Inspire July 2022

Page 1


The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

July - August 2022



Area Focus

Watford and the Three Rivers District offers an ideal mix of idyllic countryside and urban living

Keeping the Heart in Hertfordshire

Herts contractors collaborate to bring apprenticeships to life for students


Net Zero Champions

Local businesses form innovative group to help Hertfordshire businesses achieve Net Zero


Hertfordshire Global

The strength of Britain’s exporters

HARRY POTTER WELCOMES Hertfordshire’s business community as awards celebrate inspiring winners p4


Take action to achieve net zero! firms become more sustainable. Businesses have come together to launch Herts Go Green and Grow, a focus group that aims to make achieving net zero easier for local businesses.

Briege Leahy

Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

WELCOME to the latest edition of Inspire.


t continues to be a challenging time for businesses, with the energy crisis pushing up the cost of gas, petrol and the price of many raw materials. This has increased pressure on margins and has forced firms to seek ways of minimising their costs.

Higher prices have sparked fears about the future health of the economy. Latest official figures show that the UK

economy shrank by 0.3% in April, following on from a 0.1% contraction in March. Inflation is predicted to hit 11%, according to the Bank of England. These trends are unlikely to be reversed any time soon.

The need to act on new net zero reporting legislation affecting all businesses, together with many consultancies emerging in this space, means that people need help to navigate through this complexity. How businesses should act is a common question.

The need to tackle climate change is also weighing heavily on the minds of businesses. Here at the Chamber, we’re working with our partners to help

The answer is often a combination of using external advisors and training your people – being able to discuss with other business leaders how much this might cost and

what makes the most difference. The group will be meeting regularly to determine the content and activities for a series of free workshops to help Hertfordshire businesses take action towards achieving net zero. We’ve also been recognising the cream of Hertfordshire businesses at our Inspiring Herts Awards and our membership has increased by 15% over the last 12 months – a good indicator that businesses want and appreciate our support.

Briege Leahy

Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Contents Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2022


Patron Focus

11 & 13

Inspirational Leader

14 & 21

Area Focus Sustainability Conference

16-19 24

Chamber Events


Keeping the Heart in Hertfordshire


Net Zero Champions


Tourism & Hospitality


Chamber News




Members News


New Members


Members News


Long Standing Members 54-55

Entrepreneur Foundation


Membership Benefits


Diamond Club


Skills & Development


Patron News


Hertfordshire Global

County Show


Last Word

4 16


60-61 62

62 Editorial and General Enquiries Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce York House, Salisbury Square, Old Hatfield, Herts, AL9 5AD

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

Published July 2022 © Benham Publishing and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 01707 502180 Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Email: Web: 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. ©2022 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. 1877




Harry Potter welcomes Hertfordshire’s business community as awards celebrate inspiring winners “The awards are a fantastic opportunity for Hertfordshire businesses to showcase their performance and achievements to the Hertfordshire business community and beyond.”

The overall winner, crowned Inspiring Business of the Year, was Amber Mountain Marketing which also scooped the Apprenticeship Champion Award.


arner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden hosted a glittering ceremony last month as a wide cross section of Hertfordshire’s businesses and charitable organisations enjoyed a wonderful evening on Platform 9 3/4. Now in its 11th year, around 400 guests attended the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2022 along with a number of local dignitaries including Kate Holland Hibbert, Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Professor Damian Ward, Dean, Hertfordshire Business School. Herts Chamber was inundated with a record number of entries from across the county for the 19 categories, which included accolades for Excellence in People Development, Excellence in International Trade, The Green Award, Workplace Wellbeing Award and Best Use of Technology. There were also two Special Recognition Awards chosen by Herts Chamber and the headline sponsors, global healthcare company Viatris and St Albans solicitors SA Law, Briege Leahy, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The awards ceremony is always a highlight in the Chamber’s calendar and this year was no different. It was wonderful to celebrate the achievements and contribution of the county’s businesses and charitable organisations.”



Creating the digital marketers of the future is the core ethos of this St Albans-based company which provides marketing packages for SMEs. It was congratulated on its “passionate commitment to apprenticeships”. SA Law and Viatris selected the company to win the top award as “we were impressed by the business’s growth and excellent work wellbeing programme, as well as the opportunities it offers young people who may not want, or be able to afford, to go to university”. Director Emma Ellis, who launched the business in 2018, runs a comprehensive 15-month training programme for her apprentices, including working with their own client portfolio and a weekly study day. The trainees work towards their NVQ Level 3 in digital marketing with the support of training provider QA and the company boasts a 100 per cent success rate. Emma said: “Our entire business model is about growing and developing raw school and college leavers, or people wanting a change of career, into confident marketing professionals.” Previous apprentices who have completed the programme have moved on to become marketing team leaders and even start their own business. The other Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution to Business went to Phillip Wallace, Group Chief Executive, Lamex Food Group. Phil was heralded as a ‘truly global entrepreneur’.

Briege Leahy, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This year our special award for Outstanding Contribution to Business goes to one of the top 200 companies in Hertfordshire.” “On a more personal level, Phil supports the local community by owning Stevenage Football Club. He has taken the Club to the Football League, funded a new stand at the club, established a charitable Foundation in 2010/11 which now employs 24 people and built up a strong youth academy to develop players for the future.” Mr Wallace said: “It’s truly an honour to receive this award and greatly appreciated. We started from one room over a shop when I joined 50 years ago and built a major global business. Our journey from humble beginnings to become one of the most important companies in global food export markets is due entirely to the fantastic people we employ. Our Group headquarters in Hertfordshire reaches out to our offices and factories all over the world and it’s a privilege to be part of – and support - the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce”. JPA Workspaces, a St Albans-based supplier of sustainable design, re-location and furnishing solutions claimed two


Simon Walsh, SA Law

IHA 2022 Winners

awards - Business of the Year South Herts and The Green Award. The company picked up the awards thanks to its passion for providing workspaces which are “better for people, better for the environment and better for the planet”. Briege Leahy said: “This was an inspirational entry that gave real examples of change and displayed how changes are made, even in a year of real difficulty.” Wagada Digital also scooped two honours. Cheryl Luzet, founder of the St Albans and Cheltenham-based company, was presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year award and Business of the Year Small to Medium award at the ceremony. Since launching the company, Cheryl has driven Wagada Digital from a lifestyle business in 2011 to a thriving digital marketing agency with an estimated 2022 turnover of £1.4m. Dedicated to staff development, it is constantly training its employees. The business invests 5 per cent of its turnover into training and tools to help employees. It also hosts free monthly training courses for clients to educate them and allow staff to upskill.

Matt Salzmann, Viatris

Briege Leahy said: “Wagada is a wellestablished digital marketing agency that thrived in the pandemic due to the CEO’s leadership and drive.”

(HCF), an independent charity that aims to encourage local philanthropy, the giving of time, resources or both by local people to help support their local communities.

“In 11 years, this business has grown exponentially, through strong leadership and management and through recognising the value and importance in relationships with clients and suppliers.”

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, named the fastest growing Chamber in the UK recently, continues to offer support to its members as they navigate the current challenging economic conditions.

“It’s great to see a growing international client base with a new Hubspot partnership, a new office in Cheltenham, and the rebranding which supported the business’s growth and overseas expansion.” The free-to-enter awards were launched in 2012 to focus on and celebrate the expertise, achievements and outstanding contribution that businesses and individuals continually make to the growth of Hertfordshire. Accolades were handed out to companies and charitable organisations of various sizes including an alcohol-free brewing company, an inclusive theatre group and a digital development organisation. The ceremony, which took place on 9th June was held in support of Hertfordshire Community Foundation

Cont. >>>




The IHA 2022 Winners and Highly Commended Companies: Inspiring Business of the Year: Amber Mountain Marketing Outstanding Contribution to Business: Phillip Wallace, Group Chief Executive, Lamex Food Group Apprenticeship Champion: Winner: Amber Mountain Marketing Highly Commended: HB Accountants Best Use of Technology: Winner: SEC Group Highly Commended: HBC Logistics Business of the Year – Small to Medium: Winner: Wagada Digital Highly Commended: Omega Group and JPA Workspaces Business of the Year – Medium to Large: Winner: Croft Communications Highly Commended: Silent Sentinel Business of the Year – East Herts: Winner: Silent Sentinel Highly Commended: HB Accountants Business of the Year – North Herts: Winner: Resolve Highly Commended: Lawrence Dean Recruitment Business of the Year – South Herts: Winner: JPA Workspaces Highly Commended: Alliance Intelligent Scaffolding Business of the Year – West Herts: Winner: One YMCA Highly Commended: estarli Community Champion: Winner: Trauma Recovery CIC Highly Commended: Resolve and Home Start Hertfordshire Diversity and Inclusion: Winner: Herts Inclusive Theatre Highly Commended: L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage Entrepreneur of the Year: Winner: Cheryl Luzet, Wagada Digital Highly Commended: Cat and Max Colman, MGP Nutrition Excellence in Customer Commitment: Winner: IBC Simply Highly Commended: Genmar UK Excellence in People Development: Winner: Quanta Consultancy Services Highly Commended: DLRC Excellence in International Trade: Winner: Zoocha Highly Commended: Brooks & Kempton, EziDrops Family Business of the Year: Winner: JHP Electrical Services Ltd Highly Commended: IBC Simply Most Promising New Business: Winner: The Alcohol Free Brewing Company Highly Commended: estarli Property & Construction Project of the Year: Winner: BAM Construction Highly Commended: Jarvis Contracting The Green Award: Winner: JPA Workspaces Highly Commended: Ecoserv Group Workplace Wellbeing Award: Winner: Sonovision UK Ltd Highly Commended: DLRC



Amber Mountain Marketing

Quanta Consultancy

Lamex Food Group

Wagada Digital

JHP Electrical

JPA Workspaces

IBC Simply

Herts Inclusive Theatre

Cheryl Luzet from Wagada Digital

Croft Communications


BAM Construction

Trauma Recovery CIC


The Alcohol Free Brewing Co.


Silent Sentinel


SEC Group


The 2022 Sponsors

Cont. >>>




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New guide shows Hertfordshire laying groundwork for modern construction methods A new guide, which showcases modern and progressive construction techniques and practices, has been produced by the Hertfordshire Growth Board as it aims to help to facilitate sustainable and responsible growth in the county. The Hertfordshire Offsite Manufacture Housing Guide is likely to be of interest to many across the construction and development sector, including house builders and potential designers as well as local authority officers and policymakers – in fact, anyone with an interest in understanding Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and the associated benefits. Setting out the principles of MMC, and how these are being utilised now and will be to an increasing extent in the future in Hertfordshire, the guide covers the concept of offsite manufacturing. A ‘live’ document, it will be kept constantly up-to-date with the latest, relevant schemes included. Already home to the world’s first garden cities and the headquarters of many leading construction firms, Hertfordshire is also paving the way towards an innovative and dynamic future for the industry, including a strong emphasis on the importance of low and zero-carbon buildings. Photo Credit: BRE Group

To cement an ongoing commitment to embracing modern construction techniques, members of the county’s local authority and affordable housing sector have formed the Hertfordshire OSM (Offsite Manufacture) consortium. The significance of this consortium is clear as, through its 2021-26 Affordable Homes Programme, Homes England’s strategic partners are expected to deliver a minimum of 25% of properties by using MMC methods. A government White Paper, published in March 2020, emphasises the importance of design quality but also that of a high standard of placemaking, with context, movement, nature, built form, identity, public space and use as vital as the appearance of the design itself. Patsy Dell, Executive Director, Sustainable Growth, at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “As a county, we are committed to sustainable and responsible growth in the long term, so that means building great homes for our residents in thriving, well-connected communities with the right infrastructure.

Photo Credit: Michael Dyson Associates Ltd

“It’s fantastic that we now have this guide, which highlights the way in which factory-made homes can significantly contribute to the delivery of high-quality homes, and it will be incredibly important particularly to Hertfordshire’s development sector.” For more information, and to view the Hertfordshire Offsite Manufacture Housing Guide, please go to

10 10



Making Connections

Graham Pitts, Group Managing Director of KGK Genix, explains how being a Chamber Patron is helping the company to make new connections across the county…

F Why and when did you sign up to be a Chamber Patron? We’ve been Chamber members for four years. However, our patron membership was agreed in April 2022 which we felt was a natural progression – the Chamber is really going places and we’re honoured to be involved at this level.

F What benefits are you getting from this arrangement? This answer has two parts. From my own personal perspective, having been voted in as Group Managing Director in February of this year, I’m keen to learn from likeminded, Hertfordshire-based business owners and obtain new connections. From a business perspective, we operate nationally; however, very little business is done in Hertfordshire.

This is something I’m very keen to change. We were surprised to learn just how many businesses are within a 20-mile radius. If we can all look to work together, there’s very little reason why you would engage a supplier / business connection outside of Hertfordshire – this could save time, money and help to keep our county’s economy booming.

F What sort of benefits are you hoping to provide for other Chamber members? Our services are extremely diverse. The majority of businesses in Hertfordshire will have needed something we can provide at one point in their operation – be it, a vibrant office branding to entice workers back to the office after the pandemic,

graphics for their exhibition stands or point of sale (POS) for retail environments. We can handle everything along every stage of the project from initial design all the way through to installation but we’re also happy to work with other suppliers and/or our clients in house resource to work as a team. As part of our eco focus, we’re currently planting a tree for each new business meeting we have, and for Chamber members, we’re also offering a discount on the services we provide so there’s quite an incentive to #keeptheheartinherts.

F Describe your relationship with the Chamber? What are they like to work with? The relationship we have with the Chamber is excellent. Everyone is very friendly but above all, helpful – nothing is too much trouble. It’s clear how devoted they are to our fantastic county and all of the businesses within it. I’m really looking forward to getting to know more of the members as I attend more and more of the events.

As part of our eco focus, we’re currently planting a tree for each new business meeting we have, and for Chamber members, we’re also offering a discount on the services we provide so there’s quite an incentive to #keeptheheartinherts. INSPIRE



Q What happens


when a business partnership breaks up? Unless there is a written agreement already in place that says differently, if any partner in a partnership leaves then the partnership comes to an end, its assets must be sold, and what is left shared between the partners.

Q Can the business of the

A JOHN WIBLIN, Head of Dispute Resolution at Longmores Solicitors answers questions

partnership be sold?

Yes. The business can continue to trade for a period until the business can be sold. But this is often a very difficult period. One of the partners has departed, those that remain have a greater burden than before, and there are often fights over the amount to be paid to the outgoing partner.


business partnerships and explains why it

partner calculated?

If the entire business is sold to a third party then it is relatively straightforward. But if any of the former partners want to buy it (and they often do) then it gets more complicated. A professional valuer will be needed. But if there is no agreement about who the valuer should be and opposing sides have their own valuers then those valuers may disagree. And then there will be a squabble about that.

is important to think

Q Do valuers disagree about the

about the worst,


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.


Q How is the value to the outgoing

about break-ups of

before it happens.

Q How can these problems be

value of a business?

Often they disagree hugely. I had one a few years back where the other side’s valuer said the business was worth a million pounds and our valuer said it was worthless. It is better jointly to appoint a neutral valuer who can be trusted to produce a fair valuation – probably one that neither side likes very much but which they can both live with. That is not so easy when two factions are at loggerheads.


A partnership deed can be drafted that says that if any partner leaves or dies, they get paid a sum that is calculated in an agreed way. That sum can be stated. Or there can be a formula to work it out. Or it can say that a partner at a certain firm of accountants can decide the sum. And the agreement will also provide that the partnership continues uninterrupted without the departing partner.

Q Can the agreement provide for


the expulsion of a partner from the partnership? It can set out the circumstances when that can happen, yes. And the financial consequences.

Q Do the same rules apply to


limited liability partnerships (LLPs)? Some do. Some do not. I would strongly advise anyone against leaving a limited liability partnership where there is not a formal partnership deed in place without seeking legal advice first. There is a real risk that if a partner resigns from an LLP without any prior agreement about the financial consequences, they may forfeit their right to receive anything at all.

