TopicUK August 2021.pdf

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A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 N E W S U P D AT E






Helping families is a way of life for Helen

Directors join forces

for greener future

Huddersfield Business Week returns TopicUK August 2021


Marketing with Just as every business is unique, so is every strategy. As an integrated marketing agency, we are ideally situated to identify the perfect mix of tactical marketing channels that allow us to execute upon a plan born of true INSIGHT. INSIGHT enables us to get under the skin of your business, its services, products, audiences, competitors and so much more. From here, we are expertly positioned to develop a marketing strategy that is supported by a comprehensive plan outlining the what, how, where and when to help you achieve your short and long-term objectives.

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TopicUK June 2021



This issue

Group Editor Gill Laidler


Our cover story features Helen Thewlis a partner at law firm Ramsdens Solicitors, who dreamt of joining the police force, but after leaving Huddersfield Technical College where she completed a BTEC in business and finance, followed by The University of Leeds where she studied for a law degree and The College of Law in York, Helen made the decision to become a lawyer. You can read about Helen on page 35.

Rob Blackwell

Business Executive Mandy Taylor

Associate editor Ed Asquith

Distribution Manager James Longbottom

Official Photographers

Roth Read Photography

Legal Matters

Ramsdens Solicitors Chadwick Lawrence

Recruitment Stafflex

Information technology

Paul Heigham, Bellingham IT

Cover : Helen Thewlis Image : Roth Read Photography -

Barclays Bank

Jobs boost for Leeds


Huddersfield Business Week returns


Directors join forces for greener future

Striving for a paperless office Running an international business from the coast

Printed By: Charlesworth Press Wakefield



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page page

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workplace innovation Tim Guest

To Partner TopicUK

Tel: 07711 539047 

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, Paragon Point, Paragon Business Village, Red Hall Crescent, Wakefield WF1 2DF. Law pages are written by Chadwick Lawrence & Ramsdens Solicitors LLP and TopicUK is not responsible for any advice given.


By group editor Gill Laidler

OUR PARTNERS • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

yaba global diversity Tilyard North Paladin MARKETING Yorkshire sculpture park CONNECT YORKSHIRE Community Foundation Calderdale The Piece Hall BACKSTAGE ACADEMY Ramsdens Solicitors Chadwick Lawrence Bellingham IT KC Communications Wakefield Council Ad:Venture CityFibre Eaton Smith Solicitors Stafflex Wakefield Theatre Scriba PR Kirklees College University of Law Avenue hq/Barclays Eagle Lab Yorkshire Payments Welcome to Yorkshire Contedia BeVic Town Hall Dental Fantastic Media WAKEFIELD HOSPICE Halifax Bid Beanie Media HALSTON MARKETING youbee media DAKOTA HOTEL LEEDS

As I write temperatures are hitting 30 degrees and many of our partners and colleagues are enjoying a well-deserved holiday, I am pleased that the sun is shining for them, but not so pleased that here in the office we are slowly melting! Thankfully, sitting here at my desk writing I have cool fans and lots of cold drinks to hand to keep me going. We have had a bit of a whirlwind month as we launched our s i s t e r p u b l i c a t i o n Yo r k s h i r e Businesswoman (YBW) in print in grand style at The Dakota Hotel Leeds in early July. More than 60 members came along and we were joined by YBW ambassadors Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and Christine Talbot, celebrity hair stylist Andrew Barton with guest speaker Nicky Chance Thompson DL, the CEO of The Piece Hall. As we go to press, we are delighted to announce that actress Gaynor Faye will also be joining us an ambassador. There are still places for the membership available at just £20 per month if you run a business in Yorkshire and want to attend networking events, (the next is 10th September), have access to our private members area online where you can share, collaborate and receive advice and support from other members as well as receive discounts and offers from local businesses, then sign up by visiting the website https:// you

can read about the event and view some of the images on page 90-94. We would like to wish our partners Beanie Media a happy 3rd Birthday, who are also celebrating two new client wins this month and delighted to once again be supporting partners K C Communications as the y announce the return of Huddersfield Business Week in the autumn. I was delighted to be invited to visit Sandburn Hall Hotel near York to view the beautiful interiors created by designer Rachel McLane. I wasn’t disappointed. The hotel and service were second to none and I will be sure to return in the not too distant future. You can read my review on page 30. Our cover this time features family lawyer Helen Thewlis, a partner at Ramsdens Solicitors. We caught up with Helen who shared her career journey with us and what her plans are for the future. As the NHS celebrates its 73rd Birthday and are well on with building not just one, but two new hospitals in Leeds, we look to the past on page 66 offering a fascinating inside to days gone by.

Until next time

Contents & Comments

Editors notes


TopicUK August 2021


N E W S U P D AT E Jim Dyson, director at Caddick D e velopme nts, said: “We’re delighted with the outcome of the planning committee and we look forward to working with officers on agreeing the finer details for our plans. With its perfect location and high-quality design, the scheme will prove highly attractive for businesses across the region and the nation, establishing the site as the leading ‘mid-box’ logistics location in Leeds.

Jobs boost for Leeds A landmark logistics and industrial hub located at Leeds Valley Park has been given the green light by members of the Leeds City Council Plans Panel, subject to the officers approving conditions and the section 106 agreement. The scheme, brought forward by Caddick Developments, is expected to bring a significant economic and employment boost to the region, and establish the site as Leeds’ premium ‘mid-box’ logistics location.

rating of ‘A’. Special attention has also been paid to the landscaping around the complex creating a welcoming work environment for the staff of the future occupiers. This 20-acre site forms part of Caddick Group’s 16+ million sqft

industrial and logistics space pipeline. With strong national levels of demand for industrial and logistics space, Leeds Valley Park South will make a significant contribution to meeting the regional requirements for developments of this quality and type. Given its strategic location and high specification design the scheme has already attracted interest from businesses looking to establish themselves in Leeds.

Situated between Junction 44 of the M1 and Junction 7 of the M621, the project - called Leeds Valley Park South - is ideally located for accessing regional and national road networks. The site sits within 15 minutes’ drive from Leeds City Centre, making it a prime location to attract local, regional and national businesses. Upon its completion, the 20-acre site is anticipated to create over 500 jobs. Proposals include the construction of six logistics and manufacturing buildings of varying sizes totalling 300,000sq ft of high-quality floor space. The development will target enhanced environmental standards of BREEAM ‘very good’ and an EPC


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“We’re especially proud to be bringing forward a scheme which will contribute to the region’s economic fightback from the Covid-19 pandemic, by creating 500 jobs and bringing a boost to the local economy. “Demand is incredibly high for developments of this type and size, and we’ve already started receiving interest from businesses looking to establish themselves in the area. This is an exciting time for the sector, and our scheme at Leeds Valley Park South will offer flexible commercial space to suit businesses of all shapes and sizes. We are looking forward to commencing construction work as soon as possible.”


Law director shortlisted for Yorkshire Accountancy Awards Anthony Elston, finance director for Huddersfield-based law firm Ridley and Hall, has been named as one of just two finance professionals shortlisted for Finance Director of the Year at the 2021 Yorkshire Accountancy Awards which celebrate the achievements and successes of the region’s best and brightest finance talent. A Chartered Accountant, Anthony was a partner in a national firm of accountants until 2011. He then joined a national consumer law firm as finance director and worked as part of the management team achieving significant growth, culminating in the sale of the firm in 2014 to a public company.

across its offices in Huddersfield, Leeds and Pontefract.

In 2017, Anthony returned to the culture of an independently owned firm, moving to Ridley and Hall as finance director. Over the last four years, he has been a key member of the management team, helping to decide upon and implement the strategy of the firm, and to ensure its continued financial stability as it has expanded and grown its client base

Emma Pearmaine, managing partner said: “We are immensely proud of Anthony – to be recognised as one of the leading financial directors in the whole of Yorkshire is quite an achievement.”

The winners of the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards will be announced on 19th August at a ceremony at New Dock Hall in Leeds.

Synergos Consultancy celebrate a trio of contract wins Huddersfield based ISO consultants, Synergos Consultancy Ltd are celebrating a trio of contract wins.

Imaging have appointed them to assist them in gaining the highly sought after BS10008 certification.

Set up in 2014, they assist businesses to achieve various means of compliance, including; ISO Certifications, Health & Safety Management, SSIP Accreditations, AEO Status, GDPR Compliance and more.

The project working group at Pell Frischmann collectively agree that: “Synergos Consultancy’s proposal satisfactorily fulfilled our requirements for a full consultancy support service to support our business with implementation of a UKAS certified ISO27001:2013 ISMS and showed commitment to help achieve this within expected timescales and knowledge of our

They have been appointed by Pell Frischmann, one of the largest consulting engineering firms in the

UK to help them with ISO 27001, and extended their work with County Durham based Concept IT to help them gain ISO 20000 and ISO 22301, previously helping them gain ISO 9001 and ISO 27001. When they complete this process, they will be the only IT Managed services business in their region to hold all 4 certifications. Finally, West Yorkshire based, Microform

internal resource constraints. We also find it reassuring that they can offer services for continual support and assistance with the maintenance of ISO27001 ISMS in future.” Jenny Kilburn, managing director of Synergos added: “We are extremely proud to be working with three 3 fantastic businesses across these industry sectors. They all know the value of having these certifications and they are committed to gaining them for the benefit of their clients.” TopicUK August 2021


N E W S U P D AT E all aspects of the industry, and so we need to do all we can to encourage more younger people to consider these careers. Our industry partnership with Wakefield College has opened an array of opportunities for young people and has been a breath of fresh air for us when looking to engage and encourage local employment.

Sewell Construction appointed industry partner of Wakefield College Sewell Construction has been appointed as an industry partner of Wakefield College, supporting the next generation of construction workers through the college’s new T Level qualifications starting this September.

Jon Webster, project manager at Rutland Mills said; “Having been in the construction industry since leaving school, it’s great to see the younger generation taking an interest in gaining a career in

what can be both a challenging and rewarding industry. “Over the last few years, the construction industry has seen a shortage of numbers across

As part of this new partnership, Sewell Construction has taken on two students as part of the T Level pilot, who are looking to progress into a career in construction. As part of their Design, Surveying & Planning for Construction course, Cameron and Adam will work alongside Sewell Construction’s team one day per week throughout the duration of the refurbishment of Rutland Mills in Wakefield, getting real life experience on a building site.


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“Although Cameron and Adam have only been with the Rutland Mills team a short while, they have already knuckled down with the tasks set for them each week. They are a credit to Wakefield College and a perfect fit for everything that Sewell Construction stands for. “We look forward to having them both on board until the project completion and hope that in the future, more permanent positions will become available across the business.” Appointed through competitive tender, Sewell Construction are upgrading the structural stability of the current Rutland Mills buildings on behalf of client, Opera PM for City and Provincial Properties.

N E W S U P D AT E The vision for Rutland Mills - soon to be known as Tileyard North - is to create a rich mixed-use, inclusive, creative and cultural cluster, with a programme that includes artists, designers and musicians; digital and tech industries; artisan craft and makers; studios and commercial space; retail’ restaurant and hotel offers; event and gallery space; and provision for education. Wakefield College student Cameron Snowden commented; “It’s great to be part of such a huge project at Rutland Mills, gaining valuable experience to help with my own career progression. “Everyone on site has made me feel so welcome; shadowing my mentor has already given me great insight into the industry and it has confirmed that this is what I want to do for a living. “I’ve gained in so much confidence and I am excited to see the project come together over the coming weeks and months.” The Sewell Construction team will take a hands-on role through their partnership with Wakefield College, not just with Adam and Cameron, but other students at the college too. They will have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback on student’s work on- and off-site, host masterclasses, workshops and build upon the relationship with the Wakefield College to help shape the curriculum, encouraging more young people to pursue a career in this industry. Debbie Lee, work placement and T Level officer from Wakefield College said; “We feel extremely fortunate to have Sewell Construction as one of our industry partners, supporting the next generation of technical professionals.

“We currently have two students with them, who are learning handson, what it’s like to be a quantity surveyor and a site manager, respectively, on a large working site. “These kinds of experiences cannot be underestimated; in terms of the impact they have on a young person understanding the role in action and giving them an insight into their future career.”

“I’ve gained in so much confidence and I am excited to see the project come together over the coming weeks and months.”...’ Cameron Snowden

TopicUK August 2021


N E W S U P D AT E Meanwhile, as a completely new venture, Film Calderdale’s focus began at the very beginning, requiring the design and building of a website, logo, and colour palette to work across multiple platforms. Speaking about the timing of the project, particularly following 18 months of challenges for tourism, Peter Vardy, events and licensing officer, at Visit Calderdale said: “There’s no question it’s been difficult for the industry recently, so we’ve had to be innovative in how we can provide a more engaging, digital experience for individuals – and each of our websites now do exactly that.

The Bigger Boat win duo of contracts to bolster Calderdale To u r i s t i n f o r m a t i o n service Visit Calderdale has appointed integrated agency The Bigger Boat to manage two website projects – one of which is aimed at attracting film producers, as well as sightseers to the popular West Yorkshire borough. Welcoming over eight million visitors – who generate more than £320 million in tourism per year – the area has been the selected location for several award-winning television shows including Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley, and Last Tango in Halifax. To capitalise on this interest from ‘out-of-towners’, the team at Visit Calderdale tasked The Bigger Boat with making much-needed improvements to its existing website, and also launch the

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“The two creative briefs were handled so efficiently by The Bigger Boat, and we’re proud of the final outcomes that target two separate audiences beautifully. We truly hope visitors like them too and can’t wait to welcome both them and film crews to enjoy the beautiful borough of Calderdale.” The Visit Calderdale website is anticipated to launch early August, with Film Calderdale the next project for the team to complete. Joe Vickers, account manager at The Bigger Boat, added: “This was a really exciting project to design and manage from start to finish. By focusing on improving the user’s digital experience, we’ve been able to provide a greater level of accessibility and more functionality, to keep customers engaged for longer online.

brand-new to highlight the area’s beauty and appeal to big screen producers. For, the Yorkshire-based age nc y has enhanced the site design and layout

with an emphasis on ‘mobile-first’ to cater for 60% of its online users. The Bigger Boat has also created interactive functionality – including an online ‘chat’ option and a shop – to help the team better engage with customers.

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“Visit Calderdale has always been a pleasure to work with – right from when we were brought in to design the organisation’s first ever website around seven years ago. It’s a strong Yorkshire partnership that is hopefully helping to put Calderdale firmly on the UK map and also welcome more inte rnational interest.”


Birthday celebrations and client wins for growing agency

importantly sold. We understand the importance of providing a positive first impression when a client’s website is visited, and we provide the all-important tools to ensure this. “Winning two clients whilst celebrating our third birthday is the icing on the cake and we are excited by our projected growth.”

Huddersfield based Beanie Media, the digital expert’s agency set up by Melissa Roberts and Dan Atkinson are celebrating their third birthday this month.

Marking the anniversary, the team are celebrating winning two website maintenance contracts for two large ecommerce brands which will see projected growth over the next twelve months rise to £450k turnover from its £57k start in year one.

“Selling products and services online is a growing industry, which has been accelerated by the recent pandemic,” explained Melissa. “Our team at Beanie are specialists in working closely with online retailers to ensure their products are seen and more

Beanie Media offer clients a full one-stop shop transforming business from good to exceptional in web design and development; e-commerce; video production and social media and everything is backed by their own data and proven results. The team believe that a web agency should consist of more than just creating a website, instead helping implement the right marketing strategy that in turn increases client turnover. For more information www. or hello@

Our Yorkshire Farm supports Wakefield Hospice! Star of the Channel 5 programme ‘Our Yorkshire Farm’ Amanda Owen is lending her support to our local charity Wakefield Hospice in a bid to raise much needed funds. As the hospice strives to reopen events following the pandemic the fundraising team were looking for covid safe ideas that supporters could get involved in. With previous success in organising events in the Yorkshire Dales the team decided they would organise a half marathon hike and thought there’s no better

place to start and end the event than at Ravenseat – the most famous farm in Yorkshire! When approached by the hospice Amanda was pleased to lend her support to the charity hike which is taking place on Saturday 21st August. Amanda says “I know how hard charities were hit by the

pandemic and it’s important to help them get back on their feet after such turbulent times.” Wakefield Hospice has dubbed the event “Our Yorkshire Hike” and participants will be rewarded with a cream tea at Ravenseat on completion of their challenge. Details about ‘Our Yorkshire Hi ke ’ c a n b e f o u n d o n t h e Wakefield Hospice website www. or call the fundraising team on 01924 331401. Registration is £45 per person with a sponsorship target of £200. TopicUK August 2021



Huddersfield Business Week to return this Autumn Huddersfield Business Week is set to return this October following its launch in 2019. The event, which will take place between the 4th and 8th of October, aims to bring the local business community together after the challenges of the past 18 months. The event will showcase the diverse range of businesses in the town and provide a platform to share knowledge and best practice to help enhance the outcomes of the local community.

networking opportunities and encourage businesses to move or stay in Huddersfield, attracting inward investment.

O rganised by Lindley-based PR and Marketing agency KC Communications, Huddersfield’s first business week was hailed as a massive success as hundreds of delegates across the Yorkshire region attended to participate in over 40 events hosted throughout the week.

This year, the organisers are encouraging businesses and professionals to provide their input as to what they want to see from this year’s event, which can be found on the Huddersfield Business Week website, to ensure the event delivers what the local business community needs.

KC Communications decided to set up the business week back in 2019 due to the lack of local

Katrina Cliffe, founder and managing director of KC Communications, explained:

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“We decided to launch the event back in 2019 after feeling that Huddersfield businesses had so much to offer but often would venture either way along the M62 when it came to looking for suppliers who could meet their needs. The feedback from both those who held events and those who attended was exceptional and it was great to hear that business was done as a result. After such a challenging 18 months we hope this year’s Huddersfield Business Week will help kickstart the local economy to provide growth and jobs for the region.” “There is so much hidden talent across Huddersfield, and often there is the assumption that companies located in the big cities

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are the ones who are more up to the task – let’s prove them wrong again.” Any Huddersfield-based business with an HD postcode can get involved by hosting an event and register on the Huddersfield Business Week website with KC Communications assisting with promotion. Any group or individual looking to attend can also check the website’s events section to sign-up for an event that interests them.

To let KC Communications know what you want to see this year, you can submit your answers via this short survey: fB4vX8mCVtWaa5fR8


Parsons Chartered Accountants expands its senior leadership team B ECOM E



TH YKSHI ASIN BUSINSS ASSIIN (YABA), SLISHD FIV S G, PVIDS  VI F USINSS N  GINL, NINL ND INNINL LVL. W ILL SUPP U USINSS GDLSS F SIZ  S.

