West Cheshire & North Wales Business Magazine June 22

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Together, We’re Well Connected Quarterly Business Magazine

The Big Interview Stephen Davies CEO, Penderyn Distillery

Summer 2022

British Chambers of Commerce Ac

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A wealth of legal experience A A wealth wealth of legal experience right on your doorstep. right right on on your your doorstep. We provide first class legal solutions for local businesses We first legal solutions for local businesses Weprovide provide first class class legal solutions forNorth localWales. businesses and individuals in West Cheshire and and andindividuals individuals in in West West Cheshire Cheshire and and North North Wales. Wales. Some of the areas we cover... Some Someof ofthe theareas areaswe wecover... cover...

§ Corporate & Commercial Law §§ Corporate Law Corporate&&Commercial Commercial Law § Employment Law §§ Employment Law Employment Law § Dispute Resolution §§ Dispute Resolution Resolution &Dispute Insolvency &&Insolvency Insolvency § Planning & Environmental §§ Planning Planning&&Environmental Environmental

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Welcome to the Summer edition of our Quarterly Business Magazine. It has continued to be a challenging period for business with significant headwinds facing the region’s economy and inflationary pressures soaring to record levels. In our latest Quarterly Business Report, firms cite cost increases coming at them from all angles, ranging from energy bills to raw material prices. I have continued to work with colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce to ensure that the voice of business from West Cheshire and North Wales is heard as we push for stable and supportive policies that will help businesses pull the UK out of this period of economic difficulty. Please remember that the Chamber is here to support you and your business in any way possible so don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team on 01244 669988 if needed. The Chamber was delighted to be recognised for its support of the Armed Forces Covenant at our recent North Wales Dinner where we were presented with the Bronze Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award. The Dinner was held in Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia and was a fantastic night where over £1900 was raised for St David’s Hospice through a raffle, a huge thank you to the business that donated prizes and to those that took part on the evening.

Our fundraising efforts for St David’s Hospice do not stop there with the Chamber of Commerce taking part in a Dragon Boat Race on 25th June! Our team of 20, including staff and Chamber members, will be competing in the fun-filled, adrenalinepumping, water sports activity taking place on Llyn Padarn, Llanberis. We are aiming to raise as much money as possible and we would very much appreciate any donations that can be made via the following link: https://stdavidshospice.enthuse.com/pf/ wcnwchamberdragonboat. We are also looking forward to our upcoming BBQ on 15th July at Burton Manor which is set to be a great evening with entertainment, delicious food and hopefully some sunshine! It would be great if you could join us and you can find more information about the event on page 8. The launch of the Chamber’s Annual Recognition Awards is also not too far away with nine categories available for members to enter. I’d highly encourage you to nominate your business for at least one award when they open for entries in the not-too-distant future. As always, I wish you well for the quarter ahead!

PLEASE NOTE: Some articles in this edition may have been written before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Article and image content therefore reflects this time lapse. Contact Matthew Hodgson Churchill House, Queen’s Park Campus, Queen’s Park Road, Chester CH4 7AD t: 01244 669988 e: info@wcnwchamber.org.uk w: www.wcnwchamber.org.uk



Publisher Benham Publishing Limited Suite 5 & 6, Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ t: 0151 236 4141 f: 0151 236 0440 e: admin@benhampublishing.com w: www.benhampublishing.com



Published June 2022 © Benham Publishing Media no. 1917

Stephen Davies CEO, Penderyn Distillery

Advertising and Features Karen Hall t: 0151 236 4141 e: karen@benhampublishing.com Design Peter Wilkinson t: 0151 236 4141 e: peter@benhampublishing.com





Disclaimer The magazine is mailed without charge to all Chamber members

and distributed to businesses in the region. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in publication are not necessarily those of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission of the Editor. © 2022. 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.





@ChamberWCNW West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce /wcnwchamber WCNWChamber



Chamber Recognised with Bronze Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award at North Wales Dinner! The West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce held a North Wales Dinner on 20th May where it was recognised for its support of the Armed Forces Covenant and presented with the Bronze Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award. The dinner also raised over £1900 for local North Wales charity, St David’s Hospice. Taking place at the stunning new Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia nestled in the mountains and forests of North Wales, 90 guests from the local business community enjoyed an evening of fine dining and entertainment at the event that was headline sponsored by Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association For Wales and the Ministry of Defence. The evening started with arrival drinks and a chance for those in attendance to greet each other before being seated. Sarah Bailey, Director of Business Banking at NatWest and Deputy Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, then welcomed guests to the event before introducing Helen Nellist, Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO at Cheshire College – South & West and Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, who thanked the Headline Sponsors for their support. Tony Fish, Regional Employer Engagement Director (North Wales) at RFCA For Wales, was then introduced and spoke to guests about the Armed Forces Covenant which represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. After signing the covenant in November 2020, Debbie Bryce, Chief Executive Officer at West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, was then presented with


the Bronze Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award by Lt Col Mark Powell Commanding Officer 3rd Battalion, The Royal Welsh, marking the Chamber’s support for the Armed Forces. Lt Col Mark Powell then spoke further about how businesses can benefit from the wide range of unique skills and experiences that reservists and veterans, spouses and partners can bring to organisations. “It was a pleasure to sponsor the Chamber North Wales Dinner at the Hilton on Friday evening, great to be back to face-to-face networking and having the opportunity to raise the profile and benefits to business in signing the Armed Forces Covenant. “It was also good to host Lt Col Mark Powell Commanding Officer 3rd Battalion, The Royal Welsh and for him to present the Bronze Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award to The Chamber for their support to the Armed Forces Covenant” said Tony Fish. The charity for the evening, St David’s Hospice, was then introduced and Keri McKie, Gwynedd and Anglesey Area Fundraiser, gave a presentation about the amazing work they do in delivering specialist care to adult patients with advanced illnesses or those in need of endof-life care and their families.

Dinner was then served with guests enjoying a three-course meal of the highest quality. After raising money through the popular Heads and Tails game, the raffle for the night took place with a host of amazing prizes up for grabs which were kindly donated by members of the Chamber of Commerce. A grand total of £1906 was raised for St David’s Hospice, an incredible sum! “It was a huge honour for St David’s Hospice to be chosen as the charity for this prestigious event. Not only was there an incredible amount of money raised on the evening, but to be given the opportunity to speak about the work we do and the impact their corporate support has on the services we can provide is equally important to us. Thank you to everyone involved at West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce for such a warm welcome and a fantastic evening,” said Keri McKie. It was then time for guests to hit the dance floor with DJ Gary Carr, a favourite at Chamber events, keeping guests entertained long into the evening. “What a brilliant night we have had!” said Debbie Bryce. “We are so pleased to be back hosting a dinner event in North Wales and it has been one of our best to date. The guests on the evening really made the event and there was an incredible atmosphere in the room. Thank you to Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association For Wales and the Ministry of Defence for sponsoring the event, without your support events like these would not be possible.” “A huge thank you to all those that donated a prize to the raffle or took part on the evening, we have raised a great sum for an amazing charity. We are now looking forward to participating in St David’s Hospice’s Dragon Boat Race on 25th June to raise even more money!”


Thank you to the following businesses for donating a prize for the raffle: Anglesey Sea Zoo Boughton Hall Cricket Club Cheshire College - South & West Chester Zoo Everbright Group G E Tools Ltd Gallagher Insurance Brokers Grazed Brownies Inspire by Sbarduno Kingdom Recommends Kirsty Craig Associates Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors Lucas Oil Products UK Limited Macdonald Hotels & Resorts Mercure Abbots Well Hotel Mynydd Sleddog Adventures Ocean Bay Seafoods Ltd P&A Group Penderyn Distillery PR Lift Equipment Rhug Estate Ruth Lee Ltd Sandstone Brewery SHEQ Health and Safety Consultants Limited Smashed Grapes Spencer’s Friends Staingard Limited Swayne Johnson Solicitors The Alternative Board The Literacy Company The Welding Academy Umbrella Marketing Xplore! Science



350th Kickstarter placed by Chamber of Commerce The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce has recently placed its 350th young person as part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme. The leading business membership organisation is an approved gateway for the scheme that launched last year to give 16–24-year-olds claiming universal credit invaluable work experience. Employers of all sizes were able to apply via the Chamber with the government fully funding each Kickstarter, paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. “The Kickstart Scheme has been a win-win for both employers and young people across the North Wales and West Cheshire region” explained Chamber of Commerce CEO, Debbie Bryce. “It has allowed youngsters to gain crucial work experience and skills which will improve their chances of finding long-term work. It’s fantastic that employers such as Cheshire West and Cheshire Council have supported the scheme and created so many interesting job placements.” Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council employed eight young people in a variety of roles over the last three months. Cheshire West & Chester Borough Council’s Kickstarter Joseph Dunmore was the 350th Kickstart person placed through the Chamber. On a visit to the Council’s newly completed “The Portal” building in Ellesmere Port, Joseph met Debbie Bryce, CEO of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber, Andrew Lewis, CEO Cheshire West & Cheshire


Council, and Mark Gillooley, Apprenticeship and Inclusive Employment Co-ordinator at Cheshire West & Cheshire Council. Joseph explained that his HR placement has been enjoyable so far “Kickstart helped me to get back into work and find my footing once again after being set back by the pandemic.” Councillor Paul Donovan, Cabinet Member for Workforce, Equality & Democracy (CWAC) commented:

“Among the Council’s many priorities is to help the people in our communities to thrive and improve their personal circumstances by supporting them to find training, build skills and gain employment.” “We have been supporting the Kickstart Scheme by providing employment opportunities for young people such as Joseph who appears to have benefitted in many ways from his HR placement. We will continue to provide these opportunities where possible as it is effective in helping people to build confidence and gain skills in the workplace.”


The Chamber welcomes second Kickstarter Ben to the team Benjamin Thompson joined the Chamber team in February 2022 as Kickstart Administration Assistant. A recent graduate from Cheshire College - South & West, he applied to the scheme in order to take his first steps into work. Ben has been a real asset to the team and has really enjoyed learning new things:

up my skills and confidence, to helping me improve my CV for the future. Everyone I work with in the office is kind and they have no problem supporting me should I need it. I have also been given tasks outside of my job role, which I actively ask for, to allow me to get the most out of my placement. In just a few months that I have been on the scheme, I have become much more confident and gained so much experience and will continue to do so in the future.”

“My time with the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber has been amazing so far, providing me with loads of experience and allowing me to build upon my current skills and gain new ones. “My Mentor, Maria Davison, has provided tons of support for me, ranging from giving me techniques that I can use to help build

Paul Bristow Associates supports 29 Kickstarters Paul Bristow Associates is another local business that has taken full advantage of the Kickstart Scheme and has provided 29 young people with six-month placements since the scheme began.

Debbie Bryce recently visited the screen print textile manufacturer based in Wrexham and met with Managing Directors Seb and Ben Bristow, Lee Dixon, Human Resources Manager, and some of the young people on Kickstart placements.

The placements have been made in all areas of the business including screen print, administration, sales and social media over the last 18 months. The business has found that the scheme helped them to build back after the pandemic. Lee Dixon, HR Manager at Paul Bristow, commented: “Kickstart helped us keep growing and developing during the most challenging moments of the pandemic. We have found young people who showed that, given a chance, can become a valuable and developing employee of Paul Bristow.” “The relationship between the Chamber, and in particular Maria and Carol, has been valuable in maximising the potential of the scheme. Their knowledge and relationship with the DWP gave us the best chance to build the scheme to have 29 young people on placement over two cohorts.”



Chamber to host Summer BBQ at Burton Manor! It is officially Summer and the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce would love for you to join us at our Summer BBQ taking place at the stunning Burton Manor in Cheshire! Taking place at 6:30pm on Friday 15th July, this event, sponsored by Russell Taylor Group and NMS Recruit, will give guests the opportunity to socialise in a relaxed environment whilst enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Burton Manor and a delicious BBQ. On arrival, guests will receive a complimentary drink and have the opportunity to hear from local singer, Ally Mac, who will be keeping guests entertained with a range of songs. A BBQ with all the favourites will then be available to enjoy!

Let’s Talk Business - Additional Restrictions Grant West Cheshire Business Support Programme West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce were proud to be selected as one of the delivery partners on the ‘Let’s Talk Business’ - West Cheshire Business Support Programme. Launched online in December 2021 and delivered on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, there were a number of projects aimed at supporting businesses to survive and adapt to the impacts of the pandemic and Brexit as part of the programme. The programme was aimed at supporting businesses to recover, grow, adapt, diversify, or expand through a mix of direct support,


“Summer is here and we are really looking forward to welcoming members to our BBQ. This is a brilliant opportunity to come together in a beautiful setting and enjoy great food, great company and hopefully some great weather! We have our fingers crossed for a gorgeous summer’s evening and hope you can join us.” said Jennifer Kennedy, Membership Director at the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are available to members for the price of £25+VAT and £35+VAT for nonmembers. Visit the events page of our website (https://portal. wcnwchamber.org.uk/ events.html) or scan the QR code below to book your place.

workshops, and bite sized training, including grants for eligible businesses. A diverse range of support was available: n

Inspiring people to consider self- employment.


Support for Third Sector development.


Accelerate growth plans in existing businesses through tailored advice and support.


Support for recruitment, training and skills.


Small scale grants for businesses to secure new premises as part of their expansion.


Pop-up space to enable market testing, collaboration and multi-retail space.


International Trade support to help open new markets for growing businesses and help businesses navigate the new UK border operating model.

We were delighted to have supported over 100 businesses, awarded in excess of 100 grants to SMEs and Micros, safeguarded over 200 jobs and delivered 20 workshops as part of the programme.

One recipient of the support was Cerys Millington from Spencer’s Friends, a mobile shoe fitting service based in Neston. Cerys successfully applied for funding to support her with branding and marketing to develop the business and supported her popping up as a regular feature at a Chester based retail outlet. Cerys said “The much-needed funding helped me to develop ideas I had planned for the year. Enlisting the services of a marketing consultant helped me to raise awareness of my new showroom. The whole application process couldn’t have been simpler, the decision was made quickly which meant I could crack on with my plans.”

n Cerys Millington of Spencer’s Friends received support through the Additional Restrictions Grant


n Paul Cooney, Managing Director of Zodeq Ltd, sponsored the prizes

Chamber Golf Day a Great Success! The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce welcomed 100 guests to its first Golf Day on 28th April at Macdonald Portal Hotel Golf & Spa. The event took place on the Championship Course which is characterised by unique and distinctive holes; expansive water hazards and cascading waterfalls, offering a unique test for those in attendance! The day started with an introduction to the course and the format for the day from Ross Astley, Regional Director of Golf. Ross explained that the teams of four would be teeing off on a shotgun start, the best of two scores from four would count and that the participants could track progress and view live scoring via an app. Prizes were also up for grabs for the longest drive, nearest to the pin and for the overall winning team. The prizes were kindly sponsored by Zodeq Ltd. If the participants managed to get a hole-in-one during the

day they would also win a seven-night holiday to Spain worth £2000! Before heading out on the course, a surprise was in store for guests with The Open’s Claret Jug making an appearance! This gave guests the great opportunity to have a picture with one of golf’s most iconic trophies. It was then time to take to the course and tee off! A brilliant day was had by those in attendance with plenty of time to network with others as they made their way around the course. Dinner was served at 4pm with an award ceremony following prizes were handed out to winners. “We were delighted to be the chosen venue to host the first WCNW Chamber of Commerce Golf Day and excited to have so many local ccompanies attending our stunning Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf &

Spa for what proved to be a wonderful day,” said Jeff Mills, National Golf Business Development Manager at Macdonald Hotel & Resorts. “We received some amazing feedback on the golf course condition, hotel service and food quality and to have the iconic Claret Jug onsite was truly special. A very memorable day had by all and we look forward to welcoming many of the companies back to Macdonald Portal this summer.” Jennifer Kennedy, Membership Director at the Chamber, commented “What an amazing day we have had here at Macdonald Portal Hotel Golf & Spa who have been brilliant hosts. The course was fantastic and we have had wonderful feedback from guests about the hospitality. I hope those that attended had a great day and congratulations to those that won prizes which were kindly sponsored by Zodeq Ltd.”



