Inspire March 24

Page 1

inspire.61

Donna Schultz

Chamber’s Managing Director talks about strengths and challenges at the fourth annual Women in Leadership conference.

Recruitment

Why putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the business model is the future of recruitment.

Patron Focus

Nurturing excellence through employee development. Global life sciences company Pharmaron recognises the importance of investing in its people.

Inspirational Leader

Ogle Director Philip Martin shares his journey from the kid visiting the workshop to leading the company his way.

Spotlight Focus

A fine quality of life is available in picturesque East Herts, a stronghold for SMEs.

The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

MAR - APR 2024

Publisher

Advertising and Features

Karen Hall

Tel: 0151 236 4141

karen@benhampublishing.com

Tel: 0151 236 4141

Fax: 0151 236 0440

admin@benhampublishing.com

www.benhampublishing.com

Welcome to Inspire 61.

What a busy start to the year it has been. We have had some amazing Chamber events and it has been such a pleasure to see so many of you attending and supporting the Chamber.

An obvious highlight has to be the Women in Leadership Conference. It was the fourth time the event had been organised, and I believe they just keep getting better. So, a big thank you to everyone who played a part in its success, from the fantastic speakers, all the attendees and my own Chamber team.

As ever, we have a packed events calendar over the coming months with the Chamber lunches and breakfasts – you’d think all we ever do is eat.

We have a great new addition to the calendar with our first netwalking on Friday, March 22 – that will give you an opportunity to burn off some of the calories from the lunches and breakfasts! With the weather steadily improving as we head towards spring, a walk around Hatfield Park, with your dog if you wish, will be the perfect way to start the day and network in a more relaxed environment.

I hope you enjoy this latest edition of Inspire, which is packed with features on some incredible businesses. We are so lucky to have such a breadth of organisations in Hertfordshire and I love working with you all.

Enjoy reading – and I hope to see you soon.

Editorial

AL9 5AD

Tel: 01707 502180

enquiries@hertschamber.com

www.hertschamber.com

Published March 2024 © Benham Publishing

INSPIRE 3 welcome 4-5 Recruitment 6-7 Patron Focus 10 Skills 13 Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2024 14 Inspirational Leader 16-19 Spotlight Focus Area 24-27 Upcoming Chamber Events 28-29 Women in Leadership Conference 32 Chamber News
Economy 36-37 Business Advice 38 Heart in Herts 39 Members News 41 Venues 42 Environment 44 Members News 45 Growth Hub 46-47 Members News 48-49 New Members 50-51 Longstanding Members 52-53 Chamber News 54-55 Meet the Team 56 Membership Focus 57 British Chamber of Commerce 59 Membership Benefits 62 Last Word
34
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Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 mark@benhampublishing.com Media No. 2038 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. ©2024 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. 05 16 28 It was the fourth time the event had been organised, and I believe they just keep getting better. inside inspire.61 Inspire 61 3

Helping employers become more inclusive helps both businesses and employees

The landscape of recruitment has changed since COVID-19 and post-Brexit.

Sarah Dale talks to Emma Tarbox, Operations Manager for Hertfordshire, and Becky Webber, Regional Operations Director and EDI Lead, from Tate Recruitment, to talk about the challenges in recruitment and find out why putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of their business model is the future of recruitment.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, there has been a significant demand for hybrid working which can be a “pain point” between employees’ requirements and employers looking to recruit more team members.

Currently, the national unemployment rate stands at 3.8 per cent (ONS February 2024), while North Hertfordshire is notably lower at 2.8 per cent.

“We are seeing the squeeze in Hertfordshire even more,” said Emma Tarbox, Operations Manager for Hertfordshire at Tate.

“We are also seeing a significant demand for hybrid working and working from home. There is a pain point between what a candidate wants and what a business wants. Clients want office-based and candidates are wanting hybrid working conditions.

“We are also seeing more risk-averse clients because of economy changes and the cost-of-living crisis. There are a lot of vacancies in the market and companies want people but when it comes to decisions about hiring, we are seeing some hesitation.”

Becky Webber, Regional Operations Director and EDI Lead at Tate, said: “Attracting talent now requires more than competitive salaries; flexibility and understanding of individual needs are crucial. Our workforces are diverse, spanning five generations, each with unique circumstances and needs; for example those of a mature age range may be caring for elderly parents while managing family responsibilities, and with an ageing population, it’s important to recognise the over-50s population, which is often overlooked, demands genuine consideration.

“We’re all trying to navigate stormy seas with the best-equipped ship. This is due to a combination of an ageing population, technological progress, post-Brexit

immigration policies, and a recovering economy. This is not post-COVID-19 recovery anymore, this is the market now.

“The April national living wage increase poses additional challenges for small businesses reliant on lower-wage workers, yet it offers more than compliance benefits. It’s an opportunity to highlight a commitment to fairness, enhancing a company’s culture and appeal in a competitive market. This stance ensures fair pay and positions a business as an ethical leader, attractive to talent who value these principles.

“The most important thing is to try and be ahead of the curve.”

Staff at Tate engage in ongoing EDI training. This continuous learning process is also shared with their clients and candidates.

“Some brilliant candidates can be overlooked so we want to ensure that is not happening,” added Emma.

Becky set up the EDI drive in-house almost three years ago and it has evolved through “passion, determination and empowering our staff”.

It has accelerated over the past 12 months and Tate is now a Disability Level 2 Employer.

“We’re proud of our progress and are now focused on enhancing client confidence in inclusive hiring practices,” said Becky.

The Tate team also received training last year with a neurodiverse organisation as part of their EDI strategy.

“It’s about having the level of awareness and empathy that if someone comes to us with a request for any adjustments, we do all we can to make sure that the recruitment process is set up for success,” said Becky.

“We often forget that the interviewer may be nervous about interviewing someone who is neurodiverse. It is important to make sure everyone feels comfortable.”

Employers are having to work that extra bit harder to attract people into their businesses. It’s not just about wages; flexible working can be important too.

Tate has invested in video technology to elevate the recruitment experience, allowing candidates to enhance their CVs with video. This option lets them showcase their skills and personality in ways a CV may not, making the selection process more comprehensive and efficient. Video technology has the opportunity of accelerating the recruitment timeline while also deepening the engagement between candidates and employers.

As part of its EDI policy, as well as having an accessible website, all their job adverts appear on a diversity job board too.

“EDI is continuously evolving, and it’s impossible to know everything. Therefore, it’s crucial to remain committed to ongoing learning and evolution,” added Becky.

4 Inspire 61 Recruitment

Why Tate loves to recruit new members to Herts Chamber

Emma

Tarbox,

from Tate Recruitment, is a passionate Patron of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and cannot recommend the Chamber highly enough to potential new members.

“You can’t underestimate the value of networking,” said Emma Tarbox, Operations Manager for Hertfordshire at Tate Recruitment.

“We joined the Chamber eight years ago because I recognised being part of a significant regional business forum could lead to meaningful business connections and help raise Tate’s profile.

“I found I was attending a broad range of events, inspired and encouraged by Yolanda [former Chief Executive of the Chamber] who was a brilliant connector.”

Emma was so enthused by the member benefits that she actively encouraged other people to join, recognised by the Chamber who first made her an Ambassador and then asked her to become a Patron six years ago.

“The benefits of being a Patron allow us to be profiled as the exclusive recruitment specialist for HCOC (each Patron represents a specific industry).

The HCOC staff bridge one-to-one introductions for us, invite us to judge the Inspiring Herts Awards and promote and introduce us to every event audience.

“We specialise in recruiting office professionals so we’re not industry specific. At events, we’re in a room with businesses of all size and industry,

all of whom employ office staff. Being at events helps us reach a wide and relevant audience. We now recruit for many fellow members and Patrons, which fills us with pride!”

Emma calls membership a business investment rather than a subscription. “A forum like this is a privilege,” she added.

“It’s easy to assume paying for something brings you instant reward but here you’re paying for the privilege to be part of a collaborative business network ,which is an investment you need to work at. Be clear on your objective and don’t be shy to ask for referrals that will lead you to the right connections.

“Show an interest in others’ businesses and bridge introductions for others; don’t just participate for your own gain.

“Finally, view this not as networking to earn, but networking to learn.”

As a Patron, Emma is happy to “buddy up” with new members at events to introduce them to other like-minded professionals.

Contact Emma via any Tate office.

“Remember! Joining up is like a gym membership. You can’t just sign up, pay your membership fees, then not show up but still expect to get results!”

The benefits of being a Patron allow us to be profiled as the exclusive recruitment specialist for HCOC (each Patron represents a specific industry). We now recruit for fellow members and Patrons, which fills us with pride!
Inspire 61 5 Recruitment

Nurturing excellence through employee development

Focus

For us to be able to deliver the best service, we must have the best people and ensure that they are always given opportunities to learn as technology and science are always changing.
Michael van der Merwe

Global life sciences company Pharmaron recognises the importance of investing in its people

Pharmaron excels not only for its groundbreaking research and development in the life sciences sector, but also for its unwavering commitment to the growth and development of its employees.

Within the business, fostering an environment where individuals can flourish personally and professionally is a top priority as the company invests in its employees’ development and supports their career progression.

Founded in 2004, Pharmaron is a premier service provider for the life sciences industry, working in research, development and manufacturing of drugs. The Chamber Patron employs more than 20,000 people globally, of whom approximately 1,000 are in the UK’s five sites.

Michael van der Merwe, Hoddesdon Site Director, said: “For us to be able to deliver the best service, we must have the best people and ensure that they are always given opportunities to learn as technology and science are always changing.”

At Pharmaron, employee development begins with a comprehensive approach. Through a meticulous training needs

analysis exercise, the company identifies specific areas where employees can enhance their skills and knowledge.

Line managers play a pivotal role in this process, engaging in conversations to pinpoint individual developmental needs and ensuring that training programmes are tailored to meet the unique requirements of each employee, from addressing current role demands to aligning with future career aspirations.

The company then offers career pathways, providing clear guidance on the skills and experiences necessary for advancement.

It has also introduced leadership development programmes spanning different hierarchical levels, from aspiring manager to senior leadership.

“These programmes focus on cultivating essential managerial and leadership skills, preparing employees for greater responsibilities within the organisation.”

At the heart of Pharmaron’s culture is its dedication to continuous learning; it invests in skills development through various avenues, including internal resources and external opportunities. Their learning and development portal serves as a centralised

6 Inspire 61 Patron

hub for accessing training courses, videos and self-learning activities, empowering employees to take charge of their professional growth.

The company’s internal learning and development function further supports employees through coaching, training sessions and other developmental services. It proves its effectiveness through the Kirkpatrick Model which evaluates the results.

“This structured framework allows us to assess the impact of our programmes across various levels, from learner satisfaction to tangible outcomes in performance,” said Michael.

Feedback is sought from employees through multiple methods, including post-training evaluations and annual surveys. This feedback loop is vital in ensuring the continuous improvement and refinement of learning strategies, ensuring alignment with evolving employee needs.

Recognising the value of mentorship, Pharmaron fosters a culture where employees are encouraged to share their own knowledge and experiences.

The Leadership Journey Development Programme stresses the importance of mentoring as a key component of development, providing tools and resources for effective mentorship relationships.

“By nurturing a collaborative environment, we can empower employees to learn from one another, driving innovation and growth across the organisation.”

Pharmaron’s learning and development initiatives are intrinsically aligned with the company’s overarching goals and objectives. Through the rigorous training needs analysis process and senior leadership oversight, every educational opportunity is evaluated for its relevance and contribution to the company’s strategic direction. By investing in employee development, the organisation not only cultivates

individual talent, but also fuels innovation and leadership in its sector, driving the company’s mission forward.

Commitment to employee development goes beyond training programmes – it’s a testament to the company’s dedication to nurturing talent, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and driving excellence in the pharmaceutical industry.

Through tailored initiatives, continuous feedback mechanisms and alignment with company goals, Pharmaron supports its employees to reach their full potential and contribute to the company’s continued success.

Michael commented: “Without our people, we don’t have a business. So, it makes complete sense to provide as many learning opportunities as possible. Our employees know we value them and that builds loyalty. We have great people, and we want to keep them.”

Commitment to employee development goes beyond training programmes – it’s a testament to the company’s dedication to nurturing talent, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and driving excellence in the pharmaceutical industry.
Inspire 61 7 Patron Focus

Enhancing your business through best-in-class systems and trusted advice

It’s often the case that business owners become bogged down in seemingly endless mountains of admin, meaning their time is taken away from focusing on running and growing their business. The introduction of best-in-class cloud accounting technology can alleviate the time constraints, as well as support you in enhancing your business.

The benefits of cloud accounting

1. Time back to grow your business and for doing what you love beyond work

Scaling of your business often must take a back seat due to the ever-rising amount of admin that needs to be done.

Cloud accounting offers efficient and effective working practices aimed at reducing the time associated with routine administrative and processing tasks, giving business leaders more time to focus on running and growing the business, as well as time back to enjoy life beyond work.

2. Supports with compliance and removes associated admin

A significant contributor to the heavy load of admin is the barrage of regulations facing SMEs.

As we move along the timeline for Making Tax Digital, having cloud accounting software in place will ensure MTD compliance well ahead of the deadline.

Automation and digital integrations built into Cloud accounting software help to reduce the laborious process of keeping your business on track with compliance filings such as VAT or PAYE.

3. Real-time access to data to support growth and for strategic, informed decisions

Cloud accounting software offers you access to your current business data anywhere and anytime. Business owners don’t need to wait until books are completed to know how their business is performing. You can therefore be confident, with the ability to be proactive, that you have an up-to-date picture of your financial data.

Through cloud accounting software, both you and your advisor can see the same data, making discussions more informed and strategic.

4. Cashflow improvements

Getting paid quickly is key to positive cashflow, profitability and business growth. Xero’s latest Small Business Index highlighted that, on average, payments to businesses were made 7.1 days late in the three months to September 2023, which is 0.7 days longer than the average for the first half of 2023. Late payments make it difficult for businesses to invest, pay their own bills and manage cashflow.

Using cloud accounting software allows for payment requests as soon as a good or service is delivered, encouraging quicker payments to be made. Software also easily allows you to forecast business cashflow – giving you time to plan ahead, and identify and respond to any potential issues early on.

Most cloud accounting solutions also include features such as bank feeds that automate postings into the software from entries on your electronic bank statements and provide the ability to upload scanned images of receipts and supplier invoices.

5. Gives you control to run a healthy, profitable business

The data offered within cloud accounting puts you in complete control of your business. Using cloud accounting technology reduces the potential for manual errors and mistakes so you know you’re working with accurate and live data about your business.

Having access to this data and a trusted business advisor puts you in the driving seat of your business and back in control to run a healthy, profitable business.

Combining cloud technology with trusted business advice

A trusted business advisor, like Azets, can remove the pain associated with running a business and leave you to focus on what you do best.

We provide bespoke cloud accounting solutions based on your business and operations. Any recommendations or suggestions we make are based on the areas you want to improve in your business.

Our local, trusted business advisors make sure you always know where you stand, how well your business is performing and give personal and practical advice along the way.

If you have any questions in relation to cloud accounting or would like to discuss how to embed cloud accounting within your business, please get in touch with a member of our team and see Azets offer to Chamber members on the opposite page.

8 Inspire 61
SPONSORED FEATURE
cloud technology with trusted business advice
trusted business advisors, our Azets advisors can remove the pain associated with running a business and leave you to focus on what you do best. We implement and embed innovative technology solutions and give you the advice you need to make informed business decisions. Our local, trusted business advisors make sure you always know where you stand, how well your business is performing and give personal and practical advice along the way. Get in touch with Katie Watson to book your free review. katie.watson@azets.co.uk 01992 550847 Hertford #AzetsSMEChampions azets.co.uk We’re offering fellow Hertfordshire Chamber members a free, review of your current bookkeeping system
Combining
As

BCC sets out ‘holistic approach’ to tackling labour concerns

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a new report outlining a 10-point plan to boost workforce skills.

The British Chambers of Commerce People and Work report believes people should be supported at every stage of their journey through education and employment.

Among the recommendations to politicians are:

• An industrial strategy that is fit for purpose.

• Funding a business support service to help employers identify, plan and invest in workforce skills.

• More investment to make careers information, education and guidance a mainstream priority for school leaders.

• Recognition of employers who invest in workplace training, through the tax and procurement systems, and a new skills investment kitemark.

• Boost in-work progression through better access to apprenticeships and learning pathways and by reducing barriers to work.

• Reduce the burden and costs on employers who need to access the immigration system for global talent.

Amanda Freeland, the Herts Chamber’s Local Skills Improvement Plan Project Manager, said: “Among the challenges faced by businesses, one of the key concerns remains the acquisition of skilled personnel and the provision of adequate training to match the demands of their operations. Across various sectors like hospitality, care, engineering, manufacturing, and construction,

Skills report receives backing from Chamber Skills

skill shortages still hinder the growth potential of businesses and limit their entrepreneurial endeavours.

“Empowering businesses with the right workforce and expertise is imperative for fostering economic growth on a national scale. We embrace the recommendations outlined in this report, which complement the insights gleaned from our own research.”

It is the second of five policy documents being published by the BCC’s new Business Council as part of the ‘Future of Economy’ project. The report draws on expertise from businesses of all sizes and sectors, academia and think-tanks.

It identifies that ‘the UK’s labour market is at a crossroads’, with vacancies well above pre-pandemic levels, sitting at around one million, and skills shortages still hampering growth. Looking ahead it says, ‘the workplace is changing, and so are the skills required to navigate it’.

Martha Lane Fox, President of the British Chambers of Commerce and Chair of the Business Council, said: “We face a huge challenge in the workforce.

Empowering businesses with the right workforce and expertise is imperative for fostering economic growth on a national scale. We embrace the recommendations outlined in this report, which complement the insights gleaned from our own research.

We need to focus on recruitment, retaining and retraining. This report sets out a holistic approach that is extremely action-oriented.”

“A long-term industrial strategy from Government needs to be underpinned by changes to local skills provision, a more flexible apprenticeship levy, better careers education and an immigration system that works for business.”

10 Inspire 61

Sustaining Family Business

Family businesses are an important part of local and national economies, but certain issues can recurrently occur to undermine success.

Richard Gvero, Joint Senior Partner and Head of Employment, answers questions about how those challenges are best met.

Q How do we ensure clarity around family members’ roles within the business?

AEnsure that employment contracts and workplace policies are in place defining everyone’s role and rights within the business. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings and conflict.

Q What if a family member wants to leave and set up another business?

A

Make sure that employment contracts contain competition and confidentiality restrictions so that the outgoing family member is not free to compete and use commercially sensitive information damaging the interests of the family business.

Q What about family members who own but are not actively involved in the business?

A

You should have a shareholder agreement in place to deal with the ownership, management, valuation, share transfer and succession issues. You can also specify the family’s vision for the business and how family members should treat each other in relation to the business.

Q Is it okay to deal with business governance issues on an informal basis?

A

As with any business, it is important to have formal corporate governance to ensure regular communication and board meetings which then reduces the scope for misunderstandings and providing a well understood mechanism for decision making.

Q Is it acceptable that family members progress within the business irrespective of merit?

A

This is a common issue within family businesses where the perception is that merit does not matter – which can be very demotivating for other staff From an employment law perspective, more favourable treatment of family members can result in disgruntled employees and potential claims for unfair treatment.

Q How can we ensure family harmony without involving lawyers?

ARegular family meetings can assist to align those involved in the business and those who own but take a “back seat”. Non-binding “family charter” documents are often used to help clarify the overall family vision for the business – they should be regularly reviewed. As the family consensus is recorded, the scope for disagreement is reduced.

Q What do we do if a serious disagreement arises?

AIt is wise to agree a dispute resolution mechanism that is detailed in your shareholder agreement or family charter so everybody understands how a dispute will be resolved. You should try and avoid formal litigation and provide a forum for constructive tackling of issues. The appointment of a non-family/nonexecutive director for “mediation” purposes should family tensions arise is a sensible step to take.

Q What needs to be done to ensure smooth transition from one generation to another?

AIt is a mistake to assume that the business will pass from one generation to the next. Less than a third of family businesses survive into a second generation and an even smaller proportion go beyond. It is never too early to discuss the options of succession or sale and record your collective decisions in your family charter – both routes offer reward and careful planning will make either transition easier.

Inspire 61 11
LEGAL MATTERS • www.longmores.law • 01992 300333 • enquiries@longmores.law • • 24 Castle Street Hertford SG14 1HP •

Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2024

Headline sponsors:

Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards categories:

• Apprenticeship Champion

• Business of the Year East

• Business of the Year North

• Business of the Year South

• Business of the Year West

• Business of the Year Small to Medium

• Business of the Year Medium to Large

• Best Use of Technology

• Community Champion

• Diversity and Inclusion Award

Special Recognition Awards:

• Inspiring Business of the Year

• Outstanding Contribution to Business

• Entrepreneur of the Year

• Excellence in Business Diversification

• Excellence in Customer Commitment

• Excellence in People Development

• Excellence in International Trade

• Family Business of the Year

• Green Award

• Most Promising New Business

• Property and Construction Project of the Year

• Workplace Wellbeing Award

Closing date for award entries: March 11 at 5pm

SAVE THE DATE

INSPIRING HERTS AWARDS

CEREMONY AND GALA DINNER

THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2024

18:00 – 23:30

Tewinbury Farm Hotel, Tewin, nr. Welwyn

Member: £140 + VAT

Non-Member: £165 + VAT 2024

Sponsorship Opportunities available:

• Best use of Technology

• Excellence in Business Diversification

• Workplace Wellbeing

• Business of the Year West Herts

Inspire 61 13
sponsors so far

Inspirational Leader

Breaking the mould

Ogle Director Philip Martin shares his journey from the kid visiting the workshop to leading the company his way

“I always thought I would end up at the business, but it happened sooner than I expected.”

Ogle director Philip Martin is honest about how he came to be heading up one of the country’s most successful and respected 3D printing, modelmaking and prototype businesses. Even though he spent time at the Letchworth site as a young boy when his dad Len held the reins, he hadn’t initially planned to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Yet, now he heads up the company celebrating its 70th anniversary, working with giants from the automotive, film and TV, aerospace and medical sectors, including design and consumer goods.

His initial calling was law. He trained as a lawyer, achieved a degree in criminology as well, and added a Master’s in business and law.

But as his passion for all things legal waned, he developed a new interest in commerce and sales, landing him a role at a technology company.

At the same time, Ogle was making changes at the top with two directors leaving, creating an opening that Len offered to his young protégé. “It was such a good opportunity, I couldn’t really say no,” said 35-year-old Philip. “And I said to Dad, I would really like to have a go at running the business.”

Months later, Philip was forced to do just that as his father fell ill and had to step

away from the business. For Philip it was sink or swim. He chose to swim.

That was the beginning of 2019. In the five years since then, Philip has proudly worn the mantle of leadership and built a culture of inclusivity and togetherness.

“The whole point when I came in was to shadow Dad. But that never happened. I just had to get on with it on my own really. Which was a good thing. It allowed me to my own stamp on the business.

“The business was ready to move to the next stage and I don’t think that would have happened if things had been different.”

Being the boss’s son had the potential to destabilise Philip’s management before it had even started, but as testament to the humble, all-round good guy he is, this was never an issue.

“It was important for me to try to get the team on side, which has its own challenges. But in reality it’s about making relationships with the team and trying to foster an environment where everyone is heard and isn’t just a number. This, I feel, is what a family business should be like, where the whole team is key to its success.”

Philip introduced an improved management structure and supports his team of 32 to develop and also to have a voice in the business. “I’ve encouraged everyone to have more input, so it’s not just me making the decisions.

I’ve encouraged everyone to have more input, so it’s not just me making the decisions. I want everyone to be involved and for us to be more of a team, to get away from them and us.

I want everyone to be involved and for us to be more of a team, to get away from them and us. That’s what I wanted right from the start.”

He defines the changes as incremental, but admits that looking back he can see how far the business has come. “When you’re in it all the time, you don’t see it. But when I think about what it was like when I started and where it is now, I’m proud of what’s been achieved.

“It hasn’t always been plain sailing. Things outside of our control, such as COVID and the Ukraine war, pose challenges to the British economy and UK manufacturing as a whole. Despite this, we have continued to grow and invested in the latest technology.

“We have always stayed abreast of changes and this has ensured we remain at the forefront of our sector and able to provide the best possible service for our clients.

“When it’s my turn to move on, I want to know I’m leaving the business in a better position than it was.”

14 Inspire 61

What is a Lease?

A lease is a formal agreement which provides the Tenant with the right of occupation and control of a specific property to the exclusion of all others (subject to the rights reserved to the Landlord under the lease) for a fixed term.

This arrangement grants Tenants substantial rights, ensuring stability and predictability in their occupancy, whilst preserving certain rights of the Landlord and giving the Landlord the security of knowing that the property can bring in a constant income. A lease creates a legal interest in the land in favour of the Tenant and any subsequent sale of the property would be taken subject to the lease. It would create a separate legal title in a property which is then capable of being transferred, charged and out of which a sub-lease can be created (depending on what rights are granted by the Landlord under the heads of terms).

Leases typically outline specific terms, such as rent amounts, responsibilities for repairs, and the duration of the tenancy. The idea is that a lease provides a framework governing how matters that can crop up during the term of occupation can be dealt with.

Leases can also offer protection to a Tenant, enabling them to remain in occupation of a premises and demand a renewal of the lease at the end of the original lease term, subject to the application of certain conditions.

What is a Licence?

A licence is a more flexible arrangement that grants permission to use a property without providing the licensee with exclusive possession of the property. A licence can be for a rolling term or for a fixed term and

Forms of tenancy on commercial property

Given the complexity and the legal terminology, understanding the nuances between a Lease, a Licence, and a Tenancy at Will is key and can be vital in maintaining the rights and responsibilities of both property owners and those occupying a commercial property.

can often be granted for a period of time whilst a formal lease is being drafted, or in order to allow a Tenant access to a property (though not exclusively) for a fee payable to the licensor.

Often this scenario is beneficial to both licensor and licensee as it allows the licensee to gain access to a property whilst the licensor is usually afforded the ability to end the licence with a relatively short notice period needing to be given.

A licence will not create a legal title in the property and is a personal arrangement between a licensor and licensee.

A licence does not give the licensee the right of occupation and control of a specific property to the exclusion of all others and allows the licensor to relocate the licensee or grant other shared rights over the same property.

A specialist commercial property solicitor should be consulted as an error in drafting or an incorrectly drafted licence could be construed as a lease and as such could confer certain rights to a licensee, which could be problematic to a licensor.

What is a Tenancy at Will?

A tenancy at will is a more transient and informal agreement that allows the Tenant to occupy the premises at the will of the Landlord, however, it is often granted for a very short amount of time. A determining factor of a tenancy at will is that it can be terminated by either party at any time. While it offers flexibility, it also lacks the security and structure inherent in leases, making it a less common choice for longer term tenancy arrangements.

We’re more than just legal experts. We’re trusted advisers who take the time to really understand your issues.

A tenancy at will should only be used in circumstances where a) the Tenant is still in occupation on the expiry of an existing lease, whilst the parties are negotiating the terms of a renewal and b) to allow the Tenant to take occupation whilst a formal lease is yet to be finalised with the Landlord. Though some do use a tenancy at will to otherwise document a short-term letting arrangement, this is not advisable because if occupation continues beyond six months, then this can inadvertently create a periodic tenancy and give the Tenant statutory rights to remain in occupation of the property for a longer term.

How Neves can help you

Understanding the distinctions between these property agreements is crucial, as each option carries its own set of implications for both Landlords and Tenants and it should be carefully considered as to what each party requires before committing to a form of tenancy/occupation. Before entering into any agreement, it is imperative to seek legal advice to ensure that the chosen arrangement aligns with your needs and objectives. Whether you are a Landlord or Tenant, our commercial property specialists at Neves Solicitors can advise on the best option for you.

Inspire 61 15
01582 715234 info@nevesllp.co.uk www.nevesllp.co.uk Neves Solicitors LLP Tollgate House, 69-71 High Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2SL Company Commercial Commercial Property Dispute Resolution Employment Law Family Law Residential Property Will, Trusts & Probate
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Transport links and talent pool make this place cool

A fine quality of life is available in picturesque East Herts, a stronghold for SMEs

With three bustling town centres crammed full of independent shops and hospitality venues, lively East Hertfordshire is a great place to do business.

The three East Herts towns of Hertford, Ware and Bishop’s Stortford boast traditional weekly market days and modern industries.

Key businesses in Ware include pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline and life sciences campus Riverlabs –and commercial developments under way include the Hertford Logistics Hub and the Spark industrial scheme in Bishop’s Stortford.

There are also many residential developments, including housing in Harlow and Gilston Garden Town – with seven new villages containing 10,000 homes.

People are attracted to the area by the picturesque landscape, proximity to London and Cambridge – two of the Golden Triangle cities, along with Oxford – and high quality of life and education.

The area has a high proportion of SME and microbusinesses, with some being highly specialised in their fields.

East Herts is well connected by road and by rail, with key routes including the M11, A10 and A414, and easy access to the airport at Stansted, right next to Bishop’s Stortford.

16 Inspire 61 Spotlight Focus
Images courtesy of East Herts Council Hertford Castle Hartham Common

Mark Asker, managing director of award-winning compressed air specialists Air Energy, loves working in Hertford.

He said: “Our UK operations are mainly across the southeast, which makes the county town an ideal base for us.

“It is a vibrant area with supportive businesses. When I was buying out the business last year from my fatherin-law, I turned to Azets Accountants and Longmores Solicitors, both in Hertford, for their specialist help.”

Mark joined Air Energy in 2015 and had been in charge at the company, guiding it through major development before completing the buyout in July last year.

The business, founded in 2002, has worked with clients including McLaren Formula 1 team, Legoland Windsor and the NHS, and also has an extensive export operation.

Mark said: “Being in Hertford has been great for us. We’re close to major transport links giving us easy access to London, and we’re in an area with a good talent pool that is supporting our growth plans.

“The Meads is also great for walks when my dog Dougie comes into the office. And for business lunches, there is a good selection of restaurants.”

Another fixture of the East Herts landscape is Highway Cycles, which moved to Ware in 1980 from its original base in Enfield Highway, which gave the business its name. Its current stores are in Hertford and Bishop’s Stortford, which opened in 2012 and 2023 respectively.

General manager Adam Simmons said: “East Herts is a great area to trade. The variety of customers, the friendly faces and the community feel is great and we thoroughly enjoy it.

“There is also a great variety of cycle routes in the area, with everything from woodland trails to smooth backroads meaning we cater to all disciplines of cycling.”

Adam explained that he also engages with local government to support and encourage cycling initiatives.

People in East Herts enjoy access to flagship sports centres at Grange Paddocks and Hartham Leisure Centre, as well as the area’s parks, open spaces and cultural activities. Each town has at least one supermarket, with all the familiar names represented.

New shopping developments at Old River Lane in Bishop’s Stortford and Bircherley Green in Hertford will complement the existing retail and hospitality offerings in the towns.

It is a vibrant area with supportive businesses. When I was buying out the business last year from my father-in-law, I turned to Azets Accountants and Longmores Solicitors, both in Hertford, for their specialist help.
Inspire 61 17 Spotlight Focus
Hertford museum View to Old Cross Wharf

Spotlight Focus

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, this is the place for you. We can’t wait to see you here.

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Discover your offices of tomorrow, today

High-tech hub off M25 the perfect place for business base

When you’re deciding where you base your business, one thing you can’t change about a location is where it actually is – so it’s vital you get it right.

And you can be well set up in the Borough of Broxbourne, the up-and-coming tech area just off the M25 where you can be neighbours with a brandnew Google data centre and Hertfordshire’s answer to Hollywood at Sunset Studios.

The jewel in Broxbourne’s business crown is the new £10m Theobalds Enterprise Centre (TEC), a stateof-the-art enterprise centre, offering flexible offices, coworking spaces, workshop units and studios with business support, which is perfect for your start-up, SME or growing business.

TEC, which officially opened in November, is part of Broxbourne Enterprise Centres (BEC), which is joined by Hoddesdon Enterprise Centre (HEC). Zoe Galea, Centre Manager, manages both sites.

Zoe said: “Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, this is the place for you. We can’t wait to see you here.

“The location is superb – you’ll be just off the motorway, which means less time travelling and more time for you to do the important stuff. And there’s car and bike parking on site, so you won’t need to mess around looking for a space.

“This is a massive growth area. You’ll have Sky and Sunset Studios on your doorstep, and Google’s new data centre is being built next to TEC right now. It’s going to be a real hotspot for technology and the creative arts, and you can be a part of it.”

Other major developments in Broxbourne include new housing at Brookfield Riverside and Garden Village, the Rennaissance scheme to breathe fresh life into Waltham Cross town centre, and the Cheshunt Lakeside mixeduse development.

The progressive spirit of the area is encapsulated by the Green Wall beside the A10 in Waltham Cross, where a previously bare brick wall is now covered in plants and greenery. The wall includes 6,500 plants across 200 square metres, and naturally helps to improve air quality.

Broxbourne also has excellent leisure centres and green spaces, and it’ll be easy for you to get around from either TEC or HEC. You can get into Cheshunt or Waltham Cross within four minutes from TEC, and from HEC, it’ll take you five minutes to get to the heart of Hoddesdon. Waltham Cross and Hoddesdon have lively market days each Wednesday and Friday.

If you’re going to be using trains, the two centres are also near railway stations – Rye House railway station is eight minutes away from HEC, and TEC is 10 minutes on foot from Theobalds Grove station. It’s not far to London Liverpool Street, Stratford or Cambridge, and Stansted Airport is within easy reach.

Businesses already based at TEC include VOW Nutrition, which launched five years ago and whose drinks are set to power Team GB athletes at this summer’s Paris Olympics.

VOW founder Simon Stevens was delighted back in December to welcome canoeists Joe Clarke, Mallory Franklin, Kimberley Woods and Adam Burgess to his base on TEC’s top floor, with views across to London.

Simon said: “It was an incredible pleasure to have members of Team GB at our fantastic new offices. It was a great opportunity to show off our new space.

“Now we’re here, we won’t be moving. And we’re potentially looking at taking on some more space.

“I think it’s an up-and-coming area and I was badgering the council to get my name on the list when I first heard about the plans. We’ve been having almost daily visits from people and meetings since we moved in – where we were before, we couldn’t invite anyone in.

“There’s a lovely little coffee area where they can wait when they arrive and there are great facilities throughout, especially plenty of parking.

“As we’re growing and talking to more retailers, it’s important to be able to invite them to our office. Quite often these people want to see where you’re based and we are proud to bring people here.”

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Spotlight Focus

Hertfordshire Growth Board sets ambitious vision for sustainable future

Hertfordshire’s leaders have set out a shared vision

for sustainable growth that will benefit residents, businesses and communities for future generations.

