Profile Chamber Winter 2021

Page 1




Our ground-breaking Live event Pages 26-27

Chamber Awards The very best of Devon at Buckfast Abbey Pages 10-15

NEWS: Prestigious award for YGS Landscapes DIGITAL: Why making the switch is crucial SUSTAINABILITY: Join the journey to Net Zero


Providing high-quality technical and professional education and training for young people, adults and employers




direct contribution to the economy

indirect contribution to the economy






staff employed

courses on offer

students trained every year

apprentices employed by local companies 01752 305026 /cityplymbiz | @cityplym

The learning destination of choice

Cross-border disputes on the rise Ieuan Jones, Partner & Business Disputes Solicitor In spite of leaving the EU, the UK remains very much open for business internationally. As litigators we have consequently seen and heard about a recent yet steady increase in claims with a cross-border element. These claims have included contract, franchise and supplier disputes, involving several jurisdictions. These mainly involve ongoing issues arising from significant delays in deliveries, as well as costs rising above what had originally been agreed.

Many of the issues arising in cross-border disputes will be the same as in a disagreement where all parties are based in the UK. The terms of the agreement will remain paramount, as will maintaining a commercial perspective. Sometimes a party will find it difficult to see past their emotions to the commercial sense of negotiating, which is why having a professional and experienced commercial solicitor involved can help to secure further protection for your business’ interests.

As the world is opening back up again, it will be interesting to see how much of a mix of regional, national and international claims we deal with moving forward.

We will provide expert legal advice with a commercial focus at all times, ensuring you understand the best way forward to protect not only your investment but also your reputation. | 01752 203500





Chamber Chief Executive Stuart Elford reflects on the success of our Net Zero series of events, the Kickstart Scheme and our glittering Business Awards ceremony


Prestigious national award for YGS Landscapes’ Sherford ‘Living Wall’


Rail services resume on Dartmoor Line for first time in 50 years


Award-winning Plymouth Citybus keeping us moving during pandemic


Thousands of honey bees creating a real buzz at Theatre Royal Plymouth


New Plymouth-based firm Agile springs into the telecoms market



ITEC announced as new patron of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber

37-41 Pictures from this quarter’s Chamber and member events

Behind the scenes of our ground-breaking Net Zero Live event from Fresh Air Studios




DIGITAL Why making the switch to digital is crucial for your business


ENERGY A straightforward solution in a world which is anything but

A warm welcome to all our new Devon & Plymouth Chamber members


20-21 SKILLS All the exciting new developments from City College Plymouth 22

LEGAL GA Solicitors shines the spotlight on hybrid and home working


FOOD AND DRINK Promoting healthy habits to benefit home and work life


INSURANCE Identifying the true cost of property underinsurance


INTERNATIONAL TRADE Freeports’ role in the post-pandemic British Revival


10 - 15 All the winners from our glittering ceremony at Buckfast Abbey

CULTURE National recognition for Plymouth’s innovative IGNITE Festival


SMALL BUSINESS TOOLKIT Disaster Recovery to keep your business on track


34-35 MOTORING Stuart Elford test-rides two new BMW 1250cc bikes



Chamber helps over 300 young people access Kickstart Scheme


Focusing on South West businesses’ journey to achieving Net Zero


WORKSPACES Delt Shared Services is helping people to do amazing things


Katie Upton, B Corp and Sustainable Business Intern at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile




CONTACT DETAILS Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Unit 5 Derriford Business Park, Brest Road, Plymouth, Devon PL6 5QZ T: 01752 220471 E: W: News and articles should be sent to: E: Front cover: Net Zero Live - starting the crucial journey to Carbon Net Zero. See pages 26-27 Published by Cornerstone Vision Ltd 28 Old Park Road, Peverell, Plymouth PL3 4PY T: 01752 225623 W: Managing Editor Chris Girdler Designer Leah-Maarit Jeffery Advertising David Simpson E: Printed by PDS Print W: PRIVACY NOTICE Cornerstone Vision Ltd process personal information for certain legitimate interest purposes, which includes the following: • To provide postal copies of this publication to Chamber member and Cornerstone Vision Ltd customers; and • To offer marketing and promotional opportunities within this publication to Chamber members an prospects. Whenever we process data for these purposes, we always ensure we treat your Personal Data rights in high regard. Chamber Profile is produced on behalf of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce by Cornerstone Vision Ltd and is delivered to key businesses and all Chamber members. The publisher is committed to achieving the highest quality standard. However, views expressed in the magazine are independent and while every care has been taken to ensure that the information it contains is accurate, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for any omission or inaccuracies that might arise. The publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format without the prior written permission of Cornerstone Vision Ltd.

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


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

I don’t think there is a business in the South West which doesn’t have some appreciation of the importance of the relationship between our economy and our environment. That’s why when we set our strategic priorities 12 months ago, sustainability and sustainable growth was foremost in how we saw business in the region developing. Now, particularly in the wake of the ground-breaking UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), it is a conversation that is becoming increasingly urgent. Our jam-packed winter edition of Profile starts with a look at the Chamber’s Net Zero programme - a month of events dedicated to business and the climate crisis agenda. Proudly sponsored by the award-winning YGS Landscapes Ltd - who have produced some leading sustainability work of their own in recent years - our innovative series showcased how the region’s businesses are changing to meet carbon targets. As part of the programme, we hosted our first Green Networking event at the University of Plymouth’s Sustainability Hub - a remarkable facility which connects the South West’s great thinkers on our ecological future. Another highlight was ‘One Devonport’, which offered our guests the opportunity to take a networking tour of Babcock International in Plymouth and explore the company’s journey through environmental, social and corporate sustainability. The culmination of the series was Net Zero Live, a four-hour live broadcasted event streamed through multiple channels by Fresh Air Studios in Millbay, Plymouth. Nearly 17,000 people tuned in as experts from across the region offered insight and advice in four different categories: Earth & Energy, Transport, Marine and Business Support. We have since launched a dedicated Net Zero Hub on our website which contains local support and links, tools and resources to help you and your business with your Net Zero plan. Among our superb speakers on the day


were Steve Warren-Brown and Adam King from YGS Landscapes, who were part of the team, along with Redrok and Engage Workplace, that helped us complete the refurbishment of our offices at Derriford Business Park. Our members are welcome to drop in and use our fresh, modern co-working space and breakout area, and our newly refurbished conference room is available to rent at a discounted rate for members. If you would like to visit our offices, or wish to rent our conference room, please do get in touch. Dozens of businesses have taken advantage of our fully-funded membership offer, while our Taking Business Digital programme continues to go from strength to strength, offering practical, helpful and valuable support in a number of different areas. I’m also thrilled to report that since becoming a recognised intermediary in helping businesses access the Kickstart scheme, the Chamber has seen 708 approved Kickstart placements and helped to fill 315 of those vacancies with local businesses. Of the applicants who have now completed their six-month placements, more than two thirds (73%) have gone into employment and 11% have gone back into Further or Higher Education - which is a phenomenal figure and one of which we’re immensely proud. Lastly, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us - in person and virtually – for our Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in the newly refurbished Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey. The Abbey itself provided a simply stunning backdrop as we honoured the very best in entrepreneurship and enterprise our region has to offer. We can’t wait to welcome you all again next year!






YGS Landscapes’ Sherford ‘Living Wall’ wins prestigious National Award

‘Topping out’ ceremony of the Grow-Out Space at Exeter Science Park. Picture: © Rekord Media Photo credit: Red Air Media The YGS Landscapes team is celebrating after winning a prestigious British Association of Landscaping Industries (BALI) Award in recognition of their ‘Living Wall’ at Sherford Locals to Sherford and Plymouth will be familiar with the towering green expanse that welcomes you to the new town. This living wall has been nationally recognised, winning the category of ‘Living Wall Installation (Exterior)’ in the BALI National Landscape Awards. Measuring 10m high, this green wall is one of the biggest in Europe and was created as part of the new town’s commitment to sustainability and contributes to the green infrastructure of the city, encouraging greater biodiversity for Plymouth. The National Landscape Awards will physically celebrate 79 award-winning landscaping schemes across the country on their Awards Night in London in December. YGS Landscapes were one of the 17 winners who were first-time entrants to the awards. Steve Warren-Brown, Managing Director of YGS, said: “We are thrilled that the Sherford wall project has been recognised nationally; it’s been

a difficult, but exciting challenge. “It has established really well over the last 12 months and it’s a great testament to our landscaping and maintenance teams’ dedication and hard work. It’s also a wonderful landmark, befitting such an exciting new development and our clients are delighted with the way it’s matured.” Richard Darlow, Production Director for Sherford, added: “YGS landscapes were fantastic from start to finish. They grasped the challenge, overcame numerous hurdles and delivered the project ahead of schedule. “Steve and his team really did help the Sherford Consortium throughout the process with their enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism and I’m sure all involved with Sherford appreciate and enjoy the result of their efforts daily. They should be very proud of this achievement and indeed, acknowledgement of their works.” The National Landscape Awards’ expert Judging Panel was led by Chair John Melmoe, who commented: “The mix and quality of this year’s submissions was extremely encouraging. The complex and diverse nature of the entries

continues to showcase the capabilities of the industry and its skilled workforce, with the continued desire to demonstrate a quest for perfection.” “The kudos of receiving a National Landscape Award still resonates throughout the industry with entrants continuing to hold the site inspections in high regard.” The green wall was planted with 26,000 plants on a south-facing structure. It took over 1,000 hours to complete. It has since attracted huge attention and is synonymous with Sherford’s entrance road. Becoming something of a landmark, it has also attracted interest from the local University who are monitoring and studying the biodiversity within this structure. YGS is looking forward to managing the structure moving forward and introducing further species to add to the scheme’s fantastic biodiversity. YGS is very proud that this work has been nationally recognised and hopes that the residents of the town and indeed city will enjoy the planting for years to come.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Government restores Dartmoor Line as services resume for first time in half a century For the first time in nearly 50 years, regular passenger services will run on the Dartmoor Line, connecting Okehampton to Exeter. Services were due to launch on Saturday 20th November, marking the first reopening under the Government’s Restoring Your Railway programme which is exploring ways to return old lines and stations to service across the country. The route will connect Exeter St David’s, Crediton and Okehampton providing a launchpad for visitors to explore Dartmoor and regional links for local commuters. Around half of services, including at peak times, will also carry on to Exeter Central. The reopening of the route is expected to boost local businesses, the tourism sector, and provide greater access to education and work for thousands of people who live locally. The Department and its partners have accelerated the reopening of the railway, delivering passenger services in only nine months from the original funding being approved to entry into service, and saving money at the same time. As the Government continues its overhaul of the railways following the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, more lines and stations will be reopened.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “‘The project, funded by over £40 million from the Department for Transport, is part of the wider campaign to reverse catastrophic cuts to the rail network primarily led by the Beeching axe. “The work has been a successful collaboration between the DfT, Network Rail, GWR, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, and local campaigners and MPs.” Mark Hopwood, GWR Managing Director, said: “Working with our partners at Network Rail and in the community we have long campaigned for the reopening of this important local line, and we are really looking forward to being able to start running

Brief history of the Dartmoor Line The line between Exeter and Okehampton originally opened in October 1871. The last regular train service operated in 1972, when passenger services were withdrawn by British Rail. After 1972 the line remained in use to serve Meldon Quarry, situated west of Okehampton, a supplier of railway ballast and related materials. The line between Coleford Junction and Meldon Quarry was sold at the time of privatisation in the 1990s to the quarry owner, now known as Aggregate Industries. It was reacquired by Network Rail earlier this year.


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

passenger trains again. “This announcement is great news for communities surrounding Okehampton who will once again be connected to the national network. “The project to re-open the line is already helping to bring social and economic benefits to the local area, reinforcing the positive impact the railway can have on the communities we serve.” Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route and strategic operations director, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve reopened this much-needed railway line for passenger services in just nine months and ahead of schedule. “Our team has worked incredibly hard alongside our project partners GWR, Devon

County Council, Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and the local community to ensure this railway is ready to open.” Regular passenger services will run on the route for the first time since 1972 following years of campaigning by local supporters. Since 1997, the line has only been open during the summer. To make this possible, Network Rail’s team of engineers has worked tirelessly to deliver a huge programme of work to physically reopen the line in just nine months, including laying 11 miles of new track and installing 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast in record time. Tickets can be purchased from GWR (

Train service details Journey time between Exeter and Okehampton will be approximately 40 minutes. Station Facilities will include new information screens, a Help Point, smartcard validation points, ticket vending machines, and a waiting room. GWR operated services between Exeter and Okehampton, initially providing a service every two hours, which will rise to an hourly service from Spring 2022. Exeter is a key hub for the wider region and the new rail service will provide access for education, work, shopping as well as other opportunities on offer in the city.

Customers will also be able to connect at Exeter St David’s for trains to a host of destinations including London, Bristol, the North of England and Scotland. Okehampton is a historic town situated on the northern flank of Dartmoor National Park. It also marks the start of The Granite Way, an 11-mile multi-use trail connecting Okehampton with Lydford. The new train service will open up sustainable access to various leisure opportunities in the town and surrounding areas. The bus service to Tavistock is being amended to connect with trains at Okehampton.


