Chamber Profile Summer 2022

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Return of the Devon Business Show

YGS creates city’s first micro forest PAGES 24-25

NEWS: Huge Babcock project revealed WELLBEING: Making time for moments SUSTAINABILITY: The Greens are going green

Innovative event back this September PAGES 8-9

Google for Education

Reference College

Volkswagens you know and love, now as plug-in hybrids Petrol for road trips. Electric for shorter journeys. Take a look at our hybrid range, each with a generous offer.

Model shown features optional equipment.

Model shown features optional equipment.

UK specifications may vary.

Murray Volkswagen (Plymouth) Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3FQ. Telephone: 01752 643954. Official fuel consumption figures for the Volkswagen model range in mpg (litres/100km): Combined 0.0 (0.0) – 313.9 (0.9). Combined CO 2 emissions 266 – 0 g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Data correct at 09/21. Figures quoted are for a range of configurations and are subject to change due to ongoing approvals/changes. Please consult your retailer for further information.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile





Chamber Chief Executive Stuart Elford looks ahead to an exciting programme of events this summer


COVER STORY First ‘wacky’ forest planted in the heart of Plymouth as groundbreaking green project gets under way SEE PAGES 22-25


Babcock begins major regeneration of Devonport facility in Plymouth


A great laugh for an even greater cause with the Agile Comms team


GWR welcomes former Prime Minister to independent advisory board

10 Plymouth Marjon toasts top-six placings at Whatuni Student Choice Awards 11

Apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and enjoy a host of benefits


Unlocking the potential of the new Plymouth and South Devon Freeport

14 Rebecca Day 360 team prepares for their next Expedition Humanitarian

CHAMBER NEWS 15 From the football pitch to financial tech with WorldFirst 37-41 Pictures from this quarter’s Chamber and member events 42 A warm welcome to all our new Devon & Plymouth Chamber members


The South West’s largest business event returns to Plymouth Pavilions


A daily dose of fresh air to celebrate our wonderful South West

REVIEW 18-19

Our online Auction for Ukraine bids break the £1,500 mark for charity

SECTOR FOCUS 20-21 SKILLS City College Plymouth becomes South West’s first Google Reference College 26 TECH/DIGITAL How immersive experiences are transforming Plymouth 27 LEADERSHIP Developing the diversity of South West’s next generation of leaders 28-29 INTERNATIONAL TRADE Promoting your brand and products across the world 30 FINANCE Thomas Westcott puts the spotlight on Devon’s capital city 31 LEGAL WBD partner elected as Plymouth Law Society President 32 SMALL BUSINESS GUIDE Embracing effective flexible working practices 34-35 MOTORING Plug in and prepare for launch with the new VW ID.3 36 TRAVEL ‘Plane’ and simple – why holidaying from Exeter has never been easier

CHAMBER PEOPLE 43 Kelly Smith, Events Executive at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

Summer 2022 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: YGS creates city’s first micro forest. See pages 28-29. Published by Cornerstone Vision Ltd 28 Old Park Road, Peverell, Plymouth PL3 4PY T: 01752 225623 W: Managing Editor Ian Pilkington 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.

Welcome to another jampacked edition of Profile, and I want to start off by thanking the wonderful businesses who donated products and services for our online Auction for Ukraine, as well as all of those who placed bids. Thanks to your incredible generosity, the Devon & Plymouth Chamber raised in excess of £1,500 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal fund. Health and wellbeing continues to underpin everything we do here at the Chamber - it’s central to our mantra of People, Planet and Purpose. We know that sometimes things can feel a little overwhelming so, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked our members to get out to enjoy a healthy dose of fresh air and take a picture for our social media channels. We were so overwhelmed by the response that we have decided to carry on the campaign to celebrate our wonderful South West, with its stunning coastlines and beautiful countryside all on our doorstep. With Covid restrictions now gone, we’re seeing increasing numbers of attendance at our in-person events again. In the first few months of 2022, we’ve hosted a number of interesting, innovative and informative networking events across Devon - in person, online and hybrid. We visited the stunning Hartnoll Hotel in Tiverton for our Devon Business Brunch, before returning to beautiful Buckfast Abbey for our spring-themed ‘30 Under 30’ Awards ceremony. Our members experienced wonderful views from Foot Anstey HQ in Plymouth for City Conversations, and discovered more about the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park and Plymouth and South Devon Freeport during a special event at the

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


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


National Marine Aquarium. We’ve also enjoyed two fantastic County Conversations events at Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, and Petroc College in Barnstaple, and heard some amazing and innovative ideas during our Pitch & Procure event at the University of Plymouth, which was really well received and helped secure local supply chains for major businesses. We’re hosting another one on July 5 so please do join us. It’s clear that confidence is returning as businesses in the region continue to show their resilience and adapt to life after the pandemic. There has also been a considerable surge of interest in the Devon Business Show, which returns to Plymouth Pavilions on September 28 after a long wait and in an exciting new format. This year’s theme also reflects the Devon & Plymouth Chamber’s three strategic priorities for 2022: People, Planet, Purpose. If you are thinking about booking a stand, now is the time to act as demand from exhibitors is extremely high! Attendance for visitors to the Show is free, and you can register your interest now in exhibiting, attending or sponsoring by filling out the form on our dedicated web page: The Chamber also has a range of affordable and exciting sponsorship packages available for the Show. To find out more, please email






John Oliver, Strategic Infrastructure Director at Babcock; Cdre Peter Coulson, and Neil Thumwood, Head of Submarine Disposals and Devonport Infrastructure at the Submarine Delivery Agency

Babcock begins major regeneration of Devonport facility Babcock International Group has started a series of major infrastructure projects at Devonport in Plymouth. Over the next 10 years, Babcock will develop state-of-the-art facilities to meet the evolving requirements of the UK’s Royal Navy. Since 2020, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Babcock initial contracts worth around £140 million for infrastructure design and enabling works that will support the Astute class submarine, which is currently replacing the Trafalgar class SSN submarine. This is the first stage in a multi-year development programme for Devonport that will see improvement projects spanning many years. These major upgrades will enable deep maintenance work packages for the latest class of nuclear-powered fleet submarines. Dock upgrades to support

the Astute operational programme will enable optimisation of maintenance on the platforms between HM Naval Base Clyde and Devonport dockyard. Work has begun with the demolition of existing infrastructure including office blocks around the site’s 10 Dock facility. Over the last five years 10 Dock has seen the successful delivery of Landing Craft platform maintenance and a major overhaul period of an Albion Class Landing Platform Dock ship. In parallel with the 10 Dock project, preparations are also under way for an extensive outage project for the adjacent 9 Dock. This project, managed by an integrated Bechtel and Cavendish Nuclear programme delivery team, will deliver maintenance, life extension and facility improvements to the dock for the Vanguard Class submarines. Babcock’s Devonport facility is co-located with HM Naval Base Devonport and forms

the largest naval support site in Western Europe. As well as surface ship life extension and maintenance programmes, onsite operations focus on the deep maintenance of the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet, for which Babcock is the UK’s sole provider. The infrastructure works, led by Babcock, alongside the Ministry of Defence and in collaboration with delivery partners Costain, Mott MacDonald and Mace, will create new jobs, provide opportunities for the national and local supply chain and support local community initiatives. Dominic Kieran, Chief Executive – Nuclear at Babcock, said: “The demolition of the first building is a major milestone. These projects will secure the site’s long-term future, readying our operations infrastructure for decades to come to support the delivery of critical national defence outputs, while providing around 200 new roles and supply chain opportunities in the region.”

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



A great laugh for an even greater cause with Agile Comms

Agile Comms brought something new to the local calendar with the launch of their inaugural Comedy, Conversations and Canapes event. The start-up business telecoms company’s informal networking-comedy-fundraiser was supported by over 70 representatives from the local business community and raised over £1,200 for their charity partner Young Devon. Three fantastic comedians

- David Arnold, Tom Glover and Christian Russel-Pollock from 1st Edition Comedy - took to the stage at The Loft on Sutton Harbour to entertain the audience, who were left in stitches! There was also a raffle which saw winners take home a fantastic range of prizes, generously donated by friends and clients of Agile Comms, including signed memorabilia from Plymouth Argyle, Exeter Chiefs, Plymouth Albion and

Plymouth City Patriots. Post-comedy drinks were kindly sponsored by Triangle Networks, which allowed the conversation and laughs to continue flowing late into the evening. Ollie Jackman, Director of Agile Comms said: “It’s great to help our business community connect and have some fun, and we’ve been touched by the support of our friends and network in putting on this event. The response to the event has been fantastic so we’re looking to do the next one in November when we’ll also be celebrating our first anniversary in business.” Andy Moreman, CEO of Young Devon added: “Huge thanks to Ollie and James Fisher at Agile for allowing us to explain the essential work that Young Devon does. Over the past year we’ve helped over 2,000

young people with services such as wellbeing support, homelessness prevention and skills development as well as promoting the voice of young people across our region.” If you wish to make an additional donation for this fundraiser or join the mailing list for the next one, please get in touch with Ollie Jackman at

Marjon’s research makes an international impact Plymouth Marjon University’s research status took a great step forward as results from the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 showed 89% of the University’s research is recognised as internationally significant. The REF is a national process for assessing the quality of research in UK universities, which takes place every six to seven years. The results determine how national research funding is distributed, and so can dramatically transform a university’s research capability. These results are particularly impressive given this is the first time Marjon has entered the REF, which previously took place in 2014. The recognition will mean that Marjon’s burgeoning research capability will be given a huge boost with additional national funding.

South West businesses need better access to skilled staff Businesses in the South West need urgent help to fill widening skills gaps, after latest figures show mounting pressure on firms struggling to recruit staff remains at record high levels. British Chambers of Commerce South West (BCCSW) – which represents thousands of firms in the region – says businesses need “concrete help accessing skilled staff” if they are to continue to bounce back from the impact of Covid-19. Stuart Elford, Chair of BCCSW, said: “We have been working with further and higher education institutions across the region to help businesses access the next generation of skilled employees. But the labour pool is still too small and business and education can only do so much alone. “More funding for retraining opportunities and temporary visas to fill urgent skill gaps would be two short and long-term measures that would begin to alleviate an issue that threatens to undermine our chances of a strong recovery post-pandemic.”

Buckfast Abbey appoints two experts to expand corporate hospitality offer Buckfast Abbey in South Devon has strengthened its unique corporate hospitality offer with the appointment of two experts to spearhead an expansion of its services for businesses and organisations. The Abbey’s two new senior managers, Sharon Cheshire and Sam Stern, will be instrumental in bringing a number of new initiatives to the Abbey’s conference and accommodation offer. The team will launch an exciting, new suite of corporate packages combining the benefits and facilities of the Abbey’s newly-renovated Conference Centre – including the stunning Schiller Hall – with on-site accommodation at the Northgate House Hotel and Grangehurst House.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


GWR welcomes former Prime Minister to independent advisory board The Rt Hon Theresa May MP has joined train operator Great Western Railway’s Independent Stakeholder Advisory Board, its external body of experts helping to provide opinion and oversight. Invited to join the 12-strong board by the current chair, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP said: “I know how important reliable rail services are for my constituents, therefore I welcome this opportunity which will enable me to help deliver for our area. “It was an excellent first meeting and I am looking forward to working with the Board to push for outcomes which will directly improve services for rail users across the entire GWR network.” GWR has had a Stakeholder Advisory

Board since its conception in 2015, bringing forward the idea from First Great Western. Set up to offer a sounding board and critical, informed advice the Advisory Board includes representatives from all the routes served by GWR, covering the fields of business; academia; the voluntary sector; the House of Commons, and the House of Lords. GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “Listening to our customers, our stakeholders and our partners has always been a big part of how we do business. “The Advisory Board brings together representatives from across the communities we serve, and we are very grateful for the advice and guidance they offer. “We also have a number of Local Transport Forums and Accessibility Panels

to help us develop services and facilities to meet customer aspirations.”

