Page 1





Award meant so much, says phone box millionaire – page 4

Solider behind iconic image is helping re-train ex-Forces – p3

Deki working with Bristol businesses to help Africa – p10






ALE AND HEARTY: BUSINESS BOOMS How a new generation of stylish bars and restaurants has left city’s food and drink scene in rude health – but can our producers cash in? Pages 8&9




Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Fringe growing faster than the city centre ● THE areas around Bristol saw the strongest growth in the South West during the final quarter of 2014. South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and North-East Somerset grew by 3.8 per cent from September to December, driven by the distribution, hotels and eating out sectors. Meanwhile in Bristol growth was a little slower at 1.8 per cent, according to the RBS Growth Tracker report. RBS economist Marcus Wright said while the rate of growth in the city was slower, it remained in a very strong position. He said the professional services sector as a whole in the city was growing strongly, but within that financial services had been “sluggish” holding back the overall growth rate. “The slower growth rate is not a huge concern,” he said. “Bristol has 10,000 more professionals employed than it did on the eve of the crash.” But in some other areas, jobs have actually fallen. For example there are 7,500 fewer administrative and secretarial jobs than in 2011, with 19,000 people now working in such roles in Bristol. That could reflect how firms have slimmed down admin support teams or asked managers and professionals to do more of their admin themselves. “A lot of these jobs were lost in the recession and never came back,” said Marcus. “Some of these people will have since retrained in other areas.”

● Nick Lee, MD of Paragon Cost Solutions

Expanding firm City legal costs specialists enjoying rapid growth Rupert Janisch



Watertight expands its UK network ● A MARKETING approach created by a Bristol entrepreneur is beginning to expand across the country. Watertight Marketing, a methodology for growing businesses created by Bristol-based marketing expert Bryony Thomas, has expanded its network to include consultants in Aberdeen and Hampshire. Last year Watertight Marketing announced the formation of its accredited consultant network, in which consultants are trained and licensed to deliver the methodology set out in Bryony’s book of the same name. Founding members included three Bristol-based consultants, Rachael Wheatley, Ben Wheeler and Cheryl Crichton. They were later joined by Gloucester-based Joshua Morse. Now, Julie Mitchell-Mehta from Aberdeen, Kara Stanford from Hampshire, and another local consultant – Ros Conkie from Portishead have joined. Bryony said: “I want entrepreneurs to feel confident about choosing a marketing consultant. So many told me it was a frustrating experience, that I knew something had to be done.”

Pic: Dan Regan BRDR20150213A-001_C


firm of legal costs specialists, which began life with just one client less than four years ago, now employs more than 20 people at offices in The Counterslip. Paragon Cost Solutions was set up by experienced costs lawyers Nick Lee and Claire Tomlin back in 2011. Since then the company has undergone rapid growth, increased turnover by 500 per cent and has doubling revenue in the past year alone. The company now advises national and international clients, including several Top 100 law firms, interna-

tional banks and leading insurance companies. Meanwhile the team at the city centre offices has increased to include more specialist costs lawyers, draftsmen and support staff. Nick, who is managing director at Paragon Cost Solutions, said: “Historically we were only involved at the end of any litigation where an order was made for one party to pay another’s costs. Costs management has meant we now work with our clients throughout the course of the litigation, requiring an in-depth knowledge of their practice area. “Whether it’s a multi-million pound personal injury claim or related to complex banking and finance litigation, a detailed costs budget needs to be presented in such a way that it provides the required level of accurate information to maximise the amount which is agreed or ap-

proved by the court. Our focus on building long-term relationships with clients has led to continued and increasing instructions in a number of practice areas, including clinical negligence, property litigation, private client disputes and professional negligence. “This has created an opportunity for us to shape our recruitment strategy around the needs of our clients to ensure they receive advice from genuine specialists.” In April 2013, Sir Rupert Jackson, a senior judge at the Court of Appeal, introduced a series of reforms aimed at reducing the cost of civil litigation to a proportionate level – a concept now being implemented through costs management. Nick acknowledged the impact the reforms have had on the legal sector. He said: “The aim of the Jackson

Reforms was to create a more efficient, proportionate and fair system for resolving disputes. There was a general acceptance within the legal sector that the costs of litigation needed to be controlled, but many solicitors now feel concerned that the new regime has in fact increased uncertainty both in terms of the conduct of their matters and costs. “The reforms have undoubtedly changed the legal landscape as well as dividing opinion. Some solicitors say they have found it difficult to adjust to the new system, admitting they find providing accurate cost budgets challenging. Effective costs management calls for solicitors to work closely and collaboratively with experienced costs specialists who have an understanding of litigation issues, meaning the role of a costs lawyer has never been more important.”

Commercial property

£40m Two Glass Wharf reflects city’s ambition THE first speculative office to be built in Bristol since the recession has now been completed by Wates Construction. Two Glass Wharf, a £40-million office building at Temple Quay, has been officially handed over to Salmon Harvester Properties, a joint venture between Salmon Developments and NFU Mutual. Wates began work on the 100,000 sq ft office building in October 2013, which provides six floors of grade A office space with retail and restaurant accommodation on the ground floor. Designed by Atkins, the building is within the Temple Quarter Enter-

prise Zone, one of the UK’s largest urban regeneration areas. Accountancy firm PwC is to be the first tenant taking 28,275 sq ft across the top three floors. Peter Whitmore, business unit director at Wates in the South West, said: “Bristol city centre is undergoing a major transformation and we are proud of the significant contribution the completion of 2 Glass Wharf makes to the landscape of the city. “Salmon Harvester’s decision to develop the first speculative office in Bristol for many years shows that Bristol is a city of growth and a great place to invest.” Rorie Henderson, development dir-

● Peter Whitmore from Wates Construction and Rorie Henderson, Salmon Harvester

ector at Salmon Harvester Properties added: “We have always had every confidence in the Bristol market and this is the first of our three development projects planned at Temple Quay. “We have also received planning permission for the adjacent site 3 Glass Wharf, which incorporates 109,255 sq ft (10,150 sq m) of offices with retail and leisure on the ground floor, plus basement car parking. ” Duncan Cryer, Atkins project architect, said: “We wanted to design a building that looks great and will provide local businesses with efficient, flexible accommodation which will enable them to flourish.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Heroes welcome Ex-soldier arms jobless with the skills to succeed