Award-winning Plymouth Citybus keeps people moving during pandemic Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Plymouth Citybus continues to stand out from the crowd. In what has been a particularly unusual year, while the pandemic has limited core business, the company expanded operations across Cornwall and doubled its fleet of buses, with 92 brand new vehicles entering use, as well as increasing investment in technology to enable the business to operate more efficiently. This resulted in Plymouth Citybus being named ‘Digital Business of the Year’ at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Business Awards in September. Richard Stevens, Managing Director, also received the ‘Outstanding Leadership Award’ in recognition of his contributions to local business and organisations, from taking buses out on the roads to sitting on

school boards and local growth boards, plus much more. He said: “My deepest thanks to everyone I am lucky enough to work with for your amazing support. I was very humbled and proud to receive this special award. I can honestly say it is a pleasure to work with you all.” For passengers, there is a new website and app which lets people buy tickets, track buses in real time and plan their journeys. Meanwhile, staff were issued with mobile phones, allowing them to carry out vehicle checks, get company updates and see their payslips wherever and whenever is convenient for them. Plymouth Citybus’s ongoing efforts to support the Armed Forces have been recognised too, with the firm again receiving the Silver Defence ERS Award. With one in five employees being former members of the Armed Forces, supporting them is

Go South West Marketing Manager Jess Bolt, MD Richard Stevens and Head of People and Operations Carolyn Giles at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards hugely important. In November, Plymouth Citybus was named as a finalist in the ‘Large Business of the Year’ and ‘Business in the Face of Adversity’ categories at the Plymouth Business Awards.

And, in keeping with the ethos of supporting the community, the company also sponsored the ‘Start-Up Business of the Year Award’, helping to keep the local economy moving.

Supporting the maritime industry on its journey to net zero

Taking on an apprentice? Taking on an apprentice comes with plenty of exciting benefits From opportunities to upscale existing employees to flexible training options and apprentice will make valuable contributions and helpful skill gaps in your organisation. Employers who hire a new Apprentice From 1st October 2021 to 31st January 2022 will be eligible to receive an incentive payment of £3000 per apprentice for apprentices of all ages.

Our cross-industry expertise and experience means we can offer you extensive technical services to support your journey to net zero. From strategy and technology development that helps you see the path ahead, through to extensive technical expertise to help you find solutions to complex net zero problems, we’ve got the knowledge to help you every step of the way. From ports and harbours, to international shipping, our experts are on-hand to provide reliable technical support when you need it.

At Frazer-Nash, our experts are renowned for their work in the marine, aerospace, transport, defence, nuclear, power and energy sectors and their security, resilience, cyber and information technology expertise.

Want to know more? Let us help you recruit your apprentice 017552 202264

To find out how our expertise can enable you to take on the challenges you face and deliver change visit




Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Thousands of honey bees creating a real buzz at Theatre Royal Plymouth A new, brightly-coloured beehive has appeared on the roof of Theatre Royal Plymouth. In October 2021, the team from local community interest company Pollenize

delivered a colony of European Dark Honey Bees. Around 20,000 of the insects are making Theatre Royal Plymouth their new home, as part of a drive to expand the local population

of these threatened creatures. Pollenize CIC has been creating a network of community-funded research beehives (also called apiaries) stocked with bees. Other iconic businesses and buildings including The Box, National Marine Aquarium and the Genesis Building on Union Street, have also taken delivery of honey bees. Owen Finnie, from Pollenize, said: “Theatre Royal Plymouth is part of a network of nine apiaries, spread out across the city. By bringing honey bees into an urban environment, we are hoping to improve the pollination in the area and allow people to understand why pollinator conservation is important. “Honey bees and all other wild pollinators are extremely important to a healthy ecosystem.” Helen Costello, Operations Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth, said: “We are excited to welcome Pollenize and 20,000 bees to our rooftop apiary. Through joining this network of Plymouth apiaries, our new resident bees will create a welcome extra buzz across the city. “This new project supports our commitment to protect and enhance our local and global environment. Ongoing activities include assessing and reviewing the organisation’s carbon footprint and reusing and recycling materials such as costumes, machinery, props and sets where appropriate.” You can read more about Pollenize here:

Motortronics team announces new products to launch in 2022 Motortronics is thrilled to announce the next ‘must-have’ motor control and protection solutions. The team will be launching the new VMXsynergy PlusTM soft starter in early 2022. Building upon the success of its popular VMX-synergyTM range, VMX-synergy PlusTM has a unique combination of features, performance, and size which once again, redefines the standard for soft starter design. Some of the features incorporated into VMX-synergy PlusTM are: • •

• •


Up to 600V supply voltage A full power meter as standard which will further enhance our patented energy saving system – iERS. Advanced Motor Protection Removable UI cassette incorporating a colour touchscreen HMI allowing for remote operation without the need for an additional keypad.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Motortronics is also introducing to EMEA, the VMX-P Premium enclosure. The simple design is a game-changer, offering customers the chance to have any soft starters – including the flagship VMX-synergyTM and VMX-synergy PlusTM models – configured in an IP54 enclosure at a price which is competitive. Experts will work closely with you to ensure that the finished design meets your requirements. For any bespoke solution/ customisation, the team is happy to help. Motortronics is a worldwideleader specialising in the manufacture of solid-state AC motor controls and motor protection products. Founded in 1982, it has worldwide facilities in the UK, USA, the British West Indies, United Arab Emirates, China, and South Korea. The company has shipped over two million solid state starters and controllers to virtually all industries around the world, amassing

more real-world experience than any other manufacturer in the business. With over 600 employees in multiple facilities and authorized sales and service representatives located around the globe, Motortronics is now one of the largest manufacturers of solid-state power controls in the world. If you would like more information about the soft starter and motor control range, please email and one of the sales team will be happy to discuss your requirements with you.


New Plymouth firm Agile springs into the telecoms market The business telecoms market has a new entrant with the launch of Plymouth-based Agile Comms. The company is headed up by co-founders and directors Ollie Jackman and James Fisher, who are on a mission to disrupt the market with free-wheeling flexible contracts and greater levels of client support. Ollie and James have more than 30 years’ combined experience in the business telecoms market with Ollie leading on sales and James on client service. They have secured flexible terms with the leading brands in unified communications, business mobiles and connectivity. Ollie commented: “For a long time, James and I have believed that organisations should be

getting a better deal from their communications providers both in terms of contract flexibility and support. “In today’s world, with flexible working here to stay, organisations have to be agile to succeed. Getting tied into long term contracts makes no sense, particularly when working patterns and connectivity are constantly changing. “We believe that agile communications can increase customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty and increase sales.” James added: “We’ll be offering an enhanced level of client support which includes training on systems to ensure our clients can get maximum value from their systems. “With ISDN being phased out and greater access to the 5G network coming soon our

James Fisher (left) and Ollie Jackman clients will be fully aware of their options for optimum connectivity at all times.” The founders were advised on their new venture by Ben Houston at Mountain Top accountants and are backed by marketing agency Fuel which has invested in a minority stake in the company.

Commenting on the deal, Fuel MD Martyn King said: “If ever there was a market ripe for disruption it is this one. “Ollie and James have a clear vision for how they can change it for the better and we are delighted to be with them on what will be an exciting journey.”

More than 200 new recruits join Babcock’s Devonport site

Babcock International, the aerospace, defence and security company, has welcomed more than 200 new apprentices and graduates to its Devonport operations. The 138 apprentices and 78 graduates will support a variety of projects and business areas, from life extension programmes on frigates and submarines, to advanced manufacturing happening on site. The apprentice roles are varied, from welders, fabricators and pipe workers, to electrical fitters, mechanical fitters and computer numerical control (CNC) machinists, while the graduates are involved in a wide range of roles within the business including: mechanical, electrical, process and civil

engineers, naval architects and project managers. Paul Foster, Babcock’s Managing Director for Devonport operations said: “Our apprentices and graduates have a really important role in shaping our future here and I extend a very warm welcome to all of our new recruits. “It is great to see so many new starters who will be working across different areas of the business. There are many opportunities to establish and grow a fulfilling career with Babcock and at a time of major investment across the site there’s never been a better time to join us.” This year has seen an increase in the

number of applications for our apprenticeship programme, building on the success of the online assessment centres from last year. Each apprentice and graduate applicant went through a rigorous process which involved online testing and video recorded interviews. Ryan Metcalfe, Higher Level Mechanical Apprentice, said: “I chose to do an apprenticeship as I was looking to gain job experience whilst working towards a qualification at the same time, so an apprenticeship is the perfect route for me. “I’m most looking forward to starting a career in something that I really want to do and meeting new people who want to do the same thing as me.” Business Operations Graduate, Molly Richards said: “After hearing from numerous employees about how reputable an employer Babcock is, I looked into the Graduate Scheme and decided to apply due to the great opportunities for job progression and support systems in place. “I put a lot of time and hard work into the recruitment process which was all worthwhile as I feel very lucky to be offered a position. “Since joining I’ve received much support from everyone. The work is challenging but I’m enjoying learning and I’m excited to see how far my career here goes.”

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



CHAMBER AWARDS All the winners from our Devon & Plymouth Chamber Awards A huge thank you to everyone who joined us – in person and virtually – for our Devon Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2021 on Friday, September 24. In what has become one of the most prestigious events in the South West business calendar, this year’s glittering ceremony was held at the newly refurbished Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey. It has been a hugely difficult last 18 months, with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting the way in which we live and work. With the long months of lockdown finally over, it was fabulous to see so many people dressed to impress and enjoying an unforgettable night of celebration. Thanks to everyone who joined us, including those who watched the live stream on our YouTube channel, courtesy of the talented team at PL1 Events.


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Also, well done to those who kindly donated on the night to our charity partner, The Chestnut Appeal. We were welcomed on arrival by friendly staff, drinks and tasty canapés. Then, after a delicious three-course meal, which was provided by the amazing team at Buckfast Abbey, the time came to present our Awards. Our unsuspecting winners were revealed throughout the ceremony by Stuart Elford and David Fitzgerald, who kept everyone entertained throughout. There were extra honours for Richard Stevens, who collected the ‘Outstanding Leadership Award’, and a special accolade for our amazing key workers and NHS staff. This was accepted virtually by Ann James, Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Following the ceremony, guests danced until the early hours to live music by The Harry Peanut Show. Stuart Elford, CEO of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who joined us at Buckfast Abbey, and to each and every member who submitted an entry for this year’s Awards. “Picking our winners was an incredibly tough decision for our panel, with so many of our members enjoying great success over the last 12 months and many more thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our Awards dinner was a truly fabulous night of celebration and we can’t wait to welcome you all again next year. “Lastly, a special thanks to all our Chamber patrons, without whom events like this would simply not be possible.”


Business Diversification Award

Green Business of the Year

(sponsored by Practice Plus Group)

(sponsored by Frazer-Nash Consultancy) Winner Vispring Highly Commended Primal Europe

Winner Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise Highly Commended Introtweet Securious

Workplace Wellbeing Award Digital Business of the Year (sponsored by Thomas Westcott) Winner GO South West Highly Commended Acronyms

(sponsored by Classic Builders) Winner St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth Highly Commended Bailey Partnership City College Plymouth Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Export Business of the Year (sponsored by Western Union) Winner Salcombe Distilling Company Highly Commended Barden Corporation

Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by pbmedia) Winner Claire Robinson (Extra Help) Highly Commended James Thomas (JET Engineering)

Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Swatpro Academy) Winner Acronyms Highly Commended Complete Communication Introtweet

Customer Commitment Award (sponsored by Babcock International Group) Winner BCR Associates Highly Commended Acronyms Astley Media

Steve Whiteway Award Winner Douglas Kerr Highly Commended Sonia and Alex Hosking of Collectrical CIC Steve Warren-Brown


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



A night to remember We celebrated the very best in Devon business with our glittering Chamber Awards in the newly refurbished Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey. The Abbey provided a simply stunning backdrop as we honoured the very best in entrepreneurship and enterprise our region has to offer. A huge thank you to our

sponsors – Frazer Nash Consultancy, Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants, Western Union, Swatpro Academy, Practice Plus Group, Babcock, Classic Builders and pbmedia – as well as PL1 Events for their support on the night. Have a browse through all the pictures from the night!