“I know how important reliable rail services are for my constituents...” Rt Hon Theresa May MP takes the vacancy created when Ranil Jayawardena MP joined the Government. Mrs May will receive no payment and no complimentary travel but will attend up to six meetings a year with the GWR senior team.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Welcome back to where everyone connects We look ahead to the Devon Business Show which returns to Plymouth Pavilions this September. Are you looking for expert advice and information to help take your business to the next level? Or perhaps you want to showcase your products and services to a wide range of potential customers and suppliers? We’ve got just the place. The Devon Business Show is back for 2022 – and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever!

This autumn, the South West’s largest business event returns to Plymouth Pavilions after a long wait and in an exciting new format. The Devon & Plymouth Chamber helps companies of all sizes and sectors to connect, grow and succeed. And our high-profile forum on 28 September 2022 is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the region’s business calendar. Quite simply, it’s where everyone connects. The Show provides the perfect platform to showcase how businesses in Devon and

Plymouth have rebounded strongly since the pandemic. They will get the opportunity to demonstrate how they are growing while remaining environmentally sustainable and looking after the wellbeing of their people and communities. Discover the latest strategies and trends, while networking with future customers and suppliers to showcase your products and services.

This year’s theme - People Planet, Purpose

This year’s show at a glance

This year’s Show theme also reflects the Devon & Plymouth Chamber’s three strategic priorities for 2022: People, Planet, Purpose. • ‘People’ is all about inclusive recruitment, employment, skills, education and training. • ‘Planet’ is about achieving Net Zero, working towards Sustainable Development Goals, clean growth and transport. • ‘Purpose’ is about doing business that has positive social impact, creates employment and sustainable growth.

A contemporary layout for a new era will feature seven sector zones, with innovative and interactive exhibition opportunities. There will also be a series of podcasts and live broadcasts during the event. Start your day with a delicious breakfast and wind down afterwards with drinks in the new first-floor bar area. Hot food will also be served in the main café area of the foyer throughout the day. The Chamber also has a range of affordable and exciting sponsorship packages available for the Show. Register your interest now in exhibiting, attending or sponsoring. To find out more, visit or email

Where these intersect is ‘good business’, which is proven to be productive and profitable – and the Chamber intends to be at the heart of that.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


How to visit, exhibit or sponsor If you want to be part of this year’s biggest business event, then attending the event is absolutely free and you can register now at If you want to exhibit we have highly sought after exhibition options now available in our innovative layout. You can apply at and we’ll work with you to find the best location at the Show for your business We can also supply you with sponsorship options - for each of the zone’s areas as well as for popular elements of the Show such as the networking area and breakfast. Visit for more information and a brochure or email Helen Hart at

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Plymouth Marjon toasts placings in Student Choice Awards Plymouth Marjon University celebrated placing highly in four categories in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCA), the leading higher education awards ceremony based solely on student choice. Marjon was shortlisted for four awards: Lecturers and Teaching Quality (placing sixth); Student Life (fourth); Student Support (third) and the prestigious University of the Year (fifth overall). Winners were announced at a black-tie awards dinner at the East Wintergarden in London on May 24. The Awards are based on over 35,000 verified reviews from current students, received during on-campus visits and online submissions. The student-led approach means that shortlisted universities are uniquely recognised by students for delivering an exceptional experience. Professor Rob Warner, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University, said: “We’re very proud to be student-led in all we do, and so these Awards are special to us precisely because they are based on student views. We’re particularly delighted to be shortlisted for University of the Year.” Marjon has celebrated success in these awards before. The WhatUni Student Choice Awards last ran in this format in 2019, when Marjon was rated as the top University in the South West for Courses and Lecturers, and third best in England. Professor Ian Luke, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Academic, said: “We’re so pleased that this generation of students, who have studied during Covid, continue to rank their experience as highly as before Covid. Our team works incredibly hard for students, and I know they will all be honoured and grateful for this accolade.”

Pontoons back thanks to LEP funding

Two new swimming pontoons have been installed in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park this week, after a hugely successful trial last summer. The pontoons are both located inside the Tinside Beach swimming area, with one closer to shore for younger or less experienced swimmers and the other further out. The pontoons have been made possible thanks to a grant worth

£625,000 from the Getting Building Fund for a range of National Marine Park related projects. The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership was allocated money from the Government’s Getting Building Fund to invest in major infrastructure projects including supporting economic growth across the city. By increasing engagement with the marine environment, the National Marine Park aims to boost Plymouth’s blue economy with increased tourism and the creation of new high-value jobs. The pontoons were installed by Cattewater Harbour Commissioners and will remain in situ over the summer, before being removed ahead of winter storms to be safely stored for next year. Plymouth City Council Leader Richard Bingley said: “Wild swimming has grown rapidly in popularity and the eight-week trial period we ran with just one pontoon last year was a huge success, so it’s fantastic to be installing two bigger and better pontoons for swimmers to use this year.”

Acronyms welcomes new electric vehicles to fleet at Plymouth Science Park Acronyms has welcomed two new electric vans to its fleet in a bid to become carbon neutral following the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at Plymouth Science Park. The IT support company works across Plymouth, Cornwall and Devon, visiting clients in person to resolve issues which


can’t be managed remotely. Dave Smith, Managing Director at Acronyms, said: “Every company will need to take steps to become net zero, and the sooner the better. By starting to make small changes such that we can easily implement in our day-to-day work, such as this, we can work towards our long-term goal of

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

becoming carbon neutral.” Dave Parker, Technical Director at Acronyms, added: “Our IT support team are out every day helping clients, so having electric vans is very cost effective. We can get roughly 150 miles with one charge without ever having to fuel up, massively reducing our operations costs.”


Services Design Solution honoured with prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Plymouth Citybus gained the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020

Apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise and enjoy the benefits The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious business awards - and applications are now open. First established in 1965, more than 7,000 companies have since achieved a Queen’s Award. The Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements in the fields of Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility). They can bring substantial benefits to winners, including increased staff morale, boosts to turnover and international trade, greater recognition and excellent marketing opportunities. As well as a presentation at the workplace to all the staff by the Queen’s representative, winners are also invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace. The Award is valid for five years and you can use the logo on your stationery, uniforms, marketing material, and so on. There is even a flag you can fly at your

premises to highlight you are a Queen’s Award winner. One of the South West winners in recent years was Plymouth Citybus, who received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2020. The firm was honoured in the ‘Promoting Opportunity’ category for its work assisting the “most vulnerable and disadvantaged” in finding employment. Richard Stevens, managing director of Plymouth Citybus and Go South West, said at the time: “We are over the moon to have not only been shortlisted for a Queen’s Award, but go on and win one for social mobility. “It is a huge honour and really goes to show the amount of pride each and every member of the team takes in providing a valuable service.” Apply for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise here: You must submit your application by midday on September 6, 2022.

Services Design Solution (SDS) has received national recognition for its social value work by being awarded the 2022 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. SDS has placed environmental sustainability, employee support, and work in the local community at the heart of its business operations. These aspects of the company’s activities received special praise when the award was announced in April. The firm has won several awards since it was established in 2004, but this outshines the others for founder Shaun Hoppins. The Queen’s Award for this category recognises sustainable practices in all its forms, including social sustainability. Shaun said: “This is the most prestigious award we’ve received to date; it means Her Majesty and her government have recognised our efforts in achieving sustainable business and outcomes.” The company provides designs for building environmental engineering systems to provide safe, comfortable conditions for people to work and live. Shaun added: “We’ve grown our social sustainability commitment over recent years. To have that recognised in a national award reflects the hard work the team has committed during recent years. We’ve had a 148% increase in charitable giving compared to the previous year, and seen a 60% increase in volunteering. “To receive this accolade and be recognised as exemplary in sustainability within our sector is an outstanding achievement. It reflects the commitment of our staff and our promise to protect our planet.”

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Unlocking the potential of the new Plymouth and South Devon Freeport The new Plymouth and South Devon Freeport is expected to create thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds in investment. The Freeport was one of eight successful bids announced in March last year, with an Outline Business case submitted last November. Major new plans will provide a new worldclass innovation space enabling the area to build on its global reputation for marine innovation and advanced engineering. At an event organised by the Chamber in partnership with the Plymouth Marine Network on May 10, Richard May, SRO of the Freeport updated businesses on the potential of the project and the work done so far. The Freeport will feature large employers including Princess Yachts, protecting existing jobs and ensuring they can expand their local operations. It will also unlock 130 hectares of development land to provide space for high value advanced manufacturing and logistics companies. The business case put forward to Plymouth City Council in April showed that the establishment of the Freeport has the potential to unlock £314 million in inward investment and create 3,584 jobs. Councillors have also been told that it will contribute positively to the achievement of Carbon Net Zero. It aims to grow the local and regional economy by building on unique national


capabilities in Marine, Defence and Space and through a focus on key assets such as the Naval port in Plymouth. There would be opportunities of growing supply chains around these capabilities, supporting the whole of the regional economy. The Freeport can also support the wider levelling-up agenda and stimulate local skills, jobs and higher wages. The creation of a supportive tax and regulatory environment can foster innovation and develop further strong collaborations from Exeter and Plymouth Universities. A number of sub-sector specialisms including marine autonomy, maritime decarbonisation, smart port shipping and offshore renewable energy have been identified within the business base which have the potential to increase productivity and develop links with other specialisms such as digital and low carbon technologies. The Freeport proposal has the potential to transform the local and regional economy. Significant economic and employment modelling has been undertaken to support the development of the business case and working of various growth scenarios. The anticipated outputs will be refined in the final business case but currently are:

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

3,584 direct jobs created with an average wage level of at least £13.92 per hour

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10% of jobs created to be filled by inactive claimants and registered unemployed 3,000 m2 of skills infrastructure 2,400 m2 of new innovation space 137.9 hectares of land developed 5 new businesses each year 2-3 new FDI each year 40 Business/Higher education collaborations annually from 2022 £4 million a year in private investment in research and development 10 new products developed for market

It is expected that the Freeport will deliver wider benefits such as an uplift in land value, labour supply, a skills uplift and the jobs/GVA arising from the construction of the Freeport. Economic modelling estimates the total value of these and other benefits at £409.5m over a 15-year timeframe. Devon County Council Leader, Cllr John Hart said: “The proposals for the Freeport will unlock key sites for employment that have effectively stalled over the years. This will accelerate growth that simply may not be achieved without this project. “Developing much-needed employment land will create space for advanced manufacturing and green energy firms to locate to the area, and the tax and customs benefits will provide additional incentive for the rapid development of the sites.”


