Page 1



Going hybrid: A new era for events Pages 40 - 41

STATE-OF-THE-ART MARINE ACADEMY Discover how South Devon College is helping meet the demands of the changing marine and maritime sector

Pages 16 - 17

NEWS: Exeter’s new £8million Bus Station FINANCE: Accountancy in the “new normal” ENERGY: The pathway to Net Zero

Effective, Commercial Legal Advice For Your Business GA Solicitors is a regional law firm with a national reach and reputation. Ranked in The Legal 500, Chambers UK and Chambers High Net Worth, our professional and specialist commercial teams can advise on a wide range of legal issues. You can be ensured the highest levels of client service, effective results and a no-nonsense, commercial approach.

Our specialist solicitors can help with: · Commercial property

· Property litigation

· Corporate commercial

· GA Energy

· Business disputes

· Property finance

· Employment law

· Inheritance tax planning and asset protection | 01752 203500

thirds of UK businesses in “ Two commercial disputes post COVID. The sense of relief is palpable. The lifting of COVID restrictions, apparently on a permanent basis, is leading us back towards something resembling normality. Businesses are finally starting to make plans for the future with more certainty than they have felt for a long time. But a return to normality may unfortunately bring its own set of problems. Many of these businesses will struggle to get back into the swing of things, due to problems which have been dormant during the pandemic. Companies that have struggled with debtors, or had supply chain difficulties, may now find these | 01752 513572 2

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

issues come to a head quite swiftly. An astonishing two thirds of UK businesses expect to be engaged in some form of litigation in the aftermath from the past 18 months. Whatever problems they are facing, business owners are far better off knowing their legal rights and being advised of all their options before they go marching into the litigation arena.

Ieuan Jones

Partner & Business Disputes Solicitor




COVER STORY Behind the scenes of our first fully hybrid Plymouth City Conversations event at The Box SEE PAGES 40 - 41


Chamber Chief Executive Stuart Elford looks ahead to our Awards Dinner and shines a light on the climate change emergency ahead of ‘Green October’


Exeter Science Park builds back greener with space for 100 new jobs


Million-pound investment for new Plymouth jewellery store


Marjon ranked top university in England for learning community


Plymouth firm plays huge part in nationwide recycling project


How Rebecca Day 360 scours the globe sourcing ingredients


Exeter’s new £8m bus station opens to passengers


Plymouth Sound National Marine Park awarded £9.5 million

38-39 Pictures from our Golf Day, Millendreath and Mid Devon Show 42

A warm welcome to all our new Chamber members


FINANCE Accountancy in the “new normal” with Thomas Westcott


LEGAL Commercial property rent arrears following COVID-19 pandemic


INTERNATIONAL TRADE BCC assesses Brexit impact and looks at next steps

24-25 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Collaborate to innovate with R&D Solutions Fund


26-27 MARINE Why Freeports are part of the post-pandemic British Revival 28

ENERGY Helping Enterprise® customers make smarter mobility choices


Reduce your costs on the pathway to net zero with DEP

CHAMBER AWARDS 12 - 13 Meet the finalists ahead of our glittering ceremony at Buckfast Abbey


Our fully funded trial offer is back - sign up to the Chamber now for FREE

BUSINESS HEROES 20 - 21 Giving our members the opportunity to connect with social enterprises.

SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE 16 - 17 Our Profile sponsors offer an in-depth look at the new state-of-the-art Marine Academy

30-31 WORKSPACES Why agile and mobile are key for post-COVID workplaces 32

CHARITY Dash of Silver founder reflects on the day that saved his life


SMALL BUSINESS TOOLKIT The benefits of a third-party business advisor

34-35 MOTORING Stuart Elford test-drives the new Ford Mustang Mach-E 36 HOSPITALITY Time to give hospitality sector the respect it deserves


Paul Philpott, Director at Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile




CONTACT DETAILS Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Unit 5 Derriford Business Park, Brest Road, Plymouth, Devon PL6 5QZ T: 01752 220471 E: W: News and articles should be sent to: E: Front cover: Behind the scenes at the Plymouth City Conversations event at The Box See pages 40-41 Published by Cornerstone Vision Ltd 28 Old Park Road, Peverell, Plymouth PL3 4PY T: 01752 225623 W: Managing Editor Chris Girdler Designer Leah-Maarit Jeffery Advertising David Simpson E: Printed by PDS Print W: PRIVACY NOTICE Cornerstone Vision Ltd process personal information for certain legitimate interest purposes, which includes the following: • To provide postal copies of this publication to Chamber member and Cornerstone Vision Ltd customers; and • To offer marketing and promotional opportunities within this publication to Chamber members an prospects. Whenever we process data for these purposes, we always ensure we treat your Personal Data rights in high regard. Chamber Profile is produced on behalf of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce by Cornerstone Vision Ltd and is distributed without charge to more than 1,500 key businesses and all Chamber members in Devon. The publisher is committed to achieving the highest quality standard. However, views expressed in the magazine are independent and while every care has been taken to ensure that the information it contains is accurate, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for any omission or inaccuracies that might arise. The publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format without the prior written permission of Cornerstone Vision Ltd.

SOCIAL MEDIA Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Devon Chamber of Commerce Join us on LinkedIn Devon Chamber of Commerce


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

This year seems to be passing as quickly as the last and, as we continue to adapt to life after lockdown, there is much for South West businesses to look forward to this autumn and beyond. A jam-packed edition of Profile starts with a look at our amazing finalists for the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards 2021 which I’m thrilled to say this year are being held in person. Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to each and every member who submitted an entry for this year’s Awards. Putting together the shortlist has been incredibly tough for our panel, with so many of our members enjoying great success over the last 12 months and many more thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic. Each of the businesses and individuals named on pages 12 and 13 of Profile are now invited to our Chamber Awards Dinner which takes place on Friday, September 24, at the stunning, newly refurbished Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey in Buckfastleigh. I also want to thank all of our fantastic Awards sponsors, without whom we simply could not put on events like this. Our ceremony promises to be a fabulous night of celebration and we can’t wait to see you all there! The fact that the first Awards category to be snapped up by sponsors this year was our Planet Saver - Green Business of the Year - accolade (well done, Frazer-Nash!) is indicative of all our intentions to embrace ‘Green October’. Here at the Chamber, we will be shining light on all aspects of the climate change crisis and what businesses here in the South West are doing to help tackle this. All our Chamber events throughout October will incorporate the Green Agenda, including our County Conversations event at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, and ‘One Devonport’, a unique networking tour of Babcock which explores their journey through environmental, social and corporate sustainability. This will culminate in a four-hour live broadcasted event, Net Zero Live, which will be streamed through multiple channels and divided into four categories: transport, earth and energy, marine, and business support.


Climate change is real, and there couldn’t be a more crucial time to do your part in helping other businesses and individuals go greener. The Chamber team is constantly thinking up ways to help existing and potential members, and I’m excited to announce the launch of our Business Heroes programme. It gives members the opportunity to connect with some of the 100,000 social enterprises which operate across the UK. Frazer-Nash Consultancy, our first Business Hero, has worked with the expert team at Plymouth Social Enterprise Network to fund Devon & Plymouth Chamber memberships for 10 social enterprises. While on the subject of new members, we’re also thrilled to announce the return of our introductory membership offer, which gives thousands of businesses across the South West the opportunity to become Devon & Plymouth Chamber members completely free of charge for three months. See page 12 of Profile to find out more including details of how to sign up. Perhaps our favourite thing this summer was returning to in-person events. As much as we’ve loved hosting our virtual events during the past 18 months, we’re sure you’ll agree there’s no substitute for face-to-face networking. Dozens of hardy golfers - 23 teams, in fact! - turned out in force for our Chamber Golf Day at Boringdon Park and helped to raise an incredible £2,744.87 for Jeremiah’s Journey. We also had an amazing turnout for our special breakfast event at the stunning Millendreath Beach Resort in Cornwall where the company was as spectacular as the views! And Olivia, Samantha and Helen from our Chamber teamhad a fantastic time at the Mid Devon Show, where we were honoured to present the Best Trade Stand Award. Here’s hoping it’s only the start of many more exciting events and opportunities to connect, grow and succeed.






Exeter Science Park builds back greener with space for 100 new jobs The development of the latest and greenest new building on Exeter Science Park has reached a major milestone. The £5 million Grow-Out Space, which is net-zero carbon for operational energy, will house up to 100 jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine ‘Topping out’ ceremony of the Grow-Out Space at sectors (STEMM), helping to drive Exeter Science Park. Picture: © Rekord Media the South West’s economic recovery post-Covid. It offers a stepping stone for maturing A ‘topping out’ ceremony has taken place at businesses hoping to move on from the the new three-storey building, just off J29 of Science Park Centre’s incubation space which the M5, to mark a key stage of the build. Due is for small, fast growing companies. When for completion in November, the first tenants these existing tenants move into the new are expected to take up residence by the end facility they will release space for smaller startof the year. ups looking to move onto the site. As the latest analysis from the KPMG UK Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Economic Outlook Report reveals, the South Park, said: “Getting to this point has required West economy saw the fastest growth of all outstanding collaboration. Everyone has UK regions in summer 2020 and the new played their part and the hard work of Grow-Out Space is to play a significant role in colleagues at Exeter Science Park, Morgan supporting companies and infrastructure in the Sindall, NPS South West Limited and the future. Southern Construction Framework, has really The 14,000 sq ft building has been designed made this happen. This quick turnaround has to provide flexible office and laboratory space seen us save up to 33% of the time involved, for up to 11 firms. It will be net-zero carbon for compared to a conventional build programme. operational energy and BREEAM Excellent, a “Exeter Science Park helps innovative method used to assess its sustainability. STEMM companies to deliver extraordinary

Valeport achieves Made In Britain status Valeport, a global leader in underwater measuring equipment, has achieved the internationally recognised Made In Britain accreditation for its range of innovative marine solutions that are developed, designed and manufactured at its UK headquarters in Totnes, Devon. The independent, family-owned business, which employs more than 90 people from state-of-the-art facilities on the River Dart, designs and supplies precision sensors and probes to a worldwide customer base that

includes: environmental, energy, construction, dredging, engineering, scientific research and military sectors. The Made In Britain accolade is part of an initiative to support and promote British manufacturing. Valeport will now use the Made in Britain registered mark of quality on their products, the mark is recognised as the ultimate stamp of British provenance and seen as an international seal of excellence domestically and worldwide. Matt Quartley, Valeport managing

growth and these are exactly the kinds of businesses that will help accelerate economic recovery and drive the economy forward as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. This development marks the next important phase of growth for the Park and provides firms with new space to grow and thrive.” Funding was secured in August 2020 from the Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ and allocated to Exeter Science Park by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) from their £35.4 million share of the national pot. David Ralph, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “It’s fantastic to see this innovative new facility preparing to open at Exeter Science Park. It will provide valuable innovation space for STEMM businesses, supporting them to grow and boosting employment for the city and region. “We’re delighted to support it with funding from HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund. Exeter Science Park is a thriving business location and has an important role to play as we look to rebuild local economies and build back better with a cleaner and more inclusive economy.” director, commented: “The Made In Britain status promotes our passion for British manufacturing, our commitment to quality and maintaining production here in the UK. “We also believe it highlights the quality of our products and expertise gained from over 50 years of British manufacturing expertise.” Valeport retains all aspects of developing and manufacturing processes in-house, an approach that means they have total control over every stage of the manufacturing process and can guarantee the quality and consistency of their products. The company’s riverside premises house all the facilities for designing, CNC machining, environmental testing, assembly, calibration and servicing for all Valeport products. With a global network of 72 distributors in over 54 countries, Valeport exports almost 80% of its outputs. Valeport joins a select group of manufacturers who are permitted to use the Made In Britain status and coveted quality mark.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Lights! Camera! Action! Fine Tubes takes starring role in manufacturing film aimed at inspiring Plymouth youngsters

Fine Tubes, the Plymouth-based metal tubing manufacturer, has participated in the creation of a video aimed at informing and inspiring school pupils about the value of pursuing careers in the manufacturing sector. The video was produced and funded by regional film specialist, Twofour, which is part of ITV Studios and also based in Plymouth, UK. It is being delivered into Plymouth primary schools with the help of local charity, Plymouth Children in Poverty. The video rollout will be followed up by in-person visits to school by representatives from the participating businesses. The charity’s involvement in the film was part of its ‘Widening Horizons’ initiative

aimed at raising aspirations and increasing opportunities for local children and families living near or beneath the breadline. Fine Tubes is one of four Plymouth businesses that participated in the first series of videos, along with Plymouth Citybus, The Bailey Partnership, and Twofour. The video was filmed at the Fine Tubes specialist tubing mill and highlights the exciting opportunities available within the manufacturing sector. It features staff in diverse job roles including Operations, Technical, Maintenance and Marketing. The goal of the film was to answer children’s questions about careers in the manufacturing sector and offer valuable insights into how to become involved and build up a rewarding career. David Cawse, Operations Director at Fine Tubes, said: “We thoroughly enjoyed being part of this crucial video and hope that it inspires and educates children across the city about the many rewarding opportunities that working in a manufacturing company such as ours can offer.

“We are lucky to have a talented, dedicated team here, and are proud to tell their stories.” Kerry Bidewell, PCiP’s Campaign Coordinator, added: “The children really connected with the Fine Tubes team and found it incredibly interesting that the world of engineering is technical but also creative, offering a variety of careers within the sector. “The engagement levels are through the roof - proving that this delivery into Year Six is perfectly timed, as traditionally children do not get access to this kind of career information until much later. Allaying any early worries some children were already having. Sending them off on their next learning adventure brimming with the knowledge of opportunity right here in Plymouth.” Fine Tubes is one of five business units that make up AMETEK Specialty Metal Products (SMP). The company manufactures precision metal tubing products in a range of specialty alloys at its highly integrated tubing mill in Plymouth. As well as the energy, oil and gas and industrial sectors, tubes produced by Fine Tubes are used in numerous critical applications across many global sectors, including nuclear, medical, aerospace and defence.