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Britvic flys the flag Paul Graham Managing Director

3 What benefits do you get from this arrangement?

1 When did Britvic become a Patron of the Herts Chamber?

Our relationship with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce provides us with many opportunities, including networking with other local businesses.

At Britvic, we became a Patron of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce as a natural extension to our relationship with the local community and other businesses in the area.

2 Why did you sign up? It’s hugely important to us that Britvic is part of the local community. Many of our employees are from Hertfordshire with our headquarters located at Breakspear Park – you can’t miss our flag as you come off the M1! We have around 300 to 400 people working on this site at any one time and this comes with a responsibility to ensure we’re supporting stability and growth within our local community. As Britvic, we’ve called Hertfordshire our home now for around 10 years and the Herts Chamber of Commerce is a really special initiative as it pulls together those passionate about doing good business but also being a good business. You saw that recently with the effort to fundraise for Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to support those in Ukraine.

This has been particularly important as we emerged from the pandemic and ensured we reprioritised the focus on community and connection with other businesses.


What sort of benefits does Britvic provide other Chamber members?

The Chamber creates the opportunity for discussion and collaboration – this then blossoms into action for the community. For example, as a result of being part of the Chamber of Commerce, we most recently collaborated with Heart Hertfordshire on the Help for Hunger Appeal in the aid of the Trussell Trust. The trust supports families in need providing money for gas and electricity and food through their food banks. We sponsored the trust and also ensured that we set up food collection points within our office and also by assisting food banks in Watford. This was a brilliant activity and one that our employees were passionate to support.

On a more skills-based level, we have hosted several events where we can share some of the business expertise that sits within our team here at Britvic, including providing guidance on supply chain.

5 Describe your relationship with the Chamber? What are they like to work with? It’s a delight to be working with the Chamber – it’s a brilliant organisation to collaborate with. We have engaged in several projects together, and our relationship is mutually beneficial… and not to mention, good for the local people of Hertfordshire.

6 In your view, what are the key benefits of doing business in Hertfordshire? What are the main strengths of the business community there? Hertfordshire is a well-connected vibrant location with a business community to match. We have large well-established businesses like ourselves, alongside up-and-coming agile start-ups and there is so much that we can learn from one another. The Herts Chamber of Commerce encourages this collaboration and knowledge sharing which is such a valuable part of being involved.




Resilience is the hallmark of a great leader In the eyes of Becky Bone, vision and drive are essential qualities in an inspirational leader. “You also need passion and resilience, especially in a global pandemic,” she says. “You might have a rubbish day but you have to get up the next day and keep going.”

As we’ve expanded, we’ve had to review our operations and delegate a bit more. Previously, the three of us (me, my dad and my uncle) oversaw all of the staff and all of the projects. Now we’ve passed on some of that responsibility to our middle managers.



Becky is currently bringing these qualities and more to her family business, AT Bone & Sons, which has been part of the Hertfordshire landscape since 1957. Originally established as a humble family-run farm, the company has spread its wings far and wide to become a diversified agricultural business that now provides a range of services across the agricultural, construction, sports amenities and biomass sectors. The agricultural business remains at AT Bone’s core, with the company now custodians of more than 2,600 hectares of land through several close partnerships that have been carefully nurtured throughout the years. Meanwhile, the provision of civil engineering and landscaping services has become a thriving asset of the company and a key driver of revenue growth. However, the company, which is run by Becky, her father and her uncle, also offers services as diverse as the supply of all-weather artificial sports turf and surfacing to grassroots clubs and professional sport venues. “My dad and uncle are very opportunistic and find it hard to say no,” says Becky. “That’s a key reason why we’ve diversified into the multidisciplinary company we are today. Our years of experience building and developing our own farm sites has resulted in us delivering civil engineering for other clients. We offer haulage and logistics services to commercial clients and we’ve continued to invest in land and buildings – assets that we look to optimise where possible.”

Becky has been instrumental in the firm’s recent expansion. A chemical engineering graduate from Loughborough University, she helped out in the family firm during the summer holidays and secured a placement at PepsiCo as part of her degree. “I picked up some great experience there,” she recalls, “but I couldn’t see the point of working for someone else when we had a great business at home.” Becky continued her studies, completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in advanced farm management before taking on a full-time position at the family business in 2014. She says: “I brought a more traditional academic skillset to the business – my dad and uncle had learned from the university of life! Perhaps I’ve introduced a bit more structure and strategy to the company. We’ve used technology to market the business and get more systems and processes in place. When I first started in 2014, we used a spreadsheet to log jobs but I introduced a cloud-based system to make this process more efficient. We’re currently rolling out tablets to all of our operators – our drivers, for example, and people who work on the farm – so that they can communicate more effectively with other members of the team. Our workers are often in different locations at different times, so we needed a system that enables them to get in touch with each other and get updates on the status of projects. “As we’ve expanded, we’ve had to review our operations and delegate a bit more. Previously, the three of us [me, my dad and my uncle] oversaw all of the staff and all of the projects. Now we’ve passed on some of that responsibility to our middle managers.” The ability to delegate is another trait of good leadership. Becky clearly has the confidence that AT Bone’s 60 employees and contractors can take the company through the next phase of its exciting growth.

5 ways to boost your business online If you’re looking to build long-term brand awareness, win new customers and generate more revenue, ensuring your business is visible online is vital. With over £120bn spent on e-commerce each year and 89% of B2B customers researching information from the internet before buying, it pays to make your website work smarter. Let’s look at 5 ways to boost your online visibility and how to get started.


Get found on Google A website that ranks highly on Google is seen as trustworthy and credible – results on the first page of Google get over 90% of all online search traffic. Improving your website’s ranking is therefore essential. Known as SEO, this involves optimising your website to match what customers are searching for. Fixing technical issues and improving site speed helps, too.


Target local Local searches such as “accountants near me” are increasingly common – 80% of local searches on mobile

lead to conversions. Ask customers to review your business online. Optimise your local business listings so customers can find you and visit your website.


Add valuable content Original, valuable content and SEO work hand-inhand. Great content helps your website rank highly,

boosts credibility and reaches customers earlier in their buying journey. Content is a great way to drive B2B traffic, too – 52% of B2B buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company after reading their content.


Capture customer data Encourage customers to share their information with

“Submerge has fantastic experience in everything from digital strategy to SEO and content marketing. We’ve seen an immediate improvement in our organic traffic. They’re highly responsive, flexible and keep us involved at every stage. They’re a pleasure to work with and really feel part of the team.” Marketing Manager, Praxis42

you. From signing up for newsletters to downloading an advice guide, customer emails are a powerful tool to continue the conversation. One-third of all marketers view email as the best way to nurture leads and convert undecided customers into sales.


Be more social Over half of users research products on social media, and 84% of B2B executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. Four in five B2B leads from social come via LinkedIn. Regularly post valuable advice and engage customers to grow a social acquisition funnel. ■

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Talent and transport links give local firms the edge

Watford and the Three Rivers District offers an ideal mix of idyllic countryside and urban living.


is Tusker, a carbon-neutral company that provides company car and salary sacrifice car schemes to UK organisations in the public and private sector. Paul Gilshan, CEO of Tusker, says: “We set ourselves an ambitious target for net zero ahead of 2030 but we’ve exceeded this, and will be net zero by 2023, beating our own internal goals in the process. A key part of achieving our sustainability goal was helped by relocating our headquarters to a green office space at Croxley Park in Watford in 2013. Since then, because of this truly green business park, we’ve sent zero waste to landfill and used 100% renewably sourced energy throughout the business. When we needed larger

his eclectic area covers Watford town, the surrounding areas and towns and villages in the Three Rivers area, including Rickmansworth and Chorleywood. Apparently, the area is named because three rivers – the Chess, the Gade and the Colne – all meet in Rickmansworth.

spaces. The district has large areas of

Three Rivers offers an ideal mixture of

London, the Midlands and the North,

Paul says: “Location is important to us

beautiful countryside, excellent leisure

Watford is a strong location for business

as, while we have an electric company car

facilities, good communications, historic

and industry and its large, skilled working-

policy ourselves, we encourage our staff

buildings, purpose-built offices and

age population makes a significant

to minimise their commuting miles

well-located parks and public open

contribution to the local economy.

wherever possible, either by using public

Thanks to Croxley Park, we send none of our waste to landfill and use 100% renewably sourced energy through the business. Paul Gilshan, CEO of Tusker 16

One company that’s thriving in the area


attractive open countryside and areas of outstanding natural beauty, yet it’s only minutes away from the M25, Britain’s busiest motorway. Meanwhile, Watford is the only nonmetropolitan borough wholly contained within the M25 and the largest town in Hertfordshire. With excellent transport links and mainline rail connections to

office space in 2017, we remained on the business park because of the park’s alignment with our sustainability targets.” Sustainability is a core Tusker value; the company has been proudly carbon-neutral since 2010 and became a net carbonpositive contributor to the environment in 2021, offsetting more emissions than it’s responsible for.


We set ourselves an ambitious target for net zero ahead of 2030 but we’ve exceeded this, and will be net zero by 2023, beating our own internal goals in the process.

“We’re looking forward to increasing this customer base in the coming years and we’re happy that our Hertfordshire offices will provide the location from which to do this.” Local radio station Heart FM has also been entrenched in the area for many years. John Darin at Heart FM says: “We’re a radio station for Hertfordshire

Paul Gilshan, CEO of Tusker

so we embrace the local area – that’s

transport or, if possible, by walking and

can have a closer relationship with clients

cycling. Our location in Croxley Green

and listeners and focus on their needs.

look at the amount of construction that’s

near Watford town centre benefits from

We also have a good understanding of

happening around us to know the area is

the area’s great transport links, which is

how businesses in the area tick.”

building for a solid future. Of course, being

what we’re all about. It also means we

key to helping us achieve our goals.” “Hertfordshire is a massive hub of activity. “We’ve always been based within reach

We’re not limited at all here; we have a

of Watford and its location is ideal for us.

heap of head offices in the patch and a

Being close to the M25 and the M1, and

real mix of business types. The challenge

with good rail links, it’s a great place to

is coping with the ever-growing number

do business as it puts us within easy

of opportunities, but I guess there are

reach of our customers who are spread

worse challenges to have!”

across the whole of the country.” “The film and TV industry is a big mover,

John Darin with Debbie Chadwick

so close to London, we’ve discovered that businesses love to utilise Hertfordshire as a location solution.” The area’s excellent transport links are also a distinct advantage for Imagination Technologies. The private equity-backed company designs and licenses marketleading intellectual property (IP) processor

The company has seen a huge increase

with new studio complexes opening and

solutions, which are then used for a variety

in the number of orders for electric vehicles

existing ones expanding, creating new

of applications worldwide. The company

in a short space of time as EV adoption

opportunities all the time. We’ve also

sells into Europe, Asia and the US but

becomes more widespread. The cars

found that business is thriving and

despite having a global outlook, it also

are already above 95% ULEV, so Tusker

growing all the time. You only have to

has strong roots in Kings Langley.

expects to be a purely electric leasing company well ahead of 2030. Paul says: “Through advocacy of EVs and ULEVs, the switch to electric is confirmed with our customers and the momentum is only increasing. We’re proud to be offering the chance for many people to access a new car for the first time, particularly EVs, as our drivers are switching from cars which are on average over eight years’ old. Thanks to the unique way salary sacrifice is set up, we’re enabling EVs to be more affordable for more people than other products available on the market.”

Cont. Overleaf>>

Hertfordshire is a massive hub of activity. We’re not limited at all here; we have a heap of head offices in the patch and a real mix of business types. The challenge is coping with the ever-growing number of opportunities, but I guess there are worse challenges to have! John Darin at Heart FM INSPIRE



David Harold, Chief Marketing Officer at Imagination, says: “As an export business, we regard access to airports at Heathrow, Luton and Gatwick as very useful, albeit a little less so in recent times. In terms of general office access, the M25 and A41 are a boon, as is our very close proximity to local rail lines. “Most relevant, though, is the ability to have a very large catchment area for employees. We have people who attend the office regularly (albeit now within a hybrid model) from Reading, Cambridge, all of Herts and, of course, London. Over the years we’ve been located in Kings Langley, we’ve helped to establish a remarkable talent pool that has come into the area from across the world.” “We have over 40 nationalities represented at our HQ, which has attracted a significant number of other technology companies into the area, both on the site we created in Kings Langley and in St Albans, Watford and

We’re profitable, growing steadily, and

Also going for growth is Watford

delighted to say that the technology

accountancy firm DUA, which has

“We’re looking to hire at least 250 people

we’ve created in Kings Langley is in

doubled in size since moving to

this year and a significant number of

many billions of devices used around

Tolpits Lane in the town 12 years ago.

those will be at our HQ in Kings Langley.

the world.”

The company attributes this strong

surrounding areas.”

growth to excellent transport connectivity with London and the ability to network

We have over 40 nationalities represented at our

CEO and founder of the company,

HQ, which has attracted a significant number of other

Rakesh Dua says: “Working from an

technology companies into the area, both on the site

benefits. There’s a lot of activity around

|we created in Kings Langley and in St Albans,

due to speedy rail links. Previously,

Watford and surrounding areas. David Harold, Chief Marketing Officer at Imagination 18

with local talent.


established business park comes with central hubs such as Watford Junction we were in a Grade II-listed building in Harrow. As an established, award-winning firm, we decided that our new business park base enabled us to offer much more to businesses based around the county.”


This talent pool helped us as we found that we were the face for working locally. With great transport links to London and by being close to the M1 and M25, the road networks were vast and accessible through many parts of the country and provided a great proximity to airports for clients flying in. Rakesh Dua, CEO of DUA

Rakesh says: “This talent pool helped

“As a well-established business, we

us as we found that we were the face for

plan to work with the local council on

working locally. With great transport links to London and by being close to the M1

Providing specialised accounting in several areas including healthcare and dentistry, IT and high-tech, property development and international business, DUA has been able to access plenty of skilled talent in the area.

future policy, infrastructure, economic

and M25, the road networks were vast

development and growth. Likewise,

and accessible through many parts of the

the Chamber will provide a platform

country and provided a great proximity

to meet people, network and create

to airports for clients flying in.”

opportunities. Being able to collaborate

Connecting with healthcare businesses,

with other stakeholders will provide

engaging with local councils, educational

a great opportunity for us to not only

establishments and the community

connect with the local community, but

are current priorities for the firm since joining the Hertfordshire Chamber of

also to give back to it.”

Commerce. Rakesh adds: “Beyond compliance, we provide funding support, business plans and advisory services for


For more information, visit

businesses scaling up. Going forwards,


we want to work with the county’s


stakeholders and education providers to nurture talent through apprenticeship


training and skills. We want to work


closely with educational institutions to help students adapt to the ever-changing


world of technology and skills.”



Wilder Coe Ltd Chartered Accountants

Celebrating 50 years of helping people achieve their goals


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Hertfordshire Office Wilder Coe Ltd Business and Technology Centre Bessemer Drive Stevenage SG1 2DX 01438 758 100

Are you looking for advisors who take the time to understand you and your objectives before taking you to the next level? Do you want to collaborate with professionals who focus on people first, not just crunching numbers? Relationships are at the centre of everything we do. We listen to you and take pride in the honest advice we deliver.

We are offering all Herts Chamber of Commerce members a

FREE CONSULTATION If you would like to have a no-obligation chat with our team, contact us at (quoting Herts Inspire)


Silvia helps firms to achieve their aspirations

Possessing technical skills can be a great advantage in business but good leaders have so much more in their locker.


hat’s the view of Silvia Vitiello, a vastly experienced accountancy practitioner and a partner at Moore Kingston Smith, an established UK accounting firm of accountants and business advisers. She says: “Leadership is not just about showcasing your technical and professional skills. Good leaders enjoy what they’re doing and really get under the skin of something and understand it. I like to think I’m a business advisor, a critical friend who my clients can use as a sounding board. I also enjoy developing people and seeing them grow. It’s incredibly rewarding.