Plymouth Sound launches UK’s first charging network for electric maritime vessels The UK’s first e-marine hub of shore-side charging facilities for electric maritime vessels has been unveiled in Plymouth. A series of high power DC electric charging stations has been switched on in prominent locations along the perimeter of the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. This includes the world’s first 150kW charging facility at Mount Batten, the UK’s first 75kW site at Queen Anne’s Battery, and a 25kW installation at the Barbican landing stage. Further installations are now being developed along the city’s waterfront, with additional sites also being identified in Devon and Cornwall with a view to providing electric charging facilities every 10 miles along the counties’ southern coastline. The charging network has been created through the Marine e-Charging Living Lab (MeLL) initiative, a consortium led by the University of Plymouth in partnership with Plymouth City Council, Princess Yachts Limited and Aqua superPower. It directly responds to the UK government’s Clean Maritime Plan for maritime net zero, and its drive to increase the UK’s current percentage of clean electricity to 100% by 2035. It has also been designed to offer commercial enterprises of all sizes with a sustainable, cost-effective and time-effective means of making the switch from diesel to electric power. Research by the University, carried out during the planning stage of the project, has shown it has the potential to reduce port emissions by 96.60% in the next 30 years. As a result it could significantly cut the sector’s impact on the climate, and reduce the damage caused by harmful gases on both human and environmental health. Sarah Fear, Project and Knowledge Exchange Manager at the University of Plymouth and lead of the MeLL project, said: “The Clean Maritime 2050 strategy underlines how crucial it is that the sector moves forward, and includes a number of ambitious netzero objectives. That includes the increased

electrification of commercial vessels, but if there is no infrastructure in place you cannot support the growing number of businesses looking to employ this technology. “This charging network is a game-changer for Plymouth’s forward-thinking marine enterprises, and our ongoing research in this field is enabling the city and region to blaze a trail in clean maritime innovation.” Dan Turner, Low Carbon City Officer for Plymouth City Council, said: “This is a landmark project boasting the UK’s first marine charging network and demonstrating Plymouth’s commitment to decarbonisation and strengthening its position as the UK’s leading testbed for marine innovation and tying into the delivery of the National Marine Park and Freeport. “The Government’s Clean Maritime Plan clearly states the need to reduce carbon emissions from marine transport and by delivering this network of charging infrastructure the partnership has helped to remove one of the key barriers to the uptake of electric vessels. We are proud to have worked with fantastic partners in the delivery of this project and without their support and collaborative working this extraordinary achievement would not have been possible.” Nick Smith, Head of Product Planning at Princess Yachts, added: “Princess Yachts cannot exist without the draw of our oceans and waterways, therefore we must work harmoniously to protect and enhance the marine environment. “As a business, we have an ambitious sustainability roadmap and are on our journey to deliver on customer expectations as well as prepare for the future of our industry.” The MeLL project has been funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. It furthers the city’s reputation as a centre of excellence in clean maritime innovation, and complements existing and emerging initiatives including Oceansgate, Smart Sound Plymouth, the Plymouth Freeport and the UK’s first National Marine Park.

Sign your business up for Plymouth’s ‘Big Blue Splash’ The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park is looking for organisations and businesses to take part in its flagship summer event – The National Marine Park Big Blue Splash. Held over Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, Plymouth will be ‘painted blue’ with a wide variety of bookable activities happening all over the city. The aim of these activities will be to connect the wider population of Plymouth with the water and offer a chance to get involved with the National Marine Park. Perhaps you own a sailing or kayak business? Or offer meditation practice, art workshops or seaside rambling? Activities don’t have to be in or on the water to take part, but as long as they have a focus on the importance of learning about and protecting our fabulous Plymouth Sound that is enough! The event is part of the National Marine Park Horizons project and has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players with £9.5 million of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. By taking part businesses and organisations will have a fantastic opportunity to meet with some new faces and become part of the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park engagement activity. If you would like to be involved, please email tori@sportenvironment. com with your activity in the subject line and a description of what you would be happy to offer over that weekend.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



From Earth to Shelf The Rebecca Day 360 team are preparing for their next Humanitarian Expedition this October, which will be filmed as part of their Earth to Shelf documentary series. Rebecca Day 360 scours the globe sourcing ingredients From Earth to Shelf. Natural ingredients are gathered at the source of origin by indigenous people and developed and manufactured into products that finance humanitarian projects in the same location. RD360CIC runs alongside Rebecca Day 360, and its social impact is derived in the following three ways. Firstly, by training and educating indigenous people in their own environments to look after the land and habitats, how to source, harvest and replant ingredients, thus creating alternative income streams on a sustainable platform that protects both the population and the environment. Secondly, transitioning wounded and injured British and Commonwealth Veterans who already have a unique skill set and adding to their skills in marine and land management in order to be deployed into our humanitarian projects in remote environments to work with indigenous people, helping them to utilise and protect endangered species and habitats. And thirdly, connecting with local refugees and learning from them about their cultures and traditions and reconnecting


them to their homeland heritage through our humanitarian projects which in turn will also give them an alternative income. Our next Humanitarian Expedition in October 2022 is in its preparation phase. After contracting the help of Jade Scott to cover all marketing and social media, I thought the best way to fully understand what I do - the ‘What, Why, How’ is to see with her own eyes. Joining our team for this expedition will be an extreme step out of Jade’s comfort zone and be immersed in all that I do. My expedition team includes:

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

• • •

• • • • •

8 x Sherpas 10 x Yaks (Yak train) 1 x Gurkha Veteran (mountain warfare specialist) 1 x Ken Hames MBE (UKSF Veteran) 1 x Royal Marine Extreme medic 1 x Royal Navy Veteran (Subs to Mountains) 1 x Jade Scott 1 x Rebecca Day (me)

Our humanitarian projects outreach has grown due to the extreme hardship and suffering of the mountain people. Many

of the children’s parents are illiterate, having never had an education, and it’s only through education that opportunities come. This is the reason why we are fully supporting the children and Pangboche Basic school located at ASL 4000m which is a highaltitude village. (Ben Nevis summit is only ASL1500m)! If there are any individuals or companies interested, donations and logo placement is available to sponsor on the Expedition kit. The Expedition will be filmed as part of our Earth to Shelf documentary series.


From the football pitch TO FINANCIAL TECH Profile catches up with Mark Douglas, the man busy transforming the fortunes of small businesses across the South West with WorldFirst. Whether it be fate, luck or the chance to pursue a personal passion, most of us are likely to change or pivot our careers at some point. This is especially true for Mark Douglas, WorldFirst’s regional sales manager for the South Western region. His early ambition was to be a professional goalkeeper and he played to a high standard for local teams across Devon. But when he realised that ‘football wasn’t going to pay the bills’ he took a new direction.

As Mark explains, WorldFirst does the latter so that its customers – online sellers, importers and exporters – can focus on the former.

A student of the dot-com boom “Upon leaving Paignton College, I found myself in a Business Manager role and worked in a Business Start-Up Development Programme,” he explains. “After a period working through many different roles within sales and marketing, I went into digital marketing sales covering the South West for seven or eight years.” The dot-com boom proved to be a turning point for Mark. He saw the potential of emerging technologies as a force for efficiency – especially in industries such as telecoms, international trade and e-commerce. He decided to change careers and has focused on helping businesses within the South West ever since. “I spent 20 years in technology and I’ve seen the world change before my eyes. Companies that were start-ups back then have grown to the point that they are global market leaders. In most cases, the secret to their success was capitalising on the technology available to them, or developing it from scratch.”

Born: Liverpool 1972 Hobbies: Football, Snooker, Family Favourite Film: Pulp Fiction

Transforming cross-border payments For almost two decades, WorldFirst’s technology has helped customers to manage their cross-border FX transactions, tackle the complexities and high fees that meant they were paying more than they should do, and grow their business ventures internationally. “When I talk to small and medium-sized business owners today, my message to them is to maximise the enterprise-grade technology available at their fingertips. In fact, I believe this technology has never been more advanced, affordable or accessible than it is today.” Working with sole traders, micro, small and medium-sized businesses means there is no ‘typical’ client for Mark. Very often, the decision-maker who wears many hats; they

are the sales and marketing director, the finance director, HR director and telesales all rolled into one. They are rarely, if ever, prepared to start their international trade journey. This is where WorldFirst has proven itself to be a partner for international growth. Take, for example, a small business looking to purchase goods from China and sell to customers in America and Japan. They need to convert UK pounds into Chinese renminbi when they are buying. Meanwhile, the customers they are selling to will want to pay in US dollars and Japanese yen respectively. These funds need to be converted back to UK pounds. Managing multiple foreign exchange transfers like these in parallel may sound like a complex process, but WorldFirst makes doing international business easy. “Rather than wait for weeks or months to open a bank account, we can help to set up local currency accounts within days so businesses can collect funds from customers around the world. We can help them to transfer money safely and securely across borders and pay their suppliers. We can also repatriate their money back to the UK quickly and easily.”

Small businesses remain an engine for growth As we embark on a new financial year, what do the next 12 months have in store for small and medium-sized businesses? Mark remains optimistic. “2022 or 2023 won’t be without its challenges but I’m incredibly excited to continue working with businesses across the South West. There is a lot to be positive about; I’ve seen first-hand how British companies are engines for innovation and growth. I know the types of customers WorldFirst can help because I’ve worked with these businesses in the past.”

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Online Auction for Ukraine bids break the £1,500 mark for charity The Devon & Plymouth Chamber held an online auction throughout April and raised in excess of £1,500 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. According to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) at least three million people have fled their homes to escape the war in Ukraine and more than 18 million people are expected to be displaced as fighting continues. The DEC says that: - £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month - £50 could provide blankets for four families - £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month We received dozens of bids in our online auction, and provided live updates on the final day via social media. This incredible sum of money will now go to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and do so much to help those suffering in Ukraine. A huge thank you to all the businesses and individuals who kindly offered prizes, and congratulations to all our lucky winners!

Here’s our full list of goods and services - and the winning bids. WINNING BID



A free consultation on approaching an overseas market successfully, suitable for product or service companies, courtesy of Linda Middleton Jones from International Trade Matters.

A steak platter for two, plus two cocktails of your choice, courtesy of Paul Morris from The Social Cocktail Bar & Eatery.

One month’s social media content (one platform, three posts per week) with Âme Social.




Up to three hours’ digital media (web and social media) consultancy, with Eddystone Media. Includes a complete digital audit of your business.

A free security survey and installation of the most top security lock Sir Fix-a-Lock Ltd has to the front door of a business, together with three keys.

A £50 gift voucher for the Primal Europe website.






Summer 2022 Chamber Profile






Three hours of social media training session on “Content planning and Strategy” for up to four people, bespoke to the needs of the client, with Introtweet.

A one-night stay in a Superior Room at the New Continental Hotel, plus £50 voucher to dine at KUKU Sushi Bar & Robata.