Heads of Tax Advisory, Audit and Marketing have YABA DVLPS  HSIV, PHNSIV SG   H VI F ASIN joined the fast-growing team at Parsons Chartered BUSINSSS. Accountants, bringing the total head count to 36. N INDPNDN GNISIN, YABA ILL D IS S  K IH S  TheAS new appointments support the expansion of    NVINN F HI USINSSS. the firm’s portfolio of services and its growing Yorkshire client base. •

Brand Building

clients in navigating Richard joins Parsons as assisting • WalkerBusiness-to-business networking the diverse taxation landscape Head• of Audit,Reaching bringing over 10 new audiences from Corporation Tax through to years •of experience in the field. He International opportunities Inheritance Tax, and beyond. is responsible for maintaining high • Influence government policy quality audit standards, nurturing • Networking events Manager, Lisa Butterworth, client• relationships andto leading a Marketing Access a variety of support services joins Parsons with almost 20 years of specialist team in servicing the • Exclusive features in the YABA monthly newsletter experience in the commercial, third Photograph: L-R: Lisa Butterworth (Marketing Manager), Richard Walker growing client base. • Features on YABA social media and blog and public sectors. She is the firm’s first (Head of Audit) and Jamie Kelly (Head of Taxation) Jamie Kelly is appointed as Head in-house marketer and is responsible Managing Partner Ian Parsons said: guide their growth strategy. These new of Taxation, managing the firm’s for establishing a marketing strategy “Increasingly, clients are demanding appointments give us the in-house or more information of what can do you, contact: towe promote thefor expanded service not only assured financial compliance skills to comprehensively address established tax compliance service  https:/ / portfolio and support the growth of from us but also our expertise that demand and add value for our which guides clients through in seeing beyond the numbers to existing clients, whilst also growing their annual tax returns and self- the client base. advise them on the overall financial our client base and actively promoting assessments. He is also responsible for the firm’s tax advisory service, Commenting on the appointments, health of their businesses, and to our brand across Yorkshire.”


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TopicUK August 2021



Retailer bolsters turnover with commercial contracts

in creating beautiful and meaning ful business and residential environments. Nest, which currently employs around 35, is now embarking on a recruitment drive to deal with the increase in demand, with vacancies now open in the purchasing team, the contracts sales support team, and its accounts department. The business is also on track to appoint a marketing intern to join the team in the coming months. The expansion follows news last month that Nest had acquired a second site in a move which will see the team establish a dedicated design destination within the city’s iconic Park Hill development.

Yorkshire-based retailer Nest is embarking on a recruitment drive following a successful first half of 2021 which the business has attributed to a flurry of commercial contracts and ‘directto-designer’ projects. The luxury design destination, based in Sheffield, and which was one of the early adopters of online retail within its sector, has seen an increase in sales in the first six months of the year-to-date. Ashlee Sanderson, sales manager, said the boost in sales was down to a growing number of contracts to provide furniture and lighting solutions to hotels, leisure facilities, flexible workspaces and residential

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developments, including the sales suite of the Urban Splash House pavilion project in Inholm, Cambridgeshire. Ne s t h a s a l s o e x p a n d e d its interior designer client base further to the launch of its business-to-business arm, Nest Contracts, which delivers furniture, lighting and accessory design and installation services to property developers, interior designers, a r c h i te c t s a n d e l e c t r i c a l wholesalers across the UK. The dedicated site has led to project briefs from some of the country’s leading interior designe rs including M alt Creative – a London-based business which specialises

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“Along with rising website traction, much of the work reaches us as a result of word of mouth, and as our reputation for delivering a full-service offering – including the emphasis we place on customer service as part of the planning and installation of the furniture we procure - we anticipate the number of commercial projects that we are working on will continue to grow.


Purchasing the Scottish Queen, a landmark building at the heart of Phase 1 of the award-winning redevelopment project which once housed one of the four original onsite pubs, the space spans an impressive 3,500 sq. ft and includes a basement and terraces to both sides. Ashlee said: “It’s been a very strong six months for the business, with a real increase in the number of commercial contracts we are now delivering – both directly to the businesses themselves, as well as through our growing list of interior design customers. “We’re now looking forward to the opening of our new design destination in Park Hill, and to expanding our team to enable us to keep up with the demand and to deliver the very best possible service to our customers.”

Doncaster-headquartered bathroom retailer Victoria Plum has pledged to fund the planting of thousands of trees around the world over the next 12 months. The company has partnered with JUST ONE Tree, a non-profit initiative working to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reverse biodiversity loss through global reforestation. The Barnet-based organisation provides a platform for businesses to take collective action on rising global temperatures. Every pound donated funds the planting of one tree and also supports JUST ONE Tree’s oceans project which sees it plant mangroves and implement kelp regeneration programmes worldwide. Donations also enable the initiative to take environmental education into the classroom and fund reforestation organisations in countries such as Madagascar, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique and Nepal. JUST ONE Tree also helps to provide agricultural training to local communities on how to plant and care for trees, and ensuring sustainable incomes. Victoria Plum’s commitment will see the company donate funds from the business on behalf of its employees in place of birthday, wedding or Christmas gifts to help it plant thousands of trees within 12 months. The retailer has already donated a tree for each one of its 400 employees, who are also encouraged to fundraise for the cause throughout the year. Victoria Plum chief executive, Paul McClenaghan, said: “Environmental concerns continue to dominate the narrative across the globe. It is a topic close to the hearts of many of our colleagues at Victoria Plum, so I am very pleased to launch this partnership.

Global eco initiative to plant thousands of trees

“JUST ONE Tree is doing phenomenal work facilitating action within schools and business and making a real difference to people’s lives and the environment. “In business, there’s always room to do the right thing. We are proud to support such an important initiative and play our part in the fight against climate change by enabling the planting of thousands of trees, helping restore the oceans and assisting the provision of continued education on the environment.” The JUST ONE Tree initiative is one of several new sustainability measures introduced by Victoria Plum. Others include a reduction in packaging, replacing plastic with recyclable materials where possible and the creation of an eco-bathroom range with features designed to help save water.


bathroom Victoria Plum will donate a tree on their behalf. JUST ONE Tree founder, Amanda Bronkhorst, commented: “JUST ONE Tree is founded on the principle of collective action. Now more than ever it is imperative we give back to our environment and dramatically restrict our carbon emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. “To have a business such as Victoria Plum supporting us is fantastic. JUST ONE Tree is a collective of individuals schools and businesses all coming together to have the greatest impact, so we are thrilled to have an organisation such as Victoria Plum join with us. We look forward to a long and successful partnership together.”

Eco deliveries have also been introduced by Victoria Plum with cleaner, more efficient vehicles and better route planning to help reduce driver time on the road. Furthermore, if a customer opts for an eco-delivery for their TopicUK August 2021



Lindsey and Emma

Open Comms embraces Fresh Pastures with retained win

PR and content marketing agency Open Communications, has been appointed by Fresh Pastures Holdings Ltd, the company supplying fresh milk and morning goods to Local Authorities, businesses, care homes, nurseries, and schools throughout the North of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands. Following a six-month project, Open Comms was retained as preferred PR partner to deliver an essential year-round press office and social conte nt strategy as the business builds its brand profile and extends its customer network across the country. Supporting three divisions of the business: Fresh Pastures Food Service, Fresh Pastures

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Logistics and School Milk UK, Open Comms will manage multichannel content for the company to extend its reach and amplify its messaging to resonate with each target audience. Director of Open Communications, Emma Lupton, comments: “When we first met with the team their commitment, determination

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and ambition was infectious. We’ve always said that when you can get really excited by a client and their business you’ve got the right fit. “Working with clients that have similar values is really important to us and we know that this relationship is one that will build over time. The next chapter for Fresh Pastures is certainly going to keep us all busy!” Managing director at Fresh Pastures, D awn Carne y, comments: “Last year when covid hit we lost 97% of our business, we had to quickly reconfigure our 

offering just to survive and worked hard to address our public purpose. We needed a team that could help us to communicate this and were really impressed with how quickly Open Comms were able to turn things around. “Not only did they understand what we needed to achieve but were able to deliver results that had a meaningful impact. “We have a strong plan in place and will be working closely with the agency to build our profile and reiterate our credibility within the market as we extend our customer network throughout the country. We have a lot to shout about and know that the team at Open Comms are the right people to help us to do that.”

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Yorkshire firm’s research reveals ticking time bomb for workplace pensions Britain faces a ticking timebomb when it comes to inadequate retirement provisioning – that’s the opinion of Leeds-headquartered Workplace Pensions Direct following research conducted in association with YouGov. age of 68, could mean a £30,500 difference to their retirement pot.

The study found that only half (50%) of businesses across Britain are leveraging the salary sacrifice benefits available for workplace pensions. This means that more than 15 million people across the country could be missing out on the ability to contribute an average of £204 extra into their pension every year – which for a 30-year-old planning to stop working at the



Further data analysis suggests that up to 55% of Yorkshire businesses are overlooking some of the most basic ways to boost employee savings, without it costing a penny. The findings should therefore act as a stark jumpstart for the region’s businesses, believes WPD’s CEO Keith Humphrey, particularly given the magnitude of the country’s economic recovery efforts and the growing pensions gap faced by the UK’s ageing population. However, Workplace Pensions Direct has recently helped a 52-strong construction firm in South Yorkshire save £9,200 per year via a salary exchange scheme, and a West Yorkshire business services company with 525 employees has recorded annual savings of


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£58,000. The employers then have the options to use such savings to enhance colleagues’ pension contributions, invest them elsewhere, or simply boost their bottom line. “While pensions are often overlooked as a ‘boring’ subject – nothing more than a ‘dirty word’ in some organisations – the ratio of people in retirement will have shifted from 6:1 in 1990, to 2:1 by 2030,” said Keith. “Add to this the fact that forecasted returns on pensions have fallen – meaning workers must now contribute 50% more to achieve the same predicted pay out, compared to a decade ago – and it’s no wonder that the World Economic Forum has highlighted this as the financial equivalent of climate change. The implications for health, social care and quality of life during retirement, are indescribable. A full report on the findings can be accessed at www.workplacepensionsdirect.


Holden Smith appoints Peter Foxall to lead commercial property growth Leeds and Huddersfield law firm Holden Smith has grown its specialist commercial property team with the appointment of commercial property solicitor, Peter Foxall.

Peter will be based at the firm’s Leeds Crossgates office and will act on a range of commercial property matters including commercial leases, commercial refinance and site acquisition. Commenting on the appointment, director James Smith, said: “Peter is a well-respected and highlyregarded figure on the commercial property circuit having worked at

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brings with him.”Peter commented: “I have known James and David for some years and have been extremely impressed with the way they have grown Holden Smith from a team of just three to over 50 staff across three offices in just over three years. They have done things differently to shake up the market and the quality of work the firm continues to attract is excellent.

several firms throughout North and West Yorkshire. “We are delighted he has chosen to join Holden Smith, and his appointment is prestigious for us. We have worked with Peter in the past and he has always been the oracle of all thing’s commercial property law. His experience will be invaluable in driving forward our growing commercial property team

and our clients will benefit hugely from the depth of knowledge Peter

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“I am delighted to have joined the firm and am already enjoying exploring how we further develop our commercial property team based around the best people giving straightforward, commercially sound advice on what can often be a complex area of law.”


With a great start to 2021 for the Yorkshire property market, Rob and Sally Hammond, branch directors of EweMove in Wakefield East, and Martin and Shelly Mellor, branch directors of EweMove in Huddersfield, are expanding the area that the successful family run estate agencies operate in.

Rob and his team are now covering Pontefract as well as Wakefield East and Martin and his team will be expanding to cover Denby Dale. The business partners launched E w e Mo v e i n A p r i l 2 0 2 1 a n d have a wealth of experience and local area knowledge to support their customers. Rob commented “After a busy start to the year for the property market I’m delighted to be expanding into the Pontefract area with the help of my team.”

Ewe move Wakefield East and Huddersfield are expanding! “EweMove’s extensive property marketing means that our seller’s and landlord’s homes get more interest, more quickly. We also operate a 24/7 service to ensure that any viewing, enquiry, purchase offer or application is never lost. It’s obvious really. Most people search for houses online when they’ve finished work, or at weekends - precisely when most agents are closed. They’re missing a trick as EweMove get lots of enquiries during these periods, so our clients don’t miss out.” Martin added “We are excited to be expanding both areas to cover a much wider part of West Yorkshire in the coming weeks.” EweMove pride themselves on their range of unique customer service propositions, customers are not required to pay upfront

fees or any hidden charges along with a ‘No Sale – No Fee’ promise which forms their ‘Happy Sale Guarantee’. EweMove also offer unique happiness guarantees for landlords and buyers too which give confidence and peace of mind. EweMove have been recognised at the EA Masters Awards, having won Best National Sales and Best National Lettings Estate Agent, as well as being featured in the Best Estate Agency Guide for 2021. They are also 5 Star Rated on customer review website Trustpilot. For anyone wondering what their home is worth or what the rental value of a property in Pontefract, Wakefield East, Huddersfield or Denby Dale is, the EweMove website features a free online valuation tool that provides an instant valuation report. TopicUK August 2021



If you’ve never worked with a project manager before, it can be tempting to forego the expense in favour of managing a project yourself. After all, project management can be a hefty financial investment, so why not just do it yourself? But that would be a mistake. Good project management is the glue that holds a project together and ensures quality and objectives are all met, on time and on budget. Failed projects can quickly derail your initiatives and delay or even prevent business growth. Project management is more than simply tracking deadlines and setting a budget. A good project manager takes control of a project from beginning to end, ensuring that the initiatives and goals are strategically aligned, the project has stakeholder support, and everyone is on the same page. B e c a u s e p r o j e c t s a r e o f te n complex and involve numerous stakeholders, having a project manager to lead the initiative and keep everyone on the same page is critical to project success. Still not convinced? Here are four reasons why you should use project management. 1.


Have you ever wondered “Why is project management important?” By Paul Heigham - director of Bellingham IT is left to the team to handle, the scope and objectives can easily get muddled. Unclear focus can lead to scope creep, missed deadlines, and overspending. 3.

Strategic alignment One of the most important reasons to use project management is to align projects with business strategy

Realistic project planning The importance of project planning cannot be overstated. Too often, organizations overestimate how quickly they can achieve deliverables, underestimate the costs, or both—a recipe for failure.

4. Q u a l i t y c o n t r o l Quality control is an essential component of project management. Your project could meet all parameters for time and budget, but if the quality standards are not met, the project will be deemed a failure.

Clear focus and objectives When project management

By managing a project, these people could be inte rnal or

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external. External project management benefits business in greater objectivity. By choosing the right people outside their organisation to manage their most important project, a business can have the best of both worlds. Though internal project managers may have ample experience with the nature and scope of the goals the project is intended to meet. Project management consulting is not only about knowing the client to a ‘t’, but about spending the time to understand brand i d e n t i t y, t h e n p r e s e n t i n g a professional solution informed by the experience of lives, breathes, and eats project management. Internal project management and external project management are two different sides of the same coin, so to speak. Both help a company get things done

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within a set timeframe, budget, and specification While every situation needs to be assessed on its own merits, project manage me nt methodologies can add value to organisations inventory. The decision to go with one or the other is basically dependent on what the company expects, and other factors like cash flow, lack of qualified personnel within, and the general lack of manpower. Either way, both types do have their pros and cons and it is up to you to decide which one you feel will work best for your company.


Three new recruits for Glu as the team continues to grow Glu Recruit, the South Yorkshire based specialist recruitment consultancy, have added three new members to their team as they continue to grow to meet the increasing recruitment requirements of businesses across the Sheffield City Region. Two recruitment consultants, Ryan McVeigh and Amy Powis, and a recruitment & finance administrator, Lucy Watson, joined in June bringing the staff head count to 11, just five years after managing director, Rob Shaw, started the business from home. Following a strong start to the year, Glu are gearing up for further demand as hiring confidence from

any first-hand experience in recruitment, so we have always been open to employing people looking for a career change, especially if they have a desire to work hard and succeed. Our new team members come from a variety of different employment backgrounds and bring a lot of new experience to the business as we look to break into new sectors. From left to right: Amy Powis, Ryan McVeigh and Lucy Watson

employers continues to improve. Rob comments: “We always plan ahead and rather than wait for things to happen we like to be proactive and seek out opportunities for business growth. “In order for us to do this we need

a team of people in place that we can trust and develop in line with our long term plans. Ryan, Amy and Lucy all fit the bill with the fast paced but rewarding culture we have developed, and we’re thrilled to have them all on board. “Some of our most successful recruiters have joined us without

“ We ’ re s e e i n g a n i n c re a s e d confidence across the regions employers as social restrictions ease and businesses start to get back into a more normal routine, and we’re ready to hit the ground running as requirement for our services continues to increase. It’s an exciting time for our new recruits to join and be part of the next stage of our development.”

ADVERTORIAL the thrill of live music once again - it’s set to boost the local economy by driving visitors to Halifax town centre and facilitating recovery. Over the last few years, we have established a strong track record as a driver and catalyst for Halifax’s renewal and transformation. An independent study using the official HM Treasury analysis approach found that for every £1 spent running the Piece Hall, £5.30 is generated for the local economy.

The power and duty of heritage to drive our recovery and revival By: Nicky Chance -Thompson DL - Image: Stu Johnstone Photography

The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns have been difficult for many reasons, whether physical, psychological, operational or commercial. However, it has also generated some fantastic stories of optimism, positivity and people coming together. For many years those of us working in the heritage, arts or museums sector have been fighting to be recognised for the social and economic contribution we make to society. Historic England research just before the pandemic showed that the heritage sector directly provided over 206,000 jobs, with the growth of jobs in the sector outpacing the rest of the economy. In the North of England specifically, the NP11 group of Local Enterprise Partnerships found that our sector adds around £4bn a year to the economy, and hence plays a critical role in levelling-up the UK and generating local pride. Thankfully, that long-fought

battle for recognition seems to have been won. Recognising The Piece Hall’s major contribution to Halifax, Yorkshire and the UK, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, National Lottery Heritage Fund and our local authority stepped-up with unprecedented grants and financial support to help us weather the pandemic. This support helped us to bounce back stronger than ever with an improved, friendly and safe public courtyard which is helping families reunite after many months apart. Few things make my role more rewarding than looking into our Georgian courtyard and seeing the elation on the faces of children, grandparents and parents as they come together after time apart.

I think the well-known phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” really does apply to our heritage attractions, museums and galleries after months of lockdown - for example in our first weekend in April alone we welcomed over 12,000 people through our gates. People are drawn here by our unique blend of history - being the only remaining Georgian cloth hall in the world - over 40 independent shops, restaurants and bars, and our music and arts programme.

We have a model and approach that can and should be replicated elsewhere around the UK. By creating a place with a purpose and getting the support needed, we have a powerful tool that will help Halifax and Yorkshire to come back stronger after the pandemic. With most international travel and holidays off the agenda for the foreseeable future, heritage attractions also have a once-in-ageneration opportunity to reach new audiences that might normally look to holiday abroad. And once people get a taste for what the UK has to offer, there’s no going back. Let’s use the help we’ve received to support recovery, reach new audiences and make memories that stick with people for decades to come. That’s certainly what we will be doing at The Piece Hall.

We are also working hard to put heritage on the international stage, with all eyes on late summer as we eagerly anticipate our 2021 ‘Live at The Piece Hall’ series. We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming world-class artists and local talent to play gigs in the open-air courtyard, including multi-platinum-selling band the Kaiser Chiefs and indie rockers The Cribs. Not only will this enable people to experience TopicUK August 2021


N E W S U P D AT E L e w i s , Fe d E x , L a m b o r g h i n i and McLaren. Commenting on the acquisition, Chancerygate development manager, Chris Brown, said: “We have a clear vision for Triangle 45 and are really excited about delivering our first ever development in Yorkshire. Guy Bowden, partner at Bridges Fund Management, added: “We are delighted to partner with Chancerygate again for this exciting development in Leeds.

Joint venture acquires prime Leeds site A joint venture has acquired a 11.14-acre site called Triangle 45 on the East Leeds link road in Cross Green to speculatively develop 231,000 sq ft of sustainable industrial, trade and roadside space. Industrial developer and asset m a n a g e r C h a n c e r y g a te a n d sustainable and impact investor Bridges Fund Management intend to deliver 23 units ranging from 4,000 sq ft to 34,000 sq ft at the site. It will be the first time Chancerygate has developed in Yorkshire since the company was founded in 1995.

owner occupiers was developed in the city.

