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The first of our monthly features on commercial property - p6&7

How health and safety can boost your productivity - p8&9



07 MAY 2014



How 61-year-old who thought he was ‘unemployable’ got on his bike and built a successful business – page 5 EPB-E01-S3




Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Know how

‘Zillionaire’ of the future wins Dragon’s help

James Phipps Chief executive Excalibur 0117 329 1002

Be protected against digital security risks



HE modern business is a place where machines, people, information and ideas cross boundaries and connect. While this is great news for productivity and collaboration, it presents huge security risks – from network and device security and proactive monitoring to anti-virus and encryption. With just over 20 years in the industry, we’ve seen security threats and challenges evolve and increase in number, especially with Bring-Your-Own-Device popular in a lot of workplaces. We manage the full set of business communications for many of the companies we work with. This comprises mobiles, landlines, broadband and IT. All naturally cross over into each other and present their own set of potential security issues. If you had an employee who lost their device that contained sensitive information, do you have a plan to stop it from getting into the wrong hands? At the very least, devices should be PIN protected, but it’s far better to have a device management server that allows you to remotely wipe all or parts of the device. Similarly, if an employee leaves the business how can you ensure they don’t take your data with them, especially if they use their own device? With the right applications installed, you can shut down access. Looking at research conducted by Symantec last year, 96 per cent of lost smartphones were accessed by finders of the devices and the average cost of one data breach for a UK company was £2 million. These figures are hard to ignore. Educating employees about the potential risks and what they can do to help is a must, but your business model needs to be looked at in-depth to identify where security leaks could occur. You need to get the right advice and implement solutions. As a minimum, you should have the following elements covered to protect your data: ● Device management – if mobiles, tablets and laptops are lost or stolen you need a back-up plan. Passcodes are a minimum requirement, but remote wiping is better. ● Anti-virus protection – guard against email threats and make sure it’s always up to date. ● Anti-spam – 60 per cent of all emails are spam. One click on a malicious link is all it takes to bring down a network. ● Web filtering – identifying suspicious URLs and insecure websites is essential when employees are browsing and buying online. ● Backup and disaster recovery – plan for the worst so you’re always covered. Mitigate risk and minimise potential repercussions. ● VPN – if employees are accessing your network remotely, a secure connection is important. Talk to Excalibur and we’ll assess your situation and offer a future-proof plan to safeguard your business data.

● Steve Callanan and his mentor Yo! Sushi founder and former Dragons’ Den investor Simon Woodroffe

● THE founder of a tech start-up that produces interactive video content allowing views to pause and purchase items will be getting advice from a high-profile mentor. Software engineer Steve Callanan, 35, will be able to tap up Yo! Sushi founder and former Dragons’ Den investor Simon Woodroffe for advice and support on his firm WireWAX. Steve said: “I know that Simon’s experience is going to be invaluable to me. We’re at a pivotal point with WireWAX and I know that the right decisions are crucial now. “Demand is there for us to expand overseas and you only get one shot.” He won the support in a competition run by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Simon said: “Of all the business people in the competition, Steve is the most likely to be a zillionaire. And who can resist a potential zillionaire? “WireWAX is a really exciting business and I really respect the courage Steve has shown in putting his business forward.”


Coull Bid to be a billion pound first Chris Campbell


VIDEO platform for digital publishers that has achieved “aggressive growth” in Bristol is set to expand further. Coull, which has an office in Colston Avenue, aims to become Bristol’s first billion pound technology business after two years building a large video advertising network. Its Vidlinkr technology has almost one billion video plays per month on premium publisher sites, across more than 180 markets. The business has increased its revenue by around 500 per cent in the past six months and has seen staff numbers increase by 90 per cent since January 2013. This is across the whole company,

which includes its London office and US office in Santa Barbara. Irfon Watkins, pictured, CEO at Coull, said: “We set really aggressive sales and growth targets for the last two quarters. This growth shows that publishers are starting to realise the clear benefits showing more contextually relevant video advertising can have on their bottom line. It’s fantastic to see our approach to online video advertising and our technology validated by such strong growth.” Coull recently received around £2.4 million in funding from angel investors, meaning it has received about £7.25 million in total funding to date. The new round of funding will help open a new office in New York. Despite only launching in the US market under a year ago, Coull already sees 60 per cent of its business come from over the pond. Coull has also announced two new

appointments. Ben Humphry has joined as head of demand for Europe and Michelle Melisaratos as global head of programmatic adops (advertising operations). Ben has served in various senior roles across the digital media, with both media owners and technology vendors across Europe, including many years leading international sales operations at MSN. He has also served on the board of IAB Europe. Michelle has expertise in programmatic adops, having worked for major media agency groups in campaign management, as well as building and leading the Xaxis AdOps function, and more recently holding the role of director of program management internationally at Yahoo. Michelle will

head up Coull’s global adops function from New York. Steve Brown, co-founder and former CEO of brand and one of Coull’s angel investors, was encouraged Coull was not seeking venture capital investments. He said: “Within the UK start-up scene many entrepreneurs, especially those receiving early capital, are led to be too focused on a quick exit at reasonable multiples for the initial investors, rather than building a long-term business. This can have detrimental effects on the maximum opportunity of a business being realised. I admire Irfon for having positioned Coull with the potential to be a billion dollar tech business and it is fantastic he is committed to building it to just that.”


New centre’s keys are handed over KEYS have been handed over to the owners of a new workspace and business development centre in Weston-super-Mare. Contractor Pollard officially presented the keys for The Hive to the North Somerset Enterprise Agency after construction was completed. The Hive will support the launch, development and success of start-up and growing local businesses through on-site business support from a team of advisers. It will have a range of resources and services and 20,000 sq ft of rentable managed office space and communal facilities. Based in the Business Quarter of Weston Park, in the Junction 21 Enterprise Area of Weston-super-Mare, The Hive will provide office space for

40 to 60 tenants. It will also be a hub for local firms to do business, benefit from advice, support and training from the NSEA, and be able to meet, share experiences and network with other businesses. The development has been enabled by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund, alongside funding from the NSEA. The NSEA has worked with SMEs in the county for more than 25 years and has helped 3,000 enterprises to start up and seen 3,500 jobs created. Alongside Pollard, the project has been delivered by architectural practice AWW and project managers CBRE. Handing over the key to NSEA chief executive Angela Hicks, Mark

Smith, contracts director at Pollard, said: “Our client has an exceptional building in which they will be able to meet their objectives of assisting and supporting businesses to grow. We are proud to have played a part in that vision.” Mrs Hicks described the handover of the keys as a “momentous moment” and said businesses had a building “to be proud of ”. She added: “We are grateful to our project team – which includes CBRE, AWW, Pollard, the Sweet Group, Hoare Lea and Hydrock Structures – for the hard work they have put into bringing our building to fruition. Once we have relocated our offices this week, The Hive will be open for business, ahead of our official opening in July.”

