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APRIL 2013




On the up and up

















Abbots Ripton



Alconbury Village

Little Stukeley A14

RAF Alconbury B








Great Stukeley


Proposed new station and Busway connection




A141 Huntingdon Racecourse

The Busway Huntingdon B1514


Great Ouse

A14 Brampton

B1514 A14

Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus offers 150 hectares of business space set within a high quality, low carbon development of homes, greenspace and community facilities. From winter 2013 the Incubator will offer flexible space for start up and small businesses from 250 sq ft to 250000 sq ft. To see how you can join our community, call 01480 413141 or email


APRIL 2013

driVing bUsiness ConfidenCe

AN ExPERT’S OPINION what maKes an effeCtiVe exhibition stand?


On the up and up PETERbOROUGH FOCUS: tHe cIty tHAt Is fAst becomIng one of tHe most PRomIsIng AReAs In tHe uk


e On

Cha Cambri mb dge we ers of shire Cha lComes Comme rity its new rCe of for the yea 201 r 3





uPdAte: membeR benefIts WHY APPRENTICES ARE THE WAY FORWARD How socIAL medIA Is cHAngIng busIness

Inside this issue




Chief Executive’s Comment Peterborough Chamber News

11-14 Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber News

6 12





Charity of the Year


Huntingdon Chamber News


Fenland Chamber News


Ely Chamber News


Cambridgeshire Chamber News


In the Hotseat: Interview


Out & About


Ask the Expert


New Members


Policy Update


Chamber Updates




Low Carbon Scheme




Sector Updates


Training & Skills Focus Social Media





Contributing this month...

Welcome This month we welcome Shine as our Charity of the Year.

Helen Porter WiSEOtter

Shine supports over 9,000 people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and their families across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We look forward to working with Shine and helping them to promote the important work that they do. Key Chamber events during the year will raise money for the charity. You can find out more about Shine in this edition of CONNECTED and we very much hope that you will join us in supporting them during their time as Charity of the Year. Our first exhibition for 2013 took place last month at Newmarket Racecourse and was a huge success. A montage of photos are available on the Out & About centre spread. We look forward to another successful event at Wood Green Animal Shelter on Thursday 18 April at the Huntingdonshire Business Fair.

With over 10 years’ experience, Helen is well versed in all the aspects of SEO including planning, development, analytics and social media.

Sara Drawwater Something Beckons A communications expert helping businesses to create valuable content to engage with their audience and build relationships.

Ray Hilton Cambridge Regional College

Do you follow us on Twitter?

Sadie Parr Editor, CONNECTED

We regularly tweet Chamber news; follow us at @CambsChamber to be kept up to date with all the latest news.

DRIVING BUSINESS CONFIDENCE Chief Executive John Bridge OBE | Editor Sadie Parr | Creative Director Jillian Boys Publisher | Ebenezer House, Rooks Street, Cottenham, Cambridge CB24 8QZ | 01954 253060 | Print Disclaimer Views expressed in CONNECTED are not necessarily those of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. Acceptance of advertisements does not imply official endorsement of the products or services concerned. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of editorial content, no responsibility can be taken for any errors and/or omissions. The editor reserves the right to make amendments without notification. Membership Development Officer Peter Watts 07545 697799 or Bren Coleman on 01223 209811 Cambridge Enterprise House, The Vision Park, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9ZR. Tel 01223 237414 Peterborough 6 The Forum, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6FT. Tel 01733 370809 Email |

@CambsChamber Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce


Management consultant at Cambridge Regional College who strives to find new business improvement techniques. Our editorial panel: We would also like to thank the other members of the Chamber Communications Sector group who will be responsible for shaping the key topics every month and researching these features to better serve the Chamber members in the pages of CONNECTED.

Advertise in CONNECTED and reach more than 3000 potential customers every month! Contact Lorna Hopkins on 01954 253060 or email

Prices start from as little as £75



Status... AS businesses, we often focus very much on the future and are sometimes guilty of forgetting to reflect on our own significant achievements in the past. 2012 was a busy and successful year for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) – a year that certainly saw the network, of which we are an integral part, deliver on its promise to ensure the interests of British businesses are represented at a local, national and international level. As a direct result of sustained BCC campaigning, £1bn of new funding for a state-backed British business bank was secured, substantial increases in the Annual Investment Allowance for plant and machinery were announced, damaging changes to employee rights to request flexible working were blocked and a commitment was made to increase the UK’s export promotion budget by £140m over the next two years. These are just a few of the policy ‘wins’ we can highlight that have played a role in the Chamber network’s Business is Good for Britain campaign over the past 12 months. Given these successes, it’s not surprising to hear that the BCC has been officially named as a Business Superbrand in an influential annual survey that identifies the UK’s strongest business-to-business brands. Independently co-ordinated by The Centre for Brand Analysis, the

annual Business Superbrands survey considers thousands of brands that are judged by both an Expert Council and over 1,900 individual business professionals from across the UK. The brands are assessed on three key criteria: quality, reliability and distinction. In addition to being voted a Superbrand, the BCC came third in the Support Services (associations and accreditations) category, being the highest placed business member organisation. As one of the 53 Chambers proudly accredited to the BCC, one thing is for certain – we will continue to support you, our members, in a very active and influential way.

John Bridge OBE Chief Executive, Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce

The BCC has officially been named as a Business Superbrand



Peterborough Chamber NEWS

A round-up of news and events from across Peterborough

Peterborough Chamber of Commerce

Working together for Peterborough’s economic growth

Opportunity Peterborough and UK CEED join forces to maximise Peterborough’s potential

IN January this year, Opportunity Peterborough and the UK Centre for Economic & Environmental Development (UK CEED) announced a formal collaborative working relationship to bring the complementary strengths of the two organisations together and maximise Peterborough’s potential for innovation and economic development. Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough, Neil Darwin, is now also heading up UK CEED as CEO. Neil is working closely with the separate boards and staff in the best interests of each company whilst obtaining the benefit of their combined skills and expertise.

“This will bring new investment and jobs to the city” Opportunity Peterborough is an economic development company whose objective is to drive forward sustainable economic growth in Peterborough by supporting local business and encouraging new businesses to set up in the city. 6 | CONNECTED APRIL 2013

UK CEED works nationally and internationally to encourage innovative business solutions to sustainable development. The organisation runs EnviroCluster Peterborough, which is the city’s business community of eco-innovative enterprises, experts and academics. Neil believes that the new, formal collaboration will enhance Peterborough’s reputation for environmental enterprise: “There’s no doubt that this will bring new investment and jobs to the city and, through UK CEED’s national and international links, will generate more opportunities and leads for city businesses,” he says. “Prior to this announcement, UK CEED and Opportunity Peterborough were already partnering on a number of initiatives including local and European projects to support new businesses start-ups and to secure funding for innovation in the city. “With a strong shared vision, both organisations are working to capitalise on Peterborough’s growing reputation for environmental innovation and as the destination of choice for green businesses.” n

Peterborough is positioned perfectly to prosper


Business Focus 2013 Wednesday 16 October 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Peterborough Arena Opportunity Peterborough are supporters of Business Focus, holding their Bondholder Breakfast annually before the exhibition opens.


Do you have some exciting news to shout about that you would like featured in these pages? Get in touch. tel: 01223 237414 email:

Architects renew PRC estate RIBA Chartered Practice, Jefferson Sheard Architects, has been appointed to carry out the £4.5 million renewal and rationalisation of the Peterborough Regional College (PRC) estate. The project is set to include a new main entrance canopy and reception extension, as well as refurbishments to the existing Sports Hall, catering kitchen, hairdressing salon and science laboratory. A new state-of-the-art fitness centre and teaching space will be built adjoining the Sports Hall to enable visitors to share the changing and shower facilities and

co-locate all sports facilities to the same site. The new facilities will also include a sports science laboratory, sports injury room, dance studio and additional teaching space. The space left in the existing fitness suite will be transformed into a dedicated small animal care facility. To support the Peter Jones Academy and the Performing Arts Curriculum, a multipurpose performance space is to be designed. The extension and rejuvenation of the main hall will include the provision of changing rooms and a rehearsal or ‘green’ room. n

IN BRIEF April 2013 Youngsters step up to a brighter future University Centre Peterborough and Peterborough Regional College has hosted their second Children’s University event. The Children’s University is a national project which recognises the achievements of young people who take part in out-of-hours learning activities. The aim is to encourage learners to take part in a wide range of worthwhile out-ofschool learning. Sessions included video making, sport and physiology, problem solving and renewable energy workshops.