EVEN years ago, Ed Hodges, then a Captain serving with the Kings Royal Hussars in Basra, Iraq, took a photograph that inspired an iconic image – the Help for Heroes logo, with its view in silhouette of a soldier on a stretcher giving an optimistic thumbs-up. Ed, now 34, left the Regular Army in September 2013. The banking world and a future in London was very much a career option. Instead, he opted for a move to the West Country. So he joined the Army Reserve, and launched a business in which helping the heroes remains a vital ingredient. Joining Forces Training is based at Easton Community Centre. It’s run by ex-services personnel and provides training through government grants aimed at arming the unemployed and ex-offenders with skills to enter the job market. At the outset, Ed also liaised with the Probation Service to set up a programme where ex-service personnel who end up behind bars are literally met on release at the prison gate and given support. “It makes a difference, of course, that with our backgrounds we speak their language,” he says. Joining Forces has expanded, recently winning a contract to deliver the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme in Bath & North East Somerset, involving courses to help young people build skills for work. “Starting from scratch has not been straightforward by any means,” Ed admits. “I had no knowledge, for example, of how the criminal justice system works or that it could be a complicated and lengthy business applying for some of the many sources of government funding. But I believe now we have proven a business model in Bristol which can be developed by us in other parts of the country.” And what about that photo, constantly displayed in the media, at sports stadiums, on car stickers and which has been gloriously reproduced in bronze statues at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court, Surrey, and at Tedworth House Recovery Centre, Tidworth, Wiltshire. Ed says it was taken at 5.30am before Basra’s July temperatures soared to 50 degrees-plus – and was staged. At the time, ex-soldier Bryn

● Ed Hodges, who took the picture that inspired the Help for Heroes logo, at Easton Community Centre and above right, as a Captain with the Kings Royal Hussars

Parry and his wife Emma were in the process of co-founding Help for Heroes. They knew Ed and asked if he could provide a memorable picture to boost their initiative. “My first attempts were no good,” he says. “The background wasn’t right. So we put the smallest chap we could find on a stretcher and got two

of our biggest guys to carry it and run backwards and forwards while I snapped away. “The next thing I knew it was on the front page of The Sun.” Help for Heroes, which has now raised in excess of £140 million for wounded servicemen and women, is very much a family affair for Ed. His

wife, Kitty Dimbleby, daughter of writer and broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and the author and columnist Bel Mooney, heads up the organisation’s editorial team while he works for the Help for Heroes Pathfinder Programme, which helps veterans back into work. Life is hectic. He and Kitty have a two-year-old daughter, Chloe. And as Captain Hodges, a Troop Leader in the Royal Wessex Yeomanry’s C Squadron at Somerford Road in Cirencester, there are other demands – not least, a recent fortnight on live-fire exercises in the Challenger 2 tank on Lulworth Ranges, Dorset. For Ed, this is pure enjoyment. “I joined the Regular Army to be a tank commander but towards the end found myself more or less tied to a desk at Warminster,” he said. “So, finally, after several years, I’m back in charge of 12 blokes and doing the job I really love.” The Army, he believes, gave him the ideal professional preparation for his business role. “As an officer, you are dealing with young soldiers who may have fairly low-level educational backgrounds or are from broken homes. “With many of the people I meet now, it’s not a lot different. In broader terms, I always liked the idea of starting a project which is socially orientated and which, in effect, gives something back to society.” For more information about The Royal Wessex Yeomanry visit giments/26883.aspx and for opportunities as an Army Reservist go to aspx.

Regional Growth Fund

£47m grants allowing companies to flourish manufacture, assembly and equipping of aircraft wings, helping to build the skills of the Airbus workforce and creating or safeguarding over 200 jobs. Steve said: “Companies across the South West are already benefiting from the injection of regional funding that is helping to create and secure more jobs for local people. “It is great to see how Airbus are building on their brilliant work to boost aerospace skills and training, and cement Britain as the largest aerospace manufacturing centre in Europe.” Airbus senior engineering direct-

● Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb, Matthew Orchard, and Stuart Moss, both Airbus, look through a part of the Airbus structures test rig in Filton or Matthew Orchard said: “The regional growth funding has secured our position and future as a leader in

aviation engineering. It clearly underlines the importance of the Airbus Filton site.”


Robotics start-up named one to watch ● A SMALL Bristol start-up has been named alongside Google, Dyson, Panasonic and Lockheed Martin as one of the 50 robotic companies to watch in 2015. Open Bionics, based at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE, might be the smallest business on the global list with a team of four full-timers and two part-time consultants and is one of only three UK firms. But the company, which is developing robotic prosthetic hands which can be 3D printed at a fraction of the cost of what is currently available, has won plenty of awards. It was runner up in Intel’s global wearable technology competition, securing £125,000 funding for its work, and was a hit at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Founder Joel Gibbard said: “Looking at the list and seeing our startup’s name feels incredible. Pretty much every company on the list is one I have aspired to work for in the past and aspire to match in their success in the future.” The Robotics Business Review 50 spans 11 countries from start-ups to the large conglomerates.


Skills shortages under the spotlight at forum ● SKILLS shortages facing the West’s manufacturing and supply chain sector will be explored at a lunchtime forum at the North Somerset Enterprise & Technology College later this month. The debate will focus on challenges faced by the manufacturing and supply chain sectors and look at accessing new talent, apprenticeships and opportunities being offered to re-train the existing labour force. The forum has been organised by the manufacturing and supply chain team from Gregg Latchams Solicitors of Queen Square Bristol. North Somerset Enterprise & Technology College principal Karen Cornick said: “Encouraging apprenticeships and further training for the labour force are two ways of looking at the problem but there will be an opportunity to suggest and discuss additional solutions.” The event takes place at South West Skills Campus on Locking Road, Weston-super-Mare from 12.30 to 2.30pm on February 26.