We’ve put together a list of the tools that we think are essential for any business with an online presence to help with your marketing strategy, whether that’s ideation and planning, implementation or reporting.

Marketing research, ideation and planning tools Google Analytics It’s essential to be able to benchmark how your website is currently performing in order to measure progress with your marketing strategy and Google Analytics (GA) will show you vital data such as where your website traffic is coming from, the pages they are viewing and how they are converting into customers. You can use GA at every stage of a marketing strategy, from initial research to reporting on campaign performance. Google Search Console If you want to drive search engine traffic to your website then Google Search Console (GSC) is a must-have tool. It shows you if there are any major issues stopping your site from being indexed or ranked by Google and also shows you which keywords/search terms your site is currently visible for, which is vital information for your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. BuzzSumo When you’re looking for marketing content or campaign idea inspiration, BuzzSumo can be a great place to start, as it finds content by topic/keyword and shows you how well that content has performed, which can help spark your own ideas about how to cover a topic or idea in a better or more interesting way to your target audience.


Sparktoro Primarily an audience research tool, Sparktoro can help you put together an effective marketing strategy that not only tells you what your target audience are talking about online, but also who influences them and how they can be best reached with the marketing assets you produce. Google Trends Google Trends is a great tool for spotting what people are searching for online and when. This can help you plan marketing campaigns for the time when they are likely to have the best results. Answer the Public Answering people’s questions is one of the things that the Internet does best. You can find out what questions people are asking about a particular topic with Answer the Public, and then create content or campaigns around these topics.

Marketing implementation tools Canva Canva means you can put together professional-looking social images, blog graphics or other visual content really easily, even if you have no experience. You can also create animations and videos with this tool, along with access to a large stock library of photos, videos and graphics. Mailchimp The ability to easily create and send marketing emails is such a useful tool to have as part of your wider marketing strategy. With the ability to easily integrate with most websites to collect opt-in email addresses from subscribers, campaign scheduling and loads of templates that

make designing slick emails a breeze, Mailchimp is a good option. Buffer Being able to manage and schedule social media content easily is a must for marketers. For simplicity and ease of use, Buffer is a great option and can post to: • Twitter • Facebook (profile, page or group) • LinkedIn (profile or page) • Instagram • Instagram Stories • Pinterest

Marketing reporting tools Google Data Studio Being able to report on marketing performance in a way that is easy to understand and provides insights that can inform future strategy is essential. Google Data Studio is a tool that can pull in data from many different sources to create reports that have essential information all in one place. To learn more about Umbrella Marketing Team or to read the full version of our guide to digital marketing tools please scan this QR code.

UK’S PREMIER ATTRACTION UNVEILS INVESTMENT DRIVE Leisure and tourist attraction Adventure Parc Snowdonia has revealed a £5m programme of improvements, much of which is focused on its hospitality and corporate events offer. Set in the Conwy Valley, the attraction initially launched as home to the world’s first inland surf lagoon called Surf Snowdonia and has evolved into the Adventure Parc, with a number of outdoor adrenaline features, plus a spa within the onsite Hilton Garden Inn. It has also developed its suite of activities to be more inclusive for those who want a gentler adventure, including through yoga sessions and the launch of virtual reality paragliding. In expanding the Parc offering and targeting high visitor growth numbers, the business has also made a number of recruits into a newly formed management team comprising appointments in sales and marketing, finance and operations.

Within the upgraded facilities, visitors can now make use of the Hilton hotel conference suite with hybrid virtual meeting technology systems. Additionally, a wider range of activities are available to appeal beyond surfers and have a greater number of group options. These include waterbased obstacle course racing, large inflatable equipment, stand up paddle boards and raft building for the more competitive. Designed to increase year-round visitor appeal, investment has also been made into adrenaline indoors offering indoor caving, climbing, high ropes, ninja courses and extreme slides. Back outdoor, enhanced activities include nighttime laser gun games within the aerial assault facilities, guided adventures with SAS facilitators, from coasteering and gorge walking to foraging and learning survival tactics. Plus, there is the virtual reality experience of paragliding off the top of Snowdonia, designed by a Welsh ex Paratrooper. Managing director Andy Ainscough said: “We have a clear vision and strategy for growth, which this latest investment will enable us to fulfill. “Whilst we became famous for offering a fabulous surf experience for beginners and enthusiasts alike, we can now host unique events and offer all year-round adventures thanks to our investment in accommodation and a state-of-the-art spa.”

Tel: 01492 353123 www.adventureparcsnowdonia.com ADVENTURE PARC SNOWDONIA: Conway Road, Dolgarrog. LL32 8QE


The rise in UK recruitment start-ups businesses saw the benefits that this way of working could bring. Improved productivity, reduced stress, better work life balance and opportunities to work further afield; the flexibility that remote working offered far outweighed any negatives for a large number of businesses. This led to many opting to transition to a full or hybrid remote working environment.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 has seen the business world take significant steps into new, more efficient ways of working. This has, in turn, opened the door to countless opportunities. Of course, whilst the enforced and rather abrupt transition to remote working during the first lockdown was a struggle for many, once we got into the swing of things,

Sustainability focus at Blacon Adventure Playground Children are discovering more about the environment thanks to a new hands-on learning experience at Blacon Adventure Playground. Youngsters can have a go at building their own eco-friendly houses, while learning about the key factors that make homes more energy-efficient, such as heat pumps and better insulation. The learning materials are part of a wider project to improve sustainability at the playground, with the long-term goal of it becoming carbon free.


business owners will require a significant amount of third-party support to not only help them during those critical first few months, but to grow and thrive long term. Support will come in many forms, whether it’s finance, administrative or simply having a network of fellow business owners to talk to and gain insight from, support is a crucial component for even the most seasoned of business owners. With candidate numbers soaring, here at Zodeq, we have seen a huge influx of startup recruitment businesses, as recruitment professionals seek to capitalise on this thriving market, and we have been on hand to support.

This way of working also inspired many individuals to seek further freedom within their careers, and as a result we have seen a record number of people looking to change their career path or take on new opportunities following the pandemic, notably setting up on their own.

For Zodeq, 2022 has been an extremely busy and exciting year so far. From welcoming new clients, both established and start-up, our recent acquisition by leading debt and equity provider, Praetura Group, and a number of exciting projects on the horizon, we cannot wait to see what the rest of 2022 has in store for the business world.

According to research, an astounding 1843 companies are founded each day within the UK, that is 77 every hour! But with sadly 20% of start-up businesses dissolved within their first year, as one would expect, these budding

If you would like to learn more about how Zodeq supports clients with their finance and back-office support needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – paul@zodeq.com.

Blacon Festival back on the calendar A fun-filled community celebration is returning to Blacon this summer.

A host of upgrades have already been installed thanks to funding from national housing provider Sanctuary, including solar panels, an air source heat pump and energy efficient lighting. Avenue Services has also secured additional funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s dedicated Climate Emergency Fund. This will support further improvements including a bike repair project, increased allotment space, a wildflower meadow and new equipment including a water dispenser and battery powered leaf and litter collector.

The Blacon Festival, organised by Avenue Services, takes place at Queen Elizabeth Fields on Blacon Avenue from 11am-3pm on Saturday 2 July. The event is now in its 25th year and is recognised as Chester’s largest community-led festival, attracting thousands of visitors each year. This year’s festival has a ‘World Cup’ theme, with visitors and stallholders encouraged to dress for the occasion and prizes on offer for the best costumes. Chester MP Chris Matheson will officially open the festival, kicking off a day of fun and entertainment for all ages. Paul Knight, Head of Avenue Services, said: “The Blacon Festival is always a highlight in our local calendar. We’re looking forward to a fun-filled community event and a celebration of all the wonderful things that Blacon has to offer.”


Growth and planning for Cheshire businesses this summer It has been amazing to see the progress that businesses have made in recent months as they recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many businesses, one of the biggest challenges faced during the pandemic was the uncertainty surrounding when, where, how or even if restrictions would be lifted. This left them unable to carry out all-important business planning that forms a critical part of any growing business. Whilst we may have been sceptical when restrictions were first lifted that we wouldn’t find ourselves back under them, months have passed and we are now living and working to the highest degree of normality that we have experienced in the past few years. And this has had a huge impact on

the business world, which was ready and raring to ramp up their operations as soon as they possibly could. For Ellis & Co., we have seen clients experience significant growth in the months following the lifting of restrictions, so much so that they are now requiring additional services from our team, to keep up with their ever-growing workload. But how have they achieved this?

West-Kirby based finance specialist, Bathgate Business Finance, has expanded its Board of Directors with two new appointments from within its existing team. The company has named business development manager, Ian Adams, as a new director and finance controller, Colin Phillips, as company secretary, with both taking on the positions alongside their existing roles.

For the team at Ellis & Co., 2022 has, so far, been a great year. With a number of new clients joining us, a growing team, the reopening of our Wrexham office and countless events in our calendar to look forward to with our partners, the coming months are set to be an exciting time for the business. If you would like to find out more about how we support businesses in the local Cheshire and North Wales area, speak to the Ellis & Co. team today on 01244 343 504 or email info@ellis-uk.com.

From my perspective as an accountant, the success we have seen across many businesses in the local region has come down to effective planning, efficient processes and a strong team. Of course, we mustn’t forget expert support from third parties, who will not only provide key services to make your business more


Bathgate Expands Board of Directors with Two New Appointments

efficient, but insight into how to run and grow your business more effectively, thereby making it more profitable.

“Having them both join our board of directors will strengthen our internal management team as we continue to experience significant and exciting growth for the company. On behalf of all of the board, I would like to thank them for their hard work to this point and congratulate them on their appointments - we have no doubt they’ll continue to be huge assets to Bathgate.” As a director, Ian will work closely with managing director, Gordon Andrews, and his fellow board members to continue Bathgate Business Finance’s expansion and support with team development, strengthening the board. Building on his expertise in compliance, honed through his role as financial controller, Colin will take ownership of Bathgate’s relationship with Companies House, including responsibility for annual returns and other compliance requirements.

The appointments come as both approach ten years’ service with the company, with Colin joining the team in early 2013 and Ian in 2014.

Managing director, Gordon Andrews, said: “These appointments are recognition of both Colin and Ian’s contribution to the business so far and their value and importance to its future.

During that time Colin has supported the finance firm’s growth by creating and delivering administrative processes and working with the FSA and FCA to ensure compliance. Ian was the company’s first ever business development manager, and has been pivotal in building the now six-strong team of BDMs, whose expertise spans a range of sectors, services and products.

“Much of Colin’s work has been behind-thescenes, but it has been fundamental to our success and he has always been an extremely safe pair of hands. Ian has not only excelled personally in his job as BDM, but he has also always been enthusiastic about mentoring others to achieve similar results, which has allowed us to build a really excellent team.

Speaking of his appointment as company secretary, Colin Phillips said: “It’s extremely flattering to have my work acknowledged in this way and I am extremely pleased to have been appointed to the board. “Since I joined, Bathgate has gone from being just a lease company to a onestop-shop for all SME finance. It’s been a real journey and I have learned so much along the way. I look forward to putting my compliance expertise to use in my new role.” Newly-appointed director, Ian Adams, added: “I’m really proud to have been asked to join the board and the positive responses of my colleagues has been fantastic. I’m really looking forward to working with the board and the team to create and implement new strategies, support team development and provide the board with first-hand BDM experience, which will help inform senior management decisions.” For more information about Bathgate Business Finance, visit: https://bathgatebf.co.uk/



Behind the Scenes Tour of Liverpool John Lennon Airport! West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce invited members to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Liverpool John Lennon Airport on 2nd March.

highlighted to the guests, the amazing work that all the security staff at the airport do to keep everyone safe and the airport running smoothly. The tour then continued providing the guests with an exclusive look at the departure lounge, duty-free and fire station.

The event began with a presentation from Robin Tudor, Head of PR & Communications, who explained how the Airport had survived through the pandemic and their plans for the future as travel and tourism start getting back to normal levels for the first time in 2 years.

Once in the fire station, a demonstration of the measures that the airport would take in case of an emergency at the airport was shown to the guests, with a variety of hoses on display.

Attendees then went on a tour of the airport, starting with them going through security, and having a look at the items that have been confiscated from passengers which

All guests felt they had a new level of understanding of what it takes to run Liverpool John Lennon Airport each day from behind the scenes as their tour came to a close.

Connections Made at Chamber of Commerce Networking Event!

Guests arrived at the hotel, set in glorious Cheshire countryside, from 8:30am on March 10th and there was a selection of pastries and tea & coffee for guests to enjoy whilst networking with others in attendance and catching up with fellow members. Attendees then sat opposite each other and had four minutes to introduce themselves and their business, giving them time to

Glyndŵr University was the host for April’s Round the Table Networking event. A delicious spread of pastries & fruit and tea & coffee greeted guests whilst they had 30 minutes of open networking to catch up and meet others in attendance. Jenny Davidson welcomed everyone to the event before introducing Chloe Huxley, Business Development Officer at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, who gave an overview of the


make connections and possible areas of collaboration to be discussed. Once the four minutes passed, one side of the tables moved along to allow each member to speak one-onone to as many guests as possible at the event. Hayley Fisher, Business Development and Fundraising Lead at North East Wales Mind, commented “I really enjoyed today’s event, making connections at physical events is really great and I have missed it! There was such a positive atmosphere in the room today and I can’t wait for the next event.” Jenny Davidson, Events & Young Chamber Manager at the Chamber of Commerce, commented; “Today’s event was well attended and it is great to see all our members making connections and having a great time. Thank you for Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel for the great hospitality for today’s breakfast event.”

Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel, located just two miles outside Chester City Centre, was host to the Chamber’s breakfast networking event in March. This event was a ‘speed networking’ event and was held in partnership with Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel.

Uni-que Networking Event at Glyndŵr University!