It was fabulous to see so many people dressed to impress and enjoying an unforgettable night of celebration


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile


AT SCHILLER HALL We could think of no better location than the fabulous Schiller Hall for our Devon & Plymouth Chamber Business Awards 2021. Having recently undergone an extensive £2 million makeover, the newly renovated, state-of-the-art event hall opened its doors earlier this summer. Buckfast Abbey provided the most stunning backdrop on a warm autumn evening for the South West’s best and brightest businesses and entrepreneurs. The expanded central atrium area includes a newly raised roof which floods in natural light, providing a perfect venue for meetings, performances, rehearsals, speaker events, dinners, awards, art, film, and theatre shows. With a new mezzanine floor, two meeting rooms which can combine into one, and a terrace area, Schiller Hall makes the most of the stunning views over the River Dart, the Abbey

Church, sweeping grounds and beautiful gardens. As well as second-to-none networking facilities, the Chamber team and our guests were also treated to a delicious three-course meal courtesy of the amazing team at Buckfast Abbey. Conveniently located just off the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth at the heart of Buckfast Abbey, Schiller Hall is an inspirational and easily accessible venue for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, trade shows or events, and is part of the Abbey’s wider conference centre offering. Schiller Hall is capable of catering for up to 120 delegates, and can be booked for a minimum of 60 users. Hire, including lunch, typically costs £38.50 per person. Visit the website to find out more about Schiller Hall and the conference facilities at Buckfast Abbey: conference-centre

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile




Winter 2021 Chamber Profile


DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: adapting is no longer a choice Stuart Pedlar from Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants discusses why making the switch to digital is crucial for businesses to succeed. In an exceptional era for businesses across the South West one thing has become clear – adapting to digital technologies is no longer a choice but a necessity. Firms that have embraced new digital technologies have experienced new opportunities and achieved growth as a result. Thomas Westcott was proud sponsor of this year’s Digital Business of the Year award. The winner was commended for use of technology both internally and to aid customer experience. This mix is the key to a successful digital system. It goes without saying that

when a business’s underlying internal systems don’t operate efficiently, there is an inevitable knock-on effect to the delivery of services to customers. Businesses should always look to set regular reviews of their digital systems. Even those that made early moves to digital may now find their systems have been surpassed by new technologies. At Thomas Westcott, we’ve been advising clients on digital applications for all aspects of internal systems including: • Data capture and expense tracking • Stock and logistics

management CRM and e-commerce/ point of sale systems • Project costing and time tracking Robust internal systems enhance the customer experience. With mobile device use now well above desktop computers, it’s more important than ever to have a strong customer-led focus when reviewing and developing new systems. For those at the forefront of new technologies, a world of opportunity awaits. Reporting and forecasting apps provide real-time data so businesses •

review past results and trends. They can also make wellinformed decisions on future plans using scenario planning tools. South West businesses continue to prove that embracing digital technology can significantly improve efficiency and drive growth. If your business would benefit from a digital systems review, please contact Thomas Westcott’s dedicated team. Stuart Pedlar Accounts Manager Stuart.pedlar@

By Your Side. On Your Side.

As you navigate the obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead, having a trusted business advisor on your side is more important than ever. As the South West’s largest network of chartered accountants, we are always by your side.

For more information contact us Tel: 01752 666601 Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



A straightforward solution in a world which is anything but If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that businesses need to expect the unexpected. A period of massive political and economic change has meant trading has been extremely difficult, in particular for small- and medium-sized firms, who will have seen their cash flow significantly hit.

Some certainty in uncertain times Recent times have been anything but straightforward for businesses and many are looking for ways to take control of their finances. The good news is that getting a smart meter for your business is a small change that could make a big difference. A smart meter allows businesses to wave goodbye to estimated billing by securely and automatically sending meter readings to your energy supplier. That means that you receive accurate bills, rather than estimated


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

bills, allowing you the certainty of paying for exactly what you are using. Plus you can also wave goodbye to time spent submitting regular meter readings, allowing you to focus on bigger things.

Doing your bit for the environment As Glasgow hosts COP26 this year it’s a good reminder of everyone’s responsibility to become more conscious of their environmental impact. Regardless of whether your business has three employees, or three thousand, we all should be aware of how much energy we’re using, and a smart meter is a step in the right direction. From the moment your smart meter is installed, you’re helping create a smart energy system which could ultimately help reduce all our carbon emissions. A smart meter is a positive step in taking

control of business outgoings and if your firm has 10 employees or less your business could be eligible. To find out more please visit: You can also contact your energy supplier or broker. It could be one of the best calls you make this week.


Devon & Plymouth Chamber welcomes ITEC as new Patron very locally based, which is very important to our relationship with the Devon & Plymouth Chamber and its members. “ITEC becoming part of the bigger Xerox family is that it is a similarly innovative organisation which has been specialising in workplace technology from the invention of the photocopier to ethernet, and they even developed the mouse.

The Devon & Plymouth Chamber is thrilled to “Xerox now has the PARC announce that one of our Centre ( and most well-respected members they are developing new and collaborators, ITEC, has technology all the time. So, stepped up to become a Patron. there’s a lot of innovation and For more than 30 years, ITEC wider expertise that is available has been driving thousands when needed.” of organisations to success ITEC gives Chamber through powerful technology members the opportunity to partnerships and strategies. connect their people, offices, Last year, the firm joined the devices and data and, through Xerox family after becoming the ITEC Data Centres and a star performer in the UK Managed Cloud Service, you Technology Managed Services, get a premium, customised providing office technology, experience delivered by local software, solutions and services. experts. Plymouth has been the Based in Plymouth and heart of ITEC’s Managed IT and London, ITEC’s Data Centres Telephony Service in the South offer the highest rates of West since 2017. Originally reliability as they don’t have to trading as STEM Group, ITEC rely on any third parties. These and STEM merged in 2017 to Centres are operated by ITEC become one of the largest technical staff and are ISO27001 technology providers in the UK. and Cyber Essentials Plus Today, ITEC Plymouth certified. supports organisations Darren explains: “The throughout the city and South Plymouth-based data centre is Devon with the Technology ITEC-owned and has worldManaged Service and class capabilities for houses the flagship small- and medium“...a field ITEC Data Centre. sized businesses Darren engineer can (SMBs) here in Roseveare the South West. be onsite really is Account “There is also Director at ITEC the fact that quickly because in Plymouth, the help desk where highthey are locally experts are on profile clients hand - not just at based” include Plymouth the end of the phone Argyle Football Club, but also locally based in Burts Chips, Foot Anstey, the Plymouth - which offers that Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust extra bit of reassurance. and Kawasaki. “Perhaps more importantly, That impressive list also when help desk support includes the Devon & Plymouth is needed - whether it’s a Chamber, which over the years photocopier, a telephony issue has formed a hugely effective or an IT systems issue - if all else partnership which has benefited fails, a field engineer can be on countless members. site really quickly because they Darren says: “Our partnership are locally based.” with Xerox offers the best of The outsourcing capabilities both worlds because ITEC is of an expert organisation like

ITEC can take the burden off that it is a form of consultancy. the shoulders of a business. Darren explains: “A member If you take away that burden, of the Chamber may ask productivity and efficiency us, ‘How do I become more improves and your time is sustainable?’, ‘How do I become freed up for more value-added more flexible?’, ‘How do I retain activities. talent?’, ‘How do I ensure that There are a lot of ways that I’m being compliant and not the ITEC team can support exposing my business to risk?’. Chamber members to address “That’s where the some of their biggest challenges conversation starts; it doesn’t - not just in the short term but start with, ‘My telephony is 20 also in the long term. years old now and it’s starting to Darren says: “Particularly fall apart’, or, ‘I can’t do flexible with the challenges of the working because I need this Covid-19 pandemic, what a lot product’. of people have found in “Instead, we start recent times is how with the challenge “They have their technology - perhaps even a is lacking - that challenge people unparalleled it’s not fit for didn’t realise they purpose to get expertise when it had or didn’t through what connect with comes to tech we’ve had to go technology. That through, but also is what is ideal strategy” to come out the with our Chamber other side stronger and relationship, that we more agile. can have conversations with “So, we can address business members, find out how and continuity issues, whatever form what they’re doing, and how we they come in, such as tackling can work together.” vulnerabilities and risks. That ITEC’s position as a Patron of includes things like security, the Devon & Plymouth Chamber which is an issue everyone reflects its status as a global needs to address at some level. and regional leader, and as a “People have been able to supporter of businesses in the release expensive real estate South West and beyond. because they don’t need Chamber Chief Executive everybody in the office. They Stuart Elford said: “We could not can have that hybrid working be more thrilled that ITEC has model or even a remote working decided to become a Patron of model because it works best for the Devon & Plymouth Chamber. them. “Darren and his team “There is a cost benefit to have helped hundreds of that and also a talent acquisition organisations in Plymouth and talent retention benefit - including our members where, because you are - modernise and create operating more flexibly, people collaborative, streamlined work returning to a profession after processes. maternity or paternity leave, for “They have unparalleled example, are embraced because expertise when it comes to tech they’ve got more remote, strategy - which is something flexible working opportunities. we’ve experienced first-hand “There’s also a sustainability since calling on their services for consideration, with businesses the Chamber. who are taking notice of the “Our Patrons play a unique important messages coming role in developing the future of out of COP26 in Glasgow and our region and the Chamber is want to take steps to find more far stronger with ITEC’s support sustainable ways to work. and Patronage.” One of the great things about the partnership between ITEC and the Devon & Plymouth Chamber, and having much more face-to-face interaction, is

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Devon & Plymouth Chamber helps over 300 young people access Kickstart Scheme

Hundreds of young people and small businesses are enjoying the benefits of the Kickstart Scheme through the Devon & Plymouth Chamber. Introduced by the Government in September 2020, the £2 billion fund aims to create thousands of high-quality six-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit. The Chamber is a recognised intermediary in helping businesses access this scheme, working alongside the British Chambers of Commerce and supporting the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) to help firms who want to create fewer than 30 placements. Since the start of the year the

Chamber has seen 708 approved Kickstart placements, helping to fill 308 of those vacancies with local businesses. Of the Chamber applicants who have now completed their six-month Kickstart placements, more than two thirds (73%) have gone into employment and 11% have gone back into Further or Higher Education. Kickstart is an excellent way for businesses to take on additional support while being paid to do it, while also giving young people a step up into employment. Businesses not only get paid £1,500 per placement, but they also get the wages, NI and pension contributions paid at National Minimum Wage rates

for up to 25 hours per week for people aged 24 and under. Thanks to the appointment of a dedicated Kickstart Assistant, Kyra Taylor-Reid - who is herself a Kickstart applicant - the process has been executed smoothly for both businesses and young applicants. This has led to more than 80% of employers being satisfied with the Kickstart support provided by the Chamber, while 92% are satisfied with the scheme itself. And of those applicants who receive wraparound support facilitated by the Chamber, 76% have reported they are satisfied with the support provided. Stuart Elford, Devon & Plymouth Chamber CEO, says: “The success of the

Kickstart Scheme proves how important initiatives like this are to businesses who are in need of skilled-ready workers - particularly as we look to life after the Covid-19 pandemic. “These Kickstart placements have allowed South West businesses who were not in a position to hire new employees six months ago, the opportunity to train young workers. “As restrictions ease, business confidence is growing continuously, which has seen many of these placements become available as permanent positions, providing full-time employment for young people. “We’re also seeing that more and more businesses are keen to offer young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and new skills. “The opportunities that the Kickstart Scheme provides to both businesses and young people looking for work are invaluable and it is helping to address the skills shortage with which firms are currently faced.” Originally due to end on December 17th, the scheme has now been extended until March 2022. The Government has set a target of creating 250,000 Kickstart jobs by the end of this year. If you’d like to know more about the Kickstart Scheme, please visit our dedicated guide at business-support/kickstart

Microblading Emporium From Marina Marmolejo, Director Microblading Emporium is one of the many businesses which has used the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce as a gateway for the Kickstart scheme. Marina Marmolejo, director of Microblading Emporium, says the scheme has more than exceeded her expectations and has greatly benefitted her business. She also says that having the extra support from the Kickstart candidates has allowed the business to progress in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Microblading Emporium employed its first Kickstarter in May 2021 and, since then, has continued to progress and support the future employability of young people. Marina has shown incredible support and confidence in her Kickstarters. Using the wraparound support provided by the Chamber, she has given these young people access to a variety of training courses and given her employees a better chance at future success. Marina and her experienced Microblading Emporium team also spent one-to-one time with her Kickstarters, practicing future interview questions, building their confidence and making sure all work and achievements they have completed are recorded for reference with future employers. In addition to providing better support for new starters, this also gave existing employees new experience in managing less-experienced workers.


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile


Jamie Bowles Bluepoint Tags and Labels Jamie began his Kickstart placement in May 2021 as a production assistant at Bluepoint Tags and Labels. During this time, he worked under the supervision of older, more experienced workers, assisting with the printing process. Eventually, Jamie took on a more independent printing role, being trained in the use of a narrow web printing press which has allowed him to become a real asset to Bluepoint. His time-keeping has also improved as he received regular advice from senior members of the business, leading to constructive criticism which has allowed Jamie to improve as an employee. Jamie says he can see that the scheme will be effective in reducing the chance of long-term unemployment with young people involved and credits the scheme for giving him a sense of responsibility. Thanks to his hard work and improvement, Jamie has now progressed to a full-time role after his six-month Kickstart placement through the Devon & Plymouth Chamber. Bluepoint Tags and Labels says Jamie’s placement has benefitted them as it has given them a chance to “train somebody from the ground up” and “build a long-term, happy, loyal employee”.

Dale Walker-Watkins Sole of Discretion Dale started his six-month paid Kickstart placement with Sole of Discretion at the end of March 2021 through the Devon & Plymouth Chamber. During those six months, Dale worked under the supervision of another employee who had extensive experience in similar roles and was given plenty of resources to aid him in his new administrator role. He feels that his confidence and knowledge, both in and out of the working environment, have greatly improved. Dale says: “I have learnt new skills and qualities that I can use in many different aspects of the working environment.” Dale, like many others, believes the Kickstart scheme will be effective in its goal to reduce long-term unemployment with young people who have taken part, and that it gives businesses a great opportunity to further support young people into long-term employment. He also credits the scheme as the defining factor that allowed Sole of Discretion to effectively train him. By the end of September 2021, Dale was offered a full-time role at Sole of Discretion which he claims has set him up with a, “career for life”.