I’ve trained people who’ve gone on to climb to the top of their career ladder and are bringing real advantages to businesses themselves.”

information, which took up a lot of time. We also use real-time accounting software which gives clients more visibility over their accounts at any particular time.”

Silvia has been a partner at Moore Kingston Smith for the last 12 years and currently leads the firm’s family business division. She has a genuine interest and excitement in working with her clients and also works with entrepreneurial businesses as well as non-profit and membership organisations.

“On balance, being able to use technology is great but it’s not a total replacement for people. Technology frees up time for our teams to do more for our clients, dive deeper into their business and to understand what they want and need and that’s also a much more enjoyable and fulfilling role to have too.”

“I always take the time to fully understand each client, including their personal and business goals, before creating bespoke solutions for them,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to simply offer clients cost-effective and solution-driven advice to help them achieve their aspirations. This could include helping them to grow revenues, tap into new markets, reduce unnecessary costs or perhaps make their operations slicker and more efficient. Every business is different.” Silvia says she’s lucky to work for a firm that has a long, distinguished history. Moore Kingston Smith has been helping clients thrive since 1923 and now has over 70 partners and more than 650 people based in and around London, including 65 in the St Albans office. It’s a leading member of the Moore Global Network, an international family made up of over 30,000 people across more than 100 countries. The network allows members to connect and collaborate to take care of clients’ needs at a local, national and international level. Silvia says: “Since I’ve been at the firm, there has been a lot of change in the way we’ve delivered our services. We now use artificial intelligence (AI) to explore data sets, whereas previously our teams would have to have analysed the

Outside of work, Silvia is a board member of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and the Skills and Employment Committee for the Herts Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). She’s also chair of the City of Expertise. “Herts Chamber is a genuine supporter of local businesses,” she says. “It’s great to see an organisation that sits in the middle of the Herts business community and helps companies to connect with each other.” www.

My ultimate goal is to simply offer clients cost-effective and solution-driven advice to help them achieve their aspirations. This could include helping them to grow revenues, tap into new markets, reduce unnecessary costs or perhaps make their operations slicker and more efficient. Every business is different. INSPIRE


Hundreds attend Generation X event in Broxbourne to support Hertfordshire’s businesses and future talent More than 500 students, parents and teachers attended Generation Broxbourne - the latest “Generation X” event delivered by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in partnership with Broxbourne Borough Council, to link young people with the incredible opportunities on their doorstep. At the free careers fair in The Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon, on 15 June, young people from schools and colleges in the Broxbourne area were able to speak with key industry and sector leaders on exhibition stands and find out about local courses, apprenticeships and jobs, along with the skills required. Mayor of Broxbourne, Councillor Paul Seeby, opened the event which was led by the LEP’s gateway for career opportunities, Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), in partnership with the council’s economic development initiative, Ambition Broxbourne. Students heard about the 6,000 jobs and opportunities coming to Broxbourne over the next few years across a range of key sectors as well as the retail-led, mixed-use development Brookfield Riverside and state-of-the-art tech and business hub, Theobalds Business Park. Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair, Skills Advisory Panel, Hertfordshire LEP, said:

“I am delighted to see these Generation style events go from strength to strength. Up and down the county, young people are being connected to future job opportunities in their local area thanks to the LEP’s skills portal HOP. Employers too can meet their sustainability targets by recruiting from a local talent pool, so it’s a win-win model.” Councillor Lewis Cocking, Leader of Broxbourne Council said: “Broxbourne is an exciting place to be at the moment. With new developments such as Brookfield and the new film studios, Broxbourne is open for business! In the next five years, there will be more than 6,000 jobs created in the local area, and we want to make sure that our young people are equipped with the skills they need to take advantage of the roles on offer. “This event is hopefully the first of many in Broxbourne, and it was great to see so many students from local schools and colleges, engaging with potential future employers. I would like to say thank you to the schools and businesses that took the time to attend.” Students were able to speak to a diverse range of employers and skills delivery partners including



Amazing Apprenticeships, Ambition Broxbourne, the British Army, Birch Group, B3Living, Be Free Forest School, Brookfield Riverside, Capel Manor College, Curwens Solicitors, Everyone Active in East Herts, HB Accountants, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Constabulary, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hertford Regional College,

Hertfordshire and West Essex Health and Care Academy, Mode Solutions, Morrisons, QA, Quantum Care, Resource Productions, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines, Shepherds Property Sales & Lettings, Sovereign Centros, St Elizabeth’s, Stempoint East, Stevenage F.C Foundation, Tesco, VolkerWessels. Ewan Macaulay, Assistant Principal and Careers Lead at a Broxbourne secondary school said: “I think it’s excellent for year 10 pupils to come to an event like this, particularly at this stage where they’re halfway through their GCSE course. It’s a good moment to reflect on what’s next”. Dean Culpan, General Manager, Birch Community, a Broxbourne-based business, said: “We’re working towards our Michelin Green Star this year which will be fun. We’re taking everyone on that journey with us and hoping for some young individuals from the community who can do it with us, too.” PC Rob Munn, Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “We had lots and lots of interest in our cadet side so hopefully we have a few potential cadets from the event.” Samantha Sullivan, Pre-employability & Work Placement Manager, Tesco, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic, we’ve had some really engaged students and I think we’ve broadened their minds to the wonderful careers at Tesco, from HR to marketing, to technical and finance.” Generation Broxbourne follows the resounding success of previous Generation X events in Watford and Hitchin, with Stevenage the inaugural event, taking place at the height of lockdown during COVID. Generation Dacorum is scheduled for September. Caroline Cartwright, Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills, Employment & Apprenticeship Lead, said: “As with almost every part of the country, Hertfordshire is experiencing a skills gap with employers often struggling to recruit in their local area because residents do not have the required skills.

“Hertfordshire LEP is aware of this need in the local area and our Skills and Employment Strategy, developed in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions, sets out solutions to close this gap, through initiatives such as Generation X, to empower young people to shape their futures right here in Hertfordshire.”





Sustainability Conference Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce are holding our first Sustainability Conference, taking place at Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden on Friday 21st October 2022, from 09:00 to 15:45. Sustainability is fast becoming the subject that everyone is talking about, including: How to decrease carbon emissions, how to improve waste management, how to preserve our natural environment, and the longterm environmental impacts that are damaging our planet, amongst other topics. We all have a part to play in supporting and protecting our planet both now and for future generations, and this conference will examine how organisations can rise to the challenge of becoming more sustainable. Bringing together businesses from across the county, the event will provide guidance on how we can take a more practical approach to sustainability to achieve targets and deliver significant impact locally as well as nationally. We are joined by two keynote speakers: Laura Tobin, best known for being an ITV Meteorologist. Laura is an environmentalist whose mission is creating conversation around climate change and eco-consciousness. She has just released her first book ‘Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet’ which is an insightful and interactive book, encouraging readers to implement changes big and small into each household.




09:00 - 15:45


Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden


Book before 02/09/2022: £112.50 +VAT (normally £125.00 +VAT)

Non Members £150.00 +VAT

Steve Malkin, Founder and CEO, Planet Mark, who will talk about the Practical Steps to Net Zero and how business leads the way. He will be setting the scene around climate and the energy crisis and how they affect companies of all sizes but in particular, SME’s. He will also discuss how SME’s will find pressure in demand to demonstrate cutting carbon emissions and how they balance this with the increased cost of energy etc that we are all experiencing. In addition, there will be presentations from our headline sponsors, JPA Workspaces, Sky Studios Elstree, and Willmott Dixon Construction, who will each share their thoughts, ideas and actions on sustainability within their business sectors and the impact on business. Our conference will be chaired by Richard Potter, Director of Digital Strategy, Microsoft and the programme will include: • Keynote speakers • A choice of breakout sessions • A panel discussion and Q&A session • An exhibition (If you would like an exhibition stand at this event, please contact for more information) • Networking opportunities

Laura Tobin



Steve Malkin


Upcoming Events

With our members and benefit partners we have designed our events programme to cover a variety of topics:

July Chamber Lunch Date:



12:00 - 14:00

Venue: Shendish Manor Hotel, Hemel Hempstead Price:

Members £39.00 +VAT Non Members £49.00 +VAT

Come along to this Chamber Lunch, taking place on the 7th July 2022 at Shendish Manor Hotel, Hemel Hempstead, sponsored by IntelliQA Ltd. Our speaker is David Harold, Chief Marketing Officer at Imagination Technologies, a British semiconductor and software design company, engineering the AI and graphics chip designs that are at the core of many electronic products that power more than 10 billion of the world’s most iconic electronic devices; from phones to drones.

“Indistinguishable from magic? The hidden world of semiconductors” David will discuss some of the company’s latest product design and developments, and reveal how these products are at the heart of many of the devices we use on a daily basis, without perhaps ever thinking about what makes them work.

Corporate Golf Day Calling all golfers! This new, exclusive members-only golfing event, is taking place on Wednesday 13th July 2022 at Moor Park Golf Club, Rickmansworth, one of the most prestigious, premier golf clubs in Hertfordshire, and the event is sponsored by our Diamond Club partner, CAE Technology Services, together with KGK Genix and Lexus Hatfield. With over 75 participants, come along with colleagues and clients and enjoy: • Breakfast on arrival • 18 holes (Four-ball format) • Refreshments and a three-course lunch




08:00 - 17:00

Venue: Moor Park Golf Club Members £135.00 +VAT INSPIRE



Upcoming Events BUSINESS BREAKFAST with Herts Chamber Date: 20/07/2022 Time: 08:30-10:30 Venue: The Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon Price: Members £15.00 +VAT Non Members £22.00 +VAT Attend our Business Breakfast on Wednesday 20th July, from 08:30-10:30, at newly refurbished The Spotlight Theatre, Hoddesdon, with Ambition Broxbourne, for a light breakfast and refreshments, followed by a networking opportunity, providing the chance to meet with a variety of different business people in an informal atmosphere, to listen and share experiences.

Property & Construction Summit The Property & Construction Summit, sponsored by VolkerWessels UK and Access Construction, will be taking place on Thursday 21st July, 16:00 - 18:00 in Hoddesdon at VolkerWessels UK, and will consider the delivery of sustainable and practical building services design solutions, together with how best to work with partners, customers and supply chains to achieve building Net Zero. Keynote speakers are:

Adrian ShahCundy, Corporate Responsibility Director at VolkerWessels UK CARBON IN CONSTRUCTION Through the 2015 Paris Agreement, world governments committed to curbing global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and attempted to limit warming to 1.5°C. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that it must not exceed 1.5°C. The UK became the first economy to pass a law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. As the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic begins, our Government’s messaging remains clear; build back better, by building back greener.



The Policy Procurement Notice 06/21 further cements this requiring Carbon Reduction Plans for all organisations bidding for major government contracts.

Carol Massay, Head of Construction at Access Construction CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE AND SUSTAINABILITY The construction sector is one of the greatest producers of polluting carbon emissions. According to the World Green Building Council, it generates an estimated 39% of the world’s carbon emissions, with the use of concrete alone accounting for a massive 8% of the world’s total annual CO2 production. The Access Group works with construction companies across the UK, transforming them with the help of their award winning construction software. Their cloud-based construction management system helps the companies become more sustainable by optimising operations, reducing waste and improving sustainability with every project. Carol Massay will explore three core themes that every construction business needs to achieve a successful and sustainable future.

Date: 21/07/2022 Time: 16:00-18:00 Venue: VolkerWessels UK, Hoddesdon Price: Members £21.00 +VAT Non Members £29.50 +VAT


For more information on any event:

01707 502180 or

Tour at Mettler Toledo

On Friday 22nd July we are holding a tour and networking event at Mettler Toledo, Royston, from 08:00-10:00am. Mettler Toledo is a leading global manufacturer of X-ray Inspection Systems, designed to detect unwanted physical contaminants within food and pharmaceutical products, regardless of their shape or location within the product.

Date: Time: Venue: Price:

22/07/2022 08:00 - 10:00 Mettler Toledo, Royston Members £15.00 +VAT Non Members £22.00 +VAT

The tour will be followed by refreshments and a networking opportunity, providing the chance to meet with a variety of different businesses in and around Hertfordshire. Please come and see their impressive new facilities.

August Chamber Lunch Date: Time: Venue: Price:

11/08/2022 12:00-14:00 Old Palace, Hatfield House Members £29.00 +VAT Non Members £49.00 +VAT

This Chamber Lunch, sponsored by Realm Partners, will be taking place on the Thursday 11th August at the Old Palace, Hatfield House. Use this opportunity to network and meet with new business contacts, whilst enjoying a delicious lunch at a charming and historical Hertfordshire venue. Our guest speaker at this lunch is Anthony Downs, Estates Director at Hatfield House. Anthony will talk about Hatfield Park Estate, its role as a long term Hertfordshire landowner and wider stakeholder. He will expand on what this means as a historic business operating in the twenty first century and their approach to meeting long-term objectives, which are primarily to conserve their historic assets, to ensure survival of the estate and to generate economic and social value for our communities.




Warner Bros Studio Tour KMG Partnership architects and structural engineers on the Warner Bros. Studios Tour: The Making of Harry Potter. This unique attraction explores the cinematic history of the Harry Potter series of films and exhibits the wonderful work of the creative ‘wizards’ behind the films. The walking tour takes you behind the scenes and showcases a huge array of sets, costumes, props and details of the special effects and animatronics that made these films so hugely popular all over the world. Facilities include seated theatre, café and retail areas, and administration offices. TM © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.



Images are courtesy of and the copyright of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


A night to remember where history and time are woven together as magic KMG is a proud Patron of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, supporting the Chamber’s vision for the County and interweaving with our business’s ambitions to create a tapestry of diversity, uniqueness, and inclusivity.

Warner Bros. Studios LeavesdenTM KMG Partnership architects and structural engineers on the refurbishment and extension of Leavesden Studios home of the Harry Potter series of films. On the 200 acre site the new studio provides some of the largest film production facilities in Europe including 9 dedicated soundstages from 10,000 – 36,000 sqft, 12 workshops for production, 115,000 sqft of covered multi-function area adjacent to stages, one of the largest filtered and heated indoor tanks in Europe and a 62,500sqft backlot tank. The Studio was designed to cater for every major film, TV and advertising production, with ample associated facilities for costume, props, camera, grip and all support services’ requirements. TM © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


f magic could preserve history and time, then the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2022 are a capsule in which the supernatural fused with human experience.

The Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2022 was indeed a night of true magic where the great hearts of Hertfordshire beat as one!

“I was delighted to act as a judge at the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2022 and celebrate the importance of local companies, which are foundational for the county’s economic growth.” The entries were all excellent, which made it hard to select. However, everyone attending the awards felt like a winner. What made the evening even more magical to me is that KMG Partnership was part of the original development team that contributed to the transformation of the Leavesden site, turning

the 1930’s factory and airfield into a new home for Warner Bros Studios. I am sitting in a space we have made real; we took it from inception to completion; Our scope covered architectural design and engineering of the primary Harry Potter experience, several stages, and workshops. It is great to see the site continuing to grow, knowing we were there at the beginning. “As Patrons of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, we look forward to continuing to support the excellence in local businesses. By sharing our vision for sustainable growth and collaborating with like-minded people and organisations, we want the magic to continue for many years to come.”

Margarita Germanos

BA (Hons) Dip UCL RIBA ARB BIID KMG Partnership is a member of the RSK Group INSPIRE



HERTS CONTRACTORS COLLABORATE to bring apprenticeships to life for students

The last year of school can be a really scary time for many teenagers; exams, work experience, careers advice, and finally they’re asked to make decisions that could influence their future careers.

Debenhams Ottaway raises over £10,000 for local charity Youth Talk


ertfordshire law firm Debenhams Ottaway celebrated the end of its partnership with local charity Youth Talk by raising over £10,000. This has provided over 200 much-needed counselling sessions to young people locally.