Get in touch Assistant Editor (Business) Gavin Thompson Call 0117 934 3336 Email gavin.thompson Twitter @gavin_thompson1 Advertising Robert Rodgerson Call07584 003229 Email robert.rodgerson Advertising Jane Chapman Call 01179 343025 Email jane.chapman


BUSINESSES in the Bristol area shared grants from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. Across the South West, grants totalled £47 million for the next two years. Local beneficiaries include the University of the West of England, Cambridge Silicon Radio in Bradley Stoke and Anthony Best Dynamics in Bradford on Avon. The grants were announced by Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb on a visit to Airbus in Filton. The plane-maker previously received £1 million from the fund towards training in the design,



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bristol Post Business Awards

Business awards Gong meant so much, says phone box millionaire Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business)


INNING an award can be great recognition for all the hard work that goes into starting or running a business. That’s according to Stephen Fear, and he would know having been the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s Bristol Post Business Awards. Stephen was recognised as an inspirational role model to others in the city who have started their own businesses. He grew up on a council estate in Bristol and ran his first business from a local phone box, using the operator as his secretary. The somewhat unusual start later earned him the nickname the Phone Box Millionaire. Unlike the other awards, there is no list of finalists for the lifetime achievement prize. It is simply announced on the night. Stephen said: “Winning awards matter to most people, including entrepreneurs, because they are a re-

cognition of some sort of success. “It means all that hard work meant something to other people not just oneself. “The life of an independent business person can be lonely sometimes, especially in the early stages, so earning the approval of one’s peers by receiving an award gives a confidence boost to everyone within the business, not just the owner or winner of the award. “I wasn't expecting to win anything when I turned up for dinner at last year’s Bristol Post Business Awards. In fact nothing was further from my mind! “I was busy tweeting about the various category winners, when with my bow tie loosened and my jacket off, I heard my name mentioned by ITN presenter Ian Axon. As I looked

around people were standing up looking in my direction, clapping and cheering, including people on my table. “I was truly astounded. “It means a lot to be given any award but for me to receive a lifetime

achievement award from a Bristol audience was something special.” Entries are now open for this year’s Bristol Post Business Awards.

● To enter, become a sponsor or book a table, visit

● Stephen Fear, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and left, crowds gather for the big night last year

THE CATEGORIES ● Innovator of the Year, sponsored by Aon ● Export Award, sponsored by Mazars ● Marketing Campaign of the Year ● Best Creative or Technological Business, sponsored by Next Generation Data ● Young Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Renishaw ● Lifetime achievement award, sponsored by Punter Southall ● Retailer of the Year ● Family Business of the Year, sponsored by BOM Group ● Large Business of the Year, sponsored by Smith & Williamson ● Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Lloyds Bank ● Start-up Business of the Year, sponsored by Jordans ● Environmental Business Award, sponsored by Nuffield Health ● Contribution to the Community, sponsored by First Great Western ● Customer Service Award ● Leisure and Tourism Business of the Year, sponsored by QBE

Sponsor profile


Bespoke insurance experts proud to support success stories QBE is pleased to sponsor the Contribution to the Leisure and Tourism category in this year’s Bristol Post Business Awards. As a business insurance specialist, supporting companies in the South West for over 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 client’s 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 processes 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 rela-

tionships 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 Southwest who 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.

● For more information about our product range that covers liability, motor, property and professional indemnity and the added services we provide, please visit

Wednesday, February 18, 2015



Vital help How artist Emma rebuilt her career after terrible accident

Re-shoring can create 30,000 jobs

Gavin Thompson Assistant Editor (Business)


N New Year’s Day in 2008, Emma Caton was run over and seriously injured by a car travelling at high speed. She had to give up work as a successful artist to concentrate on her recovery and she had to learn to walk again. When she eventually felt strong enough to re-launch her career, she lacked confidence and needed business advice and support. Emma, who is based at BV Studios in Bedminster, said: “It felt very different to be in business the second time around. “I had been away for a long time and I did not have the same confidence as before, and at first there seemed nowhere to get support for a small independent business like mine.” A chance meeting at a Women Outside the Box event led her to Blue Orchid, a management consultancy delivering the Bristol Enterprise Support Service on behalf of the city council. The organisation offered free help, from an initial assessment of the artist’s business needs, to the introduction of a development plan to upgrade her business and marketing strategy. Emma said: “I got in touch with Blue Orchid and they have been brilliant, really helpful and positive. It is great there is help available.” Blue Orchid business adviser Pete Hollingsworth helped Emma to apply for Arts Council funding to launch a community-based arts project in South Bristol. “Emma’s drive and determination is incredible, and it has been inspiring for me to be able to help her map out and begin her ‘new’ business jour ney,” he said. Emma now has a steady pipeline of work and is exhibiting at Flux, a new international contemporary arts exhibition at The Rag Factory in London from February 18 to 22. Gary Chatwin, Bristol area manager for Blue Orchid, said: “The service is making a real difference to

● Artist Emma Caton and Blue Orchid business adviser Pete Hollingsworth outside Knowle West Media Centre; left, one of Emma’s works, bronze baby birds; inset above, Paradise Lost Pic: Knowle West Media Centre

hundreds of Bristol people, not only those starting up new businesses but their families and the wider economy. Working on behalf of Bristol City

Council we are helping start-up and fledgling businesses to succeed through free support, advice, practical training and networking.” So far

150 people either starting in or new to business have had help on topics from sales strategies, finance and bookkeeping, to confidence building and social media. Assistant mayor Councillor Mark Bradshaw met Emma and some of the other businesses getting at the Knowle West Media Centre. He said: “Small businesses are vital for the health of the local economy, helping to create jobs and boosting economic growth in the city.” The service is linked to The Filwood Green Business Park which is under construction. It is part-financed by the South West European Regional Development Fund. Visit for more details.

● BRINGING manufacturing jobs back to the UK could boost the South West economy by £1.5 billion and create 29,700 jobs over 10 years. That’s according to a new report out today from EY, which declares so-called re-shoring industry is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Richard Jones, EY’s senior partner in Bristol, said: “Offshoring in the 1980s and 1990s saw a dramatic reduction in British manufacturing and a shift to services industries that resulted in a fundamental restructuring of the British economy. “While some regions saw rapid growth others suffered. But the economics underpinning this trend appear to be reversing and presents the region with a once-in-a-generation opportunity. While increasing wages in developing countries are eroding their labour cost advantage, there are many more factors driving business to choose British shores. The desire to guarantee quality and the imperative to reduce time to market are important drivers of location decisions.” Highly skilled industries such as aerospace and defence where the Bristol area is strong are among those the report’s authors feel offer the most scope for re-shoring. Steve Wilkinson, EY’s UK & Ireland managing partner, said: “Those businesses that do relocate to the UK will predominantly be capital intensive sectors such as aerospace, defence, automotive, petroleum products and clothing, serving the European market. They will be businesses where quality and brand are important and so the supply of a highly skilled workforce is imperative.” However, re-shoring will only happen if Governments offer the right incentives. Richard added: “While steps have been taken to make the UK more attractive to businesses looking to re-shore such as reducing the headline rate of corporation tax to the joint lowest in the G20, providing competitive reliefs for innovative and high tech industries, and UKTI’s ‘Britain is Great’ campaign, more can be done.”