Babcock International secures contract to support the Irish Naval Service Babcock International, the aerospace, defence and security company, has been awarded a contract to deliver the installation of a variable speed drive system for the central cooling system on board the Irish Navy’s P60 Samuel Beckett Class. The variable speed drive system was first installed on the central cooling system of the fourth Offshore Patrol Vessel, LÉ George Bernard Shaw (P64), at time of build, enabling the vessel to use a variety of power outputs depending on the conditions and requirements. The system has proven to be very successful, with the Irish Naval Service requesting it to be installed across the class to save power, fuel and cost, whilst providing a more environmentally


friendly running option across the class. The contract will see Babcock working alongside a range of suppliers to complete the work package for the Irish Naval Service, which will include all aspects of the project from design to engineering assurance. Gary Simpson, Managing Director, Babcock’s Marine Support business, said: “We’re pleased to continue our close working relationship with the Irish Naval Service and particularly to support this environmentally efficient system. “We are immensely proud of the work we carried out to build the P60 Samuel Beckett Class and welcome the opportunity to continue supporting these fantastic Offshore Patrol Vessels and the Irish Naval Service.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

“Our ability to support global navies is founded on collaboration with a real focus on our customers’ operational success. Captain Roberts, Officer Commanding Naval Support Command, added: “The installation of the variable speed drive upgrades on the P60 Samuel Beckett Class demonstrates our climate change objectives, following the

Government’s Climate Action Plan, in action. “Babcock International have proven know-how to deliver this project, having already installed the system on LÉ George Bernard Shaw, and we look forward to working alongside them.” Work will commence later this year in Ireland at Haulbowline, Co. Cork.


MILLION-POUND investment for Plymouth jewellery store Michael Spiers, the South West’s leading independent jewellery and watch retailer, is to invest £1m into a new Plymouth retail unit, located at the top of the city centre, opposite Drake Circus and Marks & Spencer’s Food Hall. Michael Spiers’ existing premises is located at 52-54 Cornwall Street and has been a popular destination since its opening in 1969. The new site, which is anticipated to be open by spring 2022, will build upon an already established client base and service. The new 25-year lease, which was advised upon by regional law firm GA Solicitors, will see the company relocate to No.2 Cornwall Street with an expected increase in footfall with the same Michael Spiers experience. The £1m fit out will take approximately six months, commencing with immediate effect, and with the new unit open in time for spring next year. The new look showroom will boast luxurious seating areas and large Rolex, Omega, Breitling and Tudor branded areas. Commenting on the investment, managing director, Adam Spiers, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for us as we plan our new store and move to a higher footfall area of Plymouth’s city centre. The new showroom will be much more prominent and directly visible from key parts of a shopper’s journey. “It is a significant investment and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the city and our many clients in the Plymouth area. Client experience is a focal point of our service and the reason why we are authorised retailers of premium brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. “The new showroom will ensure

we maintain our presence and keep our offering at the highest possible standard. Of course, we shall continue to offer the Michael Spiers experience in our existing store until the new showroom is open. “The lease of the new showroom was complex with challenging negotiations needed from the outset. GA Solicitors provided invaluable advice at every step. We are thankful to them for their support and for ensuring a positive conclusion.” David Stone, head of GA Solicitors’ commercial department and the solicitor advising upon the lease, added: “Michael Spiers is a celebrated name in Plymouth and the wider South West and in the national watch and jewellery sector. This significant investment will help to secure its position in the city and is an exciting move for the family business after more than 50 years in their current premises. “The lease was not without challenges and we are pleased to have been able to provide the Spiers family with comprehensive advice and ensure fair negotiations with the landlord. We wish them the best of luck with this exciting refurbishment and fit out and for the opening early next year.” Michael Spiers has showrooms in Plymouth, Truro, Exeter and Taunton. The current premises will remain open and continue to provide the renowned ‘Michael Spiers Experience’ until the new showroom is ready.

BABCOCK DELIVERS WORLD LEADING GAS SYSTEMS Babcock LGE has successfully delivered three of its world-leading LPG Fuel Gas Supply Systems into operational service for LPG ships in Korea and China. Marking a significant milestone in LGE’s journey of developing and deploying innovative technology to support shipowners, the Fuel Gas Supply Systems will help to meet increasingly stringent regulations on carbon and emission reductions. The three ecoFGSS™ systems are installed on LPG carriers ranging from 38,000m3 to 90,000m3, and offer significant flexibility to shipowners. These systems include designs using: • Deck mounted Low Pressure (LP) pumps (for LPG at ambient temperature) • In-Deck tank LP pumps (for LPG at ambient temperature) • In-Cargo tank LP pumps (for fully refrigerated LPG) All designs are fully integrated with the LPG carrier’s cargo handling system, which is also provided by LGE. Each system has been successfully trialled across the range of main engine operating loads, and they are all now fully operational in service. LGE’s ecoFGSS™ system can be tailored depending on operating requirements, with LGE offering a range of LPG Fuel Gas Supply Systems for retrofits, as well as new builds. Managing Director of Babcock LGE, Neale Campbell, said: “This significant milestone confirms LGE’s market leading position in the LPG Fuel Gas Supply System market. It also leads the way for the delivery of a further 14 Fuel Gas Supply Systems currently on order to be delivered through to 2023, at various shipyards and for multiple shipowners.” The launch of ecoFGSS™ earlier this year further cemented LGE’s market position, with 21 orders to date. Utilising LPG as a fuel has become the de facto solution for Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) and Midsize Gas Carriers (MGCs), and is a crucial step change in LPG carrier designs to facilitate the market shift towards lower emissions. LPG is also recognised as a potential bridging fuel towards zero carbon fuels, including ammonia. The experience gained in the development of LPG FGSS places LGE at the forefront of development of new ammonia-ready designs.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Bid to boost city economy by luring TV and movie crews to Plymouth Plymouth City Council is working with Creative England on a bid to make Britain’s Ocean City also one of its cinematic capitals. A campaign has been started to attract film crews to the city, highlighting its array of stunning locations as the perfect backdrop for lights, camera, action. Film Plymouth, part of the iMayflower programme, is a project funded by the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) to drive economic development within Plymouth. Creative England is leading a production services programme with Plymouth City Council to facilitate “film-friendly activity”, maximise “location exposure” to movie industry moguls and encourage feature film and “highend” TV drama to the area. It could mean Plymouth joining the ranks of Oxford, famous for being a Harry Potter movie set, and Northern Ireland, where Game of Thrones has been shot, as the UK’s answer to the Hollywood dream factory. Amanda Lee, marketing manager within the economic development team at Plymouth City Council, is leading on the development of Film Plymouth and said: “Plymouth has such a


wealth of locations and facilities on offer to filmmakers, from historic cobbled streets to wide open boulevards and the open waters of Plymouth Sound to the brutalist architecture of the postwar city centre. “We’re delighted to be working with Creative England to provide support services to filmmakers wanting to capture content in our vibrant waterfront city. “From facilitating location support and permissions, to providing links to supply chain businesses, we’re here and ready to respond to inquiries to encourage more activity like this in the city. We work closely with many partners across the city to enable a quick and smooth process for filmmakers.” Film Plymouth can also provide support with production inquiries from cast and crewing to facilitate filming on highways, land and properties managed by Plymouth City Council. The city is home to a range of filming locations from period architectural buildings, harbourside areas, waterfronts and historic ports, offering a variety of unique locations for the industry. For example, Royal William Yard is an award-winning

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

waterside destination and has already starred in several TV shows and movies. The ex-Naval victualling yard is spread over 16 acres and houses the largest collection of Grade I listed military buildings in Europe. Set on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by water, this is a place where Georgian buildings and award-winning architecture meet, and where landscaped lawns and gardens overlook the coastline. Hailey Cattle, regional marketing manager at Urban Splash, which has been developing the yard, said: “Royal William Yard has featured as a magnificent backdrop to many productions over the years thanks to its iconic architecture and unrivalled location. “These include period dramas such as Hornblower and Churchill: The Hollywood Years, to TV series such as Delicious for Sky 1, and location shoots for factual programming including Antiques Roadshow and the forthcoming revival of Watercolour Challenge. “As a private development, we have the flexibility to facilitate filming, and work closely with those involved to meet their needs.

“Whether it’s capturing the splendour of these sensitively restored grand buildings, or having access to our marina and stunning waterfront, Royal William Yard is a breathtakingly unique location that is every bit as captivating when seen on screen.” Another area being touted as a perfect movie location is Smeaton’s Tower, which is managed by The Box in Plymouth, a major new museum and art gallery in the city. The former lighthouse has become one of the South West’s most famous landmarks taking centre stage on Plymouth’s Hoe. The tower has been restored to its former glory and the coastal scenery of the Plymouth Sound can be viewed from the lantern room. Creative England is the national screen agency with a remit to maximise and support the production of feature film and high-end television in England, outside London. The Filming in England team works closely with local authorities and Film Office partners to deliver a comprehensive film-friendly service to the industry.


Marjon ranked top university in England for learning community Plymouth Marjon University has been rated the number one university in England for “learning community” and second for “student voice”, in the National Student Survey. The survey, which questions final-year students, is used to feed into league table data and is the major national measure of student satisfaction. It was answered this year by 332,000 students in 397 UK institutions. The rating of first in England for learning community reflects ongoing excellent results from previous years, and Marjon’s longterm reputation for being a welcoming and inclusive university. This year, Marjon was also ranked third university in England for learning opportunities, third for its students’ union, and fourth for teaching on my course. Marjon was amongst the top five universities in England – around 119 institutions - on 12 out of 27 questions asked, and the best university in the South West for 13 out of 27 questions. The university scored above benchmark for 26 out of 27 questions, and significantly

above the benchmark across 11 questions or question groups. On one question, “I feel part of a community of staff and students”, Plymouth Marjon is the top university in England, scoring 16 percentage points higher than benchmark. Professor Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University, said: “These results reflect the focus our team has put on looking after students not only throughout the last year, but long term. “We work hard to keep students connected, informed and feeling like they belong here. I am delighted for all of our staff and students that our final-year students have ranked us the best university community in England. At Marjon, everyone can belong.” Lauren Edwards, President of Marjon Students’ Union, added: “After such a difficult year, it’s amazing to see all our hard work pay off. We’re a small team but we still strive to represent our students as best we can, and it’s fantastic to see our students agree. “We’re extremely proud of the past year, and to be rated as the third best university

union in England, out of 119 universities, is an incredible achievement.” Seven courses scored over 90% student satisfaction. Two courses, BEd (Hons) Primary Education, and BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy have each scored over 90% for the last five years. BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science has scored over 90% for the last three years. The results endorse Marjon’s motto of Small University, Big Heart. Its small class sizes and close-knit campus mean that students enjoy a personalised learning experience, being engaged and challenged by staff and by their peers. Students can benefit from the university’s high-quality course facilities, such as the accredited Sport Science labs, and journalist training studios on the campus of the BBC in Plymouth. Those wishing to join the Marjon learning community in 2021 for either undergraduate or postgraduate study may still apply. Courses remaining open are on the Marjon website here:

Plymouth City Council distributes millions in grants to local businesses A whopping £92 million in Government grants has been paid out to local businesses by Plymouth City Council since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as part of a massive effort to keep businesses in the city going. A huge team of 50 staff from several departments across the Council was involved in the largest business grant exercise the Council has ever done, supporting 7,440 Plymouth businesses. Council Leader Nick Kelly said: “This was truly a Herculean task that we faced, but I’m incredibly proud of how hard our staff worked to get this crucial financial support to Plymouth businesses as quickly as they could, which undoubtedly saved livelihoods and kept businesses afloat.

“It is really important we recognise the scale and effort of the work that went into leading and delivering the Government’s Covid business grants scheme – particularly as we pay out our last payment on our last scheme. “The task was challenging and complex but everyone applied themselves amazingly and stepped up when it was needed the most. “The feedback from the business community has been universally positive with many letters of thanks from individual businesses and from organisations such as the FBS, Devon & Plymouth Chamber and the Plymouth Manufacturers group.” There were 16 separate Government grant schemes to administer between March 2020 and July 2021, including

the Local Restrictions Support Grant, Additional Restrictions Grant, Restart Grant and funding offered when the city was under tiered restrictions. A total of 19,435 payments were made during this time. Staff from all across the Council were involved in the business grants scheme, all with the aim of offering as much support as possible during the unprecedented times faced by businesses. This includes running a business helpline, providing FAQs and regular updates on Council and Invest Plymouth website and proactively reaching out to businesses that were eligible for payments to ensure they didn’t miss out on the funding made available by Government. The support was vital to help

businesses survive ongoing restrictions. Local business owner Marcus Lewis, who runs Switch Ltd on North Hill, said: “I couldn’t have been happier with how Plymouth City Council handled my grant situation. “Having multiple businesses over multiple sites meant it was confusing at first, making sure that I had the correct codes and reference numbers, but with the help from the Council everything went extremely smoothly. “During what was an incredibly stressful 16 months, the grants were a life-saver and without them we would have been in a real mess. “I have had many dealings with the Council over the years and, true to form, they handled this the same as they have with every situation. They were nothing short of incredible.”

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



NEXT STOP, A NEW APP AND WEBSITE Bus passengers in the wider Plymouth area have information about their journeys at their fingertips, thanks to the new Plymouth Citybus app and website. Following the launch of the updated app in May, the new website integrates with it fully. Passengers can now see timetables for all routes, be alerted to any disruptions and see where their bus is in real time, as well as save their favourite routes and destinations so it’s even easier for them to get the information they want in the future.  Head of Commercial and Marketing, Mark Collins, said: “More and more customers are

telling us they’re using digital means of finding out information, so it’s important we’re able to provide it to them. The website and app allow customers to get the information they need at the touch of a button, something which is becoming an expectation in today’s digital-first world. “Whether they’re using the website at home or in the office, or relying on the app as they go around the city, these latest updates make getting the bus easier than ever.”  The website and app have full details of all the ticket types and how to buy them, as well as a journey planner to help you get from A to B, wherever you are in

the city. Using the app means passengers don’t have to worry about losing paper tickets or handling money, all the information is stored on their phone. The website also hosts the innovative NotLost platform. NotLost allows passengers to upload descriptions of their property and then automatically searches the database of items to find possible matches. This system saves up to 80% of the time normally spent on lost property queries so the Customer Experience Team have

more time to spend on more complex queries. Visit  or download the Plymouth Citybus app from the App Store or Google Play Store to see for yourself.

