TopicUK Business Magazine

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NEEDHAM a global force

Delivering carbon neutral manufacturing New pathology laboratory for Leeds Where the sea kisses Yorkshire

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This issue



Group Editor Gill Laidler


Rob Blackwell

Associate editor Ed Asquith

Distribution Manager James Longbottom

Official Photographers

Roth Read Photography

Legal Matters

Ramsdens Solicitors Chadwick Lawrence

To Partner TopicUK

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The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those held by the publishers and therefore, no responsibility can be held by the publisher for misinterpretation. Reproduction of this magazine without the express permission of the publisher is prohibited. Whilst every care is taken in the production of this magazine, the publisher/editor and staff cannot accept any responsibility for errors in articles, advertisements or programme schedules. To subscribe to this magazine contact 07711 539047 or email Published by Ghost Publishing Limited, . Law pages are written by Chadwick Lawrence & Ramsdens Solicitors LLP and TopicUK is not responsible for any advice given.


Charlotte Hall

Cover : Simon Needham Image : Simon's Own


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Barclays launch new Eagle Lab in Northallerton


Simon Needham a global force


£3m refurbishment of the Electric Press


New pathology laboratory for Leeds


Where the sea kisses Yorkshire


Printed By: Charlesworth Press Wakefield


Editors notes

By group editor Gill Laidler There feels to be a new optimism in the air. All Covid restrictions are now lifted, the sun is shining as I write this, and the world seems to be busier than ever. It certainly is for us here at TopicUK.

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Tilyard North Paladin MARKETING Yorkshire sculpture park CONNECT YORKSHIRE Community Foundation Calderdale The Piece Hall BACKSTAGE ACADEMY Ramsdens Solicitors Chadwick Lawrence WILD Wakefield Council Ad:Venture CityFibre Eaton Smith Solicitors Stafflex Scriba PR Kirklees College University of Law Avenue hq/Barclays Eagle Lab Yorkshire Payments Welcome to Yorkshire Contedia BeVic Town Hall Dental Fantastic Media FORGET ME NOT CHILDRENS HOSPICE Halifax Bid Beanie Media HALSTON MARKETING DAKOTA HOTEL LEEDS Ventur Kirklees Council


ou may notice that this edition of TopicUK is very slightly smaller than usual. This new size sits alongside a slightly increased size of our sister magazine Yorkshire Businesswoman. The reason for this is that the two magazines can now print together, saving money on the rising cost of paper, ensuring that we do not increase any costs for our existing partners, whilst maintaining the quality for our readers. This edition our cover features former ATTIK co-founder and director Simon Needham. Simon and his former business partner James Sommerville started their business with a grant from the Princes Trust, eventually selling to one of the largest design companies in the world. Today Simon is a professional photographer and humanitarian, based in L A and works across the globe. Read Simon’s incredible journey on page 22.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome new partner Craggs Energy. Based in Hebden Bridge, we will be bringing you all their news during 2022. I was delighted to be invited to visit Chaophraya Thai restaurant in Leeds earlier this month to sample their new menu. I have visited the restaurant many times before, but I have to admit that the new menu surpasses anything before, and I will certainly be returning. Read my full review on page 54. Follo wing its abse nce during Covid and its return to a different venue last year, I am delighted that this year the Wakefield Annual Charity Christmas Lunch (WACCL) is back on my calendar. If you haven’t reserved your ticket yet, do so quickly as I am confident it will be a sell-out.

See you in June As members of Barclays Eagle Lab in Leeds, we are delighted to see their expansion with the opening of a new office in Northallerton. Officially opened by Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP, the Eagle Lab will operate in partnership with tech incubator specialists C4DI.


TopicUK April 2022



PHT Solutions merger opens door to larger contracts & new services PHT Solutions has also just won a contract to provide plumbing, heating and tiling services to another local developer for a new, large eco-build home in Scarborough, including filtered, recyclable drainage and air source heat pump. In addition to the merger and contracts PHT Solutions has launched a new microcementing service to its growing list of general domestic and commercial plumbing, heating and tiling services.

The Scarborough-based plumbing, heating and tiling business, PHT Solutions has hit the ground running in 2022, merging with another local business while winning significant new contracts and launching a new high-end service. The merger will see JHB Plumbing become part of the PHT Solutions brand. "We have developed an excellent working relationship with JHB Plumbing and combining the business into PHT Solutions will allow us to win more and larger contracts and add more versatility and flexibility to the services we can offer customers," said PHT Solutions' director Tom Jenkinson. Joe Blackwell, director of JHB Plumbing, believes the business synergies were too good to ignore. "There are great service and operational fits for the two businesses, each bringing a slightly different emphasis to the new combined company," said Joe.


There are great service and operational fits for the two businesses, each bringing a slightly different emphasis...

The enlarged PHT Solutions has started work on its first major post-merger contract, fitting 50 wet rooms in domestic properties in the Scarborough area for a local contractor. The wet rooms will provide completely waterproofed bathroom spaces with shower area flush with the rest of the floor.

The company is now providing Cemher UK micro-cementing installations for floors, walls, bathrooms and worktops. "This is a high-quality product we're really excited to be offering our customers," added Tom. "A cement-based render, microcement is carefully trowelled on by hand, creating a seamless surface finish similar to what you might see with polished concrete. "The results are stunning, but it is a very skilled job requiring time, precision from our fully qualified, trained contractors." For Tom, these latest successes reinforce the decision he took to set out on his own in 2013 after completing his apprenticeship training in his grandfather and uncle’s Scarborough firm."My approach to the business is the same now as it was when I started out nearly 10 years ago, with PHT Solutions offering qualified, caring tradespeople who deliver a quality service to our customers at a price that ensures they receive great value for money," said Tom.


York Handmade plays pivotal role in North Yorkshire office development The award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played a significant role in a prestigious North Yorkshire office development.

a very beautiful building admired by all our visitors.

sophisticated feel that reflect the ethos of All Steels Trading. It has been a privilege to play a part in creating an attractive development, “While we have recently completed some stunning commissions for residential and commercial developments in London and other UK cities, it is vitally important that we continue to provide our bricks to more local Yorkshire companies. It is a real pleasure to see our work being represented locally and tremendously gratifying to see our bricks being used so close to home.”

“ In d e e d , w e h av e h a d l o c a l residents knocking on the door and complimenting us on the b u i l d i n g b e i n g a n a t t ra c t i v e welcome into Thirsk when entering from the A19 and A168 and a great improvement to the area.”

Scarlett Reeves, project development and quality manager at All Steels Trading, commented: “We are very pleased and proud of our new offices in Thirsk. The design that David Bamford produced and the modern sleek finish that we achieved with the use of the bespoke bricks, along with the windows and doors, has made for

“York Handmade Brick had been used in the past by ourselves and provide an interesting range of bricks and were therefore a natural choice for a traditional and local material. I am pleased with the visual appearance of the brickwork at Vulcan House.”Vulcan House was built by Mark Stringer Ltd of Whitby.

The Easingwold-based firm, one of the leading independent brick-makers in the country, has supplied speciallymanufactured bricks for a beautiful” new office HQ for All Steels Trading on the outskirts of Thirsk. Altogether York Handmade provided more than 8,000 Maxima bricks for the 4,000 sq ft office, called Vulcan House and designed by David Bamford Architects of Otley. David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, explained: “This is one of my very favourite projects that we have undertaken in Yorkshire recently. All Steels Trading’s new headquarters really is a statement building, which enhances the entrance to Thirsk from York Road and the A19. “Our long, thin Maxima bricks, which are proving increasingly popular, give the building an elegant,

David Bamford of David Bamford Architects explained: “All Steels Trading wanted a modern welldesigned office to make an appropriate statement using traditional materials. Brick, slate and glass were the obvious choice for this location.

TopicUK April 2022



Knight Frank brokers letting at The Bourse in Leeds

The Leeds office of global property consultancy Knight Frank has brokered a significant letting at The Bourse, a prestigious office and retail complex in Leeds city centre.

high-profile deals in Leeds city centre, underlines the current strength of the Leeds office market.

Sterling House and Bond House, has its own designated entrance with an NCP multi-storey car park to the rear. The Bourse has undergone a comprehensive multi-million-pound refurbishment to provide Grade A offices of the highest standards.

“There are currently office suites from 1,258 sq ft to 2,448 sq ft available to lease. Given the high-quality of the space in The Bourse, together with its magnificent location, these offices should prove very popular, e s p e c i a l l y to u p - a n d - c o m i n g creative firms which are starting to thrive in Leeds.”

Merchandising software solutions company Retail Express has taken 4,290 sq ft on the 1st floor of Bond House, one of the three self-contained buildings which comprise the 50,000 sq ft Bourse. The Bourse is a landmark building on Boar Lane less than 100 yards from Leeds Station and features 50,000 sq ft of high-quality space over three buildings, overlooking a central courtyard. Each of the buildings, Equity House,


Victoria Harris, senior surveyor with Knight Frank, who advised landlords Paloma Capital, commented: “We are delighted that a company of the calibre and reputation of Retail Express has taken space at The Bourse. This letting, together with other recent

She added: “The extensive renovation works have transformed The Bourse into a welcoming a n d a t t r a c t i v e e n v i r o n m e n t. Meanwhile the vibrancy of the immediate area, with the new


Eaton Smith strengthens personal injury team

bars and restaurants, as well as the brilliant Trinity Leeds shopping centre, gives occupiers exactly what they want. The Bourse is a hidden gem in the centre of the city.” Barry Grange, CEO of Retail Express, commented: “We are excited to have chosen Leeds and The Bourse as our corporate headquarters to help us deliver the next chapter of our growth story. With a central location for our staff and excellent regional and national links, The Bourse stood out against the competition. The prestigious location offers firstclass facilities within the thriving tech hub of Leeds.”

Eaton Smith Solicitors is delighted to welcome Lindsay Preston to their firm as a senior litigator in their personal injury team. Lindsay has over 25 years’ experience in all areas of personal injury law including accidents at work, fatality c laims, public liability and occupiers’ liability claims. Lindsay also has extensive knowledge of the CICA scheme which enables victims of domestic abuse to claim compensation. She has supported numerous victims of domestic abuse and sexual abuse in successful applications to the CICA, priding herself on fighting for the best outcome. Lindsay is also a Trustee at Pennine Domestic Abuse Partnership allowing her to continue supporting domestic abuse charities.

Adele Whitfield, head of personal injury at Eaton Smith commented; “Lindsay’s appointment is important to our growth strategy and enables us to expand our personal injury work. Lindsay’s experience of working with personal injury clients is extensive and she does this work with compassion and empathy while fighting for the outcome that these clients deserve.” O f he r appointme nt Lindsay said; “I am pleased to join Eaton Smith which is an ambitious firm with exciting growth plans. The personal injury team work hard to get their clients the outcome that they deserve while focussing their attention on high quality client service and I am proud to now be a part of that.” TopicUK April 2022


N E W S U P D AT E very exciting time for Barnsley and we’re looking to the future with great confidence. “Since The Glass Works began its phased opening in September, there’s been a hugely positive atmosphere and we’ve seen many people returning to the town centre for shopping and leisure. Add to this our action-packed events programme and there’s never been so many reasons to enjoy a day out in the town centre.

Fit out begins on Barnsley’s new 13-screen Cineworld Interior fit out work has started on Barnsley town centre’s new Cineworld, with the cinema giant planning to open the 13-screen multiplex, 2000 seats in late summer. The venue’s core structural work and external cladding was completed last year, as the finishing touches were put to The Glass Works development. Cineworld is a key part of the new leisure offer at the heart of The Glass Works, fronting onto the new public square and situated a stone’s throw from Superbowl UK and a choice of well-loved restaurants. Work is also underway on familyfavourite Nando’s, while fellow national chain Fridays also announced last month that it plans to open a 200-seater restaurant in The


Glass Works – creating a further 60 jobs. Barnsley Council Leader, Sir Steve Houghton CBE, said: “This is a

“Like everywhere, COVID-19 has provided real challenges, but we’re determined to support our retail and leisure tenants and we’re confident that when this final phase is open, Barnsley will have one of the most vibrant town centres in the north of England.” Kevin Frost, director of property for Cineworld said: “We are delighted to now be on the ground in The Glass Works. People have really missed live movie-going, and our Barnsley Cineworld complex will offer an unrivalled audience experience. Our amazing team of contractors are now working to create a fantastic leisure destination for Barnsley residents, visitors from all across Yorkshire and the north of England.”

Workwear specialists appoints new director Leeds branded workwear specialists Involution has appointed Nathan Cookson as its new operations director.

innovation plans, increasing turnover by 250%, 30 new staff hires, capital investment of £1.3 million and 700% physical expansion.

Nathan previously held the position of strategic development manager, working alongside department heads and directors to maximise the output and efficiencies of the business. Since joining Involution, Nathan has been integral in the company growth and

The Leeds based print, promotional and workwear supplier started in 1999 and has ambitious targets to achieve by 2025. Under Nathan’s management, Involution will be striving to double its production capacity and increase sales by 83% from £3.6M to £6.6M.


Azets announces new Head of Employer solutions Azets, the UK's largest regional accountancy and business advisors to SMEs, has appointed Richard Whitelock to head up its employer solutions offering in Yorkshire, covering the firm’s two offices in Leeds and York. Richard worked at Garbutt + Elliott for almost 25 years, before it became part of the Azets group last December, specialising in both personal and employment taxation matters. Given the growing demand for employment taxes advice, his role is changing to lead the employer solutions service for the Yorkshire region, working closely with the firm’s national employer solutions team. Richard said: “I’m delighted to lead the team offering in Yorkshire helping businesses navigate tax and NIC complexities. The need

Michael Ainsworth, founder and managing director said: “Nathan has been committed and driven since he joined. Integral in ‘moving the cogs’, he has had the vision and ability to get Involution where it is today, and his forward-thinking approach has allowed Involution to innovate and thrive during a time where many have struggled.” Tim Rahill, co-owner and sales director said: “This is a welldeserved promotion and reflects the significance and impact Nathan brings to our company. Now is not the time to stand still as we embark our

for businesses in the region to take advice on employment taxes matters is vital given the increasingly complex tax landscape. “The 1.25% NIC increase coming

next stage, striving for new and bold ideas. With his wealth of experience and appetite for enterprise, we look forward to Nathan embracing this next phase of innovation for our strong growth trajectory.” Nathan added: “We’re at an exciting stage of the business with impressive plans for the future. I’m looking forward to working alongside Michael and Tim to grow and digitally transform Involution. We’re making significant changes within the industry and although we have achieved a lot over this period, we have barely scratched the surface, and this is extremely exciting.”

into effect from April 2022 is an unwelcome extra cost for both businesses and employees. But there are options available to reduce the impact of this increase – businesses can introduce pension salary exchange arrangements to create NIC savings for themselves and their employees, and business owners should review how they extract their personal income tax efficiently. “The recent shift to flexible working arrangements has also brought challenges for businesses, ensuring they remain tax and NIC compliant for the increasing number of staff who now work remotely, whether elsewhere in the UK or overseas. Russell Turner, regional managing partner said: “Richard’s appointment is well deserved, and we look forward to him rolling out Employer Solutions across the whole region.” TopicUK April 2022



Snövargar is Eaton Smith business of the month

Eaton Smith is delighted to announce that Snövargar has been “Snövargar is a perfect example chosen by the judging panel as the latest winner of its Business of of someone investing into their true passion and using it to benefit the Month Award. others as well as themselves. They impressed the judges by creating növargar is a dog accessory a perfect balance between high business which was officially quality service and product, and launched in April 2021 by true commitment to great causes Danielle Sugden and Kieran Corley. such as Angels for Animals. Their love for dogs, and especially for their own dogs, Alaska, Everest Snövargar is Danielle, said: “We are so excited and Nova alongside their passion a perfect example of that Snövargar has been recognised for hiking, nature and animal wellsomeone investing being was the inspiration that gave into their true passion for our passion of creating products that protect animal welfare. We them the idea to begin making and using it to pride ourselves in ensuring that their own dog collars using a vegan benefit others as well all products are safe, reliable highleather alternative. as themselves... quality and high-class.” This idea allowed them to envision James Burgess was joined on the a whole range of dog accessories judging panel by Martin Hathaway which are completely vegan, and all packaging is recyclable and/ Snövargar plant 22 trees every (MYCCI), Jenny Hill (Kirklees) and Sarah Harwood (Barclays). or compostable. Snövargar offset month as a business. Snövargar now go through to the their business carbon-footprint by funding climate change solution James Burgess, partner and member Business of the Year Award which through Ecologi and through them, of the judging panel commented; will be held in July 2022.



N E W S U P D AT E Helen Rose, Director of External Relations at Kirklees College said: “With the last few years of solely Virtual Open Days due to the pandemic, it was fantastic to open our doors and welcome back so many potential students and their families to see our centres and facilities.

Record-breaking number of attendees at Kirklees College’s open days Kirklees College had a record-breaking number of attendees at the first in-person open day events since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The open days, which were held in November 2021 and January 2022 across Kirklees College’s six centres in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, offered an opportunity for students and parents/ carers to see what student life at the college has to offer, speak to tutors and tour the state-of-the-art facilities.

