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Confidence drives the conference sector

Also Inside: • International Trade focus on Morocco • • Spotlight on Dover • Big Interview • Members News • • Forthcoming Exhibitions •



Hold your meeting in a stunning setting

Are you planning a conference, team day or an important meeting in the coming months? Then why not consider hosting them at Salomons Estate, an impressive Victorian mansion set in 70 acres of beautiful gardens, parkland and woods. Situated just two miles from Tunbridge Wells, Salomons Estate offers 12 fully-equipped meeting rooms including breakout rooms, a large theatre for bigger events and the Technology Suite, ideal for training. Plus, full catering facilities are available in our Bistro to suit your conferencing needs. Combining a country house ambience with the latest conferencing technology, Salomons Estate is the perfect venue to give your meeting that sense of occasion. TO RESERVE YOUR MEETING ROOM, CALL TODAY ON 01892 515 152. Salomons_Venue Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0TG salomons.venue


Welcome Welcome to the October/November edition of Thinking Business. Reading through you will see that there certainly is a lot happening in our County, as well as lots of future opportunities. In this edition of Thinking Business, we take a look at one of our most important sectors. With confidence rising across the county, local conference venues are experiencing increased levels of business which has had a beneficial effect on local companies. From technology providers to catering suppliers, the burgeoning sector is helping with our county’s economic recovery and on page 25 we take a look at some of the success stories. Talking of opportunities, the introduction of high speed trains to London in 2009 marked a significant change in the Dover business landscape, bringing with it new opportunities for inward investment. On page 20 we look at how the area has responded and what is being done to encourage businesses in the area.

We have two challenging and thoughtprovoking articles in this edition. Our big interview reminds us that travelling abroad on business can be dangerous in these uncertain times. However, Gerald Moor, CEO of the Ashford-based Inkerman Group, believes that not enough senior managers take the threats seriously despite many cases of employees having to flee trouble-spots around the world. You can read the interview with him on page 28. Another thought-provoking article can be found on page 35 where regular columnist Nick Rowell argues that we need laws and institutions which make it normal to be able to earn a decent living. As the economy recovers and companies go from survival mode to growth mode, now is the time to ensure that employees are rewarded as well.





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Chamber News Members News International Trade 24 hours with... Member Benefits Policy Ask the Expert Spotlight On... Cover Feature Big Interview

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Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: Web: Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited 3tc House, 16 Crosby Road North, Crosby, Liverpool L22 0NY Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published October 2014 © Benham Publishing Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email:

Members News The Economy & Us Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Getting Started Regional News New Members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1369 Disclaimer 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. © 2014. 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.

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Time off to accompany at antenatal appointments Under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, there are a number of upcoming changes which will have an impact on both employers and employees. One such change is the right to time off to accompany a pregnant woman at antenatal appointments. From the 1 October 2014, any employee or agency worker with a ‘qualifying relationship’ to a pregnant woman or her expected child will be entitled to time off during working hours to accompany the woman to two antenatal appointments, up to a maximum of 6.5 hours off work for each appointment. This new right only provides for unpaid time off, with employees qualifying for the right from day one. Agency workers will only qualify once they have completed a 12 week qualifying period. Any employee or agency worker who suffers a detriment or dismissal, as a result of exercising this right, may bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal. A “qualifying relationship” means the employee or agency worker is: • The pregnant woman’s husband or civil partner • Living with the pregnant woman in an enduring family relationship and is not a relative of the woman

• The expected child’s father • One of a same sex couple who is to be treated as the child’s other parent where the child was conceived by sperm donation • The potential applicant for a parental order in relation to a child expected to be born to a surrogate mother. Employers can request proof of the qualifying relationship from those seeking to exercise the right and evidence that the requested time off is to attend an antenatal appointment, together with the date and time of the appointment. Employers can also refuse requests where it is reasonable to do so. There is, however, no guidance yet as to what will be deemed to be ‘reasonable’ in this context. If you would like further information on this particular development in employment law, please contact us.

Simply the best Ashford has welcomed a new report which identifies the fast-expanding town as the best business location in Kent. Ashford has wrestled the crown from the county town of Maidstone, which topped the poll the last time it was conducted in 2010. Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “This study proves what we already knew – that the advantages of locating your business in Ashford outweigh any other town in Kent. “It is great news and will help us in our efforts to drive economic growth, boost employment and generate greater prosperity for all our residents.” 4

The study was commissioned by Locate in Kent, the investment promotion agency for Kent and Medway. Conducted by market research company Facts International – a Kent Excellence in Business Awards finalist and a business based in Ashford – the study involved interviews with developers and investors, property agents, architects and other advisers, and also businesses who have and have not considered relocating to Kent.

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Funding award is made The Government has announced that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) has secured a £442.2 million funding package to boost economic growth across Kent, Medway, East Sussex and Essex. There will be a particular focus on transport schemes that will bring new jobs and homes and major investment in transport & business support earmarked for Kent and Medway. The funding allocation follows SE LEP’s submission of an innovative ‘Growth Deal’ to drive economic expansion over the next six years – supported by business, local authority and education leaders across the area - and its bid for support from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. The £442.2 million funding for the SE LEP area includes £358.2 million for new growth schemes on top of £74 million already committed for large transport projects. The Deal will see at least £84.1 million invested in the SELEP area next year, supporting the delivery of up to 35,000 jobs and 18,000 new homes and over £100 million in private investment over the period. SE LEP can also now bid separately for additional funding – increasing the

amount the organisation has already secured. Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP, said: “This initial funding is tremendously good news for our businesses and residents – addressing years of underinvestment in the south east’s transport network. It’s not only a matter of improving connectivity around the area but providing links which open up major new sites for housing and business development.” Geoff Miles, Kent Vice Chair of SE LEP and Chairman of the Kent & Medway Economic Partnership, said: “This funding announcement heralds intensive investment in transport improvements for the south east – and a powerful new working relationship with the Government.” A full list of all projects throughout the SE LEP area can be found on the SE LEP website


New Website to boost Kent Tourism Businesses Visit Kent has created a new campaign and B2B website to provide tourism businesses, investors and the media with its most up-to-date information and research into the county’s visitor economy. Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive at Visit Kent, said: “Our county’s tourism industry’s success depends on businesses and potential investors having access to the latest research, advice, and details of our many support and training programmes – all just a click away. “Travel and businesses journalists need round-theclock access to our latest media information and photographic support. “The new website offers that service in a straightforward and simple-to-search format making it quick and efficient for users at all times.” Mrs Matthews-Marsh said development of the website and the campaign to provide advice and help to the sectors businesses was part of the tourism champions’ mission to grow tourism across the county. The mobile and tablet-friendly website,, is packed full of vital tourism business planning tools for Kent’s 3,000 plus tourism businesses and divided into four key sections – Learn More About Visit Kent, Press &

Media Enquiries, Tourism Business Support, and Hotel Development and Investor Enquiries. The new website matches the branding and style of the award-winning consumer website,

New homecare company will raise standards An innovative new home care company is ripping up the rule book and replacing outmoded and impractical care processes with state-of-the-art support software and systems. Expertise Homecare, based in Tunbridge Wells, has set its sights on revolutionising the domiciliary care sector, providing high-quality care and support to people through a network of franchises. Its unique franchise model utilises the latest technology, processes and systems to ensure the highest standards of care are always delivered. Expertise Homecare is owned and operated by care specialists Harriet Smith and Natalie Richards, who have extensive experience in the domiciliary care sector, having worked for both the NHS and private care organisations. Harriet said: “We believe that Expertise Homecare will shape the future of adult healthcare provision. Working in the sector, we have seen first-hand what works and what can be improved. “The Expertise Homecare model retains the elements that we know

work and replaces others with progressive and technologically advanced systems and solutions to provide a much higher quality, transparent service.” Expertise Homecare launched on Monday, September 1. Franchises in Canterbury and Swale have already been taken up and a number of further territories are currently under offer. Expertise Homecare is hosting Discovery Days in London and Tunbridge Wells in October and November to give potential franchisees the opportunity to find out more about the company and its unique approach to home care. To book a place at the London Discovery Day visit For the Kent Discovery Day visit For more information on Expertise Homecare visit

Kent’s tourism businesses currently welcome more than 57 million visitors each year, support 64,600 jobs and contribute £3.4 billion to the county economy.

has all the knowledge and know-how you will require to ensure your event runs smoothly. Celebrating 15 years of success Kent Conference Bureau is the official organisation charged with promoting the county as a first class destination for conferences, training and events including Christmas functions and weddings.

Kent Conference Bureau provides a variety of free services to help ensure each and every event is a success from beginning to end. Only 35 minutes from central London on Southeastern’s high speed train. To celebrate 15 years of success Kent Conference Bureau has a new website and has been shortlisted as a finalist for the MIMA Awards 2014 for Best Brochure. To request a copy of our Guide to Venues in Kent and for more information contact:

Kent Conference Bureau


T: 01622 602485

W: Find us on Twitter @kentconference

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Legal advice adds fizz to fundraising

Cineworld Rochester

The market leader in English wines is set for fresh growth following the launch of a crowdfunding initiative.

Cineworld Rochester is a multiplex cinema situated in the scenic surroundings of the Medway Valley Leisure Park. The park is on the banks of the River Medway and easily accessible being just off junction 1 of the M2.

This is a very smart move by Chapel Down and just the sort of step you would expect from the most innovative brand in English wine production.

Salim Somjee Tenterden-based Chapel Down Group aims to attract up to €5m in what is believed to be the first time a quoted company in the UK has used crowdfunding to reach investors. The award-winning wine and beer producer, whose shares trade on ISDX, worked with solicitors Cripps in developing the proposals, which allow wine lovers to share in Chapel Down’s success. Salim Somjee, who worked with Phil Cunningham, partner, and Helen Garner, associate, as part of the Cripps team advising Chapel Down, said: “This is a very smart move by Chapel Down and just the sort of step you would expect from the most innovative brand in English wine production. “Not only is it an efficient method of raising money to invest in new capacity but it also offers an easy way for people with a passion for good quality wine

to take a direct interest in a company that leads the way in English wine production. “It is also equitable as all investors – whether individuals, management or big institutions –will pay exactly the same price for the shares being offered.” The money raised will be used by Chapel Down to plant more vines, build a new winery, brewery and visitor attraction, and extend its hospitality facility in Tenterden. Chief Executive Officer Frazer Thompson said: “We have leading brands – Chapel Down in wine and Curious in beer and cider – that we want to grow. “This requires more money. We’d rather get that money from people who care – people who want to see our company flourish and grow and can help us spread the word about the quality of our produce.”

• Vehicle Graphics • Digital Printing • Shop Signage • Banners & Posters • Exhibition Displays 01233 625383 • • Station House, Eastmead Trading Estate, Ashford, Kent. TN23 7RX


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Cineworld Rochester does not just cater for the cinema goers who want to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters. We have a range of content that includes the National Theatre and Royal Ballet performances which can be screened live via our high tech satellite facilities. To benefit those people who want to make regular trips to the cinema we operate the Unlimited Card scheme where customers can get unlimited movies for £16.40 per month. Further details about this scheme can be obtained from our website on In addition to watching movies and live theatre events we also offer the opportunity to hire our screens for various events. This could be for business conferences, private movie showings and the screening of your own content. Whatever the event and with 9 screens that range from 90 seats up to 480 seats we can cater for a variety of needs at reasonable prices. For further information on all of this you can visit or e-mail the cinema on


Auto Enrolment: the next stage Colin Bannister Director of Financial Planning, WK Financial Management 01622 238345

In previous articles, we looked at who needed to be enrolled in the workplace pension scheme and how to check to see if an existing arrangement could be used as an automatic enrolment qualifying pension scheme, or whether a new scheme should be established. Whether an existing arrangement is being used or a new scheme has been set up, most employers should have begun their automatic enrolment journey by now. Can I delay my staging date? An employer cannot move the staging date but it can be postponed for up to three months. Postponement acts in a similar way to a waiting period. One of the main reasons the date may be postponed is if the employer employs temporary or short-term staff who will stop working for that employer within three months, i.e. seasonal workers.

Specific events that trigger a communication requirement include the assessment of employees into the auto enrolment categories. The assessment results will show: •

Staff that are eligible to be enrolled known as eligible workers;

Staff that are not eligible for automatic enrolment, but these people still have rights and you must write to tell them what these rights are. Certain members of staff have a right to opt in to the pension scheme and receive an employer contribution. These are known as non-eligible workers; and

Postponement can also be used to align automatic enrolment with your other business processes. The Pension Regulator does not need to be informed if postponement is used as the staging date is not actually moved. •

Communicating with employees So, once the workplace pension scheme is established and the key decisions such as investment fund choice and processing have been made, usually with the help and advice of a financial adviser, it will be time to start communicating with the employees, providing them with details of the workplace pension scheme and how automatic enrolment is going to affect them. Employees need to be communicated with at specific points in the automatic journey and there are some notices that an employer is legally bound to issue to its workforce about the workplace pension scheme. The Pensions Regulator website lists the prescribed wording that needs to be used for each specific event.

Others have a right to join a pension scheme and it’s up to you whether you choose to pay an employer contribution and these are referred to as entitled workers.

Employee details must also be sent to the pension scheme to ensure active membership.