Designs for the Sports Hall at Peterborough Regional College Children in the Video Making workshop with Eric Renno

Timber supplier awarded accreditation DEEPINGS Building and Plumbing Supplies has received prestigious forestry industry accreditation for its timber products, which guarantees that they come from sustainable sources. They attained Chain of Custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council and from the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification. Both accreditations have been awarded after rigorous independent auditing by the UK construction industry body BMTRADA. They mean that customers buying anything from structural timber to fence panels can be sure that the wood comes from sustainable forest sources. n

Contract awarded at Spurs stadium development

Deepings Building and Plumbing Supplies

Roofing company KGM (a division of Lindum Group) has been awarded a £3 million contract for work at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium development at Northumberland Park, London. The work will involve KGM installing the roofing and cladding on a new supermarket as part of the prestigious £400 million development underway in Tottenham. Mick Papworth, Managing Director of KGM, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this major contract which has contributed greatly to the £4.4 million of orders we received in January, breaking all previous sales records already this year!” He concluded by saying: “It’s good news for us and our customers.”



Peterborough Chamber NEWS

IN BRIEF April 2013 Exam success at ACR Anne Corder Recruitment is celebrating the success of recruitment partner Wendy Deaton who has scored highly in an industry exam. Wendy passed the Certificate in Recruitment Practice with a merit. A tough programme of study combined with 15 years of experience in the sector helped her to achieve this impressive result.

ACR recruitment partner Wendy Deaton with her Certificate in Recruitment Practice

GSL Dardan expand with new regional office Independent security services specialist GSL Dardan Ltd have appointed Philip Anthony to their executive management team to lead and advise the company’s board on its entry in to the corporate and professional sector of the security industry. Philip is an experienced industry professional and has worked within the private security sector for over 20 years.

Philip Anthony appointed by Norwich-based GSL Dardan Ltd


A round-up of news and events from across Peterborough

Peterborough Chamber of Commerce

Students cook their way through ‘MasterChef’ AS part of National Student Money Week, University Centre Peterborough (UCP) encouraged students to be more aware of what they are eating. UCP invited Phil Sammons, Hospitality Lecturer, and his Level 3 students from Peterborough Regional College (PRC) to run a series of sessions for students who are studying at UCP. The event also attracted PRC students who will be embarking on university life in September 2013. Phil ran a series of the ‘MasterChef’ style sessions giving students the opportunity to learn skills to cook quick, easy, healthy meals on a budget. Students were guided in creating their own stir fry in under 15 minutes, learning knife skills, cutting styles and food combinations to make a tasty meal with

Attracting new talent BUCKLES Solicitors LLP has announced the appointment of local family lawyer Roger Gurney as Partner in the firm’s Family Law department, making it the largest team of family law specialists in Peterborough. Roger specialises in all aspects of family law with over 28 years’ experience. He advises individuals on all aspects of divorce, separation and issues relating to children. He is also a trained collaborative lawyer and a Resolution accredited specialist. n

Buckles Solicitors LLP with new Partner, Roger Gurney

everyday items that can be found in the fridge. Liz Knight, UCP Academic Director, said: “When we found out that some students were living on takeaways and chocolate, we felt it was time to do some up-skilling.” n

Students at UCP learn some important life skills

Accreditation bolsters firm FIRE Safety Express has had its Fire Warden Course accredited by the Institution of Fire Engineers. Managing Director Paul Fredericks said: “Accreditation such as this strengthens our brand and provides the all important quality assurance that customers are looking for. Likewise, the company is currently having its fire risk assessors accredited to competences developed by the fire industry and has an ISO 9001 quality assurance process in place that once again is being externally accredited by a UKAS registered verifier. Paul continued: “Ask yourself a simple question, if you had the choice between a supplier with third party accreditation and one without, which one do you think you would choose?” n


Do you have some exciting news to shout about that you would like featured in these pages? Get in touch. tel: 01223 237414 email:

PEOSH receive recognition for their hard work IN September 2012, after a six year break, Peterborough Environmental Occupational Safety and Health Group (PEOSH) reformed under a new and energetic management committee. In recognition of their hard work and commitment in resurrecting the Group, it has been awarded the prestigious Alan Butler Bronze Award by Safety Groups UK, (ROSPA). New members are being actively sought, so if you are interested, you can contact the current chairman either by phone 07971 497704 or email for further details. n

(L-R) John Cairns – SGUK, Barry Grigg – PEOSH, David Eaves – SGUK

Success drives expansion JUST over a year after moving to new offices to accommodate its growing team, the Peterborough office of top-20 accountants Saffery Champness is expanding again. Headed by partners Stephen Collins and Jane Hill, the company is fulfilling the promise of expansion with planned new appointments taking the total team to around 50 people by the end of this year. Stephen Collins said: “We have recruited a number of people and are now looking for additional talented individuals keen to develop their career with a leading national accountancy firm.” To meet the demands of its growing business Saffery Champness is looking for personnel at all levels from school leavers with A-levels seeking to enter the accountancy profession right through to Stephen Collins, partner in the experienced senior staff. n Peterborough office of Saffery Champness

Putting you at the top YOU’RE all set; you’ve got a great niche product, an enthusiastic team and, to top it all off, a brand spanking new website ready to spread the word about your business. The market is yours for the taking! … Three weeks later and you’re sitting in your office scratching your head wondering why people aren’t queuing outside the door wanting a piece of the action. The answer is likely to be very simple; no one’s seen your site! These days, anyone can make a website, the internet is practically littered with them. Therefore, you could have the most impressive website on the globe but if no one knows of its existence, you’re fighting a losing battle. Since 2007, WiSEOtter has been helping hundreds of businesses across the UK and beyond to promote their websites using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO consists of adjusting the internal and external aspects of a website to make them naturally favourable to Search Engines. The process has become a vital feature for almost all business with an online presence. The experts at WiSEOtter will work closely with your company to ensure they are doing everything they can to promote your website. The SEO industry is a fast developing one and the team is always on top of any current developments, enabling them to retain their edge and continually produce the best results for clients. They certainly know their stuff. So, if you require their assistance or just want to find out more about how SEO can help your business, contact WiSEOtter today.

Tel 0845 226 8091 Email



Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber NEWS

A round-up of news and events from across Cambridge & South Cambs

Ridgeons goes gorillas RIDGEONS has offered its support as the official logistics partner for the fantastic GoGoGorillas! Art project that will be taking Norwich by storm this summer. Organised by Wild in Art and local charity Break, GoGoGorillas! is a glorious parade of gorilla sculptures decorated in a variety of colourful artwork created by professional artists, schools and community groups. These

will be located among the streets of Norwich for 10 weeks during the summer of 2013. Ridgeons will be responsible for transporting each of the 50, 30kg gorillas into position for installation prior to the launch of the parade. Area General Manager Rocklands Mike Fields said: “We are thrilled to be logistics partner and are excited to be lending our support to such a worthy cause.” n

Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber of Commerce

IN BRIEF April 2013 Inspiring Creativity Micro Concepts Ltd have engaged with Autodesk and the Design & Technology Association to spearhead the adoption of design software within secondary schools for design and technology projects to help children see what can be accomplished and to develop a lifelong love of design. Micro Concepts Ltd will work with the teachers to create and develop training materials that will enthuse students to develop creative solutions to design and engineering problems.

10 year milestone

Transporting 50 30kg gorillas to the streets of Norwich, Ridgeons is supporting the GoGoGorillas! event

Wine School hits the top spot CAMBRIDGESHIRE Wine School is celebrating having reached top of the ‘Activities in Cambridge’ list on TripAdvisor. Head tutor Mark Anstead offers business socials, client entertainment and team building events as well as public wine tastings and Saturday courses. Last month TripAdvisor began ranking his Wine School most popular among 36 other Cambridge activities. Find out more at n

Talent brings fresh life to SMEs Sarah Flack from Ann Pettengell recruitment says the employment market in Cambridge is entering an exciting era. “The recession has given birth to candidates who have had to upskill or take on multiple roles to survive. Now, companies keen to secure the best talent are offering good incentives to keep and attract them. “It’s important to invest in new and existing staff and to keep motivation levels high. This will protect you from a high staff turnover and help you retain your all important talent!" n

The most popular activity in Cambridge

Camtech hit 10 years of designing printed circuit boards for a diversity of products, including some with life changing consequences such as the Duo Fertility Advanced Fertility Monitor produced by Cambridge Temperature Concepts. Directors David Allen and Tom Johnston have decades of experience in the field and have acquired a reputation as a trusted partner. “There aren’t many men who can say they played a part in helping 500 women get pregnant,” says David.

New vehicles arrive The Lease Our Cars team is celebrating the arrival of their new cars for March with the addition of new makes and models to their current leasing list.

Lease Our Cars will unveil new models Sarah Flack says the talent pool is running high



Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber NEWS

Tale of two cities CAMBRIDGE-based lead generation company Telemarketing Matters has opened a new office in Glasgow to further strengthen its activities in the UK. The office will be managed by new Account Director and General Manager Mari Lee. MD Ian Titchener says, “Mari brings over 20 years’ experience to the company. We are looking forward to continued growth with her help.” Mari started her career as a PA to sales directors and then moved into telemarketing, starting as an agent. She then progressed into telesales management, complementing natural talent with NLP Training. Mari has a full understanding of lead generation, appointment setting and telesales. n

A round-up of news and events from across Cambridge & South Cambs

Dynamics on pole position

The Lotus F1 team continues into the 2013 season with Microsoft Dynamics sponsorship

IMPLEMENTATION of Microsoft Dynamics in F1 team Lotus’ factory has led to a two year extension of the partnership between Lotus and Microsoft. Microsoft Dynamics was implemented to continuously improve the processes at Enstone and trackside.