Plymouth firm plays huge part in nationwide recycling project

Oltco Plymouth, the leading sustainable resin bound driveway company, led by Ben Ure, has recently played its part in recycling the equivalent of over 122 million plastic straws in driveways up and down the country. Working across Plymouth, Yelverton, Gunnislake, Lifton, Princetown, Ivybridge and the surrounding towns and villages, Oltco Plymouth has partnered with local businesses, such as The Mussel Inn where 576,000 plastic straws were recycled. Using its innovative and award-winning Recycle Bound solution, Oltco Plymouth has


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

been committed towards tackling the issue of plastic waste and has played an integral role in Recycle Bound’s success story which is being used not only for domestic projects, but also at some of the UK’s leading hotels and attractions. Created in 2019 as a unique solution to help tackle the issue of plastic waste, Recycle Bound is made utilising waste plastic (straws, plastic drink bottles and food packaging) from a plastic recycling point, where it is sorted and then crushed into a more manageable size. This is then granulated and mixed with Oltco’s resin blend to create the innovative product.

Each square metre of Recycle Bound consists of the equivalent of 3,000 plastic straws. Therefore, if Recycle Bound was laid on a standard 50 sq m drive, the equivalent of 150,000 plastic straws would be recycled in the process. Although mainly used on driveways, paths and patios for the domestic market, Recycle Bound has also been used on larger commercial projects such as the Eden Project and the location of the G7 Summit, Carbis Bay Hotel. To date, Oltco has recycled the equivalent of 882,000 plastic straws at the Eden Project. Oltco was inspired to develop the product as they had grown increasingly concerned about the devastating environmental impact plastic waste was having on the planet. Since it launched, Recycle Bound has seen a resounding success winning accolades including being named runner up for ‘Recycled Product of the Year’ in the National Recycling Awards. Oltco Plymouth’s Ben Ure said: “Recycle Bound has been incredibly successful and we are grateful for all the individuals and local businesses in Plymouth that have come on board. We have installed multiple Recycle Bound installations across the area and I’m so proud that I can offer this amazing product to my customers.”


Our trial membership offer is back - sign up to the Chamber now We’re thrilled to announce the return of our fully funded trial membership offer, which gives thousands of businesses across the South West the opportunity to become a Devon & Plymouth Chamber member completely free of charge for three months. This introductory membership allows businesses to be part of the Chamber network, with access to events, support, international trade advice and excellent networking opportunities – at absolutely no cost. Last year dozens signed up, helping companies work through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. For our existing members, this means a bigger Chamber with bigger benefits and more connections. Our research shows that by being a member of our Chamber your business is three times more likely to survive. Now, we don’t just want to help you survive, we want to make you thrive. Now is the time to take advantage of the benefits of being part of the Chamber, especially with the return of our exclusive events programme filled with quality speakers, superb networking and the best venues the region has to offer. This membership provides you with the following for three months: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Access to a programme of superb events, with excellent speakers, first-class networking and the region’s best venues Referral to wider business support through strategic partners Free international trade and export advice Access to Chamber social media platforms Use of digital Chamber logo for emails and website Personal account management by Membership Executive Own member area on DPCC website Receive quarterly Chamber Profile magazine Receive weekly Chamber Bytes newsletter Access to the Chamber’s Small Business Toolkit Be part of the city, county and region’s lobbying voice Invitation to attend Chamber Connect

Chamber Chief Executive Stuart Elford said:

“The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everyone and we have helped countless businesses survive this challenging period. We want to again do something tangible that would help as many businesses as possible succeed as we start to recover and grow again. We want as many businesses as possible to be part of something bigger, so we as a region can emerge stronger and thrive again. This is a fabulous chance to give your businesses access to the tools it needs to grow by being part of the Chamber – it comes at no cost to you and there’s only a few weeks left until the window to apply closes.” The Chamber has a line-up of exciting events on the horizon in an innovative in-person and hybrid format. They include the popular City Conversations at The Box as well as a month of green events themed on the upcoming COP26 climate change conference. Visit our website to find out more about how to apply for the introductory membership: introductory-membership-offer/

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



CHAMBER AWARDS Our Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards shortlist We’re proud to reveal our shortlist for the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards 2021. Our accolades honour the best in entrepreneurship and enterprise, and the event has become one of the most prestigious in the South West business calendar.

The sought-after awards are expertly judged and culminate in a glittering ceremony where members of the Chamber are honoured for their success and innovation. Each of the businesses and individuals named below are now invited to our Chamber Awards Dinner which takes place on Friday, September 24, at the newly refurbished Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey in Buckfastleigh. Stuart Elford, CEO of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, said: “A huge thank you to each and every member who submitted an entry for this year’s Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards. “It has been an incredibly tough decision for our panel, with so many of our members enjoying great success over the last 12 months and many more thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We’ve somehow managed to select 21 fantastic businesses and individuals in nine

different awards categories - and we now have the even tougher task of choosing our winners. “We can’t wait to welcome all of our members to stunning Buckfast Abbey this autumn. It promises to be a fabulous night of celebration with the long months of lockdown finally over. See you all there!”

The full Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards 2021 shortlist is as follows: The Planet Saver (Green Business of the Year) Sponsored by Frazer-Nash Consultancy Primal Europe One of Europe’s leading cycling clothing brands, Primal Europe supplies cycling, lifestyle clothing for retailers, clubs and events across the UK.

Securious Securious helps build confidence both internally and externally in your cyber security through recognised compliance such as PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials and Pentesting.

The Growing Visionary (Small Business of the Year) Sponsored by Swatpro Academy

Vispring Creating beds designed for durability, crafted for comfort and made for the very best sleep. Handmade in England since 1901.

The Quality Trailblazer (Business Diversification Award) Sponsored by Practice Plus Group Introtweet Established in July 2013 by Laura Brown, Introtweet has grown into a successful social media business with a brilliant reputation in the local Taunton area and across the UK. Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise A social enterprise committed to improving dental health in the South West through treatment, education, community and training. Treatment is provided by students under supervision, free of charge.


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

Acronyms Whether your employees need day-today assistance, or your IT manager needs additional technical support, Acronyms’ experienced IT support staff are on hand to offer expert advice. Complete Communication Complete Communication’s mission is to promote and ensure deaf and disabled people have full access to any and all services they need, and feel like a valued member of their community. Introtweet Established in July 2013 by Laura Brown, Introtweet has grown into a successful social media business with a brilliant reputation in the local Taunton area and across the UK. The company exports its products to 35 different countries around the world and is a respected and recognised brand in its field in all markets.

CHAMBER AWARDS The Global Player

(Export Business of the Year) Sponsored by Western Union Barden Corporation Recognised as a world leader in the design and manufacture of super precision ball bearings, Barden bearings are produced using advanced technology to the highest standards available. Salcombe Distilling Company Nestled amongst traditional boat builders in Salcombe, at one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat, Salcombe Distilling Co. creates exceptional, handcrafted gin.

The Digital Innovator (Digital Business of the Year)

City College Plymouth As the city’s provider of choice for Apprenticeships, City College Plymouth plays a pivotal role in the provision of skills and learning required to meet the economic and labour market needs of Plymouth and its travel-to-work area. Plymouth Marine Laboratory This world-class marine research institute conducts cutting-edge environmental and social science for a healthy and sustainable ocean. St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth This independent charity provides specialist care and support to people with progressive life-limiting illnesses in Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall.

Sponsored by Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants

The Service Quality Leader


Sponsored by Babcock International Group Whether your employees need day-today assistance, or your IT manager needs additional technical support, Acronyms’ experienced IT support staff are on hand to offer expert advice.

(Customer Commitment Award)

Acronyms Whether your employees need day-today assistance, or your IT manager needs additional technical support, Acronyms’ experienced IT support staff are on hand to offer expert advice.

Go South West Go South West incorporates two brands across Devon and Cornwall - the multi-awardwinning Plymouth Citybus and the new Go Cornwall Bus (acquired in 2020).

BCR Associates A procurement consultancy delivering a fullymanaged service offering specialist support and proactive guidance across all non-core costs incl. energy, comms, insurance and business supplies.

The Game Changer (Entrepreneur of the Year) Sponsored by pbmedia Claire Robinson (Extra Help) Claire set up Extra Help in 2010. It now offers its services to approximately 3.3 million homes across the UK, making it one of the largest home-help franchises in the UK.

Marc Astley From brand strategy to content creation, multi-channel marketing campaigns to media relations, Astley Media will elevate your brand with its award-winning approach.

The Steve Whiteway Award For the most significant individual contribution to the community

James Thomas (JET Engineering System Solutions) James is the founder and CEO of JET Engineering, a market leader in the design and provision of 5G technology and solutions to provide highbandwidth, low-latency, and resilient data transmission in challenging frontier (maritime and remote) environments.

Douglas Kerr Sonia and Alex Hosking of Collectrical CIC Steve Warren-Brown

For more information, please email Jasmine Peglar at

The Team Builder (Workplace Wellbeing Award) Sponsored by Classic Builders Bailey Partnership Consultants Established for almost 50 years, this awardwinning construction consultancy provides design and management services across the built environment.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Exeter’s new £8m bus station


The £8m Exeter Bus Station officially opened to passengers on July 25. The new station – a striking glass-fronted building in the heart of the city centre – replaces the current bus station which was constructed in the 1960s. This fit-for-purpose modern facility will promote green public transport in the city and rural communities for decades to come. The new Bus Station offers a massive improvement for passengers, with features such as glass-fronted covered waiting and boarding areas and highquality facilities. Exeter City Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bialyk said: “As a former bus driver this new station is obviously very close to my heart, and I am delighted that the City Council has been able to deliver it. “It is right next door to the new leisure centre St Sidwell’s Point, which will open later this year, and I couldn’t be more pleased that we have been able to provide a brand new facility worthy of our great city. “This station looks fantastic and is a great new gateway to Exeter. The old bus station did a job for many years but is well past its sell by date and to have a brand new facility is fantastic news for Exeter and the whole


region.” His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales met transport workers and Exeter’s ‘Net Zero Heroes’ during a visit to the new Exeter Bus Station. The new facility will be operated by Stagecoach South West. Stagecoach South West Managing Director Mike Watson said: “We’re so excited to open our new Bus Station at the heart of Exeter city centre. “It’s a great time to be welcoming more people back to the bus as restrictions across the UK are lifted. We’re delighted to be able to offer our passengers a brand new modern facility packed with travel information. “We’ve made a significant investment in the latest technology to display clear departure information. We hope that our passengers will find traveling with us is even easier than before.” Doug Lloyd, operations director at Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, said: “We are delighted to have completed the new bus station in Exeter. “As a vital transport link for the South West, connecting rural and urban communities, we are proud to have delivered these first class facilities that have been specifically designed to support ease of travel. The station is filled

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

with natural light as a result of its glass front, the building is spacious and accessible and it has plenty of seating areas. “We are proud to have worked with our local supply chain partners to deliver this important project which we hope will bring benefits to the Exeter community for years to come.” The new station, built on the same site as the old station, was funded by Exeter City Council and a £800,000 grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) ‘Getting Building Fund’. and its people can work together. The ‘Park in the Sea’ will transform lives, employment, education, volunteering and environment, re-establishing the bond between people and place. It is estimated the grant will support the development of 20 new ‘blue’ enterprises and create 464 jobs.

Professor Richard Thompson OBE FRS, Director of the Marine Institute at the University, said: “For well over a century, the remarkable natural resource of Plymouth Sound has attracted marine scientists from all over the world. “What is particularly exciting about this funding is that it will allow us to work together across the city to develop projects that connect the land and sea as a system, and convey that sense of wonder to a wider audience, particularly those who live in the city. There are amazing opportunities through science, health and the arts – literally, an ocean of potential.” Roger Maslin, Ocean Conservation Trust and National Marine Aquarium CEO, said: “We are delighted to hear the news that Plymouth Sound National Marine Park has received National Lottery Heritage Fund support. Our conservation work is centred around people taking positive action, so we look forward to helping as many people as possible experience and connect with the Ocean here in Plymouth. “As an Ocean Conservation Charity, we are delighted to continue our conservation, education and engagement programmes here in the Southwest and will continue supporting the fantastic team at Plymouth City Council to ensure that both locals and visitors connect with the National Marine Park in new and exciting ways.”


Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

awarded £9.5 million Plymouth Sound, the home of UK’s first National Marine Park, has been awarded £9.5 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to make its vision of a park in the sea a reality. People across the city and surrounding the Sound are celebrating after learning the bid for the Heritage Horizon Awards has been successful. Nick Kelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “This is truly a game-changer for Plymouth. For too long Plymouth hasn’t fully embraced the sea and its waterfront – this funding means we can now put the Sound right at the heart of our plans for Plymouth. “We are in a unique position, within a unique landscape – fantastic wildlife, an historic waterfront, rich maritime heritage and cutting edge marine research, but we need to look after this special place. We need people from all walks of life to get in it, on it, talk about it and as a city cherish the Sound for future generations.” Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park will reconnect an entire city to the sea, the marine environment and its history. The bid is based on three key elements: • Physical infrastructure – creating gateways to the park with improved facilities at Tinside cove and pool, Mount Batten Peninsula and watersports centre, the National Marine Aquarium, Mount Edgcumbe as well as enhancing community access points throughout the park. • Social infrastructure – a city wide community engagement programme designed to get all Plymothians out in, on, under and next to the water and develop new ‘green’ marine employment opportunities. • Digital park – using the latest tech to create new ways of engaging people with the park and learning about its hidden treasures without getting wet.

and happier as well as tackle some of the big issues that are threatening the Sound and our environment. It’s exciting stuff.” The bid has cross party support. Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Tudor Evans, said: “This is just epic news. The Park in the Sea really is a people’s park and over the next two years residents and businesses across the city and in surrounding communities – not just those living close to the waterfront – will be encouraged to explore what the Sound has to offer and then shape the project.” The project outlines five ‘gateways’ to the park – each with a particular focus that will inspire more people to explore, connect and enjoy the sea in all sorts of different ways. • • • •

Tinside – for health and wellbeing activities National Marine Aquarium – a hub for nature and the environment Mountbatten – active recreation Mount Edgcumbe – heritage – learning about the Sound’s epic history including over 600 wrecks that lie beneath the waves Smart Sound – digital harnessing the power of the latest digital technology

The park aims to change how a landscape and its people can work together. The ‘Park in the Sea’ will transform lives, employment, education, volunteering and environment, re-establishing the bond between people and place. It is estimated the grant will support

the development of 20 new ‘blue’ enterprises and create 464 jobs. Professor Richard Thompson OBE FRS, Director of the Marine Institute at the University, said: “For well over a century, the remarkable natural resource of Plymouth Sound has attracted marine scientists from all over the world. “What is particularly exciting about this funding is that it will allow us to work together across the city to develop projects that connect the land and sea as a system, and convey that sense of wonder to a wider audience, particularly those who live in the city. There are amazing opportunities through science, health and the arts – literally, an ocean of potential.” Roger Maslin, Ocean Conservation Trust and National Marine Aquarium CEO, said: “We are delighted to hear the news that Plymouth Sound National Marine Park has received National Lottery Heritage Fund support. Our conservation work is centred around people taking positive action, so we look forward to helping as many people as possible experience and connect with the Ocean here in Plymouth. “As an Ocean Conservation Charity, we are delighted to continue our conservation, education and engagement programmes here in the Southwest and will continue supporting the fantastic team at Plymouth City Council to ensure that both locals and visitors connect with the National Marine Park in new and exciting ways.”