● From left: Mark Smith of regional contractors Pollard, Angela Hicks, CEO of North Somerset Enterprise Agency, and Hugh Dalton, of Pollard, celebrate the handover of The Hive business centre to the enterprise agency

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Inward investment

Place to be Success for group as firms and jobs come to the West Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business)


RISTOL is attracting more businesses to move here and create jobs, according to the body responsible for inward investment in the city. The Invest Bristol and Bath group has helped 30 companies move to or expand in the West of England area in its first year, which it hopes will lead to 530 new jobs in the next three years. Among the businesses moving to Bristol are: ● Kainos, a specialist software company from Belfast, which has just opened an office in the city centre and has ambitious expansion plans that will create up to 80 new jobs ● SITA UK, the international recycling and resource management company, which has begun work on the Severnside energy recovery centre, delivering 53 new full-time jobs and a further 200 jobs during the construction phase ● And Sanoh, an international automotive industry manufacturer from Asia, which has opened a site in Bristol, bringing 40 new jobs in its first six months. The investment organisation, based at the Engine Shed in Temple Meads, is funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills for three years. Professor Joe McGeehan, pictured, chair of Invest Bristol and Bath and senior general advisor at Toshiba Corporation, said: “These figures show just what an impact Invest Bristol and Bath is having on the regional economy. “We’re very proud to have helped bring in exciting new companies to the West of England area, delivering new skilled jobs and helping to cement our reputation as an innovative and expanding tech cluster.”

● The Invest Bristol and Bath stand at the MIPIM international conference in Cannes Bristol has been positioning itself as a technology hotbed of late, helped by successes such as SecondSync, which monitors the impact of TV shows on social media, being bought by Twitter. David Maher-Roberts, digital and creative sector champion, said: “Bristol and Bath has burst onto the world stage as a rapidly growing technology cluster and the region is gaining serious momentum. “Building on its heritage in microelectronics and media, it has become the natural home to brilliant people building products and businesses at the intersection of high-tech and creativity. Invest Bris-

tol and Bath has played a crucial role in bringing innovative new business into the region and we’re looking forward to building on that success with an even stronger second year.” Brian Gannon, pictured right, director of corporate development for digital solutions company Kainos, praise the support the firm received in moving here. He said: “Invest Bristol and Bath gave us invaluable support in setting up our Bristol operation. “Extremely well connected, they have been key in helping us open doors in the region, and introducing us to the business and academic com-

munities, which has been critical for recruitment.” Invest Bristol and Bath recently led a delegation to MIPIM, an international property conference in Cannes, where it showcased the city region to potential investors, holding 50 meetings and attracting around 500 visitors to its stand. The region was named one of Europe’s best performing regions for investment in an annual survey by fDi Intelligence, part of the Financial Times. Bristol has also featured in a number of tech hotspot features across the media.



New app puts eatery offers on the menu ● A START-UP business that gives users offers for restaurants and nights out is launching its app today. Rob Hall, 28, swapped a career in law to become an entrepreneur and joined the Webstart tech incubator programme based at the Engine Shed, in Temple Quarter. The service, which sends out last-minute offers to customers who have signed up, has been running through Twitter for a couple of months. But the model was always meant to be focused around an app, which is released for download today at noon. Rob, pictured, said: “Wriggle’s app will let the people of Bristol find on-the-day exclusives at really high-quality independent restaurants and bars in Bristol. “We know that lots of people don’t plan their evenings in advance, whether they plan to eat at home or go out, so we want to provide them with more options. Instead of heading past the Co-op after work to buy your dinner, why not get out to some great local places, save some money and support the local economy? “Even great places have spare tables or quiet periods, so with the Wriggle app, these establishments can bring in some last-minute customers, fill their tables and get out to a new audience.”

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Business awards

Filling the gap Delivery service is meeting a need for class fast food


Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business)


UWE academic who started a fast food delivery business is hoping his drive will take him all the way to the Bristol Post Business Awards. Founder Dotun Olowoporoku, 37, was working as a restaurant delivery driver to supplement his income while working towards a PhD. During that time, he realised it could be very difficult for an individual restaurant to run a viable delivery service. The result was website and app-based service, which matches hungry customers with local restaurants, providing all the logistics for ordering and delivery. It offers the restaurant an extra revenue source, which the company believes could be up to an extra £200,000 a year. The service aims to fill what its owners believe is a gap in the market for restaurant quality food at home, with more than 34,000 UK restaurants not delivering. Dotun said: “On the whole, the standard of the average takeaway is poor and there is little in the way of a co-ordinated delivery service at the quality end of the market. “Our target customers are young professionals and busy working families who are time-poor and relatively cash-rich, but tired of the poor nutritional value and service quality of the typical takeaway.” The company uses a system it has developed called Marvin to process orders. Restaurants get the order via a tablet app and can accept and set a collection time. Marvin then selects the courier to deliver it, factoring in location and traffic conditions. Dotun added: “We aim to match the quality of the restaurant brand with the quality of our service.” The service has been running successfully in Bristol and is now being introduced in London. The Business Awards will be handed out at a gala dinner at Brunel’s Old Station on June 25. The deadline for entries has passed but to book a table, visit

● Dotun Olowoporoku aims to bring restaurant quality food to people’s homes

Categories ● Business of the Year Bristol, sponsored by UWE Bristol ● Young Entrepreneur of the Year ● Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Punter Southall ● Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Broadmead Bristol BID ● Customer Service Award, sponsored by Broadmead Bristol BID ● Family Business of the Year,

sponsored by BOM Group ● Innovator of the Year ● Export Award, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group ● Marketing Campaign of the Year ● Large Business of the Year, sponsored by Smith & Williamson ● Best Creative/Technological Award, sponsored by Ashfords Solicitors

● Leisure & Tourism Business of the Year, sponsored by QBE ● Small Business of the Year, sponsored by First Great Western ● Start-Up Business of the Year, sponsored by Jordans ● Environmental Business Award ● Contribution to the Community Award, sponsored by Renishaw


‘It’s heartening to celebrate success in leisure and tourism’



BE is pleased to sponsor the leisure and tourism category for the second year running. As a business insurance specialist, supporting companies in the South West for more than 25 years, we understand what local businesses need to help them succeed and are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate this success. We provide bespoke insurance solutions across a range of sectors that are tailored to individual clients’ needs. A critical part of our offering is our risk management support. We look to work in partnership with those businesses we insure to make sure their risk management pro-

cesses are solid and the health of their operation is as robust as possible. Of course, claims can and do arise and our team of experts actively support our clients throughout the claims process to ensure cases are resolved fairly and efficiently and that the impact on business operation is minimised. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients and appreciate that this can only be achieved by consistently providing the support they need and delivering on our promises. Our success in this respect is proven by the number of businesses in the South West that have continued to place their insurance with us year after year.