Jasmine Peglar Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Jasmine is without doubt one of the biggest successes to come from the Kickstart scheme. She started her six-month Kickstart placement towards the end of February 2021 as an Events Assistant here at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. During her placement, she was given access to a large range of online courses to help her further her skills and progress in the role. Jasmine also worked under the tutelage of more experienced employees and had regular progress checks with these mentors in order to further support her improvement. The Kickstart scheme and the mentoring, combined with Jasmine’s exceptional work ethic and positive attitude, is what allowed her to ultimately become our Events Executive. She has since been at the forefront of many large Chamber events such as the Golf Day, our Business Awards ceremony and Net Zero Live.

Kyra Taylor-Reid Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Kyra began her Kickstart placement with the Devon & Plymouth Chamber in February 2021 as a Kickstart Admin and Accounts Assistant. During her placement, Kyra received extensive on-the-job training from more senior employees at the Chamber. She also had access to a large number of training courses run by Cornwall Marine Network, such as marketing, sales, and content and visibility. This, combined with her tremendous work ethic and positive attitude, has made Kyra a strong asset to the Chamber, and she is often credited as the main reason we have helped more than 300 young people into Kickstart roles. Not only has Kyra’s placement benefitted the Chamber, it has also greatly benefitted her. The support from the Kickstart scheme has allowed Kyra to build her confidence in working with employers and conversing with people in the business world. She has also credited her placement for improving her ability to work in an office environment and teaching her new skills. Kyra’s position eventually advanced into a full-time role for the Kickstart scheme, allowing her to further help young people in similar situations to where she was just six months prior. She strongly believes the scheme will be successful in its mission to reduce the chance of long-term unemployment for those involved. Kyra’s progression is a testament to what the scheme can do for a young person when combined with a little hard work and a positive attitude.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



SECTOR FOCUS Finding ways to contribute to the fight against climate change City College Plymouth is the first college in the South West to join universities across the globe in calling for action to prevent a climate catastrophe. With the world focused on the COP26 summit starting at the end of the month, the College has officially declared a climate emergency and is putting in place its plans to become a carbon-neutral organisation. A working party of staff from across the College has developed a plan of action to address ways in which the organisation can contribute towards the fight against climate change. Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, said: “At City College, we’re preparing students for happy, successful futures, but what type of a future will they really have if we don’t act now to

protect the planet? “We have formally acknowledged the global emergency collectively with our students, staff and representative groups, and last week City College signed up to the United Nations Race to Zero campaign. In a short space of time, our new working

party has been identifying different ways the College can be part of the fight against climate change.” The College is now developing a strategy to meet its carbon-reduction targets and will be placing curriculum at the front and centre of this strategy, with all areas being encouraged to develop their teaching content around this theme. Mark Trewin, Chief Digital Transformation Officer and owner of the strategic action for opportunities at the College, said: “This fight against climate change needs to be rooted in every aspect of our life. “There is no single area of the College responsible for making the site more environmentally friendly or for reducing its carbon footprint - it’s a cross-College effort.”

New maritime skills centre at the heart of Plymouth’s marine industry It has been four years in the making and represents an investment of close to £2million, but City College’s flagship Centre of Higher Technical Innovation and Maritime Skills (TIMS) is now officially open. Located at the heart of Plymouth’s marine industry, the new teaching site at the Marine Enterprise Zone at Oceansgate marks the start of a new chapter in the College’s ongoing support of the region’s crucial industries. The new teaching facility is an essential part of the College’s ambitions to support the maritime, engineering, manufacturing,


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

construction and digital technology industries - areas that have been identified as crucial for Plymouth’s future growth. The purpose-built site will enable the College to deliver new courses that are designed to provide employers with the highly technical, specialist skills and knowledge they will need tomorrow, today. The site, which will be used to deliver the College’s new and highly innovative university-level courses, houses some of the latest cutting-edge machinery, including a one-of-a-kind Kimla 4 Axis. The centre is also home to 3-D printers, a wave tank, and is fully

equipped to allow students to engage with their learning from potentially anywhere in the world. City College Chief Executive, Jackie Grubb, said: “A new bespoke site such as this perfectly fits with our vision of being a pillar of support for our local maritime and manufacturing employers. This will ensure employers are being supplied with the highly skilled workforce they require. “The Centre of Technical Innovation and Maritime Skills shows the levels of investment the College is willing to make in supporting these industries - but this is just the first step. To ensure the College’s curriculum and training remains demand-led, we will continue to develop our provision as our employers’ needs change and progress.” City College is pleased to welcome visitors to the site, and these visits can be arranged by contacting Lance Chatfield via email at


City College Plymouth opens futuristic Augmented Reality Welding Suite In a huge step towards its vision to become a digital-first learning centre of choice, City College Plymouth has opened a state-of-the-art Augmented Reality Welding Suite. This fantastic new suite utilises innovative augmented reality (AR) software and closely aligns with the College’s goals to provide a reimagined way of learning through the use of technology. This AR suite will see students using tools and devices that interact with one another and the accompanying headset. Creating a simulation in the real world environment around them, students will be able to practise their welding and construction skills in a seamless, efficient, and cost-effective manner. The new technology will also hopefully appeal to the smartphone generation that has grown up with augmented reality at their fingertips thanks to games such as Pokemon Go. Providing deep learning in the key sectors of marine, defence, and construction, this technologically advanced facility will enable

trainees to learn modern manufacturing techniques in a digitalised manner. Mostly supporting trainee welders, this new welding suite will also provide a place for more experienced welders to advance their existing skills. Alongside this, the facilities will also support fabricators, pipe fitters, and product and marine engineers to develop their abilities, helping to support the community by responding to demand in these industries. Jackie Grubb, Chief Executive, said: “Keen to be a demand-led organisation and support our local infrastructure, City College Plymouth is immensely proud to launch our new Augmented Reality Welding Suite this year. “Helping to simultaneously shape the future of our college and the city, our investment in this cutting-edge facility will allow apprentices and students across multiple disciplines to learn in a digitalfirst environment and capitalise on today’s technology to experience a seamless route to success.”

Exciting new learning destination launches in Plymouth city centre City College Plymouth is taking its next steps in support of the city, its people and local employers, in line with its vision and purpose to become the learning destination of choice. Coinciding with the Association of Colleges’ national Love Our Colleges week-long campaign, its new venue, Pinpoint, opened to the public on Friday, October 22 - making it easier than ever to find out about the range of courses and Apprenticeships offered by the South West’s number one further education college. Pinpoint will provide guidance on skills needs, identify employee and employer training funding, and showcase the new and exciting changes within the skills arena. The College has refurbished the former Plymouth Advice Centre for Employment, situated in Union Street, and will use the revamped building as the working home of its highly successful Employer Solutions team, which supports employers with advice about Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Kickstart

training and courses designed specifically to develop the skills of employees. Chief Executive of City College, Jackie Grubb, said: “City College is the College for Plymouth and what better way to support the city, its people and its employers than with a location right in the heart of Plymouth. “Pinpoint is another example of the investment the College is making to support our vital industries and to ensure we are doing everything we can to provide them with the essential skills their workforce needs.” In addition to being a one-stop-shop for employers, Pinpoint will also be a drop-in centre for free information, advice and guidance for anyone wanting to learn about how further and higher education can support them with their career goals. Pinpoint will also become a teaching venue for the College’s highly soughtafter first aid courses and professionally accredited provision, including management, accountancy and legal executive courses. For local businesses looking to hire space for conference or meeting facilities in the City

Centre, Pinpoint will provide this service and will also have space for those looking for a change to working from home, with free Wifi available.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Spotlight on hybrid and home working Robert Zacal from GA Solicitors discusses the considerations and benefits of working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on the workplace. Throughout much of 2020 and 2021 a significant proportion of the nation’s workforce has been working from home. Many employers and employees have seen benefits to working from home, with numerous employers announcing that they do not propose to return to traditional office working. It is likely that many employees will look for some flexibility in their current or future employment. Therefore the existence (or not) of flexibility may become a significant factor in both retention and recruitment. Hybrid working can be defined as a blend of working in a central workplace and at home. Homeworking will be employees working exclusively from home. Many employers will voluntarily embrace such working models, others may be forced to accept them to retain and attract employees. Either way, there are a number of legal and practical issues to be considered:

Contract of employment • • •

Does it allow for home/hybrid working? Can the employer return to exclusive office based work if they are not satisfied the arrangement is working? Where is the employee permitted to work? Just at their home or where they please (e.g. cafes, libraries)?

Confidentiality • • •

Are IT systems sufficiently secure? Will employees be required to secure confidential documentation? How will confidential documentation be disposed of?

Performance monitoring • •

How will employers monitor output? If employers consider monitoring software, employees should be informed.

Health and safety • • • •

Employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment. Employers may need to consider providing office equipment and assessing whether an employee’s home is suitable Employers need to give consideration to mental health. Regular online meetings should be considered When the home and workplace become blurred, employees may not switch off and undertake excessive hours.

Home and hybrid working should be embraced and is likely to become a key feature of the employer/ employee relationship. Employers, however, need to think carefully about how to operate such working patterns to retain control of the working relationship.

If you need employment advice, please email Robert Zacal via or call 01752 203500.


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile


Promoting healthy habits will benefit your home and work life Kate Magic from Raw Living looks at how making healthy habits can benefit our bodies and minds... There’s no denying that health has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds over the last 18 months. Although there has been much talk of what happens when we get sick, there’s been a lot less talk about the things that we can do to naturally improve our wellbeing. Our bodies are miraculous machines, designed with the specific purpose of keeping us alive. Trillions of cells work relentlessly, dayin, day-out, within dozens of different complex ecosystems, such as the respiratory system, the immune system, the reproductive Kate Magic system and the cardiovascular system. And yet most of us take all this for granted. I think it helps to think of your cells as little citizens of a kingdom, of which you are the ruler. What can you do to be a fair, just and kind ruler? This article contains a few easy to implement suggestions. Before we get started, I would just like to say, I am a big fan of things that take little to no time! Too often, health advice feels out of our reach when we might have a morning that involves getting kids out of the house to school, feeding pets, and getting to work on time to do a seven- or eight-hour day. Who’s got time to meditate for 30 minutes each morning? Not people with busy work and family lives, that’s for sure, so don’t stop reading just yet! Hopefully this piece contains at least one nugget that will improve your life when you take it on board.

Diet Let’s start with the most obvious one diet. There is no doubt now that plantbased is the best diet for our planet. But don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you all to go vegan! I believe the most important factor when changing the diet is to make small tweaks, one step at a time. That way it becomes more manageable and sustainable. I am a big fan of fruit and salads, and not only do you get more nutrients out of the food when you don’t heat it, it’s also quicker to make. Can you all contribute to a workplace fruit bowl? Fruit is nature’s candy; just switching all your sweet snacks to fruit can have a huge impact on your health. Switch your lunch to a salad over a sandwich (include a little chicken or fish if that’s your preference), and notice the difference in your energy levels at the end of the day. Maybe you can have a plantbased day in the workplace once a week, where you all agree to eat vegetarian or vegan for the day, and support each other in that decision. A recent study after this year’s Veganuary showed that 82% of people who took part were still eating more plant-based than they had done before the event.



I am the queen of hydration. My partner says he would never want to be on a desert island with me, because I would be drinking all the coconut water and saying, “But Ian, I need to hydrate!” Drink around five litres a day, and before you go running to the bathroom at just the thought of that, you have to know that I only drink about one litre of plain water a day. Most of the time, I am drinking delicious and nutritious drinks that actually hydrate the cells a whole lot better than water. It’s a little-known fact that water isn’t the most hydrating drink to drink! Cells are made of fats and water, so any drink that has electrolytes, minerals or fats in is more hydrating than plain water. I love kombucha, plant milks, herbal teas, juices, and coconut water. Not only are these drinks way more tasty, and fun to guzzle down, they hydrate the body better and provide nutrients at the same time. Get in the habit of having a drink instead of a snack, e.g. a vegetable juice instead of a bag of crisps, and see if you don’t have more energy at the end of the day. As an employer, find ways to facilitate your employees’ hydration levels: many studies have shown how hydration improves cognition, making for a sharper, more on the ball workforce.

This one might surprise you, but studies show that people with a daily gratitude practice experience better sleep, less fatigue, less inflammation, fewer headaches, and even better skin! Every morning, make it a routine to think of three things that you are grateful for: you can do it while you’re in the shower, cleaning your teeth, or do it with the kids while you drive them to school. Each night before you go to sleep, think of three things that you are grateful for that day: again, you might want to make it a practice that you share with your partner or your housemates. And maybe you can make it a workplace practice, to have a daily or weekly gratitude check-in? Can you create a gratitude journal for colleagues to write down why they are grateful for working there, or why they are grateful for their workmates? People can just scribble in it whenever they want, and then it becomes a beautiful physical representation of all the reasons why people love your company, and love working there. I could literally write a book on this, so I will leave it there! I hope that has given you some inspiration for little things that you can do that make a big difference.

