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Chamber launch Golf Society page 8 Accessing Funding page 18 Make sure your business is effective in 2013 page 39

Expanding Export

An unrivalled opportunity to expand your business overseas: page 26 Big Interview: Paul Noon OBE. West Midlands International Trade Director, - page 24/25

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January/February 2013 Issue 11 21/12/12 09:36:30

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WELCOME TO THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 EDITION OF BUSINESS DIRECTION. Happy New year to all members and companies who we work with and support through our many services.

rt ing Expo nd your Expandopp ortunity to expa An unrivalled seas: business over page 26 : Paul Noon, OBE. West Big Inter view 24/25 Trade Director,

nal Midlands Internatio

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2013 January/February

Issue 11 Business Direction, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s full colour bi-monthly publication. Designed and produced by business people for business people. Distributed to 6,000 businesses including selected retail outlets across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

editor Kelly Betts 0845 641 1641 ext 213

editoriAl 0845 641 1641 ext 213

production & design Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2385

Advertising Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0845 884 2336

feAture editors John Dean & Francis Griss

subscriptions Tel: 0845 641 1641

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher accepts no responsibility for omissions or errors within this publication. Editorial submissions are included at the discretion of the editor. The opinions expressed in articles and letters within this publication are not necessarily those of the Chamber. All offers, promotions and competitions appearing in Business Direction are the sole responsibility of the advertiser/ promoting party and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce does not accept any responsibility for any representations made within them.

At the end of last year we confirmed mfg solicitors as new patron members and in the short time they have been with us I have already seen some positive collaboration that I am sure will develop as we go forward. This edition sees the launch of the new Chamber Business Golf Society supported by Amros Golf Event Management. Each event will be sponsored by a different Chamber member; Hewett Recruitment, mfg solicitors, Crowther Beard and Worcester Warriors. This will provide an ideal opportunity to network in a well tested environment and certainly one of the events that will also be a full fun day. Information on joining the Chamber Golf Society can be found on page 40. This edition concentrates on Developing Global Markets and it is with pleasure that we welcome Paul Noon as Regional Director of UK Trade and Investment West Midlands, and also thank the departing Regional Director, Doug Mahoney for his vision in working with the Chamber, as we have supported thousands of businesses in the last five years. Linda Smith, Head of International Trade at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and her team support 100’s of companies each year to start to export and find new markets. We also have an International Trade Centre which provides

a range of other services for companies that are exporting including Export Documentation, Translation services and much more. If you are considering exporting or are already exporting but haven’t spoken to the UKTI team, they can provide some excellent advice and support to help your company grow. Our next big event that we are presently planning will be the joint Herefordshire and Worcestershire Expo held at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, the same venue that our Awards ceremony was held at in September. This presents an opportunity for a much bigger Expo and we are working hard to make sure that it will again be an excellent and beneficial event. Finally, I recently met with the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Charlie Bean. He provided a very informative discussion about the economy. To summarise, he said that the current economic position was weak with some underlying evidence of growth. I think that it is really important for businesses at this time to concentrate on the fact that the country is presently experiencing growth, even if it is slow, and try to disregard the pessimistic view that the media insist on focusing on. I hope to see you all soon at some of our events and if you would like to discuss any matters with me contact me on

3 First word

24 Big Interview: Paul Noon OBE

4 Chamber news

26 Cover story: Expanding Export

5 Business news 7 Business news 8 Member benefits

37 Training planner 39 Chamber training

9 Business news

40 Chamber Events

12 Business news

43 New members

16 International trade

44 Business news

18 Funding Opportunities 19 Business news 20 Business news



45 Policy 47 Business news

22 Conference Worcestershire

49 Movers and shakers

23 Conference Worcestershire

50 Last word


Our Patrons are:

November/december 2012Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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MFG SOLICITORS CONFIRMED AS NEW CHAMBER PATRONS Worcestershire law firm mfg Solicitors LLP has been confirmed as new patron members of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

Maynard Burton, Chairman of mfg Solicitors, said: “As a growing firm and large county employer ourselves, we’re delighted to sign this exciting deal with the Chamber. We’ve been members for a number of years but this partnership moves things to a different level where we can add value for all members, large or small.