While our team in Bristol are very focused on the needs of businesses in the local region and have a wealth of experience to drawn upon in this regard, they can also tap into the expertise and resources from QBE’s global operation, ensuring that local businesses benefit from the very best in advice and support. QBE Insurance Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers, with operations throughout the world and a firm financial rating. Chris Bevan, pictured, commercial manager of QBE’s Bristol office, said:

“This has been another difficult year for the region and households and businesses alike are still dealing with the after-effects of flooding. The leisure and tourism sector always bears the brunt of inclement weather, so it is particularly heartening to be able to celebrate success in this sector. Good luck to all those who enter.” For more information about our product range – covering liability, motor, property and professional indemnity – and the added services we provide, please visit out website at

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bike repair



Retail specialist makes another acquisition

● Peter McGrane, right, who has moved his bike hire and repair business to Oxford Street in St Philip’s

Pic: Barbara Evripidou BRBE20140501C-4

Cycle Shack Peter’s bright idea helps him find the road to success Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business)

AS HE approached his 60s, Peter McGrane’s antiques and reclamation business was in decline. He was also finding the physical side of the work getting tougher. “I knew nobody was going to employ me,” said Peter, pointing to his age and his dodgy knees and back from a few tumbles related to his passion for motorcycles. “And I didn’t have a pension.” But while his body was feeling the

strain, Peter’s business brain was as sharp as ever. “I saw that cycling was becoming more and more popular and thought there might be something in it,” he said. Despite having no background or particular interest in the pastime beforehand, Peter started hire and repair business Cycle Shack three years ago and it has been growing ever since. Tourism is a big part of this trade, particularly at weekends, with groups as big as 30 turning up looking to get on his bikes to see Bristol. Peter, now 61, has 40 cycles available for hire.

“It’s mostly tourists, but we also get people who perhaps have a friend who doesn’t have a bike but wants to cycle with them for the day, so they hire from us,” he said. The biggest part of the business – about 70 per cent – is repairs, with the shop open from 8am to 6pm to catch the commuters. On a typical day, they might have 10 bikes in the shop being fixed or serviced. “We try to offer a same-day service so they can come in on their way to work and drop the bike in, and collect it on their way home,” said Peter. “We also give them complimentary hire bikes while we carry out the repair.”

● A BUSINESS that helps shops make the most of their displays has made its second acquisition in six months as it continues to grow. eXPD8, based in Orchard Street, in the Centre, has bought the field marketing division of Tradewins Ireland, building on its presence in the country and increasing group turnover to over £20 million. The firm is managed by a small team in Bristol but employs 1,400 field staff across the UK. It specialises in field marketing – making sure store displays are effective in generating sales and brand awareness and ensuring shops comply with the demands of suppliers and the manufacturers. Tradewins Ireland provides similar services in the Republic of Ireland, employing 550 people. It works with retailers as well as grocery brands. The Irish arm will trade under the name eXPD8@Tradewins and will be integrated with the existing eXPD8 operation in Ireland, which is based in Dublin and employs 60-plus staff. Mark Thurgood, a director at eXPD8, said: “The Republic of Ireland is a growing marketplace and presents excellent growth opportunities for eXPD8 and forms an important part of our expansion plans. The acquisition is a great fit for us as part of our strategy to broaden our integrated retail support services.” The deal follows the acquisition of Worthing-based Merchandising Sales Force (MSF) Ltd in October.

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The shop employs two full-time mechanics, both in his experienced age bracket, as well as a ‘Saturday boy’, who has been with Peter for two years and was the son of a customer. The business has just moved to new premises in Oxford Street in St Philip’s as its previous base in an old church hall was showing its age. Peter has even found himself getting on his bikes, too. “I was a motorcyclist really, but had so many accidents,” he said. “I smashed both my knees, my elbow was pinned up and my back’s bad. “Cycling is lower impact, so it’s better for my knees. It keeps me off the motorbike.”


Excitement as Fundsurfer launches next two books on Fundsurfer,” she said. “I’m really excited.” Derek, who lives in Bishopston, said: “It was wonderful to have so many people attend our launch and it was great to hear about their interest in Fundsurfer. We want to make crowdfunding simple while providing additional support and services to our users, and I think that message really connected with everyone.” Oliver, from Horfield, added: “We are really excited about taking Fundsurfer forward in 2014. “The level of creativity and interest being shown tonight proves that crowdfunding has changed the way projects, individuals and companies raise and donate funds. I want to

thank everyone for their support – it’s been a brilliant evening.” Crowdfunding involves getting lots of people to invest or donate smaller sums towards a project, rather than a few big investors, and is largely done through online platforms. It is becoming a more popular way of generating money for projects – including events such as last weekend’s water slide in Park Street. But it is also seen by businesses as an alternative source of finance to borrowing from banks. Fundsurfer is part of the SETsquared network of high-tech companies based at the Engine Shed within the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

● Crowdfunding platform Fundsurfer holds its launch event at the Engine Shed – from left, co-founder Derek Ahmedzai, Agathe Evain, Amy Morse, and co-founder Oliver Mochizuki


HYBRID crowdfunding platform Fundsurfer held its official launch event at the Engine Shed this week. The event attracted a number of people looking at crowdfunding as an alternative source of funding for their creative and social projects. Co-founder and CEO, Oliver Mochizuki, gave a presentation and was joined by Amy Morse, a writer who launched her first crowdfunding campaign on Fundsurfer to publish her novel, entitled Solomon's Secrets. Amy said she met Oliver – and co-founder Derek Ahmedzai – at a networking event where he gave a presentation on crowdfunding. “I felt really inspired and thought it would be perfect to crowdfund my


Expert eye Cathy Knutsen LSH 0117 9142020 email

Budget for repair costs as tenancy nears its end


OR tenants of commercial property a schedule of dilapidations can appear daunting. The schedule, usually served by the landlord six months before the end of the lease, will detail defects found and list works required to rectify problems, and estimated repair costs. Additional costs will be added for solicitors and surveyors’ fees, plus other relevant sums. So what can you do about it? If you’re leaving the property when the lease ends consider what works need doing and budget for these. It is always advisable to carry out these to minimise a potential claim from the landlord for costs. In a good or rising market, if the landlord has a new tenant willing to take the building, then he can claim for loss of rent to put the property in repair if you have not taken any action to keep it in the condition expected. Mechanical and electrical works can be expensive, so ensure you have kept the services well maintained and serviced and are able to provide documentation. Any alterations a tenant has made to a property will have to be removed, although some may benefit a new tenant, such as air conditioning, and it can be argued that it would also benefit the landlord in re-letting. Repairs, redecoration, and reinstatement of alterations, if not undertaken, will be subject to an agreed monetary settlement at lease end. There are other factors that can be taken into account when negotiating repairs and costs, such as diminution in value and supersession. If the property is unlikely to let, whether in a good or bad condition, the cost of repairs needed may well be less than the effect on value, which means a rental valuation should be obtained. Moreover, if you are aware that your landlord intends to undertake substantial improvements to the property when you have vacated, many of the expected repairs can be superseded by the landlord’s proposed works. An example is where redecoration of timber windows is a lease obligation but would be a waste of time if the landlord intends to replace them with plastic double glazed units. Finally, when considering taking a commercial lease I always recommend investing in a schedule of condition to record the condition of the property to minimise future claims for repair.

