Thinking Business Kent June 22

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Ask the Digital Expert with Connor Styche of The Digital Lookout p15 The Big Interview with Don Iro of Allteks p16-17 International Trade p32-33 Chamber Events p42-43 New Members p48-49

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Welcome & Contents

Digital can fuel growth of Kent businesses already grappling with sky-high energy bills and, in many cases, a steep increase in the cost of raw materials. The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the cost-of-living crisis and, with the energy price cap set to increase further in October, this will inevitably bring more pain for consumers and households. Welcome to the latest edition of Thinking Business. It continues to be a challenging time for businesses up and down the country. Soaring inflation, the highest we’ve seen for four decades, is heaping more cost pressures on businesses, who are

Contents 4

Chamber Business Awards


Members News

5 10-11 13-14 15


Legal Update Patron News

Members News

Ask the Digital Expert The Big Interview

Our Patrons

Despite all of this, many of our businesses here in Kent have shown the necessary resilience and agility to grow and prosper. This is particularly true of companies that have been prepared to embrace new technologies. The digital transformation – the subject of

11 19-21 23-29 31 32-33 34-37 39-40

Members News Cover feature - Digital Transformation The people behind the business International Trade Members News Members News

our cover feature in this edition – has opened up opportunities for firms to win new contracts, diversify and streamline their business models to make them even more efficient. Some firms have managed to capitalise on emerging consumer behaviours – the boom in online shopping is a good example of this – while others have joined forces with various partners to create robust, tech-driven supply chains. Here in Kent, right now we have a real shortage of digital skills, I'm not really confident that we have the talent to take advantage of these.

There are obstacles to overcome if we are to maximise future opportunities and growth. As a Country we find ourselves in a position of having more job vacancies than job seekers, which if not addressed, will slow down economic growth. However, I am confident that as a County we have the aptitude and ability to mitigate these barriers to growth and embracing technology will be a key driver.

Jo James OBE, Chief Executive, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

1624 42-43

Chamber Events


Membership Benefits


Business News


48-49 50 50

Health and Wellbeing New Members

Movers and Shakers Last Word

32 Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Chief Executive: Jo James OBE Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Media No. 1866 Published June 2022 © Benham Publishing


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Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta 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.

Cover image by Pan Yunbo on Unsplash

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Legal Update

Stick or twist for UK supply chains facing delays, increased costs and contractual challenges By Jonathan Masucci, Girlings Solicitors The recent dismissal of 800 ship workers on board P&O Ferries has had both a profound impact on people’s livelihoods and caused significant disruption to businesses and supply chains on both sides of the English Channel. In Kent, the frequent freight backlogs and implementation of Operation Brock along the Maidstone to Hythe stretch of the M20, has caused travel disruption for commuters and created logistical challenges for many grocery businesses supplying fast moving consumer goods throughout the UK and abroad. Even where orders are eventually fulfilled by suppliers, the shelf-life of goods at the consumer end of the supply chain is much shorter. Grocery supply has not only been impacted by the freight backlog due to P&O ferries’ issues surrounding mass redundancies but by poor weather and bad harvests. This has impacted overall product quality, resulting in an increased amount of food waste. Many logistics providers have increased prices as a result of higher product demand and an unwillingness to deal with the increase in post-Brexit documentary bureaucracy. As a result both suppliers and customers are seeking to identify ways to effectively circumnavigate this increasingly turbulent landscape. There are options, but these are limited; should they terminate existing contractual arrangements in favour of a more reliable, but potentially more expensive,

product supply based closer to home? Or should they ride out the disruptions being caused to supply chain lead times, product forecasting and availability? The latter option is undoubtedly having a profound effect on businesses’ abilities to fulfill their contractual obligations to customers. Furthermore, businesses may be familiar with the term force majeure (an unforeseen circumstance) the termination provisions in their contracts, particularly in the wake of Brexit and the global COVID-19 pandemic. From a legal perspective, a business’s position will naturally depend on the precise wording of the contract but generally speaking, where a party is prevented from performing its obligations due to events outside its control, this will likely trigger the force majeure provision within their contract (providing one exists). The resulting suspension and possibly even bringing to an end the obligation to perform under the contract, is something suppliers are keen to rely on in light of travel disruptions and increased bureaucracy at the ports and Channel Tunnel. Customers shouldn’t always accept force majeure as a reason to accept the end of the obligation though, as it’s arguably not an unforeseeable event. For instance, if suppliers know lead times will be increased due to delays resulting from failing to provide correct paperwork at the border, but do so on a frequent basis, then it is arguable that they may have had some foresight.

Depending on the severity of the breach, it may also be possible for a business to terminate the contract altogether. In this instance customers, in particular, will need to tread carefully when considering whether they are entitled to terminate the contract, as doing so when there is no contractual basis may see them on the wrong side of a damages claim. Alternatively, where a contract becomes incapable of being performed altogether, it may even be possible for the parties to discharge their obligations under the contract entirely. For the short to medium term, at least, the sensible solution is for suppliers and customers to continue to stick with their current contractual arrangements. This will minimise further supply, logistical and contractual issues, especially at a time when the majority of businesses in the UK’s food industry are having similar experiences. However, by its very nature, product supply in the fast moving consumer goods industry doesn’t sit still. In the long term, the winners will be those businesses that are able to adapt and adjust most effectively to the challenges faced and the opportunities they present. The best chance of success will be for businesses, if they have not already done so, to get familiar with any price adjustment mechanisms, force majeure and termination clauses in their supply contracts, so they pick the right moment to twist.

For further information, please contact Jonathan Masucci Senior Associate Solicitor Tel: 01233 743704 Email:

UK residential property owners need to check their Capital Gains Tax liability 60-day filing requirement By Chris Ball, Assistant Manager | Tax Advisory

Buying or selling a property is exciting and, of course, a huge event in anyone’s life. However, for it all to go smoothly, it literally pays to be well-informed. It’s hard to believe that it has now been two years since the rules changed around paying tax on residential properties. We are however finding that many people involved in property transactions are still not aware of their obligations to pay any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due within the 60 days. This is backed up by figures from HMRC who have received in excess of £1.3M in late filing penalties. A 60-day (originally 30-day) obligation applies to UK residential property transactions where the date of disposal, which is usually the date of exchange of the property, was on or after 6 April 2020 and where CGT is due. Where no tax is due, because of the many reliefs available for UK residents such as Principal Private Residence (PPR) Relief and the annual exempt amount, UK residents do not need to report transactions. However, nonUK residents continue to need to report transactions even when no tax is due. The 30-day limit extended to 60 days in Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Autumn Budget – for property disposals where the completion date is on or after 27 October 2021.


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HMRC deem UK residential property to include a dwelling with ancillary buildings and any residential elements of mixed units. As a result, where a landlord or homeowner sells a property (including a residential element of any mixed units) and there is some CGT to pay, they must file a separate CGT Return and pay any CGT due within 60 days (previously 30 days) from the sale completing. If the return is not submitted on time, a £100 late filing penalty applies with additional penalties accruing for continued delays. However, depending on the specific circumstances, a range of reliefs and exemptions may be available to minimise CGT. There are many factors to consider in order to calculate and complete the CGT Return, including determining the time the property was

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

The 30-day limit extended to 60 days in Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Autumn Budget – for property disposals where the completion date is on or after 27 October 2021.

deemed to be occupied as a main residence, and periods not qualifying for PPR Relief during periods of non-occupation, so it is important to start early. Capital gains is currently payable at 18% and 28% depending on the individual’s tax position. An accountant can help, including identifying the extent of garden and grounds qualifying for PPR Relief and capital losses and annual exemptions available which could be set against gains. There are also special tax rules

around transfers on divorce, between family members, trusts and deceased estates and it’s also important to understand the reliefs available to owners who have moved out of their house to nursing homes.

are on hand to offer advice and have a wealth of experience in supporting clients on all aspects of CGT, PPR Relief and annual exemption matters. Get in touch with the dedicated Azets Private Client team to find out more.

Get the right advice If you’re selling or transferring assets, you need to consider Capital Gains Tax (CGT). But understanding the liability on a transaction and the tax reliefs available can be time-consuming and complex. At Azets, our trusted tax specialists

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Members News

Communications agency lands new client wins

Glow Arts awarded five-year Cobtree contract Following its hugely successful 2021 winter illumination trail at Cobtree Manor Park, Glow Arts has been contracted to run the event at the venue for the next five years. Headed up by Glow Arts founder and creative director, Lisa Carpendale, Glow Illumination Trail saw the beautiful and historic Maidstone park transformed into a magical, twinkling immersive experience complete with thousands of fairy lights, festoon lights and art installations that lit up the woods as darkness fell. Aiming to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, sensory sessions were included for

guests in need of a more lowkey experience and thought was given to the design for people with mobility concerns.

All 26,000 tickets were sold, attracting visitors of all ages from Kent and beyond, plus they were featured in the media across newspapers, magazines and online. The BBC South East weather was broadcast live from Glow too! Glow Arts has once again appointed fellow Chamber member Izzy PR to assist with PR, marketing, social media and customer service. The Favershambased consultancy led by Sarah Hawes will also support on other Glow Arts events throughout the year.

Sponsorship deals will also be available to local businesses keen to be a part of what promises to be another sparkling event with a huge local footfall. Lisa said: “The feedback from last year’s event has been fantastic and to be asked back for another five years is testament to what a successful first event we had. Glow Arts and Izzy PR made such a great team so it was an easy decision to have them by my side again. 2022 planning is already well under way!” For more information visit

Sandhya flies the flag for good quality HR What does human resources (HR) as the business partner of modern British businesses look like? The role of HR has been in the firing line in the national press; several newspaper opinion pieces have criticised the role of HR in holding managers back or dogmatically advising continued working from home. “It’s a classic example of the HR doom loop that has taken root in the British workplace since the pandemic”; this is just one of the acerbic comments that have been published. Sandhya Iyer from The HR Dept, Maidstone puts forward the

case for the role of good quality HR advice in modern British businesses.

She says: “I won’t dwell on the sweeping negative generalisations. I put it positively: quite simply, good HR advice is good for business.” As in any profession there will be different approaches and, you need to find advisers who suit your vision. We put your business first. Our mantra is: we tell you what you can do, not what you can’t. Good HR looks ahead and helps you create the right conditions for your team to thrive in their roles. Then there’s the risk of tribunal claims. Employers are at risk of having to make a substantial pay-

out after a tribunal claim. In the year to 2020, the average award for unfair dismissal was £10,812 and the highest was £118,842. The risk is not only financial: reputational damage can hurt you as much. In that year there were more than 100,000 tribunal applications lodged – that’s more than 275 a day. Good HR practices are the front line of defence against this risk.

Food & drink communications agency, Sharp Relations, has been appointed by four new clients. The agency is launching start-up brand, The Flavourists, which is a sensational new range of plantbased meal kit magic, created with the best proteins, vibrant vegetables, and succulent sauces. The dishes provide tasty, quick, and easy meals for two. Three varieties available now from Waitrose, launching in Booths from May 19 and Ocado from May 30, where customers will see the launch of a fourth variety. Sharp will introduce rising star of the food world, Sierra Leonean chef and recipe writer, Maria Bradford, and her Shwen Shwen brand of bespoke dining experiences and range of Sierra Leonean-inspired fruit juice mixers, hot sauces and Prosecco. Snacking specialist Robert’s Dorset, a family-run business that makes tasty pork crackling, nuts and fudge in a variety of tempting flavours, is working with Sharp to grow visibility in the on and offtrade, and with consumers. For Kent-based independent foodservice wholesaler, Q Catering, the agency will drive awareness of the company’s highquality product portfolio within the hospitality and catering industry. AJ Sharp, founder of Sharp Relations, said: “It’s an exciting time for the agency; we're so pleased to welcome such a fantastic collection of new clients. It's a great time to be joining Sharp, as we’re in the final stages of our custom-built media hub and office space, which should be ready for us and our clients to use by July.”

So confident are we in the advice we provide, that we’re able to offer an insurance-backed guarantee if clients follow our advice. They’re shielded from legal costs and awards should a claim be made against them. Now that’s advice worth having in your business.

Sharp Relations is one of the UK’s premier PR & communications agencies for food and drinks brands. The agency is multiaward-winning, offering big brand thinking for ambitious F&B businesses. The ever-growing team of talented creatives are passionate about great tasting, sustainable food and drink. The team is known for being friendly and extremely supportive. Thinking Business


Tribute to Jack Parkinson

Patron News

A true gentleman

Jack Parkinson, Executive Chairman of HR GO plc, who died peacefully at home on 20th April 2022.

Jack was one of the County’s leading business entrepreneurs and a successful businessman.

spirit and pioneering joint ventures, growing the team and brand nationwide and internationally. Every problem was an opportunity for Jack to grow and develop HR GO Group into the £176m turnover successful recruitment and e-commerce business it is today. He built the successful recruitment business by keeping his finger on the pulse and his eyes firmly fixed on the future, seek out, creating and maximising opportunities. Today we hear a lot about entrepreneurs, but wind back 45 years when Jack joined the family business, that term wasn’t branded around as it is now, but Jack showed then that he was truly entrepreneurial. Jack joined his mother, Betty Parkinson, in the family business in 1977 following an early career in refrigeration engineering which had taken him to Southern Africa cooling gold mines. Jack was instrumental in building the HR GO Group business through his entrepreneurial

Jack is succeeded by John and Sydney, his son and daughter, who have been involved in the business working closely with Jack since 2014 and 2020 respectively. They bring a forward-thinking approach and new ideas to recruitment using technology and digitisation of recruitment to strengthen the HR GO offering for both clients and candidates. John and Sydney, the Third Generation, are supported by fellow Directors, Roddy Barrow, Group Managing Director, and Cindy Hare, Managing Director of Recruitment, and will continue Jack’s legacy and 2+2=6 philosophy.

I had the privilege to work with Jack over several years as a valued Patron of the Chamber, his enthusiasm, focus and dedication to business was tireless, he was a great inspiration. Jack will be sadly missed. 2022/23

Jo James OBE, Chief Executive, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Patron News

Kent Chamber Patrons 2022/23

Photography by Ali Kittermaster

Members of the Kent Invicta Chamber Board, along with Chief Executive Jo James, gathered for supper in May, at Macknade in Ashford, to acknowledge and thank the twelve businesses and organisations that will be the Kent Invicta Chamber Patrons for 2022/23. ‘The Chamber is extremely grateful for your commitment’ said Jo James ’Your continued support plays a very important part in enabling us to offer our members the wide range of services that we do’

Kent Invicta Chamber Patrons 2022/23 • Air IT

After supper Stefano Cuomo, CEO of Macknade, a leading food hall, delicatessen and hospitality family business, spoke about how he has been able to nurture the business through the recent challenging years and the vision he has for its future.

• Ashford Borough Council

Patrons get the opportunity to build an exclusive and mutually beneficial relationship with Kent Invicta Chamber and its members. They represent key sectors in the county and organisations that support and serve the local business community. All 12 patrons have recommitted to the scheme from the previous term.

• Lee Evans Partnership

The Patrons each receive certificates that recognise their status which can be displayed proudly at their workplaces. These are designed and produced by local businesses Oak Creative and Frameworx.