The respected county firm, who have offices across the region, says it’s a move they believe will strengthen their already high profile within Worcestershire and give the Chamber’s 1,300 members ‘unprecedented’ access to the firm’s legal expertise and specialist teams.

Mike Ashton, Chief Executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, added: “mfg Solicitors is one of the county’s leading law firms so to have them on board as a new patron member of the Chamber is really great. 2013 promises to be another

successful year for the Chamber as we develop our member offer. mfg will be playing a prominent role.”

DEPUTY GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND SPEAKS AT HEREFORD CATHEDRAL Charlie Bean, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, was the special guest at a breakfast meeting hosted by Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and the Hereford City Business Forum recently. Over 50 local business professionals attended and heard Charlie Bean provide an overview of the economy, the November Inflation Report and expectations for the next few years. Following the Deputy Governor’s presentation, those attending were able to put their own questions to him,

Charlie Bean, the Dean of Hereford, Graham Biggs, Hereford City Business Forum and Mike Ashton, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

many of which carried a particular twist for the local business community.

WORCESTERSHIRE AREA COUNCIL APPOINT A NEW VICE PRESIDENT Andrea Borwell-Fox has recently been appointed Vice President of the Worcestershire Area Council. Andrea is the Director of borwell, an innovative IT consultancy providing reliable software applications for businesses. Borwell are a member of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Andrea wants to actively support Chamber networking activities and represent members views to the Board of the Chamber. Andrea originally joined the council to contribute national and regional news from the IT sector and learn from specialists in each sector represented by the Area Council. Andrea says: “Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have been so supportive of borwell and have helped us progress over the last ten years. I welcome the opportunity of the role of Vice President to strengthen our links with the Chamber of Commerce. I am looking forward to working closely with like-minded individuals who learn from one another to make informed decisions in the interests of growing companies of Herefordshire & Worcestershire.” 04 BD11.indd 4

SUCCESS IN THE MODERN APPRENTICE AWARDS Abigail Robbins, Corporate Assistant and Modern Apprentice at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, was recently successful in the Apprentice Awards ceremony hosted by Worcestershire Group Training Association, winning the Personal Development Award. Abigail has been working at the Chamber for 16 months and is a member of the Corporate Services team, helping with Finance, HR and IT and Quality. Completing her Business Administration Level 2 apprenticeship in April, Abigail has moved on to Level 3 which she is aiming to complete by June 2013. Abigail said: “I have enjoyed the course so far and the opportunities that it has given to me, particularly being able to work in a business environment which has helped to develop many of my skills. I have worked hard and am happy to have achieved this award.”

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JPM CELEBRATES 2 YEARS IN WORCESTER JPM Insurance are celebrating 2 years in Worcester by moving to new premises at the Cross, in the heart of Worcester.

Ben Price, a Business Graduate, who was previously named as one of Microsoft’s top ambassadors, has won the Hewett Recruitment Prize for Best Undergraduate Student in the University of Worcester Business School.

The location is fundamental to JPM’s business strategy and Mike Wilson, JPM’s Worcester Director says: “The significance of these new offices and our strategic alliance with Hayward Wright Accountants cannot be overstated.” JPM’s Founding Directors, Andrew Windsor and Andy Bullingham created a truly community based business enjoying partnerships with local fellow professionals.

Louise Hewett, Managing Director of Hewett Recruitment commented: “Our ethos, like that of the University, is about developing the talent within the county. His approach to his degree course and his outlook towards business will stand him in great stead as he enters the field of employment.” Alongside his degree, Ben spent two years working for Microsoft and in the final year of university he went on to win £2,000 after being named the company’s best Windows 7 ambassador outside the USA. Ben, aged 23 has now secured a job at Net Communities in London as the Marketing and Social Media Manager. Ben said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to working life.”

Mike continues: “JPM have no direct competitor in Worcester as some local firms do some of what we do, but none do all of what we do.”

Ben Price winner of the Hewett Recruitment Prize for Best Undergraduate Student in the University of Worcester Business School

Commenting on the move and the strategic alliance Alistair Druett of Hayward Wright said: “We are happy to welcome JPM to our Worcester office. It is great to see Mike and his team expanding and taking account of the comprehensive services on offer at JPM, we’re really excited about the opportunities this will present for our clients.”