B015-1411 Bruton Knowles Bristol Post

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Property matters

NEW PLANNING RULES WILL In the first of a monthly focus on commercial property matters Chris Campbell looks at how a tweak in rules on converting buildings into flats is changing the landscape of Bristol’s office market


RISTOL’S office landscape is undergoing a revolution that could see half of all ● Queen Square office stock converted into homes in the coming years – driving up rental values in central Bristol’s office market. The revolution has been unleashed by a relaxation of planning rules making it easier to turn offices 0117 287 2101 into flats. This, combined with the high demand for homes in Bristol – the residential property market is booming – has seen a number of conversions get under way already. Richard Kidd, director of office The Old Mill, Congresbury, agency at commercial property consultant GVA in Bristol, said he exBristol BS49 5HZ pected one million sq ft of available office stock in the city centre to be converted into homes over the next two years. It follows changes to permitted development rights (PDRs), which allow alterations to a building without the need to apply for planning permission. Landlords and developers can benefit from relaxed planning regulations if they are putting empty commercial properties back into • Development site of 0.69 acres (0.969 ha) productive use as homes. The three-year scheme came into force • Consent for offices in May last year, with further re• Up to 878.6 sq m (9,458 sq ft) plus 27 car laxation to permitted development spaces put into effect earlier this month. Contact: Mr Kidd, below right, said: “With BK code:2488 around 50 per cent of the existing available stock possibly being taken out of the market for residential use following the introduction of ● Froomsgate House changes to permitted development rights, office rental values could rise as the available supply the market, we could be facing gate House, but these fall outadded. “From both investor sentishrinks. a potential shortage of side of the PDR scheme. ment and signs of the return of “While a fair proportion of the second-hand office Richard added there occupier demand, we are seeing a properties that have had planning stock.” was “renewed confidrenewed confidence in the market. consent already applied for are curA total of 45 proposence” in the Bristol of“With two speculative developrently vacant, and in some inals have been made to fice market and ments under construction in the stances are far better suited to Bristol City Council to demand may increase city, there’s still limited demand for residential than they are to office convert offices to resfor premises at the grade A space at the top end of the use, some buildings are being taken idential, more than in top-end of the market, market, however, the dramatic reout of the market that have existing any other city in the where demand had duction in supply of second-hand tenants and, with the right investWest. Older office propbeen lower. space through the PDR scheme will ment, might otherwise be an asset to erties in the city are also “Bristol is the only town soon begin to have an effect, parthe office market in the city. being converted into student or city in the West where this ticularly when tenants in affected Commercial Advert 270x40mm AW 2.pdf 1 06/05/2014 17:24 “As confidence begins to return to accommodation, such as Froomsis happening on such a scale,” he properties need to relocate.”

Property of the Month

For Sale - Development Land


0117 287 2101

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Expert eye

In association with

Paul Matthews

L BRING FLATS REVOLUTION PDRs ● They allow a change of use of buildings from B1a offices to C3 (dwelling houses) subject to prior approval processes by the local planning authority. It avoids the need for express planning permission and associated costs.

Criteria ● Buildings will have had to be used as an office before May 30 last year or if vacant, last used as an office. ● Only B1 offices can be converted, not office units within A2 financial/professional services. ● Any external physical developments may still require planning permission and approval from the local planning authority in terms of flooding, highways and contamination matters. ● Once received the local planning authority has 56 days from receipt of the application to confirm whether further details in relation to these matters are required. ● Permitted development rights will only be allowed up to May 30, 2016.

● Lewin’s Place

● Temple Quay Paul Williams, head of commercial agency at Bruton Knowles, and based in the fir m’s Bristol office, said the change had indeed had a big impact. “It has driven up demand for vacant office buildings where there wasn’t demand before,” he said. “We’ve got clients that want to buy office space to B015-1411 Bruton Knowles use as an office who are finding it

difficult to compete with developers wanting to turn it into residential use. “Undoubtedly the PDR scheme will have a lasting impact on the city centre. It is bringing life back.” Peter Musgrove, left, office agency director at commercial property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), said Bristol Post Commercial Advert 270x40mm PDR in Bristol was a good thing

for the office market, residential market and investment into the city. He added Bristol had a shortage of student accommodation and therefore demand for a change of use continued to remain high. “Bristol also has an over-supply of secondary office stock due to changes and location of the traditional office stock,” he said. “This is mainly due to the Temple Quay development in the last 15 years and the subsequent developments along AW 2.pdf 1 06/05/2014 17:24 Victoria Street as well as the Broad-

mead and Cabot Circus developments. “These have led to a movement away from the traditional centre and Lewin’s Mead to Queen Square and Park Street/Harbourside, leaving a lot of redundant buildings in the previous heartland. PDR have given developers the opportunity to make use of these buildings and convert them.” The average development purchases or office buildings taken off the market in the five years from 2008 to 2012 was 46,434 sq ft per annum, according to LSH. In 2013 alone, 315,292 sq ft of offices was taken off the market with the vast majority being converted to residential. The largest of these was Lewin’s Place, a 106,000 sq ft building which LSH sold to Redfield-based property company PG Group. LSH also sold 40,000 sq ft at two spots on Corn Street towards the end of last year, both of which were converted to residential. Mr Musgrove added this year was set to experience the largest take-up of development buys on record. “The demand continues to rise and with 2016 marking the end of PDR we are seeing significant chunks disappear from the office landscape, including buildings such as Froomsgate House, Westgate Buildings and Crown House,” he said. “We expect 2014 to see the highest ever recorded take-up of development purchases, anticipating it to reach the 750,000 sq ft mark.” PDR is expected to take out a significant proportion of redundant poorer stock from the market, meaning the standard of office space left is higher. Mr Musgrove said he hoped this would last far into the future. “PDR use will take a large chunk of obsolete offices out of the market, therefore creating a sensible balance between demand and take-up going forward,” he said. “It will also have the impact of re-defining the office stock and locations, giving Bristol a defined office centre again. “It will also mean that office occupiers will start to occupy better accommodation and will ensure that it is more suited to their requirements as the poorer stock will gradually be removed from the supply chain. “However, we must remember that this is a temporary solution and as with all temporary solutions we need to make sure we are heading in the right direction to ensure it has best impact on Bristol city centre for both its short and long term future.”

0117 287 2101

Chance to have your say on rating system reform


ANY businesses believe that the current business rates system needs to be changed. At the very least, a faster appeals system is needed for businesses that believe they are paying too much in rates if the recovery in the commercial property market is to continue. Now there is a chance for everyone to have their say and it is vital that businesses respond to a Government discussion paper that has just been issued so that the right reforms are introduced when it carries out its promised ‘root and branch’ review of the system. People have until June 6 to make their views known on the rating system and respond to the discussion paper, which is called ‘Administration of business rates in England’. There is no doubt that changes are needed and at Bruton Knowles we have started collating responses from businesses in the South West that have been affected by the current faults in the rating appeals system. We will be lobbying for a faster appeals process, with more frequent revaluations. If tax is to be based on property values it is logical that these values should be rebased as often as possible. We need a fair system that reflects both rental trends and business viability. The recession sparked real political pressure on the Government and the publication of this discussion document is a step forward that admits business rates are a significant cost for business and that the current system may not be fit for purpose any more. Successive Governments have favoured property taxes because they are relatively easy to collect and the tax yield is predictable. But the adverse impact on ratepayers of the current slow, adversarial mechanism for appealing rateable values, the administration of temporary reliefs and the burdensome empty property rates has been amplified during the recession. A team from across the Treasury, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Valuation Office Agency will consider written submissions and research provided by respondents to the discussion paper. The origins of the current business rates system can be traced back more than 400 years. It is one of the main ways local government is financed, so is vital for local services. It is also a major cost to businesses, which have called for a lower tax burden to enable them to compete domestically and on the world stage.

