Inspire November 2022

Page 1


The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

November - December 2022



Cllr Lewis Cocking is in his element as leader of Broxbourne Borough Council

p16 SPOTLIGHT FOCUS Opportunity and Growth in Dacorum

p37 NET ZERO CHAMPIONS Developing People’s place in the business of climate action

Building Skills for a brighter future


Driving economic expansion



Theobalds Enterprise Centre is a quality-managed workspace, focusing on supporting existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and new business start-ups. The centre provides offices and studio accommodation between 14-45sqm to let on easy-in, easy-out terms. Easily accessible from the A10 and M25, the Centre has ample parking available and is a 20-minute walk from Theobalds Grove train station. The centre is certified with a Platinum WiredScored, meaning that the building is tech-ready offering optimum connectivity enabling a more collaborative and innovative experience for its users. It also has a BREEAM very good assessment rating for sustainable value and efficiency. In addition, there are high-quality meeting rooms, a conference suite for up to 90 people and an onsite cafe. Informal break-out areas and virtual offices can also be booked in the building, and is 0.5 miles from the £700m Sunset Studios development, and close to Waltham Cross town centre. For more details and to register interest, please email or call 01992 785565 for more information.


The beginning of a new era Briege Leahy

Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

WELCOME to the latest edition of Inspire.


n the few months since we last published Inspire, the UK has seen the end of an era – and the beginning of another. After a 70-year reign our much-loved monarch Elizabeth II died. The longest-serving heir apparent in British history, at 73 Prince Charles became King Charles III.

uncertainty and fragility right now. Whether a weakened currency, energy costs, inflationary pressures or rising interest rates, the challenges are significant. Hertfordshire businesses are resolute and innovative and will adapt as best they can to what are testing times.

And not only do we have a new monarch but a new Prime Minister in Number 10 Downing Street.

In this issue, we highlight the positive ideas and imaginative projects that are being realised right now in the region. Our main theme is around skills development.

Businesses of all sizes will be concerned at the economic

We look at the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP)

and how four Further Education Colleges and a number of independent training providers are pivotal to the success of this initiative.

We also turn the spotlight on Dacorum Borough in this issue and hear from three of our patrons in this area – Imagination, Britvic and CAE Technologies.

LSIPs establish the key priorities and changes needed in a local area to make post-16 technical education or training more responsive and closely aligned to local labour market needs.

The end of the year is fast approaching and 2023 beckons. There are plenty of Chamber events to look forward to in the coming year, not least the Women in Leadership Conference taking place on 3rd March at Sopwell House.

There is a touch of Hollywood glamour too. Hertfordshire has long had a close association with creative arts and the film industry – now the area is to benefit from a £700m investment from US-based Sunset Studios.

Briege Leahy Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Sunset Waltham Cross is expected to create more than 4,800 jobs and provide an economic boost for the Broxbourne community.

Contents Skills Patron Focus

4-8 11 & 13

Inspirational Leader


Area Focus


Chamber Events

24 -27

Tourism & Hospitality




Members News

43 & 46

New Members


Members News

51-52 54-55

Sustainability Conference review


Keeping the Heart in Hertfordshire

Longs Standing Members


Membership Benefits


Entrepreneur Foundation


Skills & Development


Net Zero Champions




Hertfordshire Global


Last Word


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


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



37 Published Nov 2022 © Benham Publishing and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 01707 502180 Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Email: Web: Disclaimer Inspire is published for Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Inspire are not necessarily those of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. ©2022 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

Media No. 1879




Herts Chamber leads plan to

relieve skills shortage

u Herts Chamber is heading up a Governmentfunded programme to address the worrying skills shortage in the county. 4


The Chamber has been awarded the cash to lead a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) that will encourage businesses to become involved in identifying the areas where talent is needed now and in the future. The Department for Education-led initiative has already been trialled in eight areas across the country and is now being launched nationwide, with 32 of the 38 new regional sites being led by Chambers of Commerce. The LSIP will clearly set out the skills employers are looking for and the changes required to help ensure post-16 technical education addresses these requirements.

A report will be drafted setting out those key priorities, bringing together employers and providers to understand skills needs and provision. Briege Leahy, the Chamber’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that our bid to coordinate an LSIP across Hertfordshire has been successful. We know businesses across our area are concerned about filling vacancies and having the right skillsets available. “We will work with partners to ensure there is a steady stream of talent across the right sectors, not just for now, but for the future.”


Having people out of work while employers are looking to recruit shouldn’t happen. We need to work together to make sure training is available in the skills that will benefit the county’s economy.

A survey released last year by Aviva revealed that 70 per cent of businesses were concerned about skills shortages with an urgent need to tackle the issue. The Chamber will use its well-established relationships with the business community to identify the key areas where skills are lacking. It will engage with education and training facilities to discuss what is needed and how new courses can be rolled out to address the gaps. Briege said: “I believe we all recognise that a new approach is needed when it comes to planning for the future. We have to ensure that the skills young

people and adults are learning are relevant for the industries that have the demand. “Having people out of work while employers are looking to recruit shouldn’t happen. We need to work together to make sure training is available in the skills that will benefit the county’s economy.” Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Over ten thousand businesses were engaged in the eight Chamber-led trailblazers. Building on this learning and success, we will ensure that planning

for local skills is aligned with the job opportunities and growth ambitions of employers. An efficient, network approach will enable the sharing of best practice to boost outcomes for people wherever they live, work and train.” LSIPs were introduced in the Skills for Jobs White Paper last year. They are a key part of the Government’s vision for an adult skills system where businesses, particularly SMEs, are given a much stronger voice in local skills planning. A survey will be sent to members in November to get their requirements on the staff and skills they require. For further details on the Local Skills Improvement Plan project for Hertfordshire please contact:




Hertfordshire’s Further Education Colleges to lead

the development of new in-demand training solutions

u Hertfordshire’s further education colleges are set to lead sustainable change by developing new training solutions using the latest technologies for some of the most in-demand skills. 6


Herts Regional College in Broxbourne and Ware; North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage, Hitchin, and Letchworth; Oaklands College in St Albans, Welwyn Garden City & Hatfield and Borehamwood; and West Herts College in Watford and Hemel Hempstead, successfully bid for £2.5m funding from the Department for Education to support a collaborative response to solve the most challenging skills issues across the Hertfordshire region. Working closely with employers, the colleges

will identify the skills priorities for jobs now and in the future and develop innovative, hightech training solutions that can be accessed by employees already in the workplace and provided to students as a core part of their training programmes. The four Hertfordshire colleges are already delivering a broad range of courses for young people, adults and employers, with qualifications and apprenticeships ranging from foundation levels to degree levels in subjects such as accounting, agriculture, art, business, care, computing, construction, engineering, media, music, nursing, psychology, science, travel, tv and film – and far more than can be listed here! And increasingly, the government is turning to colleges to find new training solutions for the skills employers say they struggle to find.

With this new funding secured, the colleges will be able to develop new, innovative training solutions using extended reality (XR) such as virtual reality (simulated environments) and augmented reality (technology that superimposes a computer-generated image onto a user’s view of the real world). Training using XR is already being used across the world for the digital transformation of training for specialist jobs in industries such as manufacturing, aerospace and health care. These cutting-edge technologies enable people to master complex skills more quickly than through traditional training methods, learning from their mistakes in the safety of the virtual world. Over many years, Hertfordshire’s colleges have developed strong relationships with a high number of employers across a broad range of employment sectors. The colleges and their partner-employers have strong track records working together to shape curriculum design and the delivery of qualifications to meet specific workplace requirements. In the first instance, the availability of this new funding will allow the colleges to build upon existing employer-partnership models to co-create XR training solutions for jobs within Care, Life Sciences, Sustainability, and Agritech. There is no limit to the type of industries that can use these technologies for training purposes and the colleges intend to work with other employer-partners to develop XR training solutions across a broad range of employment sectors.


The funding is also enabling colleges to purchase specialised equipment to support the development of green-tech skills focusing on the installation of air source heat pumps, solar panels and electric vehicle charging points – skills which are essential for a sustainable future. To enable this work, plans are in place to train around 800 teachers and trainers in the use of extended reality technologies and green-tech skills to provide the capacity and skills needed to maximise and sustain these new training programmes into the future. Each college will be holding events at their campuses for local school children to experiment with the extended reality technologies and to find out about the specialist, high-value jobs and careers that will be available to them in the future. With the support of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, the four colleges will share information during Spring 2023 about this work and its impact on local businesses and people. For further details on the Local Skills Improvement Plan project for Hertfordshire please contact:

Case Study The apprentice has bought a lot to the business, he did all the hard, labouring work in the beginning and then gradually took on the smaller jobs bit by bit. The employer is looking to start winding down and the apprentice is taking on more and more to enable him to do that. The employer likes the apprenticeship system as 80% of the time he is at work, learning on the job and moulding him to his way of working, the remaining 20% is spent at college where he learns not only the theoretical side of the work, but also the practical and communication skills and professional behaviours required.

My apprentice really enjoys his day at college, I think he’ll miss it when he’s finished. As a small company it is not easy having an apprentice, but the college have been very supportive. Whatever issues we have had have been rectified straight away. I would always employ an apprentice over someone who has completed a full time course, as they will have relevant real life knowledge and completely understand what is expected of them. The end goal for my apprentice is that he will take over my business, the more they do, the more I can take a step back and I know he will be able to do this in the next few years.





says challenging industry stigma is key to recruiting management trainees Parents have a key role to play in helping young people appreciate the diversity of a career in the construction industry. in to talk to the young people to tell them about the opportunities available to them.” Willmott Dixon, which has its head office in Letchworth, offers an industry-leading management training scheme that allows employees to study for a degree while working in the business, with a range of specialisms available from becoming a quantity surveyor to working in sales and marketing.


he negative stigma associated with builders is still blinkering teenagers. Mums and dads, as well as schools and colleges, can help them understand the benefits of working in a growth industry. Natalie Sidey, Social Value Manager at Willmott Dixon, believes that parents can make a real difference in helping their sons and daughters see the value of a career with a company like Willmott Dixon. She said: “But it’s not just parents. Schools need to be more open to employers going

The company has been working closely with students on the construction management level 3 course at Oaklands College in St Albans over the past five years. Representatives carry out mock assessments, provide CV advice and talk about personal branding to help prepare the young people for when they leave. The contracting and interior fit-out group offers work experience opportunities in all areas of the business.

graphic design … we look for lots of different skillsets. We just need parents and schools to make a more positive connection when the construction industry is discussed.” The traditional view that the construction industry is just for boys is also being challenged by Willmott Dixon. In recent cohorts of management trainees, the gender split has been around 60/40 in favour of males, and Natalie said the company is having a push on diversity. “We are keen to nurture talent from different areas of society and have d iversity and inclusion groups in the business. We also have a shadow board made up of young people who are leading a lot of our initiatives.”

She explained: “We don’t employ trades. So, we might be looking for people who are good at maths or creative writers. We use many different skills across the business. “People tend to think immediately of bricklaying when you mention construction, but we have people working in accountancy, HR, IT, legal services,

For more information on careers at Willmott Dixon, visit 8


What you need to know

about changes to Energy Performance Certificates What are the new EPC rules and how prepared are landlords? By Handelsbanken


s part of the government’s efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050, it has looked to tackle emissions across all sectors of the economy, including properties. The UK government hopes to steer property owners in England and Wales to make greener choices (Scotland has a separate system of rules and financial help), and part of this is to tighten standards around energy efficiency ratings. Britain’s housing stock is some of the oldest in Europe, so increasing the energy efficiency of homes and commercial buildings is particularly challenging. Here is our guide to what is happening and how it might affect you. What are MEES? Legislation introduced in 2015 established Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for residential and commercial properties. Buildings must have a minimum EPC rating of E in order to be let. Some exemptions to the MEES and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC - see below) requirements apply; listed or officially protected buildings for example, do not require an EPC if the owner can demonstrate meeting the requirements would alter it unacceptably. Listed property owners are still subject to MEES regulations, and must show how they have tried to comply with the listing limitations when seeking an exemption. What is an EPC rating? An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) documents how energy efficient a property is. From A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The EPC rating indicates the costs associated with heating and lighting it, and is calculated by assessing things such as insulation, airtightness, windows and heating systems.

In July 2022, Handelsbanken conducted research to find out how prepared landlords were to meet the new regulations. To read the Handelsbanken SME Landlord Survey Report 2022, visit handelsbanken.

Property owners must provide an EPC before the property is marketed to buy or let. What are the current requirements? The new rules build on previous changes. From 1 April 2018 it became illegal to let properties, both domestic and commercial, on a new lease with an EPC rating lower than E. This was expanded in 2020 to cover existing privatelyrented residential property. From 1 April 2023, MEES requirements will apply to all existing commercial leases. The government is also taking a phased approach to exemptions from the MEES. Previously, domestic landlords could apply for an exemption if they showed meeting the requirements would involve a cost to them. In 2019 this changed, and exemptions could only be applied for where the cost of bringing a property up to EPC E would cost over £3,500, or the costs of improvements would take over seven years to pay back. The latest government consultation includes proposals for raising the exemption cap to £10,000 per property. How could requirements for non-domestic (commercial) properties change in the future? The government set out its plans for the future trajectory for non-domestic MEES in its Energy White Paper, published in 2020, proposing commercial properties should meet EPC band B by 2030. It published a consultation paper in June 2021 on proposals for the implementation and enforcement of its EPC B plans. The government proposed a phased approach to implementation, by introducing ‘compliance windows’. The ‘compliance window’ will begin with the requirement for landlords to present a valid EPC. For EPC C, the government proposes that the compliance window should be 2025-2027, and for EPC B 2028-2030. As of August 2022, legislation is yet to be put forward. How could the requirements for residential properties change in the future? In January 2021 the government published its ideas for raising MEES for privately-rented residential properties. The proposals would require new domestic tenancies to be at least EPC C from 1 April 2025, and for all domestic

tenancies to be at least EPC C by 1 April 2028. A review of the system for assessing properties for EPC ratings is underway which will likely modernise the current system by more effectively taking into account new technologies such as heat pumps. The as-yet unannounced changes are expected to come into force from 2025. What support is available from the government? At the moment there is little support available from the government for property owners in making their properties more energy efficient, although Rishi Sunak did remove VAT (which was previously at 5%) on qualifying energy efficiency materials. In March 2022, the government introduced £450m in funding for a new Boiler Upgrade Scheme for residential properties. Subsidies of up to £5,000 per household to cover cost and installation of a heat pump or biomass boiler are available through this scheme which also provides a £6,000 discount on the cost and installation of ground source heat pumps. About Handelsbanken: Handelsbanken is a relationship bank with a decentralised way of working, a strong local presence due to a nationwide network of branches, and a long-term approach to customer relations. Handelsbanken specialises in providing personalised and competitive banking services to both businesses, individuals, and property investors, and offers wealth and investment management services through its UK subsidiary Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management. Each Handelsbanken branch operates as a small business enabling it to make decisions at a local level and provide a bespoke service. The focus is always on the need of the individual customer and not on the sale of specific products.