The college, which is also hosted in-person open days in March, has plans for virtual open days in the summer to help young people who have already applied to study with them, to cater to all learners across a variety of backgrounds and circumstances.

“It’s brilliant for students to be able to see first-hand the courses and the environment they’ll be learning in, have the chance to speak to our passionate tutors and really see the KC Community we’re building at the college. We hope these events will offer a great insight into college life and the fantastic facilities and support we have available across our campuses.”

To find out more about Kirklees College’s Open Days, visit: https:// www.kirkleescollege.




Enjoy the fun, glitz and glamour of Royal Ascot in Leeds

Think big bets and bigger hats for the biggest event of the year with lots of fun and prizes for the best dressed. £5 from each ticket sold will be donated to the #BeMoreMandy fund in memory of Bibis much loved colleague Mandy Taylor who lost her battle with cancer in December. Tickets cost £70 per person and include welcome drink, music and entertainment, a sumptuous three course lunch and the experience of a ‘day at the races’

Fo l l o w i n g o n f ro m t h e success of the 2019 event, Bibis Italianissimo are once again bringing the fun , f inesse and all the glitz and glamour of Royal Ascot Ladies Day to Leeds on Thursday 16 June.


Guests are invited for Pimm’s on the ‘lawn’ from 12.30pm, before taking their seats to enjoy a ‘day at the races’ whilst enjoying a fabulous three course meal. Bibis will broadcast the entire afternoon live on projectors and speakers from the Royal Procession to the final race.

To reserve your seat at the event of the year call 0113 243 0905 or visit the website

N E W S U P D AT E Lister Room until 23 May – all free of charge to view. So it really was wonderful to finally launch “Sophie Ryder at The Piece Hall” last month. Sophie herself braved the storms to join us and say a few words about what this show means to her. The winds were strong but what really blew us all away (pun intended) was just how at home the sculptures look here. Wouldn’t it be great if we could display one on a more permanent basis..?

Big things are happening at The Piece Hall By: Nicky Chance-Thompson DL, CEO The Piece Hall Trust

Big things are happening at The Piece Hall in 2022. As much as I’m sworn to secrecy, it was pretty impossible to avoid the big name stars who were in residence back in January for a big production coming to our small screens sometime soon. And this big news, which has put Halifax in the global headlines, has really set the tone for what promises to be our biggest year to date.


Hares” is on display for the first time in UK. Photos of the works in situ at the Piece Hall have already made both national and international news.

Her art has been shown all over the world, in America, Canada and Europe; one sculpture even took pride of place at the Glastonbury Festival, and now here they are in Halifax. And what a coup for the town, we’re honoured to be hosting the global premiere of the beautifully emotive “Girl with Knees Up”, while the imposing and captivating “Dancing

The exhibition has been three years in the making, with the pandemic proving a major obstacle, but I was determined to bring Sophie’s work to The Piece Hall as I truly believe the value of arts and culture to our wellbeing cannot be over emphasised. Thanks to support from the Arts Council we’re able host six imposing stunning pieces in The Courtyard and a selection of Sophie’s drawings and smaller works in The Gallery and The

f you’ve visited us this month or even walked past the gates, you can’t fail to have noticed that we’ve welcomed some huge sculptures! And it’s not just the scale of the works I’m referring to, it’s the stature of their creator, world renowned artist Sophie Ryder.

More big news this year is the announcement of our new partnership with promoters Cuffe and Taylor, who are part of Live Nation - the world’s leading live entertainment company, who will programme our summer seasons for the next five years. This means we can guarantee more world class acts will be coming to Halifax. The Piece Hall always strives for the very best deals for our tenants, visitors, customers and of course The Trust itself, and we will always make positive changes when necessary. The Piece Hall prides itself on being diverse, inclusive and accessible but we are also hugely ambitious for the venue and for Halifax itself. We’re fully committed to supporting and nurturing local talent and artists throughout our year long programme and the more successful we are the more we are able to fulfil these aims Increasing our profile and reputation on the global stage in no way diminishes what we are at our core. We are local, we are independent, we are Halifax, but we are also big news.

TopicUK April 2022



Leeds Building Society rated top financial services company to work for

be recognised among some of the UK’s most respected companies. “We’re always conscious of the important role our people and culture play in making the Society a great place to work. The skill and commitment of our colleagues is very much what drives our business success. “The pandemic has thrown up many challenges, from working at home to adapting to the pace of digital change, and in the midst of all this we moved to a new, modern head office in the centre of Leeds. The team really has done a phenomenal job through some extremely tricky times.

Leeds Building Society has been named as the best financial services business to work for in the UK.


he Society was in top spot in the latest ‘Financial Services Best Companies to work For’ league table announced today. It was also ranked in the top 20 of the UK’s Best Large Companies to work for category at 17th. It follows a survey compiled by Best Companies and completed by colleagues at the Society. It has also received the top 3-star accreditation from Best Companies, which demonstrates ‘world-class’ levels of commitment from colleagues. Richard Fearon, CEO said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be leading an organisation that’s ranked No 1 in its sector. It really is an honour to


We’re always conscious of the important role our people and culture play in making the Society a great place to work...

“As a Society we’re determined to do business in the right way and it’s wonderful to see colleagues know that we listen and care about them. By being supportive and investing in colleague development we can provide even better service for our members.” Best Companies was founded in 2001 and is a recognised standard for workplace engagement and acknowledges organisations who care about doing things the right way and who are committed to their colleagues. Jonathan Austin, Best Companies founder & CEO said: “Congratulations to Leeds Building Society. Earning a place on our league tables as one of the UK’s Best Companies to Work For is an accolade like no other. “It recognises your commitment to your employees and demonstrates that you see workplace engagement as a vital part of your organisation’s success - well done indeed.”

N E W S U P D AT E and expertise to provide a more costeffective and holistic offering to its clients, and these latest appointments f u r t h e r g r o w t h i s d e d i c a te d content offering.

Agency welcomes two new starters as part of expansion Leeds headquartered PR, social and activation agency, Hatch has welcomed Nick Rogers-Lee and Daniel Jones to its growing team as the agency looks ahead to a busy 2022. Nick Rogers-Lee joins Hatch from Banana Kick as head of experiential. Nick brings with him over a decade of experience in delivering world-class experiential campaigns for high profile clients including Nintendo, Virgin Media,

Sky, Campari Group and Cadbury's, and will be responsible for overseeing Hatch’s experiential client portfolio. Daniel Jones joins the team as digital content producer and adds another feather to the agency’s content offering cap and will help shape and develop the agency’s content output. At the beginning of 2021, the agency brought all of its content production in-house, investing heavily in technology

Jason Madeley, MD commented: “The past two years have been pretty turbulent and I’m sure every agency has a pandemic war story. While many were battening down the hatches, we chose to invest in our team and offering, to really build on our core skill set to offer a more rounded, robust and cost effective service for our clients.“We took a full 360 appraisal of our agency offer. It wasn’t just a case of bringing in talent, we completely redeveloped our systems and practices. From how we recruit and develop team members, to ensuring our campaign measurement offered actual tangible results. “The investment is already paying dividends and we believe that both new starters bring to the table a range of additional skills that will enable us to create an even more diverse creative offering for our clients and continue to deliver outstanding work.”

Fund launched to help celebrate the Queen's Jubilee this year Committee for some years, I hope to continue to contribute and make a difference. As a local Businessman I bring commercial acumen and act as Devil’s Advocate challenging the team to be the best they can be." The Community Foundation for Calderdale are pleased to welcome Nigel Cliffe and Preet Sandhu as Trustees on the Board overseeing grants being given out to not-for-profit organisations in Calderdale.

Preet Sandhu added, “As the CEO of The Next Step Trust, I look forward to offering insight from the perspective of the voluntary sector; people with learning disabilities; and minority communities.

Nigel Cliffe explained, "Having been involved in the Marketing

“It is both an exciting and challenging time for us all and I

am excited to be a part of CFFC's journey through it. Ste ve D uncan, CEO of CFFC added, “We have strengthened our Committees and Board by attracting people from different backgrounds with different skills sets. Having given out nearly £2 million worth of grants in 2021, we are looking forward to Nigel and Preet contributing to our future success.”

TopicUK April 2022



Barclays launches Eagle Lab in Northallerton

Rishi Sunak MP launched the first Barclays Eagle Labs business incubator space in North Yorkshire with C.S. Venkatakrishnan, Barclays CEO. The Eagle Lab will operate in partnership with tech incubator specialists C4DI, to help boost North Yorkshire’s start up and entrepreneurial ecosystem, driving growth in the local economy.


usinesses can apply now to become residents at the Northallerton Eagle Lab, the fourth in Yorkshire and the twenty third physical Eagle Lab location in the network, which supports 29 business ecosystems nationwide. The Eagle Lab is part of the £2.3m C4DI Northallerton tech hub which opened last year as part of the Treadmills redevelopment of Northallerton’s former prison, bringing advanced digital skills and jobs to Northallerton to enable the area’s economy to thrive through technology. C4DI Northallerton is the centrepiece


of the Treadmills scheme, which is being delivered in partnership by commercial developer Wykeland Group and Hambleton District Council. It has reinvented the derelict, 230-year-old prison site as a digital workspace, educational facility and retail and leisure community, with further investment now under way to complete the regeneration. The Eagle Lab will provide start-ups and entrepreneurs with co-working, office and meeting space. Barclays will also support entrepreneurs with access to banking services, business expertise, mentoring and coaching from scale-up specialists. The team

will also host a full year-round events programme dedicated to promoting collaboration and innovation in the community. Beyond providing a hub to work from, Eagle Labs offer members the opportunity to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, local organisations, universities, industry bodies and potential clients and investors across the country, to help them build their networks and grow.

Exciting Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond (Yorks), said: “North Yorkshire has a strong small-business, entrepreneurial culture and the Eagle Lab will help boost that in the technology sector which offers such potential for future growth and success. “Providing a home for people with great ideas and connecting them with

N E W S U P D AT E the people who can help make those ideas work successfully is what this new centre is all about. “I look forward to hearing about exciting start-ups and existing businesses scaling up to deliver high quality jobs on the back of technological innovation.” David Keel, Chairman of C4DI, said: “We have a long-standing and successful partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs at our sister C4DI site in Hull and we’re delighted that our collaboration has now extended to Northallerton. “By launching Eagle Lab Northallerton, Rishi Sunak has underlined the vital role C4DI and the partnership with Barclays will play in accelerating the development of tech businesses and supporting the growth of the wider economy locally.”

Councillor Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council said: “As Leader of the Council I am delighted to welcome Barclays and their innovative Eagle Lab concept to Northallerton.

Positive “This is a very exciting day for Hambleton. To see such a unique concept, which has been years in the making, come to fruition, is a proud day for all involved. The work Barclays will do at C4DI will no doubt compliment the work which is already going on and put Northallerton firmly on the map as a destination of choice for business start-ups, digital education and training.” Jon Hope, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “We’re really excited to partner with C4DI and Hambleton

District Council to bring the first Eagle Lab to North Yorkshire. We’ll bring our Eagle Labs philosophy to Northallerton, helping to provide start-ups and scale-ups a home and fostering the connections to help them grow.” York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership supported development at the C4DI site with £1.8m secured from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. Helen Simpson OBE, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This additional resource for businesses is great to see and will have a positive impact for Northallerton and the wider area. The region has ambitions to be a greener, fairer and stronger economy and this is another welcome boost in helping us get there.”

ENJOY OUTDOOR DINING THIS SPRING AT THE WESTON RESTAURANT | GALLERY | SHOP Enjoy a seasonal menu of locally and sustainably sourced produce with stunning views across Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays, 9.00–17.00. Please call 01924 930004 or email to book.

For entry to YSP, book online via The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Huddersfield Road, Haigh, Barnsley, S75 4BX | 0.75 miles from M1 J38

Photo © Jonty Wilde. Courtesy of YSP, registered charity 1067908.

TopicUK April 2022



Managed Service to help busy entrepreneurs build their brand Yorkshire-based tech firm socialsendr which helps freelancers and small businesses build their brand on social media has launched a new Managed Service

Socialsendr is an app which allows busy sole traders and entrepreneurs to post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in double-quick time. But now socialsendr has launched a new Managed Service which gives growing businesses a professionally-run social media presence at a fraction of the cost of hiring its own staff.


C r u c i a l l y, i t a l s o m e a n s entrepreneurs will have more time for other things, safe in the knowledge their social media is in the hands of professionals. As well as posting content provided by the business, the Managed Service schedules additional posts, keeping the brand visible and relevant to its customers.

N E W S U P D AT E like having your own social media manager but without the costs.” The Managed Service costs just £49.99 a month and puts social media output into expert hands, leaving those running businesses more time to do what they do best. Emley-based Michelle, a former sales director at Apple and Cisco who has 30 years’ experience in the world of technology, added: “As a business grows, its public face and interactions need to mature and develop too and our Managed Service brings a professional touch to lift a business to that next level. “We might take the social media management off the hands of the person running the business but they will still be involved providing the latest company news and updates while we optimize that content and create and schedule additional posts which helps develop and maintain relationships with customers.

Entrepreneur and socialsendr founder Michelle Cowan said: “Socialsendr was created because we know that for start-up businesses time is of the essence and social media marketing probably isn’t at the top of the priority list. “However, social media is hugely important to new and growing businesses and is vital to growing a brand and building a trusted reputation online. “The socialsendr app allows businesspeople to take control of their social media and our new Managed Service takes that a step further. It’s

“The socialsendr app is the perfect low-cost solution for start-ups but as the business grows and evolves so does what socialsendr can offer. Socialsendr’s Managed Service helps start-ups grow and move to the next level while giving back valuable time to the person running the business.”

As a business grows, its public face and interactions need to mature and develop too...

The £49.99 fee includes the £9.99 a month subscription for the socialsendr app and covers 20 brand posts a month. There will also be a fortnightly reminder to the business owner seeking news and updates to ensure the posts remain specific and relevant. “The Managed Service is all about giving time back and adding a professional touch,” said Michelle. TopicUK April 2022



Designer, photographer, humanitarian, a global force By: Gill Laidler - Editor TopicUK - All images Simons own

Simon Needham grew up in the Meanwood area of Leeds. At school he was always interested in the creative and artistic subjects, so it was clear he was destined to work within the creative industry. After leaving school and living in a bedsit in Batley, Simon secured a place at Batley Art College (now Kirklees College) impressing them with some of his work, album covers he had designed. Aged 16, it was here that he met his future business partner James Sommerville.

When the course was completed, Simon left college and with a £1000 grant each of them secured from The Princes Trust, and an Enterprise Allowance, a Government scheme which paid £40 a week for twelve months to young people setting up their own business, the duo set up ATTIK as their first premises

was in James’ grandma’s attic in Huddersfield. One of the first pieces of equipment they purchased was a repro camera which they used to compose artwork, creating leaflets for a second hand clothing store. “I remember we invoiced them the grand total of £70,” explained Simon, “and we both were embarrassed to ask for the money!” ATTIK soon moved to a rented studio which housed their first Mac computer where they began experimenting with software such as Photoshop and software from new company at the time Adobe. By 1990 ATTIK employed 8 people but there wasn’t a rosy future ahead as the firm experienced losses in 1991 when there was a global recession. “It was a difficult time I remember,” said Simon, “we spoke with our accountant who advised us to throw everything we had at the business for three months in an effort to turn things around. I began making hundreds of calls a day to anyone I could think of to try and generate some work, targeting mostly larger businesses. It worked and twelve months later we’d managed to turn things around, with 8 staff again and we recruited a guy called Will Travis.”