Achieve more from your property EPB-E01-S3

Partner 0117 287 2101 paul.matthews@


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Health and safety special Expert eye Chris Bevan Commercial Manager QBE chris.bevan@uk.

Managing risk will be key to progress



OR many businesses, the demanding economic environment of recent years has placed an increasing onus on careful control of costs, operational efficiency and improving overall competitiveness. However, it has also raised the stakes in relation to the effective management of the risks that businesses face. According to Health and Safety Executive statistics, 27 million working days were lost in the UK in 2011/2012 due to health and safety incidents. Even in challenging economic circumstances there is still much a business can and should do to identify, assess and mitigate risks to employees and others affected by its operations. The quality and vigour of risk management practices depend largely on a business’s attitude to safety, which in turn is almost entirely driven by the mind-set of its leaders. While risk-taking is a necessary part of doing business, leaders need to consider the following questions to ensure that they are doing all that they can to protect their interests: ● Am I owning the problem and putting risk management high up on the corporate agenda? Best practice companies are those whose leaders facilitate and pro-actively engage in the processes of risk management. ● Do I understand the return on investment of implementing best practice risk management procedures – better productivity, operational cost savings, infor med decisionmaking? ● Am I effectively exploiting the resource and expertise of my insurer to help me assess, manage and mitigate risk in my business? ● Is the business as protected as it could be? How often do we review our insurance covers to ensure that emerging threats are contained? As business contexts change, so do insurance needs. Effective risk management provides a platform for better decision-making, sustainable growth and solid development. Best practice companies are those whose leaders facilitate and pro-actively engage in the processes of risk management and will be those best placed to meet the challenges these precarious times present. As the UK emerges from the most serious financial crisis in 80 years, the speed of progress will be greatly influenced by one factor – risk and the ability to manage it.

LOOKING AFTER YOUR STAFF Health and safety may be used as a byword for red tape by some but, as Rupert Janisch finds out, it is a vital tool for businesses to maintain strong productivity and retain talented staff


OU often hear the mantra that the most valuable asset of a business is its people. It suggests that they’re worth looking after. Health and safety is relevant to any business with premises (watch out for that trip hazard!), but it’s particularly important in high-risk industries. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that the construction industry sits at the top of the pile in terms of the riskiest industries, with 39 deaths in the UK in 2012/13. It is followed by manufacturing, agriculture and recycling, and together these four make up two-thirds of all industrial deaths in the UK each year. In the West Country, there were only five recorded deaths in 2012/13, down from nine in 2011/12, with fewer than 21,000 major injuries, marking a drop from more than 23,000 the previous year. Safety is clearly improving and while some might say the burden of health and safety paperwork is a hindrance to doing business, the statistics speak for themselves about the positive impact our new culture is having. Still, there is an acknowledgement that the perception of health and safety being trivial, shackling the progress towards prosperity, needs tackling. Samantha Peace, HSE regional director for the South West, said recently: “Whilst the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces. I therefore urge employers to spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paperwork.” So how does this effort to change our culture of health and safety trepidation actually manifest itself ? If you look at the construction industry, for example, there is currently a consultation document out on construction design and management regulations, commonly known as CDM. The last version of these came out from the HSE in 2007, so it’s time for an update. Within the document are recommendations that, following the Government’s request for views on red tape, the role of CDM co-ordinator is to be abolished and responsibility for planning, monitoring and reviewing the health and safety aspects of the project will instead fall on the job’s lead designer. Also, many SMEs will be affected

● Mandy Risso, of Rivendell, with Sian MacGowan, of Sureteam. Pic: Michael Lloyd

‘Expert advice on hand has helped me so much’ ● ASHTON-BASED firm Rivendell Carpets and Flooring works with domestic and commercial clients ranging from homes to building companies and venues such as the Colston Hall. The company has provided high-quality commercial flooring and carpet services to businesses in Bristol, Bath and Cardiff since 1988. Director Mandy Risso says health and safety is an increasingly important part of the company, not only in the office but also out on site when her team of fitters are working.

by new requirements that any project involving more than one contractor – a builder and a plumber working domestically, for example – will be required to meet the same legislation. But this doesn’t necessarily involve paperwork. The requirement is proportional, so that for smaller jobs the preparation required may simply be a discussion over a cup of tea. For bigger jobs, it’s likely to involve something written down. Kevin Fear, head of environment, health and safety at the Construction

Case study: Mandy Risso, director of Rivendell Carpets and Flooring However as an expert in flooring, health and safety is not her field of expertise and she used the services of Tetbury-based consultancy and trainer Sureteam to help ensure her employees are safe and that legislation is adhered to. Mrs Risso said: “I’ve been in business for 20 years and in that

Industry Training Board, has welcomed the recommendations. What’s important, he said, is that all contractors, large or small, behave professionally, responsibly and with care for their staff and the people they are working with. “Focusing on the smaller businesses and trying to bring them up to speed is certainly a key aim of the legislation,” he said. “So what we are trying to do is provide training courses for smaller companies and let people know what’s required by these rules re-

time health and safety has changed dramatically. I know a lot about flooring but I’m no expert on health and safety. “So if I can have somebody sitting next to me as part of my team, which is exactly what Sureteam does, telling me and advising me what I should be doing, it makes things so much easier to run my business effectively, so that I can get on with doing what I’m good at. “The last thing I want to be doing is worrying and understanding the expertise that needs to go on behind that sort of process.”

garding planning and monitoring. “Health and safety can come over as a very negative thing – like the reason it’s there is to stop things from happening. “But proper health and safety professionals are there to enable businesses to do their jobs effectively, but have reasonable appreciation of doing it safely. “When you see contractors with workers in flip-flops and shorts, against another one whose staff are in uniforms, it gives a completely different feel. And actually, if you do

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Know how Richard Voke Ashfords 0117 3218098


Work to improve health and safety deserves better press

‘We’re always pushing for best practice’

Case study: Brian Smith of Midas Group ● Midas Group is currently managing several construction sites in Bristol, with an office in Winterstoke road alongside several others across the South West. Among its projects are a new block of 133 rooms of student flats at Anchor Road. The group has a good health and safety record, with no fatalities and only four reportable accidents in 3.5 million man hours of work – accidents have included a fall from a ladder, a step from a small podium and a broken foot from a falling block. To mitigate risk, the group takes care over appointing its contractors, then constantly monitors the site to ensure standards are being met. Group health and safety director Brian Smith said: “We have our policy and procedures in place and it’s all about co-ordination, co-operation and communication, making sure the whole team work together for a common goal. “We also have an open door policy so that if anyone has any concerns they can raise them straight away.