Jo James & Stefano Cuomo

• Brachers LLP • Caxtons Property Consultants • HR GO plc

• MHA MacIntyre Hudson • MidKent College • Sleeping Giant Media &The Spark Agency • Stagecoach South East • Towergate Insurance Brokers • University of Kent

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Increased costs and rising inflation businesses must rethink and recalibrate to shape a better future Businesses are facing increasing costs and soaring inflation. Simply passing those costs on to customers cannot always be the answer, says Andrew Griggs and Andrew Tate from Kreston Reeves.

the next decade. That will mean addressing immediate challenges and, in the longer term, recalibrating business models. A ‘whole business’ view and an investment mindset is needed to build tomorrow’s business.

Follow many months of increased manufacturing and supply chain costs, soaring energy bills and increased wages, inflation in May reached a four decade high

Labour, energy, property and logistics will typically represent the largest overheads facing a business. Those that have not already done so need to understand the impact of these costs now and in the near future. Look for quick wins but consider carefully the impacts.

The uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, the UK’s new relationship with its largest trading partner and now conflict in Ukraine driving up energy costs even further will continue to create challenging economic and trading conditions for many months if not years to come. Some businesses will look to pass on these costs, at least in part, to customers, yet for many that will simply not be an option. Suppliers on fixed price contracts will have no choice but to try and renegotiate or absorb increased costs. Consumers also feeling the pinch will have to make sometimes difficult choices voting with their feet and wallet. Other businesses will look to maintain profitability by slashing costs. It is unlikely businesses can expect the UK government to provide meaningful support, having spent £370bn over the past two years helping families and businesses through the Covid pandemic. In fact, the tax burden on businesses has recently increased and may increase further with the Government facing the electorate in 2024 with the promise of tax cuts.

A time to recalibrate Now is the time for entrepreneurs to rethink and look towards building their businesses for

Businesses are already taking radical steps. Home technology retailer Currys in late March 2022 announced that it was to ditch its West London HQ in favour of flexible working space both saving cash and in acknowledgement of hybrid working patterns. Others will undoubtedly follow. Businesses should look too at logistics functions. Innovation driven by large retail and logistics businesses is now also available to businesses of all sizes enabling them to better utilise vehicle fleets, warehousing and delivery schedules. Customer loyalty is, of course, to be desired but not at a cost to the business. A long and often hard look at the profitability of customers is good practice. This can be achieved through solid management accounting and well thought out reporting. Costs can also be scrutinised through such systems.

to the business and recalibrate. Areas to consider include: Many businesses are investing in AI technology to drive greater productivity, with matching investment in the training and development of staff. AI will continue to dramatically reshape businesses over the next decade. Those that don’t invest will continue to struggle. Options to reshoring supply chain. Whilst globalisation is far from dead, businesses are looking to bring manufacturing back to the UK from China and Russia. They are looking for greater control over pricing and security of business-critical supply chains. It is a trend that will continue. Reshoring will demand considerable investment from businesses and drive greater employment demands. For many businesses, this will mean lower profits as cash is reinvested into the business building for the next decade. A clear understanding what that means for business owners and investors will be paramount. Whilst businesses crave certainty, that remains in short supply. Yet uncertainty also provides opportunity and sometimes the much-needed driver for fundamental change. For farsighted businesses, the future continues to look promising.

Businesses could also invest time to consider more fundamental and structural change in the mid- to longer-term. Now is the time to bring an investment mindset

Andrew Griggs, Senior Partner and Head of International can be contacted via email at and Andrew Tate, Partner and Head of Restructuring and Transformation can be reached at Visit or call us on 0330 124 1399.

How GDPR can help grow your business

GDPR can feel like a chore but used correctly, it can positively impact your business. Judith Andrews from Business Tamer has this advice… Create more profitable customer ties Asking customers how they’d like to hear from you demonstrates courtesy.

Customers must consent by being asked to opt in, not opt out. Some people just want to make a purchase and never be contacted again – unwanted contact risks irritating them into going elsewhere.Others could be happy to hear about news or offers, which they might share. Avoid asking if they’d like to “sign up to our newsletter”. Be creative – for example, “be the first to know about new products, offers and fantastic recipes”. Protect against data breaches and fines GDPR breaches could incur the following from the Information Commissioner (ICO). Fine Fines can be up to 20m euro or 4% of global turnover.

Sanction You could be banned from using data for direct marketing or analysis.

Reputational damage from a GDPR breach A breach jeopardises the trust of existing and potential clients, suppliers or collaborations – a mishap could be costly. Consumers value businesses that use data correctly. Research shows: On average, only 34% of consumers trust most of the brands they use* 81% said trust is a deal breaker or deciding factor in their buying decision* 45% said a brand involved in unethical behaviour or controversy could never regain their trust* 40% would stop buying from a brand altogether after a controversy* One in three will leave a brand they adore after one bad experience (PwC) *Source: Edelman

Community and voluntary organisations net cash windfall Kent Community Foundation has announced that twentyfour successful projects have received a share of £140,000 from the Arts Council Let’s Create Jubilee Fund.

participants will learn about the Queen’s contribution to the Commonwealth and create costumes, flags, and banners. These sessions will culminate in a ceremonial procession, ending at the Chatham Historic Dockyard where the participants will take part in a Commonwealth-themed garden party that will have entertainment that represents different cultures.

These exciting creative events will allow thousands of people to come together in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. From a festival at Rochester Castle, street parties, and family fun days, to creating songs, videos and a stitched mural, there will be a huge range of exciting activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across Kent and Medway to get involved in.

Another beneficiary of the funding, Tonbridge Baptist Church, received £4,200 for an intergenerational project that will work with local children to put on a fashion show depicting trends from the last seven decades.

Medway African Caribbean Association has received £10,000 to run a series of workshops where

Natalie Smith, director of grants and impact at Kent Community Foundation, said: “There was a huge appetite

from community groups and grassroots charities across Kent to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with community arts projects. We were overwhelmed with the number of applications we received and are delighted to have been able to fund twentyfour exciting creative events, which will enable thousands of people to come together to celebrate this historic event.” Darren Henley, chief executive at Arts Council England, added: “I’m excited to see these projects brought to life in villages, towns, and cities across the country as our wonderfully creative communities celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.”

Members News

To Tuscany builds connections through Chamber membership

To Tuscany offers villa holidays in one of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Our story began more than 20 years ago when our founder, Sean Leggate, moved to Tuscany with his Italian wife and fell in love with the region. Sean asked the simple question: what would a perfect trip to Tuscany look like? He answered by creating To Tuscany, a collection of highly desirable villas in sought-after locations with added tailor-made experiences. We offer truly memory-making holidays where guests can forget the stresses of daily life and spend precious time with family and friends. Through organic growth, To Tuscany now features more than 500 of the best villas in the region. We promote this collection to a panEuropean audience on our website, which is available in five languages, and a tailor-made personal service delivered over the phone by our multilingual team based in Whitstable, Kent. Our British staff complement our team on the ground in Tuscany and visit our properties regularly to ensure that they can match guests with the perfect villa for their needs and desires. Our work has won the praise of guests and villa owners alike. Key to our success is networking with likeminded peers, especially as we all face the challenges brought by our ever-changing world. Our membership of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce signals our commitment to building professional relationships and we look forward to taking part in the Chamber’s events and activities.

For more information visit Thinking Business


Members News

Introducing CoVentures for aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs CoVentures is a Kent based company created by experienced executives with differing skills and backgrounds in helping entrepreneurs and SMEs to succeed and grow. We have developed and distilled best practices that have proved effective for a wide range of businesses and hope that some of these might prove relevant for some fellow Chamber members. These include approaches that are relevant to new market initiatives such as product innovation, operational issues, leadership concerns or financial challenges. Quite aside from the possibility of working together, we look forward to meeting fellow members and working towards the enhancement of the Kent economy. The current economic environment is particularly challenging but also full of exciting new business opportunities that need to be carefully assessed, planned and enacted. The pandemic has, of course, already had a huge impact, and many of the implications of Brexit, sustainability, and the Ukraine war are still to flow through the economy. Therefore, now could be a good time to anticipate these implications for your own business and how best to enhance your company’s immediate resilience and growth potential. We have a surprisingly quick, efficient and effective diagnostic action planning process that we believe could be of particular benefit to fellow members and would like to invite you to meet and discuss further.

14 Thinking Business

Sun awareness by ScreenCancer UK Spring has well and truly sprung and summer’s on its way; the warmth on our skin and the glow on our faces is a wonderful feeling. We’re starting to spend more time outside walking, gardening, cycling or just enjoying the feeling. You may work outside, drive for a living or work in an office next to a window. Just seeing the sun increases endorphins and makes us feel happy. The question is, do you know how to enjoy the sun and stay safe?

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and is on the increase (SKCIN). Malignant Melanoma (MM) in the age group 15 to 34 years is one of the biggest killers. Overall, there are more than 16,500 MM cases a year and MM was responsible for around 2,333 deaths 2016-2018 (Cancer Research UK (CRUK)). Sadly, around 86% of MMs in 2015 could have been prevented (CRUK). UVA penetrates glass if there is no UV filter, which means if you’re sitting by a window or driving you are at risk. Even

New joint venture The HR GO group of companies, a Patron of Kent Invicta Chamber, has announced its latest joint venture teaming up with Absolute Executive Search. This allows Absolute Executive Search to bring the robust support services of HR GO’s multi-million-pound operation to their personalised consultative service. This includes HR GO Plc’s cutting-edge in-house developed recruitment software solutions. Absolute Executive Search place Executive, Management, and

Professional level candidates in permanent and interim vacancies within the Financial, Accountancy, Legal, HR and professional Commercial market across London and the Southeast.

Absolute Executive Search, cofounders Claire Young and Kath Blake have more than 40 years of combined experience, delivering a highly tailored service to clients and candidates whilst delivering a robust candidate service in order to match the right candidate to the right position every time.

on a cloudy day you still need protection, around 80% of UV penetrates clouds. It’s important to stay protected by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen UVB SPF 30+ with a high UVA rating from March to October could significantly reduce the risks. Checking your skin regularly for new moles or changes to old ones is vital. If you notice any changes, get them checked out as soon as possible. For more information visit Attention to detail is a hallmark of the service provided by this new consultancy. Working as an exclusive search team, they pride themselves on a personal approach, bringing the same level of friendly professionalism to every recruitment need. Both Claire and Kath have supplied talented executives to companies of every size from multi-million-pound international corporations to SMEs and microcompanies. In addition, Claire’s 10 years in HR brings the new consultancy valuable, additional client-side experience of the recruitment process.

Whitehead Monckton helps Seventeen Group acquire insurance broker Whitehead Monckton’s corporate team has advised Seventeen Group on its strategic acquisition of Devon-based insurance broker, Torbay Insurance Services. The acquisition of the business from existing partners John and Trudie Stott compliments Seventeen Group’s existing offering and growing presence in the south west. It follows previous acquisitions of WPS Insurance Brokers and Christopher Rowe in Devon and Cornwall respectively. John Stott remains an employee of the business and will assist in

Seventeen Group’s integration and growth plans. Whitehead Monckton’s team was led by new head of corporate, Daniel Tozer, who has a longstanding relationship with Seventeen Group.

Speaking of the acquisition, Daniel Tozer said: “I’m delighted to see this deal cross the line and for Seventeen Group to make another strategic acquisition to complement their existing insurance broking business. We have a longstanding relationship, a wealth of experience in acquiring insurance broking businesses and always enjoy working together.”

Daniel was assisted by Whitehead Monckton’s employment and commercial property lawyers, Petra Venton and Fraser Rickman respectively.

David Allori, Seventeen Group’s chief operating officer, said: “It’s always great working with Daniel on these transactions. We have a great relationship built on reliability and trust. Daniel is pragmatic, commercial and collaborative which reflects our approach to these strategic acquisitions.”

Ask the Digital Expert


By Connor Styche The number of companies I see randomly throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks but having absolutely no idea what has and hasn’t worked for them, is actually quite sickening. From branded merchandise and seasonal giveaways to email campaigns and fancy new websites, the list is endless. Granted, it may look good, but if sales haven’t increased off the back of it, or they have, but you don’t know where those sales are coming from, you’re wasting budget somewhere along the line. Surely, if you’ve any commercial sense, you wouldn’t invest hard earned money if you didn’t know it was going to add value to your business. So, why is marketing so different?

me decide to give you that contract over your competitor? Probably not. It’s just chocolate at the end of the day. The point is, I see companies investing thousands of pounds into marketing on an annual basis, but if you can’t prove they’ve ‘worked’ in terms of increasing sales, it’s a complete waste of your money and someone else’s time. In the digital world we live in, marketers can do so much more than ‘hedge their bets’. In fact, they can be considered big brother-like.

Let’s take a new website for example. Companies can pay top dollar for an all singing, all dancing website. Hours go into making sure it’s just ‘perfect’. And then what? It just sits there. Looks pretty for a few months. The odd case study or news article might get added, but in the short, it’s stagnating.

Let’s face it, we know that 95% of the market aren’t interested in buying your product right now. When your sales guy speaks to a potential customer, chances are, they won’t be biting your hand off. So, what do you do then? Nine times out of ten, said sales guy arranges a call for six months’ time and moves swiftly on. But, within those six months, the same customer is in need for your product. Unfortunately, your sales guy is nowhere to be seen. Unlucky. You just lost the sale.

What about the giveaways? Did anyone ever say, thanks for the Easter egg you sent me, it made

What if you were able to keep tabs on that lead, and had the heads up they were back in the

market for your product? That’s the kind of useful information that intelligent marketing can tell you. You just need to focus on marketing activity that provides you with data. And not the fluffy, spurious stats no-one cares about. Your last social post achieved 2,000 impressions? Who really cares? What does that actually mean to your bottom line? What you want to know is WHO is in the market for your product digitally, so you can follow up with them physically. This, my friend, is the power of digital marketing, and how it can be tracked to physical sales. Tracking helps businesses measure customer satisfaction, their brand's identity, and their opinion of new products or services. It also provides you with the data you need to know who is in the market, as well as prove your marketing is bringing in valid leads and supporting sales. Unreportable marketing like branded notebooks are all well and good, but they’re ‘nice to haves’, they shouldn’t be the backbone of your efforts. Marketing should be informing sales of who to ‘lookout’ for. Period.

The Big Interview

Tech entrepreneur supports business growth Don Iro loves nothing more than helping businesses to grow. The tech entrepreneur, who has an impressive background in business development, operations and service delivery, joined Allteks as group CEO in 2020 and is currently masterminding the next stage of the company’s expansion. Allteks is not your everyday IT firm. The company doesn’t just provide off-the shelf IT solutions for its clients; instead, it finds the right technology-based solution for each client to give them the best chance of growing and prospering. Don says: “We specialise in creating and managing bespoke IT infrastructure and support solutions to businesses in Kent and throughout the UK. As a managed IT service provider, our services include end user support, server management, managed hosting services, managed security, cloudbased business continuity solutions, infrastructure design and strategic IT consultancy. Effectively, we’re a one-stopshop and that’s what makes us the complete IT service management partner.

16 Thinking Business

“Our mission is to become the Coca-Cola of the IT industry. We’re in a very interesting period where we’re bringing in significant contracts that will keep us busy, so we’re looking to increase our £2 million turnover in the next couple of years. “Our commitment to providing brilliant customer service is what sets us apart from the competition. I’m keen not to put lots of sales people in front of clients. I deliver great service instead and focus on retaining the clients we’ve got. It’s a policy that’s working well; repeat customers are 80% of our business. Of course, we like to get more new customers but retention is the key focus. If we suddenly secure contracts with lots of new customers at once, our service standards might drop and I don’t want this to happen.”

We want to help businesses to protect themselves and harness the power of digital by capitalising on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). There are huge opportunities out there for businesses that are prepared to embrace technology.