Cllr Kelly added: “The scale of what we want to achieve is vast. We have a two year development period where we will be talking to everyone and anyone, shaping and testing ideas before the five year delivery plan gets into full swing. “This administration is committed to listening to what people want and this project has enormous potential to unite and inspire people, enabling everyone to feel healthier

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



New state-of-the-art South Devon Marine Academy to close skills gap Discover how South Devon College is helping meet the demands of the changing marine and maritime sector. Historically, Devon has been 30,000 people earn a living in the sector disadvantaged economically compared to and that number is set to grow.  other parts of southern England. The decline Steve Caunter, Assistant Principal at South of several core industries, including mining Devon College, explains: “The maritime sector and farming, have been mostly to blame.  is forecast to grow 15% by 2023. But things are really looking up. South “Maritime is one of Britain’s biggest Devon has long been a key location within industries, bigger than rail, air, agriculture and the marine and maritime industry in the UK, the creative industries. In 2017 it contributed and today the connection with the sea is as over £46 billion in GVA and supported 1.1 important as ever.  million UK jobs.”  The area has a rich maritime heritage,  Working closely with the site owner, hundreds of miles of coastline, worldPremier Marina, and many stakeholders renowned research institutions and a large and partners, South Devon Marine and growing network of sector leading, Academy campus will be sited within the innovative marine companies.  phase 1 commercial building and will offer This autumn, on a historic its students a vibrant and flexible education, former ship building yard, in a £75 million development on the banks of the River Dart, the South Devon Marine Academy - part of South Devon College - opens its doors.  In the planning for 10 years, this stateof-the-art facility at Noss on Dart aims to close the skills gap and meet the demands of a changing marine and maritime sector.  Marine Academy Simulation room Across the South West, approximately


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

with strong industry relationships and be a centre of excellence within the maritime sector. By offering students of all ages top-rate facilities, including a marine engineering workshop, research and design facility, innovation hub, navigation suite and a bridge simulator, as well as light, open-plan classrooms and break out rooms and easy access to the water, it’s hoped more people will choose this sector for their career.  Every element of the curriculum at South Devon Marine Academy has been designed around the needs of the marine and maritime sector and will deliver training in new and emerging technologies including autonomous vessels and electric/hybrid propulsion. Autonomous vessels is a fast-emerging sub-industry in the maritime sector with projections that it will be worth $136 billion globally by 2030. There is a myriad of fulltime courses on offer at South Devon Marine Academy, from Level 2 and 3 courses in Marine Engineering, Maritime Skills to a brand new Commercial

SOUTH DEVON COLLEGE Fishing Apprenticeship (starting in 2022), alongside apprenticeships in Boat building, Warehousing and Composites to degree-level qualifications in Marine Technologies, Coastal Engineering and more. Additionally, there is a comprehensive suite of short courses aimed at adults for reskilling or updating training. These include navigation, own boat tuition and electronic systems familiarisation composites, sea survival training and leadership programmes. South Devon College Marine Academy is an RYA Training Centre, offering on-the-water training such as powerboat handling and VHF radio certificates. Responsible for facilitating 95% of the UK’s global trade, maritime - probably without most people realising it - touches every part of everyone’s lives. Put simply, without maritime, half the world would freeze and the other half would starve. From working at sea or in a port, designing a superyacht or navigating inland waterways, maritime is big business.  With the sector expected to double in size to $3 trillion by 2030, the industry needs the next generation to help shape its future.  For anyone deciding to pursue a career in the marine and maritime sector, there’s a range of highly-skilled, productive and wellpaid jobs available. From commercial fishing or working on leisure boats, to inland

waterways or ports and harbours, the sector is the lifeblood of the UK economy.  Every year, 65 million passengers and 500 million tonnes of cargo move through UK ports. Plymouth port is one of the UK’s most historic, with a rich maritime history spanning many centuries. Today it contributes over £95 million to the UK economy, handling around 80,000 tonnes of cargo every year.   However, some areas of the maritime sector are seeing a great deal of change. Through the new Commercial Fishing Apprenticeship as well as other specialist programmes, South Devon Marine Academy aims to promote opportunities and support people moving into the fishing industry.   Steve Caunter says: “We want to support

the south west sea fishing sector to enhance recruitment, retention and professionalism through a range of structured training pathways. “The Academy will offer accessible training for entry to careers at sea, rigorous safety training, environmental awareness and leadership and management training.” With state-of-the-art facilities, based at a stunning location on the banks of the River Dart, the South Devon Marine Academy aims to close the skills gap in the marine and maritime sector and help continue the historic connection the area has with the sea.  If you want a career in the maritime or marine sector and want to know how South Devon Marine Academy can help you achieve this, visit

An artists impression of Noss On Dart

Autumn 2021 2021 Chamber Chamber Profile Profile Autumn





Accountancy in the “new normal” Stuart Carrington, of Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants, explores how the pandemic has changed the world of accounting forever. We are now 18 months into the biggest upheaval to our world almost any of us can remember. This side of World War II, perhaps only the Winter of Discontent and the three-day week have even come close. Yet, dreadful as those shocks were, there was always a feeling that things would eventually return to normal. This time round there is still much debate about what “normal” means any more. Unlike in the past, this shock has occurred at a time of unparalleled technological advance. Covid has given added oomph to the disruptors of the digital age. Nothing is as it was before and the changes we have all made in our business, consumer and communication habits mean it is very unlikely to revert back. The only constant is the need to adapt and evolve, and to do it as quickly as possible.

Is my accountant a dinosaur? Every 10-year-old knows dinosaurs became extinct because they failed to adapt to a world that suddenly changed. Perhaps thinking of Covid as a giant, planet-destroying asteroid, is a little excessive but, for some industries, the recent changes will certainly be as seismic. Accountants, like all businesses, are subject to these shocks but the good ones will be quick to recognise approaching change and adapt to the new circumstances. So, far from the traditional comedy image as the sort of grey men and women who


might find it hardest to adapt, the profession has (while embracing the stereotype) shown it couldn’t be further from the truth. It has adapted to weather multiple storms over the last 140 years since the founding of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales). Why does that even matter? Well, at a time when businesses are turning to their accountant as their most trusted adviser, they want to see us taking a lead and having our own plans in place to evolve. As accountants we need to better support our is clients and to continue to essential that help them your accountant thrive in the Westcott we have “new normal”. is not a plans already For the in place to make dinosaur sake of your sure that our clients own business, it continue to thrive. is essential that your During August all of our accountant is not a dinosaur. partners gave up one morning Give them a call. Ask them how a week, completely free, so that they are adapting. Challenge our clients could do just that. We them to explain how that benefits are happy to expand that offer to you. businesses that are not yet clients. Many of the initiatives we are rolling out in my own firm, for Is “my” part of the example, were started before economy doing well? Covid, because we saw change The economy is only just coming, but the recent crisis has starting to take its first steps certainly accelerated them. back to recovery, however, with The following are some an upheaval of this magnitude it examples, but there are many, is going to take time for the dust many more: to settle. • Embracing digital GDP figures would suggest bookkeeping solutions the economy is bouncing back • Remote meetings (even if but what the overall picture tells everyone pretends to hate us about the real businesses them) and real people we act for is still • Our own suite of apps for uncertain. What is clear is that key business sectors some sectors are booming whilst • Flexible workplaces others have genuine problems. • Flexible working Our role is therefore to help our • Committing to added clients understand how their own, value in everything we do personal, part of the economy is The economy is only just progressing. starting to take its first steps I’m fortunate that Thomas back to recovery but at Thomas

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

Westcott is well placed to help in that respect, with well over 12,000 clients, serviced from multiple locations across the South West – and connections across the UK and worldwide. That gives us a vast dataset we can draw on when, for example, a rural business in Mid Devon, a café in Torquay or a pub in Plymouth asks, “What should I be doing?”.

And the big risk? It is all too easy to be unthinkingly positive. Covid has depleted government reserves and put millions of businesses on to financial life support with grants and furloughs and loans. This is not a minor hiccup and we all need to be aware that there are financial risks as we move to the “new normal”. Keep thinking of the business fundamentals – watch the cash flow and be keen to adapt. There will be opportunities for all but it is important to be in a position to seize them when you can. Having the right accountant who is, as we say at Thomas Westcott ‘by your side, on your side’, is going to be an important part of that.

Commercial property rent arrears following the COVID-19 pandemic Jonathan Bouchta is a Partner and Head of Property Litigation at GA Solicitors.

As a property disputes lawyer, a large proportion of my time during the last 18 months has been spent advising both landlords and tenants on rent arrears that have accrued since the start of the pandemic. Looking back to last March, the Government had to act quickly to help business tenants

who could not pay their rent due to lockdown(s). The Coronavirus Act 2020, amongst other things, restricted a landlord’s ability to forfeit commercial leases due to non-payment of rent (forfeiture allows landlords to terminate the lease by peaceably re-entering the premises and taking possession). This restriction was extended on various occasions and continues until March 25, 2022 although, as an aside, landlords can still seek to forfeit where there are other breaches of the lease. There are ongoing issues between many landlords and tenants regarding rent arrears (which can be substantial) that have accrued during the course of the pandemic and the periods

Tracked and accountable door to door leaflet distribution. Since 1985 we've built our business on a firm foundation of reliability and good customer care, providing an end to end service from design through to distribution.

of lockdown. In June 2021, the Government announced that it planned to bring in a binding arbitration process to deal with claims/ disputes between landlords and their tenants regarding those arrears. On August 4, 2021, a policy statement was published which provides some further clues on how this may work. The details will be made known in due course. It is understood that arrears accrued during COVID-19 restrictions are to be ‘ringfenced’ and the parties must engage in a mandatory arbitration process if negotiations prove fruitless. It is also made clear that tenants should now be paying rent given that all restrictions

have been lifted. If they have not done so already, landlords should seek advice now to determine what action could/should be taken. Similarly, tenants should seek advice on how to protect their position and ability to trade from the premises. An experienced property litigator with two decades of experience, I can be contacted on 01752 203500 or by emailing jonathan.bouchta@GAsolicitors. com

“we see Cornerstone as our most trusted partner when it comes to getting our message out to our clients across Plymouth.” ANDREW SCOWCROFT Director, Foot Solutions (Trust Pilot Review)

We can assist with planning your delivery areas from our citywide monthly coverage, targeted to residential areas of Plymouth, Saltash, Torpoint and Ivybridge. We work with you to create multidrop and single leaflet campaigns that meet your budget and aims.

From design through to print through to distribution your leaflets are in safe hands.

Contact Chris Etherington

01752 225623

Cornerstone Vision, 28 Old Park Road, Plymouth PL3 4PY

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



BUSINESS HEROES - Helping our communities thrive Some 100,000 social enterprises operate across the UK, and there are around 200 in Plymouth alone, working across a wide range of sectors such as education, health, arts, environment, food and social care. That number is growing all the time and collectively these businesses employ around 9,000 people, bringing in an income of more than £580 million to the local economy. Our new Business Heroes programme gives Devon & Plymouth Chamber members the opportunity to connect with some of these exciting social enterprises. This exciting scheme has been created with the help of the expert team at Plymouth Social Enterprise Network.

Our first Business Hero: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Our first Business Hero is Frazer-Nash Consultancy, who have funded 10 memberships for charities and social enterprises. These organisations will now be able to access the full range of Chamber services, meaning they have a huge advantage and the opportunity to thrive in a post-pandemic world. Frazer-Nash helps organisations deliver innovative systems, engineering and technology solutions to make lives safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable. They have some of engineering’s most talented people, doing what they love the most – solving your problems and adding real value. They can help you achieve your goals, as they excel in solving complex problems – the ones that require the right combination of intellect, experience and innovation. Frazer Nash has worked with the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network to support the following social enterprises.

Pollenize CIC Pollenize are thrilled to have been selected by Frazer-Nash for this sponsorship and we’re excited for the opportunities it will present for our small social enterprise. There are so many great initiatives in our city, so it means the world to us knowing that our work within the local community to combat pollinator decline is being recognised and supported with such generosity!

Matthew Elmes from Pollenize CIC. Picture by

Simply Counselling Simply Counselling is a Community Interest Company established in 2006 to offer affordable quality counselling for everyone living and working in Plymouth and its surrounds. Starting in the police cells in Devonport Guildhall, it now has more than 30 counsellors and is based in premises in Stoke Village.

Bikespace Bikespace supports young people in education with vocational training. They learn how to refurbish bicycles for the community and gain valuable experience to help them into further education and employment. Bikespace Cargo is your partner for urban logistics. It supplies, service and loan modern electric assist cargo bikes to provide cost-effective, reliable, efficient and low-impact delivery solutions for your business.

Farleys Food Co-operative Farleys Food Co-op is a grocery store run by its members. And its members are also the owners. The vision is to see a Plymouth that has a food co-op or similar in every local community – providing access to fresh and mostly sustainable produce. Working towards a physically and mentally healthy society is the end goal.