Handelsbanken Hertford Ground Floor, Sherwood House, 5 Bluecoats Avenue, Hertford, SG14 1PB T.

01992 538916





Already a home of world firsts,

skills offer can ensure Hertfordshire remains a pioneer As well as being the County of Opportunity, Hertfordshire has a long-standing and justified reputation as a centre of cutting-edge innovation.


o name a few of these innovations, our county became home to the world’s first garden city in the early 20th century before other global firsts saw the original jet airliner and first wind-monitoring satellite developed here. Clearly these notable and diverse global milestones, which span almost 120 years, were achieved through having people with the right skills available to deliver. And now, with a number of paths widely available for people of all ages to gain new skills to start and further their careers, Hertfordshire is showing a strong determination and purpose to remain as a key pioneer of innovation for the UK, and for the world. With more than 70,000 businesses calling Hertfordshire “home” and helping it to contribute over £38billion a year to ‘UK PLC’, enterprise and innovation is the backbone of our county’s economy. Stevenage has become a thriving hub for the life sciences industry, with the cell and gene therapy cluster the largest of its kind in the UK. Meanwhile, the story is certainly developing at pace for the film and television industry in the county.



Hertfordshire is already a global leader in this, and its creative sector has rapidly expanded in the past 12 months, strongly establishing the county as a key location for film and TV production in the UK and as a prime destination for on-location filming with screen tourism a key focus for Visit Herts’ recovery strategy postCovid. With further studio expansion planned, together with Sunset Studios’ proposed new £700m development in Broxbourne, the county is at the fulcrum of industry growth. In just this sector alone, as delegates heard last year at Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Opportunity Hertfordshire conference which shone a spotlight on film and TV, up to 13,000 new jobs could be created, from catering to carpentry as well as other skills-related fields such as lighting, sound and wardrobe. Higher and further education courses available in the county are crucial to this peek into the future and is also the case within other highvalue sectors such as advanced manufacturing, technology and construction, where further opportunities are emerging to connect Hertfordshire employers with local talent. These employment and training opportunities are featured on Hertfordshire LEP’s Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), which acts as a comprehensive “gateway”.

Whether that be for someone leaving school at 16 and looking for inspiration and practical advice on the right path to take, or someone changing career direction or planning to start their own business. It also gives support and advice to employers on such matters as apprenticeships and recruitment. The Skills and Employment Strategy 2021-24, developed by Hertfordshire LEP in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Department for Work and Pensions, is further evidence of the county’s growth coalition and strong commitment to investing in the skills of the future, supporting priority and growth sectors, and building the future workforce needed to service a high-performing economy. Hertfordshire Growth Board is supporting the LEP’s ambitions to develop that highly-skilled, high-performing economy through its individual workstreams, and palpably has a key role to play in this as a dynamic driver of place-making and sustainable-led growth. Richard Roberts, Chair of Hertfordshire Growth Board and Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “Hertfordshire is a special place; home to some amazing businesses and thriving communities but we must give our next generation of young people the chance to fly by gaining the skills which are critical to a vibrant economy.”


Lights, camera and plenty of action in


Born and bred in the area, it is fair to say that Cllr Lewis Cocking is in his element as leader of Broxbourne Borough Council.


e first joined the local council in 2016 and in 2019 he took the reins as leader.

While Lewis admits the role comes with huge responsibilities, it also provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on the place he loves and the community he is part of. His enthusiasm for the role is evident as soon as he speaks. “It has been hugely satisfying attracting investment into the borough – so far around £2bn of private sector money. We have seen £400m alone put into the Brookfield development.” Brookfield Riverside is a sustainability focused, lifestyle-led, mixed-use retail and leisure development to create a new town centre for the Borough of Broxbourne.

Lewis points out that it is one of the most ambitious new community projects in the country and will add greatly to what the area has to offer.

Hollywood in Herts Hertfordshire has always had a close association with the creative arts – think Elstree and Borehamwood studios. Now the area is to benefit from a £700m investment from US-based Sunset Studios. In July this year Broxbourne Council gave the green light to build new film studios in Waltham Cross. Sunset Waltham Cross is expected to create more than 4,800 jobs and an economic boost for the Broxbourne community.

Plans include proposals for a mix of shops, cafes and restaurants along with new leisure facilities in the heart of the town centre.

Lewis explains that when up and running, the studio site has the capacity to work on four blockbuster movies at one time. The area has been dubbed the ‘New Hollywood’. Work has just started at Waltham Cross (just off the M25) with an opening date pencilled in for early 2025.

The overall development also includes Brookfield Garden Village, which will provide up 1,250 new homes, including up to 40% affordable housing, a primary school and open space for leisure and recreation.

With the likes of Sunset Studio and a hyper-scale data centre operator having a major profile in the area, there is perhaps a danger of overlooking some of the great SMEs in the borough.

“The borough is known for its abundance of innovative SMEs, and we certainly haven’t forgotten them,” Lewis says. “The Theobolds Enterprise Centre is available for local SMEs and start-ups so they can rent office space of a size that suits them in an ideal business environment”. Once completed in 2023, the building will provide a hub for tech firms and SMEs and bring forward new employment opportunities for local people. SMEs and start-up businesses interested in taking space at the centre can contact the Council’s economic Development team on The Theobolds Enterprise centre is near to the proposed Sunset Film and TV Studios and is within a mile of the M25. The level of investment in Broxbourne is certainly a positive for the area but does it also bring certain challenges with it? “Yes”, is Lewis’s immediate response. “The level of business investment is fantastic; the task now is how we encourage local people to take up jobs in the area. There is no shortage of opportunities; it is a question of upskilling so that positions can be filled.”



LEGAL MATTERS Q What is an advance


subscription agreement (ASA)? This provides for the investor to pre-pay for their shares in a company but to receive their shares later. Some key terms are: Discount – the investor will buy their shares at a discounted rate to acknowledge the risk the investor takes by investing in a company early and without a valuation.

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


Warranties – a warranty is a statement usually made both by the company and the founders that certain matters relating to the company are at the completion date.

Funding target – this is an amount the company sets to achieve in investment during a future investment round that will automatically trigger shares being converted to the investor.

Restrictive covenants – this is also known as a non-compete clause where it imposes a series of restrictions on the founders that they will not compete with the business of the company and not solicit the company’s employees, customers or suppliers.

Longstop date – this is the date when the conversion of cash into shares will be triggered irrespective of whether a future investment round is achieved.

Q Will the investor undertake due

loan note


Q Tell me about a convertible


There are some key terms: Tranche payment – instead of paying for the entire investment at one time, investors under this agreement will be able to make part-payment of investment to a company from time to time. Generally, the investors are required to make tranches payments when the company achieves certain milestones.

Valuation cap –the purpose of this is to limit the maximum price for the shares being converted. This is so the investors are able to receive an adequate amount of shares if the company is valued above the valuation cap in the next investment round.

DOCUMENTING AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR BUSINESS There are many options if you are looking to either invest or seeking investment. Michael Budd, Partner and Head of Company Commercial, discusses a few options. The documenting of an investment will depend on the identity of the investor and the amount of the investment.

Q What is an investment agreement?

A convertible loan note is a short-term debt. It is similar to an ASA. The main difference between these two documents is that an ASA is an equity agreement which means monies invested through this agreement generally cannot be repaid in cash, unlike a convertible loan note which is basically a loan agreement that could be repaid in cash or be converted into equity/shares at a later date.


This is not a legal document but rather a process. For example, if a company is seeking investment it will disclose all of the relevant information and documents relating to the assets and liabilities of the company to the potential investor who will carry out its investigation to inspect the information disclosed by the company and founders and the records of the company. This process is called due diligence. Its purpose is to make an investor beware of any risk that may be associated with its proposed investment.

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Herts Business School that maximises potential Professor Damian Ward Hertfordshire University


efore joining Hertfordshire University seven years’ ago as Dean of Hertfordshire Business School, Professor Damian Ward worked at Leeds Beckett and Bradford University.

At all these institutions, there has been a clear focus on connecting with the regional economy and supporting local skills. Professor Ward explains that when he studied business and economics at Manchester University, the syllabus was quite abstract and theory driven.

The balance of academic and industry backgrounds among the lecturers at the University of Hertfordshire aims to keeps courses business-relevant. The onus is on getting the blend between academic study and practical experience. Hertfordshire Business School is highly respected – out of 150 business schools in the UK; it is in the top 20 for the impact of our research on business.

Huge local talent pool Professor Ward believes the business school can help Hertfordshire companies, allowing them to tap into the huge talent within the business school population. “If you hear a company ask: ‘How can I grow my business?’ – then consider the fact that we have 7,000 talented, ambitious and sparky students who want to make their mark in the business world. You could say the business school is the best employment agent in the region!” As Professor Ward explains the school has incredible research capabilities and the impact of the research on the business community is measured nationally and it is truly “world class”. Hertfordshire Business School also works with the likes of Harvard and Imperial College so knowledge is not only being developed but shared. Indeed connectivity between universities, local councils, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), regional, national/ international firms and business groups, is the essential ingredient for sustained businesses growth and development. It is about finding bridges across the business community and improving operations and performance through new ideas and perspective. Professor Ward is a new board member at the local Chamber of Commerce. He believes the Chamber plays a pivotal role in drawing talent together and enabling companies to utilise the broad range of skill sets on their doorstep.

“We understand as business academics some of the things that drive international and national competitiveness – this is captured in the diamond model. The brilliance of a diamond is in the facets. Do you need entrepreneurship in the region? Yes, but that is just a facet. You also need strong competitors, demanding customers, supporting finance and legal firms; regionally engaged universities and co-ordinating networks like the Chamber to make the connections.

Maximising SME potential In addition to providing young students with the chance to study at one of the country’s best business schools (with work placement opportunities both local and around the world), this year the University of Hertfordshire launched a new course for SME owners and managers – Help to Grow: Management. The course is designed to boost businesses’ performance, resilience, and long-term growth. A specialist team made up of SME experts, Hertfordshire Business School lecturers, experienced business mentors and leading entrepreneurs, provide invaluable insight to local small businesses. “So far we have had two cohorts – and both these courses have been fully subscribed,” Professor Ward says. “Some people are talented entrepreneurs – it just comes natural. But we can help them to be even better by showing how they can harness the talent they have to achieve more. We connect them with a business mentor and the aim is to eek out from them the understanding they already have but may not be fully aware of”. He adds: “The feedback has been phenomenal. Almost everyone prior to going on the course asked about the time commitment. Once on the course, nobody asked that question again!” Help to Grow will continue to run indefinitely, assuming government funding (which covers most of the cost) remains in place.




Sharing ideas helps Herts software

business flourish

Jean Freeman is the founder and managing director of Sharp-aX, a computer systems and business development company, based in Berkhamsted.


ean is intensely proud of the business that has been built on the foundation of a loyal and dedicated team of people.

Sharp-aX has a direct focus on ERP software development and business to business SME support for the wholesale and distribution industries. As managing director, Jean understands the importance of a motivated, engaged and loyal team, essential to drive the company forward. “We have no answer phone!! We prefer to speak and listen to our customers.” People are clearly happy to stay with the business. So, in terms of good management, what is Jean getting right? “I think the key factor is ensuring everyone here has a voice. Our Monday morning meetings illustrate this. Whether it is head of quality control or our web manager, key people in our business with different skill sets are encouraged to share their ideas. They do and they feel involved”

Essential feedback From the sales team out on the road, the communication is about responding to what the customers are telling them. “If one of our sales team says ‘if we had this feature we could get this order’ we will then look at ways to make this happen. We develop our software on demand – from our customer base feedback.”



Seemingly, clear and timely communication is just as important within the team as it is with the hard-won customer base. Jean elaborates: “If a customer rings our premises from 7am with an issue, they will get a response and receive help. The very fact that they have spoken to someone who understands the severity of their problem is hugely important to them.” She adds: “Our business is very much based on trust and showing customers that they matter. If you allow customer requests to sit amongst 100 other emails, you are not doing a good job.” The team at Sharp-aX is now 28 strong. In terms of recruitment, Jean says the company is well known and respected in the industry. This makes attracting new talent relatively easy. The company also has a track record of helping local college leavers and graduates get their careers off the ground.

We have no answer phone!! We prefer to speak and listen to our customers.

Recognition and support It has been a good year for Sharp-aX, winning two international certifications (ISO 90001 and ISO27001), 5 Star Trustpilot and our customer base is thriving. As for the relationship with the Chamber of Commerce and how it has benefited the business, Jean is fulsome in her support. “The Chamber is really proactive. If they haven’t heard from us for a while they call and ask: ‘what’s happening’.” The local connections the Chamber offers through its’ meetings and events is appreciated too. “We met a local independent broker Ashbourne Insurance through the Chamber and were able to save hundreds of pounds on business and personal insurance costs. Another Chamber member Wagada, a local digital marketing company helped us rethink our marketing strategy and we are delighted with the results. We must also not forget the great service from our other Chamber members : Hillier Hopkins and SA Law.” As Jean explains, these companies follow the same good business principles as Sharp-aX – that is a personal approach, listening to customers needs and delivering precisely what is required.