MALVERN INSTRUMENTS’ ENGINEERING DIRECTOR TELLS FESTIVAL AUDIENCE THAT ‘INNOVATION IS A TEAM SPORT’ Speaking at the inaugural Malvern Festival of Innovation on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 November 2012, Rowena Innocent, Engineering Director at Malvern Instruments, told a packed house how ‘Innovation is a team sport’. Malvern Instruments was one of 56 exhibitors and Rowena one of 36 speakers at this new festival focusing on ‘Interaction, Connecting, Discovering and Being Inspired’, which enabled participants to showcase their own activities, find out what’s coming next, and learn how others are innovating. Rowena said: “The festival was a great showcase of the diversity of talents in the local area, from individuals and small start ups to well-established companies such as Malvern Instruments. The shared connection between everyone attending is great passion and commitment. The organisers did a super job and I look forward to it being a regular event!” Mike Wilson of JPM Insurance with Alistair Druett of Hayward Wright Rowena Innocent, Malvern Instruments

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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How Green is your Business? How much could you save, both financially and for the planet? ■

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The Field Sales Coach Developing Sales People In The Field

Training at the sharp end is practical, on the job training where the field sales coach makes calls on customers and potential customers shoulder to shoulder with your sales people in their sales area. Field training with the field sales coach has the advantage of building on the strengths of your staff and accurately pin pointing areas needing further development. Field training with the field sales coach can be compared with training in the battlefield under live fire. Field training with the field sales coach enables: Training to take place in live situations Pin pointing actual training needs Improved trainee confidence Sales ability is improved while training Trainee is motivated for future success Staff operate more efficiently New areas introduced for more efficient selling Your management time used for other work Rapid results The end product of field training with the field sales coach is a motivated sales person who reaches their true potential and enjoys selling. The benefits to the employer are obvious and can include increased sales, increased profits and a reduction in training costs.

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Bromsgrove Office: 01527 872525

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ALLPAY FLAVOURS OF HEREFORDSHIRE FESTIVAL A RESOUNDING SUCCESS The streets of Herefordshire came alive recently as the city saw the first allpay Flavours of Herefordshire Festival take place in the heart of the city centre. Hereford Cathedral Close, High Town, Castle Green and Church Street were full to bursting with food stalls, demonstration theatres, farmers markets, children’s activities and street entertainers and the city centre was buzzing with festival goers enjoying the autumn sunshine. Tony Killeen, Managing Director of allpay said “We are extremely proud and delighted to have been involved in such a successful event. The city centre was busy and vibrant and with 32,000 visitors, it has certainly put Herefordshire on the map. As a local business and

Hereford Cathedral John Painter of Crowther Beard

a leading large employer we are always keen to put something back into the community and sponsoring the allpay Flavours of Herefordshire Festival was the perfect way to do this”

DJD ARCHITECTS CELEBRATE 25 YEARS OF BUSINESS DJD Architects have been celebrating 25 years of business in the city through a series of events focusing on the county’s culture, produce and creative future. During the summer’s Worcester Festival they sponsored a concert recital by members of the English Symphony Orchestra in the city’s historic St Swithun’s Church, as well as the popular CAMRA Worcester Beer, Cider and Perry festival. Each year the practice sponsors an award for art and design students from Worcester Sixth Form College, recognising the important role that they will play in the development of the economically important creative industries. This year the prize was taken by Paulina Mazanik for her drawings in charcoal. David Davis, Managing Director of DJD Architects said “We are proud to play our part in the city’s vibrant future and look forward to carrying the momentum forward into the next 25 years of business”.

Paulina Mazanik - Prize winner from Worcester Sixth Form College and David Davis - Managing Director DJD Architects.