Analytik celebrates first decade and invests in future growth ANALYTIK, suppliers of innovative analytical instrumentation to the UK and Ireland, celebrates its first decade in the niche scientific instrumentation industry. Analytik was formed in March 2003 and moved to Cygnus Business Park, Swavesey, in 2010. “Our offering as an independent supplier centres around certain core values – innovative products and services, comprehensive application and market research, highly specific and targeted sales

Reaching 10 years with a team ready to grow further


Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber of Commerce

and marketing strategies, a real solution based sales approach with flexibility and responsiveness,” says founder Ian Laidlaw. “We have a highly dedicated team of professionals with many years’ experience in analytical instrument sales. We have recruited dynamic new team members to utilise that knowledge and experience to drive the business forward and maintain our commitment to innovation and outstanding customer service.” n

Michael Gibbs, managing director of local Microsoft Dynamics reseller Adept Software, said: “This reflects the continued development, commitment and global awareness of our product, which we know is extremely strong and competitive.” n

Employment growth for Q1 THE latest Labour Market Outlook report released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has shown that employment continues to grow for the first quarter of 2013. This report uses the net employment balance as its key indicator; it measures the difference between the proportion of employers that intend to increase staffing levels and those that intend to decrease staffing levels. The net employment balance, although down on the last quarter of 2012, remained positive at +5. Jane Harris, Director at Cambridgeshire recruitment agency polkadotfrog, says: “The first quarter of 2013 has been a busy recruiting period, particularly on the permanent and contract side. We have noticed significant growth of sales and marketing positions from this time last year. Local businesses are looking to strengthen their brands even in current conditions.” n


Do you have some exciting news to shout about that you would like featured in these pages? Get in touch. tel: 01223 237414 email:

Visit to the British Embassy in Paris Sir Peter Ricketts, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to France, and Pamela Mitchison, Deputy Director for Trade & Investment for the French market, welcomed 24 UK SMEs and other partners to Paris, including l’Alliance Francaise Cambridge, represented by Pat Dalby, Head of Business Development. The UKTI Export Insight conference provided examples of successful business strategies in France, a deeper understanding of the French market, an insight into the European Enterprise Network and an introduction to the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce. It was also an great chance to network and meet future partners. n

John Gourd, Patricia Dalby and Thinley Topden

Birketts appoints new CEO BIRKETTS LLP announced that Alistair Lang, Chief Executive Officer, will be leaving his position as CEO effective 31 May 2013. Jonathan Agar will join the firm from a world leading financial services provider based in London, assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer as of 1 June 2013. Nigel Farthing, Senior Partner, said: “We are incredibly excited to be welcoming Jonathan to the Birketts team. His implementation will be key to navigating the firm through a dynamic and evolving industry landscape.” n

Game-changing property expertise on home turf. Januarys is a leading Cambridge and East Anglian commercial and residential property consultancy.



Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber NEWS

A round-up of news and events from across Cambridge & South Cambs

Domino makes heartfelt effort DOMINO Printing Sciences, supported a month-long charity campaign to encourage its employees to adopt healthier lifestyles and avoid the risk of heart disease. The Bar Hill-based company held a number of initiatives during the month of February as part of the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Awareness Month. Nigel Coles, BHF Fundraising Manager, said: “A survey of over 1200 people revealed that more than one quarter believe that being healthy at work is important but nearly one in five workers do absolutely no physical activity during working hours. I hope they had lots of fun while raising much needed funds for the BHF.” n


A month of fundraising and health events at Domino

Cambridge & South Cambs Chamber of Commerce

No single point of failure in IT CISCO’s recent findings from two global studies provide a vivid picture of the rising security challenges that businesses face, particularly as employees become more mobile in blending work and personal lifestyles. Fluid, an IT specialist based at Bourn Hall, says active risk analysis is the only way to protect yourself. “The mantra at Fluid is ‘No Single Point of Failure’ whether that is cyber security or infrastructure architecture. A simple starting point is to get rid of easily guessed passwords, weak administrative permissions on files and folders – these are all under your control,” says Janet Marsh from the firm which delivers IT infrastructure support. n


Introducing Shine Everyone at Shine is very excited about the prospect of working with Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce as your charity of the year 2013-14. We support some of society’s most vulnerable babies, children and adults as they overcome unimaginable challenges to their health and life progression as a result of their spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus. To maintain this support, we need help from individuals, groups and business who fundraise so generously every year.

We will be present at various Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce events over the coming year and we look forward to meeting you there. If you would like to work with us through the unique resources of your business, please contact Tom Scott on 01733 421361 or email

SHINE GRAND PRIZE DRAW 2013 We are currently running our annual Grand Prize Draw, which features some stunning prizes! If you or your business can help us to sell as many tickets as possible by the 28 March deadline then we really want to hear from you! To receive your tickets, please contact Clara Gill on 01733 421307 or email Prizes include: £1500 cash, an Apple iPad 2, £500 Next vouchers, various short breaks, a digital projector and much, much more! Tickets are £1 each and come in books of five. All proceeds to Shine.



Huntingdonshire Chamber NEWS

A round-up of news and events from Huntingdonshire

BrightVisions turns 10! THIS February, BrightVisions reached their 10 year milestone of trading. Since its launch in 2003 by Managing Director Philip Mashinchi, the St Neots based IT Support Company has gone from strength to strength despite the tough trading conditions the economy has seen in recent years.

A worthy cake for a impressive milestone

Cambridge Sensotec create leak detection system A new improved leak detection system, the Leak-Master Easy, has been released by Cambridge Sensotec which detects the smallest of leaks without the need for trace gases. Benefits include having a short testing period of less than 30 seconds, being suitable for a range of packaging and being easy to use with no skills required. Recently, customers who entered their customer survey were entered into a draw to win an iPod nano. Managing Director Mark Swetnam presented the winner, William Spier from the Deperment of Agriculture, with his prize. n

The management team attributes the success of BrightVisions to the partnershipstyle relationships they have with many of their clients and the excellent rapport the internal team have built. In 2012, the company saw a phenomenal growth, which has enabled the team to grow rapidly to meet the evolving needs of their increasing client base. Philip Mashinchi and the team are keen to grow the company further in 2013 and plan to extend their service offering and widen the geographical area BrightVisions serves. “We have come a long way in the past 10 years,” Philip says. “Although I credit the team for our success, I give just as much credit to the companies that choose to work with us, especially our first customer, SDI Group, who have helped us every step of the way with their advice and feedback.” With an excellent start to the year and exciting projects to come, BrightVisions will not be slowing down anytime soon. n

Huntingdonshire Chamber of Commerce

Making sense of pensions BEACON Wealth Management Ltd are trying to help companies understand company pensions by offering free company pension reports which state when the changes will affect your company, what you need to do and what will happen if you do nothing. According to Government, every company has to arrange their own pension scheme to encourage more people to save for their retirement. Automatic enrolment for these began in October 2012 for larger companies. Despite everyone else being required to follow suit shortly, many are still unaware of what is truly required, whether their current pension scheme complies with the new guidelines and why it has even been enforced. To obtain your free report, visit n

Luminus celebrates Women’s Day

With Mother’s Day held on Sunday 10 March, Luminus, the region’s premier housing provider, celebrated its own “Women’s Day” by giving a beautiful bouquet of flowers to all of its female employees. The flowers were accompanied by a card from Dr Chan Abraham, Group Chief Executive, as a gesture of appreciation for their dedication and excellent work in the wide variety of jobs they undertake.