Social media

Going Green

Staff step up to cycle-to-work challenge

have started mapping our fitness on smart phone app MapMyRide and have accumulated 300 miles as a com-

pany in February 2015 alone. “This is 300 miles worth of fuel emissions wiped out of Bristol air

already. A fantastic achievement.” MHI is a digital printer and mailing business.

Warning to keep profiles up to date ● BRISTOLIANS who don’t maintain their LinkedIn profiles are jeopardising their opportunities for career progression, according to new research from recruiter Randstad. Only a fifth (19 per cent) of Bristol’s employees will bother to tailor their LinkedIn profiles when applying for a new role – but nearly three quarters (73 per cent) will update their CVs for each position they apply for, according to a survey. Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Business Support, said: “Employees planning to switch jobs cannot afford to ignore the risks posed by leaving their LinkedIn profile as a ghost-town of outdated skills and contacts.”


A COMPANY which prints and delivers documents is taking up the Go Green challenge in style. Mail Handling International (MHI), based in Feeder Road, has introduced Two Wheel Tuesday. Its 70 Bristol staff took to two wheels (or two feet!) to tackle the morning commute to work, and they plan to repeat it every month. The firm was inspired by Bristol being chosen as European Green Capital 2015. MHI chief executive Paul Brown said: “MHI’s people are always looking for fun ways to make a difference at work. “We are committed to Bristol green initiatives, always looking for ways in which we can make a difference. We



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Big Interview

AN ICONIC ARENA CAN BE FINAL PIEC As master of the Guild of Guardians, Nigel Hardy wants to promote Bristol for commerce and culture, but as Gavin Thompson finds out there’s one thing he thinks the city is lacking


N iconic building in the shape of a new arena could be the missing piece of the puzzle in Bristol’s success story. That’s according to Nigel Hardy, a leading member of the business community. Nigel’s day job is senior partner at accountancy firm Baker Tilly, based in Hartwell House, Victoria Street, where he acts as what he describes as a “commercial friend” to clients. “The job is about walking the journey with my clients, seeing them grow and hopefully making a difference to their journey,” he says. Nigel says the firm’s core client base is mid-sized companies, some of whom need more hands-on support than others. “Some will be sophisticated and others won’t be,” he says. “Even where they are sophisticated, it’s still quite a lonely place for the main entrepreneur or entrepreneurs. They need a commercial friend slightly

My working day


Working day: One or more meetings, either around an audit or around strategy and helping the business achieve its aims. Internal meetings and most days there entertaining or corporate hospitality, from a catwalk show to a rugby game. Work and life tend to merge.

outside of the day-to-day who they can bounce things off, and who doesn’t mind them saying the odd stupid thing. Then you have those which even though they are quite significant businesses are not that sophisticated and they will be bouncing quite a lot of stuff off you.” Nigel says it’s a little different when auditing clients, as the rules about advice are stricter but adds you can still be a “listening ear”. Although he only recently moved to Bristol, enjoying the city living dream having downsized from the family home in Somerset now that the kids have grown up, Nigel has been working here for nine years. In that time he’s seen a few changes. But not quite enough. “I have seen pretty steady growth in my nine years in Bristol, even through the recession,” he says. “Very few of my clients have suffered significantly, many have structured and are much stronger as a result but most businesses across a range of sectors have continued to grow and be profitable through that period. “I have seen a real influx of high tech businesses linked to things like the Science Park and the media sector has grown hugely. The legal sector has expanded. And everybody has

“ There’s been a lot of low level development but nothing iconic. That’s why an arena would be so good for Bristol. Nigel Hardy relocated in that nine-year period. But there is one thing that frustrates me about Bristol. Someone at a recent Guild of Guardians dinner said they had been in Australia for 25 years and when they came back they went up Cabot Tower and looked across Bristol. With one exception (flats above Harvey Nichols), the skyline hadn’t changed. That’s my one criticism of the city, there’s been a lot of low-level development but nothing iconic. That’s why something like an arena would be so good for Bristol. “I went to Bilbao a few years back not long after the Guggenheim Museum had opened. It rejuvenated not only the city but the whole of northern Spain and shows what you can achieve with an iconic building.” Of the recently released arena designs for Bristol, Nigel believes at

Vital statistics Name: Nigel Hardy Age: 53 Job: Senior partner at Baker Tilly accountants Lives: Bristol city centre after downsizing from Somerset First job: Saturday job cleaning bakery. First professional job with Baker Tilly graduate scheme and been with the firm every since. Hobbies: Cycling, walking, skiing. Ideal weekend: With our kids off our hands we’re rediscovering going out and spending time as a couple. Last weekend we went to Tyntesfield, cycled back and took our old two seater MG for a spin

least one fits the bill and made him go “wow!”. “It has to be iconic,” he says. Nigel’s interest in the city goes beyond simply the success of Baker Tilly or his clients. He is the current master of the Guild of Guardians, an organisation formed in 1978 initially

Favourite book/film/TV show: Pompeii by Richard Harris which caught my imagination while we

to look after the Lord Mayor’s official residence the Mansion House. Since then the aims have expanded to enhancing the good name of Bristol and promoting the city for trade, commerce and culture. It’s a membership organisation, with about 60 businesses signed up as

were in Naples. Love Actually for film and for TV I’d have to admit to Top Gear.

paying members, which offers fantastic networking opportunities. Nigel says the mix of traditions and networking opportunities appealed to him. And the fact that, unlike some organisations, partners are very welcome. “The networking is low-key,” he says. “It’s not in your face it’s more

Wednesday, February 18, 2015




● Nigel Hardy, of Baker Tilly accountants Pic: Dave Betts BRDB20150216D-003_C ● Jan Bowen-Nielsen of Quiver Management, Ian Pearce of Brinsea Products and TV presenter Kate Humble

Bird-egg specialists hatch plans for further growth

The Lord Mayor of Bristol Charity Gala Dinner ● Bristol’s leading business people are supporting The Lord Mayor of Bristol’s Charity Gala Dinner through sponsorship, auction donations and by booking tables. The event, held at the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel on April 30, is supported by the Bristol Post. It provides the city’s ‘movers and shakers’ with the ideal opportunity to entertain clients and to network, whilst raising money for The Lord Mayor of Bristol’s Children Appeal. There will be a drinks reception followed by a sumptuous three-course dinner, world-class entertainment, and auction with Director of Business Showcase South West Jamie Breese. Please email to discuss sponsorship packages or to donate high-value or money-can’t-buy prizes. ● To secure your tickets at £65 each, or £610 for a table of 10, plus booking fee, please go to