Debenhams Ottaway’s focus is on helping small local charities where they can really make a difference. Their collaborative partnership with Youth Talk started back in 2018 and in the last four years they have contributed more than £10,000 to help the young people of St Albans who need counselling and support. This has been achieved through a fantastic fundraising effort from their people, supported by matched funding and donations from the firm. From bake sales to photo competitions, bingo nights and triathlons, they have got involved in a wide range of fundraising activities, really demonstrating their support for the local community and helping young people struggling with their mental health. Their support extended beyond fundraising, from providing pro-bono legal advice to offering their meeting space. David Barker, Chief Executive at Youth Talk, comments “Youth Talk has been truly blessed by the support of Debenhams Ottaway. You have all been such a delight to work with and we’ve been so lucky with how your team has got behind the need to support our local young people. Our work relies on the goodwill, determination and passion of our local community – the team at Debenhams Ottaway never fail to amaze and inspire us, thank you.”




or those students who are unsure whether to look for a job or to continue in full-time education, an apprenticeship is the perfect mix of both. However, without any real insight into how apprenticeships work, it can be difficult for students to understand the benefits and make the right decision.

It’s for this reason that two Hertfordshire based contractors, MCP Property Services and VolkerWessels UK, co-hosted a speed careers networking event. Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week 2022, the event was held at VolkerWessels UK’s Hoddesdon offices for Year 11 students from the local Rivers School.

national qualification, whilst earning money at the same time. The event also included careers advice and a Q&A session. Emma Ward, head of sustainability and inclusion for VolkerWessels UK said, “Events like careers speed networking are so important as they showcase the variety of careers that are open to students once they leave school. There was a real buzz in the room, thanks to the students from Rivers ESC and employees from MCP and VolkerWessels UK who willingly got involved with the event.”

With the help of the Rivers Education Support Centre, students were given the opportunity to find out more about the different types of apprenticeship opportunities that are available at both MCP and VolkerWessels UK. MCP Community is a multi award-winning organisation that provides a comprehensive range of quality repair and maintenance services for the social housing sector. Apprenticeship opportunities include business administration and general construction trades such as electrical, plumbing and carpentry. VolkerWessels UK is a leading multidisciplinary contractor that delivers innovative engineering solutions across the civil engineering and construction sectors. They offer a broad range of apprenticeship opportunities across both major sectors. By working together, both organisations were able to show the students how apprenticeships work; how they can learn specific skills through hands-on learning and classroom-based learning, and how this way of learning could enable them to achieve a

Anna West, director of talent and relationships at MCP Community added, “This is the third time that we have taken part in this lively and rewarding event. We absolutely love being involved with schools in the local community, and engaging with and inspiring the next generation about career opportunities within our industry.” Collaborative events like these help to spark energy and interest in students, helping to reduce their fears and allow them to take the first steps toward a rewarding career. Visit or for more information.


One YMCA are working in partnership with CAE Technology Services

One YMCA are delighted to have received £20,000 from CAE Technology Services to help end homelessness. CAE is an IT infrastructure solutions provider, enabling the adoption of relevant technology. This incredibly generous donation will enable the 150+ residents of Charter House to have a dedicated computer suite giving them access to the same resources and facilities as their peers as they develop and progress towards employment and independent living.


AE donated a further £10,600 for tablets for YMCA’s Digital Journey, allowing support workers to meet with residents in informal settings so that they are not restricted to meeting rooms and can allow residents to feel more relaxed. One YMCA gave CAE a tour around Charter House to see the redevelopment work and the progress made towards its Dynamic Pathway to Independence, providing more safe spaces for the most vulnerable in the community, helping to end rough sleeping in Watford. The charity would like to thank everyone at CAE Technology Services for being part of this journey with them and they look forward to working closely together going forward. They would also like to thank Herts Chamber of Commerce for the introduction between them and CAE who have enabled this partnership. Richard Behan, Chief Corporate Development Officer at CAE Technology Services said: “It was an absolute privilege to see first-hand what One YMCA are building towards at Charter House. The spaces are incredibly well laid out and the use of colour and light in the design was impressive.”

“At CAE we firmly believe in our purpose – to transform people’s experiences and people’s lives through technology, and this drives our purposeful behaviour. It allows us to make a difference and makes the impact of what we do real. To be a force for good and have the opportunity to work in partnership with One YMCA and impact people’s lives for the better is a positive step forward.” They have continued their partnership work together through networking events, exploring how they can further work together, as well as sharing office space. Some of One YMCA’s staff have been over to the CAE offices to utilise their meeting spaces for strategic planning meetings. This has continued to strengthen their partnership work and they are looking to the future as to how this can continue. Mark Turner, Chief Operating Officer from One YMCA said “This feels like one of the most valuable corporate partnership relationships we have developed so far and it goes so much further than just the amazing financial generosity and support. We really are sharing values and coming together to make a life changing and life saving difference across Hertfordshire.”

It was an absolute privilege to see first-hand what One YMCA are building towards at Charter House. The spaces are incredibly well laid out and the use of colour and light in the design was impressive. At CAE we firmly believe in our purpose – to transform people’s experiences and people’s lives through technology, and this drives our purposeful behaviour. INSPIRE



Social Value created in 2021 Adding value since 1852. We are a proud apprentice employer and delighted to be celebrating the fantastic work of Hertfordshire’s businesses.

3 5



Your competitors are more sustainable than you.

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Whatever your industry or business goals, we can help you become more sustainable. We can advise on all aspects of sustainability, from carbon reduction to employee wellbeing and supply chain management. Our business-led approach includes training, action focused support and all the resources you need to make a difference. We even have tools to help you share your progress with the people that matter to your business.

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Entrepreneurs are vital to business; individuals who have a vision, can inspire others to join them on their journey and drive the success of our local and national economy. Hertfordshire Chamber recognises this need and through the Entrepreneur Foundation is identifying entrepreneurs who are passionate about their ideas and about turning their concepts into reality.

PPE manufacturer crowned Net Zero Hero at COP26 PPE designer and manufacturer, Design Abled, were crowned winners of the Heroes of Net Zero competition at the COP26 International Climate Change summit in Glasgow.

Celebrated for their original and innovative actions to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, Design Abled successfully impressed the judges and topped the micro-business category after more than 160 businesses entered the competition. The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The government launched the campaign last June to encourage small businesses to go green, as well as a new UK Business Climate Hub, where businesses can get advice and support and make a commitment to become net zero. The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith, MP who said: “Representing a diverse range of industries and locations, the finalists spotlight the actions that UK businesses of any size can take to cut their own emissions and help us build back better.” He presented Design Abled and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with their awards and celebrated their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus. Demonstrating creative efforts to get them to net zero, the PPE manufacturers opt for sustainable manufacturing methods to minimise waste, created biodegradable packaging and are developing recycling and upcycling partnerships for used devices. Dean Ezekiel, Director of Design Abled, said: “We are very proud of the business decisions we have taken on our way to becoming a Hero of Net Zero. We hope to inspire other businesses to make the same commitment and to make eco-friendly decisions. We believe in our chance to make a positive impact.” “Our aim is to solve communication problems of respiratory protection, as a sustainable, net zero business. As a manufacturer, we have a choice to reduce our impact on climate change, while still meeting the needs of customers and growing our business.” Design Abled have produced their own brand of sustainable, transparent face masks known as Helloface. Recently gaining a UKCA/CE mark for their Transparent Medical Face Mask, Design Abled are building connections within the medical industry to support the large demand for the clear face masks.



Dumb-bells to smart-bells: the wearable tech revolution from Stance Fitness

The founders of St. Albans-based Stance Fitness share how their fit-tech device will conquer gym-jitters and build the gym of the future. With a little help from their friends at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, of course… Have you ever felt embarrassed while exercising at the gym? You navigate your way towards the free weights, squeezing between two demi-gods who are deadlifting in front of a mirror- unblinking, unwavering- when a creeping sense of inferiority settles in. Hertfordshire-based Fit-Tech company Stance Fitness is on a mission to conquer the dreaded ‘gymtimidation’, with machine learning wearable technology designed specifically to boost performance, confidence and motivation in the gym sector. Stance’s technology consists of sensors embedded in wearables and attached to gym equipment or machinery. The sensors automatically connect to both the free weights and the machines to record, track and monitor weight, lifts, number of repetitions, exercise duration, calories burned and a host of other parameters to create your entirely personalised gym routine. To help conquer gymtimidation, the app also shows you how to use equipment properly and effectively. Gyms will have access to all the data created on their machines, which they can then use to tailor more personalised client contact. The product’s potential

has recently been spotted by one of the world’s largest venture capitalists - Techstars. The American seed accelerator has funded Stance Fitness and welcomed the Hertfordshire-based Company into its prestigious global start-up programme.

Stance Fitness is co-founded by Alex Freeman, a former Army Officer, who served 20 years in the Forces, and Jayshan Ratnakumar, a graduate of University College London with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Unlikely partners perhaps, but they share a passion for fitness, a peoplecentric approach to business matters, and a vision to bring clever and user-friendly technology to address some of the challenges faced by users and gym owners in the weight and strength training market. “On an exercise bike you can find out how fast or far you’ve gone, how many imaginary hills you’ve climbed - but in the weight

training area it’s extremely limited,” comments Alex Freeman. “With our technology, all strength training can be monitored. The data from our technology can be given to the individual in a really user-friendly format, helping everyone to get fitter, stronger, faster.” Customer retention is notoriously low in the gym sector. January marks the busiest month for new sign-ups – yet over half cancel their memberships within six months of joining. Without seeing tangible signs of improvement, we lose our ‘New Year, New Me’ spark and slump back into our uninspired ways. But Stance’s device will “visibly show progression and give frequent performance-based feedback on an easy-to-use app,” Mr Ratnakumar explains. “This will hugely boost motivation.” Stance Fitness is a member of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurship Foundation, which Mr Freeman commends for the support it offers to start-ups: “Herts Chamber has been absolutely fantastic for us; it really helped kick-start our business. It provided us with a platform to network through, trained us about the best practices, and oiled the wheels of Stance Fitness to get it where it is today.”

GeoSmartPro launches smart multipurpose fan

GeoSmartPro is a Hertfordshire-based start-up that focuses on innovating smart home products to fit into people´s lives seamlessly. Following the success of the AirGo Smart Fan which is described as one of the quietest fans on the market and was awarded the Quiet Mark, the company has just launched AirLit. It claims it is the UK´s first smart multipurpose fan that will keep you cool as the weather gets warmer. AirLit is a multipurpose smart desk fan that is intended to boost confidence during online meetings and improve beauty tutorials as well as the air quality of the home and office. Nowadays, as remote and hybrid work is a new reality, it´s important to equip the home office with an effective accessory that not only focuses on indoor air quality and keeping everyone fresh, but that also helps to get workers ready

for daily tasks. The AirLit is not only a smart portable fan but also a smart ring light and mirror which can be controlled with leading voice assistance i.e Alexa and Google Home. As well as creating an elegant appearance for the product itself, it allows the user to control the ring light temperature and brightness, the airflow modes and speed. It can also be used as a phone holder. With the magnetic mirror option, it can help the user to get ready and do make-up and

GeoSmart is offering Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce members a discount with the code: Herts22

it will also keep them cool during meetings. Therefore, AirLit can benefit everyone from content creators to people that work from home and that want their conferences to be as comfortable and easy as they can be. GeoSmartPro products are available in the UK, online and at major retailers such as Currys, Selfridges, Amazon and many others.


Diamond Club Members sponsored by CAE

Ambition Broxbourne

Ashbourne Insurance

Austins Family Funeral Directors

Bourne Leisure Limited


CAE Technology Services

Croft Communications

DUA Accountancy and Business Consultancy

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Hatfield Park

Hertfordshire Community Services NHS Trust

JPA Workspaces

Imagination Technologies

Kane International Limited

KGK Genix

KMG Partnership

Longmores Solicitors

Mace Developments Limited

Oaklands College


Sky Studios Elstree

Sopwell House

Sunset Studio


The Crown Estate

The Hoddesdon School Trust

University of Hertfordshire


Wagada Digital

Warner Bros Studios

“The Diamond Club gives us the opportunity to network in a space with trusted peers. It’s a prestigious platform where the select members can cut through the noise that often exists in larger groups, bringing more value to our exchanges.” Rakesh Dua, CEO of Watford-based accountants DUA

Ministry of Defence

Willmott Dixon Construction

Moore Kingston Smith LLP

Woodhouse Workspace

“From finding myself sat next to suppliers at the lunch events to meeting new contacts for both business and corporate social activities, Diamond Club membership has been a terrific networking opportunity – and a pleasure too.” David Harold, Chief Marketing Officer at Imagination Technologies

CAE champions women and diversity with 23 employee nominations in the CRN Women & Diversity in Channel Awards

Diamond Club sponsor CAE Technology Services received a record 23 employee nominations in the annual CRN Women & Diversity in Channel Awards. Now in their fifth year, the awards were relaunched for 2022 as the CRN Women & Diversity in Channel Awards, with the aim to champion not only women but also wider diversity within the industry. “At CAE we pride ourselves on the fact that we embrace the different perspectives and backgrounds of employees across the organisation. We work hard to increase diversity and ensure opportunities exist for all. We are proud to have 23 employees representing CAE in this year’s awards. These nominations are a true testament to the passion and culture within the business,” comments Justin Harling, CEO of CAE. “It’s fitting that we should be recognised for these awards during our 30th anniversary year, a milestone that would not have been achievable without a diverse, inclusive culture where we live and breathe CAE’s core values of Loving your Job, Working Together, and Doing it Different every single day. CAE are proud to support women and diversity in technology and celebrate the outstanding colleagues who are working within a traditionally challenging, male-dominated industry.” The winners will be announced at the CRN Women & Diversity in Channel Awards event on 13th October 2022.




JPA Workspaces and BRE work together on sustainable office refurbishment Leading supplier of sustainable design, re-location and furnishing solutions, JPA Workspaces has recently completed a refurbishment in conjunction with BRE in Garston which kept sustainable principles at its core.


his was achieved by JPA working closely with BRE to maximise existing furniture resources through their range of circular services. JPA help clients buy better and use longer, reducing furniture carbon and waste. Existing stock was integrated into new layouts and designs, topped up with new as needed. New furniture was sourced from audited, ethical manufacturers who share the same ESG values, ensuring greater supply chain impact. JPA’s Head of Sustainability, Fiona Edwards, says: “Reducing carbon and saving money can go hand-in-hand. The more of your old furniture that can be reused as part of the new scheme, the further your budget will go. Providing solutions which help clients reduce



furniture-related carbon and furniturerelated waste is at the heart of JPA’s operation, services and products.” “Our most recent project at BRE in Garston completed in April 2022 is a great example of this. It was designed by ethical architectural practice Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios. The vision was to demonstrate a responsible approach to procurement by working as many of the existing furniture items back into the project as possible. It also had to look great and work for the users.” “The project involved clearing two floors of furniture, working closely with BRE to establish which items could be kept and reworked into the new floorplans for 120 users. The primary goals were to reduce the embodied carbon footprint of the refurbishment by 50% and to eliminate 100% redundant furniture

landfill through materials recycling and/or community rehoming.” “Our teams cleared redundant items, recycling 637 unwanted furniture items, diverting 21,566kg from landfill. The refurbishment itself saw 60 desk frames re-worked and re-topped, 75 chairs reupholstered using recycled polyester from used plastic bottles, and a further 120 assorted lockers, tables and chairs re-worked back into the new scheme, generating financial savings of at least 25% over new furniture items.” “A new reception counter was also built from scratch using reclaimed timber resulting in a bold and innovative look that adds significantly to the brand.” For more details simply email the team on or visit


Distillery wins Entrepreneurs Challenge at

Hertfordshire County Show

Hertfordshire’s prestigious County Show was back this year for the first time after a two-year break. In their marquee Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce hosted 14 of the county’s best new business hopefuls who pitched their entrepreneurial ideas to a team of judges as part of the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire’s Entrepreneurs Challenge. EziDrops, from Watford, was named as runner-up with Art by Vanessa and Castaway Cottage, both from Hemel Hempstead, being highly commended.