It must then be communicated to staff that they’ve been automatically enrolled and that they have a right to opt out of the pension scheme. If a pension scheme is already in place and it has an existing membership, these members will need to be contacted to tell them about automatic enrolment but confirm that they won’t be affected as they are already in a suitable pension scheme, but the level of contributions they may change. In the last instalment in this series of articles, we shall look at what happens at the staging date and the ongoing reporting requirements that an employer is subject to, to ensure their ongoing legal obligations are met. We will leave you this time with a reminder of the value that an informed and experienced financial adviser can bring freeing up valuable time that you can better deploy in driving success in your business.

You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action on the basis of the contents of this article. Information concerning taxation treatment is based on our understanding of current law and HMRC practice. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation depend on the individual circumstances of each client and are subject to change. WK Financial Management Limited is an appointed representative of Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning Limited (ARFP) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ARFP is entered on the FCA register ( under reference 133576. Company no. 01799538. Registered office: 60 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4N 4TR. WK Financial Management Limited under reference 200591. Company No. 03919710. Registered Office: Gladstone House, 77-79 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9HY.

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



BitesizeNews Kent recruitment specialist goes for “permanent” growth HR GO plc, the Kent based recruitment group with offices across the UK, has underlined its growth ambitions with two further senior appointments. Roderick (Roddy) Barrow is appointed Chief Financial Officer of HR GO plc. Mark Gaisford is appointed Operations Director of one of the Group’s subsidiary companies, HR GO Recruitment Ltd. Summer Visitors Bag Bargains in Kent 2for1 Campaign Visit Kent, the county’s tourism champion, has joined forces with top attractions, train, bus and crossChannel services partners to cut the cost of great summer days out and short breaks in Kent Visitors from home and abroad travelling into and around the county can pick up 2for1 admission tickets and a range of special discounts on food, drink, and even shopping experiences at Visit Kent’s transport partners include Southeastern trains, Arriva and Stagecoach buses, P&O Ferries, DFDS Seaways, Eurotunnel le Shuttle and MyFerryLink. New Voluntary Sector programme launched A new programme offering a range of support and training to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector has arrived in Kent. . The project will be delivered by Social Enterprise Kent from Herne Bay and has been commissioned by Kent County Council and the Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups. For more information please contact Rebecca Smith from Social Enterprise Kent on 01227 844 449. Millwood builds on success Award-winning Millwood Designer Homes Ltd is set for further growth after attracting a £10m investment in a deal managed by law firm Cripps. The Tonbridge-based housebuilder specialises in high quality, individually designed homes and will use the money to accelerate its housebuilding programme across Kent, Sussex and Surrey.


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Are you prepared? When preparing for an exhibition event it’s essential to make sure your stand will be recognised easily, people will be attracted to it and it gives a clear message.

Roller banners, pop-up stands, exhibition stands and regular banners are all great means of ensuring that your stand will achieve this, as well as looking professional and of course be cost effective at the same time. At SEC Signworks we have extensive experience within this field, recently completing exhibition kit for BNI, Resale Weekly & Kent Pharmaceuticals. However, if you’re getting serious about promotion and want to take it to the next level then you follow in the footsteps of Samsung & Vodafone.

Take a double decker bus and have it vinyl wrapped with your branded livery. Imagine a 96 sheet advertising poster but it’s double sided and has a wheel in each corner! The full wrap took SEC Signworks five working days to print and install due to our clients urgent requirements. Please remember what else we have to offer. You can find details of our services at or by visiting our Facebook page

Business ethics ... do we really need them? Arvind Lall MA


Aspreys Chartered Accountant

As an accountant and tax practitioner I am constantly asked about business ethics. It’s nothing new, most people usually know the answer themselves as to what is right or wrong. However it is sometimes worth reflecting on Your MOTIVE for business- Profit only perhaps? Do we have other OBLIGATIONS? Why reflect? Mainly that all things change and evolve and our business needs to reflect the MOOD of society. There is little doubt that government, customers and society have higher expectations of conduct from business. Tax compliance is an example. You the business owner are responsible for paying the correct amount of tax. The argument that tax avoidance, being legal, still resulted in the correct amount of tax no longer holds within ethics. The point being the amount has to be FAIR as a contribution to society.

Another dilemma is bad or cheap service so as to save costs at the expense of the consumer. Business is about people, no people….no business. The problem arises when one is caught up in conflicting needs of parties involved, profit versus all else. There is nothing wrong with making a profit, and the stakeholders, including the government, know that. It is how you make it that matters, the MOTIVE. Our MOTIVES, such as excellent service at a FAIR price, are going to help keep us profitable. Developing ethical motives becomes an important component of it.


SUCCESS funding is music to the ears of Sonic Concept A new company is aiming to make a big noise in the audio market and create up to 20 jobs from a base in east Kent with the help of advice from Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency. Founded by Darren Hollands, Sonic Concept designs and manufactures mid to high-end audio speakers and integrated amplifiers for the home and professional market. The business launched from a unit in Rowe’s Yard, Manston Business Park, in July, with the help of a £150,000 SUCCESS grant, funded from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund covering Thanet, having been alerted to the availability of the funding by Locate in Kent. With six months of design and development work ahead before releasing its products to market, the company has a team of four, including Darren, with a fifth joining

at the end of August and plans to expand to 20 over the next three years. “I’m from Kent and we were looking for factory units in the county that had an area that we could use for design, as well as manufacturing bays,” said Darren “I was finding it frustrating and as I knew Chris Broom from Locate in Kent I gave him a call to see if he could help.” It was Chris who suggested Darren apply for a grant from the South East Urban Coast Creative Enterprise Support Scheme (SUCCESS), which supports new or expanding creative SME’s who wish to create jobs in the district and have match funding.

jigsaw kloud is passionate... about helping businesses operate more efficiently. James Burrows

Frustrated by sluggish hardware? Learn how new devices will quickly pay for themselves Confused by balancing the books? Discover cloud-accounting software that is simple to master Forget what to do and who to call? Organise your diary, projects and tasks with cloud-CRM software Worried about losing important data? Secure peace of mind with cloudstorage solutions Struggling to get value for money? Benefit from better deals on utilities and insurances Software not meeting business needs? Bespoke, simple-to-use spreadsheets; such as detailed quotation templates Business in need of a makeover? Revamp your brand with a new logo, website, business cards and social media channels If you focused on what you do best, how will your business benefit? For more information visit

“I’m from Kent and we were looking for factory units in the county that had an area that we could use for design, as well as manufacturing bays”

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Calverley House Conference Centre

Tunbridge Wells

The Calverley House Conference Centre occupies a character building and a prominent address in the heart of Tunbridge Wells, with easy access to parking, and all public transport links, from the moment you walk up the steps and through the courtyard to reception, you cannot fail to be impressed by the quality of your surroundings. Our goal is to provide an exceptional venue where our customers can successfully meet, train, learn and communicate.

Whether it is for a team meeting, training session or conference, we have a room to meet your needs. All our rooms have natural daylight and the space available is modern, stylish, efficient and flexible, providing configurations suitable for a range of conferences, meetings and seminars, with a maximum of 200 delegates. To enhance your conference or meeting, we have a range of integrated and mobile state of the art audio visual equipment available, included in the price of your room hire.

As a professional Business Centre, you can be assured that your meeting or conference will be free from the distractions associated with hotels and other venues. Our dedicated conference team will oversee and supervise every detail of your event and will be on hand during the day to ensure your event is a resounding success. This can include arranging your catering requirements, IT and back office support.

For more information contact us on 01892 704000 or email @CalverleyHouse

C a l v e r l e y H o u s e , 5 5 C a l v e r l e y R o a d , Tu n b r i d g e We l l s , K e n t T N 1 2 T U Logic PM is an RICS accredited construction project management company based in Kent and London. We offer a range of business services, these include:

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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

The National Events Diary

Avoid the pain of a failed event and maximise event success ton Kaddy Lee-Pres ssador Claimaday Amba


Festival is a success despite the weather This year’s Kent Miners’ Festival was held at the Tilmanstone Welfare Ground at Eythorne.

The Snowdown Colliery Welfare Band Despite dreadful weather, the event was a success with people of all ages turning up to join the celebration of East Kent’s former mining villages. The main sponsor was Hadlow College and Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, director of finance and resources at the college, opened the event.

Mark said: “‘I was honoured to be asked to open the event. It was very well structured and extremely interesting. I was especially impressed with the high levels of community spirit.” Hadlow College will be hosting next year’s Miners’ festival.

Skills of the Future come to East Kent College East Kent College’s Centre for Environmental Technologies has been officially opened by the Rt Hon Gregory Barker, Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change. Since opening their store in Strood, Colin and Eileen have added three further The £6.5m Future Building, which is located at the College’s Broadstairs campus, is the only centre of its kind in Kent and presents an unrivalled opportunity for students to gain skills in the renewable energy, engineering and construction sectors. Gregory Barker said: “The £6.5 million investment in the Centre for Environmental Technologies (CfET) at East Kent College is not only great for Thanet, but a real investment in our country’s future as a world leader in green technology, and a competitor in the global race for green jobs and growth.” Among the 100 guests attending the official opening were local employers who, after a tour of the building, were able to see students demonstrating skills in carpentry, plumbing, automotive technologies, engineering, welding and renewables. During his visit, the Minister joined a discussion on the skills needed to support growth in renewable energy and sustainable construction. Representatives from London Array, Discovery Park, Vattenfall and Cummins shared their thoughts on businesses and education working together.

Laura Sandys, Thanet South MP, said: “As part of, and in supporting the development of a real green hub in recent years, Thanet now plays host to a very diverse range of businesses in the sector. This new Centre coupled with an always forward-looking curriculum will ensure that we have the skills to fulfil future demand, securing more investment and more jobs for our Green Grand Isle.” East Kent College is keen to ensure that the training provided at The Future Building meets local businesses’ needs and continues to maintain strong links with relevant companies in the area. East Kent College Principal Graham Razey said: “We are extremely proud of our new building and the opportunities it offers our students. Our aim at the College is to create fulfilling futures for our students, enabling them to access jobs in emerging sectors of employment. “The Future Building will enable students to understand how traditional trades and technologies are being adapted and advanced. We will be delivering skills ahead of needs and thereby providing the best possible opportunity for each student’s future employment in a workplace where energy efficiency will surely be of increasing importance.”

We make the complex simple The law can be complicated. But no matter how complex the business situation, we’ll explain your options in plain, simple language. That way, you’ll get the full picture, confident you are receiving the best possible legal advice.

Legal services for business

01227 763939 |


October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Get ready for Shared Parental Leave Although the details are yet to be finalised there has been much heralding in the press of the plans to introduce Shared Parental Leave.

The rights will apply for parents who meet the eligibility criteria, where a baby is due to be born on or after 5 April 2015, or for children who are placed for adoption on or after that date. Employers could therefore shortly start to receive enquiries from those expecting although formal notice of eligibility and the intention to take Shared Parental Leave from qualifying employees need not take place until January 2015. Parents will not be obliged to take SPL once the new scheme comes into force. The default position on the birth of a child will be that the 52 weeks of maternity leave (39 weeks paid) will remain in place, as will the two week period of compulsory maternity leave, which applies from the day of the child's birth. Mothers will however be able, subject to eligibility, to share this leave with their partner or the child's father either taking it in turns or taking leave at the same time. Paid Paternity Leave of two weeks will continue to be available to fathers and a mother's or adopter's partners. What employers should be doing now is familiarising themselves with these new arrangements and starting to update policies in staff handbooks to ensure the first request does not catch them unawares. Contact Amanda Finn at Gullands Solicitors


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Reynolds Group Ltd and Kemet International Ltd take BCC Chamber Regional Awards 2014 Success Reynolds Group Ltd, a Fitness, Gyms, Spas and Education business from Sittingbourne and Kemet International, an industrial diamond abrasives manufacturer from Maidstone are celebrating after being crowned winners of their categories in the Southern Region heats of the Chamber Awards 2014. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Chamber Awards, now in its11th year, is a highlight of the business calendar, showcasing the pivotal role local businesses play in the UK’s continuing growth story. Having won the Commitment to People Development Award, the Reynolds Group and Kemet International Ltd who won the Achievement in International Business Award, will now go forward to represent the Southern Region in the national finals, which takes place in London in November. Tim Allen, Board Director of Kent Invicta Chamber said: “Kent Invicta is delighted to have two of our members selected as Southern Regional Winners and we wish them every success for the National Finals on 27th November”. “For many years now, our members have been successful in winning Southern Regional Awards and we have also had members go on to be the winner of the National Awards. It just goes to show what great entrepreneurial companies we have within our County”.

Jo James, Chief Executive of Kent Invicta Chamber added: “As the UK economy continues to go from strength to strength, it is great to meet so many inspirational businesses in our network that are tirelessly driving the growth agenda. Their determination and creativity, and the positive impact they are having on their local communities never fails to impress me. “The Chamber Awards, now in its eleventh year, is the perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the amazing work of UK firms across the country.” Reynolds Group Ltd, owned by the Managing Directors, Jason and Emma Hall, consists of 3 subsidiaries: Reynolds Fitness Spas; Reynolds Retreat, Borough Green, opening on 25 October 2014 and Reynolds Training Academy. Kemet International Limited are a manufacturer of Diamond abrasive consumables and associated materials for high precision lapping and polishing operations.


David Barton The motorist’s lawyer I am unlike most other solicitors’ firms because I provide a single expert legal service. I represent motorists being prosecuted for road traffic offences and who face penalty points, fines, disqualification or worse. I am very good at challenging unfair and inadequate prosecutions, helping motorists keep their driving licenses and minimising damage to their livelihoods and businesses. Road traffic law has become very intricate and there are now specialist traffic courts to deal with these cases. I understand how these courts work, the specific needs of motorists and what really matters in a court room. I can appear as an advocate in all courts and so I provide a complete service starting with advice and ending with representation in court. Much of my work comes from other solicitors who don’t do this work and who want their clients properly looked after.