You can check out more of my work at and my online shop selling all the best plant foods on the planet is

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Identifying the true cost of property underinsurance The experts at Marsh Commercial explain how trying to save money could end up costing you... No one likes to spend more money than they have to, especially when it comes to insurance. But, insurance is there to protect you against unforeseen events, so reducing your cover to lower your insurance premiums could cost you more in the long run. One of the consequences of trying to keep insurance costs down by not insuring the correct amount is underinsurance.

What is underinsurance?

When asked, ‘What is the value of the property?’, people may assume this refers to the market value of the property. In reality, this needs to reflect what it would cost you to rebuild your property at the time you arrange or renew your policy. Valuations do not necessarily provide a reinstatement cost for insurance purposes and often refer only to the structure and don’t include the surrounding areas of the property, such as car parks, outbuildings or trees or mirror the definition of buildings within the policy document. This doesn’t just apply should you need to completely rebuild your property. It is a common misconception that if the cost of a claim is below the total sum insured (partial loss), the full amount being claimed will be paid. This is not the case. Should you need to make a claim, and your property is found to be underinsured, your insurance company could apply the condition of ‘average’ and would only pay out the percentage of your property value represented on your policy. In the worst case scenario, your insurer could void cover on the grounds of misrepresentation.

What is average?

In many insurance contracts there is a Condition of Average. This means that when receiving a claim for a property or business, if the insurer believes the property or business is underinsured, they can reduce the claim by the corresponding percentage. To give you an example. If you have an outbuilding on your premises which is damaged, and will cost £100,000 to repair, you would make a claim for the full amount and expect this to be paid in full, because your insured value is £500,000. However, if at the time of making your claim, the total reinstatement cost of your property and


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

possessions is valued at £1 million, your property would be underinsured by 50%. This means that your insurer could impose a proportionate settlement and you would only receive a 50% pay out, leaving you to find £50,000 to contribute to the cost of your outbuilding repairs. If the underinsurance is too large, the insurer could even say that the policy is void as the client failed in their duty of fair presentation under the Insurance Act.

Questions to ask yourself to help prevent underinsurance •

• • •

Did you use the market value of your property as the insurance value, or the reinstatement cost? Did you get a bespoke insurance reinstatement valuation? Have you reviewed the value of your property in the last two years? Have you had any extensions or alterations made since you last had your property valued? Would there be additional complications to repairing your building, for example it has listed status, or is situated in a conservation area? Does your insurance value fall in line with the buildings description within your policy? Does your building have any technological or material specifications, such as solar panels or a unique construction material that would make it more expensive to repair? Is the building constructed of modern methods of construction such as modular?

Ensure that you are fully insured

If you would like to check how much insurance cover you need for your property, you can find out more on Marsh Commercial’s Property Owners Insurance page here: property/property-owners-insurance Or you can get in touch with one of their expert team, who are always happy to help you find the protection you need. Contact Steve Aspinall on 07584 489599 or David Back on 07900 991045.


FREEPORTS – part of the post-pandemic British Revival The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a new export hotline and online service which aims to help more British businesses export to Europe. It is hoped the Export Support Service will make it easier for exporters and those considering exporting to access the information they need to export to the rest of Europe. Billed as a ‘one-stop shop’, it will bring together UK government information and provide a single point of contact, offering advice around rules of origin, as well as guidance on recognising professional qualifications and entering new markets. British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has welcomed this new service, but says that it must ‘add value’ for British companies. William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “Business has been pointing out the daily difficulties firms, large and small, have had with the new trading terms for EU exports since they started on 1 January.

“Many have found themselves wrestling with issues around VAT, export health certificates, and origin certification for the first time. “The Chambers Network and ChamberCustoms were ready on day one for this challenge and have continued to share their practical experience and knowledge of how to best facilitate trade and market access for our members. “Every day we are working to make this happen in a way no-one else does. Our expertise allows us to offer advice, training, brokerage and documentation services for trade with both the EU and wider international market.” Europe has long been a key destination for high-quality UK goods and services. Last year alone, the UK exported some £288 billion worth of goods to Europe - with medicinal and pharmaceutical products, and cars among the top five. Mr Bain continued: “We are keen to work

in partnership with Government to enhance this capacity to lift export-led growth for companies the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, using our Global Business Network to extend their reach. “We look forward to working with the Europe Export Support Service and hope it will prove complementary to the unrivalled support the Chamber Network provides to exporting UK companies.  “Unfortunately, many firms have given up exporting to EU customers since January, while others have found the new barriers to trade in goods and services a massive financial and logistical burden. “The essential test for this new service will be to turn that around and do it quickly, by adding value to the work of Chambers and not to further confuse UK companies. Rebuilding the economy after the pandemic requires turbo-charged export-led growth - especially with our largest trading partner - the EU.”

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



NET ZERO LIVE - starting the journey to carbon net zero Thousands of people across the world tuned in for our ground-breaking Net Zero Live event which marked the culmination of the Devon & Plymouth Chamber’s Net Zero October programme. In the lead up to the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, we hosted a month of events dedicated to business and the climate crisis agenda. This innovative series showcased how businesses in the region are changing to meet Net Zero carbon targets, explored what our ambitions were in tackling the climate crisis and helped businesses discover how to make the crucial green changes to your organisation. Broadcast live from Fresh Air Studios in Plymouth, Net Zero Live featured a host of superb guest speakers who were on hand to help businesses answer the difficult questions around the Green Agenda. Nearly 17,000 people tuned in as experts from across the region offered insight and advice in four different categories: Earth & Energy, Transport, Marine and Business Support. Huge thanks to our headline sponsor YGS Landscapes Ltd and our event partners, BCR Associates, Low Carbon Devon and Enterprise.

Our speakers on the day:

Marine category James Thomas from JET Engineering, who gave viewers an update of the South West Carbon Capture Cluster.

Earth & Energy category - sponsored by BCR Associates

Steve Bolt from BCR Associates, who talked about the challenges for business and the UK in achieving Carbon Net Zero and what we need to consider. Amanda Keetley from Devon Environment Foundation, who discussed a ‘nature-positive’ approach to tackling the climate emergency and the importance of looking beyond sustainability. Alex Monro from the Devon Energy Partnership, who offered advice on how businesses can mitigate risks now that energy prices are quickly rising and the support available to help fund Solar PV. Jackie Young from Urban Agenda SW & Environment Plymouth, who pointed businesses in the right direction of finding help with environmental management and why it is worth doing.


Transport category

- sponsored by Enterprise Oz Choudhri from Enterprise Holdings, who talked about what Enterprise Car Club is doing to have fewer cars on the road and how businesses can benefit from car shares and both hybrid and electric car rentals. Amy Coppin from GWR, who discussed GWR’s plans for decarbonisation and what we can expect the firm to deliver in the Devon and Plymouth area. Danny Street from Roger Young, who told us everything we need to know about electric vehicles - including giving us a sneak peek at the brand-new Jaguar I-Pace. Mark Collins from Go South West, who explained how buses can play a part in becoming Carbon Net Zero.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Mark Parry from the Ocean Conservation Trust and National Marine Aquarium, who discussed seagrasses - how carbon is stored in them and the potential that seagrass restoration has for carbon offset, including its limitations. Alex Stannard from Babcock International Group, who talked about the firm’s journey to net zero. Sarah Fear from University of Plymouth, who explained how Plymouth is leading the way in the decarbonisation of the Marine industry and the impact of new charging infrastructure of vessels.

Business Support category

- sponsored by Low Carbon Devon Steve Warren-Brown and Adam King from YGS Landscapes, who shone light on what urban reforestation is, how the technique works and its advantages in achieving Carbon Net Zero. Polly Frost from Devon County Council, who shared some really valuable insights and some extremely useful links. Anna Peachey from Plymouth City Council, who told us why it is important for Plymouth that businesses work towards net zero and how the economic development department are delivering environmental support projects for businesses. Chris Woodfield from Low Carbon Devon, who explained how the £2.6 million Low Carbon Devon project will provide an exciting new catalyst for lowcarbon economic growth in the county.



Supporting South West businesses on their journey to Net Zero Polly Frost from the Economy, Enterprise and Skills department at Devon County Council discusses the path to Net Zero.

To reach Net Zero by 2050 will require a combined effort from us all, to each participate in every way we can to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. As a parent, a public servant and citizen of the world, I am committed to restoring our natural environment and adapting human processes to reach Net Zero. There is no use downplaying the challenge that reaching Net Zero presents. We know we must act now, and as the UK continues its progress towards COVID recovery, we can seize the opportunity presented to build back greener. I believe we can grow our economy within our environmental limits, whilst

offering support to communities hardest hit by the pandemic. At Devon County Council, we have identified tackling climate change as one of our key strategic priorities, positioning it at the heart of all Council activities. Our Team Devon Covid 19 Recovery Prospectus is committed to this priority, with assistance programmes and grant schemes centred around generating positive environmental outputs. Devon possesses a higher-than-average number of small and micro businesses, who are a part of our drive to decarbonise our businesses and industries. In my work at Devon County Council, I have seen a wealth

of enthusiasm from small businesses and social enterprises to develop and change their business practices to be more sustainable. As the home of the highest concentration of climate scientists anywhere in the world, and possessors of a vast amount of natural capital, Devon is perfectly positioned to be a leader in the low carbon sector, and in unrelated businesses adopting green practices. If you run or work for a small or micro business, there are plenty of resources available to help you contribute to our Net Zero ambitions. The Heart of the South West Growth Hub provides support to businesses across the region, whatever challenges they are facing. The Make it Net Zero portal created by the Heart of the South West LEP in partnership with the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service is a great source of information for businesses looking to go greener, alongside the UK - SME Climate hub (, a government toolkit created specifically to help SMEs transition to Net Zero.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Rush for renewables predicted as energy crisis continues

Ali Carnegie, Managing Director at Total Energy Solutions Business energy experts in the South West have predicted a rush for renewables as the fall out from the surge in wholesale gas prices shows no signs of slowing down. Business energy brokers at Cornwall-based Total Energy Solutions have seen a spike in enquiries for wind, solar and waterpowered electricity and groundsourced heating as companies look for more stability in their energy bills. Unlike consumers, businesses do not have the protection of a price cap for their energy use and a lack of significant regulation means they are exposed to inflationary rises as the wholesale cost of gas soars. Ali Carnegie, Managing Director at Total Energy Solutions, which has its headquarters near Stoke Climsland, said the prospects of significant price rises for small and large businesses was real. “While some businesses have had some protection by being on a fixed rate deal with their energy supplier, they face a significant increase to the highest possible tariff when that contract comes up for renewal,” said Ali. “Some smaller businesses especially may well find their suppliers start asking for an increase in their rates now, even though they are on a fixed rate deal “We are talking to energy suppliers every day and whilst there is more stability in the commercial sector , they too are struggling and we


cannot rule out further closures.” Some energy-intensive industries have warned that the price rises could be catastrophic for their sectors, forcing many of them to stop production indefinitely. Ali added: “We have been talking to all of our customers advising them to sit tight on the deal they have right now while the wholesale market is so volatile. For those whose contracts are up for renewal we are looking for any way we can to help them to mitigate the impact that this might have on their budgets. “For some that means looking now at renewables when it wasn’t a priority in the past - renewable energy solutions can offer stability that traditional gas and electricity simply cannot right now. “Finding the right deal for a business in such a volatile market is very difficult but we are working with suppliers and customers to make sure we continue to provide them with the best advice to make the right choice for them right now. “Business owners should beware of sharp practices too - if offered a deal that seems to be ‘too good to be true’ then it probably is. Low rates often have other hidden charges, which may or may not be disclosed to the customer. “In these unprecedented times if any business has a concern, regardless of whether it is a client of ours, I am happy to talk to them and put their mind at ease.”

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Plymouth-based Bailey Partnership pledges to be carbon-neutral by 2030 Plymouth’s award-winning construction consultancy, Bailey Partnership, has pledged to become carbonneutral and deliver all projects to “Net Zero” by 2030 – 20 years ahead of national targets - in a bid to reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint. Renowned as one of the biggest contributors to the UK’s carbon footprint, the construction industry is responsible for around 38% of all CO2 emissions in the UK. As a multi-disciplinary company with many facets and disciplines covering everything from architecture and building surveying to building services engineering, Bailey Partnership is in a unique position to combine synergies and make a difference. With headquarters in Plymouth and offices from Kent to Cornwall, the consultancy has announced the target across its complete portfolio to mark its 50th anniversary. To achieve the ambitious plans, a sustainability group with representation from each of the consultancy’s service areas has formed with the purpose of improving the company’s carbon literacy. The group will shape the future of training and processes, raising awareness of what Net Zero means in real terms so that the 110-person consultancy can actively offer carbon neutral building design. Bailey Partnership have also signed up to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge and encourage all RIBA registered practices to do so. Partner Steve Demuth explains: “Our path towards Net Zero is built on the commitment of our designers who are passionate about finding innovative and cost-effective solutions to help solve the climate emergency issues we are all facing. “As we have celebrated our 50th anniversary, 2021 has been a pivotal year for us. We have looked back over our successes but more importantly we have looked to the future. At the core of our role going forward is the Net Zero charge; leading the way while assisting, encouraging and challenging our clients and industry colleagues, working together to tackle carbon reduction and champion sustainability.”