“A massive thank you to Robin and the team at Liverpool John Lennon Airport for providing our members with this unique opportunity. The Tour was amazing and gave us a great insight into the UK’s faster, easier, friendlier airport” said Helen Pullin, Membership Support Officer at the Chamber.

university and highlighted their upcoming events and the business support they offer. There were plenty of local business people in attendance, with everyone eager to build relationships and expand their contact books! Jenny then described the format of the event to everyone, with each table having a ‘Table Captain’ and their job was to make sure each member of their table had three minutes to pitch their business until everyone on the table had spoken. The tables were then mixed so everyone could get the chance to speak to as many people as possible. Owain Wilson, Director at Kenect Recruitment Wrexham, commented on his first Chamber Networking event; “My first time attending a networking event was one of the friendliest business events I’ve ever

been to. Everyone was there to help and see you succeed. I was so impressed; it most definitely will not be my last event with the Chamber.” Becky Gilmour from Mynydd Sleddog Adventures said: “Lovely morning, everyone is always so welcoming and informative, it’s great to hear people’s stories and see how we can help and work together, always come away learning something new and with fresh ideas.”

Great innings of networking at Boughton Hall Cricket Club! Members of West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce enjoyed a networking lunch at Boughton Hall Cricket Club on 30th March.

Guests were welcomed by Chamber staff and then had the opportunity to catch up and create business connections over a drink. Jenny Davidson welcomed everyone to the event before lunch was served. Guests were then treated to some delicious rolled ice cream by the special guests for our event, Bibbins Rolled Ice Cream. Paul Matthews, the owner of the company then gave a presentation whilst everyone tucked into their tasty rolled ice cream, showcasing the journey of his family-run company and the growth they’ve experienced over the last couple of years. Then there was time for questions, with guests very intrigued by Paul’s exciting company.

Chamber Networking Lunch in Wrexham a Success! The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce held its first networking event at the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Wrexham on 26th April, with a host of business people from across the region in attendance.

Taking place at Ramada, a premier four-star hotel, guests were welcomed by members of the Chamber team before having the opportunity to meet and greet others in attendance. A delicious two-course meal was then served of grilled chicken fillet & smoked bacon with baby onion & chive velouté and a lemon tart with strawberry coulis for dessert!

It was another sunny day in April as businesses came together at the Chamber’s monthly lunch event to build connections and spread the word about their services.

Chamber Members Par-take in Adventure Golf Networking! After the great success at last year’s event, the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce recently returned to Paradise Island Adventure Golf in Cheshire Oaks for another round of networking golf.

“I enjoyed a lovely morning at Paradise Adventure Golf on Cheshire Oaks. I met some brilliant new business contacts and thoroughly enjoyed the venue experience. What a

Guests first arrived at Las Iguanas where they had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast and meet others in attendance before making the short walk across to Paradise Island Adventure Golf to take on one of the 18-hole courses at the venue.

Conwy Business Centre Hosts Chamber Networking The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce held a breakfast networking event at Conwy Business Centre on 11th May with businesses from across the region in attendance. Jenny Davidson was again on hand to welcome guests to the venue that acts as a hub for local business support. Tea, coffee

Paul Matthews commented on his first Chamber event: “It was great to be at the event and meet everyone from the Chamber. We had a great opportunity to share the story of our growth whilst receiving such a warm welcome and we also made some great links after.”

“What a fantastic first event we have had at the Ramada Plaza Wrexham! The hospitality from the venue was amazing and thank you to all of those that attended. There was a great atmosphere in the room and it was great to see connections being made, we are looking forward to our next event!” said Jenny Davidson. great way to really get to know new business acquaintances and colleagues away from the corporate arena whilst enjoying a great fun experience. Highly recommended.” said Denise Linnell, Business Development Manager at ActionCOACH Chester. Once the course had been completed, it was back over to Las Iguanas for the presentation for the winner and the dreaded wooden spoon. Lee Dixon, HR Manager at Paul Bristow, picked up the coveted trophy for finishing in first place whilst Denise Linnell, Business Development Manager at ActionCOACH Chester, went home with the wooden spoon. n Members had a great time playing adventure golf!

and pastries were on hand for attendees to enjoy as they introduced themselves to one another before the networking began.

onto the next person to repeat the process, giving them a great opportunity to spread the word about their business.

Different to our standard format of Round the Table Networking, the business people in attendance sat opposite each other and had two minutes each to speak about themselves, their business and the services they provide. Once time was up, it was

There was further time after the networking came to a close for people to speak to anybody they were not matched with enabling them to maximise the chance to build business relationships. Jenny Davidson commented “We had another brilliant meeting this morning with many connections made between those in attendance! Thank you to all those that attended and to Conwy Business Centre for their great hospitality.”


Help bring local projects to life The Cheshire West Crowd is the perfect opportunity for local businesses to support projects in the community that matter to them. Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with Spacehive, is running the Cheshire West Crowd, an exciting crowdfunding initiative that empowers local projects to bring their ideas to life. The first round of funding last year was a huge success as nearly £300,000 was raised collectively by projects. One of them was Cycling Without Age, a volunteerled scheme that takes older members of the community out on trishaw cycle rides. Following an 18-month fundraising appeal, including a successful crowdfunding campaign on the Cheshire West Crowd, Cycling Without Age has been able to purchase two new trishaws for local residents to use. The first of the trishaws has been named Peter in memory of a local resident of Upton who had a passion for adventure and getting out there. Cycling Without Age attracted 41 backers in total, raising nearly £10,000 and highlighting how all the community can effectively work together to support a local project. With the Cheshire West Crowd delivering one of Spacehive’s

most successful ever first rounds, a second one is now live and projects are calling on your support. The Council has once again made a number of funding pots available for those on the Cheshire West Crowd to pitch to, including the Cheshire West Crowd Fund, Climate Change Emergency Fund, Suicide Prevention Project Fund and Tackling Poverty Fund. Others have been actively supporting local projects in this latest funding round and it’s the ideal chance for businesses to get behind their community.

For more information about the Cheshire West Crowd and the range of projects that are currently crowdfunding, visit: spacehive.com/movement/ cwc. Businesses wanting to explore supporting multiple local projects can contact: info@spacehive.com.

Young Entrepreneurs Set Up Shop at Chester Market for One Day Only!

Whether you want to support a project with aims close to you or your organisation’s heart, or you want to tie this all in with the corporate social responsibility (CSR), the Cheshire West Crowd is a really flexible option.

As part of an Enterprise Project supported by the West Cheshire Business Support Programme; students from Christleton High School and Archers Brook SEMH School were given the chance to set up a ‘pop-up’ shop and trade at Chester Market.

There is such a wide range of projects on the Cheshire West Crowd, focusing on areas like providing accessible activities, helping tackle poverty, supporting the response to the Climate Emergency and much more.

Business Studies students from Christleton High School had created their own company ‘Bottled Aroma’ selling a gorgeous range of fragranced eco-friendly candles, repurposing glass bottles to make the jars.

No matter how much you want to contribute, it could make a real difference to a project’s crowdfunding efforts and the people it supports.

And students from Archers Brook created bespoke wood turned heart-shaped candle holders and recycled can planters and handmade bunting among other products.

& Chester in supporting them to realise this ambition. The day itself was the culmination of a lot of hard work and preparation in the runup to the event; with planning, manufacturing, designing and financial planning to create the goods they sold on the day. This was a great opportunity to secure transferable skills for them to use in their future studies and in real life. The opportunity to engage in sessions like these enables them to gain a range of valuable skills. Carol Vella, Business Development & Stakeholder Manager at the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, helped to organise the event and commented “We had a great day and it was amazing to see the products that the students created and the work that had gone into the setup. Experiences like these are invaluable for young people and really benefit them for their studies but with skills they can use in their future careers too”. Our appreciation goes to the teachers from both schools who gave up their time and wholeheartedly supported the students. They fed back that the students really enjoyed it and it was a great experience and really refreshing to be back doing things like that again.

This one-off market was a fabulous opportunity for both schools to engage with their students to get a hands-on taste of retail and to flex their entrepreneurial muscles, after being busy making and creating unique and artisan gifts. They were warmly welcomed by the existing market traders and the public and it gave them a real insight into customer service and retail skills. And thanks must be extended to the Markets Team at Cheshire West


n The students set up shop in Chester Market to sell handmade goods

Cash investment up for grabs as Enterprise Hub offers business development sessions to ambitious Conwy start-ups Local experts from across the world of business are joining forces with the Enterprise Hub to share their knowledge and expertise with exciting start-ups and entrepreneurs based in Conwy County, with cash prizes available to support those taking part to start their business. The Miwtini programme – organised by Hwb Menter/Enterprise Hub @M-SParc will be held in Colwyn Bay over two weeks from Monday June 13, where Experts from a wide range of sectors including web design, PR, marketing, customer service and more will be on hand to deliver workshops offering vital advice and guidance. Participants will then be able to pitch their business ideas for investment - £3,000 for the winner, and £2,000 for a runner up, provided via the UK Community Renewal Fund. 2021 saw a 14% rise in the number of start-up businesses being launched, with many people deciding to pursue a new career or launch a venture as a result of the pandemic. Enterprise Hub Manager Sara Roberts said they want to help people begin their journey to commercial success. “Miwtini is all about opportunities, providing entrepreneurs and anyone with the spark of an idea the platform to bring it to reality,” she added. “We have some fantastic guest speakers who know what it takes to start a business and make a success of it, all the different facets to getting your name out there and managing future challenges.

“We have already had positive feedback and a lot of interest so I would encourage people to get in touch and sign up for what will be a very interesting and valuable fully funded programme.”

“Whether it’s a hobby you want to take to the next level or a great big idea that’s going to change the world, we are here for you and confident Miwtini can play a part in helping you move forward with confidence.”

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund and takes place over six in-person sessions at the M-SParc #OnTour satellite hub on Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay.

To register, visit https://form.jotform.com/ Openshaw/Miwtini

Among the speakers are Denbigh-based ‘Sales Geek’ Aaron Sussex; Martin Williams, Director of Radar PR in St Asaph, and Teresa Carnall, founder of TBC Marketing, to name a few. Anna Openshaw, Senior Project Officer for Miwtini, believes joining forces with leading lights in multiple arenas will bring experience and insight to the agenda. “It will be great to see like-minded people come together with their ideas to share best practice and learn from industry experts,” said Anna. “For those with concerns about what is next for their business, what the pitfalls are and any questions on how to overcome barriers to success – particularly given the challenges of Covid-19 – this is the perfect place to find solutions.

For more information on how the Enterprise Hub can help you start-up in business, contact them on post@hwbmenter.cymru or 01248 858 070. Alternatively, visit www.hwbmenter.cymru or follow @hwbmenter on social media. The Enterprise Hub is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukcommunity-renewal-fund-prospectus



Top 5 Technology Challenges for UK SMEs In a recent report of 1000 UK SMEs, 1 in 5 cited technology as their main concern*. The more you know about technology challenges that face UK SMEs, the better you can avoid them! So let’s jump into the top five technology challenges that are facing UK SMEs and how to beat them! 1) Access to IT Resource Many smaller businesses may rely on support from a small team of IT engineers or even just someone within their existing team that has some IT experience, but in this technological age, this can cause issues. It can be difficult to keep systems up to date and if a problem arises, you can be waiting around for support. Furthermore, with the introduction of hybrid working and more businesses digitalising their processes, dedicated IT support is not only a useful thing to have – it is VITAL. You may be thinking, this is all well and good, but what if I don’t have the budget to employ an in-house IT team? Don’t worry, there is a way! Outsourcing your IT to a dedicated provider, allows you to have access to a specialist team without the cost of employing an in-house IT department. 2) Cost Concerns It is a common assumption that improving your business technology is going to be expensive. This assumption can cause SMEs to rely on outdated systems and hardware that no longer serves them, in order to save money. However, not investing in up-to-date technology can slow down processes, disrupt your business, and impact the service you provide. This can cost you dearly, in both time and money.


Transferring your business and its processes to the cloud can avoid a lot of costs that you would normally incur when purchasing a server and its necessary upgrades, maintenance, and backup features. There are no expensive fees when it comes to changes and adaptations as your business grows, and therefore, fewer budget headaches. 3) Implementing Hybrid and Remote Working When implementing hybrid working, many small businesses encountered issues due to trying to ‘virtualise’ all of their normal working practices, which is a square-peg-round-hole way of working – in other words trying to mould unsuitable technology and on-premises working processes to fit hybrid working. Instead, businesses need to analyse how their teams work in order to implement the correct technology. From using virtual desktops to enable your team to take the office home with them, to utilising effective communication platforms to keep your teams connected, there are so many solutions to take advantage of – the key is figuring out exactly what you need! 4) Cybersecurity Did you know that 55% of ransomware attacks take place against organisations with fewer than 100 employees? Understandably, investing in security measures may be a worry due to the cost – staying secure isn’t particularly cheap! However, when weighing up the cost of the investment in effective security measures to the cost of a cyber-criminal gaining access to your data – investment wins. It can be overwhelming to try and find effective cybersecurity measures that both meet the needs of your business and also fit your budget. Utilising an IT provider, like Elite,

who can get to know your business, its security needs, and its budget, to match them up with suitable solutions, means you can effectively protect your business without overspending. 5) Scalability Many smaller businesses start out with basic IT resources with software, hardware, and solutions that get the job done, which makes sense, given the size of the business and budget limitations. However, as your business develops, you naturally outgrow these initial solutions, which can cause difficulties. SMEs may then choose to invest in a range of bolt-ons and quick fixes to adapt their IT infrastructure, which can make things complicated when it comes to licencing, contracts and ensuring your solution meets your needs exactly. Instead, sourcing solutions for your SME that are scalable to start off with, will be beneficial in the long-run. Look at the features your provider can offer with your solution. You may not need them all right away, but finding out whether you can add them on easily when you need them saves you having to purchase separate software and solutions later down the line. We’re Up to the Challenge At Elite, we know how much of a challenge it can be to source the right technology solutions for SMEs. That’s why we take the time to get to know your business, its budget, and its needs, so we can find the perfect solution for both now and the future. Call us today on 0333 060 6314 and let’s work together to beat the technological challenges that are facing your business. *Takepayments.com


n Keith Tully, Partner at Begbies Traynor

Bounce Back Loans represented a lifeline to many companies and due to the unprecedented circumstances of national lockdowns, a 12-month grace period was given as standard, meaning that no repayments towards the loan would need to be made during the first year. However, for the vast majority of companies, this initial payment holiday has now expired and regular monthly repayments towards the Bounce Back Loan are now due. With more than 1,200 businesses in significant financial distress in Chester alone, according to the latest Red Flag Alert research from Begbies Traynor, it’s important that company directors understand the key issues. What is a Bounce Back Loan default? While many companies took out a Bounce Back Loan with the full intention of being able to make the repayments at this time, some are finding their company’s road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is not as smooth or as quick as expected. This is leading to some companies defaulting on these loans. Missing a repayment towards your Bounce Back Loan should be taken extremely seriously. Although these loans are secured by the government, the responsibility for making the monthly repayments lie solely with your company. Ignoring defaults on your loan will not make the problem disappear but likely make things worse. What can you do? If you have defaulted on your Bounce Back Loan, your first port of call should be to get in contact with your lender and explain the situation. You may be able to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution which allows you to bring your defaults up to date and help you maintain your account going forward.