A day sailing with Peter Coxon on board ‘Southern Comfort’ – a 42ft Southerly yacht, taking part in the Eddystone Charity Race on June 18.




A pack of 12 Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls from Coralline Health.

Two pairs of Loganair tickets for any destination flying from either Exeter to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle & Norwich or from Newquay to Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Teesside or Manchester.

Two gate8 cabin mate travel bags and two Broadweigh soft shell jackets from Mantracourt Electronics Ltd.




A commercial photography package worth £225 with Established By Her Marketing.

Two pantomime tickets at Theatre Royal Plymouth on Saturday, January 7 at 7pm.

Afternoon tea for two at Ocean View at The Dome in Plymouth, courtesy of Pushed.




A promotional video of your business including half a day filming and editing with pbmedia.

An Essential Membership to the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, and a free e-shot for your business to our membership database.

A signed Plymouth Argyle Football Club ball and shirt.













Summer 2022 Chamber Profile






Pizza with the kids on Sidmouth beach from Introtweet’s Andi Davies

A simply stunning image of “ballet on Dartmoor” from Karen Meadows, Marketing Director at Pushed

Tom Moore from Acronyms in his happy place, Plymouth Sound

Wonderful Dartmoor from Helen Hart


A daily dose of fresh air to celebrate our wonderful South West Health and wellbeing underpins everything we do here at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce - and it is central to our mantra of People, Planet and Purpose. We know that sometimes, things can feel a little overwhelming – particularly during the added pressures brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. No matter what our work schedule or personal situation might

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

be, it is crucial to create opportunities to rest, not only for our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked our members to get out to enjoy a healthy dose of fresh air and take a picture for our social media channels. We were so overwhelmed by the response that we have decided to carry on the campaign to celebrate our wonderful South West, with

its stunning coastlines and beautiful countryside all on our doorstep. We’ve included some of our favourite photographs here. The Chamber also has a dedicated Wellbeing Hub which features advice and resources for coping with stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Find out more here: wellbeing-hub/


Matt Cook from Nexus Open Systems: “I save my fresh air time ‘til the evening when I can take this thing up the woods.”

Louise Viggers: “Ate my breakfast out in my garden this morning for a dose of fresh air. Even when time’s poor, there’s always a way.”

“A lovely glass of bubbly on the beach” from James Smith

Beautiful Bovisand on a gloriously sunny day

Charlie Elford in the forest at Derriford with Kyra and Olivia from our Devon & Plymouth Chamber team

“Happy days” for Geoff Rogers from TS Partners, who has shared with us these photos of “lunch in Fremantle, Western Australia”

Charlie Elford, the Chamber’s Wellbeing Officer and Stuart’s best friend, enjoying a moment in nature at Plymouth’s Central Park

The sun going down at Saunton Sands from Thanks For All The Shoes

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



CITY COLLEGE PLYMOUTH becomes South West’s first Google Reference College City College Plymouth is the first college in the South West to be awarded the prestigious Google Reference College status, which celebrates its innovative approach to digital learning. In March, City College Plymouth became the first college in the South West to be awarded the prestigious Google Reference College status. ‘Google Reference’ status is awarded for the outstanding use of technology to drive positive learning outcomes and recognises the College’s use of G Suite for Education. City College joins just eight other FE institutions in the

UK to be awarded this status, firmly positioning it as a leading further education college with technology at the heart of learning. The new status means the College will act as a reference point for other education providers, sharing best practice and offering advice and guidance, and hosting events. The College is described as ‘Google First’ in its work and learning, with 160+ staff trained as Google Educators (Level 1/2) and six classed as Certified Trainers. Since becoming part of the South West Institute of Technology, which seeks to provide students and employers

with the digital skills to drive growth, the College has been fully committed to digital transformation. By building new facilities and investing in cutting-edge equipment, the College has been able to develop a highly innovative curriculum that is demand-led and supports the South West’s priority sectors, including the marine, engineering, manufacturing and digital sectors. However, the College fully recognises the power strong digital skills can offer any industry, which is why digital training is threaded throughout the entire College curriculum for the benefit of all

Chief Executive of City College, Jackie Grubb; Paul Fanshawe, Director of Business Intelligence; and Mark Trewin, Chief Digital Transformation Officer, are joined by students and staff to celebrate becoming the first FE college in the South West to be awarded Google Reference College status.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

students. Jackie Grubb, Chief Executive and Principal of City College Plymouth, said: “We are extremely proud to be the first Google Reference College in the South West. It firmly positions us as a college of the future, successfully embedding technology into our strategy and operations. “Google Reference status recognises our innovative work in technology and our commitment to provide students with the best opportunities to work and learn, making them better prepared for employment in the 21st century. It acknowledges the dedication of our people and this is a real achievement for the whole team. “Our aim is to create a learning environment and organisational culture that benefits the health, wellbeing and sustainability of our community, and our focus on digital learning underpins this. “Adopting digital learning throughout the College has had a tangible impact on our students and staff. It has allowed us to maximise technology to make people’s lives better, to keep us safe and better connected, and to be more efficient and productive. “This is also fantastic news for the city of Plymouth and the wider area, offering enhanced digital capability and better equipping students for the world of work.” Jess Marsh, Google for Education Adoption Programme

SECTOR FOCUS: SKILLS Manager, said: “We are very pleased to welcome another amazing Google Reference College to the programme. City College Plymouth has an innovative digital strategy and is an excellent example of a successful digital transformation model.” Chief Digital Transformation Officer, Mark Trewin, said: “City College is here for the local community and to support local employers. We want to help both individuals and businesses to unlock the power of digital. “From September, we will be offering new and revised courses that focus on digital skills, from one-day Google masterclasses to longer courses that will improve a business’s online presence. The College also has a number of level 2 and level 3 qualifications in IT and computing which, depending on your circumstances, could be free. For those who are unemployed or earning less than

£18,525 a year, you can study a level 3 qualification in computing regardless of your age or previous qualifications.” The College is pleased to support thousands of adult learners every year through its provision of more than 400 full- and part-time courses, Apprenticeships, higher education and bespoke training for businesses. It also supports hundreds of students to develop their English and maths skills and can work with employers to establish what training requirements their organisation would benefit from. Stuart Elford, CEO, Devon & Plymouth Chamber, said: “I am delighted that City College is leading the way on digital learning not just in the city, but across the whole region. “This will mean that our young people will have a digital head start as they lead the fourth industrial revolution.”

Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, with Mark Trewin, Chief Digital Transformation Officer (left), and Paul Fanshawe, Director of Business Intelligence.

Clive Rowe and Sean Doogan utilising the Google Suite in the College’s Maths Centre for Excellence.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Workplace Travel Grants

And now you’re gonna believe us... the Greens are going GREEN! Plymouth Argyle and the Argyle Community Trust have announced the launch of their inaugural Energy and Environmental Plan, which serves as the blueprint for Argyle’s journey to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The theme for Earth Day 2022 was ‘Invest In Our Planet’, underlining the catastrophic implications of failing to reach net zero by the middle of the century. Through its first ever Environmental Plan - which spans 2022-2025 - the club will take measurable steps towards halving its emissions by 2030, with a long-term target of achieving net zero by 2050. Christian Kent, Argyle’s Head of Venue, said: “As a prominent organisation in our region, it’s vital that we lead from the front in terms of taking action to arrest climate change, as well as encouraging others to do the same, and that work has already started. “When we talk about becoming a sustainable Championship club, we don’t just mean financially – and there has never been a more important time to play our part.” The full Energy and


Environmental Plan is now available for public viewing here ( sites/default/files/2022-04/ environ_v6.pdf), and has eight main areas of focus, including: gas, electricity, water, fuel, waste, business travel, nature, and procurement. While April 22 marked the formal launch of the policy, there has already been significant investment in some of the focus areas, including the decision to offer paper, not plastic, bags in the Argyle Superstore, the installation of energy-saving LED lights throughout the stadium, and a recently-announced partnership with Too Good to Go, ensuring that surplus food from events and match-days at Home Park does not go to waste. The club and Trust are now also signatories to the Network Net Zero Community, which is aligned to the United Nations’ Race to Zero initiative. Early activities at the club also include the implementation of an emissions dashboard, education of all staff and players, dedicated environmental champions for each department, and engagement with club sponsors to encourage truly sustainable partnerships.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

In the medium to longer term, the club will phase out existing unsustainable contracts with services and suppliers, replacing them wherever possible with sustainable alternatives. This includes the use of 100% renewable electricity contracts, eradicating the use of gas for heating and fuel, and changing club-owned or leased vehicles and technology to electric or hydrogen powered alternatives. Andrew Parkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Plymouth Argyle and Trustee of the Argyle Community Trust, said: “Argyle plays a huge role in the local community – and not just on Saturday afternoons. The club and Trust have a vast reach throughout Devon and Cornwall, and it is vital that we do everything we can to play our part in preserving our environment for generations to come. Our Plan outlines the steps required to take us on the journey to net zero. “We talk a lot about, and truly believe in, our values, and there is no cause greater than our planet. We at Argyle must do our bit to effect change.”

Are you a local business that wants to reduce your carbon footprint and help achieve Net Zero? Do you want to positively influence the way your colleagues travel by providing sustainable transport facilities at your workplace? Our Workplace Travel Grants might be able to help. Applications are now being accepted for capital grants of up to £25,000 for local businesses for measures that help staff travel more sustainably to, from and whilst at work through Plymouth City Council’s Productive Plymouth Transforming Cities Fund Programme. The maximum contribution from the Council is 75 per cent of the scheme costs. Launched in October 2020, the programme has already benefitted 36 companies, with more than £430,000 from grants and business contributions being invested in sustainable transport facilities. Improved showers, cycle parking, electric vehicle charge points and staff pool bikes are just some of the measures funded so far. Successful applicants, who are being supported by the Council’s Plymotion at Your Workplace travel planning team, include Plymouth University, University Hospital Plymouth NHS Trust, Nash & Co Solicitors LLP, YMCA Plymouth, Primal Europe Ltd and the Marine Biological Association. More details of the grant scheme, including application forms, along with details of the schemes delivered by successful companies are available on the Plymouth City Council Workplace Travel Grant page. The closing date for applications for the 2022/23 programme is Friday 30 September 2022 and all schemes funded this year must be delivered by mid-March 2023. workplacetravelgrants


The road to net-zero: how SMEs can make the difference Reaching net-zero is perhaps one of the greatest challenges society has ever faced. Urgent action is needed to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero levels by 2050. The deadlines are tight and businesses need to act sooner rather than later. The outbreak of the coronavirus understandably meant that some businesses put net-zero strategies on the back burner while they focussed on survival. Now, as we begin to move towards recovery, net-zero will be firmly back on the agenda. We know it won’t be easy. The huge financial struggles and economic uncertainty facing SMEs still exist. And the race to net-zero is certainly a challenging one for many industries. There is also considerable uncertainty surrounding the associated emerging risk implications. These challenges, however, also present opportunity for competitive differentiation. The first-movers are already seeing results, such as lower emissions, economic opportunities and increasingly supportive employees, customers and investors. These positive changes are helping to bring competitive edge and commercial advantage for many. With sustainability and climate change impacting businesses across virtually all sectors, there are a variety of targets that leaders should be aware of as they outline their approach to this pressing topic.