Net Zero design in action Bailey Partnership is behind an eco-friendly design for a new start-up office building with complimentary light industrial units at City Business Park for Plymouth City Council. The new £6.5m, Net Zero office space will showcase best practice in design and low environmental impact construction and will include parking, a cafe, amenity spaces and biodiversity encouraging landscaping. The flexible scheme is aimed at start-up businesses and could allow for over 150 employment opportunities for tenants of the site across over 30 varied workspaces.


7 simple steps

for businesses to achieve Net Zero On the back of the Chamber’s Net Zero Live event, Steve Bolt, Director at BCR Associates, provides some simple steps for achieving Net Zero. For a large number of companies trading in the UK, energy is a strategic spend as it contributes significantly to how they run their business. (e.g. for the manufacturing industry, it is essential to production). In the last six months, we have seen gas prices rise by over 500% from a 10-year low for the summer of 2020. This is a momentous increase in baseline costs and will be crippling for many. This, combined with the Government’s Net Zero target and recent statements ahead of COP26 that, “All of Britain’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035”, everything is pointing to the need for nationwide reductions in consumption as this is the easiest way to reduce energy costs and achieve Net Zero. 1. Understand your business’ energy consumption When considering your Net Zero targets for your business, it is important to understand your site’s consumption. Your overall usage is available from your monthly billing, but this does not provide visibility of the specific elements within your site(s) that are using the most (and potentially wasting) energy. By understanding your site and how it consumes energy, you will be able to control your carbon footprint and work towards Net Zero. 2. Have a clear roadmap for Net Zero Once you have a clear understanding of your business’s consumption, you can use this to build an energy strategy for your business. Careful planning will be needed to map out the right path for your business and there are also some hidden pitfalls that you should be aware of. Some energy contracts have Volume Tolerance clauses, this commits the business to a minimum usage and spend irrespective of actual usage. Should you reduce your consumption due to efficiency measures you may still incur charges. Such clauses can be renegotiated at your next renewal, so it pays to plan your strategy out over a number of years. 3. Don’t be put off by the cost of investing in renewables Renewable technology has advanced significantly, and numerous solutions are available

policy to your website, on social media and on company documents will help you to demonstrate your green credentials and allow you to prove that your values are on par with your client base. 6. Understand the verification process for Net Zero For those businesses that are not yet required to comply with SECR and ESOS, there are other ways to demonstrate your efforts to reduce carbon emissions such as PAS2060 or ISO14001. You are not legally obliged to adhere to either, but in going above and beyond to verify or certify your commitment to reducing carbon emissions through a nationally or internationally recognised body, you will be able to establish credibility with clients, staff and supply partners alike. to businesses together with finance options to suit. These can include Cap-Ex purchases through to renting equipment. Investment costs can be offset as the subsequent renewable energy is generated at prices significantly below current wholesale costs. 4. Make sure that you understand legislation and how that impacts your business The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) are the two key regulations that impact larger businesses. Compliance is currently based on number of employees, turnover, and balance

sheet and both legislations require businesses to track their carbon emissions and for SECR you are required to record this as part of your annual accounts. 5. Align your CSR policy with your clients Decision makers increasingly want to align themselves with companies that are actively trying to do their part for the planet and the local community and it’s becoming a key part of the purchasing decisionmaking process. A simple client questionnaire can help to gather useful information on your client’s approach to environmental concerns and adding your companies’ CSR

7. Get buy-in from stakeholders In order to take everyone in your business with you on the journey to Net Zero it’s important to engage with stakeholders. Depending on your individual Net Zero roadmap, you may have set specific targets that you want to achieve. There may well be actions that you need staff to take, such as switching off equipment when not in use or parameters that you have set for suppliers and network partners. By working with stakeholders and setting a clear roadmap you are more likely to achieve your Net Zero ambitions.

BCR Associates has designed an energy management process which will help you to make informed decisions on how to start the journey to Net Zero. For further information, please get in touch via email at or by calling 03330 433 233.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Our journey to Net Zero At the Chamber, one of our key strategic priorities is Climate Change and the Environment, and as such, we are constantly working to improve our sustainability. Our major office refurbishments last year gave us the opportunity to make significant energy efficiency improvements, including switching all our office lighting to LED, installing a new efficient boiler, and replacing window seals to reduce heat losses. More recently, we have installed bike storage units and electric vehicle charging points at our office, to promote low-emission travel for both staff and visitors. This was made possible by a Workplace Travel grant from Plymouth City Council. In the next stage of our journey to Net Zero, the Chamber has taken on a new intern through Future Shift Low Carbon Devon’s internship programme. Katie is with us for three months and has been looking at the sustainability of our operations, how best we can support you as our members on your own sustainability journey, and B Corp Certification for the Chamber. This is one of the highest environmental and social certification standards

for businesses and is a growing movement of change – using business as a force for good. Certification involves undertaking the rigorous B Impact Assessment, which Katie has been working through and providing recommendations for changes to our operations to improve our social and environmental performance. If you’d be interested in hosting a fully-funded intern yourself, contact sustainabilityhub@ In the run up to COP26, we hosted Net Zero October, running a series of events exploring the climate crisis and how business in the region are tackling this. We also launched our Net Zero Hub on our website, where you can find tools, resources, and local support for reducing your business’ carbon emissions, as well as highlights from our Net Zero Live broadcast.

As you may have seen at our latest City Conversations at the National Marine Aquarium, Raleigh have very kindly given the Chamber our own electric cargo bike, available until February free for all members to test ride or book out for use. If you’d like to get involved in this great opportunity for the promotion of zero-emission deliveries, get in touch with Katie at katie.upton@

New heat pumps power Marjon Plymouth Marjon University is embarking on a groundbreaking project to install ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and become the first university to implement a GSHP scheme of this size. The installation of ground source heat pumps is part of a new sustainability initiative, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). Ground source heat pumps harness natural heat from the ground by pumping water through it in pipes, capturing heat that can be used in heating buildings.


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

The success of this project will put Marjon at the forefront of the race to net zero carbon by 2050, with it being one of the largest non-domestic GSHP programmes undertaken in England to date. The project is funded by a grant received by Salix, a company that runs funding schemes dedicated to enabling the public sector to reduce carbon emissions. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has made available £3.5 million of funding for the GSHP installation.


How your organisation can become nature-positive Amanda Keetley

Add support to investments, clients, and suppliers whose business practices regenerate nature (renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, seaweed farming, rewilding...) is a brilliant resource brimming with ideas for actions and case studies for inspiration for every sector.

Here are some of the brilliant and hopeful projects that DEF has supported:

Wildlife Wardens: exemplary and replicable system providing training and resources to empower local volunteers to • create more space for wildlife habitat in their communities. Regenerative School: growing the next generation of regenerative farmers who will go on to tenant/ Amanda Keetley from the business-as-usual is no longer an Many of the own land and move Devon Environment Foundation option. Nature-based the needle on (DEF) talks about the business Furthermore, it identified Solutions that land-use in Devon benefits of being naturethat a Nature-Positive Economy need to take over the coming positive. can create 395 million new jobs place this decade decade. At the 2021 Carbis Bay event, and over $10 trillion in business don’t yet have a Flete Field Lab: Beavers on the River Tamar G7 leaders announced that the opportunities. and soon to be on the clear market value, experimenting world must not only become Expanding areas under Caen Catchment or viable business to create recipes net-zero by 2030, but also conservation could yield model so there’s an with mycelium and nature-positive for the a return of at least $5 urgent need to support biochar to clean up water and benefit of people for every $1 spent charities delivering tangible, enhance soil without the use of and the planet. and boost global Nature-based Solutions in the chemical fertilisers. They economic output UK. River Corridors and Beavers: recognised that by $250 billion Donating to the Devon turning rivers into nature the climate and annually – every Environment Foundation enables corridors to enable wildlife biodiversity crises aspect of human Till the Coast us to identify and nurture to thrive, preventing water are intertwined, society requires Is Clear Plastic pioneering Nature-Positive pollution, and introducing and that natureClean Up healthy functioning projects so they can replicate beavers to create carbon-rich, positive initiatives can ecosystems. and scale. biodiverse wetlands. tackle BOTH crises at the Seaweed Farming: pioneering same time. How to be naturepilot to prove the economic, Some of the DEF’s We can all get inspired by this positive in your social and environmental benefits vision and be empowered to be nature-positive projects of seaweed farming, which organisation nature-positive at work, at home, The Devon Environment include carbon sequestration and and in our communities. The first step is to take Foundation specialises in providing habitat. responsibility to ensure our supporting pioneering, Exmoor Tree Nursery: professional actions reflect our What does it mean to be grassroots Nature- Positive collecting native seeds to grow personal values. projects in the UK. nature-positive? resilient saplings for planting We work as an environmental A Nature-Positive approach in the uplands to enhance Leading by example kick-starter, channelling enriches biodiversity, sequesters biodiversity and prevent can positively funds to the most carbon, enhances soil and water downstream flooding. influence our promising and most quality, reduces flooding and soil Water Voles: reintroducing colleagues, impactful Natureerosion, reduces pandemic risk... this keystone species to suppliers, and based Solutions, and much more. British waterways, to enhance industry – enabling them to Traditional environmental biodiversity and the health of unlocking a replicate and scale. messaging has focussed on local rivers and wetlands. ripple effect of One of the best fear and guilt to encourage Till the Coast is Clear: Wildlife Wardens in change (doing things about Natureaction. This can sometimes be adventure beach cleaning Teignbridge nothing enables the Positive initiatives is that activities to reach the parts of effective, but often makes us feel status quo). they are very compelling and the coast that other cleaners overwhelmed or switches us off. offer hope, so more people want The beauty of the Naturecan’t reach, engaging the Here’s how to be Natureto get involved. Positive approach is that it is community and having fun while Positive in your organisation: Supporting Nature-Positive inspirational, inclusive, and gives cleaning up plastic pollution. • Remove support from projects in Devon is a great us hope for a better future. investments, clients, or way to share positive news We have many more projects suppliers whose business stories that engage and inspire in the pipeline and welcome Benefits of a naturepractices degenerate nature customers and employees. support from organisations who (fossil fuels, industrial positive economy want to be nature-positive. agriculture, deforestation, A World Economic Forum plastics...) 2020 report highlighted that

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



National recognition for Plymouth’s innovative IGNITE Festival An innovative digital platform that connects arts graduates with creative agencies and employment and volunteering opportunities has been shortlisted for a prestigious major national education award. The IGNITE Futures digital platform, the online hub at the heart of the city-wide IGNITE Festival of Creativity, is among six UK higher education projects shortlisted for a highly competitive Times Higher Education (THE) Award in the Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year category. Created by the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art, in collaboration with creative agencies Just Enough Brave and Altitude Design, IGNITE Futures has helped to showcase the work of more than 400 students and resulted in the creation of 11 new graduate jobs. The third IGNITE Festival of Creativity took place across the summer, putting a unique spin on the traditional art degree show model by combining online technology with physical installations and exhibitions in community spaces to showcase work by graduates from the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art. Professor Chris Bennewith, Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the University, said: “To be shortlisted by the THE Awards is outstanding recognition of the innovative and collaborative spirit that has driven the creation of the IGNITE Futures platform. “It has transformed the very nature of the traditional arts degree show, and created an interactive portal that connects our creative industries with new and emerging talent.” “Creative skills aren’t just needed in the arts and media sectors,” says Ian Hutchinson, Head of Development at Plymouth College of Art. “That is the great value of the IGNITE platform; it offers a portal

32 32

that connects people with the creative talent of graduates who can add value to a wide range of industries. “IGNITE is incredibly efficient way of connecting people, whether as a means of generating employment or kick-starting community campaigns.” For the 2021 IGNITE Festival of Creativity, the digital platform was one of a number of key innovations. With help and support from organisations including Real Ideas, Plymouth Citybus, Barclays, Open Media, Drake Circus, the Plymouth City Centre Company, Oyo Hotels, Ocean Studios, and Plymouth Arts Cinema, graduating students from Plymouth College of Art and University of Plymouth transformed the city of Plymouth into a living gallery, hosting more than 70 public exhibitions at multiple sites across the city. From immersive animations and cutting edge fashion design to contemporary illustration and timeless glass and ceramics, the exhibitions were attended by thousands of direct visitors and public installations seen by tens of thousands of people in Plymouth’s city centre. Work by graduates was

Winter 2021 2021 Chamber Chamber Profile Profile Winter

showcased across the sides of public transport led by Citybus, inside Barclays Bank, at the Market Hall in Devonport, on digital screens outside the Barcode, inside Ocean Studios and across the local waterfront. Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said: “We were delighted to be able to support the festival, which fits in perfectly with our aim of bringing new life to the city centre and finding new uses for empty shops.” Dan Howson, IGNITE Producer, said: “We have seen IGNITE evolve to offer both a physical and digital celebration to great success. We created a unique spin on the traditional arts degree show with online technology working in tandem with physical community engagement. “As a result, we have been delighted to surpass our expectations and achieved a massive footfall of tens of thousands of people during the festival and more importantly IGNITE has been successful in creating 11 Jobs for creative graduates.” IGNITE is supported by Plymouth City Council as part of the iMayflower project, and by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund (administered by Arts Council England).