Fenland Chamber NEWS A round-up of news and events from Fenland

Continued success for B2B FOR the second year running, B2B Cashflow Solutions Limited has reached the Business Moneyfacts Awards finals in the category of ‘Asset Based Finance Broker of the Year’. The results will be announced at the awards ceremony held at the London’s Lancaster Hotel on 21 March. Karl Lanham, Associate, said: “We are delighted to announce we have been shortlisted for the 2013 Business Moneyfacts Awards. “We are all very proud to have achieved the accolade for the second year in succession. It is testament to our ethos of working in partnership with our clients and the effort we have invested in building a diverse, flexible and robust panel of funding partners.” n

Karl Lanham, Associate at B2B

Fenland Chamber of Commerce

CUB makes the shortlist! FAMILY Business of the Year (FBOTY) is an awards programme where the results are determined by a combination of a judging panel and an online poll. The awards will be presented at an awards ceremony in London on 12 June. March-based CUB has made the shortlist and is asking local companies to help bring the trophy home to Cambridgeshire! Vote for the utilities brokerage company, run for several decades by the Fairfax family, at businessoftheyear/shortlist n

Food for thought

A sustainable building starts with a healthy core

Tel: 01223 813438 18 | CONNECTED APRIL 2013


Ely Chamber NEWS

Ely Chamber of Commerce

A round-up of news and events from across Ely

Focus on people at Cathedral event

Ely Cathedral once again hosts the event

PEOPLE are your greatest asset. Employing and developing the right people is crucial for sustainable growth. As part of the Ely Cathedral Celebration of Business the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce invites businesses to participate in this event which will enable you to ‘Grow Your Business Through People’. Come along to this interactive workshop to think about what is needed to grow your business and to find out what help, advice and training is available to help you and your staff achieve economic growth. During the session there will be an opportunity for delegates to network with the event sponsors and other support organisations. You will have the opportunity

Decision to drop parking charges welcomed COMMERCIAL property consultants Januarys has celebrated the decision to drop proposed car parking charges in Ely city centre. William Rooke, director at Januarys, said: “Apart from rent and labour costs, parking is a significant factor to business owners when considering their location. If the current ‘privilege’ of free parking in the city centre was removed, it gives businesses one less reason to move to the city.” Mr Rooke, who sits on the Ely Chamber of Commerce committee, also argues that the proposed changes would have driven visitors and employees to park in the residential areas of the city. “Public transport in Ely is still fairly poor, despite having improved with the introduction of the Norfolk Green bus service. Another option could see the council reinvesting the money made from car park charges back into public transport to provide a sustainable service,” he said. n

to find out how the Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership will be working with businesses to achieve economic growth and have time to reflect and plan how to develop yourself and your employees. There will be access to providers of further and higher education so you’ll be able to find out about the wide range and levels of apprenticeships and professional development available. It is free to attend but please book by email: n

Wednesday 10 April 2013 8.30am-12.30pm The Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral

Friday 5th – Thursday 11th April 2013 Ely Cathedral

Celebration of Business ECBG believes that there is a strong correlation between the health of the business sector and the well being of the communities in which those businesses operate. The purpose of ECBG is to explore this relationship, and strengthen the correlation. We want to help businesses succeed and thereby make our communities stronger.

• Week long exhibition in Ely Cathedral – Friday 5th April to Thursday 11th April • Networking on Thursday afternoon • Followed by the Celebration of Business Reception at 18:00 • With Key Note addresses at 19:00 from: George Freeman – MP for Mid Norfolk, Adviser to the Government on Life Sciences, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Science, Technology and Agriculture ‘The Crisis of Disconnection’ Rt Rev David Thomson – Bishop of Huntingdon ‘People or Profit?’

In association with

To book exhibition stand space, and attendance at the Celebration of Business Reception (both free of charge) please visit

Ely Chamber Committee member William Rooke warns against proposed charges



Cambridgeshire Chamber NEWS

IN BRIEF New recruit for Bury law firm Gross & Co is pleased to announce the recruitment of another Solicitor within their successful Private Client department. Lindsey Rhodes qualified in July 2012 having completed her training in Hull.

More medals on the menu Claire Willett, demi-chef at Wyboston Lakes recently achieved a gold award at the Hospitality Show at Birmingham’s NEC for carving a lion’s head in the fat carving section of the Junior Display Salon.

A round-up of news and events from Cambridgeshire

New brand, new range, new website PURELY Roses Ltd is pleased to announce that, as of the end of January 2013, it has rebranded as Purely Flowers Ltd. As the new name suggests, the company now offers a wider and even more exciting range of products to suit all occasions and tastes, including mixed bouquets and optional extras, such as vases and chocolates. Jay Williams, Director of Purely Flowers, said: “We are thrilled to announce our new brand, new range and new website for 2013. We are thoroughly looking forward to a fantastic year and to being involved with events across the region over the coming months.” n

Planting for the future! THE Wildlife Trust joined forces with its local Waitrose store in Huntingdon to help restore an important ancient hedgerow in Cambridgeshire. A team of five keen volunteers from the branch visited Upwood Meadows Nature Reserve on one of the few sunny days we’ve had so far this year to plant new hedge saplings as part of their celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership. Caroline Prout, Corporate Partnership Manager at the Trust, explains: “Involving the community with the work we do on our nature reserves is really important to us – this is a great way to do that and improve habitat for wildlife at the same time. The saplings Waitrose partners planted helped us to restore an important ancient hedgerow which will provide the perfect place for birds and small mammals to feed and nest for years to come.” To find out how your company can get involved with your local Wildlife Trust project, contact Caroline Prout on 01954 713549. n

Waitrose staff team up with the Wildlife Trust




David Gill Managing Director, St John’s Innovation Centre

Since 2008, David Gill has been at the helm of Cambridge’s celebrated hub for innovation and business growth. A qualified barrister who moved into corporate finance for US and UK banks, he also helped early-stage tech firms gain access to funding.

“THERE is definitely a unique character here in terms of the business culture,” says David Gill. David is a notable ambassador for economic progress with involvement in a host of pro-growth initiatives, including his role as Academic Collaborator at the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing. “When I visit other parts of the UK, Cambridge seems to have this optimism and ‘can-do’ attitude. We’re also unusually cooperative; elsewhere there is more of an ‘arm around the balance sheet’ mentality. Here, people really do help each other and there’s an unending desire to help the next generation. You see it to the extent where business leaders want to plough that experience back into the landscape either through serving on

the LEP board or taking a call from a young entrepreneur in need.” David’s solid background in corporate finance also means he understands the reality of stalled potential in risk-averse times. “2009 was the worst year I’ve witnessed but things have eased up now. It’s evident, however, that risk funding is tight and this bottleneck is really felt around the £3m upward level. Having particularly ‘hands-on’ business angels is great but that can only go so far.” Aside from stricter access to finance, David is also aware that physical infrastructure can be a problem in and around Cambridge. “Because we have this attractive proposition locally it does mean that it can be expensive to live here and set-up a business. The new

rail station will be a big breakthrough and a great start to change this in my opinion.” With business growth top of the agenda, it seems a natural fit that the St John’s Innovation Centre delivers the national Growth Accelerator programme in the area. “It’s going great guns here,” says David. “We’ve already signed up 87 companies in just nine months and the team has reached 100 per cent in terms of target. We can offer flexible business development coaching and also specific products such as Growth Through Innovation (GTI) that deals with intellectual property issues. We’re also about to roll out our own training service with a focus on leadership and management. We aim to support innovators across all sectors.” n

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Business development We can help to change behaviours and improve business performance by transferring skills and knowledge in to your business. We’ll also help you to create and implement a high growth strategy to keep you focussed on your goals.

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Develop leadership skills We work with business owners and leaders refining skills and competencies in order for them to direct and develop their own teams more effectively.

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Access to finance We work alongside you to improve your investment readiness and become more attractive to new sources of finance.

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St John’s delivers the Growth Accelerator scheme:

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Out&About Enjoy our monthly montage of events and happenings across the local area with this colourful round-up of Chamber gatherings. Make sure you send us your photos each month and we’ll include the best of the bunch! Email images straight to the creative team:

Two Counties Business Exhibition – were you there? This Exhibition showcased over 70 exhibitors and offered would-be exporters the chance to connect with trade officials from over 25 European and Asia Pacific countries. A programme of seminars also took place throughout the day.



Delicious delights A fantastic spread was available at the recent Construction Sector event ‘Sustainability and Procurement in Construction’ hosted by Ridgeons at their facilities in Pampisford, Cambridge.

Pin that you’re in! Delegates ‘pin-in’ at the first Cambridgeshire Export Club held on Monday 25 February at The Moller Centre, Cambridge.

Getting quizzical! The Cake Club, hosted by Mary Currie-Smith at Begbies Traynor Cambridge, have raised a further £150 for Macmillan Cancer Support by holding their own Mammoth Quiz. Susan Macdonald from Taylor Vinters won first prize.

Up for the challenge Commercial property consultants Januarys visit Arthur Rank Hospice Charity to celebrate the start of their relationship. The company has devised a number of activities to support the charity throughout the year, starting with the Cambridge half marathon in March.

On Safari! Delegates network Safari style at Huntingdon Racecourse on Tuesday 26 February.