Challenges with repaying ‘bounceback loans’ growing This may be achieved by taking advantage of the Pay As You Grow scheme, extending the length of your loan or making reduced payments by temporarily switching the loan to an interest-only basis. For some, however, more than a temporary fix will be needed to deal with outstanding Bounce Back Loan defaults and arrears. What if you cannot clear your Bounce Back Loan arrears? Defaulting on your Bounce Back Loan could point towards wider financial problems within your company. Cash flow issues, such as not being able to make debt repayments and other outgoings as and when they fall due, can rapidly escalate and take your company to the brink of insolvency extremely quickly. If you have defaulted on your Bounce Back Loan and are unsure how you are going to be able to afford to clear your arrears and continuing making the repayments towards the loan in full and on time, you may need to consider a formal insolvency process. Restructuring a company with a Bounce Back Loan default Defaulting on your Bounce Back Loan does not mean the company cannot get itself back on a solid financial footing. There is a range of business rescue and recovery solutions designed to help companies navigate periods of financial and operational distress. If you believe your business has a good chance of a successful future if only it could overcome its current financial problems, a licensed insolvency practitioner will be able to help you explore the options open to you and your company. This may involve a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which functions as a formal payment plan entered into by a company and its creditors.

If you have defaulted (missed a payment) on your Bounce Back Loan, your lender may have a number of options for you. After defaulting, the key is to open a channel of communication with your lending bank and make them aware of the problems you have having. If they cannot help, you may need to consider alternative ways of restructuring your company’s borrowing. A CVA can include a number of borrowings that you have fallen behind on or feel you may soon struggle to keep up with, not just your Bounce Back Loan. A CVA aims to reduce your monthly repayments to creditors while allowing trade to continue. A proposal will be put together by your appointed licensed insolvency practitioner and presented to your creditors. They will then vote on whether to accept the terms of the proposal. Once accepted by at least 75% (by value) of creditors the CVA becomes legally binding on all parties giving you more stability and certainty for the duration of the arrangement, which is typically three to five years. Alternatively, you could consider placing the company into administration if creditors are threatening legal action against your business. Not only will administration place a legal ring fence around your company, it also provides an opportunity to restructure the existing finances and operations of the business and allow the viable elements of the company to be rescued. Contact us For immediate help and advice, call our confidential helpline for directors – and speak to Keith Tully or Jason Greenhalgh on 0800 056 1059.



From accountancy to farming - students gain experience and support the region’s organisations After a challenging couple of years due to COVID-19, the team at the University of Chester’s Centre for Professional and Economic Development is thrilled that its Work Based Learning placements have been successfully taken up by over 450 students in organisations across Chester, the North West and North Wales, and the wider UK. The second-year undergraduates have taken on a wide range of roles for their fiveweek placement, from Trainee Accountants and Community Farm Assistants to Reading Rooms Project Workers and roles helping with preparations for the Green Expo 2022, a new event in Chester, running from June 16 to 18. They have brought their specific subject knowledge from diverse disciplines across the University and applied this in real-world settings, supporting organisations in new and existing activities. Work Based Learning is a unique opportunity for students to develop their employability skills within the workplace, whilst giving employers an opportunity to influence the workforce of the future and gain an extra pair of hands. Students can be given a specific project, offer fresh ideas and bring a new perspective. For more about Work Based Learning placements and how to offer a student an opportunity for 2023, visit: www.chester. ac.uk/wbl or email wbl@chester.ac.uk.

Plans welcomed to accelerate delivery and use of low carbon hydrogen Plans to accelerate UK hydrogen production and the shortlisting of Ellesmere Port as the country’s first ‘hydrogen village’ have been welcomed by the University of Chester. The Government’s Energy Security Strategy, published this spring, set out plans for a significant acceleration of hydrogen production, doubling its target from 5GW to 10GW by 2030.

Professor Joe Howe, Chair of the North West Hydrogen Alliance and Executive Director of the University’s Energy Research Institute, said: “The Government has recognised the role of hydrogen in both reaching Net Zero and increasing our energy security; its practical projects like the hydrogen village will demonstrate that positive change is happening. The North West’s leaders, businesses and academic institutions are all working together to make hydrogen a reality, capitalising on our industries, skills and natural assets.”

Free business support events for Cheshire and Warrington

Leading the way towards Net Zero

The events include:

The University is leading the charge toward Net Zero with its involvement in three Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge projects. All three focus on skills, competencies, professional development and socioeconomic impact at a local, sub-regional and national level respectively. HyNet North West is the most local, based at the University’s Thornton Science Park, but covers a significant geography within Cheshire and Warrington. Last year, HyNet was selected by the Government to pioneer the new green skills needed to reduce emissions to as close to zero as possible, by the middle of the century. Working with MACE, an international consultancy group, the University has already delivered two important reports: An Economic Impact Study which assesses and quantifies the economic impact of the HyNet deployment project and; A Workforce Study which identifies the workforce needed and a numerical roadmap for the numbers of staff required for each partner. The sub-regional involvement is with NetZero North West and the University has already produced a Recommendations Report identifying three clear regional actions: Coordinate and lead change; Communicate and raise awareness; Collaborate and build capacity.

Meanwhile, up to 2,000 properties in Whitby, Ellesmere Port, could stop using natural gas for heating and cooking, and instead use hydrogen if a proposal, put forward by gas distribution network Cadent and British Gas, and supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, is chosen from a shortlist of two locations.

Finally, the University is part of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC), with the University currently working on a National Workforce Study to consider job creation, the skills requirements and the supply of skills training across the Industrial Clusters.

The increase in the production and use of hydrogen, as an alternative, aims to cut carbon emissions and boost energy security.

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Kirstie Simpson at: k.simpson@chester.ac.uk.


A comprehensive programme of business support events is planned by Cheshire & Warrington Business Growth Programme (C&W BGP) for the coming months. Free to Cheshire and Warrington-based individuals and businesses, these can be booked online via the C&W BGP Eventbrite Collection link or by contacting: BGP_ Team@chester.ac.uk.

• Scale Up Bootcamp - Going for Growth; • Effective Leadership Workshop; • Business Innovation Masterclass; • New Product Development and Launch Masterclass; • How to Develop Carbon Neutral Products; • Selling Online – Introduction to Digital Marketing Workshop; • Introduction to Social Media Workshop – LinkedIn and Facebook; • Start-Up Bootcamps; • Developing Cheshire’s Social Entrepreneurs; • Bidding into the Public Sector; • Carbon Reduction Plans for Public Contracts; • Future Leaders’ Programme - introduction to leadership skills and competencies. With European Regional Development Funding, the University is a delivery partner of the BGP, bringing together key providers across the area to offer businesses access to growth support services.

n L to R - Students Grace Pugh, Sophie Davies and Joe Darlington with Green Expo Project Director, Jane Harrad-Roberts, and students Eadaoin McQuillan and Mick Roberts.


Increasing inflation: What does it mean for your business? By Andrew Hague, Partner at WR Partners

High inflation is hitting businesses and households hard. Across the world, inflation is running high, thanks to factors like pandemic disruptions, monetary stimulus, and supply-chain issues. You’ll see the effects of inflation at the supermarket and the fuel pump – and in your business. Eroding your buying power Inflation increases prices, which eats away at your buying power. For business owners, that means you’ll encounter higher costs

from your suppliers. Materials are more expensive, transport has become far more costly, and basics from office supplies to utilities are all rising in price.

assets that your business might own, like property or plant. Second, it makes debts seem smaller – your debt amount stays the same but hopefully your income rises.

In addition, your staff are probably asking for pay rises. For you and your employees to keep up with inflation, your income needs to increase by at least the same amount as inflation. To achieve that could mean a seriously large wage bill increase for your business.

It’s time to raise your prices With inflation causing you to spend more, your business will also need to raise prices. This is always a sensitive topic to tackle with clients and customers, but at least the way has been paved for you by prices rising across almost every single sector and industry.

Rising interest rates Central banks try to keep inflation at a sustainable level. They react to high inflation by raising their interest rates, which slows the economy and puts a handbrake on inflation. As a business owner, you’ll see this reflected in a higher cost of borrowing, and the same will apply to your home mortgage. Inflation does have some side-effects that could be positive for your business. First, it tends to push up the value of big-ticket

If you’re wondering how much you need to increase prices to keep up with inflation or maintain your margins, do give us a call. We can run the numbers, test out scenarios and figure out a sweet spot that will work for your business. If you would like to talk with one of our team who specialise in business advice and support, please contact us on 08000 664 664 or email hello@wrpartners.co.uk

Our accounting, audit, and tax advice helps businesses to succeed. wrpartners.co.uk 08000 664 664 21


Cheshire College – South & West celebrates five-year anniversary n Cheshire College - South & West has celebrated its five-year anniversary.

across Cheshire at its Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester. Over the last five years, Cheshire College has provided access to high quality teaching and training to over 32,000 learners across Cheshire, with over 470 courses available including A-Levels, Part-time adult courses, T-Levels and Apprenticeships. Partnering with over 500 employers, the College has also helped to create around 3,000 tailored Apprenticeship opportunities within the local community across a range of sectors.

Cheshire College – South & West is celebrating its five-year anniversary following the successful merger of South Cheshire College and West Cheshire College. The milestone lands on another important day for the College as it coincides with the Higher Education Graduation Ceremony at Chester Cathedral. Cheshire College – South & West was formed in 2017 when West Cheshire College and South Cheshire College merged to provide Further Education and skills

Cheshire College hosts Pathway to Sustainability breakfast event Cheshire College – South & West hosted a business breakfast event at their Ellesmere Port Campus to discuss Cheshire’s pathway to Net Zero with businesses based across the Cheshire region. The College welcomed businesses such as Equans, ESSAR Oil, Greif UK Ltd, Redrow and Genfit to their award-winning Academy West Restaurant to enjoy breakfast, hear from key speakers about their approach to Net Zero and learn more about what the College is doing to support the community in its Pathway to Sustainability through offerings such as green skills and higher technical qualifications for business’ workforce. Whilst on campus, guests explored Cheshire College’s Mobile Digital Hub and found out more about Project 4.0; a five-year project that will support businesses and learners by


With a total investment of £165m to date, Cheshire College has invested in the latest technology and bespoke training facilities that provide learners with real work environments and aspirational goals. Including the introduction of two brand new facilities due to open this September, which will feature a new state-of-the-art Digital Centre at the Chester Campus and new Engineering facilities at the Ellesmere Port Campus as part of the investment programme aligned with the expansion of T Level programmes across the College. providing specialist technical equipment and alternative digital platforms and software – all of which will develop the future of digital and upskill existing workforces. Assistant Principal, Mark Parsons, spoke about the sustainable journey Cheshire College has embarked on, commenting: It’s important to us that we create a sustainable curriculum for our learners and the community they’ll progress onto in their career. It was really valuable to share more about this during our breakfast event, highlight the exciting projects we’re working on and all that’s to come; including our Passive House Build project set to begin in September 2022, which will not only reduce energy bills but also carbon footprint.” The event saw guest speaker, Lee Wright, from ENCIRC, discuss the importance of being socially and environmentally conscious in the current climate and what ENCIRC are doing on their pathway to Net Zero. He said: “The event was a great way to discuss the Pathway to Sustainability, network with other employers, and learn about what Cheshire College are offering in terms of qualifications, skills and seeing young people entering the industry from T Levels, work experience and Apprenticeships.”

Looking to the future, the College has recently been named the lead organisation for Cheshire and Warrington, as part of the £120m Institute of Technology (IoT) competition and investment into their facilities across all three campuses. Reflecting on the College’s first five years, Principal and CEO, Dhesi, says: “I’m so proud of everything we have achieved so far at Cheshire College. Being given the opportunity to provide inspirational teaching and learning environments to over 30,000 learners has been a true highlight. Looking at the relationships we’ve developed across the region with families, businesses and employers, and the plans we have to continue to push forward, I’m excited to say that this is just the beginning.” Deputy Principal and Deputy CEO, Helen Nellist, added “Our Campuses provide learners with exceptional teaching and learning environments, our continued investment demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our learners can develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to local community and economy”.

Pat Jackson from Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership attended the event and was impressed with the support available, adding: “It’s been a really fantastic event. It’s great to take the time to reflect on the steps we should be taking on the Pathway to Sustainability. I’ve certainly come away more informed and with ideas for further action.” Cheshire College looks forward to hosting further employer events in the future and championing the Pathway to Sustainability. If you’d like to attend in the future, please express your interest by emailing marketing@ccsw.ac.uk. n Cheshire College hosts Pathway to Sustainability breakfast event

WHAT I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT Before each placement, WeMindTheGap sends employers “pen portraits” of each gappie. “They were really useful to us because we could then adapt and develop things, depending on the girls who were actually coming on site.” The work is varied. “The girls always go to different departments,” Debbie says. “So they’d go out onto production, or the warehouse, or our quality testing labs, and we’ve got a research facility so they’d help out in the labs there.” It works for both sides: it avoids putting pressure on any one department, while participants get a fuller picture of the workplace. Debbie is proud that Solvay has changed perceptions of manufacturing: some gappies were apprehensive, then asked to come back for a second placement.

At WeMindTheGap, we are very passionate about helping underserved young people into employment, but it is much more than that! With family values at heart, we ensure that every young person we work with has the basics in place that some of us take for granted – a trusted person to turn to, a safe place to live, confidence to make the most of opportunities, and the skills needed to live independently and succeed in the workplace. The project started with young women but has now run a successful pilot with young men. However, what makes our programmes so different is that we provide every ‘gappie’ (what we affectionately call our young people) with support, constancy, and care. We believe that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and so we build a powerful community of positive individuals and caring organisations around our gappies, so that they can benefit from every opportunity that our programmes bring. This is not about tea and toast for poor unfortunates. This is about delivering real change in real lives, and this is achieved through a completely holistic approach that develops confidence and self-esteem as well as work and life skills. From this place, the young people we support change from being ‘prisoners of circumstance’ to ‘pilots of our own lives’.

The charity’s core programme, WeGrow, offers twelve months of development and support. Working in cohorts of ten, the gappies experience six months of paid work, with five placements with employers in different sectors. That work experience comes with wraparound support, preparation for life after the programme – and a challenge. Each gappie has a life coach, who helps identify and address barriers to success, while the cohort is supported by a project lead and welfare officer. Local Further Education colleges deliver sessions in maths and English, working towards at least GCSE grade C in each subject. Workshops include a mix of inspiration and practical help. Relatable role models, including former gappies and young businesspeople, come to share their experiences. Recruitment specialists offer interview roleplays and feedback. Employer partners are a key part of the process. Debbie Owen, HR Manager at the manufacturer and employer partner Solvay says, “When they come here, they’re treated like they’re going to work. So we’ll pull them up if they’re late. It is challenging, but it is also very rewarding,”.