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

BUSINESS HEROES It’s All About You Wellbeing It’s All About You Wellbeing was established in 2008 by Max Cohen to enable people in Devon and Cornwall to find LGBTQ+ -affirmative counsellors and other wellbeing practitioners. Max says: “The sponsorship will enable us to highlight the issues affecting the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities in the South West, whilst also celebrating the positives.”

Nudge Builders Nudge Community Builders was set up in 2017 by local people living in Stonehouse, Plymouth. After volunteering in the community for over 10 years, the team kick-started the Union Street Party, created Union Corner and were inspired and asked by our community to do more. Their vision is to make Union Street a street the whole world loves. Photo by Nudge Community/Dom Moore

The Data Place The Data Place is a social enterprise made up of data scientists, designers, community builders and strategists helping people and places thrive. The team applied for and received the Social Enterprise Mark in early 2020, in recognition of their focus on generating positive social and environmental impacts, particularly with data.

Diversity Business Incubator (DBI) The Diversity Business Incubator is a Business Hub for Minority Ethnicity entrepreneurs. Our community is anchored by our faith and helping one and all. The DBI can assist you more than ever with business advice, finding grant money for start-ups or already existing businesses, especially as we move into the ‘new normal’.

Fotonow Fotonow delivers transformative media projects across the South West. Its work supports individuals to develop confidence and discover new pathways. By working closely with communities, Fotonow empowers them to tell their own stories. Its annual social impact reports detail the difference it makes.

Devon Environment Foundation Given the scale of the climate and nature emergencies, Devon Environment Foundation’s ambition is to protect and restore at least 30% of Devon’s land and water by 2030. The team will work with local partners to implement bold nature regeneration projects that can be replicated and scaled to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Spotlight on Brexit impact and the next steps on way forward British Chambers of Commerce is engaging with the Government to look for a more positive and constructive approach Six months on from the end of the transition period and with the focus on economic recovery from the pandemic, it might seem to some that the issue of Brexit has faded into the background. But many businesses, and their customers, are still dealing with the reality of the significant changes ushered in on January 1. Tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized exporters have spent months grappling with the blizzard of new red tape and costs of getting goods to firms and people in the EU. The introduction of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with Europe has created a whole new range of operational procedures - whether that’s dealing with import VAT, customs declarations, or safety and security certificates. Although the situation for outbound goods at GB ports has been better than the Government’s own reasonable worst-case scenarios, there is still inconsistency in the way customs rules are applied on arrival. Some of that has been mitigated by welcome, although temporary, easements such as on proof of origin of goods. However, in October and January inbound GB border and customs controls will begin to apply to goods being imported from the EU, involving billions of pounds in new customs and regulatory business compliance costs downstream in sourcing and supply chains.  Some of these costs are short-term, others involve deep structural changes to business operations. Between the first quarters of 2018 and 2021, trade with the EU fell by around a fifth. The BCC’s (British Chambers of Commerce) Trade Confidence Outlook for the first quarter of this year found that 41% of almost 3,000 responding companies said export sales had fallen. The ongoing pandemic and the new UK-EU trading terms were the key drivers of this.  It is essential that a more positive and constructive approach is taken by both sides to tackle the unresolved challenges the TCA is causing firms, both in the UK and Europe. For example, businesses sending e-commerce goods from GB to NI also face considerable new burdens on customs declarations and processes in the autumn without long-term solutions in place.


But there are also signs of progress. Confirmation of the EU’s adequacy decision this week is a positive development: greater certainty in facilitating the twoway flow of data across borders is vital for trade to function effectively. However, the implementation of the TCA still needs to be smarter to minimise costs and checks for businesses so that we can start to rebuild the UK-EU trade gap back better.   The British Chambers of Commerce is engaging with the Government on the ideas that can achieve this. First, grants for SMEs from the Business Brexit Support Fund need to cover the real costs of changes to business operations brought about by the TCA. If necessary, they should be increased. Second, on goods, renewed efforts to secure a mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment are key to keeping costs down on product standards, marking and labelling regimes for manufacturers and suppliers. Third, a summit on e-commerce needs to be held to bring industry and government together to find solutions to logjams, such as import VAT, which are stifling trade. Finally, on hiring, we are already seeing shortages of drivers and workers in key sectors such as hospitality. Many workers from the EU went back to their home countries during the pandemic and may not return. Issues on skills shortages and labour

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

mobility red tape need to be addressed. As the economy reopens, firms will discover the reduced ability to offer services in the EU, and the effects of permit requirements and visa rules on stays in individual EU member states. The Government needs to grasp these issues by working hand in hand with UK businesses to champion a mutual recognition agenda on professional qualifications with the EU.   The BCC remains optimistic on the future prospects for UK businesses trading with Europe and the rest of the world. But it will require both the UK and the EU to work together on an ambitious agenda to fully embed, and build upon, the TCA. There must also be a renewed focus on export promotion in UK trade policy. If this can be done, then the coming years will offer a positive direction for business and a lasting recovery from the economic effects of the pandemic.


From Earth to Shelf Rebecca Day 360 scours the globe sourcing ingredients, then builds humanitarian projects for ingredients sustainability. From Earth to Shelf, Rebecca’s humanitarian projects cover remote off-grid countries from Malekula island in South Pacific to high altitudes in Mount Everest region. Today from my NW Turret Mount Edgcumbe, I am coordinating 1,800kg quarterly food delivery parcels I give to 90 elderly and disabled Sherpas and mountain people living in high-altitude villages of ASL 3500m to ASL 3995m for food delivery parcels can only be done via Yak trains and our team of porters, climbers when they are not guiding international climbers to Summit Mount Everest. They are helping me deliver across extreme remote mountain villages. It is important to me to buy all food from local growers and farmers. Rice, I buy from the subtropical regions of Nepal direct from rice paddy fields and helicopter underslung loads which meet the Yak trains to carry up higher into mountains. While sourcing ingredients Seabuckthorn and Juniper berry grown on mountain ridges ASL 4,200m I came across Fu Tshering Sherpa

74-year-old living as an outcast in a cave, so I decided to build him a home in the heart of Khumjung village with the help of the village we made it happen. Building humanitarian projects is crucial for ingredient sustainability and we teach the locals how to look after their environment, the resources at their doorstep and the value each ingredient has which it gives the Sherpas a better quality of life with an income and opportunities for their children to go to school and receive a hot lunch which I sponsor to 60 mountain children in Thame ASL 3,900m. Sales from the Sherpa Rub funds all the projects in the region. In South Pacific Remote Island of Malekula we source Tamanu, supporting the local mothers and their children who walk along collect the Tamanu nuts from the shorelines and we buy whatever they can collect cash paid per weight, which is then dried in the hot sun, peeled and pressed to extract the oil. Our Sandalwood comes from heartwood Sandalwood plantations in main island Port Vila Vanuatu both by nature and replanting we always seed replant making sure we keep the from Earth to Shelf cycle going. Every country we source from, we build projects

and look how we can help the local people. One of my favourite places for an abundance of ingredients is a very remote place called Socotra Island for Dragon’s blood (a tree that bleeds red when bark falls or cut) and Frankincense. Closer to home, as an expat and after living 30 years overseas, I am scouring Great British lands, coastlines for ingredients and then formulating them into new products and collections. Sponsoring Ken Hames MBE and Conservation In Action. Ken set up for British and Commonwealth Veterans. Ken brings a unique skillset to Rebecca Day 360, especially when on expeditions in very remote off-grid countries, enabling the protection of people and their rights as well as protecting endangered habitats and species. Conservation in Action also transitions and retrains Veterans through land management accredited courses which we fully support and sponsor. Rebecca also offers a consultancy service: covering contract developing, R&D, exclusive collections, custom blends to green alternatives, finding solutions from bi-products either developing into innovative products or recycling back into the manufacturing process for zero waste. Sales from Rebecca Day 360 products and collections fund all our humanitarian projects From Earth to Shelf which are available online at or at our Showroom: The Barrow Centre, Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Cremyll, PL10 1HZ.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile




to innovate with the R&D Solutions Fund By Rich Adams, Business Engagement Manager, University of Plymouth The pandemic has had a seismic impact upon our economy. Many of our industries and sectors have had to make rapid changes in order to weather the worst of it – or simply survive. In these circumstances, it’s only natural that companies shift into business continuity mode and scale back activities such as


investment and development. But equally, it’s a time when our economy needs innovation and bold new ideas to help it to ‘build back better’. That’s why, as part of its ongoing support of the business community, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Plymouth launched the Research and

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

Development Solutions Fund this year. Delivered in partnership with Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants, the R&D Solutions Fund has been designed to stimulate industrial collaborations and knowledge transfer opportunities between researchers and businesses, aiming to solve specific business problems. It is also a catalyst for businesses to gain even greater access to the University’s facilities such as the COAST Lab, the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and the Digital Fabrication Laboratory. Businesses from any industry sector or geographic location were eligible to apply in partnership with a Plymouth academic, with individual funds of £20,000 available from the project total of £200,000. The response has left us in no doubt that there’s an appetite for research and development within the business community, and a willingness to work with researchers across all sectors – health, science, engineering, and

creative economies. And it’s that breadth of expertise, and variety of sectors taking part, that has impressed us the most. In the first round, we awarded funding to five projects including one that is now developing a new prototype of an autonomous agricultural robot able to navigate uneven terrain, and another – with Honitonbased AlphaFox Systems Ltd – to develop unique non-forgeable identity badges, using 3D printing, for the defence sector. Perhaps unsurprisingly, several projects had a distinctively medical flavour. For example, one of our leading molecular microbiologists, Dr Tina Joshi, is working with Finsen Technologies in London, on the efficacy of Ultra Violet-C technologies on decontaminating clinical gowns and surfaces from pathogens. Another sees our agri-tech team in The Plant Factory collaborating with Cornish Essential Oils to examine the antimicrobial properties of their products, and their application

SECTOR FOCUS: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT to mantle cell lymphoma. And a third involves the development of a proof-of-concept for a new form of personalised treatment for lung cancer, which in turn will support future, and larger, grant applications. It’s that element of seed-corn funding for proofs of concept that is another important aspect to this story. For some projects, £20,000 is a substantial sum that has enabled the partners to realise their aim. For others, it’s the primer they need to establish the building blocks of something bigger or more long-term. A great example of that stood out in the second round, with a collaboration between international civil engineering and environmental hydraulics agency, HR Wallingford Ltd, and Dr Robert Schindler, a Research Associate in our School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Their project will investigate whether biopolymers – a natural biological glue – might be an effective tool to prevent sediment erosion

around structures in the marine environment. Whether you’re talking about a windfarm in the sea or a bridge support in a river, engineers have to employ expensive and potentially environmentally damaging mitigation strategies to counter sediment erosion. What this project will do is investigate whether, instead of armouring the surface, it’s possible to modify the sediment itself to make it more resistant to erosive forces. Using the University’s COAST Lab, the team will mix different biopolymers with sand at different concentrations to examine what force is required to erode each mixture. They will also test durability of biopolymers over a much longer timescale to determine how long they will persist in the seabed. The R&D Solutions Fund will enable the team to establish whether they can effectively mimic the natural processes of those aquatic organisms that produce biopolymers – and

hopefully pave the way to bigger grant applications and collaborations. Certainly, there is every reason to think that agencies such as Natural England and the Ocean Conservation Trust will monitor the results with interest. So, the Fund becomes the catalyst to bring together

academic expertise and business skill and knowledge to create something truly innovative. In the process, we see knowledge exchange and the seeds sown for further collaboration, and ultimately, innovation. And that is surely good news for the economy.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Freeports – part of the post-pandemic British Revival Shining the spotlight on how Freeports can benefit the South West and beyond, with Western Union In the Queen’s speech, the UK government announced several measures to help the country bounce back from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit. One such announcement was the establishment of new Freeports as a means of boosting trade, creating jobs, and stimulating investment. Freeports are designated areas where different customs rules apply – so they are effectively outside the customs border and are normally located around shipping ports or airports. Thus far, the Freeports announced in England will be located at Plymouth, East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, the Humber region, the Liverpool City Region, the Solent, Thames and Teesside. There are also plans for further sites in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The idea is that the Freeports could boost trade and deliver real value to the UK economy over the next decade. They have been positioned as an opportunity for businesses that are hungry for a new challenge. It is hoped Freeports – which can be up to 45km (27 miles) across – will help regenerate deprived areas, as part of the Government’s ‘levelling-up agenda’. Western Union Business Solutions’ work in Forex and global payments means that it extensively supports industries and organisations that trade internationally. One of its partners, Mersey Maritime – who represents hundreds of local maritime businesses – has welcomed the news about Freeports. Their Chief Executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said: “Initiatives such as this


are crucial to the continued growth of the maritime sector. We are excited about the prospects for investment, job creation and the development of coastal areas. “We’ve estimated that this has the potential to create 14,000 new Liverpool City Region jobs as well as a GVA boost of £850m and incentives to hit net zero carbon targets. If you look at it at a national scale, those figures are even more appealing to the British economy as a whole.”

New prospects for international trade Goods that come into a Freeport are exempt from tariffs that would normally be paid to the government. These taxes are only paid if the goods leave the freeport and are moved elsewhere in the UK. Otherwise, they can be sent overseas tariff-free. There is also a lot less red tape involved in the importexport process, meaning operations are smoother and much speedier. All of which presents an exciting new opportunity for importers, exporters and manufacturers. By choosing to operate within one of the Freeports, they can make, import or export goods tariff-free and with minimal regulation, achieving a very tangible competitive edge. There is good news for many other businesses as well, such as those supporting the suppliers and manufacturers, like shipping companies, construction companies and service providers. The hope is that the Freeports will serve as national hubs for global trade and investment across the UK, promote regeneration and job creation,

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

and create centres for innovation, bringing prosperity to the surrounding areas. In England, companies inside the sites will be offered temporary tax breaks. These include reductions to the tax companies pay on their existing property, and when they buy new buildings. Furthermore, Freeport employers will be able to pay less national insurance for all new workers, from April 2022. Companies can also benefit from Duty inversion; this means that a company which manufactures in the Freeport before shipping to the UK domestic market will pay lower import duties. Duty exemption for re-exports is an added benefit as the import of goods to the Freeport, manufacture in the Freeport and subsequent export of a finished product would not involve UK import duties at any stage.