Robert Voss Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire presented Black Bridge Distillery with their award


lack Bridge Distillery from St Albans was crowned the winner of the one-of-a-kind business development prize. Briege Leahy, CEO of the Chamber, who attended the Herts County Showground spectacle as a guest of Lady Salisbury, said: “Congratulations to Black Bridge Distillery for their passion.” “The Challenge attracted a wide variety of entries from around the county, all with great ideas. It’s exciting that we have so many entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do and who want to develop their businesses.”

Chamber chairman Jeremy Bishop was one of the judges who heard pitches from the following companies as well: • Nxsteps, from Hatfield • Urban Box Digital, from Kings Langley • Ubere Mama, from Welwyn • Glow Training Ltd, from Hatfield • Meadow Physio & Pilates, from Markyate • The Alcohol Free Brewing Co. Ltd, from Ware • An-edit Ltd, from St Albans • ProjectMatch Ltd, from Hitchin • Midnight Blue Marketing, from St Albans • Herts Schools Outreach, from Hertford

Panel of Judges

High Sheriff Sally Burton

Black Bridge Distillery will receive a package of business development services from the Challenge’s sponsors, which are: Croft Communications; Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce; Willmott Dixon; Pearldrop Video Production; Heart Radio; Cleveland Scott York; Mercer & Hole; Longmores Solicitors; Enterprise Nation; Garden City Assurance Ltd; Sales Optimisation Ltd; Business Incubation; and HR Dept. The competition was first held in 2019 when Suzero, which makes low-sugar snack bars, took the prize. Because of the pandemic, this is only the second year the event has been held.





ourteen Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce member businesses have come together to share their experience of acting on Net Zero by uniting under the umbrella group HERTS GO GREEN AND GROW. This sharing of information is intended to help other businesses across the county who recognise that they should be incorporating Net Zero action in their organisations and don’t know where to start or what might be possible.

Local businesses form innovative group to help Hertfordshire organisations achieve Net Zero Prominent Hertfordshire businesses have come together to create a cross-industry focus group to share their experience of acting on Net Zero and support others on their journey.

Colette Cooper Cariad Marketing

Simon Littlewood ESTU



David Hawes CEO Net Zero International

Graham Pitts KGK Genix

Elena Lewendon Apsley Paper Trail Trust

Graham Fox Hillier Hopkins

Fiona Edwards JPA Workshops

Briege Leahy CEO, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

The need to act on new Net Zero reporting legislation is affecting all businesses. The UK became the first economy to pass a law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This, together with the emergence of many consultancies in this field, means organisations need help navigating a way through this complex potential minefield. How a business should act is a common question. The answer is often a combination of using external advisors and training your people – being able to discuss how much this might cost and what makes the most difference with other business leaders is what the focus group has been set up for.

Businesses joining the first focus group are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Apsley Paper Trail Trust Boffin Lab CAE Technologies Cariad Marketing Croft Communications Ecoserve Estu Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Hillier Hopkins JPA Workspaces KGK Genix Net Zero International Rothamsted Research SA Law

The spark for the idea of a focus group came from conversations between Fiona Edwards at JPA Workspaces (Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards Green Business of the Year 2022), Briege Leahy at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Simon Littlewood at Estu and David Hawes at Net Zero International.


“People want to do more, but they don’t know where to start and quotes for work can be really variable,” says Fiona. “We thought getting together a group of businesses who are already making the transition in Hertfordshire would be helpful and the response has been fantastic.” Fiona is a participant on the Government funded Net Zero Leaders Programme delivered by Estu and has been inspired by the impact of JPA’s shift to putting sustainability at the heart of the business. “We’re creating a bigger impact, we’re creating new commercial opportunities and our people love what we’re doing together.” David at Net Zero International says: “It is much easier for people to start than they think. This group is providing free workshops and reporting templates to walk through the simple steps for businesses to begin to understand their carbon emissions and take action.” Briege says, “We want Hertfordshire businesses to lead the way in carbon efficiency and with the increasing pace of new legislation impacting businesses in this area, training people within the organisation is critical.” This is echoed by Simon Littlewood, CEO of Estu. “In the current economic environment, using Government funding to retain and develop people and build the necessary Net Zero skills within organisations makes perfect sense.” Graeme Fox, Tax Manager at Hillier Hopkins describes their response to Net Zero: “Hillier Hopkins has started looking seriously at reducing our environmental impact and we have taken good early steps to implement better internal policies and recycling. We are now looking to take that next step to really change our staff and clients’ behaviours to lower our carbon and general green impact.” Colette Cooper, Client Services Team Manager at Cariad Marketing, “By being part of this group, we will be part of a cohort of like-minded businesses who are being proactive about changing the way we work to support our staff and our clients in their journey to make their workplaces greener and contribute to climate change. As a digital marketing company we have always been at the forefront of change and adapting to the fast-paced changes that take place within our industry and our clients’ industry.”

Information required to get started The group is keen to help business achieve the accreditation for Scope 1 and 2 emissions reporting. Scope 1 emissions are Green House Gases (GHG) released directly from a business. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHGs released from the energy purchased by an organisation. Scope 3 emissions are also indirect GHG emissions, accounting for upstream and downstream emissions from a product or service, and emissions across a business’s supply chain. “This can be much easier for people to start than they think,” says David Hawes of Net Zero International. The essential information required is: Utility bills, business travel data. Other data to be considered: Employee commuting data, water and wastewater, waste, purchasing data.

The Herts Go Green and Grow group will be delivering an interactive workshop at the Herts Chamber’s Sustainability Conference on 21 October when delegates will be invited to bring along their information to start their emissions reporting on the day. Elena Lewendon is CEO of the Apsley Paper Trail Trust which runs the historic Frogmore Paper Mill in Hemel Hempstead. She highlights the transition that they are making. “As a Registered Charity and working industrial heritage site, we are faced with a huge challenge in reducing our carbon emissions. Historic buildings are notoriously difficult to insulate and heat and making paper uses power and water. We are looking at some fairly significant roofing works to stop this major energy loss as well as changing lighting to LED, window replacement and more holistically, a real culture change amongst staff and volunteers to reduce waste and to use energy more efficiently. Most significantly, we have been recycling paper for 130 years, and seek to not only continue this, but to use even more fibre sources to make paper making even more sustainable than it already is. We now use banana stem fibres and even elephant and rhino dung from local zoos to make paper!” She adds, “We want to learn from the working group what has worked well for other businesses and organisations and what has not!”

“We are at the very beginning of our journey to Net Zero, but in the past year, we have stopped use of all gas on site and appointed an Environment Officer to start planning our green future. We hope to develop our site to include a new carbon neutral visitor centre where we can teach our visitors and school groups not only about recycling paper but also how to live a more sustainable life in the face of the climate emergency.”

Government support for training Training funded by the government is now available to businesses in Hertfordshire. Managers leading on sustainability activities for their organisations achieve Chartered Professional qualification (CMgr) and commercial and sustainability training across four key areas of the business: • People, leadership and change • Marketing, innovation and technology • Finance, accounting and risk • Strategic and operational success More information is available at

Graham Pitts, Group Managing Director at KGK Genix, reiterates the importance of businesses coming together to do more: “We only have one world. We all have a responsibility to do ‘our bit’ and KGK Genix are proud to be part of the Herts Go Green and Grow Group to raise awareness and assist others to get started on their Net Zero journey.” Businesses across Hertfordshire are already acting on Net Zero. There are also a lot of local programmes and groups emerging. This focus group, open to all Chamber members large or small, is to help share information about what is working and give other businesses the confidence to start and accelerate their sustainability transition with all the benefits that brings. “We are just so excited to bring this group of incredible companies together to help each other and start brainstorming Net Zero!’ adds Fiona. The business focus group will be meeting to determine the content and activities for a series of workshops to help Hertfordshire businesses take action towards achieving Net Zero.

If you are interested in joining a future cohort working with other local companies contact: Herts Chamber is holding its first Sustainability Conference on Friday 21 October at Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden Please go to our events page to book at INSPIRE



Mandrakes and Magical Creatures

arrives at Warner Bros Studio Tour London

A Mandrakes and Magical Creatures special feature is arriving at Warner Bros Studio Tour in Leavesden to shine a spotlight on how favourite creature effects from the Harry Potter films were brought to life on screen. The feature runs from 1st July until 12th September.


isitors will be welcomed into the Great Hall to the Frog Choir scene as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, featuring the costume of conductor of the choir, Professor Flitwick, as worn by actor Warwick Davis. At this special event attendees will find their favourite magical creatures as they explore the Studio Tour. There will be Cornish Pixies, Dumbledore’s beloved Fawkes and the animatronic Monster Book of Monsters to spot during the visit. In addition, visitors can learn about how magical creatures such as the Thestrals and Mandrakes were brought to life using a mixture of scale models and CGI in the Creatures Workshop. Also new for 2022, Warner Bros is opening the doors to Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse for the very first time.



The greenhouse is a fan-favourite set from the Harry Potter Series where students were taught their Herbology lessons with Professor Pomona Sprout. Built by the original Harry Potter filmmakers, the greenhouse is home to many exotic and magical plants. There will be an interactive display where visitors can stop and pull out a potted Mandrake. Based on the scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there will be a Venomous Tentacula hanging from the ceiling as visitors walk through the greenhouse. During filming, various techniques were used to achieve the movement of magical plants. The grasping movement of the Tentacula’s tendrils was computer generated. However the movement of the Mandrakes was achieved using animatronic controllers hidden beneath the table.

In addition to this brand-new set, the Studio Tour will be expanding the exterior sets in its backlot with new additions including the fountain from the Hogwarts courtyard and a 1:3 scale-version of the Weasleys’ Burrow. The scale-model of the Weasleys’ burrow is an exciting addition to the backlot area as filmmaking fans will learn the camera trickery behind the external scenes of the family home, seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. During production, the Weasleys’ Burrow took filmmakers 14 weeks to build but only six minutes to burn down in the iconic scene where the Death Eaters set the home ablaze. Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse, the courtyard fountain and the exterior of the Weasleys’ Burrow will be permanent additions to the Studio Tour.


Hotel Cromwell signs up to The Hoteliers Charter

Moor Park hosts qualifying event for 150th Open Last month the High Course at Moor Park hosted one of 15 Regional Qualifying events across the UK as players aimed to qualify for The 150th Open at St Andrews.


he course was in exceptional condition with many players stating that the greens were the best they have played on all year. The club is well placed to host such a tournament given its location to London and Heathrow making it a perfect pick for international players trying to make the prestigious 150th Open to be played in St Andrews in July. The day started well with many players posting steady scores. Moor Park is known for its undulating greens and well placed bunkers and it certainly offered a tough test of golf for the high quality field.

shone through and the cut was a very high standard 3 under par. Moor Park’s CEO Amy Yeates said “Moor Park has a long history of hosting prestigious events and we are thrilled to continue that history. Moor Park has hosted various European Tour events, the Women’s British Open and many exhibition matches with players such as Walter Hagan, Alf Perry and Henry Cotton. It was a great honour to welcome some of the country’s finest golfers to the club once more. After two years delay due to Covid-19 the Club was eager to impress and did not disappoint.”

As the day progressed American Erik Flores posted a 5 under par score with three birdies in a row on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes. But it was Englishman Tom Shadbolt who came in with the winning 7 under par score, with no bogeys on his card, Tom had an exceptional round.

Moor Park is about to embark on a brand new irrigation system which will improve water efficiency, sustainability and include fairway watering. This builds on prior investment including a complete bunker refurbishment and the opening of a world class short-game facility.

Ten positions were up for grabs to make Final Qualifying. The quality of the field

Regional Qualifying is set to take place at Moor Park for the next four years.

Herts Chamber is holding its first Corporate Golf Day at Moor Park Golf Club on 13th July. Please go to our events page to book at

Hotel Cromwell have announced that they have been accredited by The Hoteliers Charter after finally being back up and running at full capacity for several months.


he Distinct Group, which owns and operates both Hotel Cromwell in Stevenage and The Bedford Swan in Bedford has become the latest addition, and the first in Stevenage and Bedford, to sign up to The Hoteliers Charter. The charter exists to help raise the profile of the hospitality industry in the public arena as well as to promote hospitality as a profession of choice to parents, schools, colleges, universities, and careers influencers. By joining the charter, Hotel Cromwell will be championing commitments such as supporting the ambition to end low pay, providing a positive and nourishing culture and environment for colleagues, being an advocate for diversity, inclusion and equality and supporting industry charities. Cluster General Manager, Dean Thompson stated: “Lockdown created an opportunity for The Distinct Group to take time to reflect on the type of organisation we are and continue to strive to be. We value ourselves on being absorbed in our community and helping wherever we can, on ensuring our employees have a work life balance and equal pay among many other things. Becoming part of the Hoteliers Charter has just allowed us to be recognised for the work we have done and will continue to do.”




Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland hails Hertfordshire as engine room of UK economy

Herts Chamber have enjoyed hosting a number of VIPs and members at their office.

Herts Chamber hosted Lord Salisbury and Hatfield Park Estate Director Anthony Downs

Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council and CEO Owen Mapley with Herts Chamber


ember of Parliament for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland visited the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s offices in Hatfield to acknowledge the huge contribution that Herts Chamber has made to the success of businesses in Hertfordshire and in Stevenage. He said: “I was delighted to visit the Chamber’s new offices, meet with the team and celebrate the hundreds of millions of pounds worth of export successes achieved

with the support of the Chamber. Hertfordshire really is the engine room of the British economy and I’m so proud to see many members from my own constituency, in Stevenage, being supported and benefiting from being part of the UK’s fastest growing Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations and thank you to Briege Leahy and her team.” Briege Leahy, Herts Chamber Chief Executive said: “It was great to meet with Stephen and discuss the opportunities available for the Chamber and Stevenage to continue to work together.”

Congratulations to Nicole Sadd CEO of Rothamsted Enterprises for successfully completing the MoonWalk London charity walk which raises money for research into breast cancer

Herts Chamber welcomed Murat Bayizit, Vice President of the Assembly for the Turkish Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Hertfordshire really is the engine room of the British economy and I’m so proud to see many members from my own constituency, in Stevenage, being supported and benefiting from being part of the UK’s fastest growing Chamber of Commerce.

Herts Chamber welcomed Herts Visual Arts Forum Chair Sally Taylor and several of the artists when they delivered some paintings to the office, which are available for sale

For more information about the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce visit 42



UK Economic Outlook in 2022 downgraded by BCC

The British Chambers of Commerce has downgraded its expectations for UK GDP growth for 2022 to 3.5% (from 3.6%) against a deteriorating economic outlook. It now expects the UK inflation rate to reach 10% in Q4 2022, comfortably outpacing average earnings growth. The heightened economic uncertainty and rising costs are also expected to significantly weaken business investment, with 1.8% growth predicted in 2022, down sharply from 3.5% in the previous forecast. GDP GROWTH

Expectations for growth in 2022, at 3.5% are now less than half the 7.5% growth recorded last year. Quarter on quarter GDP is expected to flatline with no growth expected in Q2 and Q3 before contracting by 0.2% in Q4. This negative outlook reflects a combination of soaring inflation, weak business investment, tax rises and the global economic shocks - initially caused by Covid and then compounded by the war in Ukraine. Annual UK economic growth is expected to slow sharply to 0.6% for 2023 before recovering slightly to 1.2% in 2024. Consumer spending is now forecast to grow at 4% in 2022, a fall from the 4.4% prediction in the first quarter. This reflects the historically high squeeze on real household incomes as inflation far outpaces the forecast 5% growth in average earnings for the year.


Business investment is forecast to grow at 1.8% in 2022, a large downward revision from the previous forecast of 3.5%. The downgrade reflects heightened political and economic uncertainty, and rising cost pressures which are limiting smaller firms’ abilities to invest. The BCC’s survey data for business investment have shown no sign of recovery since the start of the Covid pandemic.