How Disaster Recovery can keep your business on track In 2020, Disaster Recovery plans were activated en masse as businesses had to quickly get team members working outside the office. Darren Roseveare, Account Director at ITEC Group, explains... It’s been a challenge, but ITEC is impressed with how businesses in Devon & Plymouth have adapted to the situation and enabled business continuity.

What is Disaster Recovery? Disaster Recovery (DR) is a certain set of tools and capabilities that keep businesses working even when the worst happens. DR makes sure your business can continue if your office is compromised by a flash flood, freak fires or quarantine restrictions, or if your business critical processes are damaged in any way.

ITEC and Disaster Recovery ITEC makes DR a fundamental part of your Technology Managed Services and we will design you a bespoke technology strategy that will keep you working.

Automatic cloud backups to the ITEC data centres We can host your private or hybrid cloud solution in the ITEC Data Centre. Located in Plymouth, automatic cloud backups into the data centre mean your critical files, data and documents are protected from power outages and can be accessed from anywhere with the latest server virtualisation software.

There are three pillars to the ITEC Business Continuity Suite:

1. IT support The suite is armed with the latest computers, connectivity and cloud software. All of it is ready to be used, so your team can just pick up where they left off. With your data backed up into the ITEC Data Centre, everything you need is available from the moment you arrive.

2. Unified communications (UC) Every computer is paired with a cloud-based UC device. When you arrive, connect your phone to your determined cloud system and within minutes, your contacts will have ported across. And with VoIP and twinning, your customers will be able to reach you on the same office number as before.

3. Office “home” comforts ITEC recognises that a workplace is more than just a series of computers and phones. The ITEC Business Continuity Suite has everything you could want from an office, including a fully-stocked kitchen!

Business continuity suite Once your information is safely stored, ITEC can feed your requested documents into the ITEC Business Continuity Suite. Based in Plymouth, the Business Continuity Suite enables you to work if your office is inaccessible. In fact, at the beginning of the year, the Devon & Plymouth Chamber used the suite when their premises were being renovated.


Investing in Cloud Computing will give your disaster recovery an edge because you can access data, documents and files from anywhere.

About ITEC Darren Roseveare spearheads ITEC’s managed services in Plymouth and specialises in IT Support and Managed Print Services. ITEC, a Xerox Company, is a Technology Managed Service provider on a mission to drive organisations to success with powerful technology strategies and partnerships. Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



BMW machines the most fun you can have on two wheels Devon & Plymouth Chamber CEO Stuart Elford test-rides two new BMW 1250cc bikes the GS and the RT - courtesy of Ocean BMW. By Stuart Elford, Chamber Chief Executive and Paul Fennessy As a recently born-again biker I took a lot of convincing to get back in the saddle, but my good friend Paul Fennessy persuaded me and I’m so glad he did. Together we have toured France, Andorra and Spain, completed our advanced motorcycle tests and have our eyes set on a Moroccan motorcycle adventure. Paul is a fan of the adventure bike – something rugged, robust and able to climb Kilimanjaro. I on the other hand, while not averse to a bit of dusty dirt track, am more into the refined speed and power of a touring machine. So, when the lovely people at Ocean BMW offered us the chance to ride two new 1250cc machines - one the ubiquitous GS that has become the benchmark for adventure bikes, and the other its touring cousin the refined RT - I knew just who I would ask to join me for the test ride. I think Paul agreed before I had finished the question… We arrived at Ocean and, after the obligatory coffee and bacon bap, the Motorrad team rolled out both bikes and gave us a thorough handover. Paul headed for the GS and started making the sort of admiring grunting noises that engineering types make when examining machinery that looks like it could survive a head on collision with a hippo. I made for the sleek looking RT and marvelled at the machine that comes with more accessories than a Swiss Army knife and more extras than a Star Wars movie. I’ll leave Paul to tell you about the boxer engine and all the mechanical stuff that gets him excited, and I will focus on my bike.

BMW R 1250 RT LE

BMW R 1250 GS TE

PF: The engine is what makes both of these bikes. While other manufacturers have added extra cylinders and complications, BMW - who got it right first-time with this flat twin - have stuck to their principles. Over time it’s got more displacement, refinement, efficiency and grunt. The latest innovation is the ShiftCam head. If you’re happy to accept it’s just better, then move on to the next paragraph, but if you want the nuts and bolts, it’s a very clever system by which the amount of valve lift can be changed by selecting a different cam lobe for low power or high power scenarios. A worm drive on the end of the cam slides the whole cam sideways to put a different set of lobes over the valves, enabling the engine to breathe deeper when it’s running hard. A bit like Stuart. The rider doesn’t need to get involved, the bike just does it. And it works. SE: Yeeees. Thanks, Paul, so it’s got an engine. Great. Let’s talk about what they are like as bikes though… I admit to being a bit intimidated by the size of the bike, but in fact the moment I sat on it I felt completely at home. In fact, let’s just talk about comfort and practicality


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

here. How have I coped before without heated seats, heated grips and an electrically adjustable windscreen? The RT has everything a modern BMW car has, including adaptive cruise control and hill-start control.

PF: That’s all very nice, but you have managed without a lot of that. For me a motorbike is about going places your car can’t. I’ll concede your RT won’t give you piles after seven hours on the Autobahn but I don’t want to ride my bike on the Autobahn, I want to romp up gravelly Pyrenean mountain passes on it. This GS will do that before breakfast and still charge back up the Autoroute to Brittany Ferries after I’ve had my croissant. SE: Whatever, mate, this is the 21st Century and we have roads and electricity and everything. Turning the machine on with the push of a button, the 10.25inch display screen comes alive, and using the multi-function controls on the left grip you can adjust… well, everything I think! From the road, rain, dynamic and eco riding modes to the level of traction control or engine braking, the suspension that senses the load on the bike (such

SECTOR FOCUS: MOTORING SE: Thanks, Paul, but I notice you forgot to mention that when we met with Amanda Keetley from Devon Environment Foundation at Torcross, she voted the RT the best looking bike of the two?

as if you are carrying a pillion and luggage) or the braking or the navigation system, it’s all quite literally at your fingertips.

PF: We’ve spent all this time

and effort learning how to be Advanced Motorcyclists and you want to let a computer take all your fun away! Besides, the GS has all that clever stuff, too, and I reckon in the off-road environment it’ll be working much harder to keep you shiny side up.

SE: Yes, Paul, that is all well and good but the RT looks beautiful. The new model has a slimmer and sleeker front end but retains a purposeful presence. This is a machine that looks like it does what it has been designed to do and that is cross continents with ease. PF: Yes, no doubt it’s an elegant machine. The GS looks like it does because it’s evolved that shape through millions of miles of rider abuse over mud, sand and tarmac. This bike hasn’t conceded any of its indestructible qualities in the interests of vanity. You could jump on a factory fresh GS at Ocean’s showroom and ride it to Johannesburg and all you’d need to do is put petrol in it and wipe the bugs off the headlight once a day. SE: That’s true of both bikes

I think. Despite being initially intimidated by the size of this bike, the moment I pulled away that was completely dispelled. Within minutes I was filtering through traffic, doing a U-turn on a sixpence and generally feeling completely in control and at

home. This is a bike that makes you feel secure and safe with enough feedback to make you feel fully engaged.

PF: Same with the GS… Both

of these bikes really outshine others I’ve ridden recently in terms of handling by keeping the weight down and keeping what weight is necessary, low down. There is an expression in engineering that a tool designed to do more than one job will do both badly. There are a few exceptions, but it takes some pretty brilliant design to achieve. BMW has somehow managed to make two very big bikes feel light and nimble, in a way that really surprised me.

PF: Perhaps that’s because I was sitting on it at the time. I get it that some people will want a bike that looks pretty. I want a bike that can deliver on its promises. A couple of snorty overtakes up the hill from Slapton towards Dartmouth convinced me that the GS isn’t just about weapons-grade construction. It’s got ability, too. I liked the GS but didn’t want to admit it. I didn’t realise it but Paul was having similar feelings about the RT. Eventually the silence was broken by Paul.

PF: At the start of the test I knew the GS was going to be brilliant, which of course it was. The RT however was actually the bike that impressed me the most. I was expecting a heavy lump of a bike, overloaded with frills but it’s not.

The torque is incredible, the ride is comfortable and it is a very usable machine. Not at all the sit-up-high agricultural tractor I expected.” Paul told me that BMW says the GS is the only bike you will ever need - and I can see why. It does everything really well. I have to say I am very torn.

PF: Me too…

We retired for a cup of tea and a period of reflection to discuss such weighty philosophical questions as, “Does the perfect bike exist?”, and if so, “Which colour GS would you buy?” It is definitely horses for courses. There is no doubt that the GS has earned its reputation as the definitive adventure bike and it would be perfect for our forthcoming Moroccan sojourn to the dusty desert, able to take dunes, dirt and mountains in its stride. But we’ve got to get there first and if you want a machine that will take two-up swiftly across Europe in comfort and style with more luggage space than a jumbo jet, you definitely need the RT. That is when it dawned on us. We want one of each.

SE: I had to admit my feelings, too: “This GS is amazing.

Dear Santa…

BMW R 1250 GS TE

BMW R 1250 RT LE



Light White uni/Racing Bl Non-Metallic No Maintenance Pack

Racing Blue Metallic No Maintenance Pack

Datatool Stealth S5

Datatool Stealth S5

Seat Heating

Seat Heating

LED Additional Fog Light

LED Additional Fog Light

Intelligent Emergency Call

Intelligent Emergency Call

Rallye Style Package


Pillion Package

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile


SECTOR CHAMBER FOCUS: REVIEW WORKSPACES Delt project managers on a site visit to The Box

How Delt Shared Services Ltd is helping people do amazing things Gary Pettitt, Chief Projects Officer, at Delt Shared Services Ltd, talks about delivering for customers and giving back to the local community Delt’s Head of Print and Mail in our print room at Windsor House

I expect many readers of Profile know of Delt, a company born out of a joint venture between the IT teams of Plymouth City Council and the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group. You might think we still just ‘do IT’ for those organisations but we do a lot more. We deliver managed IT services and a procurement service, a finance service, print and mail business, estates management, HR and organisational development, cyber security, management consultancy and project management. Delt is a relatively unique entity, we are an agile private limited company owned by the public sector. We share our owners’ values, and in fact many Delt staff join the company because they want to give something back to their local community. Delt is not a ‘Carillion-like’ outsourcer. In each of the seven years of Delt’s life the company has contributed c£14 million value added to the South West per annum, over 300 jobs remain in our region, and we support


more than 200 services in over 300 locations. Our mission is to help people do amazing things. We have two shareholders - Plymouth City Council and the Devon Clinical Care Commissioning Group - and each has an equal voice in how the company is run. Most of the work we do is for our owners, but we often do more than this. We are currently working with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Transforming Futures Multi Academy Trust, Devon Partnership NHS Trust and South West Academic Health Science Network as well as many other public interest organisations. We generate a small surplus that our shareholders own, but our aim is to deliver improved services for the same, or at a slightly lower, cost. When our shareholders need work on IT business change and transformation it is delivered by Delt as a project. Given the range of work done in the NHS and local government this makes the c700 projects we tackle each year extremely diverse. Our project portfolio includes small, low-cost, quick to deliver pieces of work through to complex, high-value projects with strategic impact, such as the implementation of gigabitcapable broadband connections to over 120 public buildings in Devon and the subsequent delivery of the light up services.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Delt managed a project to deliver network capability to the Hoe and Millbay in support of Sail GP. This infrastructure was a critical part of the Sail GP setup allowing the live broadcast of the event to be transmitted to a global audience in near real time. Working with the CCG is important to us, we really value the fact that we are contributing to the health and well-being of our local community. Our PMO provided significant support in the establishment of temporary vaccinations centres. We enabled network connectivity, installed back-up systems and delivered additional laptops and scanning devices turning pubs, leisure centres, community centres and, in one instance, a car park into fully functioning vaccination centres. Our project managers have experience working in Tourism, Economic Development, Education, Community Engagement,

Health Management, Event Management, Bid Writing and Construction. We continue to explore opportunities to deliver a wider range of projects for our shareholders and are broadening and expanding the amount of work we do for commercial clients. So Delt is not a rebranded IT department, we have several functions one of which is to deliver a wide range of demanding project work in many important areas. The capability of the Delt project professionals has been recognised by the Association of Project Management (APM), we have been selected as a finalist in the APM awards in the category ‘contribution to project management small to medium enterprise’. We are all immensely proud of this and the work we do in our PMO to help people do amazing things.

Delt’s CEO (driving the digger) and Delt’s Chief Services Officer (in the trench) assisting with work at one of the schools where we provide an estate management service.