Penalties for some offences look likely to be increased and courts are taking a tougher stance with drivers. I prepare and present the most effective case to reduce or eliminate the risk of disqualification. I can also persuade prosecutors to discontinue cases in certain circumstances. I work with other experts where appropriate for things like accident reconstruction, blood sample testing, alcohol calculation, and speed laser device analysis. My work covers every aspect of road traffic law and I help drivers, motorcyclists, taxi proprietors and haulage companies. I regularly comment on legal issues relevant to drivers on my web site and contribute to newspapers, radio and television.

Leanne Bembridge joins the Adept Group for the Launch of Host My Office Leanne has joined Adept Group as the new Business Development Manager bringing over 12 years experience of looking after SME’s in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. She has joined at a very exciting time for Adept as it launches Host My Office which offers a fully customisable remote computing solution that makes taking your business into the cloud easy. This includes Hosted Virtual Desktops, Hosted Exchange, Hosted Telephony, VOIP and Online Data Backup as well as many other services. Moving your desktop to Host My Office eliminates IT headaches and guarantees up-time whilst significantly reducing your IT budget.

This compliments the existing IT services offered by Adept which has been running for over 5 years offering remote and on-site support as well as procurement, installation, cabling, website creation and hosting as well as many other services to SME’s across Kent. Whether you are in need of advice, support or a free audit of your systems, please contact Leanne who would be pleased to help you.

Extended Eurostar service to France Eurostar is to launch a new direct service to the south of France from Ashford next year, further strengthening the Kent town’s high-speed connections to the Continent. From May 1 2015, passengers will be able to travel direct from Ashford to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille up to five times a week. The announcement means Ashford will boast direct services to France’s three largest cities – Paris, Marseille and Lyon – as well as Lille.

Get in touch to arrange your free consultation

01233 630000

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Britain means Business:

British brands secure India trade deals Iconic British brands are flocking to India to take advantage of booming growth and ever increasing spending power. The retail sector in India is currently worth £309bn, with growth of 25% a year expected by 2016. British companies including United Biscuits, Lush Cosmetics and Pavers Shoes are taking advantage of India’s growth with new ventures being announced today (Tuesday). Lush Cosmetics, the iconic brand from the British high street, is expected to open its first shop in India after receiving approval from India’s Ministry of Commerce. The shop in Mumbai would give the company an initial foothold in the country. United Biscuits Group, the world’s fourth-largest biscuit manufacturer, will increase investment in its India operation from £30 million to £50 million.

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Pavers Shoes, based in York, are set to invest £10 million in India, expanding from 35 to 100 stores. Pavers is listed on Europe’s Forum 500 list of the UK’s fast growing and most profitable retailers. Chaucer Foods, based in Hull, has signed a deal with an Indian food manufacturer to export 60 tonnes of croutons a year, worth £100,000 a year and increasing their trade with India by 50%. Fever-Tree, a British manufacturer of premium mixers, has announced that it is going to start exporting Indian tonic water to India. This will be the fiftieth export market for this company, which has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Exports.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: "The opportunities presented by the Indian retail and food and drink sectors are obvious. Travel around India and you’ll see more and more British products appearing on the shelves of India’s grocery stores. From McVities Digestives to Horlicks and Smirnoff, India’s 1.2 billion consumers are increasingly falling in love with British favourites. “With more UK companies eager to repeat that success, this is fantastic news for both our economies. India’s food and drink industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in this market. I am delighted to see British companies expanding, and I am glad to see the delegation I am leading helping our great retail sector to make even greater inroads and launching iconic brands globally.”

UKTI’s new e-Exporting Programme

Helping Chamber members grow their international business. Currency fluctuations can have a significant impact on companies engaged in international trade and hinder ambitions for growth.

This will build on the success of iconic British brands including Hobnobs and Digestives in India.

Businesses of all sizes from across the UK will have access to a new suite of services to help boost their international trade through online channels. UKTI’s new e-Exporting Programme has been created to ensure UK companies are best placed to tap into the huge opportunities that exist online. The growth of technology has dramatically changed consumers’ purchasing habits with Britons now spending approximately £91 billion a year online making the UK one of the world’s leading e-commerce countries. UKTI is working with a number of international e-marketplaces including Tmall China, Amazon China, Japanese e-commerce platform Rakuten and Harper’s Bazaar. Operating through these e-marketplaces presents a costeffective way for companies – particularly small and medium-sized businesses – to increase their reach in terms of both numbers and geography. The programme encourages UK exporters to reach out to the generation of digitally-capable consumers who are increasingly influenced through online channels. The programme is the first of its kind in the world – UKTI is the only organisation to hold the operational information of global B2C and B2B e-marketplaces with the central aim of using the information to revolutionise exporting.

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Trade Minister Lord Livingston said: The UK leads the world in crossborder online sales, but there is still much more we can do to help British business seize this huge opportunity with forecasts of 3 billion online consumers in just 3 years. Trading online is a great way to start exporting to a new country, enhance distribution in an exciting market and effectively sell while you sleep. This is why we are launching the UKTI eExporting Programme to help businesses thrive abroad in some of the world’s largest markets. UK products are GREAT – it’s time to take them to the world. UKTI launched a pilot of the new programme in November 2013 introducing British companies to Chinese e-marketplaces including Tmall, Jumeii and ASOS China. Since this pilot more than 100 UK brands have launched in China through an emarketplace, from Karen Millen and Cath Kidston to Tangle Teezer and Tyrrell’s Crisps, leading to the development of the global programme launching today. UK retailers including Mothercare, organic skincare brand Neal’s Yard

Remedies, and fashion brands Emma Willis and Matthew Williamson have also endorsed UKTI’s efforts to support UK retailers and brands with their e-commerce strategy in order to boost exports. The programme is expected to help approximately 50,000 UK companies establish online trade channels. CEO and founder of mobile payments company Powa Technologies Dan Wagner said: “The UK is rapidly becoming a global centre of excellence for e-exports as a result of the innovation efforts of hundreds of British companies across the UK. The democratisation of the web now allows companies of all sizes to extend their reach around the world and tap into new markets through e-commerce, something that would have taken an extraordinary amount of effort and investment only a few years ago. The support provided by the UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme will enable businesses of all sizes to rapidly expand their operations, creating new jobs and wealth both at home and abroad, and cementing the UK’s position as an innovative, world leading exporter of quality goods.”


Morocco Find support in this market. Capital Rabat

Area 446 550 km2

Largest city Casablanca

Population 33,304,400

Administrative divisions 16 regions Currency Moroccan dirham (MAD)

SWOT analysis

Calling code +212

Strengths Effectively pursuing strong reforms that led to an improvement in trade logistics

Opportunities Preferred FDI destination among African nations

Official language Arabic

Weaknesses Corruption. Low living standards

Threats High unemployment rate

Morocco’s trade with the UK

Ease of trading across borders Importing a standard container of goods into Morocco requires::

7 documents

19 days





Crude materials &fuel (41%)

Introduction Morocco's economy is a diverse, open, market-oriented economy. The country has followed a policy of privatisation of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. The services sector accounts for just over half of GDP and industry, made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional quarter. To boost exports, Morocco entered into a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the US in 2006 and an Advanced Status agreement with the EU in 2008. Despite Morocco's economic progress, the country suffers from high unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy, particularly in rural areas.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate) GDP Export of goods and services Import of goods and services Inflation Short-term interest rates (%) Exchange rate (per £) Population

2013 2.7 2.7 2.0 1.2 3.2 13.62 1.0

2013 2014-17 4.4 4.6 -3.2 12.6 -2.0 9.4 1.9 2.3 3.4 3.9 12.51 12.92 1.0 0.9 Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook Despite the impact of recession in Europe on trade and tourism, GDP growth in Morocco picked up to an estimated 4.4% in 2013. A modest slowdown is likely this year, to just under 4%, as the impact of agricultural recovery fades, but growth is then seen returning to around 5% in 2015.

Trade outlook Morocco has the second-largest non-oil GDP in the Arab world. In the past, Morocco relied on phosphate exports, which has declined over the recent years. The country has now emerged as an exporter of manufactured and agricultural products and its popularity as a tourism destination is growing. Morocco’s import partners include; France (16.1%), Spain (13.5%), Italy (6.5%), China (6%), Germany (5.6%), Saudi Arabia (5.4%) and Moldova (5%). Morocco’s primary trade partner continues to be France.

Food, beverages &tobacco


Fastest-growing exporters into Morocco Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2012 Greece Hong Kong Croatia Bulgaria Pakistan Turkey India China Hungary South Africa


Chemicals & related products 7% Manufactured goods


Machinery & transport equipment






Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Opportunities for UK businesses Morocco is situated in the north west of Africa and has a unique & strategic position. Morocco enjoys financial stability and economic reform is firmly on the Government’s agenda. UK businesses can benefit from the opportunities opening up through free trade agreements and take advantage of Morocco’s position as a gateway to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The following sectors have been identified as best prospects for UK businesses: water management, construction and renewable energy.. To find out what other trade missions or market visits are being organised by British Chambers go to

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



24 HOURSWITH Taking the aerial approach

For David Hebditch, much depends on the vagaries of the weather when he is planning his working day.

David Hebditch

The big advantage with using us is that our UAVs are able to capture quality aerial images that give clients an accurate picture of their sites quickly and in a cost-effective way

David runs Aerial Pro Media, based in Ashford, Kent,, which uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to take high quality pictures and video of buildings and development sites across the UK and abroad. He said: “If we are not filming, I come into work at about 8.45am and check first on any messages then we work on marketing, identifying companies who might benefit from using our UAVs. “Companies use us partly because we are costeffective. You do not need to erect all that scaffolding to take a look at the roof or upper stories, if it is a tower block, because our remote-controlled UAVs can film from just a few feet off the ground to 400 feet. “We are very often out filming and that means that we check the weather very carefully. We need to know what the weather will be doing to ensure that we get the best images possible for our clients. “The big advantage with using us is that our UAVs are able to capture quality aerial images that give clients an accurate picture of their sites quickly and in a cost-effective way.

“We work for all sorts of clients, from house builders to hotels, wedding venues to new property developments, all of whom benefit from the unique perspective offered by an aerial view. Our images provide them with an unparalleled view of their building or site. “We always visit the sites before we film first, checking for health and safety issues, such as overhead wires and communication masts. “Health and safety is very important to us. You hear of people who go out and buy their own UAVS then crash them into people and properties, which is why it is so important to use professionals who take health and safety really seriously. “We are heavily regulated by the CAA and every operator must have permission for aerial work and hold a BNUC licence. “When we are filming, we work as long as the job requires. For instance, some clients ask for dawn to sunset images and we need to base our working day round that and also make sure that the weather will be suitable to achieve the best images.”

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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014


Young people need more support to make transition from education to work, says British Chambers

Overview The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published findings from its Workforce Survey, Developing the Talents of the Next Generation. Results from the survey show that businesses overwhelmingly feel that many young people are not adequately prepared for the workplace upon leaving the education system. Findings from the survey of almost 3,000 companies show that more than three-quarters (76%) report a lack of work experience as one of the key reasons young people are unprepared for work. Over half (57%) said that young people are lacking basic ‘soft’ skills, such as communication and team working, to succeed in the working world. The BCC has made a number of recommendations to better prepare young people for work and to encourage businesses to play a greater role in preparing the next generation of workers. This includes universal work experience in all secondary schools, and assessing schools, colleges and universities on the employment outcomes of their pupils, rather than just exam results. Key findings from the survey: • 88% of businesses believe school leavers are unprepared for the world of work, in comparison to 54% of businesses that think graduates are unprepared for the workplace. • More than three quarters of firms (76%) believe a lack of work experience is the reason young people are unprepared for work. • However, more than half of businesses (52%) say they don’t offer work experience placements. • Reasons for this include cost and time (25%), oo much school admin (23%) and a lack of information (22%). • 60% of firms that offer work experience said ‘preparing the future workforce’ was a key motivation.


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

The BCC’s Workforce Survey suggests that stronger links must be formed between educators (schools, colleges and universities) and business to better prepare young people for work

More than three-quarters (88%) of businesses think school leavers are unprepared for the workplace, while over half (54%) think graduates are not work ready

John Longworth: ‘It isn’t about pointing the finger at young people - it is a joint responsibility between businesses, educators and government’

• More than half of businesses (57%) said a lack of soft skills, such as communication and team working, were reasons why young people were not ‘work ready’. • Almost half of businesses (46%) said there was a lack of careers advice available for young people. • Due to fears around the work readiness of young people, more than a quarter of firms (27%) said they have not recruited a young person (aged between 16 and 24) in the last year. • Just over one third of businesses (39%) said they offer apprenticeships. • An additional 32% of firms would consider offering apprenticeships in future, while 54% say funding for additional training would encourage them to hire more young people. To better prepare young people for work, the BCC has made the following recommendations taken from its 2014 / 2015 Business Manifesto: • Introduce experience of work in all secondary schools, through links with Accredited Chambers of Commerce, to help ensure a smooth transition from the education system to the world of work. • Assess secondary schools according to the future jobs and earnings of their pupils, through the appropriate school inspectorates in the devolved administrations. This would reform school measurement and accountability to focus on employability skills and preparation and exposure to work. • Work with government and devolved administrations to place a business governor on secondary school boards to increase business engagement. • Allow all university students to choose business and enterprise modules as part of their degree programmes, to encourage and train potential entrepreneurs and business people from a more diverse range of academic backgrounds.