Born in Nigeria, Don is an experienced entrepreneur, turnaround executive and board level business leader. He has held several senior roles within the public sector in the UK and Ireland, Israel, Middle East and Africa, and has led multiple technology and transformational service deliveries at director and principal levels for global businesses. Most recently he served as a leader for a FTSE 250 technology companies programme delivery team and he has also worked in the telecoms, retail and automotive industry, delivering cutting-edge digital programmes around the world. Don arrived in the UK in 2004 to study electronic engineering at Solent University in Southampton. He landed a job at a machine-to-machine business in Portsmouth before being headhunted to join what was then Nokia in 2008. “I was a customer support leader for one of Nokia’s businesses, Vertu, which made and sold luxury handmade mobile phones,” he recalls. “I was then asked to lead a small team responsible for carving up the Vertu business from Nokia, and to work on a new Android-based operating system. “Later on in my career I worked with start-ups, which was great as I felt I could really make a difference. Working for a large corporation is fantastic but you can influence a lot more lives working for a smaller business. “In 2017, an acquaintance of mine bought Allteks and needed a partner so I agreed to become an advisor/ consultant. I’d built up a

very good black book of customers through my own business, a consultancy called Hamilton Berkeley. Eventually we merged the two businesses and I became group CEO of the Allteks group in 2020. “We negotiated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and got through it. Last year, as things got a little easier, we bought another IT firm to fuel our growth.” Don is currently eyeing up other opportunities to make acquisitions, as long as these companies fit with the Alltek ethos and culture. He’s also helping clients to deal with the thorny problem of cyber security, with cyber attacks a genuine threat to businesses of all sizes. “Cyber security is a real issue, particularly for small businesses,” he says. “We want to help businesses to protect themselves and harness the power of digital by capitalising on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). There are huge opportunities out there for businesses that are prepared to embrace technology. We’re at a point where we’re driving towards the metaverse; it won’t be long before you’ll put your lenses on and go into a virtual café to meet a client. This technology was available ten years ago but it was too costly for many businesses to implement. Now those cost barriers are reducing so the technology is becoming more accessible to businesses. We’re at the forefront of new technologies and we’ll continue to play a key role in helping businesses to capitalise on them.”


The Big Interview


Favourite food? As a Brit Gerian (British Nigerian) I have 2 favourite foods. • Jolof rice & plantain • Sunday roast Favourite tipple? I am teetotal so don’t drink – I do like a nonalcoholic mojito Favourite holiday? Somewhere with a lot of history and great architecture. I like the Mediterranean revival architecture, and so naturally am drawn to Mediterranean destinations for holidays. Describe your family life? Married with 2 kids, a boy, and a girl. I get a lot of encouragement and challenges from my family which keeps me going. I try to be as present as possible for my family. How do you spend your downtime? I own more books than I can read, both print and audiobooks, so in my downtime I try to catch up on them. I do love music a lot and have a soundtrack to every part of my life, which I either relive in my downtime, or incorporate new ones through the streaming services I subscribe to. What are your key strengths as a manager? Spotting potential. I have always been a better leader than a manager. With a large dose of optimism. I believe in building winning behaviours, thought processes are important, but wouldn’t be useful without the people embracing them as well as utilising these systems and processes. So, my biggest strength is with identifying and nurturing those people, while working in the background to create an environment that enables them to succeed. And your limitations? I don’t believe in limitations. I believe in boundaries. Creating and respecting boundaries is important for a healthy relationship (in work and otherwise) so I like to establish and encourage others to be aware of that. However, I feel the opportunities available to us are limitless and that’s how I have approached my life and business. Best thing about doing business in the borough? Medway is a fantastic borough which is steeped in culture, sport, and history. Its also a fantastic business base with lots of thriving businesses and like minds within the area which I find very encouraging. Famous person you’d most like to spend dinner with? Nelson Mandela Most interesting fact about yourself? I have a memory of an elephant. I remember everything and anything. I even remember myself in a Moses basket and other events at the age of sub 1.

Thinking Business


FINDING THE PERFECT DIGITAL QUALIFICATION FOR YOU… A digital skills qualification has always been a fantastic thing to have on your CV and a great asset for a team member to have.. Now, as the digital industry becomes ever more important and faces a skills shortage, there’s more choice than ever for those wishing to get a qualification in the field. Here are some of the options on offer at EKC Group, which offer access to cutting-edge equipment and methods:

ESSENTIAL DIGITAL SKILLS QUALIFICATION ● An EKC IntoWork course open to everyone 19 or over

LEVEL 3 QUALIFICATIONS ● Hosted at campuses across East Kent, as well as online through EKC DigitalLearn

● Free for unemployed people receiving universal credit or job seeker’s allowance

● Include Information Technology, Software Development and Digital Design, Web and Animation

● Teaches how to use digital devices, send emails, open documents and images

● Equivalent to an A Level

● Learners find out how to access online banking, up-to-date news and how to write a stand-out CV

● Entry requires a grade 5 or equivalent in four or more subjects, preferably including Maths and English



● Level 4 qualification equivalent to one year at university

● Level 5 qualification equal to second year at university

● Tackles higher level subjects such as Programming, Networking, Database Design and Development, Security, and System Lifecycle Models

● Uses industry-standard software and equipment in networking, gaming, and PC hardware laboratories

● Designed to prepare learners for jobs, apprenticeships, or further study ● Assessed through research projects, practical assignments, and presentations

● Subjects include Game Design and Development (with elements of VR), Robotics, e-Commerce, and Business Development ● Perfect springboard for work or Level 6 study ● Acquire Microsoft industrial (MTA) qualifications alongside the HND

Find out more at

Brachers invests in Perfect Portal system

Clients of Maidstone and Canterbury-based law firm Brachers, a Kent Invicta Chamber patron, can now expect a more efficient process when buying or selling a property after the firm integrated Perfect Portal in its systems. Perfect Portal is a digital system that allows clients in the process of buying or selling a property to have improved visibility over their matter, with access to up-to-date information that lets them track progress at every stage.

Brachers’ conveyancing clients now benefit from a website portal or mobile app which gives them convenient 24/7 access to their account and notifies them when they have a new update on their matter. They can also securely complete required tasks such as ID verification and viewing or signing documentation, as well as communicating directly with their lawyer via the in-built messaging system. For clients this simplifies and speeds up the completion of necessary tasks and information, allowing their lawyer to start and progress the legal work much more quickly and efficiently. Another benefit of the digital format of the system is that it

Members News removes the need for in-person meetings between lawyers and clients. This creates a more convenient process for the client and helps to progress the matter more quickly. Kate Baigent, head of residential property at Brachers, said: “This is a hugely beneficial development for our clients, who now have much clearer oversight of their matters with us. Buying or selling a property can often be a lengthy and stressful process. We’re really pleased that, with the introduction of Perfect Portal, we now have a more efficient and effective process for our clients.” Tom Hall, chief operating officer at Brachers, added: “Our investment in technology over the last couple of years reflects our commitment to improving how we work and the service we deliver.” For more information visit

College group announces plans for eco-friendly horticulture centre A planning application has been submitted to Canterbury City Council for a new ecofriendly horticulture and animal welfare teaching centre on the former Hadlow College site in Canterbury. East Kent College Group (EKC Group) acquired the Spring Lane site two years ago following Hadlow College’s fall into administration. The horticulture, agriculture and animal welfare training centre will now complement the group’s nearby campus at Canterbury College, with the redevelopment of the Spring Lane site forming part of wider strategic plans by EKC Group for future expansion of the college to meet growing demand for places. Plans include the replacement of existing run-down buildings on the site with two new teaching blocks, designed with sustainability in mind. Local architect, Lee Evans

Partnership, adopted a ‘fabric first’ approach when designing the new buildings: green roofs will provide biodiversity together with a source of natural insulation, reducing heating needs in the winter months and helping to cool the buildings in the summer. Natural ventilation and day lighting will be used to their maximum to avoid full reliance on mechanical or electrical building systems.

Sam Amar, architect at Lee Evans Partnership, said: “Alongside our sustainable approach, a primary focus of the design concentrates on creating comfortable and durable teaching spaces, with a sinuous connection between external and internal spaces, creating a link between theory and practice.” It is hoped that the new teaching centre will provide students with a unique study environment, blending classroom and practical-based learning together.

A decision on the planning application is expected imminently, with EKC Group eager to start construction for completion in the summer of 2023.

Law firm explains key features of new ‘no fault’ divorce law

The introduction of new divorce laws in England and Wales marks a fundamental shift to a ‘no fault’ system, but what will this mean in practice for couples looking to separate? Megan Bennie, a solicitor with Furley Page’s family law team, welcomes the new laws which she believes are sensible reforms that will bring her clients a range of new options when considering whether to divorce. Megan said: “The shift to a ‘no fault’ system is the result of 50 years of campaigning and marks a radical change. The previous fault-based system pitted couples who were already experiencing issues against one another, requiring them to engage in a ‘blame game’ instead of separating as quickly and amicably as possible. “The new law introduces a new system of divorce that is entirely fault-free, and introduces new procedure and terminology to make the process of divorce more user-friendly. In addition, a new online portal will, the government hopes, make paper applications a thing of the past in all but a few rare cases. “Perhaps even more revolutionary is that separating couples will now have the option to apply jointly if the divorce is consensual, and will also be able to use the same solicitor. However, when it comes to resolving finances or matters relating to children, separate solicitors may then have to be instructed. “The move to a no-fault system also means divorce and civil partnership applications will now be based on identical criteria, eliminating a controversial difference which meant the options for ending a civil partnership were fewer than for a divorce. “These welcome changes have been long-awaited by family law practitioners, who are generally hopeful they will bring a range of beneficial new options to our clients and to all couples who are considering separating.” For more information visit

Thinking Business


Members News

New grant to reduce carbon footprint and energy costs for firms As part of the wider COVIDresponse package, KCC Business and Enterprise is supporting SMEs across Kent by delivering a Green Recovery Voucher scheme.

The £150K fund, which launched in April 2022, is offering businesses a grant of up to £1.5K, in order to make changes to reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. eco Electrical Contractors (South East), a Chamber member, is Kent County Council’s preferred provider for the design, supply & installation of energy efficient measures, under the scheme. This can include: 1. Lighting, heating, hot water provision (including controls), and other positive improvements to energy use. 2. Machinery or equipment upgrades leading to improved process efficiency. Whether you’re considering a full electrical upgrade to introduce more efficient products, or even to install EV charging points at your place of work, we can advise and work with you on your plans from grant application, to design, through to installation.

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Biddenden launches new cider In time for brighter summer days, Biddenden Cider has launched its Ice Cider 2021. The product is an intense, sweet, ice cider bursting with aromas and reflecting the best characteristics from Kentish grown Egremont Russet and Bramley apples. The longer days and lighter evenings are the perfect opportunity to pop open a bottle of this new must-have aperitif and share with friends. Hosting an al fresco dinner party or have a garden picnic coming up? Make sure you have a bottle of Biddenden Ice Cider proudly on the table to impress guests or popped in the picnic hamper to enjoy with cheese and charcuterie.

Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 has an ABV of 9% and is made from only the best locally grown apples which are handpicked and pressed on site at Biddenden within 12 hours. The high natural sugar content, concentrated aromas, and enhancement of acidity and tannins is achieved through freezing the pressed apple juice and following a process known as cryoconcentration. The liquor is then fermented like a sweet wine for four months before developing further in the bottle resulting in clean, fresh and fruity flavours.

With its incredible versatility, Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 is the ideal drink for those wanting

Thousands gather for Whitstable 10k Thousands of people flocked to Whitstable to watch nearly 650 runners complete the popular Furley Page Whitstable 10k road race, which was held on May 2.

of 41 mins 57 seconds, holding off competition from runner-up Aoushka Johnson of Central Park Athletics, with Tereza Grainger-Francova of Dartford Harriers following up in third.

It was Joshua Alan Teece of Central Park Athletics who took the top spot as he raced to victory in an impressive time of 32 mins 6 seconds. Harry Paton of Tonbridge Athletics Club followed up in second, while Mouctar Barry of Central Park Athletics rounded off the top three.

Local law firm Furley Page, who entered its own team, sponsored the event for the first time this year.

Caroline Arckless was the first woman across the line with a time

Joshua Williams, a partner based at Furley Page’s Whitstable office, said: “The Whitstable 10k is a fantastic community event which promotes health and wellbeing, while attracting thousands of visitors to the town over the Bank Holiday.

something a little different. This uniquely refreshing and fruity ice cider can be served chilled as an aperitif alongside puddings or cheese, providing the perfect accompaniment for summer socialising. Try also adding it to a variety of cocktails to bring the quintessential taste of Kentish apples to the flair and pizzazz of mixology, or long with sparkling water and a slice of crisp, green apple.

The new Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 can be purchased from Biddenden Vineyards’ website: https://biddendenvineyards. com/product/biddenden-icecider-2021/ “As a local business, we were delighted to have the opportunity to be lead sponsor for this year’s event, which provided a wonderful spectacle and proved once again why this race is one of the most popular events in Kent’s sporting calendar.” Organised by Canterbury Harriers running club in partnership with Sporting Events UK, the Whitstable 10k is now in its 22nd year, and the popular running race attracts thousands of entries from runners keen to test their endurance and push for a personal best along the mainly flat seafront course. Melanie Christodoulou is an associate at Furley Page and chair of Canterbury Harriers. She said: “We had ideal running conditions for the event, and we were delighted to see such a fantastic turnout from competitors and supporters alike. Congratulations to all those who took part and completed the course!” For more information about the Furley Page Whitstable 10k, visit:

How to prepare for an exhibition By Sarah Hawes

It was so wonderful to see Business Vision Live back at the County Showground in May. After a 2-year break due to the pandemic, it was a great opportunity for Kent’s businesses to get back together. Exhibiting can be a great way to showcase your business. Here are our tips for getting it right: Book early The earlier you book, the more your company will be promoted by the organiser, including getting into the printed programme. Book late and you miss opportunities. Prepare The earlier you think about your stand, the better it will look. A table with a few fliers on won’t compete against others who have given theirs thought, so get organised in advance.

Merchandise If you are going to give away branded merchandise, think about it a few months in advance. It takes time to choose the right things, get artwork prepared, order them and get them delivered. Always get them delivered at least a week before the event in case there is an error and they need to be printed again. Seating Low seats behind a table dreadful. Sorry, but there it is! It looks like a fence, a barrier, so high stools with a podium table that bring you up to the standing level of the person visiting your stand is much better. Competitions Competitions are a great way to gain data. If you’re doing a competition in order to harvest their data, make it clear on a sign. ‘Pop your business card in the bowl to subscribe to our newsletter and enter the competition’.

Racing Events can help reward staff, suppliers and customers How important do you think recognising the contribution of staff, suppliers and customers to the success of your business is? A study by Deloitte found employee turnover drops by 31% when staff feel recognised and it’s estimated that 80% of future profits will come from a fifth of your loyal customers. Racing Events has been providing corporate hospitality at Brands Hatch for 15 years and offers bespoke packages for businesses to entertain customers, suppliers and staff. This year you could enjoy events including British Touring Cars, Club Bike Championships, Mini Festival or Truck Racing. Gary Johnson, partner at Racing Events, will be your host and ensure that you and your guests

have a fabulous day in his ground floor suite situated at the finish line of the famous circuit.