Created By 1995 the Huddersfield team had expanded to 25 people. “I was driving from the office to London at least twice a week in search of new




C O V E R F E AT U R E closed, and staff were cut leaving just the Huddersfield and San Francisco offices operating fully. By 2003 things improved when the San Francisco office won the Scion automotive brand account owned by Toyota and aimed at the youth market. ATTIK provided branding, TV and cinema spots, print, events and guerrilla and viral advertising. The business began to rebuild and with Coca-Cola, Adidas and Sony joining as clients, the firm joined the Dentsu network eventually selling out to them.


business, it was hard,” he continued. This resulted in the opening of their first out of Yorkshire office, London where they secured work with Sony working on point of sale material. On a roll, Simon and James decided to explore opportunities in New York. “It was around the same time that we created a book called Noise,” explained Simon. “These were big creative books that were unique, a scrapbook of graphic style, distressed type, with a splash of graphic verve, we produced 200 of Noise one and we began mailing them out. Noise two expanded to 200 pages and was created the following year due to the success of the first, I remember it had a pink flock wallpaper dust jacket. These books began to open doors for us. When Noise 3 was published we spent lots of time offering these to bookshops on a sale or return basis and again a door was opened for us when someone passed Noise 2 to Kodak which led to us creating work for them. “During this period Ric Peralta joined as CEO and our New York office


It’s a great project, it’s good to be working with James and the team again and of course on a project where we can help young people ...

opened in 1997 by Will Travis with a second opening in San Francisco, also headed up by Will. The following year I headed to Australia opening our fifth office in Sydney,” Simon added. “At that time, we were doing really well and working for lots of large companies. By the end of 2000 we were billing over $20m and employed more than 160 staff. It was a crazy time; I was flying all over the world but was young and had the energy.” Sadly, it wasn’t to last. The crash hit quickly followed by 9/11 and it was clear that ATTIK was going to have scale back. Sydney and New York

After the business was sold Simon, living in LA ‘sort of ’ retired. “I was miserable for six months, I didn’t know what to do, the world was spinning but I wasn’t spinning with it,” he explained. “I began to think about the future and what I wanted to do. I loved to direct, I loved video and photography and I wanted to travel, I needed to find something that combined all those things.” There was only one direction that he could follow which would combine Simon’s loves and skills, Simon Needham photography was born. Today Simon works for a number of large brands in the US offering both photography and video directing services. It was around the time of setting up his business that Simon discovered One Heart Worldwide. Founded in 1997 at a time when one in ten Tibetan new-borns and one in hundred Tibetan pregnant women died during childbirth, the charity was set up by Arlene Samen after being asked by the Dalai Lama to help. The work undertaken by the charity meant that by 2008 maternal and new-born deaths dropped by 70%. Work continues today and

C O V E R F E AT U R E The mission of GG Conservation is to protect and preserve lions, the first two of which were introduced to the sanctuary in 2002,” Simon explained. “I have spent a lot of time there and other wildlife sanctuaries photographing the lions and other wildlife and helping where I can. This is where my real passion is these days.”

Exclusive Another project of Simon’s is property development. He has successfully project managed the building of a couple of properties on Franklin Canyon Drive in Beverley Hills and is working on £25m worth of properties on Mulholland Drive. “It is incredibly hard work, I hadn’t realised how hard it was when I started out, there is so much involved, but seeing and selling the finished properties makes it worthwhile.”

their work has expanded on a global scale. “Working with One Heart Worldwide covered all the things I was interested in, conservation, photography, travel etc so I went to Nepal visiting some of the most remote villages you could imagine, trekking for 2 weeks in some instances just to get to these villages. Some of the accommodation I stayed in were real eye-openers, I often shared my bed with insects and large bugs! I realised there were real opportunities here for me to make a difference. Around the same time, I became involved with GG Conservation in South Africa where I met a lady called Suzanne, who was actually from Brighouse in Yorkshire.

FACT FILE: 1. Partner: Erin 2. Children: Freddie aged 19 3. What car do you drive? G Wagon Mercedes 4. What is your favourite food and drink? I love a good Indian curry, and Yorkshire fish and chips from Harry Ramsdens. I don’t really drink but I’d say Tequila and water 5. Where is your favourite p l a c e i n Yo r k s h i r e ? Meanwood where I grew up and the Yorkshire Dales villages. 6. Favourite gadget? My virtual reality goggles.

You may be forgiven to think that this is enough for anyone, but not Simon. He has recently teamed up again with his former ATTIK partners James Sommerville, Will Travis and Rick Pralta, where the team is working on a project involving NFTs. An NFT is a digital asset that marks ownership of products that live online, such as art and music. The acronym stands for ‘non fungible token’ which means it’s a non-interchangeable token. NFTs are purchased using crypto currency to assign unique ownership of any type of digital creation. Buying an NFT gives someone unique, exclusive ownership of a property such as art, which is what Simon and the team are working on. “ I am also doing a similar project with my wildlife images, selling as NFTs where I hope to raise $1m for conservation with a competition I have set up where someone will win a trip to see the lions and other wildlife,” he concluded. TopicUK April 2022



West Yorkshire fuel business becomes employee-owned Hebden Bridge-headquartered fuel supplier Craggs Energy Ltd and its sister company in Devon, Moorland Fuels Ltd, have transferred ownership of the businesses to their 55-strong workforce in a deal advised by the corporate finance teams at Leeds law firm Clarion and chartered accountants BHP.

to see more companies consider the EOT route rather than a traditional trade sale.”

The directors have transferred 100 per cent of shares in the businesses to their teams by establishing an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), funded by future profits.

us, an EOT was the obvious choice as it allows the existing shareholders to plan their exit over a longer term while transferring the benefits to the employees.

In 2021, Craggs Energy achieved turnover of £33.1m and is forecast to see over 54 per cent growth this year, rising to £51.2m. The company currently has 37 employees and the volume forecast for 2022 shows at least a 15.7 per cent growth to 58.1m litres.

The companies, both of which have been in operation for over ten years, have grown into significant players in the UK fuel industry, providing fuel delivery services and wider solutions to homes, farms and businesses. With bases in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, and Padiham in Lancashire, Craggs Energy, predominantly serves the North of England, while Moorland Fuels serves the South West from its Okehampton head office.

“As successful and ever-growing businesses, we could have sold to a third party, however, I place great value on my team and wanted to be able to reward the people who have grown the businesses to where they are today.

For Moorland Fuels, turnover in 2021 was £13.7m and this is expected to at least double this year, reaching a £27.5m turnover. Employing 18 people, the volume forecast for 2022 shows at least a 47.3 per cent growth to 32.7m litres.

“As far as I am aware, we are the first fuel distribution companies in the UK to transfer 100% of our ownership to an EOT. The response from our shareholders and our staff has been extremely positive and there has been an increase in productivity and motivation which I’m sure will help to drive future growth. There’s no doubt in my mind, that creating an employee-led business is a good thing, and it would be great

Richard 'Bert' Ingram, who’s been with Craggs for 10 years as a HGV Tanker Driver said: “I’ve been with Craggs for such a long time because it’s a great company to work for and it’s been good to see the company grow over the years. The announcement of the EOT reiterates why Craggs is such a fantastic employer, they reward their staff for hard work and eventually we will all reap the rewards.”

Group chairman Chris Bingham, said: “I’ve been considering the option of employee ownership for quite some time and when we looked into the benefits and alternatives available to





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TopicUK April 2022



Luxury travel opens in central Harrogate Ventur Luxury Travel have celebrated the opening of their new stylish office in central Harrogate, where they have already witnessed impressive footfall in the first quarter of 2022 as travel confidence returns. More than 80 guests were welcomed with a glass of bubbly and an appetising array of canapes provided by Weetons, who ensured the food and drink flowed throughout the evening. The room was buzzing with guests and friends, chatting about holidays and their first visit to Ventur’s beautiful and tastefully designed

Peter chats to one of the guests


store that creates an innovative, yet relaxing atmosphere to converse on all things travel. Guests were welcomed by Peter Wilcock as he thanked the Ventur team who have worked tirelessly to

bring the store to life, particularly through the pandemic. Ve n t u r L u x u r y T r a v e l h a v e specialised in crafting bespoke, luxury travel for over 35 years. Led by Katherine Scott, the store has a team of six who are known to go the extra mile for customers, from creating the perfect itinerary to arranging in-destination touches such as must-have experiences and insider restaurant recomme ndations. They’re also experts in making the most specialist and exclusive arrangements such as private air charter, yachts, and concierge services As with sister brand Ventur Partners - who specialise in corporate, group and professional sports travel – they are relentless in their desire


to deliver exceptional service as standard, making sure you arrive at your destination effortlessly and with all your needs are catered for.

development manager. Diane has a wealth of travel knowledge and will be responsible for building and preserving relationships with customers and other premium local businesses.

For more information on how to book your next luxury experience with Ventur Luxury Travel visit, email enquiries@ or call 01423 872 516.

A number of special guests attended the event including Leeds Rhinos CEO Gary Hetherington, former Leeds Rhino Jamie Jones-Buchanan, several Leeds Tykes players and local influencer Victoria Turner (The Harrogate Girl) who, along with attendees, listened to guest speaker Wille Rajala of Master of Turns. Wille shared his exclusive wilderness experiences with the audience, whereby he can take groups of people snowmobiling to extraordinary locations worldwide, providing that much-needed sense of escape, as well as being a great way to build teams and relationships. Peter also introduced Diane Harkins who has joined Ventur as business TopicUK April 2022



Your next escape awaits. Get in touch today. VENTUR LUXURY TRAVEL 12 Montpellier Parade Harrogate HG1 2TJ ABTA. 78490

T: 01423 872 516 E: W:

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What do you know about Apprenticeships? Whatever you think you know, might not strictly be true

You could use an apprenticeship to upskill whilst in your current role. Remain in the same job, maintain your current salary and learn and develop your skillset at the same time.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers

Apprentices don’t necessarily mean one day a week outside of the business

Apprenticeships are open to anyone aged 16 or over, and although they may be more prevalent in the minds of school leavers choosing their initial career paths, they are by no means limited to this age group alone. An apprenticeship may be the perfect fit for someone later in life looking for a career change, a lifestyle change, to quantify their skills & knowledge or just looking to further develop themselves.

There is much more flexibility in the 20% “Off The Job” learning commitment than just taking a day out of the business. This could be a study day off site, but it could also be shadowing colleagues, leading a specific project or working with another team within the business. Anything that sits outside your day to day job, which allows you to grow your knowledge and develop an understanding of the qualification you are working towards, counts towards this 20% off the job learning.

Apprenticeships aren’t just for entry level qualifications If you already have qualifications, recent or historic, there are still ways for you to further your learning, using an Apprenticeship. There are offerings in levels equivalent to A-Level, Degree and even Masters that can be fully funded for up to £27,000. Source:

Kirklees Apprenticeships for All is part funded by the European Social Fund and managed by Kirklees Council. It is delivered across the Kirklees District alongside our delivery partners; The University of Huddersfield, Kirklees College, Kirklees Active Leisure, Thornton & Ross Ltd and Connect Housing Association.

Contact the team today and find out more! Web: Tel: 01484 221000 and ask for “Apprenticeships” E-mail:

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Hat-trick of new recruits for growing financial firm Northern Accountants

James Heighton

Paula Kingston-Heath

Yorkshire-based firm Northern Accountants has expanded its workforce with the appointment of three key hires following a year of record growth leading to a 30% increase in revenue.


he trio of recruits coincide with promotions for existing colleagues too, as the business focuses on continuing to build its industry-leading service levels and innovative products offering for small and medium-sized companies.

Joining as head of internal services, Toni McCoy will oversee the internal services team to ensure clients receive the highest levels of service and delivery. An experienced management accountant, Toni previously ran her own practice and will use her leadership skills to provide specialist training and development to her fellow Northern Accountants colleagues. She heads up a team that includes newly promoted duo James Harrison and Tyler Boston who have moved into the roles of senior financial controller and junior financial controller, respectively A specialist in management accounting, James Heighton has been appointed as client manager and will be part of


We are incredibly proud of the business we have and central to that is our people and our culture. The new team coming in are a really good fit for us...

Sally Claxton’s external services team. They will both be supported by Sarah Lockwood and Sophie Hill who have progressed in their roles to become senior financial controllers. The third hire is Paula Kingston-Heath who has joined as group business manager. Her primary responsibilities revolve around ensuring the entire organisation is running smoothly and that clients are supported with everything from accounting records to tax advice. Meanwhile, Jayne Waugh has moved

Toni McCoy

into the position of head of cloud accounting services with the aim of helping customers access real-time accounting information via datadriven technology. And finally, Shaun Lindley will manage the business’s new self assessment company.

Speaking about the organisation’s growing workforce – which now stands at 16-strong – Phil Ellerby, CEO and founder of Northern Accountants, said: “We are incredibly proud of the business we have and central to that is our people and our culture. The new team coming in are a really good fit for us and are only going to make us stronger and build on already impressive service levels. In terms of the promotions within the team, they are thoroughly deserved and from our point of view, it is really important we recognise our team and consistently provide an environment where they can continue to develop.” Established in 2008, Northern Accountants has bases in Leeds, Ilkley, Doncaster and Hull, and delivers a full range of accounting services including year-end accounts, management accounts, bookkeeping, payroll, R&D and tax planning.

Skills & Employment Free support for your business. Speak to us about:

Recruitment support – we’ll help you find the most suitable candidates for your roles Upskilling and developing your team – we’ll help encourage loyalty and reduce turnover through development and progression planning Growing your business – we’ll support you to access grants and funding and work with our team to grow Redundancy Support – 1:1 support for employees facing redundancy to help them with their next steps

01924 303334


£3m refurbishment of the Electric Press A stunning £3 million refurbishment of the iconic Grade 2-listed Electric Press building in Leeds has been approved by Leeds City Council.


he spectacular transformation of the building, located in the heart of the city’s Civic Quarter, will provide 17,200 sq ft of prime Grade A office space.

Work will start on site in the summer, after the present offices are


stripped out, and will complete by June 2023. Eamon Fox, partner and head of office agency at global property consultancy at Knight Frank in Leeds, who is marketing the offices on behalf of landlord DTZ Investors, commented: “The granting of planning permission is tremendous news. The new office space at the Electric Press, which has been named Switch, will now be worthy of the rest of this magnificent historic building.


“The offices were previously occupied by Leeds Metropolitan University. Time has inevitably taken its toll, while there was no external amenity space for staff who worked there. So, the offices are absolutely ready for a grand makeover. “The 17,200 sq ft Grade A office space will be spread over three floors, with floorplates starting at 4,600 sq ft. We expect serious

interest from potential occupiers, “Secondly, we will work with and respect the Electric Press’s heritage once marketing begins. by maximising the hidden assets “The new offices will respect the to enable users to experience heritage of the Electric Press, the building’s volume, space and whilst bringing this part of the light. Taking inspiration from its arched windows building into the and brick façade, 21st century. There we have designed will be a statement contemporary front door, providing The new offices r e c e p t i o n a n d a distinctive arrival have been lift lobbies that experience, and the designed by the f i t s e a m l e s s l y spacious offices will talented RKA into the language be flooded with light. Architectural of the existing A brand-new terrace Design Studio – industrial building. will provide the and, quite frankly, external space, which I am blown away “ T h i r d l y, w e w i l l is currently lacking, by what they create enhanced and a new clubroom are proposing... amenity spaces for will provide all tenants. These will internal leisure space. include new rooftop club room and terrace “It also goes without create spaces for Yoga, saying, in a world transformed by Covid, that this parties, hot desking and wellness will be an incredibly safe place classes, plus the basement facilities to work. The re will be a hot- with showers and changing rooms. desking area and social space for These are all designed in keeping all tenants, while a glass lobby with the transformation upstairs.” will provide a visual separation between the existing building and Located in Great George Street, next to Millennium Square, in the the clubroom,” said Eamon. heart of Leeds Civic Quarter, the He added: “The new offices have Electric Press contains the 350been designed by the talented seat Carriageworks Theatre and RKA Architectural Design Studio conference facility. It also boasts – and, quite frankly, I am blown bars and restaurants, including All away by what they are proposing. Bar One and Casa Mia, These are going to be some of the finest offices not just in Leeds, Built in 1840, the Electric Press is but in the whole of Yorkshire and one of only a handful of buildings in Leeds city centre still fronted the North East”. by Victorian arches. This stunning Richard Keating, founder and building with its trademark square director of RKA, explained: “Our chimney is Grade II listed, built t h re e - p a r t v i s i o n i s, f i rst , to for the firm of Printers Chorley transform the arrival experience and Pickersgill. It has incredible and building presence within 4.3m high ceilings with exposed Millennium Square. A new artist’s cast iron and timber structure, mural that fronts the square is a designed originally to support the heavy printing presses. major part of this. TopicUK April 2022



Jobs Outlook: Spotlight on Yorkshire An in-depth look at Yorkshire's economic and recruitment activity

to increase as businesses pay out higher wages in order to keep their high calibre workforce.

Business activity continues to rise throughout Q1 of 2022 as further easing of COVID-19 restrictions boosts the UK economy. However staff availability throughout Yorkshire has been negatively affected by workers self-isolating from omicron variant as well as Europeans returning to their home countries due to Brexit.


he recent developments in the on-going conflict in Ukraine are extremely alarming and concerning. It is unclear what impact this will have on the jobs market but we are already seeing soaring energy and fuel prices which have both skyrocketed since the invasion – fortunately the UK is not as reliant on Russian oil and gas as other European countries. Costs for energy and fuel have already seen significant increases which if businesses cannot absorb, will be passed on to consumers and ultimately drive inflation higher than the current rate which is already at a 30 year high.

It is important to note that this data does not reflect the latest developments regarding the conflict in Ukraine.

The latest data indicates growth in the level of employment across Yorkshire based businesses during the start of 2022 although the rate of increase has slowed when compared with Q4 of 2021. Low staff availability due to workers having to self-isolate as well as a delay in in lead times on products has played a factor in businesses ability to process orders in a timely manner. Prices

There is clear optimism from private sector companies that business activity will continue to increase throughout the year. Furthermore, when compared with the other 11 monitored UK regions, only London recorded a greater degree of confidence than Yorkshire & Humber.


Candidate market Demand for staff has continued to rise sharply in February with job vacancies at near-record rates in Q1 of 2022.

Employment levels

Demand and outlook We have seen a sharp increase for the demand of goods and services in Yorkshire & Humber. An increase in business confidence has played a key factor in supporting intakes of new work.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that weekly earnings increased by 8.7% in Q4 of 2021 which was the second highest rise out of the 12 English regions monitored.