CEO sets up talent academy to train future accountants A CEO keen to equip ambitious accountants with the top-level skills needed to succeed has set up his own talent academy.


akesh Dua, of DUA Accountancy and Business Consultancy – one of the Chamber’s patrons – has enrolled three professionals on his threeyear programme with a plan to increase the number to five in the next six months. The business leader is keen to guide the cohort and create a succession plan for his business. Rakesh said: “I realised it’s quite hard to attract people at a senior level; sometimes they’re set in their ways and

it takes a lot of adjustment time. I thought if I could start with the people who have the right attitude, a positive nature, good communicators, some reasonable soft skills, I can mentor them.

“People coming through could have the opportunity to specialise, to create future different revenue streams, allowing us to offer a greater range of services. That will help organic growth.

“I looked back and some of my trainees have become partners in top 20 firms now and I reflected on the feedback I’ve had and I knew I had the secret recipe to create good accountants.”

“The academy will obviously create opportunities for me, but it can also create good accountants for others.”

Rakesh wants to create growth prospects for those attending his academy.

The academy programme includes structured training within the business, supported professional training from an outside body to enable them to have a qualification at the

end of the three years, and the chance to become involved in more complex work to develop their skills through shadowing colleagues. “It is fast progression in a structured three years with a programme designed around the key elements. “It’s always the plan that they will stay, but either way, they will be better accountants and better fast-track prospects. They’ll have a more rewarding career than if they hadn’t joined the academy.”


M o d e l: M a z d a C X- 6 0 327p s AWD E xc l u s i ve - L i n e A u to

Book a test drive* today, call us on 01582 788 571 BRAYLEY MAZDA HARPENDEN, 17 Luton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2UA T&Cs apply. Subject to availability on vehicle orders received between 01.10.22 and 31.12.22. Figures based on a non-maintenance contract hire package with 6 advance rentals followed by 35 monthly rentals. Excess mileage and fair wear and tear charges may apply. You can never own the vehicle. Finance subject to status. Guarantee may be required. 18s and over. Mazda Financial Services Contract Hire RH1 1SR. Not available in conjunction with any other offer unless specified. Rentals rounded up to nearest pound. Brayleys Cars Limited is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486). Permitted activities include advising on and arranging general insurance contracts and acting as a credit broker not a lender. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers. We do not charge fees for our Consumer Credit services. We may receive a payment(s) or other benefits from finance providers should you decide to enter into an agreement with them, typically either a fixed fee or a fixed percentage of the amount you borrow. The payment we receive may vary between finance providers and product types. The payment received does not impact the finance rate offered. All finance applications are subject to status, terms and conditions apply, UK residents only, 18’s or over, Guarantees may be required. *Test drives subject to applicant status and availability.


Opportunity and growth in Dacorum

Dacorum embraces the new town of Hemel Hempstead, the historic market towns of Berkhamsted and Tring as well as picturesque villages and rural locations.


ituated just north of London, the area is easy to access by road, rail and by air, which allows for excellent infrastructure for work opportunities. There is a wealth of arts, culture, museums, and fascinating attractions such as historic Berkhamsted Castle, Tring Natural History Museum and Hemel snow centre, Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, waiting to be discovered. The area offers a multitude of options for eating out from modern restaurants, cafes and pubs offering a variety of cuisines and styles from around the world.



Hemel Hempstead is a place of opportunity and growth Hemel Hempstead is perfectly placed on the edge of London within around a 30-minute drive or train ride of the capital, benefiting from the road links of the M1, M25 and A41, two mainline rail stations along with easy access to five airports. Hemel Hempstead is a place of significant businesses set within beautiful countryside including the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The town and area offer a fantastic and great value quality of life with attractions for all the family, some great places to live, a variety of employment opportunities, all within an environment to envy, a compelling urban green experience. The Maylands Business Park is home to over 650 companies, employing over 20,000 people and there are plans to expand further as part of the Herts Innovation Quarter (Herts IQ) Enterprise Zone. Dacorum Borough Council also believes that exporting is essential to building the UK and local economies, securing new jobs, and creating new opportunities. In partnership with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, the council launched a 12-month project of funded international business support to identify and work with 20 Dacorumbased companies that are interested in substantially expanding into new markets.

Hemel Hempstead is a place of opportunity and growth. The Hemel Garden Communities programme aims to create up to 11,000 homes and 10,000 jobs to the north and east of Hemel Hempstead by 2050. The whole of Hemel will be transformed to become a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative town. Safety, biodiversity and healthy lifestyles will be the priorities, as well as responding to the challenges of the climate. Dacorum Borough Council is also developing the Hemel Place and Town Centre Strategies, which will tie together the wide range of ambitious projects happening in Hemel. The council launched the Hemel Place Board in November 2021 bringing together external partners and senior stakeholders including Government Departments, the NHS, Herts CC, West Herts College, Voluntary and Community organisations and major local businesses to guide and oversee the new strategies and co-ordinate actions.


OSD Healthcare is ideally placed to reach patients from further afield as well as those living close by.

Infusion office

A brighter tomorrow At Infusion Group, we want every business leader to have all the tools they need to make their business truly brilliant. Our range of solutions improve planning, process, and performance, helping our clients to become smarter, more profitable businesses today and setting them up for a brighter tomorrow. The Business Owners we work with are seeking to grow their business, step away from the day to day, or exit, so we help them build a business that isn’t solely reliant on them. Hemel Hempstead, having been one of the first New Towns, it is reinventing itself for the 21st century with a series of vibrant new Garden Communities bringing housing and employment, transformation of the urban centre into a place for living, leisure and work, the potential repurposing of development areas near to the town accompanied by a cultural renaissance. The emphasis will be on animating and activating the place with a focus on people and the use of space not just buildings.

To find out more about the Hemel Garden Communities and Hemel Place projects, visit and

A key benefit of

Our founder lives in the market town of Tring, so a short drive from an office was a ‘must have’. We found the fabulous barn at Orchard House in Gaddesden Row and the rest is history. Most of our clients are based in South-East of England, including Dacorum and surrounding areas. There are so many benefits to being based in Dacorum and it’s something our colleagues, clients and wider community really appreciate. Gone are the long commutes in and out of the city we had for many years; now we welcome peace and quiet, beautiful views, fresh air, and dog walks at lunch time. Most importantly, it’s a fantastic environment for learning where our clients can step away from the hustle and bustle of the day to day and focus ON their business rather than IN it - one has even called us the Champneys of the business world!

being situated in the

Dacorum is a wonderful place to be, one we’re proud to call home.

Dacorum area is that

For information visit

they are just a mere 30 minutes on the train from Euston and near the M1 and M25 motorway.

The company’s choice of the Dacorum borough as home is in large part due to the founders being local - the links were already well established. But another benefit for basing operations here were the ideal road connections. The M1, M25 and A41 are all very close. CEO Ray Guirguis, who joined the firm in 2020, points out that the community focused OSD Healthcare proposition has been well received. “The saying we have here is ‘it’s beyond healthcare’. We are ideally located and easy to get to with free parking. Our patients are put at ease from the start – there is a seamless pathway, and we ensure our patients get the most out of their appointments”. He adds: “The idea is to offer a premium level of healthcare in the local area at an affordable cost.” Ray outlines how the business has evolved over the years and engaged with the local community. “We actually rebranded as OSD Healthcare about three years ago – and some locals still refer to us as One Stop Doctors. Initially we provided primary care and dental services but have expanded significantly since then.” Ray took up the reins as CEO, in March 2020 just as the Covid pandemic was beginning to grip the country. Construction work had already started on OSD’s new day care surgical facilities. While the hospital space was not operational in time to help with the fight against the pandemic, OSD Healthcare was one of the first able to offer Covid testing locally at its primary care centre. Post-Covid, OSD Healthcare’s surgical facility is now up and running. And its’ strong partnership with the NHS has continued, offering support when it is needed. This has meant helping deal with the backlog of appointments due to the pandemic. “For instance, we have been able to help local NHS trusts by providing mammography screening services,” Ray explains.

Healthcare without the hassle OSD Healthcare, a family-run business was set up just off Boundary Way in Hemel Hempstead in 2016. Since then, the clear focus has been on providing accessible, affordable and stress-free private healthcare for the Dacorum community - and further afield.




Imagination committed to strengthen the local community Dacorum has an exciting cluster of fastgrowing tech companies, driving innovation across both consumer and business-tobusiness markets. The complex chips powering this innovation are built from semiconductors – an indispensable foundation for modern technologies. From smartphones and PCs to cars and data centres, the demand for these products has accelerated, pushing manufacturers to build better, more efficient chips. “Countless tech products begin their life in Kings Langley, with Imagination’s marketleading semiconductor IP powering over 11bn devices globally. We recognise the true value of the engineering talent that made this possible, and we’re excited to have grown our company to 900 people in just the last 12 months – with our sights set on finding an additional 150 engineers, to further expand our home base here in Hertfordshire,” says David Harold, CMO at Imagination.

Quanta The Gatsby 2021

Delivering recruitment solutions Founded in 1992, Quanta is a specialist recruitment consultancy delivering recruitment solutions to leading organisations worldwide within the Life Science, Renewable Energy, Data Centre & IT industries. Their mission is “to be the de facto recruitment partner to their clients and candidates”. Quanta is a family run business based in the bustling, historic market town of Berkhamsted on the western edge of Hertfordshire, named the best place to live in Southeast England, 2018 by The Sunday Times. A key benefit of being situated in the Dacorum area is that they are just a mere 30 minutes on the train from Euston and near the M1 and M25 motorway.

Berkhamsted has the advantage of being a stone’s throw from London while still maintaining the kind of charm you can only find in such an English town. This, they feel, is why they have people that work for them coming from a 40-mile radius, ranging from Bicester, Loughton and Reading, and this supports their efforts in attracting a diverse workforce to come and work at their offices. The Quanta team enjoys taking advantage of the plethora of local bars, pubs and restaurants in the area. More importantly, Quanta proudly supports four local charities by holding regular fund-raising events. The charities they support include DENs Dacorum, The Pepper Foundation, The Swan Youth Project, and Thomley.

In Imagination’s recent industry report, the company has devised a strategy for the UK to address the ongoing challenges in the semiconductor sector. Investing in research and development is a key pillar for this approach, alongside championing the UK’s strengths in IP design and talent. Imagination’s specialist division for R&D, IMG Labs, helps develop resources at a local level for a global impact. In addition to enabling a strong pool of tech talent in the area, Imagination is committed to strengthen the local community. Its CSR committee coordinates key activities in this space and manages ongoing support for Hertfordshire-based charities such as DENS and The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Dacorum is a strong area for technological development and Imagination remains focused on enabling this progress for the district on all levels.

Quanta is a family run business based in the bustling, historic market town of Berkhamsted on the western edge of Hertfordshire, named the best place to live in Southeast England, 2018 by The Sunday Times. 18


David Harold, CMO at Imagination

Advertisement Feature

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU IS IMPORTANT TO US Supporting businesses and people in our local community Situated in Dacorum, between Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted, our team at NFU Mutual Hemel Hempstead work from a refurbished converted barn.

Five good reasons to choose NFU Mutual for your business

We pride ourselves on being part of the community and support individuals and businesses with our complete offering of insurance, financial planning services, and risk management solutions.

Partnerships – We partner with a wide variety of UK trade associations enabling us to fully understand your industry’s challenges and issues.

Following the arrival of Jason Raven as Senior Partner, the agency also has a renewed focus on larger corporate and commercial business. Jason has been expanding the commercial team to support a comprehensive insurance offering in the Hertfordshire area, for businesses that value long term relationships and the personal face to face approach that NFU Mutual are well known for.

Experience – From small artisan producers and boutique hoteliers, to large scale food and drink manufacturers and property professionals, we’ve got you covered. Mutuality – It means we’re different. Instead of making decisions based on shareholder’s needs, we make them with your best interests in mind. Local Presence – As your local agency of 295 offices nationwide, we would love to meet you face to face to know more about you and your business. Socially Responsibility – As part of the NFU Mutual charitable funding, we chose to donate and volunteer to support Sunnyside Rural Trust as our local charity.

Thomas Stephenson is the latest addition to the team and alongside Chris Wilcox is focussed on creating, developing and maintaining relationships with businesses by offering advice on how NFU Mutual can support and protect what’s important to them.

To find out more on how we can support you and your business please contact Chris Wilcox on 01442 270000 or email

J P Raven & I H Crickmay is an appointed representative of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited (No. 111982). Registered in England. Registered Office: Tiddington Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 7BJ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. A member of the Association of British Insurers. And an introducer to NFU Mutual Select Investments Limited, a member of the NFU Mutual group of companies.


HERTFORDSHIRE LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP Thursday 8 December 08.30-14.30 Rothamsted Conference Centre, Harpenden

INSPIRE, IGNITE, INNOVATE Hertfordshire LEP Annual Conference Opportunity Hertfordshire 2022 returns in person this December to discuss our ambitions and opportunities to stimulate innovation, inspire new ways of working and deliver a more sustainable future. Join us for a series of high-octane debates, network, visit our Opportunity Zones and enjoy festive entertainment and a seasonal menu sustainably and locally sourced. 20


The Opportunity Hertfordshire prospectus will set out Hertfordshire’s global potential across our key sectors, how we are powering enterprise and innovation and creating a high performing, highly skilled economy. During the day we will debate: • How we can deliver a sustainable future • How we can attract dynamic, fast-growing businesses and stimulate innovation • How we can reduce the socio-economic gap


Visit our Opportunity Zones • Sustainability Zone • Next Generation/Skills Zone • Business Accelerator Zone

About Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a business-led, multi-sector partnership focused on accelerating economic growth, job creation and raising workforce skills within the local area. Working in partnership with businesses, government, investors and not-forprofit, the LEP puts people at the heart of growth. With a dedicated team focused on delivering inward investment, key sector, clean and inclusive growth activity, business growth, skills leadership functions and providing detailed economic intelligence, we provide a comprehensive package of support to businesses, employers and local partners. Our reach goes beyond county borders by promoting Hertfordshire as a great place to live, work and do business. With an economy delivering £41.57bn for UK plc annually, abutting a global city and home to several excellent significant sectors including creative media, film and TV, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, the LEP delivers a range of initiatives to continue powering its growth. Find out more –

Meet our Sponsor – Rothamsted Enterprises We are entering one of the most critical periods in human history. Climate change, burgeoning human populations, dwindling natural resources and geopolitical upheaval have created a near perfect storm of challenges for us to tackle. Perhaps more than any other sector, agriculture sits at the centre of this uncertainty and could yet turn out to be either the hero or villain. The next decade will be pivotal if we are to help tackle the world’s problems and not exacerbate them. Key to agriculture having a positive global impact, will be innovation – turning cutting edge scientific research into practical, workable solutions that feed billions of extra mouths from less land and smarter use of agrochemicals. Rothamsted Enterprises, formerly known as Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprises (RoCRE), was set up in 2015 to achieve just that, by harnessing the world-renowned scientific expertise of Rothamsted Research to the disruptive power wielded by true agri-food visionaries, creating one of the most dynamic, vibrant and well-connected R&D communities found anywhere in Europe.

ESA Productions Hertfordshire LEP is proud to bring this event to you in partnership with Elstree Screen Arts and help create valuable opportunities for film and TV students to develop industry-ready skills.

Registrations are now open Visit the Events Page:

Inspire, Ignite, Innovate. #OpportunityHerts Sponsored by:

In association with:

Influential leaders sought to join Hertfordshire LEP Board and shape county’s economic vision Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is seeking three influential leaders to join its board and help shape the economic vision for the county.

Hertfordshire LEP Board is responsible for setting the vision and strategic priorities for economic development in the county and is accountable to the local communities it serves. The Board is the LEP’s ultimate decision making authority. It is comprised of public and private sector members who work collaboratively to ensure that decisions are made in the interests of promoting inclusive growth, prosperity and improved productivity in the local area and beyond. Board Members give up their time voluntarily and are unremunerated. The LEP is seeking to appoint a new Chair, Business and Not for Profit Representative. In September, Hertfordshire LEP Chair Mark Bretton announced his decision to step down. For the past six and half years, business leader Mark Bretton has brought his considerable acumen and wideranging experience to the role of Chair of Hertfordshire LEP. During his tenure, the economy has withstood unprecedented pressures from Brexit to a global pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Since 2019, Mark Bretton has also chaired the LEP Network, volunteering his time to set the overall policy direction and strategy for 38 LEPs across England. He said: “In the past six and half years I have had the privilege to work with some extremely talented people on our Board, Sub Boards, in our Executive and amongst our stakeholders. Chairing the LEP and having the opportunity to chair the LEP Network, the body that brings all 38 LEPs in England, is an unrivalled experience. To help create, fund and then see so many excellent projects come to fruition and the impact that they make in our county is amazingly rewarding. I hope you will consider applying and I would be happy to chat to you if you would like to know more.” Tina Barnard, Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing, is also stepping down in her role as Not for Profit Representative. She said: “Being a Hertfordshire LEP Board member gives you a fantastic opportunity to play an active role in supporting your local community. The LEP helped residents through the COVID-19 pandemic and has driven forward projects and programmes that have lasting impact on local people and businesses, from tackling skills development and business support to providing transformative buildings and spaces that unlock the growth potential of our places. A personal highlight has been overseeing the incredible regeneration of Watford during my time as Chair of the Strategic Infrastructure Board.” Closing Date: Sunday 13th November 2022 Interview Date: 28th/29th November 2022 For an informal conversation about this exciting opportunity, contact Sally Stanley: 07771 866498 or email



We are committed to leading a technology based revolution in how the construction industry designs, procures and delivers future communities. We create resilient buildings that are fit for future generations and leave a positive lasting legacy.

Certified Carbon Neutral for 9 years running Net Zero Business by



EXPLORING THE OPPORTUNITIES AND TECHNOLOGIES of a Low Carbon Built Environment By Richard Davidson, New Business Director for Willmott Dixon


hy does it feel so difficult? Why can’t we just buy a simple gadget to fix our problems? These are questions you may have asked or heard in our conversation on the climate emergency and dealing with our buildings. I wish I could say it can be easy and that I have just the device you are looking for. We are being asked to make difficult decisions, and in the face of rising prices, it feels too much to be told to spend money on making buildings better. The challenge is that many decisions are not going to give us a quick answer or payback, even though we are faced with making choices for future generations. But what is it about financial decisions? Plenty of people are buying EVs and shopping locally. Why is it tricky to start making the right changes to our houses and buildings? My comparison falls down here in expecting consumer product demand to translate into buildings. We are so much more invested in our homes than our cars because we have a different emotional connection. It is a place to be with family. We want our homes, schools and workplaces to be safe and the perfect temperature. We do not like the inconvenience of changing them. We want our bricks and mortar to be worth more after we have purchased it and the value to keep rising. We do not ask this of many of our purchases. The thing that seems to be holding us back is change itself because making changes to our homes is disruptive, confusing and uncertain. I have also met people who say they want to change but are waiting for us to decide what is the best technology. It is clear that we all need some help making the change. As many in this same space will state, you cannot change something if you do not know how it works in the first place.

How many people know the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of their house? For those who drive, I suspect you know your mpg and emissions. Your dashboard will tell you.

universities, leisure centres, police stations and offices all constructed to a net zero design using high insulation values, triple glazing, mechanical ventilation, smart energy systems, PVs and heat pumps.

So let’s use the data from our buildings, starting with your smart meter. I know my house emitted 2.22 tonnes of CO2 last year, and I also use an app from National Grid to advise me when I am more likely to be using green energy. It means our high-load devices are switched on at the right time. This simple switch of consumer behaviour comes from using my house dashboard.

We do need some government help to improve the legislative landscape to assist in the retrofit market. Taxation and incentives are not right, and the last round of Green Home Grants was poorly delivered. We need to keep pushing our elected leaders to create a positive landscape where investment in future energy efficiency and climate resilience is normal.

Once you have taken a few quick wins, the next thing is to get the right advice. How many people have had an extension built and asked the builder to do the same as last time? Did you ask for the best performance or just the minimum? Keep it simple and don’t rock the boat…

But the real change is already here, and we are the ones who need to ask for better. We have the information, and we have businesses and training providers to provide the solutions and workforce. We have to want to change. We have to be the change.

But our system is not helping. You need the right future standards in place. You need a net zero standard, and so you need to find a qualified architect, retrofit coordinator or builder on this journey. What you are trying to achieve is balance, ensuring that your emissions are low and then balanced off with renewable energy. We use a simple model to show this, adapted from trusted, cross-industry guidance. LETI (Local Energy Transformation Initiative) gives us a clear target for energy consumption and clear steps to achieve this balance. We are becoming familiar with the renewable energy technology, but we are less conversant in whole-house retrofitting. We are not talking very much about mechanical ventilation systems, smart energy grids and building batteries either. But our low carbon future sits in bringing these elements together in a cohesive system. Remembering that we have 29 million homes, 300,000 public buildings and countless commercial properties to fix, this represents a substantial opportunity for businesses which can offer this system approach. Using all the technologies and methods at our disposal, the future is already deliverable. We have schools, homes,




Upcoming Events

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

Long Covid: Support for Employers and Businesses Herts Chamber have partnered with Better Business for All (BBFA) and the NHS to host a webinar on Tuesday 8th November, to provide businesses in Hertfordshire with advice on managing staff with Long Covid. It is estimated that over 2 million people are suffering with Long Covid in the UK and the numbers continue to grow.

• Dr Harsha Master

Date: Time: Venue: Members: Non-Members:

• Abby Minter

08/11/2022 10:00 - 11:00 Zoom FREE FREE

return to work issues and guidance on how to manage this.

Many individuals experience difficulties with returning to work due to the nature of their symptoms and the complexity of the illness.

The session will be led by Dr Harsha Master, GP Lead Covid Assessment and Rehabilitation, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and Abby Minter, Specialist Occupational Therapist.

Support your staff and business by joining us in this hour long webinar which will provide an overview of Long Covid, as well as discussing

There will be chance for questions and answers during the session, plus an opportunity to find out about support and resources available.

Women in Leadership Lunch We are holding our next popular Women in Leadership lunch on Thursday 10th November in the elegant country house at Dyrham Park Golf and Country Club, Barnet, sponsored by Leonard Curtis. Our speaker will be Sarah Roots, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Studio Tours and Retail Destinations. Sarah will discuss her journey, from starting off in operations and customer service roles, to being the international Executive Vice President for the organisation and having an active role in the development of tourism and culture in Hertfordshire.



• Sarah Roots

Date: Time: Venue:

10/11/2022 12:00 - 14:00 Dyrham Park Golf and Country Club, Barnet Members: £39.00 +VAT Non-Members: £49.00 +VAT


For more information on any event:

01707 502180 or

Women in Leadership Conference 2023: Save the Date! Our exceptionally popular Women in Leadership Conference will again be taking place next year at the luxurious Sopwell House Hotel, St Albans. For this, our third annual conference, we will highlight the importance of skills and the part that role models play with inspiring girls and women to follow their career dreams and aspirations.

Date: Time: Venue:

If you have a story to tell about your experiences and how you achieved your ambitions, or you know someone who has had an inspirational journey, please contact us for consideration to be included in our line up of speakers and panellists for this important conference.

03/03/2023 09:00 - 15:45 Sopwell House, St Albans

November Chamber Lunch

Our November Chamber Lunch, sponsored by Stevenage Borough Council, will be taking place at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage on Thursday 17th November 2022. 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. We will be joined by guest speaker Tom Pike, Strategic Director, Stevenage

Borough Council, who will be talking about progress with the regeneration project and how the life sciences ambitions for the town are delivering a number of opportunities locally in terms of investment, jobs and wider economic growth.

• Tom Pike

Date: Time: Venue:

17/11/2022 12:00 - 14:00 Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage Members: £39.00 +VAT Non-Members: £49.00 +VAT




Upcoming Events

Inward and Outward Processing - HMRC Inward processing and outward processing are methods of claiming relief from Customs Duties, and in some cases VAT. One of the main benefits of these procedures is that they can have a substantial financial impact on the cost and profitability of a product. This online, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited, course explains how both processes work and the information required to comply with HMRC regulations. The content of this course includes: • An introduction to Customs Special Procedures

• An explanation of the terminology used such as equivalence, throughput period, rate of yield • What a Bill of Discharge is and what it is used for?

• What is Inward Processing?

• Jeff Lewis

• What is AEO status and how may it assist being granted special procedures authorisations?

• What is Outward Processing? • Procedure Codes and what impact they have on these Customs Special Procedures • How these procedures can impact Import Custom Duties and Tax • Inward processing authorisation process • The responsibilities of holders of special procedures authorisations

Date: Time: Venue: Members: Non-Members:

25/11/2022 09:30 - 12:30 Zoom £350.00 +VAT £400.00 +VAT


Chamber Lunch

Hertfordshire Chamber are delighted to once again be holding our popular Christmas Chamber Lunch, sponsored by Beyond Governance, taking place in the Meadow Barn at Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, Welwyn on Tuesday 6th December 2022. We are looking forward to being able to celebrate Christmas this year and enjoying a delicious lunch with friends and colleagues at this beautiful venue set in picturesque country surroundings. We will be joined by a panel of speakers, which includes our Patrons: • Richard Behan, Chief Corporate Officer, CAE Technology Services • Rakesh Dua, Chief Executive, DUA Accountancy & Consultancy • Cheryl Luzet, Chief Executive, Wagada Digital



• Richard Behan

The Christmas Lunch will be immediately preceded by our AGM, taking place at 11:30 – 12:00 in an adjacent room to the lunch. To book your place at the AGM please go to the events pages of our website or email Please note, by booking onto the AGM this does not automatically secure you a place at our Chamber Lunch, which will need to be paid for online. We are delighted to announce that we will also have a special performance from the London Community Gospel Choir.

• Rakesh Dua

Date: Time: Venue:

• Cheryl Luzet

06/12/2022 12:00 - 14:30 Tewin Bury Farm Hotel, Welwyn Members: £49.00 +VAT Non-Members: £59.00 +VAT


For more information on any event:

01707 502180 or

Agents and Distributors This online, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited, course cover how to research and find new partners and method of management. The course will also cover the important element of Agreements and will cover the key content. Content includes: • What is an Agent

• What are three of the main types of agreement with distributors and agents

• What is a Distributor

• Distributor and Agent Agreements

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of an Agent

• Managing Agents and Distributors

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Distributor • UK Competition Law • How to find Agents and Distributors • Considerations when appointing an agent or distributor

• Agreement content

Date: Time: Venue: Members: Non-Members:

• Jeff Lewis

09/12/2022 09:30 - 12:30 Zoom £350.00 +VAT £400.00 +VAT

Workshop: Learn how to generate free publicity On Tuesday 13th December, from 10:00-12:00pm, we are holding a workshop at the Cromwell Hotel Stevenage, on how to generate free publicity for your business, delivered by Laura Pearce, Managing Director, Strand PR. Sending out your own press releases is a free way of raising awareness of your business. And when it comes to media coverage, it’s arguably better than advertising because stories published by local, regional or industry news websites and papers represent third-party endorsement. So, it’s not you saying how fantastic your business or service is, it’s basically somebody else saying it. But how do you do it, how do you establish what’s going to grab the attention of journalists, how do you angle a press release, how do you even write one, where do you start, what do you do with the press release when it’s drafted? What do you do with the coverage you’ve achieved? Join us and learn from an expert with a proven track record of success.

Learning objectives: • Gain an understanding of news and PR • Learn how to write a press release • Understand how to build a tailored distribution list and how to send your press release out • Know how to amplify your coverage through digital channels

Date: Time: Venue:

13/12/2022 10:00 - 12:00 Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage Members: FREE Non-Members: £15 +VAT




NET ZERO is a challenge for everyone, says JPA Workspaces Businesses have a significant role to play in ensuring Hertfordshire achieves its net-zero goals in line with the UK’s 2050 target.


peakers at a county sustainability conference said responsibility for cutting emissions lay with all organisations and that they needed a clear plan to make it happen. Almost 200 business representatives attended the Herts Chamber of Commerce’s first sustainability conference, chaired by Richard Potter, Director of Digital Strategy at Microsoft, where guest speakers included ITV’s Laura Tobin, a qualified meteorologist and environmentalist, and Steve Malkin, founder and CEO of Planet Mark. The event, which supported the aims of the Chamber’s Herts Go Green and Grow initiative, brought together

businesses looking for guidance on reducing their carbon output as the UK’s 2050 net-zero target draws closer. Briege Leahy, Herts Chamber CEO, said: “Listening to the excellent speakers at the event outlined the size of the task facing us, and also emphasised to everyone that it is challenge that we are facing together. No one is alone and there is plenty of support available. “All the steps we collectively take will improve society and help us play our part in protecting the planet and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.” Steve spoke in depth about the practical steps businesses can take to achieve net zero, acknowledging the pressure

You may be tempted to think that Climate Change is an issue for large companies and governments and that SMEs have no part to play. But think again. Fiona Edwards, JPA Workspaces



that SMEs in particular are under to demonstrate how they are cutting carbon emissions at a time when the energy crisis is affecting us all. Weather presenter Laura used the platform to reveal everyday steps that anyone can take in a bid to protect the planet, showing that responsibility sits on everyone’s shoulders. Lynne Ceeney, Director of Environmental Sustainability at Hertfordshire County Council, attended the conference at Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden, to talk about how the council is working to become a more environmentally sustainable organisation. Breakout sessions topics included carbon calculation, nature’s recovery, cloud technology and futureproofing urban environments. For more information on the Chamber, visit



to help Ukrainian refugees

The Herts Chamber was on hand to offer practical support when Britvic hosted a careers fair for Ukrainian refugees.


lmost 50 Ukrainians attended the event organised by one of the Chamber patrons to seek advice on finding work after being forced to leave their homes because of the Russian invasion. Briege Leahy, Chief Executive Officer at the Chamber, said: “So many people have had to leave behind their family and friends, their homes, and jobs, to escape the shocking Russian attacks. “They deserve all our help to be able to find work to have some normality in their lives. We were delighted to support this initiative by one of our patrons.”

The event was hosted by the drinks giant at its Hemel Hempstead head office. Sudeep Shetty, Chief Information and Transformation Officer at Britvic, said: “Finding ways to help our communities is so important to us as a business. We have seen the devastating impact the Russian invasion has had on Ukrainian citizens forced to leave their homes – and the difficulty in finding a job as a result. “It was fantastic to welcome almost 50 Ukrainians to our head office where they received refurbished laptops to aid their job search, expert recruitment advice on interviews and CVs, and access to the latest information on open opportunities.”

Ukrainians were offered transport via taxis, carpools, and a minivan to the site where over 30 Britvic employees used one of their volunteering days to host and support them throughout the day. Representatives from the Chamber were on hand at the event to offer extra advice and share opportunities in the area. Briege added: “It was wonderful to see one of the Chamber’s patrons leading the way with this pioneering community event and I hope those who attended will have found it useful and will be able to find jobs.”

#KeeptheHeartinHerts INSPIRE



KMG Partnership

design for a Brownfield site transforms a 12. acre land into a Class 6 Storage and Distribution depot for Bidfood in Glasgow, Scotland. Immediately to the south of the site is Laighpark Waterworks and the M8 Motorway whilst to the west across White Cart Water is the Glasgow Airport area. On the north side of Wright Street is the Westway Industrial, Distribution and Office Park.


ince before the Second World War, industrial developments occupied the site and therefore, serious remediation was required prior to any construction works commencement. The site was acquired from BOCM Pauls who undertook the demolition to ground slab level of their former Mill in approximately 2009; procured and developed by 3663 Developments to provide new storage and distribution depot for Bidfood. Bidfood is one of UK’s largest foodservice companies with approximately thirty depots across the country serving schools, hospitals, restaurants, leisure operators, hotels, and franchised food outlets. The proposed Glasgow depot will supplement existing depots in Scotland at Edinburgh, Oban, Larbert and Inverness. Lead Designer Martin Dalby KMG Partnership Lead Engineer Mark Fairhurst KMG Partnership



Other factors include parking for Bidfood’s fleet of refrigerated delivery vehicles (50 excluding docks), vehicle wash and fueling areas, unfettered access for HGV deliveries and accessible waste packaging recycling storage area. The design of the building has been located to run parallel to the White Cart Water boundary with loading docks positioned on the Eastern side of the Depot providing shelter from the prevailing Westerly winds and rain. Current Depot requirements meant that approximately 40% of the site was set aside for future development for Class 4, 5 or 6 purposes. The two areas of offices at ground floor augment the warehouse operation in provision of staff changing and welfare facilities, goods-in, fleet transport and warehouse management. The upper floor provides logistics support, customer services, sales, training and meeting rooms

A feeder from the main access to the site provides entry for the two areas of car parking which total 144 spaces of which six are disabled spaces.

A feature of the design is the decision to construct the Warehouse offices external to the main building between the two sets of docks which gives the operations team an excellent view of all vehicle movements and frees up internal space.


Building Elevations

Plan of the proposed building The 2 storey offices are set within the main building and face north towards Wright Street and east over the yard. The warehouse is a traditional twin bay steel portal frame structure with the added feature of a curved apex.

Cladding consists of horizontal profiled steel sheeting with contrasting colour band at high level, paired with smooth concrete faced “ProWall” panels around the docks on the Yard Elevation. The South East facing offices elevation blends into the Warehouse with the office entrances given prominence with the use of curtain walling and glazed canopies. The office extent is defined by the use of ribbon windows.

KMG Partnership provided architectural, structural, and civil engineering design in line with the RIBA Plan of Works. The planning consultation process began in December 2019 – Planning in Principle approval was achieved May 2020 Work on site commenced with Site Remediation in September 2020 with a view to complete the building in September 2021. Unfortunately, due to Covid, timelines had to be changed and Practical Completion is now set for December 2022. INSPIRE



What has 2022 meant for you? In Hertsmere, we can look back on a year that has been in equal measure exciting and challenging.

Climate Change and Sustainability Officer, Sarika Jain

Grow Through Sustainability conference

Councillor Caroline Clapper, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Property and Deputy Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council


They include our new cycle hire scheme, Beryl Bikes, which launched last month in Borehamwood, and is aimed at encouraging more people to get active and choose a sustainable way of getting around.

However, there are positives to emerge from this year, and I can honestly say I feel more optimistic about the future now, than at any other time.

In addition, last month, we received confirmation that our bid for funding, submitted in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire, from the Local Government Association’s Net Zero Innovation Programme was successful.

here’s no denying that the legacy of the Covid 19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the uncertainty for refugees in this country, and the rising burden on household budgets has had a sobering effect on the lives of our residents, businesses, charities and public sector organisations.


The scheme allows users to make quick, easy trips across the town and surrounding areas. With one tap of your phone, you can hire a bike and get to work, meet friends, or pop to the shops. It’s a simple, easy alternative to jumping in the car and is better for you, the environment and our local communities.

This is in no small part down to the work we’ve been doing as a local authority to define our values, acknowledge the challenges and set out clear actions that will protect and improve our future.

At the heart of our vision, which spans from now until 2027, is taking climate action and driving sustainable growth. It means everything we do is focused on building a better, more resilient, greener future for our residents and businesses.

We’ve described what we stand for and how we plan to get there in our new ‘Hertsmere Vision – Driving better futures’.

Just to illustrate that, the climate action initiatives we’ve undertaken in the past year have been varied and numerous.


The funding will be used to help us set up a Carbon Offset Fund Toolkit. Carbon offsetting is a practice by which an organisation can compensate for the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions their activity generates, by participating in an activity which leads to a reduction in carbon dioxide.


Another aspiration set out in our Hertsmere Vision is to be enterprising. It means we’re committed to increasing the prosperity of our residents by being creative, innovative and investable. We don’t see this as in conflict with our other values. In fact we feel they complement and confirm each other. For example, work is nearing completion on Sky Studios Elstree, the state-of-the art development in Borehamwood. As well as generating thousands of jobs and training opportunities for our area, Sky Studios Elstree has an ambition to be the most sustainable film and TV studio. A planning application for a further 10 new soundstages, just north of the site, has also been submitted.

On the roof of the new Platinum Stages at Elstree Studios

The interior of the new Platinum Stages

Beryl Bike launch

In Hertsmere, it presents enormous opportunities for us to work with developers to offset unavoidable emissions generated when building homes, employment sites or infrastructure through innovative carbon reduction or removal projects, such as tree-planting, renewable energy solutions, investment in active or sustainable travel and energy efficiency improvements. Our Carbon Offset Fund is one of a number of measures we’ve introduced in new planning guidance. Our three new Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) published last month also include detailed guidance on how we intend to promote sustainable transport and parking and how we will ensure biodiversity net gain at new developments. Local authorities will soon have a legal duty to require new development takes place in such a way that biodiversity levels are increased as a result. With our new guidance, we’re getting ahead of the game. That’s because we recognise biodiversity net gain as a good thing for our borough and because we understand in the fight for our planet, we’ve no time to lose. In the meantime, we know we need to take our businesses and residents on this journey. We’re offering Climate Action grants to businesses and community groups to be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy measures; projects that reduce waste, promote sustainable or active transport, or enhance biodiversity; or to support local, seasonal or sustainable food production. You can find out more at

New ancillary workshops at Elstree Studios

Following that, Hertsmere, in partnership with independent experts iChoosr and along with neighbouring Hertfordshire local authorities, launched a renewable energy group-saving scheme, Solar Together. More than 700 households in the borough registered their interest in the scheme. After successfully securing multiple rounds of Green Homes grant funding, we’re now working with the Government’s new Sustainable Warmth scheme to offer residents most impacted by rising energy costs help to fund improvements in their homes. Among the measures we’re able to support are insulation, ventilation and heating upgrades, heating controls, solar panels and energy efficiency lighting. You can find out about it at Bringing about behaviour change is never easy, but as a local authority, we’re supporting and encouraging residents to adopt a more sustainable way of life – and that goes for business too. Earlier this year, we worked with other Hertfordshire local authorities, to hold a Grow Through Sustainability conference. It was a chance for businesses of all sizes to learn how they could take the first or next step towards a more efficient, profitable and sustainable way of working. Going green isn’t just good for the planet, it makes business sense, but we know there are barriers which all companies face. Hopefully our conference illustrated there is plenty of support out there.

Just down the road, the council-owned Elstree Studios recently unveiled its two new soundstages and ancillary workshops. The Platinum Stages, named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable reign, has been designed to meet international space standards, uses innovative sustainability technology and is expected to create more than 800 jobs locally. The new soundstages are the result of a multi-million pound investment by Hertsmere Borough Council and the government’s Getting Building Fund via Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). As part of our investment in the project, we committed to releasing £100,000 per year from the profits generated by the new stages for a Creative Fund. This money will be used to support the local creative industry, particular training and apprenticeships, business incubator schemes and start-ups in the creative sector. As well as the Creative Fund, our new Economic Development Strategy sets out other measures we are taking to enable us to be enterprising and support innovation, including promoting investment; revitalising our town centres; enhancing public spaces; working with local schools and FE colleges and helping those members of our community who are long-term unemployed and feel most excluded by the jobs market. We’re committed to doing the best by our existing and future residents, which is why earlier this year, we made the decision to set aside the current version of our draft Local Plan. We’re now working on a new version of the plan, which will guide development and influence how the borough changes over the short to medium term. As part of that work, we will be inviting landowners, developers and agents to submit sites they know of with potential for development. Our emphasis will be on finding brownfield sites, areas which were once used for commercial or industrial purposes. Please visit for more information. We’ve done so much in 2022, but we know there is more to be done. However, the clarity of our vision means we’re more focused than ever on building a brighter, more resilient and sustainable future. Why not get in touch to find out more.




Setting up a new business isn’t Ezi …but Herts

Chamber can help

Whilst celebrating entrepreneur month it is true to say that necessity is the mother of invention, a phrase that definitely rings true for IT and software specialist Bob Gokani.


hen he turned 50, he started suffering with hayfever and struggled to administer the eye drops necessary to alleviate his itchy, sore eyes. With a sensitive blink reflex, Bob realised that he needed some help to ensure the drops went into his eyes instead of around them. He says: “I had hoped there was something out there to help. But there was nothing. There were some devices, but they were cumbersome, expensive or impractical.” So, Bob designed an applicator himself – and EziDrops was born. Now in full production, with stockists including Boots, Amazon, Alliance Healthcare and RNIB,

and a growing export market, Bob credits the Herts Chamber’s Entrepreneur Foundation for giving him vital support on his journey. “Early on I was looking for a lot of help and I was directed to the Chamber. It was during COVID, and I was sent a timely, free invitation to join the Entrepreneur Foundation, so I took advantage.” “I have met so many people trying to set up a business without help, but there is a lot of help out there. Good people offering good help. “The Chamber has been invaluable. Jeremy Bishop, Briege Leahy and Colin Spiller … we’d book a call and I was able to ask about key challenges. They’d give direct help for my concerns. “Starting your own business is a lonely planet to be on, but there is a support structure there. You just had to reach out and look for them.

It’s also all about the basics, everyone doesn’t see. You have all these different challenges – the accountancy system, the CRM, marketing, legals – people just see the product, but there’s all the basic infrastructure to set up. I didn’t know any of this. “So, to have all this support available is great.” Having cut his teeth on EziDrops, Bob has now developed a similar product for administering ear drops and has quickly discovered there is a big market for it. “I still have my day job. All the money from EziDrops goes straight back into the business to support its growth. I attend a lot of trade shows and I now have distributors in South Africa, Switzerland, Greece, Qatar, Australia… “I did apply for Dragon’s Den at the beginning, but I didn’t get a response. Now I don’t need to!”