Triangle 45 is prominently located within the Cross Green industrial area on the East Leeds link road, which connects junction 45 of the M1 with Leeds city centre. No t a b l e o c c u p i e r s c l o s e to the site include Amazon, John

The two companies acquired the site for £6m from Halifax Estates and anticipate that, once complete, the proposed scheme will have a gross development value of around £31m. A planning application will be submitted to Leeds City Council within the next two months. The scheme will be aimed at the owner occupier market and will offer units for sale on a freehold basis. According to the partners, it is over a decade since a multi-unit industrial development aimed at

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“The growth of ecommerce is driving strong demand for industrial units like these, and our experience of similar developments across the country has shown us that tenants are increasingly seeking out sustainability features that minimise emissions and reduce operating costs. “We think this will make Triangle 45 an attractive proposition for owneroccupiers, which in turn will enable it to become an engine of job creation and economic growth for the local area.”

MAKE A BUZZ WITH YOUR AUDIENCE 6 Simple tricks to get more results from your marketing

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Kirklees College The Prime Minister toured the Motor Vehicle and Creative Industries departments and was shown how Kirklees College is helping to build the future workforce and provide young people with the vocational skills needed to support the economic recovery. As part of his visit, the Prime Minister spoke to students and staff who demonstrated how to build parts of an engine, including lapping valves and changing and refitting spark plugs in Motor Vehicle and took

part in etching, screen printing and lino printing in Creative Industries. Palvinder Singh, Principal and Chief Executive at Kirklees College said: “We were delighted to welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kirklees College. The visit offered a valuable opportunity to showcase what vocational education has to offer and how the college is contributing towards the future of the economy. We recognise the unique opportunity that vocational education offers and have heavily invested in providing young people in Kirklees with

opportunities to enhance their work skills and career prospects.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Kirklees College has done a brilliant job helping students thrive during the pandemic and today I met some inspiring teachers and talented

students who are learning everything from mechanics to screen printing. We need to make sure we develop their skills as we build back better so we are investing £9.5 million into training and development for further education teachers so they have the tools to pass on their skills and learning.” TopicUK August 2021



Stafflex announces retirement of director Maggie Netherwood

Brian Stahelin, managing director commented: “Maggie has been an integral part of Stafflex’s growth and her strategic contributions have helped to leave the business in a much stronger position then when she joined.” Brian Stahelin - MD and it’s extremely satisfying to know that all these years later, the business is still going from strength to strength. “Stafflex has a cracking team and a fantastic future ahead – everyone has worked so hard throughout the pandemic to keep us afloat in a difficult period and I am delighted to step away knowing the business is in a strong position moving forward.” “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the sales team through such an exciting period in Stafflex’s history. Our growth strategy has come a long way with employee numbers now at 18 from 9 in just over 10 years.” “I want to say thank you to all the wonderful clients, candidates

Huddersfield based recruitment agency Stafflex has announced that Maggie Netherwood, deputy MD stepped down from her role at the end of July.

Maggie originally joined Stafflex in 2010 in a telemarketing sales role bringing in a raft of new business and growing the desk substantially in a short period. A couple of years later, she stepped up into the role of consultant for the newly created office desk in which she initially helped shape through her telesales work. In 2015 Maggie was promoted to the leadership team as Sales and Customer Service director

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and was responsible for the sales performance across all of the teams, as well as mapping out the business’s long term sales strategy.

Maggie has been an integral part of Stafflex’s growth and her strategic contributions have helped to leave the business in a much stronger position... Brian Stahelin - MD

She then became the joint deputy MD in 2018 alongside colleague Abigail Stahelin-Hall.

Delighted Maggie said: “I am immensely proud of my time at Stafflex

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and associates I have worked with over the years, and also a special mention to Brian who has been mentor and a friend – it has been a privilege working with him.” 

“Maggie has successfully trained and managed a number of different teams adapting to the ever changing landscape of the recruitment industry. Her leadership skills will be greatly missed too, she has the ability to coach and motivate staff with innovative sales techniques so there is no doubting her influence has been significant.” “She has left behind a lasting legacy and a strong platform for us to build upon. We thank her for all she has done for the development and progress of Stafflex.” “We will certainly still keep her number in case she’d like to come back to work for the odd day!”

Volunteering Asked what she will be doing with her retirement, Maggie responded: “I plan to enjoy myself! I will be seeing a lot more of friends and family – in particular the grandchildren. I feel I need to make up for lost time having been in lockdown for over a year! “I look forward to doing lots of walking and I will also be volunteering to help out with charity work to keep myself busy and to give back to our local community.” Maggie has two children, three step children and eight grandchildren and is a life-long Huddersfield Town fan.

ADVERTORIAL along with supporting pictures to feature inside the magazine. Now, we’re sharing what goes on behi n d t he sce n es o f a cover photoshoot. As Ryan Sidebottom is the magazine’s newly appointed Ambassador, we thought it fitting to choose his shoot.

The Shoot Brief Gill confirmed the shoot location was Collingham, North Yorkshire where Ryan started his phenomenal cricketing journey. Ryan’s interview was about his legendary cricketing career and his audacious appearance as a contestant on Dancing on Ice.

Behind the scenes of a TopicUK photo shoot Lincoln & Perrin from TopicUK's officially appointed agency Roth Read Photography, contine to share their advice with us:

Supporting the Leading Article It s t i l l c r e a te s a b u z z o f excitement in the Roth Read household when Gill Laidler, TopicUK’s editor, contacts us about the next shoot. As their official photographers we provide the cover image

of favourite outfits; this identified Ryan as moving forward with his career. He seemed pretty relieved to not be wearing cricketing whites or a sparkly icedancing costume.

Photoshoot Day Ryan brought along a glittery cricket bat he used in an ice dance routine which we felt tied together the past and present. The all-important front page shot was taken at Collingham and District Cricket Club. Ryan looked dapper and coolly posed, even with his sparkly cricket bat.

The images needed to echo the article reflecting on his past, present and future career.

Two more local locations followed which, we like to think, were a little more subtle: a willow tree and a field of round straw bales (we know you get it).

Jokingly, Gill mentioned it would be brilliant if we captured a dog, as their readers loved the previous cover featuring the Yorkshire Vet with a pup. We love a challenge!

Suddenly all Gill’s hopes came true. Bouncing into the field came Eddy the Pointer dog! His owner told us Eddy loves posing. “Would you like him to jump up on the hay bales?” Would we ever!

Ryan’s Input

A TopicUK shoot involves working quickly and thinking on our feet but it’s the best of fun!

Later, we spoke to Ryan about how he would like to be photographed. We took advantage of his sharp dress sense by asking him to bring along a couple

We hope you enjoyed coming behind the scenes, we’ll see you from the cover of the next edition.

Lincoln & Perrin Roth Read Photography TopicUK August 2021



YTS scheme leads to long career in banking Barclays business manager Keith Waddington is celebrating a 35-year career with Barclays.

to my native Barnsley in the late eighties gave me an appetite for a customer advisor role and in particular serving business customers.

Keith started his career with Barclays on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in October 1985 and was taken on to full time staff in August 1986.

“In 1993 I was delighted to be appointed Business Banker at Rotherham branch and there my business banking journey, that I still love and enjoy today, started. Since those Rotherham days, spells at Hemsworth, Barnsley (again!) and Pontefract followed before I settled in the City of Wakefield in 2005.

When he joined the YTS scheme Keith had no real aspirations of working in a bank and probably didn’t see it as a long-term career. However, from day one he loved it. “I worked with some wonderful people during my time at my first branch, Sheffield High Street, who were instrumental in shaping my career path with Barclays. From the experience of the YTS scheme I knew that Banking was a profession I wanted to remain in. “When I was appointed as full-time staff, my

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first posting was to Sheffield Moor Branch, quickly followed by a move to Sheffield Fitzalan Square, the city’s flagship branch that was huge and employed more than 100 staff. The experience of working there stood me in such good stead for my future career path,” he continued. “It was a branch where I learned so much about the business. A move

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“It’s an area I thoroughly enjoy working in and I have much fondness for its people who I respect and value. I am extremely proud to have worked for the Bank for this length of time. The role is constantly evolving and as I move into my 36th year with the Bank my appetite to help Barclays customers is as strong as ever. I look forward to continuing to support Barclays customers and the Wakefield Business community.


ADVERTORIAL won’t just be major retailers who can reap the rewards. H o w e v e r, d a t a h u n g r y technologies need connectivity they can rely on – without that, any positive customer benefits could easily be undone by a glitchy experience. They need the best possible digital foundation which is why CityFibre is building a new full fibre network in Yorkshire.

Smarter shoppingwhat Full Fibre means for the future of retail For some time, we’ve been hearing about the decline of physical retail, spurred on by the digital age and our growing preference for the online marketplace. In the 10 years between January 2010 and January 2020, for example, the UK lost over 50,000 shops.

Technology can also be used to encourage passers-by to step inside through interactive window displays, as Ted Baker has shown to great effect.

Despite that, physical retailers still hold much of the market share. And there remains plenty of opportunity for physical retailers to set themselves up for renewed success. One such opportunity lies in the very thing that’s blamed for their decline – digital technology.

Perhaps most importantly, retailers can use digital tech to better understand consumer behaviour. By harnessing data, they can make informed decisions such as what merchandise to prioritise and how to lay out the store to encourage sales or make them more profitable. Stock levels can even be tracked, helping keep unneeded stock to a minimum and saving money on warehouse space.

It’s almost impossible for online shopping to replicate the most experiential elements of buying something in-person. For this reason, physical retailers should play to their strengths while also exploring how digital technology can give customers the best of both worlds in-store. Take Amazon as a case in point. Its Amazon Fresh brand has launched its first till-less grocery store in London, which sees shoppers

simply scan their phone on entry and receive a bill automatically on departure – without a need to scan products individually. This ‘effort-free’ mode of shopping, however, relies extensively on technology and connectivity, with hundreds of cameras and sensors working seamlessly. Other retailers have focused on transforming their fitting rooms through the use of augmented and virtual reality. Imagine being in a fitting room, putting on a jacket you like the look of and being able to change the colour or size in the blink of an eye. That makes life easier for the customers, but it also saves time, allowing more people to make use of the changing room and thus generating more sales.

These are just a few of the opportunities presented by digital technology for the high street. And while the cost of some of these technologies may be prohibitive for now, that will change as the tech becomes more ubiquitous – meaning it

Designed for the digital age, full fibre networks use 100% fibre optic technology to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection – a pristine open highway with no bumps in sight. This gives users consistently faster speeds, near limitless bandwidth and connectivity you can depend on. Most importantly for retailers, full fibre underpins 5G connectivity, which will be crucial to their ability to adopt cutting-edge technology and encourage shoppers to flock to the high street. Think of it as a highcapacity public wifi, connecting consumers with digital tech in shops, restaurants and on the streets themselves, and creating an experience that just can’t be matched in an online-only world. So whether it’s friction-free shopping, interactive displays or smart fitting rooms, full fibre and 5G helps to power all of these advances. Now, who’s for some retail therapy? To find out more about CityFibre and our work in Yorkshire and to register your interest in services, visit

TopicUK August 2021


‘Green oak designs’ take Sandburn Hall Hotel back to its roots

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HOTELREVIEW East Coast are evident in the natural colours and earthy tones. There is a contemporary functional fireplace and bespoke light fittings make the most of the vaulted ceilings, but do not detract from the oak frame. “Following a quick and efficient check-in, we were handed our keys to a premier courtyard room on the ground floor, a short walk from reception. Our room, which was quite large for a traditional hotel bedroom, merged traditional with contemporary styling. The ensuite bathroom was huge and included both a bathtub and double shower cubicle. Elemis toiletries are complimentary too, my only disappointment was there were no bath robes, but this might have had something to do with Covid restrictions. A complimentary refreshment tray is also included. All rooms boast dressing areas, including the larger family, luxury and accessible rooms as well as the two luxury suites. They all have beautiful hand-crafted fitted wardrobes with automatic lights when opened which included an iron.

Rachel McLane

You may recall in our last edition, we featured interior designer Rachel McLane and some of the beautiful interiors she has created. So, when we heard she was the lady behind the interior design of the new Sandburn Hall hotel, seven miles from York, we wanted to check it out.

Yorkshire Businesswoman editor Gill Laidler checked in for a one-night stay and to sample both dinner and breakfast. The green oak building tradition of the Hogg family form the inspiration behind the design of the new 40-bedroom hotel situated on the 1000-acre Sandburn Hall Estate, complementing one of North Yorkshire’s leading golf, wedding and

“The room décor was a mix of grey panelling, exposed brickwork and cool tones giving the room an urban and industrial feel but with beautiful soft furnishings and supe r king size beds made in Yorkshire with Harrison Spinks mattresses a feature to ensure guest comfort.

business event spaces developed by the late Mike Hogg. The hotel’s centrepiece uses natural green oak beams to frame the triple height entrance lobby, a new edition to the original building with two L-shaped wings. “Given the “Double doors led onto a private seated freedom to interpret their brief, we courtyard area, planted with young created a design that not only makes shrubs and trees, with stunning views the most of the space, but understands over the golf course and lake. Oh, and and incorporates the Hogg family did I mention the complimentary heritage, interests and craftsmanship,” bottle of bubbly we enjoyed whilst watching a most stunning sunset? explained Rachel. “We arrived late afternoon on a beautiful “Following a quick drink at the bar sunny Saturday and were warmly where we sat outside enjoying more received in this grand entrance lobby amazing views, we made the short walk displaying hand-picked artwork and on the connecting path (a corridor green oak frames, as well as vintage is not finished yet) that led us to maps depicting the Sandburn Estate” Tykes Restaurant where we had dinner said Gill. “The design takes inspiration reservations. Tykes is part of the golf from the local area where York and the club and was very busy with lots of TopicUK August 2021



families and is dog friendly (there were lots of well-behaved dogs on leads). Shown to our table which was sensibly spaced, we were given our menus and promptly ordered our bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, whilst we made our dinner choices. “Starters arrived. I chose the breaded fish goujons with homemade tartare sauce which they adapted to my personal taste and my partner chose the surf starter of king prawns & scallops in a lemon garlic butter. Both arrived promptly and were delicious. Plates cleared and after a short rest it was time for the main course. I enjoyed the Hunter’s chicken burger which was served with chips, coleslaw and onion rings whilst my partner chose seared seabass fillet, chorizo, new potato, fine bean and red onion fricassee with a caper, dill & lemon dressing. The main course was equally delicious, but my partner reported that the seabass could have done with more sauce! Time for dessert. Now I am not really a

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Given the freedom to interpret their brief, we created a design that not only makes the most of the space, but understands and incorporates the Hogg family heritage...” sweet fan and don’t normally bother with dessert, but in this case I’m glad I indulged. For my partner it was strawberry cheesecake and for me ginger and orange steamed pudding with vanilla custard. Top choice, it was delicious, light fluffy and just the right amount of ginger and orange. “Following a really comfortable night (did I mention I used to be marketing manager for Harrison Spinks beds) it was time to pack for home, but not before heading back to Tykes for our breakfast. Usually we both enjoy a full English when staying in a hotel, and although

my partner still opted for this, I chose something lighter as we had lunch reservations elsewhere. The full English was cooked to perfection with everything included, bacon, sausage, egg cooked to your own liking, hash browns, mushrooms, tomato and beans. My choice was cinnamon toast with fresh berry compote and Greek yoghurt. It was delicious, so much so that will be a weekend breakfast at home! Breakfast was washed down with a choice of teas or coffee.

“A smooth and friendly checkout and we reluctantly left, but will definitely return at some point, perhaps for a round of golf!” The verdict? Well worth a visit. The hotel and facilities are beautiful, it is in a stunning setting and the bonus is it’s just a short hop into York for those wanting a weekend break. It’s perfect for golfers or for visiting nearby Castle Howard or the Yorkshire Lavender fields. TopicUK August 2021



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Helping families is a way of life for Helen Images: Roth Read Photography

When she was growing up, Helen Thewlis a partner at law firm Ramsdens Solicitors, dreamt of joining the police force, but after leaving Huddersfield Technical College where she completed a BTEC in business and finance, followed by The University of Leeds where she studied for a law degree and The College of Law in York, Helen made the decision to become a lawyer.

To support her studies, Helen worked as a bar assistant / front of house at Poppa Piccolinos and because she enjoyed it so much, she remained there for ten years, working in the office during the day whilst making cocktails and greeting guests by night. Helen’s first role was completing her training contract with her father’s law firm in Holmfirth. “In 1999 Ramsdens merged with the firm Kidd Meller and Co, so that’s when I became part of the Ramsdens team, progressing to become a partner three years later. “Law is not a difficult profession for women to succeed in, but I have been fortunate to work for a firm who doesn’t differentiate on gender and you succeed if you are the right person, whatever your gender, although I am aware that this might not be the case across the entire legal profession, but fortunately not an issue I have ever had to deal with.

“Every day for a family lawyer is different as no two cases are ever the same and so the variety of work is something that I really do enjoy, but also the sense that you are actually helping a person who is going through an extremely emotional experience and ultimately then seeing the client at the end of the case to how they presented at the start is often quite an incredible transformation. Of course, that is not the case in every situation, but helping people is what I enjoy the most about my role.

Opportunity “I think the worst part of being a family lawyer are the stories we hear of horrible events that have happened to people during their lives, which you would never want anyone to experience, but hopefully once they have received advice, they can begin to move on and experience a more positive life.

“I do enjoy the variety my role offers,” Helen continued. “Most days are different due to the number of people I see as we handle a large volume of cases daily. Typically I would start the day responding to emails that have arrived overnight then usually the day is spent at client meetings, unless I have a court hearing, so I would prepare for and attend that, always trying to take calls and respond to emails as the day goes on, it does make time pass very quickly! “I am proud of the team here at Ramsdens and I want to ensure that the firm continues to grow and thrive so that the younger me mbe rs of the team have the opportunity to grow like I have been able to do over the years. The working world is very different now to when I started out,” she continued. “When I tell younger staff that I didn’t have a computer and my assistant would sit in front of me and take TopicUK August 2021


C O V E R F E AT U R E FACT FILE: Husband / partner name: John Children: two children aged 18 and 13 What car do you drive? Land rover discovery What do you do in your leisure time? I spend my spare time transporting my children to different sporting activities and watching them, I have spent so much time over the years at work to be able to spend some time now with my family is very important to me. Where is your favourite restaurant? Issho Leeds What is your favourite food and drink? I enjoy most foods, but tapas are excellent, and I also enjoy a good curry, I am a gin and tonic or white wine girl although this summer have really got into rose! Where is your favourite holiday destination? I am a hot destination girl and love Thailand although Barbados was also a great destination, I really want to tour Italy and France as the south of France has a beautiful coastline. Where is your favourite place in Yorkshire? I am Huddersfield born and bred and the countryside we have around our area is incredible and standing at Castle Hill looking over the Town and then towards the moors and the villages dotted around is probably my favourite place What is your favourite gadget? I love my magimix as I enjoy cooking so that is so handy to have

shorthand, they look at me like I have gone mad,” she laughed, “and when I try and recall how excited we would get when we heard the fax machine ring and shout ‘we have a fax’ whilst all standing around the machine to see who it was for, they really don’t understand!

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“I try and encourage the younger members of the team to get to know as many people as they can as connections are key. I encourage them to work hard and always continue to learn and importantly if you make a mistake own it, we all make them and we learn from them, it is

important to learn something new every day! “Looking back, I don’t think I would have done anything differently, it might have been nice to have worked for other law firms for different experience but in general I am very happy and grateful at how my working career has worked out.”