Black tie ball raises £36k The local business community held a glittering black tie ball to raise more than £36,000 for the Plymouth Together Fund. The Business Charity Ball was the latest in a number of fund-raising events for the trust. Despite only having a few weeks to plan the event, the amazing committee - led by Paul Montgomery - stepped up to transform the Crowne Plaza Hotel and put on a fabulous evening which more than doubled the organisers’ initial fund-raising target. Paul said: “The amazing committee of Annette Laurie, Agata Kalend-Łuszczyńska, Lauren Rogers and Michael Mann came together to plan and action this business

fund-raiser, and I’m speechless what they have achieved in such a short time together. “Much thanks has to be given to a few local businesses who stepped up to make the evening possible, as well as Alexis Bowater for being fantastic on the auction, helping to raise thousands of pounds; and to all businesses who contributed to the prize pool and all businesses and guests who attended you are simply outstanding. “We cannot wait to see you all again and have plans afoot for next year for something special. See you all again soon.” Chamber CEO Stuart Elford added: “An amazing night and great achievement on

raising £36k. Well done to Paul Montgomery and the committee on a top job.” Pictures courtesy of UpArt Photography ( n-7XQGDG/Plymouth-Business-CharityFunction-2020) and Hannah and team of PL7 Studios and Community Photographic Studios CIC ( plymouthtogetherball).


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Bailey Partnership celebrates half-a-century in construction Plymouth’s award-winning construction consultancy, Bailey Partnership, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a party joined by clients, local business people and contractors. Specialists in architecture and building surveying to interior design and town planning services, the practice has six offices across the South of England and with a 110 strong team has seen 20% growth in staff numbers in the last twelve month period. Partner, Simon Zawada, says: “Looking back over the last fifty years there have been so many incredible moments; groundbreaking projects that have played a

significant role in the region’s vibrancy and regeneration. “At Bailey Partnership we have a fantastic team of talented individuals – our anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate their achievements, thank our clients and come together to look to the future. Here’s to the next 50 years!”

Coinciding with the half century milestone and providing a double cause for celebration, Bailey Partnership also picked up four top titles in the Constructing Excellence Awards South West – including Winner of Winners. Work on behalf of Plymouth Community


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Homes to deliver essential internal and external fire safety refurbishment works to Mount Wise Towers - three high-rise towers home to 270 households - caught the eye and respect of the award judges. As well as the coveted Winner of Winners Award, the £12 million project also picked up awards for Value and Health & Safety, as well as highly commended for Building Project of the Year. A fourth win for Conservation & Regeneration was in recognition of the work undertaken by Bailey Partnership to renovate the historic Saltash Train Station building and enhance the ‘Gateway to Cornwall’.


Everybody needs good neighbours More than 100 members and delegates from three different Chambers of Commerce packed out Sandy Park in Exeter for our Meet The Neighbours event. The Devon & Plymouth Chamber was joined by our friends and colleagues from Exeter and Somerset for a fantastic

afternoon of networking and delicious food and drink. Proudly sponsored by Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association, this annual event is an excellent opportunity for our members to meet businesses operating out across Devon and Somerset.

After superb welcome drinks sponsored and supported by Salcombe Distilling Company, we were treated to a fabulous two-course lunch in the wonderful surroundings of Sandy Park. We hope everyone who joined us enjoyed the event as much as we did!

Can you spot yourself in our pictures?

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Girling Jones golf day another huge hit for Children’s Hospice South West An innovative digital platform that connects arts graduates with creative agencies and employment and volunteering opportunities has been shortlisted for a prestigious major national education award. The movers and shakers of the South West construction industry came together to raise funds for Children’s Hospice South West at the third annual Girling Jones Golf Day. The event at Exeter Golf and Country Club on September 23 raised a massive £9,000 for the charity, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021. The 2021 Girling Jones Golf Day at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Exeter-based construction recruitment consultancy Girling Jones is a huge supporter of CHSW, raising thousands of pounds since the company was established more than 10 years ago. The first golf day in 2018 raised £7,500, while the 2019 event raised £8,700. Staff have also taken part in our Ride for Precious Lives cycle challenge, ran marathons and half-marathons and organised office bake-offs. They raised £2,500 doing a Lands’ End to John O’Groats static cycle challenge outside their offices on the quayside in Exeter in 2017 and have even visited the Little Bridge House children’s hospice in North Devon to lend a hand giving the gardens a tidy. CHSW area fundraiser Henrietta Olsson said: “Local businesses help CHSW in so many different ways and the team at Girling Jones Ltd are a shining example of how corporate support can make such a difference to the lives of the children and families we support. “What started out as a Charity of the Year partnership has developed into firm fundraising for us for a number of years. “The energy, fun and endless enthusiasm of each member of the Girling Jones team is what makes them so very special to us. We really can’t thank them all enough.” Simon Girling, Managing Director, said: “The team love supporting CHSW. Their regular challenges and events are part of the culture here at Girling Jones and play an important part in our team building and office morale. Also, as a South West based business, who better to support? “Thanks to all our guests who made the golf day truly special. A big well done to everyone who won a prize on the day and huge thanks also to everyone who donated prizes and their time on the day, as well as our headlines sponsors Exeter Brewery, Helston Garages, Kensa Group, Quba Solutions, Fossil Coast Gin for their generosity and support.”


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

The 2021 Girling Jones Golf Day at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Picture: Phil Mingo, PPA

CHSW fundraiser Henrietta Olsson and Laura Robertson. Picture: Phil Mingo, PPA


GREEN BREAKFAST NETWORKING Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first Green Breakfast Networking event, in collaboration with Low Carbon Devon at the University of Plymouth. Part of our Net Zero October series - proudly sponsored by YGS Landscapes Ltd - we heard from exciting guest speakers and also got the opportunity to check out the University’s Sustainability Hub.

Our badges A huge thank you to Linda Middleton-Jones from International Trade Matters (she’s also one of our fabulous Devon & Plymouth Chamber Directors) for our new sustainable badges which we’ll be wearing at all events from now on. Here’s Olivia from our Chamber team wearing one at our Green Breakfast Networking meeting as part of Net Zero October.

Don’t they look great!

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile






FSD Active Limited

Recro Vida Ltd

Sidmouth Harbour Hotel & spa

Delicate 5a Colyton Business Park, Wheelers Yard, Colyton EX24 6DT Plymouth 38/40 Mallbrough Street, Devonport, Plymouth PL1 4AH

Yondercott House

Outset - Enterprise Coaching

Yondercott House, Ussculme EX15 3DR 39 George Place, Plymouth PL1 3DX

Revolution Recruitment Unit 3, Phase 5, Plymouth Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth PL6 8BU

Like to Be Plymouth Science Park, 1 Davy Road, Plymouth PL6 8BX

Life’s Little Recipes Ltd 1 Tower Park,

Bigwave Marketing

Manor Road, Sidmouth EX10 8RU

bianca e massimo

1st Floor, Exeland house Tudor Street, Exeter EX4 3BR 61A High Street, Totnes TQ9 5SN

Waterways Drainage Specialists Ltd

Millbay Academy The Red House, 22 Millbay Road, Millbay, Plymouth PL1 3EG

The Manor House Hotel The Manor House, Fowley Cross, Okehampton EX20 4NA

Manor House & Ashbury Hotels hotels-ashbury-hotel.htm Manor House Hotel, Fowley Cross. Okehampton EX20 4NA

Lysander Law

South Milton EX36 4EP Flat 16 Daws Court, Old Ferry Road, Saltash PL12 6JD

Promotional Gift Finder

Doyle Clayton Solicitors Limited The Workbox, Wharf Road, Penzance TR18 4FG One Crown Court, Cheapside, London EC2V 6LR Officers Quarters No 10, Crownhill Fort, Crownhill Fort Road, Plymouth PL6 5BX


Age UK Devon

Julian House Suite 4, Plym House, 3 longbridge Road, Plymouth PL6 8LT 1 Manaton Court, Matford Business Park, Exeter EX8 5RE WAT Tyler House, 3 King William St, Exeter EX4 6PD

Kioo Marketing Limited

Anna Lake Consulting Matford Business Centre, Matford Park Road, Marsh Barton EX2 8ED Unit 25, Lister Close Business Park, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 4BA 62 Oak Road, Tavistock PL19 9EZ

There There

Business Success SW Ltd Calstock

Consilium CXXI 3 Northleigh House, Thorverton Road, Matford Business Park, Exeter EX2 8HF

Agile Comms 9 The Crescent, Plymouth PL1 3AB

Sobey Fitness

Significant Seams CIC Apple Studio, COF Carpenters Cottage, Knowle, Crediton Hamlets EX17 5BX

Carry on Choir

22 Cross Park Avenue, Crownhill, Plymouth PL6 5AR 10 Old Stone Close, West Ward Hoe, Bitiford EX39 1XH


Manuplas The Apex, Derriford Business Park, Plymouth PL6 5FL Unit 18, Estover Road, Estover, Plymouth PL6 7PY

Rich Craft Furniture

Tamar Housing Society Studio 1, Alma Yard, Plymouth PL4 0SS 5-11 Millbay Road, Plymouth PL1 3LF

The Job App

Western Logistics 2nd Floor, 5 High street, Westbury-on-Trym BS9 3BY Unit 7, Mill Batch Farm Business Park, East Brent, Highbridge TA9 4JN

Purdy’s Punjabi Cuisine 38 Onslow Road, Peverell, Plymouth PL2 3QG


Salcombe Harbour Hotel Cliff Road, Salcombe TQ8 8JH

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Recruitment In Partnership 4 Kingsland Gardens Close, Manamead, Plymouth PL3 5NR

Rebalance with Lynn 15 Silverton Rise, Feniton, Honiton EX14 3FD Lysander House, Catbrain Lane, Bristol BS10 7TQ

Thales Turnchapel Wharf, Barton Rd, Plymouth PL9 9RQ

Wessex Commercial

South West Women In Business 1 Verden Close, Plymouth PL3 4BT

Devon Environment Foundation

Action for Children CO The Conservation Colective, The Old Plough, St Mary Bourne, Hampshire SP11 6AY Magnolia Avenue, Exeter EX2 6DJ

Aquamare Marine Ltd

LocaliQ Digital Marketing Tremough Innovation Centre, Penryn TR10 9TA

Clear Sky Publishing Ltd Unit 6, Tor Hill House, Union St, Torbay TQ2 5QW

Moo Music Plymouth 95 Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6JJ

Portakabin Limited Arnolds Point, Embankment Road, Plymouth PL4 9JW Barton road, Plymouth PL9 9RQ

Aspire Training Team 3 Wollaston Road, Bournemouth BH6 4AR


CHAMBER PEOPLE Name: Katie Upton Role: B Corp and Sustainable Business Intern at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? To not be afraid of failure, and to view it not as the end of the process, but a stage towards achieving success in the future.

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

When it comes to business, do you follow head or heart? I think I’m quite fortunate that in my area of business, they are usually quite aligned! Often, my head helps me build the practical steps needed to get to where my heart wants to get to, through looking for what is best for the planet, and then finding ways to make it work and be the best path for the business, too.

What do you do and why do you enjoy it? I’m working at the Devon & Plymouth Chamber through Low Carbon Devon’s Internship Scheme and my main focus has been on B Corp Certification – a very high social and environmental standard. For this, I’ve been working through the comprehensive B Impact Assessment, looking at areas to improve our score, and starting to implement some positive changes. In addition to this, I’ve been looking at the sustainability of our operations at the Chamber, and how best we can support you as our members on your own sustainability journey as we all work towards net zero. I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far as the Chamber truly has such a great team, and I’ve loved the variety of my work and being able to make a difference.

What inspires you? People. Seeing others being passionate about what they do, and working towards a better future for people and the planet.

What drives you? Following the high expectations I set for myself to be the best that I can be.

Where do you see the future of your organisation? The Chamber continuing to support our members to succeed, through the events, training, and advice we provide, as well as increasing our support for net zero and helping our members become as resilient as they can be.

Plymouth unites for Hugs Charity Ball The hugely popular Hugs Children’s Cancer Charity Ball returned to The Crowne Plaza in Plymouth this November for the first time in two years. Guests were dressed to impress and enjoyed a delicious three-course meal, before dancing the night away in aid of this wonderful charity which supports families in the PL postcode who have a child with rare childhood cancers. Find out more about what they do here: www.

Describe yourself in five words Conscientious, Kind, Determined, Loyal, Positive.

How do you balance life and work? By having clear boundaries between them, and prioritising and managing time so that you can stick to set working hours as much as possible. Working in a role that you find interesting and fulfilling is so important, too.

What’s your favourite quote? ‘What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make’

Who has been the greatest influence on you? My parents. Their work ethic and commitment, and their ethos, passion and care towards our world and the people within it has massively influenced my career and personal life, and they’ve supported me endlessly in everything that I’ve done.

What are you most proud of? Graduating! Finishing my Bachelor’s and starting and completing my Master’s degree during the pandemic was challenging in so many aspects and required a lot of adaptation, but I’m so pleased to now be a graduate in MSc Environmental Consultancy.

Winter 2021 Chamber Profile



Browse our full list of courses at


Winter 2021 Chamber Profile

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Access to Higher Education Diplomas


First Aid at Work

Fitness Instructing

Hair and Beauty

Leadership and Management

Teacher Training and Education