• Increase the take up of apprenticeships by extending the £1,500 apprenticeship grant for employers beyond 2016. Demand from candidates has outstripped supply of apprenticeship vacancies by as much as 11 to one.* Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Many businesses are worried that in today’s burgeoning economic recovery, hiring a young person is a risky move due to their lack of experience, not to mention the investment of time and resource needed to train them. Business people tend to favour more skilled and experienced applicants – and while they do sympathise, their primary function is to run a business, which means making business decisions. Firms need young people that are resilient, good communicators and understand how to work as part of a team. “We believe that successive governments have failed our young people by not properly equipping them for their future careers. Creating artificial targets, such as half of school leavers should go to university, has in the past sent the wrong signal to young people about the employment and training options open to them. Young people should be able to fulfil their potential in their own talent pool. “But now is the time to break away from the blame game. Government and educational institutions must be more focused on equipping young people for the workplace, and in turn businesses must be more willing to give them a chance. In practice, this means introducing business governance into schools, proper careers advice with direct links to business, and measuring the success of schools and universities based on the employment outcomes of pupils. “This isn’t about pointing the finger at young people it is a joint responsibility between businesses, the education system and government to provide the right skills and support that young people need to make it in the world of work. It is vital that we proactively build a pipeline of young talent who will go on to become the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs, as failure to do so could damage the UK’s future growth prospects and risk a lost generation of young people.”




Title: Company: Web: email: Tel:


Darren James

Associate & BIM Manager Lee Evans Partnership LLP 01227 784444

BIM – What does it mean?

BIM has been a buzzword in the construction industry for some time now, but what does it actually mean? Well put simply BIM stands for Building Information Modelling. However there is much more to it than just building a 3D model. It is a process for managing the workflow of a project, collaborating, and controlling and capturing information. There are essentially 3 levels of BIM. Level 1 BIM is effectively where we all are already, using 2D information, a set of protocols for sharing information and coordinating with other consultants.

This document will set out a strategy for upgrading hardware and infrastructure to cope with the demands of BIM software (such as Autodesk Revit), a programme for training staff, a time period for developing in house libraries, model templates, internal protocols, file naming conventions and protocols for sharing information externally. The adoption should ideally be phased, using a small simple project with a fairly relaxed programme as a pilot project. This can be used to test the systems you have put in place and provide lessons learnt for future projects. Your BIM protocols and libraries will be a continually evolving document as your companies BIM maturity and knowledge grows. We here at Lee Evans Partnership first adopted BIM back in 2012, and in the last two years our BIM capabilities have grown immensely once we started to see the benefits of using BIM, including better coordination, clash detection, efficient scheduling, collaborative working, as well as being able to produce 3D internal and external views to help clients visualise the building. Level 3 BIM will be the next step. The draft document PAS 1192-3 describes how the end user can use the BIM data produced during the project for ongoing Facilities Management. It is not an easy or cheap process adopting BIM within your organisation, but with proper planning, training and resourcing level 2 BIM compliance is achievable by 2016.

Level 2 BIM is where it all gets a bit more tricky. The government have declared that all projects funded by central government will be level 2 BIM by 2016. This involves producing a fully coordinated 3D Building Information Model, working to a common set of protocols over a CDE (common data environment). PAS 1192-2 sets out the criteria for achieving level 2 BIM. The most important thing for a company looking to adopt level 2 BIM is to make sure that there is a clear implementation strategy. The BIM Implementation Plan will provide a roadmap for adopting BIM over a period of time.

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Dover – The Enterprise Coast The introduction of high speed trains to London in 2009 marked a steep change in the Dover district’s infrastructure, creating new opportunities for inward investment and bringing it within commuting distance of the Capital. Planned major expansion at the Port of Dover will cement Dover’s position as the ‘Gateway to Europe’. Investor confidence is high, with increased business investment, new house building and town centre regeneration. Location, location, location! Just 21 miles from France, Dover is the UK’s gateway to trade and commerce with European markets and consumers. The Port of Dover is the busiest roll-on/roll-off and passenger port in Europe, and the UK’s second busiest cruise port. As well as unrivalled connections with Europe, the three principal towns on the Enterprise Coast – Dover, Deal and Sandwich – are linked to London on the UK’s only high speed train service. UK’s most successful Enterprise Zone Excellent transport infrastructure is just one of the reasons why more companies are choosing to invest on the Enterprise Coast. Discovery Park in Sandwich is the UK’s most successful Enterprise Zone, offering significant funding and incentives for start-up and growing businesses. Discovery Park was formerly the European R&D headquarters of US pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer. They still retain a significant presence in Sandwich with over 600 employees. Now developing as one of Europe’s most significant innovation clusters, Discovery Park now boasts over 100 tenants and 1,600 employees in sectors including life sciences, science and technology, business and enterprise, and manufacturing. ( Major funding and incentives The Discovery Park Enterprise Zone offers an excellent range of funding and incentives for new and growing businesses, including up to 100% Business Rates relief worth up to £275,000 over 5 years, and possible enhanced Capital Allowances for investment in plant and machinery. Companies locating to Discovery Park can take advantage of these benefits up until March 2018, with potentially no business rates to pay until 2023. Lease payment holidays, low-rent incubator units and development funding are also available, along with superfast broadband and simplified planning for conversion of existing buildings, development of new buildings, and changes of use.


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

New Marina - artists impression An emerging Master Plan for the Enterprise Zone includes the introduction of leisure, retail, community, and potential education uses alongside a more specific enhanced core employment function. East Kent Expansion Funding for new and growing businesses on the Enterprise Coast is also available through Expansion East Kent, a £35 million Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme of 0% loans for businesses seeking to invest in East Kent to create jobs. The programme aims to unlock private sector finance, stimulating over £300 million in associated investment over three years. Companies operating on the Enterprise Coast have gained access to over £10 million in funding from Expansion East Kent, creating and safeguarding 733 jobs. Investment in Maritime Skills One company to have benefited from Expansion East Kent is Viking Recruitment which secured a £1.3 million interest-free loan to develop a state-of-theart Maritime Skills Academy at the Beechwood Business Park in Dover. The Academy will include a specialist fire fighting and a sea survival centre with wave pool and accompanying environmental effects. The new complex will meet the increased demand for such training with new regulations coming into force in

2017 requiring all seafarers to undertake increased training as well as refresher training every five years. In addition to providing safety and sea survival training, the centre will also feature numerous training rooms for professional development, simulator training equipment, conference provision for 120 people, modern kitchens, a restaurant, and coffee shop/bar, all utilised for maritime hospitality training. The facility will also showcase the industry as a career. (

SPOTLIGHTON... Port of Dover - Western Docks Revival The Port of Dover is embarking on a major redevelopment of the Western Docks, investing £200 million in capital construction projects over the next five years. This includes the development of a new cargo terminal and logistics hub. The development will create 600 new jobs as well as safeguarding 140 existing roles. The development also includes a new marina to be built in the outer harbour and unlocks nonoperational land for a major waterfront regeneration project. The Port is also investing £80 million upgrading the Eastern Docks Ferry Terminal, including new ferry berths and a Traffic Management Improvement (TMI) Project that will transform the entrance to the port, creating greater resilience for handling HGV traffic. ( £40m investment in sustainable business, energy, education & heritage The development of the Betteshanger Parks represents a UK first for investment in green and sustainable business, energy, education and heritage. Located on the site of the former East Kent coalfield, this unique project is led by Hadlow College and will combine a green technologies sustainable business park; world class research & development, and; a national visitor destination and learning centre for sustainable energy and mining heritage. The £40 million first phase has already received public funding of £5 million from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and £2.5 million from the Coastal Communities Fund. A further £11 million in private investment has been in agreed in principle with agreed pre-lets. ( Manufacturing – from China to Dover! Multipanel UK has moved its manufacturing operation back to the UK from China, choosing Dover as its preferred location due its excellent transport links with the UK and mainland Europe. Dover District Council supported the company, with planning permission determined within eight weeks. Multipanel UK is one of the world’s leading suppliers of aluminium composite panels for use in sign making and shop fitting, internal portioning and POS, exhibition stands and industrial applications. The company’s UK manufacturing base is located at Eythorne, near Dover, where its cutting edge, high speed production line uses the most advanced technology in the industry. ( St James’s Retail & Leisure Development Dover District Council is working with its development partners, Bond City and Stonehurst Estates, on a prime 8-acre site that will transform the retail and leisure offer in the heart of Dover town centre. The development sits alongside the A20, the main road leading to the Port of Dover so will attract significant footfall.

The St James’s development comprises 120,000 sq. ft. of retail and leisure, 450 parking spaces, and will feature a 16,000 sq. ft. M&S store, a six screen multiplex Cineworld cinema, a 120-bed hotel, five national chain restaurants, and 12 further retail units. Practical completion of the development is scheduled for Spring 2016. ( Coastal Living Dover district offers a great lifestyle choice, combining idyllic countryside with rural hamlets and villages, and a world-famous coastline dominated by the White Cliffs of Dover. As the closest town in the UK to France, living in the Dover District also provides the opportunity for regular hops across the Channel to experience French lifestyle too!

developments are already underway, providing family and executive housing across the district. This includes the regeneration of the former Buckland paper mill, and an exclusive development of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes at Elysium Park. Major new housing schemes are also underway on the Aylesham Garden Village and Whitfield Urban Expansion. Future developments are also planned for the Western Heights, and the former Connaught Barracks site in Dover.

Many people aspire to living by the sea. The Dover District features some of the most vibrant seaside communities in the south east, including the bustling Port of Dover with its ferries and cruise ships, cosmopolitan Deal, and the medieval splendour of Sandwich. As part of its growth agenda, Dover is working with developers to bring over 10,000 new homes to the district by 2026. A range of exciting new housing

For more information, visit

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


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ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014


Could the return of speculative development be on the horizon? Commercial property experts in Kent believe that the upturn in business confidence is strengthening the case for speculative development, while recent planning regulation changes are in danger of leading to a shortage of small office premises. The Kent Developers Group, made up of commercial and residential developers operating across the county, has suggested that the latest data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK

Commercial Market Survey, demonstrates that now is the right time for the county to push ahead with a new office, warehousing and distribution development.

Astro Communications Ltd set to become a niche ISP Astro Communication’s strategy to become a leading UK niche ISP has been accelerated by being granted regional growth funding by Kent County Council. With 30 years’ experience in delivering communications solutions to medium and large organisations Astro Communications has big plans to develop its service offering to include internet services and hosting

solutions via its own core network. Partly funded through the Kent TIGER scheme, Astro is setting about building its own network with links directly into the major network providers in the UK.

A No Nonsense and green approach to office cleaning in Kent Established more than 15 years ago, M&C Cleaning Services have grown from a family run Civil Engineering group to a busy commercial cleaning and support company. Operated and run by the same family, the combined years of knowledge and experience have helped develop M&C Cleaning Services into one of Kent’s most respected commercial cleaning companies. M&C Cleaning Services clean a number of many different types of offices and workplaces but specialise in cleaning sensitive environments. We fully understand the need for privacy and confidentiality with the need to dispose of sensitive documentation efficiently and effectively. We work for organisations such as Solicitors, Barristers Chambers, financial services, security companies and Architects. We pride ourselves on offering a responsible, no nonsense approach to any working environment and unlike many other office cleaners, we always listen and react to our client’s needs. M&C Cleaning services also offer support services to complement our cleaning expertise and these include empty property and after builder preparation clean, together with a specialist landscaping service. We look forward to being an active member of Invicta Chamber of Commerce and having the opportunity to offer our services to fellow members. For more information please visit our new website

Everything for the perfect CHRISTMAS under one roof at the



----For more information and to book please call

0844 815 9045

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Think you know the Mercure Hythe Imperial then think again • 10% discount on room hire for Chamber Members

• Meet with Mercure -

Conferences, Meetings, Weddings & Events

Mercure Hythe Imperial Hotel and Spa | Prince’s Parade, Hythe l CT21 6AE

Tel: +44 (0) 1303 267441

e mail:

Visit our website: Find us on: Facebook | Follow us on: Twitter | Download: Events Brochure

Maidstone Museum Corporate Hire by the Hour

Maidstone Museum is now offering corporate guests flexible pricing by hiring out its Glass Room by the hour, including equipment hire, for a maximum of 2 hours. Perfect for: • Informal catch-up • Short meeting • Interview • With coffee, or over lunch, we offer you a cost effective opportunity to get away from the office to meet, think and plan. Quick and easy to book, with everything you need provided. For availability please contact us on 01622 602314 or email We can also offer all-inclusive day delegate rates, bespoke day and half day room rates.


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014


Confidence drives the conference sector Britain’s rapidly improving economy offers great opportunities for many companies and that is having a beneficial knock-on effect on the conferences sector in Kent.

We work with local hotels, employ local staff, use local catering companies and use local produce.