“A big benefit was the engagement we got from our employees. A batch of employees really got engaged in it, and became even more engaged in work as well, because they felt they were making a difference in the lives of these young girls. And it was lovely to see the development in the girls over the placement period.” Debbie Owen of Solvay, employer partner with WeMindTheGap We were recently very privileged to win The High Sheriff of Cheshires’s Award for Outstanding Community Engagement in recognition of our work with young people in the local community; we hope this will help us raise our profile with other local employers. We are actively seeking employers across Cheshire to work with us to offer work experience opportunities to our gappies; we are also seeking businesses who choose a ‘Charity of the Year to help us finance it. “We can safely say that WeMindTheGap is growing in both impact and scale. Not many organisations can say the same after the ravages of a global pandemic. For the future, we are looking forward to delivering that same impact through all three of our programmes in new communities each year and changing more futures with love and meaningful opportunities. If you or your business would like to have an impact in your community or know someone who would, please do get in touch. We would love to hear from you.” Rachel Clacher CBE, Founder and Trustee of WeMindTheGap For further information, contact: Amanda Hanlon 0333 939 8818, email amanda@wemindthegap.org.uk visit www.wemindthegap.org.uk



Young Chamber Sponsors help inspire 1000 students at Christleton High School The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce’s Young Chamber programme recently supported National Careers Week at Christleton High School with Sponsors of the scheme speaking at morning assemblies throughout the week. Taking place from 7th to 12th March, National Careers Week aimed to support young people by giving them guidance and resources to aid them when they leave education. Five Young Chamber Sponsors were invited to speak at assemblies throughout the week to 200 pupils in each year group about their current job, why they love it, how they got there, what GCSEs/courses they took to help them and to give general advice to students on how to find a career that they enjoy. The aim was to celebrate a range of jobs and enthuse students about the future!

Monday 7th March

Year 7s heard from Jenny McAllister, Tom Main and Rebecca Green of Cheshire West & Chester Council about their careers in Social Work and the routes they took to get there.

The students learnt that social workers work with a number of people at any one time and day-to-day activities that involve assessing people’s needs, strengths and wishes.

Tuesday 8th March

Year 10s heard from Nadia McKane, Sales & Marketing Manager at Platts Agriculture, about her position at the Wrexham based animal bedding producer.

Archers Brook is a school that offers quality support for children and young people with a range of complex social, emotional and behavioural difficulties often linked with medical conditions such as ADHD or communication needs associated with ASD.


Thursday 10th March

Year 8s heard from Davinder Lotay, Managing Director at Altimex Ltd, about his career path to setting up his business that provides a broad range of Electronics Manufacturing and Fibre Optic services.

Nadia gave an overview of the company and her role and then spoke about her journey from wanting to be a pharmacist at school and then heading to the University of Chester. Nadia emphasised to the pupils that working for a small business doesn’t mean small opportunities and that the unexpected can be exciting.

Davinder spoke to the students about the different areas he has studied throughout his life and encouraged them to never stop learning. Davinder is also a STEM ambassador and spoke about the different paths that studying these topics can take the students when they start their careers.

Wednesday 9th March

Year 11s heard from Nick Clarke, Partner at Aaron & Partners LLP, about his journey to becoming a Solicitor.

Year 9s heard from Jennifer Matthews, IAPT Employment Support Advisor at Cheshire West & Chester Council, about her career path. Jennifer gave an insight into her journey to becoming an Employment Support Advisor which saw her work from being a Bartender at college onto teaching roles. Jennifer highlighted that it was important

Young Chamber Supports Careers Fair at Archers Brook School Three Sponsors of the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce’s Young Chamber programme, which aims to bridge the gap between education and business, recently supported a Careers Fair at Archers Brook SEMH School.

for students to try and establish long term career goals and put steps in place to achieve them.

Taking part during National Careers Week, Paul Cooney, Managing Director at Zodeq Ltd, Mark Gillooley, Inclusive Employment & Apprenticeship Coordinator at Cheshire West & Chester Council, and Penny Basley, Schools Partnership Coordinator, took part in the Careers Fair that saw pupils from Year 10 and 11 attend. Each Sponsor had a stall that the pupils could interact with and they happily answered any questions that the students had about their job, career prospects in their industry and any skills required to enter it.

Friday 11th March

Nick highlighted the different routes that students can take to become a lawyer and emphasised the skills of persuasiveness, communication, attention to detail, problemsolving and being good with people as being essential to becoming a lawyer. “The event went really well. I was particularly pleased with how the pupils interacted with the different employers and education providers. I feel they gained more insight into what is available and I hope it has helped fuel their interest in whichever career they choose to pursue” said James Kitchen, Teacher at Archers Brook SEMH School. n Students at Archers Brook School gained an insight into different career paths at the event


Young Chamber Sponsors Support Castell Alun Mock Interviews The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce’s Young Chamber programme recently supported a mock interview event for year 10 and 11 students at Castell Alun in Wrexham. Six Young Chamber Sponsors attended the event that saw over 40 students interviewed for roles that they had previously prepared for. The aim was to give students the

experience of a real-life job interview, or as close as possible, so that they could receive feedback from professional business people. This event forms part of the wider Young Chamber programme that sees local business professionals engage with schools and colleges in the region to help prepare their students for the working world. With skills shortages widely reported, it is hoped that by engaging with pupils’ businesses will be able to help students understand the skills required when they start their careers.

Amy Burrows, People Services Assistant at P&A Group, was one of the interviewers on the day and said “The students were extremely professional and well prepared for their mock interviews. It was clear that they had taken the time to think about their aspirations and goals, and I wish them the best of luck in the future.” Jenny Davidson, Events & Young Chamber Manager at the Chamber of Commerce, said “Thank you so much to our sponsors for supporting the mock interview event at Ysgol Castell Alyn. These events really help students get an understanding of the job interview process and the feedback given is invaluable for when they leave education and start their careers.”

Young Chamber sponsors support Careers Fair at Christleton High School Christleton High school recently held a wellattended careers fair which was supported by Young Chamber Sponsors; Aaron & Partners LLP, Cheshire College – South & West, Cheshire West & Chester Council, Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, HM Legal, P&A Group, TTE Training, University of Chester and University of Law. Christleton High School has been a Young Chamber member for 4 years and has always been involved in a variety of Young Chamber events thought the school year. They have worked with numerous sponsors at these events to create links between their students and local businesses, bridging the skills gap in the region. Students of Christleton High School from Year 10 & 11 attended the Careers Fair, providing them an opportunity to speak directly with employers and ask them any

Young Chamber Supports EPQ Presentations at Christleton High School Young Chamber Sponsors were invited to the final part of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) at Christleton High School on Tuesday 15th March, where Year 12 students delivered 15-minute presentations on topics of personal interest.

questions, giving them insight into different business sectors which they may choose to have a career once they leave school. Businesses that attended the event were from a variety of sectors including; hospitality & catering, law, and accountancy, Cheshire College – South & West and Glyndŵr University were also there to offer their support and advice to the students and parents in what they offer at Higher & Further Educational levels; getting the students thinking of what courses they may want to take in College & University. Each company had a stand at the event which the students could explore and ask tough questions on topics such as future career paths and what qualifications are needed for specific job roles. Employers were able to share their knowledge of the working

Young Chamber Sponsor Peter Russell, Chairman of Russell Taylor Group, was in attendance at the event that has been supported by the Young Chamber programme for a number of years. Throughout the school year, students at Christleton High School have been planning, researching and developing their EPQ on a subject of their choice that they are passionate about. The aim of the EPQ is to provide students with invaluable skills, including; independence, time-management, researching, referencing, communication, responsibility, resilience and presentation skills.

world, giving students great insight for when they make key decisions on their future. “The event was a great success for the students and the young chamber sponsors, pupils were really engaged with the employers providing them with an insight into different companies and career options, which is what the Young Chamber programme is all about!” said Jenny Davidson, Events & Young Chamber Manager at West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

The EPQ event complements the aims of Young Chamber which is to bridge the gap between education and business and to help students gain the skills required when they start their careers. Topics of the presentations ranged from ‘Is time an illusion?’ and ‘Sexism in the sports world’ to ‘Snake venom in medicine’ and ‘Social media and the brain’. Students were asked questions at the end of their presentations and were given feedback aimed to help them to understand areas they could improve.


WCNW: To begin, tell us a little about yourself and your background. I was born in Neath, near Port Talbot and have led Penderyn since January 2005, having previously been a Regional Director with Brambles Industrial Services in the UK and Netherlands which were businesses based in the steel industry. I have two degrees from the University of Keele in Staffordshire (including an MBA) and am a member by examination of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (MCIPS). WCNW: What attracted you to the company? Our main investor Nigel Short, who used to own the business I worked for in the steel industry, rang me one day and asked if I wanted to visit a distillery in Penderyn, in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, which had started distilling in 2000. He had invested in the business and wanted someone to run it and take it forward. My father originally introduced me to single malts and I was attracted to the opportunity even though the business was very basic at the time. Nigel’s ambition was to make the ‘Best whisky in the world.’ WCNW: Once the idea was formed, what did you do next? When we began it was very much a handson job and the task was to build distribution and build business and brand, and to create a market for the whiskies which had only just become available as whisky takes several years to mature. WCNW: What are your main responsibilities? As Chief Executive, I oversee the running of the whole business in all its aspects and am passionate about our distilleries, Welsh business and the spirits industry in general. WCNW: What does a typical day involve?

Stephen Davies

CEO, Penderyn Distillery 26

No day is like the other! Sometimes I’m up at the distillery, but am often away, meeting importers, press, media and business contacts. We often have tasting sessions where our distilling team produce a variety of whiskies, some mature, some still in the barrel, and these are very enjoyable, especially some of the more innovative whiskies which we are producing for the future, WCNW: Who are your target audience and what is the main aim of the organisation? As said above, we want to produce the best whiskies in the world. We were the pioneers in the World Whisky market. Now pretty much every country has a distillery, but when we started Wales was perhaps the 7th or 8th country to make whisky. So, we have ambitions. We export to 48 countries now, with key markets in France and the

THE BIG INTERVIEW US. Our target audience is fairly wide as our whiskies are light and fruity due to our unique stills which produce spirits at an industry high of 92%, rather than the 67-70% which Scottish and Irish whiskies use. So, lots of people who don’t generally like whisky enjoy Penderyn. And because it is light, in California they call it the Sunshine Whisky, which means it can be drunk in warmer climates. WCNW: What projects are you currently working on? We are based in the Brecon Beacons, but we opened a wonderful distillery in Lloyd St, Llandudno last May. The old school building was perfect for us, as it is in the heart of Llandudno, offered us enough space, and had a car park. This has been very successful. The shop is open 7 days a week. Tours are available 7 days a week, and we have Masterclasses at the weekend. We are also opening a new distillery in Swansea later this year. These are major projects for us. As well as that we are creating new whiskies and targeting new overseas markets, as well as developing our existing ones. WCNW: How have things gone so far? Very successfully which is down to a lot of hard work by a great team of people! Since we started producing whiskies in 2004, we have found new markets. We are in most UK supermarkets; specialist retailers and our online sales are growing rapidly. Covid obviously affected the business, but we managed to produce a Hand Sanitiser, which the Welsh NHS used. WCNW: Any difficulties? If so, how did you overcome them? As whisky has to be in a barrel for at least 3 years and a day, obviously any distillery starting up has a certain number of cash flow issues which are very challenging but really the biggest issue has been to build credibility for the brand and for the idea of Welsh whisky which took many years to establish. WCNW: Did you ever think ‘I’ve taken on too big a risk’? If so, how did you overcome it? I’ve had experience of international companies, and I knew that the product was good and we had financial backing. Whilst the initial period was very tough, I knew that we had a great product, so it was about telling the world and creating a fanbase. WCNW: Looking ahead, what are your main aims for the organisation and how would you like it to develop? Two distilleries opening in two years has been a massive undertaking. The main issue now is exporting around the world.

We are in 48 countries so far, so it’s about expanding in those countries and finding new markets to export to and great partners to work with.

WCNW: What are your career aims and aspirations? Is there anything else in particular you’d like to achieve in your lifetime?

WCNW: How have businesses and individuals responded to what you’re offering?

I’m keen to see the Welsh Whisky and spirits industry thrive with a number of new businesses following our lead creating jobs and great value for the local economy.

We were very lucky in the early years in that Dr Jim Swan, a Scottish whisky expert took us under our wing. He loved our spirit and suggested we used Madeira casks to finish, which is still our ‘house style.’ That made the whisky world sit up and take notice. Initially, we got into Tesco in Wales but now are in most multiples around the UK. Our Faraday Stills mean our whiskies are light, fruity and flavoursome, and so whilst we are a whisky, we have a different flavour competition, which is the key to our success. Also, we promote Wales, which we call, ‘The secret Celtic nation’, and tell stories of Wales. And people like stories!

WCNW: What message would you give to other people in business? We have had to show huge determination and a lot of patience to get to where we are and we have built our brand with a great team of people. I hope we are a great example of how to stimulate the creation of a new industry in a county that has not experienced distilling for over 100 years.

WCNW: Are there any particular people, business leaders or others you look up to? What have you learned from them? We are learning from others all the time. We follow business leaders from the international community, the whisky world and Welsh business – too numerous to mention but there are a lot of great brands to study and learn from.



Michael Owen Signs Exclusive Deal With Cheshire’s Bolesworth Estate The partnership will see Michael attending a host of events on the Bolesworth calendar in Tattenhall throughout the forthcoming season. Michael, owner of Manor House Stables, which is situated just a short distance away from Bolesworth in the village of Malpas, will be the headline name at Bolesworth’s famous International Horse Show which opens on June 29th. He will even be taking part himself during Speed and Style Day on June 30th. The key event on this day will see well-known names and celebrities from the world of sport, horse racing and equestrian teaming up for a competitive race which will involve team tagging from the equestrian arena on horse-back to a 4-wheeled racecourse that winds between the show jumps – with the fastest combined time winning the class. Nina Barbour, Managing Director of the Bolesworth Estate will be competing with Michael on the day.

Receipts Minder – An approach to sustainability

Other confirmed names include jockey AP McCoy and an ever-expanding line-up of sports and entertainment celebrities. Nina said: “We are delighted to be launching this new partnership with Michael. “Michael’s daughter has previously taken part in our dressage events at Bolesworth and Michael is a familiar face here. It is wonderful that we have now taken this a step further and I am really looking forward to welcoming Michael to a host of events throughout the year ahead – and to be competing with him too in our big season launch event.”