RESILIENCE in business (and is it important?) ‘RESILIENCE’ - an increasingly popular term within the business community which I’m sure most of you will be familiar with and broadly knowledgeable about. However, what does it actually mean and is it important? Resilience in old fashioned money meant having a spare pencil, perhaps a whole box. When you pressed a little too hard and snapped the lead, you simply reached into your drawer or went off to the stationary cupboard and got yourself another. Is this really a good example of resilience I hear you say… well maybe not but it gets people thinking. It’s actual meaning – depending where you look (I ‘googled’ it) - gives a number of suggestions. Two particular suggestions are ‘the ability to withstand or rebound from a negative force’ and another, perhaps a little better when coupling the term to that of business, is ‘the capacity to withstand stress and catastrophe’. If I were to be asked to write my own (which I am), I’d probably utter something along the lines of ‘capability of continuing to function without undue effort or process’. So where is all this leading? Essentially, us busy professionals haven’t time to be disturbed or interrupted and if we are, we need to be back doing whatever it is

‘Resilience’ in old fashioned money meant having a spare pencil we do without too much of a commotion; of most importance, we certainly do not want it affecting our income, i.e. those that keep us in work, notably referred to as either our ‘employer’ or ‘customer’. So, Resilience In Business: What is it? Have you got it? Is it sufficient? Firstly, what is it? Put simply, Resilience In Business is the ability to be able to continue, come what may. A few examples of common business disturbances: IT system fault (No access to documents or email), Telephone Exchange outage (no telephone lines – probably also affecting email and IT systems), Prolonged power failure (no IT systems, phones, heating/cooling), Fire/Flood or Denial of access to premises (speaks for itself – access to nothing!). Have you got it? You’ve probably determined by

If you would like to discuss your resilience requirements in more detail please call 01480 446480 24 | CONNECTED APRIL 2013

reading the above examples where you are with this question. Many may feel that some scenarios will never happen to them – the likelihood is perhaps true but it’s probably worth considering what the consequence would be if it did. Is it sufficient? Assuming you have some resilience in place, it’s important to consider whether it’s enough and whether it will actually work on the day it becomes required. Theory may say yes, e.g. we can operate from home. However, practice may well reveal something entirely different. Ensure you test it first. Finally, is it important? There are a growing number of professionals who recognise the value of Resilience In Business. From a reduction in insurance premiums through to customer growth & retention. After all, who wants a supplier who can not guarantee continuity of service or, worse yet, may not be in business tomorrow? Would you? Helen Porter - Business Continuity Specialist.


Ask the expert: Exhibition stands Kate Martin, Director at AMC Exhibitions, discusses effective stand design and offers advice on how to avoid the pitfalls when transporting your equipment from office to exhibition hall.


I’m exhibiting at more than one event this year. Should I rent or buy a stand?


Renting an exhibition stand will be the least expensive option and is ideal if you are a first-time or infrequent exhibitor or if you like to have a fresh look every time you exhibit. However, the investment you make in purchasing a stand will pay off if you plan to use it more than two or three times a year, and most stands can be designed in a modular way so that they can be easily reconfigured for different spaces.


 s a first-time exhibitor, what A features will I need on my stand?


 hat else do I need to consider W when planning my stand design?

The most important thing is to be very clear as to why you are exhibiting. Are you demonstrating products? Entertaining clients? Selling? Gathering leads? Educating and informing? Once you’re clear on this, it’s easy to work out what you need by way of furniture, AV equipment, product display, literature, giveaways etc.


It’s good to plan how you want to interact with your visitors and how your staff will work the stand. For example, should the demo area be at the front (to get noticed), or at the back (where it’s quieter)? Do you need private meeting space? Do you need plenty of storage? Look at the floorplan of the exhibition hall, work out the natural flow of people around the hall and set up your stand to take best advantage.


What’s the difference between a shell scheme and a ‘space-only’ stand?

A shell scheme is an affordable way to achieve presence at an exhibition; you get a ready-made package of walls, floor and lighting – normally in a pre-built row of identical stands. You just need to turn up and dress your booth with graphics and display equipment. It’s easy to do yourself and, with a little careful planning, it’s possible to create a striking impression. A space-only stand is just that. You’ll be allocated a space in the hall and it’s up to you what you do with it. Space-only exhibitors normally appoint a contractor to design and construct a custom-built stand.

We create innovative solutions to integrate offline processes with online services. Make sure you don’t get left behind, talk to us about improving your business online.

I’m shipping my exhibition material to an overseas event. What kind of costs are involved?


Ensure you understand your shipping quotations and beware hidden costs. A quote stating ‘delivery to venue’ or ‘delivery to advance warehouse’ may seem good value, but on-site handling charges will almost always be levied by the venue for transporting your goods to your stand (and these can be eye-wateringly expensive). Ask for costs for delivery to your stand at the outset and then you won’t have any nasty surprises.


Isn’t it cheaper to use a courier?

Yes, in many cases it’s definitely cheaper to use a courier. But you need to have confidence that your material will arrive on time (imagine manning a stand with no equipment!). If something goes wrong en route, will you be able to chase it up and get things moving again? Check the exhibitor manual– sometimes you will have very tight timescales for making deliveries and collections, and most courier companies do not offer this kind of service. n

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NEW Members

A warm welcome to our new Chamber members


Digital Barriers


5iftyfournine Cambridge Food Tour Cambridgeshire FA Ltd HDC Environmental Management Team iTEXS Ltd

Digital Barriers provide advanced surveillance technologies to the international homeland security and defence markets. They bring innovative solutions for the protection of critical national assets, locations and infrastructure, combining a long heritage in the security and defence sectors, with operational expertise and understanding.

Zimiti Ltd was acquired by DB in 2011 and brought market leading Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Technology to the company. The sensors are small, discreet and detect human or vehicle presence. They communicate by low power mesh network. DB’s UGSs are being bought by the UK, Korea and Singapore with many other countries about to join in.

KMK Consulting MAGPAS Martin Rickman BSc MRICS FRGS MWB Business Exchange Nuffield Health Cambridge Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Safebox Data Centre The John Clare Trust Ltd Workplace Chaplaincy

HMP/YOI Littlehey With a number of monumental changes currently taking place in the Prison Service, HMP/YOI Littlehey is looking to develop the ‘Working Prisons’ ethos. Developing productive partnerships, both internally and externally, HMP/YOI Littlehey seeks to engage the community both local and national level. With a huge variety of workshops, ranging from embroidery to welding and fabrication, HMP/YOI Littlehey is looking to attract relevant businesses and employers to express their interest and provoke discussions about moving forward.

InXpress Peterborough

Lease Our Cars

InXpress is a global company with a local presence offering a unique solution for all your shipping requirements to the local business community. They offer all types of distribution and logistics services from national to international, importing and exporting, including freight requirements. They are an authorised sales partner for DHL and can offer discounts from their standard selling rates. In order to help you reduce costs, InXpress can provide you with a free of charge courier/shipping cost analysis.


Specialising in 12 month car leasing, Mel and Pat Kilbey say their business is the future of modern motoring. All their customers drive away in a new car every year without the cost of purchasing one. “Our customers love the idea of getting a new car every year. It gives them the peace of mind that the vehicle is always under warranty and it is brilliant for their professional image,” Mel says. “With our lease vehicles, businesses can provide multiple staff cars without breaking the bank and can budget effectively for their 12 monthly payments, which are tax deductible.”


Would you like to become a Chamber member? Get in touch today and find out the many benefits. tel: 01223 237414 email:


Safebox Data Centre

Serco is a FTSE 100 international service company that combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos. Serco currently delivers a range of services to local government, including BPO, property management, procurement, economic development, facilities management and information communications technology, and supports local authorities to deliver services to millions of UK citizens daily. Their global business has over 52,000 employees across 100 locations, with a presence in 10 countries, providing a broad range of business services to customers in the public and private sector worldwide.

If you’re worried that your private information is vulnerable to damage or theft, or if it’s just taking up too much room, then it’s time to consider the alternatives. Safebox is a leading specialist in data and document storage in the UK and prides itself on being the safest, most secure and most suitable environment for your company archive. Safebox understands that no two clients’ requirements are the same, therefore, the company’s services are tailor-made to each client. Such dedication has led Safebox to earn a solid reputation in the local area. To find out how Safebox can help your business, contact Neil Hamilton-Meikle for a free site appraisal.

Lemontree Properties Based in Newmarket, Lemontree Properties is an independent business that specialises in the letting and management of property across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Accredited to the Association of Letting Agents (ARLA), they offer a fresh approach to the property industry. With nearly 200 properties entrusted to the full management service, Lemontree enjoys a growing reputation for delivering a prompt, professional, personal and approachable service for landlords and tenants.