“As legislation changes we review our procedures but we’re more interested in pushing for best practice, aiming to be an industry leader and exceed regulatory requirement wherever we can. them, there’s potential for compensation claims – from a business point of view it makes sense to look after your staff.” So there are many business benefits to running a company which meets standards laid down by health and safety legislation – such as efficiency, reputation and having staff who feel valued. And at the extreme end of the scale, the risk of neglecting staff safety is punitive fines resulting from convictions for corporate manslaughter, which since 2007 has been a criminal act. Paul Hardman, left, managing partner of Queen Square solicitors’ firm Gregg Latchams, said: “Health and safety is one of the few areas in business where if you’re a director you can be made personally liable. If you really get it wrong you have the threat of corporate manslaughter and there have been some horrific cases, such as the case against Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings.” The case to which Mr Hardman refers involved an incident in 2008, when 27-year-old Alex Wright, who was taking soil samples to prepare for a housing development near Stroud, died after the trench he was working in collapsed. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings became the first UK company

“The new rules, with the CDMC role changing, will be interesting. By bringing a principal designer in there will be better communication but having said that many of the principal designers won’t have the safety

“ Whilst the number of workplace deaths and major injuries has decreased nationally, these statistics highlight why we still need good health and safety in workplaces. I therefore urge employers to spend their time tackling the real dangers that workers face and stop worrying about trivial matters or pointless paperwork.” Samantha Peace, HSE regional director for the South West

to be convicted of the criminal offence of corporate manslaughter in 2011, receiving a fine of £385,000. Although sentencing guidelines suggest that companies convicted of this offence should be fined at least £500,000, the same guidelines also state the perpetrator should not be put out of

experience and knowledge. There will be a degree of retraining for them and it depends which camp you sit in as to whether that’s welcome or not. There’s been a bit of a mixed response.” business by the fine. So if you are a business owner with one or two staff and a five-figure turnover, you’re unlikely to receive a fine of £½ million. Punishments are likely to be proportionate to the size of the company in question. Still, no matter how big the firm, fines for corporate manslaughter are bound to be significant and reflect the fact that all businesses should be aware of the responsibilities they have to their workers. Gregg Latchams is hosting a seminar on Wednesday, May 15 to demonstrate how new technology can help staff know where their staff are and what they are doing, to help keep them safe without placing too much of a burden upon the business. “As a society, we expect businesses to provide a safe environment in which people will work,” said Mr Hardman. “Just as 150 years ago child labour in cotton mills was regarded as being one of those things, today you would find that completely intolerable. “There was news recently about the number of deaths on construction sites. The sad thing is that there are still too many deaths and most are easily avoidable. “Deaths in the workplace are terrible personal tragedies and it’s understandable that as a society we are saying that we don’t think this is acceptable.”


things safely, you often do them more quickly and the quality of the work is usually better. “So the industry wants to drive out those who are in it for a quick buck – the cowboys – because very often that’s where the problems lie and the accidents happen.” Proportion is a word which comes up a lot in discussions on health and safety. In this context, it relates to the management of risk – so measures taken depend on the risk involved. Mr Fear uses ladders as an example. Would it be proportionate mitigation of risk for a handyman changing a lightbulb in his elderly neighbour’s kitchen to use a hydraulic platform? Of course not. At the other extreme, neither is it appropriately risk-conscious for a window cleaner who is spending a week cleaning the outside of a three-storey building to use an extendable ladder. Common sense needs to be applied. Health and safety can also bring significant benefits to the bottom line of a business. Mr Fear said: “In terms of productivity, the disruption is significant when key members of staff are off sick because they’ve injured their backs. “You might have to replace

● Brian Smith, health and safety manager for Midas, on the site where the firm is building a new block of Picture: Michael Lloyd BRML20140501D-002 student flats at Anchor Road in Bristol

HE subject of health and safety has a tendency to cause groaning or ‘knowing’ jokes when mentioned. It is up there with ‘political correctness’ as a bugbear of certain politicians and sections of the press. Health and safety is often blamed for promoting a compensation culture or risk-averse society where, for example, children are being stripped of their freedom to get themselves killed on farms, school trips, construction sites etc. Sorry, that last sentence is totally uncalled for – just designed to stimulate a more rounded discussion on health and safety in society. Although I am now a defence lawyer, in previous lives I have been an HSE inspector and know from working on both sides of the fence the tragic consequences of things going wrong at work. Therefore, I strongly believe that those employers, organisations and regulators who work hard to improve health and safety deserve a better press. A newspaper on one page will be decrying the terrible consequences of poor working conditions in the developing world, while on the next page will complain about health and safety ‘red tape’ in this country. Unfortunately, the Government is not immune from making cheap capital out of this. It is only in recent years that the figures for deaths in the workplace in the UK have dropped below nearly one per every working day – this does not include those people who are killed while driving at work, and those thousands who die from work-related illnesses. The economic recovery may reverse this trend because new enterprises will develop in an atmosphere of negativity towards workplace and public safety. I am worried that the message that health and safety is too difficult to achieve will affect the new generation of entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly there is a lot of regulation and guidance in this area, and there are also a lot of ‘experts’ providing opinion. However, the essence of the law on health and safety is simple, whether in a nuclear power station or a lawyer’s office. Basically, those people who create a risk by work activity have a duty to identify the risk and then control it so far as is reasonably practicable. Once this is recognised we are all on our way to becoming legal experts.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Big Interview

PATIENTS AT THE HEART OF IT ALL Gavin Thompson meets Suzanne Davies, boss at the new Nuffield Hospital in Clifton, and asks whether the industry can offer any prescriptions to improve the health of other businesses

Vital statistics Name: Suzanne Davies Age: 46 Place of birth: Bridgend, South Wales School: King Henry VIII School, Abergavenny. First job: Podiatrist in NHS Hero or inspiration: I take my inspiration from lots of places. My daughters are my greatest inspiration and continually inspire me. From history my heroine is Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was mother of Richard the Lion Heart and King John in the 12th century. The quote I most value is from Gandhi “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.