Businesses and consumers face unprecedented inflationary pressures flowing from rising raw material costs, the increase in the energy price cap, and upward pressure on energy and commodity prices. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate is expected to reach 10% in Q4 of 2022. This would be the highest since CPI records began in their current form in 1989. CPI inflation is expected to finally fall back to the Bank of England’s 2% target by the end of 2024. At the same time the Bank’s interest rate is expected to rise to 2% in 2022 and 3% in 2023. These represent significant shifts from the 1% and 1.5% rates previously forecast in Q1.

Commenting on the forecast, Alex Veitch, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Our latest forecast indicates that the headwinds facing the UK economy show little sign of reducing with continued inflationary pressures and sluggish growth. The war in Ukraine came just as the UK was beginning a Covid recovery; placing a further squeeze on business profitability.“ “The forecast drop in business investment is especially concerning. It is vital that urgent action is taken here, and we are having constructive conversations with the government about its review of capital allowances and other policies to incentivise business investment.” “With inflation forecast to race ahead of wages, we are concerned about a dip in consumer spending which would further impact businesses and hamper growth. We forecast that if trends continue, inflation will only return to the Bank of England’s target rate at the end of 2024, implying a prolonged period of difficulty for the UK.” “Against this backdrop, the government must put in place stable and supportive policies that help businesses pull the UK out of this economic quagmire. Firms must be given confidence to invest, only then can they drive the growth the economy so desperately needs.”

Key points in the forecast: •

UK GDP growth forecast for 2022 is 3.5%, 0.6% in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024

Following Q1 2022 growth of 0.8%, quarteron-quarter GDP growth is forecast to come to a halt with zero growth in Q2 and Q3, before a 0.2% contraction in Q4 2022.

Household consumption forecast is for growth of 4% in 2022, growth of 0.6% for 2023 and 1.2% in 2024

Business investment forecast is to grow by 1.8% in 2022 before more than halving to 0.8% in 2023, amid the end of the super deduction and the corporation tax rise, and then rising to 1.5% in 2024

BCC expects export growth of 3% in 2022, 2.3% in 2023 and 1.6% in 2024, compared to import growth of 6.9%, -2.7% and 1.7%

BCC expects UK unemployment rate of 3.8% in 2022, 3.9% in 2023 and 2024

CPI inflation is forecast to peak at 10% in Q4 2022, before easing to 3.5% by the end of 2023. Inflation is expected to drop back to the Bank of England’s 2% target by Q4 2024

UK official interest rates are expected to rise to 2% by Q4 2022 and then to 3% in Q4 2023, ending 2024 at the same level.

Our latest forecast indicates that the headwinds facing the UK economy show little sign of reducing with continued inflationary pressures and sluggish growth. The war in Ukraine came just as the UK was beginning a Covid recovery; placing a further squeeze on business profitability. INSPIRE



Inspiring you to use products that are better for you and the planet. Period. In this Inspiring Herts edition, we’re embracing a topic that isn’t often talked about. Periods.

WasteAware is the partnership of waste teams at councils across Hertfordshire, on a mission to reduce single-use plastics, reduce waste and raise awareness of the options available for reusable products. For many years WasteAware have run campaigns encouraging the move away from visible singleuse items, like water bottles and bags. Now the conversation is including unspoken waste too. So, what’s the issue with traditional single-use period products?

The webpage at: https://www.hertfordshire. raises awareness of the different types of reusable period products available, including reusable pads, period pants and menstrual cups, sharing information on how to use and care for them.

Money Off Discount for all

Don’t flush!

Also, via the webpage, Hertfordshire residents are invited to apply for 15% discount off a selection of reusable products from several suppliers, suitable for all ages, needs and preferences to help reduce the up-front costs for those wanting to switch to more sustainable, reusable period products. Long term savings can be around £100 a year, with reusable items lasting 5-10 years depending on the product.


Tampons Packaging


Sustainable Periods

Have you considered reusable period products?

Sustainable Periods

They can save you money and reduce waste. Better for you and the planet. Period. #SustainablePeriods @HertsWasteAware

• Many period products can contain up to 90% plastic, with a pack of disposable pads containing 5 plastic bags worth on average. Most tampons contain plastic too (not just the applicator but the absorbent part too). • People who have periods use more than 11,000 disposable period products each in their lifetime. It is estimated that 4.6 million of these are flushed down toilets every single day! • During lockdown 30% of girls in the UK aged 14-21 years struggled to afford or access period products. With reusables, they are always available. We aim to empower a change in attitudes to periods by offering a deliberately inclusive and fun social media campaign to appeal to a broad audience, sharing stories from the increasing number of people who already love using them. Search #HertsSustainablePeriods to take a look.

Teaching the next generation But that’s not all. WasteAware, working alongside the county’s Sustainable Hertfordshire team have partnered with the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN), to help bring reusable, sustainable period products into schools across Hertfordshire. A free training course for school staff seeks to introduce reusable period products to a younger audience where they can be normalised as part of schools’ regular teaching on periods and menstrual health. Resources provided for free to schools include a virtual pack containing videos and lesson plans, posters for toilet doors and a demo kit containing examples of each product.

The partnership aims to tackle an array of issues– not just the sheer volume of waste created by traditional menstrual products, much of which contains plastic, but also break down taboos around periods, address period poverty, help keep our sewers free of ‘fat-bergs’ (created when disposing of fat and other items down drains, including those 4.6 million single-use period products flushed down toilets every single day!), save people money, bring awareness to issues with chemicals in single use items, and remove barriers to some activities for example, swimming.

Tackling Period Poverty On top of this, the partnership has put together a fund of £1000 to further help those struggling to afford period products, which affected increasing numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This money will be used to provide students on Pupil Premium Funding free reusable period products of their choice to ensure they too can access these products. If further funding can be gained, it is hoped to expand the scheme to schools beyond those who receive the training and to other residents in need through existing agencies such as food banks. If reading this has inspired you to take action, there are several options available: • Engage with us on social media @HertsWasteAware • Buy some products via the discount scheme • Tell a school about the training available • Tell us which school it is so we can get in touch • Reach out if you have funding available to further tackle period poverty • Ask us a question to find out more Please email or use the ‘ask us a question’ box at the bottom of the webpage.

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HERTS Sustainable Periods

Better for you and the planet. Period.

Sustainable Periods

Hertfordshire residents can apply for

15% off with selected suppliers

Reusable period products save waste, reduce plastic and cost less. Fact! Find out which products are available and how to use them. They are super easy to use and clean. Whether its period pants, pads, cups or more, you can help protect your health, the environment and save money. #HertsSustainablePeriods @HertsWasteAware


Welwyn Garden City-based member Grace Foods UK, which has its origins in Jamaica, celebrated 100 years of trading in June with a visit from the Jamaican High Commissioner to the UK Chief Corporate Secretary at GraceKennedy, together with other senior personnel.

Together with Grace Foods’ 100-strong staff, they celebrated with a special lunchtime barbecue Jamaican style - in the Hertfordshire sunshine. Grace has had its UK headquarters based in Welwyn Garden City for 21 years.


is Excellency Mr Seth George Ramocan visited the headquarters of Grace Foods UK at Grace House in Centrapark, Welwyn Garden City to meet the team and celebrate the company’s centenary. Mr Ramocan was joined by the leadership team of GraceKennedy, the parent company of Grace Foods UK, which has its global headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica. The group included Don Wehby, Group Chief Executive Officer, Andrea Coy, CEO of Grace Foods International, Gail Moss Solomon, General Counsel and

Vandu Patel, Marketing Manager for Grace Foods UK, said: “We were truly honoured to host the Jamaican High Commissioner and our global leadership team to celebrate two very special anniversaries: 100 years of GraceKennedy and 60 years of Jamaican independence. It was a great celebration of what both Grace and Jamaica have achieved, and continue to achieve as a result of hard work and passion. Grace has well-established brands and products known throughout the world, and the future looks very bright with lots of exciting product development in the pipeline. Here’s to the next 100 years!”



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Grace Foods UK is the name behind some of the most iconic UK Caribbean brands including Nurishment (nutritionally enriched milk drinks), Encona (Hot Pepper Sauces), Grace, Dunn’s River and Caribbean Choice (tropical beverages, jerk products and Jamaican grocery items) and the recently launched Irie Eats, launched in response to a growing demand for authentic Caribbean street food in the UK, with a convenience-led range of traditional island meal kits.

All of the Grace Foods products are available in the world foods aisles of all of the UK supermarket chains, as well as at international convenience stores across the country.

Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose and world foods convenience stores nationwide. Activities for later this year include being a sponsor of National Barbecue Week (4-10 July), key partner at the Margate Soul Weekender (5-7 August) collaborations with the UK’s leading soul music radio station Mi-Soul, product sampling across the UK, attendance at leading Jamaican diaspora summer festivals, together with an active participation with revellers at the world’s largest and most iconic street carnival returning from a Covid-forced two-year hiatus, Notting Hill (27-29 August).

Grace Foods UK further plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary including the launch of a specialedition gold Dunn’s River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning and Grace Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce packs, which is available to buy in Tesco, Sainsburys, ASDA,

Dine4Wildlife Charity Ball


aradise Wildlife Park and The Big Cat Sanctuary are holding their their annual Dine4Wildlife Charity Fundraising Ball on Saturday 20th August, as they celebrate the Year of the Tiger and raise vital funds for the conservation work they do around the world. They will be holding an exclusive drinks and canape reception at their newest Land of the Tigers habitat. This black-tie charity ball will include a delicious three-course dinner, a night of wild fun and dancing, entertainers, guest speakers and

a grand live auction as the sun sets across Paradise Wildlife Park. They are aiming to bring to life the impact and progress of both charities, in order to raise even more support for the work urgently needed to continue this in-situ. With the holding of such events, they can continue the legacy of Paradise Wildlife Park and The Big Cat Sanctuary and support conservation of species. The Dine4Wildlife Charity ball is an exclusive and spectacular evening and the charity looks forward to welcoming attendees for a night to remember.


IN THE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER ISSUE OF INSPIRE WE WILL BE FOCUSING ON SUSTAINABILITY! If your company is involved in this and you have some news or relevant updates for us to include please contact us at: 46


WELCOME to new members u Advanced Healthcare TechnologyLtd Medical Device Assembler and Distributor Twitter: 3AHTLtd Email: Web: Tel: 01992 535933 Add: Unit 6, The Mead Business Centre Mead Lane Hertford Hertfordshire SG13 7BJ

u All Aboard Shops Ltd All Aboard Shops are a chain of 20 charity shops in London and Manchester, that raise funds for UK registered charities. Email: Web: Tel: 020 8381 1717 Add: Unit 10, Colne Way Court Watford Hertfordshire WD24 7NE

u Alston Asquith Limited Law Firm Twitter: AlstonLegal Email: Web: Tel: 07432 084248 Add: 2nd Floor, Titan Court 3 Bishops Square Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9NA

u AppDrawn Ltd Software Development Twitter: AppDrawn Email: Web: Tel: 01442 211999 Add: The Junction Station Road Watford Hertfordshire WD17 1ET

u Astuter Marketing Agency Email: Web: Tel: 07900 681015 Add: 23 Tolmers Road Cuffley Hertfordshire EN6 4JF


u Brash Solutions Limited

Data processes/resourcing and ecommerce operations Twitter: awwecitycapital Email: Web: Tel: 01707 654514 Add: 17 Aston Way Potters Bar Hertfordshire EN6 5NT

Providing joined up software, apps, support and digital Marketing Twitter: BrashSolutions Email: Web: Tel: 01442 877555 Add: S18-20 Audley House Northbridge Road Berkhamsted Hertfordshire HP4 1EH

u Better Removals and Storage

u Chalkline Solutions

Better Removals will help you with all aspects of planning and executing your commercial move Email: Web: Tel: 0800 086593 Add: C/O 6 Grantham Green Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 2JJ

u Birch (Handle.Silk.Comet) Hotel, Members Club and Event Space Web:

u Birgli Limited Management consulting for companies, consulting firms, and investors engaged in healthcare manufacturing, distribution, retail and 3rd party services Twitter: birgli Email: Web: Tel: 07557 847903 Add: 6 Station View Hazel Grove Stockport Greater Manchester SK7 5ER

u Borras Construction Ltd Construction Twitter: BorrasConstruct Email: Web: Tel: 01727 850633 Add: 1 Solar House Campfield Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 5HT

IT strategy and support for ambitious businesses Email: Web: Tel: 020 3819 3300 Add: Unit 2, Stirling Court Stirling Way Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 2FX

u Charlotte Elizabeth (CE) Ltd.

Handbag Retailier Email: Web: Tel: 07582 775508 Add: 18 Morgan Gardens Aldenham Watford Hertfordshire WD25 8BF

u Circadian FX

Foreign Exchange and International Payments Twitter: circadian_fx Email: Web: Tel: 020 7193 8808 Add: 3 Gilbey Avenue Bishop’s Stortford Hertfordshire CM23 5NX

u Conversion Detectives Ltd

One stop conversion based digital marketing Twitter: conversionDet Email: Web: https://conversiondetectives. com/ Tel: 07740 426473 Add: 258 Handside Lane Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL8 6TG

u Corporate Drama Ltd Interactive, dynamic learning experiences use business role-play actors for your specific workplace challenges. We make training memorable, transferable and measurable Twitter: CORPORATEDRAMA Email: Web: Tel: 020 8088 2600 Add: 2 Grosvenor Court Grosvenor Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3BX

u Creative Stripes Branding and creative marketing Email: Web: Tel: 07736 842266 Add: R/O 27 Pelham Road Beckenham Bromley Kent BR3 4SQ

u Dampcure - Woodcure /30 Limited Damp Woodwork, Dry/Wet rot, basement waterproofing, condensation control and specialist surveys Email: Web: Tel: 01923 663322 Add: 41 Merton Road Watford Hertfordshire WD18 0WJ

u Dog First Aid Hertfordshire and Central Bedfordshire Teaching Dog Owners and Pet Professionals essential life saving skills with 4hr CPD accredited Course that is certified for 3 years Twitter: DogFirstAid Email: Web: Tel: 07877 161372 Add: Flat 1, Brookridge Court Brewery Road Hoddesdon Hertfordshire EN11 8HH



NEW MEMBERS u Fresh Lemon

u Hertfordshire Couriers

u Izzy’s Natural Doggie Treats

u Hertfordshire Wood and Stone Floors Limited

u Just Add Ice Ltd

u FRG Forensics

Create and Refine brands, using a blend of strategy and design Twitter: freshlemonuk Email: Web: Tel: 020 8275 8585 Add: Brookside Works Local Board Room Watford Hertfordshire WD17 2JP Undertaking both civil and criminal assignments, valuations of business, disputes, fraud and acting as a single or joint expert Email: Web: Tel: 07785 931944 Add: 8 Berkeley Close Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 3JN

u FX Boutique

Foreign Exchange Email: Web: Tel: 07836 627714

u Gem Cable Solutions Ltd

Bespoke Cable solutions and manufacturers Twitter: Gemcable Email: Web: Tel: 01727 845750 Add: Unit C, 156 St Albans Road Sandridge St Albans Hertfordshire AL4 9LP

u Generativ Ltd

PR Agency Email: Web: Tel: 07957 381982 Add: 53a Beaumont Avenue St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 4TT

u Glebe Farm Foods

Manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer

u Glow Training Ltd

Communication skills and professional impact training Twitter: Glowtraininguk Email: Web: Tel: 07941 327702 Add: 82 Rucklers Lane Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8AY


Producer of Award Winning, Premium crafted Spiced Rum Email: Web: Tel: 07500 827309 Add: 22 Faircross Way St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 4SD



Courier Email: Web: Tel: 01727 811100 Add: 16 Brick Knoll Park St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 5UG