The company is also in partnership with Bristol Zoo, helping with its avian conservation programme. Some 80 per cent of Brinsea’s production is exported and it has 35 worldwide distributors in companies as diverse as Angola and Venezuela. To help with further growth plans, managing director Ian Pearce was put in touch with Jan Bowen-Nielsen at Quiver Management by the Manufacturing Advisory Service. Ian said: “It’s an exciting time for us. Our growth will be driven by new product development and a major part of that was getting in the people that we needed, so our development team has grown from two to five people. We’ve given them a fairly heavy programme of work to get their teeth into.” Jan added: “What was important to begin with was for the senior management team at Brinsea to develop a shared vision and strategy for the business, through understanding the current situation and the opportunities and challenges ahead. “From there, it was a matter of making the journey to their vision clear and achievable, developing plans for each area of the businesses and providing coaching support during that process. “Brinsea is well on its way to implementing the strategies and plans discussed, including moving premises to Weston-super-Mare and hiring more product designers. It will be exciting to see their product development plans accelerating, and the growth coming as a result.”


New office for building services specialist BUILDING services specialist J S Wright has opened a new office in Bristol as it looks to expand across the UK. The new base at Trym Lodge in Henbury Road, Westbury-on-Trym will be led by Bristol-born and bred regional director Tim Parnell. Educated at Bristol Grammar School and a former Old Bristolians cricket and rugby captain, Tim has more than 30 years’ experience in building businesses. Tim, pictured, said: “I am looking forward to using my experience as a team builder in both the business and recreational fields to recruit local staff and work with local suppliers in the service of Bristol’s booming construction industry.” He was previously a director of a not-for-profit community interest company in Bristol, which involved improving the facilities The firm’s managing director Marcus Aniol

said: “Tim has a proven reputation for building businesses, which makes him the ideal fit to take our business forward in the South West. “The opening of our Bristol office marks the next stage in our growth as a national company and follows the successful launch four years ago of our London office, which is currently supporting a record £18million contract to fit out more than 400 new homes at Canary Wharf.” The firm specialises in the design and installation of mechanical and electrical services for the hotel, residential, social housing, student accommodation, leisure and commercial sectors. The company, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, was honoured two years ago at the national Heating and Ventilation Awards for its Outstanding Contribution to the Industry.


that you know someone you trust who can help someone else. It does generate business for us.” The organisation has seen a big increase in membership in recent years, with more than 20 new businesses on board, which has also brought in younger, dynamic members. Its latest venture is to support the Lord Mayor’s Charity Dinner, a business event taking place at the Royal Marriott on April 30 in support of the Lord Mayor’s Children’s Appeal. The guild continues to raise money to maintain the historic Mansion House, such as building the conservatory and recently replacing all the external lighting. The organisation has, Nigel says, some “really good businesses” as members, including Bristol Port Company, BAE and Bristol Water but is targeting emerging businesses in the creative, media and IT sectors. “That’s where we need to look going forward,” he says. “It’s up to us to make ourselves attractive to those sectors.” But Nigel is feeling good about the future. For the guild, for Baker Tilly – which has gone through a period of change following a recent merger with RSM Tenon – and for Bristol. So long as we finally build that arena.

BIRD egg incubation specialists Brinsea Products has moved into new premises in Weston-super-Mare and is putting ambitious plans in place to target 60 per cent growth in three years. Work with business coaching and leadership development company Quiver Management has helped Brinsea develop strategies to enable growth from £3.2 million to over £5 million by 2017. Following a Growth Accelerator programme of business development, Brinsea has grown its product development team from two to five and has also secured important new partnerships with Amazon and Screwfix. The company moved into a 12,000sqft unit on Buckingham Road in Weston Industrial Estate, divided into an assembly plant, warehousing and offices. Kate Humble, BBC wildlife presenter and former president of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, was among those at the official opening. Now, after working with leading South West coaching firm Quiver Management, Brinsea Products managing director Ian Pearce has the personnel and facilities in place to expand the company, which was set up by his father Frank Pearce in 1976. The company develops, manufactures and sells a range of incubators and brooders and employs 38 staff, with customers ranging from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, to zoos, conservation organisations and universities throughout the world.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Focus on start-ups | Sponsored by THEME SPONSOR’S NAME HERE.

Sector focus: Food & drink Expert eye Ian Gosden Managing Director Higos Insurance Services

Growth can bring challenges too


HE growth of the food and drink manufacturing industry in the South West is one of the success stories of recent years. Established names have continued to expand and the number of new entrants to the sector has been encouraging to see. Food and drink manufacturing is a sector where rapid growth is not unusual – one contract can signal a huge increase in production. Whilst this is generally good news for the manufacturer, there are potential pitfalls associated with rapid growth which should not be ignored. Insurance is often overlooked and left to the last minute – our experience is that many companies only pay attention to their insurance once the premium starts to increase. However, in many cases – especially if the business has grown – your cover may have become inadequate and therefore unable to respond should the worst happen. We recommend you review your insurance cover annually, ensuring your current policy remains suitable for your needs. One of the areas where food and drink manufacturers can be vulnerable is business continuity. Whilst most food and drink manufacturers have an element of business interruption cover – providing protection against loss of profit and other business expenses as a result of a break in commercial activity caused by an insured event – our experience shows many companies do not pay enough attention to this section of their policy and are either insured on an incorrect basis or restricted by a short indemnity period. There are options available to you under the business interruption section of your policy which, for example, provide you with cover for moving your operation to alternative premises, whilst your existing premises is repaired/rebuilt, enabling you to continue with production. These options are not expensive but are often overlooked. At Higos we always put the interests of our clients first. We like to develop long-term relationships with our clients and strive to truly understand your business, so we can give you the best advice and ensure they remain properly protected.