ALLTEKO: OPENING OF NEW OFFICES Allteko have opened new offices at 1 McNaught Place, St Marys Street, Worcester. Established in 2006 with a plan to penetrate the growing oil and gas markets in Russia and Kazakhstan, Allteko realised that a great deal of specialised equipment was manufactured in the West. With their existing knowledge and experience, they became an approved UK supplier and over the forth coming years developed onto a key supplier of engineering products from simple off the shelf items such as steel, fasteners and gaskets through to specially designed Water Pump systems, heat exchangers, fabrications, valves, pumps control panels and insulation materials. In total, Allteko supply around 500 different commodities and this is growing on a daily basis. They pride themselves in delivering all orders on time and without penalty. They have developed an extremely professional supply and base over the years who are, as Allteko are, completely committed to ensuring that on time deliveries are paramount. Suppliers are based around the globe, however Allteko are committed where possible to using UK suppliers.

CROWTHER BEARD LLP LEAD THE WAy IN BUSINESS ADVICE AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Managing Partner John Painter was widely praised for his recent address to the UK200 Group Annual Conference encouraging businesses to strive for efficiency and success. Held in Newcastle on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November, the UK200 Group Annual Conference with its theme of ‘Keeping Ahead of the Competition’, attracted over 120 lawyer and accountant members from across Europe. Making a key presentation for the Business Strategy Panel, John Painter won wide acclaim for speaking about ‘Strategic SWOT Analysis – Finding the Sweet Spots’ and how businesses can make themselves more efficient and competitive. “I was talking about recognising the ‘Sweet Spots’ – the things being done exceptionally well in businesses, then maximising their effects and building on them.” commented John. “I also suggested applying Failure Mode Effect Analysis to quantify and better understand threats and risks. It’s an engineering industry tool, but I believe it can be hugely effective for other types of business. I was surprised and pleased to see how well the presentation was received; Twitter was busy with positive comments.”


Trained HR Professionals are on hand 24 hours a day to offer advice on employment issues via the telephone or dedicated website. Contact your Chamber representative for a Username and Password.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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HEREFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS GOLF SOCIETY - FREE EVENT Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce are launching an exclusive Business Golf Society. Not only do Golf days offer an enjoyable game of golf but give members the opportunity to network in an informal and relaxed environment.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Golf Days: Wednesday 10 April - sponsored by Hewett Recruitment - all net proceeds are donated to Worcestershire Community Foundation

The society will be launched in January and four events are planned to run throughout 2013, managed by Amros Golf Event Management, at some of the most exclusive golf courses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Friday 10 May - sponsored by mfg Solicitors - charity to be confirmed Friday 27 September - sponsored by Crowther Beard all net proceeds are donated to Ataxia UK

The Society welcomes male and female players of any level, members and non members of the Chamber. The day will consist of refreshments on arrival, 18 holes of golf and finally a dinner and presentation to end the day.

Final date and sponsor to be confirmed

If you would like to become a member of the Society, please request your membership application form from

CHAMBER APPOINTS RESOURCE EFFICIENCY ADVISER The Chamber have recruited a Resource Efficiency Adviser, James Bridges. James will be working in partnership with Worcestershire Business Central to improve resource efficiency throughout the county, as part of the work taking place through the Worcestershire Resource Efficiency project funded by the European Regional Development Fund.


High and fluctuating energy and waste costs can result in significant risk to a companies profits and viability. Evidence shows that considerable cost savings, commercial benefits and carbon emission reductions can be achieved through improvements to energy efficiency and better use of water and raw materials.

Stanbrook Abbey are offering Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce members a discounted rate to use their unique corporate spaces within the Abbey.

seminars and exhibitions or client hospitality. Event specialists will also be on hand as well as professional catering, enabling you to focus on business and the event or meeting objectives.

Chamber members can enjoy day delegate rates or packages from just £39.00 inc VAT per person. This package includes the hire of exquisite meeting rooms, any equipment required to make your day run smoothly, along with lunch, three servings of tea and coffee, complimentary WIFI and onsite parking.

Stanbrook Abbey also offers corporate accommodation in The Manor House which is perfect for director’s retreats or for visiting clients or overseas guests and private dining and banqueting for up to 100 delegates private dinner, company celebration or AGM.

Assessments will be carried out on equipment, premises, process and performance to find opportunities for improvements in energy consumption, reducing waste and better use of water and raw material.