The Dodson and Horrell International Horse Show takes place across five days from June 29th until July 3rd. Tickets are now on sale and for those wanting to make this an extra special occasion, there are a variety of exclusive packages available featuring Michael Owen’s Speed & Style hospitality event as well as Ladies Day on July 1st. Further details on the Dodson and Horrell International Horse Show and all of the events taking place at Bolesworth during the 2022 season can be found here: www.bolesworth.com For hospitality enquiries, contact Melanie@bolesworth.com

Michael added: “Bolesworth is a fabulous location with a superb event calendar running across the year – where there really is something for everyone to enjoy. “I am looking forward to the partnership and to be taking part in the first big event at Bolesworth this summer. “There is real synergy between both Bolesworth and Manor House Stables and I

As a retailer or a customer, paper receipts have become a normal part of our routine; we have become so used to their existence that we don’t question how is it made, how they will be disposed of, or how it harms us and our environment. In the UK alone, paper receipt production uses an estimated 200.000 trees and emits 28,000 tons of CO2 each year. Moreover, they are coated with BPA or BPS – which harms the endocrine system. Thoughts like these overwhelmed our 1st Receipt Minder – Ariz Husain who witnessed the piles of paper receipts and the poor experience of managing them and became concerned about how they are harming our environment. So, he pledged to create a solution along with 2 other Minders, where consumers can receive their receipts and other transaction data from different businesses in a single mobile app while simultaneously contributing to the welfare of the environment. Along with our aim for a sustainable environment, our vision is also to free the world from paper receipts by creating a secure and intelligent platform for managing receipts


hope through this partnership there will be the opportunity to showcase horse racing and racehorse ownership to a new and interested audience.”

n MIchael Owen and Nina Barbour

digitally. We believe our endeavour would encourage better receipt management, improved data analytics and insights along with better customer engagement. It will also allow for better customer data handling and privacy of that data. Our team of professionals with their skills and expertise from the fields of Finance, Technology and Research aim to provide this solution not only to free the world from paper receipts but also to transform the way businesses interact with customers. If you are involved with paper receipts as a Consumer, Business or Technology Company, join us as our next Receipts Minder and help us to save the environment. Ariz Husain “Our vision is to create a substantial one-stop solution for both businesses and end-users where people will have only one app on their phones for their day-to-day activities, simultaneously contributing to the environment on their fingertips.”

ON BOARD WITH... duty to monitor, support, evaluate and constructively challenge the performance of the Executive team and to protect the interests of its members. The voice as an advanced manufacturer is represented on the Board for the growth and prosperity of other businesses in the region of West Cheshire and North Wales. What are your aims over your tenure as a Board Director? Being a passionate STEM Ambassador has led to my involvement with Young Chamber as a sponsor. Those who know me are very aware of the inspiration and engagement I provide to the learning community through the various opportunities such as work experience, industry talks, factory visits, CV writing and improving interview skills to name a few. I feel that good things rub off on others when they see the efforts of sponsors of the Young Chamber, thus further engagement with the learning community from members. We have all heard it said that the younger generation will be our next business leaders. The participation with Young Chamber will help prepare them for the future. The need to disseminate business intelligence through the various networks not only helps informed decisions to be made by business leaders but also supports growth opportunities for the prosperity of our region. By offering to listen and support other leaders on their journey through the Chamber’s mission to grow, promote and encourage business in our region. What has been your greatest achievement so far?

An introduction to yourself and your background They say the best things happen by accident. In my case sitting in the library at the age of 18 after completing my exams and reading the New Scientist journal, where Fibre Optics were mentioned as a ground-breaking innovation for data transfer back in 1988, embarked me through a journey of several years at university reading Opto-Electronics. A speculative job application after completing a Masters in 1995 brought me to my first ‘proper’ job in Cheshire working for BICC Cables in Helsby, later to become part of Corning Inc. Here, I was a senior researcher working at the cutting edge of technology and pushing the boundaries with innovation in achieving breath-taking data speeds using novel optical fibres. Redundancy in 2000 after just completing my part-time MBA led me to start up my own web design business whilst looking

for opportunities in Opto-electronics. I was headhunted by a small family run firm in North Wales as a Technical Director in 2002, where I was instrumental in developing new products which helped launch the firm’s growth ambitions. My passion for running my own business came by accident in 2004 whilst travelling with a colleague to work. He discussed the opportunity to buy a then very small company called Altimex Ltd with me and we bought it! Altimex is now an awardwinning and growing company which specialises in Electronics design and manufacture, bespoke LED lighting solutions and of course with a finger still in the pie, supplying Fibre Optic solutions. What is your role as a Board Director? A seat on the board is my view, a vital position in supporting the Chamber’s strategic vision and goals. As a NonExecutive Director, I believe it is my

This achievement was unexpected and it took me by surprise when Altimex won the Business of Year Award from our Chamber in 2016. When you are so engrossed in your business, you sometimes don’t see the achievements you have made until someone else points them out. The award certainly provided the whole team with further motivation that we are going in the right direction. We have since won several other awards in recognition of our achievements. If you could go back and pass on one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be? One thing I have learnt over the years in business is to plan. You can plan ahead because sometimes planning ahead can provide a clearer direction of where you want to go, drive you, and motivate you. This is both in business and personal life. The planning process in itself provides learning. However, don’t be too fixated on a plan. Plans will almost definitely always change -be prepared! Live life with open arms. You will go where you’re supposed to be headed.



A wheelchair is not just a device to get you from A to B, it’s an extension of your personality.


Here at Faraday, this is at the heart of our business ethos. Not only are our CARBON & ALUMINIUM chairs stylish and lightweight, they are now within your budget.



Check out our full range of mobility products on our website or find us on social media






24 HOURS WITH more knowledge of issues players and supporters face when looking to purchase a day chair or sports wheelchair.

Can you tell us a short overview of an average day at work? On a typical day, it involves answering emails, social media messages and telephone calls. Sending quotes and requests for information on our Carbon Chairs, Aluminium Chairs and Sports Chairs. Fixing of chairs in for repair, posting adverts for wheelchairs and working on the development of our own chair. We also product test all our new ranges to give a personal insight and firsthand experience of using the equipment. From testing new active Day Chairs, Sports Chairs, Bike Attachments, electric wheelchairs or off-road accessories, we can give that personal approach to every sale.

How has the company grown in recent years? The first year has flown by and by using my contacts, I managed to secure big orders from Europe. We have added more products to our range that we ourselves are happy with. If we don’t like a product ourselves, we can’t be passionate about it so we won’t sell it. We have mainly advertised on social media within the UK, but so far, we have orders placed and enquiries from Ireland, Norway, Israel, New York South Africa, Vietnam, Morocco & New Zealand. The brand name is growing!

Have you faced any particular challenges recently? A brief overview of your role and company Faraday Wheelchairs was created during lockdown. The mission is to provide lowcost, high-quality wheelchairs for all. Using my contacts from many years playing wheelchair sport in the UK and internationally, I have managed to agree deals with suppliers around the world to offer their chairs and other mobility equipment to the UK market. Keeping our overheads low and passing on our discounts to the end user giving everyone low coast choice in wheelchairs. Having been disabled all my life with Cerebral Palsy, I have first-hand experience of the challenges disabled people can face. I can walk a limited time and limited distance so predominantly use a wheelchair, so again have first-hand insight in what issues that come with using chairs and how unwheelchair friendly some places can be.

Producing wheelchairs which are stylish, functional, practical and getting all of this affordable can be a struggle for most. A wheelchair is not just a means to get from A to B, for wheelchair users, it’s a statement, an extension of their personality and this is a core value of our business. We have some eye-catching designs on chairs which are new to the UK and Europe. Our Carbon Fibre Chairs and Aluminium Chairs are lightweight and effortless to push. Our Sports chairs are functional, strong and aim to increase the player’s potential on court. Capped 18 times by England Wheelchair Rugby Sevens, as well as capped for Scotland and Wales Wheelchair Rugby League, I have all the playing experience to draw upon and now as national coach of England Wheelchair Rugby Union and Norway Wheelchair Rugby League, I can pass on both on and off court knowledge to others and gain

The challenge with any new business is brand awareness. I am very active on social media and making contacts with other suppliers or mobility shops within the local area and throughout the UK with view to some selling our products. This means a lot of time of the road and giving demos of equipment, when I need to be in the office also.

What are your plans for the future? Relocation to a shop front we feel is a must and with that we will also need to employ staff to cover the phones and deal with walk in customers. While this will cause stress, and more increased workload it is essential to grow the brand name, and make our name more well known in this niche market.

If there was an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it? Increasing more sales and looking to hire staff.


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Tel: 01244 732070 | Email: hello@kirstycraigassociates.co.uk



How are increased workloads impacting your workforce? The combination of the pandemic, The Great Resignation, and the difficulty some organisations are having in recruiting new staff, whether for new roles or to replace those employees who have moved on, has had a knock-on effect on the workload of everyone left in the business.

Business owners and employers should not and must not bury their heads in the sand and assume that ‘all will be OK’ or ‘that its only temporary’! Even a short-term shortage in staffing can cause considerable problems…so what can you do? n


Staff still employed are increasingly expected to take on more responsibilities and tasks to plug the gap left by the workers who have departed. For those employees in this position, they often can feel that there is no end in sight for that situation to change, so not unsurprisingly this ultimately brings additional issues, for example: n

Role expansion - over time those who have found their job descriptions increasing due to necessity can become disgruntled in that they are not being recompensed adequately for the additional workload. This can also lead to the same people to be classified as disloyal, or not a team player if they raise this as a concern. Sadly, these employees will ultimately become very disillusioned and potentially unproductive or will leave, causing even more issues for the business and those left behind.


Company Culture - can be badly affected by understaffing and overworking issues. Maintaining a happy working environment for your employees can be difficult and often low down on the priority list when they feel they are being put upon, but now more than ever it’s so important and once lost, can be hard to get back.


Mental Health - not surprising, the increased pressures on employees can have a huge detrimental effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing, which could lead to burnouts and sickness levels increasing, and thereby exacerbating the situation even further.

Clear and regular communication - talk to those involved, be clear about the situation and review workloads to support what is happening in the business. Are there lower priority tasks that could be put on hold for the time being so that the focus is on the critical and higher priorities first? How is everyone feeling? What help do they feel they need? Provide help and support - do employees taking on additional responsibilities have the right level of training and knowledge they need to do the job properly? Time and time again it has been demonstrated that those employees who have access to a

personal development programme feel more appreciated and valued, and therefore in a better place to work more effectively. n

A supported environment - now more than ever it’s essential to look after the wellbeing of our employees…this can, as a result, have a massive impact on their morale and productivity. There are many ways in which businesses can implement a programme to benefit staff and not break the budget!

Kirsty Craig Associates can support you and your business so YOU can support your team with practical HR skills and training programmes. Contact us on 01244 732070 to talk through what it is you think you need, and we can go from there. Go to www.kirstycraigassociates.co.uk for more information


Quarterly Business Report finds significant headwinds face region’s economy The latest Quarterly Business Report from the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce indicates some positive signs for the local economy during the first quarter of 2022. However, our figures also highlight the significant headwinds facing businesses in the region. The report, produced quarterly by the leading business membership organisation in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, is based on a survey of 81 firms that employ over 22,000 people across the region. The report points to a release of pentup demand following the end of Plan B Covid restrictions, with reduced consumer concerns over Omicron supporting activity in the quarter. However, the cost of doing business crisis is leading to a record number of businesses revealing plans to increase prices in the next three months. Key Findings n



Business confidence in the region, for both profitability and turnover, remains historically high after a slight fall last quarter. The number of businesses reporting plans to raise their prices in the next

three months rose for a fifth consecutive quarter and to the highest level on record for the third successive quarter. n


Concerns around external factors and price pressures have continued to build with a number of indicators reaching record levels: notably interest rates and inflation which are at their highest level on record. Recruitment difficulties remained high as the labour market continued to tighten. Business reporting that they are looking to recruit in the next three months rose to the highest level on record.


Firms’ investment intentions for training remain flat whilst those for plan and machinery rose to a two-year high.


Domestic and export sales eased whilst orders for the next three months remained relatively flat.

The survey fieldwork took place between 14th February and 7th March 2022 – with the invasion of Ukraine happening on 24th February. Debbie Bryce, Chief Executive Officer at the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, commented on the report:

“Our latest Chamber Quarterly Business Report reveals significant headwinds facing the region’s economy with inflationary pressures soaring to record levels. Firms cite cost increases coming at them from all angles, ranging from energy bills to raw material prices. We need to be absolutely clear: this cost of doing business crisis is squeezing firms’ finances, driving further increases in prices and directly fuelling the cost-of-living crisis. The Government must provide urgent financial support, through the expansion of the energy bills rebate scheme, to include small firms and energy-intensive businesses, and must introduce an SME energy price cap to protect smaller firms from some of the price increases. A failure to act now will leave businesses with no option but to continue to raise prices – leading to more difficult months to come for both firms and households.” To view the full report, and to express your interest in taking part next quarter, please visit https://wcnwchamber.org.uk/voice-ofbusiness/quarterly-business-report/.


Joe Joinson, Managing Director at Protos Networks

In Focus with Protos Networks Protos Networks specialise in cutting-edge networks, and cyber security solutions primarily focused on AT&T’s and Cisco’s industry-leading network and security technologies. In addition to this, Protos offers a range of cyber security auditing and testing services for organisations looking to demonstrate their commitment to improved cyber security. This quarter, we gain an insight from Joe Joinson, Managing Director, on their response and contribution to the Quarterly Business Report. You’ve indicated that domestic and overseas sales and orders have increased over the last three months. Are there any specific reasons behind this? We have seen increased overseas demand for existing customers expanding into the United States and European Union.

You’re looking to recruit in the next three months. Can you explain why this is the case? During the past 12-months, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for penetration testing, compliance, and certifications, such as Cyber Essentials, IASME Governance and ISO27001. It has been necessary to recruit additional technical and administrative support to meet demand. We have found the market to be thriving with high-quality candidates. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing businesses in your industry at the moment? There is currently a global shortage of semiconductors, which has a significant

impact on the availability of hardware across a wide range of industries. Lead times of some technologies are over a year. This has created delays in project delivery and required us to take a more phased and flexible approach to physical installation projects and focus on cloud-based/virtual products. Looking forward, how do you see the next 12 months for your business? We expect the semi-conductor shortages to continue into the next 12-months, which will continue to impact revenues. Growing our security testing function will remain a focus alongside increasing sales of software and professional services. We have adapted to the challenges of the market and will continue to grow.



Our story began in 2013, when Cath Richardson and Linda Neill, pooled their collective knowledge and vast experience as teachers and Local Authority literacy consultants to create The Literacy Company Ltd, now fast approaching its 10th successful year. Initially based at the Riverside Innovation Centre, and currently located in the centre of Chester at Linenhall House, the company has grown over the years and now comprises an experienced, dedicated team of 11 consultants, marketing and business support staff who share a passion for English and a love of books. We work with a range of primary schools nationwide and worldwide to enhance the curriculum and to improve standards. The company prides itself on providing quality resources and services that not only fulfil a need in schools and support work-life balance for staff, but also impact on standards of literacy for all pupils.


As a Cheshire based company, customers were predominantly in the North-West. However, the shift to ‘online’ during the lockdown and the expansion of marketing activity (facilitated by the recruitment of dedicated marketing personnel) resulted in expansion across the whole of the UK and Overseas. As a result, the business has grown significantly over the last 2 years with the development of new products and the move towards online training. Our Pathways Literacy programmes, a series of resources to support the delivery of the English curriculum in primary schools, have been recognised in a number of

national awards for our products and our team. Schools who are interested in the programmes, are provided with a free trial to assess the effectiveness of our mastery teaching approach and are supported by our team throughout their ‘Pathways’ journey The Literacy Company’s overall ethos and success is down to its staff. Primary customer contact through the business support team is second to none. Queries and requests for products and training are dealt with in a timely way with the team working together to provide

INSIGHT INTO... “The Literacy Company ‘Free Home Learning Resources’ were launched in March 2020. Featuring a set of downloadable, printable documents that could be used online, or printed at school or home, these resources included a free Christmas performance project based on the book ‘Dasher’ by Matt Tavares” ‘Facebook Live’ information sessions over the past 12 months on topics ranging from phonics to spelling and parental support with reading. During lockdown, our team produced a series of free resources to support schools and parents. The Literacy Company ‘Free Home Learning Resources’ were launched in March 2020. Featuring a set of downloadable, printable documents that could be used online, or printed at school or home, these resources included a free Christmas performance project based on the book ‘Dasher’ by Matt Tavares for schools to create an alternative to the Christmas performances that would not be able to go ahead due to COVID-19 restrictions. In total, 22 individual resources were issued, available via The Literacy Company website and from their platform on the TES website resulting in over 45,500 downloads.