● To find out more call Higos on 01749 834 500 or visit

VIBRANT CITY FOOD SCENE Bristol city centre is bursting with vibrant bars, cafes and restaurants but further afield food producers are under pressure from the supermarkets. Gavin Thompson reports on the food and drink sector


HETHER the food and drink sector is booming or at breaking point may depend on which side of the industry you sit. Farmers and food producers say they are under great pressure, as supermarkets wage price wars that push down the value of their goods. Meanwhile stroll around Bristol on an evening and you’ll see bars and restaurants packed with diners enjoying a vast choice of quality food and drink outlets. The city has seen an explosion in gourmet burger bars recently, for example, with Five Guys, Plead the Fifth, Byron Burgers and MEATliquor all open or opening soon. And that’s just one niche area. But even among food producers, there are opportunities for growth, according to James Morter, pictured inset, partner at business advisors and accountants Grant Thornton in Bristol. He says the South West is rich in food producers and that the sector is becoming one of the region’s most successful exporters. In the wider Bristol area there are a number of companies successfully doing just that, including Bath Ales, cider-maker Thatchers, Pukka Teas, Lye Cross Farm with its cheeses and more. James says selling overseas is one of the best ways to keep a food business strong. “The supermarkets are very dominant in the domestic market,” he said. “That puts pressures on producers particularly in the current climate of price cuts. Diversifying by moving into different markets is one of the best ways to make your business more resilient.” James also believes overseas is a potential source of investment for the sector. “We are seeing quite a lot mergers and acquisitions activity nationally in this sector because overseas investors like to buy into quality British products,” he said. “And we have plenty of that in this region.” In central Bristol, however, the growth is in the retail and hospitality side of the food and drink business. James highlights the fast growth of the Loungers bar chain, with its easy to replicate model that allows it to expand while maintaining a local bespoke feel to each premises. And there are others too. Boston Tea Party and Friska, for example, are local businesses growing into regional or even national chains. Sophia Sangchi of Christie + Co, a firm of agents which sell pubs, restaurants and the like, says Bristol is a

“ We are seeing Bristol continue to grow as a foodie capital. In order to be a success, you need to offer something a bit different. Sophia Sangchi of Christie + Co

great place to operate right now. “We are seeing Bristol continue to grow as a foodie capital outside London,” she said. Sophia says demand for good locations in the city centre is outstripping supply, giving the 17th-century Elephant pub in the Old City as an example which she has shown to more than a dozen potentially serious buyers in just a couple of months. But she believes businesses must have something special to be successful in a competitive market.

“There appears to be more drive from consumers to go to the independent and small multiple local operators who are trying something a bit different, rather than the larger corporate offering,” she said. “Spanish tapas and wine bar Pata Negra in Corn Street has done very well in a position that has been a little challenging for previous operators. Along with the Cozy Club it is changing the face of Corn Street, moving away from the hen and stag sort of place which it had been

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


RAISES THE BAR Business is ale and hearty at emporium Case study ● THE Beer Emporium is a part of a new wave of craft beer specialists helping a new generation develop a taste for ales. However bar manager Florean Hodgkinson doesn’t like the expression, finding it a little exclusive. “I don’t use the term craft,” he said. “I just think it should be about well-made, honest products rather than things made on an industrial scale.” The 23-year-old travels around the UK and abroad finding new beers to appeal to the increasingly broad tastes of customers. That means building relationships with the people who make them. Next Wednesday, February 25, for example, up-and-coming micro-brewery Wiper And True is taking over all the pumps to showcase its beers. And it’s not just the trendy craft beers, there are 27 pumps so there’s room for old favourites too. “Someone came in the other day and said ‘it’s great to see a mild on at this time of year’ as lots of pubs don’t sell mild except in May when CAMRA runs a campaign.” The bar’s customers are not

just the old-fashioned real ale drinker, it has become a popular destination for young professionals on a night out. And food is a key part of its offering, with menus increasingly matched to the beers. Assistant general manager Marco Sposato, 29, said: “People like tasting new and different things, they don’t have to have the same old drink. The taps change when the barrel goes and customers seem to enjoy that. If there’s a new beer people are talking about, they’ll ask and we’ll get it in. People will come in just to try something new we have posted on social media.” While the pub makes up 90 per cent of its trade, the emporium also has a shop, selling bottled varieties of all the beers it stocks. The shop recently won Regional Retailer of the Year at the Off Licence News Celebrate British Beer awards, an accolade the team is proud to display. Florean says the shop adds another dimension. “It means if people enjoy a drink they can buy a bottle of two to take home for another day,” he said. “It encourages people to drink more responsibly.”

9,300 doughnuts in first month alone... ● THE new Krispy Kreme store at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway sold more than 9,300 single doughnuts in its first month. It’s a reminder that while Bristol is rightly proud of its independent food and drink outlets, the national chains can still be a big hit with consumers. And of course they provide local jobs too. More than 12,600 customers have walked through the doors in the first few weeks after the store opened just before Christmas. The 16 varieties of doughnuts are delivered to Cribbs, and the chain’s other local outlets, fresh daily from Avonsmead. Chief

Case study marketing officer Judith Denby said: “We were excited to open our third store in Bristol and it has been fantastic to see the response we have had from received over the past month. “The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is a great location and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more shoppers in for fresh doughnuts and coffee throughout the year.” And just in case you’re interested, the most popular doughnut at the new store is ... original glazed.

Part of the Local World group

Staging your Conference doesn’t have to cost a fortune... ● Marco Sposato assistant manager at the Beer Emporium

● Cosy Club, Corn Street

There is one downside for those looking to sell premises, however. “People won’t pay for the goodwill of the existing business anymore because they plan to introduce a new concept,” she said. And despite high demand, Sophia still believes it’s a good market for buyers. “What people often don’t realise is how cheap money is at the moment with very low interest rates,” she said. “You still need a deposit but there are some very good finance deals out there.” So, if you’ve got the right idea, it could be the time to cash in on this fast growing market... Particularly if you stock quality goods supporting under-pressure local food producers.

Audience Response Presentation Production Video Presentation Call us on: 01684 575832 Email us at: Visit us at :


three years ago. In order to have a successful drinking establishment you need to offer something a bit different. For example, the craft beer market has taken off with the Beer Emporium and Naval Volunteer. King Street is becoming craft beer central. Then there’s the cocktail market with the Prohibition bars and speakeasys, such as Hyde & Co.” She puts the strength of the market down to a shift and rise in casual dining market, with groups of young professionals going out with friends after work, making eating out more of a regular occurrence than a special occasion. The rise of city centre living, with many offices being turned into flats, will only add to that trend.