The prices charged by companies in Yorkshire for goods and services continues to increase significantly at a record rate as we see companies adopt a more aggressive approach to pricing. Most businesses attributed this to higher supplier and utility costs. Pay pressures Wages for temporary workers continue

The recruitment sector has seen a trend of declining availability a m o n g s t c a n d i d a te s f o r b o t h permanent and temporary work. High demand coupled with a reluctance to move roles attributed to the decline which coincided with the first wave of COVID-19 in early 2020. Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) commented: "Candidate availability has now been dropping for a year, which shows the scale of the labour shortage the UK faces. Recruiters are filling record numbers of posts, but demand is still rising.”Skills in short supply for both permanent and temporary recruitment include accounting/ financial, engineering, warehouse, legal, retail, administration as well as sales and customer service. For further information, contact Nemi Alexis, Marketing Manager at Stafflex on 01484 351010 or at nemi@


Theakston launches annual Crime Writing Festival branded packaging Yo rk s h i re - b a s e d b re w e r y T&R Theakston has launched its annual limited- edition packaging of its iconic Old Peculier beer, ahead of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival later this year.

bars and restaurants stocking bottles of Old Peculier. Simon Theakston, joint managing director said: “We have worked closely with Harrogate International Festivals on the Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival for almost two decades now, and are so proud of what it has become.

Launched in 2003, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is regarded as the UK’s top crime writing festival. Dubbed ‘the Oscars of the crime fiction world’, it culminates each year with the announcement of the Theakston O l d Pe c u l i e r C r i m e No v e l o f the Year Award. In anticipation of each year’s Festival, the brewery repackages the front of its bottles of Old Peculier to include a bloody thumbprint and the

festival logo. Fans of the beer can see the special branding in all shops, and

“With household names such as Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Ian Rankin regularly attending and participating in the festival, and with stories of book deals being signed over a pint of Old Peculier, it truly is the meeting place for anyone who is anyone in the crime writing world. We’re very pleased to relaunch our limited-edition Old Peculier packaging in anticipation of what we’re sure will be another hugely successful festival.”

TopicUK April 2022



New pathology laboratory for Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate A new state-of-the-art pathology laboratory to serve Leeds, West Yorkshire and Harrogate has been given the final go ahead by the Department of Health and Social Care.


he facility at St James’s Hospital, Leeds will support hospitals across the region to improve diagnostics for patients and help to meet the growing regional demand for specialist treatment and care - as well as providing development opportunities for staff. The approval of the Trust’s Full Business Case means construction of the new pathology laboratory will begin on site this March. The new building is expected to be operational in the autumn of 2023. The decision by the Department is also a boost for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s wider health improvement plan to take a huge leap forward in the delivery of care for patients from Leeds, the wider region and beyond. Those plans include the development of a new adults’ hospital and new home for


Leeds Children’s Hospital – and centralising maternity and neonatal services - on the Leeds General Infirmary site as well as supporting an Innovation District for the city making use of surplus estate. The new laboratory will allow the Trust to incorporate most of those pathology services currently housed in outdated facilities in the Old Medical School at Leeds General Infirmary as well as some of those delivered from St James’s University Hospital.

Commitment This will release the Old Medical School building and other surplus estate to become part of a Leeds Innovation District, creating around 3,000 jobs and delivering up to £11.2 billion in net present value. The estate released by the new hospital development will open up opportunities for innovation, education, retail and office

accommodation whilst preserving heritage buildings like the original Victorian infirmary building. Simon Worthington, the Trust’s director of finance and senior responsible officer for the Building the Leeds Way project, said the decision was a real commitment by the Government to the Trust’s plans for revitalising healthcare in Yorkshire. “This announcement is a huge boost for our plans to take healthcare to the next level in Leeds and the wider region, not just with the new pathology laboratory but also the development of a new adults’ hospital and new home for Leeds


Children’s Hospital on the Leeds General Infirmary site,” he said. “Our pathology teams have done a magnificent job during the Covid pandemic, despite working in outdated facilities, and have been delivering huge numbers of daily test results for the region’s hospitals. The new laboratory will enable them to work with new state-of-the-art equipment and buildings.”

Investment Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, welcomed the approval of the Full Business Case and said it heralded exciting times for healthcare in

t h e Yo r k s h i r e r e g i o n . “ T h e Government decision on the new pathology laboratory shows how committed they are to our exciting plans for taking healthcare to the next level in Leeds, the Yorkshire region and beyond. “Our development of two new hospitals and a new innovation district for the city is the catalyst for wider regeneration of Leeds city centre with an innovation district bringing new investment and jobs.” The new laboratory is also part of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Pathology Network, formed through the collaboration of the West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts (WYAAT), and will support

the plan to consolidate services across the region. The Trust aims to develop a worldclass pathology building that is flexible, digital by design and supports the net zero carbon target. It will aim to be fully mechanically ventilated with heat recovery and systems to minimise power and re-use heat. It will also incorporate a single, shared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the area which will mean test requests can be ordered, tracked and results reported electronically to clinical services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. TopicUK April 2022


ADVERTORIAL from your competitors. Of course, they also provide you with wonderful memories. And for us, they are great fun to photograph! All in the planning

Why you need to capture your event

Lincoln & Perrin from Yorkshire BusinessWomen officially appointed agency Roth Read Photography, contine to share their advice with us: Let the good times roll Business owners are planning their events now that Covid restrictions are lifting. Events are a fantastic way to enhance hype around any business brand, don’t you think? As well as promoting your business, events encourage personal connections, celebrate e mplo yees and best clients alike, illustrate transparency and develop trust. The Yorkshire Businesswoman members always look forward to seeing the photos we capture at the exclusive YBW networking events. So why photograph an event? Because it is the very best way to share all those positives with the outside world. Professional images give your event substance and makes your business look credible and professional. In truth, you stand out


To get all you want, and more, from your images work closely with an events photographer. We need to understand the running order, all the key highlights as well as any significant shots you require (such as a VIP guest with the business owner). Having a point of contact on our radar during the day is incredibly helpful and ensures we are up to speed with any developments. Hidden in plain sight On the day it is our job to capture all the action – and the reactions. Firstly, we always meet the behindthe-scenes staff because we work alongside one another. Arriving early not only enables us to run through the programme with them, but we can capture all the location and preparation shots too. We find it much easier to connect with guests by saying hello and introducing ourselves. Capturing those first steps into the venue is a gentle introduction to us and our cameras. When people are comfortable having us around, they are more responsive to us. All this sets the scene for us to be hidden in plain sight – we become one of the crowd. And it’s not long before the guests are asking us to photograph them! After the event you realise how important these images are, so don’t leave your photography to chance. Especially as it is the only investment that will last long after the event has finished. Lincoln & Perrin Roth Read Photography

N E W S U P D AT E At present, our digital infrastructure is outdated, with almost 70% of homes in the UK still relying on legacy technology that was originally installed to carry telephone signals. This is no longer fit for purpose in 2022 as it cannot support the volumes of data we consume today, the number of connected devices being accessed simultaneously, nor the consistent speeds and reliability we need for a range of services. Fortunately, a solution exists, and more and more homes are gaining access every day: full fibre networks.

Is the internet now an essential utility? Which utilities in our homes are essential? Are there household items we couldn’t manage without? In a world where technology has never been more engrained in our lives, most of us will agree that internet access is now an everyday essential. But just how important do we consider it compared with universal needs like heating and running water? At CityFibre, we wanted to know more about the role the internet plays in peoples’ lives, so we asked over 2,000 people to rank the importance of a range of items and services in their homes. As you might expect, after nearly two years into a pandemic, internet access scored second only to lighting. But, perhaps less expected was the fact it scored ahead of the TV, the kettle and even the smart phone, although, of course, many of these items now need internet access to deliver many of their main functions. This the me continued whe n participants were asked which utilities they couldn’t live without. Internet

access ranked more highly than gas for heating and cooking, and even waste management– only electricity and water were considered greater needs. This shows that the internet, which just a few years ago would have been viewed as a luxury, is now something households depend upon and expect to work when they need it. In fact, 90% of our research participants said they now recognise their internet service as an essential utility, alongside the likes of electricity, water, and gas. So, it is clear we all now depend on it and like any utility, we need more investment to ensure our networks are fit for purpose.

Full fibre networks are designed specifically to carry data, taking fibre optic cables 100% of the way from the exchange to the home. This technology is not only faster - carrying data at light speed - it is significantly more reliable and is capable of scaling to support data consumption as it inevitably grows in the years to come. It really is the best technology for the job. Given the vital role the internet now plays, the networks that carry services to our homes and devices deserve attention and investment, and every household across the country should have the option to improve and future-proof their connectivity with full fibre. That’s why at CityFibre, we are investing up to £4 billion in extending our full fibre network rollout to reach up to eight million homes, 800,000 businesses and 400,000 public sector sites. Currently we are building in 285 cities, towns and villages across the UK including here in Yorkshire. To find out if you can connect to full fibre with CityFibre and to see which service providers are available, check the postcode checker at

TopicUK April 2022



When is the right time to employ a Finance Director? B y : Kyle Liddle Head of commercial at Parsons Chartered Accountants

situation and present facts and available options will enable you to make crucial timely decisions, ensuring that your business thrives. Recruiting specialist finance skills can be a daunting challenge Working with an outsourcing partner could be an ideal solution as it gives you all the benefits of a dedicated finance team but without the management headaches. You should expect them to:

Having trustworthy and knowledgeable finance support is • a must for any business. However, managing the decision to employ dedicated, in-house skills can be a challenge.


usiness finance is an area crucial to the success of any organisation, but one that can be tricky for a managing director or business owner to manage. As a business grows, finance becomes increasingly complex and time-consuming, whilst mistakes can be costly and have serious business implications.

So, when is the right time to bring finance in-house? How do you know what support is required or that you’re employing people with the right skills? What does ‘good’ look like in such a specialist area, and how can you feel assured that your finance manager is doing a good job? Employing a finance specialist is a sound decision Early-on whilst your business is


• establishing, partnering with an accountant gives you peace of mind that the risks of mistakes and noncompliance are mitigated. Your • company also benefits from a highlyskilled practitioner able to manage your cashflow, spot opportunities and provide sound advice. Most • importantly, they will give you back precious time to focus on what you’re good at. As your business grows, it becomes more essential to have a finance team overseen by a dedicated Finance Director to handle the workload of more complex transactions and compliance obligations. They will ensure you have the right systems and processes in place, understand your vision and take ownership of costs, pricing, cashflow, and salaries. Their ability to explain your financial

Work out your requirements and the level of support you need. Recruit and employ your finance staff (on your behalf) to best fit for you and your organisation. Embed specialist(s) into your business with all the tools they will need. Oversee operations so they run smoothly, recruiting a dedicated Finance Director if that’s what your business needs.

Parsons can do all of this for you, while you take care of business, safe in the knowledge that your finances are being expertly managed. To learn more, call us on 01924 669 500 or visit

N E W S U P D AT E while converging resource internally to ensure a streamlined approach. Unify’s account team will be working alongside OXO in the UK and in Lausanne, Switzerland, together with French and German PR agencies to deliver a 12-month programme of PR content that positions OXO as an iconic brand leader within kitchen, cleaning and organisation tools.

Unify PR & Marketing secures European account Yo rk s h i re - b a s e d P R a n d marketing agenc y, Unify, is celebrating after securing a h i g h - p ro fi l e E u ro p e a n PR account for American housewares giant, OXO. Following on from a successful

contract managing OXO’s UK PR for over 10 years, Unify has now been given a European remit, managing key EMEA markets, including Germany and France. The new centralised lead agency role comes at a pivotal time for OXO as it looks to further establish the brand in European channels,

Emma Leonard, managing director explains: “We’re no stranger to taking on a lead agency role, and have successfully managed a number of accounts this way for brands such as Braun and Vicks. We see it as a real honour to be working alongside PR professionals in other markets, sharing our knowledge to better support the brand. One of our main deliverables is our content calendar and monthly supply of media-friendly content which will maintain coverage cadence across all markets.”

TopicUK April 2022



Scriba PR doubles its footprint in preparation for year of growth “The nature of our business means we could be building a commerciallyfocused communications strategy one minute and creating some visually impactful social media content the next – and it’s important to have the right surroundings, allowing us to effectively work on each element of what we do. So, we spoke to Heritage about our dream, and they helped make it happen.” “This extension of our footprint gives the entire team enough room to gather around a table, while also offering different zones for people to carry out the various parts of their role – after all, with 14 colleagues, and counting, everyone has a preferred way of Specialist communications firm Scriba PR has upgraded its West working depending on the task at hand. Yorkshire premises by adding an additional 984 sqft of real estate Some prefer quiet, uninterrupted time, – and completing a full fit-out of its Huddersfield HQ . while others thrive in the bustle of a ollowing a steady stream The vision of Scriba founder and creative HQ – now, there truly is a of recruitment throughout managing director Katie Mallinson, place to work which suits everyone.” 2021 – and with more new refurbishment work has been faces set to join in the coming weeks overseen by The Man Who Makes. Krystina Firth, manager of Heritage – the team had outgrown its existing Owned by local craftsman Steve Exchange added: “It’s been a great space and needed additional room to McMann, the company also designed pleasure to watch Scriba grow within carry out some of the more creative and built a range of bespoke furniture our business centre. From Katie’s elements of its work. for the new office, including a initial move into a two-person office bespoke meeting room table, stand in September 2014 to now occupying Almost doubling its space overnight, up desk, shelving and storage, room the full top floor of our Plover Road B2B media outfit Scriba PR has divides, biophilic wall art, and offices, we have loved working with the entire team to create beautiful interiors extended its existing 1,200 sqft office corner worktops. that complement the history of the within Heritage Exchange, Lindley, to building. Scriba has gone from strength encompass an adjacent suite in the Thrive to strength, which is testament to the loft of the historic mill – taking the footprint to 2,184 sqft. “Our team has grown rapidly since we hard work and ethos of Katie and her last upsized our environment, in 2019,” team – and we are proud to work Now leasing the entirety of the explained Katie. “Post-pandemic, we alongside them.” third-floor commercial offices on quickly reached capacity in terms of the eastern flank of the property, the both desk and meeting space – as well With a 13-strong team, Scriba PR is an extension features a large meeting as wanting to recreate some of the award-winning B2B public relations area, dedicated ‘quiet room’ for solo more relaxed areas our colleagues firm specialising in niche, technical work, and a relaxed breakout space had become accustomed to following communications for clients based throughout the UK and overseas. for socialising and creative thinking. 18 months of home-working.




your businesses potential Janice said: “It has helped me structure my business better. It helped me think about all the various aspects and look at them individually and then see how they fit into the bigger picture. I saw how everything is aligned and alignment is so important in business. “My mentor really helped me restructure New businesses can access six my time too. What time I should spend months’ free support through on strategy; what time I should spend on delivery of the service, and what time I Leeds Beckett University. should spend on marketing the business. ACCELERATE is aimed at businesses And how many clients I can take on, under three years old with ambitions so that I don’t become overwhelmed.” to grow and is delivered as part of the AD:VENTURE business The weekly webinars cover topics including developing a business model, growth programme. finance, marketing, and sales. There is The programme brings together also access to a library of resources and masterclasses, weekly webinars, the chance for participants to network one to one support and advice on with other entrepreneurs. grants and funding. The next cohort is due to start in June 2022, with some of the content delivered face-to-face in Leeds and other parts being online. Participants are offered up to 15 hours of mentoring, as well as access to graduate talent via recruitment, internships, placements, and opportunities to collaborate on the university’s research projects. A hugely popular programme, this is the eighth time the programme has been run by Leeds Beckett and among those to have previously benefited is Janice George-Pinard, from Bradford, who runs Way2BetterBusiness Coaching. Janice attended all the events and was given a mentor. She has since gained several new clients.

George Lancaster, SME programme manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Accelerate offers flexible support for people starting out in business. It helps keep them on track to achieve their goals.


Although ACCELERATE is based in Leeds, it is open to eligible businesses from across the Leeds City Region, which includes Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees, Leeds, Harrogate, Selby, Wakefield, and York. Other businesses who have accessed the programme said Madeby Studio: “ACCELERATE was great for helping us learn new skills from experts and while on the course we met people we have gone on to collaborate with, and that’s what AD:VENTURE also does; it helps you build networks across Leeds and the city region.” Matt Wheeler Proper Oats: “When people think of business support they think of funding, but the expert advice you get is invaluable. They have specialist knowledge in different areas, which would be hard to access if you don’t have the funds to pay for it.” Suzanne Ferreira Intellistart “For me the most impactful bit was the business advice and the sessions with Stephanie, who would really make me think from a business perspective. “Being on the Accelerate programme also made me realise the importance of branding, and was the reason for the application and successful registration of Intellistart as a Trade Mark” Joel Cortez

To re g i s te r p l e a s e v i s i t

“The aim of the programme is to give people the core building blocks to understand how to grow and develop their business, particularly in the new business landscape. Ultimately it is about businesses succeeding and creating jobs, which is great for the regional economy.” TopicUK April 2022



Yorkshire technology company rebrands as Propel Pace IT has announced a rebrand to Propel. The move comes after months of research to gather insight from the business, the market and customers. This revealed that one of the biggest challenges today’s businesses face is managing and keeping up with constant change. The impact of technology has raised change to a new level, requiring businesses to rethink how they use technology, with many running a tight balancing act of managing old and new technologies whilst trying to maximise value and minimise disruption. In answer to this Pace IT embarked on a whole business rebrand to better align its services and solutions with evolving business needs. The change to Propel is much more than a new name, logo and colour scheme. The rebrand takes forward the strong foundations of the business while updating its focus to ensure it is helping its clients look to the future while making the best use of technology today.