Continuing into 2022, The Literacy Company were delighted to be an integral part of the exciting and innovative ‘Poetry Project’ together with Cheshire Academies Trust and linked to No Outsiders (https://no-outsiders. com/). This fantastic opportunity was available to all Cheshire schools and culminated with a live poetry performance involving 33 local schools at the Storyhouse. Pupils delivered their own engaging and thought-provoking poetry linked to the theme of Refugees. This project has now been made available to school communities throughout the UK. Our plans include building on our strong foundations and continuing to innovate with our award-winning Literacy programmes, whilst responding to the changing needs of the school community through training and support for teachers. We are extending our offer beyond the primary school sector to secondary schools to support the effective transition of children from year 6 into year7. We hope in 2023 to continue our expansion throughout the UK and overseas.

support to school’s own timescales and the team were delighted to win the Chamber’s Customer Excellence award 2021. Consultants in the team work extremely flexibly and each one cares passionately about outcomes for children; having all been teachers themselves they fully understand the needs of education and schools. The team always offer a personal service to schools: training sessions have been recorded and sent to schools unable to attend last minute. The Literacy Company engage with schools, teachers and parents via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Free training sessions have been offered on Facebook Live and free Zoom calls offered to schools needing advice. Social media posts, newsletters and blogs have focussed on well-being alongside the promotion of our products, training and support. We have delivered several



New International Tr Sessions Launched t Support Businesses The Chamber of Commerce is hosting four sessions at no charge throughout June focusing on key topics that are impacting businesses that trade overseas. Please view the topics below and visit https://portal.wcnwchamber.org.uk/events.html or email internationaltrade@wcnwchamber.org.uk to book your place.

The Customs Compliance Jigsaw – Do you have any missing pieces?

Spotlight on Supplier Trade Agreements Declarations – Do – Are they in your your sums and favour? statements match up? When: Wednesday 29 June 2022

When: Wednesday 15/06/2022

When: Wednesday 22 June 2022

Time: 9:30am – 10.30am

Time: 9.30am – 10.30am

Time: 9:00am - 11:00am

Delivered: Online via Zoom

Delivered: Online via Zoom

Delivered: Face-to-face at the Village Hotel Chester St David’s Ewloe CH5 3YB

Why attend:

Why attend: n




Trading in international markets can be both exciting and very rewarding – but it is also governed by many complex rules and regulations. How clear is the understanding of customs compliance within your business? Do you have adequate processes and procedures to survive a customs audit? This briefing will provide an overview of the key pieces in the customs compliance jigsaw. It is intended to raise awareness and promote discussion and evaluation within businesses involved in import and export – who can then determine if they have any missing pieces.


Trade agreements come in many different guises. Their aim is to make trading easier between the parties to the agreement by reducing Time: restrictions on imports and exports. They take time to negotiate, and each agreement has its own set of rules.


Since leaving the EU in 2021, the UK has had the autonomy to make its own trade agreements. We hear of continuity agreements, mutual recognition agreements, free trade agreements, regional partnerships – not to mention the impact of cumulation on origin calculations.


Whether you are importing or exporting – do you understand how to maximise any potential benefits from UK trade agreements?

Why attend: n

In a recent webinar run by the WCNW Chamber of Commerce, whilst 63% of participants were making invoice declarations concerning the origin of their goods for exports, only 6% were confident that they have the requisite origin calculations within the business to substantiate their origin claims.


Furthermore, an increasing number of UK companies are being asked to provide Supplier Declarations to their UK customers, but do not understand the implications of signing these.


Join us for this briefing which will highlight the key rules and actions your business should be taking to satisfy both customer and customs requirements.


rade to and the beginning of July

VAT Management in International Trade – reconciliation and returns When: Wednesday 6 July 2022 Time: 9:00am - 11:00am Delivered: Face-to-face at the Village Hotel Chester St David’s Ewloe CH5 3YB Why attend: n

VAT is a major part of a company’s financial records – with rules which apply for imports and exports to be taken into account! For many, 2021 was a big year for cashflow and new customs procedures – and optional changes in accounting practice for import VAT were introduced.


In this session, we will highlight the benefits of using PVA and explain how to ensure your VAT records are completed correctly.

To book onto any of the above events, please visit https://portal.wcnwchamber.org.uk/events.html or email internationaltrade@wcnwchamber.org.uk. 39


Export growth now stagnant for 1 year as BCC sounds warning on trade –

Proportion of UK exporters reporting increased export sales (29%) was largely unchanged for the 4th quarter running

Proportion reporting decreased sales historically high at 25%, also little changed since 1 year ago in Q1 2021

Exporters more likely that non-exporters to expect increases to their prices in coming months

A survey of over 2,700 UK exporters has revealed that export sales growth has been effectively stagnant for the past year. The BCC’s quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook showed the proportion of exporters reporting increased overseas sales to be unchanged from Q4 at 29%, while those reporting a decrease rose 1 point to 25%.

The data showed that manufacturers were more likely to report increased export sales than either business to business service firms (such as lawyers or accountants) or business to consumer service firms (like online clothing stores).

In past 3 months exports sales have…

Exporting manufacturers

Exporting B2B Services

Exporting B2C Services





Remained constant








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


Over the next 12 months, do you believe your profitability will…

Exporting manufacturers

Exporting B2B Services

Exporting B2C Services





Remained constant








Responding to the findings, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, William Bain said: “This data confirms our concerns – that for the last year there was a broadly flat picture for UK exports. This is in contrast with the performance of our near neighbours, with Germany’s exports both within and outside the Single Market steaming ahead by double digit margins and with trade losses from the pandemic already effectively recovered. “UK exporters are facing the headwinds of higher red tape costs from trading with the EU, raised raw material pressures, and ongoing issues in global shipping markets. If we are to realise the aspirations of the UK Government’s Export Strategy then 2022 has to be the year where these structural factors holding back our exporters are addressed. “Sustained export growth should be powering our economic recovery from the pandemic. Chambers and their members are already working hard to increase exports but need more substantive measures from Government now.”

New International Trade Training Course Dates Revealed! The West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce has announced new dates for its range of International Trade Training courses, starting on 8th September with Introduction to Exporting, which are returning to in-person delivery person after. The training courses focus on key topics of international trade and have been tailored to be suitable for businesses that are taking their first steps trading overseas and also those that are more experienced or want a refresher following the changes that have taken place over the last few years. “We are delighted to bring our range of international trade training courses back to the classroom,” said Hayley Gray, Export Documentation Manager/Customs Agent at the Chamber. “There have been a number of significant changes for those involved in export and import over the last couple of years and our courses are designed to help businesses understand these and adapt their processes as needed.”


Upcoming Course Dates BCC Introduction to Export 8th September, 09:30 - 16:30 Covers the key aspects of international trade from a very practical perspective. BCC Incoterms ® 2020 Rules 14th September, 09:30 - 12:30 Looks at the Incoterms ® 2020 Rules, the obligations and risks involved. BCC Understanding Commodity Codes 21st September, 09:30 - 12:30 Understand the harmonised system and the process of classifying goods. BCC Export Documentation 27th September, 09:30 - 12:30 An in-depth look at the key documents needed to export goods. BCC Introduction to Import 5th October, 09:30 - 16:30 Covers the key aspects of importing goods. BCC Methods of Payment and Letters of Credit 12th October, 09:30 - 16:30 Learn the different methods of payment involved in international trade and how to comply with their requirements. BCC Customs Procedures and Documentation 19th October, 09:30 - 16:30 Understand the correct customs procedures to undertake when trading internationally. BCC Understanding Rules of Origin 2nd November, 09:30 - 16:30 Understand the difference between “Preference” and “Origin”. BCC Customs Special Procedures 9th November, 09:30 - 16:30 Understand the Customs Special Procedures regulations when trading overseas.

For more information about the range of training courses available, please contact internationaltrade@ wcnwchamber.org.uk or phone 01244 669985. 41


STORAGE SPACE? Let us transform your loft into a safe and accessible storage area. We can add up to 50% more floor space in your home, using the award winning LoftZone Storefloor, which allows you to use your loft for storage without compromising your loft insulation. Additionally, the system prevents damp and condensation and allows excellent ventilation. The Loftzone system is the only BBA industry approved loft system on the market and is suitable for new build properties as it will not invalidate NHBC warranties.

Get in touch today for your free no obligation survey We cover North Wales and the North West..

01248 660344 info@loftsolutionsnw.com loftsolutionsnw.com


Colette Lhombreaud and Rob Morris Directors of Loft Solutions NW Ltd An overview of yourselves and your current roles. We are Rob and Colette, we are brother and sister and founders of Loft Solutions NW Ltd. We have worked together to develop one of the best and largest loft boarding companies in Wales and the North West. Our main focus is delivering a first-class service to all customers by providing an excellent overall experience in terms of materials used, installation and going that extra mile for the customer at every step of the way. This is so important to us. Rob’s role is running the operations side of the business, including; workforce scheduling, quality management, managing inventory and supplier relationships, just to name a few. Colette’s role focuses on HR, marketing and finance. Both us of work together with business growth and development.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Colette: I really enjoy the flexibility and diversity of running my own business. Working with great people and helping employees to develop and grow as much as they can. I love the marketing aspect and generating more business. Moreover, I enjoy the fast-paced environment and overcoming the challenges that arise from running your own business. Rob: I enjoy the variety of my role. I especially like customer interaction and providing the best possible service. I thrive on developing our team and motivating them through various methods. Running

your own business gives you the opportunity to continuously learn new things and develop as a person.

my son and family. I love travelling, holidays and learning about different cultures. I love reading and read at least 2-3 books a month.

Was a role like this always what you aspired to?

Rob: I am very much an outdoor person and enjoy cycling both on my road bike and mountain bike. I also go climbing and take part in many other outdoor activities. I enjoy spending time with my son, partner and family.

Colette: Yes, I have always loved a challenge and running my own business is exactly that. I am a people person and enjoy working with my amazing team and customers! I am also blessed with being able to run different departments which keeps my role diverse and exciting. Rob: I never would have imagined that I would be running a company that is growing so quickly. But I have taken to it like a duck to water, so to speak. Although there are many challenges with running your own business, I can’t see myself doing anything else.

Tell us about your previous roles/ business journey. Rob has worked in the construction industry for over 16 years and has a strong passion for this line of work and home improvements. He is also a successful entrepreneur. Colette in addition to previously working for Loftzone, has also worked in customer services, marketing and business development for over 20 years.

Tell us a bit about what you do outside of work to relax. Colette: I enjoy going to the gym, walking and keeping fit. I spend a lot of time with

In an ideal world, what else would you like to be? Colette: I would be doing exactly this. Ideally, I would like to start many more businesses. However, I also would have liked to have worked in the media or something linked to travel. Rob: I always wanted to be a public speaker or professional mountain biker. But now I wouldn’t change anything for the world! But you never know what will happen in the future.

What advice would you give to anyone else in business? Never ever give up. You are capable of achieving anything you want! Yes, there are constant challenges and it is always up and down. But you learn to deal with the challenges and carry on. You cannot be successful without failing. Learn from your mistakes. Also, learn to delegate as you cannot do everything yourself. Find a great team, as employees make the business.



Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Enterprise Team has been awarded funding worth over half a million pounds to continue its Horticulture Wales Project. Based in WGU’s Northop Campus, the Project will create a Niche Crops Cluster, focusing on using protective horticulture methods to develop a range of crops to support local food production and grow high value Welsh crops for high end quality Welsh produce. The campus will become a Niche Crops Centre of Excellence in its field and there are plans for a vineyard, a tea plantation and a Welsh Heritage Orchard. The project will also promote Wales Heritage Orchards Limited, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2021 by the previous Horticulture Wales project, to promote Welsh Heritage fruit varieties across Wales. WHO Ltd is seeking to link up Heritage Orchard owners across Wales, to share knowledge and expertise and develop a WHO Ltd brand for high quality food produce.

be based at the Northop Campus. The jobs are full time but we would consider part time or job sharing, depending on your experience, expertise and interest. Anyone interested in the roles can apply via the university’s website https://jobs.glyndwr. ac.uk/Vacancies.aspx The project is Welsh Government and EU funded and will complete in June 2023.

The project will reach out to existing Welsh businesses to support local growing to strengthen their brands and add homegrown Welsh flavours to their products. Pro Vice Chancellor Aulay Mackenzie, Project Director, said, ‘This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to the rural economy of Wales through introducing modern growing methods which will help reduce food poverty and reducing farm to fork miles. It sits perfectly within Wales’s Well-being and Future Generations Act and will have a direct impact on sustainability in Wales.’ To ensure project success WGU are currently advertising for 3 Project Development Officers, who could be based anywhere in Wales, a Niche Crops Cluster Manager and Niche Crops Support Officer, who will

n L to R: Laura Gough, Head of Enterprise, Pro Vice Chancellor Aulay Mackenzie, Project Director, Jane Edwards Hort-Wales Project Manager

Caroline celebrates her twelve years as a Foster Carer in Flintshire Over the years, I have fostered around 14 local children of all ages and it has brought me so much joy. As a foster carer, you can choose your placements and what is best for your family. The team at Foster Wales Flintshire offer fantastic support throughout the whole process of fostering. I can’t imagine not being a foster carer now.”

For the past 12 years, Caroline has been fostering children of all ages through her local authority fostering service, Foster Wales Flintshire. In a recent interview, Caroline, a part time business support worker at Flintshire County Council said: “My sister in law had always fostered children and when we used to visit them, we could see the benefits to the children, how it made them stronger by having a positive impact on their lives and their development. That made us want to become foster carers too.


Foster Wales Flintshire is one of 22 Local Authority fostering services in Wales who are working together to build better futures for local children.

n Caroline celebrates fostering children for 12 years

To read Caroline’s full interview on our Blog page and to discover more about fostering with your local authority, please visit www.fosterwales.flintshire.gov.uk

MEMBERS NEWS Jason MacVicar and Richard Roberts now hold the title of Assistant Manager and focus on client accounts and audit activity. Bethan Collings is now a Senior and Emma Whelan and Michael Brown have both been promoted to Assistant – all three have recently completed part of their Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualifications, and will continue to service clients in a range of areas including audit, bookkeeping and taxation.