WLP Supporting Business The knowledge, experience and understanding gained over the past 25 years working with many different types of businesses has enabled the WLP to offer a full range of services. The help, advice and support they deliver is down to earth and focused on their clients’ individual needs. They deliver and support in areas such as business planning, mentoring, sales and marketing, management system implementation, best practice in HR, improvement in business and manufacturing performance through Lean Six Sigma and ICT alignment. They are a recognised practice with The Institute of Consulting and have members on the GrowthAccelerator programme.



t: 01223 597919



Policy UPDATE Keeping you informed, representing local business

Funding for Higher Education Learning and Development ENHANCING employees’ skills through Higher Education brings real benefits to business including improved productivity and the retention of talent. At a time when training budgets are under pressure and the need for a skilled and adaptable workforce is greater than ever, businesses need flexible ways to fund learning and development. The good news is that a range of approaches are currently available to help businesses to maximise their learning and development budgets and also to broaden access to Higher Education, including funding or part-funding courses, bursaries and salary sacrifice schemes. For the first time, people on distance learning, work-based and part-time university courses can apply for government loans to pay their fees. Work-based learning differs from traditional Higher Education in that it involves actively using the workplace as a learning environment. Workbased programmes focus on developing skills, knowledge and understanding and the application of this learning to achieve specific, individual, team and organisational objectives. By completing projects based on actual workplace issues, employees are able to continue to add value while they are training. For information about work-based courses check out work-based learning from Anglia Ruskin University:


If a learner is eligible, they will be able to study at a University without paying anything up front. Instead, the government will pay the tuition fees and the learner, not the business, will start repaying the loan after they’ve finished the course. This is referred to as a tuition fee loan. To qualify for a loan a learner must be: • A pplying to study for an undergraduate course, for example a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Management or BA (Hons) in Management • C lassified as a UK/EU student • S tudying at undergraduate level for the first time. Repayments will come out of the learner’s salary, a bit like tax (similar to loan repayments made by students who have followed a full-time degree course), but only when the learner earns over £21,000 a year. Repayments are based on the learner’s income, for example the monthly repayment for someone earning £22,000 a year would be £7.00 whilst someone earning £40,000 a year would have to repay £142.00 per month. For guidance on applying for a government loan to cover Higher Education course fees: To find out more about personal and staff development, don’t forget to attend the Grow your Business through People event at Ely Cathedral on 10 April, see page 36 for details or email: n


Chamber Updates An overview of news from your Chamber

Member benefits

International Trade Course

Discounted rates on card payment acceptance for members AS the number of UK consumers choosing to pay for goods and services using credit and debit cards continues to grow, Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce members are reminded that they can take advantage of discounted rates for credit and debit card acceptance through our preferred partner, First Data Merchant Solutions. First Data Merchant Solutions is part of the global First Data Corporation which currently enables over six million merchants to accept card payments around the world. “We are delighted to be helping Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce members get more value from their card

Import: Compliance and Savings

acceptance,” said Phil Curtis, Head of First Data Merchant Solutions. “It’s our goal to make card acceptance simple, secure and reliable for our customers.” Electronic payments have continued to grow in the UK both online and offline. According to the Merchant Acquiring in Europe 2012 report: • The average UK business accepting cards in a shop-type environment via a point of sale terminal had 19 card transactions per day in 2010 with a £50.00 average transaction value – up from £43.00 in 2001 • 70 per cent of adults (36.6 million people) used payment cards to purchase goods and service over the internet in 2010. n

DATE Tuesday 30 April TIME 9.00am-5.00pm LOCATION Chamber office, Enterprise House, Vision Park, Histon, MEMBER PRICE £225.00 (plus VAT) NON-MEMBER PRICE £275.00 (plus VAT) CONTACT or book online at This one day course will appeal to those responsible for Customs compliance whether you are working for an international company or a small sole proprietor. n

Celebrate a life of someone you love

Star Shine Stroll memory walk

Margaret Chadwick

11 May 2013 - 7pm start

Export Clinic

Cambridge’s 10 or 6.5 mile night walk

Have you got a query about export? Margaret Chadwick answers your questions.


We presented an Airwaybill to the bank against a Letter of Credit and the bank rejected it stating that it was not an original, but it was the one that the Freight Forwarder supplied to us. Where have we gone wrong?


Banks will expect you to present the ‘Original for Shipper/ Consignor’, which will have full terms and conditions of carriage on its reverse. It is usually number three in the Airwaybill set but occasionally it can be number one, depending on the format of the Airwaybill that the Freight Forwarder has used. Please take care to ensure that you instruct the Freight Forwarder to sign the AWB correctly, for example ‘XYZ Freight Forwarder as Agents for the Carrier British Airways’. n

For more information and to register visit or call 01223 723115 Event Partners Gibbs Polkadotfrog Denley Shelford Rugby Club


AR_SSS_93x130_ad_news_13.indd 1 Registered Charity no: 1133354

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Training & Skills Focus

Keeping you informed, representing local business

When it comes to workforce training and development, the employer is king IN the last few years, Group Training Associations (GTAs) have seen a renaissance as Government have rightly shifted the focus of Workforce Training and Development away from the traditional centralised and college driven model to one which sees employers take ownership for their own education and training needs. Now, with the launch of the second round of the Employer Ownership of Skills funding by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, there is once again an opportunity for employers to bid for funding which better helps accommodate their ongoing and future skills needs. Whilst the system is by no means free from bureaucracy, it is a step towards recognising the need for employers to take ownership of the wider skills agenda and ensure they can source training. Initially, it will prove difficult for employers 30 | CONNECTED APRIL 2013

to manage a process which demands a certain amount of strategic planning and fund management and does see the need for a 50 per cent employer contribution. However, there are opportunities for appropriately

Employers bid for funding to accommodate their ongoing skills needs resourced Local Enterprise Partnerships and logical employer led groupings, such as GTAs, to come together and construct effective bids. These will secure funding that can have a significant impact on workforce development and complement existing funded training provisions.

If employers are to own the skills agenda then it’s imperative that even when they spend public funds, such as by taking on an apprentice or work placement, they are equally as demanding as they would be when managing their own personal finances. This means employers need to consider the overall development of their people resources and ensure providers deliver an offer which meets their broader needs. Some colleges and training providers are extremely effective at doing this and deliver significant added value in their programmes. These providers understand your business and help construct the training and development plan that is right for you. As employers, it is imperative to seek out those quality providers and treat the training and development conversation as a traditional business transaction. n


Apprentices are good for you! 1,677 employers in the Greater Cambridgeshire area now employ some 2,908 apprentices through Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and with new entrants being added every week, we think the numbers speak for themselves. Angela Hughes, Contracts Manager/Deputy Assistant Principal at the College says: “The numbers have been growing strongly; the College had 531 apprentices in July 2009, so in just over three years we have increased the number by six times. A number of key factors have supported this growth: • Government support for apprenticeship has been, and is, unrelenting • Apprentices are for all age groups, there is no age discrimination • CRC has worked hard to promote and

support the apprenticeship programme through many initiatives • Learners are using apprenticeships to up-skill and retrain • The range of apprenticeship programmes has been broadened to include many traditional classroom taught subject such as accounting, marketing, facilities management etc. There are now hundreds of courses to choose from • Cambridgeshire is a buoyant commercial environment with a strong history of education and training.” Many employers are still not aware that apprentices are no longer the exclusive world of trade subjects, as the range of subjects has been dramatically increased. It will probably












surprise people that many apprentices at CRC are over 24 years old, however the government support for this age group is due to end on 31 July 2013, when student loans will be introduced. Learners in this age group are employees taking the opportunity through government funding to re-train or obtain a qualification in their chosen area of work, as well as keeping up with the latest ideas and concepts. So if you are an employer that hasn’t considered giving your employees the opportunity to develop and learn new skills in these heavily subsidised apprenticeship schemes, then you need to seriously consider this option, and if they are over 24 years old you need to take action now. The numbers speak for themselves, 1,677 employers cannot be wrong! n For further information you can visit:


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Keeping you IN THE KNOW

Social media is changing the business landscape

Customers love it More and more customers think it’s great for research, comparisons, reviews and complaining!

Switched-on marketeers are turned on by it Expert marketeers understand that true, compelling, relevant and useful content can tell a remarkable story. They know social media is the perfect vehicle to spread such stories. They are excited about how social media can help build relationships and increase leads.

Most business owners question it, fear it, loathe it Business leaders contemplate how to measure, resource and manage it. The times are changing fast and change is difficult to navigate.

Whatever you feel about it, here are two unquestionable merits of social media:

To experience these merits, embrace social media and do the following:

1. Social media is a fantastic filtering mechanism. Businesses that are embracing social media (those choosing to learn how to do it right for their customers) are finding that they are floating up to the top of the pile, becoming the bigger fish, standing out from the crowd... Smart businesses are using social media to give them a precious competitive advantage, one that is difficult to find in a high speed world which is increasingly loud and busy. 2. The dynamics between sellers and buyers have changed. One way push communication and intrusive marketing does not work anymore. Two way communication and attraction marketing is proving itself again and again.