Andrew Brown, managing director, said “The type of challenge we see from our clients is changing. Many businesses want to evolve to adapt quickly by creating more from the technology they already have rather than embarking on a full-scale digital transformation or rip and replace strategy. We are unique in that we have skillsets in both legacy and new software technologies which enables us to see the full picture and ensure we are solving the right problems to help businesses effectively manage change. The new brand firmly communicates this focus while highlighting that we can help businesses strategically as well as with implementation and support.”

Helen Walker, head of marketing, said “We have followed the same advice we give our clients, which is to define what’s possible and make it happen. Our new brand identity captures our vision, mission, values and purpose and gives voice to our people. The rebrand will include values training for staff across our newly identified CARE values: Collaboration, Aspiration, Resolve and Enhance, which have been built to keep us focused on the human needs behind technology, ensuring we put people at the heart of all our solutions.” Sally Chuku, founder and strategist at brand consultancy Think Collectiv, said “It has been a privilege to work with the senior team at Pace IT to guide their rebrand. The business was doing so much more than it was communicating and the potential, skills and ability of its team was going unsung. Propel is a massively exciting restart and opportunity for the business. The brand is built on market needs and now truly reflects the reality and ambition of the business, setting a standard to meet and a bold and positive aspiration to always move business forward and make the right possibilities happen.”

Halifax is where it’s happening in 2022 Discover Halifax.

Jacob Maguire TGI Fridays



Wild PR secures flurry of new clients PR and communications specialists Wild PR has been appointed by a pack of three new clients, strengthening its client roster for 2022.


ildPRhasbeenappointed by businesses and organisations including Manchester-based office design and fit-out specialists Opus 4, leading hair transplant and dermatology clinic Aventus Clinic based in Hertfordshire and the award-winning Huddersfield Literature Festival. The agency will be offering a range of services to these new clients including traditional and digital PR as well as social media content creation and community management. These new clients add to a further ten secured by Wild PR in the past


It’s been a really busy and exciting start to 2022 for us at Wild PR. We’ve secured some really fantastic new clients...

12 months, as the agency continues to accelerate towards doubling its turnover in 2022.

Based in Huddersfield, and founded in 2014, Wild PR works with clients in the travel, health, property, manufacturing and professional services sectors. The agency specialises in developing purpose-driven strategies and ide ntifying tactics needed to achieve the best possible results through a mix of traditional and digital PR, SEO focused content creation and social media. Katrina Cliffe, managing director said: “It’s been a really busy and exciting start to 2022 for us at Wild PR . We’ve secured some really fantastic new clients and we’re really excited to begin working on bespoke strategies for them all. “For all these new clients, we’re dedicated to achieving high-quality press coverage and supporting SEO objectives through the creation of targeted onsite content. Our team of specialists are raring to go and help these new clients achieve their wildest ambitions in 2022.”


TILEYARD NORTH The new creative destination in the North of England We are offices, studios, flexible, work space, education, creative tech, food & drink, community, events, music, art and more.






Manufacturer announces Dan Jones as chief executive officer Harrogate based manufacturer of medical grade orthopaedic supports, Neo G, have announced the appointment of Dan Jones as chief executive officer. Neo G announced the appointment as the firm relocated their offices and warehouse to a larger space to accommodate their expanding team and to meet the growing demand from international pharmaceutical retailers including Boots, Tesco, Walgreens and CVS. Having been with the company since 2014, Dan will be taking over the role of


CEO from founder, Paul Starkey, who will move into the position of Chairman. As commercial director, Dan has already overseen large growth in the company, driving Neo G to become the best-selling manufacturer in the UK of medical grade orthopaedic supports; as well as expanding the brand into orthotic insoles and medical compression hosiery.

Paul comments, “Dan has demonstrated his commitment to Neo G and our Medical Grade strategy. Over the last seven years, he has helped define and establish the company as the no. 1 brand in the UK, and the fastest growing brand in the US, “I am very proud of the way he has grown in the company and adopted the Neo G mantra as his own. I know he will take Neo G to new heights, and I will do everything I can as the chairman to support all of his and the Teams’ efforts.” Dan added, “I’m proud of what we as a team have achieved together in this time, especially through the pandemic. I look forward to continuing working with the team towards making the company even stronger going forward.” The move to a larger office and warehouse space is in line with Neo G’s expansion and plans to create 30 jobs over the coming years as growth in the UK, US and Europe are forecast for the Yorkshire firm.


Sir Michael Parkinson steals the show at the Yorkshire Awards Sir Michael Parkinson was on fine form when he attended the 33rd Yorkshire Awards to receive the Lifetime Achievement award.

was presented with the Richard Whiteley award and a Special award went to The Yorkshire Regiment.

A five-minute standing ovation welcomed him to the stage where Harry Gration MBE, another former BBC legend, interviewed him on his life and career.

The evening however belonged to Sir Michael Parkinson whose v o i c e , e l o q u e n c e a n d s h a re d memories brought tears to the eyes of everyone present. It was a genuinely memorable night and one that anyone there will remember with real Yorkshire pride.

“I am chuffed to be recognised by the hardest judges of character and achievement in the world – my fellow Yorkshire men and women. It’s only taken me 80 odd years to finally impress them!” Sir Michael said. Returning after a break of two years due to the pandemic, the Yo r k s h i r e Aw a r d s , o r g a n i s e d by not-for-profit membership organisation The Yorkshire Society, honoured selected individuals and organisations with Yorkshire’s most prestigious award.

I am chuffed to be recognised by the hardest judges of character and achievement in the world – my fellow Yorkshire men and women...

Other award winners were Kevin Sinfield OBE for the Man of the Year, D ame Linda Pollard for Woman of the Year, The Swift Group for Business Enterprise, Bex Wilson for Community Hero, Yorkshire Sculpture Park for Arts & Entertainment. Milly Johnson

The opportunity was not missed to raise funds for the recently launched Yorkshire Children’s Charity, and special mention was made of the situation in Ukraine, for whom unanimous support was given. Planning for the 34th Yorkshire Awards, which will be held in March 2023, are now in hand. Nominations are welcome via the website of The Yorkshire Society. TopicUK April 2022



Natural paint firm sees growing export demand from US Co will see US orders, fulfilled from the firm’s Leeds warehouse, top over £100,000 for the first time in 2022. “There is a focus on regions such New England, as well as most of the east coast including South Carolina where the maintenance and preservation of historic wooden buildings is a major conservation issue,” said Michiel. “The DIT has helped us fund projects to identify the best potential markets for us and we are even hosting events with the British Consulate in Boston, when we return to the US in April, to meet face to face with conservation bodies and heritage professionals.”

Leeds-based Brouns & Co, manufacturers of traditional paints based on linseed oil made from West Yorkshire-grown flax, expects to top £100,000 in US exports in 2022 after a year of growth in the market.


ounder and CEO Michiel Brouns, who has been working with International trade advisers from the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Yorkshire, has seen huge interest in the Yorkshire flax-based products.

“Linseed paint has been used for hundreds of years to protect and coat wood both inside and outside, and the US architectural heritage means there are enormous numbers of timber-build buildings, hence we have been working to raise awareness of the products Stateside,” said Michiel. One of only a handful of linseed paint manufacturers in Europe, Brouns &


The US is our biggest potential market, particularly among owners and custodians of the historic wooden properties typical of the East Coast...

Michiel said: “The US is our biggest potential market, particularly among owners and custodians of the historic wooden properties typical of the East Coast and other historic areas of America that were settled in the 18th and 19th centuries. “People are now specifying products that are environmentally sustainable and long lasting, as well as performing very well, and linseed paint is ideal. We had a series of really good meetings when we travelled out to New Orleans, North and South Carolina and we’re returning to New England in April, with the expectation that we will open a US base in 2022.” Conservation expert Michiel, originally from the Netherlands, relocated to Yorkshire in 2006, launching his Garforth-based business with Histoglass, a specialised thin double-glazing product ideal for historic properties, before recognising the demand for high quality natural paints.


A warm welcome awaits at Chaophraya Recently TopicUK editor Gill Laidler was invited to visit Chaophraya in Leeds to sample and review their new spring menu. She wasn’t disappointed, find out what she thought. I am familiar with Chaophraya having visited on a few occasions previously. It was a cold evening when we visited so my guest and I couldn’t wait to get in and experience the usual warm welcome. The traffic in Leeds was unusually extra busy, so much so we abandoned our taxi on Sovereign Street and walked the rest of the way. We found


out later that Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson who was filming the latest Marvel film was in town, so lots of people had headed out to see if they could spot a glimpse of him. A warm welcome awaited us, and we were swiftly shown to our seats. I was quite surprised at 5.30pm on a Saturday at how busy it was, most tables hosted families with

lots of children, adding to a lovely friendly atmosphere. Settled into a comfortable booth, we were presented with both the wine list and a very nice-looking menu,

R E STAU R A N T R E V I E W Our starters arrived quickly. I chose Poh Pia Gai, chicken spring rolls served with a sweet chilli sauce. They were delicious and the portions huge, this dish could easily have been shared. My dining companion chose Tod Man Pla, spicy fish cakes served with a sweet chilli, peanut, cucumber and vegetable relish which she was delighted with. We were pleased that we were not rushed even though the restaurant was busy, with main courses arriving around 15 minutes after the starter was cleared. I enjoyed Pad Prik Tai Dum, Stir-fried chicken with garlic, onion, carrot and peppers in a black pepper sauce. The dish usually has mushroom, but they were happy to remove them for me. My colleague chose Gaeng Keow Wan, their special homemade Thai Green recipe with chicken, courgette, fine beans, sweet Thai basil and chilli. Both meals were delicious and unlike some restaurants the chicken was not processed. Time for dessert and we both agreed we were too full as both main and starter portions are huge. They have a really lovely dessert menu with chocolate bombe, pandan Thai custard, clementine tart and mango stick rice but to sample the whole menu, we decided to share a chocolate fondue with fresh fruit. Beautifully presented, this delicious hot melted chocolate was served with seasonal fruits, one unfamiliar to us, dragon fruit which is similar to kiwi explained our server.

housed in a wooden cover. We chose a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc priced at £33, averagely priced on the wine list which was delicious. Orders placed left us time to have a good look around. The restaurant which is conveniently sited at the bottom of Swinegate with easy parking either in Trinity Leeds adjacent or opposite in the multi-story, is huge. Tastefully and authentically decorated, the restaurant has two floors serving classic Thai dishes including vegan and gluten free options. There is a fantastic cocktail menu and plenty of wines, beers and spirits to choose from. In the summer months guests can enjoy drinks on

the first-floor terrace. If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate, Chaophraya has the perfect private dining area and if you want to dine at home, they have a click and collect service or delivery through Deliveroo.

Meal over and coffee refused we were left at the table and not ushered off as some restaurants do. I can highly recommend Chaophraya and will return. The restaurant is open every day from 12 noon until 10pm and bookings can be made online at www. TopicUK April 2022



Craggs Energy Group expands to a new office in Halifax town centre

Craggs Energy, a national fuel supplier whos’ Head Office is based in Cragg Vale have recently opened up a new office in Halifax Town Centre.


reenarc Energy Ltd, which are part of the group is now based at the Piece Mill in town at the Leeds Beckett University Centre just next to the Piece Hall.

The company which operates three unique brands supplies fuel and energy solutions to businesses across the country via The Oil Depot and supplies heating oil to homes nationwide via Tank Topper. And they have recently launched a programme to educate, guide and facilitate both residential and commercial customers with the shift away from fossil fuels. The programme which primarily focuses on oil users will aid in the understanding of what Carbon Neutrality and Net Zero mean for their homes and businesses and will feature as an important part of Greenarc Energy’s future vision.


to build our relationships and expand our team even further. This is one of many important developments for Greenarc Energy and I’m looking forward to bringing new talent to the company at such an exciting time.” Beth Lewins, team manager at Greenarc Energy, said: ‘’We are excited about this new opportunity to expand Greenarc Energy and better connect with our customers across the country.

Matthew Crockett, managing director comments: “We’ve recently rebranded Antha Ltd to Greenarc Energy Ltd to signify our commitment to supporting our customers on their transition to sustainable fuels and renewable energy. This new office highlights how far Craggs Energy has come since they launched over 10 years ago to provide heating oil to homes in and around Calderdale. Today, the group works with homes and businesses across the UK and by having a central and accessible office for our Greenarc team we hope

It’s an exciting time to join our team at Greenarc Energy. The company is going from strength to strength and opening our new office is just another step in our continued growth.” Greenarc Energy is currently recruiting for several admin and sales job roles, to find out more contact

N E W S U P D AT E General Sir John Kiszely MC Scots Guards who stormed an enemy position, in a bayonet attack, on Tumbledown. Other bottles have been signed by Sq. Leader Martin Withers DFC who piloted ‘Black Buck 1’ which undertook the 8000 mile attack on Stanley; Gordon Mather MM SAS who spent 28 days behind the lines reconnoitering enemies positions and relaying the Intel and CPO Graham ‘Piggy’ Trotter DSM who spent 22 hours chain hoisting a UXB from the starboard side of RFA Sir Lancelot whilst under constant air attack.

Whisky Galore, bottles auctioned for Falkland veterans

Additionally there are at least 30 more veterans, many of whom won gallantry awards, who have signed the front labels. Each served their country with extraordinary bravery on land, at sea and in the air.

A North Yorkshire philanthropist is donating 255 bottles of Glen Moray whisky to two Falklands charities in memory of the 255 British Task Force members killed in the 1982 war against Argentina.

Simon Mercer, who is a small business mentor, explained: “I am a just private person with altruistic tendencies who, having met Nigel Philipps by chance on a flight down to the Falklands in 2018, decided to embark on this fundraising adventure to raise money for all the courageous Falklands veterans in the 40th anniversary of the war.

Simon Me rce r from Ripon is auctioning the 13-year-old 53.5 per cent whisky next month, with all profits divided equally between Falklands Veterans Foundation and South Atlantic Medal Association 82. Each bottle has been individually numbered and personally signed on the back by the present Governor of Falkland Island Nigel Phillips CBE and Major General Julian Thompson CB, OBE – Commander 3 Commando Brigade Many bottles have additional signatures on the front label by veterans including Sara Jones in memory of her late husband Lt. Col. H Jones VC 2 Para, Battle of Goose Green, died 28th May 1982 and Lt.

“At 53.5% it’s a serious drop of whisky for the more mature drinker and I know it will give a great deal of pleasure to all those who love whisky and who remember of the bravery of everyone who fought in the Falklands War of 1982. “This has been a labour of love. Having had to spend the majority of the various lockdowns in isolation, I found this project gave me something positive to aim for and it has proved very therapeutic. I am now hoping that the auction will prove successful and lucrative.” TopicUK April 2022


N E W S U P D AT E within the regional marketplace and beyond. Joining the firm provides me with an excellent opportunity to grow the Gordons banking practice and to work closely with the firm’s fantastic clients.” Ben’s appointment follows the hiring of Jonathan Jackson, who joined as head of restructuring from Addleshaw Goddard in November.

Law firm appoints new head of banking An experienced solicitor has joined law firm Gordons as its new head of banking.

Ben Roden, who has joined from DL A Pipe r, has more than a decade’s experience of advising lenders and corporates on a wide range of financing transactions. Commenting on his appointment, Ben said: “Gordons is highly regarded

Corporate partner, James Fawcett, said: “We’re delighted to have attracted someone of Ben’s calibre to be our head of banking. He is an excellent lawyer who has a wealth of experience and a personable approach. “Together with the appointment of Jonathan Jackson, Ben’s recruitment is another significant step for us and demonstrates our commitment to continuously improve the quality and breadth of our offering.”

A team of eight walkers from Ramsdens Solicitors Holmfirth office took on the challenge of walking 23-miles across Kirklees in the Garden of Eden Tour recently.


he walk was held in aid of 6-year old Eden Smith, who is battling neuroblastoma, a condition which affects around 100 children each year in the UK. Eden and her family are currently fundraising to send Eden to New York for clinical trial treatment and need to raise in the region of £300,000. The walk, which began and ended at Scholes Cricket Club, was tough both physical and mentally, with the added challenge of strong winds and rain not making it any easier on the team, however they managed overcome the challenges and complete the walk


Ramsdens raise over £2,000 for Eden in just over 7-hours with around 400 other walkers. Lauren England, junior conveyancing assistant commented: "It was certainly tough, especially because of the adverse weather conditions. We kept in good spirits though keeping each other laughing and smiling. The feeling of getting back to Scholes Cricket Club and seeing Eden’s family there made it all totally worth it. It was so nice to see a community come together for the same cause, cars were beeping us, the public

were cheering us on, it was just great." Diana Walker, conveyancing partner added: "I just want to say I am so proud of everyone in our team for what we achieved. It was brutal conditions at times, but we made it and have raised over £2,134 (absolutely smashing our original target of £1,000).” For more information and to donate to the family’s cause please visit their Just Giving page - https://www.justgiving. com/campaign/eden.