The importance of net-zero to SMEs It is all too easy to assume that netzero is an issue for government and big business, but SMEs have a crucial role to play too, contributing around half of business- driven carbon emissions, or 30% of the UK’s emissions overall. Clearly then, SMEs can make a significant contribution to the UK’s overall net-zero targets. The efforts of larger businesses working to combat climate change and working towards net zero are well documented. Tackling these risks can only be a collective effort, but every individual success in reducing carbon dioxide emissions will contribute to the net-zero cause.

Here to help It’s time to embrace the reality of climate change. Whether you are right at the beginning of your journey to netzero, have taken the first few tentative steps, or are well along the road to carbon neutrality, we are here to help people and businesses like you. Visit our net-zero resource centre at for our free net-zero guide, and access practical tools and insights.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



First ‘wacky’ forest planted in the heart of Plymouth as ground-breaking green project gets under way

A micro-forest with a massive goal has been created, with hundreds of trees planted at a Plymouth primary school in a pioneering new project that wants to give every school their own forest. Pupils and families at Mount Wise Community Primary School helped plant over 220 trees, including oak, willow, hawthorn, rowan and other varieties. An idea devised and led by YGS Landscapes, this flagship forest marks the start of a project that it plans to replicate and roll out citywide. Small but mighty, the school’s new microforest is planted in such a way – using a method developed by world-renowned ecologist, Dr Miyawaki – that it has the potential to grow 10 times faster, be 20 times more biodiverse, and can be up to 30 times better at absorbing carbon compared to more traditional ways of creating woodland, delivering huge benefits for the environment and air quality. The micro-forest project started almost a year ago at Mount Wise, with the school


eager to breathe new life into an overgrown and unused playground area – putting out a plea for help. It came at the right time, as YGS Landscapes sought out somewhere to create Plymouth’s first micro-forest. Paths crossed and the project grew from there. Giving time and abundant energy to the initiative for free, it has been project managed throughout by pillar of the local business community, Nigel Pay. Support has come from across the city, from volunteers providing time, labour and

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

equipment – including members of Plymouth Albion RFC who gave much-needed muscle and manpower – as well as generous donations to help fund the work. Millfields Inspired, a Stonehouse based charity, backed the project as part of its Widening Horizons schools programme, which supports school aged children and is soon to be delivered in Devonport. The school now has a newly planted forest, complete with a forest school seating and learning area, to help children study and

SECTOR FOCUS: SUSTAINABILITY engage with the environment. To help bring learning to life, YGS Landscapes’ MD, Steve Warren-Brown has penned a children’s book series, illustrated by local artist Steve Evans. The book series is named ‘My Wacky Forest’ and plays on the name of Dr Miyawaki, whose natural planting methodology has inspired this Plymouth project. The first three books in the My Wacky Forest series feature a lead character Mushi, a ‘fun guy’ mushroom, who introduces young readers to an array of colourful woodland creatures to help convey stories about the natural environment in a fun, informative and entirely unique way. With more stories up Steve’s sleeve, there is yet more to come from Mushi and pals in the future. The books have been adopted into the curriculum at Mount Wise, so that the new micro-forest, forest school, and books can “I’m exceptionally proud to have brought community to support us in creating an work hand-in-hand to educate, entertain my vision and books to life in this way. outside learning space, and we now have this and empower a new generation of This is the culmination of much hard incredible urban forest. environmentalists. All children work, creativity and passion – “It’s been an exciting journey with so much received copies of the new books has the and hopefully just the start of a learnt along the way, and this really is only at the tree-planting day, and potential to project with huge potential. the beginning. We want our children and the enjoyed a storytelling session in wider community to get involved, learn more the forest school area. grow 10 times “Micro-forests are incredible for our climate and community; about the environment, and enjoy the forest A successful start for a project faster... they act as a ‘super-lung’ by for generations to come.” with huge potential for local improving air quality in the area Andy Botterill, Trustee of Millfields Inspired, schools, communities, businesses and around it – and who wouldn’t want that to added: “We were keen to support this indeed the entire environment, there are be a part of every school? project; something that benefits children’s plans afoot to scale up and branch out across “For communities, the advantages learning, community connections, and the city. YGS Landscapes plans to create a The are obvious, benefiting the next helps the environment is the type programme that unites schools, volunteers generation in so many ways, of initiative that fits perfectly with advantages and businesses seeking to offset carbon and and for businesses looking our objectives. support community projects. The goal is to are obvious, to offset their carbon and “With our Widening Horizons give every school their own forest, either benefiting the next support socially responsible programme expanding into on their own land, or created in their name projects, it presents a huge Devonport, we help children within public spaces. generation in so opportunity.” learn more about the world Steve Warren-Brown said: “I wanted to many ways... of work and possibilities open Helen Jennings, Head of create Plymouth’s first ever urban microMount Wise Community Primary to them, and this project is a great forest, and that’s been achieved, with the School, said: “This has been a match starting point.” help of an enthusiastic school, supportive made in heaven. We put out a call to our sponsors and generous volunteers.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



How immersive experiences are transforming Plymouth Profile takes a look at some of the work transforming Plymouth into a creative leader in immersive technology on a global stage Wrapping around you through 360 degrees, images beamed at all angles, senses transfixed by a very different type of storytelling - it’s easy to feel your jaw drop when you stand in the centre of the Immersive Dome. Found in Plymouth’s newly refurbished and re-imagined Market Hall development, you’re unlikely to have ever experienced anything quite like it outside of wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset. The first of its kind in Europe and one of only a handful of its kind around the world, it’s a quite remarkable space that makes a statement of Plymouth’s digital and creative capabilities. For this is no pet project or flashy show of digital strength. While the gigantic Immersive Dome’s seamless shared virtual reality experience is truly unique cutting edge both in picture and in sound, it’s part of a wider network of immersive creativity that has become woven around the city. This network has helped Plymouth lay a marker on immersive. Britain’s Ocean City is making virtual waves and becoming known as a leader in a niche that has come to dominate the future of creative technologies. Virtual and augmented reality (AR) has long captured public imagination. But until now the practicalities of it have always felt out of reach, an experience where the technology hadn’t quite kept up with our expectations. That is rapidly changing. Immersive experiences are no longer just for those who can afford perversely expensive headsets. Now, immersive is infiltrating daily life - and in multiple sectors. VR and AR are not exclusively for home entertainment.


Aerospace engineers use it to help wire aircraft. VR is used to help paraplegics regain control of their lower limbs. Theme parks use it to add another layer to roller coasters. KFC has even used it to train employees to fry chicken. In Plymouth, the infrastructure has been slowly but surely put in place to enable the city to lead on the development of immersive experiences that slowly enter increasing aspects of how we lead our lives.

The Immersive Dome The Market Hall itself was created in collaboration by owners Real Ideas, Plymouth City Council and the University of Plymouth. The Immersive Dome’s forerunner, the William Day Planetarium (now the Immersive Vision Theatre), was for decades largely hidden from public view. Today, the University offers a degree course in Virtual Reality Design, where students learn to design immersive media and create content that will influence communication, work and play in the future. Its Immersive Media Laboratory provides facilities for 3D scanning and motion capture as well as space to experiment with AR and VR technologies. There’s an open invitation to use it to test new games, products, immersive experiences, educational innovations and

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

The Market Hall

medical simulations. Across the road, Plymouth College of Art creates immersive experiences that redefine our expectations of how we learn about the world around us and our perception of what culture is. They work with designers and artists to create experiences that respond to the key issues of our time, communicating in powerful new ways. This network of organisations is woven far further but demonstrates the level of collaboration now very much energised, attracting key talent to Plymouth and building a powerful reputation for immersive excellence. In a city surrounded by immersive experiences - the ocean, the moors, the cityscape these state-of-the-art spaces and collaborations are emerging at its heart that can genuinely change the way we live our lives. The Market Hall, a historic building nestled in the heart of Devonport, is positioned at the bridge between Plymouth’s emerging tech cluster and industries more closely associated with its heritage as a seafaring, working-class city. Just a walk away is Oceansgate, a hub of worldclass marine organisations who collaborate, research, develop and produce beside Plymouth’s famed waters. Clusters like Oceansgate,

or neighbours Babcock - the international naval, aerospace and security company - are using immersive technology in increasingly innovative ways - in their engineering, in manufacturing, in defence. The type of immersive content for which creators make use of the Dome is not just being made for audiences in an entertainment environment. It’s being used over the wall at the dockyard. It’s transforming the health sector, where immersive technologies are used to train students and medical practitioners before exposing them to real-life patients through interactive learning. It’s making waves in the tourism sector, where emotionally impactful virtual experiences are transforming what it means to travel. Career opportunities for young people in Plymouth that might start with a mind-blowing VR experience are becoming a reality, and not literally a virtual one. Opportunities in immersive can lead to careers that are redefining industries. Plymouth has the infrastructure, the talent and the partners. It has the skill sets to be a leader in immersive, to be a magnet for attracting people and investment - and to be a UK leader in an industryrevolutionising digital and creative world.


Developing the diversity of the South West’s next generation of leaders A programme designed to help increase board diversity across the South West is set to be expanded after the pilot project was hailed a success. The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) had struggled to recruit a suitably diverse board with the relevant skills and experience to operate at a strategic level, so the LEP decided to develop ‘Future Leaders’ to fill the void. Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce ran the project on behalf of the LEP and recruited top local business coach and facilitator Emma Huxham from Acorns & Feathers to lead the project. The first cohort included those who had previously applied to join the board of the LEP and others identified as having potential to operate at board level with the relevant training and guidance. Devon & Plymouth Chamber worked in partnership with colleagues from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) and Institute of Directors (IoD) to deliver a programme that included training in board governance, management accounts and the

geo-political makeup of the South West. Emma Huxham, who is also Global Talent Management Strategic Partner at Mars, coached the cohort who also received mentoring from top board directors and participants were invited to sit in the board meetings of leading organisations across the South West. Karl Tucker, Chair of the HotSWLEP, said: “Rather than just hope that our board would attract a diverse range of suitably qualified applicants, we decided to be proactive. It is an accepted fact that diversity on boards improves the performance of those boards and organisations. This programme was focussed on looking to help some of the talented individuals we have here in the region to improve their skills and confidence to participate and add value to boards across the area. “We hope that some of the participants on the programme may also become part of the LEP board. We partnered with Devon & Plymouth Chamber to deliver a comprehensive programme that has developed the participants to be prepared for board positions.”

Stuart Elford, CEO of Devon & Plymouth Chamber, said: “The importance of board diversity cannot be overstated and so we were thrilled to be asked to deliver this project on behalf of or the LEP and work with our colleagues in the FSB and IoD to prepare the next generation of ‘future leaders’ for board positions. “We are now seeking funding to expand the programme and widen its reach across the region for the benefit of everyone in the South West.” Sam Smith, Director of local media business Ocean City Media, was one of the cohort: “I feel strongly that everyone should be given the same chances in life and so was delighted to be asked to take part in the Future Leaders’ programme. “I learned so much and it equipped me with what I needed to serve on a board. In fact, as a direct result of the programme, I have joined the board of Plymouth Culture as a Non-Executive Director and look forward to applying the skills and experience I have gained to add value to the organisation.”