When overseas trade is a new venture For any company, developing business relationships outside the UK is a big step, and it can seem daunting. There can be language and cultural barriers to overcome, and there is the challenge of making or receiving payments through unfamiliar systems and in foreign currencies. When they need to make an international payment, many companies simply turn to their bank. As payments become more frequent however, it pays to go to a specialist foreign exchange supplier, where the

SECTOR FOCUS: MARINE transactions will be in the hands of experts who really understand foreign exchange and overseas banking systems. Their knowledge and experience can make payments quicker and smoother. For example, they will make sure the fastest possible routing is used, so that payments arrive the next day and don’t run the risk of being held up in remote banking systems. They will also be on hand with advice and guidance, so their customers can make informed decisions and be fully in control. Ensure peace of mind when dealing in foreign currencies Currency risk cannot be overlooked when businesses are trading internationally, and it is important to protect your bottom line profits against movements in exchange rates. Having the right forex partner will help your company to develop a bespoke currency risk management strategy that is right for your business. This means your cash flow can be more stable, your business forecasts more reliable and your profits better protected. Your currency exchange partner should also be committed to compliance and experienced

in international payments across the globe. They should be able to support your teams and help you keep abreast of constantly changing international regulations.

Western Union Business Solutions – putting you in control of your international transactions Western Union Business Solutions is trusted by more than 60,000 businesses to move money around the world, and can help you to develop an international trade strategy that really works for you. Its extensive global network, spanning 200 territories and 130 currencies, combined with knowledge of local markets mean that companies around the world count on the firm as their global payments partner. With fast, cost-effective payment solutions and customised cash management strategies, the team helps organisations of any size and in any industry achieve solid results. Chris Shirling-Rooke continued: “As a

provider of payment services across borders and currencies, Western Union Business Solutions is a trusted partner to maritime businesses in the UK. We are happy to have partnered with them particularly at this time, because their expertise in currency exchange can help our members to better manage currency risk, and simplify international payments. “For the drive and ambition of ‘Global Britain’ to become a reality, businesses tell us that they want access to the best possible, trusted and specialist support. Our confidence in Western Union Business Solutions means we have no hesitation in recommending our members and partners utilise their expertise, too.”

Your partner in international payments If you are looking for world-class business and cross-border payments services, or counsel on Freeports and what they could mean for you, please contact the Western Union Business Solutions partnerships team at

Autumn Autumn 2021 2021 Chamber Chamber Profile Profile



Helping customers make smarter mobility choices Enterprise® is a proud new member of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. Here, Phillip Wright talks about the company’s commitment to businesses across the South West and beyond. Though we’re new to the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, we’ve been part of the fabric of life in the region for many years. Our first branch opened in 1997, and since then we’ve grown to serve the expanding mobility needs of businesses and residents in the area. Today we operate nine sites in Devon, supplying a broad range of vehicles – from small cars right up to 44-tonne articulated lorries – on flexible terms that meet the needs of our varying customers. Across the UK, we’re well known as a car rental operator and, as the reference to HGVs above suggests, we’re also becoming increasingly synonymous with the provision of complex commercial vehicle fleets as well (in fact, we operate one of the largest fleets of specialist and commercial vehicles in the UK). What many people don’t know, however, is that as well as being the UK’s (and the world’s) largest car rental operator, Enterprise is also an industry leader in mobility and technology. For instance, you may not be aware that Enterprise is working with private and public sector organisations as well as the Department for Transport and local transport authorities to deliver on the Government’s decarbonisation strategy. An Enterprise vehicle is typically around eight years younger than the average UK vehicle and therefore, thanks to advances in


technology, significantly cleaner and safer to drive. As well as leading the transition to more sustainable and zero-emission alternatives, we’re also using technology to help our

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

customers make smarter mobility choices. We’ve integrated journey planning with public and private transport networks (which includes our own growing fleet of on-street Car Club vehicles as well as bike and scooter hire providers) into a single app designed to simplify access to, and booking and payment of, shared transport. The goal is to make accessing shared transport easier and more affordable for everyone, in the process reducing the number of miles driven, single occupancy journeys by car and ultimately, the number of cars on our roads. If you’re considering how best to structure mobility for your organisation in this rapidly changing environment of hybrid work-life patterns and new legislation or would simply like to find out more about what’s going on in the world of travel and transport, we’d love to hear from you. 07391 865324


Reduce your costs on the pathway to net zero For the last few years, Devon Energy Partnership (DEP) have been focused on reducing carbon emissions for business. As a new Partner of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, we want to share some ideas how investors and local businesses can reduce costs and navigate their pathway to net zero. What is Net Zero? In May 2019, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) - a non-departmental public body that advises the government on the climate recommended that the UK should aim to be net zero on all greenhouse gases by 2050. This would keep the UK in line with the commitments it made as part of the 2016 Paris Agreement to keep global warming under two degrees.

The current drivers • • • • •

Investor requirements Legislation – ESOS/SECR - Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Minimum EPC rating - ‘E’ currently & proposed EPC rating ‘B’ by 2030 Risk - Impact on valuation vs cost of retrofit measures to achieve standards Accelerated building obsolescence / stranded assets


easy steps to Net Zero

1 Reduce costs. Make sure you are in contract on a good rate.




Identify how to reduce operational energy use now and in the future.

Increase on-site renewable energy generation and off-site supply.

Monitor and Measure energyuse in real-time on an overall portfolio and individual asset level.

Step 3 - On roof solar PV for your business With good-sized roofs and unused land, businesses in the South West are in an ideal position to benefit from solar generation. The energy generated can then be used to offset high daily electricity consumption and help protect your business against future rises in electricity costs. The cost of installing solar PV systems has plummeted in recent years. Solar panel technology is now mass-produced, and installation costs are at an all-time low. The huge uptake in solar panels within the agriculture sector speaks volumes and is a true testament to the reliability and strong returns offered. A typical commercial solar panel system will provide free electricity for more than 25 years, achieve financial returns of up to 20% per annum and pay back installation costs within approximately five to six years.

Benefits of installing solar panels •

• •

Significantly reduce business overheads – Solar energy is typically a third of the price of grid supplied energy, significantly reducing your costs and improving your bottom line. Secure your future energy - Pre-purchase electricity at a fixed unit price, forecast your long-term energy costs and protect your business against future increases in utility prices. Tax exemptions - Solar panels are classed as plant and machinery and are eligible for Capital Allowances. Achieve a healthy ROI - A typical commercial solar panel system will provide free electricity for more than 25 years, achieve returns of up to 20% per annum and pay back installation costs within 5-6 years (before Capital Allowance benefits).

Finance for solar panels While self-financing is the most popular option for purchasing solar panels and offers the best returns over the lifetime of a system, we know that many businesses currently have limited budgets or would prefer to spend their capital elsewhere. As part of our consultative approach, DEP offer guidance as to the finance options that are available for your business as well as provide detailed economic efficiency calculations with your free desktop survey to ensure you understand exactly how and when you can expect to break even, the structure of repayments and the overall profit for your business.

Why Devon Energy Partnership? Alex and his partners have worked in the energy industry for the last 20 years. He cut his teeth working for EDF Energy heading up the partnerships team in both the B2C and SME businesses. Since leaving EDF, Alex was involved with a number of projects, including launching a new energy-switching division for Mole Valley Farmers through to providing consultancy services to Strutt and Parker rural clients. DEP and their partners provide a complete engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) service for Chamber members. From initial feasibility studies and construction to commissioning and beyond, we will ensure you receive expert advice.

For more information, please contact Alex Monro on 01363 535050 or visit:

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Why agile & mobile are key for post-COVID workplace design The next generation of offices will see some of the biggest changes to our workplace environment in living memory. Vince Brooks of Engage Workplace runs through what a post-Covid space might look like for your business.

Body When it comes to the world of work, humans thrive on interaction and the space to develop social and emotional intelligence face-to-face rather than from behind a digital device. Working from home during the coronavirus pandemic has affected many changes but none more so than the need for the future workplace to be focused on people-centred design that puts collaboration, interaction and flexibility at the heart of it. Instead of seeing the office as a place where regulation and distancing will stifle the chance to be creative, we consider this as an opportunity for vibrancy while also becoming safer for everyone in the workplace. At Engage Workplace as part of our Workplace21 strategy, we have


Agility been working with our suppliers and their visions for a future of the new working world. It’s been interesting to see what has emerged and how we will be using these ideas in the offices and places of work we design from now on. Two key trends are emerging - agility and mobility:

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

An agile workspace is designed around the idea that dynamic, flexible spaces allow people to move freely around the office depending on what they are working on, with whom and what is required of them: areas for brainstorming, for collaboration, for peace and quiet and for

meetings. This has been an emerging trend for the last few years, but has been highlighted by the pandemic as we search for new ways to come back to work safely with our colleagues. As we move into a new normality, many businesses will be more flexible when it comes to combining the office with working from home. Therefore, with fewer people in the workplace at any given time, business owners may not wish to have multiple unoccupied desks, giving them the opportunity to reconsider office layouts in the long term, moving away from assigned spaces for individuals. Employers should be placing emphasis on flexibility, be it the option of remote working

SECTOR FOCUS: WORKSPACES or different work settings. Having a flexible workspace contributes to our creativity. After all, we have become used to this within our own homes. With a mix of small conference or meeting rooms, casual seating as well as formal and a communal kitchen table or eating space, you can encourage collaboration and community. This may seem similar to the pre-COVID-19 trend of ‘hot desking’ or ‘hop desking’ as we like to call it. Hot desking disrupts old-fashioned office designs by including different co-working zones such as ‘think-spaces’. The idea is that we no longer have a traditional personal working space. Instead, employees choose where to sit every day according to their mood, their need or the people they want to be with. We have also become familiar with the idea of screens and protectors, but what else would you incorporate into your design? Acoustic pods for zoom calls? Private seating? Mini home-fromhome spaces? Covered patio areas? Living walls overflowing with plants that put oxygen into the air? Now is the time to get creative and dream big to position your company’s workplace for a post-COVID world.

Mobility Movable furniture and space dividers are a great part of the open space idea, depending on the design concept that you have

in mind. They also help you make the appropriate adjustments to your workspace to ensure it is Covid-19 secure. But what does this entail? Well sometimes it’s as simple as furniture on wheels! But it can also mean others things to help you create the space you need, such as demountable partitions and walls, mobile screens or plants. The great thing is the ability to suit the moment

to promote wellbeing and productivity as well as safety and efficiency. Staff love the idea of mobility and agility within the workplace; they feel it values their skills and helps them to enjoy work and perform better. This can also help you to attract and retain talent. The other advantage of this mobility within the office, is the opportunity to accommodate changing flows of traffic as needs dictate, you can direct people away from each other and privacy furniture can be wheeled in to create smaller spaces and natural dividers. This also helps when it comes to meetings whether they are conducted virtually or in-person, providing solutions that will give the same sense of security and privacy. An agile workplace enables a business to address employees’ changing needs, fostering a shared sense of belonging and purpose. The

focus of Workplace21 will be to understand changing expectations and goals of employees, and to create hybrid workplaces that consider remote and in-person work and an environment that supports and empowers workers.

What next? A perfect example of agile furniture that offers flexibility in the workspace is our supplier Senator. As we transition from the traditional fixed desk office into a more open, collaborative and informal working style, Senator have designed Play; a collection of pieces that can work individually or complementary with existing office set-ups. At its core is interconnectivity and versatility designed to empower every user or team to reconfigure their office on demand - from a brainstorm to a workshop, a daily stand-up to a sprint review and everything else in between. If together, we can thoughtfully consider what the future of work needs to look like, we can make it into one that is resilient with a renaissance of thinkers, doers and leaders.

What could your Workplace21 look like? Vince Brooks is Director of Engage Workplace. Visit

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Reflecting on the day that saved my life Dash of Silver founder Dan Silver talks about his inspiration for starting the incredible charity “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. “Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” This quote was created by the great M Scott Peck, and he is 100 per cent correct that life is difficult for us all and for various reasons. There are days, weeks or even months in the years we all can point to, that makes us all think, ‘Yes life is difficult’. For me personally, life became very difficult in July 2009. Looking back on things now, 12 years later, I still think to myself, should I have done this? Should I have done that? But obviously it is a lot easier now in hindsight to think like that as at the time your mind, body and soul are all over the place. I hate the month of July with a passion, as it’s the month I realised I was facing the biggest battle of my life, the fights of all fights - and that was cancer. Walking into a clinic and being examined by a top medical specialist in their field and to be told you have days to live is something you can never prepare yourself for. I was thinking to myself, not long ago I

was diagnosed with a water Infection, now potentially testicular cancer and now I’m told I have days to live. How can you comprehend that? After being examined that horrible day, I went home and tried to process it all. I knew I was unwell for sure, I could feel it, my body was sore, my energy was dropping and my will to live was going. All I could do though was wait and hope, that the thoughts of the specialist were not true. A few weeks went by and one morning I couldn’t open my eyes properly, I couldn’t walk and was so weak I had no energy for anything. I knew deep down that this was getting serious now, I was thinking ‘surely I can’t have cancer’. But on 24th July my world fell apart, my worst fear came true. I sat in an office, waiting to see a top consultant, nervous as you can imagine. After the consultant examined me, he sat me down and the next 30 seconds changed my life forever. “Dan, you look unwell, your body is unwell and unfortunately you are very unwell, I am 99.99 per cent sure you have cancer, but 0.01 per cent think you have a water infection, (which made me smile). I’m going to take

away your tumours and hopefully that helps.” Hearing that hurt a lot as everything you work for, live for and love for is taken away from you within 30 seconds, and it is something you can never take back. I knew then, I was entering the biggest battle of my life, a battle I could lose. I was only 29, I had a lot to live for. In this world, you can take things for granted and I took my life for granted. The 27th July 2009 was the most heartwrenching day of my life. It’s the day I will always remember, as it was the day that saved MY LIFE, as on that day I had my operation to remove the tumours. But it is also a sad day for me, as it is my late father’s birthday, so every year I remember him on his birthday and also think of my battle. Life is so precious, and you have to hold it, take care of it and be proud of it, as it can be taken away from you in seconds, so please be safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones. Dan Silver If you would like more information about the incredible work Dash of Silver does, or if you require self examination cards, please visit