2023 Entrepreneur Foundation Recruitment The Chamber are now looking for our third cohort of Entrepreneurs, so if you are aware of any new start-up businesses in Hertfordshire or any local entrepreneurs who would benefit from being supported by the Entrepreneur foundation, please ask them to get in touch with us at for more information and an application form. 34



MAKING A DIFFERENCE With a workforce of around 500, Viatris colleagues are able to use two of their working days annually to participate in volunteering activity - that's a 1,000 volunteer days every year! Some of the ways we have used that time is by lending our support to Home Start at their fundraising events, helping the community garden Red Shed to stay neat and tidy and preparing food for the homeless at The Felix Project. If you would like to learn more about Viatris and our volunteer programme please email Learn more at LinkedIn | Twitter | YouTube

Viatris is a proud patron of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

NON-2022-12717 | DOP: October 2022


Herts Go Green and Grow update

The HGG&G Group is getting to grips with all kinds of issues from how to change behaviours for long-term sustainable transformation, to how to identify digital pollution and pooling our various collective tree-planting resources into Hertfordshire based sites.


n October 3rd, we heard presentations by Emma Cantu at Borough of Broxbourne on the Hertfordshire Climate Change Sustainability Partnership and Leanne Kenyon from Project Match who focused on the importance of behaviour change and intrinsically motivated teams to drive real change. Purposeful organisational culture is fundamental to retain and attract new staff, vital for business growth and hitting management KPIs yet finding the measures for this are not as easy.

The cross-industry nature of the group, which meets every month, provides different perspectives, different knowledge bases and a safe space to discuss and share the spectrum of challenges presented in uncertain and fast-moving times. We are working together to develop our understanding of the challenges, beginning to recognise our strengths and ability to influence in wider circles.

Several members visited the NetZero Festival on 27th and 28th September. It was reassuring to hear from Chris Skidmore, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Environment, that the Net Zero review announced by the new government will not derail our Net Zero commitments. In fact, after over a decade of government policies and corporate action it may be a sensible thing to do. The debates, however, revealed that there’s still a high degree of uncertainty about the “how” of the net zero. Familiar themes prevailed – the role of offsetting and carbon capture, just transition, scope 3, scaling up green innovation, challenges with green finance, quantitative lack of skilled green workforce, tension between green activism and steady transition, unintentional greenwashing, etc, albeit with higher degree of clarity.” Whilst the Government are getting to grips with net zero, we can all contribute. Of course, affordability and scale are key, but marginal gains, lots of tiny changes by all of us can and will make a huge difference.

If you would like to join the group and discussion, please contact Herts Chamber at

#keeptheheartinherts #hertsgogreenandgrow 36 36


We are working together to develop our understanding of the challenges, beginning to recognise our strengths and ability to influence in wider circles. Several members of the group presented at the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Sustainability Conference on 21st October including group founders, David Hawes from Net Zero International, Simon Littlewood from ESTU Global and Fiona Edwards from JPA Workspaces. Also, look out for COP 27 coming up in early November following on from COP26 in Glasgow last year. What progress will our world leaders make and how can we influence them?


DEVELOPING PEOPLE’S PLACE in the business of climate action Organisations taking sustainability seriously will at some point need to widen their thinking to include the psychology behind what they are asking their staff to achieve. And if they are savvy, they will also want to understand the effects that sustainability practices HAVE on their staff.


ne key challenge for getting companies on board with sustainable practices is the cost. Spending thousands (or hundreds of thousands) not on growth, but on replacing current ways of working with a more costly, but more environmentally friendly option seems like a bad move.

At the same time, companies will pay many thousands of pounds developing people performance programmes, employee engagement initiatives, recruitment and re-recruitment. It’s time to start realising how much these things overlap.

In August this year, Leanne Kenyon, Founder and Director of ProjectMatch launched their People & Planet programme, a year-long initiative to encourage both businesses and students to tackle environmental and sustainability issues, by focusing on the effects on, and opportunities for, people in work. They are doing this by offering a 50% discount on research briefs for projects on a sustainability topic and all projects conducted on the theme in the year will

also enter a competition, where the top three student projects will win a collection of prizes. In addition, as part of this programme, for every matched project they will also donate a tree to the Forest of Marston Vale. Briege Leahy, CEO, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce commented: “As we continue our support for the county’s businesses to take on the challenge of Net Zero, we believe this work from ProjectMatch to bring an understanding of the psychology underpinning sustainability action will be an important step and of great help to many businesses in Hertfordshire and surrounding counties.”

ProjectMatch is a member of the Herts Go Green and Grow group. For more information about the initiative and details on how to join the group please contact #hertsgogreenandgrow INSPIRE




Temporary export of goods

cannot believe where this year has gone and already, we have reached our November/December issue of INSPIRE. It certainly has been a busy year, with not just issues from previous years still causing difficulties, but the Ukrainian war, economic and energy situations are affecting pretty much everyone. Let us hope the New Year brings some respite to what, currently, seems to be a never-ending litany of doom and gloom.

A ‘Duplicate List’ can be used to avoid the need to pay Duty and VAT. We can assist you with this. The ‘owner’ of the goods must be travelling with the items and all the goods must return to the country of original export. This avoids the need for customs declarations as the ‘Duplicate List’ replaces that requirement. Most EU countries recognise this temporary form of import where all the goods passing through customs will be taken out of that country in the same state as they enter.


38 38


That said, and moving forward, you will have seen the article in this magazine on the Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), which Herts Chamber is delighted to be leading across the county. May I also take this opportunity to stress how important the role of business is in this project. Please do take the time to engage in both the survey and the forthcoming meetings within your sectors. Time spent now will be hugely beneficial to you going forward, as you help shape the future of skills education. Any questions on the LSIP do please let me know as I am also co-ordinating this on behalf of the Chamber.

Since leaving the single market there have been many examples of businesses struggling to understand how to send material within passenger luggage where they are, for example, sending an engineer to carry out repairs along with their equipment.

HMRC guidance can be found at

Instructions for using a Duplicate List You must list all the goods being transported on company letterhead paper, descriptions and identifying serial numbers, if possible, on 2 lists. Form C&E 1246 should be completed.


TRAINING COURSES We successfully held our first revised export/import training course at the beginning of October, Understanding Export. It was well attended, and the participants are on their way to obtaining the nationally recognised BCC Foundation Award in International Trade. We have several courses coming up namely:

Inward and Outward Processing - HMRC Friday 25th November, 09:30 - 12:30

Import Documentation & Procedure A Practical Guide Friday 2nd December, 10:00 - 16:00

Agents and Distributors Friday 9th December, 09:30 - 12:30

Understanding Commodity Codes Friday 13th January 2023, 09:30 - 12:30 For further details please refer to our website:

When passing through UK Customs you should present the form to customs, they may check the goods, but they must stamp, date and sign the form. When entering the country of destination, you should go through the red channel and declare the goods to customs there, again check, stamp sign and date. When leaving the country, again declare and get a signature and stamp and the same when entering the UK. We would advise that care should be taken in planning the use of Duplicate Lists. The passenger carrying the goods should have clear instructions on what to do, should have two sets of duplicate lists carrying 2 for UK customs and 2 for the country of arrival and departure. If you are travelling to a third or fourth country, then you need duplicate lists for each regime. It would be good practice to carry a schedule of the dates of entry/exit and the names and addresses of the companies that will be visited. As with all things, nothing is by any means perfect. The Duplicate Lists can add a degree of risk if, for example, the Customs of a particular country are not au fait with it. The fool proof system is still an ATA Carnet,

which is internationally recognised and remains the most recognised and reliable method for moving goods through multiple jurisdictions whether accompanied or not.

This means you must keep your VAT records digitally and submit your VAT returns to HMRC using compatible software.

We can assist with a Duplicate List. The Chambers most local to us for issuing of ATA carnets are London and Birmingham.

If you need any assistance you can also watch this short video, ‘How do I sign up for Making Tax Digital for VAT?’ on HMRC’s YouTube channel.

Customs Customs have reminded us that the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF), has now closed for import declaration transactions and has been transferred to the new Customs Declaration Service. Any traders who make their own declarations, or if someone submits import and export declarations on their behalf must use this new system. The second stage, full closure of CHIEF will take place on 31 March 2023, by which time all export declarations must be moved over.

All that remains is, admittedly very early, for Frances and me to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all best including much better trading conditions in the New Year.

John Woodruffe​ Head of International Trade & Policy Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Businesses must make sure they have a customs agent who is ready to make their declarations on the Customs Declaration Service or set themselves up to make their own declarations. Also, if your business is registered for VAT, you must follow the Making Tax Digital rules, whatever the size of your taxable turnover.




Best Restaurant (Group) in the Marie Claire awards 2022

Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen restaurant group in Hertfordshire has picked up a top national restaurant award, winning the UK best restaurant (group) award in the Marie Claire Sustainability Awards 2022.


his is a national award run by the prestigious women’s magazine in recognition of “the brands, organisations, and products that are genuinely implementing change and building a better tomorrow”. Andrei Lussmann, founder and director of Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen, a restaurant group with 5 restaurants in Hertfordshire, said: “I am extremely honoured to win this national accolade, and to share it with my hard-working staff. “To be recognised as the UK’s winner in the sustainable restaurant group category means a lot to all of us, especially after the extremely challenging conditions of the past three years. “I would like to thank Marie Claire for putting sustainability and the environment



at the top of their agenda and recognising that it is all businesses who should strive to be accountable, sustainable and planet-aware, and that this is not just a niche issue.” Jenny Proudfoot, UK Features Editor at Marie Claire and Sustainability Awards Judge, said: “Lussmanns is clearly committed to its green mission, even rebranding as Lussmanns Sustainable Kitchen last year. From its ethical food provenance and green energy to sustainable waste management and commitment to giving back to the community, this is truly a brand with a purpose.” Companies were judged by a team from the magazine and their guest panel of more than 50 of the most highprofile sustainability experts, business founders, thought leaders and activists in the business.

Andrei Lussmann, founder and MD of Lussmanns Sustainable Restaurant Group, opened his first fish and grill restaurant in Hertford in 2004. Its success then led on to the opening of three more restaurants in Hertfordshire: St Albans, Hitchin and Harpenden. Berkhamsted brings the number of Lussmanns in Hertfordshire to five.


TOP TIPS to help your business

use less energy this Autumn

With energy bills in the news, businesses of all sizes are keeping a close eye on how much they’re using day to day.


e know that small business owners are working flat out to keep their business running and might not think they have the time - or brain space - to start thinking about this. However, there are some simple hacks out there which can help businesses limit their energy usage. For instance, did you know that in a single three bedroom house, turning the thermostat down by one degree can save 10% annually, according to the Energy Saving Trust (citation) So, imagine what dialing down the temperature by one degree in your offices could do for your business.

Here are five more simple and effective ways for SMEs to reduce their energy consumption this autumn: •

Let’s start with a straightforward one! Don’t forget to switch off electrical equipment overnight

Identify and defeat draughts and install wall insulation to stop heat disappearing

Keep radiators, heaters and air vents clean to help them work more efficiently

Make sure your thermostat is working correctly to make sure your boiler isn’t generating more heat than it needs to

And consider a smart meter, which could help your business avoid spending more on energy than it needs to, by providing insights on how you’re using it

Smart meters offer SMEs a range of benefits which could come in helpful at the moment. They could help make your budgeting and forecasting more accurate as you only get a bill for what you’ve used, and they could give you valuable insights into how your business uses energy, day, and night. Plus, they automatically send readings to your energy supplier – so you shouldn’t have to.

Firms with 10 employees or less could be eligible for a smart meter. To find out more please visit the following link: You can also contact your energy supplier or broker.




Don’t flush!




Tampons Packaging

Get some friends, family or a community group together for an inexpensive, sustainable and fun way to update your wardrobe! Make use of our FREE equipment kit including rails and hangers to get you started. Equipment includes:


Sustainable Periods

Have you considered reusable period products?

Sustainable Periods

They can save you money and reduce waste.

Templates for advertising your event

Sturdy metal rails 6ft x 5ft

Clothes hangers for assorted tops and trousers Free standing mirror

Textile repair cards e.g. how to sew on a button, how to take up a hem

For more information visit:

Better for you and the planet. Period. #SustainablePeriods @HertsWasteAware

Home composting is as easy as 1 2 3 Turn your vegetable peelings and leftovers into lovely compost for next year.


Have a beautiful garden. Make the most of the available nutrients to keep your flowers and shrubs blooming.




HERTS Reusable Nappy Scheme

Changing Nappies in Hertfordshire

Save money. Make your own compost for free using your food scraps and garden waste.

Visit your local nappy library for support and

try before you buy

Help the environment. Reduce your carbon footprint by creating less waste, and save on trips to buy bagged compost.

More and more families in Herts are choosing reusable nappies. Make fewer purchases Lower your family’s carbon footprint

Ready to make a purchase? Hertfordshire residents can apply for

Get free support using reusables

The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership is working with Straight Plc to provide bargain compost bins to residents.

To see the product range and place your order visit: or call: 0844 571 4444



Enjoy comfortable, convenient & stylish nappies

15% off

with selected suppliers through our discount scheme.

Got questions? Email or join the Herts Reusable Nappies Facebook Group #ChangingNappies @HertsWasteAware


Promotion for Donna Schultz

recent promotion from Head of Business Development to Commercial Director (Designate). Donna will continue to grow and develop the membership team and will actively engage and participate in all strategic and commercial activities associated with the future development of the Herts Chamber of Commerce.


onna has been a valuable team member for Herts Chamber of Commerce for over three years.

Her contribution to the Chamber and her leadership of the membership team has been outstanding, resulting in her

Chief Executive, Briege Leahy, said: “I am pleased to share the news that Donna has now been appointed as Commercial Director (Designate). Joining us in 2019 as Business Engagement Manager, Donna has worked hard and continued to grow with the chamber she is an asset to our team and our members. I look forward to supporting and working with Donna in her new role.”

Early Bird bookings to Kick off 2023 in Style!

Nestled within 12 acres of the Hertfordshire countryside yet 5 minutes from the centre of St. Alban’s, Sopwell House is perfectly placed to host a conference, meeting or event of any size. Organisers booking a day delegate package before 28th November for an event between January and March 2023, will receive complimentary breakfast baps (*) for all delegates on arrival.


hether you are looking to host a large conference or small meeting, a team building activity away day or a peaceful relaxing treat for your staff with the award winning Cottonmill Spa, Sopwell House can cater for your every need with 128 bedrooms and 15 flexible function suites catering for up to 300 delegates.

For 24-hour Packages booked before 28th November a complimentary drinks reception (*) before dinner on the 1st night is provided, or if preferred complimentary breakfast baps on day of arrival. 24 hr packages start from £279 per person, Day Delegate packages start from £80 per person for all meetings taking place early 2023. (*) Minimum numbers apply (10 for day delegates or 20 for 24hr), drinks reception includes one glass of prosecco per person. Breakfast baps are bacon or egg.

Help Home-Start

turn £20,000 into £40,000!


ome-Start Herts is a local children’s charity supporting families struggling with challenges such as mental health, anxiety, isolation, family bereavement and neuro-diversity in children. Being a self-funded charity, Home-Start Herts generate their own funding through five income streams: grants, fundraising events & campaigns, corporate, donations & statutory applications. Home-Start Herts has a very exciting opportunity, which they would like to share with Herts Chamber members for your support. They have been chosen by Four Acre Trust to be part of a ‘Matched Funding Challenge’! Home-Start would love you to be part of this challenge that will support local families, helping children thrive, particularly in these more challenging times. Every eligible* donation Home-Start receives before 31st December 2022 will be DOUBLED by Four Acre Trust. Double the donation = Double the impact! *You are eligible if you have not previously donated (financially) to Home-Start Herts & donations must be a minimum of £500. £20,000 raised from new donors will be DOUBLED to £40,000 - which will support 15-20 vulnerable families.

How do you make a donation? Email and she will send you the bank details. For more information on Home-Start Herts visit



Help us to help others in later life Mark Hanna


e support over 15,000 older people in Hertfordshire each year through our services, and aim to reduce the debilitating health impacts of loneliness and social isolation and to improve mental and physical wellbeing. We also provide opportunities for people to socialise with others to ensure that people stay connected to their communities and benefit from the value that friendships can bring. We also offer a lot of practical support from form filling to cleaning



Age UK Hertfordshire is an independent local charity, supporting older people in Hertfordshire to lead fulfilling and enjoyable lives. We are a person-centred charity, and our aim is to help people to continue to live independently in their own homes and maintain choice and control over how they live their lives. and shopping, and are continually looking at new services to develop to meet the growing and changing needs of the population We know that there is a growing need for support services, as there are 206,500 people aged over 65 living in Hertfordshire, which is forecast to increase by 36% by 2040. Of these, there are currently 67,489 people living alone, which is also expected to increase by 39% in 2040. This shows that the need for help and support will increase significantly over time and so services are essential and need to grow and adapt to meet the growing demand.

This is a poignant time, as the impact of COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on older people compared to any other age group, plus the impact of the cost-of-living crisis – our service is needed now more than ever.

How you can help Help your local community! We need volunteers to support our befriending services and much more. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and help deliver the work we do in Hertfordshire. So, if you have

any spare time to spend with an older person and help make their lives less lonely please get in touch - spend an hour, to share an hour and change a life. Fundraising - At Age UK Hertfordshire the money you raise will not only help us support local older people, but your efforts can also make a real difference in the way Hertfordshire thinks about ageing, so please help us by donating to us, fundraising for us or help sponsor us to be your charity of the year.

To find out more information please visit our website:

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 tipsHelpline on how to get To To celebrate celebrate our our 20th 20th Anniversary, Anniversary, Herts Herts Domestic Domestic Abuse Abuse Helpline is is To celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is started. It you is up you toin choose when, who attends your inviting to take part Tea for HDAH. All money raised inviting you toto take part in Tea & & Cake Cake forwhere HDAH.and All the the money raised Toinviting celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline is you to take part in Tea & Cake for HDAH. All the money raised will go to supporting those affected by domestic abuse. event. 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No one should have to face dying alone We’re here to help


Is your company ready to help a local charity make a BIG difference?


SIGN-UP SIGN-UP TODAY! TODAY! Email your details to:

We are here to listen: 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends 9-4pm We on bank holidays are here to listen:

Get in touch at

Email your details to: 9-4pm on bank holidays 9-4pm on bank holidays Confidential email: We are here to listen:

9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends Email your details to: Confidential email: 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends

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We Confidential are here to listen: email: 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends 9-4pm on bank holidays

Confidential email: We are here to listen: 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends are here to listen: 9-4pm on bank holidays 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm weekends on bank Tea & Cake 9-4pm A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork –holidays 01.06.22.indd 1 Confidential email: Confidential email: Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 1 Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 1

Tea & Cake A3 Announcement Poster – Artwork – 01.06.22.indd 1

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

01/06/2022 14:58

01/06/2022 14:58 01/06/2022 14:58





Dobsons wins prestigious national bathroom design award

based in Albury, Herts. The judges praised his design for its use of the space and lighting concepts as well as the overall look. On winning the award Andrew said he was “incredibly happy and humbled to have been chosen”.

Left to right: Carolyn Newton-Brown, Head of UK Reseller Channel at Airflow, Andrew Hewson, Dobsons, Richard Hibbert, Chair of the KBSA, Sally Phillips, Actor.


heshunt based luxury home specialist, Dobsons Home, has won a prestigious national design award. Senior Bathroom Designer Andrew Hewson was named Bathroom Designer of the Year at the Kbsa Designer Awards 2022.

Andrew was nominated for a beautiful ensuite bathroom project he designed for a client

The award was presented by Sally Phillips, Actress and Comedian and a representative from award sponsor Airflow, at the fantastic ceremony arranged by the Kbsa, the home specialist’s association. Helen Dobson, Director of Dobsons, who attended the awards with Andrew, was understandably delighted. “There is nobody more deserving of this award than Andrew. He created a truly stunning and practical luxury bathroom, making very clever use of space, colour and light. He truly is the best in the business when it comes to bathroom design. The whole team is so proud of him and what he has achieved.”

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Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

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Can your business conquer the

DENS Sponsored Sleepout?

DENS is thrilled to announce the return of its flagship fundraising event on Friday 25th November at Hobbs Hill Wood Primary School in Hemel Hempstead.


he Hertfordshirebased charity is challenging teams from businesses to experience rough sleeping on a cold winter night and raise sponsorship to support local people facing homelessness and food poverty. The evening will kick off in style with a glow in the dark silent disco and magic tricks, before participants head outside to build their beds and brave a unique night under the stars. DENS is also offering businesses the chance to host their own fundraiser with Your Sleepout. By signing up, companies will receive an exclusive toolkit to help make it a memorable night, whether they’re sleeping in an office, car park or anywhere else. Imagination Technologies, the world-renowned semiconductor company based in Kings Langley, is a proud Business Partner of

DENS and is kindly sponsoring the event for a consecutive year. David Harold, Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We hope that by supporting DENS we allow them to focus on what they do best, as money coming in allows them to plan for the future.” After taking part in the Sleepout last year, he added: “It was a truly humbling experience that really puts you in the position of understanding why DENS has to exist.” Nicky Maxwell-Braithwaite, Corporate & Community Fundraising Manager at DENS, said: “We’re delighted to have Imagination on board again and we hope that businesses will recognise this is a great opportunity for them to get involved with our charity. “The Sleepout is such a unique team building challenge for any company, with the added benefit that they’re making a positive impact to help rebuild the lives of those most in need.”

Registration for the DENS Sponsored Sleepout is now open at 46


Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Rothamsted Businesses and individuals are increasingly conscious of making their events sustainable. We are proud of our sustainable credentials. When you hold an event at Rothamsted Manor or Rothamsted Conference Centre you can be sure we will do everything we can to ensure your event reduces its impact on the environment as much as possible. Many of our buildings have smart heating/cooling systems. We encourage guests to arrive on foot or by public transport. We support the 20% less plastic movement, in line with the Meeting Industry Association‘s pledge. Our Sustainable DDR package provides delegates with our excellent service and facilities while reducing plastic and waste. Our chefs limit the amount of meat on our menus and offer many delicious vegan and vegetarian options. We use local food providers wherever possible, thus reducing our carbon footprint. We offer virtual event planning and showrounds, rather than visiting in person. All profits generated by Rothamsted Enterprises are ploughed directly back to Rothamsted Research, a non-profit research centre that focuses on strategic agricultural science to tackle climate change and focus on food security

01582 938500


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Hertfordshire’s New Business Waste Service is NOW OPEN

Hertfordshire County Council has recently opened its first Business Waste Service. Located at Ware Recycling Centre, the service is designed to allow SME’s the opportunity to dispose of waste generated from their trade activities in a transparent and compliant way.


aste including wood, hardcore, green garden and plasterboard, can be disposed of at competitive prices. Some items, such as cardboard, scrap metal, can be disposed of for free. All bookings are subject to a £4.99 weighbridge charge. Bookings can be made online and there is no need to set up an account. Payment can be made by debit or credit card, as well as Google Pay and Apple Pay, with the Business Waste Service open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5.30pm. Eric Buckmaster, Executive Member for Environment, Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We are delighted that our

first Business Waste Service is now open, offering local businesses the opportunity to dispose of waste in a compliant and affordable way. “This is a key infrastructure development, one which supports businesses with how they recycle their waste, providing them with a service that actively meets their needs. “Our new Welwyn Garden City Recycling Centre, which is due to open in spring 2023, will provide an equivalent facility, ensuring more businesses across the county will have access to this vital service.” The commercial waste service can also be used by residents who have too much construction, demolition and excavation waste. Paying for the excess material could mean that they avoid having to hire a skip.

For further details visit

Furnishing with Purpose


ver 1.2 million office desks and 1.8 million office chairs go to landfill each year, a shocking waste of existing resources and needless destruction of natural habitats. Put into context, the average CO2e content of a piece of furniture is 50kg, so every 20 items replaced unnecessarily not only wastes that existing one tonne of carbon, but also generates an additional tonne of carbon - it soon adds up.

We all know about Climate Change and the requirement reach NetZero by 2050. To achieve this, we have to halve CO2 emissions by 50%. JPA Workspaces are helping clients achieve this through furniture procurement by enabling them to consume less, re-use more, buy better designed furniture and use it for longer, optimising investment and lifecycle. As consumers and procurers, we have the power to create social, environmental and local legacy through our purchases, contributing seamlessly many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Simply asking more questions about the origin, materials, support and warranties of the furniture you are purchasing is a good first step and will start to drive change back through the supply chain. Making sustainable choices can enhance workplace health and wellbeing, user experience and boost productivity – music to the bottom line.

Great workspaces combined with clear organisational purpose will attract the talent and mindsets needed for future success. Sharing the story of how and where your furniture has been procured to reflect your organisation’s own Environmental, Social and Governance goals can boost intrinsic motivation and strengthen company culture. Great workspace design reflects viable and productive organisations, job creation and new opportunities. The outstanding business performers over time have had the right people, in the right place, at the right time, to do the right thing – it’s about so much more than simply furniture.



MEMBERS NEWS industry and public service organisations.

New University of Hertfordshire SPECS building opening in 2024

Powering potential through advanced technical skills and expertise Professor Rodney Day, Dean of the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire


n 1952, Hatfield Technical College was formed. Today, we are the University of Hertfordshire with over 30,000 students.

Over the past 70 years our focus has remained steadfast in providing courses that educate students, and carrying out research that meets the needs of business,

The University’s School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science (SPECS) has built on that pioneering vision to become a powerhouse of world-leading and internationally excellent research, with a wide-ranging portfolio of modern engineering, computing and science degrees. The School has over 7000 students studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses, covering the many engineering disciplines, as well as computer science, software engineering, artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and physics. In 2022 alone, SPECS graduated around 2000 highly talented graduates, equipped with advanced technical skills, who are now making a valuable contribution to society, and benefiting businesses and organisations across the UK and internationally. As Dean of School, I am convinced there are Herts-based businesses who would benefit from this creative and innovative technical talent in their organisations. To this end we welcome opportunities to further support, connect and engage with Hertfordshire-based businesses,

and to advance knowledge exchange. For instance, in areas such as advanced materials, manufacturing, instrumentation, robotics and electronics, we have been working closely with businesses, small and large, to provide technical expertise, training, and access to facilities that transform their activities. The University is currently constructing a fabulous new multi-purpose building for the School, that will offer cutting-edge laboratory spaces, and facilities to strengthen employability, develop technical knowledge and skills, and provide a richer, integrated learning experience. It will enable our academic staff to expand their world-leading research, as well as creating numerous business collaboration opportunities including new partnerships, placements and innovation collaborations. The state-of-the-art, highly sustainable building, spanning five floors, will be transformational for our students, staff and campus, whilst simultaneously offering opportunities for the development of new technology and business engagement.

If you wish to learn more, or to discuss future opportunities, then contact us through

St Albans Sleepout

Taking place at Oaklands College or At Home on Friday 11th November 2022, Herts Young Homeless, Centre 33, Emmaus, The Living Room and Open Door St Albans, invite you to join us for an evening under the stars.


night filled with live music, entertainment, workshops…and a bit of a reality check, to see what life is like for some of our service users. The St Albans Sleepout has been running since the 1990’s and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for Hertfordshire Homeless Charities. This will be the most memorable thing you will do this winter! Help us come together as a community, for your community.

All donations for the Sleepout, please contact: 52


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

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

Support to help businesses with the rising cost of living

As a result of price increases on many essentials such as energy, fuel and food, the rising cost of living is impacting families and individuals across the country. Hertfordshire Growth Hub recognises that local businesses and employers are also facing similar challenges to those of their staff, with rising costs and other inflationary pressures.


n response to this, Hertfordshire Growth Hub has produced a dedicated resource area which aims to help businesses, along with their employees, access the relevant support to help overcome challenges faced as a result of these rising costs.

businesses. The survey data will be used to enable Hertfordshire Growth Hub to work with local stakeholders to help provide the business support that is needed most.

Resources include, but are not limited to, signposting to free advice from District Councils, financial support packages on offer from Government, along with tips on how to support individuals with their wellbeing. Businesses can also access the latest news and local events, supporting them to consider ways to become more sustainable and reduce operating costs.

Hertfordshire Growth Hub works closely with other business support providers to help businesses navigate the support that is available for them; this could include energy efficiency advice, grant schemes, help adopting new software or developing leadership and management skills. In addition, our Get Growing 2 programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), connects eligible businesses to ongoing support from our Growth Account Managers who provide bespoke and impartial business advice.