• Make a plan • Shut up and listen • Love what you do and love your customers • Write and share valuable content that is interesting, relevant and useful to your target audiences • Don’t be a one way street have conversations • Build trust by being yourself, credible and consistent n



Special REPORT

Funding for SMEs

A smarter way to work? Funding scheme could help you grow something special The Low Carbon KEEP (Knowledge-East of England-Partners) is a three-way partnership between a company, a university or college and a graduate. The funding aims to support collaboration between SMEs and universities in the UK, to carry out collaborative projects.

cost effective way for businesses to expand and hire new employees, as the Low Carbon KEEP grant will effectively reduce the costs of employment by 40 per cent. Typical Low Carbon KEEP projects run for 4-18 months, however the benefits of such collaborations far outlast the length of the project.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Low Carbon KEEP grant will cover 40 per cent of eligible project costs as well as fund up to 40 per cent of the costs of purchasing capital items. The programme enables businesses to improve their competitiveness and profitability by working with a specialist academic and having their project managed by an experienced graduate. In addition to the transfer of expertise, the programme provides a very

How much funding is available? The programme offers to cover 40 per cent of eligible project costs such as the costs of the academic specialist support, the graduate’s salary, recruitment, training, equipment, administration costs and travel expenses. In addition, the Low Carbon KEEP Capital Grant Scheme further allows SMEs to recoup 40 per cent of

Graduate steps up Meet Joe Knox who is working with QualitySolicitors FJG and the University of Essex as part of his project. “Having graduated recently, I was daunted by the prospect of coming into a law firm to manage a project, but also raring to go. Since starting, the project has helped me develop my project management skills immeasurably, as well as introducing me to business strategy and process reengineering. The involvement of the Higher Education Partner provides a great opportunity to continue learning for those who are unwilling to relinquish their studies altogether.”


the cost of purchasing capital items, such as essential equipment or software, which are fundamental to the success of a Low Carbon KEEP project. All capital items purchased utilising Low Carbon KEEP capital grant funding will remain in the ownership of the SME partner.


What can Low Carbon KEEP do for my company? The Low Carbon KEEP scheme provides businesses with the resources and expertise needed to help them innovate, expand or improve their performance. ✓ Access highly qualified graduates to spearhead new projects ✓ Reduce the costs of hiring an employee to manage a specific project ✓ Access experts who can help to take your business forward ✓ Develop new products and services ✓ Develop innovative solutions to help your business grow ✓ Access to a specialist academic consultancy for half a day a week at a significantly reduced cost.

What are the key benefits? Some of the key benefits resulting from a Low Carbon KEEP project as reported by SMEs who have participated in the programme are: ✓ Substantial cost savings – companies are reporting at least 20 per cent cost reductions in the first year alone ✓ Increased profitability ✓ Product and service improvements ✓ Development of new products and IP ✓ Staff up-skilling

design a new infrared temperature sensor that has enabled the company and its customers to significantly reduce carbon emissions and resource consumption. QualitySolicitors FJG, a long established award-winning firm of Solicitors based in Essex, used its Low Carbon KEEP funding to reduce carbon emissions of the company and its clients through specific resource efficiency actions, including business process redesigning, which ensured the company’s financial sustainability.

How have companies utilised Low Carbon KEEP funding? SMEs engaged in the programme have utilised the funding in various ways. Calex Electronics, a manufacturer of temperature measurement tools, utilised Low Carbon KEEP funding to

Low carbon marketing Established in 1996, EOL IT Services is one of the UK’s leading independent IT asset recycling and data security companies. The project will involve the design, development, testing and implementation of a low carbon e-marketing strategy. This strategy will enable the company to raise its profile and increase the number of business customers who will be utilising its recycling and reuse schemes. As well as increasing the positive environmental outcomes of the company`s core activities, the results of the project will enhance the company`s overall financial sustainability.



CHAMBER EVENTS Please visit the Chamber website for full details of all future Chamber events

Your essential business calendar for the next month and a recent round-up Women in Management: Effective Leadership DATE Wednesday 24 April TIME 9.00-11.30am LOCATION Great Northern Hotel, Station Approach, Peterborough, PE1 1QL MEMBER PRICE £35.00 (plus VAT) NON-MEMBER PRICE £50.00 (plus VAT) CONTACT Kelly Hewitt on 01733 370809 or email Are you in a leadership role or looking to step up into one? Do you want to become a more effective leader? The first of a series organised by the Business Women’s Sector, this is a unique opportunity to get real guidance and practical steps to strengthen your leadership.

What is stopping you from being an even more effective leader and what can you do about it? During two hours, this interactive session will work to identify what the real issues are of effective leadership, offer practical guidance on how to address them and work with you to create an action plan of how to address your top priority issues. Your attendance will also give CPD accreditation provided by Chartered Management Institute. Further details can be found on the Business Women’s page of the website. n

Grow your Business through People

Cambridgeshire Export Club DATE Monday 29 April TIME 5.00-7.00pm LOCATION Moller Centre, Storey’s Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DE PRICE Free to attend CONTACT Helen Bosett on 01733 370809 or email Informal networking evening for anyone participating in, or considering, exporting. Cambridgeshire Export Club is an invaluable forum to exchange views with other exporters and keep up to date with new developments in a rapidly changing global business environment. Cambridgeshire Export Club meets on the last Monday of the month; check out dates on the website for future meetings. n

Interactive workshop DATE Wednesday 10 April TIME 8.30am-12.30pm

LOCATION The Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, Ely, CB7 4DL PRICE Free to attend, please register in advance CONTACT As part of the Ely Cathedral Celebration of Business the Ely Chamber of Commerce is inviting businesses to participate in this event which will enable you to Grow your Business through People. This interactive workshop will get you thinking about what is needed to grow your business and find out what help, advice and training is available to help you and your staff achieve economic growth. During the session there will be an opportunity for delegates to network with the event sponsors and other support organisations. n

Share exporting best practice



Huntingdonshire Business Fair DATE Thursday 18 April

Networking Breakfast Events

TIME 11.00am-4.00pm


LOCATION Wood Green Animal Shelter, London Road, Godmanchester, PE29 2NH

DATE Tuesday 26 March TIME 7.45-10.00am

STAND PRICES start at £65.00 (plus VAT) for Chamber members CONTACT Karen Dawson on 01223 209808 or email

LOCATION Homerton College, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PH

In partnership with The Federation of Small Business, sponsored by Urban & Civic, supported by Borney and Purple Haze. n

CONTACT or book online at

MEMBER PRICE £15.00 (plus VAT) NON-MEMBER PRICE £22.50 (plus VAT)

SAFARI NETWORKING BREAKFAST DATE Tuesday 16 April TIME 7.45-10.00am LOCATION Bull Hotel, Peterborough, PE1 1RB

purplehaze virtual resource services

MEMBER PRICE £15.00 (plus VAT) NON-MEMBER PRICE £22.50 (plus VAT) CONTACT or book online at

SPEED NETWORKING BREAKFAST DATE Friday 26 April TIME 7.45-10.00am LOCATION Robinson College, Grange Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AN MEMBER PRICE £15.00 (plus VAT) NON-MEMBER PRICE £22.50 (plus VAT) Visitors at last year’s exhibition

Chamber Member Induction Mornings Peterborough DATE Tuesday 23 April TIME 9.30-11.30am LOCATION Chamber Offices, 6 The Forum, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6FT Cambridge DATE Thursday 25 April TIME 9.30-11.30am LOCATION Chamber Offices, Enterprise House, The Vision Park, Histon, Cambridge, CB24 9ZR PRICE Free to attend, but please book in advance CONTACT Bren Coleman on 01223 209811 or email

CONTACT or book online at

Informal Networking Evenings April 2013 Wed 3, 17

The Quality® Hotel Peterborough (formerly Ramada)


Thurs 4, 18

Holiday Inn, Impington, Cambridge


Mon 8

The Lamb Hotel, Ely


Wed 10

Waterfront Bar, Wyboston Lakes


Tues 16

The Old Bridge Hotel, Huntingdon


Wed 24

The Boathouse, Wisbech




Sector Focus

Updates from Chambers Sector Groups

For any feedback, general information regarding the Sector Groups, or to contribute, please get in touch with Helen Bosett. tel: 01223 237414 email:


Leadership Courses Are you in a leadership role or looking to step up into one? Do you want to become a more effective leader? The Business Women’s Sector, with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), is launching a Leadership Training programme to further develop the skills of the women business leaders of today and tomorrow. The programme has been designed over three sessions. Attend the full series or as individual sessions. The first takes place on Wednesday 24 April (see page 36), followed

by Thursday 13 June and Wednesday 25 September. All sessions will run from 9.3011.30am and your attendance will provide CPD accreditation provided by CMI. This is a unique opportunity to get world class training, giving you real guidance and practical steps to strengthen your leadership, as well as showing you how to apply these insights when developing other people. Further details can be found within the Business Women’s Sector page of the website and in future issues of CONNECTED. n

Meet the Committee! Meet Shani Efford-Eliraz, Senior Consultant at Simply Careers sure they have the right people, with the right skills, at the right time - and that they are all working towards the same goals. Creating a strong link between business performance and workforce development is the core of Simply Careers.


What are your top three tips for running or working in a business?

1. Understanding that people communicate differently, think differently and could have a completely different agenda to yours helps achieve anything more quickly and effectively.

Shani Efford-Eliraz, Senior Consultant at Simply Careers


What do you do in business?

I help organisations do better by creating people strategies that make

2. Stop to reflect and take a breath. We get so consumed by business, it’s easy to lose sight of what it is we are actually after. We also forget to enjoy success, sometimes. 3. There is very rarely a single, correct answer. It is important to weigh up all possibilities and choose which one is best for your business.


What do you do to unwind?


What’s your favourite book and why?


What value do you get from being a Chamber member?