To make your day a success, Gary will offer full hospitality including breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The suite has a capacity of 40 and you can book out the suite exclusively or if you’re happy to share then you can book for smaller numbers. Gary says: “With 15 years’ experience at Brands Hatch, I know what makes a successful day for you and your guests and I’ll always aim to exceed your expectations. As well as motorsport hospitality, I provide F1 tours and a chauffeur service. If you want to reward those who help you to make your business a success, please give me call.” Visit

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Members News

By Gillian Piggot, Head of Private Clients (London) at Advanta Wealth.

man to have? By Peter Colechin,

125 years ago this month,Adviser the estate of the person who Independent Financial Bram Stoker’s Dracula was inherited the money. at Advanta Wealth. published. A piece of gothic fiction 125 years ago last month, about a vampire who, through Bram Stoker’s Dracula was nefarious means, manages to published. avoid inheritance completely tax. Admittedly this does A piece to of be gothic fictionextreme about a appear a rather vampire who, through nefarious piece of tax avoidance. means, manages to completely With annual avoidcurrent inheritance tax. receipts Admittedly exceeding £5.3bn this does appear to itbewould a rather however be foolish treat extreme piece of tax to avoidance. With currenttax annual receipts inheritance as anything exceeding would other than£5.3bn a hard,itno nonsense however be foolish to treat fact. inheritance tax as anything other Usually charged at 40% on than a hard, no nonsense fact. assets over the nil rate band of £325,000 and with theon nil rate Usually charged at 40% band remaining at this level assets over the nil rate band of until 5 April 2026, is nil easy £325,000 and with it the rateto bandhow remaining this level see quicklyatyour estate can until 5 April 2026, it is easy be part of that annual tax to take. see how quickly your estate can There are allowances and be part of that annual tax take. reliefs that will increase the net There are allowances and estate thatwill your beneficiaries reliefs that increase the net inherit. The keys ones are:estate that your beneficiaries inherit. The key ones are:-

Spouse or civil partner exemption Spouse or civil partner

Assets left in a will to a spouse Exemption or civil partner are not subject Assets left in a will to a spouse to inheritance tax and as a or civil partner are not subject result, the surviving to inheritance tax andspouse as a inherits any unusedspouse nil rate result, the surviving band. inheritsThe anycombined unused nil assets rate will beThe assessed for tax on band. combined assets will death be assessed tax on the of thefor surviving the deathThis of the surviving spouse. can cause spouse.where This can cause issues both spouses issues both spouses die in awhere catastrophe event or die inspouse a catastrophic eventafter or one dies shortly one spouse dies shortly after the other; this is particularly the other; this is particularly pertinent for insurance policies pertinent for insurance policies that pay out outtax taxfree freebut butmay may that pay then be assessed as part then be assessed as part ofof

Advanta Wealth 130 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9SA

Deed of Variation

A key piece of planning that the estate of the person who can be arranged after death, a inherited the money. Deed of Variation enables the beneficiaries to change the Deed of Variation terms of theofwill. These Deeds A key piece planning that can be used if adeath, person can even be arranged after a Deed of Variation enables the has died Intestate. beneficiaries to change the terms of the will.Property These Deeds Residential even be your used residence if a person to Ifcan you leave has died Intestate. your lineal descendants, the nil rate band may increase Residential to £500,000. If Property your estate If you leave your residence to is worth more than £2m, the your lineal descendants, thescale relief reduces on a sliding nil rate mayover increase and forband estates £2.35m to £500,000. If your estate the additional allowance is is worth more than £2m, the removed completely. relief reduces on a sliding scale and for estates over £2.35m Gifting the additional allowance is Gifting assets during your removed completely. lifetime reduces the value of your estate; some gifts Gifting immediately fall outside of Gifting assets during your your estate, whereas others lifetime reduces the value are taken into some account of your estate; giftsif you die in the years after you immediately fall outside of have made the gift. Gifts can be your estate, whereas others are taken into account if you or made directly to individuals dietrusts. in the years after you have to made the gift. Gifts can be made directly to individuals or Insurance trusts. Iftotax mitigation isn’t possible, then insuring the liability is an Insurance option – either for the whole of If tax life mitigation possible, your or for aisn’t period of time then insuring the liability is an before you can start reducing option – either for the whole of the your estate yourvalue life oroffor a period ofby time gifting. before you can start reducing the value of your estate by gifting. If you would like to discuss the If you would likeplease to discuss above matters, call the us above please call us on 020matters, 3668 7480 on 020 3668 7480

Supporting colleges, training providers and employers to design and develop qualifications based on employers’ skills needs. Tel: 01206 911211 Charity Registration No. 1114282 Registered in England Company No. 5502449

Cover Feature

Digital Transformation


Business and consumer attitudes and habits changed irreversibly during the pandemic. It’s widely acknowledged that to rebuild our economy, Britain must invest in its infrastructure and ensure that it’s fit for the future.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and HCL Technologies having been working on a new report – Digital Transformation: Unlocking the potential of Global Britain – which focuses on how government, industry and the workforce can come together to embrace growing digital transformation. BCC and HCL convened a private roundtable of digital technology leaders from business, academia, local authorities and the UK government. The discussion summarised in this report focused on how government, industry and the workforce can come together to embrace growing digital disruption and transformation and leverage the best that technology has to offer to achieve our growth aspirations for the economy. Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC, said: “The workplace is changing rapidly, bringing huge challenges and opportunities for organisations and their people. For many firms, digital technologies can help resolve problems, boost productivity and deliver a competitive edge, but our research shows very low levels of SME awareness and engagement in the innovation support schemes now available. “Growing levels of digitisation and automation means that digital skills are becoming increasingly important

Businesses must have access to information and support, not only to adopt existing technologies but also to explore how emerging technologies can deliver innovative solutions and boost their performance. in the workplace. However, innovation is being stymied by shortages of basic and higherlevel digital skills. Many firms lack the change management skills to lead business transformation, and employers are struggling to access skilled workers to maximise the investment in technology. “Businesses must have access to information and support, not only to adopt existing technologies but also to explore how emerging technologies can deliver innovative solutions and boost their performance. At the same time, the education and skills system must do more to prepare our workforce for skilled digital roles at all levels in the modern workplace. To ensure everyone has the digital skills to play their part in the transformation process, employers need to invest more in the skills of their people – and that includes being willing to

provide the support and industry placements for young people, our future workforce, who are starting out in their careers.” Global digital transformation leapfrogged seven years in a matter of months, a study by McKinsey & Company has found. Businesses across different industries demonstrate agility and success through their digital initiatives. The UK economy has realised the pivotal role technology can play to aid the nation’s recovery and growth, as set out in the government’s Technology Innovation Strategy. The sector thrives in the UK, attracting good talent and huge investments. The UK attracted more than £6 billion in venture capital investment last year, outperforming Europe. Digital initiation offers enormous opportunities including:

• capitalising on emerging new consumer behaviours • utilising huge volumes of data to improve business efficacies • creating technology-powered robust supply chains The growth potential is immense for industries with legacy digital infrastructures such as fintech and retailers, but also for the logistic and delivery sectors. During the pandemic, various sectors accelerated their digital transformation journeys. UNCTAD, in its Report on COVID-19 and E-Commerce: A Global Review, has stated that the share of e-commerce in total retail sales in the UK rose from 20.3 to 31.3 per cent. The Workforce Institute at UKG, found that the pandemic propelled 87% of the UK workforce into new ways of working underpinned by digital technology. A total of 86% of those surveyed appreciated the advantages that digital initiatives bring to work processes. Digital technologies, digital growth and an effective data strategy will support the post-pandemic recovery. These initiatives will undoubtedly allow data to drive digital transformation, innovation and boost economic growth as Britain moves into the post-COVID era. Thinking Business


Digital Transformation

Make life easier for your customers with technology By Nick Ellis, Customer Experience Manager at Select Technology

Businesses are always trying to improve their customer service. But what about the Customer Experience? The past few decades have seen processes get smarter with customers demanding (and expecting) more, faster, with even better customer service. Today’s technology can make your people more efficient, remove monotonous admin and make it easier for your customers to buy your products and services. Applications and automation have been around for some time, but it is only more recently that this sort of technology has become more accessible and affordable to SMEs and SMBs. Now is the time to embrace technology in your customer experience!

First of all, what is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience is different to customer service. Customer

24 Thinking Business

service is ‘what’ you do when the customer contacts you. Customer experience is the culture of ‘how’ you do what you do and how that makes the customer feel about you as a business. Here’s an example: consider the difference between a traditional taxi hire company and Uber. They do the same thing – a saloon car drives you from A to B - but they do it in a very different way. The effectiveness of booking, the accuracy of the drive and the quality of the car is the ‘customer service’. The technology, the automation, the options that it enables – even to the extent of allowing passengers to control the music in the car – is the Customer Experience. We may not all like the Uber business model, but millions of people globally choose that option every day for the ease, convenience, and customer experience they receive. This is one of many examples of the huge impact technology can have on improving customer experience.

So, what has this got to do with your business?

Every business has customers, suppliers or partners and every business has processes. Automating these processes using technology has a huge potential to improve the experience your customers have (therefore meaning they stay with you as a

customer and continue spending or spend more). The technology is there at your fingertips to make process automation a reality for your business.

It’s easier than ever to automate your business processes

Today we are seeing the democratisation of business process automation. Traditionally, office-based processes involved moving, transforming, and shaping information to deliver an outcome. As consumers we are all familiar with this change – we used to pick up a phone and ring for a takeaway based on a menu that changed perhaps once a year. Now with JustEat and Deliveroo we can select in a single app from multiple options, and the restaurants can change their menus daily, update special offers, and provide updates on the progress of the order in real time. The transaction is fundamentally the same, but HOW we engage with it has changed beyond recognition, and our experience as the customer has also changed. Personally, I think for the better, but I’ll let you come to your own judgement. The democratisation of business process automation means that these days businesses can create improved digital experiences for

their customers without having to invest huge capital in the enabling technology. It’s all there, in the cloud, waiting for you. We at Select Technology are Microsoft Partners and you would therefore expect us to say that Power Automate and Microsoft Forms are great tools, and they are. But it’s a big internet and there are plenty of options.

Why would you want to automate?

The question should really be, why wouldn’t you?! The benefits of business process automation sit on both sides of the fence – they help your customers, and they help YOU. A well automated process allows the customer to interact smoothly and at a time of their choosing – a web form at midnight is as good as one at 3pm! It also gives the customer an engaging, branded experience and can lead them through the process and provide prompts, making the whole thing easier. If you’re dependent on a phone-based interaction you’re excluding a number of potential customers: people with phone anxiety (one study showed that 15% of potential customers would choose not to engage if it required a phone call), people with hearing difficulties, as well as people with English as a second language. These are all groups of people with money wishing to buy services, so why exclude them? Process automation can make a huge difference to your back office too: •

Removes tedious data input from the process. No more writing notes on a scrap of paper then keying them into a spreadsheet and sending someone an email about it!

Accelerates the sale. If you get it right you can eliminate time lost to basic admin, turning an enquiry into

Cover Feature

The democratisation of business process automation means that these days businesses can create improved digital experiences for their customers without having to invest huge capital in the enabling technology.

Power up with Make your business processes speedier and cut out arduous admin with minimal investment We’re with you every step of the way

cash much quicker, and in the process improving the experience for the customer who does not have to spend so much time waiting.

web forms, like Microsoft Forms can also help move you away from collecting data via email or by phone and then collating it manually.

Automated allocation. By using the information provided by the customer, you can direct the enquiry to the right part of the business, and more quickly.

I must caveat this with a very big but though! Anyone CAN program their own automation or applications, but in reality, it is time consuming, potentially confusing and not necessarily optimised for the best outcome. Working with a company like Select Technology will give you a huge advantage and less of a headache. You’re thinking, ‘of course he would say that’. Yes, I see your point, but really automation is much more than just creating a process flow or app. Taking a step back to understand your existing business processes, what your future goals are and what you actually want to get out of any automation is key. We can help you with all of this as well as using some of the very best programmers in the UK to build, test and maintain your apps or automation.

Automation is so much more than customer experience

Automation of course applies to any process which takes some input information, does something to it and stores the result somehow. That runs into the back office in processes like invoice approval, stock control, order management, marketing, HR processes, and so on. The world is very much your oyster.

So, can anyone build an app? In theory, yes. There is now technology available, including Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Power Automate that can be utilised by anyone, not necessarily a techy. Simple

So, if this piques your interest, please drop me an email at, or give me a call on 01892 830118 and we can have a chat about it.


We’ll map out your existing processes to fully understand them


Next, our experts will build you the best app for your specific needs


Finally we'll implement it, train your team and offer technical support

Let us help your business run like clockwork

Visit us at

Call us on 01892 830 111

Thinking Business


Digital Transformation

EKC DigitalLearn

As the pandemic ravaged on, and we were all trapped in our houses, it proved the perfect time to learn new skills. It was with this backdrop that EKC Group decided to expand on its six Colleges with a new online provision – EKC DigitalLearn. Offering flexible learning from anywhere in the UK, anyone can access the incredibly wide range of courses available. With both short and longer programmes in everything from digital skills to business training, EKC DigitalLearn is a one-stop shop of learning. The Group is also hoping to open upskilling to as many people as possible with free short courses for over-19s. These courses are designed to not only welcome people back to the world of work but also to improve the skills of workforces. Businesses are invited to get in touch to see what possibilities their staff and managers would most benefit from, and with the flexibility in time and location afforded by EKC DigitalLearn courses can be completed around the restraints created by a busy work environment. One student said: “I have completed many courses including Care and Management of Diabetes Level 2, Understanding Autism Level 2, Health and Nutrition Level 2 and many others. I enjoy learning from home because it enables me to work at my own pace from the comfort of my own home, while happy with the knowledge that my tutor is on hand to help should I need it.” Functional skills are also a speciality of EKC DigitalLearn, and this is a particularly busy time of year as prospective university students seek to quickly gain qualifications in English and Maths. Through tutelage and the provision of award-winning Century Tech software, the team has had a vast number of successes in this area.

26 Thinking Business

If committing eight days for a course proves difficult, a six-week model is also on offer where you dictate your learning. Another way the company makes learning more accessible is through its remote capability, meaning those who may find it hard leaving the home or using public transport can still receive top quality education.

Search for more information on how you or your staff members can enrol in an EKC DigitalLearn course.

Since launching in 2020, the tutors have gained a specialism in mentoring students from afar and ensuring learning takes place in a method and timeframe that is best suited for each learner. Weekly check-ins provide a fluid structure of learning which can change based on progress and feedback from the last seven days. One student who benefited from DigitalLearn courses said: “The distance learning courses I have taken have been very clear and concise, well written and laid out. Enrolment has been simple and quick. Tutors have been friendly and helpful and have encouraged me to continue when I've struggled with ill health. I would highly recommend these courses to anyone.” Learners also benefit from the close links to industry leaders, forged by the Group’s Colleges. With their widespread presence across East Kent – with sites in Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Sheppey – there are excellent progression opportunities for learners taking advantage of the EKC DigitalLearn offer. Image by Pan Yunbo on Unsplash

Cover Feature

Future business needs digital

The UK has just posted its lowest unemployment figures in almost 50 years. According to the ONS there are now fewer unemployed people than job vacancies, a first since records began. These figures also revealed the number of employees switching jobs increased to a record high of 994,000. These findings echoed recent research by Microsoft who found that 52 is now the average age for a career shift. 90 per cent of businesses say they expect employees to have basic digital skills. But if the shrinking worker pool is ageing, chances are these employees are not as techsavvy as businesses require. “A perfect storm is brewing,” says Paul Saunders, Director of Business Development at Gateway Qualifications, England’s leading digital skills awarding organisation, “but we’ve had this issue on the radar. We’ve been working with employers to create qualifications that are delivered by local colleges

or training providers and are exactly what businesses need – many of them fully funded. “We’re catering for a spectrum of digital needs – from essential digital skills qualifications for those with little ability, right up to degree level software development qualifications.” And, people want to ‘upskill’, Microsoft found that nearly threequarters of people over 45 are willing to invest significant time in learning new skills. Paul added: “Technology doesn’t stand still, and neither do we. We know qualifications that were current five years ago could be good as obsolete now, that’s why we continue to work closely with businesses, ensuring that our qualifications are always relevant.