Visit the resource area here:

Tell us how the rising costs of living are affecting your business To ensure the issues businesses are currently facing can be addressed, and to plan for future support requirements, Hertfordshire Growth Hub invite businesses to complete its short survey. By completing the survey, you will be providing invaluable insights into the needs of Hertfordshire

Complete the survey here:

Help is on hand from Hertfordshire Growth Hub

Get in touch with Hertfordshire Growth Hub to see how we can help by emailing

Legal Property Experts

in association with Penman Sedgwick LLP Kamran Shah – Partner

EPC changes for Commercial Property

LANDLORDS TAKE NOTE: on 1 April 2023 the next stage of the 2015 Regulations relating to MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) will come into force. MEES were introduced by the government as part of their programme for tackling climate change: buildings account for a significant amount of the nation’s energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. MEES seek to impose minimum energy efficiency standards for properties by reference to the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of the property, and different rules apply to domestic and non-domestic properties. (There are some exemptions: some types of property, tenancy and landlord will not be caught by MEES. Please contact us for further advice if required.) The first stage of MEES took effect on 1 April 2018: a landlord of sub-standard non-domestic premises (i.e. with an EPC rating of F or G) cannot lawfully grant a new lease to a tenant, without a legitimate reason, namely that all relevant energy efficiency improvements have been made (or there are none that can be made), or an exemption applies

(and in either case the landlord must register the details on the PRS Exemptions Register). The second stage takes effect on 1 April 2023: a landlord of premises with an EPC rating of F or G cannot continue to let the premises, without a legitimate reason (as above). Action required: Landlords should check the EPC Register to see whether there is a current EPC applying to their premises. If there is, and the EPC rating is less than E, improvements should be made to raise the EPC rating – or if none can be made the landlord must register this on the PRS Exemptions Register. Failure to do this could result in enforcement action being taken. If there is no current EPC (e.g. because it was not required when the lease was granted or has expired since) MEES will not apply. Landlords should therefore think carefully before obtaining a new EPC – and consider seeking to control others (e.g. the tenant) from commissioning a new EPC.

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

Problem Solved e: t: 01923 225212

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

In particular those who have been with us the longest, for their continued support in contributing towards the chamber; from attending events, being ambassadors, to sharing news on the website. Over the last two years, Hertfordshire businesses have battled their way through the COVID-19 pandemic and


5 9 Years

In such a challenging trading

We value the trust that our members

environment, it is important to recognise

have put in us to support their business

the achievements of local businesses

through good times and bad. It is a

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

pleasure to serve you and we certainly look forward to continuing to do so. From Bronze members to Patrons, we could not function without our members,

in June at Warner Bros Studios in

so, on behalf of everyone at Herts

Leavesden. With a record number of

Chamber, thank you.

Briege Leahy CEO Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

finalists this year, the team enjoyed

have come out on top through resilience,

celebrating with all those involved at

tenacity and adaptability.

what was a truly magical event.


ACAS East of England


Action Coach - Business Coaching


Amazing Apprenticeships

about the benefits of apprenticeships and local skills


Apsley Paper Trail

initiatives, including supporting young people into the


Arrow Valves LTD

workplace. It’s not just a membership, it’s a partnership


Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors


Aurora Managed Services Ltd




Belcom Cables Ltd

Amazing Apprenticeships have been able to both participate in, and contribute to a wide range of information and networking events with the Chamber. We are regularly invited to speak with other businesses

- where we both give and receive guidance, support and opportunities. Anna Morrison CBE Founder and Director Amazing Apprenticeships




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



Hertfordshire Chamber Celebrates its Long-Standing Members






Bond Project Services Limited


Borough of Broxbourne


Carers in Hertfordshire


Certax Accounting (St Albans District) Ltd.


Cheshunt Football Club


Chirp Communications Limited

We are proud to have been members of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce for several years now. During our time as members, we have attended numerous interesting and enjoyable events and even hosted some chamber events in our very own showroom. We have made many invaluable contacts that have benefited our business enormously and we have enjoyed the support and guidance that the chamber offers especially during difficult times such as during the covid pandemic. Helen Dobson - Dobson Homes Specialists


Citizen Machinery UK Limited


Gowan Crop Protection Limited


Hertfordshire Sports Village


Commercial Estates Group


Green Building Design Consultants


HIT Training

Containerlift Services Limited

Home-Start Hertfordshire


Hamamatsu Photonics UK Limited




Hotel Chocolat



Copyvision Business Solutions Creative Business Systems Ltd


CS Recycling Ltd


Dobsons Home Specialists


Dragonfly Digital


Eastway Enterprise Centre Limited


Elecro Engineering Limited


ETher NDE Limited


FreshStance IT


Go Travel Solutions




Hunton Park Hotel


Hensoldt UK (formerly Kelvin Hughes Ltd)


Intuity Communications Limited


Hertfordshire Community Services NHS Trust


KEITS Training Services Limited

Handelsbanken is a local relationship bank, our involvement with Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce started soon when we opened the Hertford branch back in 2013. The networking events we have attended over the years have enabled us to build strong links with the local business community and we have made many friends along the way. The Chamber team are outstanding and have introduced us to local businesses that without a warm introduction we may have not have met. I thoroughly recommend any local business to become a member. Debbie Chilton Branch Manager, Hertford INSPIRE



MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS In this article we are introducing Chamber Benefit Partner Circadian FX and why we should be working together:

You are:

A company that has any business overseas. You make payments to and receive money from other countries, sometimes in standard currencies such as Euros or Dollars but possibly in other currencies too. You may be doing this through your bank, a broker or via an online app. An individual who has some activity abroad. You might be buying or selling a property, a car, some art or some fine wine!

We are:

Circadian FX, a Bishop’s Stortford based boutique FX specialist, founded in 2016 by City veteran Jim Tatchell. Using literally decades of experience in FX markets, Jim and his team offer something that banks and other brokers simply cannot: the benefit of all of that unique experience, their knowledge and connections. This combines to give you the best possible technology, as well as regulatory comfort and confidence that you are dealing with the best company in this sector. Anything between about £5k and £5mill is our sweet spot – we will provide you with a better service and better rates. The account opening process is simple and painless, our systems are intuitive and clear – and you can be assured that your money is safe at all times in segregated accounts at Tier 1 banks.

The Chamber benefit:

Circadian FX provides the following to Chamber members: •

Circadian FX will provide members with a free and no-commitment FX Health Check to identify any improvements that can be made to the member’s FX and international payments solutions.

The one-hour free consultation can be held remotely via Zoom or in person at the member’s discretion

Due to economies of scale and sector-leading access to institutional markets, we can offer members the keenest pricing and speed of execution. Each Chamber member will have access to the Circadian FX online platform and have a direct phone and email line into a highly knowledgeable account manager with decades of financial markets experience.

Aside from the benefits Circadian FX offer to Chamber members, we have agreed terms to provide a revenue share to HCoC and this year’s chosen charity, to encourage the circular economy and give back to Hertfordshire and our community - #keeptheheartinherts!

‘Why would you use an FX solution from elsewhere when you have the best and most cost-effective solution right on your doorstep?’ Contact Jim at or check out



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

Why choose CS Recycling?

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

Would you like a quote?

Call our team for a quote on 01707 656261 Email our Sales Manager

We also offer confidential shredding…

As an ISO accredited organisation, we understand the requirements for compliance and data protection. If you are having a big clear out of documents, we can provide you with a pack of our shredding bags. When you have filled the shredding bags, we will arrange the collection from you. We only charge you for the sacks that you fill at £4 + VAT per sack and a call out charge of £40 + VAT.

Why choose CS Shredding?

Would you like a quote?

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

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

Hertfordshire’s data destruction service provider


University of Hertfordshire Helping you and your business flourish Following a successful first year, the University of Hertfordshire will launch its third cohort of the 90% government subsidised Help to Grow: Management Course in January.


imed at SME business leaders, this 12-week course is designed by industry experts to help businesses innovate and grow. Brought to life with emerging best practice, case studies, peer networking and 1:2:1 mentoring, the course is a fast-track learning experience, delivered over 50 hours, that can be undertaken alongside existing work commitments. Lynne Stevens, Associate Dean for Employability, Enterprise, and Engagement at the University said “Hertfordshire is home to a substantial number of SME businesses, and we’re committed to helping helping them grow, particularly when facing an uncertain economic backdrop. SME leaders will create a tailored growth plan to help their business reach its full

potential, receive 1:2:1 support from an experienced mentor and the opportunity to engage with peers facing similar ups and downs of running a business.” Stuart Green, Director at Blue Green Advisors, explains, “The course has really helped me hone in on what my customers want, and how I’m going to make operational changes to ensure my vision and goals are accomplished. We’re currently in the process of doubling our staff.” “It reminded me of some of the key metrics and strategies that have been successful for my business, whilst helping me reflect on what hasn’t worked so well. Having the chance to discuss this with people who don’t know me but can share their ideas has been beneficial.”, said Eric Clarke, Managing Director at Bodybalance Physiotherapy.

Hertfordshire is home to a substantial number of SME businesses, and we’re committed to helping them grow, particularly when facing an uncertain economic backdrop.

The University of Hertfordshire’s next cohort starts on 17th January 2023. Learn more about Help to Grow: Management, a course that’s totally focused on achieving results for you and your business, by visiting INSPIRE



£654+VAT OF 20%

£3,924+VAT OF 20%



HATFIELD LEXUS HATFIELD 172 Great North Road, Hatfield, AL9 5JN 01707 861401 ‘Model shown is NX 450h+ F SPORT with Premium Plus Pack (£60,550), including optional special metallic paint at £1,020. (£61,570). Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (1/100km): combined 256.7. Combined CO2 (g/km) 25 to 26. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. Figures obtained using a combination of battery power and fuel. Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and/or equivalent all-electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption, CO2 produced and equivalent all-electric range can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). All mpg and CO2 figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting: www.vehicle-certification *Business users only. Initial rental and VAT applies. Available on new leases of New NX 450h F Sport Premium Plus Pack when ordered and proposed for finance between 4th October 2022 and 19th December 2022, registered and financed by 30th June 2023 through KINTO One Contract Hire, a product offered by KINTO U.K. Limited. Advertised rental is based on a 36 month customer maintained contract at 8,000 miles per annum with an initial rental of £3,924 +VAT. Excess mileage charges apply. You will not own the vehicle. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time. At participating Lexus Centres. Lexus Centres are independent of KINTO U.K. Limited. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. KINTO UK Limited registered office Building 1000, Lakeside North Harbour, Western Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 3EN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Terms and conditions apply. KINTO is a registered trademark owned by Toyota Motor Europe and used under licence by KINTO U.K. Limited.


Driving economic expansion By Yvette Jacobs-Lee Tax partner Moore Kingston Smith With strikes, possible blackouts and the plunging value of the pound, there is much concern about the national economic situation in the UK as we head into the colder months.


fter less than three days in the role, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has announced that almost all the tax measures announced as part of former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s growth plan on 23 September 2022 will be reversed. The key exceptions are to be those which have already begun to be formally brought into law.

6 April 2023 has been reversed, which

Although not strictly a ‘Budget’, the

SDLT becomes payable – were retained

growth plan contained a raft of significant tax measures, with major changes announced for both individuals and businesses. The wide-ranging – and expensive – package of measures were set to affect most taxpayers in one way or another. In total, the growth plan delivered £22bn

will be disappointing news for investors. The Chancellor has confirmed that the corporation tax hike will be reinstated and the main rate will be set at 25% from 1 April 2023. In more positive news for businesses, the annual investment allowance increase is staying and will be set at a permanent level of £1 million per year, permitting 100% write off against tax for investment in plant and machinery. Immediate changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax – doubling the threshold at which and will benefit practically all purchasers of residential property. Over time, these changes may well be reflected in property prices but, for now, there will be savings for any purchasers of residential property costing more than £125,000. Hertfordshire is home to a substantial number of small businesses which are

of tax and social security cuts for 2023/24,

likely to have a mixed reception to the

£20bn of which were reversed only days

latest announcements. While the local

later. Changes that are staying include

economy remains buoyant, we hold

a 1.25% reduction in national insurance

our breath in anticipation of further

from 6 November 2022, which will benefit

announcements from the Chancellor on

the working population. The promised

31 October as part of the government’s

reduction in the dividend tax rate from

medium-term fiscal plan.

In more positive news for businesses, the annual investment allowance increase is staying and will be set at a permanent level of £1 million per year, permitting 100% write off against tax for investment in plant and machinery.





How has CCUK helped local businesses boost their brand awareness?


We love being connected with Hertfordshire, that is what we’re all about, we need to continually learn about our listeners and our advertisers. The world changes all the time, being connected to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce lets us understand this constantly. We love hearing and seeing what people are doing, we then see that we are supporting in the right way.

CCUK is in a powerful position because of the array of tools we have in the box - radio is first, then there’s research and insights, digital aspects and out of home. We have so much to offer that whatever the goal or issue we can accommodate it.


The Last Word JOHN DARIN

Content Controller Communicorp UK CCUK, Watford


Could you provide a bit of background on your career and current role? I have worked in radio for over 30 years, starting in the days of vinyl with no internet or mobile phones. I have worked through change to today’s very different world of technology. I’ve always worked on the programming side on air and in a content coaching role and working with commercial teams on client results. Today my role is content based, seeing ideas get to air for the station and commercial partners, this is both what comes out of the speakers, plus online, socials and out of home campaigns.




Is radio advertising/ messaging too often overlooked? It can be, but people mostly see the benefit of being heard, as most of what we take in is through sound and the benefits are huge - repetition builds reputation. We all know how the big players sound. If I said to you ‘McDonalds’, you are hearing their brand in your head right now aren’t you! Plus, how many fliers have you seen discarded? Think how much thought and money went into that piece of paper and to what end?

How important are local connections for you?


What advice would you give someone starting out in business? Do your research, it’s the one thing that will work. Give people what they need, not what you think they need.


What is the biggest challenge in running and growing a business? Staying ahead of the game, by listening to your customers’ needs and rolling with the changes and responding quickly.

We love being connected with Hertfordshire, that is what we’re all about, we need to continually learn about our listeners and our advertisers. The world changes all the time, being connected to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce lets us understand this constantly.

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