Made up of representatives from across Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire LEP, the 10 district and borough councils, the police and health, Hertfordshire Growth Board (HGB) works together to deliver a thriving and sustainable economy, environment and society across the county.

Over the past year, HGB leaders have come together around a shared purpose and set of countywide goals to help identify opportunities that will unlock and boost investment, take a more joined up approach to growth challenges and respond to wider societal pressures. These six goals, known as missions, were then developed further after the public fed back their views via a survey which attracted 4,379 responses.

Hertfordshire is a dynamic county generating over £46bn GDP every year with world-leading strengths in advanced manufacturing, creative industries, digital and technology and green industries powering the UK economy and its future priorities. Recognised as a leading destination to start and scale a business, and home to many global and rapidly expanding companies, the county exports goods and services daily across the world, driving commercial success. This creates high-value jobs and drives appetite to invest.

Its road and rail links to other parts of the UK, proximity to London and four international airports, makes it easier for companies to retain and recruit staff attracted by Hertfordshire’s diverse mix of old and New Towns, Garden Cities and planned garden communities, green spaces and range of quality schools and FE options.

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SPONSORED FEATURE

But there are real challenges too. Hertfordshire’s 1.2m population is growing faster than the national average, placing increased demands for more housing, healthcare, schools and transport. In 2022, 17% of Hertfordshire’s population was aged over 65; this is expected to rise to nearly a quarter by 2043.

There are disparities across the county relating to lower-level skills, low pay, pockets of deprivation, health inequalities, and rates of crime, digital exclusion and difficulty accessing quality affordable housing. The rising costs of living continue to significantly impact many residents, while the impact from rising inflation, economic instability following Brexit and Covid-19, the availability of employment land and grow-on space are also posing potential threats to business and jobs growth.

Better transport links, particularly east to west, are required to connect people to where they live, work, and visit and make it easier to access healthcare and education, offering improved choice that is reliable, accessible and safe.

And, of course, like the rest of the world, the county is suffering the effects of climate change. This requires us to radically rethink how we can make our existing homes and buildings more energy efficient, reducing fuel costs for the most vulnerable and embracing modern methods of construction and other new technologies to build greener new homes. Wherever possible, people should be encouraged to use more sustainable forms of transport to reduce carbon emissions.

In response to these opportunities and challenges, HGB leaders have developed a shared vision that will help guide and steer the focus of the Growth Board over the coming years.

This vison sets out a collective ambition to create:

• A vibrant and resilient economy that seizes the right opportunities, enabling Hertfordshire’s residents and businesses to succeed.

• Healthy, inclusive, safe and betterconnected communities who thrive, and enjoy Hertfordshire’s quality of life

• A place that grows responsibly, and celebrates its heritage, diversity, rural and green landscapes that makes Hertfordshire special.

Six core missions were then identified to take forward this new vision:

World Class Economy

Enhance Hertfordshire’s reputation as a world-class economy by improving skills and job opportunities for residents, growing our key sectors and accelerating business investment into the county;

Digital Access

Every Hertfordshire resident to have access to best-inclass connectivity, essential digital skills, and the device or support that they need to be online by 2030;

Transport for Hertfordshire

Deliver a safe and integrated transport system which unlocks growth and enables communities and businesses to thrive;

Right Homes, Right Places

Deliver the right homes, including increasing the provision of social/affordable and specialist homes, in the right locations and with associated infrastructure, to support the county’s socioeconomic prosperity;

Healthy and Safe Places for All

By 2040, Hertfordshire’s residents and communities will benefit from neighbourhoods that are designed and regenerated with physical health, mental wellbeing, safety and social connectedness at the heart;

Sustainable County

By 2050, Hertfordshire will be a prosperous, low carbon economy with a thriving natural environment, having maximised the benefits of sustainable growth for our residents and businesses, and achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

These missions were road-tested with the public to ensure they were representative of local views. The results of the survey, which ran for one month between NovemberDecember 2023, demonstrated that an overwhelming majority were strongly in favour of the missions, in particular Healthy Places (88%); World Class Economy (85%) and Transport for Hertfordshire (85%). Cont.>>>

Inspire 61 21 HERTFORDSHIRE GROWTH BOARD

Respondents were able to leave more detailed comments on each mission to provide much richer insight. These included:

• World Class Economy: “Local economy is very important to both help fund and sustain a thriving and stable society.”

• Right Homes, Right Places: “Decent homes for the less advantaged and more vulnerable members of our community must come first.”

• Sustainable County: “We need to do something worthwhile to protect this environment for the future generations.”

Feedback analysis on the engagement findings have helped to shape the final report with sustainable goals, actions and success measures defined for each mission.

The Vision and Missions report was officially launched at a meeting of the Hertfordshire Infrastructure and Development Board at Sopwell House, St Albans, on 28 February. The focus now will be taking forward the actions and reporting back on progress to residents and stakeholders, with a series of ‘Meet the Leaders’ business breakfasts scheduled to start later in the year.

Cllr Richard Roberts, Leader, Hertfordshire County Council and Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “The Vision and Missions represent a significant step change in how this county will work together to deliver good, sustainable growth. Hertfordshire’s leaders across place, policing, health and the economy are united by a common purpose that will guide our future direction. We will continue to ensure Hertfordshire remains a world class economy where residents and businesses thrive, that we have the best in class digital connectivity in all parts of our county and that residents

The Vision and Missions represent a significant step change in how this county will work together to deliver good, sustainable growth. Hertfordshire’s leaders across place, policing, health and the economy are united by a common purpose that will guide our future direction. We will continue to ensure Hertfordshire remains a world class economy where residents and businesses thrive, that we have the best in class digital connectivity in all parts of our county and that residents benefit from improved access and choice in passenger transport, quality sustainable homes and access to natural green spaces.

Cllr Richard Roberts, Leader, Hertfordshire County Council, and Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board

benefit from improved access and choice in passenger transport, quality sustainable homes and access to natural green spaces.”

Cllr Elizabeth Dennis, Leader of North Herts Council and Vice Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “This has been a huge undertaking taken together in partnership with our businesses, district and borough colleagues to ensure that the Vision and Missions are representative of local views. For us to deliver on the issues that really matter, we first had to listen to our communities about the needs and challenges they faced. This broadened our understanding and will help us to deliver lasting and profound benefits for the many not just the privileged few, widening access and participation to all. This is just the start of a countywide conversation and I look forward to updating businesses and residents on our progress later in the year.”

Cllr Chris White, Leader of St Albans City and District Council and Vice Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “This joined up approach to growth will help us to create a more resilient economy so that our businesses are better equipped to succeed, our communities thrive, and that we ensure a sustainable future for Hertfordshire. Our missions will help Hertfordshire to reach its full economic potential and in doing so, raise living standards for its communities and towards a more sustainable and inclusive definition of economic success.”

The full Hertfordshire Vision and Missions Report and the findings of the Engagement Survey are available to view at www.hertfordshiregrowthboard.com

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SPONSORED FEATURE

Labour launches Life Sciences Sector Plan at

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst to

see how SBC is supporting the scale up of innovation and next generation healthcare

In January, Wes Streeting, Shadow Health Minister, and Peter Kyle, Shadow Science Minister, launched Labour’s Life Sciences Strategy at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) and witnessed at first-hand how SBC is supporting the scale up of scientific research and the latest technologies to revolutionise future healthcare.

The campus at Gunnels Wood Road hosts one of GSK’s two main global research and development facilities, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, a leading UK location for start-ups and established companies to develop and commercialise cutting edge therapeutics. This co-location of R&D and manufacturing facilities is unique within the Golden Research Triangle of Oxford-Cambridge-London. This enables companies to move from start-up to scale up and the commercialisation of potentially life-saving therapeutics.

In 2020, the Stevenage campus was awarded Life Sciences Opportunity Zone status by the Government and High Potential Opportunity status for its excellence in cell and gene therapy by the Department for Business and Trade. It is now a leading life science cluster with a world-recognised specialism in cell and gene therapy.

The Shadow Ministers were greeted by Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst CEO Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE who led them on a tour of SBC’s facilities. SBC is home to over 40 companies, which since opening in 2011, have raised over £3bn in funding, with Stevenage, a relative newcomer, now on a par for equity raised on biotechnology (2017-2020) with the more established life science clusters of Oxford, Cambridge, and London.

Early-stage innovation is nurtured at SBC’s Lab Hotel which provides fledgling start-ups with rent-free space for six months. Wes Streeting and Peter Kyle met with the CEOs of three current Lab Hotel occupiers: Genevation which is developing anti-cancer vaccines; Vasodynamics, which is helping patients with the side effects from chemotherapy and Plurify which is advancing cell and gene therapy for a range of future treatments. They also met with Complement Therapeutics which successfully raised over €72million funding in 2023 to help tackle vision loss in older people and other eye conditions.

Following the tour, the Labour Ministers took part in a roundtable discussion with leaders from SBC, AstraZeneca, GSK, BioIndustry Association (BIA) together with two of SBC’s high growth companies Complement Therapeutics and Autifony Therapeutics to discuss some of the biggest opportunities and challenges facing the sector. This provided Labour with valuable feedback on their plans to support the sector’s start-ups, scale-ups, and established companies. Labour has announced that if elected it would increase investment in research and development in the pharmaceutical sector by £10bn a year. The focus will be on the development of next generation medical treatments such as cell and gene therapy, mRNA vaccines and the use of AI in healthcare – all very much in evidence today at SBC.

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE, said: “The fact that Labour chose to launch their Life Sciences Strategy here in Stevenage demonstrates that the innovation happening on campus is powering the UK economy and the next generation of healthcare. This was a great opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic science taking place at SBC and also to have a frank and open conversation about the challenges facing our sector.”

Peter Kyle, Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “If we get this right, we can transform the NHS so that it becomes an engine of innovation, a driver of growth and a public service that once again delivers world class outcomes for patients. Labour will work hand in glove with life sciences companies to tackle the biggest killers, reduce the number of lives lost to heart disease, stroke and cancer and create thousands of new jobs across the country.”

Wes Streeting, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “The life sciences are key to our mission for an NHS fit for the future and pioneering breakthroughs that will transform and extend lives for the better. […] This plan will ensure that NHS patients get better care and that more lifesaving medicines are developed right here in the UK to help people live better lives.”

Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the BioIndustry Association, said: “Innovative small companies are the innovation drivers for the life sciences industry and facilities like Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst provide them with valuable support on their scaling journey. The plans set out by Labour today will help ensure sites like this can continue to deliver economic growth for their local communities and innovative medicines for the world.”

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SPONSORED FEATURE Find out more about Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst www.stevenagecatalyst.com
SBC’s CEO Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE and Shadow Science Minister Peter Kyle and Shadow Health Minister Wes Streeting SBC based start-up Plurify meet the Shadow Ministers and take them on a tour of their lab space

Events programme

13/03

NETWORK AT HOLLAND & HOLLAND SHOOTING GROUNDS

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

14:00-17:00

Holland & Holland Shooting Ground, Ducks Hill Road, HA6 2ST

Member: £55 + VAT

Non-member: £65 + VAT

Upcoming Events

Join us for a networking event with the chance to experience the Holland & Holland Shooting Grounds, set in 60 acres of beautiful open countryside on the outskirts of London. Holland & Holland has excelled at providing world-class shooting tuition since 1939 and remains the premier destination to fire shotguns and rifles. You will have the opportunity to network and participate in a one-hour clay pigeon shooting experience with up to 50 Hertfordshire business professionals. Refreshments will also be available.

20/03

UNLOCK YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL: LEARN FROM AND SHARE EXPERIENCES WITH YOUR PEERS

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20

08:30-10:30

DoubleTree by Hilton London ElstreeBarnet Bypass, WD6 5PU

Member: £15 + VAT

Non-member: £20 + VAT

Are you looking for real-world help and advice to realise the potential in your business, overcome key challenges and avoid making mistakes?

Peer advisory boards, also known as peer boards or peer groups, have become increasingly popular in the business world as a tool for professional development and business improvement. They offer:

• Diverse perspectives

• Knowledge sharing and best practice ideas

• Skills development

• Innovative strategies

• Accountability

Join us to experience a peer advisory board run by certified facilitators

Andrew Butchart and Martin Munro from The Alternative Board. You will experience a peer board in action and witness business leaders who:

• Speak honestly and openly in a confidential environment. NDAs will be distributed

• Ask sometimes tough questions and challenge you to stay accountable

• Push you to think about things you might put off

• Encourage you to outperform your goals

• Focus on your journey as well as your destination

• Connect you with valuable resources. Help you gain personal and professional momentum

15/03

UNDERSTANDING EXPORT

FRIDAY, MARCH 15

09:30-12:30

Via Zoom

Member: £350 + VAT

Non-member: £400 + VAT

This online British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited course provides an overview of the complete export process and covers the key elements delegates would need to understand to start to formulate a successful export strategy.

These procedures are explained in simple everyday terms and delegates will leave equipped with a good understanding and knowledge of current best practice.

The content includes:

• What is an export and the export process?

• Standard export documents

• Why is it important to know where the UK has trade agreements?

• What is a contract of sale and what is a purchase order?

• What are Incoterms and the importance of using them in an international contract?

• The importance of commodity/tariff codes in international trade

• Packaging, shipping marks and handling labels

• Understanding embargoes and sanctions and what type of goods are controlled

• The advantages of using and working with freight forwarders

• Proof of export

21/03

MARCH CHAMBER LUNCH

THURSDAY, MARCH 21

11:45-14:15

Fanhams Hall Hotel, Fanhams Hall Road, SG12 7PZ

Member: £45 + VAT

Non-member: £55 + VAT

Our speaker is Bruce McKinnon, Founder of The Brand Arrow, an awardwinning framework designed to assist companies in identifying what their brand stands for and how to consistently communicate this.

What’s your point?

Every brand needs a point, a sharp definition of its purpose that will stick in people’s minds. It stands to reason that a brand aligned behind a shared point will have a better chance of success than one that isn’t. This means making decisions about what that one point is, and that can be very challenging. Brand strategy is a tool that can equip businesses to be able to make those decisions.

In his talk, Bruce will outline the six key benefits of a brand strategy and then outline the elements that make up a brand strategy and how they can add value to any business.

It’s an engaging talk with lots of stories.

Come along to this event for a delicious lunch, a chance to catch up with existing business contacts and use the opportunity to meet and network with new potential clients

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05/04

22/03

NETWALKING

FRIDAY, MARCH 22

09:00-11:00

Hatfield Park, Hatfield Park Estate Office, Hatfield House, AL9 5NQ

Member: Free

Non-member: Free

Join us for a unique networking experience at Hatfield Park. Step into nature’s boardroom as we combine the benefits of networking with the joy of walking. Connect with fellow business professionals amidst the scenic beauty of Hatfield Park, fostering meaningful conversations while enjoying complimentary refreshments. Embrace a refreshing approach to networking, where well-behaved dogs are not just welcomed, but encouraged to join. Elevate your networking game while taking steps towards a healthier, more collaborative business community.

Don’t miss this opportunity to build meaningful connections while exploring the beautiful Hatfield Park – an ideal setting for cultivating your professional network.

18/04

APRIL CHAMBER LUNCH

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

11:45-14:15

Cromwell Hotel, High Street, Stevenage, SG1 3AZ

Member: £50 + VAT

Non-member: £60 + VAT

Our speaker will be Dr Anthony Lovat BDS, Chairman, OPRO Group, who will tell the fascinating story of how OPRO went from a dining room in Hertfordshire to being an international brand.

Founded more than 25 years ago in 1997 by Dr Lovat, OPRO is the world’s most technically advanced mouthguard company and a leading pioneer in oral protection. From their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hemel Hempstead, they are dedicated to creating the ultimate in dental protection by using innovation and technology for the good of athletes at all levels of sport.

HGG&G NATURE CONSERVATION

SESSION 2024

FRIDAY APRIL, 5

09:00-12:00 or 13:00-16:00

Home Farm Glamping – www. homefarmglamping.com, WD6 3AZ

Member: £15.00

These new Chamber events for 2024 are being held in partnership with the Herts Go Green and Grow team and Home Farm Glamping, a boutique glamping site on the Aldenham Estate, Elstree. Volunteer events offer a range of powerful benefits demonstrating your company’s intentions, improving staff retention, helping with work wellbeing, and fostering team unity.

Your taster session will be led by Lucy Attwooll-Jones, the Estate’s gardener, who is working closely alongside habitat and conservation consultant, Rob Hopkins, on an ambitious environment management plan which was designed by the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Depending on the need, you will be carrying out a variety of duties with Lucy, which will vary from month to month, but include:

• Tree planting

• Habitat creation

• Fence building

• Woodland management

• Removing invasive species

• Planting, weeding and supporting in the community garden

19/04

CUSTOMS PROCEDURES AND DOCUMENTATION

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

09:30-12:30

VIA ZOOM

MEMBER: £365 + VAT

NON-MEMBER: £425 + VAT

This online British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited course is designed to help delegates understand procedures required to move products in and out of the UK. It will also provide you with the information you need to be able to understand how to comply with customs.

The content of this course includes:

• What is the World Trade Organisation and what do they do?

• What are the main roles of HMRC?

• Under what circumstances can goods be considered as wholly produced in the UK?

• Explanation of the term ‘free circulation’

• What is an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)?

• Explanation of the transition from CHIEF to CDS

• The importance of goods being classified correctly and the responsible parties

• What do Procedure Codes tell HMRC?

• The different types of duty or tax that may be applicable when importing

• An explanation of the methods of valuation for import

• Customs special procedures and the benefits they offer importers into the UK.

Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

23/04

LEARN HOW HERTS CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP CAN SUPPORT YOUR BUSINESS

TUESDAY, APRIL 23

08:30-10:30

Herts Chamber of Commerce, York House, Salisbury Square, Old Hatfield, AL9 5AD

Member: Free

Non-member: Free

Join us for a complimentary networking breakfast specifically for businesses who are not currently Herts Chamber members, and who want to learn how membership benefits can support their organisations to ‘Connect, Collaborate and Grow’. There will be ample time for networking. Herts Chamber members are also welcomed.

Established in 1924, the Herts Chamber is a privately run membership organisation that can open doors for local businesses and organisations of all types and size by helping them to grow their profile and connect with other businesses locally, nationally and globally.

As one of the 53 British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited Chambers, Herts Chamber members can benefit from this association nationally, as well as through almost 80 British Chambers of Commerce and business groups located in every continent of the world.

26/04

CHAMBER MEMBERS NETWORKING AND BREAKFAST

FRIDAY, APRIL 26

08:30-10:30

Herts Chamber of Commerce, York House, Salisbury Square, Old Hatfield, AL9 5AD

Member: Free

Experience the exclusive networking prowess of our Chamber Networking Breakfasts. Our complimentary, members-only breakfasts are meticulously designed to provide a conducive environment for strategic connections. Immerse yourself in two hours of valuable networking, where like-minded professionals converge to forge meaningful relationships and amplify business opportunities.

24/04

PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION SUMMIT

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24

16:00-18:00

VolkerWessels UK, Hertford Road, EN11 9BX

Member: £30 + VAT

Non-member: £40 + VAT

Join us for the Property and Construction Summit with Willmott Dixon as our headline sponsor.

This summit is one of a series, designed to focus on key industries within Hertfordshire and provide a platform for sharing information, ideas and latest thinking.

Property and construction is a sector that has been high on the Chamber agenda for many years, as we recognise the importance of this industry to the county and the many companies within its associated supply chain. This year’s summit supports the work of Herts Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), for which many of our members have provided valuable input.

01/05

BUSINESS BREAKFAST WITH DOBSONS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1

08:30-10:30

Dobsons Home Specialists, 128 Turners Hill, EN8 9BN

Member: Free

Non-member: Free

Join us at the fabulous Dobsons showroom in Cheshunt, for a hot breakfast and refreshments, followed by a networking opportunity, providing the chance to meet with a variety of different businesspeople in an informal atmosphere, to listen and share experiences.

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09/05

02/05

HERTFORDSHIRE PA CLUB

THURSDAY, MAY 2

12:00-14:00

Knebworth Barns Conference and Banqueting Centre, Knebworth Park, SG3 6PY

Member: Free

Non-member: £15 + VAT

Hertfordshire PA Club is designed for personal assistants, executive assistants and virtual assistants, offering the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts with other like-minded colleagues over a delicious buffet lunch, and experience some of Hertfordshire’s beautiful venues. We hope to see you at our first PA Club lunch of 2024.

14/05

THE KING’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE LAUNCH

TUESDAY, MAY 14

11:00-12:00

Via Zoom

Member: Free

Non-member: Free

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is delighted to announce the launch of the newly named The King’s Awards for Enterprise.

The Chamber is hosting the launch of these awards to promote their importance and encourage businesses within Hertfordshire to submit entries.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious, given in recognition of outstanding achievement by UK businesses, across the following four categories:

• Innovation

• International trade

• Sustainable development

• Promoting opportunity through social mobility

We will hear from HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE, CStJ who will be joining us to emphasise the significance of these awards.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP AFTERNOON TEA

THURSDAY, MAY 9

11:45-14:15

Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden

Member: £50 + VAT

Non-member: £60 + VAT

Our speaker will be Samantha Jinks, Director of Business Development at Woodhouse Workspace, who will be discussing her journey from retail to real estate and the evolution of contemporary workplace trends.

Samantha will reveal:

• Her career voyage from the fashion industry to corporate real estate spanning the US, Istanbul and London

• Intriguing parallels between her experiences in fashion and corporate real estate

• How her diverse career path uniquely positions her to explore how retail design influences contemporary workplaces

• How her firsthand insights from both industries unveil the powerful impact of retail design principles on modern office spaces

Come along to hear from our guest speaker and enjoy afternoon tea.

17/05

INCOTERMS® 2020 RULES

FRIDAY, MAY 17

09:30-12:30

Via Zoom

Member: £365 + VAT

Non-member: £425 + VAT

This online British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited course outlines the risk, responsibility and obligation between the buyer and the seller for each transaction. The course will take you through all the aspects of understanding Incoterms 2020 and covers:

• An explanation of the different versions of Incoterms

• The differences between the 2010 and 2020 versions

• An explanation of the risk, cost and obligations

• What Incoterms do not cover

• The importance of how they are written on international trade documentation

• A description of each Incoterm

• Common misunderstanding and pitfalls when using Incoterms

• The importance of making sure your customers understand the terms being used for a shipment

Upcoming Events

Inspire 61 27

Women in Leadership

Stop apologising, Chamber MD urges women

Fourth annual conference attracts largest attendance yet as focus falls on driving change

The fourth annual Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Leadership conference was a celebration for women everywhere.

Almost 200 delegates attended the event at Sopwell House in St Albans – the biggest turnout yet – to hear from truly inspirational speakers, with an over-riding message of women have every right to be their authentic selves in business and in life – and should never have to apologise for that.

The tone of the day was set by the Chamber’s Managing Director, Donna Schultz, who said: “As business people, the greatest power we possess is the ability to recognise our own strengths and challenges and surround ourselves with the right people.

“Together, not only do we connect, collaborate and grow, but we clear the path for the success of future female leaders.”

She encouraged attendees to drop the apologies and assert themselves with confidence.

Kicking off the keynote speeches at the event, sponsored by global healthcare firm Viatris, former athlete Annie Brewster talked about ditching the track shoes and donning the mantle of authority as she enjoyed an impressive career in politics.

As mayor of the City and District of St Albans (2013-2014) and the chairman of Hertfordshire County Council (2022-23), Annie shared what it was like to walk into council meetings and discover she was the only woman in a sea of male councillors. But by being herself and holding her own in meetings she made her mark on communities across Hertfordshire.

There was an emotional moment when Jasmin Julia Gupta of Cancer Hair Care welcomed Helen Patterson to the stage. Helen, director of JHP Electrical Services, spoke at the Women in Leadership conference two years ago. Just six months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She described the impact of losing her long hair – particularly as she continued working – and how she found the right look to boost her confidence post-chemo.

The second keynote speaker of the event was author and researcher Christine Armstrong. A talented storyteller, Christine entertained the room when she spoke candidly about how her lowest moments led to her finding her niche.

As a mother, she wondered: how is everyone doing this? How are women balancing work and motherhood? Many common responses weren’t helpful. It’s not about whiteboard planning or whipping out the slow cooker, she determined, but finding a way to speak the truth, show up as you are, identify your strengths, and think ahead.

The day was rounded off with a lively discussion among a panel of successful women: Christine Armstrong, keynote speaker and author; Professor Mairi Watson, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire; Laura Pearce, Founder and Managing Director, Strand PR; Annabel Lait, Director, Saunders Architecture and Urban Design; Rebecca Morgan, Principal Design Manager, Willmott Dixon; Emily Waddell, Head of Marketing and Business Development, Taylor Walton Solicitors; and Dr Alison Knight, Director of Place, Broxbourne Borough Council.

While the panel discussed hybrid work as a way of attracting women into leadership roles, a lot of the focus was on the language men use around them.

28 Inspire 61

As the panel answered audience questions, one of the male attendees asked: what can men do differently to support female colleagues?

Laura noted that men may be more likely to listen if another man speaks out against sexist comments.

The panel agreed the culture was already changing, and as more women enter leadership positions, supporting fellow women and mentoring the next generation becomes even more important.

MULTIPLE THEMES UP FOR DISCUSSION

Attendees of the conference were given the opportunity to join two breakout sessions of their choice.

Hailing from Viatris, Commercial Leader in the Pharmacy Business Unit, Alison Dixon, spoke about the role understanding yourself plays in finding your leadership voice.

Founder and Managing Director of The Woman behind the Women, Jo Phillips, described the importance of visibility when it comes to seeking promotions. Women often expect their achievements to speak for themselves, but it is crucial to talk about them.

GP and menopause specialist, Dr Wendy Molefi, discussed the impact of menopause on women in the workplace and she provided practical tools for embracing this life stage while also normalising the conversation surrounding menopause.

Emma Ellis, Marketing Director at Amber Mountain Marketing, shared tips for creating and maintaining a personal brand. She encouraged women to think about what makes them unique, identify their values, and determine their “why”.

Liz Redway, Managing Director at Redway HR, discussed how to create a culture that facilitates sustainable success within an organisation. She shared several structures that drive innovation and growth.

Nachelle Crowther, Founder and CEO of Evolve Generation, shared insights on communicating with influence and impact. She engaged the delegates with her advice on pitching customers and building a rapport with those around you.

There were also 10 businesses with exhibition stands, including: Sarah-J Coaching, Emmy’s Brigadeiro, Air Aesthetics and Wellness, Rothamsted Enterprises, Cancer Hair Care, Space, Reassurance Security Services, Step2Skills, Hertfordshire Growth Hub, and DOHR.

Sponsored by:

Women in Leadership

Inspire 61 29

HERTFORDSHIRE FILM OFFICEyour partner in film

From budget to blockbuster, Bovingdon to Broxbourne, Hertfordshire is working hand in hand with the creative sector to drive future growth.

Hertfordshire is now the No. 1 destination in the UK for film and TV - home to a world class cluster of renowned studios, on a par with Hollywood. There are currently 13 major film studios around the capital, with all but two either in south west Herts or west of London. Elstree Film Studios is the oldest studio in the county and also the only set of studios owned by a local authority – Hertsmere Borough Council.

Recent investment in the sector has cemented the county’s reputation, with potentially thousands of new jobs in the pipeline. This includes the UK’s newest state-of-the-art film and TV studio now operational at Sky Studios Elstree with 12 sound stages and £3bn of production investment from Sky and sister company NBC Universal, both part of Comcast Group.

Earlier this year, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt welcomed the announcement by Warner Bros. Discovery that it would be pumping significantly more investment into Warner Bros Studios Leavesden (WBSL). In a huge boost for the film and TV production sector, WBSL will become the production hub for DC Studios, increasing the total stage count from 19 to 29 and the overall production space from 1.14m sq. ft. to 1.78m sq. ft.

Two of the top three performers at the UK and Ireland box office were produced at WBSL, which is situated just outside Watford. According to the British Film Institute (BFI), Barbie earned £95.6m in box office revenue, while Wonka starring Timothée Chalamet and Olivia Colman came in third, grossing £58.4m.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer stated in response: “Hertfordshire is the jewel in the crown of the British film industry. Millions of pounds are spent on film and high-end TV production in Hertfordshire each year and the county’s success lies in its attractiveness to world-renowned studios and its highly talented workforce.”

Hertfordshire has long understood the scale of the opportunity, with the Film Office providing a ‘Mission Possible’ approach to increasing film and TV production and screen tourism in the county.

Powered by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with funding from Hertfordshire Growth Board and district councils, the Film Office is testament

to how local government is working with the creative sector to make it easier to do business here. HFO provides a one-stop-shop service to support all film and TV-related activity across the county. It positions Hertfordshire as the premiere filming destination of choice in the UK, offering a bespoke concierge service to help location managers and production companies to quickly and conveniently source film locations, crew, industry suppliers, highway filming permits and more.

HFO has assisted with nearly 250 production enquiries since April 2023 and generated over £5.2m of estimated local spend for Hertfordshire. This is all the more staggering given the impact of Hollywood strikes which saw spend on UK’s film and high-end TV (HETV) reaching over £4.23bn in 2023, 32% down on 2022, according to the BFI.

The HFO website was officially launched at two Creative Roadshow events which took place at Ashridge House, Berkhamsted, on 27 February and Knebworth Barns, Knebworth, on 6 March. These were aimed at ensuring places, people and businesses are aware of the scale of the opportunity. Companies were also invited to apply for the Government’s Create Growth Programme, delivered locally by Hertfordshire LEP. This provides SMEs already within the county’s booming film and TV sector or those looking to join its supply chain with specialist business support to secure new commercial opportunities, launch high-value products or services, and get investment-ready.

30 Inspire 61 SPONSORED FEATURE

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, Leader, Three Rivers District Council, and Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board’s Film and TV Steering Group, said: “Two out of three of the biggest UK and Ireland box office hits, Barbie and Wonka, were made here. With the scale of investment planned, Hertfordshire must be ready to respond. Hertfordshire Film Office streamlines enquiries from production companies, no matter how big or small, making it easier to find fabulous locations and access talent to bring creative visions to life. It’s fantastic to hear of HFO’s success so far – now it can widen its reach even further thanks its new website.”

Mayor Peter Taylor, Leader, Watford Borough Council, and Vice-Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board’s Film and TV Steering Group, said: “Hertfordshire’s world-leading film and TV studios are driving an appetite to invest. This creates huge opportunities for young people to enter the screen industry and those with transferable skills in, for example, carpentry, hairdressing or digital artistry to retrain. The Film Office is a great example of how local government is working hand-in-hand with industry to make a real and tangible impact.”

Cllr Richard Roberts, Leader, Hertfordshire County Council, and Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board, said: “Hertfordshire has a rich heritage in film-making from Star Wars to Paddington, Saving Private Ryan to Band of Brothers. This is the golden age for Hertfordshire, spearheading skills development and driving job creation.

It takes an army of different tradespeople and a diverse range of talent to produce a film. Thanks to our co-ordinated approach, working hand in hand with industry, we can ensure our residents and businesses are poised to benefit.”

David Conway, CEO, Pinewood Group, and Chair of Hertfordshire LEP’s Film and TV Industry Panel said: “Film and TV production is a global industry and productions have choices, so we need to make it as attractive and as easy as possible for them to film here. The Hertfordshire Film Office is a catalyst for just that and I am delighted we are now in a position to launch its new website, which will act as a gateway to this vital service to the benefit of the county.”

Hollywood – watch this space!

Inspire 61 31 HERTFORDSHIRE LEP
Visit the Hertfordshire
www.hertfordshirefilmoffice.co.uk For more information on the Create Growth Programme and how to apply, visit the Business Pages of www.hertfordshirelep.com
Film Office:

‘Key’ appointments boost Chamber team in 100th year

MD happy to find two women with ‘impressive track records’ for important roles

The Chamber started its centenary year by strengthening the team with the appointment of two ‘key’ individuals.

Amanda Freeland has joined as the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Project Manager, a role previously held by John Woodruffe.

Amanda, who has almost 30 years of experience in SME business support, including managing various transformation projects and EU-wide work on business support standards, will be leading the second stage of LSIP, building on the work carried out last year for the initial phase.

Responsible for setting up the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, she will be familiar to a lot of members and is looking forward to working with everyone on LSIP to deliver effective communication to government on local employer skill needs.

She said: “The LSIP project is very important for the future of our county’s businesses and economy. So I am delighted to have been appointed to lead it through the second stage. With the support of businesses and schools, colleges and the university, we can help prepare Hertfordshire for the training challenges ahead.”

The Chamber’s second new starter is Zoe Sykes, who has joined as Business Engagement Manager. She has worked in a number of sales and marketing roles and understands the challenges facing local businesses and how the Chamber can help them to access the right support.

She is a natural networker and looking forward to meeting members and spreading the Chamber message.

Zoe said: “I feel privileged to have joined the Chamber team, especially as it is such a special year. I love getting out and about to meet people and look forward to doing that in my new role.”

Chamber Managing Director Donna Schultz said: “It is wonderful to go into our 100th year with two key appointments. Finding the right people can be a challenge, so we feel especially pleased to have two women with impressive track records. We look forward to working with them.”

Finding the right people can be a challenge, so we feel especially pleased to have two women with impressive track records.
32 Inspire 61 Chamber News
Amanda Freeland Zoe Sykes

A Transformative Journey:

Menzies and Wagstaffs merger 8 months on…

A Transformative Journey:

Menzies and Wagstaffs merger 8 months on…

Since Menzies’ merger with Hertfordshire-based accountancy firm Wagstaffs in July 2023, Partner and Office Principal, Chris Maloney reflects on his time in Stevenage, supporting the wider community and bringing Menzies’ wealth of experience and specialist accountancy services to Hertfordshire and its local businesses.

Since Menzies’ merger with Hertfordshire-based accountancy firm Wagstaffs in July 2023, Partner and Office Principal, Chris Maloney reflects on his time in Stevenage, supporting the wider community and bringing Menzies’ wealth of experience and specialist accountancy services to Hertfordshire and its local businesses.

Over the past 8 months, the merger between Menzies and Wagstaffs has been a successful transition between the two firms, shaping a landscape ripe with possibilities and opportunities. When we initially embarked on our expansion, Hertfordshire was identified as a key geographical area outside of London and in the South East that was showing a steadily increasing demand for the services in which Menzies specialised. The merger was the perfect cultural and geographical fit for us and signals another exciting step on our growth journey.

A legacy of excellence

Over the past 8 months, the merger between Menzies and Wagstaffs has been a successful transition between the two firms, shaping a landscape ripe with possibilities and opportunities. When we initially embarked on our expansion, Hertfordshire was identified as a key geographical area outside of London and in the South East that was showing a steadily increasing demand for the services in which Menzies specialised. The merger was the perfect cultural and geographical fit for us and signals another exciting step on our growth journey.