With confidence rising across the county, local venues are experiencing increased levels of business which is, in turn, providing work for local suppliers working in everything from technology to catering. The sector has long been a resilient one thanks to its ability to constantly try out new things while never losing touch with the needs of its clients. One business which has certainly done that is the Kent Event Centre, for which the Duke of Kent recently opened its new £1.5 million Maidstone Exhibition Hall. The Exhibition Hall was officially opened by the Duke as a guest of the Kent County Agricultural Society, during the Kent County Show; the Kent Event Centre has been at the Kent Showground at Detling, near Maidstone, since 1964. The development underlined the Centre’s position as one of the largest and most flexible venues in the South East. The single span building is 44 metres wide and 72 metres long and can seat up to 4,000 people. The Kent Event Centre was attracting bookings even before it was completed – the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is staging its annual Construction Expo there in October. The Centre is tapping into the potential of a sector which is playing its part in the recovery of the national economy. A report compiled jointly by the Events Industry Forum and the Business Visits &

Events Partnership, suggested that the UK Events Industry has the potential to grow from its existing £36.1 billion to £42.2 billion in 2015 and £48.4 billion in 2020. Kent Event Centre manager, Alison Wallington, shares that confidence. She said: “The conference sector is an important one to Kent, not just to venues like ourselves, but also to the local economy. “We work with local hotels, employ local staff, use local catering companies and use local produce. “Our impact on the local economy covers all areas. For instance, all our audio visual equipment comes from a local supplier. “In addition, we are supporting the area’s tourism sector; 500,000 people a year come to the showground. “We are definitely sensing growing confidence in the sector and our recent investment enhances the already excellent range of facilities. “The hall has generated a lot of interest from prospective customers and I’m confident it will enable us to break into new markets in the years ahead.” So as companies start to release funds to organise conferences and exhibitions, what are they looking for when it comes to selecting a venue? One of the key factors, say industry experts, is a good location, somewhere that is easy to reach and attractive for delegates.

When assessing the venue they are looking at other factors as well. Can it cope with the numbers expected to attend, has it got a good meeting room, will it provide equipment like projectors and Internet access, are the staff friendly and flexible in helping them meet their needs? The good venues are the ones that can tailor themselves to providing the exact needs of the event organisers and are prepared to be flexible, be it for a conference or an exhibition. Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce meets all these criteria because it has excellent conferencing and training facilities that can accommodate small meetings to large conferences, from 2 to 100 delegates. Various room layouts are available including boardroom, theatre and cabaret, and the purposebuilt facility is the ideal location for all your business events both large and small. The facility is ideally situated just south of the M20 Junction 10 and just two miles from the Ashford International train station. Facilities include: • Rooms to accommodate from 2 - 100 • A comprehensive catering and refreshment service • All audio and visual equipment available to hire • Ample FREE and safe car parking • FREE Wifi • Air conditioning (Conference room / Paris room) • A friendly and welcoming ambience

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Welcome to the Pines Calyx, your optimum thinking space The Pines Calyx is a multi-award-winning event venue with the lowest carbon footprint of any venue in the UK. Constructed from natural, renewable materials and utilising some remarkable ancient construction methods, the venue has been carefully considered to make the space as sustainable and tranquil as possible. It is the perfect environment in which to focus your energy and let your creative thinking flourish. Situated in beautiful, secluded St Margaret’s Bay, with views across the Channel to France, the Pines Calyx is well connected via high-speed train and road networks. Everything, in one stunning coastal location Whether you are coming for the day or planning a longer event, we offer a full destination management service to make your visit as productive and inspiring as possible. The team at the Pines Calyx will take care of all your needs,

arranging everything from delicious home-cooked food to local accommodation and transport. The building and beyond The building has three purpose built areas where delegates can network, meet, train and present. In addition to this the venue offers spaces for taking your work outside. Whether shaded by our open sided Yurt or on a sunlit terrace garden you can admire the views across the tranquil Pines Garden, the English Channel and beyond. To book your conference or event in a healthy, relaxed environment contact Jane Ivor-Jones or Kevin Francis online at or call 01304 851 737. We look forward to welcoming you.

Salomons Estate

– lending your conference a sense of occasion If you’re planning to host a conference or organise a team-building day off site, few settings match that of the beautiful Salomons Estate. A Victorian mansion set in 36 acres of gardens, parkland and woods, Salomons has been lovingly restored and combines a country house atmosphere with the very latest conferencing technology. There are 12 fully-equipped meeting rooms to choose from, including breakout rooms and the Technology Suite, which is ideal for training. From the elegant Gold Room, with its access onto the terrace, to the 230-seater Victorian Theatre, perfect for large conferences and seminars, each


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

room offers a comfortable and relaxing working environment. Alternatively, if you’re planning to host an away day, Salomons Estate and its extensive grounds offers a raft of team building opportunities. With Salomons’ team of qualified instructors on hand, you can enjoy a wide array of activities from archery to rafting. Finally, there will be no need to go hungry on your visit to Salomons as full catering facilities are available.

You can enjoy a wide range of food and drink options for your conference or meeting where you are sure to find something to satisfy your delegates. You can order bespoke dishes or choose from one of many mouth-watering menus. With its choice of rooms, state-ofthe-art conferencing technology and beautiful grounds, Salomons Estate is the perfect venue to give your meeting that sense of occasion. To book your room call today on 01892 515 152.


Inspired by People, Imagined by Marriott – Next Generation Meeting Spaces Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club is “re-imagining” traditional meeting spaces to meet a growing demand for more inspiring and creative work environments. Marriott Hotels is re-thinking everything from boardrooms, breakouts and pre-function spaces, taking a holistic approach to meetings and seamlessly integrating service, technology and contemporary design.

Maidstone Museum - so much more... Maidstone Museum provides the perfect opportunity for your business to host an event in a unique environment, whilst enjoying the special ambience of a historic building in a town centre location. Housed in a building which combines multi-layered history and award-winning modern architecture, our versatile venue is ideal to hold meetings, workshops, conferences, networking and drinks receptions to motivate and impress.

The Museum boasts an experienced conference and meetings team with dedicated staff on hand to make sure your event runs smoothly, along with caterers offering a selection of locally sourced, freshly prepared produce.

We can offer you 2 meeting rooms, each with their own individual character and charm, with 1 further stunning room and 2 spacious exhibition galleries available on request. Complemented with modern facilities, our rooms are suitable from 2 to 160 delegates.

The Museum and its collections can be incorporated into your event, offering private viewing of current exhibitions, guided tours through its galleries and exclusive talks with viewing of artefacts stored behind the scenes. Delegates can also enjoy a breath of fresh air in the adjacent Brenchley Gardens. Exclusive hire of the Museum can be offered.

Research conducted by Marriott and the publishers of WIRED shows that people are working differently than in previous generations. The trend has shifted from individual workspaces to an ecosystem of places that gives workers choice and control over where and how to work, in and out of the office. “The way people work is changing but the way meetings are hosted at hotels has not kept pace,” said Paul Cahill, Senior Vice president, Brand Management, Marriott Hotels. ”Inspired by the way Gen X and Gen Y meet and work, we are introducing spaces that promote collaborative work environments for more productive and meaningful outcomes.” Tudor Park offers flexible work spaces that meet the objectives of the meeting and its participants rather than dictate by room lay-out or furniture. From networking events to business meetings and interactive classes, technology and design will blend seamlessly to help facilitate all manner of meeting and purpose. For more information and to book meeting spaces at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club contact our events team on 01622 632006

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS





ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Traumatic incidents that show why security should be taken seriously In an increasingly dangerous world stalked by revolution, civil war and organised crime, you could be forgiven for assuming that all companies take security seriously when sending staff abroad. Not so, according to Gerald Moor, CEO of the Ashfordbased Inkerman Group, which he established in 1996 to meet the intelligence and security needs of businesses. Gerald says that, despite many widely-reported cases of employees having to flee trouble-spots around the world, many companies still do not make adequate provision for staff working abroad. He set up the business having spent 20 commissioned years in the British Army where he was involved in the international intelligence arena, including counter terrorism. Before creating The Inkerman Group, Gerald made the definitive documentary on The Battle of Jutland shown on ITV and founded and ran a manufacturing business in the scuba diving arena. He invented the world’s only underwater backmounted propulsion unit with a variable speed control, commenting: “I’d seen Thunderball and thought they were on the right lines.” Gerald sold the marine business in 1996 and went on to establish The Inkerman Group in the same year. Today, it comprises companies involved in business risk, intelligence, travel safe services, kidnap and ransom, investigations, specialist security, screening translations and training. The idea came about as he sought a new challenge. Gerald said; “In the Army, I had lived in a world when I could be woken up at 3am and told to get on a plane without knowing when I would be back, which was exciting. “Starting my own marine business was exciting, too, creating new products, dealing with suppliers, going to exhibitions but after a year and a half I felt I had it cracked and needed a new challenge, hence the sale. “A friend of mine was a CEO and told me about a report he had commissioned into security for his company and I told him what I thought it should say, how much it should have cost and the points that should have been raised. He suggested that I should go back to what I knew best.“ Today, the Group employs 32 people with more than 180 sub-contractors round the world with security its main specialism. That includes its Travel Safe service, advising clients on travel precautions and helping them when staff find themselves caught up in crises ranging from revolutions to kidnappings, 24/7. According to Gerald, even some big companies do not take security seriously. He said: “People are a company’s biggest asset but also the major consideration when it comes to security.

“If I take a flight, and I have lost count of the number of times I have flown, I am not one of these people who sits with their headphones on or reading the newspaper when the cabin crew are doing the safety briefing. “I am listening for where the safety exits are because every aircraft is different and the last thing you want when the cabin is full of smoke is to be looking round for the exits.

Our advice to our clients was to get non-essential people out when the Arab Spring was starting but we had companies who ignored what we said then rang up saying they desperately needed help getting their people out. All the tears could all have been avoided. “And yet when we carry out security training for companies, you get CEOs who do not take part because they are too busy. We do come across some unbelievable examples of complacency. “Many CEOs have a tendency to think they walk on water, that it will not happen to them, so they do not take precautions and yet, under the Corporate Manslaughter Act, if they send a member of staff away on business and they are killed the company can be liable. “It is the CEOs, the finance directors and the HR directors who will be the ones taking the tough decisions so they need to be informed and trained.”


Too many companies just do not take security seriously. Businesses that fly blind tend to crash ... Since its formation, the company’s experts have been involved in everything from helping to negotiate the freedom of workers held hostage by drug barons in Colombia to helping get people out of war-torn cities. Gerald said: “I am pretty brutal when I address companies on the subject of security because of the impact that such situations can have. “The people who go out and become involved in incidents are not the same people who come back. Incidents like kidnaps or civil unrest can be traumatic not just for the staff involved but for their families. “For example, we helped get people out of Tripoli during the Libyan uprising and had a twelve-year-old coming out of the house and seeing bodies. That should not happen if you plan correctly. “We always say that when something like that happens, get your non-essential staff out early and part of our work is to monitor the intelligence so that we know when something is about to happen.” That was certainly the case during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011 when hostage and terrorism experts from the company were deployed to rescue hundreds of business clients caught up in the crisis in Egypt. Teams from The Inkerman Group flew into Cairo to lead worried employees and their families away from the rioting, looting and protests that had engulfed the city. Gerald said: “Our advice to our clients was to get nonessential people out when the Arab Spring was starting but we had companies who ignored what we said then rang up saying they desperately needed help getting their people out. All the tears could all have been avoided.” And it is not just about travel; security is relevant to every company whatever the size and wherever they are operating. Gerald said: “You still get companies that take staff on without doing the necessary background checks then find themselves surprised to find that people lie on their CVs. Too many companies just do not take security seriously. Businesses that fly blind tend to crash”

Gerald Moore CEO Inkerman Group

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Another door opens… The Secure Engineering portfolio continues to expand. We are pleased to announce that we can now make the nation’s businesses, industries and government institutions more secure, thanks to our latest cooperation with the UK's leading automatic and industrial door specialists Gilgen Door Systems. Gilgen is a long-established company, with high levels of customer satisfaction and an excellent reputation. For new or existing systems, Secure Engineering can now integrate automatic doors, shutters, gates and sliding walls into our electronic security system designs. We can also provide maintenance and repair on current systems at a competitive price. Managing Director of Secure Engineering, Clifford Corne said:, ‘We are delighted to finally work with a nationally recognised automatic door specialist who have been automating doors since 1961 – there is no limit to their experience and capabilities when it comes to automating doors.’

Helping you enjoy your patio Alfresco Glassrooms and Awnings offer a range of products so clients can make better use of their patios offering protection from the environment.

Being a UK manufacturer of high quality door systems, Gilgen provides solutions which are consistent with Secure Engineering’s desire to be more sustainable. Gilgen’s attention to detail and fit-for-purpose designs ensure every customer’s needs are met, and this too, is one of our guiding principles at Secure Engineering. Both companies operate to ISO 9001:2008 quality standards and adhere to all necessary regulatory requirements, further enhancing safety and customer satisfaction. With automated entrances and integrated security systems from Secure Engineering customers can look forward to a safer and more secure future than ever before.

We only supply Weinor products which represent the very best in German engineering and design. All our awnings are motorised and have the option of valances which can be up to 2.1 metres. LED light bars and infrared heaters are available for all of our products. For larger areas a glass or fabric roof maybe the best alternative to give perfect weather protection. The fabric options again are motorised and offer the freedom of being able to open the space up. Glass roofs can be fitted with awnings above or below depending on your needs. If you require further shelter then vertical blinds can be useful in some situations.

More popular are the glass elements which slide open but can also be designed to pivot to provide open clear areas. In the case of these being fitted to a glass roof you now find yourself with a glassroom. These are uninsulated but give you great protection from the elements providing a flexible space where you can control the environment to your liking. All of the motorised components, lights and heaters are controlled from one remote control. Sun, wind and rain sensors provide protection for your investment or the ability to automate the system to your liking. We provide a design, fit and supply service for commercial or domestic use.