We’re catering for a spectrum of digital needs – from essential digital skills qualifications for those with little ability, right up to degree level software development qualifications. To discuss how Gateway Qualifications can help you meet your training and development needs, please email or call 01206 911 211 Thinking Business


Cyber Attack Is Your Business Next? Cyber-attacks against businesses are increasing rapidly with 85% of all data breaches resulting from some form of human interaction such as phishing emails. A Cyber-attack can be devastating, encrypting your data, and literally stopping your business in its’ tracks. Many businesses simply don’t recover – so are you as prepared as you could be? Police Led – Business Focused Response

The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre (ECRC) is a police led organisation supported by the Home Office. It has been established to help local businesses by providing awareness of the current cyber threats in the region and offering free and affordable cyber services to help them reduce their risk of being attacked. The ECRC works in partnership with a wide range of organisations

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including businesses, academia, the public sector and the existing Police Protect network. It was established following a steady rise in the increase of cyberattacks and a reluctance by many businesses to recognise their own vulnerabilities. Out of 600 000 small and medium size businesses in the region only about 0.1% have been accredited for Cyber Essentials – a government approved accreditation which can mitigate up to 90% of common cyber threats. That is despite of the fact that businesses in the region could lose up to half a billion pounds in 2022 through cyber related fraud. Centre Director, Detective Superintendent Paul Lopez, explains ‘In spite of significant effort by the government, the vast majority of the regions’ businesses are not prepared to deal with the growing impact associated with cybercrime. However, it is not all bad news – the

ECRC offer business a wide range of free and affordable solutions to help them avoid becoming victims in the future.’ Free Core Membership

Core membership is completely free of charge and offers members access to the ‘Little Steps’ program – a weekly series of bite size cyber resilience hints and tips that will prepare businesses for the Cyber Essentials assessment process. Members also receive monthly newsletters detailing the current threats in the region as well as signposting and guidance to free cyber tools that businesses can implement to protect themselves. Members can access affordable paid services provided by undergraduates working within the National Student Service. This allows businesses to access a wide range of cyber services that had previously been beyond their reach.

The Centre works with several regional Trusted Partners – commercial cyber security companies – who can accredit Cyber Essentials for members of the Centre. And whilst prevention is always better than a cure, the Centre can also refer members to the Trusted Partners who are experts in dealing with incident response following a cyber-attack. Paul Lopez sums up the role of the ECRC as ‘not a replacement for the existing and wide range of organisations already operating within the cyber-space, but more of a focal point for the regional response to the increasing global cyber threat.’

Businesses can join for free at Core Membership | The Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre (

Introducing NCRCG Founding Ambassador: Cantium Business Solutions

Since beginning his career in IT service management, Mark has seen the reliance of business on IT continue to grow and, with that, the reach and impact of cybercrime. “By making more use of IT we can open up opportunities for legitimate business growth, greater efficiency and more flexible ways of working; however, it also creates more opportunity for criminal behaviour. The safety of your data, such as the contacts saved on your phone, is reliant on the security your device holds. If your device is hacked or compromised, all of that data is lost and a significant part of your life is wiped away.” “If you take a business, the consequences of cybercrime are magnified. Looking back 100 years, a factory might get broken into and all of the machines stolen. This would absolutely disrupt the day-to-day running of the business in the short term. But, ultimately, new machines would be purchased and customer details would be stored in hand ledgers meaning the factory would quickly get up and running again. Nowadays, the majority of businesses store their supplier information, employee data, customer data, intellectual property and propositions online so, if a system is hacked, the business is paralysed – not only in the short term but it may never be able to recover.”

This does not mean that businesses should not invest in IT; far from it. What it does mean is that we need to support businesses across the UK in building up their cyber resilience and, importantly, strengthening the cyber awareness of their teams and employees. For Mark, enhancing maturity in cyber goes beyond business alone and is a wider societal issue. “Cybercrime is here to stay and is not bound by territory. We need to move cyber from being something that is seen as complicated to navigate, into something that is part of the everyday conversation. I often liken it to the transformation we’ve seen in health and safety over the past few decades. 30 years ago there was a big push on health and safety in the workplace which filtered into society. Now, we all think about it in a more proactive way; you wouldn’t, for example, walk onto a building site without putting a hard hat on first. Cyber has to go on the same journey.” This is why Cantium has joined NCRCG as a National Ambassador and, alongside its fellow Ambassadors, is helping to support the growth of the Cyber Resilience Centre network. “As business leaders we’ve got a duty to support increased cyber awareness and the Cyber Resilience Centres are perfectly positioned to do this. It’s really

important that we use the centres as vehicles to demystify cyber and educate people across the regions on the small steps all of us can take to better protect ourselves and our workplaces online.” “The messages the centres drive are absolutely key. One example is the importance of strong and unique passwords. Nowadays, there are algorithms and Artificial Intelligence that can build a personal profile of you based on the data you openly share with the world and understand thousands of password combinations you are likely to use. Adopting complex and unlinked passwords is therefore essential to minimise the risk of your accounts being compromised and is something that we all need to do in both our personal and professional lives.” Alongside being a National Ambassador, Cantium works closely with the Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre (ECRC) and has just launched an exciting partnership with the centre to deliver a cyber security education programme in schools across Kent. “Cantium is a Local Authority Trading Company and wholly owned by Kent County Council. We are therefore uniquely positioned to support our local communities in Kent and are heavily engaged in the education sector. As part of our new partnership with the ECRC, which offers free membership to all schools in Kent, we are hoping to expand the cyber security knowledge and skills of teaching staff and strengthen the cyber resilience of our local education providers. “Most recently, through this partnership, we have been awarded funding from the Department for Education to develop a new opportunity to accredit schools and educational providers in cyber essentials. This will ensure they can have a greater degree of assurance that their people, processes and technology are fit for purpose and robust.”

Mark Scott is CEO of Cantium Business Solutions, a managed service provider working across the public and private sectors, and Vice-Chair of NCRCG’s National Ambassador Steering Group. He also sits on the Board of the Eastern Cyber Resilience Centre and Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East.

We need to move cyber from being something that is seen as complicated to navigate, into something that is part of everyday conversation. - Mark Scott

If you would like to discuss how Cantium can help to improve cyber resilience in your organisation, speak to one of our experts today 03000 411 115 | |

30 Thinking Business

The people behind the business

Orbital provides tech solutions that fit business needs

Orbital Net is one Kent’s most forward-thinking technology companies. CEO Darren Brown started the company in Ashford in the late 1990s, just as the internet was evolving into something meaningful, and since then has grown it into one of the largest internet service providers (ISPs) in the south east of England. the same connectivity that was available in a city centre. Our WiMAX even went as far as delivering internet connectivity in the middle of a farming field using a combination of wind power, solar power and a small boost from a petrol generator just in case! This was something that no other provider was even considering facilitating in the southeast.

The company is now renowned in the UK as a leading provider of fast, reliable, costeffective communications services. These range from data centres that can back up critical information, to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions and various connectivity options including fibre leased lines and Orbital Net WiMAX, a product that can cover some rural areas that other providers can’t. Darren says: “Rural businesses often need the same connectivity services as urban customers, location doesn’t dictate the type of connectivity you require, only what you can access. For those businesses who either want or need to work rurally that is where we can help." Ben Doherty, Orbital’s chief technical officer who has more than 20 years’ experience of working in the internet and telecoms industries, says: “When various new technologies emerge, we tend to be early adopters. We run early trials and we have good relationships with manufacturers. We were one of first to trial the WiMAX technology and offer it commercially. This service supported customers who previously were out of reach of incumbent providers. It allowed businesses who wanted or needed to operate rurally to access

“Our innovation continued when we started unbundling telephone exchanges in the early 2010s, allowing us to offer Generic Ethernet Access (GEA) services to our customers – something no other regional ISP was offering. By this summer we will have unbundled 29 telephone exchanges in Kent and surrounding areas.” Orbital’s staff know the market inside out and can deliver technology-based solutions that are tailored exactly to a client’s needs. This, in essence, is how Orbital differentiates itself in a crowded marketplace, as Darren explains: “Our main USP is that we’re technology-agnostic; we don’t limit our service offering to any one product or service. We have multiple relationships and partnerships within the sector which increases our ability to be flexible across the whole of the UK and even stretching overseas to the USA and Canada. This is something that’s rare for regional ISPs to demonstrate; not many ISPs can match our capacity for building multiple solutions that can suit a customer and their specific needs. Ben adds: “We’re different to traditional ISPs because we’re willing to use fibre, 4G, wireless and pretty much any other technology to suit a particular need. We customise things so that businesses are given the right solution for them, and we make sure its within their budget. We work with all sorts of businesses, from one-man bands to large corporates, and we offer a fast response time, a clear pricing structure with no hidden extras and a dedicated account manager throughout the

entirety of the client’s contract. Effectively we’re a one-stop-shop; we have a wealth of knowledge and expertise for every eventuality.” Orbital also has the weight of history behind it. Many alternative network providers are relatively new entrants still making their way in the industry, but Orbital has been carving its niche in the marketplace for almost a quarter of a century. The company is also a member of respected bodies such as the UK Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (UKWISPA) and the Internet Service Providers (ISP) Association – another string to its bow which adds to its credentials and all-round standing in the market. Now the aim is to continue being at the forefront of new innovations that will add even greater value to Orbital’s growing network of clients. Ben says: “In the next few years there will be several challenges but we see benefits and opportunities arising from these challenges. The roll-out of full fibre is accelerating and we’re playing a key role in this. “We’re rolling out our fixed fibre services to semi-rural areas within Kent right now. However, there will be pockets across the country where it won’t be commercially viable to deliver full fibre by any provider. These will be extremely rural areas and properties that could consist of both residential consumers as well as businesses. In these cases, other technologies will need to be harnessed to deliver highcapacity services that are still cost-effective for the end user. Fibre is part of the future, but so is wireless and other advancing technologies because fibre alone won’t cover 100% of the country. In the meantime, people still need a reliable high-speed internet service and we’re ready to deliver whatever option they need.”

Thinking Business


International Trade

Export growth stagnant but firms eye overseas markets for future growth The county of Kent is renowned for its exporting expertise, with many companies based there managing to trade successfully in overseas markets.

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Photo by Wassim Chouak on Unsplash

Sustained export growth should be powering our economic recovery from the pandemic. Chambers and their members are already working hard to increase exports but need more substantive measures from government now.

However, it has been a tough time for exporters. A survey of more than 2,700 UK exporters has revealed that export sales growth has been effectively stagnant for the past year. The British Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook showed that the proportion of exporters reporting increased overseas sales was unchanged from Q4 at 29%, while those reporting a decrease rose one point to 25%. The data showed that manufacturers were more likely to report increased export sales than either business-to-business (B2B) service firms (such as lawyers or accountants) or business-toconsumer (B2C) service firms (such as online clothing stores).

Germany’s exports both within and outside the Single Market

steaming ahead by double-digit margins and with trade losses from the pandemic already effectively recovered.

“UK exporters are facing the

headwinds of higher red tape

costs from trading with the EU, raised raw material pressures, and ongoing issues in global

shipping markets. If we are to

realise the aspirations of the UK

government’s Export Strategy then 2022 has to be the year where

these structural factors holding

back our exporters are addressed. “Sustained export growth should be powering our economic

recovery from the pandemic.

Chambers and their members are

Conversely, though, B2B service exporters were more likely than either manufacturers or B2C service exporters to expect profitability to increase in the coming year.

already working hard to increase

Responding to the findings, William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “This data confirms our concerns – that for the last year there was a broadly flat picture for UK exports. This is in contrast with the performance of our near neighbours, with


exports but need more substantive measures from government now.” Another survey has also

pinpointed international markets

as a key driver of future growth for

A quarterly survey of more than

a thousand companies that trade

overseas showed that 37 per cent named international markets as

sources of growth, compared with only 34 per cent citing the UK market.

It’s the first time since the Santander UK trade barometer research began in 2017 that overseas markets have trumped the domestic market as the main driver for company growth. A quarter of the companies said that they were now selling more in international markets than before Brexit on January 1, 2021, up from only 17 per cent previously. In separate news, the BCC has called for Swiss trade negotiations to build a better deal for Kent firms that trade in this market. Responding to plans for negotiations on a new trade agreement with Switzerland, William Bain said: “Businesses will welcome the call for input into these new Swiss-UK negotiations getting underway later this year.

on digital trade, green trade and

an SME chapter within a revised trade agreement.

“London, the south east and

east of England already have

especially strong export links to

Switzerland. We look forward to

sharing our ideas with government on a bespoke, ambitious trade

agreement with Switzerland which boosts our exports right across the UK.”

Switzerland is the UK’s fifth

largest export market for services, amounting to 4.1% of the UK’s

entire services exports per year.

Particular UK export strengths to

the Swiss market are in business,

financial, telecommunications and transport services.

Existing Swiss-UK trading terms

“Switzerland is the UK’s tenth largest trading partner with a relationship worth £34.5bn in total trade in 2020. The trade surplus the UK had with Switzerland in 2020 was more than £14bn.

do not cover services market

“We would urge negotiators not to dislodge the current provisions on rules of origin – these are highly important for UK supply and manufacturing supply chains.

The UK government is holding

“There are also opportunities to secure bespoke arrangements

reached by the two countries prior

access issues and the Services Mobility Agreement in force is

limited to only 90-day stays for work purposes without a work permit.

an eight-week public consultation on the negotiations. The new agreement will replace the

continuity trade agreement

to the UK’s exit from the EU.

Thinking Business


Members News

New course for boosting workplace motivation The last two years have seen a seismic shift in how we work, when and where. It all got turned on its head overnight and some of us haven’t been as able as others to keep up with the pace or accept the changes. Homeworking and being away from the team, away from the team talk, communal kitchen and chats at the photocopier doesn’t suit everyone. Loneliness, isolation, stress, too much responsibility or running a business on your own can all lead to a lack of motivation and lower productivity and focus. Business coach and neuro-linguistic programming Chamber member Rob Smith from Fulfilment Coaching is offering help, with a course of twiceweekly sessions aimed at helping people to adjust. He’s running it with another coach who specialises in wellbeing.

Why 75% of millennials don’t have life insurance When you’re young, death can seem too far away to think about – and too awful to consider. However, many millennials (born 1981-1996) are now parents and failing to plan early for the family in the event of their death can cause significant issues. It will often be their parents who talk to them about life insurance, in the same way they might have been on-hand to advise on moving out, renting or buying a home. What happens if you don’t have life insurance? Your family will not receive any

Contact Rob to find out more or receive more information:

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Why millennials aren’t taking out life insurance: They don’t know enough about it or who to ask. 67% don’t have time to look through and understand the options or they simply don’t want to discuss death. They might be relying on inheritance or the ‘bank of Mum & Dad’ or they simply can’t afford it.