A legacy of excellence

As a leading UK business advisory and accountancy firm with international reach and a storied history, Menzies specialises in 10 sectors, with experts delivering services in strategic business advisory, international expansions, outsourced services, and financial and estate planning. Over the years, we have cultivated a reputation for excellence with unwavering commitment and expertise towards our clients. Our journey has been marked by milestones of success and a relentless pursuit of innovation, solidifying our position as a trusted partner for SMEs, large corporates, non-profits, and individuals.

Our merger with Wagstaffs last summer was viewed as a collaboration between two firms with a rich history.

As a leading UK business advisory and accountancy firm with international reach and a storied history, Menzies specialises in 10 sectors, with experts delivering services in strategic business advisory, international expansions, outsourced services, and financial and estate planning. Over the years, we have cultivated a reputation for excellence with unwavering commitment and expertise towards our clients. Our journey has been marked by milestones of success and a relentless pursuit of innovation, solidifying our position as a trusted partner for SMEs, large corporates, non-profits, and individuals.

Our merger with Wagstaffs last summer was viewed as a collaboration between two firms with a rich history.

expand service offerings in the area, enhance our industry expertise, and develop new client relationships whilst strengthening existing ones. Together, both firms have been able to capitalise on each other’s specialist teams and multidisciplinary service offerings to bring greater in-depth expertise to the wider community, and help businesses navigate their challenges and achieve continued success.

Unlocking opportunities

driven by our shared vision of fostering growth and delivering unparalleled value to clients. By joining forces, we recognised the potential to leverage our respective strengths and resources to create a collaboration that would benefit not only our clients but also the local community. This strategic move was underpinned by a commitment to expand service offerings in the area, enhance our industry expertise, and develop new client relationships whilst strengthening existing ones.

Unlocking opportunities

Together, both firms have been able to capitalise on each other’s specialist teams and multi-disciplinary service offerings to bring greater in-depth expertise to the wider community, and help businesses navigate their challenges and achieve continued success.

Since the merger 8 months ago, we believe it has opened doors to a wealth of opportunities including the introduction of new career prospects. The firm’s presence in Hertfordshire has facilitated deeper engagement with local businesses, fostering meaningful connections and driving awareness of Menzies’ stature as a leading UK accountancy firm. Moreover, the influx of new talent and the creation of job opportunities have underscored Menzies’ commitment to nurturing talent and contributing to the socioeconomic fabric of the community.

Looking ahead

Since the merger 8 months ago, we believe it has opened doors to a wealth of opportunities including the introduction of new career prospects. The firm’s presence in Hertfordshire has facilitated deeper engagement with local businesses, fostering meaningful connections and driving awareness of Menzies’ stature as a leading UK accountancy firm. Moreover, the influx of new talent and the creation of job opportunities have underscored Menzies’ commitment to nurturing talent and contributing to the socioeconomic fabric of the community.

Looking ahead

As Menzies continues its journey of expansion and innovation, the future holds immense promise for not only us and the team here in Stevenage, but for Hertfordshire and beyond.

The decision to merge with Wagstaffs was driven by our shared vision of fostering growth and delivering unparalleled value to clients. By joining forces, we recognised the potential to leverage our respective strengths and resources to create a collaboration that would benefit not only our clients but also the local community. This strategic move was underpinned by a commitment to

I have been impressed by the vibrant energy of our professional and knowledgeable team here, together with the wealth of opportunities that we now have based in Hertfordshire. It’s been great to see the smooth integration of our colleagues into the Menzies family and adopting our Brighter Thinking ethos. It fills me with pride to witness our

Our chosen charity of the year is Garden House Hospice Care, for which we have successfully hosted a fundraising event with plans for fundraisers throughout the year.

utilisation of firmwide specialists and sector teams,

excellence

The decision to merge with Wagstaffs was

Through collaboration, ingenuity, and an unwavering commitment to client success, Menzies remains dedicated to driving growth, fostering prosperity, and shaping a brighter tomorrow for all stakeholders involved.

Office Principal

As Menzies continues its journey of expansion and innovation, the future holds immense promise for not only us and the team here in Stevenage, but for Hertfordshire and beyond.

Our chosen charity of the year is Garden House Hospice Care, for which we have successfully hosted a fundraising event with plans for fundraisers throughout the year.

I have been impressed by the vibrant energy of our professional and knowledgeable team here, together with the wealth of opportunities that we now have based in Hertfordshire. It’s been great to see the smooth integration of our colleagues into the Menzies family and adopting our Brighter Thinking ethos. It fills me with pride to witness our collective utilisation of firmwide specialists and sector teams, showcasing our commitment to excellence and collaboration.

Through collaboration, ingenuity, and an unwavering commitment to client success, Menzies remains dedicated to driving growth, fostering prosperity, and shaping a brighter tomorrow for all stakeholders involved.

Inspire 33
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS! We have a proven track record of supporting both businesses and individuals to successfully reach their goals. Founded in 1912, Menzies is headquartered in London, with 8 offices, and 600+ employees. You can find out more about Menzies on our website, menzies.co.uk. CHRIS MALONEY Partner, Menzies Stevenage office cmaloney@menzies.co.uk stevenage@menzies.co.uk • 03309 129417
showcasing our
collective
commitment to
and collaboration.

Businesses call on Chancellor to ditch tourist tax

Stansted boss says encouraging more overseas visitors would be an economic benefit

A new internationally competitive taxfree shopping scheme would give our economy ‘a massive boost’.

Gareth Powell, London Stansted’s Managing Director, said encouraging more overseas visitors through the airport would be a benefit.

He was speaking after the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) announced a new campaign urging the Chancellor to provide a shot-in-the-arm to the economy with tax-free shopping for tourists.

Business leaders called for a return to tax-free shopping for international visitors.

Attendees at the campaign launch heard the damaging effect of the policy change, with estimates putting the loss to the British retail sector at over £1.5bn a year. Attendees also heard retail spend at Heathrow declined by 37 per cent during the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2019.

Gareth said: “London Stansted is one of the largest gateways for Europeans into the capital, and research in 2022 found that inbound tourism through our airport already supports nearly 24,000 jobs in the city.

“The reintroduction of tax-free shopping to encourage more overseas visitors would increase those numbers and give our economy a massive boost.”

At the launch event, it was argued that the Treasury could no longer dispute forecasts on the policy change, and

there was existing data that showed the hugely detrimental impact it was having on the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector.

A new internationally competitive tax-free shopping scheme would help turbocharge the UK’s retail and hospitality sectors, bringing benefit to all corners of the UK through economic growth and tax revenue.

The gathering followed news that the Office for Budget Responsibility intends to re-examine the figures on taxation around tourist shopping in advance of the Spring Budget.

Shevaun Haviland, DirectorGeneral of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “It was great to be at Heathrow to hear how a new internationally competitive tax-free shopping scheme would turbocharge

Britain’s economy, helping retailers and hospitality venues across the country.

“The Chancellor in his Spring Budget has the chance to firmly show that Britain is open for business. He must seize it.’

Dale Reeson, Director of Operations, Heathrow, said: “We were delighted to be joined by the BCC and FSB at Heathrow, coming together on the campaign to scrap the tourist tax, to level the playing field for British businesses.

“The UK’s international competitiveness is at stake as tourist spend in the UK is being overshadowed by other European countries, where goods are up to 20 per cent cheaper. We must see policy change at the Spring Budget, which would benefit every town and city across Britain.”

34 Inspire 61 Economy

To celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is inviting you to take part in Tea & Cake for HDAH. All the money raised will go to supporting those affected by domestic abuse.

08

to choose when, where and who attends your event. You can host it at home with friends, at work with colleagues or fundraise in your local community. Ideas, resources and full instructions are included in your package, as well as how to collect donations and send them to the charity. Be sure to take lots of pictures so we can include them in our social media updates!

It’s very easy to take part. Sign-up using the email address below and we will send you a host package with guidance and tips on how to get started. It is up to you to choose when, where and who attends your event. You can host it at home with friends, at work with colleagues or fundraise in your local community. Ideas, resources and full instructions are included in your package, as well as how to collect donations and send them to the charity. Be sure to take lots of pictures so we can include them in our social media updates!

It’s very easy to take part. Sign-up using the email address below and we will send you a host package with guidance and tips on how to get started. It is up to you to choose when, where and who attends your event. You can host it at home with friends, at work with colleagues or fundraise in your local community. Ideas, resources and full instructions are included in your package, as well as how to collect donations and send them to the charity. Be sure to take lots of pictures so we can include them in our social media updates!

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a free, confidential support and signposting service. It is often the first port of call for a victim, survivor, family member, professional or perpetrator seeking help. As well as supporting around 2,400 callers a year plus many more through our website, the Helpline runs a confidential email service, holds educational sessions and raises awareness through campaigns and resources within the community.

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a free, confidential support and signposting service. It is often the first port of call for a victim, survivor, family member, professional or perpetrator seeking help. As well as supporting around 2,400 callers a year plus many more through our website, the Helpline runs a confidential email service, holds educational sessions and raises awareness through campaigns and resources within the community.

you can call or email us:

details to: friends@hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org

SIGN-UP TODAY! Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 1 01/06/2022 14:58

Email your details to: friends@hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org

Email your details to: friends@hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org

Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 01/06/2022 14:58

Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 1 01/06/2022 14:58

Who

• Locally

• Flexible options to suit your company’s needs

• Excellent customer service

• High calibre, fully trained and licenced staff

• Fully accredited with SIA Approved Contactor status, ISO 9001 and Safecontractor

For

What

• Keyholding

/ lockdowns

• Alarm activation response

• Mobile patrols

cover

• Static Guarding

• Out of hours

cover

01707 682670 or email : Charlie@reassurancesecurityservices.co.uk

• Accounting

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• Law firms

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• Schools;

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Inspire 61 35 Our client base
firms
Science companies
Parks
offices
Education colleges
firms
Agents
primary and secondary
and our bespoke
call Charlie on
a conversation to discuss your individual requirements
solutions,
17A The Broadway, Old Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5HZ
Head Office: Ground Floor, Bishops Court,
are we
based, independent, reputable firm covering Hertfordshire
• Competitive rates we do
• Unlocks
• Reception
From 4 March 2024, using a PO Box as your registered office address, could get your company struck off the register. How to avoid this fate: Your PO Box could get you struck off! Great North Business Centre, 82 Great North Road, Hatfield, AL9 5BL www.gnbc.co.uk 01707 245424 INSPIRE 19 ✓ New & Ex-Demo Devices & Solution Sales ✓ Leasing and Rental Plans ✓ Managed Print Solutions ✓ Free Print Audits ✓ Inclusive monitoring Software ✓ Fully inclusive Service Agreements ✓ Fast and efficient on site repairs ✓ Consumable sales PRINTERS COPIERS SCANNERS Copy Quality-UK Ltd Quality House 20 The Service Road Potters Bar Herts EN6 1QA www.copyquality.co.uk • sales@copyquality.co.uk • 01707 659 312 SPECIAL OFFERS for Herts Chamber Members • 3 MONTHS FREE PRINTING (subject to taking out a lease and service agreement) • FREE PRINT AUDIT to aid your carbon footprint and bottom line • FREE XEROX COLOUR PRINTER when purchasing or leasing a new A3 device Copy ad.indd 1 01/08/2023 13:11 Recycling solutions for commercial businesses across the South East • Cardboard • Paper • Polythene We collect, bale and transport, making commercial recycling quick and easy. Confidential shredding services also available. Contact us for more information www.csrecycling.co.uk 01707 656261 / info@csrecycling.co.uk Quote ‘Inspire10’ on booking to receive a 10% discount 1202917 CS Recycling Herts Chamber Advert V4.indd 1 19/12/2022 10:14 To celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is inviting you to take part in Tea & Cake for HDAH. All the money raised will go to supporting those affected by domestic abuse. It’s very easy to take part. Sign-up using the email address below and we will send you a host package with guidance and tips on how to get started. It is up to you
• Concierge role
Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is a free, confidential support and signposting service. It is often the first port of call for a victim, survivor, family member, professional or perpetrator seeking help. As well as supporting around 2,400 callers a year plus many more through our website, the Helpline runs a confidential email service, holds educational sessions and raises awareness through campaigns and resources within the community. Email your
Domestic abuse is having a negative impact on the morale, productivity and performance of workplace teams across the country and we want to work with businesses to help them help their staff.
088 kim@mailpurple.org We are here to listen: 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends and bank holidays Confidential email: kim@mailpurple.org www.hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org @HertsDomesticAbuseHelpline @HDA_Helpline @hdahelp Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline
If you are a Hertfordshire based organisation who would like to educate, raise awareness, fundraise or support a member of your team
088 088
To celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is inviting you to take part in Tea & Cake for HDAH. All the money raised will go to supporting those affected by domestic abuse.
SIGN-UP TODAY!
SIGN-UP TODAY!

Advice

The new reality of talent attraction and retention

Russell Beck, Director of Inspirations at ImagineThinkDo, was guest speaker at a Chamber Diamond Club lunch where he inspired attendees with his approach to employee retention. Here he outlines his six Cs to help you keep hold of your best talent…

Thirty months into the cost-of-living crisis, with interest rates having increased at 14 consecutive Bank of England meetings, there remain 15 per cent more live job vacancies in the UK than at any time pre-pandemic.

With broadly as many unemployed people as job vacancies, the UK is at full employment. This is the new reality, and it is going to stay; by 2030 it is estimated that 10 per cent of skilled jobs will remain permanently unfilled.

For individuals, it is undoubtedly a sellers’ market. Anyone with the ‘right’ skill and the ‘right’ attitude is in demand and, by being in demand, they have a choice in who they work for.

For businesses, the problem is acute: if you are in any way reliant on people to get things done, this is an existential threat… anyone you want to hire is likely to be in employment (or require development and/or relocation); skill shortages are such that you are unlikely to be the only businesses

trying to hire talent; and, given a choice, despite an individual being capable, simply why would they choose to work for you?

To be successful in attracting and retaining the talent business needs, many turn their focus to pay (or Compensation). Pay is of course important, (after all, who doesn’t want a pay rise), but it is never sufficient.

Research suggests that 80 per cent of employees who resign, but then stay after accepting a counteroffer,

36 Inspire 61 Business

still leave within six months. Pay was an issue, but it was not the real, underlying, issue. Focusing on pay makes work a transaction, but humans crave far more than this; we crave interaction.

Look beyond the headlines discussing strikes and the demands are about far more than ‘just’ pay. A focus on compensation is also unsustainable as there will always be someone, somewhere, willing to pay more than you.

To create interaction, focus on the five other Cs:

Community – is about being able to be your authentic self at work, being welcomed, accepted and valued for who you are. It is the feeling that you belong. The opportunity and potential this offers is often overlooked – according to McKinsey, 51 per cent of employees resign as they do not feel that they belong.

Create a sense of belonging for all your people, where each can be themselves without fear of repercussion, and foster an environment where difference is seen as a strength and to be embraced.

Career – One of the main reasons people change jobs is to grow. However, only 11 per cent of companies offer formal career programmes for employees.

Demonstrate how you will develop your people, what they will learn if they join you and who the ‘masters’ are in your business that they could learn from.

When hiring, do you honestly know what skills and capabilities predict success for each role and which of them are innate or which could be trained? Work out what is nonnegotiable and what is not, and develop people accordingly.

Cause – hopefully all your people know what they should be doing. Hopefully, they all know how to do it. But do they know WHY they are doing it? Help everyone find their

golden thread and demonstrate how each element of their job ties into your organisation’s purpose.

You should be able to do this. After all, if someone is performing a task that cannot be tied to your organisation’s purpose, then why are they doing it?

Culture – Culture is like mist… definitely there, but hard to pin down. It is, however, very important. A toxic culture is 10 times more important than pay in predicting staff turnover. Do you honestly know what you are, what you stand for and, as importantly, what you are not, and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals?

Bring to life in an honest and real way the good and bad bits of working for you. Show how you live your values and how they make a difference in the way you do things. Demonstrate how your policies and procedures reinforce what you say you are and how you want to be.

In all this, show, don’t tell – use your stories as proof points to bring your reality to life.

Company – is about how you structure work so you can better appeal to the needs and desires of the talent you need. As an example, nurses prefer to work four 12-hour shifts rather than six eight-hour ones – what do your people prefer? What can you offer that your people would value but which does not cost you so much money?

Can you use your spending power to buy things in bulk and pass savings on to your people? This can get quite granular, but have you asked?

The World Economic Forum once said: “Business will need to put talent development front and centre to their growth.”

This needs an update. “Business MUST put talent development front and centre if they want to survive.”

The threat is real, but the reality is that we are facing a talent migration – a migration of talent from businesses who do not develop, create meaning, create community… to ones that do.

Get it right and your business will become a talent magnet where people want to work. Fail to focus on your people strategy and you could suffer the death of a 1,000 resignations as your people migrate elsewhere.

Focus on the six Cs and create a business where people want to work and do their best work each and every day.

Look beyond the headlines discussing strikes and the demands are about far more than ‘just’ pay. A focus on compensation is also unsustainable as there will always be someone, somewhere, willing to pay more than you.
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Business Advice

Bike-share scheme to expand across three bordering councils

Heart in Herts

Residents given opportunity to cut car emissions with cycle plan

The shared sustainable transport provider Beryl is expanding its presence across three neighbouring councils in Hertfordshire, thanks to partnership work helping to encourage widespread adoption of active travel in the county.

Watford Borough Council has agreed to extend its contract with the company until 2026, Three Rivers District Council is introducing Beryl Bikes’ services into Croxley, and Hertsmere Borough Council is extending the service into Bushey.

This collaboration between the three neighbouring councils means that Beryl will now be available in more places, creating a seamless and interconnected network in parts of the county.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “Since we launched our Beryl Bike scheme in 2020 it has been a big success. I am delighted that we are now expanding it into new areas, which will benefit all of us.

“Working with neighbouring councils, more people will be able to use these bikes. Users of the bikes improve their own health and at the same time help to cut congestion and air pollution in our area. I can’t wait to see the bikes being used by even more people in the years ahead.”

Upcoming plans for Beryl include five new docking stations and 15 e-bikes in Bushey for Hertsmere, funded through section 106 development contributions. Three Rivers will also finance the same number for a two-year e-bike pilot in Croxley via their capital budget. These e-bikes will integrate into the existing fleet, offering flexibility between regular and electric bikes.

For the two councils currently collaborating with Beryl, they have witnessed remarkable transformations in sustainable transportation within their communities.

In Watford, since March 2020, there have been over 410,000 sustainable journeys, replacing more than 81,000 private vehicle trips and preventing over 44 tonnes of carbon emissions. In Hertsmere, since October 2022, 15,000 journeys in Elstree and Borehamwood covering 32,000 km involved 1,581 users and saved 1.03 tonnes of carbon.

Councillor Jeremy Newmark, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “One of our key priorities has been to create a more sustainable Hertsmere, so I am delighted we have worked with neighbouring authorities to open the cycle hire scheme to the benefit of all our communities.”

Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Council Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “This is a two-year pilot with five base stations in Croxley Green, and so the council will monitor how successful this scheme is until 2026. I hope that this can be rolled out across the district, so all our residents outside Croxley Green can have easy access to a Beryl Bike and get all the benefits of cycling.”

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‘Pony Club’ sponsors therapy visits to Lister Hospital

Four companies have teamed up to form a Pony Club to sponsor therapy visits to Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

CWG Group and Pexhurst in Hertfordshire, GRM Roofing in Essex and Bauder in Suffolk have sponsored the pony visits for a year.

The therapy ponies, funded by East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, visit the hospital every three weeks. They not only put smiles on the faces of patients, visitors and staff, but also help to reduce stress and make people feel more relaxed in the hospital environment.

James Utting, technical manager at Bauder, volunteers at the hospital in his spare time supporting the patient

engagement team with a variety of tasks including helping with the pony visits on the wards.

He said: “It has been my pleasure to bring together what I have cheekily named the ‘Pony Club’. We are four businesses who are all passionate about giving back to the local community and are proud to be partners to help make a real difference to those in need.

“Having seen first-hand how much joy the ponies bring to patients when they arrive on the ward, it’s wonderful to know that our funding will spread even more smiles at our local hospital.”

Stuart Byles, director at Pexhurst, added: “As a business, we are always keen to raise funds for causes which we believe

benefit local people in Hertfordshire. After hearing about the wonderful work the charity does, and especially the benefits the ponies bring to the patients, we wanted to help in whatever way we could.”

Beth McNeil, head of fundraising for East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Thank you so much to the wonderful ‘Pony Club’ for sponsoring the therapy ponies and bringing so much joy to the hospital. We are extremely grateful for their support.

“To make a donation to sponsor a visit, you can go to www.enhhcharity.org.uk/ponies or contact me on bethany.mcneil@nhs.net.”

Appeal for support to help vulnerable families

Families across Hertfordshire are facing challenges that threaten to tear them apart.

Behind closed doors, parents are struggling with overwhelming pressures, and children are suffering emotionally and physically. Managing issues such as mental health, disability, domestic violence, or financial crisis, can make parenting extremely challenging and can affect their ability to provide the nurturing, stable environment children need to thrive. Everyday tasks like cooking a meal or reading a bedtime story can be just too much to manage.

The past two years have been extremely challenging for charity Home-Start, with the overwhelming increase of families needing support and the significant rise in the complexity of those needs.

Alongside this, the number of grants and foundations available has reduced, leaving many charities with fewer funds to distribute, at a time when the demand for funding has rocketed. The charity is appealing for help in building a stronger, more resilient community so children in Hertfordshire have the best start in life and no family is left to struggle alone.

Suzy Moody, CEO, said: “If every Chamber member donated just £500 to our urgent appeal, we could support 168 families for up to 12 months.”

Donations can be made via the website https://homestarthertfordshire.enthuse.com/profile

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Members News

Down Hall Hotel, Spa and Estate

Seamlessly blending historic country house splendour with luxurious and contemporary décor, Down Hall Hotel, Spa and Estate is the idyllic place to escape.

Located just 45 minutes from central London and within easy reach of Stansted Airport, the 19th century Grade II Italianate mansion is set within 110 acres of landscaped gardens and thriving woodlands.

The opulent four silver-star hotel boasts 98 bedrooms, elegant event space and luxury Eden Spa. The decadent dining options within the rosetted Garden Room restaurant, Fox Bar and Terrace take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce grown within the hotel’s own kitchen garden.

Over the past few years, an extensive refurbishment has taken place at the hotel, most recently with the patio rooms in the West Wing. With stunning views over the grounds and a new contemporary feel, these rooms are perfect for corporate travellers and leisure guests alike.

The convenient doors open directly into the grounds making them ideal for dog friendly stays.

Recognising the importance of mental wellbeing, Down Hall continues its focus on wellness with the hotel offering an idyllic setting to switch off and fully immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings.

Expanding its offering of wellness retreats, Down Hall now offers a range

of activities from yoga, breathwork, meditation, crystal workshops, sound baths and guided woodland walks. A number of experiences and retreats are available to book throughout the year, along with the opportunity to add a wellness experience to your conference through their partnership with Glow Wellness.

In addition to wellness, Down Hall hosts a series of events throughout the summer months offering guests the chance to enjoy al fresco dining alongside a variety of live music, outdoor cinema screenings, horse hack events and dog festivals.

For more information on upcoming events visit www.downhall.co.uk

Inspire 61 41 Venues

As a business, and as a local resident we hope you’ll be interested to learn more about some exciting events and themed weeks aimed at increasing sustainability, waste reduction and wider CSR. Here we talk through some of the big upcoming events that you can get involved in.

March brings us the Big Plastic Count, which is aimed at bringing attention to the vast swaths of plastic waste – 2 billion pieces a week! - being generated and looking for ways to reduce this.

Littering is a topic then covered by the Great British Spring Clean for the last 2 weeks of March. If your organisation would like to borrow litter picking kit for free, please contact the waste team at your local district or borough council.

Food Waste Action Week, also in March, tackles another ‘meaty’ topic. Up to a quarter of the waste in typical household rubbish bins is food that could have been eaten, amounting to 66 million platefuls of edible food each year, with all the environmental and financial costs associated with this waste. Join hundreds of other Hertfordshire residents to learn how to reduce this just 5 weeks by subscribing to the #WorthSaving challenge newsletter: https://wasteaware.org.uk/WorthSaving

We return our focus to plastic waste for Earth Day 2024. Taking place on 22nd April, every year since 1970, this is an impassioned and action-based campaign for all to take part in. The webpage has numerous toolkits for tracking and reducing plastic waste and some interesting fact sheets about why plastic is a problem.

You might have already heard of it, but if not, add No Mow May to your calendar. A supersimple but very impactful change is to leave your grass unmown for the whole of May (and beyond!) allowing the local wildlife and plantlife to get a head start in the growing season. Get in touch with your grounds maintenance contractor to get them clued up.

The two big events of the year come in the summer with Great Big Green Week getting bigger and bigger each year. Dubbed as ‘The UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature’ it has big boots to fill! Take a look at their website, which showcases events, swaps and activities to help you grow a bit greener and see what you’re inspired to bring to your workplace. There is lots going on locally in Great Big Green Week including ‘SustFest’ in St Albans, Harpenden Eco fair or the Watford and Three Rivers market take over. The GBGW webpage has a map of local events. What is happening near you? Or what could you offer?

Plastic Free July covers the whole month with a request to swap out single use disposable items for reusable alternatives. There are many examples on their website with case studies from individuals, businesses, schools and community groups. If you’re not familiar with refill shops, there is a handy list on this webpage: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ services/recycling-waste-and-environment/ recycling-and-waste/wasteaware-campaigns/ reusables.aspx

Whichever event you join in with, we hope you have fun and make a difference. If you’d like us to help shout about your green event on our social media channels and in our countywide Update Me newsletter, please get in touch at wasteaware@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Summary of events:

• The Big Plastic Count

11-17 March 2024

https://thebigplasticcount.com/

• Great British Spring Clean

15-31 March 2024

www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/ support-our-campaigns/great-britishspring-clean

• Food Waste Action Week

18-24 March 2024

www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/take-actionsave-food/food-waste-action-week-0

• Earth Day

22 April 2024

www.earthday.org/earth-day-2024/

• No Mow May

www.plantlife.org.uk/campaigns/ nomowmay/

• Great Big Green Week

8-16 June 2024

https://greatbiggreenweek.com/

• Plastic Free July

Covering the whole month, July 2024

www.plasticfreejuly.org/

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/updateme/

42 Inspire 61 ENVIRONMENT GET INVOLVED
in turning your business (and your home) that little bit greener
ENVIRONMENT Keep in touch Sign up to our monthly e-bulletin
@HertsWasteAware @HertsWasteAware www.wasteaware.org.uk
42 Inspire 60

A Passion for Creating Beautiful Homes

Peter David Homes is a multi award winning developer, which was established by Mike Holliday and Glen Eaton to deliver outstanding homes of the highest quality.

They operate across the Northern Home Counties and specialise in developing carefully crafted, bespoke new homes in desirable locations designed for family living. With a customer-focused approach, each Peter David Homes’ development is built to exemplary standards with impeccable attention to detail.

Glen and Mike have more than 40 years combined experience in homebuilding and construction, working for national housebuilders and construction companies such as Miller Homes in St Albans and Hill in Cambridge prior

to joining forces to set up their own company. They founded Peter David Homes in 2016 based on their core values of putting customers first, pursuing excellence and always acting with integrity. Their first project consisted of a single luxury detached 4 bedroom house in Colney Heath. Today, having grown organically over the past 8 years, Peter David Homes have 41 new homes under construction.

Glen and Mike have lived in different parts of North, South, East and West Hertfordshire for the last 40 years and worked across the Northern Home Counties area for most of their respective careers.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

This local knowledge is an essential ingredient of their local focus and desire to have a positive long lasting impact in the areas where they develop.

Peter David Homes has a strong commitment to sustainable construction and take their social responsibility very seriously in the communities where they work.

Glen and Mike carefully select the locations of all their developments and place a high emphasis on exemplary design and construction standards. They are proud to deliver superior quality bespoke homes with traditional values and contemporary style.

Meadow Croft Guilden Morden, South Cambridgeshire

Located on the edge of the beautiful Cambridgeshire village of Guilden Morden, this delightful collection of just 8 exclusive award winning detached new homes will be perfect for modern family living. Ranging from 2 bedroom bungalows to 5 bedroom houses, each home has been individually and thoughtfully designed with the utmost care and meticulous attention to detail. Set within a 4 acre tree lined site, Meadow Croft will offer residents a tranquil environment to call home.

Greensands Place

Clophill Road, Maulden, Bedfordshire

This forthcoming, award winning, development consists of 16 luxury new homes ranging from 3 to 5 bedrooms. Backing onto the beautiful “SSSI” Maulden Woods and surrounded by stunning countryside, each new home will benefit from the best in rural living with the amenities of Maulden and Clophill villages on the doorstep.

Mike Holliday studied Business Management at the University of Newcastle before gaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Residential Development. He is a Construction professional with 20 years’ experience in senior management positions and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Builders. He has overseen the construction of developments ranging from one house to sites of over 200 homes.

Mike really enjoys the satisfaction that comes from exceeding customer’s expectations..

•••••

Glen Eaton has a first-class honours degree in Estate Management from the University of Greenwich. He has gained wide ranging experience in development and construction with a variety of successful property companies since beginning his career in 1996. He is primarily responsible for overseeing land acquisition, design, planning, sales and marketing.

Greensands Place has good access to a range of highly regarded primary, secondary and higher education facilities in Maulden, Clophill and Bedford.

Glen is passionate about delivering high quality new homes to exceptional standards for all their valued customers.

Inspire 61 43 A STUNNING COLLECTION OF SUPERIOR 2, 3, 4 & 5 BEDROOM DETACHED NEW HOMES IN A BEAUTIFUL TREE LINED SETTING 26/01/2024 12:12 Property Development
Please contact PETER DAVID HOMES for further information and to register your interest 01438 525710 • info@peterdavidhomes.com
www.peterdavidhomes.com

Members News

Addressing the rise of the accidental manager

If you’re running an organisation, you’ll be responsible for building a team that can help the business meet its strategic objectives.

You’ll want to hire the right talent and develop your existing team members to bring specific skills to achieve those objectives. Those at senior levels of an organisation have a huge amount of input and responsibility when it comes to building the future of the organisation.

But in more than 60 years of working in leadership and management training, Hult Ashridge has seen far too many “accidental managers”. These are individuals who have been great in practical, functional roles within the

organisation and have demonstrated technical accomplishment, often to an extraordinary level.

However, they didn’t really know how to build a team, drive performance, manage conflict, develop relationships, persuade, negotiate or innovate because that was not in their job description.

Then they get promoted. And suddenly all those things do become important, and they’re expected to deliver against these new skills, with immediate effect and often with little or no training.

It tends not to work out well, and accidental leaders struggle to thrive, often deriving comfort by spending too much time on what they used to be rewarded

for doing, and ignoring those parts of their new role in which they feel ill-equipped to deliver.

If this sounds familiar to your business, here’s some good news. The UK Apprenticeship Levy offers access to fully funded leadership and management training for your employees.

Hult Ashridge has taken its worldrenowned experience in leadership and management to deliver two of the apprenticeships it believes addresses the UK’s leadership skills gaps – Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship and Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager.

You can learn more at hult.edu/apprenticeships.

Zoo mourns snow leopard loved around the world

One of the county zoo’s favourite attractions has had to be put to sleep after a brief illness.

Staff at Hertfordshire Zoo made the decision for 12-year-old snow leopard Panja, who had been a valued resident since rriving from the Czech Republic in 2013.

Director Tyler Whitnall said: “With profound sadness, we announce the loss of Panja the snow leopard. Days like this impact the entire zoo community deeply, highlighting the pivotal role of animal conservation to securing their survival for future generations.”

Panja was an essential part of the European Breeding Programme, an initiative dedicated to safeguarding and nurturing the future of big cats. His presence swiftly won the hearts of our staff and visitors alike.

In 2015, he was joined by his beloved companion, Jessie, and their exceptional bond became a global sensation, captivating millions through social media.

Together, they became a dynamic duo, captivating the hearts of countless individuals worldwide. CCTV footage from their den offered glimpses of tender moments, including cuddles and affectionate moments.

Their favoured pastime was an animated game of chase around their habitat, with the zoo’s cameras diligently documenting their endearing and amusing interactions daily. Panja’s substantial

online following elevated him to the role of an extraordinary ambassador for his species, cultivating affection not only among zoo visitors but also within a global audience deeply passionate about the welfare of big cats.

As conservation advocates, the zoo continues to support The Snow Leopard Trust, which leads on snow leopard conservation across five Central Asian countries. The work is fundamental in protecting the species in the wild for future generations.

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Spring into action: Five ways to energise your business this spring

Tap into the optimism that comes with spring and vitalise your business and workforce with these practical tips.

1. Establish your priorities

To set goals to achieve annual growth you need to know where you are right now. Working with a Growth Hub Business Adviser can provide the opportunity to take a step out of your business and look at your business activity through a different lens. The adviser can provide you with an impartial and objective view that can provide clarity and help you pinpoint priorities to focus on.

2. Grow your knowledge

With the benefit of continuous learning, you can base your decisions on the up-to-date research and current best practice to move your business along in the right direction. It’s a well-used saying that “we don’t know what we don’t know”, so be open to learning and trying new approaches. The Growth Hub has an extensive workshop and webinar programme to help you do just that.

3. Embrace innovation

Spring inspires creativity. Encourage your team to brainstorm new ideas. Innovate your products, services, or processes. Keeping up to date and having one eye on the future can be difficult when running your business. Sign up for the Hertfordshire Growth Hub Newsletter to stay up-to-date on programmes, workshops, webinars and networking events where you can learn from experts and peers to stay ahead of the curve.

4. Network and connect

Spring is a time for socialising. Attend industry events, networking breakfasts, connect with peers, and collaborate. It can be lonely running a business, and networking enables you to meet like-minded business owners, exchange insights and explore potential partnerships. The Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s Events Calendar provides details of Growth Hub events and those of partners.

5. Prioritise Wellbeing

Invest in employee development, mental health initiatives and work-life balance. The Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s Business Advisers can help you to review your approach to workforce wellbeing and highlight funded programmes, webinars and workshops that can ensure you prioritise your people.

In conclusion, spring is the perfect opportunity for you to energise your businesses and set the stage for growth.

Contact Hertfordshire Growth Hub today and speak with one of the experienced and friendly business advisers to find out how they can help you breathe new life into your business this spring.

Visit www.hertsgrowthhub.com or call 01707 952777

Legal Property Experts

in association with Penman Sedgwick LLP

Navigating Property Ownership: Tenants in Common vs. Joint Tenants

When purchasing a property with one or more other individuals, you will need to consider which type of ownership best suits your needs: Tenants in Common (TICs) or Joint Tenants (JTs). So, what is the difference between the two, and how do they affect you?

NOTE: The term ‘tenant’ in the context of property ownership has a very different meaning to the type of tenant who rents from a landlord.