For more information about the project visit

All events are presently held just off the stunning cloisters and are ideal for executive board meetings,

The scheme offers local companies free, energy and resource assessments that could further lead to grants for projects worth up to £15,000.

or call James on 0845 641 1641 ext 245


A funding search which provides details of a range of funding opportunities and grants available to businesses, including European, public sector, lottery, Venture Capital and loan funds. Chamber members have the additional benefit of email alerts when new relevant funding opportunities are available. Tel: 0845 614 1641 or email 08 BD11.indd 8

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A Malvern-based green energy firm is bucking the economic trend as the number of property owners looking to generate green energy increases. Renewable energy specialists Solar Solutions has seen a successful 12 months increasing turnover and bringing new jobs to the area. Mr McCann, Managing Director said: “Our first two years have been hard work but the steady performance of the business, especially in the first six months of this year, has been good to see in such a tough climate. Talking about the firm’s own involvement with the community, Mr McCann added: “When I set up Solar Solutions the aim was to be different. Of course we wanted to be commercially successful but too many

This summer is sure to be an excellent one for cricket. England and Australia will once again be competing for the Ashes on home soil, and Worcestershire CCC are working hard during the winter to greatly improve upon their 2012 campaign.

Rowan and David McCann

With the ongoing ground redevelopment, the first home match at New Road will begin on Wednesday 8 May, the Club will face Leicestershire CCC in the LV= County Championship. Throughout the season, Worcestershire CCC will have lots of exciting encounters across the three domestic competitions.

businesses give nothing back. Therefore we made a commitment from day one that we’d give a percentage of our profits back through local community projects. We have another exciting 12 months ahead of us.”

Friends Life t20 returns to New Road on Friday 28 June. The high-octane competition will see Daryl Mitchell and the Worcestershire CCC team eager to reach FLt20 Finals Day.


Worcestershire CCC v Australia Ashes Fever will then arrive at New Road when Australia face Worcestershire CCC in a four-day practice match starting Tuesday 2 July, prior to the first Ashes Test. Tickets to the Ashes Tests across the country have been selling fast, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to see the mighty Australia in action.

Sanctuary is celebrating following a number of apprenticeship awards recently. Three apprentices from Sanctuary Group have been recognised for their outstanding achievements at the 2012 Worcestershire Group Training Association (WGTA) Apprenticeship Awards, and Sanctuary Group has been named a ‘Top 100’ apprentice employer in The Guardian. At the WGTA awards, 20-year-old Sanctuary apprentice Jade King was named Level 2 Commerce Apprentice of the Year, 20-year-old Jeya Greenfield scooped the same accolade for Level 3, and 21-year-old Emma Grice received the Excellence in Accountancy award.

Only the most outstanding apprenticeship employers make it into the prestigious Top 100 list compiled by the National Apprenticeship Service in partnership with City & Guilds, and Sanctuary was chosen following a rigorous selection process

David Bennett, Sanctuary Group Chief Executive, said: “Jade, Jeya and Emma’s achievements are well deserved and they are a shining example of the talent that apprentices can bring to an organisation.”

Why would your business need a Company Will? The loss of a partner, member or shareholding director can have a major impact on the success of a business. What would happen to a business if one of the other owners – your business partner, co-shareholder – were to die prematurely or suffer a critical illness? Who would take their place? Not only in performing their day to day duties, but in deciding how your business is

Tickets for all home matches will go on sale from Monday 4 February 2013.

run in the future? It’s often easy to say that the unthinkable couldn’t happen to me, but what if you were to die or suffer a critical illness? Would your business continue to provide for your family? Would your family be able to sell your share of the business to someone else and/or pay off any bank debts?

Writing a ‘company will’ to protect your business may not be exciting, like buying new premises or launching a new product but it can make sure that you stay in business if the worst were to happen and if it does, it gives you, your family and co-owners peace of mind. For more information on Company wills and advice in this matter, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to help.