Kent K ent Pr Property o oper ty Mark Market et R Report eport >> headline headline spons sponsor or and m major con contributor tributor

Hea O Head Office: ffice: James James Pilcher cher House, H se, 49/50 49/5 50 W Windmill m Street, treet Gravesend, Kent D DA12 G ra A 11BG BG

Telephone: T ele hone 0 01474 1 45 537733 37 33

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Let us do lunch! We are a successful Kent based company specialising in supplying quality buffet lunches for business meetings, training courses and corporate events to organisations throughout Kent.

Our buffet platters are created with the finest quality food products and tastefully presented.

Holding a conference or business meeting in Kent? Conference and Private Dining for up to 300 delegates


Range of packages that can be tailored to meet your needs

01892 520331

Check out our menus at

We are also happy to create individual menus especially for you.

All orders are delivered free throughout Kent from our fleet of refrigerated vans. Order via our website, by email or by phone on 0845 463 5673

14 Acres of landscaped grounds and gardens New Day Delegate Packages from just £29 per person

Christmas bookings now being taken.

As a fellow member of the Invicta Chamber you will get a 20% discount off of your first order over £50. (New customers only)

Just quote INVICTA20 when ordering.

Oakwood House

For unique events with style . . .

Att Oakw A Oakwood ood House w wee app appreciate preciate the impor importance tance of deliv delivering erin ng a seamless business meeting meeting.. That is whyy w ffer er a bespo besp oke solutio n to suit individual needs, ds,, fr om the room room and setting ood wee off offer bespoke solution from setting,, to ffood and be verages and an ny equi equip ipment yyou ou ma ay require. require. beverages any equipment may W ange of co nfference rrooms ooms available or be bet ettween 2 and 250 delegates,, with ful fu ay Wee hav havee a rrange conference available,, suitable ffor between fulll da day delegate rrates ates star ting fr om just £20.00 per perso n. starting from person. A dd to this fr ee wi-fi,, fr ee par p king and our co nvenient loc atioon in Maidsto ne, just minutes fr om the Add free free parking convenient location Maidstone, from M20,, Oakw ood House is th he perfect perfect setting ffor or any any cor poratee eevent. vent. Oakwood the corporate

Christmas 2014 at Oakwood House Whether celebrating with colleagues, friends or family we have a range of events througout December to make the Festive Season special. Shared Party Nights, Private Party Packages, Children’s Jingle Bell Ball, Chrsitmas Day Lunch and New Years Eve. Enquire today on 01622 620720 and quote OHBM2014

Oakwood O a kwo o d H House ou s e . . . Weddings W eddings

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Oakwood O ak wo o d H House, ouse, O Oakwood ak wo o d P Park, ark , M Maidstone aids ton e K Kent ent M MEE16 8 A AEE t:01622 620720 w: w w w. oak e: info@oak woodhousehot


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014


Neil Francis

What can a mobile App do that your Website can’t ? Business is an evolving environment; as a business owner, you try every marketing tactic. More and more people are spending more time on their mobile devices and less on their computers. So the question is, how can a mobile app • Get your customers to market your benefit your business & bottom line? business by creating a buzz quickly by allowing them to share with all of First, let me say that there is no such their friends/followers. Think about thing as a business being too small to this, the average number of friends have a mobile App. Examples of what a someone has is 338; now let’s say 20 mobile app brings to your business that people share, that is close to 7000 a website cannot: people. • More engaging, it is a faster way for your customers to stay up to date with • Have a product, use QR codes to give your customers instant savings. a push of a button & the ability to • Any Events you are having can be send them unlimited push shared to your customers Facebook & notifications. Twitter friends by the touch of a button. • Build customer loyalty through mobile digital stamping cards, everyone likes All of this you can only do with a deals. Mobile App! Contact:

Improve your health in one hour a week At Absolute Health and Vitality we offer solutions to busy professional people who feel that the pressures of a busy schedule are affecting their wellbeing, but who simply don’t have the time to do anything about it.

We work at your pace focusing on sleep, hydration, nutrition, breathing, movement and thoughts, and tailoring the programme to your individual needs. By working with you to fit our suggestions into your life, we can create lifelong habits that help to improve your overall wellbeing, both physical and mental. When it comes to healthy living, we have the experience and

expertise to provide you with the tools and motivation needed to reach your goals quickly and easily. There are no quick fixes or magic pills when it comes to good health: it’s about taking responsibility for our bodies and living a healthy lifestyle. We can teach you how to live that lifestyle.

Security companies merge One of Kent’s best-known security companies is expanding by merging with another well-respected local business. Ashford-based Red Alert, which has been providing intruder and fire alarms, CCTV and entry systems across the south east for more than 20 years, has joined forces with Kent and Sussex Security (KSS). All the staff are being retained in what Red Alert managing director Clive Gawler described as “a great step forward for both companies and, particularly, the customers they serve.” KSS directors Geoff Hilton and John Jameson will join Red Alert and focus on integrating their

customer base into the new operation as well as helping to find new business opportunities. KSS was established in 1996, three years after Red Alert, and the two companies have worked together on projects in the past. Initially part of a national CCTV franchise, KSS later became independent. It will add a wealth of security industry and specialist CCTV knowledge to the expanding Red Alert operation.

Kent K ent Pr Property o oper ty Mark Market et R Report eport >> headline headline spons sponsor or and m major con contributor tributor

Head O Head Office: ce James mes P Pilcher ilcher H House, se, 4 49/50 9/50 Windmill ndm Street, treet, G raves d, Kent DA12 1BG Gravesend,

Telephone: T ele one 01474 01474 537733 37 3

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


Holiday Pay and Commission Workers Recently the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) gave an important judgment regarding the right of commission based workers to holiday pay.

A worker’s holiday pay must be determined in such a way as to correspond to the normal remuneration received by the worker.

It has been the case that when workers normally receive payment during their work of overtime, standby payments or such, then the calculation of holiday pay must take those elements into account and not just base holiday pay on the basic salary. This was reinforced by the CJEU last year. The most recent case (Lock v British Gas Trading Limited) concerned a worker whose remuneration was partly a basic salary and partly commission. The latter comprised around 60% of his total remuneration. Commissions were payable on sales and were generally paid a few weeks after the sale was concluded. British Gas conceded that while the worker was on holiday, he couldn’t generate the commission. Although he was paid commissions previously earned while on holiday, the worker was going to have a gap in his remuneration in the period after he returned. British Gas argued that since the previously earned commissions were payable during the period when the worker was on holiday, then they had complied with the requirements of the Working Time Regulations. The CJEU considered the Working Time Directive. It observed that the worker’s holiday pay must be “determined in such a way as to correspond to the normal remuneration received by the worker.” The court went on to find that


“Any aspect [of pay] that is linked to the performance of tasks which the worker is required to carry out…must necessarily be taken into account for the purposes of calculating the amount to which the worker is entitled during his annual leave.” It was pretty clear that Mr Lock’s commission “is linked to the performance of tasks which the worker is required to carry out”. Therefore any calculation of holiday pay must include the commission element. It followed from this that even though the financial disadvantage was deferred (that is, it didn’t occur during the leave itself), the worker is effectively disadvantaged by taking leave. The financial impact of doing so might deter the taking of leave – especially where the worker is paid a substantial amount of his remuneration by way of commission. This, said the Court, is contrary to the intention of the Directive. The actual calculations were left to be determined by the UK tribunal. It was considered that calculation should properly be based on the remuneration paid (including commission) to the worker over an appropriate, representative period. The situation for employers as a result is going to be a higher salary cost. But there may be greater impact in the claim by workers for back-dated

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

holiday pay. The Working Time Directive has been out since 1998, although there might be a limitation period of 6 years. It is worth noting that any such claim can only be made within a period of three months from the last unlawful deduction (being the incomplete holiday payment). What the appropriate reference period will be is not clear, and may not be the same in every case. Should it be the previous 12 weeks? Or possibly the commission earned in the same period in the previous year.

Alex Lee is a partner at Buss Murton Law or call 01892 510222.

The former sounds right and has some precedent in the context of other calculations of holiday pay incorporating overtime for example. But this might not be fair if the prior 12 weeks are a “slow” period (eg summer). Thus employers might want to consider the performance in the previous year as a guide to this calculation. Whatever the decision, it is not going away and employers would be advised not to ignore the issue.


The Economy & Us: Mind the Gap A man wants to work for his pay A man wants a place in the sun A man wants a gal proud to say That she'll become his lovin' wife He wants a chance to give his kids a better life

Pretty well all of us, I suggest, want the chance to make something of our lives. We may not dream it quite as Louis Armstrong sang; but we hope to matter, somehow. Yet with the gap between earnings and living costs still widening, we see that to secure a home and raise a family – or whatever our personal dream may be – is becoming harder. Just as in the 1930s, after the crash (and before it) the gap between haves and have-nots is widening. Accepting that Thatcher, and now Osborne, calculated correctly that a property-owning democracy is apt to respect the rule of law, what do we expect now of the 40% of Britons who have to rent and see themselves getting worse off? Years ago, I heard Sister Wendy identify “lack of scope” as one of the chief poverties in modern times; and Mother Teresa wrote: “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody”. Some have always felt outsiders, vulnerable to manipulation. Today, however, a lack of scope afflicts many, not just social outsiders. With shrinking disposable income in real terms, and diminished choices, as in the 1930s British and other societies are tending to fragment. It’s not just that people have lost faith in politicians’ competence to hold society together, it’s

Well hello, hello, hello brother You can travel all around the world and back … no matter where you go you're gonna find That people have the same things on their minds. “from “Hello Brother” in Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World

that most politicians are trusted about as much as bankers. Naturally, many of us - not just the greedy think “Every man for himself.” To some, jihad beckons. This is very dangerous. In the 1930s, depression/ recession divided societies and nations increasingly until the imperatives of all-out war levelled everybody, haves and have-nots alike. We need laws and institutions which make it normal, a birthright, to be able to earn a decent living and raise a family; and abnormal for buy-to-let investment by the haves to marginalize everybody else. And we have to rediscover and assert - our mutual respect: English and Scots; NATO and Russians; haves and have-nots; CofE and Moslem; Britons and

Europeans. To quote Mother Teresa again, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other”. Only then will common sense prompt our youngsters to make a life here, not make “optional war” abroad. In Kent we are partly insulated from Britain’s faltering per capita economy. But we are at risk like everybody else from its social and political divisiveness.

Nick Rowell Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email:

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


UNIVERSITY OF KENT/ WORKING WITH BUSINESS Innovation and growth for a cleaner, greener future through the Environmental Innovation Network (E-iNet) Do you work in, or want to move into, the low carbon or environmental sectors? Would you like free-of-charge specialist help and expertise? Long term economic opportunities are one of the many benefits of a lower carbon future, and the University of Kent is working to achieve this in partnership with small and medium sized businesses in the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector (LCEGS) across the region. The University is operating an EU funded project – the Environmental Innovation Network (E-iNet). The E-iNet project focuses on the needs of small and medium sized businesses by providing 12 hours of subsidised access to bespoke business advice and technical support. The University has a broad range of expertise, resources and facilities to support low carbon and environmental businesses ranging from management to Kent IT Consultancy. Examples of E-iNet collaborations already underway include: • Detailed expertise and university lab testing for an innovative renewables company working with the School of Physical Sciences • Architectural expertise and modelling to reduce the energy consumption of buildings • Business process mapping and IT needs analysis. If you would like to find out more about E-iNet, or if you are a small or medium sized business needing specialist expertise, please email Emma Lansdell, Environmental i-Net Project Manager by email or phone 01227 823376.

Funding to grow your business The University of Kent is offering more businesses funding opportunities with a new round of Innovation Vouchers. Aimed at supporting smaller project collaborations between small and medium sized businesses and the University; the voucher can provide a 50%* contribution towards the cost of a project (excluding VAT). Funding can be used for a range of projects and recent projects have included: • Market research and analysis for diversification into new markets • New software development; initial scoping and research for product development • Use of scientific facilities and other resources. All projects are subject to availability and eligibility. If you would like to discuss a potential project please contact Kent Innovation & Enterprise at or phone 01227 816032. *First time engagement only

Innovation Voucher Enhance your business growth opportunities!

Develop a new project with the University of Kent and your business could be eligible for a 50% contribution towards the cost.

Innovation Vouchers give your business the opportunity to improve growth and performance by tapping into academic knowledge, and getting access to specialist facilities and consultancy.

Our dedicated business support team at Kent Innovation & Enterprise will assist with applications; making it easy to spend your Innovation Voucher. Limited funds are available and applications will be assessed as they are received, so do contact us to discuss your project in more detail. Contact Kent Innovation & Enterprise on: 01227 816032 or email on 36

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014


Mansion Hotel opens at Port Lympne Reserve The Aspinall Foundation, the conservation charity protecting some of the most endangered species in the world, has unveiled the next chapter in its work with the opening of the Mansion Hotel and rebranding the Port Lympne Reserve, near Hythe. Photo courtesy of Tim Stubbings The refurbishment of the Mansion has created a boutique hotel and venue that can cater for private parties, weddings and corporate hospitality events, as well as provide a great place to escape to. Bob O’Connor, Managing Director of Port Lympne Reserve, said: “This investment and renaming as a ‘Reserve’ is a major step forward in the future of our work here at Port Lympne, and underpins our efforts abroad. It is also a significant investment and vote of confidence in the future of the tourism industry here in Kent. “For us to continue to fund our international conservation work we have to make sure we are

delivering what our customers want and make the most of what we have here at Port Lympne, and sister wildlife park Howletts. We are now able to offer an unrivalled range of accommodation against the backdrop of this spectacular wildlife park and the English Channel.” Built a century ago, the Mansion played host to lavish house parties and society gatherings in its stunning grounds, organised by creator Sir Philip Sassoon, a member of the Rothschild family and MP for Folkestone and Hythe from 1912 until his death in 1939.