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What couldn’t you live without? I don’t really think there is anything we can’t live without (other than food and water) and of course our families but I think COVID has shown us all that the simple things in life are very special so would have to say the love of my family

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Jobs outlook from a local perspective Strong performance continues for Yorkshire’s private and manufacturing sectors and there is welcome optimism on the 12-month outlook amongst local businesses. The rate of growth was the quickest since data collection began in January 1997.

In addition to this, experts predict an even stronger economic recovery in the second half of this year as businesses build confidence to commit to future investments and projects. These positive expectations were associated with forecasts of a robust economic rebound following a resurgence in business and consumer spending as lockdown restrictions continue to be relaxed. Growth Tim Moore, economics director at HIS Markit said: “The latest survey results set the scene for an eyepopping rate of UK GDP growth

in the second quarter of 2021, led by the reopening of customerfacing parts of the economy after winter lockdowns. The successful vaccine roll out has generated a strong willingness to spend and fortified business optimism across the service economy.” Data indicates that the majority of manufacturing sectors are showing strong growth, these include textiles and clothing, food and drink, metals, chemicals and electrical. Disappointingly the transport equipment industry hasn’t quite bounced back like the others. Service sectors are also in good stead to bounce back to precoronavirus levels as computing, financial, business-to-business and professional services record impressive results. The only negative is the hospitality and catering industry which is still heavily affected by the lockdown

restrictions and could seriously benefit from additional government financial support. Positive Although there is much positive economic news, there is also an elephant in the room – Brexit. The big concern even before the result in 2016 was that it could potentially create a labour shortage as a consequence of the rapid decline in the number of EU workers. Coronavirus and the extension of the furlough scheme are contributing factors to the shortage and as a result of continuous setbacks for workers in the poorly performing sectors, (such as loss of job, reduced wages or reduced hours) we see many people opting for completely new career changes with no intention of returning which puts even more strain on those sectors. For further information, contact Nemi Alexis, Marketing Manager at Stafflex on 01484 351010 or at

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EY promotes three associate partners in Yorkshire and the North East EY has appointed the three from within EY, reinforcing the firm’s continued investment in its regional business and commitment to nurturing homegrown talent.

of Newcastle and now leads the private tax team in the North East and Yorkshire, focussed on looking after privately back companies as well as individuals and their assets.

services, combining 16 years’ international experience delivering technology solutions with functional knowledge of profitability models across tax and finance. He joined EY in 2019, with a wealth of experience across platform, solutions & intelligence (PSI) and has broadened the firm’s operational transfer pricing offering to address clients’ needs for integrated solutions to manage tax compliance, financial management and regulatory reporting.David Baggaley is an associate partner

Suzanne Robinson, managing partner for Yorkshire and Humberside said: “Our continued significant investme nt in se nior tale nt reflects not only EY’s ambition in Yorkshire and the North East but also our confidence in the long-term outlook for the regional economy. “Congratulations to our three new Associate Partners who have all worked exceptionally hard to achieve this career milestone. Their expertise and leadership will strengthen our footprint in the region.”

Tim Vance, Jon Scott, and David Baggaley have all been promoted to associate partner. Tim Vance has been promoted in EY-Parthenon’s Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy team. Tim joined EY in 2006 and has over 15 years’ experience advising management teams and financial institutions. Jon Scott works in tax, focussing on international tax and transaction

within tax, focussing on business tax services. David joined EY in 2007 after graduating from the University

AFTER POWERING YORKSHIRE’S WORKFORCE FOR OVER 20 YEARS, WE THOUGHT IT WAS TIME FOR AN UPDATE TO OUR LOGO We love the uniqueness of our original logo, so we won’t lose it altogether, but we felt we have to future proof the business as we look to expand into growing sectors.

SPECIALIST RECRUITMENT FOR OFFICE, EDUCATION, INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING Contact us today to discuss your staffing requirements on Tel: 01484 351010 International House, Chepel Hill, Huddersfield HD1 3EE |

TopicUK August 2021


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CFFC launches event to support Professional Advisors The Community Foundation for Calderdale (CFFC) had a successful launch to their event for professional advisors in May with over 20 people attending, the next bi-monthly event is on 22nd September 2021 online.

Professional Advisors are people who give professional advice usually to businesses, for example Solicitors, Accountants, Finance Advisors, HR or IT consultants. CEO of the Foundation, Steve Duncan explained, “We understand that Professional Advisors have been through enormous stress and pressure throughout the pandemic. As part of our role as a catalyst and convener in the local community, we are hosting events to facilitate Advisors being able to network and form relationships with other Advisors and also feel supported in the challenges they are facing personally and professionally.

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To book your place on this free event, search for Community Foundation for Calderdale Professional Advisors Event on Eventbrite.






















Should you experience difficulties in your family life, you may need to seek legal support and advice. Chadwick Lawrence’s specialist team will go the extra mile to achieve the best possible result for you and give you the peace of mind that you are in expert hands.

Defamation & Reputation

Dispute Resolution Employee Services

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For more information or advice contact our team on: E: | T: 0800 015 0340 | W:

Criminal Law

L E G A L M AT T E R S pass your estate to your cohabitee who otherwise, may not inherit anything. This is important as if they are left out, they may have to apply to Court to obtain provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, a process which is often timeconsuming and costly. Guardians: It is prudent to appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that you pass away and a Will is the appropriate vehicle to do that, as you can pass your parental responsibility to an individual provided the appointment is in writing.

Photo: de Andrea Piacquadio provenant de Pexels

The Rules of Intestacy What happens if you pass away without a Will?

When someone passes away without a Will, their estate (which usually comprises of everything they own including property, money and digital assets) passes to direct family members in accordance with a statutory checklist called the ‘Rules of Intestacy’.

To summarise the provisions of those Rules, if an individual is married and has children, only the first £270,000 passes to the spouse, with the rest of the estate passing to the children equally. If a married couple have no children, then the whole estate passes to the spouse. The Rules then provide that if the individual is not married and has no children, the estate passes to the individual(s) listed first in the following order of priority :•


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Brother and sisters (if a sibling has passed away already, their children inherit in their place)

Half-brother and half-sisters (if a half-sibling has already passed away, their children inherit in their place)


Aunts and Uncles (if an Aunt or Uncle has passed away, their children i.e. the cousins inherit in their place)

Inheritance Tax and Care Home Fee planning: You can plan to safeguard some of your estate from being used to fund care fees, and minimise your liability to inheritance tax. Such advice is often given alongside the preparation of a Will. Overseas assets – If you own assets or are domiciled overseas with English assets, it is important to seek advice in succession of those assets and the position with your taxable estate.

Half-Aunts and half-Uncles (if a half-aunt or half-uncle has passed away before, then their children inherit in their place)

If there are no relatives above, then the Crown receives the estate

Caring for pets – Within your Will, you can leave the care of your pets to a specific person, and give instructions as to how that person should look after your pet.

It is therefore prudent to put in place a Will to ensure that your personal wealth passes to those who you would wish for it do so. There are also other benefits to putting in place a Will:-

Funeral Wishes – a Will enables you to detail funeral wishes to direct your family in organising your funeral at a difficult time.

Charities: A will enables you to make provision for charities, who would not receive any funds under the Intestacy Rules. Cohabitees: If you cohabit with a partner, a Will enables you to

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Disputes between neighbours Any dispute can be stressful. However, if a dispute happens between people who own land or property next to each other, it can also make life very difficult. Types of disputes between neighbours Conflict and disagreement between neighbours can arise for a variety of reasons, such as: 1.

drainage or rights of way over land;


the use of land or property; or,


the boundaries between adjoining land or property.

What can we do to help? At Chadwick Lawrence LLP, we can assist those in dispute to achieve a resolution. We understand that conflict is upsetting and is particularly so when it is so close to home or a place of business. We try to take the worry away from clients by providing clear advice and being transparent in relation to costs and risks. Whilst court proceedings might ultimately be required where a dispute cannot be resolved another way, they are not inevitable. Where people live or operate businesses in close proximity, it can be

particularly important for disputes to be resolved in a way in which a neighbourly or business relationship can be maintained. One option for those in dispute is agreeing to attend a mediation. This is where an independent third party, often a barrister or judge, seeks to help those in dispute to achieve a mutually agreeable settlement. The parties are often represented by their separate legal teams at a mediation, who advise them throughout. It is not even necessary for the people in dispute to be in the same room. During the pandemic, mediations have been held successfully by video


conference and we see no reason why this should not be an option for clients going forwards. One benefit of a mediation is that a conclusion can be reached which would not have been possible at court. If court proceedings are required, we can advise you on the process and have good relationships with barristers specialising in property matters. If you have a dispute with a neighbour, or need advice about any property related matter, Chadwick Lawrence LLP’s Property Litigation Team would be happy to discuss the position with you.

For example: 1.

One neighbour, Mr A, may routinely walk through Mrs B’s garden to access a field. Mr A might have walked that way for years without objection and might need to go that way for various reasons. A dispute could arise if Mrs B objects to Mr A’s actions and puts up a fence or locks a gate to prevent Mr A from walking through her garden.


Mrs C might have set up a business in her garden which is noisy or smelly. Mr D, who owns the property next door, might complain to Mrs C and seek to stop her from running her business from her garden.


Miss E could decide to develop land she owns by building property on it. Her neighbour, Dr F might object on the basis that she believes she owns part of the land which Miss E intends to develop. TopicUK August 2021



Making a year-round commitment to LGBT equality and inclusion at ULaw On 28 June 1969 in New York’s Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police. Riots erupted, fuelled by decades of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) discrimination. In 1970, the uprising was c o m m e m o r a te d t h r o u g h t h e Christopher Street Liberation March, something we now know as Pride. In the UK, Pride month is celebrated in June and ULaw ran several events, including a talk on LGBT activism, run as part of our Real World Lecture series aimed at recent school leavers. At ULaw we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment for all students and recognise that this needs to operate all year round. By tackling issues such as LGBT related legislation, we can blend legal education with visibility to let LGBT students know they are supported. From Criminalisation to Reform Alan Turing, whose crucial work with mathematics and computing set the stage for today’s technological advancements, was convicted of gross indecency in 1952. Forced to undergo ‘chemical castration,’ Turing lost his job with MI5 and his death by suicide in 1954 marked the loss of one of Britain’s most brilliant minds.

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Turing was one of several high-profile cases that prompted the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957. At the time, homosexual

activity between men was a criminal offence. The Wolfenden report recommended legislative reform which was eventually implemented through the Sexual Offences Act 1967 and the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. This vital but incomplete reform allowed gay and bisexual men over the age of 21 to engage in consenting relationships in private. However, the reform explicitly excluded lesbian, gay and bisexual people serving in the armed forces and any innocuous public affection between men was heavily policed. Gay bars were frequently raided and old Victorian crimes such as ‘licentious dancing’ were used to prosecute gay and bisexual men with convictions rising by 400% in the 1970s. Although relationships between women were not criminalised, lesbian and bisexual women were often required to live in secrecy due to intense social stigma and no meaningful legal protections. The path from 1967 to today represents significant strides. The early 2000s saw the age of consent equalised, the legislation that banned lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving in the army was lifted and the Gender Recognition Act gave transgender people the right to acquire new birth certificates. Reforms prevented anti-

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LGBT discrimination in the workplace and the Equality Act 2010 recognised gender reassignment as a protected characteristic. The relationship between LGBT rights and education, however, has its own thorny history. LGBT and Education Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was implemented by Margaret Thatcher’s government. It prohibited schools from “teaching… the acceptability of homosexuality.” This legislation had far-reaching consequences, erasing LGBT lives, literature, history and contributions from the school curriculum. Without the Internet, young LGBT people were deprived of vital resources at the peak of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Although it was eventually repealed in 2003, the legacy of Section 28 perpetuated a nervousness around making LGBT issues part of the curriculum and it required a further legislative change in 2020 to make this teaching mandatory. As a Higher Education provider, ULaw recognises the importance of providing high-quality education to our students in a way that supports students from marginalised communities. Through events that equip our students with the understanding of legislation that left individuals disenfranchised due to their gender, sexual orientation, race and economic status, our goal is to combine learning with a culture of visibility and inclusivity.



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listen to your children

When going through a divorce it is easy for animosity between parents to develop exponentially, often to the detriment of the entire family, including the children. This can lead to the children’s needs being forgotten when in fact it should be one of, if not the most important consideration during the divorce proceedings. CAFCASS, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, announced the release of the update to the “Top Tips for parents who are separated” with the aim being that every child’s voice should be at the centre of the proceedings about them. This includes hard listening and ensuring not only are the children’s voices being heard, but also that they are understood. Some examples include: •

Remember it is okay for me to love and have a relationship with my other parent.

Keep me informed about any changes to my arrangements.

Remember I have the right to see both my parents as long as it is safe for me to do so.

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Whilst the tendency can often be to blame one another for the irretrievable breakdown in the relationship and therefore attempt to compensate for this by way of monetary assets, it is important to note that often the reason a focus is placed on assets is to provide for the children and to ensure their needs are met in the future. This can include essentials such as food, clothing and school fees to luxuries such as holidays abroad. Ultimately the priority is to ensure that the lives of the children are not unduly affected by the separation. Ultimately however a child’s mental welfare should be paramount and ensuring that every step taken takes this into account can ensure that they have an ongoing relationship with both parents following the separation. If you would like to discuss the financial consequences of marriage breakdown, or any other family law matters, please get in touch with our family team to arrange a free, no obligation 30 minute telephone consultation.

Planning law changes in England

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What are the grounds for contesting a will? The loss of a loved one is a difficult time and having doubt whether their Will truly reflects their wishes can make an emotional time even more difficult.

Disputes between family members where a Will is contested are unfortunately becoming more common. Ramsdens contentious probate partner, Nazia Nawaz highlights below, the main reasons for challenging a Will:

it appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and • the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time. • Each witness either: • attests and signs the will; or • acknowledges his signature, in the presence of the testator (but not normally in the presence of any other witnesses), but no form of attestation shall be necessary.


For a Will to be valid it must be duly executed in accordance with the requirements set out in s.9 of the Wills Act 1837. Certain formalities set out below must be complied with. These require that: • the Will must be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction; and


This is where a person’s mental ability to make a Will or alter an existing valid Will, is challenged. If a person lacks testamentary capacity at the time of making their Will then it will be invalid. Assessment of a person’s testamentary will depends on the facts in individual cases and is determined solely by a person’s ‘state of mind’. When executing a

Developers, property owners and funders will welcome changes to planning laws that permit developments in England altering use of property from commercial business and service (Class E) to residential (Class C3), under a new Class MA (Mercantile to Abode), provided certain conditions are met. Developments pursuant to the new permitted development laws require prior approval from the local planning authority, and the first applications for approval can be made from 1 August 2021. The change must be implemented within three years of the approval.

The conditions include that:

valid Will, a person must be able to understand and make decisions about the Will they are making and its effects and consequences. Medical evidence is usually required to assist in establishing capacity retrospectively. LACK KNOWLEDGE AND APPROVAL OF THE TERMS OF A WILL

There may be circumstances such as physical conditions of not being able to write, or where the person making the will was deaf or blind at the time, which can raise concern. It must be established whether that person had the required knowledge to understand the content of their Will and whether they approved the content, by considering whether they understood a) what was in the Will when they signed it, and b) what its effect would be. UNDUE INFLUENCE

This is a difficult ground to prove in will validity cases and one must prove that the Will was the product

The cumulative floor space must not be more than 1,500 square metres (so the new rules do not permit larger developments).

The building must have been e m p t y f o r t h re e o r m o re continuous months immediately before the application for approval.

The building must have been in Class E (or, before 1 September 2020, any predecessor class) for two or more years before the application.

The building must not be listed, in a site of special scientific interest, a National Park or in other similar specified areas (an application can still be made if a building is in a conservation area, when special rules will apply).

of wrongdoing rather than that of the persons true intention and wishes. For instance, a will can be challenged where there is evidence that the person was coerced or pressurised by someone into making their Will usually to benefit that person. Undue influence can take various forms such as badgering, bullying, intimidating or threatening someone to make a will in certain terms. It also be in more subtle forms such as excessive persuasion, befriending a vulnerable person or simply by tugging on the heart strings of a person in order to convince them to make a will in certain terms. Unfortunately these types of behaviours are usually carried out secretly and therefore having any form of evidence is highly unlikely and so lack of evidence should not discourage anyone from taking legal advice on their circumstances if they suspect that a will was created under undue influence. Often wills are challenged on more than one of these grounds. A s u n d e r p re v i o u s p e r m i t te d development rules, the application must deal with issues such as t r a n s p o r t , n o i s e , f i r e s a f e t y, contamination, flooding, etc. The planning authority will take into account the impact of industrial, storage, distribution and waste management in the area on future occupiers of the homes to be created. There are also significant changes to permitted development of public service buildings. Landlords, property owners and funders should consider whether the new permitted developments will enable them to carry on new and profitable activities from premises, or offer empty properties for sale or let for new uses, without h av i n g to a p p l y f o r p l a n n i n g permission. TopicUK August 2021


for all your legal needs, call your local solicitors


with 14 offices across Yorkshire, we’re never too far away

01484 821 500

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Ramsdens has promoted nine team members

The promotions include two new Partners, three Senior Associates and four Associates. Taking on their new role as Partner includes Helen Cain from the Child Care department and Sarah Hodkinson from W ills, Tr u sts a n d P ro b ate department. Christopher Annabel in the Commercial Property department, Jolene Briggs from the Conveyancing department and Michael Robinson from W ills, Tr u sts a n d P ro b a te d e p a r t m e n t h av e a l l b e e n promoted to Senior Associates. The four new Associates are Jennifer Slater from Wills, Trusts and Probate department, Nicola Rhodes from the Child Care department, Rachel Sharp from the Clinical Negligence department and Rhys Craddock

from the Commercial Property department. Helen Cain commented on her Promotion: “I am delighted to have become a partner at Ramsdens. I am looking forward to the challenges my new role will bring, and my aim is to continue to represent my clients to the best of my ability and to promote Ramsdens as one of the leading firms in Yorkshire.” Sarah Hodkinson added: “ I see this as very much a reflection and recognition of the hard work and commitment shown by the whole team. Over the last 15 months we have experienced an unprecedented increase in business from

both new and existing clients, whilst continuing to provide an exceptional level of service, despite the challenging working environment. I look forward to continuing to develop the Private Client business at Ramsdens, as we hopefully return to a normal way of living.” Picture from L-R: Nicola Rhodes, Jolene Briggs, Helen Cain, Michael Robinson, Sarah Hodkinson, Jennifer Slater, Rhys Craddock, Rachel Sharp, Christopher Annabel

Commenting on the new promotions, Paul Joyce Managing Partner said: “Congratulations to all of our colleagues on their achievements and we wish them every success on the next stage of their careers at Ramsdens. The last 15 months have been incredibly challenging for all of us and these promotions play a strategic role in creating further opportunities for growth across our firm.”

Ramsdens Solicitors TopicUK August 2021



Understanding whether the force may be with you

When Fredbar asked to invoke the clause as work levels were reduced and he needed to selfisolate, Dwyer (UK) argued that plumbing services could still be provided during lockdown and a drop in demand was insufficie nt grounds for force majeure. When the franchisee terminated the agreement, arguing The past year Dwyer (UK) had has taken us failed to meet its all into obligations, the unchartered company retaliated territory, by initiating demonstrating legal action, how the claiming damages.