I don’t have children – do I need it? If you have property or assets that someone will be dealing with after your death, then yes! Have I left it too late? No! Although life insurance does get more expensive the older you are when you take it out, there are many options. Plus, the benefits far outweigh the expense! However, if you start a policy when you’re younger, you will already have the expense in your budgeting. If you’d like help and advice and to find out more email

Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade raises vital funds for Kent hospice

The group sessions will run on Mondays (a choice of morning or evening) and Friday lunchtimes, to look at what’s causing a lack of motivation and offer solutions on how to overcome those slow days when it all feels like an uphill struggle. Business can be a lonely place, whether you’re a solopreneur juggling all the balls or heading up large teams, budgets, projects and workloads. Employees working differently than they did two years ago also need some support. The course is for everyone and will run from mid-June.

‘death benefit’ funds, meaning they could be left to cover costs relating to funeral costs (average bill can be £5000), outstanding debts, any tax due and bereavement counselling. If you are the primary breadwinner, the family may lose its main income too.

Last June, the streets of Maidstone and surrounding areas were transformed overnight by 52 bright and colourful Elmer sculptures, seen by the river, in town and in local parks. This was the start of Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, organised by Heart of Kent Hospice.

For the hospice, the event raised £312,750 at auction, enabling it to continue providing the vital services free-of-charge. It also put the hospice at the front of people’s minds, raised awareness of its work and helped to dispel myths about hospice care. In addition, it built and strengthened partnerships with local businesses and helped to engage with the business community. With brand recognition of the Heart of Kent Hospice stronger than ever, there has never been a better time to get involved with the charity. Supporting it will positively benefit your business and demonstrate your commitment to the community. The hospice fundraising team believes in building long-lasting,

mutually beneficial partnerships. A partnership with the hospice brings many rewards and helps your business to meet its environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) objectives. So, how can you get involved? Enter a corporate karting evening in September at Buckmore Park. This is a fun and engaging event to bring your team together after the summer break. Select the hospice as your Charity of the Year and form a long-lasting partnership that will benefit your business and our patients. For more information visit

Members News

Providing Precision Colour to Change Lives. Cerium Visual Technologies is a medical manufacturing company, working within the optical industry worldwide. CVT was granted full licence to manufacture and distribute the Intuitive Colorimeter in 1993 from the Medical Research Council, UK. The IC is a medical device used by trained vision specialists to determine optimal colours that may reduce symptoms of visual stress and can in turn promote improvement in reading performance. Over the past 25 years, CVT has worked to innovate and evolve, bringing four generations of the Intuitive Colorimeter to market and

tinting many thousands of pairs of precision tinted spectacle lenses at their in-house specialist tinting facility.

The latest generation of instrument was developed in partnership with The University of Essex under a government programme facilitated by Innovate UK and was quickly nominated for Product the Year by the Association of Optometrists.

As a small team, CVT is proud of building meaningful relationships with their customers, suppliers, wider industry and beyond.

34 years after setting up Rap Interiors, founders Rick and Julie Anderson are handing over the reins to new family owners Parry Anderson and Martyn Pilcher.

The technology is now used in optometry practices, universities, and hospitals worldwide.

Having already been in directorial roles for a number of years, it is a natural transition for Parry and Martyn. Rick and Julie will also remain on the board of directors to ensure a smooth changeover in the ensuing months.

Run from a head office based in the Kent countryside, CVT places a heavy emphasis on its core values of Innovation, Quality, Integrity and Commitment. CVT is committed to supporting further research and development into the use of colour and it’s benefits and works closely with professionals and academic bodies.

Communicate and connect local community messaging app Dropalo, is a communitybased messaging app that leverages localised geospatial/geolocation capabilities, to allow you to communicate and connect with those around you, wherever you are.

It is Hyperlocal and unlike other apps, it allows you to communicate, and discover what’s going on in your local community, like a university campus, business park and warehouse with hundreds of employees/staff and (smart) towns and cities and makes it easy to “Drop a Line” and place messages

Photo by mentatdgt

Rap Interiors Announces Change of Ownership

at geolocations. The idea is simple, we are no longer tied to physical locations and messaging with an augmented geospatial messaging capability opens up more opportunities, markets and reaches the intended audiences with minimal friction.

Dropalo allows you to share what matters to you with those around you. You can let your voice be heard and start conversations that matter. It helps keep things focused and reduces the noise from those not within your target audience. To find out more visit

From its modest beginnings, Rick and Julie have built up the company to include a team of designers, estimators, project managers and marketing professionals. This has resulted in Rap Interiors building an incredible portfolio of work, including offices, schools and healthcare facilities. Clients are already commenting how delighted they are that the company is staying ‘in the family’. This has given them confidence that the company’s high standards will remain the same. Parry Anderson comments: “Rick and Julie have built an incredible company from scratch into what Rap Interiors is to date. Martyn and I are looking forward to the challenges in carrying on the work ethic which has produced exceptional results for clients.” Martyn Pilcher comments: “It’s been an incredible journey so far from an initial conversation to this day where we take over the business. We will maintain the service and incredible ethos Rap has strived for but also have our own goals and targets we’d like to achieve.” While Martyn, Parry and the team are committed to taking Rap Interiors forward, it’s fair to say that the company will not be the same without its founders. That said, Rick and Julie can look back and be incredibly proud of what they have achieved through their unbelievable dedication and hard work. Their retirement is well deserved!

Thinking Business


Members News

New Brachers advises on sale of partnership C & D Logistics South East is “best in class” A.W. Jenkinson, based in Cumbria, is a forestry company that provides saw milling, wood processing, building, demolition and logistics and deals with several industries including pulp, paper and panel manufacture, energy generation, agriculture, horticulture and amenity markets.

Document Direct is delighted to announce its partnership with FormEvo.

FormEvo provides the only vendor-independent online legal forms library in the UK. Legal forms are the organisation’s only business so its focus is developing electronic and digital legal forms that are easy to use, can be shared with clients and then e-signed. Martyn Best, MD of Document Direct, said: “When our teams are transcribing legal forms, they do find that those supplied by government offices and CMS providers are often inflexible and hard to use. FormEvo forms, though, are purpose-built to support both the government’s and the law firm’s requirements. With efficiency and quality at the top of our service, it’s vital that our clients have access to the most up-to-date forms and that they’re current and accurate. Our partnership with FormEvo is a true example of best in class meets best in class.” Archie Courage, MD of FormEvo, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Document Direct. Their commitment to working with all of the leading CMS providers to integrate seamlessly with their client’s systems mirrors our own. “Add to that our shared ethos on pricing, security and best-in-class service and the two businesses sit very well together.”

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South-East based law firm Brachers, a patron of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, has advised the shareholders of C & D Logistics South East on its successful sale to A.W. Jenkinson. C & D Logistics is a transport and commercial workshop facility based in Queenborough, Kent. It provides open storage facilities for the commercial trade as well as retail caravan parking/storage.

This is the third time Brachers has worked with C & D’s managing director, Chris Minnican, having previously advised him on the purchase of D.F Services (Kent) and the sale of J & R Handling Services. Corporate partner, Matthew Simmonds, led the deal supported by solicitors Alistair Wickham and Kieron Cummins. The team advised on all aspects of the transaction, including negotiating the sale agreement and undertaking due diligence.

Whitehead Monckton advises on Abell Nepp sale Whitehead Monckton’s corporate team has advised the shareholders of Abell Nepp Architects on the sale of the company’s entire issued share capital to Buro Happold Engineers.

Abell Nepp is a London-based specialist in the planning and design of research, diagnostic and clinical research laboratories. The company has worked with national and international clients to design scientific facilities in the academic, commercial and institutional sectors operating in the biomedical, chemical, bioengineering and physics disciplines. Buro Happold is an international, integrated consultancy of engineers, consultants and

advisers with a presence in 31 locations worldwide, more than 70 partners and over 2,000 employees.

Whitehead Monckton’s team was led by Haggai Peri who guided the sellers. Speaking of the sale, Haggai Peri said: “We’re delighted to see this transaction complete successfully. This will enable the two firms to combine practices and deliver a seamless service to their clients, including specialist design of optimal environments for scientists, clinical specialists and technicians alongside integrated engineering services. “We have a long and successful track record of acting for independently owned and managed

Andrew Cooper at UHY Hacker Young advised on accountancy aspects of the deal and Giles Ford at Hallett and Co provided property support. Matthew Simmonds said: “I’m so pleased for Chris and Debbie that they’ve achieved a successful sale of the business that they and their families have built during the last 20 years. I’ve worked closely with Chris for almost ten years and on a personal level I’m delighted for him. My congratulations also go to the team at a A.W. Jenkinson who I’m sure will be great custodians of the business going forward.”

Chris Minnican said: “Matt and his team at Brachers were, as always, brilliant. They guided us through the process with our best interests at heart. I’m so grateful for their support and would highly recommend them.” businesses in Kent and London which, having developed unrivalled expertise in their sector, then opt for integration into a larger corporate setting. Chris and Bruce have been wonderful to work with, and this deal is the result of their hard work and dedication. They’ve both accepted senior management positions with Buro Happold and we wish them every success in the future.” Director and shareholder, Chris Abell, said: “Haggai Peri and the team at Whitehead Monckton dealt with the complexities of the legal process with professional competence and expertise. Always responding quickly with clear and helpful advice to assist our decision making, their commitment was invaluable.” Director and shareholder, Bruce Nepp, added: “Haggai continually strived to progress the transaction and resolve any issues, applying a commercial approach and acting always in our best interest.”

Members News

The benefits of opening a business in Folkestone Mark Sargeant recently announced he is returning to the Kent restaurant scene with his new art-deco inspired restaurant ‘The Brasserie MS’. Kent is growing increasingly popular with business owners, especially in Folkestone, but why are they navigating to ‘The Garden of England’? Mark, along with other businesses, are steering towards Kent for seemingly two main reasons: Firstly, it’s cheaper than London. Even though you can travel into London by train in about 50 minutes, Folkestone is a considerably cheaper place to live and to open a new business

with the average cost to rent a space for retail much lower in Kent compared to London. There is, of course, the risk of less footfall compared to London. However, with Kent’s 1.8million population and strong community spirit, if you’re worth travelling for, the people will come. With easy links to London, you’ll also capture many day trippers.

Secondly, Folkestone is highly rated. Folkestone is ranked amongst the top 30 places to live in the UK which is evident by its welcoming community and family friendly vibe. As a seaside town, tourism will be continuous throughout

the year, which is great news for businesses. With restaurants, bars and entertainment opening on the Harbour Arm and improvements to the town centre, Folkestone is becoming the go-to destination, which is one of the many reasons Mark has chosen to open The Brasserie MS in Folkstone. The brasserie's mouth-watering menu showcases local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients of the highest quality, whilst celebrating the classic French culinary, ensuring a dining experience to remember, all in the heart of Folkstone. For further information visit:

Brachers advises international logistics firm on property sale and purchase Brachers’ corporate and commercial property teams have advised on two backto-back high-value transactions for Turkish owned international distribution and logistics operation, IKRA.

IKRA was formed in 1992 and is currently based in six countries, with 16 offices and 1,000 employees. The company handles around 35,000 shipments per year in road, sea and airfreight services. The initial transaction involved the multi-million-pound sale and leaseback of IKRA’s UK headquarters in Belvedere, south east London. Brachers simultaneously advised IKRA on the purchase of a significant new property site outside of Ashford,

The New Beer Sensation! Karara Foods are proud to introduce CHUKO CHUKO, an aromatic and spicy beer from master chef Paul Babra.

Kent, which will be developed into the new UK headquarters central distribution hub for the business.

Senior associate Katherine Morgan advised on all commercial property aspects of the transaction, with corporate partner Claire Williams, assisted by solicitor Kieron Cummins, advising on the corporate elements of the deal. This included IKRA’s purchase of shares in the company that owns their new Ashford site. The transactions were adeptly facilitated by Richard SetonClements, director at CBRE. Eversheds Sutherland acted for the buyer of IKRA’s Belvedere property, with Hill Dickinson representing the sellers of the Ashford site company. All parties worked closely and to challenging timescales, to ensure both transactions were successfully aligned. Claire Williams commented: “It was a pleasure to work with our new A keen real ale enthusiast, Paul came up with the idea for producing an original spicy beer with a unique Indian twist, created using carefully selected ingredients with the same passion that creates his food. So working in partnership with Kent Brewer, Boutilliers, Paul used his lifetime of expertise in selecting and blending the perfect spices to perfect and produce Chuko Chuko.

client, IKRA, on this exciting new deal. We’re delighted that they’ve chosen a site in Kent to be their new UK central distribution hub and a gateway into Europe.”

Richard Seton-Clements added: “ Having worked with IKRA for many years, and knowing the potential challenges of a tied sale, the Brachers team, especially Katherine, Claire and Kieron, rose to the challenges, resolved the issues and communicated perfectly throughout to both the buying and selling team and has ensured IKRAs continued business growth.” IKRA’s UK managing director, Amir Aliyev, said: “This is an exciting time for us at IKRA, and we anticipate that the expansion of our business to our new headquarters in Ashford will enable us to provide an even better service to our customers both in the UK and across our international offering.” The result is an ABV 5% beer with a very distinctive flavour that makes it a great complement to any meal, both mild and spicy. Chuko Chuko contains only natural ingredients with Barley Allergens, is Vegan friendly and available is 375ml bottles. Chuko Chuko is ONLY AVAILABLE from Karara Foods at Macknade Food Court so pop down today and pick up a bottle!

A new home for Canterbury marketing agency Brandspace Media The Brandspace Media team have moved offices to a new location at the Canterbury Innovation Centre. The full-service creative agency has long called Canterbury its home but has now moved to the Centre which has better meeting room facilities along with an area for a more informal chat in the onsite café and lounge where plenty of lovely refreshments are available. Meetings can also be held outside on the sun deck as the warmer weather arrives! The team also love that the Innovation Centre is perfectly situated to support and encourage new businesses to take their first steps in the commercial world. The building itself, apart from having amazing views over the city, is also environmentally sustainable which helps Brandspace support the region’s commitment to environmental and economic stability. Brandspace Media is very much looking forward to being surrounded by the other inspirational businesses based at the centre and looks forward to getting to know them all. Brandspace Media - taking care of your brand Thinking Business


Is your marketing hitting the mark? E-BIKE SALES, HIRE AND TOURS All bikes serviced and repaired Whether it be the folding electric bike ideal for the daily commute, or the mountain bike built for rugged country cycling, we have tried and tested each model so we know you are getting the cycling experience you are looking for. Come and hire electric bikes from us and take yourself an a award-winning self-guided tour. We provide maps and directions so you can visit The Weald of Kent’s great attractions, including magnificent gardens, award-winning vineyards, churches, pretty market towns and historic pubs. Recently became the best e-bike tour company in the UK 2022 and voted best e-bike self-guided tour in the South East 2021

Speak to an expert on 01622 890300 UK Electric Bike Centre, Headcorn Airfield, Shenley Road, Headcorn, Kent TN27 9HX

Book our appraisal to find out. We'll look at: • Website content • Social media posts • LinkedIn profiles • Target audience

• Key messages • Branding • Customer journey • Printed materials

Does your marketing need some direction?


Book now: • Two-hour research meeting • Mini report to follow • Suggestions for improvements

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07748 631100

Become a Corporate Partner and support a #WilderKent Our Corporate Partnerships include: Use of our corporate logo

Kent Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading conservation charity, creating a more sustainable and wilder future in Kent. We work closely with corporates to build meaningful, purpose-led partnerships which help businesses reach their environmental and sustainability ambitions, whilst protecting and restoring nature for wildlife and people in Kent. Image ©Tom Marshall

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Staff membership discount Volunteering days Networking opportunities And much more!