Bespoke flooring experience across the South-East Email: Web: Tel: 07957 350733 Add: 89 Hermitage Road Hitchin Hertfordshire SG5 1DG

u Hosted Technology

Our team of communications experts are dedicated to providing clients of all sizes, from SME’s to larger corporations, with the telecommunications solutions they need to thrive. Email: Web: Tel: 07944 878281 Add: 22 Brickfield Avenue Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP3 8NP

u HSO - Herts School Outreach Non-profit organisation that supports vulnerable children in crisis Email: Web: Tel: 07840 726667 Add: Farriers Way Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 2TB

u IGC London

Golf Club Twitter: IGC_London Email: Web: Tel: 07930 445566 Add: Flat 2, Lorcan House 3 Bentley Way Barnet Hertfordshire EN5 5GE

u Insight MCL

Video production, event productions and communications services to business and organisations of all sizes Email: Web: Tel: 01992 260062 Add: Units 52 & 53, Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre Pindar Road Hodddesdon Hertfordshire EN11 0FJ

Izzy’s Natural Doggie Treats and Suppliers of 100% natural dog treats Email: Tel: 07588 657578 Add: 7 Robeson Way Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 5RY Handcrafted bottle cocktails delivered to the door, as well as a mobile service which includes Pop-up bars and our mobile converted hours box - The Ice Box Twitter: JustAddIce5 Email: Web: Tel: 07703 664350 Add: Old Kennel Cottage Puddephats Markyate St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 8AZ

u Labrums Solicitors LLP

A law firm with solicitors who provide a full range of services to business and individuals Twitter: LabrumsStAlbans Email: Web: Tel: 01727 858807 Add: New Barnes Mill Cottonmill Lane St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 2HA

u Lima Orthopedics UK Ltd

Italian-owned subsidiary, HQ manufacture orthopedic implants and instruments which they sell direct to the NHS and Private Hospitals throughout the UK Email: Web: Tel: 08443 320661 Add: Unit 1, Campus Five Third Avenue Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire SG6 2JF

u Linea Luxe Furniture Limited Bespoke Furniture Manufacturers Twitter: LuxeLinea Email: Web: Tel: 01923 549005 Add: 7a Vales Industrial Estate Tolpits Lane Watford Hertfordshire WD18 9QP

u Lisa Moss Design

Interior Designer (Retail and Hospitality) Brand Identity and Graphic Design, Website Design Email: Web: Tel: 07920 105752 Add: 25 Byde Street Hertford Hertfordshire SG14 3AR

u Liz Oakley Communications

A specialist communications consultancy offering bespoke communications support and advice Email: Web: Tel: 07779 718707 Add: 9 Tring Road Long Marston Tring Hertfordshire HP23 4QL

u M&K Electrical Services

Electrical Company based in Hertfordshire, carries out all types of electrical and data installations from small to Large. Commercial/individual and domestic Email: Web: Tel: 020 3633 5670 Add: 45 Monks Walk Buntingford Hertfordshire SG9 9EE

u Manor of Groves Hotel, Golf and Country Club

Hospitality - 80 bedroom Hotel, Conference and Event facilities, health club and Golf Twitter: Manorofgroves Email: Web: Tel: 01279 600777 Add: High Wych Sawbridgeworth Hertfordshire CM21 0JU

u Mayhem Theatre and Creative Arts

Providing performing and creative arts tuition to the local community Email: Web: Tel: 01992 465 100 Add: Unit 2, Brewery Yard Brewery Road Hoddesdon Hertfordshire EN11 8HF

u Meadow Physio and Pilates

Physiotherapy, Pilates and healthcare, sports injuries, horse rider bio mechanics and fitness Twitter: MeadowPhysio Email: Web: Tel: Add:

07736 319894 The Stables, Valley Farm Valley Lane Markyate Hertfordshire AL3 8AT

u Mint Of Hertford

Taking preowned and making it your everyday way of life Email: Web: Tel: 01992 536813 Add: 49 Railway Street Hertford Hertfordshire SG14 1BA

NEW MEMBERS u Minuteman Press

Printing and Marketing Web: locations/england/potters-bar/ Tel: 01707 662557

u MJR Fabrications Ltd

Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication and engineering Email: Web: Tel: 01707 646825 Add: Unit B, Carnborne Industrial Estate Potters Bar Hertfordshire EN6 3JN

u Net Zero International

Net Zero business support, training, carbon accounting and carbon accreditation with the UN Race to Zero Email: Web: Tel: 07860 808856 Add: 2 Regents Court 303 Hale Road Altrincham Greater Manchester WA15 8SW

u Omega International LLC

Single Point source and Procurement Hub in the USA catering to the needs of customers globally Email: Web: Tel: 01462 504349 Add: 10 Protea Business Park Protea Way Pixmore Avenue Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire SG6 1JT

u OoshhStudio Ltd

Designing and supplying High End Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms and providing architectural services Email: Web: Tel: 01442 767890 Add: 42 High Street Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP1 3AE

u Philip Lewis

Business Matchmaker and Introducer Email: Tel: 07775 540242 Add: 3 Elliot Road Watford Hertfordshire WD17 4DF

u RDT Architects

Architects - Primarily in residential development and care home sector Twitter: rdtarchitects Email: Web: Tel: 01582 461060 Add: 1 Harrier Court Woodside Road Lower Woodside Bedfordshire LU1 4DQ

u Retail with Clarity

Consultancy-Sales, profit and stock planning for retailers and manufacturers Email: Web: Tel: 01727 482018 Add: 221 Sandpit Lane St Albans Hertfordshire AL4 0BT

u Robot Center

We are a leading provider of collaborative robotics solutions and services Twitter: RobotCenterUK Email: Web: Tel: 0845 5280404 Add: 6 Nelson Avenue St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 5RY

u ROST International Trading Ltd

An Interdependent management consultancy operating in the renewals, Energy, Commodity, Financial Management and Water sectors Email: Web: Tel: 01707 876037 Add: 14 Delmar Avenue Leverstock Green Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP2 4LY

u SCL Wills and Probate

Providing Legal Services: Wills, Powers of Attorney, administration of Estates, inheritance tax planning Twitter: SCLWillsProbate Email: Web: Tel: 020 3004 8269 Add: Room 103, Tallis House Tallis Street Temple London EC4Y 0AB

u Social Jooce Ltd

Social media consultancy that enables businesses to have a clear social media strategy to maximise growth and profitability Email: Web: Tel: 07584 576364 Add: 6th Floor, 4 Coleman Street London EC2R 5AR

u Stephanie Belton Photography Ltd

Photography Twitter: StephanieBelton Email: Web: Tel: 07900 825463 Add: 54 Hazelmere Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL4 9RN

u Submerge

Digital Marketing Agency Email: Web: Tel: 01707 953716 Add: 1A The Broadway Old Hatfield Hertfordshire AL9 5BG

u Sustainable X

We are a sustainability consultancy for business Twitter: Sustainable_X Email: Web: Tel: 01727 309008 Add: 4 New Barns Avenue St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 1TG

u T Star Tech Ltd

Support Companies working with SME’s in the London and Herts Area Web:

u The Hemp Block Company

Suppler of Natural Hempcreat insulation Blocks Email: Web: Tel: 01923 263944 Add: 2 Chantry Close Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8EX

u The Kindred

Online and in person community to support female founders Email: Web: Tel: 07250 29490 Add: 64 Heath Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 4DP

u Uli Williams Travel Counsellor

Travel Agent Email: Web: Tel: 01992 877390 Add: 12 Borrell Close Off Park Lane Broxbourne Hertfordshire EN10 7RD


Digital marketing and interactive experiences Email: Web: Tel: 07900 193370 Add: 18 Blackwell Road Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8NF

u Viveo Consulting Ltd

Marketing for Bio-science companies Twitter: ViveoLtd Email: Web: Tel: 07712 019091 Add: 1 Watson Avenue St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 5HP

u VOIspeed Ltd

Provides Software interface to make and deliver calls anywhere and using any device Twitter: VOIspeedLtd Email: Web: Tel: 01727 848186 Add: 26 London Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 1NG

u Watford Women’s Centre

Charity to support Women in the Watford area Twitter: wwcplus Email: Web: Tel: 01923 816229 Add: 83 Market Street Watford Hertfordshire WD18 0PT

u We are Acuity Ltd

Marketing Company - Helping brands with local Marketing Email: Web: Tel: 01923 244241 Add: Oak Yard Queens Road Watford Hertfordshire WD17 2QL

u Your Divorce Coach Limited

A solicitor, mediator and divorce coach providing practical, strategic, logical and emotional support to both men and women who are managing toxic partners Email: Web: Tel: 07770 767831 Add: 8 Brache Close Redbourn St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 7HX

u Your HR Partner

Employment law advice Email: Web: Tel: 020 8346 8686 Add: 120 Bunns Lane Churchill House London Greater London NW7 2AS

u Your Loving Memory Ltd

Provides a life time memorial for relatives of their departed to be viewed through a QR Code Email: Web: Tel: 0131 2850180 Add: 18 Raphael Close Shenley Hertfordshire WD7 9JG



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Earn while you learn! Vacancies in construction related businesses are at an all time high and we, like our industry colleagues are facing a skills shortage right now and over the next 10+ years. MCP is a repairs and maintenance, family business based in Hertford, caring for our customers since 1978. We are committed to ensuring our people make a positive difference to our residents and their homes.

l We focus on attracting people who match our values first and foremost l We encourage people with little or no experience to come and ‘have a go’ through our work experience programme l Our own experienced people love to be mentors and share their experience l We are working with Herts LEP to partner with local schools, CTP to retrain ex-services personnel and in collaboration with other industry colleagues l We are starting an Academy to train and upskill apprentices and trainees

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is delighted to announce that it has received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, an award given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers (the equivalent of an MBE for the charitable sector). This year is also the charity’s 20th anniversary, which makes this award even more special. In those 20 years, we estimate the Helpline has helped around 40,000 people, empowering many to take the first steps away from an abusive relationship. It’s an achievement we’re incredibly proud of. Although our ethos of providing a confidential, anonymous, free support and signposting service for anyone affected by domestic abuse remains at the heart of our work, it has been the advance in online technology that has really enabled us to make the service much more accessible. We’ve significantly raised awareness of domestic abuse across the county, letting victims and survivors know how and where to get help; and we continue to support concerned friends and family members, elderly victims, those in rural, isolated areas, those with disabilities, those in LGBTQ relationships and black and minority ethnic victims. Our work and success would not be possible without our volunteer call takers and trustees, so this award is really for them, recognising their ongoing commitment and hard work. If you are interested in ways in which you could be involved with the Helpline, see If you are affected by domestic abuse call the Helpline free on 08 088 088 088 or email:

HDAH Queens Award advert – A5 – Artwork – 20.05.22.indd 1



Registered charity no. 1184899

20/05/2022 13:53


Chamber joins council to mark Armed Forces Week

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce showed its support for the Armed Forces community by taking part in a flag-raising ceremony.


riege Leahy, the Chamber’s CEO, joined Hertfordshire County Council for an Armed Forces Week event at County Hall in Hertford. Hertfordshire County Council Chairman Councillor Annie Brewster introduced the ceremony and spoke of the council’s support for the Armed Forces Covenant before raising the flag.

The Chamber, which is a member of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board and supports Hertfordshire Heroes, Reservists and Cadets

as well as the Covenant, is involved with Armed Forces Week every year and promotes the Covenant to its members. The Ministry of Defence is also one of its patrons. Briege said: “It is a reaffirmation of our commitment to the Armed Forces and we are proud to support it.” Similar flag-raising ceremonies took place across the country during the week that ran from Monday 20 June and culminated in Armed Forces Day on Saturday 25 June.

(L) Colonel Read, Commanding Officer Northwood Headquarters, in the centre Herts Chamber CEO Briege Leahy and (R) is Cllr Terry Douris, Chairman of the Hertfordshire Armed Forces Covenant Board.

Second generation Herts family business wins Queen’s Award in Jubilee Year

KANE International, the UK’s leading emissions analyser manufacturer for heating and automotive engineers, has received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2022 for its high-quality customer service.

he company was only one of 50 other UK organisations to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation.


The firm was selected for KANE CARE service, its promise to give customers the best after sales service and support or their money back.

Based in Welwyn Garden City since 1963 and employing more than 120 people, the company is a secondgeneration UK manufacturer of test equipment for the heating and automotive industries.

All emissions analysers must be recertified annually, which causes engineers to lose time and money, especially when their analyser is a few years old and needs more care or replacement parts. KANE CARE guarantees same

day service with all-inclusive pricing for KANE analysers up to 20 years old and guarantees KANE analysers receive a 10-year warranty. Jonathan Kane, CEO of KANE International, was proud to have KANE CARE recognised. He said: “I am thrilled KANE received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in

Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Year. We are so proud with what KANE CARE promises our customers and honoured to see it recognised by the Queen’s Award. This award confirms KANE continuously innovates to save our customers time and money – only KANE CARE promises the best, fastest and most trusted customer service or their money back.”




Herts Challenger Bank plants trees for the Jubilee A Hertfordshire Challenger Bank has celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by donating 600 trees as part of a royal initiative. Friday, May 20, at a special ceremony attended by Lady Salisbury and the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Robert Voss CBE. Redwood representatives Tracey Lester, Head of HR, Andrew Shannon, ESG & Marketing Officer, and Business Development Manager Nicola Blake also attended.


edwood Bank is marking Her Majesty’s 70-year reign by joining the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a unique tree planting which is encouraging people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. The first of the 600 trees donated by the bank to Hertfordshire County Showground, based near Redbourn, was planted on

Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, said: “What better way to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee than by planting 600 trees and contributing to the environment. We are proud to be based in Hertfordshire, we’re proud to be supporting the county’s innovative and agile SME community, and we’re proud of this great county – so it was an easy decision to enhance the county’s showground by donating these trees.”

10% Discount when you quote

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

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The QGC is encouraging everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates to play their part in contributing to the environment by planting trees. With a focus on sustainability, the QGC will encourage planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of the Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations. In August 2022, Redwood Bank will celebrate five years in business after it was launched in 2017. Redwood, a two-time winner of the NACFB Patron Awards, has undergone significant growth over the last two years, and after starting with a team of 12 now employs over 120 members of staff.

Low Carbon Workspaces

Low Carbon Workspaces grants are available from £1,000 - £5,000 to help fund a third of the cost of projects at commercial premises that reduce energy usage or carbon emissions. Fundable projects include LED lighting, solar PV, heating upgrades, and insulation/glazing.


hese interventions are a great way for your business to decarbonise, to save money on energy bills, and to help achieve your net zero goals. Grants cannot be paid retrospectively so it is essential to apply before undertaking work or appointing suppliers. Low Carbon Workspaces have helped many businesses over the years, one being Danilo Promotions Ltd. Danilo, based in Hertfordshire, secured a £3,837 grant from Low Carbon Workspaces which helped fund the cost of their LED lighting upgrade. As a result, Danilo is now saving £2,586 on their energy bills each year and preventing 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide entering our atmosphere. LCW grant funding is a fantastic investment for your business, your staff, and the planet. If you are a business based in Hertfordshire, interested in shielding your business from rising energy costs and benefitting from 1/3rd off the price of energy saving technologies, please contact Olivia Furssedonn, Project Officer for Hertfordshire, using

Continued investment in business resilience helps combat current instability

Although many would consider the UK properly “post-pandemic”, the Office of National Statistics has estimated that COVID-19 cases in England and Northern Ireland have risen for the first time in two months in the week to 2nd June.


t is therefore reassuring that a programme developed last year to support local businesses in the face of the pandemic is now back in the spotlight and proving useful for many businesses. As well as supporting SMEs with issues that occur during the unpredictable times of a pandemic, the Stay Safe, Stay Open programme has been refined, drawing on lessons learnt during the height of the pandemic and now also offers support for businesses dealing with everyday issues that are critical to commercial success. This includes building business resilience, which is vital considering the instability businesses face if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Through the programme, eligible SMEs across Hertfordshire can receive valuable advice and support from industry experts. Stay Safe, Stay Open is an essential business resource helping employers comply with legal obligations, health and safety, staff retention, employment, and equality duties.