Raft of promotions at Azets Holywell The only way is up for Isaac on Russell Taylor Group career path You’re never too young to make your mark on the Russell Taylor Group growth journey – as the achievements of recruiter Isaac Hayes can testify. At the age of 20, Isaac is an integral part of the multi-million pound industrial and technical recruitment operation, joining the business straight from school with only a Saturday job at a local café his experience of the world of work. And his own remarkable journey from school-leaver to key player in the business, helping the company through the challenges of the coronavirus crisis and into

Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy firm and business advisor to SMEs, has announced seven promotions at the Holywell office, equating to over a quarter of the team.

Melanie Langton-Davies, Partner at Azets commented: “The first quarter has been incredibly successful for the Azets Holywell office, and all these promotions are incredibly well-deserved and further showcases our ethos of promoting from within, wherever possible. It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to develop our teams to match the demand for our services, and these promotions recognise each individuals’ hard work and development.”

Danielle Hazeldine and Jenny Young have both been promoted to Manager, whilst

Azets is a top 10 accountancy firm and focuses on delivering a highly personalised service, though a local office network and proprietary digital workplace technology. Career opportunities are available at Azets, visit www.azets.co.uk to find out more.

a new period of growth, reached a high point when he was named Young Person of the Year at a prestigious awards event.

automotive industries, Manufacturing calls for familiarity of scientific, food and general manufacturing areas.

Russell Taylor Group managing director Rob Kurton said: “Working in a dynamic yet family-focused environment, Isaac was regarded from his first day of employment as part of our young talent pool, apprentices and trainees who have worked their way up to become some of our most vital assets.

He said: “I’d always wanted a job after doing A-levels. My first job was Saturday work in a café while I was still at school and, as well as making an apprenticeship my decision, my Dad encouraged me to choose this career route as he’d been an apprentice himself.

“It’s been great watching him grow in confidence and experience – particularly taking charge of new areas during the pandemic – and one whose work is vital to the company’s current growth programme.”

“Since taking up the apprenticeship, I’ve learned so much about the industry. It’s 100 per cent hands-on experience, watching and learning from others, constantly picking up new skills and getting things right.

Isaac took on a role in the Manufacturing Division too and began recruiting in two completely diverse sectors. While Industrial Trades requires knowledge of businesses ranging from painting, mechanical and electrical operations to aerospace and

“I love the fast-paced environment here, dealing with a variety of people from different backgrounds where not one day is the same yet taking a methodical approach to the job via a customer relationship management system. He added: “Joining the business as a boy also helped me quickly grow into an adult, making me more confident and outgoing in my life outside work.” “I know I am growing in knowledge and ability because of my training here and that I’m being set on course for a successful career.”




UK Geoenergy Cheshire Observatory – clean heat beneath our feet Plans to increase UK research and innovation capability in low-carbon geoenergy supply and storage, such as geothermal, have taken a big step forward with the news that planning permission has been granted to construct the second of the £31 million UK Geoenergy Observatories. Planning permission for the Cheshire Observatory, which will be located in the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park, was granted in February this year by Cheshire West and Chester Council. New location Originally, planning was in place to build the Cheshire Observatory at Ince Marshes, however preliminary investigations revealed difficult ground conditions. These included greater than anticipated depth to bedrock and a high (artesian) water table in the bedrock aquifer. Together, these would have led to a significant increase in drilling costs and increased both the cost and complexity of research operations. The new location at Thornton Science Park is ideal for the Cheshire Observatory. Being on higher ground than Ince Marshes, it is not affected by artesian groundwater and the sandstone bedrock is close to surface. Relocating the observatory to Thornton Science Park will deliver a world-class science and research facility for scientists and innovators working in subsurface energy storage to meet the challenges associated with decarbonising our society and the road to net zero.

performance, sustainable designs that take account of natural variation in rock properties. ‘It will complement the Glasgow Observatory, which is already providing important insights into how thermal energy in flooded former coal-mine workings can be extracted for the heating of buildings. ‘This world-class facility will be open to users from around the world and will play a key role in our path towards a net zero energy future.’

Thornton Science Park is located in an area of large sustainable energy projects and the observatory will be an ideal focal point for collaboration between researchers and industry, including local companies that could directly benefit from storing heat underground.

boreholes will be equipped with a range of subsurface technologies, including borehole heat exchangers for heating and cooling of the subsurface, advanced sensors for 3D imaging of subsurface processes in real-time, and equipment for multilevel groundwater monitoring and hydraulic control.

The Cheshire Observatory will provide unique insight into the response of the subsurface to energy transfer and storage with real-time, 3D-imaging of subsurface processes. The infrastructure will support control of groundwater flow, heating and cooling of the subsurface and high-resolution monitoring using advanced sensors and multilevel sampling installations.

Data will be free and open to the public, public bodies, researchers and industry.

Subsurface energy storage

Now that planning permission has been granted, construction is expected to start in summer 2022. The project team issued a tender for the principal contractor to build the Cheshire site and will announce the results of this in due course.

The Cheshire Observatory will provide researchers with at-scale test facilities that they can use to optimise the design and operation of subsurface energy storage systems. These systems are an important and growing component of the UK’s heating and cooling demand.

Dr Mike Spence, science director of the UK Geoenergy Observatories, said: ‘Balancing renewable energy supply and demand, and reducing our dependency on gas for heating, will be key to the UK achieving its decarbonisation goals.

The Cheshire Observatory will comprise a network of 21 boreholes installed to a depth of 100 m. The

‘The Cheshire Observatory will be a place where developers of energy supply and storage technologies can work together to develop high-

The Glasgow Observatory, which is equipped to investigate thermal storage in former mine workings, is already delivering these benefits for researchers and partners across the UK and complements the research that will be carried out at the Cheshire Observatory into geothermal energy in stored in aquifers. The Cheshire Observatory is a publicly funded NERC/UKRI facility and, when complete, it will be available for a wide range of investigative work by academics and commercial organisations exploring aquifer thermal energy resources, subsurface energy transfers, novel sensor systems and the de-risking of future commercial ventures. If you are interested in using the Cheshire Observatory then please contact the UK Geoenergy Observatories team at ukgeosenquiries@bgs.ac.uk or visit the website www.ukgeos.ac.uk for more information and to sign up to the newsletter.

GETTING STARTED new role in a new industry, and I was the first non-German speaker in an otherwise German-speaking business so in at the deep end. Despite this, I had a great time and was able to help the business become the market leader across Europe. Why? What made you consider selfemployment/starting a business? I could see that so much more needs to be done in the housing sector to make homes affordable to heat with lower carbon emissions. To date, overall efforts are nowhere near where they need to be to tackle ever-increasing energy bills and the climate emergency. I felt that a new model was needed and that this was something I should do. The lightbulb moment! How and when did the idea come about? The UK and Welsh Governments have committed to net zero housing by 2050 and 2035, respectively, with the expectation that the public and private sectors will between them make it happen. I could see a clear opportunity where I could build a team that would accelerate progress towards warmer, cheaper, low carbon homes through scaling national supply chains whilst delivering social and environmental value. Who is your ideal client/customer? Housing associations or local authorities that need help to reach their net zero targets and any businesses who want help to grow and who are committed to developing a stronger social impact story, particularly, but not exclusively, in the domestic energy retrofit sector. Best moment so far?

What’s in a name? Cyd means together in Welsh (pronounced “keyed”) and refers to the collaborative nature of the projects we’re delivering. I recognised early on that delivering net zero carbon housing is bigger than any single organisation. Your position Steven Reynolds, Founder and Managing Director About your business Cyd Innovation started in January 2021 and is based in Holywell in North Wales. Our aim is to accelerate the housing sector towards net zero by growing the supply chain and maximising social and

environmental impact. We’re working with housing associations and their supply chains to identify opportunities to improve the housing stock and to grow installers and retrofit service providers by making them more competitive, more commercially capable, and scalable. We currently have three full-time staff and are hiring four more. About you! Tell us a little about yourself and your background. I started working on Local Authority led carbon reduction projects in 2009 and went on to lead major housing energy efficiency projects growing a team that funded itself. I then lived and worked in Germany for nearly five years leading international operations across Europe for a major German online retailer. It was a

Two moments at the end of last year: Winning the Chamber of Commerce Start-Up Business of the Year and gaining a place onto NatWest’s UK wide Business Accelerator programme for high potential, high impact businesses. Biggest challenges: We’re a niche company and we’re working hard to let people know this service exists. Benefits of the Chamber Start-Up Club Since your joined? Meeting others in a similar start-up position and being able to share our experiences with them and support them too. Lessons learnt….. what would you do differently and why? I should have believed in myself sooner that I was able to start a business and successfully take on such a challenge independently.



Artezzan Restaurant & Bar 33 Pepper Street Chester Cheshire CH1 1DF 01244 566940 www.artezzan.com

Aspire Procurement Training Ltd International Business Centre Delta Crescent Warrington Cheshire WA5 7WQ 01925 717428 www.cips-training.com

Bolesworth Events Ltd Bolesworth Castle Tattenhall Cheshire CH3 9HQ 01829 701508 www.bolesworth.com

Welcome Welcometo toWCNW WCNWChamber ChamberofofCommerce Commerce

Complete Electrical Solutions

Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia

Unit 2 Rose Farm

Conwy Road

John Street




Cheshire CW6 0LP 01829 830087 www.completeelectricalsolutionsnw.co.uk

Dragon Petroleum Ltd

Conwy County Borough LL32 8QE 01492 353353 www.hgisnowdonia.com


Kenect Recruitment Wrexham

Conwy County Borough

CoWorkz Business Centre

LL18 6DD

Office 1, Minerva Ave

07753 832221

Chester West Employment Park



Meliden Road

Enigma Wellness Enigma House 76 High Street Tarporley Cheshire CW6 0AT 01829 701708

Cheshire CH1 4QL 07580 990756

MSB Solicitors 4 St Paul’s Square Liverpool

C9FL Group www.enigmawellness.co.uk


07925 540690 https://cloud9forlife.com

L3 9SJ

Carnedd Menai Science Park Postbox 94 Gaerwen Gwynedd LL606AG 01248 719286 https://carnedd.io

Coastal Medical Imaging Plas Eirias Business Centre Colwyn Bay Conwy County Borough LL29 8BF 01492 338899 https://coastalmedicalimaging.co.uk/


Equals Money

0151 281 9040

Bell Meadow Business Park


Park Lane Pulford



Steam Mill



CH4 9EP 01244 572280 https://equalsmoney.com/

Foster Wales Flintshire County Offices

Cheshire CH3 5AN 01244 956990 www.ncrq.org.uk

Chapel Street

Orchard HR Solutions


07580 752491

Flintshire 01352 701965

Process Improvement Lab, LTD


07506 827608


Welcome to WCNW Chamber of Commerce


Ray Webb Estate Planning And Wills

The Townhouse Hotel & Secret Garden

Topwood Ltd

07890 542575

49-51 Lower Bridge Street

Wrexham industrial Estate




Wrexham County Borough


LL13 9UZ

Real Ice Development Company LTD Santander Room, M-Sparc

01244 567300



Llanfairpwll LL60 6AG

The Welding Academy Certifications Limited

07464 933796

5 Jupiter Drive



Isle of Anglesey

Receipts Minder Limited 07827 917154 https://receiptsminder.com/

Smith Jackson Wealth Consultancy Ltd Link 665 Business Centre Todd Hall Road Haslingden

Cheshire CH1 4QS 08002 461483 https://theweldingacademy.com

36 Abenbury Way

01978 464432 www.topwoodltd.co.uk

Wood & Associates Suite 1, 1st Floor 2 Whitefriars Chester Cheshire CH1 1NZ 07542 678747 www.kpwoodandassociates.co.uk

Think Beyond Hurstwood House Unit 1 Haig Road





01706 232170

WA16 8DX


01565 632206 www.think-beyond.co.uk

The Danny Registered Office: 54 St James Street Liverpool Merseyside L1 0AB 07482 222473 http://thedanny.co.uk



BCC Economic Forecast: Testing times as quarterly growth dries up Quarterly economic growth is expected to grind to a halt this year before dipping briefly into negative territory as global events continue to weigh heavily on the UK economy. UK Economic Outlook – 2022 The British Chambers of Commerce has downgraded its expectations for UK GDP growth for 2022 to 3.5% (from 3.6%) against a deteriorating economic outlook. It now expects the UK inflation rate to reach 10% in Q4 2022, comfortably outpacing average earnings growth. The heightened economic uncertainty and rising costs are also expected to significantly weaken business investment, with 1.8% growth predicted in 2022, down sharply from 3.5% in the previous forecast.

GDP growth Expectations for growth in 2022, at 3.5% are now less than half the 7.5% growth recorded last year. Quarter on quarter GDP is expected to flatline with no growth expected in Q2 and Q3 before contracting

Photo by Nick Chong on Unsplash


by 0.2% in Q4. This negative outlook reflects a combination of soaring inflation, weak business investment, tax rises and the global economic shocks - initially caused by Covid and then compounded by the war in Ukraine. Annual UK economic growth is expected to slow sharply to 0.6% for 2023 before recovering slightly to 1.2% in 2024. Consumer spending is now forecast to grow at 4% in 2022, a fall from the 4.4% prediction in the first quarter. This reflects the historically high squeeze on real household incomes as inflation far outpaces the forecast 5% growth in average earnings for the year.

Investment Business investment is forecast to grow at 1.8% in 2022, a large downward revision from the previous forecast of 3.5%. The downgrade

reflects heightened political and economic uncertainty, and rising cost pressures which are limiting smaller firms’ abilities to invest. The BCC’s survey data for business investment have shown no sign of recovery since the start of the Covid pandemic.

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

Chamber Staff and Members to Compete in Dragon Boat Festival! The Chamber of Commerce is participating in St David’s Hospice’s upcoming Dragon Boat Festival and we need your support! Taking place on 25th June on Llyn Padarn in Llanberis, our teams, including staff and Chamber members, will be competing in the fun-filled, adrenaline-pumping, water sports activity raising money for St David’s Hospice. The event will see teams race against each other in Dragon Boats, which are large canoe-like vessels fitted with ornately carved dragon’s heads and tails.

All fundraising will go to St David’s Hospice which provides care to adult patients and their families across Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey. We are aiming to raise as much money as possible and we would very much appreciate any donations that can be made via the below QR code. Thank you for your support!

electric for everyone

At Holdcroft MG, we have a wide range of electrified models including the UK’s first all electric estate car the MG5, the stylish MG ZS EV with up to 273 mile of range, and the HS Plug-In Hybrid where luxury meets state of the art hybrid technology! MG Cheshire Oaks 3 Oakland Drive, Cheshire Oaks, CH65 9LG 0151 5151624

MG Warrington Guardian Street, Warrington, WA5 1GG 0192 5546283


Discover the e:HEV Self-Charging Hybrid Range

Where smooth and seamless performance, meets fuel efficiency.


The standard Jazz and the rugged Jazz Crosstar combine style and practicality


Honda’s latest SUV, with a modern look and premium interior

Honda Cheshire Oaks

Honda Warrington

0151 5156087

0192 5549498

3 Oakland Drive, Cheshire Oaks, CH65 9LG

Guardian Street, Warrington, WA5 1GG


The Fullsize family SUV with space and luxury on it’s side