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Helping you promote your brand and products across the world With more than 160 years’ experience in the world of trade, British Chambers of Commerce knows that once you open the door to overseas exports, the possibilities for expansion are endless. That’s why we want to build a business community in the UK where more than half of firms export. Our Chamber Network already does that, and we want to help thousands more do it, too. The Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce has helped power international sales for hundreds of businesses in the South West. We’re here to help you take advantage of


exciting opportunities post-Brexit and supply your products around the world. Our dedicated team are certified by the International Trade Certification & Procedures Assessment and have a wealth of knowledge on trading overseas and administering your export strategy. Here are three ways we can help your business. Authorised - We are the ‘Authorised Signatories’ for both the UK Government and HMRC for the county. We are also UK customs agents and are able to complete both import and export customs declarations for our users via the new ChamberCustoms service. Global network - We work with 52 accredited chambers in the British Chamber of Commerce UK network, with

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

the International Chamber of Commerce networks, plus Governments and British exporters, helping you connect and sell around the globe. Advice and training - Our expertise enables the Chamber’s dedicated International Trade team to offer current and potential exporters a comprehensive range of advice, guidance, training and services. Download our brochure and find out how we can help you import and export in 2022: uploads/2021/12/IT-brochure-2022.pdf We’ve also published a new Trade Manifesto which you can download from our website: international-trade-home/

SECTOR FOCUS: INTERNATIONAL TRADE Training to help your business compete on a global scale

Success for Princess Yacht at Palm Beach International Boat Show

We know it is essential for your business to acquire and update international trade skills to compete in this rapidly-evolving and globalised world. Throughout June and July we are running a number of virtual British Chambers of Commerce-accredited training courses, each delivered by expert and experienced trainers from Devon-based International Trade Matters. They will cover the key skills that are essential to businesses that trade overseas, including Agents and Distributors (July 6), Preferential Rules of Origin (July 7) and Inward / Outward Processing (July 19). Visit our website to see links to all our upcoming courses and register:

Princess Yachts featured the North American debut of its all-new Princess V50 at this year’s Palm Beach International Boat Show in Florida, where it sold £64m of vessels in just five days. A further seven models were also on display, including the dynamic V55 and V60, the multi award-winning Princess F45 and F55, the sporty S66, the Y72 and new Y85 featuring the latest full-length hull window graphic.

Take away the stress of exporting and importing goods Did you know that you could face penalties of up to £2,500 if you fail to have your customs declarations filed compliantly and efficiently by expert customs agents? Don’t worry, ChamberCustoms’ dedicated customs declaration service is here to help you navigate any potential pitfalls. Designed to assist importers and exporters of all sizes and in every region of the UK, the service is offered direct to businesses and through UK freight forwarders, ensuring that customs clearance is accurate, timely and avoids additional costs through delays or errors. With our extensive knowledge, reputation and first-class service in facilitating international trade, we have direct links to the HMRC Customs handling system and all inventory linked ports. This ensures that your goods, no matter where they enter or leave the UK, will be cleared for onward transportation smoothly. Follow the link to find out how we can help your business. www.

UK seeks “ambitious” new trade agreement with Mexico Trade Ministers from the UK and Mexico have launched negotiations on an improved trade agreement between the two countries. Current trade terms are based on a continuity agreement put in place when the UK left the EU. Reacting to news of the launch, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, William Bain said: “Mexico is a key market for exporting firms, particularly in Northern Ireland and the North-East of England, from business services to food and drink. “We want to see an ambitious new agreement that focuses on the growing market in green trade, as well as future proofing access for further expansion in services. “Other key factors will be effective labour mobility and business travel schemes, and reduced costs for exporters through strong digital trade provisions. “We also want to see arrangements on rules of origin which provide manufacturers with similar flexibilities on supply chains to those currently in place, as well as the benefits of further tariff reductions. “A modern agreement has the potential to boost opportunities in Mexico for UK exporters in a growing and exciting market – the 15th largest economy in the world in 2020.”

Princess Yachts

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Putting the spotlight on Devon’s capital Exeter is predicted to have one of the fastest growing economies in the country this year. Thomas Westcott Partner Patrick Tigwell looks at the rise and rise of a unique city...

An engine of growth

There was a time when Exeter was a pretty sleepy city. When I first came here in 1990, the university and the cathedral were the only shows in town and there was a strong reliance on agricultural businesses. Today, there is so much more going on. The arrival of new industries, such as renewables and the tech sector, industrial and engineering firms, together with a thriving university that now rivals Oxbridge, plus the fact that the Met Office is here, as well as other big organisations and businesses, means Exeter is thriving. Yes, there are challenges ahead, but this city has certainly got what it takes to be, as I see it, the real engine of growth in Devon and beyond.

Location, location, location

Exeter is a small city in the right place. It’s well connected, with the M5 providing links to Bristol, the Midlands and the M4 corridor. Rail connections into London are frequent and fast. Exeter Airport is five miles from the city centre, with daily flights to destinations all over the UK, Europe and beyond. All of this makes it an attractive destination for new


business owners who want to stay connected while enjoying the South West lifestyle. The city is well placed for locals, too. It acts as a magnet for commuters from Crediton, mid-Devon, Okehampton, as well as Torbay and East Devon.

Bringing in new industries

The city is developing a reputation as a centre for science and technology, with the development of Exeter Science Park and the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter. It’s also the headquarters of the Met Office. Not many cities in the UK can boast this kind of skillset at a time when there’s a big move to net zero by 2050. Although we’ll always have sectors, such as leisure and tourism, we’ve also got new industries, such as renewables and tech – they are the future.

Entrepreneurial spirit

What I’ve noticed in the past few years is the amount of oneman and one-woman-band types of businesses setting up here. It’s really added to Exeter’s strong sense of entrepreneurship, a feeling backed by many business leaders and organisations here who champion what the city is doing

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

to attract fresh talent and fresh ideas.

The changing face of the high street

I was at the opening of St Sidwell’s Point, Exeter’s new state-of-the-art leisure centre. It’s been billed as a major asset for Exeter that will serve the city for many years to come. What I found interesting is that the site has a lovely but small café. The idea is that people can go and have a swim or a weights session and then have refreshments in the city centre. Exeter is embracing a pattern of behaviour I think we’ll see across all towns and cities in the UK. We’re witnessing this kind of morphing of the high street from retail based to a more allencompassing leisure experience.

Weathering some storms

Like everywhere, Exeter has been through some tough times. There has been a series of body blows for Exeter-based firms, including the city’s airport which struggled through the pandemic. Add to that the rise of fuel and energy costs, inflation on building materials and supply issues and you’re looking at a bleak landscape. Here at Thomas Westcott,

we know from handling many accounts that a lot of businesses took on a lot of debt during the pandemic and that’s now going to have to be repaid. There are some difficulties ahead, of course. But, encouragingly, a lot of our clients are doing really, really well. Footfall in the city is back to about 80 per cent of prepandemic levels (pre-pandemic, the average monthly footfall was 1.36 million visitors a month). In addition, the airport is flying high again, with the arrival of new airlines and destinations.

A real buzz

I wouldn’t say we’re set fair just yet, but things are looking positive. There’s a great deal of willpower and determination in this city. The latest UK Powerhouse Report says Exeter will move into the top 10 cities in the country for Gross Value Added (GVA) growth in 2022. GVA is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. When I step outside my office door in Southernhay, the city has this real buzz about it. We have a strong business community and a sense that we’re all in the right place at the right time. Long may that continue.


WBD partner elected as Plymouth Law Society President A partner at the Plymouth aiming to provide support and a office of law firm Womble Bond collective voice for the city’s legal Dickinson (WBD) has taken a community. top position in a leading legal Craig’s appointment follows the organisation. departure of James Walsh from Real estate finance specialist the post, who held the position Craig Moore has been elected as of President for two years. James President of the Plymouth Law will continue as Treasurer for the Society. Society. Leading WBD’s 20-strong Commenting on his real estate team in Plymouth, appointment, Craig said: “I am Craig specialises in all aspects of delighted to have been elected commercial property work, with a as the new President of Plymouth particular emphasis on property Law Society. finance. “The society does a He regularly acts for a wide tremendous amount to support variety of lenders, insolvency the legal community in Plymouth practitioners, investors, and nurture new talent as it developers, property receivers, continues to grow. I am excited public bodies, charities, education to become a key part of that institutions, registered growth and continue the providers and valuable work of commercial clients. my predecessor Established in James.” “The society 1815, Plymouth does a tremendous Law Society has worked amount to support with a wide the legal community range of in Plymouth...” local law firms,

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Why you need to embrace effective flexible working practices Andrew Faulkner, Programme Coordinator for Business at South Devon College, offers his thoughts on leadership and management The global pandemic crisis has presented managers and leaders with a rapidlychanging landscape in which they are having to adapt their approaches to managing their teams. According to the CMI (2020), the value of great management and leadership in this extraordinarily difficult time is being demonstrated every day - whether it’s the senior leaders in government, managers on the frontline of healthcare or those involved in the retail sector. So, what can we learn from recent events when we consider our own management or leadership practice? Firstly, is the need for flexibility in our approach. With the dramatic move away from the traditional workplace environment, we need to adapt our style to manage or lead our teams. By making use of any of the wide range of new technologies to enable teams to work remotely we can continue to manage our teams. However, what is critical during these times is to ensure we continue the ‘human’ side of our interactions rather than just being reliant on emails, or the range of messaging applications.


This brings us on to consider the wellbeing side of management and leadership. NHS evidence suggests there are five steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Considering these steps could help you to better support your teams, but just as important, enable you to manage your own mental health during the changes that are taking place. We often hear of the need to adapt to the ‘new normal’. The pandemic signifies an unprecedented challenge to leaders around the world, the nature of which has allowed misinformation to spread whilst the facts are still emerging. So, how do we establish what the new normal is? We need to adapt fast to new facts and evidence, and for this management agility is key. Agility in management and leadership is about us engaging, motivating and empowering our teams to self-manage and self-organise rather than the traditional techniques. As agile managers and leaders we can provide our teams with the tools, skills and resources they need to achieve continued performance and deliver a supportive

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

working environment. We are yet to know quite what will emerge from the current pandemic crisis. However, for businesses to survive and flourish in a new normal, managers and leaders must be willing to change. Are you ready to manage and lead in a different way to meet the demands of an unknown future?