Find out more on our website or email

Community charity utilises resources Thanington Resource Centre is a very successful community charity, set back from the A28 in Thanington close to the A2 and the Wincheap Park & Ride. There is always a warm welcome and a cup of tea waiting! The building is fully accessible and has a large car park with Blue Badge spaces. The charity makes its money by renting out its state-of-the-art meeting, training rooms, and offices rather than by grant funding. The rooms are well equipped for all types of presentations and hybrid meetings, there is also an IT suite and large hall. Buffets and a wide range of refreshments are freshly prepared on the premises to order. The aim of the charity is to employ local people and

provide activities and youth clubs to widen opportunities, ambition, and experiences, which break the cycle of poverty and under achievement. Crime has reduced by more than 50% since the centre was built and the majority of the trustees or volunteers are local residents.

The business model works well, enabling local people to gain skills and training; by using the facilities, businesses and organisations become part of our sustainability by helping a community to help themselves.

New conference, training & meeting facilities now available in Canterbury A range of roomsand settings How to find £10 us an hour A range of rooms from and settings hour

Facilities include: from £10 an • • • • •

Ample free parking

Facilities include:

Dropped Ample free kerb parking and designated disabled Dropped kerb and designated disabled spaces

spaces Fully Fully accessible buildingbuilding and toilets and accessible Integral and mobile audio loop systems toilets Integral overhead LCD projectors with sound system and automatic screen Integral A range ofand excellent buffet &audio cateringloop mobile options systems IT suite Internet and e-mail access overhead Integral Fax, printing and copying LCD Flip charts projectors with sound system TV and DVD automatic screen and Crèche Café and kitchen facilities A range of refreshments Wi-Fi Baby change

Booking To book any of our facilities or to

The Centre is situated on the A28 Ashford road approximately a mile from Canterbury

•CityACentre. range & We of haveexcellent parking for upbuffet to 40 vehicles. Bus route numbers 652 and 400 catering options pass by the entrance with Wincheap Park

Ride just round the corner. Canterbury •and IT suite East and West railway stations are a short

Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre

distance away.


Booking To book any of our facilities or to look around with no obligation, please telephone 01227 767720, e-mail or visit our website Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre Thanington Road, Canterbury Kent CT1 3XE Phone: 01227 767720 E-mail: Website: Registered Charity No: 1102356

Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre Thanington Road, Canterbury Kent CT1 3XE Tel: 01227 767720 Email: Registered Charity No: 1155263

Members News

Fawkham offers engineering support to businesses Fawkham Technical Services is a Kentbased company that provides engineering and project support services to industrial and commercial organisations.

Our clients know their own core practices. Our role is to provide assistance in areas around those core practices, help to keep production running smoothly and implement changes that can increase the efficiency or durability of their processes. We’re able take over mundane or time-consuming tasks, provide technical data and experience, and help to give the client back their time so that they may concentrate on considered decisions and focus on their priorities and strategy. The support that we provide is tailored around the client. We can help to run the day-today operations on a specific project or production process, carry out investigations and produce reports, and offer independent advice on potential improvements. We’re also able to assist in organising these activities without implementing generic procedures or blanket policies. This flexible way of working enables us to assist companies that may not be in a position to employ dedicated engineering support, take control of their activities and move their business forward. Thinking Business


Members News

Do fire sprinklers have sustainable benefits? RAD Tym Wright The main benefits of fire sprinklers are their ability to save lives and limit damage. But did you know they can help lower the planet’s carbon footprint too? Tym Wright from RAD Fire Sprinklers explains how… Pollution reduction Sprinkler systems help to ensure that a fire is dealt with quickly and prevent its spread. They can therefore reduce the number of greenhouse gases that fire releases into the air. In fact, FM Global found that greenhouse gases can be reduced by 98% when fire sprinklers are installed. Water savings Firefighters tackling a blaze can release hundreds of gallons of water per minute but this amount of water loss can be prevented. Automatic fire sprinklers release a small amount of water – around 15 gallons per minute – considerably lower than if the emergency services are called. This reduces water usage and allows the fire engine to be utilised elsewhere. Also, the water from a firefighter’s hose is far more damaging to a building, so fire sprinklers can, in addition, save costs on repairs. Medical waste A sprinkler system can reduce fire damage by 97%. Buildings without these prevention systems can suffer more severe and harmful injuries. In 2018, burn injuries cost the NHS £20 million per annum. The medical waste produced cannot be recycled as it is biohazardous and will need to be incinerated, releasing greenhouse gases. RAD fire sprinklers Our quick response fire sprinklers allow people to safely escape, and reduce damage caused by the spread of the fire or firefighters’ hoses.

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Clean cricket in Kent this summer If you’re at any of the Kent cricket matches this summer, look out for Chamber member Calibre Cleaning.

For the third year running, they will be making sure that thousands of spectators enjoy a clean visit to Kent Cricket’s sites in Canterbury and Beckenham. If you don’t spot them busily working in the background, look for their board up on the pitches. Toilets will be cleaned throughout the day, floors mopped, handles wiped, to ensure guests feel clean and safe during their day out. Karen Thomas, who runs the company, said: “Cleaning is one of those things that people only really notice when it’s not done.

“But when it is done and surfaces look clean and the air smells fresh, you feel comfortable.

“We work to very high standards and will make sure that busy areas are checked and kept clean and fresh throughout the day. “People want to enjoy the day and Kent Cricket relies on us to help them deliver that, with regular and frequent cleaning, plus clearing up any mess or spills quickly and ensuring resources such as loo roll is topped up – there’s nothing worse than finding it empty! “We work with many large clients across Kent, with each having their own requirements of what they want and how they like things to be done.

Totally Natural Solutions wins prestigious business award in overseas sales over the last three years. Since 2019, TNS has seen its overseas sales grow by 89 per cent following an export strategy that focused on beverage markets in United States, Europe and south east Asia. TNS currently provides its natural hop oil solutions to more than 650 breweries worldwide.

Colin Wilson Totally Natural Solutions (TNS), a supplier of natural and sustainable hop oils to the global brewing industry, has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International Trade, following a period of significant international sales growth. The honour is recognition of the UK-based company’s “outstanding short-term growth”

The UK-wide Queen’s Award for Enterprise is regarded as one of the most prestigious business awards programmes in the world. Its International Trade award is given to businesses that demonstrate how they are excelling in overseas marketplaces, through clear delivery of products while identifying new markets and upholding social, economic and environmental best practices. TNS recently celebrated a successful year of growth, where turnover increased by 44 per cent from £2.7 million in 2020 to £3.9 million in 2021. It has also

“From car showrooms to tourist attractions, office blocks and housing, we cover a broad range of industries and enjoy making everything fresh and nice ready for the next day. “We’d love to hear from Chamber members if we can help them with their cleaning.”

Calibre Cleaning Karen Thomas seen strong growth in its zeroalcohol range, HopZero®, which is designed to help brewers create quality alcohol-free products in a sustainable way. Colin Wilson, managing director of Totally Natural Solutions who established the company in 2013, said: “We’re thrilled to have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for our success in international trade. It’s testament to the incredible hard work and dedication of our whole team over the past three years, where we’ve managed to significantly grow our sales at home and abroad despite the sector’s challenging trading environment. “Around 70 per cent of our business is outside of the UK, so exports are vital to our success and continued growth. We’re seeing significant increase in export sales in many markets, with South Korea currently our fastest growing, and growing interest in Australia and New Zealand amongst others.” For more information visit

The Leading Independent Regional Land & Property Auctioneers


an Exciting Way to Sell and Buy Land & Property

Suitable Lots Include

We are continually inviting entries for our auctions which are scheduled throughout the year. We are only an email, call, or click away 0345 8500333 If you would like to arrange a no obligation auction appraisal please do not hesitate to contact us or complete our online form at

Projects Building plots, development sites and conversions. Vacant Premises Houses, flats, bungalows for improvement, renovation restoration, refurbishment and/or repair (inc. fire damaged premises). Investments Tenanted properties (commercial and residential). Unique Properties Martello towers, nuclear bunkers, car parking spaces, churches and more. Land Farms and smallholdings, woodland, grazing and leisure land.

Tel: 0345 8500333 Email:

Every week we bring you an eclectic mix of information sessions, networking events, workshops, panel sessions and training sessions with some of the top local business professionals from an array of different industries. Each event is designed to offer invaluable up-to-date information tailored to our attendee’s wants and needs, as well as networking opportunities to help you grow your business. With many events held online and across Kent, you’re sure to find the right one for your business.

Kent Construction Focus Group (KCFG) Tuesday 7th June Customs Procedures, including IPR, OPR and RGR Tuesday 7th June Virtual Business Networking Tuesday 7th June Chamber Connections Networking Thursday 9th June | Discovery Park, Sandwich We Are Listening: Creativity, Culture and Heritage Tuesday 14th June | Kent Invicta Chamber, Ashford

Networking, Tour and Tasting at Copper Rivet Distillery

Networking and Behind The Scenes Tour of The Marlowe Theatre

Meet other businesses and tour one of the UK’s only farm to glass distilleries. This event will start as we gather in the Pumproom bar for networking, followed by a guided tour of Copper Rivet Distillery

The Marlowe Theatre re-opened in October 2011 after an extensive rebuild and has since become one of this country’s leading regional theatres and an influential creative voice in our region.

This tour includes a rare chance to experience the entire distillation process from grain to glass. After the tour we will be tasting crafted spirits.

During this event there will also be plenty of networking opportunities, giving you the chance to connect with like-minded individuals from local businesses of all sizes.

Thursday 16th June 2022 10:30am - 12:30pm Members: £20.00 + VAT Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT

Wednesday 27th July 2022 9:00am - 11:00am Members: £10.00 + VAT Non-Members: £15.00 + VAT

South East Chamber Networking Wednesday 15th June Business Talks: Tour and Tasting Thursday 16th June | Copper Rivet Distillery, Chatham Trade and Finance (For Importers and Exporters) Tuesday 21st June Virtual Business Networking Tuesday 21st June How To Ensure Inclusion In A Hybrid Workforce Thursday 23rd June We Are Listening: Environmental Sustainability Strategy Tuesday 28th June | Kent Invicta Chamber, Ashford Global Annual Conference Thursday 30th June | QEII Centre, London Kent Construction Focus Group (KCFG) Tuesday 5th July Virtual Business Networking Tuesday 5th July Compassionate Leadership and The Great Resignation Thursday 7th July Chamber Connections Networking Thursday 14th July | The Orida Hotel, Maidstone Virtual Business Networking Tuesday 19th July Getting Started With Google Analytics 4 Tuesday 26th July Business Talks: Behind The Scenes Tour Wednesday 27th July | The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

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Hosted by members of the KCFG committee, Cheryl Causebrook and Ella Brocklebank, we bring you KCFG Live! The Kent Construction Focus Group (KCFG) is a one-stop-shop for local businesses to discuss the future of Kent development, giving companies access to local knowledge, expertise and contracts. KCFG promotes the future role of Kent land development and construction businesses in the growth and development of Kent and its environment. The session will start promptly at 7:30am for a chance to be put into breakout rooms and network with the other attendees. The first Tuesday of every month 7:30am - 9:30am | The Village Hotel, Maidstone KCFG Members: £22.50 + VAT | Non-Members: £32.50 + VAT

We are listening... Together with the University of Kent, we bring you a series of workshops as we want to do more to support our region’s economic and social challenges. We are listening to businesses in the region to find out what expertise and business support could help you to increase your business productivity and growth. We need your input to help us deliver to your needs, so we hugely encourage you to come along and play your part in helping to shape the future of business in Kent and Medway. Creativity, Culture and Heritage | Tuesday 14th June Environmental Sustainability Strategy | Tuesday 28th June 9:30am - 12:00pm | Kent Invicta Chamber, Ashford Members: Free to attend | Non-Members: Free to attend

Virtual Business Networking is a bi-weekly, fun way of networking which is highly interactive, sparking interesting conversations and aims to bring like-minded people together, guide forward new ideas and form new business relationships.

Conversation with our guest speaker will be followed by three breakout room sessions where attendees can delve deeper into discussion, or discuss their own topic in more depth. Every other Tuesday | 10:30am - 12:00pm Members: Free to attend | Non-Members: Free to attend

Chamber Connections

Customs Procedures | Tuesday 7th June | 9:30am - 1:00pm

These informal events will give you an opportunity to promote your business and make invaluable connections with local businesses in Kent. ‘Chamber Connections Networking’ is a new networking event, free to both members and non-members.

Delegates will gain an understanding of the relationship between Trade and Customs and an appreciation of what happens at each stage of the trade process. Trade and Finance | Tuesday 21st June | 9:30am - 1:00pm

Each month will be in a new location, so to be inclusive of all businesses in Kent.

Delegates should leave with an improved appreciation of the way trade procedures and payment instruments can be employed to the advantage of exporters, as well as importers.

‘It is not just who YOU know, its who they know – the power of connections!’

Members: £56.25 + VAT | Non-Members: £67.50 + VAT

10:30am - 12:00pm Members: Free to attend | Non-Members: Free to attend

Thinking Business


Sian turns to meditation to beat stress By Sian Negal, Bloom Meditation I’ve been operating in the SME space for about seven years now, and running my own company for four of those, albeit in a different industry. In 2018 I was running a successful recruitment business but although the agency was thriving, sadly I wasn’t. I had staff issues, I was overworked, stressed and in actual fact overwhelmed by my life. It got to the point when I realised that this isn’t how I want to live my life: tired, unhappy, unable to find

Dionne champions positive mental health By Dionne Tester, mental health specialist and trainer at Haydon Tester Consultancy

joy. It was all too much hard work. Things needed to change so I turned to meditation.

Very quickly I became calm, less angry, slept better, could think more clearly and was more productive. Furthermore, I was happy! I felt as though I had awakened from a fog. I felt inspired and, most importantly, able to cope. I was in control of ‘me’ again. The effects were so profound I even stopped taking the antidepressants I was prescribed. Don’t get me Well, the pandemic has left us all with an emotional hangover. I used to be a teacher and worked in the mental health and trauma field as a practitioner alongside my work as a teacher. Mental health has always been a passion of mine, but like many great ideas and passions it never seemed the right time. I then got diagnosed with cancer and thought, hang on, I wanted to change the world and I got lost in the day to day. So, now I’m doing just that. I offer mental health first aid training and awareness courses for children aged 14-18 and for adults in the

wrong, there are ups and downs but the difference is now the downs are never as bad and if it’s a tricky period, I know I’m much more in control of my emotions and challenges soon pass.

This is why I retrained as a meditation teacher and set up Bloom Meditation. I feel that it’s my purpose to share my experiences with others in business who are going through what I did, to show them a healthier way to manage their wellbeing. workplace. I also offer mental health consultancy, policy development in mental health and safeguarding. In addition, I’m able to deliver safeguarding level three courses. I’ve discovered that offering your staff this form of training has a massively positive impact on your business. People are more present and effective because they feel listened to and invested in. Most importantly, they know that mental health is not a taboo subject that no-one is able to discuss. Please look at my website and read my blogs.

Hearing Matters for good quality of life By Samantha Fairchild, director and audiologist at Hearing Matters

As the director of Hearing Matters in Kent, my passion is helping people to improve their hearing. As an experienced audiologist of 13 years, I know how a hearing loss can affect a person’s quality of life as well as that of those around them. Whether you need a quick scan hearing test, a thorough hearing assessment to assess the health of each part of your ear, servicing of your current hearing aids, tinnitus advice, or ear wax removal with micro-suction, we can tailor your appointment to suit your individual needs.