Book your tickets for a night to remember at Boringdon Park Golf Club this October ​​Boringdon Park Golf Club will be hosting the Dash of Silver ‘Let’s Play Ball’ Ball to raise money for this important local charity. This glittering event is being held on Friday, October 22, in association with Wolferstans Solicitors and Santander, and tickets are available here: www. We can’t wait to get suited and booted for a fabulous night after months of lockdown – when charities have found it exceptionally difficult to raise funds. This amazing Plymouth charity raises awareness of male cancers, specifically testicular cancer, and continues to provide much-needed support for men


who have been affected by this terrible disease. Dash of Silver was started in 2009 by Dan Silver, with the help of family and friends, after having his own personal battle with testicular cancer. Dan says: “Receiving the diagnosis that you have cancer is the worst feeling in the world and it is soul-destroying, although the news that you have beaten it is the best feeling. “To be here to have this charity in my name is humbling and I’m extremely proud to be championing this cause.” The early-bird ticket price of £45 per person – or a table of 10 for £400 – includes a threecourse dinner and entertainment courtesy of Swing Kings member,

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

Tom Baker, who will also be hosting the auction and raffle with the help of Plymouth Argyle legend Romain Larrieu, along with some other fun and games. The ‘Let’s Play Ball’ theme can be interpreted as you wish. Of course, it’s great to see everyone

dressed up in their finery but if you want to be a bit ‘ball’ themed, then that’s entirely up to you. It’s about time we all had some fun! For more information, visit the Dash of Silver website here:


Discover the benefits of hiring a third-party business advisor Given that not every business can fund a fully-fledged leadership team with all the skills they may need, more and more organisations are realising the benefits of hiring a third-party business advisor to enhance their team. Tim Yorke-Dunne, Founder of Ginga Business Consultancy, explains... It is common for business owners or leadership teams to feel more confident in their decision-making with the input of an experienced advisor at hand. If a business needs to adapt to new market conditions, an advisor can help plan, initiate and support the business transformation. A NED’s experience will help companies avoid any potential obstacles throughout their journey and sign-post potential collaborators, partners and potential investors that may accelerate a business’s growth journey.

Hiring a third-party business advisor is a fast and effective way of acquiring the necessary skills and experience needed to accelerate the growth and profitability of an organisation. Businesses can benefit from the input of a seasoned and proven professional for less than the monthly cost of an employee on the Living Wage.

Helping business growth and direction The additional knowledge gained from a business advisor (or Non-Exec-Director) will strengthen the overall strategic direction of a business whilst often identifying new opportunities and alternative solutions that may not have come to light before.

advisor alongside an existing management team will help reduce the risks: • By hiring a third-party advisor, businesses can avoid the associated fees and fixed costs, leadtime or commitments associated with recruiting a permanent employee. • The ‘check and balance’ a non-executive director can bring to a business is hugely valuable and will help businesses avoid some of the costly mistakes that a lot of business leaders will undoubtedly make during their journey. A different perspective • For any business seeking additional funding or A business advisor will investment, adding provide the management team an experienced or business owner an extra non-executive level of accountability Top Tip! director to and someone who will It is important that their team help keep things on may business owners decide what track, challenge them where they ultimately want from necessary and creating a successful business help to alleviate - and by when. A strategic any tensions as the growth plan should then be business grows. implemented to meet those Another useful specific goals and benefit of an external timescales. advisor is that they will provide a neutral perspective as an ‘outsider looking in’, whilst drawing on years of experience.

well be perceived as a safeguard to potential investors.

Find a mentor For business owners, running a business can be challenging and even lonely at times. Some of the most successful people in the world hired experienced mentors or business advisors that allowed them to accelerate their business sooner than they would have done without a little extra help and advice. A seasoned mentor will provide support in so many ways. From providing a ‘sounding board’, to being ‘devil’s advocate’, or giving you advice on how to approach challenges and everyday tasks more efficiently. A mentor is well worth the small investment in order to give you the support you need to achieve your business and personal goals.

Risk avoidance In a challenging and uncertain world, decision-making and risk avoidance is more critical than ever before. Using an

About Ginga Business Consultancy From helping tech start-ups to growing and diversifying established manufacturers in the region, Ginga Business Consultancy Ltd provides advice on a part-time or interim basis, across multiple disciplines including strategic planning, business development, business transformation, marketing strategy, cost reduction and senior level mentoring. - 07596 588748 - 1 Research Way, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth PL6 8BT

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



At home on the range Stuart Elford test drives the new Ford Mustang Mach-E By Stuart Elford, Chamber Chief Executive Anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge. So, when the salesman at Vospers handed me the keys to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and said, “You won’t find much wrong with it”, I took it as a challenge and spent a very enjoyable day failing in my mission. ‘Mission’ is a good word, because everything about this car reminded me of a fighter jet; from the bulge in the bonnet to the speedometer that indicated my ‘ground speed’. The door opened with one touch of my finger and I slid into the cockpit which, with its huge Tesla-like central control screen, is a very high-tech place to be. As long as you have your keys with you, everything is touchoperated - although if you lose them, you can gain entry with a PIN which can also be used for the valet mode. It is comfortable and classy, too; I was wafted by beautifully cool and crisp air from the climate control and the new car smell was delightful.


In fact, the whole interior is very pleasant and well thoughtout. There is storage and connectivity wherever you need it, from the sunglasses pocket above the mirror to the wireless charging mat that is cleverly shaped to hold your phone as you pilot your personal electric rocket. The 12 Volt and USB adaptors are in the right places, and cup holders and bucket storage are where you need them, too. The interior is light and bright thanks to the massive panoramic glass roof that further reminded me of the canopy on a fighter plane. Most of the dashboard is a very high-quality Bang & Olufsen sound bar that is pretty much the only thing that makes a noise on this car – and it makes a beautiful noise. The rest of the dashboard is minimalist but entertaining and engaging, much like the car is to drive. But more of that later. The Mach-E is not shaped like the traditional Mustang, but you can see its pedigree from the Mustang-like tail lights and

Summer 2021 Autumn 2021 Chamber Chamber Profile Profile

galloping horse on the bonnet (under which is a front boot that has a waterproof storage bucket you can fill with ice to cool your drinks apparently!). While it is much more family friendly than its namesake and will happily accommodate a family of four, it has presence but is not too big and certainly not difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces thanks to the myriad of sensors and cameras that show you the car from every possible

angle. It has Park Pilot and Active Park Assist, too, so you would have to be pretty poor at parking not to be able to get this into a space not much bigger than the car. A large level boot and plenty of space in the back make the Mustang practical but definitely not boring. What you really want to know, obviously, is how did it drive? Well, it drives however you want it to thanks to the three drive


modes. You can pull gently away in the standard ‘Whisper’ setting, turn up the volume by selecting ‘Active’ or, very appropriately for a Mustang, you can go the whole hog and switch to ‘Untamed’ which releases the inner hooligan in you. I’ll admit I selected this mode quite a few times! You can even choose to hear the growl of an imaginary engine if you aren’t happy with the whistling of the motors which, under acceleration, are like a distant jet engine spooling up. With 0-60 mph coming in less than five seconds, you will feel like it’s powered by a jet engine, too, and you can certainly feel the G-Force as you throw it effortlessly through the turns.

You can get the back to start to step out with a twist of the steering wheel and gentle squeal from the tyres, but it never once feels like it is going to give way - possibly helped by the fact I was driving the four-wheel drive model. The car I tested also had the extended-range option, which Ford claims gives 379 miles and I have no reason to doubt it. This makes the Mustang Mach-E one of the fastest, most efficient and longest-range all-electric cars available, and at a very reasonable price compared to the competition. The Mach-E is very easy to drive and with the Sat Nav and all the driver assistance modes switched on - including traction

control, auto hold, lane follow, and adaptive radar cruise control - it feels like you could get in the back seat and have a cup of tea (please don’t try this or sue me if you are silly enough to take that literally)! Actually, Ford says the car is ready for fully autonomous driving. But why would you want to when the Mustang is so fun and engaging to drive? Despite the ease and comfort, you can feel the road and sense the handling very well which, combined with the blistering acceleration, makes it a joy to drive. So much so, in fact, that I took the long way home across the moors for the sheer enjoyment

of driving it. A few Dartmoor ponies looked on and I think they sensed the pedigree of this thoroughbred (the car not me!) as I passed. All in all, the Mustang Mach-E is a pretty impressive motor, with practicality and presence combined. When I parked up to return the car, the seat slid back to let me out but I didn’t really want to leave it. I gave the horse on the bonnet a pat and handed the reins back to the very kind people at Vospers, grudgingly admitting that I had failed to find much wrong with this quietly untamed beast.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Time to give hospitality respect it deserves

As venues emerge from the shutdowns that shook the hospitality sector to its core, changing attitudes is key to its success. Ask anyone in hospitality: you can pivot, diversify, and adapt your business as many times as you like but nothing is like the feeling of opening the doors again. Few sectors have suffered the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as deeply as hospitality. The Office of National Statistics reports 41% of hospitality businesses paused trading in December 2020 compared to an average of 13% in other industries. Even now, with successive lockdowns behind us, the pandemic casts a long shadow of uncertainty. But there are signs of a recovery together with societal changes that might play in hospitality’s favour and a signal of what the sector could look like in a post-Covid world. Firstly, hospitality is hiring again. Demand is rising – people want to eat and drink out

again, aided by a refreshed desire to support local, independent venues born out of changing attitudes during the pandemic. In a world where your average venue now provides click and collect, delivery and eat-in, the skills your average flexible hospitality business requires is broader than ever before. But for the sector to truly thrive, there’s a consensus that we need to treat hospitality as a true career – not a stepping stone, summer position or transient job – a conversation that long predates the pandemic. “People still do not see hospitality as a sustainable career – it’s a weekend job, not the amazingly rewarding sector it can be,” says Karen Dorow, Executive of Health & Lifestyle Professions at City College Plymouth. “It demands skills that are generally not considered – managing people, HR, customer service, digital marketing. It’s far from just knowing how to cook, and we’ve spoken for

Case study: Fletcher’s Restaurant Fletcher Andrews has always had a passion for food and thanks City College Plymouth for giving him the foundations to fulfil his dream. His love of cooking started when he was just 14 at St Boniface College. He completed work experience at the New Continental Hotel and was offered a job there when he finished school. Just a few years later, Fletcher was working alongside top chef and Masterchef winner Anton Piotrowski at the Michelin-starred Treby Arms, and could not have been happier.


At the end of 2018, he opened his own restaurant - Fletcher’s in Princess Street - which continues to go from strength to strength. Fletcher enrolled on a two-year Level 2 Diploma in Hospitality and Catering at City College Plymouth and worked at the New Continental alongside the course. He says: “City College was definitely the best place for me to go. They teach you everything you need to know to go into a professional kitchen - all the basics, your knife skills, making basic sauces, pastries. It’s a brilliant foundation and stepping

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

years about how attitudes differ so widely in Europe, where it’s considered a much more sustainable career path.” Karen says the College has noticed a surge in demand for people looking to progress in the industry as venues emerge from their most challenging of times. She says the message must be that you can build a future in hospitality and follow in the footsteps of those enjoying success in the sector. “Hospitality is a diverse sector, it’s become a major tourist draw and we’re beginning to see that in Plymouth,” she says. “We’ve helped progress people who have started in front-of-house service to becoming managers of hotel chains or commanding teams of staff aboard luxury cruise ships. “We need to collaborate as a city and a region to convince people that this is possible, that it’s not a transient experience.” The College has been focusing on how to help hospitality get back on its feet and strongly believes collaboration will be key to unlocking its potential. Karen adds: “We have been working on big events where students will be working and building experience and transferable skills. “These people have had a tough time, but they are resilient. We need to give them credit for the way they have weathered the disruption to their formative years. “Now we need to collaborate with the industry to rebuild. These are people who need to learn, and they can help re-emerging businesses – we’re here to support them and the industry.” Businesses can contact City College Plymouth’s Business Engagement team on or call 01752 305026.

stone to go and work in a professional kitchen. “If people are thinking about going to college I’d say definitely do it, whether it’s just for one year or two. Learn the basics as it’ll really help you in a

professional kitchen. “Every chef I’ve worked with in Plymouth went to City College which is incredible. It does go a long way and is a ringing endorsement.”



Tel: 01392 285546

Interested to know more?

Text: VOSPERS to 80011

Marsh Mills, Plymouth, PL6 8AY Tel: 01752 636502 Model shown is a Mustang Mach-E Extended Range AWD. Fuel economy mpg (l/100km): Not applicable. CO2 emissions while driving: 0g/km. Electric Range for Extended Range AWD model: 335 Treliske, TR1 3LN miles*. Electric RangeTruro, for Extended Range RWD model: 379 miles*. Tel: 01872 309234

These figures were obtained after the batter had been fully charged. The Mustang Mach-E is a battery electric vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. There is a new test for fuel consumption, Co2 and electric range figures. The electric range shown was achieved the is newa test procedure. FiguresExtended shown are for comparability purposes. Modelusing shown Mustang Mach-E Range AWD. Fuel economy mpg (l/100km): Not applicable. CO2 emissions while driving: 0g/km. Electric Range for Extended Range AWD model: 335 Only compare consumption, electric range figures withmodel: other cars to the same technical procedures. miles*.fuel Electric RangeCOfor2 and Extended Range RWD 379tested miles*. *TheseThese figures may not reflect real driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors the starting of mains the battery, accessories fitted,There variations weather, styles and load. range figures. The electric range shown figures were obtained after the batter had been fully charged. The Mustang Mach-E is aincluding battery electric vehiclecharge requiring electricity for charging. is a newintest for fueldriving consumption, Co2vehicle and electric was achieved using the new test procedure. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. *These figures may not reflect real driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted, variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load.