UNLOCK YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL WITH WAKEFIELD FIRST Mike Denby, Service Manager Skills & Business, Wakefield Council explains who Wakefield First are and how they support businesses. So, Mike tell us about Wakefield First? “We’re a team of business support advisors who connect new, existing, and prospective businesses to free and confidential advice to grow their business. The Wakefield district is a great place to do business and we’re here to make sure of it! We help grow businesses that are already here, and we bring in new businesses who are looking for a place to call home”. So, how can Wakefield First support businesses? “We’re proud of the fact that the expert team at Wakefield First can connect and support businesses in many ways. We’re here to help businesses with anything from accessing funding streams or finding new commercial premises to support in writing business plans to get a brand-new idea off the ground ore exploring opportunities to upskill your staff. Our experienced team support businesses across a range of different areas and sectors and all our advice is free and confidential”. How to get in touch If you want to speak to Wakefield First about how we can help you and your business or would like to have a chat about why a move to the Wakefield district might be good for your business get in touch with us today. Website: Email: Follow us on social media: Twitter: @Wakefieldfirst LinkedIn: Wakefield First

TopicUK April 2022



New Easy Bathrooms HQ to create 200 jobs and inject £9.6m into local economy

The new 330,000 sq. ft. Easy Bathrooms site at Calder Park in Wakefield – set to open in autumn – will create 200 local jobs and inject £9.66m into the local economy in 2022, with £1m set to be paid in business ra te s a l o n e to Wa k e f i e l d Council, per annum. The move will make Easy Bathrooms one of the largest rate payers to Wakefield Council and one of the biggest local employers. Presently undergoing construction, the state-of-the-art site is already supporting the employment of hundreds of skilled tradespeople and will create more than 83,000 labour hours for local contractors during the full build period, spearheaded by site owner Tungsten Developments. £10m – funded by a loan from Lloyds Bank – is also being invested by Easy Bathrooms for the fit-out of the hub. 70% of the funding is set to be spent


within the regional supply chain, and founder, Craig Waddington, said: including racking, sprinkler systems, “This move is the culmination of forklift trucks, emergency lighting years of hard work and meticulous planning from our team, and I couldn’t and smoke detections systems. be prouder to be creating jobs and 50 vehicles are also on pre-order, supporting the thriving economy of in preparation for Easy Bathrooms’ Wakefield – the place where we opened anticipated growth, facilitated by our third showroom and home to one the move, which will also create of my founding directors, Steve Browett. an additional 50 driving jobs. A further 150 roles will be created “This year, we will open our 140th store. across marketing, operations, Wakefield will sit at the nucleus of this warehousing, and finance in growth and be the beating heart of our Wakefield by the end of the year, business, so we truly believe that the and an additional 200 roles will be site, which was previously designated created across the UK. Recruitment as land for office space, will become an asset to the local vicinity.” will commence mid-summer.

Thriving When fully operational, Easy Bathrooms estimates that the site will inject a further £300,000 per year into the immediate economy, via spending alone at local cafés, pubs and shops. Easy Bathrooms’ managing director

Easy Bathrooms will reach £100m in turnover in 2022 – the same as Victoria Plum, one of the most recognised brands in the market. Already employing 645 people and with a turnover of £63.3m in 2021, it is also growing quicker than any other bathroom brand and is the biggest employer in the UK bathroom market – with an expected 58% growth this year.

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or more could result in a fine equivalent to the greater of either £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value of the property at the date of service of the penalty notice, up to a maximum of £150,000. Furthermore, landlords could face the entry of the details of the breach on the public part of the PRS Exemptions Register. This carries the risk of adverse publicity for the landlord. If a landlord submits false or misleading information on the Register and fails to comply with a compliance notice then they could receive a fine of £5000.

Commercial landlords face changes to minimum energy efficiency standards Significant changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) could impact the portfolios of commercial landlords from April 2023. Current Requirements MEES were first introduced by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. The MEES Regulations use the term “nondomestic private rented (PR) property” to cover most, but not all commercial premises.

These changes form part of the government’s Net Zero Strategy which has the aim of meeting carbon reduction targets. Further proposals aim to bring in a minimum EPC C rating for commercial properties by 2027 before an ultimate target of minimum EPC B ratings by 2030.

Landlords found to be breaching the MEES Regulations face significant civil penalties. Local authorities can appoint local Trading Standards officers to enforce MEES in relation to properties in their area.

Developments from April 2023

A breach of MEES lasting less than three months could result in a fine equivalent to the greater of either £5000 or 10% of the rateable value of the property at the date of service of the penalty notice, up to a maximum of £50,000.


Exemptions from MEES regulations Landlords should be aware of the exemptions noted below contained in the MEES Regulations, to potentially avoid the possibility of receiving enforcement penalties. Any exemptions that do apply must be registered on the PRS Exemptions Register and will last for 5 years. •

Consent exemption: this applies when the landlord has been unable to increase the EPC rating to E within the preceding 5 years to an enforcement action because they have been refused consent by a tenant or third party despite reasonable efforts to obtain it.

Devaluation exemption: this applies when a landlord has been unable to increase the EPC rating due to receiving a surveyor’s report in the preceding 5 years to an enforcement action, which states that any necessary improvements would result in a reduction of more than 5% in the property’s market value.

Enforcement And Penalties

Under the Regulations, it has been unlawful (subject to limited exceptions) since 1 April 2018 for commercial landlords to grant or renew leases with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) below an E rating.

Government updates to MEES from April 2023 will make it an offence (subject to limited exceptions) to continue to let or sub-let commercial property with an EPC rating below E. The lease itself will not be affected and will remain valid.

It should be noted that MEES regulations do not apply to properties let for less than 6 months or more than 99 years.

A breach of MEES lasting three months

L E G A L M AT T E R S •

All improvements made exemption: this exemption applies to the situation where a landlord has made all the relevant energy efficiency improvements that can be made, and the property is still below the minimum rating or there are no relevant improvements to be made.

meet the minimum energy efficiency standards required.


E q u a l l y, l a nd l o rds co ul d f a ce devaluation of properties in their portfolios when they come to sell if potential purchasers have to factor in improvement costs. Tenants may also ask to pay less on rent reviews if a property’s energy efficiency is substandard.

The proposed changes to MEES from April 2023 put commercial landlords at risk of penalties for non-compliance. The financial threat of fines should encourage landlords to upgrade buildings to

However, many leases are unclear as to who should pay for any necessary upgrades. It seems likely that these costs could fall to commercial landlords with the result that some may find themselves unable to grant

Developers start to plan for new requirements for electric vehicle charging points in development Developers must plan ahead in response to the UK Government’s proposals for electric vehicle charging points to be included in new developments and renovations. This year developers will be expected to comply with new laws requiring them to include a number of charging points for electric vehicles (EV) in both residential and non-residential developments. The proposals, announced by the Prime Minister in November 2021, are in response to a 2019 consultation and follow on from the UK Government’s planned shift from petrol and diesel cars which will culminate in a ban on sale of the former from 2030.

it must have a minimum of one charging point for each dwelling which has associated parking and cable routes for all other spaces. •

If a new non-residential building has more than ten on-site parking spaces, it must have a minimum of one charging point, and cable routes for one in every five spaces.

If a new home has on-site parking it must have a charging point.

If there is a major renovation of a nonresidential building and, afterwards, the building will have more than ten on-site parking spaces, it must have a minimum of one charging point, and cable routes for one in every five spaces.

If there is a major renovation of a residential building and the building will have more than ten on-site parking spaces afterwards,

The Government has faced questions pertaining to the detail behind these requirements. There is for example, no guidance at present as to the standard

Under the new laws:

leases of premises or continue to let premises. Negotiation with tenants to complete e ne rgy efficie nc y improvements may be necessary to avoid this situation. It would therefore seem sensible for landlords to now review their portfolios to identify commercial properties subject to MEES and any marginal properties with an EPC rating of D or E. Landlords taking a long-term approach to improving their properties energy efficiency above the minimum EPC E rating are likely to make their properties more attractive to prospective tenants and purchasers. of these charging points in terms of charging time. It remains to be seen as to whether the developer’s bound by these new rules will absorb the cost of the EV charging point or whether this cost will be passed onto prospective purchasers. In a buoyant property market, one may assume the latter but if and when the supply of homes increases, or demand reduces, then the inclusion of an EV charging point may become a desirable selling feature boosting the sale of new properties as opposed to the millions of existing properties that go up for sale each year. Whether or not you believe that the 2030 date is achievable to ban all new petrol and diesel cars, planning rules are changing and developers should start to plan for the proposed new laws. When the ban is implemented, the existence of an electric charging point will be attractive to electric car owners but prospective purchasers ought to research the type of charging point and the associated cabling to ensure that it is adequate for their car charging needs. Furthermore, the number of charging points available on a multi-unit sites such as a block of flats should be considered . TopicUK April 2022



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L E G A L M AT T E R S Parental Responsibility For parents to have authority to make significant decisions in respect of their children, they must have parental responsibility. Section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989 defines this as the rights, duties and powers that parents have in relation to children and their property. Historically, the courts have emphasised that in most cases it is in the children’s best interests for both parents to work together to make decisions in respect of their children and this is very often the preference of the parents.

What happens if separated parents disagree on the vaccinating their children?

However, Section 2(7) states that where more than one person has parental responsibility, each may act alone in meeting this. This means that in a coparenting situation, parents can make decisions without consent of the other parent. Yet this does not mean that one parent may have priority over the other in the exercise of parental responsibility. Rather, if parents fundamentally disagree on an important issue in relation to the care of their children- such as whether to vaccinate- one parent’s wishes cannot take precedence over the other.

As a separated parent, raising your children with somebody who is no longer your partner can be complicated, as both parents must work together to establish new ground rules, routines and living arrangements for the children. In many instances, Coronavirus has exacerbated the complexity of co-parenting and we have certainly seen tensions rise in what were previously settled arrangements.

If an agreement cannot be reached, then one (or both) parents can ask the court to make the decision instead by applying for a specific issue order. Here, a judge will look at the facts of the case, consider the evidence put forward on behalf of both parents and decide exactly what is in the children’s best interests. This results in a Court Order being made which must comply with.

With the Covid vaccine now set to be offered to all children aged 5 to 11 it is likely that some parents will experience difficulties in navigating this issue together and we have had several enquiries from anxious parents for whom this is already causing an issue. So, what happens when one parent wants their children to be vaccinated but the other does not? This article sets out the law on this issue and outlines the likely approach the court may take if parents cannot agree.


Re M v H (Private Law Vaccination) [2020] EWFC 93 The case of Re M v H (Private Law Vaccination) [2020] EWFC 93 was heard in December 2020. The case concerned a parental dispute between a mother and father over the vaccination status of their two children, P and T. The mother

L E G A L M AT T E R S objected to the children receiving their routine NHS vaccinations despite the wishes of the father. As both parents had parental responsibility, but disagreed on the best way to exercise this when it came to the vaccination status of their children, the father applied to the court for a specific issue order. His application initially only concerned the MMR vaccine, but was later widened to include all routine NHS vaccines and the Covid-19 jab. When delivering his judgment, MacDonald J analysed the case law on the exercise of parental responsibility in relation to childhood vaccinations and concluded that it was still necessary for the court to make decisions where those with parental responsibility could not agree. Applying Re H (A Child: Parental Responsibility: Vaccination) [2020] Civ 664, MacDonald J made it clear that when the case concerns vaccines recommended in accordance with public health guidelines, the court is unlikely to rule that vaccination is not in the child’s best interests and that it would be very difficult for a parent to successfully object to that end. Again drawing upon Re H, Macdonald J explained that the only times that the court would consider the vaccines as not in a child’s best interests would be the publication of extensive research evidence “indicating serious concern for their efficacy or safety” or a wellevidenced medical contraindication specific to the child, or children, in question. What is prominent about M v H is the mother’s deep-rooted opposition to the NHS vaccination programme in children and her assertion to that a specific issue order would breach the children’s rights to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as vaccinations are not compulsory. Drawing upon extensive

internet ‘research’ and online video sources to support her case, the mother in her statement raised issues with the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and argued that because her children were healthy they would be unlikely to fall seriously ill with any disease in any event. Criticising the mother’s choice of “tendentious, partial and partisan

very difficult to foresee a situation in which a vaccination against Covid-19 approved for use in children would not be endorsed by the court being in a child’s best interests...

material” gathered from the Internet, MacDonald J made it clear in his judgment that despite the mother’s strong personal opposition to vaccine, the weight given to her opinion “depends not upon the vehemence with which it is expressed but upon its substance." Rather, weight is attached to credible expert and peer-reviewed evidence indicating significant concern for the efficacy and/ or safety of one or more of the vaccines that is the subject of proceedings, or a well-evidenced medical issue specific to the children. The mother’s assertion of disproportionate interference with their Article 8 rights was also refuted by MacDonald J. Again following Re H, he asserted that whilst not compulsory, scientific evidence establishes that vaccines are in the best interests of otherwise healthy children.

Summary To summarise, if those with parental responsibility can’t agree whether their children should be vaccinated, an application will need to be made to the court for a specific issue order. Although in M v H MacDonald J declined to speculate on Covid-19 Vaccinations as at that point the vaccination programme as a whole was still in its infancy, he stated that it would be “very difficult to foresee a situation in which a vaccination against Covid-19 approved for use in children would not be endorsed by the court being in a child’s best interests.” Because of this, following updated guidance by the JCVI advising that the Covid-19 jab will be available shortly to all children aged 5-11 it seems likely that following this rationale, the court will endorse the vaccine as being in a child’s best interests in the event of a specific issue order application. Though it is true that the court will assess each case individually and assess whether the tests in Re H apply - of either any credible research evidence doubting the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, or any wellevidenced medical reason specific to the child. The courts must strive to strike a fair and proportionate balance between the rights of the child and the interests of the community at large, regardless of the strength of either parents’ opposition. If those with parental responsibility find themselves disagreeing about the vaccination status of their children, they should be mindful of the court’s current position in relation to childhood vaccinations. It is worth noting that other options, such as mediation, are available help facilitate and assist discussions on whether vaccinations should be given, before it is necessary to make any application to the court. Such methods can refocus discussions on the issue and help families move forward without the need for any formal court intervention. TopicUK April 2022



Employability in Disruptive Times

restructuring of organizations and how they function, consumer transformations – all of these elements and more have radically transformed the ways we live and work in a very short period of time. Dr. Elizabeth E. Moore Head of Leadership The University of Law Business School And now the war in Ukraine is likely to result in a new flood of changes with the massive population movement across Europe and extreme price hikes in fuel, food, and other consumer goods, all of which will force an acceleration of the search for alternative approaches to energy and contribute to political and economic instability throughout the world.


A decade ago, business students spoke with excitement and reverence about the concept of “disruption”. It seemed like everyone was looking for a new way to disrupt traditional business models and strategies to usurp the current giants of industry and create a radical new approach that would change the way the world does business.


hings have changed a bit over the past few years. These days, most industries have found themselves significantly transformed by the unexpected and uncontrolled massive disruption of the global pandemic. Rather than seeking out disruption, businesses have had disruption foisted upon the m. D igital transformation, hybrid working, remote working,

In the face of such externallyimposed disruption, industries and organizations are seeking individuals with the skills to weather and adapt to storms, rather than create them. One of the advantages we have at The University of Law Business School as a young, rapidly-growing organization, is the ability to respond with agility to the changing demands of the workplace while maintaining our core values. The key focus at The ULBS is employability, which entails providing students with the state-of-the art knowledge as well as the practical skills most needed in the quickly-changing world of work. In addition to their academic courses, there are several ways in which we help students develop these essential skills. One of the new initiatives ULBS has designed is a Professional Development Programme for all postgraduate students, which provides them with a year of training in employability and leadership skills. In addition to workshops and events, every student receives individual coaching from a professional coach to support them in a personal development plan that helps them to improve

L E G A L M AT T E R S their skills in areas such as critical thinking, emotional intelligence, innovation, cultural communication, and growth mindset.

Skills These skills, along with digital skills, have been cited by industry leaders across sectors, and by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and the McKinsey Global Institute as among the most important skills required to survive and thrive in the workplace in the remainder of this century. Another of the major initiatives d e s i g n e d to g i v e s t u d e n t s a leading competitive advantage

in the employment market is the ULBS work placement programmes. Starting in 2023, both undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to spend a year in a work placement with the support of a placement tutor throughout the placement. The placements, which are open to students across all campuses in the U.K., online, and at our campus in Berlin, will enable students to test and develop their skills in working environments relevant to their fields of study. With a strong self-reflective component and monthly meetings with their placement tutor, students will be in a stronger position to get that first job or promotion, and to succeed in it.