TOP TIP Embrace effective flexible working practices, through crisis and beyond to help boost the attraction, retention and wellbeing of all employees. About South Devon College South Devon College offers a wide range of study programmes with progression routes from foundation level all the way through to degrees. This includes a wide range of Management and Leadership programmes which prepare you for careers in Accounting, Management, Marketing, Human Resources, and Administration



Relay For Life Plymouth! Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life is a family festival celebrating the power of community fundraising in the fight to beat cancer. Teams of friends and family fundraise for life-saving research then unite at a weekend-long festival to honour everyone affected by cancer and celebrate the progress made in research. Sign up to Relay For Life Plymouth taking place at Tor Bridge High School, on 30th July 2022. The festival is focused around a 24-hour relay where team members take it in turns

to walk around a track to show that together we’ll do whatever it takes to beat cancer. You can take part in Relay For Life as a team captain, team member or as a cancer survivor. Regan first started participating in Relay For Life to honour his nan and auntie but he never thought that he would be taking part as a cancer survivor. Regan was diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma on 18 May 2012, just weeks after his 6th birthday. In November 2012 Regan had his final operation to remove the

last bit of tumour and had his last chemotherapy in January 2013. Regan said “I only remember the positive times in hospital. I used to go into Southampton every 3 weeks for a week of chemotherapy, but never complained, I was always excited about having an Xbox to play on at the end of my bed. I made friends with a few children, who always seemed to be in hospital at the same time as me, they really helped me as they were older and gave me tips about eating different things such as fizzy sweets when having chemo so I couldn’t taste it.” Regan is now 15 years old and doing well at school, loves attending Cadets, playing football and still enjoys gaming. Cancer Research UK spokesperson Sam Morris says “Thanks to you, we’ve helped double cancer survival in the last 40 years. Today, 2 in 4 people survive the disease. Our ambition

is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people survive cancer by 2034.” During the weekend Relayers participate in an incredible event of celebration and remembrance. You can enjoy a variety of games, music from local performers and hear about Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking science. One of the most cherished moments of the festivities is the Candle of Hope ceremony. This is an unforgettable experience as we light up the evening with candles to honour every life touched by cancer. Sam says “We are absolutely determined to continue our vital research to create better treatments for tomorrow, but we need your help today. By starting or joining a Relay For Life team, your fundraising will make a difference and together we will beat cancer.”

Sign up at

Relay For Life Plymouth 30th/31st July 2022 Tor Bridge High School Join your local Relay heroes as we unite to celebrate survivorship, remember loved ones and show that together we will beat cancer.

Sign up at Relay For Life is organised by volunteers from a Relay For Life Committee on behalf of Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666), the Isle of Man (1103) and Jersey (247). Northern Ireland charity registration pending. The Cancer Research UK name and logo is a registered trademark of Cancer Research UK and the Relay For Life name and logo is a registered trademark of the American Cancer Society.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Plug in and prepare for launch with the new Volkswagen ID.3 Andy Pyle, content manager at pbmedia, road tests the all-electric ID.3 from Murray Volkswagen Plymouth and comes to a shocking conclusion.

The electric revolution IS During the first eight months coming, whether you like it or of 2021, VW sold 76,415 not. combined units of the ID.3 Whatever your views on and ID.4 in Western Europe Electric Vehicles (EVs), in the - approximately 44,000 and next 15 to 20 years there will be 33,000 respectively. no alternative. Added together, they surpass By 2030, the UK Government the sales numbers of the Tesla plans to ban sales of conventional Model 3, which was reportedly petrol and diesel cars. And plugnewly registered some 75,000 in hybrids will follow suit five times during the same period. years later. This year Volkswagen is One company experiencing incredible “This was not sitting on demand for its their hands is the most fun I'd battery-powered Volkswagen, who models as more and ever had on four more people consider three years ago wheels” caused a real buzz EVs as a viable when they announced alternative to petrol or their tech experts were diesel cars. working on a range of all-electric As someone who had never cars. driven an EV, I was eager - and The ID.3 represents the ever so slightly apprehensive - to German brand’s first venture get behind the wheel. into the pure electric market and Let’s start with the speed, started to hit UK showrooms last which I’m thrilled to say fulfilled year. all my expectations. VW says the name ID. means The ID.3 is quick… like REALLY “Intelligent design, identity and quick! visionary technologies”. I’ve driven fast cars before in In the current market (pun my previous role as a motoring intended), it could also stand for journalist. I even owned a Civic “In Demand”. Type-R some years ago and fell


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

in love with its raw acceleration. That was before I traded speed for space and bought something with a boot large enough for a pram and a balance bike… Even my dearly departed Type R, though, would struggle to keep up with the VW off the line. Having that instant power underfoot was unnerving for the first couple of miles. But like me, you’ll quickly realise operating the ID.3 is the same as driving a regular car. You could argue that it is even easier thanks to three very important differences. The first is that there’s no sound, which among other things makes it very easy to talk to your passengers! The neighbours were incredibly impressed by how quiet it was as I passed by. I’m also very pleased to report no

young footballers or balance bike riders were harmed during this review! Second is the lack of a physical handbrake. This may take a bit of getting used to for those who are used to a conventional or, in more recent times, electronic handbrake. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll quickly be using the hill stop to pull away from the lights with ease. The third difference is how smooth the ID.3 is to drive. After nearly 20 years of owning cars with manual gearboxes, I switched to an automatic a couple of years ago. In an automatic, while not actually having to change up or down, you can still feel it going through the gears. Electric power, though, is a continuous build-up. I was

SECTOR FOCUS: MOTORING worried this would make the car it shows available stations near feel difficult to control, but I was you. wrong. A quick search told me that The Pure model I drove was three of the four points at the also fitted with ‘B mode’, which Central Park car park were activates the regenerative available. And, sure enough, I braking system. This means when pulled up next to a Tesla and you take your foot off the plugged in using the accelerator, the car will supplied cable. “...there automatically brake To use the are more than chargers you for you - particularly useful when moving 42,000 charging simply download slowly in traffic. the app, put in points across the your payment That brings us nicely on to what details and you’re UK” is probably the most good to go. discussed thing in the EV There are also various world - the range. suppliers and government Volkswagen says the ID.3’s schemes available to help you fast-charging battery has a obtain a charging point for your range of up to 170 miles. That’s home or work place, so you can comfortably enough to get from charge up before your journey. Land’s End in Cornwall to Lynton One observation is that using in Devon, charge up and come anything electrical in the vehicle, home again. such as turning up the heater, will And an ever-improving affect your overall range. That will infrastructure for EVs now means make you consider your journey there are more than 42,000 more than in a conventional charging points across the UK. petrol or diesel car. One great feature of the ID.3 The ID.3 is very easy on the satellite navigation system is that eye in the looks department,

particularly when compared to other EVs. Its rear heavily resembles a Golf, which I’m more than happy with. And the shorter bonnet means it’s easier to park. Inside the ID.3 you’ll find a quality feel you’d expect from any Volkswagen. Connectivity is great, and it’s really simple to pair your mobile device. The model I had featured a wireless charging pad in the centre console, and multiple USB-C ports for your devices. It also had adaptive cruise control, which measures the distance to the vehicle in front and slows your car down. One of my favourite features was undoubtedly the hill-stop assist, which is by far the most effective in any car I’ve tested due to the aforementioned power

build-up. If you’ve ever seen Top Gear - or been lucky enough to drive a proper supercar! - you’ll know what I mean! Perhaps my first all-electric experience was best summed up by my three-year-old daughter, who says the ID.3 “feels like a roller coaster”. It was hard to argue with her. As I sat at the lights with my foot hovering over the “power button”, preparing for launch, I came to a shocking conclusion… This was the most fun I’d ever had on four wheels! Find out more about the ID.3 range by contacting Murray Volkswagen Plymouth on 01752 668351 or visit the website here: volkswagen/

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



‘Plane’ and simple – Why holidaying from Exeter has never been easier Thanks to Emerald Airlines and Aer Lingus, you can now fly from Exeter to the USA and Canada, along with convenient flights to Dublin and Belfast – all year round! Are you looking for a quick getaway to Dublin, or a weekend trip to Belfast? Perhaps you’re planning to go further afield with a trip to the US or Canada? Emerald Airlines, exclusive operator of Aer Lingus Regional services, will be operating the Exeter-Dublin and Exeter-Belfast routes. The Exeter-Dublin flights link seamlessly with Aer Lingus’ transatlantic departures from Dublin to New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington and Toronto. These new routes have been warmly welcomed and are a huge boost to the region.

Exeter - Dublin North America For the first time passengers can fly from Exeter to New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington and Toronto, via Dublin. This means you can board a flight in Exeter at 9.10am and be in New York just in time for dinner the same day. Passengers flying to the US can connect seamlessly onto the Aer Lingus transatlantic network at Dublin where they can avail of the US Immigration Pre-clearance at Dublin Airport before they fly – meaning they will be treated like a domestic passenger, skipping any lengthy immigration queues stateside.

Exeter - Belfast Earlier this year, Emerald Airlines began its services

between Exeter and Belfast, increasing connectivity to and from Northern Ireland. This year round service operates five times weekly, with fares starting at £39.99.

Green Skies Ahead — Emerald Airlines’ Fleet Aer Lingus Regional flights are operated by the ATR72600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft combining unmatched environmental and economic performance. These ultra low fuel burn aircraft emit up to 40% less CO₂ on short, regional flights.

Earn and Burn — Aer Club & Avios Redemption Some more good news — As an added benefit, by flying on

Aer Lingus Regional flights operated by Emerald Airlines, passengers can benefit from the AerClub loyalty programme by redeeming and utilising their Avios points. Customers will continue to enjoy all the benefits through Aer Lingus and British Airways’ codeshare agreement with Emerald Airlines. AerClub, the Aer Lingus’ loyalty programme, recognises the most loyal and frequent Aer Lingus flyers through a four-tier structure. Earn Tier Credits based on frequency and spend with Aer Lingus - the more earned in each 12-month qualification period the further you advance.

About Emerald Airlines Emerald Airlines is Ireland’s newest regional airline and exclusive operator of the Aer Lingus Regional route network. The airline recently commenced Aer Lingus Regional flights from Dublin Airport, by June Emerald Airlines will fly over 360 flights per week across 12 routes The Emerald management team is made up of highly experienced aviation professionals with extensive worldwide aviation experience. Emerald Airlines will provide a high-quality and customer-focused service for their airline client’s route networks. Guided by a set of core values, Emerald Airlines’ mission is to safely grow the business sustainability through innovation and expertise in regional aviation.

About Aer Lingus Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It operates 67 aircraft on over 100 routes to destinations in the UK and Europe. The airline operates 17 transatlantic routes from Dublin, Shannon and Manchester UK to North America and the Caribbean. Its mission is to become the leading value carrier operating across the North Atlantic enabled by a profitable and sustainable short-haul network and supported by a guest-focused brand and a digitally-enabled value proposition. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


Passionate about making positive changes at Riverford Kitchen event A huge thank you to everyone who joined us at The Riverford Field Kitchen in Buckfastleigh for our sold-out Green Breakfast Networking event - especially our wonderful hosts and our amazing guest speakers.

We had a fabulous morning at this wonderful venue with people who are truly passionate about business making positive changes to the environment. Guest speakers were Amanda Keetley, Director at Devon Environment Foundation;

Oli Lee, Director at How Now Dairy; Adam King from YGS Landscapes Ltd; and Zac Goodall, Head of Sustainability, and the team at The Riverford Field Kitchen. Special thanks to our Green Partners and event sponsors YGS Landscapes.


The Devon Business Show

July 5, 2022

We heard some amazing and innovative ideas during our Pitch & Procure event at the University of Plymouth in April - which proved such a huge success and was so well received that we are hosting another one on July 5, so please do join us. Contact for more details and an application.

Chamber Connect July 7, 2022

The perfect way for existing members and potential new members to get to know our team on a more personal level and develop an understanding of just how the Chamber’s many benefits can help your business.

City Conversations July 14, 2022

Our flagship invitation-only breakfast event provides business leaders with strategic briefings on a wide variety of topics that are of interest to those in senior management roles. The next City Conversations will again be at Foot Anstey LLP in Plymouth, with an exceptional line-up of speakers being announced soon.

September 28, 2022 The Devon Business Show is back for autumn 2022 – and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever! The leading event for businesses, individuals and organisations to connect across the county returns to Plymouth Pavilions on September 28 in an innovative ‘zones’ format, complete with interactive displays and sessions throughout the day. We’re taking enquiries for exhibition stands and interest is high. To secure your place, contact Helen Hart via email

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Amazing speakers and sunny views - it must be City Conversations! The sun was shining and the views were stunning for our latest City Conversations breakfast event, which was hosted and proudly sponsored by Foot Anstey LLP. The Devon & Plymouth Chamber’s flagship invitation-only event provides business leaders with strategic briefings on a wide variety of topics that are of interest to those in senior management roles. Our exceptional line-up of speakers included Sally Farley, Strategic Transport Manager at Plymouth City Council; Edward Hart, Programme Lead at Real Ideas; Chris Bentley. Commercial Manager at Plymouth Albion RFC; and Richard Stevens, Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon. We’ll be at Foot Anstey again for our next #CityCons on Thursday, July 14. Please email if you would like to attend and state whether you will be attending in person or online.

Pitch & Procure from wacky forests to high-voltage transformers

We enjoyed a fantastic morning at the University of Plymouth for our Pitch & Procure event, where we heard some truly amazing and innovative ideas from some exciting, enterprising local businesses. Promoting and facilitating local procurement is a key strategic priority of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and, following the tremendous success of this first event in April. we’re thrilled to announce that we will be holding a second date on July 5. Our panel will again include the very senior procurement leaders from the following organisations: Babcock Marine, Plymouth City Council, University of Plymouth, Pennon Group (SW Water) and University Hospitals Plymouth. These unique events aim to bring enterprising local businesses together with several major procuring organisations, giving you the chance to showcase your products and services. Do you have an innovative product or service that you want to pitch to our panel? Do you want the chance to open the doors for business with these large organisations? If so please email for an application.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


Aquarium event showcases exciting new projects for Plymouth Lots of people and businesses at the National Marine Aquarium for a special event with the Plymouth Marine Network. Sponsored by TS Partners, the event offered a rare opportunity to meet the key personnel responsible for taking forward and developing the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park and Plymouth and South Devon Freeport. Our headline speakers for this event were Elaine Hayes, Interim CEO at the National Marine Park, and Richard May, SRO for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, who updated us on its progress. Thank you to everyone who joined us.

Trailblazing hospitality at the Courtyard Exeter Sandy Park Hotel We welcomed special guests to the stunning Courtyard Exeter Sandy Park Hotel in May for a guided tour of this amazing venue. Located next to Exeter Chiefs, the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel combines style and innovative design in a distinctive location, not to mention ‘trailblazing hospitality’ and delicious local food. On arrival, our guests were served a Salcombe Gin G&T (nonalcoholic options were also available), before enjoying a stunning Brunch Menu in The View restaurant. A huge thank you to our hosts for the day, and to everyone who joined us.

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



A wonderful evening at HMS Drake for the PABC Spring Professionals Dinner There was a superb turnout as the Plymouth Area Business Council (PABC) held its formal Spring Professionals Dinner at HMS Drake. Made up of the senior individual key sector leaders from the City and travel-to-work area, the PABC became an integral part of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber in 2018 and is now our economic policy advisory group. Its core aim is to encourage and sustain constructive dialogue and ideas between the Private, Third and Public sectors operating in the Plymouth City region for the longterm benefit of its inhabitants. Our guests of honour for the dinner on May 7 were Shevaun Haviland, Director General British Chambers of Commerce, and Pete Goss MBE. A huge thanks to Commodore Peter Coulson for his hospitality and our co-hosts Womble Bond Dickinson and Plymouth Citybus.


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile


Summer 2022 Chamber Profile






Silver Wood Design Devon Ltd


Devon Communities Together


Little Silver Quarry, Barnstaple EX314HQ

The Apex, Derriford Business Park, Plymouth PL6 5FL

Unit 73 & 74 Basepoint Business Park, Yeoford Way, Exeter EX2 8LB

9 Marchburn Drive, Glasgow Airport, Paisley PA3 2SJ

West Country Women Awards CIC

Carola Becker The Nutrition Coach

Teignmouth Harbour Commision

28 Long Park, Modbury PL210RP www.westcountrywomenawards.

45 Victoria Close, Willand EX15 2PD

Asmi Stanley Mortgages and Protection

Charles Darrow Ltd

South West Coast Path Association


Montpelier Management Services

Residence 2, Unit 11, Royal William Yard, Plymouth PL1 3RP

10 Alder Court, Bell Court Newnham Ind Estate, Plymouth PL4 4JH

2 Carmel Gardens Tavistock PL19 8RG

Access4Lofts Ltd

Unit 16, Lister Mill Business Park Lister Close, Plymouth PL7 4BA

CNC Recycling

NatWest Bank plc

2 Vulcan Street, Middlesborough TS2 1PP

PO Box 24, 4th Floor, St.Andrews Cross, Plymouth PL4 0WA

12 St. Pauls Road Newton Abbot

Bluestone360 Douglass House, Douglass Road, Plymouth PL3 6NP

ABP Port Office, Old Quay Road, Teignmouth TQ14 8ES

101 Southway Drive, Pymouth PL6 6SN

Growth Partners 2 Colton Square, Colton Street, Leicester LE1 1QH SouthWest Fabrications

Hillside Product Design Ltd

Southwest Fabrications Ltd, Upcott Avenue, Barnstaple EX31 1HN

Teignmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce

1a Waterloo Street, Teignmouth TQ14 8AS

14 Regents Street Teignmouth TQ14 8SJ

Alliance Legal Limited

How Now Dairy

3 East Park, Kernborough, Kingsbridge TQ7 2LL

Ladydown, Ugborough, Ivybridge PL21 0PG

Ocean Ecology

Maen Karne

Green Shoots Eco

Plymouth Science Park Derriford, Plymouth PL6 8BX

Melbur Works, Somercourt Cornwall TR8 5UA

Courtyard Exeter, Sandy Park Way, Exeter EX2 7NN

Sound View Media Ltd

Thought Quarter

The Business Centre 2, Cattedown Rd, East End, Plymouth PL40EG

Pool Innovation Centre. Redruth, Cornwall TR15 3PL

Life Chance Ltd College House, Ashburton Road, Newton Abbot TQ121NH

Pentillie Castle and Estate Pentillie Castle and Estate, St.Mellion, Saltash PL12 6QD

6 Phelps Road, Devonport, Plymouth PL1 4FY

Oakway Ltd

Courtyard by Marriott Dartmoor Zoo

My Need to Live CIC 25 The Cresent, Thrive Hubs, Plymouth PL1 3AD

Emmerson Wills Plymouth PL6 5QZ

South West Norse Venture House 1 Captial Court, Bittern Road Sowton Industrial Estate Exeter EX2 7FW GMD Eurotool Ltd Unit 5, Eastern Wood Road, Langage Industrial Estate, Plymouth PL7 5ET


Quarry Crescent, Pennygillam Industrial Estate, Launceston, Cornwall PL15 7ED

Sparkwell, Plymouth PL7 5DG,uk

Zedify Plymouth

Gwella Contracting Services Unit 8 Forrester Business Park, Estover Close, Plymouth PL6 7PL

17b Wilton Street, Plymouth PL1 5LT

World First UK

Eco Plug


MEC - Mechanical and Electrical Contracting

Wrafton, Braunton, North Devon EX33 2DL

PSP, 1 Davy Road, Plymouth PL6 8BX Babington Whitefriars Business Centre, Whitefriars, Lewins Mead, Bristol BS1 2NT

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile

Millbank Tower, 21- 24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Harscombe House 1 Darklake View, Estover, Plymouth PL6 7TL

Harold Duckworth & Co. 41 Houndiscombe Road, Mutley, Plymouth PL4 6EX

Ibis Hotel Longbridge Road, Marsh Mills, Plymouth PL6 8LD

CHAMBER PEOPLE Name: Kelly Smith Role: Events Executive at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce What do you do and why do you do it? I have recently started with the Devon & Plymouth Chamber as their new Events Executive. The aim of the role is to deliver the events strategy of the organisation by producing and putting on a series of high-quality events for both members and non-members. I come from an events background and love taking an idea, thought or suggestion through from conception to fruition. I like putting on events where people feel like they can take something useful and/or helpful away from it.

What inspires you? Currently, my team! In the seven weeks that I have been in post (at the time of writing this), they have been so supportive and welcoming and haven’t yet killed me for asking way too many questions! Their work ethic is fabulous with a real “can do” attitude which I love and really admire.

What drives you? The desire to feel as though I can help, solve problems and make a difference, whether that be in everyday life or when putting on events.

Where do you see the future of your organisation? I’d like to see the Devon & Plymouth Chamber grow while still supporting our members through various events beneficial to their business needs.

What’s the best advice you have ever been given? Don’t ever assume anything!

If you could sum up your CV in one word, it would be? Broad.

When it comes to business, do you follow your head or your heart? I am guilty at times for wearing my heart on my sleeve, but throughout my career and through gaining a wealth of experience, I have learnt that sometimes it doesn’t matter what the heart says when it comes to it, your head normally is the voice of reason.

Describe yourself in five words Loyal, dependable, passionate, creative, organised.

How do you balance life and work? I’ve learnt (the hard way!) over the years that taking my work home with me does not benefit me in any shape or form. I will always be someone who cares about what she does and will

probably always go beyond the call of duty, but nowadays I’m able to leave most issues at the office, chill and revisit when I’m back in.

What’s your favourite quote? “It is what it is!”

Who has been the greatest influence on you? My parents, for the work ethic that they have instilled in me.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of all the opportunities that I have been given throughout my career, from travelling both nationally and Internationally, representing the University of Plymouth, to planning and arranging a variety of events to aid student engagement for both potential and current students. I’m also proud that I managed to just about survive the COVID lockdowns!

Newly refurbished 7 event rooms, superb Schiller Hall Caters for catering & business up to 120 delegates. class technology – Includes a mezzanine A truly unique conference floor and terrace with venue just 2 minutes from the A38 Expressway inspiring views

Bringing beauty to business Buckfast Abbey Northwood Lane, Buckfast, Devon TQ11 0EG | | 01364 645530 | Buckfast Abbey is a registered Charity No. 232497

Summer 2022 Chamber Profile



Summer 2022 Chamber Profile