ATIENT focus is at the heart of the private healthcare industry, according to Suzanne Davies. If you were going in for surgery, you would expect that to be the case. But substitute the word “patient” for “customer” how many other businesses can honestly say their organisation really puts the customer at the centre to the same extent? Suzanne said: “What’s really important is that customer loyalty comes from patient satisfaction with the services we provide. “If you listen to your patients, respond to their needs and give them a really positive experience then you build that loyalty. “That’s why the more high end supermarkets have done really well during the recession and managed to retain customer loyalty by focusing on customer needs.” That customer focus is something the 46-year-old has enjoyed since moving from the NHS in Wales, where she worked as a podiatrist and later as a member of the local health board, into the private sector. “The biggest change in culture (from NHS to private) was that there was a much greater focus around the consumer and responding directly to the patient,” said Suzanne, who was director of Nuffield’s Hereford hospital for seven years until taking over the newly-rebuilt Chesterfield Hospital in Clifton earlier this year. “In the NHS it is more paternalistic, you decide what you think is best for the patient whereas in private sector much more consumer driven. We respond more on an individual basis to what the individual wants and how they want to be treated.” Despite the change, she considers her NHS background a “massive advantage” in the private sector. Unlike peers who have come from retail, for example, Suzanne has had get to grips with new areas such as marketing and develop a more commercial mindset. “But having that clinical understanding helps from a clinical governance perspective as well as a commercial perspective,” she said. “A lot of people from a commercial background are very commercially driven but fail to understand the hierarchy and behaviour that is present within a healthcare setting.” Consultants tend to be “independent thinkers”, she says diplomatically. And while the hospital is private, all the clinical staff have come through the NHS, and bring with them a culture and ways of working or structures that can be challenging for an outsider. Suzanne added: “I think we need to remember we are only successful if the patients want to use our services, and the same applies with our consultants. We won’t have a business if we don’t have consultants who enjoy working in our hospital.” Healthcare is unusual in that the same consultants will work across the NHS and several private pro-

My downtime

My working day

Perfect weekend I love a busy Saturday with lots planned with my daughters and family and then dinner with friends. However, I love quiet Sundays with my partner, helping with the animals and being outside in the garden. Favourite book, film or TV show: I really enjoy historical novels. My favourite author is Sharon Penman. I like light-hearted films and in my top 5 would be Disney’s Lion King and Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends. I used to play golf. which I would like to do again, gardening.

Wake up: 6am Breakfast: Porridge Start work: 8am Typical working day? I start my day by checking through my emails and then the rest of the day is taken up with meetings with consultants, my team, business leads. I try to ensure I get to walk around the hospital talking to staff and patients. I am usually out of the hospital 1 or 2 days working on national projects within the Nuffield Group Go home: 7pm Do you take work home: Often consultants’ meetings are arranged in the evening as they are tied up with clinical commitments during the working day. As a national company we do have to travel and probably spend a few days a week away.

viders. So how do they compete? “We differentiate with the offering around that, the support, how we treat our patients, how well we car for them,” said Suzanne. “Patient experience is our competitive opportunity.” Suzanne says the health industry is competitive, but they all want the same thing the right outcome for patients. “It’s not competition as you would see within a supermarket environment. There’s a huge professionalism

around healthcare, we are all supporting each other so at the end of the day the patient is at the centre. “It is more about making sure you and your organisation are delivering what you are promising.” But the competition so it is important to have points of difference. For Nuffield, one is its fitness and wellbeing centre (or gym) close to the hospital in Queen’s Road “That allows us to offer something different,” said Suzanne. “We can offer a more holistic service. People

use our wellbeing services and then when they need treatment they can come to the hospital then continue in the wellbeing environment.” An example is a recent project for private patients who needed medical skeletal procedures (hip, shoulder, back, etc). They were able to have their operation then go through rehabilitation back at the fitness and wellbeing centre under supervision of a physiotherapist and then a health and fitness adviser who would write a personal programme for rehab, all

paid for as part of the package. “It appeals to me that we are able to influence health and wellbeing now, not just fix things,” said Suzanne. Being a charity is another selling point. “As a charity we have made strong stance around certain issues,” said Suzanne. “For example, we were the first group to offer our patients removal of PIP implants free of charge.” The new Chesterfield Hospital, which Suzanne describes as a “beautiful environment” employs about 100 people, both in clinical and admin areas, not including consultants. It has state of the art operating theatres and diagnostic facilities such as for MRI and CT scans. Once it is up to speed it will be carrying out 100-plus operations a week. That’s far fewer than a typical NHS hospital, but that’s part of the point. Suzanne said: “Private healthcare allows consultants to have patient relationships as they envisage it should be. They see the patient through the process whereas in NHS a lot of the work is done by juniors and registrars. They find it rewarding and that patient relationship sits with them. Also they have the time to spend with the patient. They build the relationship. Increasingly, staff and consultants are coming to us to ask if they can bring their services and practices to us.” The customers base is changing too. While the majority are still private customers insured by their corporate employer, there are individuals with insurance and even NHS patients. “Patients needing some operations on the NHS can choose us through the NHS Choices programme,” said Suzanne. “We actually find they are some of our most demanding customers because their expectations of private healthcare are so high. “But we find that often if they need another operation that is not covered by the NHS Choices scheme, they choose to pay to go with us because of the care they have had.” And that’s the lesson for business. Customer focus works.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Out and about Bristol businesses The Institute of Directors, Wednesday@6 – speaker Pacific rower Elsa Hammond


N just over one month’s time , adventurer Elsa Hammond will row 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean as one of only two women taking part in the Great Pacific Race. A student at Bristol University, Elsa is dedicating her challenge to inspirational women around the world, making them part of her journey and celebrating them as she rows. Business leaders heard more about the adventure when Elsa joined the Bristol branch of the Institute of Directors at Radisson Blu to explain how she has been preparing and how businesses and individuals can support her by sponsoring a mile or even just an oar stroke. Dedications so far include mothers, grandmothers, friends, colleagues, celebrities, fic-


Business diary CBI South West Annual Lunch: At-Bristol, Harbourside, on Friday, May 9, sponsored by RBS. Tickets via Eventbrite. FSB Bristol branch networking event: Free for members networking, 9.30am-11.30am, today, 1 Friay Temple Quay, BS1 6EA. Register at

tional characters, and women who people wish to commemorate. During the race, Elsa and her shore team will be using the publicity that her row generates to support and raise funds for two charities: the GREAT Initiative, which works to address gender equality, and the Plastic Oceans Foundation, which combats pollution in our seas. IoD Bristol branch chairman Rebecca Tregarthen said: “Elsa’s presentation was very popular. There are many parallels between this amazing undertaking and the daily challenges of successful business: being well prepared, fit and healthy, focused and the importance of a strong support team around you.” To sponsor Elsa visit her website at

The Bristol Distinguished Executive Address Series: Networking event and opportunity to hear from a leading business voice, Xavier Rolet, chief executive, London Stock Exchange Group. Today, Brunel’s Old Station, The Passenger Shed, 6pm. Ready for business workshop: Introductory workshops for anyone who is exploring the concept of self-employment or starting a business at Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, BS8 3RA, 10am-4pm, Tuesday, May 13. Contact readyforbusiness@

● Right, Pacific rower Elsa Hammond, who was the guest speaker; left, Sam Green, Chris Hoggarth and Ken Abbott Pics: Jon Kent BRJK20140430C -003/BRJK2014 0430C-026

Achieve Faster Growth: Free event aimed at high-growth potential companies. Meet like-minded people and find out about the Growth Accelerator scheme. 8am-10am, May 15, at Grant Thornton, Victoria Street. Meeting the Challenges charity seminar: For charity trustees, officers and key volunteers involved in charity management and administration. Burton Sweet event takes place at the M shed on May 15 from 8.45am-2pm. Email RICS South West Awards: Showcasing the most inspiration regional initiatives and developments in land, property, construction and the environment. May 15, Grand Thistle Hotel, Bristol, from 7pm. Bristol Junior Chamber Spring Drinks: The Bristol Junior Chamber’s summer social, at the RWA, Queen’s Road, Clifton, May 15, 6.30pm-8.30pm.