Logic PM appoint Keith Grimley as Business Development Manager Keith Grimley is the latest addition to the team at Logic PM, a RICSaccredited construction Project Management practice based in Maidstone.

The practice specialises in the education, commercial and leisure sectors and boasts an impressive client list including: Kent County Council, Capita Healthcare, Kier and Brooks Macdonald Group Plc. Keith joins from Locate in Kent, the county’s investment promotion agency, where he provided an account management service to local businesses. With a background in economic development across a wide range of organisations, Keith has worked with company owners, public bodies and other agencies to successfully grow and develop their businesses. On his decision to join Logic PM, Keith said: “Nick Baster and the team he has built offer an exciting and rare

blend of professional and design skills, combined with considerable practical experience. I am very much looking forward to introducing Logic PM’s services to Kent clients, helping them to grow their businesses and saving them time and money in the process.” He added that: “Defining and evaluating options for setting up or expanding premises will always be a key consideration for decision makers. Whether new-build, refurbishment or expansion, I have seen first-hand the benefits of using independent professionals at the outset and consider this to be key to the success of any construction project.” For more information visit

In a fitting link to its past, the Mansion Hotel was formally opened by Damian Collins, the present MP for Folkestone and Hythe, who was joined by representatives from the local community and tourism industry. Bob O’Connor added: “We are very optimistic for the future and have exciting plans to create a new Tree House Hotel, a luxurious treetop retreat offering breathtaking views across the park. Our plans for Pinewood would create an overnight education experience for school children in close proximity to the animal enclosures, giving our guests the real feeling of camping in the wild.”


Employment Law Update 2014–15 Thursday 23rd October 2014 8.30am to 12 noon, registration from 8am MEDWAY VENUE: Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Walderslade Woods, Chatham, Kent ME5 9AX Chamber members: £70 Non-members: £80 COST INC VAT

HOW TO BOOK Tel: 01233 503838 Email: Online: via ‘Events’ menu at

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



Town Malling Cricket Club U15A achieve the double Caxtons is proud to sponsor U11, U13 and U15 junior cricket at Town Malling CC. Founded in 1827, Town Malling’s ground boasts the first recorded game in Kent, which took place in 1705. However, history will no doubt record the season of 2014 amongst its finest, for that is when the Town Malling U15A team achieved league and cup double! Junior Development Officer Martyn Senior said "I am delighted for the boys who have worked hard this year.” David Gurton, a director at sponsors Caxtons said " We are delighted to have been involved in junior cricket at

Town Malling over the past four years. The achievements of the Under 15 side is just reward for several years hard work. “But more importantly Town Malling Juniors have, in a relatively short period of time, built a community spirit where so many people both young and old, want to help in any way they can. This is the real success story & Caxtons is proud to have been involved"

Keeping you connected Red Rocket Associates Linimex joined Kent Invicta Chamber with a view to supporting membership in the vast market space of Telecommunications / Cloud based solutions. Founded in 2012 by three-experienced Telco providers from BT, Adam Hutchison, Neil Lonergan and Max Jones began to offer customers that bit extra when exploring this sector. As businesses know, Telecommunications is no longer a luxury but a necessity with so many providers battling for supremacy in a fiercely competitive market the danger is being led up the wrong path, more often than not over sold services that simply don’t fit the Technology Road Map of your business. With 30 years industry experience Linimex believe that there is simply not enough support for people in this field which spawned Linimex a consultancy that supports business with the changes in Technology offering access to multiple vendors such as BT, COLT,


Mitel, Avaya, Microsoft, Cisco and Exponential - E. Linimex ensures that businesses have access to the best services in the market, with the right advice. So when you need a Telecoms Estate audit, looking at moving to the Cloud, need improved internet connectivity or are changing telephone systems be sure to contact Linimex for a consultation. None of the services are chargeable to the client as all funding is supported direct by the vendors themselves, so a win win for your business. Keep updated on twitter @Linimex there’s insight into the industry via our blogs. And please look out for our Kent Invicta Chamber workshops in September.

ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Red Rocket Associates is an exciting collaboration of 5 businesses coming together to enable growth and development in the workplace. We deliver coaching, consultancy, training and partnership brokering to individuals, organisations and businesses. We facilitate innovative approaches to employability, talent development and collaborative working. The five businesses have many years of experience of corporate and educational training / development, partnership brokering, coaching and communications. We are based at the Innovation Centre, University Road in Canterbury and cover all of Kent and Medway between us. There are three key strands to our business: • Work Start • Work Matters • Work Wonders These are delivered through training, coaching, mentoring, networking events and collaborative partnerships with our associates.

A new initiative will be launched in the autumn - ‘Women Working Wonders’ empowering women to increase their influence and impact in the workplace. A free event will be offered to discover more about this programme and an introduction to the 7 principles of influence and impact: 1. Knowing yourself 2. Communicating with clarity 3. Relationships in the workplace 4. Collaborative working 5. Confidence and leadership 6. Work/life balance 7. Personal branding Three introductory events will be held in November 2014 at different venues across Kent also enabling attendees to network before and after the event - details will be released soon and if you would like to register your interest please email Helen Connelly at or visit


Company issues tax warning

Certitude Wealth

A jump in the number of people paying the wrong amount of tax has prompted a warning from Kent-based DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors.

As a restricted financial advisory practice, which is part of Intrinsic Mortgage Planning Limited, Certitude Wealth has a philosophy to provide trustworthy, transparent and professional advice, tailored to individual needs. Although specialising in Business and Personal Protection, I also provide advice on Mortgages from the Whole of the Market and Buildings and Contents Insurance from a single provider. Personal Protection Ensure peace of mind that your family has suitable protection in the event of your untimely death or on your diagnosis of a critical illness in order to repay the outstanding mortgage, educational fees or simply maintain their lifestyle. Business Protection Key-person Insurance protects your company against financial loss, should a key employee pass away or be diagnosed with a critical illness.

According to new figures 5.5 million people paid incorrect levels of tax in the last financial year – up 300,000 on the year before despite the implementation of real-time PAYE (RTI) filing by HMRC. For 3.5 million of them it means they face the prospect of further payments to make up the shortfall, while two million people stand to enjoy a refund. Steve Carpenter, Director of Taxation at DSH in Maidstone, said: ”The significance of these figures is that they come when HMRC has introduced measures to improve the accuracy of reporting. While it is still early days for RTI, the fact so many more tax payments were incorrect puts a big question mark over the possible success of this scheme.”

As a proud new member to the Chamber, it is my pleasure to welcome you to Certitude Wealth Joanne Stickings, CeMap DipFA

HMRC said: “There will always be end-of-year reconciliations due to the way PAYE works. “Most people pay the right tax throughout the year, but there will always be a small percentage of the 41 million people in PAYE who have underpayments or overpayments at year end. “This could be because they have moved jobs, received a number of different sources of income or received benefits-in-kind that were only reported at the end of the year. “The effect of RTI is not reflected yet as it has not bedded in but, over time, RTI will help to reduce the number of cases that have to be reconciled.”

The policy proceeds are paid to your company to assist with costs such as staff training or recruitment. Shareholder Protection is a policy to ensure the remaining Shareholders or Partners remain in control of your business in the event of one passing away or being diagnosed with a critical illness. Relevant Life is life insurance for small companies with too few employees to qualify for a Death in Service Scheme. Tax advantageous benefits include income tax and national insurance relief for employers. Premiums are not considered a P11D benefit. The policy does not form part of the client’s Annual Allowance nor Lifetime Allowance. Website: E-mail: Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Paul joins up Paul Williams recently joined the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with BBX UK – The Bank of Spare Capacity.

BBX stands for Business Bank Exchange and Paul believes he is offering a valuable service to business by helping them create an additional revenue stream which will ultimately enable them to keep more cash in their bank account and improve cash flow. BBX UK - The Bank of Spare Capacity initially helps businesses discover if they have capacity to take on more sales without increasing their staff or infrastructure costs. Assuming they do BBX will assist the business in turning this ‘spare capacity’ into an additional revenue stream.

Businesses who join BBX will have the opportunity to trade with other businesses in the UK as well as internationally as BBX are in 11 countries worldwide, including India and China. BBX work with a diverse range of businesses, however they all have two common qualities; firstly the ability to take on more business without materially affecting their overheads and secondly they use the BBX payment system to facilitate their transactions. To find out how BBX UK may be able to help your business drop him an email

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS



MP takes positive view of area’s future

Gordon Henderson - MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey returned to Kent Science Park to take part in a question and answer session with local businesses.

Getting G etting iitt right right Successful businesses need n the right people, so the appropriate appropriate recruitment, recruitment, remuneration remuneration and are crucial. It all costs time management policies are wrong. and money if you get itt wrong. Monckton’s E Employment Law team Whitehead Monckton’s specialise in supporting businesses, helping them to develop their te eams and manage staf ff teams staff performance, all agains st the backgr ound of ever against background changing legislation and pr ocedures. procedures. So check out how we ca an help you to get it right – can simply p y contact us today y. today.

Tel: T el: 01622 0162 22 698047 E-mail k www Whitehead M Whitehead Monckton onckton Limited Limited ((no. no. 0 08366029), 8366029), re registered gistered in England England &W Wales. ales. Registered Registered o office ffice 72 72 K King ing S Street, treet, Maidstone, Maidstone, Ke Kent, nt, ME14 ME14 1BL. 1BL. Authorised Authorised a and nd regulated regulated b by y tthe he Solicitors Solicitors R Regulation egulation Au Authority uthority under under no. no. 608279. 608279. TB10/14


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

The event was well attended and, with the Scottish Referendum Result announced the previous evening, a hot topic for debate was the implications of the result to the local economy. Mr Henderson’s discussion began with a presentation from Shaw Trust, a notfor-profit organisation dedicated to helping disabled people or those at a disadvantage to find and sustain employment. Hasan Hijazi, Lead Employer Relations Consultant, explained the importance of business owners being involved with the Shaw Trust and its nationwide programmes. He said: “We work in partnership with the Job Centre but access benefits in a different way. We understand the problems faced when trying to obtain work and encourage employers’ participation in offering work experience, work trials and potential paid work for people with disabilities and health issues who consider themselves job ready”. The Scottish Referendum was another important matter to be addressed, proving its magnitude to local businesses. Mr Henderson said: “I am absolutely delighted that we are staying as one nation but I am even more delighted with what the Prime Minister had to say about the voice of England having to be heard. “We have an English Parliament in place; we just need to make sure that English MPs vote on English matters.”

Amongst other topics discussed was the problem of unemployment in Sittingbourne and Sheppey, with local business owners seeking advice from Mr Henderson on finding skilled workers who wish to be employed. Mr Henderson said that he was continuing to focus on employment and small business growth: “We have to break the cycle of the benefit culture and I am keen to instigate change. I believe that the introduction of Universal Benefits will help that change because one element of it will allow the unemployed to earn a certain amount of money whilst keeping their benefits. “In addition, we must encourage youngsters to develop the desired work ethic and attitude needed in society.” The Q&A was followed by a topical presentation from Lorna Wyrill, Business and Skills Officer in the economy and Community Department at Swale Borough Council. The next Q&A with MP Gordon Henderson will be held on the 5th December and will discuss matters concerning the Autumn Statement and the consolidations of measures put in place previously. Places can be booked by visiting

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October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS

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Chamber Events, Seminars & Workshops BUSINESS BREAKFAST Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 8:00am - 9:30am Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT


12.00pm - 2.30pm £29.50 + VAT £24.50 + VAT

Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking.

Tuesday 9 December 2014 Chilston Park Hotel, Sandway, Lenham, ME17 2BE

Friday 10 October 2014 Bridgewood Manor Hotel, Walderslade Woods, Chatham, ME5 9AX

Join us for the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Christmas Luncheon.

Friday 31 October 2014 Hilton Maidstone Hotel, Bearsted Road, Maidstone, ME14 5AA Breakfast Networking Special - AMF Bowl Tuesday 11 November 2014 AMF Bowling Ashford, 43-79 Station Road, Ashford, TN23 1PP Wednesday 12 November 2014 Best Western Manor Hotel, Hever Court Road, Gravesend, DA12 5UQ

The event will take place at the elegant Chilston Park. This will be an excellent opportunity for you to entertain both clients, staff and partners, as well as network with existing members, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Seating arrangements are informal, so if you have any special seating requirements, please contact us. (Tables of 10 can also be booked). 12.00pm

Mulled wine on arrival


Guests are seated followed by a threecourse Christmas lunch with tea/coffee and mince pies

AFTER HOURS Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm FREE to members and non-members The After Hours Club is a popular and highly successful 'casual' networking event. The informal atmosphere and relaxed environment is the ideal place to relax and chat to fellow business people. This event is open to Members and non-members. Come and join us for an evening of networking. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is also available. Tuesday 21 October 2014 The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU Tuesday 21 October 2014 The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, ME14 2AE Tuesday 21 October 2014 Nucleus Arts, 272 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4BP Tuesday 4 November 2014 The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR Tuesday 4 November 2014 with Guest Speaker Alan Fletcher Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA

Breakfast at the Maidstone Museum with Guest Speaker Zoe Cairns Thursday 13 November 2014 Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith's Street, Town Centre, Maidstone, ME14 1LH

Lunch Networking Special

Wednesday 18 November 2014 The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU

Time: Non Members Members

Tuesday 25 November 2014 The Russell Hotel, 136 Boxley Road, Penenden Heath, Maidstone, ME14 2AE

Breakfast Networking with Driving Range Wednesday 26 November 2014 Canterbury Golf Club, Littlebourne Road, Scotland Hills, Lenham, Canterbury, CT1 1TW

Thursday 11 December 2014 Everest Inn Ashford, 113 Station Road, Ashford, TN23 1PJ

Thursday 4 December 2014 Dog & Bear Hotel, The Square, Lenham, ME17 2PG

Come and enjoy a superb Nepalese fusion light lunch where the chefs prepare all of their own spices to ensure only the best flavours and highest quality is on offer.