You’re in expert hands. Nuffield Health Hereford Hospital Call 01432 355131 or email Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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BUSINESS SENSE AT ITS BEST WITH WESTLANDS TOyOTA The All New Toyota Auris is an outstanding proposition for company car drivers and fleet managers, combining sharp styling, excellent driving dynamics and class leading running costs. The All New Toyota Auris for example, features a 1.8 litre VVT-i petrol engine and powerful electric motors, achieving up to 74.3 mpg and an ultra-low CO2 from just 87g/km placing it in the 10% BIK banding. This means a business driver in the 40 per cent tax band pays just £66 a month. Such impressive environmental credentials mean it even qualifies for a full 100% first-year capital allowance.

clAss-leAding rAnge In addition to the Hybrid, two petrol VVT-i engines: a 1.33-litre and 1.6 litre and a highly refined 1.4 litre diesel (99g/km) mean that no other car in this class offers such a wide choice of powertrains. But whichever model you choose, all are designed and engineered to deliver outstanding driving dynamics. The profile is sleek and the stance broad, for a rewarding combination of agility and efficient, refined progress.

features 17” alloy wheels, dual zone climate control air conditioning, leather seat bolsters and the innovative Toyota park assist. For more information on the New Generation Toyota Auris, or any other vehicle from the award winning Toyota range, contact our Business Centre Manager Linda Bates on 07581 125853 or email

greAt specificAtion As you might expect, an impressive specification comes as standard across all models with the Icon grade featuring 16” alloys, 6 speaker audio with Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB radio and rear parking camera. At the top of the range meanwhile, the Excel

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DEVELOPING GLOBAL MARKETS – THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS n An appropriate limitation or exclusion of liability provision

In the not too distant past global product sales were the prerogative of multi-national firms.

n A provision that the laws of England and Wales, and the English language text of the agreement, shall govern the contract.

Today it’s a different story altogether with internet-savvy marketeers from small companies clicking their way into far flung niche markets without leaving the comfort of their back bedroom. Whether that foreign market is serviced by web sales, or by a physical presence, it is of vital importance that the terms and conditions of sale or supply contain the following provisions:

The seller can also consider when a local presence is necessary, the appointment of an agent or a reseller, or on a grander scale, setting up a joint venture with a partner who will add local expertise and knowledge to the business. For assistance with any legal aspect of foreign trade, contact James Hayes, Partner at MFG Solicitors via or 01905 734

n A robust payment obligation (either for payment in advance or by sound letter of credit)



James Hayes


In July of this year, Artrix invested a five figure sum in updating its cinema with the installation of a Digital Projection System. One of the benefits of this investment is that it enables the Arts Centre to show live relays of ballet, dance, drama and opera from other theatres. On Thursday 17 January, the first of these live relays is shown with a performance of Pinero’s Victorian Farce ‘The Magistrate’, starring the Academy Award

Nominee, John Lithgow, live from London’s National Theatre. The performance starts at 7.00.p.m and tickets, at £12, are available from the Box Office on 01527-577330

Start to grow your business NOW, with a little help from KEEN and the University of Worcester: The Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Network (KEEN) is a new business improvement programme, part-funded by ERDF, designed to help West Midlands based SMEs increase their profitability and achieve growth through working with your local university. By working with the University your business will gain: • A graduate, working full-time on a bespoke project within your business • Continuing support from a liaison officer based in the University

SUTCLIFFE & CO GO THE DISTANCE In October Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Consultants were invited to speak at the Marathon des Sables UK Expo in London. The Marathon des Sables (MdS) is often described as the toughest foot race on earth and takes competitors, including hundreds of Brits, on a 150 mile running race across the Sahara, lasting 6 days. Sutcliffe & Co advised competitors on the specialist insurance requirements of such an extreme event, and provided unique insurance solutions to competitors. Sutcliffe & Co have become experts in providing insurance for this kind of activity, having insured event organisers and competitors all over the world. Fellow presenters included adventurer Sir Ranulph

• Ongoing mentoring and support for the Graduate from the University, ensuring that project objectives are met • Access to the University’s resources, including facilities and expertise • Access to an equipment and travel budget (worth on average £4,000) Duncan Sutcliffe with Dr Fred Compagnon, Head of Medical Support for MdS

Fiennes, expert on extreme health Dr Mike Stroud and 9 x MdS finisher Rory Coleman. If you would like to enter the race there is currently a 2 year waiting list!

The average cost of a KEEN programme to the company is £18,673 per annum, with remaining costs refunded via ERDF. Projects tend to last for 6 - 24 months. KEEN offers a level of flexibility to companies who are yet to realise their full potential. The university supports the company from application stage, during recruitment and for the lifetime of the project.


