribution company located in Hemel Hempstead. Jean said: “Our work with DDC Foods epitomises all that is good about the innovative

“DDC embraced every new idea and concept from entrepreneurs who share the same vision and aspirations by creating brands that change the way we snack and drink. We have been instrumental in supporting DDC Foods with our system.”

developments taking place within the drinks and snacks market. “DDC embraced every new idea and concept from entrepreneurs who share the same vision and aspirations by creating brands that change the way we snack and drink. We have been instrumental in supporting DDC Foods with our system.” The success of such ventures has given Jean the confidence to drive forward to the next stage in the company’s development. She said: “Having developed our software to an extremely high level, this year we sourced an industry-experienced sales director and increased our sales team under his control. “Now in our fourth year, we have 167 customers and are set to expand and make our presence felt in Hertfordshire. “So many of our recommendations come from our customers who are delighted with our top-level support, constant advice and guidance. We talk and listen to our customers.”

Survival Challenge My Arctic Survival Challenge

Claire Austin

Claire Austin My Arctic Survival Challenge will start on 26th January 2020, when I will be heading off into the wilderness 150km south of the Arctic Circle. My challenge will involve adjusting to life in this extreme environment and I will learn how to get around, find food, light fires and build shelters. Later in the challenge I will embark on a three day survival phase where my training is put to the test. Along with my fellow adventurers, we will construct our own accommodation for each night which will include a Scandinavian tent, a shelter and a snow hole. I will be venturing into this harsh environment to test my survival instinct and to learn all about life in this challenging environment. However, my purpose is also to raise funds to help those facing challenging times in my home county of Hertfordshire. I will be ‘self-funding’ the trip itself, therefore 100% of the donations I receive will go to charity. The charity I am supporting is Home-Start Hertfordshire. There are some brief details below about the amazing work they do. Home-Start helps families in difficulties. We all know that a child’s first few years can determine his or her future. Early help prevents later problems. Home-Start identifies families in need and supports them in ways that are dramatically effective and low-cost. The problems • Many Hertfordshire families struggle with disability, poverty and bad housing. • Young parents living far from their kin may have no one to turn to for help and advice. • Some toddlers don’t learn the basic speaking and listening skills they will need before their first day at school. Home-Start prevents a problem turning into a crisis. How do they do it? Home-Start train volunteers to act as mentors. The volunteers are parents themselves and come from the local Hertfordshire community. A volunteer will spend 2-3 hours a week with the family over a period of six to nine months. Home-Start Hertfordshire are currently helping more than a hundred struggling families. Their informal approach is especially successful with parents who are scared or suspicious of government agencies. Please support me and this worthy cause, if you can, by making a small donation. Thank you




Chamber announces a new Patron with an eye on the future Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has a new Patron in the form of Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd, which sees the relationship between the two organisations as a mutually beneficial one. Based in Potters Bar, Chasebridge offers its clients wide-ranging advice on financial future planning, through a combination of tax and investment planning together with cash flow management. The business agreed to be a Patron having been increasingly impressed by the Chamber’s professional approach and the opportunity for Chasebridge to work with key business-people in Hertfordshire. Director Gordon Craft said: “We have liked what we have seen of the Chamber. It is a professional organisation with an impressive professional management team. “We have enjoyed attending the Chamber’s networking events, which have a real energy about them. “One of the reasons we like being a member, and have agreed to become a Patron, is the interaction with key business people when ordinarily we might struggle to secure a meeting with a busy Finance Director or Head of HR.” “However, the Chamber’s networking events allow us to meet them in informal surroundings and develop the relationship from there.” Gordon believes that being a Patron is a two-way process and that Chasebridge can bring great benefits to the Chamber and its members by offering advice on financial planning in a turbulent market-place. He himself has worked in financial services for more than 20 years and provides advice on all areas of wealth management,

including Investment Planning, Inheritance Tax Planning and Retirement Planning, within London and throughout the Home Counties. As well as achieving Chartered Financial Planner status, which is the industry’s gold standard for financial planners, and is currently held by only a select number of individuals and firms in the UK, Gordon has also reached the status of Fellow of the Personal Finance Society. He said: “I think that we are in a position to benefit the Chamber through our role as a Patron. We are looking to bring our knowledge and to offer the members the kind of advice needed in these volatile times. We have conversations and ask the questions around business risks, business and personal planning which are not always being offered by other advisers to the business. “Our supportive and creative environment enables people to explore their current and future needs, objectives and desires and we are passionate about helping them to identify key moments in their life by bringing our knowledge to the conversation.

“Those conversations are important because we are living in volatile times and people may need some assistance in making the big decisions, rather than simply relying on what they read or see in the media, which may not necessarily be relevant to their circumstances. “Our role is to help businesses and individuals to better understand their financial position in relation to what is happening in the world in order to protect and grow wealth the next twelve months and beyond, even if there does remain plenty of uncertainty. “We would appear to be coming to the end of the Brexit process but 2020 will also see the US Presidential election having an effect on the future of America and the wider global economy. “Any financial products that we may hold are affected by worldwide events. Our business can bring expertise to Chamber members to help them make informed decisions.”

You can find out more about Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd at

“I think that we are in a position to benefit the Chamber through our role as a Patron. We are looking to bring our knowledge and to offer the members the kind of advice needed in these volatile times.” Gordon Craft, Director

Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.




Will YOUR Business Survive a Cyber-Attack? It is still impossible to find a security vendor who will offer cast iron guarantees against Cyber threats, given the challenges of staying one step ahead of the evolving threat landscape. Whilst employees remain the weakest link in a company’s defences, hackers continue to operate under stealth and extort vast sums of money from delivering Phishing attacks. However, exploiting software vulnerabilities and snooping around a company’s network for weeks before launching a ransomware attack poses the latest sophisticated challenge to organisations. The media continues to report on significant breaches such as those at Capital One, British Airways and the NHS, not forgetting government bodies and banks who deploy vast sums on protection. Many small businesses still feel safe in the knowledge that this is only a problem for large companies. Think again. Cyber criminals do not discriminate against any size of organisation. Whilst SME’s do not attract the same media attention, their systems are far more vulnerable due to the lack of investment, regular maintenance and procedural discipline. Historically, attacks were usually random, these days they are more focussed on industry verticals. In fact, very little IT knowledge is needed to launch an attack since such services can be ordered on the Dark Web for as little as £20. Given the time lapse between new threats appearing and a security patch being applied to systems, companies need to take a much wider and multi-layered approach to security and recovery whilst ensuring staff training includes the deployment of simulated attacks. If a password change policy is configured, then it needs to ensure this does not result in a weaker or a slightly varied password, as hackers have grown wise to such practice. It is also worth establishing if third parties such as IT vendors deploy encryption technologies to store administration passwords securely and, deploy robust systems to audit and manage passwords when employees leave.

Also, one should not overlook two stage authentication and penetration testing in order to understand the effectiveness of the security solution deployed. Whilst Mail filters, Anti-virus, Malware shields and firewalls manage friendly and threatening data traffic, there remains a grey area. These threats appear to be friendly, but this is not always clear and because of this the device can be compromised without the breach being easily detected. If a device has been compromised, then the firewall should recognise sensitive data being streamed out of an organisation’s network and block it. This is where dynamic solutions utilising data analysis or AI are needed to recognise the characteristics of such data traffic and understand its behaviour. Such solutions can also isolate desktops from the network and take remedial action before releasing the desktop back to the network. When protection fails, Cyber insurance and system recovery become the last line of defence. Cyber insurance is designed to help your business offset the costs of recovery after a cyber-related security breach, or similar event. A comprehensive cyber policy would also cover you for the direct costs and liabilities to third parties following a cyber-attack.

“Cyber criminals do not discriminate against any size of organisation. Whilst SME’s do not attract the same media attention, their systems are far more vulnerable due to the lack of investment, regular maintenance and procedural discipline.”

Many standard cyber policies exclude the financial or asset losses incurred following an attack (such as funds taken from your account), therefore businesses should consider cyber with a crime extension for fully comprehensive protection. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for protecting cyber risks. Every company’s operational structure differs, and as such, so do their risk exposures. We would therefore recommend working in partnership with an experienced and expert insurance broker to identify the right solution in order to meet the individual needs of your business. Fellow chamber member and local insurance broker, Tysers, are well positioned to help Hertfordshire businesses. They provide access to a wide range of cyber and cyber-crime products and will search the market on your behalf, offering guidance and advice. Whilst many organisations execute data backups with regularity and assume safety, backups should not be considered as offering any kind of shelter, given the potential for corruption. Accordingly, regular testing of system recovery is essential and this requires much thought and planning. The focus must be on rapid recovery and given that data repositories continue to grow, consideration should also be given to critical systems and the order in which they need to be recovered, whilst procedures are fine-tuned to ensure minimal recovery timescales. Network Integrity Services is an end-to-end IT solutions provider and Microsoft Gold partner. If you are interested in a FREE simulated Phishing attack trial or concerned about the latest threat landscape, please email Mustaq Chandia | Director Network Integrity Services Ltd



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16 16


Town targets growth

Martine South, owner of Party Box in Bishop’s Stortford

Nestled between the counties of Hertfordshire and Essex and adjacent to Stansted Airport, Bishop’s Stortford retains a wonderful market town atmosphere whilst offering great connectivity to London and Cambridge via the M11 and direct trains. It is the largest town in the district of East Herts and with recent housing development the population is set to grow from 42,000 to more than 55,000 in the next ten years. The town already has a number of businesses present including recognisable brands such as Fisher BioServices UK (part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), Medisafe Internatonal, CPL Aromas Ltd, Diageo and GU as well as other SMEs operating across different sectors. The council has made Bishop’s Stortford a key priority for investment, making it an attractive place for businesses and families. The ‘Old River Lane’ site within the town centre will be redeveloped to support a new arts hub alongside modern residential and commercial units. Alongside this anticipated £75m of investment, the council is building a new leisure centre at a cost of £23m, as well as investing in green spaces such as the parks surrounding the ruins of Waytemore Castle (originally built by William the Conqueror). Many other organisations also recognise the potential of the town and significant investment is being made around the

train station with new residential and commercial buildings under construction. Alongside housing growth a further 8-10 hectares of employment land has been identified to the North and South of the town centre and will be developed in the next few years. In the past year the businesses in the town centre have also organised themselves into a Business Improvement District. Representing more than 300 traders this body will be focusing on improving access to the town centre, a programme of events and festivals to increase footfall and providing business support to its member organisations. Also in the town centre, businesses can find a council run flexible working facility

called the Launchpad. This provides almost 200 sqm of hotdesking, meeting and event space on an affordable, ‘easy in easy out’ basis and offers some of the fastest broadband provision in the district. Moreover, the council recently decided to continue a programme of start up grants aimed at new businesses coming into the area or existing businesses who wish to expand. A discount of up to 50% of one year’s worth of business rates’ is on offer and between 2017/ 2019 8 businesses in the Bishop’s Stortford area benefitted from this with discounts ranging from £2,000 - £7,000. All of this means Bishop’s Stortford is set to play a key role in the anticipated economic growth of around Stansted Airport and the M11 corridor.

“The council has made Bishop’s Stortford a key priority for investment, making it an attractive place for businesses and families. The ‘Old River Lane’ site within the town centre will be redeveloped to support a new arts hub alongside modern residential and commercial units.”



Five tips for improving your

financial blueprint for the 20’s By Shan Phoenix, Director Geneva Wealth

Happy new year my friends. I hope you are all looking back happy and looking forward excited. We have a new decade to change our financial trajectory for the better. Here are my next five Top Tips that hopefully helps you plan for 2020


Identify your true priorities:

Write down your vision for the future. Ask yourself why? Now write down what’s really bothering you about your life right now. Check them against each other, work out your priorities and plan from there. This might require some honesty but it’s worth doing so that in ten years your situation is as you intended.


Increase your excess income:

Note I say excess, not disposable. This is the key to everything. Do a regular breakdown of your income and expenditure. Analyse your expenses and check if they are necessary and/or worth it. Do you need to cut costs or increase your income? Pay attention to this task, time flies and building assets takes time.


Do a forecast:

Work out if in X number of years, you will be where you want to be. If you make it a priority and make the necessary decisions, life will get easier and your options will increase. Crunch numbers on my investment calculator, use your imagination and start setting some personal financial goals. investment-calculator


Be an active investor, not just a customer:

Get a kick out of buying units in funds that invest in amazing companies. Make it feel as good as when you go shopping. I don’t care if we never speak just make it your mission to understand that a decent investment will make you money from your money, not your time. We can only work so hard for so long. Our money needs to be converted into assets that work for us.If everyone was an investor throughout their life, less people would work into their 60’s, or need to downsize, or need equity release.


Stop using credit cards:

Pay them off and go back to your debit card, except for certain purchases where you have protection and you pay it off straight away. The rewards are a myth and they somehow make you overspend. If you are overspending, you aren’t investing, and if you aren’t building your assets that can provide a passive income, where’s the endgame? If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Instagram @genevawealth or email

Contact details: Shan Phoenix Director Geneva Wealth, Rivers Lodge, West Common, Harpenden, AL5 2JD 01582 967300 This article should not be considered as advice and your individual circumstances need to be considered before implementing any financial plan.Investments move up and down in value and should be considered a long term strategy. Geneva Wealth Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 807865

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In Conversation... with

Donna Obstfeld Managing Director of DOHR What is the biggest risk to all employers? The biggest risk to all employers is often the desire to do the right thing. Now, that may sound like a very strange statement because it is generally taken that all employers want to do the right thing. However, as an HR practice we are often left picking up the pieces when having done ‘the right thing’ is used against the employer by a disgruntled employee. One case ended up in an employment tribunal when the business owner said “I really do think you would be more comfortable in a more traditional estate agency”. This was turned into an age discrimination case which the employee won. The company was introducing new computerised systems which the employee was refusing to use, instead insisting on her original paper-based system. This was all about internal processes and nothing to do with age and yet, the one-off comment was seen to be adequate to be age discrimination. Another example is where an employer wants to give a departing employee some additional money, but doesn’t want the ‘hassle’ of tying it up in a settlement agreement. In more than one instance, we have seen ex-employees bring claims for unpaid notice, holiday or commissions, despite having received an ex-gratia payment often in excess of what is owed. Our advice is to never pay a penny more than you are legally required to UNLESS it is wrapped up in a settlement agreement.

What happens when an employer wants to do a nice thing? Even doing a ‘nice’ thing can lead to problems. Pizza on Friday? Make sure you have vegan or gluten free options. Cakes in the office? Make sure you have healthy options for those with diabetes or who are on diet. Team outings in evenings or at weekends? Take into consideration the views of all your employees. Are there religious reasons why people can’t or won’t join in? Are there family reasons which impact on an employee’s ability to fully participate ‘after hours’? The worst thing you can do is have a goodwill gesture turn bad and leave a bitter taste in the mouth. You won’t be remembered for what you did or didn’t do, but you will be remembered for how you made someone feel. If someone feels left out, bullied or even harassed as a result of you trying to do the right thing, you could end up with demotivated employees or even a claim against you.

So, what’s the answer? For many the answer may be to do nothing, as “it’s ‘safer’ that way”. However, you are then missing out on an opportunity. Think about what you say, before you say it. Give people choices. Involve your employees in decisions which affect them. Document decisions and be consistent. If in doubt, seek advice before saying or doing something…. rather than trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted!

Call DOHR today on 01923 866037

to discuss how we can save you time, money & stress!

Tori Pearson - Partnerships & Development Leader

Aysha Julie - Director

THE GIFTED CHARITY LP NEED YOUR HE Are you an Inspiring Business Woman who could mentor our most vulnerable Hertfordshire girls who are participating in our social impact and enterprise programme, “The Butterflyette.” This Inspiring project gives local vulnerable girls and young women between the ages of 14 -24 the chance for a better future and inspire their belief that they too could become female leaders and community shapers of the future! The Gifted are delighted to have received support and contact from members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, particularly from the Women’s Network. We have received £2,800 in unrestricted donations, but more notably, have begun forming meaningful Partnerships with female business women interested in becoming involved as a mentor but to sustain the work that we do we need to encourage more supporters and mentors for our vital project.

We would love to hear from anyone interested in learning more about our work and becoming a business mentor or supporter of the project.

Please contact Tori on 01992 623888 or

*This project has been funded through the PCC Commission and Lawrence Atwell Charity


Commercial Recycling Solutions for commercial businesses across Hertfordshire We are based in Potters Bar, but our services are available for businesses across South East England. Our mission is to source high quality recycling materials to supply mills in the UK and around the world. We are dedicated to diverting quality recyclables from landfill and work with our customers to ensure that where possible, this is completely eradicated.

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 Free recycling audits for all prospective customers  Free Waste Transfer Notes for all our customers  Transparent pricing, there will be no hidden costs.

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We also offer confidential shredding…

As an ISO accredited organisation, we understand the requirements for compliance and data protection. If you are having a big clear out of documents, we can provide you with a pack of our shredding bags. When you have filled the shredding bags, we will arrange the collection from you. We only charge you for the sacks that you fill at £4 + VAT per sack and a call out charge of £30 + VAT.


Why choose CS Shredding?

Would you like a quote?

We offer a 10% discount on our services for Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce members and for our CS Recycling customers.

Call our team for a quote on 01707 621431 Email our enquiries mailbox


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The UK throws away Do you think about billion your 2.5 rubbish once disposable it’s in the bin? coffee cups every year. For mostStop people,single-use. The UK throws awa the answer ENVIRONMENT TOP TIPS

The UK throws away is no!The UK throws 2.5 disposab Theaway UKbillion throws away 2.5 billion disposable The UK throws away r But if you did, you might be surprised about what you could find e b coffee cups every 2.5 billion disposable m 2.5 billion disposable e m e coffee cups every year R 2.5 billion disposable ! s Stop single-use. e coffee cups every year. l b coffee cups every year. a s u Stop single-use. e coffee cups every year. r r u single-use. Stop single-use. yoStop Stop single-use. ember Looking at the type and amount of waste your organisation generates could be an interesting insight into how much money and resource you are throwing away.

Following the Blue Planet II series, Hertfordshire County Council decided to lead by example to review how many singleuse containers were being used by staff. Collaborating with their catering and facilities contractors across their four main sites, they have swapped over to more environmentally sustainable – and cheaper – alternatives.

• Recycling more than 30 tonnes of food waste in the first year since introducing kitchen caddies at tea points and catering outlets across the four main sites in May last year. The food waste is sent for anaerobic digestion where it is turned into an agricultural fertiliser and methane gas used to create renewable energy.

There are lots of ways you can reduce your organisation’s waste.

Our top tips are:

1. Carry out a waste audit / purchasing audit to identify the number of single-use items you are collectively using. Work out which can be removed altogether and replaced with reusable items.

m r es! e e R b m e m l r e b e R a b s r m u e ! e e s b r e m l r m r e b u e e R a o b s m y u e ! m e s R e r e l r m b ! u e s a o R eusab s e y l u b ! e s r e r l u o r a y s r u u e o r yyour

Waste reduction initiatives include:

• Removing disposable coffee cups from staff cafes, preventing the use of 175,000 cups each year, or a whopping 3,500 cups being thrown away each week! Now staff use crockery mugs in the cafeterias or those wishing to buy a hot drink to take away must bring their own lidded cup or purchase a reusable one at the till.

• Removing single-use plastic cups at water points and replacing them with hard plastic reusable beakers, preventing 2,500 plastic cups from ending up in the bin. • Staff used a staggering 361,400 pieces

• Introduced crisp packet recycling as part of the Terracycle scheme with 12 kg of packets being recycled in less than 2 months.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Waste, Terry Hone, said: “We’ve made great strides to end consumption of single-use plastic at council offices and I’m delighted with how positive everyone has been in embracing this for the good of our environment. “I’d like to challenge other businesses and every household in the county to follow our example and take steps to reduce waste further, too.”

2. Download our ‘remember your reusables’ posters from our website for display across your organisation. 3. Check that you are recycling all that you can. If you don’t currently have a recycling collection for key materials, speak to your waste contractor about setting one up. 4. For individuals, carry a refillable bottle with you, preferably stainless steel or one made from recycled plastic. You’re entitled to request tap water for free as a customer at any licensed premises, or look at the Refill campaign for friendly places to refill your bottle.

The Leading by Example Team hosted Staff Information stands at the main sites on World Environment Day (5th June) and to kick off Plastic Free July. Staff were encouraged to pledge the plastic items they would stop using and many posted these on Yammer, encouraging 5. Carry a reusable flask for fellow workers to take up the challenge hot drinks. Ask coffee chains and make a few small changes to their to fill your flask. You’ll reduce habits. Further#RememberYourReusables: work includes development plastic waste and could of an intranet, to share detailed information avoid the ‘Latte Levy’, saving you money. on what#RememberYourReusables: items can and can’t be recycled at the four main sites.

of disposable plastic cutlery each year. #RememberYourReusables: Accordingly HCC invested in more metal cutlery which can be used by anyone on site and plastic cutlery has been removed from display saving on average 7,000 pieces of plastic cutlery per week. WasteAwarePartnership

HertsWasteAware #RememberYourReusables: #RememberYourReusables: HertsWasteAware

WasteAwarePartnership WasteAwarePartnership HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware WasteAwarePartnership #RememberYourReusables: WasteAwarePartnership HertsWasteAware WasteAwarePartnership HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware




Now the election is behind us,

the work must begin in earnest

The Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called for the new government to do everything in its power to boost the UK Economy. In his first pronouncement since the Conservatives secured an 80-seat majority, Dr Adam Marshall said: “Restoring business, investor and consumer confidence – and firing up the economy – must now be the Prime Minister’s top priority. “Campaign slogans must give way to a renewed focus on the details that matter. Our business communities need to see swift, decisive action to avoid a messy and disorderly exit from the EU and to tackle the barriers holding back investment and growth here in the UK.” According to Dr Marshall, businesses’ priorities for the new government include: • Avoiding a no-deal exit from the EU and delivering a smooth transition giving firms time to prepare • Acting rapidly to reform business rates and replace them with a fairer system • Pressing ahead with improvements to transport infrastructure including HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and additional capacity at Heathrow • Investing in our skills base and reforming the Apprenticeships Levy so that more small firms can access high-quality training locally, at affordable cost • Delivering a sensible immigration system that gives firms access to essential overseas talent at all levels.



The comments followed a report issued before the election that showed that GDP growth is forecast to slow from 1.3% for 2019 to 1.0% in 2020 - the weakest outturn since 2009, according to the latest economic forecast from British Chambers of Commerce. Although this is a slight upgrade on BCC’s previous forecast of 0.8%, it indicates that by the end of 2020 the UK economy will have experienced its second weakest decade of average annual GDP growth on record. The BCC has upgraded its growth forecast for 2021 from 1.2% to 1.3%. The upgrades are largely driven by stronger expected levels of government spending both observed in the 2019 Spending Round and the anticipated uplift in expenditure by an incoming government. However, with tax revenue expected to weaken amid a slowing economy, stronger government spending is expected to come at the cost of higher borrowing. UK public sector net borrowing is forecast to be £83.4 billion higher over the next three years than predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility at the 2019 Spring Statement.

“As soon as the smoke clears from the election battlefield, economic growth must be put front and centre again in Westminster.”

Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Our forecast points to several years of anaemic activity in the UK economy unless decisive action is taken. “Increased public spending where the objective is to strengthen growth and productivity can help support the UK economy in the near term. However, a sluggish economy could restrict the UK’s capacity to collect enough tax revenue to deliver a marked boost in public spending. Under such conditions, significant and sustained government borrowing could leave the UK more exposed to economic shocks. “The downside risks to the UK’s economic outlook remain concerningly high. Worsening global trends and uncertainty over the course of Brexit present real dangers for the UK economy. More uncertainty in the aftermath of the General Election and a persistent lack of clarity on the UK’s future trading relationships could also result in more muted growth.” Dr Marshall said: “As soon as the smoke clears from the election battlefield, economic growth must be put front and centre again in Westminster. No incoming government can deliver its promises to the electorate without healthy and thriving business communities or without a clear and detailed plan for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. “As long as businesses are held back by Brexit uncertainty, high up-front costs, skills gaps, and poor infrastructure, we can expect growth to be mediocre, at best. At this critical moment, details matter. An incoming government needs to get both the signals and the substance right – and give companies the confidence to invest.”


Incoterms(r) 2020 Rules The International Chamber of Commerce first codified a set of standard trading terms in 1936 known as the Incoterms Rules.

Keith Moore, Damon Jeter, Fred Monk and Paul Livingston

One Stop Shop So now we have the result of the election leaving Boris Johnson with a comfortable majority of seats in the House of Commons which should in theory make it easier for him to get through his Brexit deal. The EU has in principle already approved the deal but will still need the Parliamentary approval to proceed which by the time this article is published may, or may not, have been given. Over the last three years or so companies have been craving a direction and stability as to what may happen going forward and now there is some light at the end of the tunnel, is this now the time to consider investment at home or overseas? For most people this is a daunting task and how do you go about it especially if this is in another country such as America? The answer could be a trusted partner on whom you can rely for solid advice, market analysis and the practical side of finding premises. I consider myself lucky that the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has two such contacts in South Carolina who can offer such advice, in December we had a visit from Fred Monk who is the Senior Advisor for International Strategy and Trade from the Department of Commerce in Columbia who can offer a “one stop shop” and assist with market entry into the USA. Fred was also accompanied by Paul Livingston, Chair of Richland County and Damon Jeter, a Richland business consultant and former councilman, who were interested

in having a closer relationship with businesses in Hertfordshire and the University of Hertfordshire. Our other contact is Russ Froneberger, founder of Global Consulting, who has been a friend to the chamber for many years and has presented to our members regarding setting up in South Carolina with his numerous contacts. Is 2020 the year to push your boundaries? If you would like further details then please email Keith Moore on or visit Fred Monk at or Russ Froneberger at

These trading terms have been updated seven times with thelatest rules coming into force on I January 2020. The basic role of Incoterms rules since inception in 1936 still remain the same. To Identify the buyer and seller obligations under • Precise place of Delivery • Division of Costs • Identify where the Risk Passes from the Seller to The buyer. It should be noted that Incoterms 2020 rules can be altered to suite both the buyer and seller but both parties should make it very clear what alterations have been made and agreed upon and include such alterations in the sales contract. There are eleven sets of rules in Incoterms 2020 Rules for any mode or modes of transport. • EXW • FCA • CPT • CIP • DAP • DPU • DDP Rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport • FAS • FOB • CFR • CIF. The following are SOME of the changes which appear in Incoterms 2020 rules. DAT has been replaced by DPU. The other ten rules remain as in Incoterms 2010 rules. TWO levels of insurance as been introduced in Incoterms 2020 rules, clause C insurance under the CIF rules and Clause A under the CFR rules. The potential problem with obtaining an ”On Board” Bill of Lading sometimes required in a Letter of Credit Transaction or Documentary Collection under FCA is now addressed. If a Pre shipment Inspection Is required, Incoterms 2020 states in all 10 sets of rules that the seller is responsible for any costs incurred. Incoterms 2020 is ‘user friendly” it offers a more clearer and simpler presentation than Incoterms 2010. All “like” articles are grouped together to give the reader “at a glance” definition of each rule under the eleven terms. Under the DAP, DPU,DDP, FCA rules in Incoterms 2020, provision has been made for the seller and buyer to use their own transport without outsourcing the carriage to a third party Security concerns are addresses with more prominence in Incoterms 2020 rules than they were in Incoterms 2010 rules. The Buyer and sellers COSTS obligations are set out in more detail under the Incoterms 2020 Rules. Verified Gross Mass is addressed in Incoterms 2020 rules but it was felt that costs and obligations relating to VGM were too complex to incorporate into Incoterms 2020 rules. Guidance notes which appear on the facing page of each Incoterms rule in the 2010 edition are expanded upon in the 2020 edition to help both the seller and buyer decide upon the appropriate Incoterms rule to use in a particular sales contract. In conclusion, Incoterms rules 2020 contain ten rules as they appear in Incoterms rules 2010 and one new rule DAP which replaces DAT in the 2010 edition Upon close reading and the studying of Incoterms rules 2020, the reader will find a great similarity between Incoterms 2010 rules and Incoterms 2020 rules, but beware the devil is in the detail.




2019 was a big year for the Herts Chamber, we have undergone some staffing changes

and congratulations are in order!

Amy Rich has been promoted to the position of Operations Manager. Amy champions and manages internal projects to better enhance our members experiences with us as well as developing packages. Amy is also responsible for managing renewals at the Chamber making sure members have had the best possible value for money. To contact Amy please call 01707 502188 or email

Gemma Rydqvist has been promoted to the position of Relationship

Manager. Gemma manages key relationships with high profile Chamber members. Delivering expectations, adding value and taking ownership of a professional commercial working relationship with members. Provides a quality support service to help members Connect, Collaborate and Grow. To contact Gemma please call 01707 502185 or email

John Woodruffe has been promoted to the position of External Export Manager. John looks after the commercial side of the Export Department ensuring all avenues of growth and revenue generation are covered. John often attends meetings with exporters and those who have a potential to use our services. He also attends the Brexit Intelligence Meetings in order to gather as much information as possible for ourselves and our members. He is also the Account Manager for all of our Exporting members. To contact John call 01707 502196 or email

We also have two new Business Engagement Managers; Donna Schultz for Central Herts, and Tom Hier for West Herts: Donna supports local businesses to grow, connect and succeed, from sole

traders to large corporate companies in central Herts. Donna works with local businesses and potential partners, building relationships to influence the shape of future programmes, support businesses to effectively network, promote and raise their profiles with Chamber initiatives. To Contact Donna please call 01707 502186 or email

Tom supports the growth and success of local businesses from a sole trader to large corporate companies in the West Herts area, covering Dacorum and Watford. He works with local businesses and potential partners, building relationships to influence the shape of future programmes. Support businesses to effectively network, promote and raise their profiles with Chamber initiatives. To contact Tom please call 01707 502187 or you can email him at

Congratulations to our Chamber Team! 24




The Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards are back for their ninth year following incredible feedback from the 2019 Awards ceremony! “The Inspiring Hertfordshire 2019 awards ceremony The Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards are back for their ninth gave a fantastic opportunity to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some of the best achievements from year following incredible feedback from the 2019 Awards around the county. The event was amazing and ceremony! highlighted just how many incredible businesses “The and Inspiring Hertfordshire awards ceremony gave a fantastic opportunity to shine a well-deserved spotlight people there are in the Hertfordshire business on some of the best achievements from around the community. Well done to all the winners!” county. The event was amazing and highlighted just how Neil Cundale, Hillier Hopkins many incredible businesses and people there are in the Hertfordshire business community. Well done to all the winners!” Neil Cundale, Hillier Hopkins


We are absolutely delighted to have Hillier Hopkins on board for the fourth year running as Headline Sponsor, and this year we are thrilled to reveal, they are joined by SA Law!

THE SPONSORS We are absolutely delighted to have Hillier Hopkins on board for the fourth year running as Headline Sponsor, and to shake things up, this year they are dualling with SA Law!

Our sponsors so far:

Our sponsors so far:

THE LAUNCH Be sure to join us for the 2020 IHA Launch event taking place at the stunning and historic Hatfield House, whom are also Associated Sponsors for the 2020 Awards and Sponsors of the Launch event! Meet past winners and finalists, the category sponsors, and find out more about these prestigious Awards, which are designed to showcase and celebrate best practice across Hertfordshire businesses. Date: 23/01/20 Time: 18:00 - 20:00 Venue: Hatfield House, Hatfield Price: £15.00


Be sure to join us for the 2020 launch event taking place at the stunning and historic Hatfield House whom are also Associate Sponsors for the 2020 Awards and Sponsors of the Launch even Meet past winners and finalists, the category sponsors, and find out more about these prestigious Awards, which are designed to INSPIRE 25 showcase and celebrate best practice across Hertfordshire


Forthcoming Business Events The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce events programme includes over 70 events each year and caters for every person and business. Whether you are looking for training, networking, briefings on topical issues, or want to entertain clients, we have an event for you and your business.

Conflict - good or bad?

How to deal with it, and learn from it! Date: 06/02/20 Time: 08:00 – 10:00 Venue: Shendish Manor, Hemel Hempstead Price: Members £10.00 Non-Members £15.00 Very often, we flee from conflict, however when faced and discussed, conflict can be a force for good and a wonderful opportunity to learn about ourselves and others.

Attend this breakfast seminar and enjoy a great opportunity to network, plus hear from our speaker, Sarah Jones of Sarah-J Coaching, who will: • Outline typical conflicts that occur in the workplace • Explore why they arise • Explain what you can to diffuse them • Reveal what to do differently next time Sarah will use examples from her former career as Communications Director, leading change at a global level and experiences from her coaching clients.

Guidance to Off-Payroll working rules from April 2020 Join us on February 11th with Janet De-Havilland, CEO, Pendragon Consulting, for a breakfast seminar that will be of interest to companies which hire contractors, consultants or interims. Janet De-Havilland is the CEO and Managing Director of Warebased Pendragon Consultancy, founded in 2018 to service businesses and recruitment companies who engage contractors. With over 25 years of experience in the fields of employment, recruitment and HR consultancy, Janet is a passionate advocate of compliance and best practice within the industry. A subject matter expert in contingent recruitment and off-payroll legislation, Janet advises clients across multiple sectors on Employment Status, NMW, CIS and IR35 regulation.



Date: 11/02/20 Time: 08:00 – 10:00 Venue: Aubrey Park Hotel, Redbourn Price: Members £10.00 Non-Members £15.00


For more information on any event:

01707 502180 or

February Chamber Lunch Join us on 13 February 2020 for our monthly networking lunch, being held at Letchworth Hall Hotel, a fascinating, converted manor house.

Date: 13/02/20 Time: 12:00 – 14:00 Venue: Letchworth Hall Hotel, Letchworth Garden City Price: Members £37.95 Non-Members £49.95

These events provide a great opportunity for business networking with members and non-members alike. We are delighted to announce that our speaker for this event will be Professor Joe Nellis, Professor of Global Economy and Deputy Dean, School of Management, Cranfield University.

Professor Joe Nellis is Professor of Global Economy, specialising in global macroeconomics, business environmental analysis, strategic thinking and management development and will provide an update on the economy. He is Deputy Dean and the longest serving member of Cranfield School of Management’s Executive Board. He has previously served as Director of the School and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Entering is Winning Workshops This year, we are hosting two free to attend ‘Entering is Winning Awards’ Workshops at the Herts Chamber offices in Hatfield. The first will take place on the morning of 18 Feb, 8:30am-10:30am and the second will take place on the evening of 20 Feb, 17:30pm-19:30pm. These Awards enable Hertfordshire businesses to showcase their performance and achievements to clients, customers, suppliers, stakeholders and to all the Hertfordshire business communities.

If you are considering entering the Inspiring Herts Awards 2020, and would like some advice on where to start, why not come along to one of these free events and hear from marketing experts as what makes a winning entry. The workshops will include: • Reasons for entering the Inspiring Herts Awards, provided by past winners • Guidance on what makes a winning entry • Hints and tips with Do’s and Don’ts • Practical, tailored advice with your entry/entries

Date: 18/02/20 & 20/02/20 Time: 08:30 – 10:30 & 17:30 – 19:30 Venue: Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Hatfield Price: Member FREE Non-Members FREE




Forthcoming Business Events Women in Leadership Conference Join us at Sopwell House, St Albans, on 28th February for our first ever Women in Leadership Conference!

Date: 28/02/20 Time: 10:00 – 15:30 Venue: Sopwell House, St Albans Price: Members £150.00 Non-Members £210.00

The aim of this event is to provide you with support & inspiration, the opportunity to network with peers and develop your leadership skills, and to hear from a fantastic selection of successful businesswomen and entrepreneurs. We are delighted to have Sarah Howard, MBE, the first female Chair of the British Chambers of Commerce, will be delivering one of the Conference keynote speeches. Sarah will share details of BCC’s People Campaign, discuss the role business can play in fixing inequalities in the workplace and talk of her own experiences from her career in industry.

We are delighted to announce our second keynote speaker for this Conference, Kelly Smith MBE, the best female footballer England has ever had! Now a former England captain, awarded with an MBE in 2008 and a woman who has achieved every club accolade possible, including winning the Premier League with Arsenal, she is ranked the fourthbest England goal-scorer ever, beating David Beckham (and close behind Wayne Rooney and Gary Lineker). Kelly is also a Barclays Football Ambassador for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League (the equivalent of the men’s Premier League), she says, “Football builds character, resilience and teamwork.”

The programme will focus on the experiences and challenges women have faced on their way up the career ladder, beginning with a presentation from Janet Hayes, Executive Coach, Necton Consulting, titled ‘Can you have it all? Women’s Transition to Leadership’.

We will then breakout into sessions covering topics including:

Pauline Kidd

Johanna Guerin

• Resilience with Pauline Kidd, Leadership Development Specialist and Johanna Guerin, HR Consultant, HR Blah Blah Blah

Jenny Garrett

• Unshakeable Self Confidence with Jenny Garrett, Leadership Development Consultant, Jenny Garrett Global

Followed by a panel of senior businesswomen who will discuss the question: ‘Can we have it all?’ including: • Anita Brightley-Hodges, Chair, Co-Founder and Chairman, Family Business Place • Naomi Connell, Chief Finance Officer, VolkerWessels UK • Sarah Moreland MBE, Executive Director, Hertfordshire Agricultural Society • Hannah Prowse, Preconstruction Manager, Special Projects team, Sir Robert McApline • Nicole Sadd, Chief Executive Officer, Rothamsted Enterprises • Rina Sond, Partner, Longmores Solicitors • Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader, Stevenage Borough Council



Carole Spiers

• Work/Life Balance with Carole Spiers, CEO & Founder, Carole Spiers Group

For more information on any event:


01707 502180 or

Defend your Business from Cyberattack Date: 03/03/20 Time: 08:00 – 10:00 Venue: The Maylands Building, Hemel Hempstead Price: Members £10.00 Non-Members £15.00 The scariest and most entertaining cybersecurity seminar you’ll ever attend! As business owners, we cannot afford to ignore the statistics surrounding the prevalence of cybercrime: • 64% of all cyberattacks in 2018 happened to small businesses • In 2018, nearly two thirds of UK companies employing 10-49 people fell victim to cybercrime • 60% of businesses that were breached went out of business within 6 months

• A company is 9 times more likely to be a victim of cybercrime than burglary • The leading causes for cybersecurity breaches are due to email and remote working • Most commercial AntiVirus Software no longer offer sufficient protection against attack • GDPR has made all Data Controllers legally responsible for the safety of the data they hold and the ICO can issue significant fines if insufficient protections are put in place Can anything be done to protect your business and your clients’ data? Understanding where your key vulnerabilities lie is critical to defending yourself and your business against cyberattack. By the end of the talk, you will have practical tips that will help you mount a serious defence against cyberattack. Francis West, Founder, Westtek, will be delivering this cybersecurity seminar.

Property & Construction Forum:

Digital Transformation in Construction Date: 12/03/20 Time: 17:30-19:30 Venue: VolkerWessels UK, Hoddesdon Price: Members £10.00 Non Members £15.00 The Chamber Property & Construction Forums are held in partnership with Herts and Beds Constructing Excellence and will be particularly informative for businesses with an interest in construction, property or the built environments. This event is kindly being sponsored by Dobsons. At this event, Simon White, Chief Digital Officer for VolkerWessels UK, will explain why digital transformation is much more about people than

technology, why we need to embrace technology and innovation rather than fear it and we can create value from the technology that we already have at our fingertips. Simon White is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with over 25 years’ experience specialising in providing value added services in the multi-disciplinary design and construct environment across a variety of sectors both in the UK and Internationally. In a varied career Simon has held roles as National Technical Director, Business Director for a 300 person multi discipline national design consultancy, Client Director for Atkins Design and Build Water business in Saudi Arabia, Atkins UK Infrastructure Digital Director and for the last 18 months the Chief Digital Officer for VolkerWessels UK.




Hotel benefits as businesses seek experiences when booking events Today’s businesses are constantly looking for something different when they seek to book a corporate event.

It is no longer enough for venues to simply supply a functional meeting room because businesses are increasingly looking for experiences as well – and Tewin Bury Farm Hotel near Welwyn certainly fits the bill. Still a working arable farm, Tewin Bury has steadily developed the hotel side of the business over the past twenty years and today is a 4-Star Hotel set in beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. Among the attractions for businesses booking events is the experiences which the venue can offer, set as it is among 700 acres of arable farmland and riverside meadow, complete with fishing lakes and converted farm buildings.

Salem Retibi, General Manager, who has guided the venue’s development over the past two decades, said: “One of our strengths when talking to companies is that we offer much more than the opportunity to have a conference or a meeting or enjoy a meal at one of our two restaurants. “For instance, we offer an opportunity to learn about sheep herding with the farm’s shepherd and we have a number of bikes, which mean that delegates can explore the countryside during their down time, either on two wheels or by walking. “We have found that more and more people are focusing on the experience that a venue can offer and our setting among

farmland and river meadow is proving attractive. “Another big part of what we do is driven by our desire to protect the environment and we carry out a lot of green activities, including working closely with the local wildlife trust to enhance our riverside meadows and the flora and fauna that lives on it. “We also have a plan for a biomass boiler, solar panels and run an electric car so if we have guests coming by train from London we can pick them up. “We are finding that our eco activities are important for businesses seeking to book events. Unless you have an eco-policy, a lot of companies will not consider you and being

an eco-hotel like we are has been proving a big advantage. “The variety of attractions that we offer mean that we have staged events for a lot of local businesses as well as those from London and we hope to grow our corporate business.” You can find out more about the hotel at

Hertfordshire County Show Returning to the 2020 Hertfordshire County Show for its second year, The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire’s Entrepreneurs Challenge will once again be giving local entrepreneurs, with cutting edge ideas, the opportunity to battle it out in front of a panel of judges, walking away with a one-of-a-kind business development prize. Tom Pellereau, winner of the 2011 BBC Apprentice, will be a judge during the first round. 2020 prizes include; • Video creation from Pearldrop • Brand and Marketing Workshop from Focus7 • Three hours of time with Cleveland Scott York • Two, one hour sessions with Mercer and Hole covering business planning and accounting • One hour legal consultation with Longmores Solicitors • More prizes to follow!



The 2019 launch proved to be a huge success, with ten finalists going through to pitching. Last year’s winners Suzero said ‘Winning the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire’s Entrepreneurs Challenge gave us access to amazing resources which has helped us grow Suzero further’. Suzero, a healthy snack bar, was founded by Hertfordshire University students Sam and Ollie, using locally sourced, natural ingredients. The challenge was set up with the aim to help support and promote local entrepreneurs, in the early stages of setting up their business.

The Hertfordshire Agricultural Society (HAS), organisers of The Hertfordshire County Show, have long been advocates of local industry, while Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss has a been a mentor to young entrepreneurs for a number of years. The County Show already has three well established ‘Made In Hertfordshire’ Marquees, as well as a ‘Hertfordshire Etsy’ Marquee, and HAS are excited about the new addition of local talent to the Show offering, as well as for the opportunity to continue to support local enterprise.

The challenge is open to anyone who meets the below criteria; • Innovative and enterprising idea • Business running for less than 3 years • Could be a service or a product • Has the potential for growth • Based in Hertfordshire • Does not have to be linked to agriculture Application forms for the challenge can be found at and must be returned to Sarah Moreland on by 31st January.


Chamber Events 2020 Here at the Chamber we have been busy planning our Events for 2020 and highlighted below is a range of upcoming events for your calendar. Our monthly Chamber Lunches kick off on 16th January at Beales Hotel, Hatfield with our speaker, Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer at Ocado who will discuss future development of smart technology for cities, businesses and infrastructure.

New for 2020 We continue to hold our popular Women in Leadership Lunches (which male colleagues are very welcome to attend too!) and have decided to extend this brand by introducing our first Women in Leadership Conference, taking place on 28th February at Sopwell House, St Albans. We are very excited about this event and the full programme can be viewed on our website at details/391. This includes the announcement of our second keynote speaker, Kelly Smith MBE, ex-England Captain and Arsenal Ladies player, Kelly is a fantastic role-model, proving that, despite the prejudice she encountered trying to get into the male-

dominated world of football, she persevered and is the best female footballer England has had, ranking fourth best goal scorer; beating even David Beckham! Kelly was awarded an MBE in 2008 and has achieved every club accolade possible. After retiring in 2015, she now has a career as a broadcaster & pundit and is the Football Ambassador for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, a perfect ambassador for the scheme, saying “Football builds character, resilience and teamwork”. In addition, we are planning a conference on the topic of Wellbeing in the Workplace, taking place on 8th October at Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden. Further details regarding this event will be available shortly.

Training Courses In 2019 we introduced some new Masterclasses and are now extending these to provide a selection of training topics for senior and middle management, including:

SAVE the DATES Queen’s Awards 2020

The 2020 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses for: • Innovation • International Trade • Sustainable Development • Enterprise Promotion This year, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE, has invited the Herts Chamber of Commerce to be involved in the promotion of these awards and encourage businesses within Hertfordshire to enter these awards. The launch event will take place on the evening of 31st March (venue to be confirmed in central Herts) and this will be followed by a couple of workshops designed to assist companies with their entries, the first of which will take place on 20th May at the Herts Chamber offices.

• FLEX – A guide to leading with Resilience, aimed at HR specialists and Business Leaders, delivered by Pauline Kidd, HR Blah, Blah, Blah and her team. The first of these Masterclasses for 2020 will be on 28th April at the Novotel, Stevenage. • Personal Leadership Styles, a CPD accredited Masterclass delivered by Sarah Jones of Sarah-J Coaching follows this on 19th May at our offices in Hatfield.

Property and Construction Forum We are holding four Property and Construction events in 2020, starting with the topic of Digital Transformation in Construction on 12th March at the VolkerWessels UK offices in Hoddesdon.

Not forgetting the Networking … In addition to the above events we are offering a variety of sponsored breakfast seminars throughout 2020, together with a number of pure networking events, including the first of four quarterly events with Barclays at their Watford branch on 17th March.

Inspiring Herts Awards timeline • The 2020 Launch Event takes place on 23rd January 2020, 18:00 to 20:00 at Hatfield House. • Entries open following our Launch event, at 09:00 on 24th January. • We are running two ‘Entering is Winning’ Awards Entry Workshops, taking place at our offices in Hatfield on 18th February, 08:30-10:30 and 20th February, 17:30-19:30. These workshops are hosted by marketing experts in order to provide support and advice on how to write a winning entry. • The closing date for entries is March 6th at 15:00. • Judging takes place w/c 23rd March through to 3rd April and the shortlisted entries will be announced w/c 6th April. • The Inspiring Herts Awards Ceremony 2020 and Gala Dinner will take place on 4th June at St Albans Cathedral, commencing at 18:00 and finishing at 23:00.



Cats Protection celebrating

20 years !!


We are part of Cats Protection, the United Kingdom’s largest feline charity, covering north Hertfordshire and are celebrating our twentieth birthday.

Sadly every year brings increased challenges and need for our services and support and every year brings different challenges as in any organisation.

for rodent control. We have placed these in factories, warehouses, industrial food storage areas, stables etc. Often the mice and rats move out when the cat moves in!

We help over 500 cats a year, through rehoming, neutering and advice, and we are SELF funded and rely on donations, fundraising and public generosity and valued kind support of local business supporters and the communities we serve.

Our biggest challenges are around public education and neutering to prevent unwanted or neglected cats and the kittens.

We are all volunteers and give many hours a week to help both people and cats, rescuing cats from difficult situation, vet runs, visiting needy families and much more and we hope that we can count on your continued support in 2020.


We deal with domestic cats as well as feral cats which are ideal if you are looking

Together Training

facilitates first Hertfordshire levy transfer with the University of Hertfordshire to help local electrical firm


The team at JHP Electrical Services

Apprenticeships provider Together Training has supported the first Hertfordshire SME employer to gain access to a fully funded apprenticeship programme via the levy transfer scheme. Together Training and the University of Hertfordshire have a long standing working relationship and pride themselves on the training they offer and deliver to their employer partners. Taking this partnership even further the University of Hertfordshire has recently transferred some of their apprenticeship levy to a local SME called JHP Electrical, enabling them to fully fund two members of staff to attend Together Trainings Leadership and Management apprenticeship programmes.

Together Training is a joint venture between Oaklands College and West Herts College, who have combined to offer an extensive apprenticeship provision. John McMahon, Managing Director of Together Training, added: “It’s great to see the university investing in local business to help up-skill their management and grow their potential.”

JHP Electrical Services, a Bushey-based electrical firm, were looking to upskill two employees to help them gain leadership skills and a qualification in management. Helen Patterson, Business Manager at JHP Electrical explains: “JHP started as a family business, with a self-employed electrician. “After some growth, Jonathan, our founder and now Director, was suddenly managing six people. “With no previous management experience and only being qualified in electrical engineering, we needed to look at the different options to help Jonathan boost his management skills and get a qualification. “We came across the Operations Management apprenticeship with Together Training, a Level 5 qualification that would be ideal for him. After speaking with Together Training and the university, we were able to receive the funds for the apprenticeship so JHP could have access to a number of apprenticeships.”

University provides over £16,000 of funding for local business apprentices The University of Hertfordshire has donated over £16,000 to Hertfordshire companies through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme, allowing them to hire apprentices and introduce new skills that will help grow their businesses. Anna Morrison CBE and her business Amazing Apprenticeships have been awarded £5,000 to employ an apprentice studying Business Administration (Level 3) with training provider Together Training. Based in Hitchin, Amazing Apprenticeships work with educators, employers and students to help them navigate the fastchanging world of apprenticeships.

Established in 2001, JHP Electrical offer electrical services to commercial and industrial clients specialising in sports club, schools and colleges, hospitals and clinics as well as residential and commercial property developments, working nationwide from their Bushey office. They have been awarded £11,500 by the University to upskill two members of staff who will study Leadership and Management, also with Together Training. Helen Patterson, Business Manager for JHP Electrical, said: “Our team has grown considerably over the years, beginning as a sole trader in 2001 before expanding to nine members of staff. As a small business that is committed to the continued development of our team, the funding we’ve received from the University of Hertfordshire provides us with an exciting opportunity to further expand the business over the next few years.” Phil Clarke, Director of Human Resources at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “Through the Apprenticeship Levy scheme, we’ve been able to support more local, Hertfordshire-based businesses, extending the work of our existing enterprise programmes. Stimulating the growth of small businesses will help drive economic development, turnover and employment in Hertfordshire, leading to greater long-term investment in the region.” The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 to help increase the quantity and quality of apprenticeships nationally.

“The Chamber have been instrumental in making this happen for us, they initially put me in touch with John McMahon at Together Training and he in turn was able to introduce us to Tara Bishop, Apprenticeship Programme Lead at the University of Hertfordshire. We have only been members of the Chamber since August 2019 and have already been able to reap so many benefits from it. I would personally like to say a big thank you on behalf of JHP Electrical.” Helen Patterson, JHP Electrical INSPIRE



Welcome to new members BerryWorld Varieties

Supply a number of different variety of Soft Fruit plants Website:

Bracey’s Accountants Ltd.

Accountant, Tax Advisers, Auditors and VAT Specialists Twitter: BraceysTax Email: Website: 01438 727141 Tel: Address: Bracey’s Accountants Ltd. 1 The CAM Centre Wilbury Way Hitchin Hertfordshire SG4 0TQ

NEW PATRON Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd

Providing clarity and direction to individuals and businesses through financial understanding Twitter: ChasebridgeWM Email: Website: Tel: 01707 643555 Address: Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd Suite 2A Brosnan House Byng Drive Potters Bar Hertfordshire EN6 1UR

Creative Line Design Studio

Graphic and Web Design Twitter: creativeline69 Email: Website: 07785 595955 Tel: Address: Creative Line Design Studio Purley House Todds Green Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 2JE

Evolve Hospitality Hospitality

Care and resettlement of offenders Email: Website: Tel: 01727 854727 Address: Hacro 62-72 Victoria Street St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3XH

HBC Logistics

Twitter: hbclogistics Email: Website: Tel: 07765 412295 Address: HBC Logistics 5 Aylesford Court Works Road Letchworth Hertfordshire SG6 1LP

HEL Limited

Manufacturer of laboratory equipment Email: Website: Tel: 020 8736 0646 Address: HEL Limited 9-10 Capital Business Park Manor Way Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 1GW

Impactful Governance - C.I.C.

Creating Sustainability by imbuing independence and strength into organisations Twitter: ImpactfulGov Email: Website: Tel: 01923 231660 Address: Impactful Governance - C.I.C. The Old Free School George Steet Watford Hertfordshire WD18 0BX

Kestronics Ltd

Twitter: EvolveStaff Email: Website: Tel: 07890 098310 Address: Evolve Hospitality Unit 2C Hertfordshire Business Centre Alexander Road London Colney Hertfordshire AL2 1JG

Twitter: KestronicsLtd Email: Website: Tel: 01727 812222 Address: Kestronics Ltd Unit 26 North Orbital Commercial Park Napsbury Lane St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 1XB

Fairview Hotels Ltd


A range of hotels to suit every individual and corporate requirements Email: Website: Tel: 01438 533012 Address: Fairview Hotels Ltd Novotel Stevenage Knebworth Park Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 2AX




Business Banking supporting local business owners from start up to £2m Twitter: NatWest_Help Email: Website: Tel: 0345 7114 477 Address: Natwest 72-74 High Street Watford Hertfordshire WD17 2GZ


Design and build installation of water based building systems Email: Website: 01256 470970 Tel: Address: OVENTROP UK Ltd Oventrop House Hatch Insustrial Park Greywell Road Basingstoke Hampshire RG24 7NG

Rayner Essex

Expert professional advice delivered on time, in a language you understand. No nonsense, practical and transparent Accountancy and tax solutions advice. Twitter: rayneressexllp Email: Website: Tel: 01727 736115 Address: Rayner Essex Faulkner House Victoria Street St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3SE

Redmond Group Ltd

Mechanical and Electrical Contractors Website:

A fresh approach to selling Hertfordshire homes Email: Website: Tel: 01992 878580 Address: The Hot Office Silver Court Watchmead Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL7 1LT

Travel Counsellors - Nicola Benson

Independent Travel Agent Twitter: NicolaBensonTC Email: Website: Tel: 01582 809640 Address: Travel Counsellors - Nicola Benson 52 Long Meadow Markyate St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 8JN


Web development agency. Develop solutions for Web development, mobile apps, wordpress sites, e-commerce and social media Twitter: wirebox Email: Website: Tel: 020 7993 5485 Address: WireboxUnit 1 Copsewood Lodge Watford Hertfordshire WD24 5DY

Morgan Sindall Construction gives back to Communities in Neighbourhood Week Morgan Sindall Construction’s Northern Home Counties office has been helping a number of communities across the region as part of Neighbourhood Week, the region’s annual charity initiative. Volunteers from project teams and their supply chains across the region dedicated 912 hours of their time to help on a range of programmes, from a garden makeover for Incredible Edible community garden in St Albans to decorating an air cadet facility in High Wycombe. In Welwyn Garden City, the office team were at The Meadows, a short-break centre for adults with learning difficulties, installing vegetable and herb gardens, a new water feature, disabled access to a pergola, and wildlife boxes to attract nature into the garden.

The centre is part of Jubilee House Care Trust, a Welwyn based charity that has, for over 40 years, provided muchneeded support for children and adults living with learning and other disabilities. In St Albans, Morgan Sindall Construction helped plant seeds, build a storage box and build a new path for FoodSmiles, a community allotment that helps to bring local residents together and provides free fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables for anyone who wants them. David Rowsell, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction,

said: “Neighbourhood Week is a fantastic opportunity for Morgan Sindall Construction to give back to the communities at the heart of where we work. “It was a delight to see the 80 volunteers from all over the region lend their time to the initiative, and we are grateful for the close, ongoing support of our supply chain. “Every one of the charities and organisations we have helped over the week do outstanding work to improve and enrich the lives of the people in their local areas and we are very proud to have delivered so many projects.”

Willmott Dixon leads UK in FT’s first ever list of diversity leaders Willmott Dixon was the UK’s highest placed company to appear in the FT’s inaugural list of European leaders for workplace diversity and inclusion, coming 3rd out of 700 organisations ranked for their approach to inclusivity. The Letchworth Garden City headquartered construction firm came above a host of household names like Ikea, Google, Tesla and Rolls Royce to feature prominently in the FT’s Diversity Leaders supplement which explores the growing importance placed by companies on ensure they provide a diverse and inclusive workplace, where individuals feel valued and able to contribute. The FT’s Diversity Leaders 2020 were identified in an independent survey of more than 80,000 employees across the countries and sectors covered, which included surveying the performance of 10,000 privately held and publicly listed companies employing at least 250 people. This was backed by FT readers sharing their views and evaluating prominent employers, with Willmott Dixon scoring particularly high on ethnicity, gender and age. With the spotlight increasingly on companies to demonstrate how their activities affect

society and communities, an important benchmark for this is how they treat their own people. That is why the FT list matters as a benchmark on business performance. It’s the third major national accolade this year for Willmott Dixon, which was ranked 4th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work for list and won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development, its second in this category. Rick Willmott, group chief executive said: “I was very proud to see Willmott Dixon representing both the construction industry and the UK in being a top five company in this pan-European list of diversity leaders. I strongly believe that successful companies are those that provide a diverse and inclusive environment where people feel challenged, contented and included within complementary teams. It is something embedded in our values. “The FT’s survey shines a welcome spotlight on

the business imperative of workplace diversity which will serve as an inspiration to us in how we continue to be a company where our people feel valued and a key part of our growth.” The company has already made tacking the balance of gender in its workforce a huge priority, with a commitment to achieve gender parity by 2030. This is important as the industry is facing a skills shortage so broadening the talent pool available is fundamental to ensure a sustainable flow of future skills. Willmott Dixon was founded in 1852 and is behind major national projects such as the recent renovation of Alexandra Palace, the refurbishment of Twickenham’s East Stand and is currently building the new players and members facilities at Wimbledon for the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. The company believes it has a purpose beyond profit and aims to leave a lasting positive legacy in the communities that it works.


Ready to grow your team?

Sally Beckford Founder of Solutions HR

In the first of a series of articles looking at the lifecycle of HR in business, Sally Beckford, Founder of Solutions HR, highlights key things to remember when growing your team. Employing people is a huge step for any business. It’s an exciting time where you’re geared up to grow. But the extra financial, legal and managerial responsibilities can be really daunting. And many businesses come unstuck because they don’t have the basics in place. Whether you’re employing your first member of staff, or expanding your team, it’s a good idea to get expert advice before you start recruiting so you have everything you need to support you. This includes: • Getting clear on your tax and employment responsibilities • Creating a job description including the job purpose, responsibilities, skills, abilities, and the type of person you are looking for • Developing a contract of employment template • Ensuring you have the appropriate insurances • Registering with HMRC as an employer • Setting up a payroll system or outsourcing to a provider Many HR issues come back to a lack of clarity with employees. That’s why it’s crucial to communicate your expectations before people start. An Employee Handbook is a great way to set out the ethos and values of your business, the details of what’s provided, staff benefits, key procedures and policies etc. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it’s one of the most valuable HR tools to protect your business and your employees. Naturally, good communication with new employees goes beyond handing over a bundle of documents. Take time to induct and train your new member of staff so they feel welcome, confident and ready to get going. And encourage an open culture where feedback is two way and regular, so you support their development which will boost the success of your business. Call Solutions HR today and let us create momentum in your business Tel : 01992 210256




Hertfordshire Law Clinic - providing IP and

Commercial Law advice to businesses in Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire recently launched Hertfordshire Law Clinic to provides free legal advice on a range of issues where there are problems of unmet legal need in our community including family, employment and powers of attorney.

A new service for Hertfordshire, the clinic also provides intellectual property and commercial law advice to small and medium sized enterprises, including start-up companies. The clinic is available to all businesses and startups across the region. Several companies which are part of the University’s business incubator have already taken advantage of the legal advice clinic on the University’s campus to help inform their business decisions. The clinic offers both letter writing clinics (for all of the above legal areas) and shadowing clinics (for family law and intellectual property matters). In the letter writing clinics pairs of students interview the client and then prepare a letter of advice, or a power of attorney in the case of the power of attorney clinic, under the supervision of a qualified lawyer. In the shadowing clinics a pair of students shadow a qualified lawyer giving one-off verbal advice to a client. The students are responsible for taking notes during that meeting and preparing a detailed attendance

note to be sent to the client. Over 80 students are taking part in the different clinics, with first year LLB students dealing with telephone queries and second year, third year and LLM students providing advice under the supervision of lawyers. As well as a number of members of University of Hertfordshire staff, solicitors from twelve local law firms are assisting in providing verbal advice to clients in the shadowing clinics and supervising the student advisers prepare written letters or advice in the letter writing clinics. The clinic also works with a number of partner organisations to ensure the widest access to their services; for example, the clinic has set up a satellite family law clinic at Future Living Hertford, an award-winning local charity for those in recovery from addiction and domestic abuse. Diana Kirsch, Director of Pro-Bono at the University of Hertfordshire commented: “The University’s Law Clinic provides a muchneeded service to the local community in

Hertfordshire following the decimating cuts to legal aid in 2012 for issues relating to family law, particularly for families on lower incomes. At the same time, the clinic offers our Hertfordshire Law School students unrivalled experience working on client cases, providing students with the opportunity to build their CV alongside their studies.” Law School students can also take part in Streetlaw, a legal education project aimed at improving access to justice by demystifying areas of law that affect the wider community. Students work in teams to prepare and deliver interactive presentations in a range of community settings including schools, community groups and charities on a range of topics varying from police powers family law issues. If you would like an appointment at the Law Clinic or are a local solicitor who would like to volunteer at the clinic then please email or call 01707 284 115. The clinic is open from 9am – 5pm on Monday – Friday during University term time.

Looking after Mental Health makes Good Business Mental health problems in the workplace cost the economy approximately £70 billion annually in the UK and 91 million workdays are lost due to symptoms of mental illness. Looking after the mental health of your workforce obviously makes for good business not only in terms of building a sense of belonging and a commitment, but also in terms of productivity. Studies have shown that addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%. Awareness of mental health is increasing, but we still face a world where people with mental health problems face discrimination. Fear of discrimination and feelings of shame are among the top reasons people give for not telling their colleagues about their mental health problems. So how can organisations better support the wellbeing of their employees? • Enforce working hours. Limiting out-of-hours work and encouraging reduced email/phone access outside of office hours

• If possible, avoid employees working in a solely isolated way. If they are working from home extensively make sure there are regular checkins and helpful communication • Set attainable deadlines and spread workloads equally and fairly across employees and teams • Provide support services and staff members who have had training in mental health and workplace stress. • Promote healthy eating - regular meals, plus plenty of water are ideal. • Encourage regular exercise - this can boost self-esteem and help with concentration and sleep. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week. We are all human and at times some staff members will be overwhelmed and feel unable to cope. The first port of call in the health service will be the GP. You may wish to consider engaging a professional service to provide

counselling for your employees, where staff can access trained counsellors in a confidential manner. This can be hugely reassuring to staff, as it means that they can talk to a third party in confidence. The provider and counsellors should be accredited by the BACP (or equivalent) to ensure that high standards of professionalism are maintained. An organisation can agree with the provider how many counselling sessions they would be able to fund or subsidise, and a contract detailing the arrangement and expectations from both sides agreed on. Mental health matters, and looking after your staff will reap benefits, build your reputation as a desirable place to work and be for the greater good of all – it’s far more than just good business. Author, Sue Barnes, is a Director of Tilehouse Therapeutic Services based in Hitchin which offers a professional counselling service to employers.

Sonovision Receive Silver Award from Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme On Thursday 14th November, Sonovision proudly received the Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, in the prestigious Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The scheme was launched in 2014 to recognise employer support for wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. Employers show their level of commitment by supporting the Armed Forces and their families in the workplace. The scheme comprises three



awards; Bronze, Silver and Gold, each recognising the level at which the employer demonstrates support to defence and the armed forces community. Having worked with the defence sector for over 30 years, providing Technical Publications, Sonovision recognises the valuable skills and experience that ex- forces personnel contribute to the success of the business. Currently, 17.5% of Sonovision’s workforce is formed of ex-forces personnel, who have all successfully passed through training and have developed new careers. The unique combination of expertise, skills and work ethic that

veterans and service leavers bring to the company is invaluable. One of the most recent Veterans to join Sonovision is Carl Goodrum. After 33.5 years’ service within the Royal Air Force, leaving at the role of Chief Technician, and seeking a new career, Carl made full use of the Career Transition Partnership recruitment board where he identified Sonovision as a prospective employer. Carl joined the team as a Project Leader/Technical Author and now leads one of Sonovision’s key projects, overseeing the creation of an entire documentation set for a business aircraft.

Director Martin Barrett commented “Sonovision are proud to achieve the Silver Award; employing Veterans along with a large proportion of our business being linked to the Defence industry brings a strong affinity with the Forces. This award is a fantastic way to demonstrate and have recognition for our commitment to our forces and their families. We want to increase the number of Service leavers we employ and we hope that our Silver Award will bring confidence from the service community to join us.”

2019 Recruitment at Ashbourne Insurance is a Family Affair Independent insurance broker, Ashbourne Insurance of Hoddesdon, is rapidly approaching its fourth decade in business and this month has recruited Jack Smits as Commercial Account Handler to help support the continued growth of the commercial department. Jack is the third generation of the Hunt family to work at Ashbourne, alongside his uncle, father and mother. Jack’s grandfather Richard Hunt founded the business in 1981 and with less than approximately 20% of second generation family businesses succeeding this is a significant milestone. As a local award-winning business with core values of professionalism and delivering excellent customer service, only those capable of working in The Ashbourne Way are employed – enabling the company to keep its promise of offering the best insurance policies delivered with traditional service values. Working with clients from across East Herts, Broxbourne, Essex and further afield Jack was born into the Ashbourne culture and brings enthusiasm, passion and commitment to helping grow Ashbourne into the next decade and next generation. Matthew Hunt said, “We have been experiencing increased demand for our impartial advice to support local Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the county over the past twelve months so it is with great pleasure that we have been able to appoint Jack Smits to the role of Commercial Accounts Handler. There is a tremendous amount to learn about the insurance industry and the high levels of regulation we work within, and already Jack has gone above and beyond during his training period to support me and colleagues. Clients have also commented that is good to see the team has grown as this gives them confidence to ask for more complex insurances like cyber Liability, fleet and multiple premises.” Amalia Brightley-Gillott, Managing Director of Family Business Place said, ”This is fantastic news for Ashbourne Insurance, its staff, clients and of course family – Congratulations Jack!

We have had the pleasure of working with Sarah, Peter and Matt over the past seven years ever since they scooped two awards at our National Family Business Awards (previously known as the Red Ribbon Awards) and our experience of working with a host of family businesses means we know how hard and rewarding it is when working in a family business, let alone the competitive insurance industry. Some of the UK’s biggest and most successful companies are family-owned such as Cobra Beer, Timpsons, Reed Recruitment and Warburtons; so I think Hertfordshire could see Ashbourne Insurance become a household brand in the years to come. Well done Jack and to all the family!” Richard and Brenda Hunt, Ashbourne Insurance Founders commented, ”It is with immense pride that we have seen our family take over the management and growth of Ashbourne Insurance over the past ten years since our retirement. Jack’s appointment is a further source of pride as we never thought the business we started nearly 40 years ago would grow to such an extent that it would support our many members of staff, hundreds of local businesses, the community with all the fundraising support and now the third generation of our family. We are confident that Jack will succeed in his new role as he has a first class work ethic, and understands how hard his family have worked to ensure Ashbourne continues to thrive.” Multi award-winning, third generation, familyrun Ashbourne Insurance offers a wide range of business and personal insurance along with a claims advisory service. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Ashbourne employ a team of over 17 insurance professionals, many of whom have been with the company for over ten years. For more information visit Follow on twitter @AshInsServices

Six lawyers have recently celebrated their promotion to Partner at award-winning law firm VWV

The six individuals are Property Litigation lawyer Dan Hall, Robin Rajanah in Commercial Property, our Trade Marks specialist Paula Williams, Commercial Litigator and part-time tribunal judge Nick Martindale, Fiona Lawrence in the Contentious Probate team, and Bob Fahy, whose promotion makes him the second Employment Partner in the London team, further strengthening the firm’s practice in the city. In addition to Bob’s promotion to Partner, VWV’s teams in London and Watford have seen

five additional promotions to Associate or Senior Associate roles, as a result of the firm’s continued growth. Recent months have seen other significant developments across the firm, with new Partner hires including Daniel Church in Watford, and Nigel Mears in Birmingham - who both joined the Private Client team. The addition of Daniel and Nigel, together with the new wave of promotions, now brings the firm’s total number of partners to nearly 90. VWV Managing Partner Simon Heald commented: “The firm’s growth continues apace with

this latest round of promotions, after another period of strong development for the firm. Dan, Robin, Paula, Nick, Fiona and Bob have all contributed significantly to the success of the firm throughout their time with us. I am glad to be able to recognise their efforts and welcome them to the partnership.”


Tips on renting your first office space “Finding the right space is crucial to the success of your business.” By Myf Plunkett Renting your first office space can be an exciting step, but make sure you’ve considered the below to ensure you grow and thrive.

Find the right location

Of course, the location of your office space is one of the critical decisions you’ll need to make. When considering a space, think about a location which will work for your employees, or if you don’t have employees yet, an area with a good pool of potential talent. You should also bear in mind a location which will be easily accessible for others such as clients or suppliers, so remember to check out the local transport links.

Consider the extras

When moving to a business centre, there’s more to consider than just your office space. What about meeting rooms, car parking, Wi-Fi, a kitchen area and so on? Many business centres have communal spaces you can enjoy at no additional cost, such as breakout areas to spend your lunch hour. So, make sure to find a centre that fits your needs. Remember to ask about the costs involved in any additional services.

Ask about the lease length

For your first office, you may not want to take the risk of a long lease agreement. You don’t want to be stuck in an office space if your business rapidly grows or if your circumstances change. Research flexible office space providers that don’t tie you into long leases.

About BizSpace

BizSpace is the largest provider of regional flexible workspace in the U.K. We provide modern and stylish workspaces with simple, affordable and flexible terms for our customers. Several spaces are now available at our business centres in Hemel Hempstead and Letchworth. Contact us on 01442 819149 to arrange a viewing.



REGIONAL WINNER BEST USE OF TECHNOLOGY CHAMBER BUSINESS AWARDS 2019 BY HERTFORDSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE By investing in the right technology, we enable our teams to deliver a first class service to all our clients. As a leading accountancy and business advisory firm, our services include: business advice, audit, tax and corporate finance, HR support and outsourced bookkeeping services. Contact us to discuss how we can help your business grow and succeed.


Moore Kingston Smith GET IN TOUCH TODAY 4 Victoria Square St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3TF +44 (0)1727 896000

Exciting construction underway!

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in collaboration with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership are pleased to announce the exciting news that the development of HatTech Business Centre on Beaconsfield Road, Hatfield is well underway. Cllr Duncan Bell, executive member for resources, said:

”We’re very keen to support local businesses and encourage investment in the borough, and to do this effectively we need to offer our community the space and scope to start and grow their organisation.”

Designed around the needs of solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, small business owners and their teams the

HatTech’s location provides excellent rail and road links with easy access to both London and Cambridge. The A1(M) is a five-minute drive while Hatfield train station is a two-minute walk from HatTech.

centre will boast a large co-working space and a range of cost-effective business units.

HatTech will be a place to network and build new business connections. Located only two minutes from Hatfield train station, HatTech will provide a fantastic alternative to the City.

To register your interest please call 01707 386123 or email



HERTS 2020

A very Happy New Year to you all I’m delighted to have been asked to write the introduction for the Herts 2020 vision for this edition of Inspire magazine. This is sure to be another important year for Hertfordshire. We anticipate continued good growth across our county, as we keep adapting to huge changes in business, industry and consumer habits - expectations which are affecting the entire UK economy. It has never been more important to demonstrate that our county is open for business. Through the work of the Hertfordshire Growth Board and the Local Industrial Strategy of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, we have been charting key proposals and initiatives to secure the county’s growth and prosperity over the next 15 years. Technological advancement and the changing face of our high streets are both significant factors as the process gathers pace of making sure that Hertfordshire can continue to contribute as a leading light in the context of the UK economy for future generations. Already a home of many leading industries such as life sciences (including the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult), film and television, advanced manufacturing (including Airbus Defence and Space) and retailing (including TK Maxx, Ocado and Tesco), Hertfordshire contributes a significant £37.5billion a year to UK Plc. We continue to work hard

to make sure the county becomes even more attractive for business. The announcement by US media giant Comcast in December, that it plans to build a new 14-stage television and film studio, Sky Studios Elstree, at Borehamwood is a clear sign of Hertfordshire’s continued attractiveness and status as home to the UK’s world-class creative media industry. It also reflects our growth ambitions - we are committed to delivering 100,000 jobs by 2031, including high quality local jobs that are crucial to achieving sustainable growth. We’re also determined to make our county a sustainable one. We need to play our part in decarbonising energy production, our buildings and our transport system while recognising a user-friendly transport network is fundamental to a strong economy. We must adapt and transform our town centres, keeping them

relevant for our residents, and provide a number of incentives to visit. Embracing the way in which many of us now work, there is the need for the right type of flexible working spaces and leisure facilities, as well as them being excellent places to shop and consume services. Independent businesses, including specialist retailers, have a huge part to play in ‘new look’ high streets – they often don’t have a huge online presence, and the traditional high street chains are no longer an adequate attraction for shoppers in their own right. Equally crucial for rural communities is the need to have access to fibre broadband and 5G mobile connectivity. Meanwhile, through our Local Transport Plan, we are making big strides in changing the balance away from cars to walking, cycling and public transport in our town centres. This will enhance people’s

“Across local government and the public sector, we are firmly committed to working collaboratively to curate and shape our places to meet the expectations of all our residents and businesses over the coming years.”

wellbeing, benefit the environment and boost the economy in these areas. Across local government and the public sector, we are firmly committed to working collaboratively to curate and shape our places to meet the expectations of all our residents and businesses over the coming years. Our focus is to ensure the county fulfils its potential for our residents as a great place to live, work and raise a family. 2020 is the next stage of that journey. Finally, 2020 is the ‘Hertfordshire Year of Culture’, the purpose of which is to celebrate, share and explore Hertfordshire’s arts, culture and heritage. Some key objectives of the event will be showcasing pathways to education, employability and enterprise in the creative and cultural industries and the ability to create new partnerships through sharing skills and new ways of working together. Do look out for Hertfordshire Year of Culture, #HYOC2020, opportunities near you! I wish all of our residents and businesses a happy, healthy and prosperous 2020. David Williams Leader of Hertfordshire County Council




Mark Bretton, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP and the LEP Network, with fellow LEP leaders at 10 Downing Street

Hertfordshire LEP 2020 Vision How did we get here? A brief history 2020 is a landmark year as we celebrate the 10th birthday of Local Enterprise Partnerships. So in looking forward, let’s cast our mind back and reflect on how we got here with some memorable quotes and twists and turns along the way. It’s 2010 and Cameron and Clegg are in the honeymoon phase of their Coalition Government, the word Brexit has not been invented and a man called Boris has not yet been caught on camera dangling in mid-air while riding a zip wire as part of the London 2012 Olympic celebrations. In June, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his first Budget to the House of Commons announcing austerity rules in response to the national debt. He also introduces a new acronym to the English lexicon: LEPs or Local Enterprise Partnerships to be brought in to replace ‘bureaucratic’ Regional Development Agencies.



A new approach was needed, Osborne said, “that empowers local leadership, generates local economic growth, and promotes job creation in all parts of the country.”

investment in economic development is tailored directly to the individual challenges and opportunities of our communities, and can be augmented by private sector investment.” No Stone Unturned, 2012.

In October that year, 24 areas hear they are successful in their bids to form LEPs and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is born. Our first seminal moment comes in 2012 with the publication of No Stone Unturned by former Conservative Deputy PM Lord Michael Heseltine.

Two years later, in 2014, Hertfordshire LEP publishes its own blueprint for economic growth, Perfectly Placed for Business. This sets out a ‘route map’ for Hertfordshire to chart both what the LEP and its partners are seeking to achieve, and what is needed to make this happen.

The report set out Heseltine’s vision to unleash the potential of local economies by handing the balance of power to LEPs who would go on to broker relationships between central and local government, and between government and the private sector: “Government must now reverse the trend of the past century and unleash the dynamic potential of our local economies… devolving funding from central government to Local Enterprise Partnerships so that government

It’s all hands to the pump now as we put in place the policies, processes and people to deliver on our strategic economic commitment and business and local authority leaders take up their seats in the boardroom to scrutinise our funding priorities. In the space of just three years, we go on to secure three significant Growth Deals with Government, totalling millions of pounds, and work with our partners to target EU funding by investing in innovation, businesses, and skills development to create high value jobs.


White Lion Square, Hatfield, was refurbished with a £1.2m Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP

Up and down the county, there are signs that we are delivering on our promises with investment in our roads, railway stations and town centre regeneration. Plaques, press statements and photo line-ups of leaders in hard hats signal our ability to secure Government funding for the betterment of our communities.

2018 proves another watershed year as the Government hands us more responsibilities in their review of LEPs, Strengthened Local Enterprise Partnerships. This consolidates our role as drivers of economic growth and collectively tasks LEPs with developing Local Industrial Strategies. These would build on the priorities set out in our respective Strategic Economic Plans, with a focus on how we can boost productivity and drive inclusive growth. Over the past two years, we have built up a robust evidence base for further investment through research and continued engagement with our key partners. From the outset, Hertfordshire LEP stated its strategy would be an integral part of the wider growth agenda for the county and would position the LEP as a key driver.

As we enter 2020, we will continue to test our priorities and refine our Local Industrial Strategy to take into account both Hertfordshire’s own unique set of challenges and the wider trends that impact on our local economy and future growth. With our Chair Mark Bretton now Chair of the LEP Network, Hertfordshire’s position in Westminster is strengthened, enabling us to make a greater case for investment and ensure that no stone is left unturned. And as Hertfordshire LEP comes of age, the golden thread of our Strategic Economic Plan will continue to run through a shared narrative created in partnership with local business and civic leaders for strong sustainable growth. Happy birthday Hertfordshire LEP!

Crucially, it has proven that the core strategic priorities set out in the early years are still the rights ones for the county. No stone unturned: Mark Bretton is leading a strengthened drive to champion the impact and value of LEPs



For a greener future, think Hertfordshire IQ. With a focus on sustainable travel solutions, renewable energy and tax breaks for green businesses, Hertfordshire IQ is the perfect place for your business to thrive. Find out more and get in touch at

Culture is taking centre stage during 2020, as part of a yearlong campaign to showcase Hertfordshire’s creative opportunities. The Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 (HYOC2020) will see activities, special events and experiences taking place throughout its 12 themed months, celebrating all things creative, sharing cultural experiences and exploring our wonderful heritage. Why Culture? There is a growing wealth of evidence to recognise the positive impact that taking part in creative activities can have on our communities and individuals’ health and wellbeing. A 2017 All Party Parliamentary report concludes that “the arts can help keep us well, aid our recovery and support longer lives, better lived.” Culture can also have a positive impact on key issues for local communities such as loneliness and social isolation and can help save money in health and social care. Hertfordshire has long and celebrated links with film and television including the world famous Elstree Studios and Warner Bros. Studio Tour ‘Making of Harry Potter’. Many local businesses are involved in Film and Media and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

has recognised creative industries as a key contributor to our local economy. We also have a rich heritage across the county, which includes historic parks and open spaces such as Cedars Park in Cheshunt, once the favoured residence of King James I and other historic buildings such as Knebworth and Hatfield House.

What does Culture mean to you?

As a local organisation think about how you could involve your workforce or customers in creative or cultural activity. This could mean visiting a local heritage site or taking part in an art or singing class as a team building activity. Could you start a workplace choir? Ask your staff if they have any hidden talents - the next future star could be in your midst!! You don’t even have to put on a new event. The campaign is keen to see new links made and participation grow. Simply letting the campaign know about local events you’re involved in and using the logo means that you’re already part of the celebrations. If you’re not already part of a local group but want to find out more, you can visit Creative Hertfordshire at This is a free online resource for anyone involved or interested in creativity within Hertfordshire and will be used as the “Whats On” guide for HYOC2020. It’s free to create a profile and advertise your events, or simply to see what’s going on in your area over the weekend.

Hilary Shade, Chair of the Hertfordshire Association of Cultural Officers, the group leading on the campaign says “HYOC2020 is taking a broad definition of culture throughout the campaign. It’s basically anything you do that gets your creative juices flowing – be that gardening, cooking, dancing, singing, drawing, knitting, celebrating or visiting local heritage. Our aim is to focus on the stories, dance, music and arts that have the power to bring us together and improve our health and wellbeing.”

Contact us

The campaign want as many people and organisations as possible to get involved in HYOC2020 and to think creatively about how they could take part.

To find out more about HYOC2020 visit You can also stay up to date and find out about what is going on across the county on @HYOC2020 on Twitter and Instagram, and @HertsYOC on Facebook.

Get involved

Up and Coming Highlights for HYOC2020

IndianRaga Festival 2020 is all about bringing out the best talent and making music & dance cool for a new generation. With a day full of workshops, competitions, performances, the festival promises to be an action packed, fun-filled event. IndianRaga Festival 2020 takes place on 18 January 2020 at Watersmeet Theatre, Rickmansworth, UK. Festival tickets are now on sale with Ashanti Omkar from BBC Asian Network and Lord Jitesh Gadhia as the chief guests for the finale concert. Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala is taking place at the Royal Albert Hall, Sunday 8th March 2020. The Gala celebrates music making in primary and secondary schools across Hertfordshire. Highlights include a new commission, I am Alban by UK composer Anne Dudley, based on the story of Saint Alban with lyrics by Ian McMillan, as well as arrangements of S Club 7 Reach, Pharrell Williams Happy, and Coldplay A Sky Full of Stars. The massed Primary and Secondary Choirs alongside the County Youth Choir will be supported by the Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, and there will be additional performances by instrumental and dance groups from Hertfordshire Secondary Schools.

The University of Hertfordshire will be hosting the Festival of Ideas on the 27th and 28th of June 2020. This two day event will bring exciting minds together to explore, challenge and debate the concepts shaping our world today. Attendees will be invited to engage with leading thinkers and top researchers from across the UK. Register at for early access to the ticket portal. Imagine Watford is an exciting festival featuring the highest quality outdoor arts performance from local, national and international artists that for a weekend in June, transforms Watford Town Centre into a place of wonder and excitement. Free for all the family! Created by the Watford Cultural Leaders Group and programmed by Watford ‭Palace Theatre, the festival is celebrating its 10 year anniversary during 2020 and promises to be even bigger and better than ever before! 2020 marks 100 years of Welwyn Garden City and the Centenary Foundation is working with the local community to hold a range of celebratory events throughout 2020. Signature events include a fantastic light and laser show in the town centre, a Centenary Heritage Walk, celebrations of music and dance, a huge Carnival and even a royal visit! There’s well over 100 events and quite truly something for everyone. Visit their website at to find out more.

NOTE: HYOC2020 is supported by all 11 Hertfordshire local authorities. The Programme Board has additional representation from the University of Hertfordshire, Visit Herts and Trestle Theatre Company. For further information, please contact the HYOC2020 Project Co-ordinator, Liz Gore at



LET’S START TO REDEFINE HOW WORK IS DONE. An inspiring, high-end work environment where ideas develop, businesses build, and relationships evolve. A place where you can get down to business, check emails and hold meetings, all this while you can enjoy a great cup of coffee and a healthy lunch.

Now open in Hemel Hempstead. Why not stop by and visit us? Give us call on 0800 756 2509 or book a tour via

Offices, Coworking, Meeting Rooms.


Getting the most from a multi-generation workforce

Gen Z is entering the workforce and at the same time, people are choosing to work for longer than ever before. As a result, the workplace today could include people from five distinct generations. For team leaders and HR departments, it can be a daunting prospect managing people aged from 18 to upwards of 80. Of course, a one size fits all approach won’t work. For example, it’s been understood that Baby Boomers and Generation X are the generations most interested in flexible working, compared to Generation Z who value progression opportunities more. But there are also as many differences within the generational groups as there are between them.

These should be an advantage in the workplace, not a negative. Gen Z are digital natives and may well have valuable skills to offer their colleagues. Likewise, the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers have a wealth of life experience that they can bring to bear on projects. Recognising different strengths and skills and bringing these together into blended teams is a route to success. It is also the surest way to overcome any age-based mistrust between colleagues.

We are influenced by our age and the experiences we live through. But we are also influenced by gender, nationality, family situation, and many other factors. The best managers understand the complementary skills and expertise across a business and can combine these into successful teams. Five generations under one roof simply opens new possibilities. Check out for office space solutions for your multi-generation workforce

Contemporary co-working hub now available in the Maylands Global workspace provider, Spaces recently opened state-of-the-art flexible workspaces in Hemel Hempstead. Setting up in The Maylands, one of the area’s most vibrant business parks, Spaces is bringing something new to Hemel Hempstead’s business community – no more corporate cubicles and walls, but instead open plan, modern office space that encourages creativity and innovation. The new flexible office space provides a range of serviced private offices, conference rooms and collaborative co-working spaces, offering something for everyone, from small business owners and entrepreneurs, to large

multinationals looking to work flexibly in the area. Spaces, The Maylands is the ideal place to set up shop. The centre is ideally located just a short distance from local transport links, making travel into the Capital easy, whilst offering a welcome respite from London’s hustle and bustle. And for those looking to travel further afield, London’s Luton Airport is easily reachable. Richard Morris, UK CEO of Spaces, says: “Research from Spaces’ parent company IWG shows that demand for flexible office

space is growing rapidly. 73% of Brits now believe that flexible working is the ‘new normal’ as businesses and employees alike continue to recognise that they are far more productive and successful in a dynamic working environment. Spaces is helping to supply this demand and we’re excited to provide a flexible and creative working environment in Hemel Hempstead, with socialising and networking at its core.” For further information visit




Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Hertfordshire Degree Apprenticeships are a relatively new – and growing – way for employees to gain a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, combining work with part-time study. By working with a training provider or university, Degree Apprenticeships allow businesses to invest in people, attract new talent and boost innovation. Following the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2017, businesses with an annual pay bill of £3 million or more are required to pay 0.5% of their total payroll costs towards the levy as a tax to HM Revenue and Customs. The Government will then top-up up this money by 10% and businesses can re-invest it to fund Higher and Degree Apprenticeships to upskill their staff or attract new talent. For non-levy paying businesses, Government applies a ‘co-investment’ model, where they will pay for 95% of apprenticeship fees up to the apprenticeship’s funding band maximum. The University of Hertfordshire works with many companies to develop high-quality, tailored Higher and Degree Apprenticeship programmes across a variety of specialties – including engineering, education, digital, health, leadership and management, and legal. The University has an excellent relationship with Hertfordshire County Council, educating over 30 members of their workforce in senior leader, chartered manager and digital technology programmes. Gemma Zabbar, Senior HR Officer for the Apprenticeship Levy Programme at Hertfordshire County Council: “Through our partnership we have been able to offer new opportunities and qualifications to both existing and new

Combining the academic depth of a degree with the immediate vocational relevance of an apprenticeship. staff. We’ve enrolled nearly 30 staff members in the last year for the Digital & Technology Solutions Professional, CMDA and all three branches of Senior Leader – MBA, Business and Organisational Strategy and Public Service Management. “We have found the University of Hertfordshire to be understanding of our needs and flexible in their approach. We work closely to hold specific information sessions and our Account Manager always makes time to answer queries from either the Apprenticeship Team or directly from staff. “It is vital for Hertfordshire County Council to develop our staff, so they have the right skills to strengthen our organisation and progress in their career pathways. By completing these degree apprenticeships at the University of Hertfordshire they will be able to demonstrate the key skills, knowledge and behaviours required of them to excel on an individual level as well as contribute to Hertfordshire County Council delivering our vision and priorities.” The University also works in partnership with Taylor Walton, a highly respected regional law firm that provides legal services and solutions to commercial and private clients. The firm’s relationship with the University of Hertfordshire started through the development of the Solicitor Degree Apprenticeship programme. Stephanie Simon, People and Talent Partner at Taylor Walton: “I had the opportunity to work

To find out more about Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, visit the University of Hertfordshire website: 46


directly with the course lead on developing the bespoke programme. We considered how and when, over the course of the six-year programme, different academic topics and practice skills should be covered and how, combined with the practical work in the office, our apprentices would develop their competence. We’ve found that we can complement the material the University is covering by offering the opportunity for our apprentices to develop practical skills and apply their academic learning in the office.” “By being the first law firm in the area to invest in solicitor apprentice opportunities, we have been able to attract and appoint two driven, enthusiastic and intelligent apprentices. Our solicitor apprentices join our group of paralegal apprentices and our trainee solicitors to make a strong cohort of learners who can support our Solicitors in handling increasingly complex legal work under supervision. Our apprentices have been very quick to learn and provide a fantastic opportunity for our more experienced Solicitors to develop their mentoring and coaching skills. We are pleased to be part of this new route to solicitor qualification. We look forward to contributing to the development of our apprentices, working in partnership with the University throughout their route to qualification.” Through its Higher and Degree Apprenticeship provision, the University of Hertfordshire is continuing to provide flexible learning opportunities for apprentices whilst they gain vital on-the-job experience and skills. Gilmar Queiros, Head of Skills and Apprenticeships at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “If you’re a levy-paying business and want to find out how you can use it to invest in your workforce, attract new talent and boost innovation within your company then you’re welcome to contact us by emailing We also support non-levy paying businesses and we’d welcome you to get in touch so we can find out how we can support your workforce needs.”

Why your employees Health & Wellbeing should be your number one priority


The cost of employee ill health to UK businesses is growing. It has been estimated to cost the British economy approximately £77.5bn per year with an average of £500 per employee per year in sickness absence alone. While we all know we need to be more active, there is increasing evidence that shows we also need to spend less time sitting down. However, sedentary jobs are increasing due to an advance in technology and deskbased work. Studies have linked these long bouts of uninterrupted sitting with a whole host of negative health outcomes, as well as substantial psychological effects such as increased depression and anxiety. There is also evidence that regular exercise makes

employees sleep better, be more productive, less stressed and more efficient. Overall by giving your employees time to work on their health and wellbeing you will make them fitter, healthier, happier and in turn they will produce better quality work. Engaging your staff in activity will make them a greater asset for your company and will help you retain valuable staff for longer. At Hertfordshire Sports Village we can help boost creativity and increase productivity, whilst improving the physical and mental

Book your Wellbeing Day today! Quote ‘CORP20’ for 25% off Boditrax is recognised as the world leader in practical body composition analysis. Our portable Boditrax is a precision body composition and cellular monitoring tool that measures over 20 different key metrics related to the body. It will help your employees understand more about their body and what they can do to improve their health and wellbeing.

wellbeing among your staff. The corporate wellbeing strand of our business is growing as more companies realise the benefits of Wellbeing Days which include Boditrax scans, in-house group exercise classes, nutritional talks and workshops. Are you interested in having a Wellbeing Day at your company? Please contact our Wellbeing Project Lead at Hertfordshire Sports Village,Georgie Popham at

TRUNK 32.4KG | 74.0% RIGHT ARM 3.4KG | 77.4%

Your day includes... A Boditrax scan & a free one-month membership for each employee! Get more from your day with added extras below... Group Exercise classes Cholesterol and glucose tests Health and Wellbeing talks

For more information or to book your day, please contact Georgie Popham T 01707 284832 E




Apprenticeships offer businesses a cost effective route to harness fresh new talent and develop a skilled workforce. Our dedicated team can help get you started and assist you at every stage, including recruitment and funding/employer levy guidance. Benefits of an apprenticeship

97% of apprentices said their ability to do the job had improved as a result of the training




of consumers prefer using a company which takes on apprentices

of employers use their apprenticeship schemes to find future employees

of employers with apprentices believe they lead to a more motivated work force

For more information – contact us now on

T: 01727 737000 e:

We offer apprenticeships in a range of industries, including some at Foundation Degree level. Career paths currently include: ● Accounting

● Electrical Installation

● Business Administration

● Engineering

● Computing & Information Technology

● Green Keeping

● Construction Management/

● Hairdressing

Site Supervision ● Customer Service ● Early Years Educator

● Maintenance Operations ● Plumbing, Carpentry & Trowel Trades ● Supporting Teaching & Learning


Protect Your Business Reputation Save Time and Money!

Wednesday 29th January 2020 From boosting profitability to helping you scale up, the Growth Hub works in partnership with business support providers to deliver a wide range of events for SMEs based in Hertfordshire.

This event is delivered by Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Better Business for All (BBfA), in collaboration with Hertfordshire Growth Hub. The event will give delegates an insight into how complying with the law needn’t be time consuming or complicated but could instead save time and money. Delegates will have the opportunity to speak to all local authority regulators and business support organisations in one room. Taking place at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield from 8.30am - 2pm, this event is free to attend and includes lunch, exhibition and networking with like-minded businesses. Find out more:

Nuffield Health Community Project 2020 Nuffield Health is a not for profit charity and we exist to build a healthier nation through outstanding day-to-day services in our 31 award-winning hospitals, 112 fitness & wellbeing clubs that include Letchworth, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Hertford. As well as healthcare clinics and over 200 workplace wellbeing services, and through our Flagship programs to support local communities by widening healthcare access. Within this project we’re donating 1000 complimentary health checks into the local community this year focusing on employees’ health and wellbeing. We will be appearing at various local events & festivals alongside corporate functions throughout the year. The great thing about this project with our corporate partners is that we can look after your employee’s wellbeing and benefits calendar through the year for you. Any business can have up to 4 of these events per year completely free. Events include physical & emotional wellbeing via a health professional / physiotherapist who can deliver individual 1:1 support or group

presentations. We supply booking sheets for these so they don’t effect the day to day business routine. All results and information sheets will be given on the spot. The NHS recommends a minimum of 150 minutes moderate exercise per week. So, to help support you our events will include a complimentary 7 day family pass for every member of your team. We can also support charitable events such as office challenges or healthy month campaigns. All events are completely bespoke to each business to suit your individual needs. Therefore, please get in touch with any Wellbeing activity ideas you may have for your company/team and we can support you with this where we can. For any more information, please contact




A Focus on Quality Peter Smits Managing Director Ashbourne Insurance Services Q What do you do?

Q What advice would you give someone starting out?

I am the managing director.

Q Who do you work for?

Ashbourne Insurance Services .

Q Why did you join the Chamber?

We were looking to expand our network of local business

Q What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting running and growing a business?

contacts and liked the variety of functions that were on offer.

Q What you do get from it?

It’s always a pleasure to attend the various events seeing some old faces and meeting some new. Getting help &

Q How has it helped your business network?

Without a doubt. It has exposed us to a wider business community and helped grow our contacts.




For me in my industry it is the poor imitations you see in a saturated market-place. Anyone can beat a price, but what about the cover, quality of service and added value?

Q What support do you want from government?

advice, some very useful local contacts and a platform on which to promote my business.

Firstly, just go for it and take any advice from any business owner you can, enjoy your success and don’t sweat the failures!

From a purely selfish point-of-view, a review of compliance & regulation in our sector, there is too much cost and confusing paper-work being passed-on to the end user.

Q How confident are you your business will grow in 2020?

As we approach a new year I am as with every year, cautiously optimistic!

As your people grow, so does your business. Training is an excellent way to boost morale and motivation. It creates a company culture that encourages productivity and cultivates new ideas. From apprenticeship training to professional accreditation, we’re here to help take your company to the next level. Find out more at

Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers

“friendly expertise�

Helping Hertfordshire businesses to grow and prosper for more than 80 years.

44(0)330 024 3200