JTs will together own the whole of the property, rather than distinct shares. Therefore, if one owner dies, their interest will automatically pass to the remaining co-owner(s) – this is known as ‘the right of survivorship’. This arrangement tends to be the preferred choice for married couples or those in civil partnership seeking to simplify the transfer of ownership when one of them dies.

If you intend to pass on your interest in the property to people other than, or as well as, the co-owner when you die (such as children from a previous relationship), then a JT will not be suitable.

TICs hold distinct shares in a property – whether equal or unequal. The respective shares can be passed on or sold during the owners’ lifetime or upon their death. When a TIC dies, their share in the property will pass in accordance with their Will, or under the rules of intestacy if they do not have a Will. This means that each co-owner can specify who will inherit their share in the property when they die. This flexibility usually appeals to investors, unmarried couples, those with children from a previous relationship, or those who have made unequal financial contributions to the purchase of the property which they want to be recognised if the property is sold or the owners separate.

How you hold your property should be something you keep under review throughout your ownership of the property. If you decide to buy the property as JTs but later change your mind, the JT can be ‘severed’ – turning it into a TIC.

If you need further advice about what form of ownership is appropriate for your specific circumstances, we can help.
Inspire 61 45
e: kmclean-salmon@penmansedgwick.com t: 01923 225212 www.penmansedgwick.com 5 George Street, Watford, Herts WD18 0SQ P roblem S olved

Charity receives special recognition from Royal Foundation

A leading Hertfordshire charity has received the royal seal of approval with William and Kate praising its ‘wonderful work’.

Teens Unite Fighting Cancer, which improves the lives of teenagers and young adults living with, and beyond, cancer, was sent an official letter to its Hoddesdon offices from The Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The letter acknowledged the “wonderful work” of the charity, saying that: “By prioritising the mental health of our young people, we will see positive outcomes for society as a whole.”

More than 40,000 teenagers and young adults are currently living with cancer and the lasting effects of their diagnosis and treatment in the UK. A further 2,500 cases will be diagnosed this year alone.

Cancer impacts the mental health of teenagers and young adults, with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and panic attacks often consuming their life, even years after their treatment has come to an end. Of the young people diagnosed with cancer, 75 per cent will experience a serious mental health problem as a result, yet 44 per cent will not have access to NHS support for the mental health impacts of their diagnosis.

Teens Unite supports young people aged 13 to 24 through tailored activities, residential stays and skills-based programmes. Teenagers and young adults, with a shared experience of cancer, are brought together with others their age who understand what they are going through. Together, they start to live life to the full without cancer holding them back.

Following the support of Teens Unite, teenagers and young adults experience an improvement in their mental wellbeing: 88 per cent feel less anxious, 90 per cent have a more positive outlook on life, and 100 per cent feel better connected and less lonely.

The support Teens Unite provides is only possible with the help of supporters and organisations who give their time or services and fundraise for the charity.

To find out how you can make a difference, email: info@teensunite.org

National recognition for city’s charter market

A city market that battled through the challenges of the pandemic has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

St Albans Charter Market has been crowned the Best Large Outdoor Market at the Great British Markets Awards 2024.

Praising the market, the judges said: “Its commitment to supporting new traders, modernising infrastructure and active collaboration with local partners sets it apart.”

Councillor Jacqui Taylor accepted the trophy on behalf of St Albans City and District Council, the market’s owner, at the National Association of British Markets annual conference in Birmingham in January.

She was joined by Markets Manager James Ó Nuanáin and Markets Officers Charlotte Graham and Geeta Rebaudengo.

Cllr Taylor said: “This is a fantastic achievement by all those who have supported our wonderful Charter Market.

“It is a special moment to be declared the Best Large Outdoor Market in the country and I thank all those who made it possible – our fabulous traders, our markets team and, of course, the many thousands of residents who live, work and shop here.

“We worked hard to keep the market open during COVID-19 and to revitalise it after the pandemic and this award recognises that we have overcome the many challenges we were faced with.

“The number of traders has been growing, with many new entrepreneurs hiring a pitch, and our occupancy rate has been on an upward trend. That welcome growth has added to the vibrant atmosphere of the city centre on market days.

“Now we have captured this award, we will be under even more pressure to continue making positive changes to ensure we hang on to the title.”

There has been a Market in the centre of St Albans since around 860 and it was granted its Royal Charter by Edward VI in 1553.

46 Inspire 61 Members
News

Longmores promotes two solicitors to partners

A leading Hertfordshire law firm has promoted two members of its team to partners.

Karen Fletcher and Lauren Mackenzie moved into their new roles at the start of the year as Longmores Solicitors continues to invest in its team.

Karen is a key member of the residential conveyancing team, helping clients to buy and sell homes, remortgage, equity release, transfers of equity, deeds of trust, and buy to let investments. With 18 years’ experience specialising in residential property, Karen has handled thousands of transactions and understands exactly what her clients need – a professional, friendly individual they can trust to act quickly, safeguard their interests, provide regular updates and swift responses to queries.

Karen is a member of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), the recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing, and she is a Notary Public which is one of the oldest branches of the legal profession.

Lauren is a litigator in the dispute resolution team with 16 years’ experience that has led to her specialising in contentious probate and trust disputes. She helps individuals and families to resolve disputes about wills, estates and trusts. Lauren has recently advised beneficiaries and executors, defended trustees and has helped a minor beneficiary in state care claim for sufficient funds from the estate of his adoptive late father.

She is a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500 and an accredited mediator with strong expertise in resolving disputes outside of a courtroom.

Richard Gvero, Joint Senior Partner, said: “I am delighted that Karen and Lauren are joining the partnership; these are well-deserved promotions that bode well for our firm’s future as we go from strength to strength.”

These promotions bring the partnership team to 13 strong across commercial, property and private client services.

Entrepreneur named in most impressive female founders list

A Welwyn woman who founded a brand and design studio 10 years ago has been crowned one of the UK’s most impressive female entrepreneurs.

Andrea Boughton of Beehive Green has been profiled by Small Business Britain’s ‘f:Entrepreneur #IAlso100’ campaign to celebrate the achievements of women running businesses in the UK today.

Andrea was recognised for her studio’s focus on sustainability, accessibility and community, working with nonprofits, charities and SMEs, as well as her voluntary mentoring work. She showcased a well-rounded approach to business that goes beyond profit-making.

She said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of such an inspiring community – I’m delighted with the recognition. This acknowledgment holds special significance for me as this year I’m also celebrating 10 years of being selfemployed and Beehive Green brand and design studio.”

Launched in 2017 by Small Business Britain – the leading champion of small

businesses in the UK – the f:Entrepreneur campaign aims to raise greater awareness of the impact of incredible female business owners across the country, and help provide inspiration and role models to the wider small business community. The campaign offers a host of events, training, and networking opportunities to boost skills, capability, and confidence.

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain, said: “Congratulations to Andrea Boughton, and each of the phenomenal women featured in this year’s #IAlso100.

“It is so important that we call out the incredible contribution of women running businesses across the UK. As well as growing economic prosperity across the UK, they are also having a tremendous, wider positive impact on local communities too.

“Despite all of the challenges of recent times, it is fantastic to see female entrepreneurship continuing to grow and flourish in the UK, and we must do all we can to encourage and build this further.”

As part of #IAlso100, Andrea has been invited to attending a special International Women’s Day Celebration of Female Entrepreneurship at the House of Lords.

Inspire 61 47 Members News
Karen Fletcher Lauren Mackenzie

Welcome to our new members

Ace Decor and Gifts

Ace Décor and Gifts provides balloons, party decorations, and gifts for all celebrations and events and are wedding and party decorators with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

W www.acedecorandgifts.com

E valerie@acedecorandgifts.com

T 07515 736996

A 38 Fore Street Hatfield Hertfordshire AL9 5AH

Ashendon Recruitment Ltd

Ashendon Recruitment specialises in bridging the gap between clients seeking quality staff and candidates seeking rewarding careers across three clear sectors - office and professional, logistics and warehouse, and sales and marketing.

New Members

W www.arlrecruitment.com

E michelle@arlrecruitment.com

T 01442 408800

A The Maylands Building Maylands Avenue Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP2 7TG

B Healthy Ltd (Diablo Sugar Free)

“Don’t feel guilty about getting the munchies – everyone should be able to treat themselves every now and again, don’t you think? That’s why :Diablo, the UK’s first ever low-sugar confectionery range, was created.

W www.diablosugarfree.com

E info@diablosugarfree.com

T 02072 225222

A 155 Golders Green Road London NW11 9BX

Becky Bohan

In 2017, Becky Bohan founded The Mothers Touch with the intention of creating a supportive space to encourage self care and self love for people to feel inspired, empowered and enabled to become fully who they were truly meant to be.

W www.beckybohan.com

E beckybohan.com@gmail.com

T 07789 952282

A 65 Guessens Road Alwyn Garden Welwyn Garden City AL8 6RE

Platinum Member

Broxbourne Enterprise Centres

Two enterprise centres, one inspirational community. Make yourself at home with these flexible offices, coworking spaces, workshop units and studios with business support – designed to empower Broxbourne’s business leaders and creative entrepreneurs.

W www.broxbourneec.co.uk

E zgalea@oxin.co.uk

T 02081 431688

A Theobalds Enterprise Centre Innovation Place Platinum Way Cheshunt Hertfordshire EN8 8YD

Crohns & Colitis UK

Since 1979, Crohn’s & Colitis UK has been here for everyone affected by crohn’s and colitis.

W https://crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/ E partnerships@crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

T 01727 617342

A Crohn’s & Colitis UK 1 Bishops Square Hatfield Business Park Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9NE

Edge IT

Edge IT simplifies technology, IT security and management for local businesses.

W www.edgeit.co.uk

E info@edgeit.co.uk

T 01462 414833

A Suite 3 Devonshire Business Center Works Road Letchworth Hertfordshire SG6 1GJ

G2 Construction and Consultancy Ltd

G2 Construction and Consultancy specialises in bespoke builds, developments, complex structural alterations, renovations and refurbishments, extensions and listed and heritage building works.

W www.g2candc.co.uk

E carl.goodhew@g2candc.co.uk

T 07738 876112

A 11 Walcot Avenue Luton Buckinghamshire LU2 0PW

Godfrey Laws & Co Ltd

The talented and dynamic team innovates and pushes accountancy to its limits to provide every client with the level of service their progressive business deserves.

W www.godfreylaws.co.uk

E sidni@godfreylaws.co.uk

T 01462 421521

A Godfrey Laws & Co Ltd

65 Wilbury Way Knowl Piece Hitchin Hertfordshire SG4 0TY

Hertfordshire Festival of Music

A registered arts charity with an annual festival of music/talks every June, with outreach activities and other events ongoing.

W www.hertsmusicfest.org.uk

E info@hertsmusicfest.org.uk

T 01707 264499

A 63 Park Meadow Hatfield AL9 5HB

Diamond Member

HSBC UK Bank Plc (St Albans)

HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. Its global businesses serve around 42 million customers worldwide through a network that covers 62 countries and territories.

W www.hsbc.co.uk

E david.matthew.healey@hsbc.com

T 03457 404404

A 44-52 Lattimore Road St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3XL

Hunton Park Hotel

Hunton Park Hotel is set within 22 acres of beautiful Hertfordshire parkland. It has 62 bedrooms and also caters for weddings and conferences.

W www.huntonparkhotel.co.uk

E events@huntonparkhotel.co.uk

T 01923 277700

A Essex Lane Hunton Bridge Kings Langley Hertfordshire WD4 8PN

48 Inspire 61

Latcom Recruitment

With connections in some of the biggest firms across the UK, including legal, finance and professional services, Latcom is confident it can provide quality professionals for a wide range of roles.

W www.latcom.co.uk

E accounts@latcom.co.uk

T 01442 291800

A Cleveland House Cleveland Road Hemel Hempstead Industrial Estate Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP2 7EY

MCCloud Accounting

MCCloud Accounting is a progressive firm of online accountants based in London, providing specialist accountancy and tax services to contractors, freelancers, and small businesses.

W www.mccloudaccounting.co.uk

E michael@mccloudaccounting.co.uk

T 07970 460464

A 16 Aylmer Parade, Aylmer Road East FInchley London N2 0PE

Platinum Member

Mercedes-Benz and Smart of Hertfordshire

At Mercedes-Benz, customers are the main priority, which is why it aims to deliver an excellent purchase experience, whether that be through online channels or visiting one of the showrooms.

W www.landlautomotive.co.uk

E brooke.daniels@landlautomotive.co.uk

T 01992 514444

A John Tate Road Hertford SG13 7LB

Multiply Finance Ltd

Multiply Finance is an experienced and passionate business specialist helping you to source the finance needed to drive your business forward.

W www.multiplyfinance.co.uk

E richard@multiplyfinance.co.uk

T 07527 752032

A Censeo House 6 St Peter’s Street St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3LF

Nanogen Ltd

With over 20 years’ experience, Nanogen is proud to be the experts in hair fibres. Nanogen was created for confident, stylish people seeking instantly thickerlooking hair.

W www.nanogen.com

T 02071 126010

A 730 Centennial Avenue Centennial Park Elstree Hertfordshire WD6 3SZ

NESE HR Consultancy

Combining extensive knowledge of the industry, with a customer-first approach, NESE HR is a London-based HR consultant providing clients with the essential knowledge they need to confidently take back control of their people management strategy.

W www.nese-hr.com

E Info@nese-hr.com

T 02081 943333

A 92 Ridgeway Avenue Hertfordshire EN4 8TN

Phoenix Financials Ltd

Chartered accountants that are dedicated to providing real-time value to your business.

W https://phoenixfinancials.co.uk/ E james@phoenixfinancials.co.uk

T 01438 582828

A The Hive Bell Lane Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 3HW

Renault Retail Group

Retail Renault Group has been in the automotive industry for over three decades, and is proud to offer its services through 13 car and van dealerships across England and Wales.

W www.retailgroup.co.uk

E darren.parsons@renault.co.uk

T 02082 710935

A 9 Crown Road Enfield EN1 1TX

Resonate Leadership

Based in Hertfordshire, Resonate provides professionally accredited leadership coaching for organisations, business owners and individuals.

W www.resonateleadership.co.uk

E hello@resonateleadership.co.uk

T 07825 686228

A Richmond Gate Bell Lane Bedmond Hertfordshire WD5 0QT

Robin Buller

E robinbuller@yahoo.com

T 07890 925525

A 26 Wheathampstead Road Harpenden Hertfordshire AL5 1ND

Sun Environmental

SunSkips aims to provide the best skip hire and bulk waste disposal service in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, making hiring a skip easy and hassle-free.

W www.sunskips.co.uk

E admin@sunskips.co.uk

T 01449 613824

A A3 The Buntings Cedars Park Stowmarket IP14 5GZ

Tara International Ltd

E rajan@tarainternational.co.uk

T 02035 382912

A 7 St Leonards Close Bushey Hertfordshire WD23 2DB

The Big Green Generator Company Ltd Incorporated in 2019, The Big Green Generator Company specialises in providing temporary power and lighting across the UK.

W www.biggreengeneratorcompany.co.uk

E enquiries@ biggreengeneratorcompany.co.uk

T 01763 661331

A The Farm Office Chipping Hall Farm Chipping Buntingford Hertfordshire SG9 0PH

The Brand Arrow

Bruce is a brand strategist. He speaks on the subject at conferences around the world, runs Brand Arrow®, his own brand strategy practice, and has published an award-winning book on how to write your own brand strategy called ‘What’s Your Point?’

W www.thebrandarrow.com

E bruce@thebrandarrow.com

T 07782 326030

A 8 Holywell Hill St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 1HF

Utility Warehouse

Utility Warehouse is the UK’s only genuine multiservice provider, trusted by 950,000 customers and fully regulated by Ofgem, Ofcom and the Financial Conduct Authority.

W https://uw.co.uk/help/contact-us

E donatellascasserra06@icloud.com

T 03337 770777

A 508 Edgware Rd London NW9 5AB

We Do Stories

Where ambition meets impact, that’s where We Do Stories thrives. Its passion is transforming visionaries into leaders, creating narratives that resonate and inspire.

W www.wedostories.com

E anne@wedostories.com

T 01462 372990

A 25 Town Square Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 1BP

yohrs

yohrs’ mission is to help you build a company that people want to work for; one with a positive workplace culture and the right people.

W www.yohrs.co.uk

E jo@yohrs.co.uk

T 07808 926349

A 5 Carlton Road Harpenden Hertfordshire AL5 4SX

New Members

Inspire 61 49

Long Standing Members

Celebrating 100 years of the Chamber

2024 has already got off to an amazing start as the Chamber celebrates its centenary.

Our team members have been actively taking part in events to mark the anniversary – and you can read more about them in this magazine – and we have enjoyed some great events.

There is still so much to come this year and we look forward to welcoming you to the different events, from networking breakfasts and lunches to the Inspiring Herts Awards gala dinner. Managing Director Donna Schultz said: “The success of the Chamber would not have been possible without the dedication and loyalty of our amazing membership.

“Looking through the list of our longstanding members is very touching, to see the businesses and organisations that have supported the Chamber over the years.

“It is also a clear demonstration of the value that the Chamber brings to the county in providing the right support at the right time to enable Hertfordshire’s business community to grow and thrive.

“Everyone who has gone before me has helped create this wonderful legacy and I am proud to be carrying the baton forward.

“Every month, we see new members joining and it is always a privilege to meet and get to know them, especially in what is a very special year for us.”