Grants to improve ventilation, reducing risk One of the available packages in the programme is advice and funding to help businesses improve ventilation. Well ventilated areas are a valuable tool in reducing transmission of COVID-19. Eligible businesses, such as those in the leisure, tourism, and close contact service settings, with less than 50 employees, could access funding of up to £5,000.

The funding can be put towards paying for ventilation specialists and consultation services to ensure the optimum system is installed. The specialists can also advise on other business benefits of improved ventilation, such as heat transference – another topic which is critical for businesses to consider in the face of soaring energy prices and increased trend towards sustainable practices. There is also up to £20,000 grant funding for eligible businesses and projects to install mechanical ventilation.

Free 1-2-1 support and funding The Stay Safe, Stay Open programme also includes an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of fully funded 1-2-1 sessions with industry experts. For businesses operating in the consumer facing sectors with up to 50 employees, this newly launched part of the programme can provide effective support. For those businesses who have already spent time, money, and effort on building resilience during the pandemic, the support they will receive from Stay Safe, Stay Open will ensure that those investments continue to serve their purpose. Stay Safe, Stay Open is being delivered in partnership with Visit Herts, Better Business for All, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Growth Hub, and is funded by the Hertfordshire Health Protection Board allocated by Hertfordshire County Council.

Find out more at:

Legal Property Experts

in association with Penman Sedgwick LLP Agata Marosz - Solicitor

Commercial Leases

Repair Liabilities and Schedules of Condition: an important form of protection for tenants The repairing obligations in a lease usually require a tenant to keep the property demised to the tenant by the lease “in repair”. Tenants need to be aware that a covenant to keep the property in repair includes an obligation to put the property into repair. To put it simply, this means that if the property is in a poor state of repair when the lease is granted, the tenant will be obliged to put the property into repair and then keep it in repair. The tenant should therefore inspect the property carefully before taking the lease to assess the cost involved in dealing with any existing disrepair. The tenant may wish to limit the repairing obligations so that the tenant is not responsible for any existing disrepair – in effect, the tenant is not then obliged to put or keep the property in any better state of repair and condition than it is in at the date the lease is granted. If the landlord agrees

to this, they should have a “Schedule of Condition” annexed to the lease – namely, a report containing photographic and written evidence of the state and condition of the property at the time the lease is granted. This Schedule of Condition will need to be agreed between the parties and kept with (and preferably attached to) the lease for future reference. It is important that the photographs are of good quality and that any description of them is sufficiently detailed so that it is clear what they relate to. The benefit of having a Schedule of Condition in the lease is that the limitations on the tenant’s repairing liability are clearly evidenced by the Schedule. Nevertheless, it is necessary to point out that a Schedule of Condition will only document visible defects. Therefore, in order to limit or exclude the tenant’s liability to non-visible defects, a tenant should also consider commissioning reports in relation to items such as plant and machinery.

If you are looking for legal advice, we can help.

Problem Solved e: t: 01923 225212

5 George Street, Watford, Herts WD18 0SQ INSPIRE INSPIRE 53 53

In particular those who have been with us the longest, for their continued support in contributing towards the chamber; from attending events, being ambassadors, to sharing news on the website. Over the last two years, Hertfordshire businesses have battled their way

have put in us to support their business

the achievements of local businesses

through good times and bad. It is a

and that is exactly what we have just done at the sold-out 11th Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards that we celebrated

look forward to continuing to do so. From Bronze members to Patrons, we could not function without our members, so, on behalf of everyone at Herts

Leavesden. With a record number of

Chamber, thank you.

what was a truly magical event.

ADSAT International Limited

pleasure to serve you and we certainly

in June at Warner Bros Studios in

tenacity and adaptability.



Ashbourne Insurance Services Limited


Astro Lighting Limited

Being a member means that we have a ready-

Briege Leahy CEO Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce


Aubrey Park Hotel


B3 Living Limited




Best Of Both Worlds Limited


Business & Technology Centre


Cariad Marketing Limited


Challenge Electronics Limited

made network of like-minded businesses who not only share our values, but also know the importance of local connections and how we can grow together. Colette Cooper Client Services Team Manager Cariad Marketing Limited




environment, it is important to recognise

celebrating with all those involved at

ACSL Precision Engineering


We value the trust that our members

have come out on top through resilience,


10 - 14

In such a challenging trading

finalists this year, the team enjoyed

through the COVID-19 pandemic and



As we approach 100 years in business, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce would like to express our sincere gratitude for our members.



Hertfordshire Chamber Celebrates its Long-Standing Members







Colin Hill Bar & Catering Supplies Limited

For more than a decade, the Herts Chamber has been a source of opportunity for me and my business. As well as

Compass Business Development Limited

being the kindest people, they have amazing networks and

Contour Fine Tooling Limited

business people.

go above and beyond to use them for the benefit of local

Jeremy Silverstone


Diaverum UK Limited


DSCO, Chartered Accountants


Johnson Matthey Plc


Duckworth & Kent Limited


Kris Aromatics Limited


EISAI Europe Limited



ElectrAssure Limited

Land Securities The Galleria


Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust


Farecla Products Limited


FFEI Limited


Fineback Furniture Limited


Global Metcorp Limited


HCPA Limited


Holiday Inn Stevenage


Italian Beverage Company Limited

Purple Marketing Communications Ltd

u u u


Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure Ltd




NSK United Kingdom Limited


O-I Glass Limited


Ocado Limited



M Marcus Limited MCP Property Services Ltd Mirage Health Group Limited

Being able to meet and network with local like-minded business professionals has helped us develop our business as well as creating mutually beneficial working relationships. Peter Smits Managing Director Ashbourne Insurance



Upgrade your skills with green economy training and achieve a Chartered Professional qualification (CMgr).


“The quality of teaching and experts is exceptional. The Estu team and other learners are welcoming and supportive. The practical elements are relevant and moving our business forward. We see sustainability as the key driver as we accelerate our growth”Fiona Edwards, Head of Sustainability, JPA Workspaces

Net Zero Leaders Programme

Enrolment now open for October 2022 start


Commercial and sustainability training across four key areas; - People, leadership and change - Marketing, innovation and technology - Finance, accounting and risk - Strategic and operational success


New funded training opportunity for local businesses Hertfordshire Chamber member Estu launches government-programme for net zero skills training.

Simon Littlewood, Estu CEO

Leadership and development specialist Estu are helping businesses to participate in the government’s drive toward achieving Net Zero. They have listened to the market and worked with leading academics, government and industry practitioners to design a programme that covers the key areas needed to support a drive to a green economy.

Feedback was clear that managers need clarity regarding the impact on markets, legislation, operations, finance and people. It needed to be practical and not just theory. The response to the programme has been very favourable and people are applying what they have learned within their organisations from day one. The strength of the programme is the combination of effective executive education and the network learners build with others driving sustainable activities. Energy levels are always high as people share their experiences around a common purpose.

Hertfordshire small businesses can now access up to £13,300 worth of government funding to cover the training cost of managers leading sustainability activities for their organisations. They benefit from the immediate impact of applied learning activities and learners achieve Chartered Professional (CMgr) qualification from the Chartered Management Institute.

micro (less than 5 employees), small or large businesses.

Eligibility is subject to a short application process (see link below) and the programme is open to individuals with over three years management experience from

Teaching workshops are undertaken one day per month at the University of Cambridge with supporting learning delivered digitally: live online and on-demand.

The course content is delivered by academics from University of Cambridge, UCL School of Management and UEA Business School. Industry practitioners providing insights include executives from Google X: Moonshot Factory, NHS, Brompton Bicycle and the Social Value Portal.

Enrolment is OPEN NOW for the next programme intake on 14 October 2022.



Skills Knowledge Confidence. Training and development to help your business grow. The demands on business are constantly shifting - to stay ahead of the competition many businesses need to rapidly upskill and reskill their employees. Skills and training are at the heart of business development and your local College is here to help you maximise your businesses potential. Take advantage of opportunities to modernise the skills of your workforce and to help you start building a talent pipeline. Scan the QR code to contact West Herts College and find out how we can help your business grow.

West Herts College


strives to close skills gap

The government is increasingly turning to Further Education colleges to fill the skills gaps in our workforce.


hambers and LEPs have done excellent work to understand the challenges businesses face and raise awareness of the urgent need to train our workforce for the future. They have identified skills needs in different industries and surveyed employers about the vacancies they find hard to fill. Employers report that they feel their workers are often also missing wider skills, such as communication, teamworking, and digital skills.

The next step is for educational experts to work with employers to develop education and training solutions that will meet their needs. West Herts College is working hard to get this done. The employers the college partners with recognise what their learners can do to help their businesses: for example, by jointly training young people aiming for careers in leisure centres to gain pool lifeguard qualifications; the college is supported in training its construction apprentices by a leader in the field of modern methods of construction; it works closely with a range of hospitality employers, who come to them to find their future staff and help with training and assessing. Its learners studying English as a foreign language now also take a digital skills qualification. The college provides a range of personal development education, for which it was rated ‘outstanding’ when Ofsted inspected them last December.

According to Amanda Washbrook, Director of Curriculum and Business Development from West Herts College, “For young people the biggest hurdle is often having confidence in new environments. This means exposure to the workplace is key. We are always looking for employers to help with masterclasses, online talks, visits, and on-the-job training. We can help with developing training; job matching for hard-to-fill vacancies; provide marketing and design services through our ‘live briefs’ projects; and reinforce your workforce with placements for our talented learners.”




The strength of Britain’s exporters The heightened economic uncertainty and rising costs are also expected to significantly weaken business investment, with 1.8% growth predicted in 2022, down sharply from 3.5% in the previous forecast.




irstly, congratulations to ALL our winners following the recent Inspiring Herts Awards, held at Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden. Special congratulations to Zoocha, winners of the Excellence in International Trade award! Well done also to the other finalists, Premier Ship Models, EziDrops and Brooks & Kempton. The award recognises the strength of Britain’s exporters, demonstrating that they have generated significant and/or sustained increases in export activity.

Similarly, we recently hosted a webinar advertising the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. A follow up workshop is being arranged. Can I please encourage you to consider entering these prestigious awards? If you need any advice, then do please contact us.

The worldwide situation continues much as before with the war in Ukraine, higher general costs, supply chain issues and the pandemic all overarched with the continuing issues following Brexit. This leads to ongoing uncertainty and an uncertain cocktail of predictions going forward. The British Chambers of Commerce has slightly downgraded its expectations for UK GDP growth for the remainder of this year to 3.5% (from 3.6%) and less than half the 7.5% growth recorded last year, due to the continuing deteriorating economic backdrop and outlook. The BCC also expects inflation to hit 10% in Q4. The heightened economic uncertainty and rising costs are also expected to significantly weaken business investment, with 1.8% growth predicted in 2022, down sharply from 3.5% in the previous forecast. Consumer spending is now forecast to grow at 4% in 2022, a fall from the 4.4% prediction in the first quarter.


Imports of goods from the EU rose by 4.2% in April driven by increases in machinery, transport equipment and chemicals but imports from the rest of the world fell by 2.6% an overall rise in goods imports of 0.7%.

This reflects the historically high squeeze on real household incomes as inflation far outpaces the forecast 5% growth in average earnings for the year. With inflation forecast to race ahead of wages, the BCC is concerned about a dip in consumer spending which would further impact businesses and hamper growth. They forecast that if trends continue, inflation will only return to the Bank of England’s target rate at the end of 2024, implying a prolonged period of difficulty for the UK. Conversely UK goods exports accelerated in April 2022 with increases in exports to the EU rising by 8.1% (£1.2bn) and to the rest of the world by 6.5% (£0.9bn). Main factors in increased goods exports to the EU were machinery, transport equipment and fuels (gas and crude oil). Food, chemicals, and material manufactures exports to the EU remained flat in April 2022. OBR forecasts for UK export growth in 2022 were 9% and 7% in imports.

Imports of goods from the EU rose by 4.2% in April driven by increases in machinery, transport equipment and chemicals but imports from the rest of the world fell by 2.6% - an overall rise in goods imports of 0.7%. There was a reduction in cars, electrical machinery and other manufactured goods from China.

customs authorities, notably Russia and Azerbaijan, as they have been unable to verify these on the International Chamber of Commerce website. Certificates prepared on one of the online platforms, such as ecert, are automatically uploaded and can be certified easily. Manual documents cannot be uploaded.

On a more positive note, and to help companies export and import, I have previously mentioned our training packages. I am very pleased to say that coming very shortly will be our new offer of 11 nationally accredited international trade courses with candidates completing six or more courses being awarded the BCC Foundation Award in International Trade, once they have taken and passed a test following each course. Over 5000 candidates have attended the programmes since 2013. Achieving this award has assisted companies going through their AEO application. Being in possession of the award enables companies to demonstrate to HMRC that they have the necessary competences to apply for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Registration. One company reported that “The BCC Accredited Trade Training courses developed my all-round international trade knowledge and allowed my company to become AEO registered.”

It is expected that going forward more countries will increase their use of the ICC verification. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary, and potentially costly, delays can I please encourage ALL exporters to move to online platforms.

The 11 courses comprise: · Understanding Exporting · INCOTERMs · Export Documentation · Methods of Payments · Documentary Letters of Credit · Import Procedures · Customs Procedures and Documentation · Preference Rules of Origin · Agents and Distributors · Inward and Outward Processing

Meteorologically summer is now upon us. May I take this opportunity to wish you all pleasant breaks, whatever you are doing or wherever you are going and come back refreshed for the undoubted challenges ahead. Don’t forget we are here to help.

With inflation forecast to race ahead of wages, the BCC is concerned about a dip in consumer spending which would further impact businesses and hamper growth. They forecast that if trends continue, inflation will only return to the Bank of England’s target rate at the end of 2024, implying a prolonged period of difficulty for the UK.

· Understanding Commodity Codes These courses equip international traders with the essential skills invaluable to small and large businesses alike. Finally, we have been made aware that a number of UK Certificates of Origin have been rejected by various




The Last Word

We also need to desperately update all planning policies and plans to reflect the future needs of this country; at the moment we just aren’t doing enough to create truly sustainable and biodiverse spaces. I could go on but this isn’t a soapbox about sustainable development!


Director, Willmott Dixon Construction



What do you do? I’m responsible for all business development, PR, comms, bid writing and customer relationships for a large construction, development and fit-out company. Our business is leading the way in decarbonising our sector and we expect to be net zero carbon without offsetting by 2030.


What do you get from it?


How has it helped your network?

Most of our work is with the public sector (schools, hospitals and leisure centres, for example) and we’ve found it easier to make new connections with public sector leaders. This in turn has enabled me to see how we can adapt our offering to suit their changing needs. We’ve also been able to grow our supply chain in Hertfordshire, which helps us improve our local spend.

We’ve met a variety of people from work givers, influencers, advisors and suppliers. The network of the Chamber is really broad and varied – meaning we’ve met people we didn’t know could help improve our business.



What advice would you give someone starting out in business? This is hard for me as I’m more of a custodian for a long-standing business. However, I’ve met a number of great business leaders and their most compelling attribute is vision. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and always refer back to this in everything you do. The other thing that’s important is to stick to your values; you know where the line is.

Why did you join the Chamber? I felt it was important to meet people with a different viewpoint of the construction sector. Joining the Chamber allowed me to broaden our understanding of needs and potential tie-ups.




What’s the biggest challenge in running and growing a business? There are so many but for our sector it’s about the people. We need to continually invest in skills so that our people are well equipped to respond to any of our operational challenges. We have a skills shortage across our sector; many people don’t see the wide variety of jobs in construction and so this shrinks the number of new entrants to fill roles.


What support do you want from government? More investment in the planning process. There are some incredible people trying to make well-balanced decisions on the future of our communities. However, they’re overstretched and need more resources.


How confident are you that your business will grow in the future? The million-dollar question! I believe we have all the right ingredients for success, including great people who are motivated and empowered to solve a host of challenges. I also consider that our long-term strategy to achieve net zero carbon in all of our activities is a key differentiator and will attract customers and employees.

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