Whether your conference is on a small or large scale our expert knowledge will give you a professional and stress free event by providing you with the right presentation equipment, lighting and sound.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In pictures Deki charity launch

Business battles poverty Deki helping city firms to change lives of thousands in Africa


RISTOL-based microfinance charity Deki has launched a bespoke initiative to team up with Bristol businesses to fight poverty in Africa. The crowdfunding website offers long-term solutions to poverty by bringing access to small loans and business training to entrepreneurs in the developing world where loans would traditionally be inaccessible to them. A Deki loan allows an entrepreneur to build a profitable business, which provides them with a steady source of income. They are then able to secure their own futures, send their children to school for longer and employ people in their local community. The initiative was launched with an event at Friska last week. Deki founder Vashti Seth shared her inspiring story about how she set up the charity using just £2,000 and a note left by her late father telling her to “do something good” with it. Since its inception in 2008, the charity has gone from strength to strength, impacting the lives of over 10,000 people in the developing world. Vashti said: “We are inviting Bristol businesses to come along to our

launch to find out more about how they can get involved. “Our business partnerships are bespoke and we can tailor them to fit companies of all types and sizes. It is an exciting time, with the help of Bristol businesses we aim to provide 7,000 new loans and help change the lives of 35,000 more people over the next three years.” Ocean Estate Agents was one of the first businesses to sign up to the new initiative. In a long-term partnership, it will donate £10 to Deki for every house it sells or managed property it lets. The firm also offers sellers and landlords the opportunity to match fund their donation. Ocean founder Paul Harris said: “We were really keen to support Deki, as someone who has been through the process of starting their own business, I know how hard it can be.” Friska has been in partnership with Deki since 2012 and offer a daily Deki Dish in its stores. Co-founder Griff Holland said: “Our partnership has had a really positive impact on the business. We are excited about the future of the project as it continues to grow and offers more opportunities for entrepreneurs in developing countries.”


● Griff Holland, co-founder of Friska, with James Potten, CEO of Ecosurety

● Tony Hughes, Lord Mayor Alastair Watson, Ed Brown of Friska


FOR MORE PICTURES Check out our website at

● Vashti Seth, founder and CEO of Deki

● Antonia Cross and Aletia Shaw of Deki

Pictures: :

● Bristol West MP Stephen Williams with Vashti Seth

● Phil Smith, managing director Business West, Diane Deki and Keith Hicks, of UWE

● Peaches Golding talks with Antonia Cross of Deki

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In pictures Go Green launch


Business diary Financial Planning Clinic: One-to-one advice on financial issues and questions from chartered accountant Tony James at The Hive, Weston-super-Mare on February 19. Free to pre-start businesses and those trading less than a year, £40 including VAT for those trading over a year. Register at www.northsomersetenterprise Bristol Junior Chamber Bristol North West General Election Hustings: From 6-8pm on February 19 at Clarke Willmott, George Square, Bristol, chaired by James Durie of Business West.

Businesses helped to make going green pay off AN audience of business people from across the city region attended the launch of Go Green at At-Bristol to find out how they can help improve the environment during Bristol’s stint as European Green Capital. The event, opened by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Alastair Watson, saw a big crowd with representatives from more than 200 organisations hearing about how the scheme can help them achieve their green ambitions. The event outlined how Go Green will work, emphasising that it has been designed to help businesses of all sizes and types irrespective of how ‘green’ they already

are. The programme works with the region’s existing network of organisations and businesses. Amy Robinson, of project partner Low Carbon South West, said: “The strength of this scheme is that it has been designed to tie together all the great assets we already have. “We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel – so Go Green works by sign-posting to the organisations, projects and funding bodies that are most useful to each individual participant, and we can keep it current by adding new opportunities whenever we find them”. The Go Green online tool helps

businesses create an action plan that provides them with help and guidance, and a one-stop-shop for useful resources. Project manager Jessica Ferrow said: “It’s like having a sustainability expert in your pocket. We know that many businesses are interested in how they can become more resource efficient, reduce their environmental impacts and engage their staff in new ways, but they have limited time to implement these measures, let alone research them. This is where Go Green can help”. In addition to the online tool and website, Go Green will be running a

programme of events including seminars, workshops and behind the scenes tours of Bristol’s most sustainable buildings. Nina Skubala of Business West, a delivery partner for the scheme, said: “It looks at a lot of different issues that businesses have to consider, not just recycling and electricity use, but sourcing policies, travel plans, and issues like staff welfare and local biodiversity. It allows businesses to think about a whole range of things they can do to improve, and start with the ones that matter most to them.”

● Find out more at

Preparing for investment, sale or merger: A workshop aimed at business owners and directors in the creative, technical and media sectors at Goldbrick House, Bristol on Monday, February 23, from 4pm to 6pm. David Roper, of Smith & Williamson, and Rebecca Steer of Steer & Co, will be speaking at the event which is hosted by Bristol Media. For further details email South West VR Conference: Organised by Opposable Games, shining spotlight on virtual reality industry, At-Bristol, February 24. Financial and business advice: 45 minute one-to-one appointments with Geoff Cole of Burton Sweet Accountants. February 26 at The Hive, Weston-super-Mare. Register at www.northsomersetenterpris Financial Planning Clinic: One-to-one advice on financial issues and questions from chartered accountant Tony James at The Hive, Weston-super-Mare on February 26. Free to pre-start businesses and those trading less than a year, £40 including VAT for those trading over a year. Register at www.northsomersetenterprise Bristol Airport Careers Fair: Information on becoming one of the 3,000 workers at the airport. Held in the Administration Building at Bristol Airport from 10am-12noon on Saturday, February 28. Email recruitment@ to register

● Lord Mayor Councillor Alastair Watson

● Bristol 2015 chairman Andrew Garrad

Boost#4: A free event for business owners looking at the cloud-based applications available to help growing smaller businesses better achieve their finance and marketing related objectives. Tuesday March 3 at the Unilit Club from 5:30pm. Register online at https:// The Lord Mayor’s Charity Dinner: Enjoy a drinks reception followed by a three-course dinner, entertainment and auction, in aid of The Lord Mayor of Bristol’s Children Appeal on April 30 at the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel. Book through Eventbrite and raise money for the city’s most disadvantaged children. Email for sponsorship opportunities.