Breakfast Networking Special - Hollywood Bowl Thursday 4 December 2014 Hollywood Bowl, Medway Valley Park, Chariot Way, Rochester, ME2 2SS

The lunch will begin with finger style starters which will be served while you network with other businesses. This will be followed by the main course with a variety dishes available for you to choose from.

Wednesday 10 December 2014 Salomons Centre, Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 0TG


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

12.00pm - 2.00pm £25.00 + VAT £20.00 + VAT

Tea and Coffee will be served at the end of the lunch with more opportunities to network with other guests.

Wednesday 26 November 2014 Best Western Coniston Hotel & Restaurant, 70 London Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1NT Tuesday 2 December 2014 with Guest Speaker Malou Bengtsson-Wheeler The Conningbrook Hotel, Canterbury Road, Ashford, TN24 9QR Tuesday 2 December 2014 with Guest Speaker Karyn Wilkins from Avocet Strategic Resourcing Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre, Brunel Way, Dartford, DA1 5GA Tuesday 9 December 2014 Ramada Encore Chatham, Western Avenue, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham, ME4 4NT Tuesday 16 December 2014 The Abbots Barton, 36 New Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3DU



Facebook For Business Marketing

How businesses should be using Digital Marketing in 2014

Tuesday 14 October 2014 Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Rochester, ME5 9FD

Thursday 9 October 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £25.00 + VAT £20.00 + VAT

Come and find out more about.... • Search Engine Optimisatation - How to do a simple SEO audit • Succeed Online - Outlining some do’s and don’ts of online marketing • Online Marketing - A quick explanation of the different Channels • Pay Per Click (PPC) - Which businesses will get the best results from PPC • Tea / Coffee and Bacon Rolls will be provided.

Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace Friday 10 October 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £90.00 + VAT £75.00 + VAT

No matter how well you manage your staff, there will be times when you have to deal with conflict in the workplace. And, let’s face it, no-one likes to deal with these tricky situations. This workshop will help you deal with the “elephant in the room” and give you the confidence to have difficult conversations with your staff. This could include giving negative feedback about performance, telling someone bad news or dealing with redundancies. It will also help you deal with conflicts between employees at work where you are stuck in the middle! Tea / Coffee and Bacon Rolls will be provided

The Key Elements of a Sales Strategy and Plan Monday 13 October 2014 Innovation Centre Medway, Maidstone Road, Rochester, ME5 9FD Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £90.00 + VAT £75.00 + VAT

This workshop will be of interest to business owners and managers who are involved in planning and delivering effective sales activity that sustains or grows income and profit. At the end of the workshop delegates will have a basic understanding of:

Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £90.00 + VAT £75.00 + VAT

This workshop will enable you to set up your Facebook Page and its features needed in order to start marketing and benefiting from the features of Facebook. It will be a hands on session where you are required to bring along your laptop in order to get set up on the day and ask for any additional help needed where you are struggling with setting up your page.

Practical Selling Wednesday 22 October 2014 Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, TN24 0LH Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £90.00 + VAT £75.00 + VAT

This workshop will be of interest to those who would like an introduction to selling or want to build on current experience and will provide a framework for making a successful sales visit or call. At the end of the workshop delegates will: Understand the basic techniques and behaviours that lead to successful selling - How to plan a sales call (including gaining attention, creating interest, identifying needs of the customer and matching products/services to those needs) • How to differentiate between features and benefits • Have a basic understanding of how to overcome objections • Have a basic understanding of techniques that can be used close the sale

Successful Marketing Workshop Friday 24 October 2014 Tudor Park, Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, ME14 4NQ Time: Non Members Members

9:00am - 12.00 noon £90.00 + VAT £75.00 + VAT

- Understand why your brand, positioning and marketing messages are so critical to success - Learn the 9 building blocks of successful marketing - How to develop effective marketing messages and then how to get the right messages to the right prospects - Develop a marketing action plan that you can implement right now Includes Tea / Coffee and Bacon Rolls.

• The key elements of a sales strategy and plan • How to define your target customers • How to define your competitive advantage and Unique Selling Points • Competitor analysis and response • How to produce an effective and efficient sales activity plan

To book either visit or email or call 01233 503838

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


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Name: Company name: Start up date: Website:

Claire Burroughs and Derrick Swain 03.09.14

Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? The National Events Diary is Launching at If you organise events you will know that choosing the right date, one which does not clash with another, is critical to making it the success you deserve. Helping you to maximise success has launched The National Events Diary, a FREE-TOUSE events calendar and planning tool. Find the best date for your event then ‘claim’ your day on the website to tell the world, and avoid an event disaster. Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’? It’s exactly what the industry needs. Without exception, every event organiser we have spoken to has said they cannot understand why no one has set this up before! It is a unique concept. Let Kaddy LeePreston show you at: Q3: What motivated you to set up the business? Both Derrick and I had suffered the trauma of event clashes, for me it was when I was organising golf


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

days for the IOD Kent Branch and my networking lunches, and Derrick through his local events clashing with Rotary. We were both at lunch discussing these problems and both decided that we need a national diary of events just so that we can check everything that's on in one place, even bank holidays and school holidays. If we didn't do it someone else would. Now we have We have even branded public holidays and events that affect over 1m people as 'Jam Days'! Q4: What do you like most about working for a start-up? The buzz and excitement of a new team and new ideas. Working with our R&D team, who are really inspiring and so passionate about our idea, is amazing and now we are setting up the telesales team, so the icing on the cake is seeing revenue come in. Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? Getting the TIGER funding from Kent County Council. It was an amazing journey from the pre-application to the final panel presentation, and then, hearing that they would be supporting us both with funding and with their events and contacts throughout the country.

Q6: What has been your lowest moment? Waiting for website updates and chasing the deadlines. As neither Derrick nor I can write code, or have any concept of what is involved in actually putting this together, we were wading through treacle. That was until Edd Withers our R&D Manager joined us and took over the managing of the site and site testing. Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? We will become the “go to” events website. The same database will support a separate access portal for the general public called to search out what is on, where, when and why. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Be prepared to work hard and burn the midnight oil. You need to live and breathe your idea and be thinking about it 24/7, but love every second of it. Be prepared for things to go wrong and don't be too proud to ask for help. Also, remember to celebrate when you have success and involve your team in every aspect - they will work so well for you when they feel a part of it.


South East LEP secures £442.2million funding package We hope you have all experienced a productive summer and some of you have managed to enjoy a well-deserved break during the holiday season. As we move into Autumn and look to the end of the year, there is much work progressing with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP). Following Government’s announcement in July that the South East LEP has secured a £442.2 million funding package to boost economic growth across Kent, Medway, East Sussex and Essex we are moving apace into a new phase of delivery and implementation of schemes, in readiness for the funding to be devolved in April 2015. To support the implementation of our 2015/16 Growth Deal, as well as the development of future schemes, South East LEP is working with multimillion pound private company owner/group chair and ex-Whitehall Acting Permanent Secretary - Irene Lucas CBE to undertake a LEP “Delivery Review”. This will formalise our devolved structure and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the SE LEP Board and the local area Kent and Medway Economic Partnership Board – making sure the local business representatives on the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, are empowered to take decisions and monitor the delivery of these important schemes in the local area that will bring new jobs and homes and major investment in transport & business support. One of the key projects being developed as part of the South East LEP Growth Deal is plans for a business support service and online portal which will bring together information on all national and local schemes available to the business community ranging from exporting, funding, marketing support, business planning among many other things.

This will make the business support marketplace much simpler for businesses to navigate and will save time and confusion for those looking for information. More detail will follow in the New Year as this exciting project develops. South East LEP continues to progress with European Funding activity to release the £180 million allocated to the SE LEP from next year, this is to spend over the next 6 years on innovative support packages for SMEs, skills and training and the rural economy and we are optimistic that the first calls for applications to access these funds will take place in the first quarter of next year. There is ongoing work across the LEP area to bring information together to shape the call for project applications including the target spend and what these will deliver or ‘outcomes’. We continue to work with Government departments to ensure that we obtain unconditional approval and buy in of our plans from Government by the end of the year, to enable funding to flow. The SE LEP Board meets on 26th September 2014 and will be hearing from BT about plans for investment across the SE LEP area, progress on implementing superfast services and their approach to business solutions. SE LEP Board meetings are held from 10:00am - 12:00pm at High House Production Park in Purfleet, RM19 1RJ for anyone interested in attending.

Peter Jones Chairman South East Local Enterprise Partnership

We continue to work with Government departments to ensure that we obtain unconditional approval and buy in for our plans ...

October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS


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October-November 2014 ThinkingBUSINESS




The Last Word


Michael Regenhardt


Marriott Hotels & Country Club

Job title:

Marriott Hotel General Manager

Michael Regenhardt joins Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce from October as Vice Chairman. German born into a family of Hoteliers, Michael came to the UK 25 years ago and spent 13 years in the hospitality industry in London before moving to Northampton, Bournemouth and is now General Manager at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Maidstone. Q. What was your first job and what was the pay packet? A. I started as a Chambermaid and Kitchen Porter aged 15 in my school holidays and the pay packet was approx. £2.00 an hour. Following A levels and Army service my first full time job was as a waiter apprentice for 2 years. Pay packet approx. £140 per month. Q. What do you always carry with you to work? A. Mini Swiss Army Knife, it is always with me. My 1st was given to me by my father when I was a teenager and I’ve had one ever since. Q. What is the biggest challenge facing your business? A. Attracting skilled domestic talent. Hotel work is not looked upon as a profession in the UK forcing us to go abroad to attract the right people. Q. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? A. I would review the immigration bill to encourage more skilled workers and qualified talent into the UK. Australia’s point based system is a great model to follow. Q. What can you see from your office window? A. A beautiful bedroom courtyard with 2 large conifers and some rockery. Q. If you could do another job what would it be? A. I would open a 1920’s retro Night club. Guys in tuxedoes, ladies in dresses, big band, dance floor etc. Hospitality is my passion so any other job would always be in this field. Q. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A. Leadership, empowerment of staff and always forward thinking. Q. What was your biggest mistake in business? A. I can’t say there have been any mistakes but I regret not working in South and Far East Asia. Hospitality there is at another level. London was planned as my first stopover when I came from Germany in 1990 but I just stayed! The rest is history they say. Q. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? A. People don’t buy what you do but what you are. Q. Who do you most admire in business? A. Ian Schrager. Famous for New York Studio 54 but admired as an entrepreneur, visionary hotelier and real estate developer. He is often associated with creating the ‘Boutique Hotel’ category


ThinkingBUSINESS October-November 2014

Two new partners for MHA MacIntyre Hudson team MHA MacIntyre Hudson have strengthened their team in Kent with the recruitment of two experienced partners, as part of the firm’s ambitious expansion plans in the county. Glen Thomas joins as a tax partner, and Duncan Cochrane-Dyet as an audit and assurance partner. Both have a background in Big 4 and other large accountancy firms, and have worked in Kent for a number of years. Rakesh Shaunak, Managing Partner, welcomed his two new partners onto the team. “We have exciting plans for Kent, and now with Glen and Duncan on board we are ready to move to the next stage.”

New Aftersales Manager for Vanwise Emma Relph is the Aftersales Manager at Vanwise Group Limited in Maidstone, we are the “ONE STOP VAN SHOP” the biggest supplier of quality preowned vans in the South East of England with two locations, one in Maidstone, Kent and a sister branch based in Harlow, Essex. Not only do we supply high quality light commercial vehicles we also service and maintain vehicles in our state of the art workshop with highly skilled factory trained mechanics on hand to assist with all service and repair needs. We also have our own large rental fleet ready to hire from small vans to large Luton style vans, on either a daily or contract basis.

Chartered surveyor joins group Local chartered surveyor Charlotte Bland from Caxtons has joined Kent Invicta Chamber’s North Kent Economic Development Group. An associate director and commercial and investment surveyor at Caxtons, Charlotte has been with the firm since 2011. She said: “I am keen to inform others of the current property market from the perspective of someone ‘on the ground’. It is very easy to classify North Kent along with the rest of the South East but there are anomalies and subtle differences. Geographically, we are ideally placed to take advantage of excellent infrastructure and with government backing for the Ebbsfleet new town development, this is an area of future growth.”

Kate joins up CFA Marketing has welcomed Kate Kirk as Business Development Manager to its growing business. Kate brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience having worked in London for the last 10 years including five years at Microsoft UK in the advertising division. CFA Marketing is a fully integrated marketing agency.


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Thinking Business October 14  
Thinking Business October 14  

Thinking Business magazine, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce October 2014