Altro is the second-longest serving member of the Chamber, having joined in 1974. Membership has brought the company unique advantages in local networking and community engagement. Over the years, Altro has cultivated deep-rooted relationships within the Chamber, positioning itself as a trusted and established presence. This longevity grants Altro unparalleled access to an extensive network of businesses, providing valuable insights, collaborations and business development opportunities.

The continuous engagement with the Chamber’s events and initiatives enables Altro to play a pivotal role in shaping the local business landscape. As a seasoned member, Altro enjoys enhanced credibility, solidifying its commitment to the community and contributing to the overall success of Herts Chamber of Commerce.

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94

• Pioneer Europe Limited

Joined 07/07/1994

Balloon manufacturers

94

94

94

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Joined 07/07/1994

Chartered accountants and tax advisors

Lessiters Limited

Joined 14/11/1994

Manufacturer of exclusive chocolates

Corsair Toiletries Limited

Joined 13/12/1994

Suppliers of toiletriessales/distribution worldwide

95

Ecobat Resources UK Limited

Joined 12/01/1995

Lead sheet manufacturers

95

Wilder Coe

Joined 27/03/1995

Accountants and tax advisors for SMEs and individuals

Datasound Laboratories Limited

01/01/1997

Embedded computing design and distribution

Stevenage Football Club

Joined 01/01/1997

Football club

Austin’s Family Funeral Directors

Joined 01/01/1997

Funeral directors

Stevenage Glass Co Limited

Joined 01/01/1997

Glass merchants and glazing specialists

FT Gearing Landscape Ser vices Ltd

Joined 01/01/1997

Landscaping

Stevenage Borough Council

Joined 01/01/1997

Local authority

96

GlaxoSmithKline

Joined 22/01/1996

Pharmaceutical research and development

Oaklands College

Joined 15/02/1996

Training, education and consultants

Richardson Supply Company Limited

Joined 11/06/1996

Supply computers/test equipment to oil and gas industries

MGAC

(formerly Robinson Low Francis LLP)

Joined 01/01/1997

Chartered quantity surveyors and project managers

Brown and Lee Chartered Sur veyors

Joined 01/01/1997

Chartered surveyors and property consultants

MBDA UK LTD

Joined 01/01/1997

Designers and manufacturers of defence systems

The Wine Society

Joined 01/01/1997

Mail order wine merchants

Kanegrade Limited

Joined 01/01/1997

Natural food and colour ingredients

Newsquest Media Group Limited 01/01/1997

Newspaper and magazine publishers

Sonovision Limited

Joined 01/01/1997

Technical writing and graphic design for all publications

Hart Learning and Development

Joined 01/01/1997

Training for individuals and organisations

Fore Street Employment Agency

Limited

Joined 24/01/1997

Recruitment/employment agency

Longmores Solicitors

Joined 24/01/1997

Solicitors

Longstanding Members

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97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97 97
96 96

Walking into history

Chamber team embarks on centenary celebration with remarkable walking challenge

One hundred is going to be the recurring theme of 2024 as the Chamber looks for different ways to mark its centenary.

Chamber News

In a spirited kick-off to the celebrations, the Chamber team set themselves the challenge of walking a collective 100 miles in January. With different team members adding to the total, they smashed the original target, covering an incredible 434 miles, with some team members choosing to run rather than walk.

Managing Director Donna Schultz expressed her pride in the team’s achievement.

She said: “Our team’s commitment to covering over 100 miles in the heart of winter is a testament to our unity and dedication. This challenge not only served as a celebration, but also underscored the importance of staying active, even during the colder

months, with significant benefits to both physical and mental wellbeing.”

Against the backdrop of Hertfordshire’s picturesque scenery, the team explored charming villages and scenic countryside, revealing the hidden gems that make the county truly unique. The initiative not only brought the team together, but also showcased the beauty of Hertfordshire, making it a celebration of community and the local environment.

As the first of many activities planned for the centenary, the 100-mile challenge has set the stage for an exciting year ahead. Donna said: “This is just the beginning. We look forward to a year filled with camaraderie, achievement and unforgettable experiences, as we celebrate a century of success and the vibrant spirit of Hertfordshire.”

Our team’s commitment to covering over 100 miles in the heart of winter is a testament to our unity and dedication.
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Join in our centenary celebrations at summer garden party

Popular annual event has special meaning this year

Highlights of the Chamber calendar include the Inspiring Herts Awards, our Christmas lunch – and the annual summer garden party.

This year’s promises to be bigger and better than ever as the pinnacle of our centenary celebrations.

That is 100 years of supporting businesses in our county of opportunity; 100 years of influencing key decision makers to achieve the best outcome for our business community; and 100 years of bringing people together to connect, collaborate and grow.

Something definitely worth celebrating.

CEO Donna Schultz said: “The Chamber is an incredible organisation, bringing together industry giants and start-up SMEs, creating a diverse network that achieves great things for our county, and we want as many of our members as possible to join us for our 100-year party.”

Sponsored by Oventrop and Taylor Walton Solicitors, the event is again being held at Sopwell House, St Albans, on Thursday, July 11, from 18:00 to 21:00.

It is an incredible venue in 12 acres of Hertfordshire countryside, with great outdoor space to enjoy on a summer’s evening.

Delicious, freshly prepared food will be available, as well as some special summer drinks, which can all be enjoyed while enjoying the live entertainment or making the most of the fairground-style attractions.

This members-only event provides a fantastic opportunity to network with many other Hertfordshire businesses.

“Make the most of a summer’s evening at this fabulous hotel and celebrate in style with us.”

Inspire 61 53
Chamber News
Tickets are £62 (+VAT) and can be booked at https://my.hertschamber.com/events.html

Meet The Chamber Team

in conversation with... Zoe Sykes

I love strong women, real trailblazers of their time, ones that paved the way to make women’s lives independent and worthy.

How long have you been at the Chamber?

I joined the Chamber at the start of the year as Business Engagement Manager, so I am still a newcomer.

What is your background and what persuaded you to join the Chamber team?

I have been in sales and marketing all my career; I love to engage with people and help them in any way I can. Making a positive difference is key to my working day, which is what attracted me to the Chamber. Donna and the team are focused on delivering opportunities for people to grow and prosper… I am happy to be the one to spread that message.

What are you hoping to bring to the Chamber?

A voice! The are so many businesses that are simply unaware of the Chamber, possibly because they are focused on managing their business. Many are not aware of the significant benefits they can access, and I am hoping to make as many people aware of the help and support available.

What is your proudest achievement?

In my twenties, my first marketing job was as a promotions manager at Nobo. I introduced the Diamond Dealers Club to the organisation, then arranged their first conference at Ascot Races Diamond Day. There were 50 couples in attendance, and I received 48 personal letters of thanks (before emails) and won the “Star of the Month” award. I went on to head up the UK marketing team.

When you are away from work, what do you like to do?

I love to spend time with family and friends. Going to new places and new experiences are what makes me most happy. I also like to be outdoors walking my dog Ziggy and I do regular yoga sessions to relax.

If you could have a dinner party with three people (living or dead), who would it be and why?

I love strong women, real trailblazers of their time, ones that paved the way to make women’s lives independent and worthy. I’ve chosen Joan Collins (so fabulous – what a life, what a woman) and my Mum, who gave me my strength, positivity and love of life; she would love chatting with Joan. And to complete the trio, Billy Connolly – a true gentleman who came from real adversity, who would be hugely interesting and then entertain us all evening.

Tell us about the best holiday you have ever had.

It was a family trip to Cape Town … what a spectacular country it is. We went on safari, ate the most delicious food, went chocolate tasting, cheese tasting and, of course, lots of wine was consumed in the winelands. We found it a very safe place, full of family outdoor activities. It helped that we have friends who live there.

If you were able to have your ultimate dream job, what would it be? That is easy – travelling the world and reviewing hotels. I love to travel and have been to so many wonderful places in Asia, the United States, Canada and Europe. It would be great to be paid to do it!

54 Inspire 61

in conversation with... Amanda Freeland

I hope to bring my experience in working with local SMEs and stakeholders, as well as in running surveys and report writing, to deliver an effective and insightful LSIP project

How long have you been at the Chamber?

I joined the Chamber team in January, but I’ve known the Chamber, its people and its services since it was co-located in St Albans with Business Link, back in 1995.

What is your background and what persuaded you to join the Chamber team?

I’ve spent nearly 30 years in public-funded support for small and medium firms, including as an adviser with Business Link, working in project management, providing management consultancy and survey services, setting up and running the Herts Growth Hub, and running the Manufacturing Growth grant scheme for the county. I joined the Chamber to run the LSIP 2 project, which is an important piece of work for the county and the future of training and skills.

What are you hoping to bring to the Chamber?

I hope to bring my experience in working with local SMEs and stakeholders, as well as in running surveys and report writing, to deliver an effective and insightful LSIP project on behalf of Herts Chamber to the British Chambers of Commerce and, ultimately, to the Department for Education.

What is your proudest achievement?

That is probably helping one of my clients in Hoddesdon to win a high-profile national competition focused on business change during my time as a Business Link adviser.

When you are away from work, what do you like to do?

I enjoy seeing live comedy, and I’ve recently been to see the long-running radio comedy show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue being recorded. It’s been going since 1972, believe it or not… I also went to see Tom Allen’s live show a few days after that.

If you could have a dinner party with three people (living or dead), who would it be?

Bill Bryson, P G Wodehouse and Emma Barnett – that would be a good mix.

Tell us about the best holiday you have ever had.

When I visited San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the Nevada desert and Los Angeles. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime, although I’m always up for more travel.

Tell us something people don’t know about you…

I love classic fast cars. I’ve been driven in a Lotus Elite Turbo, a Porsche Boxster, an Aston Martin DB9, a vintage 4.5-litre Bentley with its original Carl Zeiss headlamps… I’ve also driven an E-type Jaguar, and I owned a Mercedes SL500 convertible (model R129, V8, for any enthusiasts) for a few years.

Meet The Chamber Team

Inspire 61 55

Netwalking

(Bring your human!)

Friday 22 March

Walk, talk, netwalk!

Walk, talk, netwalk!

We are always coming up with new ways to bring our members valuable opportunities to network with other businesses and like-minded individuals.

We are always coming up with new ways to bring our members valuable opportunities to network with other businesses and like-minded individuals.

What better way to start your day than with a walk around Hatfield Park to grow your network and increase your step count. Well-behaved dogs (on leads) are welcome!

What better way to start your day than with a walk around Hatfield Park to grow your network and increase your step count. Well-behaved dogs (on leads) are welcome!

(on leads) are welcome!

Members and non-members welcome.

Members and non-members welcome.

Friday 22 March

Friday 22 March

09:00 to 11:00 | Free event

09:00 to 11:00 | Free event

Location: Hatfield Park

Location: Hatfield Park

Members and non-members welcome.

Introducing our new Chamber event for 2024
09:00 to 11:00 |
event
Free
Netwalking
(Bring your human!) Introducing our new Chamber event for 2024
Netwalking
Introducing our new Chamber event for 2024

BCC publishes blueprint to drive net-zero transition

‘Significant challenges ahead’ revealed in new green report

The British Chambers of Commerce Green Innovation Challenge report has outlined a series of proposals for policymakers, to help accelerate the UK’s transition to net-zero.

Among the recommendations in the report are:

• A new public body to oversee delivery of core climate policies

• Strengthened resources for independent Climate Change Committee (CCC)

• A robust Green Industrial Strategy from Government

• A permanent cross-sector approach to green jobs from policymakers

• Quicker Government action on financing the transition to net-zero through the tax system

The Green Innovation report is the first of five policy documents being published by the BCC’s new Business Council as part of the Future of Economy project. The report draws on expertise from businesses of all sizes and sectors, academia and think-tanks.

The report acknowledges that the “UK has one of the most substantial legal frameworks for climate change anywhere in the world”. However, it also makes clear that “significant challenges ahead” and policy gaps remain.

Establishing a new public body focused on climate delivery, the report says, would ensure genuine cross-party working to agree long-term commitments. Strengthened resources for the CCC would give it the capacity to provide deeper analysis of specific sectors.

The report highlights the clear call from investors that current green industrial policies need to be brought together into a long-term, cross-cutting strategy.

To maintain the country’s progress on climate, the report also recommends linking the UK and EU emissions trading schemes, implementing energy grid upgrades and establishing deeper business and Government partnerships.

The report concludes “we are now entering a crunch phase for delivery on net zero” and recognises that “many of the necessary policy measures involve changes to supply chains to customer and business behaviours, and in some cases additional cost burdens at least in the short term”.

Martha Lane Fox, President of the British Chambers of Commerce and Chair of the Business Council, said: “One of the most pressing challenges for all business is the transition to a green and sustainable future. We will have no habitable planet if we don’t encourage rapid and effective actions.

“Our report outlines clear and realistic recommendations to accelerate the UK’s transition to net-zero. A robust strategy focused on delivery across the economy must be underpinned by clear and consistent messaging from Government.

“BCC research and engagement with businesses tells us that firms of all sizes want to play their part, but face barriers along the way.

“This report showcases the power of the BCC’s Business Council to assess the key challenges facing the economy head on. The council members are excited about seizing the opportunity to build a sustainable economy that works for all.

“This is just the start of our Business Council work. We look forward to publishing our other key challenge reports in the coming weeks. In the busy political year ahead, our recommendations will provide a crucial blueprint to help build the future of the economy.”

Inspire 61 57 BCC Economy

Membership Benefits PlanetMark

Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification, recognising continuous progress, encouraging action and building an empowered community of like-minded individuals.

It’s awarded to businesses, properties and developments that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.

Planet Mark enables organisations and their people to positively transform society, the environment and the economy through measurement of their carbon and social data, using a unique three-step process: Measure, Engage and Communicate.

As a result of rigorous measurement, a commitment to improvement and engaging their stakeholders in the process, Planet Mark members can communicate their progress with confidence, transparency and enthusiasm.

Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Solutions, aligned with the SBTi’s global Net-Zero Standard, also helps businesses to reach net-zero carbon. No matter what stage in your netzero journey you are on, from committing to a target to creating the action plan needed to get there, Planet Mark can support.

In 2021, Planet Mark embarked on the Zero Carbon Tour, taking a fully electric coach (Carbon Battle Bus) across 45 towns and cities in the UK to demonstrate the need for a net-zero transition. On the road to COP26, Planet Mark illustrated the phenomenal array of actions the business community is taking to play a part in creating a sustainable zero carbon future.

As members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce we are happy to offer all Herts Chamber members a 10 per cent discount on their first year of Business or Property Certification, or for the first Development Certification delivered.

Planet Mark enables organisations and their people to positively transform society, the environment and the economy through measurement of their carbon and social data, using a unique three-step process: Measure, Engage and Communicate.

Membership Benefits

Inspire 61 59
Members: To claim/find out more about this benefit, please visit your profile in the Members Area on the Herts Chamber website.
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The Last Word

Patrons

Graham Pitts

Group Managing Director, KGK Genix

KGK Genix, which was established in 1989 and employs 66 people, is a multi-disciplinary agency providing creative, print, project management and installation solutions.

How long have you been at KGK Genix?

I’ve been at KGK Genix for 26 years; I joined when I was 18. My father started the business in 1989.

What changes have you seen in that time?

The most notable was the purchase of our largest client, Genix Imaging, in 2014 – a strange situation where we made the move to purchase the business so as not to lose the ongoing work we had been producing; the transition from supplier to colleague was a tricky one to navigate but both businesses are now fully merged.

I have met some fantastic businesses and this has helped me both from a supplier and new business side.

Technology improvements are where most of the changes have come from10 years ago our fastest machine could print at 18sqm/hr whereas now, the fastest we can print is close to 400sqm/hr. This leap in speed – whilst keeping the quality – means that something that would have taken us a week now takes a few hours.

What are the current challenges facing your business/industry?

Our business is heavily linked to retail as 80 per cent of our clients are in this sector. Retailers are having a tough time with the cost-of-living crisis affecting consumer spend and rising business-related costs.

Recruitment in our industry is tough. We are lucky not to have a high churn rate as many of our colleagues are celebrating decades in their roles. So long as you can ensure that colleagues feel valued and informed about what is happening in the business, you will always retain them.

How important is staff development?

It is important for retainment and progression. Training needs to be intrinsic to any business growth plan as there is no better way to ensure your staff feel valued and part of the team than investing time and resource.

Do you face issues recruiting?

If so, how are you trying to overcome them?

As an SME, we can often feel we are fighting a losing battle against bigger companies in the field and that there is little help. A way in which we have demonstrated our ability to ‘think outside the box’ is our Student Design Competition. We teamed up with Herts Regional College to run a competition for their design students specifically interested in visual merchandising and retail. Our client Nike helped us develop a brief for the students to design a window

display with the theme Women in Sport. All entrants were offered work experience and I am pleased to say that one of the higher-placed entrants joined our team this February, having finished the degree with first class honours.

Engagement with local schools and colleges is so important as these students are our future. Apprentice schemes are also key for us going forward to help bring in new talent.

How long has KGK Genix been a Chamber member?

KGK Genix has been a member for five years and a Patron for two.

What is the value to your company of being a member?

I took over as MD in March 2020, a trying time for any MD, let alone someone who had only just taken on the role. Members have given me so much time to talk about business and I have gained valued feedback. Getting a perspective from someone outside of the business is invaluable.

I have met some fantastic businesses and this has helped me both from a supplier and new business side. I have also made significant savings on many areas of business expenditure.

Finally, some of the people I have met I now consider friends.

What advice would you give someone looking to enter your industry?

I see a lot of applications and the ones that stand out show passion in their covering letter. Instead of writing a generic letter and sending it to as many companies as possible, take the time to do research. If you have the right attitude, then you will always be appreciated and go far.

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