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


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The back page

Your digest of the week in business

People ● A new managing director has been appointed to oversee the joint billing service provided by Bristol Water and Wessex Water. Charley Maher, 34, who joined Bristol Wessex Billing Services Limited (BWBSL) in January, was previously regional director for branch banking in the South West for NatWest and head of a customer simplification scheme at the Royal Bank of Scotland. Charley said: “Over the coming months I’ll be working alongside the team to further improve the service we provide and to continue our support to those who need help paying their bills.” The company was set up by Bristol Water and Wessex Water in 2001 to provide a joint bill to make it easier for customers who receive services from both companies. ● Law firm Metcalfes has strengthened its private client team with three appointments. The new starters have joined the firm’s office in Queen Square. Richard Boulding joins as a consultant from Meade King LLP, where he has previously been head of the private client department. Richard has 35 years’ experience advising private clients with capital tax planning issues, the creation and registration powers of attorney, will drafting, estate administration and trust creation. Sophie Hall joins as an assistant solicitor from Cooperative Legal Services, where she specialised in handling estates with problematic home-made wills. Leigh McDonough also joins from Cooperative Legal Services, as a paralegal. She is a point of contact for new clients. Head of department Helen Calcutt said: “We are committed to investing in our team and recruiting talented experts to reflect our growth plans in private client in Bristol.” ● Legal recruitment consultancy BCL Legal has made a new appointment to its South West team. Georgina Inson has been appointed senior associate and will be handling non-contentious commercial roles in Bristol to include real estate, commercial and corporate opportunities. She has worked in legal

demand for properties to rent. Lucy Copleston and Jess Thompson have joined the branch in Gloucester Road, to head up the busy rental department. Their arrival allows director Darren Head and office manager Laura Savage to focus on sales. “The appointment of Lucy and Jess greatly improves the service we are able to offer to both tenants and landlords,” said Darren.

● Sophie Hall, Richard Boulding, and Leigh McDonough

● Charley Maher

● Georgina Inson

● Justine Kebby

● The Bristol office of property advisers CBRE has strengthened its national asset services team with the appointment of Mark Evans as senior surveyor. Mark was previously a surveyor at Alder King. He said: “I am thrilled to be joining CBRE at such a critical time in the UK’s economic recovery. My new role provides me with a unique and exciting opportunity to look after a diverse range of properties on behalf of our institutional investor clients such as Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BBC and Shell Pensions.” The firm also announced Rosanna Lake has qualified as a chartered surveyor after passing her assessment of professional competence exam.


● Rosanna Lake and Mark Evans recruitment for five years including positions at Hays Legal and Osborne Clarke. Managing director James Batt said: “2014 was a record year for us so we’re delighted to announce Georgina’s arrival as she further augments and solidifies our market position in the region. “She brings with her a wealth of talent that will add real value, experience and knowledge to our clients, candidates and the whole BCL Legal team.” ● Global hotel chain Holiday Inn has appointed a cluster sales manager to drive business at its Bristol City Centre and Bristol Airport hotels. Justine Kebby, who joins after 10 years with Marriott Hotels. is known

● Patrick Connolly on the Bristol business scene having been involved with a number of projects and events in the city, such as the Bristol Good Food Awards, Wow! Gorillas and Gromit Unleashed. The hotel chain is keen to capitalise on the Bristol region’s economic growth and the rise in passenger numbers at Bristol Airport. Justine said: “It’s an exciting time to be taking on the new role when you consider what is going on in the city, with major landmarks such as Bristol Green Capital 2015 creating lots of opportunities for business and residents.” ● Besley Hill Estate Agents has made two new appointments at its Bishopston office to meet a growing

● Patrick Connolly picked up the overall outstanding contribution award at the Media Awards for professional advisers who provide informative commentary via the media. The Bristolian works for independent financial advisers Chase de Vere and was presented with his award by Unbiased chief executive Karen Barrett. Patrick said: “The financial media, including local and national newspapers, consumer magazines and broadcast media, does a hugely important job in highlighting opportunities and potential pitfalls that people face with regard to their own finances. “For example, the new pension rules being introduced in April will be really beneficial for many people but at the same time they are very complicated which means that some people will make the wrong decisions. I’m really pleased to be able to help point people in the right direction with regard to their finances, which will often be to take independent financial advice.”

In numbers Inflation (CPI)

0.3 1.5 1.7 0.5 3.99

Inflation (RPI)

Weekly earnings

Base interest rate



Paul Matthews Partner, Bruton Knowles paul.matthews@

and score points off one another. We fully support Bristol Mayor George Ferguson’s view that the respective cities will be more effective working together in the face of increasing competition. It’s a fact – toll charges on the Severn Bridge are one of the biggest obstacles to greater cooperation between the two cities and will have to be looked at very carefully if this shared vision is ever going to amount to anything more than wishful thinking. Bristol’s economy is on the up but

● Paul Matthews with his Cardiff counterpart Mike Rees the city could do with taking a leaf out of Cardiff ’s book when it comes to traffic management.

Bristol is the most congested city in Britain with some of the slowest traffic. Cardiff, on the other hand, has created priority flows for traffic at rush hour, with the object of easing the flow in and out of the city in the morning and evening respectively to get traffic away from the city. This type of scheme has been used on the Long Ashton bypass during the recent roadworks, but there is clearly further scope for priority schemes on other roads in the area. In conclusion, there is no way Cardiff and Bristol are going to have a sensible relationship unless there is movement between the two cities. We cannot continue to charge commuters almost £7 a day for the privilege of simply crossing the bridge.



Corporation tax % Main rate


Small profits rate – below £300,000



Business current accounts

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

Business savings accounts State Bank 1.49% of India £10,000 deposit 1.26% Manchester £10,000 deposit BS


NCREASING toll charges on the Severn Bridge could handicap high-level moves aimed at pulling Bristol and Cardiff ’s business communities closer. Commercial property specialist Bruton Knowles is backing civic leaders’ efforts aimed at encouraging the two cities to work more closely together – creating a powerful regional bloc capable of challenging London, the South East and the North. It’s clear civic leaders and business chiefs on both sides of the bridge share a vision of closer cooperation – but further increases in bridge tolls would only serve to push the two cities further apart. We are right behind moves by the respective city leaderships to work more closely together rather than try


Ave mortgage rate %


Cities’ plans will suffer if bridge tolls go too far


Petrol prices .66

107 114 118 62


.49 Diesel

.35p Super unleaded

.88p LPG


Business 18 February 2015  
Business 18 February 2015  

Business Bristol Post, Food and Drink, Ale and hearty: business booms. How a new generation of stylish bars and restaurants has left city’s...