Finally, we also have a series of employability events, a Work-Ready Award, and multiple offerings across the university integrated with our academic programmes, all of which were conceived to help students achieve their development goals in preparation for their future careers. At ULBS, we’re aware that we are now all living in a constant state of disruption. Everything we have created for our students, from cutting-edge academic programmes to leadership development to the experience they gain from the work placement programmes, is all designed to give them the best possible opportunity to stand out as exceptional candidates and outstanding contributors to any organization they join.

Family Solicitor joins Halifax law firm Wilkinson Woodward Solicitors has announced the appointment of family solicitor Aneesah Ansar.

After completing her Law Degree and Legal Practice Course at Leeds Beckett University, Aneesah began her legal career in 2018. Since qualifying as a Solicitor in 2020, Aneesah has handled a mix of family law work including divorce, separation, children disputes and financial matters. Aneesah, who lives in Halifax said, “I’m delighted to be joining Wilkinson Woodward, a highly trusted name throughout Calderdale and Kirklees.” Managing director Maureen Cawthorn commented, “We are pleased to welcome Aneesah to our family team. Her appointment will strengthen our diverse team of young, dynamic lawyers and senior legal professionals. Her appointment forms part of our continuing plans to expand in Calderdale.” From their town centre office in Fountain Street, Halifax, Wilkinson Woodward provides a full range of legal services. TopicUK April 2022


Four new partner promotions at yorkshire law firm

Law firm Ison Harrison has promoted four of its lawyers to partner across its network of Yorkshire offices, Erin Johnston, Geraldine Levison, Dhiran Mistry and Nigel Monaghan.


he new round of promotions follows Ison Harrison’s recent transition to becoming entirely employee owned after the three shareholder directors agreed to sell the business to an Employee Ownership Trust.

18 years’ experience, specialises in acquisitions, disposals and leasebacks for both retail outlets and industrial offices. She is also highly experienced in dealing with Landlord and Tenant issues, commercial re-financing and transfer of leasehold interests.

Erin Johnston has been a solicitor with the firm for three years having qualified in 2013. Erin specialises in all types of Private Client work including wills, probate, court of protection and trust matters.

Commercial solicitor Dhiran Mistry joined in 2018. He assists with all aspects of commercial and residential property, including acting for a range of developers in securing multi-site acquisitions and development refinance. Dhiran has a varied number of high-net-worth loyal clients nationally who instruct him regularly.

Commercial property solicitor Geraldine Levison has been with the firm for eight years and is branch manager at the Chapel Allerton office. Geraldine, a legal practitioner with


Specialising in family law and based

at the firm’s Pudsey office, Nigel Monaghan is a solicitor with over 36 years legal experience. Whilst specialising now solely in family work, Nigel has years of experience in other litigation matters and prosecuted on behalf of the RSPCA (animal cruelty cases) for 15 years in Bradford and surrounding Courts. Commenting on the promotions, Jonathan Wearing, managing director said: “This is the best possible way to kick off 2022 with the promotions coming hot on the heels of the firm becoming entirely employee owned earlier this month. I’m very happy to see these promotions following an already momentous beginning to the year for the business. The individual and collective contributions to the firm from the four new partners cannot be underestimated and they are all richly deserved.”


TopicUK April 2022


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The Club by Sarah Restrick The Club Manchester, The Club Leeds and The Club Liverpool An exclusive Members’ club creating valuable networking opportunities for businesses through luxury events. Mo r e t h a n j u s t Ne t w o r k i n g , connecting Business Leaders, Owners, High Level Executives and HNWI through a schedule of luxury events at 5* Venues across the North. Building relationships and strategically making key introductions to facilitate business return. An affinity of like minded individuals supporting business growth across all sectors. Providing a concierge service for Members across multi sectors. We work on a one to one basis to strategise and plan connections, building a close, personal relationship with our Members and providing opportunity for Me mbe rs to establish relationships and highlight opportunities to do business which in turn brings tangible results.

Allowing Members to meet one another and give substantial time to discuss mutual opportunities. One to one meetings can be set up at any time between members to make an introduction.

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We work with Luxury, Quality Businesses who both bring and receive benefits from being within our Network. Businesses are either referred to us from current Members or targeted as part of our Business Development Strategy. Membership is for the individual, not the business so that a consistent relationship can be developed. Members have to be the decision maker /autonomy within the business. Small intimate numbers at bespoke events have proved to work the best for establishing strong relationships during the private dining events.

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Is clean beauty best? Facts & fiction By: Janet Milner-Walker - Founder of Bespoke Advantage

Clean beauty is a buzzword that is back on our radar, but what does it mean, and should we prioritise brands that are ‘clean’?


he word itself is confusing, because why would we not expect products that we apply to our face, hair, and body to be clean, particularly when we are referring to beauty products? To make matters more confusing, there is no true definition of what constitutes ‘clean beauty’ – therein lies the problem itself. Some define clean beauty as products that are sustainable, and that don’t cause harm to the planet. Others base their decision on whether the products contain toxic ingredients, a word that raises alarms. Based on certain reports for a product to be considered ‘clean’ the ingredients should not contain parabens, fragrances, aluminium compounds, formaldehyde, silica, or refined petroleum amongst others. It can be difficult to prove how clean a brand is, however, there are certification bodies like ECOCERT which through rigorous testing, can validate products are free from chemicals and toxins. For a brand to be certified by ECOCERT they need to meet stringent criteria in terms of their ingredients, their sustainability standards, scrutinising everything from their manufacturing to their packaging, and the way in which they recycle.


Our interest in clean beauty arose as we became more conscious of the products we were using, and their impact on our wellbeing. As consumers we have become far more aware of ingredients – leading to the rise of skintellectuals – avidly reading ingredient labels as if we have a degree in chemistry, to understand their benefits, how and where they were sourced from and the impact the brand has on the health of our planet. Net-a-porter recently reported that consumers are searching for brands based on ingredients – with retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and Vitamin C up almost 700 percent since 2020. Ingredients that protect the barrier function and help to clear clogged pores, are said to be key trends in 2022 and 2023, and several brands have positioned themselves by ingredients – like Deciem, and The Ordinary and The Inkey List. Goop and The Honest Company were two of the earlier brands that created transparency around ingredients in beauty products. We have become a lot more knowledge about irritations caused by synthetic ingredients, and preservatives, with 60 to 70 percent of women and 50 to 60 percent of



B E A U T Y U P D AT E men complaining about sensitive skin. With the rise of the 10 step Korean skincare regime, it could be that we have over sensitized our skin through using too many different products. Whilst we want our skin to glow through removing dead skin cells, we can thin out the layer of our skin. So, coming back to the question, are clean beauty products better for us? Let’s d e bun k some m y t h s b y addressing some of the jargon used – starting with the word toxic. This is often used when referring to chemicals, but it is not the chemicals that are necessarily bad for us but the level at which they are used, that can create harm. Parabens and silicones are considered ‘nasty’ when used in the context of beauty products with more and more products claiming to be ‘paraben free’, suggesting that this is best. Silicones serve a purpose in several beauty products including skincare and make-up, ensuring that these glide onto our skin, providing a silky feeling, but

Using the word ‘natural’ conveys a feeling of trust, that the products aren’t harmful, and that they must be better than using products that contain synthetic ingredients...

they have received bad press as some report that they block skin cells and are not suitable for people suffering with acne prone skin. Some dermatologists disagree with this, whilst the bad reports on parabens stem from a study conducted over 15 years ago, relating to breast cancer, with some arguing that parabens are one of the safest ingredients we have. ‘Paraben-free’ products often must be recalled due to a growth in bacteria. Whether parabens disrupt the way in which our bodies work, is still under further research. Cancer Research UK’s website states that whilst parabens have similarities to oestrogen, and high levels may increase the risks of certain cancers, they are far weaker, and any effects are likely to be overwhelmed by natural oestrogen produced in our body, or similar chemicals found in our diet. The inclusion of preservatives, a natural alternative to parabens, in products, is misleading – just because they are ‘natural’ doesn’t mean they are safer - they haven’t experienced the same rigorous testing as parabens and there is no guarantee of their long-term safety. In addition to this, many brands are using much higher concentrations of natural preservatives, thinking that as they are natural, they are safe, which can lead to further skin irritation. On a natural and fragrancefree note … ‘Natural’ is confusing in the beauty industry, this is mostly used to describe products that are created through plant-based ingredients. Using the word ‘natural’ conveys a feeling of trust, that the products aren’t harmful, and that they must be better than using products that contain synthetic ingredients. This is not necessarily the case, and




plant-based ingredients, and certain essential oils, can cause a high degree of irritation to your skin.

causing greater irritation. If your skin is considered normal, then fragrance isn’t damaging to your skin.

Many of us have heard that fragrancefree skincare is best. So, is this true? For those suffering with sensitive skin, it is often recommended that they use fragrance-free skincare, as fragrance can aggravate the skin. Fragrance-free skincare can be beneficial to those of us suffering with eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, as the barrier of the skin has been disturbed, and the fragrance will penetrate deeper into the skin,

Upon review it is difficult to say whether clean beauty is better for us. It is important for us all to support those brands that are most sustainable, and if you suffer with sensitive skin, ‘naturally’ you need to be mindful of ingredients and how your skin may react to these ingredients. When it comes to the jargon used around ‘clean beauty’ it can be very misleading and is not at all squeaky clean.

Janet is the founder of Bespoke Advantage, a brand manage me nt company that build brands across the beauty sector, she writes for several publications on the topics of beauty and wellbeing, she is also a consultant, and a speaker. O ver the past twenty years she has developed and launched products and brands for M&S, Harvey Nichols, Boots, Body Shop and Crabtree & Evelyn as well as worked with many startups. Bespoke Advantage’s award-winning portfolio of clients include beauty and wellness brands, professional spas and salons, retailers, investors, and entrepreneurs based in the UK and internationally – www. thebespokeadvantage. com. TopicUK April 2022





The Model Industry By : Bernade tte Gled h i l l - Fa sh i on Con su l ta n t

As a model, as a trainer of catwalk models and as a fashion show production and event organiser, all exciting times over my years in business.

Many agencies over the past 10 years have recognised the need to provide models of all ages, sizes and ethnicities to their books which has provided a much more realistic and fresh approach to catwalks and advertising.

Life as a model is very different now from the late 1970s - 1980s which were the important years of my catwalk career from training to becoming a successful full time model. Working as a model during this period was seen by many as not being a ‘real career.’ I used to find this incredibly frustrating as the fashion industry has always been such a huge contributor to the economy.

Model groups now include juniors, teens, families, couples, character, petite, plus-size, curve, fitness, mums to be, new faces, classics, mature and one of the most important of all the rise of the influencers. All categories now provide huge inspiration on all social media platforms.

I am thrilled to see so many years on that the Industry is changing constantly for the better.

It is now a known fact within the model industry that when a client is interested in working with you that not only do they check your portfolio of images but your instagram account too. Brands will contact your agency or booker to discuss a collaboration, the model will then share the brands product in return for gifted products or receive financial compensation. An influencer model that receives many likes and positive comments can grow to demand a much higher remuneration.

It is no longer the main criteria to be a certain height and size to apply to join the top agencies.

I returned to work as a classic model during the pandemic as I was missing the buzz of the

This perception probably did not change until the power of The Supermodels in the 1990s when suddenly PR and high-profile models were hitting the headlines with Linda Evangelista being quoted as saying “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 per day!!

TopicUK April 2022



fashion industry when live fashion but if we carry on how we are we feel shows and events were postponed we are well on our way.” or cancelled. Although the industry has always been my life I found that I also caught up with Jessica Ludlam I still have such a lot to learn!!! The who along with her sister Samantha personal social media aspect was Fry established the hugely successful completely new to me but it’s such J’adore Models in Manchester. an exciting introduction to make the model industry much more accessible. “We established J’adore Models to showcase real, diverse talent who represent more than just beauty we Expanded I recently met up with my personal booker Liv Palmer at J’adore Models and this is what she had to say. “The modelling industry is always evolving and over the last few years the publicity and use of classic models has skyrocketed. You are now seeing beauty, fashion, high fashion and catwalks all using classic models. Why? This is because fashion has no age, no matter how old you are you can look fabulous and smash the fashion industry. We are seeing on social media how brands are using models of all ages to promote their product and share how it can be styled whatever your age. There is still a lot more we can be doing in the industry to increase inclusivity and diversity


The modelling industry is always evolving and over the last few years the publicity and use of classic models has skyrocketed...

we wanted to put these voices and faces in front of global brands and have our city’s talent taken seriously. We were the first agency in the North with both Curvy and Big & Tall boards, with talent signed internationally and booking global campaigns. We have now expanded our boards to represent image talent, reach influencers, classics and families working to galvanise the same industry buzz by curating premium portfolios and guiding bespoke content creation across social media platforms. Chance

were looking for energy, personality, and authenticity. If we were bored of standard beauty ideals, we knew we couldn’t be alone.

We added diversity as our fourth core value, committing to educating ourselves on these industry issues and striving to tackle obstacles that prevent progress. Diverse and inclusive representation should not be performative to simply ‘fill a gap’; we want long term success for our talent so by listening to their needs and experiences, alongside creating regular safe spaces for conversations around diversity helps us support each other along the journey”

Manchester is bursting with varied life experiences and perspectives, and

I hardly ever go through a week without someone contacting me as


to how they, a family member or a friend could get into the world of modelling. As a style contributor I thought this was a perfect chance to share the in’s and outs of how the industry works, what to avoid and how to apply. •

Contact a trustworthy and reputable agency

Do not pay for photographs to be taken in advance

Forward a selection of natural pictures, face and full length taken by a mobile phone is absolutely fine. Good advice for Females is to be natural or use minimal make up only

Juniors and teens must always have the support of a parent or guardian

All agencies have an online application form attached to their website which is simple to complete for potential models. However, many agencies receive a large number of applicants so you may not always receive a reply.

My final advice to anyone thinking of entering this world is to always have a fall back plan and to the younger generation ensure that you establish a career that you could work alongside. It is an important fact that work can never be guaranteed. If you do make it, it can be an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career but ALWAYS keep plan B!

Bernadette Gledhill TopicUK April 2022



Galaxy of stars spiral up an early-season boost

Picture credit: Simon Heaton

Roll-call beams up Veruca Salt, Mighty Boosh, Life On Mars, Doctor Who, Return of the Jedi, Spooks, Skyfall, Guardians of the galaxy … designed to repair starships, but they can also act as co-pilots, slicers and travelling companions).

Sci-Fi Scarborough is offering the chance to geek beside the seaside as the unconventional convention returns …

"It brings a full weekend of everything people love about the world of sci-fi and fantasy with a few surprises,” said Steve.

Among the big names beaming in for the ninth Sci-Fi Scarborough festival are actors from Life on Mars, Doctor Who, Bond films - and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The popular event takes place on April 9 and 10 at Scarborough Spa, South Bay, and helps to bring in extra early-season tourism and hospitality business. Co-organiser Steve Dickinson said: "We will be utilising eight different areas that cover all aspects of fan-


Guests for 2022 include: dom, from guest stars to gaming, props to publishers, cosplayers to comic books, artists to authors, traders to top-line creators, fan films, geek quiz ... plus anything else we can think of.” That includes Jedi training, Daleks and Astromechs (droids which were

J u l i e D a w n C o l e : Ve r u c a Salt from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. She has appeared in a huge range o f te l e v i s i o n , f i l m a n d s t a g e performances such as Poldark, The Mill on the Floss, And Mother Makes Three and Casualty.


Michael Carter: The character Bib Fortuna in Return of the Jedi. His work in film began with An American Werewolf in London in 1981 and he has extensive theatre credits such as the Oedipus Plays and Antony and Cleopatra for the Royal National Theatre. On TV, Michael has appeared in Rebus, Taggart, Casualty and Spooks, as well as regular roles in Call Red, Two Thousand Acres of Sky and The Halcyon. Comic book artists include Jake Detonator, Richard Piers-Rayner, Grant Perkins and legendary horror illustrator Graham Humphreys. Julie, now a therapist, began as a child performer in 1971’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. She says she is nothing like salty Veruca - and isn't that fond of chocolate. Mike Fielding: Naboo in The Mighty Boosh, the BBC comedy series. He has performed in comedy tours and DJ’d around the world and supported Fat Boy Slim at Brighton Beach Boutique Festival. Huge thanks to Andrew Brittle at AB Convention Agency for making this possible, said co-organiser Steve. Dean Andrews is best known as DS Ray Carling in the BBC drama Life on Mars. He continued in the sequel, Ashes to Ashes. As of April 2019, he has appeared as Will Taylor in Emmerdale.

Matthew Graham: Writer - Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Doctor Who. His work also includes EastEnders, the BAFTA-nominated drama This Life - as well as co-creating Life on Mars which won two Emmys. He went on to contribute to Doctor Who and helped to generate 50 episodes of a planned live-action Star Wars TV series. Clem So, of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Force Awakens, Spectre, Skyfall, Black Widow.