‘May the force be with you’ is usually the concern of Jedi knights heading to battle in Star Wars, rather than something that company directors look for. But for those companies looking to claim that the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to circumstances beyond their control in delivering on contracts, it is a ‘force’ of a different sort that is concentrating minds. In one of the few cases to consider the impact of the pandemic on company contracts to date, the High Court has ruled that a force majeure event took place when a Drain Doctor franchisee needed to self-isolate due to the risk of Covid-19 on his vulnerable child. A force majeure clause in a

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contract can excuse one or both parties from their obligations - without being liable for any failure to perform - if acts, events or circumstances occur which are beyond their control, such as a natural disaster or a state of war. In the case of Dwyer (UK) Franchising Ltd v Fredbar Ltd & Bartlett, the franchise agreement contained a clause for suspension during any period that either party was prevented or hindered from complying with their obligations by any cause designated as force majeure by the franchisor.

unexpected can, and does, happen....

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In assessing the c a s e , t h e Hi g h Court drew on what is known as the Braganza duty, from the 2015 case of Braganaza v BP Shipping,


which saw the Supreme Court rule that a unilateral power to call a force majeure event must be exercised ‘honestly, in good faith and genuinely’. In this case, the judge ruled that Dwyer (UK) were in breach of the Braganza duty in refusing to agree force majeure, as they had failed to consider all the relevant factors. These extended beyond the general situation regarding plumbing services during the pandemic and included the importance of family welfare and the franchisee’s need to isolate to protect his son, who was in a vulnerable category for Covid purposes. “The ruling reflects the specific facts of this case and the wording of the force majeure clause. But while the wording of Drain Doctor’s clause was not typical, it is an interesting outcome for anyone currently pursuing action on these grounds in relation to the pandemic. However, each case will hang on individual circumstances and the wording of the particular contract concerned,” explained Phil Clarke, Dispute Resolution Partner at Eaton Smith. He added: “The past year has taken us all into unchartered territory, demonstrating how the unexpected can, and does, happen. This is why it is so important to have well drafted contracts, as having clear terms in place can make all the difference. And because the concept of force majeure is derived from civil law, and not fully recognised under English common law, it should always be fully and clearly defined in a contract.”


Social engagement association born from business

Yorkshire Asian Business Community Association (YAB CIC) is a newly formed social engagement and community segment of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA) The aim of this new organisation is to support the local community

with economic, health, educational, business and employer links through its partnership with YABA that has over three thousand active members made up from corporate organisations, businesses, public sector, private sector, higher education, further education and small businesses, predominantly from the Yorkshire region.

YABA which is the voice of the Asian business community offers advice and support for businesses that may face issues or challenges. “Over the years the charity has found that the challenges facing the BAME community have included issues such as access to resources, networks and information that would help with the running and growth of their business,” explained director Sharon Jandu. “As a result, YABA have become a trusted advisor, a ‘bridge’ or ‘connector’ between mainstream resource and information.

The Data 2011 census data shows Black Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities make up 20% of the population of West Yorkshire around 490,000 people. Bradford has the highest proportion of BAME groups of people (31.2%), and Craven has the lowest (3.6%). In 2019/20 the percentage of BAME children in school across West Yorkshire ranged from around 6 in pupils in Bradford to around 2 in 10 pupils in Wakefield.

“Success with community engagement led to the organisation becoming involved in nonbusiness-related issues, this led to the decision to establish a community segme nt to the organisation,” she concluded.

Journey through art and nature at YSP

Plan your visit at Advanced booking essential Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG 1 mile from M1 J38

Kimsooja, A Needle Woman: Galaxy was a Memory, Earth is a Souvenir, 2014. Photo © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Registered charity 1067908.

TopicUK August 2021



Directors join forces to make the case for a cleaner, greener future The Institute of Directors (IoD) brought directors together to debate a change to UK law that would ensure all companies align the interests of their shareholders with those of society and the environment.

The Better Business Act campaign, launched in April this year, calls for an amendment to Section 172 of the Companies Act that would empower directors to align the long-term interests of people, planet and profit. More than 650 businesses have signed up, including John Lewis, Iceland, Danone, innocent drinks, The Body Shop and Bulb. Panellists included Joanna Allen, chief executive of healthy snacking business

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graze. The ex-Coca-Cola and Unilever executive is the founding co-chair of enable, Unilever’s employee disability network. She was joined by Dr Roger Barker, director of polic y and corporate governance at the IoD. Roger regularly speaks about corporate governance issues at universities and business schools and will outline why the Institute has thrown its weight behind the campaign. Guests also heard from Joanna Bryan, an environmental specialist at Rix & Kay Solicitors. A former environmental scientist, Joanna explained what the Better Business Act would mean for day-to-day boardroom decision-making and how the small change to the law would ensure directors can support all stakeholders and the environment.

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Also on the panel was Siân Holt, managing director and owner of Fudge Kitchen, an artisan confectionery manufacturer and retailer. Siân explained why Fudge Kitchen is supporting the campaign and outline her firm’s journey to improve the impact their daily operations have on people and the planet. Conservative MP Danny Kruger laid out his reasons for supporting the Act. Danny is a former Political Secretary to Boris Johnson, the author of a recent government review of civil society and a vocal supporter of responsible capitalism. Promoting Good Governance is a fundamental part of the IoD’s mission. The Institute’s Royal Charter instructs it to advance the understanding of how organisations should be run, while also enhancing the knowledge and skills of individual business leaders.

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N E W S U P D AT E co-founder gave an exciting update on the progress of the development of the historic Rutland Mills adjacent to the city’s The Hepworth Wakefield gallery. Nick Keynes added “It was an absolute pleasure to speak to over 100 Wakefield advocates and share our vision for Tileyard North. We’re on a mission to build a thriving creative community for the district and the support and opportunities that the Ambassador program will provide will be really valuable for our project as Tileyard is all about building relationships and making connections.”

Wakefield launches Ambassador Programme to boost profile of the district Wakefield Council has launched its brand new Wakefield Ambassador Programme, a network of likeminded individuals from the business community who are passionate advocates for the district.

the area forward and will be a key component of the district’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re confident that the programme will further support the district to recover at pace and help to realise The Ambassador Programme aims to district and further events are connect business and organisations planned across the rest of the year. benefits that make a real difference to the lives of our residents. from across the district to harness Wakefield’s collective clout and Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of promote the district to national Wakefield Council and Chair of “It’s a really exciting time for the and international audiences to raise Recovery Board, said: “I’d like to Wakefield district, so I hope we awareness and drive investment into say a big thank you to everyone can continue to pull together as the district as a place to live, work, who has joined our Ambassador many businesses, organisations and individuals as we can to bang the visit or study. Programme so far. drum for this great place.” Launching on 26 May, the Wakefield “Wakefield is a hidden gem and Ambassador Programme saw over these individuals and companies Attendees at the first event, which 100 businesses, organisations will make sure the district is known can be watched here, heard about and individuals come together as - promote the place, speak up for the key developments including a strong voice for the Wakefield district and want to be part of taking Tileyard North, where Nick Keynes,

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The programme is part of Wakefield’s ambitious place story – an aspirational but achievable view of what Wakefield and the surrounding area can offer as a place. The place story focuses on what makes the district special, what’s in the DNA of Wakefield and what sets the district apart. The Wakefield story focuses on key aims surrounding the areas un ri v a l l ed co n n ectivity, its tremendous offer of places to live and visit and its heritage steeped in creativity - being the birth place of both Henry Moore and Dame Barbara Hepworth. For people who are passionate about the Wakefield district and would like to hear more about its development and assets to share with their network and help raise the profile of the district, the Ambassador network is free to join.

To g e t i n v o lv e d p l e a s e follow @one_wakefield on Twitter, search Wakefield Ambassador Programme on LinkedIn or email placebrand@wakefield. to be added to the distribution list and be invited to the next event.

A lifeline from HMRC for small businesses facing tax bills?

ADVERTORIAL Should a company reach the stage of insolvency with unpaid VAT or other tax liabilities, HMRC are classed as a ‘preferential creditor’, meaning they will get paid first. For many smaller businesses who are likely to need longer to trade their way back to a stable position, the prospect of HMRC repayments on the horizon is daunting. The suggested flexible approach from HMRC should offer a ray of light to viable businesses who just need more time to pay their tax liabilities. It is clear that HMRC are looking to work with business owners rather than make unachievable demands that will lead to the failure of a business. For this to work, however, there is a responsibility on those businesses owing money to engage proactively to manage their debt. If your business is suffering cashflow issues or you are worried about upcoming liabilities, it is crucial you seek professional advice as early as possible. You can contact our friendly team for advice on any tax matters, from corporation tax to inheritance tax – and everything in between. Call 01924 669 500 and ask us about our complimentary tax clinics.

As part of a further wave of support for UK industry, In an open letter written to the HMRC has said that businesses struggling with Covid Institute of Directors and industry debt will not be forced to pay overdue tax immediately. body R3, Mr Kwarteng has suggested Business of all shapes and sizes were able to remain operational during the worst of the Covid crisis thanks to a significant package of financial support from the government, including business loans, payment deferrals and grants. The worry now is that those business owners taking advantage of schemes such as VAT and Corporation Tax deferral are facing some hefty bills due in the coming months that

simply cannot be paid on time whilst they are still struggling to get back on their feet. Recognising this challenge, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that HMRC will be adopting a pragmatic approach to overdue liabilities. Reassuringly for many, enforced insolvency as a result of being unable to pay overdue tax liabilities will be an absolute last resort.

that it is only those companies who avoid engaging with HMRC, rather than those with an inability to pay, who will be most at risk of enforcement measures. In simple terms, this means if you’re worried about paying tax liabilities, you should start a conversation with HMRC sooner rather than later. HMRC may agree to a ‘Time To Pay’ arrangement, which means some payments can be spread over a number of months, rather than Jamie Kelly is Head of Tax at having to be paid in a lump sum. Parsons Accountants. TopicUK August 2021



Do we still strive for a paperless office?

By: Tim Guest - Managing Director, Contedia

I know a number of small business start-ups in some industries that enjoy the luxury of having started with relatively simple operational model and have been able to avoid the use of paper in all areas but the occasional receipt of a printed purchase invoice. But for most businesses, printers and paper in some form remains ever-present and processes still rely on it. Now, that’s not to say most of those same, mature businesses haven’t sought to minimise the creation of paper-based outputs over the years. Most have removed the once typical printing of copy sales invoices and a great many have reduced the printing and sending of physical mail to a bare minimum. For example, the legal industry was once notorious for corresponding with clients only by typed – albeit templatised – letters. But, as culture has become one of a digital nature, so too has the primary method of correspondence, even for law firms. For many businesses though, paperbased information continues to occupy one or more fundamental roles within their day-to-day operations. It’s true that in many cases it’s possible to remove the continued use of paper with a digital

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alternative – and those that know me, will know how I want help businesses with digital transformation in various ways. It’s become commonplace to sign for delivery with your finger on a screen, therefore digitising PODs (proof of deliveries) where they were once a form held on a clipboard. Or, you may have found yourself answering a routine health questionnaire on a tablet whilst sat in the dentist’s waiting room. If you’re a business where there are key areas of operation that still rely on paper, and if not the creation of it, but the processing and handling of it in some way – perhaps, forms completed on ‘site’ or on the shop floor, or copies of documents provided to you by clients or suppliers etc. - then perhaps you should look again at how you might keep the information the paper contains, but

aren’t akin to the thirty-pound flatbed type scanner you may have once owned at home to scan family photos, nor is the software limited to basic manipulation. For example, Fujitsu’s businessclass desktop scanning range is both enterprise capable by design in terms of speed and reliability, servicing and device management capabilities, but also through powerful functionality their “PaperStream” software portfolio offers. The software has some incredibly powerful options for businesses that can genuinely streamline the processing of paper, help you to store it quickly and more effectively and, critically, extract information held in the documents so that it becomes more valuable to you afterwards.

store it more effectively and even extract information or value. Major commercial scanner manufacturers, like Kodak and Fujitsu, have moved with the times, and whilst there have been powerful, high volume scan, OCR, process, store solutions for decades, available to larger or more paper intensive organisations, you might believe that ‘desktop’ scanning has remined fairly basic. Sure, the typical photocopier or multifunction office printer allows for scan to email and scan to a network file location, but perhaps the idea of ‘procedurising’ the scanning of documents of a certain type seems like a labour-intensive task and this prevents you from implementing and attempting to remove paper. Being reliant on standing by a photocopier or printer somewhere in the office, away from your desk, scanning to a file location to then having to rename and moved scanned images across a network to their desired folder would put anyone off. But desktop scanning solutions

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Right from the desktop, whether key staff have a scanner on their own desk, or you use network scanning to allow some strategic placement and reduce hardware investment costs, it’s possible to configure onebutton scanning profiles to capture, apply some processing rules and send your images directly, not only to the typical locations, but to authenticated cloud storage locations, such as a Sharepoint library. Im a g i n e a l s o t h a t , b e s i d e s automatically optimising scan quality for best OCR results and file size, it’s also possible to apply zonal recognition to areas of a standard document type or form (automatically name files based on data extracted from the documents), recognise patch and barcodes, add meta data and perhaps, using Fujitsu’s SDK (software development kit), even integrate with your existing business software or a custom application, and you could genuinely take a stride in the right direction towards reducing the reliance on physical paper after the fact, whilst gaining improved value from what’s written or printed it.

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25 years of the Business of the Year Award…and the winner is… 58  @


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Business of the Year celebrates the hard work, determination, and innovation of businesses in the region and this year is a particularly special year as we celebrate 25 years of the Business of the Year Award. The standard of entries was incredibly high with businesses demonstrating impressive core values, contributions to the region and dedication to innovation. All the finalists proved themselves to be agile in the face of the pandemic and should be applauded for their successes. The winner is…. Specialist Glass Products Ltd (SPG) SPG is a leading supplier of curved, flat and bespoke laminated glass products which are used in applications including building facades, spiral stairs, shopfronts and many more structures. Founded in 2003 by Andrew and Jonathan Taylor, the business is based in Huddersfield but works for clients across the UK, Europe and America. The judging panel were impressed with their innovative range of products as well as their contribution to the region through employment, training apprentices and supporting local causes.

The second place was awarded to Off The Grain which is a handmade furniture company based in Halifax. Off The Grain was established in 2018 by Dominic Walsh who transformed a hobby into a thriving, seven-figure turnover business. The judging panel felt that Off The Grain’s application demonstrated a dedication to high quality products, strong leadership and investment in its people. In third place was VOODOO, a mobile messaging platform which enables their clients to bulk text message their customers and/or their staff. The company operates in a highly competitive marketplace and boasts some very high profile clients including the NHS, Amazon, Ministry of Defence and Age UK amongst their thousands of customers. The ability to hold their own against some very large competitors and their commitment to high quality service earnt them a place in the

top 3 businesses for this year’s Business of the Year. Deborah Melluish, Senior Partner at Eaton Smith and member of the judging panel commented; “The standard of applications was very impressive and deciding on the winner and runners up was an incredibly difficult job. All of the 12 finalists have demonstrated very high standards of customer service, commitment to innovation and dedication to continuing investment in businesses in the region. Eaton Smith’s Business of the Year Award has been celebrating the hard work of businesses for 25 years and after a difficult 18 months for many it is a pleasure to celebrate these fantastic businesses and their successes.” The Business of the Month and Business of the Year awards are run in conjunction with the Mid Yorkshire Chamber and the Department for International Trade. Entries are open for the Business of the Month award from businesses based in the Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield areas who wish to put their business in the spotlight and be in contention for Business of the Year 2022.

TopicUK August 2021



National Building and project consultancy launch Leeds office National independent building and project consultancy Paragon has opened an office in Leeds city centre as the business continues to implement its targeted UK expansion strategy. The new office is located at Avenue HQ on East Parade and is headed up by director and shareholder, Robert Simpson, who has been with the consultancy for six years. Prior to joining Paragon, Robert was an associate director in the Leeds office of global real estate services firm Colliers International where he worked for 12 years. Robert has been joined in the new office by senior building surveyor, Tom Pitt, who was also hired by Paragon six years ago. They will be supported in expanding

the Leeds office by the head of Paragon’s Manchester office, director and shareholder James Onions, who is also a Leeds resident. The consultancy anticipates recruiting for a range of building surveying, project management and cost management positions as the Leeds office expands. Commenting Robert said: “Our work within Yorkshire has continued to expand both in terms of volume and remit so it makes perfect sense for us to open an office in Leeds. We have an established reputation

Leeds launch - Paragon directors Robert Simpson (left) and James Onions outside 1 City Square in Leeds city centre. The consultancy advised APAM on the building's £7.5m refurbishment

for delive ring comme rcially focused advice in a way that’s straightforward and without waffle, so we will continue to grow our business in Yorkshire upon those firm foundations.

“Having an office in Leeds means we can provide our existing clients in the region with even greater levels of service delivery whilst also enabling us to identify and secure additional commercial opportunities.”

35% sales surge for Yorkshire timber engineering company despite pandemic business has expanded to a team of 16 people. with projects being taken from a local to national scale. Most recently, TimberStruc have secured a contract with Carevalue for a Bedfordshire care home, to supply timberframe panels, floor joists and roof trusses to add an additional floor to the existing building.

Wakefield based timber engineering company, TimberStruc, has shown momentum with sales growth despite starting up just 8 months before the pandemic.

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L a te s t f i g u r e s d e m o n s t r a te a 35% growth in sales despite being faced with huge financial impacts throughout the Coronavirus period.

design, manufacture, supply and installation of timber products, with customers including self builders, contractors and house builders.

TimberStruc specialises in the

Since their beginning in 2019, the

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Founders and long-time friends Tim Capewell, Simon Capewell and Jon Lee have taken success in their stride after building up years of experience in the industry. Together, they’ve been able to expand the company through the investment of new equipment, the diversifying of projects and the hiring new staff to provide an efficient workforce.


Rediscovering Halifax Now more than ever, at BID we’re looking for ways to help revitalise the Halifax economy and generate footfall and sales for local businesses... This has always been one of our core missions, of course, but the pandemic has damaged our town and its individual businesses economically, and a strategic and carefully coordinated response is urgently needed and absolutely top of our agenda. Before the pandemic, Halifax was enjoying something of an upward trajectory, with exciting new venues opening and a growing reputation for its vibrant culture and independent shopping. Today, we’re determined to pick up where we left off, and that’s the focus of our current major campaign, Rediscover Halifax. One of the key initiatives of Rediscover Halifax has been our decision to open an allnew information Hub in the town centre. With the Tourist Information Centre now gone, we spotted an opportunity to create a new service that will fill this gap but also provide a much broader range of information and resources, serving all local residents, business owners and Halifax communities, not just

tourists and day trippers. As well as being a useful source of printed and digital information like maps, leaflets and event guides, the centre will be staffed by knowledgeable locals with additional online resources at their fingertips. The venue will serve as a community and business facility as well, providing public information, advertising opportunities for local businesses, exhibition space, and the chance for organisations like the Police to run communityfocussed campaigns from it. BID’s existing Ambassadors will also use it as a base from which to serve the needs of pedestrians and business owners. The Hub is very much for everyone, and we’re excited about its potential to become a vital new resource for Halifax,

offering different facilities and support to different user groups. More specifically though, we’re confident about the positive impact it will have on the town’s economy and the re vival of businesses hit by the pandemic. Culture, heritage, commerce and tourism are all crucial to the town’s economy and job market, and the Hub will help share information about all of these things so that more people can discover and enjoy them. The great thing is that we already have superb assets in the form of wonderful venues, eateries, shops and attractions, which means that much of the investment has already been made. Initially, BID will run the Hub for a 3-month trial period from the Woolshops area of town, and we’re confident that enough people will use the facility to ensure keeping it open permanently. To help make sure this happens we’ve embarked on a busy PR campaign, raising awareness of its presence using social media as well as traditional formats.

The most tangible measure of the Hub’s success will be the extent to which it helps increase trade and create jobs for the town, not just by encouraging more tourism and, potentially, inward investment, but also by encouraging longer stays and greater local spending by residents too. Hopefully there will be less tangible benefits too, like lifting local morale and creating a sense that communities here are being properly looked after. These benefits will, in turn, have indirect positive economic impacts too. Ultimately, the Hub’s likely role in our recovery is an exciting prospect. If all goes according to plan, it will prove a major benefit for Halifax’s economy, wellbeing and identity: one that delivers a particularly impressive return on investment by helping us to maximise the capital we get from the town’s existing resources and assets.

01422 360035 Somerset House, Rawson Street, Halifax HX1 1NH TopicUK August 2021


H E A LT H & W E L L B E I N G

Beauty and the Modern Man By:

Ja n e t

Mi l n e r-Wa l k e r


F o und e r

Gone are the days when men secretly sampled their other halves beauty products from the sanctity of their shared bathroom. Whether you are taking a walk down the supermarket isle, or browsing online, you will quickly notice that skincare and makeup for men is on the way to becoming Bigger Business.


o f

Be sp o k e

A dvantage

Based on recent data, searches for male grooming products are up year on year by 124% for best men’s skincare and 83% for skincare for men. According to the NPD Group in April 2021 men’s skincare outperformed women’s compared to the previous year, with ecommerce performing particularly well. In years gone by more prominent skincare brands had a small collection of products for men, although their advertising predominantly marketed to women. Following lockdown men are more open to having professional treatments and using skincare products, along with makeup, focusing on self-care and they have expressed a far greater interest in their health and their wellbeing.

Whilst in certain cultures it has been perfectly acceptable for men to take care of themselves - in Korea men have worn makeup for some time, and they have several very popular skincare brands for men - until recently in the UK and in the US, this wasn’t as openly received by the ‘alpha male’. Many a man has shared an awkward story about their experience of venturing into a department store to purchase beauty products. Lockdown has provided a new purpose to driving these sales online, ensuring an immersive shopping experience. The younger generation are leading the way, making exploration and diversity the norm. New ways of engaging online through YouTube videos, IGTV and live streaming has made educating men in skincare easier.

Some of the Leading the Way

H E A LT H & W E L L B E I N G it takes to develop a brand in the beauty and wellness industry. There has been an influx in interest as well as numerous people launching brands with success. Whether you are looking to create your own brand, or you would like to explore where this could take you, get in touch … we would love to hear from you.


Research states that by 2024, the global male grooming market is estimated to be worth about 81.2 billion U.S. dollars. Times are changing with new brands being introduced in both the mainstream and the premium marketplace. Shiseido first launched a brand for men 19 years ago and has very recently just relaunched this. They have reported a double-digit growth during lockdown, attributing an increase in sales to men becoming more conscious of their appearance on video calls. Chanel launched Boy de Chanel in 2018, a tight collection comprising of a foundation, lip balm and brow pencil; they have recently added an eyeliner and a nail varnish to this over the past 12 months. Heath London has seen a 130% uplift in sales since launching in 2018, whilst Harry’s which grew very successfully through their shaving subscription model, has supplemented their skincare line with four new products for 2021. Aesop has a wide range of products based on natural ingredients, that are vegan and cruelty free for men. Warpaint which launched with 5 products in 2018 – a foundation, concealer, tinted moisturiser, bronzer, anti-shine powder, face sponge and brush – has recently introduced Makeup for Men – The Manual, the history of makeup with in-depth tutorials. They also partnered with Norwich City FC and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club to openly discuss men’s mental health struggles. The words ‘ge nde rless’ and ‘diversity’ have been interchanged frequently over the past year, raising the question as to whether skincare should be marketed with a particular angle to men or women.

About Janet Milner-Walker

There is a debate as to whether we need different types of skincare products for men and for women – some say that men’s skin is thicker, oilier and has larger pores, necessitating different ingredients and formulas. Others including some dermatologists confirm there is no real need to do this – differences arise instead through their selection of scent, colour, design, and packaging with men seeking out more woody scents. Brands including Necessaire and Youth to The People have introduced unisex packaging and their use of language appeals to both sexes. Dr Sturm has a dedicated men’s skincare range, although the entire line is unisex and suited to different skin tones. Inside Out Beauty It is not just skincare that men have expressed a greater interest in over the past year, they are also investing in their health, fitness, and wellbeing. A total experience. Previously men were discouraged from openly discussing their state of mind, or their feelings. With the impact of the pandemic taking its toll, and with historically a high

number of men committing suicide versus seeking out treatment for depression, anxiety, or mental health challenges, it is good to finally see men speaking up. Meditation and yoga, online fitness, and a general interest in their wellbeing through diet and nutrition is a refreshing change. With Game Changers introducing the benefits of a plant-based diet, and with more research discovering that our health and mental wellbeing are very closely linked to our gut health, there has been a rise in veganism and in supplementation. Hims and Asystem are both wellness brands that aim to deliver enriched supplements for men providing support with hair loss, sexual health, anxiety, and skincare.

Janet is the founder of Bespoke Advantage, a brand management company that build brands across the beauty sector, she is also a consultant, and a speaker. Over 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 start-ups. Their award-winning portfolio of clients include beauty and wellness brands, professional spas and salons, investors and entrepreneurs based in the UK and internationally –

Whilst we are seeing this growth in beauty and wellbeing for men, this is merely the tip of the iceberg, with far greater opportunities for growth lying ahead. It is going to be interesting to see how this evolves over the coming years. With all the changes that have taken place over the past year, more people are considering what TopicUK August 2021



Tee off for the Hospice Wakefield Hospice held its 30th annual golf tournament at Wakefield Golf Club, a year later than planned due to the pandemic.

Fundraising Manager, Keeley Harrison said “The golf tournament is our longest running event and we are so grateful to Wakefield Golf Club for allowing us to use their fantastic course and facilities again this year. Thanks also to the event sponsors Ashleigh Signs, IJS Development Projects and Simpson Packaging for their financial support which helps to ensure the golf day raises vital funds for patient care.”

The 30th annual golf day should have taken place during the 30th anniversary celebrations of the hospice but like so many events had to be postponed. The golf day is the hospices’ longest running event and is supported generously by local companies that enter teams in the four ball tournament. A few adjustments had to be made to ensure the event was Covid safe and it is with thanks to everyone involved for making the day such a success raising £15,000 for patient care. Comedian and MC Pete Emmett

“Thanks to all the teams that entered and congratulations to the winners. It was a great day and felt good to be able to host a live event again after the disappointment of having to cancel last year.” hosted the prize presentation after the tournament with adjudicator Clive Gregson announcing the winners. Congratulations to CBT Ltd for winning the overall

stableford competition with runners up PDS Design & Build and Ashleigh Signs. Individual prizes were also awarded for nearest the pins and best individual score.

Managing consultant joins Multitask Personnel Multitask Personnel, the Rotherham based specialist recruitment consultancy, has strengthened its’ Trades team with the appointment of managing consultant, Clive Bateman.

increasing market share and brand awareness, along with the development of staff members within the team.

C l i v e , w h o h a s c l o s e to 3 0 years’ experience at various levels within the recruitment sector, has built a successful career providing recruitment services, predominantly within the Construction and Interior Fit Out sectors.

Clive comments: “I’ve joined a team where each person is selfmotivated and dedicated within their own role, whilst there is a constant sharing of information for the good of the clients and the business. Each day offers various challenges which everybody meets head on.”

Responsible for building the Trades & Labour division of the business, Clive comes on board to help grow the department by

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Also joining the wider team at Multitask is accounts administrator, Ruth Faulkner-

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Dyke who comes in to provide much needed support for invoicing, credit control, payroll, banking, and general accounts duties. Claire Lee, managing director comments: “We’re experiencing an increasing demand for our recruitment services at Multitask Personnel, particularly for trades and labour candidates across the Construction and M&E sectors, so bringing in someone with Clive’s experience is a huge coup for us. In addition to Clive, we also extend a warm welcome to Ruth.”





Join our postgraduate community at Backstage Academy on one of our advanced level programmes starting in October 2021: • • •

MA Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Live Events MA Live Event Design MSc Creative Technologies for Live Events

Our part time 2 year programmes are delivered via blended learning to make studying for working professionals more manageable. Born out of industry, Backstage Academy is a higher education provider offering degrees, short courses and e-learning for the live events and creative industries. Based on Production Park near Wakefield.



New Leeds hospitals looking to the past as well as the future The building of two new hospitals in Leeds on the Leeds General Infirmary site is looking to the future of healthcare in the city and the wider region – but the past has not been forgotten.

Ronnie Walsh (right), with Adam Hainsworth, taking grateful possession of the historic brass plaque.

Many of the old buildings – the former Nurses Home, the Old Medical School currently used by Pathology and the Gilbert Scott Building in Great George Street – all have their stories to tell which are being captured as the newbuild progresses.

The old nurses’ home, which has already been partly demolished in the first tranche of works on the Leeds General Infirmary site, has already revealed some of stories from retired nurses who stayed in the building during their nurse training. The Gilbert Scott Building and the Old Medical School will be retained as part of an exciting plan to create a new

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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E and these donations were often from local fundraising events, the proceeds of an estate or in recognition of a loved one having received such fantastic care whilst a patient. This was the case with Abimelech Hainsworth. Plaques were subsequently displayed either above a bed/cot or displayed at the entrance to a particular ward in recognition of the donation. Abimelech Hainsworth, or 'Young Bim' as he was known, was the third-generation owner of Hainsworth Textiles. In May 1900, Abimelech was involved in an accident and spent twelve weeks as a patient being treated at The Infirmary. In 1909, his wife made a donation to The Infirmary in recognition of the care her husband had received. By researching the hospital’s 1909 Annual Report, Ronnie ide ntified that the amount donated to The Infirmary was £500, which equates to £60,863.16 today. H a i n s w o r t h Te x t i l e s w e r e established in 1783 at Stanningley, Pudsey and are still on the same site 238 years later. They have a long tradition for manufacturing high end fabrics and in 2004 received a Royal Warrant for providing furnishing fabrics to HM The Queen. Innovation District in the centre of Leeds once the new hospitals have been built. Now a brass bed plaque, originally donated to Leeds General Infirmary in 1909 and displayed in the one of the old hospital wards, has been handed over to the local family that originally bought it - who run Hainsworth Textiles in Pudsey.

at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), dedicates much of his spare time to extensive research into the history of the hospitals in Leeds. In Summer 2017 a number of brass bed plaques we re unco ve red in storage in the Gilbert Scott Building with one of those recognising a donation made to The Infirmary in 1909 by the wife of Abimelech Hainsworth.

Ronnie Walsh, a receptionist

Ronnie explains: “I decided to

research the plaque dedicated to Abimelech Hainsworth in an attempt to find out more about the gentleman, and whether any of his family were still alive and living in the local area. What this research managed to uncover proved to be quite extraordinary!” Prior to the formation of the NHS which celebrates 73 years this year, hospitals received funding from various sources

A notable part of Hainsworth Textiles history includes The Bat tle of Wate rloo in 1815. Napoleon's Imperial Guard advance came up against what went down in military history as 'The Thin Red Line' - this term referred to the soldiers of the British Army, whose red uniform fabric was manufactured by Hainsworth Textiles. Ronnie contacted Hainsworth TopicUK August 2021



Textiles and spoke with Adam Hainsworth, a direct descendant of Abimelech. to inform him of the plaque and that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust wished to pass it into the safekeeping of his family as a cherished piece of family history, which the Hainsworth family were only too happy to receive. Ronnie was invited by Adam to come along to the Mill to hand over the plaque to the Hainsworth family and was given a guided tour of the premises and an insight into current textile manufacturing processes. Ronnie said: “After finding out the fascinating history behind the plaque, it was a real privilege to meet Adam and hand it back to the family.”

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Dame Linda Pollard DBE DL Hon LLD, Trust Chair at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Our Trust Board are incredibly grateful to Ronnie for the dedication and time he has spent researching our history and finding the families who donated the bed plaques. It is wonderful to hear of the connection our hospitals have to Hainsworth Textiles and the difference our medical teams made so many years ago.” In his spare time, Ronnie also volunteers as an Archivist with West Yorkshire Archives. He is currently working on a project indexing the Surgeon Ledgers for patients who were treated at The Leeds Infirmary between 1880

and 1918. He also runs a Facebook page - WYA History Blog - and on it he posts some of the interesting things he comes across whilst volunteering there.

built at St James’s Hospital which is planned to open in 2023. The old building will be retained and used as part of the plan for an LGI Development Site to release the potential of this old estate.

As part of the Building the Leeds Way project, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be sharing more historical news and stories as the Trust embarks on building the two new hospitals on the Leeds General Infirmary site – a new adults hospital and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital.

It will offer a number of exceptional opportunities for mixed-use development, creating spaces for education, innovation, commercial uses including retail and office space, and accommodation to support the growth of the Leeds Innovation District.

This will also include the history of the Old Medical School, which was originally built in 1894 and currently houses the Trust’s pathology team. A new pathology laboratory is being

The LGI Development Site project is expected to deliver direct and wider economic benefits of up to £11.2bn in net present value - and 3,000 new jobs.

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WAKEFIELD, A LEARNING CITY & DISTRICT An ambitious plan for the district’s residents and businesses.

Wakefield Council is working towards becoming a UNESCO ‘Learning City’ through its Employment and Skills Strategy l

Skills for the future


Local system for local needs


Access to skills & employment for all


Lifelong careers & progression

For more information on this strategy visit:



TILEYARD NORTH SUPPORT LONG DIVISION FESTIVAL WAKEFIELD Tileyard North have partnered with Wakefield’s Long Division Festival as a major sponsor for their 10th anniversary, happening on September 25th 2021. The Tileyard Stage will be featuring a range of emerging talent, including Georgia Meek (as featured on BBC Introducing and Spitfire Audio Scholar).

For more head to


How glamour has changed its business model Why more women are entering pageants

Despite sometimes prohibitive costs and cultural pressures, there is no shortage of women wanting to compete in pageants.

by Scarborough’s Sally-Ann Fawcett

O ver the years, TopShop, Epson Computers, PLJ Lemon Juice, Hoover, and even Haywards Pickles have appeared on the winners’ sashes because of the many thousands of pounds they would commit to the contests. These days, the business model has had to adapt. Due to a more limited audience and without TV coverage, businesses no longer benefit from brand-building investment in beauty pageants, leaving organisers to foot their own bill for the staging. This is mostly recouped by charging contestants to compete: up to £650 entry fee for some bigger pageants.

The 1987 Miss Great Britain final five, a pageant in its heyday

But national pageant expert Sally-Ann Fawcett, of Scarborough, says they are still popular, even though they have changed hugely: some of them, such as Miss World, dropped the tradition of the swimwear parade. In the late 1980s, Sally, whose father was secretary to Scarborough’s mayors for 25 years, competed in a dozen local pageants. She was third in Miss Scarborough, fourth in Miss Yorkshire and won the Miss Scarborough Carnival title in 1987. How did her interest begin? Sally-Ann said: “As soon as I set eyes

Miss Yorkshire TV 1979 finalists at a civic reception in Scarborough

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on the closing minutes of Miss World 1974, I was hooked on not only the glamour and excitement of pageants, but the behind-the-scenes stories and intrigue. “Growing up in the ‘70s meant I could revel in the heyday of pageantry, a contest on TV almost every month, acres of press coverage, beauty queens for every event.

Sally-Ann, now living in Surrey, recorded how one Miss World winner was sacked for cavorting with footballers and rock stars; another who resigned due to being an unmarried mother; a Welsh beauty arrested for assaulting a policeman - and a Miss Wyoming who kidnapped a young man, leading to the Mormon Sex in Chains trial and a movie, Tabloid.

raise money for charity, and revel in the glamour of the occasion.”

couple of shillings that it would still be going strong 75 years later.

When the Sunday Dispatch newspaper joined forces with Morecambe and Heysham Corporation to create a new tourist attraction for the town in 1945, few would have bet more than a

But Miss Great Britain celebrated its diamond anniversary in 2020 - and has cemented its status as the country’s longest-running beauty pageant.

Sally-Ann’s sallies

“I amassed 50 scrapbooks and a head crammed full of knowledge and trivia that, unbeknown to me at the time, would one day translate into four books.” She poured all her knowledge into he r first book in 2014, Misdemeanours: Beauty Queen Scandals, the first book about pageants in the UK for 40 years. This was follo wed b y More Misdemeanours in 2016, and Mis3-meanours: Second Runner-Up, two years later.

“But there is no shortage of entrants,” said Sally-Ann. “With some pageants now extending their age ranges and marital status requirements from their previous narrow perimeters, there are more pageants taking place than ever before. “The women I speak to see them as empowering, rather than demeaning. “Whereas 1950s women saw winning as a rare stepping stone in life, those competing today view them as a chance to challenge themselves,

Sally-Ann Fawcett has been able to fulfil a lifelong dream to be a judge on the panels of Miss International UK, Miss Wales, Miss Northern Ireland, Miss England, Miss Universe Great Britain. For the past six years she has been Head Judge for Miss Great Britain. Her most recent book, Miss Great Britain 1945-2020: The Official History, was published last year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Britain's oldest beauty pageant. Yorkshire used to provide a rich seam of pageants, with the Miss Yorkshire

contest taking place at Bridlington Spa from the 1930s to mid-80s, and Miss Yorkshire Television being held from 1974-1990. Names from the Yorkshire beauty circuit include Dickinson's Real Deal presenter Cheryl Hakeney, Sale of the Century hostess Christine Owen, and the famous beauty queen twins Gay and Zoe Spink. Miss Great Britain 1945-2020: An Official History by Sally-Ann Fawcett is available from 2QT Limited priced £15. TopicUK August 2021



The art of running an international business from the coast Yorkshire coast driftwood is finding new homes in America and Australia thanks to the creative flair and artistic originality of Shirley Vauvelle... Shirley, who lives between Filey and Scarborough, has gained a national and international reputation for her hand-built ceramics, assemblages and mixed media paintings. The inclusion of natural forms such as driftwood is one popular aspect of her varied output. She works from a light-filled studio in her home and the work is moving to be more reflective of her coastal surroundings in terms of shape, colours and moods. “I live near Cayton Bay so that’s my favourite place for driftwood,” she said. “I also usually also bring bits back with me on trips away. Family and friends often gather for me too which is lovely.” Her ceramic and driftwood pieces are the mainstay of her work. She regularly sends them to clients in the USA and Australia.

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She also explores textured slip surfaces, playing with found m a te r i a l s o n to t h e c l ay, with strong form. “Very recently I made larger ceramic sculptures. I had my first showing of this body of work last year at Cambridge Contemporary Art, it was very successful with one client in Germany purchasing four pieces. “I am currently showing my ceramic sculpture work at The Whitehouse Gallery in Scotland - a gallery which has represented my work since I started.” She is a painter too and is working to complete an exhibition. How does Shirley see the connection between business and art? “Art is a business, but I don’t consciously make things because I think they will sell.

“I make them because it reflects my mood or how I am reacting to my environment. Even when I do commissions and I make a lot of commission work, I only work in the way I want to because if I didn’t the piece would not work … I would not feel comfortable or have a connection with it. “I have to totally connect with the

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pieces I am making - otherwise it’s forced and this would reflect in the results. “Luckily this seems to work as a business strategy because I have enough work to keep me going for some time.” After taking time out to raise her three boys, Shirley re-discovered


Shirley’s show time “I have always made since a child,” said international artist Shirley Vauvelle. “I found ceramics when I was going through a sad, difficult time in my life. That was around 13 years ago, and I started my ceramic mixed media business in 2010. “I love what I do, that’s why I am dedicated to it … it makes me happy, hopefully this is reflected in what I make. “My immediate plans are to open a show room at my home, appointment only. “My studio is always messy and a busy so it’s hard to view the work although I appreciate people like to see my working environment.

texture and colour in the form of her ceramics and painting. She is inspired by creatures, birds and plants – and gained new inspiration on a trip to Morocco and an intimate valley landscape of the Atlas mountains. Shirley’s distinctive art encompasses playful ceramics,

“I don’t get enough time to tidy up for visits. The idea of a show room is to depict how pieces can be displayed in the home.”

combined materials.



Her stoneware sculptural forms are made with removable inserts. The colour and textures are built up

in layers sometimes with firings in Her art education background and the kiln going up to five times, using initial design career was in textile/ slips, underglazes and oxides. surface decoration. Botanical wall-hung ceramic pieces Shirley worked 10 years as a professional include materials collected from her designer/maker after graduating from Leicester Polytechnic in 1989. extensive garden. TopicUK August 2021



The coast’s free showcase for the next generation of inventors

The next generation of inventors and engineers are being inspired at a major free event on t h e Yo r k s h i r e c o a s t later this year. Local, regional, national and international employers are again supporting Scarborough Science & Engineering Week - to encourage a future workforce into skill-based careers. The youngsters will see innovative approaches to engineering, low carbon and green energy solutions. More than two dozen employers and organisations will show how

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science, technology, engineering and mathematics point the way to tomorrow’s world “We aim to inspire students to consider the exciting opportunities that studying and working in such sectors can open up,” said Peter Wilkinson, chairman of event organisers - the Scarborough Business Ambassadors. “Last year we had to hold a digital-only event because of the pandemic but this year we aim to

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They are the inventors and engineers of the future...

T H E Y O R KNSEHWI RS EUCPO DAASTTE be back in action for our 12th annual showcase.” He added: “We normally invite primary school youngsters as well as older students and it is fantastic to see the delight on their faces as they rush in to see and try the technology and activities on display.

North Yorkshire County Council is again providing transport for schools to take part and Scarborough Borough Council is providing the Spa at no cost. The event showcases also aims to help fill the skills gap in STEM subjects, ie science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“They are the inventors and engineers of the future … and it’s gratifying for us all to know that students who visited our events as youngsters are now in such careers.” The hope is to have a face-to-face event at the Scarborough Spa from October 12-14, alongside a digital delivery if covid impacts further. Since the Scarborough Business Ambassadors and engineers Unison started the event, it has attracted more than 33,000 students. It is hoped that the new event will attract more than 2,000 young people aged from seven to 19, from schools across the coast and beyond. There will also be an evening careers session for families and young people on the opening Tuesday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. The York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership alongside the Careers and Enterprise Company is again a leading supporter. The event is managed with the support of the North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership (NYBEP). The headline sponsor is AngloAmerican, the global mining company in diamonds, platinum, copper, iron ore, which is developing the potash mine in North Yorkshire.

Companies and organisations which have previously taken part in the Scarborough Science and Engineering Week include: Anglo-American, McCain Foods, the Castle Group, Unison, GCHQ, Bosch, James Fisher Nuclear, CLAAS, McClaren, F1 in Schools, Balfour Beatty, Schneider Electrical, FANUC, AMRC, Third Energy, Flamingo Land, Deep Sea Electronics, Plaxton Coachbuilders (Alexander Dennis), the Army and the RAF. Plus Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, CU Scarborough, the University of Hull, Derwent Training, the Scarborough Construction Skills Village, Scarborough TEC, Scarborough UTC and the Imagineering Foundation.

TopicUK August 2021



eco homes Graham Ratcliffe, head of Northern Regeneration

Leading the way in green skills and eco homes Green construction techniques are being taught at a pioneering site in Scarborough - where two prototype eco homes are to be created.

Green construction techniques are being taught at a pioneering site in Scarborough - where two prototype eco homes are to be created. The green showcase houses will be developed at the Construction Skills Village.

Above Right:

eco homes construction skills village training

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eco homes Illustration of an eco home. Courtesyof Spawforths, architects and master planners

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The homes will show various stages of construction in what is being considered the first custom-built sustainable carbon-neutral housing sche me for ne w home


buyers in Yorkshire. The skills village was established in 2015, originally at Middle Deepdale’s Keepmoat site in Scarborough. In spring 2020 it expanded to bigger premises at High Eastfield Farm – with a Green Business Centre, offices, new construction learning areas, plant hire training course, offices, café, enterprise centres all being built, alongside the eco homes.

T H E Y O R KNSEHWI RS EUCPO DAASTTE demand skills and accredited national certification. Supporters include the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Scarborough and North Yorkshire councils, local MPs Robert Goodwill and Kevin Hollinrake, and organisations such as NYBEP and CITB. A new company has been created called Sohoco, which aims to d e v e l o p t h e a f f o rd a b l e a n d sustainable eco homes at sites in Scarborough and Whitby, to create options for self-build and custombuild housing - and establish a retro-fit ting division which will work with landlords to decarbonise existing property stock. The eco homes will include integral solar heating and to Future Homes Standards 2025. They will be what is called ‘Passivhaus’ – ‘passive homes’ with cheaper running costs and with work-at-home spaces. They will also upcycle the energy created by domestic living such as electronic devices and cookers.

The parent company is Northern Regeneration CIC (Community Interest Company), which also operates CSV Training – offering significant, wide-ranging courses for core construction qualifications. Hu n d r e d s o f t r a d e s p e o p l e support the aims of the venture … to reduce the huge skills gap by bringing in more employmentready apprentices and more construction qualifications.

eco homes Tuition at the Construction Skills Village with Simon Knowles

It provides trades people, young people, apprentices, students and unemployed people with in-

An eco home would be thermally efficient, with integral solar panels, electric charging points and … any other possible aspects such as air source heating and home-working spaces. The pioneering energy-saving homes are being designed in conjunction with Spawforths, the architects and master planners working in conjunction with Northern Regeneration through Sohoco. Northern Regeneration is also supporting Broomfields Farm Carbon Neutral Village in Whitby, which is delivering 50 homes with a range of sustainability features in the first zero carbon, community custom-build housing scheme in Yorkshire. TopicUK August 2021


BOOK CORNER the humanitarian charity set up by Adeem more than ten years ago. Adeem shares the secrets behind the success of one of Britain’s fastest growing charities. From the death of his father when he was just a young boy the story follows Adeem from his humble beginnings in his hometown of Wakefield to becoming a dotcom millionaire and award-winning philanthropist. Adeem dedicates the book to his Mother, for her unwavering love, support and mentoring over the years, the incredible woman who brought up her young family on her own after the loss of her husband. Adeem credits his mum for her support throughout his career and sometimes his madcap schemes! In the opening credits he also mentions his four children whom he describes as ‘his world’. His friend, entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den judge James Caan opens the book, speaking about his first meeting with Adeem and how he is proud to be an ambassador for Penny Appeal, visiting with him, some of the projects that the charity has set up around the globe. I don’t want to spoil the book; I want to encourage you to read it. If you are looking for inspiration for your own business, you will certainly find it here. From his humble beginnings Adeem not only founded the charity, but he built a business from above a pizza shop in his hometown that has gone on to be one of the largest dating websites in the world.

Small Change Big Difference is changing lives We are often asked to read and review books here in the office and each edition we hope to bring you at least one of our reviews. Having been involved with Wakefield charity Penny Appeal for a number of

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years, editor Gill Laidler was keen to read ‘Small Change Big Difference’ a debut book, signed and sent to us by its author, chairman and founder of Penny Appeal Adeem Younis. The book is the story of Penny Appeal,

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The book is honest account, explaining both the ups and downs and sometimes struggles he overcame to make sure that Penny Appeal continues to provide humanitarian support across the world and here in the UK. The Penny Appeal story is available to preorder on Amazon in both hardcover and paperback but is available now on Kindle at just £10.77. The bonus of buying the book is knowing that you are supporting the charity, as all proceeds will go towards Penny Appeal’s projects across the globe.


S TA RT U P S T O R I E S – F R O M A D :V E N T U R E

Forged in Wakefield Forged in Wakefield is a craft gin producer, which, as you might expect, is based in Wakefield!

The Company

The Feedback

The company produce small batch organic and vegancertified gin, they have A London Dry gin they call “The Original” a Navy Strength gin aptly named “Yorkshire Strength” and six flavoured gins ranging from Sherbet Lemon to Passionfruit. Set up by husband and wife team, Gary and Victoria Ford, Forged in Wakefield started trading in January 2019. The pair had dreamt of setting up the company for some years as they enjoyed producing homemade wines and beers. But to produce spirits they had to go through a complex process of securing licences and approval from HMRC, as well as pulling on savings and credit cards to fund the launch. Gary admits the early days were tough. “It took around six months to gain all the licences required to run a distillery. It was a massive learning curve and we nearly gave up at one point.” The business has plans to move into new premises later this year. Gary and Victoria both still work full-time; Gary as an I.T Architect and Victoria as a Nursing Sister at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. They currently sell online via their website and to farm shops, bars, restaurants and clubs.

The increased activity means they plan to take on at least five staff by the end of 2021 to help increase output, while keeping the focus on the same B2B model of supplying farm shops, bars, restaurants and clubs, and selling online. They are currently in negotiations to export to bars in Norway.

“AD:VENTURE were a great help. They took the business plan from a rudimentary document to something that can support real business growth. They helped nurture us through the supply chain selection process,” says Gary.

The Project Gary and Victoria turned to AD:VENTURE to help with scaling up the business. Their current set-up means they can only produce 90 or so bottles per batch. They have also been using ‘off-the-shelf’ bottles from a supplier in France and wanted to move manufacturing to Yorkshire and create a customised bottle. Gary says: “The still we are using has a capacity of just 100 litres and is a major bottleneck to future growth. We desperately need a larger still to cope with demand, but also one that would serve as a visual centerpiece to our planned distillery and allow us to produce vodka and rum.” The couple we re give n a business advise r through AD:VENTURE and they attended AD:VENTURE workshops on topics from business planning to procurement and they also successfully applied

Cllr Byford, for a £25,000 growth grant Gary&Vicky through AD:VENTURE.

The Results The grant means Gary and Victoria can purchase a much larger still, which can produce 300 litres of gin per batch. It can also be used for the production of vodka and rum, part of their expansion plans. The advice they received about procurement has enabled them to source a bottle producer in Yorkshire, thus reducing their carbon footprint and helping t h e l o c a l e c o n o m y. T h e customised bottle is currently being designed.

“The investment has been fantastic as it helps us to increase our capacity and produce our custom bottle, but the team at AD:VENTURE went above and beyond this, spending lots of time coaching us and offering business support and guidance. “They are happy to help in any way they can and are great at putting you in touch with other areas of local government that can help support growth. “There’s so much help available that our only regret is that there is only the two of us and we don’t have the time to take all the help that is out there. ”

Excitingly, they are also due to move into the prestigious Tileyard North, the new creative business centre being built at the former Rutland Mills next to the Hepworth in Wakefield later this year, where they plan to have a bar, run a gin school and offer tasting sessions. TopicUK August 2021



Live events are back post Covid… You can’t stop the music!” The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly come as a blow for several of the country’s most crucial industries, leaving businesses in limbo and facing existential crises.

No more so than for those working in the live events sector – worth an estimated £30bn a year to the economy – with successive lockdowns and social distancing measures putting the brakes on the industry. Across the country, it has hit those working in gigs, theatres and live performances particularly hard. March 2020 saw the doors of stadiums, music venues and theatres close across the UK, with the buzz of live music and the throng of cheering sports fans falling silent. Over a year on, further uncertainty, with

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F E AT U R E demonstrating not just the skills learnt, but more significantly, the importance shared experiences have on the human condition. “More than a quarter of UK adults reported they had attended a festival in the year leading up to the pandemic – stats like that really serve as a testament to the importance and our love of live events.” He continued: “From day one, our students are fully immersed in the industry, working with some of the sector’s biggest names, using bestin-class equipment, in state of the art studio spaces, and working closely with practitioners whose day job it is to create the most breath-taking live experiences. “Our students’ Final Major Projects are undoubtedly big, ambitious productions this year. They serve to push the students’ skillset to the next level – putting into practice everything they’ve learnt along the way with us.”

summer festivals cancelled and curtains drawn once again on theatrical performances. But for final year students at Wakefield’s Backstage Academy - the UK’s leading live event production educational facility - the versatile skillset learnt studying over the pandemic has strengthened their resilience and eagerness to reinvigorate the sector. The experience of adapting through adversity has set them up for the best chance of success upon entering the industry; driven to cater to the UK’s pent-up demand for live events post-pandemic.

Offering degrees, short courses and bespoke training in live events, the South-Kirby-based institution held an end of year showcase of student talent last week. The campus’ Final Major Project Series saw the culmination of third year students honing their skillsets and the coming together of the craft they learnt over the pandemic and three years of study. For Backstage Academy’s Live Events Production course leader, Johnny Goodwin, this year’s projects are significant - not just because they serve as a capstone contribution to the students’ third year final

grade - but because the 2021 themes address the feasibility of the industry’s survival post-COVID. The showcase is a demonstration of the skills the industry’s newest tranche of practitioners will need upon entering the industry (such as live streaming) in hastening its bounce-back to pre-pandemic levels. Johnny said: “You could say there is something primal in the coming together of people to enjoy culture through a shared experience – whether that’s at gigs or in theatres. These Final Year Projects from our Backstage students have really brought that to the fore,

Taking part in the Final Major Project series is Ross Wickison (Live Events Production) and Tara Nesbitt (Stage & Production Management) third year Backstage Academy students. Ross and Tara explained the detail behind the Final Year Projects they worked on as well as taking us through their peers’ performances… LIVE AGAIN “The Live Again project was a theatrical performance telling the story of live events - from before, during and hopefully post-COVID - through actors and musical performances, bringing together lighting, visual and sound design and effects to narrate each performance. “We held the show in Studio One – Production Park’s biggest studio – with a 40x40m footprint and 16m TopicUK August 2021


F E AT U R E meetings and working with our lecturers to help us put it together. “We created an environment and the set design, using technology such as zombie projections onto hologauze – which makes the material invisible but allows us to project onto the surface and create jump-scares for those taking part. “We also used a 3D sound-system to put immersive sounds into the environment in real time. Run like an escape room, we asked participants to solve the riddles in order to get through different sliding door mechanisms to find a vaccine. The event also gave us a good understanding of implementing COVID-safe policies, as we undertook several risk assessments and ensured people entering the room were in bubbles. “More than anything, it’s been exciting being back doing what we do, especially after a long time of not having any work. As well as that, it’s been really great to be able to bring friends and family in to experience what we’ve created!”

high roof, which has the ability with support from actors (Simon “We all had our roles within the to hang 110 tonnes of gear from Jones and Carla Garratt) and production - across technical and broadcast teams – but we it. It’s been excellent to have an aerialist (Jessica Andrade). also worked closely with Tangled opportunity to work creatively with a huge space like that, one “We utilised a huge amount of Feet; who served as the show which is usually a commercial tech - from LED walls, lighting, directors and assisted in the storyfacility used by the likes of Kylie, line arrays and 3D sound - but also making whilst also giving us more WAKEFIELD ON TAP Robbie and Muse. some automation, using computer experience working with a client. “This event, organised by Sasha Kite controlled electric hoists. We even “The event starts off with a live created a cuboid structure with “Although we were planning and and Elicia Freemantle, was held in music set-up, in a Hootenanny- a hologauze projection, which designing the event, we needed the Wakefield’s Ridings Shopping Centre. style with a live MC, but gradually drops out of the main rig, and content element from the talent, It was a heritage installation project becomes a pastiche on the impact flies over the MC, representing and it’s been great to have Tangled looking at the nightclubs, pubs and Feet as an amazing partner. From venues in Wakefield and how they the pandemic has had on the live her confinement during Covid. a technical perspective, it truly changed over the years. events industry; with the MC becoming a central character/ “For a group of final year students, was a spectacular show, but it was protagonist. You see her world we’ve been really ambitious in intertwined with a poignant message “Taking over an empty shop unit, it was the first final year project event presenting a major music event producing an arena-sized show like of the importance of live events.” to take place off site, with more than upturned, to her being stuck in this. In total, we had 128 fixtures, 200 people attending over the course her room crossing off future dates 3km of power cabling and 1km ESCAPE THE REAWAKENED of the week-long installation. and looking at how she coped of data – these are the sort of with the turmoil.” numbers you wouldn’t even see “For this project, we decided to on an arena-sized show! For us, design and produce an escape room “They put together a video of old The performance was led by Nathan it was a big learning curve and based on a zombie horror theme. footage of the old night clubs Curry (Theatre Director), Sara amazing opportunity; and one that We started the project in October in Wakefield in the boom-time Templeman – (MC/Protagonist), makes you realise how much goes 2020, so it’s been almost a year in when people had money from the Tangled Feet Theatre Company, into a show of this scale and size. the making; with weekly planning coalmines – back when the City’s

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nightclubs beat Stringfellows as the best clubs in the country.”

partners - but it’s been great to see their training really come to fruition and put those skills into practice.

system and props such as a car, oil drum and old TV sets. It looked at the detritus of the modern world, with the video taking you through a UNREAL narrative around mankind’s impact “The use of Hologauze, Unreal “This was a really interesting project on the planet, which was overlaid Engine, VR visualisation and live where two of our students, Kris with audio of the Dalai Llama and streaming in the students’ projects Plummer and Jack Dartford, were David Attenborough. It was a really demonstrates their competence looking at how to stream the most impactful and poignant piece of art.” with, and enthusiasm for, the cutting edge of industry tech; which will realistic experience of a live event certainly boost their employability they possibly could. They put together MOCK THE LOAD and industry-readiness in the eyes a DJ set in one of the studios but used IN GAMESHOW of the industry. cameras and streamed A/V from the live event, combined with a VR “This project was a live streamed representation of the space using game-show.With questions and fun “For some students, the whole end Unreal Engine. tasks on the theme of working in the of year project has been around live events industry, it had teams of developing the policies, processes “They had a DJ perform - Graham students going head-to-head with and risk assessments needed to create Thorne – with real-life stage and staff, hosted by a compere, Tizzy productions for a post Covid world the lighting/sound-systems - but Von Tassel from The Goodtime Gals. – which is just as important as being able to light it well.” recreated the environment in Unreal Engine, so they could stream the “As well as being great fun, it lighting that was happening in the demonstrated the teams’ skillset for “One of the good things about space and make the sound realistic adapting between live event gigs and the courses here is that we cover to the venue. It took place earlier TV productions. The lighting array everything – going through this in June, with the audience invited was particularly impressive and the process has prepared them for the to see the real event and then live-stream element added another new challenges that the industry is facing – making them more experience it again virtually after layer of complexity.” employable. The cohort of students the show on a monitor.” The Head of Backstage Academy, graduating this year will have learnt OFF-BALANCE Rachel Nicholson, gave some context to be more adaptable and deal with uncertainty – part of what we’ve been to this year’s performances. doing over the Final Major Project “This event saw a team of students put together a cross-genre evening, “Undoubtedly, the past 18 months is finding ways to carry on, reach an made up of nearly a dozen artists have been incredibly difficult for us all, audience and make work that you for a live-stream event, accessed but particularly so for the live events can still put out there. by a QR code on the promotional industry. It is unsurprising then that poster, or via a Twitch link on their the impact of the pandemic on the “I would say that it’s been a difficult social channels. industry is prominent in the minds of year, but that shouldn’t overshadow graduating students and has become the student’s achievements, as they’ve “It served as a support platform for acts a recurrent theme for their projects risen to the challenge fantastically. We to get their music out their before the this year. Despite the challenging started the project in Winter 2020 and re-opening of venues, giving emerging circumstances, the students have had no idea what the rules would be artists access to high production truly demonstrated their capability in the summer. Students had to think values, and giving them a recording and adaptability through their outside of the box and consider how of their set so they could use it for projects, drawing on the technical we could deliver productions to an proficiency they’ve learnt with us audience who might still need to be future promos.” over the past three years in order to at home or could be on site in some form or another”. achieve their ambitious goals. MAN VS NATURE “Situated in our Soundbox Studio, “We’ve always been very hands-on this performance took the form as an institution, giving students of a piece of installation art, using industry leading products to work on a video wall, lighting, 3D sound- - through the support of our industry

Miles Marsden is Backstage’s Industry Partnerships Director. He said: “We have about two-dozen industry partners at Backstage, without whom

F E AT U R E we wouldn’t be able to train up and invigorate the next generation of industry practitioners. “Their support is vital – but they really rose to the occasion this year, giving our students access to the world’s most cutting edge tech despite the difficulties faced by the industry. “For the Final Year Projects, there was an increased demand on that gear as students wanted to end the year with a bang. The students used everything we have in our ‘toy cupboard’ and we were very grateful to our industry partners who were forthcoming in giving us even more. “As we’re training tomorrow’s professionals, it’s very much in their interest to get their gear in front of these students. There’s been a number of people leaving the industry over COVID, either retiring early or moving careers. Our students will be graduating with cutting edge skills and will be out-of-the-box ready to fill any shortages in the industry as and when it bounces back to prepandemic levels. “These industry partners have jobs on offer for our students. Not just any form of temp work placements, they have real career opportunities at major companies. It’s a two-way street of the fact that our students get to be familiar with their products and not only are they tomorrow’s professionals, but they’re also tomorrow’s specifiers. “When venues are buzzing again, these students will be at the front of that queue - they’ll become the next generation of industry practitioners bringing to life the most amazing live events. I can’t wait!” For more information on Backstage Academy, please visit TopicUK August 2021



Welcome to Yorkshire announce Yorkshire ‘Ambassadors’ programme in supporting both the organisation and county over a very challenging period. Anyone that has been an Ambassador or Patron before should still consider themselves a key figure in our past, present and future. We need all the support we can garner and look forward to seeing them at events later this year.”

Paul Vinsen - Hotel & Tourism Advisor at The Hull, Humber & East Yorkshire Hospitality Association James Mackenzie - Head Chef and O wne r of the M ichelin starred restaurant Pipe And Glass Inn, near Beverley

Welcome to Yorkshire, the region’s tourism marketing agency, has today relaunched a Yorkshire Ambassador programme to help support its objectives over the next few years. The Ambassadors, drawn from all areas of Yorkshire, will support a range of different sectors within the wider economy as the region continues its post-Covid recovery. Led by, Philip Bolson, owner of Mr B Hospitality, and former general manager of the Grand Hotel in York, said: “As experts within their field, the group will act as thought leaders in their respective sectors whilst also bringing opportunities to life by representing Welcome to Yorkshire and the county of Yorkshire at events throughout the year to demonstrate support for all that is happening in the region. The full Ambassador list is not exhaustive but includes the following: Nicky Chance-Thompson DL - Chief Executive Officer at the Piece Hall Trust

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Richard Stubbs - Chief Executive Officer of the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) Abbi Ollive - Head of Marketing and Sales at Castle Howard Dr Amir Khan - GP and television presenter Sharon Watson DL - CEO and Principal at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance Hannah Cockroft MBE DL - Paralympian, multiple-winning gold medallist

Debbie Dobson - Director of Sales at Dakota Hotel in Leeds. Fiona Gardham - Tourism and hospitality consultant and owner of award-winning Bed and Breakfast The House at Hawes In addition, Günther Peeters, based in Belgium, will act as a European Ambassador. James Mason, Chief Executive explained: “The idea of Yorkshire Ambassadors isn’t a new concept and we still have many people who are associated with Welcome to Yorkshire that act as Ambassadors every day. Furthermore, anyone connected with the county, whether you were born here or live and work here, should always be flying the flag for our region. But after a really difficult few years, we thought it was worth relaunching this initiative with a fresh approach and with people who have played a significant role

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In addition, the organisation formed a Tourism Recovery Task Group earlier this year chaired by The Piece Hall Trust’s Nicky ChanceThompson. She added: “Bringing together key figures from both the public and private sector, the group feeds into national agencies and policy makers with regards to the ongoing challenges and opportunities that exist as the region deals with the Coronavirus pandemic. Th e A m b a s s a d o r g r o u p will play a vital role in amplifying the challenges and opportunities the county faces.”


Planning How is Leeds consent leading secured the way in the climate race for general housing in Sheffield

Peak Architects, in collaboration with Sheffield City Council, has received planning approval on a new housing scheme in southeast Sheffield to assist in the Council’s approved Stock Increase Programme.

The Newstead General Housing scheme in Birley will provide 77 new homes and contribute to the Council’s mission to increase council housing by 3,100 homes by 2029. The houses will be built to a high standard, with high thermal performance to reduce energy bills and lifetime home features, enabling any required future adaptations to be incorporated easily and at low cost. C o u n c i l l o r P a u l Wo o d , executive member for Housing, Roads and Waste Management said: “This is another important ste p to wards our aim to provide much needed new housing for Sheffield. We

welcoming environment, with ease of access. Peak Architects worked closely with the council to deliver well considered contemporary homes which sit nicely within their surroundings.

In r e f i n i n g t h e m a te r i a l palette, architect Alex Erskine, explains: “The selected light buff brickwork is a traditional and accessible This is another material that important step ages well, thus creating a fresh towards our and inviting aim to provide much needed new environment with longevity housing... built in. The articulation of The secured scheme comprises the brick has of a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bed been used in multiple ways houses with off street parking to add texture and variety to and gardens, together with 1 the entire scheme.” bed & 2 bed apartments with communal gardens, balconies An example of this economical and allocated parking. The architectural detailing is houses are arranged to illustrated in the garden areas provide a fresh, friendly and are extremely proud to be leading on this project. The team involved has worked collaboratively to provide a housing development that will support the needs of the local community and which will integrate well into the surrounding area. It will undoubtably have a positive local economic impact.”

and boundary walls using a hit and miss honeycomb brickwork with the simple brick windowsills bringing subtlety to this brickwork backdrop. Peak Architects D irector, Patrick Arends, states: “We are extremely excited to be working with Sheffield City Council in the provision of high-quality, affordable family living and breathing new life into the area. Using our extensive residential expertise, combined with our passion for bespoke design, we are delighted to be playing an integral role in the enhancement of this existing community.” Now that planning is secured, the Newstead General Housing scheme will be tendered through the YOR Framework and commence on site in summer 2022, due for completion at the end of 2023. TopicUK August 2021




TopicUK are delighted to welcome back our columnist, the UK’s leading sales and communications expert Nicky Pattinson.

The ‘’NOT WINNING’’ theme…it happens to ALL of us. Watched the football? By the time you read this – it’ll be long forgotten and we’ll all be on to something else. But not me. It really struck a chord…. or rather – battered a chord. I know it’s not exactly the same, but we all have our own version of the ‘Euros’. The time where we pray to God it all goes our way. Where people are looking. Where it means the difference between paying the rent or getting a promotion. Where we start a business or do a presentation, or even make a pot of tea for the office. We want to win. In our own way. It’s IN us. It means everything. At that moment. In that space. We can’t see anything else.

do a presentation for the company to owner ever after you messed one win a big contract. After slide 2 it was job up …or become the greatest obvious the wrong presentation was salesperson. It won’t be a surprise. up. He went to pieces…totally froze. And sadly…the business walked out of Maybe falling over is part of it all… the door. (He won’t read this – he’s being tough enough to get up is actually the schtick. And personally – where I had 130 in New Zealand). people to a winter tipi party but When the sun comes up the day after I remember a couple of years ago the venue ‘overlooked checking the …we start again. I did an event for a very drunk heating was in place’ – or assumed We climb again. audience at 11.00 at night. I’d take a toolbox to fix it myself as I served the drinks…because all the We don’t look back just It did not go well. I died in grand style. staff had left because of the cold. focus HARDER. Genuinely …I didn’t sleep for 2 weeks (And most of the guests). But isn’t this a lesson for all of us? …I blamed myself for not being funnier It’s devastating. Decimating. Nothing We see the genius in the England or harder hitting. Not one single worse than feeling you’ve let everyone team. The absolute CLASS that they person has ever mentioned it since. down…that YOU are responsible are. If we were to be shot if Bukayo Only the good in all my speaking for others disappointment…and Saka went on to be one of the greatest events are ever brought to mind when in that case – where people were footballers we have ever known… I meet people in life or on screen. we’d be worried. actually ill after. It rattled me at the time…but hasn’t I met someone last week who had to If you go on to be the best business made a SQUIZZLE of difference to my life or income since. And…the fear of just that situation stops us doing so many things in life. Let me tell you I’ve had my share of things that ‘don’t quite work out as planned’. Maybe – where the audience didn’t always quite ‘’get it’’ in the early days.

Don’t let the odd trip up s t o p y o u . We ’ r e a l l h y p e r sensitive at the moment. GET UP. Life is short… and not every day can read like a fairytale. And the alternative is to work an easy job – do nothing…stay as you are and die wondering what COULD have been. (Don’t think anybody reading this would welcome that option). TopicUK August 2021



Supporting Yorkshire


Late last year it became clear that there was a need for a magazine to support and champion businesswomen across the Yorkshire region. Not to shy away from a challenge, even during a pandemic, the team at Ghost Publishing, owners of TopicUK, decided to create such a magazine, albeit publishing digitally to start. So, in November 2020 we published the first edition of Yorkshire Businesswoman magazine, securing an interview with Channel 4 managing director Sinead Rocks as our lead and cover story. A second and third edition followed before we made the decision to go into print for our fourth edition in July. This edition coincided with the launch of the Yorkshire Businesswoman membership where for just £20 a month,

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businesswomen can join us to network at Dakota Hotel Leeds, one of our partners, have access to a dedicated members area online where they can receive support and network with other members as well as receiving discounts and offers from across the region. Over the coming months as the membership grows, networking events will be set up in other areas, we are already looking at York, Scarborough, Halifax and Huddersfield.

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TopicUK August 2021



To celebrate both the launch of the print magazine and the membership, our first event was held in early July at Dakota Leeds where more than 60 members joined us, along with our ambassadors, Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen and former Calendar presenter Christine Talbot. Also joining us was celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton alongside guest speaker Nicky Chance Thompson DL, chief executive of The Piece Hall. Following the e ve nt, we are also delighted to announce that

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actress Gaynor Faye has also become an ambassador and we will be featuring Gaynor who will talk about her career in our next edition. Here we share just a few images from the event. If you would like to become a member you can sign up at https:// yorkshirebusinesswoman. or for further information email hello@ Our next event is 10 September at Dakota Leeds and we will be celebrating Christmas with our party event on 3 December.


TopicUK August 2021


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Return of Member Events

Avenue HQ is experiencing a lot of companies beginning their phased return to the office in some capacity. We have members that take advantage of the services and creative environment that we offer to operate a hybrid working model for their business, allowing employees to effectively choose where they work, which typically works out at around 2-3 days in their office environment and the remainder remote. What can our members expect? At our core, we offer spaces for businesses to integrate fully within, with many advantages over a traditional office let. Chiefly among these is offering a fully managed and

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serviced experience, enabling our members to entirely focus their time and efforts on their business. We know our members love our spaces, so we developed a new hospitality offering that perfectly complements the working environment. & Company Bar & Kitchen and The Rooftop offer the ideal locations to unwind after a long day, grab a delicious breakfast, celebrate a win with your team or enjoy a working lunch. Why Leeds? Technology continues to be the backbone of new business, with statistics revealing that the area has enjoyed a 48% growth in the digital sector, making it the fastest-growing tech region in the UK. Based outside

Take the next step and find out exactly what we can offer you - we pride ourselves on our individual approach, ensuring that we provide a tailored offering for your new HQ, Meeting and Event requirements - we truly can provide everything you need! Please reach out to s.bensley@ av e n u e - h q . c o m f o r m o r e information, or visit

Keep your eyes peeled on our social channels to ensure you receive the latest updates - and if you’d be interested in participating in future events with your business services, please reach out to us & we will be in touch. Meeting rooms and events In-person events have dramatically increased, and Avenue HQ has solutions available for each and every occasion you can imagine. Event Spaces We have 4 key event spaces available at our Leeds location, catering for all occasions. The stunning rooftop

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Eagle Labs

Out of Office

Out of Office with...

Georgina Rudak Georgina is head of wayleave and trainee solicitor at Trenches Law You arrive home on Friday night after a busy week. What’s the first thing you do? I generally use a Friday evening to chill out after a busy week! I’ll turn off the laptop, pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy some good TV. In more ‘normal’ times, I also like to get my friends round for a few drinks. It’s time for the weekend. What are we most likely to find you doing, and where? On a Saturday, I love to go out with my friends – so I’m delighted that bottomless brunches are back on the menu now! Socialising (albeit virtually for the past year!) is really important to me – I went to two different universities and therefore have friends dotted all over the country. One lives in London, so as soon as I’m able to, I’ll be spending some time down there. Saturday night arrives. What’s your idea of the perfect way to spend it? Enjoying the Leeds nightlife is top of my ‘to-do’ list when everything reopens. I love getting out and about and spending weekends with my pals – along with a beverage or two! Another thing I have really missed during the lockdowns is live music – attending concerts is one of my favourite pastimes. Hopefully, these will return soon!

It’s Sunday already. What tasks are usually on your ‘to-do’ list? It completely depends on what I’ve done the night before. I’ve been known to spend the day watching Harry Potter films – and eating McDonalds! Other Sunday activities I tend to get involved in are cooking and

baking – or simply getting all the washing done. A long dog walk also blows away the cobwebs, when the weather’s nice. Work again tomorrow. Do y o u g e t t h e S u n d ay b l u e s or look forward to getting back – and why? I don’t get the blues as I studied

for a long time to get to where I am now – I really love my job and the team at Trenches Law. The weekend’s almost over. What’s the last thing you do before you hit the hay ahead of another week? Wind down – and typically watch some reality TV! TopicUK August 2021



No pussyfooting about with the Puma

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Well, here’s a first. I’ve never had a car which has a hole in the boot floor. Correction. I have had a car with a hole in the boot floor, except that the hole shouldn’t have been there. It’s what happens when rust sets in. Thankfully modern cars don’t rust to the extent that bits fall off after only a couple of years. Anyway, it was much to my surprise to discover that the latest Ford Puma really does have a hole in the boot…. on purpose. The idea is that if you have muddy wellies, filthy coats or a dog that’s been in the river or perhaps you’ve been to the tip, you can rinse off the boot floor and then remove a bung to let the dirty water drain away. And if the seats start to look a bit grubby, well just unzip the covers and put them in the washing machine. Why did nobody else think of that? The Puma is great to drive. This comes as no surprise because it has the same underpinnings as the brilliant Fiesta. In a nutshell, Ford has taken the Fiesta, given it a compact SUV body, made sure it has five doors, plenty of interior space and a stack of standard equipment. There are 5 levels of trim…Titanium, STLine, ST-Line X and fully loaded ST-Line Vignale. The performance model, Puma ST, is at the top of the range. Most folk will be perfectly happy with the entry

level Titanium because it gets satellite navigation, air con, Bluetooth, DAB radio, rear parking sensors, powered windows and mirrors, cruise control and a smart 8-inch colour touchscreen. There’s an impressive list of safety equipment as standard too. If you want to make the Puma stand out, go for the ST-Line trim which gets a body kit, bigger alloys, sports seats and tuned suspension. If you’re a keen driver, go for this one because although the ride is a tad on the firm side, it handles really well. Under the bonnet, every Puma, apart from the top of the range ST, gets a 1.0 litre petrol engine available in three states of tuning. There’s no diesel. The ST has a 1.5 litre engine. The one we like is the entry level 123bhp engine with mild hybrid assistance that improves performance without affecting economy. 0-60 takes 9.8 seconds but, go easily and you’ll crack 50mpg. That’s a great blend of performance and economy. If you want more performance go for the most powerful of the 1.0 litre units which delivers 153bhp and knocks a second off the 0-60 time. We’d also recommend the 6-speed manual box as opposed to the auto because it has a lovely feel to it. £22,165 gets you into our favourite… the 1.0 Hybrid in Titanium trim.

TopicUK TopicUK August June 2021



The Rhubarb Radio family is growing Rhubarb Radio, the digital online radio station for the Wakefield District and South Leeds has been joined by a new sister station, Rhubarb Smoothies Radio, as the Rhubarb family grows across West Yorkshire.

the tasty smooth mix for West Yorkshire...

Rhubarb Radio has been on air for over 3 and a half years, and in that time has become the very heart of the community it serves with a programming format which reflects and supports the areas it serves from a dedicated team of over 20 presenters, and admin/tech support who are all volunteers. The station is supported by many local businesses, with major sponsors on board, and with fantastic support from Wakefield Council, and has grown a huge loyal audience over the years. Vision The station derives its name from the rhubarb triangle, as both the Wakefield

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stations, and is known for interviewing the biggest starts over the years.

District and South Leeds are at the heart of the largest forced rhubarb growing production in Europe. It has been a vision from day one to grow the rhubarb brand, and Rhubarb Smoothies Radio is the culmination of over 6 months hard work to take it to air, with its editorial coverage targeting the West Yorkshire area. Based at Rhubarb’s Studio Centre in Ossett near Wakefield, a new studio was created for the station alongside the 2 already in use for Rhubarb Radio. Rhubarb Smoothies Radio tagline is “the tasty smooth mix for West Yorkshire,” and plays the biggest mix of easy listening songs for the 60’ to today. With a full line up of presenters on board, the stations breakfast show is presented by Paul Fairclough, who started in radio at the age of 12, and is still going strong 45 years later, with huge experience on many commercial

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Station Director Gareth Smith said “We are so excited to see the rhubarb brand growing with Rhubarb Smoothies Radio now adding to our listener choice. Our team has worked so hard to create 2 superb radio brands under one umbrella name, with Rhubarb Radio offering a real local community based service, promoting on air that we are “proud to be local.” Rhubarb Smoothies Radio is more of a lifestyle easy listening music based station. Dave Stankler, Operations Director commented: “With listener habits having changed over recent years, and particularly through the pandemic with lockdown, we have seen a huge increase in audience from people tuning in to online stations like ours. Both Rhubarb Radio and Rhubarb Smoothies Radio offer our listeners a great choice of programming, with news, sport, information, entertainment, and great music 24/7, and our plan is to take both stations onto Small Scale DAB in the near future as it’s rolled out across our region.

Dedicate a tree to someone special or plant trees as a corporate gift for employees and clients. Reward those employees who have gone the extra mile or say thank you to all your staff for a job well done in difficult times. We plant trees around Yorkshire in public woodlands, farms and private estates. Each tree you purchase will help to create woodland habitats that will benefit people and wildlife for years to come.

To find out more and to discuss discounts when you buy 20+ memberships email and quote TREESWTYTOPIC in your email.

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