You can then choose to trial or buy hearing aids and accessories from a wide range of manufacturers as appropriate. These will be fitted accurately to your prescription to enhance the clarity of speech that you hear whilst reducing background noise. This is accompanied by a free personalised aftercare package which is tailored to your needs, as well as a two or five-year warranty, optional remote access support, and a free app to allow you to adjust the settings of the latest hearing aids with your smart phone.

We offer rechargeable and batteryoperated options and a wide variety of shapes and sizes of hearing aids. Some are small and discrete; some are larger for people with eyesight or dexterity problems. The right pair of hearing aids could massively improve your quality of life. We also offer a 30-day money back guarantee for complete peace of mind.

Health and Wellbeing

Infinity promotes wellness and mindfulness In 2016, Stephanie Unthank realised her passion for health and wellbeing as she emerged from a 20-year career in organisational change and transformation. This enthusiasm, her skills and experience have culminated in the establishment of Infinity Wellness and Mindfulness, a business based in Kent that supports organisations to design and develop sustainable wellbeing strategies for their workplace, changing wellbeing culture for the long term.

Steph and her team of associates have two key areas of focus: they work across the UK and globally inspire clients to engage deeply in the wellbeing agenda through their tried and tested model of “Discover, Design and Activate”, which supports longterm wellbeing change. They also deliver mindfulness-based teachings to individuals and groups in education, the charity sector and at organisational level. Steph and her team are experienced in mindfulness teaching and are all qualified and registered with the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches and the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body. Stephanie is described as “unique in her delivery; inspiring, engaging and energetic in her approach and she keeps the conversation real”. Steph and her team make mindfulness amd wellbeing change relatable, accessible and give it a modern twist, supporting its integration into day-to-day life. Infinity Wellness & Mindfulness clients include Siemens, ITV, Magnox, Web Connectivity, The International Compliance Association, Wilmington and Citizens Advice amongst others. For more details visit

Thinking Business


Business News

Gatwick announces additional focused consultation on its Northern Runway plans – with updated highways design Gatwick has announced that it will start a focused statutory public consultation on Tuesday 14 June 2022 about its plans to bring the airport’s existing Northern Runway into routine use alongside its Main Runway.

The consultation will focus on the airport’s updated highway design, which has changed in response to feedback received during the Autumn 2021 consultation. It will run for just over six weeks, until 11:59pm on Wednesday 27 July 2022. Full details of the revised plans for the roads around the airport will be published at the start of the consultation and will newly include proposals to:

Horticulture Research Centre opens its doors in Kent The £11.3 million GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture was recently officially opened by Tom Tugendhat MP at NIAB’s East Malling site. The Hub will provide the UK horticulture and viticulture industry with access to a new state-of-theart research facility. It includes 2,000m² of specialist glasshouses, 14 modern polytunnels, growth rooms and cold rooms. Professor Mario Caccamo, NIAB CEO, said: “The site at East Malling in Kent has a long history of delivering exceptional research to advance horticultural production. As the sector makes significant progress in areas such as robotics and intelligent growing systems, these fantastic new facilities mean we can continue to provide cutting-edge research that reflects the technology being used by commercial growers. “The Hub will also enable our research teams to advance their work in important areas such as plant genetics, pest and disease control, crop management and our world-renowned fruit breeding programmes.”

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• •

Significantly redesign the original plan for the North Terminal junction

Add a new lane westbound over the Brighton main rail line Add a third lane to the A23 approaching Longbridge roundabout

The plans for the South Terminal roundabout remain largely unchanged. When publishing the consultation, Gatwick will also provide an update on other aspects of its Northern Runway plan, following feedback from the initial public consultation last year. The UK Government has also today published its 10-point plan for Aviation – a strategy designed to

build an industry that is not only fit for the future, but one that is also world leading. Gatwick’s plans align closely with the Government’s strategy to rebuild consumer confidence, build back sustainably from the pandemic, support jobs and build a skilled and diverse workforce that is fit for the future. The airport’s proposal would see the airport’s Northern Runway brought into routine use, for departing aircraft, by repositioning its centre line further north by 12 metres enabling dual runway operations with the airport’s Main Runway. The Northern Runway could be operational by summer 2029. The majority of the construction works associated with the airfield would be contained within the existing airport boundary and the cost of works approximately £500m - will be privately financed. The proposals are also low impact, are in line with Government policy of making best use of existing runways and would generate approximately 18,400 additional jobs by 2038 and an additional expected £1.5bn GVA to the region.

The research facility is expected to generate over £600,000 in additional research and development investment per annum, as well as create new highly-skilled jobs in the region. Tom Tugendhat, MP, said: “Kent has a deserved reputation as the Garden of England, being home to many of the leading fruit growers and wine producers in the UK. The GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture will help strengthen our region’s reputation for innovative, sustainable food and drink production. In addition, it will support economic development in the area by bringing in new investment and creating jobs.” Trials at the research centre will focus on creating sustainable growing systems to help make UK food production more resilient to climate change. NIAB’s leading research experts will help businesses to use resources, like water, more efficiently, as well as cut carbon emissions in their production. The project has been funded by UKRI’s Strength in Places Fund (£2.5 million), SELEP’s Local Growth Fund (£2.1 million) with matched funding from the East Malling Trust (£6.7 million). For further information about the GreenTech Hub for Advanced Horticulture visit www. greentechhub/.

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The project will also be delivered in a sustainable way which helps the airport to meet its goal of zero airport emissions before 2040. Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport said: “When we launched our initial public consultation last September, we wanted to hear from people and interested groups on our plans to bring our existing Northern Runway into regular use alongside our Main Runway. Following feedback on our proposals, we have listened and taken the decision to amend several aspects of these plans, particularly our highways designs, so we are keen to get further feedback from local people and other stakeholders on these updated changes before we take our plans forward.” Materials to support Gatwick’s latest consultation will be made available on the gatwickairport. com/futureplans web pages from 14 June 2022, along with details on how to respond.

Business News

Community welcomes Chatham Docks Industrial Estate redevelopment Thousands of new jobs and new homes, safe and sustainable pedestrian and cycle connections and community spaces have been highlighted as vital for regenerating the area by Chatham residents and businesses alike.

The proposals also feature one million square foot of new employment floorspace - which will create in excess of 2,000 new jobs and 3,600 homes of different tenures including Affordable Homes, Family Homes, For Sale and Build to Rent Homes, Elderly Living, Student Accommodation and much improved connectivity for neighbouring areas, creating a waterfront destination fit for the future. James Whittaker, Executive Director of Development at Peel L&P said: “Early feedback on our proposals has been overwhelmingly positive and there is widespread recognition of the need for redevelopment of the area on brownfield land. Many residents are feeling that Chatham has been neglected and believe that continued investment akin to the nature of our proposals to help make the area a much more attractive place to live, work and play. Peel L&P has been investing in Medway for over a decade at Chatham Waters. Since 2011, Peel L&P has invested £125 million in the redevelopment of the

Whilst early support for the proposals is strong, Peel L&P is seeking the views of the wider community via contact.html. Further information on the drop-in session will be announced in the coming weeks. Chatham Waters is one of Peel L&P’s seven waterfront regeneration schemes across England and Scotland under its newly named Peel Waters portfolio with 30,000 homes and 10 million sq ft of commercial space and around 160 acres of public realm in the development pipeline over the next 20 to 25 years.

Residents and business groups across the region have voiced their support for Peel L&P’s plans to regenerate Chatham Docks, describing them as progressive and essential for Chatham, if the town is going to survive and thrive. Peel L&P has spoken to hundreds of people, since announcing its vision for the 90-acre site at the end of 2021, with overwhelmingly positive (77%) feedback for the proposals to redevelop the area and create 35 acres of new vibrant, green, open and community spaces.

“We look forward to having more conversations in the near future as we open a drop-in information centre at Chatham Waters so the community can see first hand our plans and discuss their feedback with us in person.”

Resident comments: • Neil from Medway said: "The docks have had their day, the navy moved out because it wasn't a viable dock, for the amount of shipping that runs in and out it hardly seems worth it. I think redeveloping the area and using the basin for the leisure industry would bring more money back into the area.”

brownfield site, creating around 750 jobs and 400 new homes, with a further 550 to be built over the next four years at the existing Chatham Waters development. James added: “We have not only been capturing the views of local residents but we also spent time talking with local business groups, community groups and charities to understand their feedback on our plans. These conversations have proven extremely constructive, with appreciation and a real passion behind our vision.” Richard Lavender, president of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce said: “The Chamber of Commerce believes this regeneration is exactly what Chatham needs and are supportive of Peel L&P’s vision and masterplan. The alternative to redevelopment of this location in Chatham is long-term deterioration of the site, we don’t want Chatham to be left behind, these plans provide an exciting future for the area, people and businesses alike.” The head of school at the respected Waterfront University Technical College is positive about the opportunities further local redevelopment will mean for the community. Spencer Bennett, Head of School at Waterfront UTC said: "Working with local businesses to enhance the careers opportunities for our students is

a key driving force behind what Waterfront UTC is all about. We are all excited about the prospects of working with such a major company as Peel L&P and can't wait for what the future brings." James Whittaker, Executive Director of Development at Peel L&P added: “It is heartening to hear such support for our plans. There is a lot of mixed messaging in the public domain about what we are looking to achieve so it has been great to be able to talk people through the plans directly. We are keen to reassure the community that we are seeking to retain existing jobs at the Industrial Estate by sourcing suitable relocation sites and we will be creating a significant number of new jobs from the new proposed employment space, whilst improving the environment, creating better access to public transport, opening up the River Medway to cycling and pedestrians, providing new homes for all and increasing the leisure offer in Medway.

• Ryan from Chatham said: “I support (the redevelopment) because, after living in Chatham for 18 years, it is dying and the plans will make the area look nicer, some of the developments have improved the outlook of the area, in particular the flats. I think it will bring a lot more houses and I would like to move into one of them.” • Paul from Rainham: “It looks like an area of brownfield land that would be improved, I can’t see too many downsides” • Other comments captured from Chatham residents: o “It would be lovely to walk from my house in the summer and walk around the river…I would very much like there to be an area for fishing in the new development.” o “I think it will help the area and keep the area alive” Thinking Business


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Last Word

Peter Hickey Mary’s Meals Supporter Engagement Officer For the past few years, I have been working for several charities and have primarily been based in London and the southeast. From advocacy in the middle east to conflict resolution, I’ve enjoyed a very diverse and exciting decade or so in the charity sector. Today I work for the international school feeding charity, Mary’s Meals. Our work takes us to 20 countries where we feed over 2.2 million children every day. In Kent our volunteer and supporter network is growing.

Real estate lawyer with specialism in agriculture joins Furley Page South east law firm Furley Page has appointed a new associate solicitor to its real estate team. Daniel Bridgland joined the firm this month after almost ten years as an associate at another Kent law firm, where he headed up the agriculture and rural affairs team.

with a range of matters including development land acquisitions and disposals, agricultural land transactions, option agreements and leases, and commercial lease transactions.

Based at Furley Page’s Canterbury office, Daniel will work alongside Jeremy Licence, managing partner and head of the real estate team, which is recognised for its expertise in independent legal guides, Chambers UK and The Legal 500.

Movers and Shakers Jeremy Licence said: “Daniel is a valuable and welcome addition to our real estate team, and his appointment strengthens the expertise and service offer we can provide to our clients. Having practised in Kent for all of his legal career, he brings a wealth of contacts within the county’s rural community.” Furley Page’s real estate team has wide-ranging experience in all aspects of commercial property transactions. With offices in Canterbury, Whitstable and Chatham, the firm has in-depth experience of all areas of the property market across Kent, the south east and wider UK.

What was your first job and what was the pay packet? Working in a call centre at age 19. Minimum wage I seem to remember.

Daniel has more than two decades’ experience advising clients in Kent about property law. He specialises in supporting rural business clients

What do you always carry with you to work? My laptop and some fruit.

Gullands Solicitors expands commercial, property and private client teams

What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Mobilising and engaging the local community here in the southeast to get involved in our work. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? More help for small start ups! Also, much more financial help for those businesses still suffering from the knock-on effects of the pandemic. What can you see from your office window? I can see a very pretty church spire and some elegant town houses. If you could do another job what would it be? I love this work so much but it would interesting to see things from the delivery end. Working in our programmes team over in India would be fascinating. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? Vision, Leadership and Adaptability. What was your biggest mistake in business? Perhaps being over optimistic when planning budgets and predicting income/results. Optimism and vision is key but idealism is not! What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? I wouldn’t consider myself an entrepreneur but I would say don’t be afraid of failure/making mistakes. You will learn from them. Who do you most admire in business? As far as the third sector goes, our founder Magnus Macfarlane Barrow is someone I certainly do admire. His simplicity and dedication to the vision of Mary’s Meals is remarkable… and what a vision!

50 Thinking Business

Gullands Solicitors has expanded its commercial, residential property and private client teams based in the firm’s Maidstone office with the appointment of three new associate solicitors. Kathryn Shirley has joined the commercial team and advises private individuals and companies in all aspects of commercial property matters, including acquisitions and disposals of freehold and leasehold properties as well as grants of leases and easements.

Boys & Maughan appoints new litigation department manager

Matt Champ has been promoted to litigation department manager at Thanet and Canterbury solicitors, Boys & Maughan.

Natalie Skinner has joined the residential conveyancing team and specialises in all aspects of residential conveyancing including sales and purchase of freehold, leasehold, auction, shared ownership and new build properties. Francesca Hayward has joined the private client team and specialises in preparing simple and more complex/tax-efficient wills. She carries out the administration of estates of all values within the UK and for UK clients who live and/ or have assets abroad, preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney and General Powers of Attorney, as well

He succeeds Paul Reeves who has stepped back from leading the firm’s Margate-based team as he approaches retirement. Matt reports to senior partner Andrew Baker, who heads Boys & Maughan’s management team and continues to oversee the practice’s litigation, employment law and personal injury specialists. Andrew Baker said: “Paul Reeves is a hard act to follow but we’re confident Matt Champ will prove to be a highly capable successor. Paul has made an enormous contribution to our firm over the years and we’re glad he’s continuing to support clients and maintain part of his caseload.” Paul Reeves said: “It has been a privilege leading our team. Our specialists have had a significant impact on the smooth running of the business community and

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as registering Enduring Powers of Attorney and preparing Deeds of Variation and Declarations of Trust. Gullands has also appointed John Lloyd as a paralegal to the firm and he will be working with the commercial property and corporate teams. John Roberts, managing partner at Gullands Solicitors, said: “We’re delighted to welcome four new members to our expanding team who bring with them a great range of skills and experience from their work with private clients and businesses across the south east.” problem solving for local people over the years. Matt is hardworking and knowledgeable, and he provides an excellent service. I’m confident that he’ll make a significant impact in his new role.” Matt joined Boys & Maughan in 2015 and this is his fourth step up the career ladder in his time with the firm. He said: “This promotion is a major milestone in my career with Boys & Maughan and I’m delighted to embrace the challenge. Paul’s commitment to his clients over the years is second to none and I’ve learnt a great deal from him. I’m hoping that my no-nonsense attitude and love of getting on with things will help us further consolidate our litigation practice. I’m also looking forward to the prospect of expanding our offering further into the county.”

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