I play music – a good drumming session or a set-list on the guitar are good releases. I’ve also found how rewarding an endorphin-high is, after a run or a cycle.

I love The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman. Every time I read them I find something new in the stories or artwork.

The Chamber has a lot of practical bonuses like legal support, but I get the most value from working with the sector groups – I learn something new every meeting and the members are always eager to help. They’re a real business community! n



Cambridgeshire Export Club THE Cambridgeshire Export Club took off to a flying start on 25 February with its first meeting at the Moller Centre, Cambridge. Over 20 people linked to export were in attendance including representatives from our export members, UK Trade and Investment, and the Chambers’ International Sector committee. The evening provided a great opportunity for those that export to share their experiences with each other as well as making introductions with those that can provide support and services to exporters. The Cambridgeshire Export Club is held on the last Monday of the month between 5.007.00pm alternating between Cambridge and Peterborough venues. We look forward to our next meeting on Monday 25 March at the Park Inn Peterborough. n

Trading in Renminbi SARAH BLACK, HSBC’s Senior International Commercial Director and International Sector committee member, talks about how Cambridgeshire businesses can benefit from trading in Renminbi. Local firms have begun to look not just at manufacturing in China, but are also considering targeting China’s vast new consumer class for the first time. But what are the benefits of trading in Renminbi (RMB)? Benefits for the Chinese party? • Eliminates exchange rate risk and costs the top reason cited by Chinese businesses for adopting RMB • Faster processing - elimination of foreign exchange processes speeds up the settlement of funds • When exporting goods – simplifies the administrative processes for collecting export tax rebates.

payment cycles for exporters. It may also be possible for importers to negotiate discounts and we recommend that companies ask their Chinese supplier(s) for two quotations; one in RMB and one in the usual contract currency, for a comparison • Billing or setting contract pricing in RMB can provide a competitive edge when trying to win or keep trade partners • The benefits of trading in RMB are greater where the trade involves two currency switches (e.g. GBP to USD, then USD to RMB). n

Benefits for the UK business? • Potentially obtain better prices or terms from suppliers. This could mean more stable pricing for importers, or shorter

Sarah Black

Date for your diary...

Cambridgeshire Export Club takes off

THE International Sector, for the fifth consecutive year, will be welcoming a visit of mature MBA students from The Hong Kong University on Thursday 2 May at the Holiday Inn Cambridge.

Details are currently being finalised and will be announced in a future edition of CONNECTED. n


Erasmus Project Offers New Skills Opportunities BUSINESSES across the region have the opportunity to sign up to a Europe-wide programme to bring young entrepreneurs from Europe into their workplace. The scheme, which is run by enterprise agency NWES, allows local SMEs to host an entrepreneur from another European country who is able to bring new skills and ideas into the organisation. The programme, made possible by funding from the European Union, is also open to UK based aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to work overseas and join a European host organisation for between one and six months.


A grant is available to the entrepreneur to cover living and travel costs. The project has been running for over four years but is new to the East of England. “The potential benefits to both parties are enormous. Already we have seen one business exploring new market opportunities in Spain as a direct result of the Erasmus exchange,” explained Paul Gardner from NWES. Fresh ideas, adding language skills and new capabilities are some of the other benefits being reported. “This is about building longterm relationships between entrepreneurs

across Europe to help develop growth.” added Paul. “All the host has to pay under the scheme is just €100 per month as all the other costs are funded by the project. This is an extremely cost effective way of increasing the skills base within the organisation where the host has complete control of who they choose.” The programme is open to most private sector SMEs and third sector organisations. For further details, contact NWES on 0845 6099991 or email richard.salmon@nwes. or n



Ridgeons presents Green Deal GREEN Deal, Procurement and Target Shooting were presented at a recent event held at Ridgeons, Pampisford. Organised by the Chamber’s Construction Sector, delegates were able to view Ridgeons’ Green Light Centre of Excellence and training centre. Dave Jordan, Sustainability Manager at Ridgeons, explained the Green Deal scheme and how it will provide funds enabling homeowners to save on their energy bills. They are currently building up a supply chain and inviting companies

to register for their Green Deal Provider Service via their website. Cambridgeshire County Council gave an overview of their procurement process followed by Cambridgeshire Target Shooting Club who shared their expansion plans. Further informative seminars are being organised by the Construction Sector. What topics would you like to see included? Put your ideas to Helen Bosett, Sector Coordinator, who will share them with the Sector committee. n

Delegates welcomed at Ridgeons’ Green Light Centre of Excellece

April Showers – Are you prepared for drying out? FLOODS are happening more and more, leaving devastating water damage to properties, both commercial and domestic. This can result in lost days in business, relocation of premises, thousands of pounds in costs and the aggravation of not being allowed back into your property until all is restored. Most of the time, water damage is dried out by conventional driers, typically humidifiers. Using this method can take months to dry out buildings. There is another option… Xeric provide High Energy drying equipment which can dry out premises in days instead of months using conventional drying. This saves you time and costs, allowing you to be back in business or living at home again in a matter of just days. Their 1.2 million BTUs, 310 kw of heat are powerful to dry out your premises in days but ultra sensitive enough to dry out

Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings. This allows us to heat in an instant and be flexible in delivering where and when you want us to work. Their high energy drying is quiet, which enables work to be carried out 24/7 without any disruption to neighbours and because their heating is constantly monitored, they can ensure your property is completely dry before restoration works take place. Works are provided by a UK operation and are delivered by a team of trained technicians highly experienced in all forms of heat treatments. Xeric also provide you with a warranty certificate of their works.

The gift of giving CHARITIES are always grateful to receive gift aid donations. As well as the donation, they receive an additional 25 per cent from the HMRC (always a pleasure!) ‘All Change’ Not ‘all change’, but from April 2013 a charity can claim up to £1,250 from HMRC on £5,000 of cash donations. There are eligibility criteria, including a ‘clean’ gift aid claim history and cash must be deposited into the bank. Individual gifts of more than £20 are also not covered – so get a gift aid declaration for gifts of £50 notes! Charities may need to review cash collection procedures to ensure there is a good audit trail. Charities operating from several community buildings may be able to claim £1,250 per building. Online The method by which a charity reclaims the tax on gift aid donations is also changing. If you have specialist donation software, check with your supplier whether the software links directly with the HMRC website. Other charities, unless you have no internet access, will need to complete details of donations on the HMRC system, however you are able to avoid re-keying in data by attaching a spreadsheet. Beware, if you are claiming relief on donations from donors who are not actually paying any tax, it will be easier for HMRC to identify, as their postcode needs to be submitted. For more information visit www.hmrc. or speak to your advisor, Mark Jackson, Rawlinsons n

For more details, please contact Zoe Summerfield on 07850 002618 or email n



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What is the Low Carbon KEEP programme?

This European and UK Government funded scheme is designed to enable small to medium size businesses to work in partnership with UK universities and colleges.

What can it do for my company?

This programme offers both capital and revenue funding towards the eligible costs of collaborative projects between universities and companies.

How does it work?

The company and university recruit an experienced graduate to work full-time at the company on a specific project with agreed timescales. The graduate is supported by a specialist academic from the university who dedicates at least half a day a week.

What could a typical project look like?

A Low Carbon KEEP project could address resource efficiency within a business, development of new products or services, innovation... the scope is huge! Tel. 0845 196 4310/5818 @LowCarbonKEEP


Yours for a laughable £165 per month plus deposit* until the end of March, the MINI Cooper D Hatch is a firm favourite with bean counters and drivers alike. The high level of standard specification includes DAB Radio, and 14% BIK means as little as £39 a month for a 20% tax payer or £77 for the fat cats that pay 40%. J 99g/km CO2 J 74.3mpg (combined)

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Official fuel economy figures for the MINI Cooper D Hatch: Urban 67.3mpg (4.2l/100km). Extra Urban: 80.7mpg (3.5l/100km). Combined 74.3mpg (3.8l/100km). CO2 emissions 99g/km. *Offer available to business users only. Figures exclude VAT. Based on a 36 month Contract Hire agreement for a MINI Cooper D Hatch with a deposit of £990.00 plus VAT, a contract mileage of 30,000 miles and an excess mileage charge of 4.83 pence per mile plus VAT. Model shown features optional extras: 17" Infinite Stream Alloys £1,130, White Bonnet Stripes £80, Chrome Line Exterior £90 and White Indicator Lenses £60. Vehicle condition charges may apply at the end of your agreement. Subject to status and in the UK only (excl. the Channel Islands). Individuals must be 18 or over. A guarantee may be required. The amount of VAT you can reclaim depends on your business VAT status. Rentals may change if VAT rate changes during agreement. Hire provided by BMW Group Corporate Finance. BMW Group Corporate Finance is a trading style of Alphabet (GB) Limited, Europa House, Bartley Way, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 9UF. Offer expires 31 March 2013.

CONNECTED magazine April 2013  

Welcome to the April issue of CONNECTED magazine. The official monthly magazine of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

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