“I am so impressed and pleased with the way the recruitment process was handled this year. Emma was incredibly helpful from the start and the support and administration services she offered were very much welcomed. Not only this, she has been a fantastic point of contact for me to have with all other training queries and needs that I have. She's quick in getting answers to me and quite often goes above and beyond what is asked.” Emma Pope, Rittal UK

“Working with Tim and the team at City College has been an absolute pleasure from start to finish. The calibre of apprentices provided to us has been of an extremely high quality and we have received a friendly and professional service throughout.” Andrew Scott, Pilgrim Primary School

CityPlym Business Engagement

“I can't thank you enough for all your support, expertise and help and we are delighted to have our new apprentice on board with us. I thought we may be on our own during the Apprenticeship process but thanks to you the entire process has been exceptional.” Mark Field, Fresh Digital Media

Let our team support you in taking on an apprentice - call now on 01752 305026 or e-mail

01752 305026

@cityplymbiz |

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Chamber golfers a driving force for Plymouth charity

Dozens of hardy golfers drove, chipped and putted their way to raising £2,000 for charity at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Golf Day. An impressive 23 teams shrugged off the summer rain and fought it out on the course at Boringdon Park Golf Club, with the team from Print Copy Scan emerging victorious. A total of £2,000 was raised for Plymouth charity Jeremiah’s Journey, who provide vital support for children of bereaved families. Chamber CEO Stuart Elford said: “This was a magnificent event packed full of local businesses raising money for a

brilliant charity while enjoying some fabulous golf and excellent networking. “I’d like to say thank you to all our sponsors, particularly our headline sponsor Frazer Nash Consultancy, for making the day happen. There was a wonderful buzz in the clubhouse and it was fantastic to see so many faces together again.” The full list of winners: Print Copy Scan Team • Karl Welburn • Dan Roberts • David Draper • Graham Roberts

Second place – The Babcock Bogey Boys • Liam Arrowsmith • Julian Cooper • Matthew Anstis • Jonathan Wisdom Runners-up – Fooooore Chain Supply Bandits • Jack Pope • Alex Cox • Steve Doyle • Tony Canning Nearest to the Pin: Alex Cox Nearest to the Gin: Tim O’Reily Best Score of all Par 3’s: PCR Par Chasers (Karl Hemmings, Richard Hemmings, Alan Oakes, Ken Hobbs)

Sponsors Headline Sponsor: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Nearest to the Pin: pbmedia Nearest to the Gin: Rebecca Day 360 Longest Drive: Meddings Thermalec ltd. Best score of all par 3’s: International Trade Matters Hole Sponsors Babcock Sir Fix a Lock Eddystone Media Raytheon Total Energy Solutions

Wonderful Devon is the star of the show Olivia, Samantha and Helen from our Devon & Plymouth Chamber team had a fantastic time at the Mid Devon Show. We were delighted to be exhibiting and supporting a true celebration of our county with an eclectic mix of breathtaking entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life As well as meeting loads of amazing people, we were also honoured to present the Best Trade Stand Award to Amelia’s Flower Farm. We hope you all had a great time, too! *That’s not Olivia and Helen in the Minions costumes!*


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile


Breakfast with a view in Looe A huge thank you to everyone who joined us this summer for our special breakfast event at the stunning Millendreath Beach Resort in Cornwall. As much as we’ve loved hosting our virtual events during the past 18 months, we’re sure you’ll agree there’s no substitute for face-to-face networking. It also helps when the views are as spectacular as this! We even got the opportunity to check out the Resort’s newly-refurbished beach bar and find out more about Millendreath’s upcoming star parties. A special thanks to David Barrett at Tamar Fresh Food Service for the delicious spread, and fellow event sponsors Bookers Wholesalers.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Thursday, October 14 COUNTY CONVERSATIONS AT SALCOMBE HARBOUR HOTEL Enjoy beautiful views across Salcombe while networking and finding out about the latest projects and business updates throughout the county. We will be joined by: • Natalie Whitehead, Founder & Director, Exeter Science Centre. • Hayley Reynolds, Food Drink Devon • Andy Kebby, Shekinah Mission • And more tbc

EVENTS In the lead up to this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) COP26, Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Net Zero October – a month of events dedicated to business and the climate crisis agenda. This series of events will showcase how businesses in the region are changing to meet Net Zero carbon targets, exploring what our ambitions in tackling the climate crisis and helping you discover how to make the crucial green changes to your organisation.

Wednesday, October 27 ‘ONE DEVONPORT’ A networking tour of Babcock International, exploring their journey through environmental, social and corporate sustainability. This unique event will feature an overview of Drake from Peter Coulson, and a Babcock welcome from Paul Foster, the new Managing Director.

Thursday, November 2 NET ZERO LIVE Being broadcast live by the Fresh Air Studios team in Plymouth, Net Zero Live is a four-hour event which will be streamed through multiple channels. Helping businesses answer the difficult questions around the Green Agenda, the event will be divided into four categories Transport, Earth & Energy, Marine and Business Support - and we expect this event to reach more than 4,000 viewers.

Sunday, July 24 GREEN NETWORKING WITH LOW CARBON DEVON AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH Networking event with speakers from Low Carbon Devon - an ERDF-funded project working out of the University of Plymouth collaborating with Devon-based SMEs to reduce their carbon output through research, events or internships. Sponsors: Business Support Segment – Low Carbon Devon Speakers: Transport – Roger Young Business Support – Devon Environment

Plus a number of other regular online events and inperson networking to be confirmed.


for more details and registration.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Plymouth City Conversations at The Box A huge thank-you to everyone who joined us at The Box, Plymouth – in person and virtually – for our first City Conversations in 18 months. The city’s multi-million-pound museum, art gallery and archive provided the perfect location for our very first hybrid event. As well as hearing from some fantastic speakers, we were also delighted to be able


to officially unveil Marsh Commercial as a Patron of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber. Our speakers on the day included Nick Kelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council; Tom Lavis, CEO of YMCA Plymouth & Discovery College; Dr Stephen Felmingham, Academic Dean at Plymouth College of Art, and Kate Farmery, Head of Business at The Box. The event wouldn’t have been possible

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

without PL1 Events Ltd and the team at pbmedia, as well as Oliver Dickinson and Chris Stafford who were on hand to take images and videos. And we certainly couldn’t have done it without the amazing team at The Box, especially Stacey Turner, Charlotte Pascoe and Emma Simpson. Pictures are from our #CityCons event.


In business at The Box We could think of no better location than The Box to host our first in-person City Conversations event in 18 months. Plymouth’s multi-million-pound museum, art gallery and archive is a dramatic, stylish and central venue that’s perfect for any occasion - from large gala dinners to team meetings and even weddings. The Box truly has everything your business needs to hold memorable networking events for clients and colleagues alike, providing an unforgettable backdrop that’s certain to keep guests talking long after they’ve gone home. You’ll find stunning statues, historical displays, wonderful artwork - and even a life-sized woolly mammoth! The venue’s light, airy and wide-open spaces give you the opportunity to tailor your event to your requirements, offering huge versatility and plenty of room for your guests. The on-site team will ensure you are supported every step of the way, enabling you to relax and enjoy your time in the South West’s leading cultural attraction. That includes dedicated catering support, with delicious food and drink that celebrates all things local. Inspiration is drawn from the seasons and fine produce from suppliers who call Plymouth and the South West home. And if your guests want to enjoy a spot of lunch while experiencing the impressive galleries and exhibitions, The Box Kitchen & Bar - with head chef Ben Mack at the helm - offers a dining experience that will make you want to return time and time again. All prices at The Box are inclusive of VAT and equipment hire, so there are no hidden costs. Plus, all profits go back towards taking care of the collections and keeping it free for all. For more information, please contact events manager Stacey Turner via email at

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile






R&D Machinery

NS Cleaning & Maintenance Ltd


Solapak Systems Limited 1 Venton Ind unit Venton Farm, Totnes TQ96PD

www.nscleaningltd.godaddysites. com Plymouth Plymouth Sentinel House, Ancells Business Park, Harvest Crescent, Fleet GU51 2UZ

Visit South Devon

Clack On Commodities Old Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 4XX Lower Thornton Farm, Kenn, Exeter EX6 7XH Officers Quarters Room 12, Crownhill Fort Road, Plymouth PL6 5BX


SOS Global

Stenner Ltd Keble House, Southernhay Gardens Exeter EX1 1NT 17 Hanover Road, Heavitree, Exeter EX1 2SY Hartnoll Business Centre, Post Hill, Tiverton EX16 4NG

Space Youth Services

Tailored Furnishings Limited

Just Refurbs The 100 Club, Wear Barton Road, Unit 79a city Business Park, Somerset Place, Plymouth PL3 4BB 25 Darklake View, Hawthorn House, Estover, Plymouth PL6 7TL

1664 Plastering & Property Services

Premier Parking Solutions Limited

19 Newnham Rd Newnham Rd,

Newnham Road, Plymouth PL74AW 13 Devon Square, Newton Abbot TQ12 2HN


Ame Social Ocean Studios, The Factory Cooperage, Plymouth PL1 3RP 51 Mayflower Street, Plymouth PL1 1QL

P D Devices Ltd

The Social Bar & Eatery Unit 1, Old Station Yard, South Brent TQ10 9AL 51 Mayflower street, Plymouth PL1 1QL

Index Property Information

Exeter EX2 7EH

Diversity Business Incubator Office 37, 237 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3HQ

Gathering Momentum Plymouth Science Park, 1 Davy Road, Derriford, Plymouth PL6 8BX

CJC Electrical 28 Ashbrook Street, Plymstock, Plymouth PL9 7FH

South West Cleaning Equipment Unit F, The Clarke Centre, Hennock Road, Exeter EX2 8NJ

The Social Bar & Eatery 51 Mayflower street, Plymouth PL1 1QL

Nudge Community Builders, 96 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3EZ

Wild One Ocean City Media Ltd Devonport Guildhall, Ker Street, Plymouth PL1 4EL

BuildX (SW) Ltd Unit 93, Christian Mill Business Park, Tamerton Folliot Road, Devon PL6 5DS

Tailored Furnishings Limited Unit 79a city Business Park, Somerset Place, Plymouth PL3 4BB

Plymouth Albion R.F.C.

25 Damerel Close, Madden Road, Plymouth PL1 4NE


Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile Plymouth

Its All About You Wellbeing CIC

Collectrical Genesis Building, 235 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3HN Unit 8, Porsham Close, Belliver Industrial Estate,

Simply Counselling Community Interest Company

Plymouth PL6 7DB

Farley Food Co-op CIC Unit 4a, 5 Church Street, Plymouth PL3 4DT 41 Bretonside, Plymouth PL4 0BB

The Data Place

Bikespace CIC Unit 7, Riverside Business Park, New Passage Hill, Plymouth PL1 4SN Fairbairn House, Higher Lane, Plymouth PL1 2AN

Pollenize Devonport Guildhall, Ker Street, Plymouth PL1 4EL


CHAMBER PEOPLE Name: Paul Philpott Role: Devon & Plymouth Chamber Director What do you do and why do you enjoy it? I’m the Managing Director / Owner of Fresh Air Studios, a production company that produces content for internal communications, corporate and business podcasts, IVR and audio branding. We work all around the UK and have clients including multinational banks and several high-street brands. We also produce podcasts for local businesses such as the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, Positive Purchasing, Access4Lofts Franchises, B:Web and more. Our work is heard by millions of people every year, and I love the fact that I can almost guarantee ‘you’ will have heard or interacted with something we have produced. I think it’s kinda cool. We also have voiceover recording facilities in Plymouth and Budapest, and regularly have some ‘famous names’ visit us in order to do studio link-ups for film, television and radio. Which really is cool!

would be a pain and we’d probably lose the opportunities we have to enjoy ourselves at work. We’re in a good position right now, and I just want that to remain as stable as possible.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Properly work out your quotes. A former boss of mine, when I was promotions manager at Plymouth Sound Radio, really took time to show me the real costs behind what you do, and to always work out a quote that’s a genuine balance between making a fair margin and delivering good service to the customer.

If you could sum up your CV in one word, it would be..? Mixed! Having worked in broadcasting and then (at the same time) setting up the company, it’s kind of varied in terms of what I’ve done, but lacking in the number of companies or positions I’ve had – as I’ve pretty much always worked for myself in one way or another.

When it comes to business, do you follow head or heart? Heart, too much… Apparently, I’m a bit ‘soft’ at times.

Describe yourself in five words Positive, creative (?), friendly, professional, drunk.

What inspires you? Gosh. I guess it’s when someone comes to me/us with a fascinating challenge and we get together to come up with a creative solution. The creative journey is the excitement, the end product is the inspiration.

What drives you? I would like to say, a chauffeur. Alas, that’s not the case! Wanting to please clients and contacts and coming up with new ideas. I love trying to solve a problem that a client has, and genuinely get a real buzz from building good relationships.

Where do you see the future of your organisation? Most people would probably say something about wanting to grow huge but, to be honest, I just want to see manageable growth and stability. I don’t want to become too big, or complex an organisation. To me, I think it

How do you balance life and work? This is something I’m only just starting to learn, as I’m always working in one way or another. I’m starting to master the art of working on-the-go where possible and trying to take the laptop to more interesting places to do things rather than always be officebased.

What’s your favourite quote? QU-5576 – it was very profitable, and the client accepted it straight away. Oh, you mean inspirational quote? Okay… It’s not how much it costs to do the job, it’s how much the job is worth. I think there are so many situations, particularly in the creative industries, where clients are driving fees down by a ridiculous amount. The same probably applies to other sectors, particularly when dealing with IP or anything that’s licensed. Lately, our industry has been affected by venture capitalistfunded websites and market disruptors, who even charge less than what the minimum wage would be! Crazy!

Who has been the greatest influence on you? That would be my Dad. He passed a few years ago, but he instilled a really strong work ethic balanced with a huge respect for family. He always made sure I gave work, and working hard, a proper priority in life. Knowing that working hard and running a business well would be the thing that allows everything else to happen.

What are you most proud of? My relationship. I’ve been with my partner since I was 18 (I’m now 44), and we make a brilliant team. We work together, running our various businesses jointly, yet we’re really good at compartmentalising things. I kinda feel we’re invincible. He’s also my best friend.

Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile



Autumn 2021 Chamber Profile

Profile for Cornerstone Vision

Chamber Profile Autumn 2021  

The official publication of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Profile Autumn 2021  

The official publication of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded