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News Business Solent

issue 4 • spring 2012


Exclusive interview with top business entrepreneur and ‘Dragon’ Theo Paphitis on pages 8-9

Above: Artist impression of the new Station Quarter ©Brownrigg Architects

Major Developments put the Solent Region on the Map with major multi-million pound development schemes planned across the region, major developers and businesses are backing the solent as a prime location to invest. THe launch of Southampton’s City Centre Master Plan on March 16, with keynote speaker Theo Paphitis, has created plenty of interest among developers as the city showcases its potential. The development vision is set to generate up to 24,000 new jobs and £3bn of investment over the next 20 years. Councillor royston Smith, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: “Southampton is transforming. “Plans for a re-mastered city centre, a new worldclass waterfront and a stunning new cultural quarter in the city are all happening and will only spur on more investment and opportunity.” Business Solent’s Future Southampton Group (FSG) helped influence the Master Plan and

is a strong supporter of the proposals. The group is looking forward to working closely with Southampton City Council and other stakeholders to make the proposals a reality. As well as focusing on the city’s vision for new major development and investment, the Master Plan sets the standard for excellence in architectural designs. It also guides the city on new and improved sustainable transport networks, while highlighting the importance of creating thousands of new family homes in Southampton over the next 20 years. The FSG consists of some of the leading names in development and design – and share a desire to make the most of the city’s potential. >

It will be exciting engaging with the delivery of the Master Plan and finding ways of bringing that to life for the city James Prowse FSG chairman


Welcome to the Spring edition of the Business Solent newsletter giving you an update on the work of Business Solent, the Solent Champions and news from the region. In this edition we bring you up to date as Business Solent continues to grow in order to represent business issues across the region. The work of the Action Groups is highlighted, together with an interview with Professor van Gore from Southampton Solent University. This edition will also cover updates from Solent Champions, including a spotlight on Champion Clarke Willmott LLP.

Sally Lynskey CeO Business Solent

Contents 2-3 4-6 8-9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Business Solent News Solent Champion News Interview with Theo Paphitis Champion Spotlight Solent Skills Feature Sustainability Case Study Action Group Update In My view Upcoming events

Business Solent

Business Solent is a business engagement organisation which unites business leaders to drive economic prosperity. Organisations, known as Solent Champions, influence the agenda and support the work of Business Solent as together we aim to make the region the best place to work, invest, study, live and enjoy.

Newly appointed FSG chairman, James Prowse, said: “Southampton needs that coming together of people to make the best of what is available. No one person has all the solutions and ideas. It needs a collective will to find the best way forward.” While in Bournemouth a 20-year project, which has the development value of between £350m and £500m, has been agreed between Bournemouth Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Limited (MSIL), the investment unit of the Morgan Sindall Group. It is a 50/50 joint venture Public Private Partnership between Bournemouth Borough Council and MSIL and the scheme will deliver a range of residential and mixed-use development including leisure attractions, new housing, shops and offices across 17 sites in the town centre. MSIL will provide funding for the ongoing development of projects, matching the land value contribution of Bournemouth Borough Council. Surpluses generated by the partnership will be reinvested in improvements to the town’s infrastructure and public spaces. And Portsmouth recently announced an ambitious plan for the city as major developments worth £1bn are set to transform Portsmouth in the coming years and bring 16,000 new jobs to the market. Councillor Mike Hancock MP, executive member for planning, regeneration and economic development at Portsmouth City Council,

explained four planning applications for the Tipner site had already been passed worth £130m and the government has agreed a further £30m for the new junction off the M275. The £270m major retail development known as the Northern Quarter is still on the cards as the developers have already invested £50m and show no sign of walking away. Portsmouth City Council is looking at creating a Local Asset Backed vehicle like Bournemouth Borough Council has agreed and a new Seafront Strategy worth £100m is also planned. At the recent Shaping Portsmouth conference at the end of last year, Chairman of the Business Leaders group – and director of Business Solent representing the east region, Walter Cha from Blake Lapthorn, said: “Portsmouth is not only open for business - it means business.” Business Solent CeO Sally Lynskey said it was great for the region that so much development was planned and it was sure to boost inward investment in the Solent area. “It’s encouraging to see so much activity. It’s easy to get bogged down in the doom and gloom of the current economic situation, but throughout the downturn, across our region plans have been put in place that will make this area even more attractive to investors. “We have a great deal to shout about when it comes to the potential the Solent region offers for developers and business – it really is a great place to work, invest, study, live and enjoy,” she said.

Directors Forum Takes Place in the Clouds THe latest Directors Forum, sponsored by Taylor Made Computer Solutions, was a major success with a range of presentations on cloud computing and hosted solutions. Always a popular event, the forums allow business leaders to network at the highest level and on this occasion they enjoyed a three-course dinner at the Holiday Inn at Winchester. Cams Hall based Taylor Made, familiar for its sports sponsorships and fleet of branded vehicles on the region’s roads, manages more than 6,000 devices for in excess of 250 companies across the south. The hi-tech company has recently been ranked as the third in the UK and europe and fourth in the whole of europe, the Middle east and Africa, in a leading industry survey.

The accolade from industry bible MSPMentor also ranks Taylor Made 35th on its list of the world’s top 100 managed services providers – the business of outsourcing IT services, which has been a key driver behind the Fareham firm’s growth from a back-bedroom start-up to a company employing over 100 people. Speaking following the Directors Forum, Nigel Taylor said: “We were delighted to be involved with the Directors’ Forum with our partners SSe. “The investment that has been made in their highly specified datacentre has brought fantastic opportunities to businesses in the Solent region looking to benefit from cloud technology and our honest approach when talking about the cloud and hosted IT has received some really positive feedback from the event.”

Action groups: Digital Southampton, Future Southampton Group, Olympics Legacy Southampton, Solent Logistics, Solent Maritime, Solent International Business Alliance, Marketing Southampton, Solent India Business Network, Sustainable Solent, Inward Investment. Business Solent Limited Ocean village Innovation Centre Ocean village, Southampton Hampshire SO14 3JZ T: 0844 225 3130 F: 0844 225 3132 e: Follow us on Twitter: Bizsolent 2 1

Business Solent News

Above: Nigel Taylor, Managing Director of Taylor Made Computer Solutions


Suppliers’ Showcase Exhibition Attracts Buyers for Local Produce Buyers and procurement managers from across the Solent region attended the Solent Suppliers’ Showcase, held in Southampton in January, with the key objective of sourcing more local food and drink for their business. Over 30 local producers, the majority members of county food group Hampshire Fare, were represented showcasing local meat, vegetables, cheese, eggs, cakes and biscuits, watercress products, ice-cream, yoghurt and cream, confectionery, wine, apple juice, bottled water and more. Food buyers in attendance represented companies including Carnival UK, Southampton Football Club, Saga Shipping Ltd, Baxter Storey for NATS, Forestdale Hotels and Sparsholt College. Over 200 regional buyers were able to meet with the individual producers, sample their range of food and drink and discuss business opportunities face to face. Hampshire Fare Chairman Mike Wright said: “This Suppliers’ Showcase has been a terrific opportunity for our Hampshire Fare members to demonstrate the range and quality of their products. It is great to hear such complimentary comments from food buyers about the local produce available.” The exhibition was organised by Business Solent in conjunction with Hampshire Fare and was supported by Hampshire County Council, Cavendish Ships Stores and the event venue De Vere Grand Harbour. Sally Lynskey, CEO of Business Solent added: “The Suppliers event is a great showcase for local producers and an important event in the business calendar. Each year we have more stories of business being done as a result of this event and we are delighted to support it. These producers offer a consistently high standard of goods and the region should be proud of their contribution to the local culture and economy,” she said.

Above left to right: Mitat Saribiyik from De Vere Grand Harbour, John Davey from Cavendish Ships Stores, Cllr Ray Ellis from Hampshire County Council, Sally Lynskey from Business Solent, Mike Wright from Hampshire Fare and Dilip Damodaran from De Vere Grand Harbour

Manufacturing has Key Role to Play in the Solent Region The key role that manufacturing plays in the wealth of the Solent region was illustrated by a tour of the Ford Assembly Plant in Southampton. Around 60 Solent Champions toured the factory seeing how the home of the Transit has coped with the challenging economic climate. Rob Ardley, HR Manager, explained the assembly plant had plenty of history as it had been the former factory for building Spitfires during the war. To this day a self-supporting roof designed by Barnes-Wallis covers part of the factory which makes 125 vehicles a day. Mr Ardley said: “Fifty per cent of what we produce is exported to as far afield as Mexico and Australia. “Ford Transit is famous for leading the UK’s commercial vehicle market since its launch in 1965. Ford commercial vehicle sales were up 14.9 per cent in 2011, compared with 2010, with Ford Transit sales up 21.7 per cent.” he said.

While uncertainty over the Euro is causing some concern, Mr Ardley said they were confident about 2012. “There is a commitment for the next Transit model coming in and there is a real pride in this place. “We work really hard to produce the best vehicles we can. We’ve been here for many years – and we want to be around for a lot longer,” he said. Sally Lynskey, CEO of Business Solent said: “Manufacturing is an incredibly important and skilled sector for the Solent and Business Solent is keen to encourage more manufacturing and engineering in the region. “We are looking to create delegations to promote the region’s impressive manufacturing portfolio,” she said.

Above: Ford Transit in production at the Assembly Plant in Southampton

Did You Know?

• There are 3 million different variations of Transit • A myriad of colours can be chosen for any van – there are 116 different shades of yellow alone

Business Solent News


solent champion news

Champion News-in-Brief Warings Strikes Gold Again Warings, the Hampshire based full service contractors, has joined the handful of companies honoured with a gold standard Investors in People (IiP) award. The very highest recognition given out by the management standards body, just 2.5% of companies it examines reach the coveted gold level. One in five of Warings’ workforce was interviewed over a six day inspection that saw the builder of some of the south’s most high profile projects come out with flying colours. Warings, which is currently building the new home for the Mary Rose in Portsmouth, was measured against a total of 196 criteria, testing the company’s commitment to its employees. Warings Managing Director Philippe Jouy said: “We are only as good as our staff and we take our responsibilities to them extremely seriously.”

Outstanding Business of the Year Award for Salisbury Playhouse Salisbury Playhouse celebrates winning Outstanding Business of the Year Award at the Salisbury and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business Excellence Awards. Artistic Director Gareth Machin, Development Director Kirstie Mathieson, Executive Director Michelle Carwardine-Palmer and Theatre Manager Terry Claxton accepted the award at the glittering ceremony which took place in February at Salisbury Arts Centre and was attended by over 150 guests.

The New Year Brings a New Name for Gifford: Ramboll Gifford is now part of the worldwide independent group Ramboll – already known and highly regarded for its holistic approach to engineering consultancy and with an existing strong presence in the UK. Ramboll now has a deeper range of skills; together we provide a broader choice of services. For clients these attributes combine to provide world class solutions from our engineers, scientists and technical experts; from consultancy advice to the most challenging infrastructure projects.

The Road to a Brighter Future A new apprenticeship scheme that is giving young people the skills to improve Southampton’s roads is proving to be a huge success. The Balfour Beatty Living Places Craft Apprenticeship is a three year scheme run by Balfour Beatty Workplaces in partnership Southampton City Council, who are responsible for maintaining and improving the roads and pavements in Southampton. Six new apprentices have been recruited this year to work alongside professionals on Southampton’s highways, and gain the practical skills they need for long-term careers in this field.

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Business Solent News

St Mary’s Stadium, the home of Southampton Football Club

The Future’s Red & White at Southampton Football Club In taking one step backwards, Saints have marched two quick steps forward after falling into Administration during 2009. Under a clear and secure structure being implemented by Nicola Cortese, Executive Chairman, the club has made giant strides both on and off the pitch as they are currently knocking on the door of a return to the Premier League this year. The club enjoys a healthy relationship with its corporate clients, hosting networking opportunities throughout the year. In 2011 ‘A Game Of Two Halves’ saw Southampton Football Club guests team up with a group of Saints legends for a day of golf and an evening of high profile football, bringing over 120 like minded business people together to exchange contacts and ideas, making it a huge success. There’s more where that came from too with a networking ‘day at the races’ at the fantastic Fontwell racecourse also due to take place in April. Matchdays at St. Mary’s also continue to deliver memorable experiences with the team boasting the best ‘home’ record in the Championship, as

the feel-good factor and entertainment continues to flow on the back of last season’s promotion out of League One. Also amongst the highlights, was the club’s all-time record attendance smashed when West Ham United were the visitors to St. Mary’s back in October. A popular add on to supporters’ experience is the range of quality hospitality including the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze packages which cater for everyone from the fan seeking access to a cash bar and other refreshments, through to the highest level of service for food and atmosphere for larger groups of associates. Saints haven’t been out of the top two positions in the Championship all season, going from strength to strength and in doing so firmly cementing their credentials as the leading team in the Hampshire region bidding to be amongst the country’s elite teams once more. Southampton Football Club has a fantastic past and is working towards for an even better future.

Raising the Bar on Performance in A high performing board is a pre-requisite to business success and being a director brings about a requirement to both acquire and update skills and knowledge. Focussing on this Business Solent, working in partnership with Boardroom Dynamics and Kiki Maurey Consultancy Ltd, is set to launch an exciting programme of workshops called Direct2Success. The Direct2Success Programme is aimed at individuals who are aspiring board leaders, in particular those Directors, CEOs and Senior

Managers who wish to play a central role in driving their organisation forward. Undertaking the Direct2Success Programme will bring a number of benefits to both individuals and their organisations, including: • Improved board processes leading to efficiencies and cost savings • Improved self-awareness, board behaviours and decision making • Best practice leading to lower insurance costs, and easier access to finance

solenT chAmPion news

Solent India Business Network Founder Returns from Successful Trade Mission AMArJIT Singh, a solicitor at Dutton Gregory LLP, was part of the United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI) India Marketing & Strategy Scholarship Programme 2012, designed to ensure that UK SMe’s understand the importance of effective marketing in India, identifying key issues and actions to be taken to enable long-term trading relationships. The programme comprised an intensive marketing course hosted by the SP Jain Institute of Management & research in Mumbai, ranked one of the best business schools in Asia. Amarjit said: “The programme certainly helped us to develop and implement our India strategy and to add value to the market entry and expansion strategies of our clients. The hands on and unique training offered by the programme will ensure UK based SMe’s maximise opportunities arising from India’s huge and growing economy.” Completion of the course was followed by an executive work placement with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to obtain experience of the marketing process and Indian business culture. TCS is a global IT services, business solutions and outsourcing company headquartered in Mumbai and part of the huge Tata Group. Amarjit received a firsthand insight into the business consulting, marketing and legal divisions and was able to meet several vice presidents of

TCS to learn about the company’s offerings, services and operations in India and the UK. The placement presented an opportunity to visit TCS’ innovations laboratories and to see the work of the many offshore delivery centres servicing globally based clients. Amarjit said, “The placement in TCS was a Above: Co-founder fantastic opportunity to of SIBN, Amarjit learn about the business Singh from Dutton culture and approach Gregory LLP of one of the world’s leading full service IT firms. I was particularly impressed with their innovative business solutions and the ethics and grand values of the business were truly amazing. All companies wishing to trade in the region would benefit from their ethos.” Amarjit is also co-founder of the Solent India Business Network and was named Solicitor of the Year at the recent Asian Lite’s Achievers Awards 2011 in recognition of the wider work he has been doing to promote bilateral trade and investment relations between the UK and India.

Champion News-in-Brief Adido Continue to “Do it Better” with Multiple New Business Wins Leading digital marketing agency Adido have had a great start to 2012 winning several new clients. Adido beat multiple agencies to secure the latest Glenigan project which includes a brand new website and comprehensive online marketing campaign. Other web & marketing clients won include Matt Black Systems, Maple Leaf Pharmacy, rocksville and new brand envirowaste. With many more new pitches in progress it is proving to be a strong start to the year.

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Opens Coffin Mew’s Office at 1000 Lakeside The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Cheryl Buggy, officially opened Coffin Mew’s new office at 1000 Lakeside North Harbour Portsmouth. The ribbon was cut by the Lord Mayor and Miles Brown, Managing Partner of Coffin Mew Solicitors, in an evening celebration attended by 100 guests. The new 13,500 sq ft office at the prestigious 1000 Lakeside development provides a focus for the firm in Portsmouth to complement its existing locations in Kings Park House, Southampton and Gosport.

Solent Professional Lunch Club

Building on the success of Begbies Traynor luncheon club, it has been relaunched with a new name and a new committee. The Solent Professionals Lunch Club meets monthly at a Southampton restaurant and gives business men and women an opportunity to network as they eat. Antony Fanshawe of Begbies Traynor said: “We have about 500 names on our list and at each lunch we get around 50 people attending. “It is quite informal and we aim to keep it that way. It is good value for money, with good food and sensible hours so you can be back in the office by 2.30pm. “The club has no agenda and there is no one trying to push any particular message – it’s just an opportunity to sit down with others and develop new relationships.” The Solent Professionals Lunch Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month at Coco rio restaurant in Southampton. For more details contact or call her on 023 8023 3522.

Begbies Traynor Group plc

the Boardroom • A strategic approach to business giving a more secure future • reduced risk to the business and the individual Director • Opportunity to network with a small group of aspiring peers • Access to one2one support via highly qualified coach-mentors / facilitators • enhanced CPD through Direct2Success (Certificate on Completion)

For more information about the programme and to register please email or call 0844 225 3130.

The Shape of Things to Come: Researchers Examine the Future of UK High Streets At a time when the future of UK town centres is high on the political agenda and the Government’s response to the Portas review is awaited, researchers at the University of Southampton have been awarded over £250,000 to evaluate alternative visions of the future of UK high streets over the next 25 years. “We will look at how retail and services provision might evolve over the next quarter century, and, in-turn, to what extent and how our town centres and high streets are likely to adapt and change to survive,” comments Professor Neil Wrigley, who is leading the research.

Hampshire Cricket and Ageas UK Announce Ground Naming Rights Deal Hampshire Cricket and Ageas are delighted to announce a Ground Naming rights partnership deal which will see the Club’s iconic home ground renamed, The Ageas Bowl. The rebrand of the stadium will commence immediately with a launch scheduled to coincide with Hampshire Cricket’s Press Day on 10 April 2012. The agreement with Ageas, whose Head Office is based in eastleigh, is in place for six years.

Business Solent News


solent champion news

Champion News-in-Brief NatWest Appoints New Business Director in Southampton NatWest has strengthened its Southampton Commercial Banking team with the appointment of Gemma Wild to the role of Director of Business Development. Gemma has worked at NatWest for over seven years and spent the last two years in the Bank’s Real Estate Finance Division. In her new role Gemma will work closely with Southampton Commercial Director Andy Swift, and his team of eight Relationship Directors and Senior Managers, in supporting business growth.

PwC Inspires Female Business Leaders of the Future Leading professional services firm PwC, based in Ocean Village, Southampton will be welcoming female undergraduates to join the firm for a week this summer as part of its new female partner shadowing scheme. In a drive to promote the accountancy profession among women, the scheme gives talented female students a unique chance to gain an insight into the firm while shadowing a female partner or director. They will attend meetings, work with clients and other PwC teams. They will gain exposure to the firm and experience of what it’s like to work within a leadership role.

Key appointment for Grant Thornton Leading business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton, has strengthened its tax team with the appointment of Trudi Amy as Tax Director in its Southampton office. Trudi joins the firm from Smith & Williamson in Southampton where she was Head of Tax. Her areas of specialism include advising professional practices and clients in the not for profit sector. She also has extensive experience in advising privately owned and managed businesses across a wide range of industries and rapidly growing companies looking for an exit.

Slick New Look for Oil and Gas Service Provider Hampshire based Brazier Interiors has helped a company that is bucking the trend and riding on a wave of success. Plant Asset Management, a part of the international Oil and Gas Services Company Petrofac, approached the interior design firm after it became clear that the success of its Southampton office would lead to further growth in 2012 and beyond. Plant Asset Management had outgrown its existing space and needed to move to a more modern, spacious building at The Quay in Ocean Village.

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Business Solent News

More Organisations Become Champions of the Solent Region Since the turn of the year, 21 new businesses and organisations have become Champions of the Solent region. More new names are joining Business Solent every month and the total for Champion businesses now stands at over 200 throughout the region. All Solent Champions support Business Solent and the work it does connecting business leaders, addressing business issues and promoting the region as a great place to work, invest, study, live and enjoy. Matt Hawkins, Managing Director of Bronze Champion C4L commented: “We’re delighted to become a Bronze Solent Champion, helping to promote the Solent region. “We’ve experienced considerable growth over the last year, and are looking forward to working with Business Solent to increase our visibility, even more so, across the South.” While Neil Wilson, Director of Business Development from Rose Road said: “Rose Road is delighted to become a Business Solent Champion – we have worked with organisations from across the region for many years and have a number of thriving partnerships. “As we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee in 2012 we hope to work with the business community in a number of ways linked to our services, volunteering and fundraising and such partnerships offer a range of benefits both for the charity and those organisations taking part.” And Fiona Stilwell, Operations Manager South East from Babcock Education & Training said: “As the UK’s largest training provider, partnership with a wide range of businesses is at the core of what we do. “Business Solent enables us to reach more local employers, large and small and to work with them to create businesses that thrive, grow and are rewarding to work for.” Solent Champions represent a diverse cross-section

of business and provide a powerful forum for debate, generating ideas and project initiatives for the benefit of the Solent region. Could you be a Champion of the Solent region? Find out how you can help to make the Solent region a world-class location in which to work, invest, study, live and enjoy, Contact Leigh-Sara Timberlake by emailing or call 0844 225 3130.

We welcome the New Champions: Begbies Traynor Group plc


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/moxhamsav Business Solent News



Theo Gives His Backing to

Southampton’s Master Plan Vision International business entrepreneur Theo Paphitis has given his backing for Southampton’s City Centre Master Plan.


head of the launch event, where he was the keynote speaker, Theo said the publication of the document was crucial to attract investment to the city. “The Master Plan is all about generating investment, jobs and growth for the city of Southampton and that’s exactly what it will do. “If a city doesn’t have a plan like this, there’s no question in my mind that it will die like the proverbial high street. “It’s important you have investment in a city centre and you drive the people where you want them to be – if you don’t they will move away,” he said. Planning is key to business success and Theo welcomed the Master Plan as a great way to showcase what Southampton has to offer. “It’s very important that people know you have a Master Plan. When businesses can see you have a vision they can invest – when they don’t know the future or they can’t see the vision, it’s difficult for them to plan,” he said. Theo, who is a much-loved star of the BBC TV show Dragon’s Den, has close links to the city through Southampton Solent University. He was given an honorary degree in 2010 and recently gave a masterclass to an appreciative student audience. “They were absolutely fantastic – so hungry and enthusiastic. We actually over-ran and I could have stayed all day,” he said. When it comes to business Theo has an enviable track record. Now recognised as one of the UK’s most high profile businessmen, his first job was as an assistant with a Lloyds of London broker, before moving into retail when he was 18. He then diversified into property and corporate finance, setting up his own company at just 23. As an entrepreneur he has revived the fortunes of such notable retail brands as La Senza, Contessa Lingerie, Ryman, Partners the Stationers and Stationery Box. He is Chairman of Ryman but sold his interest in La Senza UK in 2006. And recently he launched Boux Avenue, a ‘spectacular’ new lingerie shopping experience online and in major shopping centres throughout the UK. Theo admitted people had questioned the wisdom of starting a new business in such a difficult economic climate but he was undaunted and what’s more he was keen to open a store in Southampton. “I was in WestQuay shopping centre only a few weeks ago – I want to be in Southampton and my agents said they were having difficulty finding a site so I came to have a look for myself,” he said.

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Business Solent News

Above: Theo Paphitis received an honorary degree at Southampton Solent University in 2010

Looking at the ever changing world of retail, Theo said the way we shop quite literally affects the lifeblood of a town or city. “First of all the high street was hit by supermarkets which led to the loss of the butchers, the bakers and the fishmonger. “Then came the out-of-town shopping centres with all the brands under one roof and it drove people away from the city centres. “And now you have the internet so it’s a triple whammy,” he said. To maintain the vitality of city centres, Theo said

it was important for the council and businesses to work together. “Councils have to work with business – where councils have worked independently they have killed the high street. “Businesses create employment, they create communities and as a result businesses should have a social responsibility. “Historically you had whole towns growing around one industry or a mill and they supplied housing and social welfare for the workers. The UK prospered during that revolution – now that was a long time ago but the principle remains. “Businesses have a responsibility to the city they are in and to the people working for their business. They cannot exist in isolation, they are integral to the community,” he said. Looking at Southampton’s potential to attract new businesses due to its location and vitality, Theo said the city had a lot to shout about. “Southampton has so much going for it. It is a vibrant place with a real mix of all sorts of people right across the spectrum. “For me as a mass retailer, it is exactly what I am looking for. “I like WestQuay, I visit the Boat Show, I like to play on the water and I come to see the football team – it’s a nice place to be. “If maybe I moved a bit further south this probably wouldn’t be a million miles away from my ideal place to live,” he said.

Above: Theo Paphitis gives a business masterclass at Southampton Solent University


Businesses have a responsibility to the city they are in and to the people working for their business. They cannot exist in isolation, they are integral to the community

Main Picture: Business Entreprenuer and ‘Dragon’, Theo Paphitis Business Solent News


chAmPion sPoTlighT

Business Solent Helps Clarke Willmott Find Entrepreneurial Market leading law firm clarke willmott llP is confident about the coming 12 months and believes the solent business environment is robust despite tough economic conditions.

Above: Kelvin Balmont, Partner at Clarke Willmott


n 2011, when many businesses struggled to stand still, the Hedge end-based firm took on 20 new members of staff, completely overhauled its leadership structure and focused on delivering an entrepreneurial-centred service for clients. Office head and partner Kelvin Balmont said the shift from providing purely legal advice to a much more commercially focused offering had made the firm increasingly attractive to the region’s entrepreneurially minded businesses. He said: “There’s no doubt that it’s very tough out there at the moment, but we’ve proved that there is still plenty of good business to be had if you deliver quality service at the right price by the best people. “The legal sector is in a real state of flux currently. Clients’ expectations of what they get for their money have totally changed – they want much more than a lawyer who just prepares legal documents and we make sure that our team reflects this. “That’s why we’ve brought a real entrepreneurial focus to all of our teams. We are there to provide crucial business advice which helps our clients win investment, find new opportunities and achieve their business goals. We bring real added value.” Major client wins during the last 12 months include child car seat manufacturers Britax, Silverstone, UK Payments, Market Makers and extra Motorway Service Stations. Kelvin said the Solent region was home to many dynamic new businesses with the potential to go to full commercial scale in a relatively short period of time. He said: “Just last year we helped Southampton technology firm Compliant Phones win investment which has led to a very lucrative deal with software giant Autonomy. “There’s a great deal of innovation and talent within businesses in the region and it’s our focus to help them realise their full potential by providing expert legal advice which directly affects their bottom line.” Kelvin said Business Solent was a vital player in the regional businesses ecosystem and had helped the firm seize new business opportunities. “Business Solent has really helped Clarke

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Above: recently expanded Intellectual Property team at Clarke Willmott (from left to right) Daniel Berry, Paul Cox, Jody Tsigarides, Philippa Olden and Daniel Blake

Willmott build strong networks within the region and to raise the profile of the area at a national level. “All of the Champion businesses benefit hugely from having a single voice which can lobby on behalf of us all to ensure that the Solent region is at the top of the list for any major inward business investments. “I certainly feel there is a natural fit between our refocused entrepreneurial legal offering and the way in which Business Solent makes the case for investment in the region.” While recognising that the year ahead will pose challenges for Solent firms Kelvin is confident that there is an appetite for growth and new opportunities. He added: “There’s

been the sense that people have been biding their time since the crash of 2008, waiting for an improvement before they commit to new investments or to move in a new direction. I think people are tired of waiting and are now determined to make things happen. “The key going forwards is for businesses to remain flexible and adaptable while pushing cautious expansion.”

Facts & Figures industry: Legal established: 1888 no. of employees: 450 (50 in Southampton)

solenT sKills FeATure

Business Leaders Learn More about Solent Skills & Recruitment Business leaders from across the region had a chance to learn more about how their business could benefit from the solent skills development Zone at a special conference held in southampton.


he aim of the event was to showcase the way employers can find new, skilled staff to fill vacancies or train their existing workforce using a single point of contact. The event, which was hosted by Business Solent and the partners of the Solent Skills Development Zone, was an opportunity for business to tell training organisations what was needed to fulfil their requirements. Welcoming delegates to the conference at the eastpoint Centre, vice-Chancellor of Solent University, Professor van Gore, said he was proud to see how far it has developed and how relevant it remains to today’s employment needs. “Hr directors need to understand what a win-win the zone offers. “For the person being offered the job it can be transformative. The employer will get a person who is going to do a great job and be loyal because they are recruited locally,” he said. Solent Skills Development Zone (formerly Southampton focused) was developed by employers to address skill and workforce development needs. It provides a framework for key training and learning providers and support agencies to work collaboratively with employers to provide a coordinated programme to address the employment and skills needs of businesses and residents. Martin Pryor, Head of Partnerships of the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “This is leading the way in the UK at the moment – we are more effective if we work together. “We need to make it simpler and more joined up for employers to engage.” University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has worked closely with one of the Work Programme providers, Wheatsheaf Trust, to fill vacancies with local people. By offering work experience, they had a chance to see who would best fill the role and they have gone on to offer full-time roles to many of those prospective employees. “It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large employer – work experience gives you the opportunity to meet people before you employ them. “You can be sure they have the right attitude, aptitude and skills – and it reduces recruitment costs.

Above left to right: Professor van Gore from Southampton Solent University, Sally Lynskey from Business Solent, Dawn Baxendale from Southampton City Council, Martin Pryor from Department for Work and Pensions and Sue Francis from SSDZ

“It is even beneficial for those you don’t end up employing, as they will have gained work experience for their Cv’s,” said Anita esser who is

Above: Sponsors of the Shaping Solent Skills & recruitment Conference in February

Head of Wider Healthcare Teams education for the Trust. Professor van Gore said as a result of the conference, they would capture employer feedback and look at establishing a web portal for relevant information. Sally Lynskey, CeO of Business Solent said: “This was a great opportunity for employers to find out more about the zone and to share their needs with training providers. “We are at the forefront and we need to continue to develop this service to make it even simpler for employers to access and use.” The event was sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme Providers; A4e with its partner Wheatsheaf Trust and Maximus with its partner CDG together with Southampton City Council.


finding jobs, changing lives

Business Solent News 11

susTAinABiliTY cAse sTudY

Sustainability Makes Business Sense

Saving the planet can mean major savings on your bottom line too – and that has to be attractive to businesses in the current economic climate, says Marwell Wildlife’s Sustainability manager Duncan east.


ince joining the world renowned wildlife park, Duncan has helped them to save thousands of pounds each year and encouraged them to go further with their sustainability agenda. “Over the years we have made quite considerable savings of over £50,000 on energy, water and waste. “If we compare 2011 with 2010 our consumption of both electricity and heating fuel is down about 11 per cent alone. “We’ve made big savings with water too by harvesting rain water; keeping an eye on leaks and a simple thing like planting native species of plants and trees which don’t need watering in a dry spell. “With waste, the more you can divert into recycling the more your bills will come down as well – it’s half the price to have materials collected for recycling than taken for disposal and in some cases it’s free” he said. Duncan explained being able to show your company’s interest in sustainability was increasingly important for the public consciousness. “The IT and electronic sector have been doing it for a long time, as well as the automotive industry and there is an increasing consumer awareness in all sectors now,” he said. If your company is interested in taking a more

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sustainable approach, Duncan has some sound advice. “energy consumption is a good place to start as there are so many ways of making improvements. “Starting with behavioral changes and encouraging everyone to buy in to the concept of switching off lights and equipment when they are not needed and generally being more aware will bring immediate savings” “And the key is to invest some of the money saved into new equipment that will make further savings,” he said. Marwell Wildlife forms part of Business Solent’s Sustainability Action Group. The group aims to promote a holistic sustainable business model for the region. The group delivers events, services, sign-posting and promotes best practice that enables Solent Champions to quickly and easily improve their understanding of, and engagement in, sustainability issues for the benefit of their business. To find out more about Marwell Wildlife visit To find out more about the Business Solent Sustainability Group please call 0844 225 3130 or email

Above: Duncan east, Sustainability Manager at Marwell Wildlife with recycled wood chips used in the playground

action group update

James Prowse is the New Chairman of the Future Southampton Group A newly appointed chairman will be leading the Future Southampton Group as it prepares to get involved with more major projects for the city.


ames Prowse, an associate at Ramboll, has taken over from Richard Summers of LHC and he expressed his gratitude for the firm foundations Richard had given the group. “Led by Richard and ably assisted by stalwart Peter Hine, the Future Southampton Group has done a brilliant job so far. I hope we can build on that success and bring forward major projects for the city.

The Marketing Southampton Alliance has successful won £80,000 of funding to spend on improving the city’s digital image. Southampton Connect awarded the alliance the funding after reviewing a compelling application form which explained how many key city stakeholders working in the destination marketing field would work together collaboratively to deliver a commercially viable online tool for promoting the city.

Southampton needs that coming together of people to make the best of what is available. No one person has all the solutions and ideas. It needs a collective will to find the best way forward, he said. James said he was excited about the City Centre Master Plan and the opportunity to bring forward a Neighbourhood Plan in conjunction with the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. “It will be exciting engaging with the delivery of the Master Plan and finding ways of bringing that to life for the city. “And the Neighbourhood Plan we are working on for the Queensway area will be really valuable to have that local knowledge and will also be interesting for the group to be involved in.

Marketing Southampton Wins Portal Bid

Above: James Prowse the new Chairman of the Future Southampton Group

“This year we set out our vision and values and we have organised a manifesto statement laying out our aims and ambitions – and putting the distinctiveness of the city at the heart of what we do. “I am passionate about wanting to support the city – it’s about putting your head above the parapet and I am happy to do that,” he said.

The funding will enable a new single web portal to be built for the city which will promote Southampton as a great place to live, learn, visit and do business as well as promoting ‘Future Southampton’ by explaining how Southampton will undergo a significant and ambitious transformation over the next 20 years. The project is now underway with the new portal being launched later in 2012.

Solent Maritime – Collaborate to Compete Workshop Business Solent’s Solent Maritime Group, working in association with the University of Southampton and the Supply Chain Management Group, are holding an exclusive workshop in April to look at collaboration to improve business competitiveness. Entitled “Collaborate to Compete” this full-day interactive workshop will focus on collaboration as a key factor in terms of improving competitiveness across all industries and sectors. In many cases the benefits of collaboration are not achieved for a variety of reasons including both hard (technical) issues and soft (organisational) issues. There are

many challenges for supply side businesses in collaborating when the prerogative to collaborate is still seen as the customers. Collaboration can take many forms and can be with customers and suppliers and with other partners. The key question for customers and suppliers is why we should collaborate, with whom and how can we think and manage this across the supply chain? For more information and to register for the Collaborate to Compete Workshop please email or call 0844 225 3130.

Business Solent News 13

in mY view

Solent University Plans to Stay at the Heart of the City By Professor Van Gore vice-Chancellor, Southampton Solent University


t Solent University we see ourselves as being in the heart of the city – and that means emotionally as well as geographically. In this edition of the newsletter, Business Solent is focusing on the Master Plan and the important part it will play in determining the shape of the city in the next 20 years or so. We are delighted to be identified as one of the vIPs and potential areas of growth. I applaud what the City Council is doing with the Master Plan by making the most of the assets that Southampton already has – and at Solent University we are keen to play our part in realising that vision. From a city development point of view, we have a prime site at the side of the University where we are looking to create a new academic building and sports complex by 2014. As vice-Chancellor, one of the important parts of my job is to identify areas of development for the University – and my focus is always around how we can work even more closely with business. In the last five years, Solent University has become known for its niche courses serving the creative industries – and I enjoyed hearing we apparently have the largest concentration of these ‘bohemian students’ in the UK outside of London. Solent Creatives – ‘staffed’ by talented students with skills in media, design, journalism, Pr and web development - has allowed us to work with many SMes and it has been a real win-win situation. Companies have been able to work with our students and they have been impressed by the energy and creativity they bring to the business and students have been able to enhance their experience and employability. A local marine company had their website redeveloped by our students – and it’s just one example of how they have been working on live projects that add value. Our Graduate Jobs South service placed 90 graduates in internships with local companies and of those, half received a permanent job offer which is really encouraging in the current economic climate. Universities, like business, are having to work

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in different ways and seek new opportunities. Increasingly we are going out to business to see how we can work together in an innovative and flexible way, shaping our offer to meet their needs. Another successful niche for us is sport. The University has just won the tender to run sporting activities across the city on behalf of the council – in the first partnership of its kind in the UK. The 10-year partnership deal between Southampton City Council and the University – now the largest provider of coaching education in england - will ensure the continuation of city-wide sport and fitness initiatives, as well as after-school sports, coaching and volunteering projects. In addition to this we recently signed a Partnership Accord designed to increase opportunities for students and improve creative benefit for cricket fans and visitors to The rose Bowl, home of Hampshire County Cricket Club. This will enable students to gain valuable work

experience at a venue renowned for national and international cricket and for arena-scale music concerts, particularly in areas of event management, sports journalism and outside broadcast. It is in all our interests to make Southampton an attractive and vibrant city and the Solent a magnet for growth. From the point of view of Solent University, the more successful Southampton becomes the more attractive it will be for students. The future lies with a knowledgebased economy and local retention of graduates is one of the drivers for growth and jobs. For the first time in my experience, there seems to be a strong awareness across the city with everyone from the City Council to businesses large and small, universities, colleges, the health trusts and government agencies such as Jobcentre Plus that we need to align our aims and resources, working together to make a difference. The future looks much more promising as a result.

Above left to right: rod Bransgrove, Chairman and Chief executive at The rose Bowl and Professor van Gore at the rose Bowl Partnership Accord Signing

Upcoming Business Solent Events For more information on any of the events below, please email the events team:

email call 023 8068 2520 or visit Please note that events have limited availability and are subject to possible change.

champion & Associate networking

champion & Associate networking

Wednesday 11th April, 5pm – 7pm, Yuzu Lounge Bar, Southampton Monthly informal networking evening for Champions, Associates and guests.

Wednesday 9th May, 5pm – 7pm, Grand Café, Southampton Monthly informal networking evening for Champions, Associates and guests.

working lunch

champion Briefing

Tuesday 24th April, 12noon – 2:30pm, Kuti’s Royal Thai Pier, Southampton Working lunch addressing a key business issue in the Solent region.

Thursday 10th May, 7:45am – 9:30am, St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton A breakfast briefing for Solent Champions and guests focusing on the leisure industry in the region.

champion & Associate networking

organisational development conference

Wednesday 25th April, 5pm – 7pm, No.5 at Bridge Street, Winchester Monthly informal networking evening for Champions, Associates and guests.

Thursday 24th May, 8am – 1pm, The Rose Bowl, Southampton Annual Organisational Development Conference focusing on how Champions and guests approach change in the workplace.

seacity museum Tour Thursday 26th April, 5pm – 7pm, SeaCity Museum, Southampton Presentation and exclusive tour of the SeaCity Museum including networking.

matchtech seminar for hr Professionals Tuesday 8th May, 9:30am – 12:30pm, Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel, Southampton Champion seminar focusing on a topical Hr subject hosted by Solent Champion Matchtech.

champion & Associate networking Wednesday 13th June, 5pm – 7pm, La Cantina, Southampton Monthly informal networking evening for Champions, Associates and guests.

Other Key Dates for your Diary Business solent Annual conference Friday 18th May, 9:30am – 2:30pm, P&O Cruises’ Oriana Cruise Ship, Southampton The first Business Solent Annual Conference, updating Champions and guests on regional business issues.

Business solent golf challenge 2012 Thursday 28th June, 1pm – 10:30pm, Marriott Meon Valley, Southampton Annual corporate golf tournament with dinner and awards presentation.

Business Solent events are organised by Destination Southampton, the city’s official conference bureau.

Contact: Shirley, Hannah or Charlotte about any of our upcoming events on

023 8068 2520 Business Solent News 15


Business Solent Newsletter - Spring 2012  
Business Solent Newsletter - Spring 2012  

Issue 4 of the Business Solent newsletter bringing you up to date on news from Business Solent and business news across the region.