Past guests from shows such as Red Dwarf, Star Trek Voyager & Enterprise, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, Knightmare, Star Wars, Bond to name just a few. Tickets from Mojos Music Cafe on Victoria Road in person with no booking fees or online at

He has worked on nearly 40 major feature films and TV shows including Sherlock, Being Human, His Dark Materials and 10 episodes of Doctor Who. Other appearances include Guardians of The Galaxy, and as a crime boss in James Bond’s Spectre. TopicUK April 2022



Magnificent Seven Mercies premieres for prestigious festival One of Europe's most magnificent music festivals is getting set to unveil another spectacular programme

The Ryedale Festival attracts outstanding performers from all over the world to perform in stunning venues inNorthYorkshire.


hese include Castle Howard, Hovingham Hall, Duncombe Park, Birdsall House and Sledmere House, as well as Ampleforth Abbey, York Minster, Scarborough Spa and country churches.

The organisers are also inviting businesses and individuals throughout Yorkshire to become part of the success as sponsors for 2022 for the festival itself, concerts or artists. The Ryedale Festival will take place from July 15 to 31 - with a launch event by the Carducci Quartet featuring Haydn and Beethoven, at St Peter’s Church, Norton on Saturday April 2. There is also the premiere of


the Seven Mercies, a Community Song Cycle composed by Joseph Howard, of Pickering and with librettist Emma Harding. This will take place in the spectacular setting of the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Pickering.

Foundation which is established in Ryedale primary schools. "Sharing the festival with Ryedale’s younger generation is a major priority for us and our collaboration will see its first fruit on May 21 with a new Community Song Cycle by Pickering-born composer Joseph Howard," he said. Festival chairman Geoff Potter says ticket sales last year had inevitably been hit by the pandemic but with prudent planning, reserves have been carried forward giving a strong position for 2022.

Acclaimed Kathryn Rudge the mezzosoprano will be joined by Ryedale’s Primary Schools Choir, Festival Community Choir, bell-ringers and "Not all arts organisations have been as fortunate and we are grateful to our Kirkbymoorside Junior Band. donors, our public funders - notably Arts Artistic Director Christopher Glynn, Council England, our supporters and a Grammy award-winning pianist audiences for their continued loyalty." and accompanist, has highlighted the importance of sharing the But he warns against complacency musical opportunities with a as a reminder that the festival needs younger generation including a new supporters, including corporate partnership between the festival sponsorship. The festival provides a and the Richard Shephard Music quality and creative platform with a


strong demographic for businesses - or for anniversaries or memorials. which would like to associate with it. For more information please email Corporate partne rs have the opportunity to promote their brands to audiences which are The festival is proud to have supporting cultural and economic partnered with the Hamish Ogston excellence in the region. Foundation, the Holbeck Charitable Trust, the Liz & Terry Bramall The festival organisers say a concert Foundation, the Gillham Charitable could also be the ideal occasion for Trust, the Waverley Fund, to name entertaining clients, friends or family just a few, and growing list of local

businesses including Crombie Wilkinson, JM Finn, Broadland Properties, Shepherd Group and Boyes independent retailers. The new festival team has also been put in place and comprises Stewart Campbell in the new role as general manager, festival assistant George Rowell, Sarah Walker as box office and membership secretary, and assistant treasurer Angela Fewster. TopicUK April 2022



Where the sea kisses Yorkshire ... A father and son are capturing the Yorkshire coast by drone video. Whitby Harbour



Robin Hood's Bay

Scarborough headland

Filey Bay.

Architect Ben Costello, based near York, pilots a DJI Mavic 2 while dad Ian is the 'spotter' - making sure that the filming stays is kept safe. They have recently added new Filey and Bridlington shoreline imagery to their portfolio which includes Scarborough, Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, Saltburn and Teesside and Northumberland. "We also include the countryside,

landscapes and industrial sites but of course access is limited for safety reasons," says Ben, at "I'm originally from Scarborough but have travelled around a fair bit."

The imagery is more to do with having a passion for the place really and wanting other people to see the incredible sites, especially the coastline." "If people like the pictures and want to buy them that's even better and helps fund travel, insurance and new equipment." TopicUK April 2022





Takeaway tiffins campaign tackles plastic waste scourge Harry Khinda, who runs The Crafty Indian street food and craft beer venue in Bradford Road, Shipley, has now prevented around 50,000 single-use plastic items from blighting the environment since he introduced the scheme just over two years ago. One of the first restaurateurs in the country to launch a plastic-free drive, he’s now on a mission to increase the impact by urging other restaurant and takeaway owners to get involved.

Mr Singh’s iconic original tiffin is still usable which, Harry says, demonstrates the longevity of the product, but the family are hanging onto that one for its obvious sentimental value.

Harry, whose family comes from Punjab, got the inspiration for the scheme from his father’s decades-old tiffin, which he brought over with him when the family settled in the UK during the 1960s. Dad Gian Singh carried on using the tiffin to carry his lunch to work at the Hepworth and Grandage factory in Bradford, back in the day.

The reusable tiffins, mostly sourced from India, are three-tiered, with room for a number of meals or courses and have a carry handle, which means there’s no need for a plastic bag either. They keep the food hot until the customer gets it home, which usually means there’s no need for reheating.

Iconic Harry said: “At The Crafty Indian we’re known for doing things differently and we decided we didn’t want to continue polluting the planet with plastic by using takeaway containers and bags.

Customers initially buy their tiffin from the venue for £18 but then, each time someone uses it to collect a takeaway, they get 10% discount on their meal – so it very soon pays for itself and, eventually, they will find themselves in credit.

tiffin but then get a discount off their meal each time they come in. About a quarter of our customers are now using tiffins, but this is still a journey we’re on. We’re making great progress and eventually we’d like all our takeaways to be served in this way so we can become fully sustainable.”

Creative To encourage more people to take part, the tiffins are prominently on display in The Crafty Indian. The venue is promoting them heavily on social media and any new customers are asked whether they would prefer to use a tiffin to help prevent plastic waste. Harry added: “Customers buy into the whole idea because they're keen to do their bit to save the planet, especially young people who are learning to be more and more ecofriendly and feel it’s all about the small changes everyone can make.

“Now my next quest is to inspire other Harry added: “So far we’ve sold venues to get creative and recognise around 550 tiffins and this number their responsibilities as a business to increases by around three to four cut plastic waste as well as reducing “We had a good old think as to how each week, which means our plastic litter, which is something that has we could reduce our use of plastic use is reducing weekly at that rate. always blighted the takeaway sector. and this led us on a journey back in Even based on these early numbers, history to the place where our parents if you multiply it over ten years, “If all takeaways and restaurants in came from – and we realised that the just look how much less plastic Bradford followed suit, imagine the answer was staring us in the face. will go into landfill from our venue amount of plastic that would no alone. longer go to landfill. Then multiply Indians have been using steel tiffins that by the venues up and down to carry their food around with them at work in the mills, farms, factories “It obviously appeals enormously to the country and its clear how big our regulars, because they buy the this could get.” and offices for generations. TopicUK April 2022



Keighley College partners with Keighley Cougars to inspire next generation of rugby players

L-R Andrew Henderson, Head of Rugby at Keighley Cougars, Clare Fitzgerald, Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Growth at Keighley College, Brenden Santi who plays for Keighley Cougars, Kevin O’Hare, Interim Principal at Keighley College and Lisa Gill, Managing Director at Keighley Cougars.

Keighley College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has joined forces with local rugby league team,Keighley Cougars,to give youngpeopleanintroduction to life as a professional rugby league player. The partnership will see the college supporting Keighley Cougars’ innovative new Elite Talent Pathway; a performance programme aimed at young males aged 11 to 16. They will get the chance to train in an environment with professional support, learning and improving skills which they can take back to their local community clubs. The programme will aim to operate three development squads being U/12’s, U/14’s and U/16’s. Each team will get the opportunity to play matches against other teams from professional clubs.


Keighley is a town bursting with talented young individuals, and we’re determined to help fuel their ambitions to become skilled rugby players...

Fo c u s e d o n s u p p o r t i n g t h e development of young players and creating a performance pathway, the programme enables members of the community to gain access to

professional rugby league coaching encompassing skills assessments, progress reports and education based on nutrition and lifestyle choices. Claire Fitzgerald, head of stakeholder engagement and growth at Keighley College, said: “We pride ourselves on being a community-led college, so partnering with a historically renowned club which inspires many local young people is a phenomenal opportunity. We’ll be working collaboratively on community projects, while proudly sponsoring the playing and training kits. “Keighley is a town bursting with talented young individuals, and we’re determined to help fuel their ambitions to become skilled rugby players. In the coming years, we hope to work closely with Keighley Cougars in setting up a development academy, whereby young people aged 16 to 19 years old can develop their rugby skills.” Andrew Henderson, head of rugby at Keighley Cougars, added: “Keighley College shares our vision for providing better opportunities for young people in Keighley, which is why we’re thrilled to have them on board as our major sponsor. We hope to not only support players in their journey to becoming professional players, but also provide them with the best educational opportunities alongside this which can be offered at the college. “We’re determined to inspire the wider community through this initiative, as our players will take a wealth of knowledge and performance skills back to their local teams. Next year, our goal is to extend our programme to girls in the area.” The programme will be launching officially in Spring 2022.

N E W S U P D AT E There may also be opportunities for your employees to benefit. Businesses who sponsor our Colour Run paint stations, for instance, can send a team to join in the fun by showering participants in coloured powder! What better way to bring a team together after months of WFH? When choosing a charity event to sponsor, consider whether the charity aligns with your values or the values of your customer. For instance, are you wanting to give back to your community by supporting a local charity? Or perhaps a children’s charity appeals because your customers tend to be young families? Supporting a charity whose mission aligns with what you as a business believe in can create a powerful and hugely valuable partnership.

Inject a little colour into your Corporate Social Responsibility!

And that partnership can deliver events that are hugely successful. For instance our Colour Run in 2019 raised over £26,000, every penny of which – thanks to corporate sponsorship – helped us support local children and families to live the best lives they can.

V i c ky S ta c k h o u s e , e v e n t s manager at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice on why sponsoring a charity event can do wonders for your business.

After two years that have been distinctly colourless, we’re delighted that our Colour Run is back on 30th July at Greenhead Park in Huddersfield. With a range of sponsorship options available, starting at just £650, why not inject a little colour into your CSR this summer?”

“None of our fundraising events would be possible without sponsors - businesses and organisations who fund the costs of running these events so that as much as possible of the money raised on the day goes to helping the local children and families we support. But helping a charity maximise the fundraising potential of its events – worthwhile as this is - isn’t the only reason why corporate sponsorship is a great thing for businesses to get involved with.

Sponsoring a charity event is a brilliant way to raise the profile of your brand and can often be much more affordable than advertising. Sponsors of mass participation events like our popular Colour Run could have their logo on t-shirts, leaflets, railing banners, a gazebo or social media, for instance, and thereby reach thousands of people. But not only does corporate sponsorship potentially expose your business to a wider audience, it also, more importantly, gives that audience a positive association with your brand – because you’re publicly supporting a cause that’s close to their hearts, you’re doing something that benefits the community, and enabling them to have a fantastic fun day out with their friends and family.

For more details about corporate sponsorship opportunities at Forget Me Not’s Colour Run, please email Vicky at events@

TopicUK April 2022



Lexus Rx

is premier performer It doesn’t matter where you go, you are guaranteed to run into some roadworks eventually.Various attempts to make the traffic flow better, invariably slow things down. Stop-start driving is now a way of life. It’s expensive too because it ruins your fuel consumption.


he bigger the car, the worse it gets. 4x4 drivers who enjoy the bulk, height and security of a chunky car, are the first to suffer. Thankfully, there is a way around this is. Get a Lexus RX450h…and if you want extra space to be able to carry 7 people like we do, go for the RX-L


long wheelbase version. You won’t sacrifice the wonderful, dominant driving position or the sleek yet hunky lines. You sit in an interior that oozes quality and solidity. Oh, and you can enjoy the silence. Silence? Yep…. total hush as you cruise along in the traffic with the electric motors doing all of the work.

The RX 450hl, starting at £55,150, is powered by a 3.5 litre petrol V6 hybrid which has excellent performance and, for such a big 4x4 car, really good economy. At low, town speeds, a pair of electric motors waft you along using zero mpg. When you need speed or acceleration, the engine bursts into life. As you cruise or slow down, the battery is recharged. Put both together and you end up with a thumping 308bhp which gives performance


of 0-60mph in 8.0 seconds a top speed of 112mph and a realistic fuel return of around 34 mpg if you make full use of the hybrid system. A c t u a l l y, t h e R X 4 5 0 h l f e e l s quicker than those figures suggest because, thanks to the electric motors, power is instantly available. These are hugely impressive figures for a sizeable vehicle. Low CO2 emissions also mean the 450hl is a cost-effective company car. The Lexus RX is rewarding to drive. Okay, most people will use this Lexus for long distance cruising, but it also makes a serious case for when you need to do stopstart driving on something like the school run, shopping trips, commuting etc. In terms of kit, the RX450hl is fully loaded. Even the entry level model comes with air con, sat nav, leather upholstery, 18-inch alloys, electrically operated front seats which are also heated and ventilated; reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, powered

tailgate, DAB radio and Bluetooth. The interior is supremely comfortable and, when it comes to reliability and customer service, Lexus is number one. The RX Lexus 450hl has style, wonderful cruising ability, excellent performance and, if you go steadily, decent economy for such a big car. It’s also one of the safest cars on our roads. If you want a premium, luxury 4x4, make sure the Lexus 450hl is on your list of test drives. TopicUK April 2022





Wa ke u p a n d s m e l l the coffee It’s Mokka flavoured By:Graham

Cour tney




Have you checked-out your local Hyundai dealer lately? No? Well it’s worth the trip because Hyundai is moving forwards rapidly in terms of style and desirability.

Vauxhall has got the knack of producing family friendly cars. Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are all the rage, but Vauxhall has been producing them in varying guises for donkey’s years. Remember the Zafira and the dinky Meriva? It’s hard to believe that the Mokka has been with us for nearly ten years. Need something a bit bigger?… head for the Crossland and Grandland. We like the Mokka, especially the latest model which has recently arrived. Okay, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we reckon the Mokka is a goodlooking thing. The SUV craze might be fashionable, but a lot of the products are dull and anonymous. You’d never be able to say that about the Mokka….both inside and out Vauxhall also gives buyers plenty of engine options with power from petrol, diesel or electric. £20,740 gets you into the Mokka. If you go for conventional power there are SE, SRi, SRi Nav, Elite Nav, Ultimate and the fully loaded Launch Edition trims available, while the Electric Mokka has a similar line-up but all get satellite navigation as standard. The petrol engine is a sweet spinning 1.2 litre 3-cylinder unit which develops either 99 or 128bhp. If you fancy diesel, you get a 108bhp 1.5 litre engine. The all-electric Mokka develops 134bhp. Our favourite is the 1.2 litre petrol engine in SRi trim. Prices start at £22,160, but

we’d go for the more powerful 128bhp model which bumps up the price by just over a grand. It gives the Mokka a bit more oomph which, particularly if you regularly travel with a family on board or carrying a decent amount of baggage, you’ll appreciate. You’ll crack 50mpg and the 0-60mph time of 9.2 seconds means you’ll easily keep pace with motorway traffic. Top speed is 124mph. If economy is the name of your game, go for the diesel Mokka and you’ll manage 64.2mpg. In terms of kit you get a really smart colour touchscreen which includes Apple CarPlay. There are rear parking sensors, climate control, rear view camera, heated front seats, rear dark tinted windows, DAB radio, LED headlights and handsome 18-inch alloys. If you want satellite navigation, £24,565 gets you into the similarly powered SRi Nav which also adds an excellent12-inch colour instrument panel along with a much bigger touchscreen. This is decent value for a fully equipped family car. Previous Mokka owners will instantly spot a step-up in terms of interior quality. It’s also more controlled out on the road. The 6-speed gearbox (auto is available) is nice and snicky and the suspension provides a cushy ride at town speeds.The previous Mokka was one of Vauxhall’s success stories in the UK. This latest model will simply build upon that success. TopicUK April 2022





WACCL was founded by three local businessmen, Tim Welton, Andy Turner and Ian Taylor and has so far raised more than £400,000 for local children’s charities.

John Horvath is the current Chairman and he and the committee are busy planning a very special occasion. The lunch, which was forced to stop due to the pandemic, made a triumphant return last year to a new venue: Capri at the Vine, on

the outskirts of Wakefield. Although, a smaller venue the event was just as special with 168 generous party goers raising over £20.6k for local charities. Proceeds from previous years’ events have been donated to various

charities which support children and their families in the Wakefield District: Levi’s Star. My Burns Club, Star Bereavement, The Laila Milly Foundation and The Performance Academy at Theatre Royal Wakefield. Tickets cost just £50 and include a sumptuous three course lunch, table magician, entertainment with lots of prizes and fun. All of this in aid of wonderful local causes. TopicUK April 2022


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