● Guests at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Broad Quay


FSB South Gloucestershire seminar: Wednesday, May 28, 6.45pm-9.45pm, Azec West Hotel, Almondsbury, BS32 4TS. Register at Institute of Directors Bristol branch Wednesday @ 6: Informal networking from 6pm-8pm at Radisson Blu Hotel, Wednesday, May 14. Free and open to non members but register by calling 0117 3707785.

● Kevin Byrne and Mario Laaf


● Trevor Bamford and Lynda Farmer BRJK20140430C-022

● Richard Lowe and Karl Brown BRJK20140430C-028

IoD Bristol and Bath Young Business Forum dinner: Thursday, May 22, 6pm-8.30pm at Waterhouse, Bath, with speaker Lindsay Haselhurst, head of business development at Wincanton. Call 07771 772223 or email roger.plahay@ to book. Institute of Directors Bristol branch Wednesday @ 6: Networking from 6pm-8pm at Radisson Blu Hotel, Wednesday, May 28. Free and open to non members. Call 0117 370 7785.



● David Pinchard

Email your business events to Events are sometimes cancelled without us being notified so please check with organisers before travelling.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The back page

Your digest of the week in business

People ● CORPORATE and commercial lawyer Neville Catton, pictured with chief executive Michael Burne, has become a partner with Carbon Law Partners, a new legal services platform. Neville has worked for a number of Bristol-based law firms and most recently was with Cook & Co. Carbon Law Partners was founded last month and aims to attract partners and associates from the top 100 law firms. Neville, who will remain Bristol-based, said: “The Carbon proposition is simple, yet effective, and is highly attractive. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop my own practice, but with the support of top-class practice management software, a library, precedent and research services, a range of concierge services and a network of like-minded UK leading corporate and commercial lawyers.” ● Commercial flooring contractor Avonline Flooring has appointed Vince Marklove, below right, to head its recently-formed screeding division. He joins the company as operations manager for screeding (levelling floors) and under-floor heating, and brings almost 30 years’ experience in the sector. Avonline Flooring has expanded rapidly in the past two years and the addition of screeding and underfloor heating capabilities is the latest step in a programme to provide a one-stop service to the construction industry. Vince said: “It’s clear that Avonline Flooring is going places and I am delighted to be able to bring my technical and project management knowledge to the company.”

for its commitment to its staff. Among the ideas praised were treat cards used by managers to give staff on-the-spot rewards. Sarah Tompsett, head of people and performance at the airport, said: “The Bristol Airport brand is built on exceptional people who take pride in providing great customer service in a relaxed and friendly style.”

● Michael Burne and Neville Catton

Deals ● Law firm Ashfords has been appointed as adviser to NHS Property Services, which has taken over responsibility for some 4,000 properties nationally following a restructuring of the NHS. Ashfords will sit on a panel of which will be asked to advise on local property matters. Chris Gregson, partner in Ashfords’ commercial property team, said: “We are delighted to have been selected. In order to secure the appointment we had to demonstrate our commitment to quality, innovation and value for money against stiff competition nationally.” ● A team from Burges Salmon has

Pic: Huw John been appointed to the legal panel for specialist Insurance firm Ecclesiastical. Ecclesiastical is a specialist insurer of the faith, charity and education sectors, heritage buildings and fine art. Burges Salmon is one of four law firms on the insurer's tier one panel. Kari McCormick, left, head of the law firm’s insurance sector team, said: “Ecclesiastical's business ethos and approach very much reflect our own and we look forward to building a long-lasting relationship.”

Awards ● Bristol Airport has been given Investors in People bronze standard

● Susie Hewson, right, boss of feminine hygiene company Bodywise UK, is in the running for the First Woman in Manufacturing award, following her pioneering work in the development and launch of the organic sanitary product, Natracare. Susie, pictured, who recently took the outstanding contribution award at the Bristol and Bath Women in Business Awards, studied at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design before working as a schoolteacher and fitness instructor. She launched Natracare in 1989. ● Opus Recruitment Solutions is a finalist in the 2014 Recruiter Awards for Excellence and has been shortlisted in the Best IT Recruitment Agency category. Opus, based in Castlemead in the city centre and sponsors of Bristol Rovers’ home shirt, is the only South West firm nominated. Chief executive, Darren Ryemill, above left, said: “It is a privilege to be recognised on a par with many of the very companies we set out to emulate when we started the business.”

The op-ed column

Street food vendors need opportunities to thrive



HE StrEAT Food Collective was established in 2011 to bring together the best street food vendors in the South West. StrEAT thrived because each vendor knew food quality was paramount. For two years we were ‘off the radar’, a renegade movement attracting foodies via Twitter. Our night market at Arnos Vale Cemetery thrust us into the limelight and Bristol City Council asked me to set up a street food night market. I sent them a three-year business case detailing how we could slowly build a sustainable and profitable weekly operation. It was essential for us to create an attraction with atmosphere, a destination.

Navina Bartlett Boss Lady, Coconut Chilli & founder StrEAT Food Collective

These types of events must have free entry and be run on a weekly basis. Curating vendors, keeping the line-up varied and quality control are vital. I taste-tested dishes from every single one of my vendors, so I could be sure that my customers would get the best. I wasn’t willing to compromise – each vendor had to be as good as the rest. Everyone cooked street food dishes right there on the spot. StrEAT hosted three popular events last summer – our partnership

with Bristol City Council transformed Corn Street, with local businesses, Visit Bristol and the Bristol Junior Chamber praising the initiative. My independent street food vendors were positive about having weekly trading opportunities in central Bristol. But it was not to be, as the council decided to run its own monthly night market instead. Unless there are more regular trading opportunities in Bristol, street food cannot thrive. Street food can be a journey that leads to product manufacturing, such as Coconut Chilli, or to bricks and mortar. Think of success stories like Bagel Boy, who opened on St Nicholas

Street, or Chilli Daddy, who recently received national acclaim at the BBC Food and Farming Awards and are set to open a restaurant near the BRI. My words to Bristol City Council are, ‘please support, don’t hamper’. There is a big appetite for street food. Bristol Food Connections has proved that street food can enrich a city both culturally and economically, drawing crowds from outside the Bristol area. The West and Wales Heat of the British Street Food Awards is taking place on May 10 in the Lloyds Amphitheatre, Harbourside.

● Send your submissions for this column to

In numbers Inflation (CPI)

1.7 1.7 1.6 0.5

Inflation (RPI)

Weekly earnings

Base interest rate

% % %


Business current accounts 1.01% State Bank £10,000 deposit of India 0.25% £1 deposit

Business savings accounts 1.36% National Counties BS £1,000 deposit Bank of 1.25% Cyprus UK £1,000 deposit Source:

Petrol prices .11p

130 136 138 70


.29p Diesel

.81p Super unleaded

.05p LPG


Business 07 May 2014  

Business Bristol Post, Bike hire and repairs. Love shack. How 61 year old who thought he was 'unemployable' got on his bike and built a suc...