This service offers members unlimited access to free help and advice on commercial and employment law, environmental health, taxation and VAT issues.

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Are your CAD qualifications good enough? University course – Typically just a basic module City & Guilds – When did you last use the software? Essentials course – Did you attend intermediate and advanced courses?

Could you pass a CAD skills test at a job interview? Certified CAD Skills and monthly practice ● ● ●

Concentrate on the skills employers need to get the job done Helps to pass a CAD skills test at a job interview You can apply to local companies for well paid short term employment which could turn into a full time job Demonstrate your CAD skills to an employer and then see if you still need a degree in philosophy!

Autocad training courses for unemployed, self employed and companies in small groups for almost individual attention On-Site training for companies

Call free phone 0800 1976281 or email Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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DREAM BIGGER 013 20/12/12 16:28:24


Paul Barton

MALCOLM SCOTT CONSULTANTS GAIN PLANNING PERMISSIONS FOR VARIOUS GREEN BELT DEVELOPMENTS Malcolm Scott Consultants have gained planning permissions for various developments in the Green Belt during the autumn of 2012. Planning permission was granted for over 9,000m² of polytunnels in the Surrey Green Belt on behalf of Thompson Bros Ltd. The tunnels will be used for growing strawberries, to lengthen the season, and increase productivity as part of the client’s Pick Your Own enterprise. Planning permission was also achieved for the redevelopment of a large outbuilding for the use of bed and breakfast purposes near Redditch in the Green Belt. The planning permission extends the outbuilding and enables the development to be split from the original planning unit in order the building can be used satisfactorily for bed and breakfast accommodation. A further planning permission was gained for a replacement dwelling in Wychavon District Council, also in the Green Belt. The planning permission not only secured consent for our clients but also stopped any further enforcement action which was initiated as a result of the build. Paul Barton said “Working with Planning Officers to demonstrate the ‘Very Special Circumstances’ usually required to allow development in the Green Belt has enabled Malcolm Scott Consultants to be successful on behalf of a number of clients during the year. The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework provides a commitment to the protection of the Green Belt, but there are now some circumstances where Green Belt development may be allowed.’” Paul Barton is a Director at Malcolm Scott Consultants. For further information, please contact Paul Barton at: Malcolm Scott Consultants Ltd, Grove House, 1 Loves Grove, Worcester, WR1 3BU T: 01905 726353 F: 01905 611221 E:

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Professional, Experienced, Chartered

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SUPPORTING BEWDLEY FESTIVAL After the success of previous Festivals, Bewdley based firm, dhjh LLP, Chartered Accountants, were thrilled to be able to sponsor the Ruby Turner event during the recent Bewdley Festival. A fantastic evening was held listening to the talented singer/song writer as part of the annual Bewdley Festival. What made it more exciting was that this year marked the 25th Festival.

fabulous evening’s entertainment and it was great that we were able to do something to support our local community.”



Paul Johnston, from dhjh LLP, who attended the event, said: “It was a

As an employer or small business, you may well think you have enough to do just running your business, especially in the current economic climate.


However, April 2013 is an important date for the new HM Revenue and Customs Real Time Information (RTI) system, when businesses have to file a real time information report for payroll remittances, to help the Government administer its new universal credit system. As a charity St Michael’s Hospice is highlighting that, whilst this creates more work for companies, like every challenge that businesses face, this can also be seen as an opportunity, an opportunity to set up payroll giving for your employees.

In October, the Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster opened after a great many years of hard work and fundraising. Within this new and exciting Museum you will be able to explore and discover some inspiring stories of great inventions, amazing individual endeavours, wealth, poverty, hard work, family ties and links to all around the world. All this will tell of the enduring social and economic links between the carpet making industry and the people of the town.

Jinney Ring is delighted to be associated with this new attraction and are pleased to have been asked to stock their premium gift shop. The Museum is located next to Morrisons supermarket, in a building that has been beautifully renovated and previously housed the Woodward Grosvenor carpet factory.


The certificate is part of the Assistant Director programme they’ve been working through since 2011, which combines an internal development programme with an external

Companies who enrol 1% or more of their staff in payroll giving, however small an amount, can use Payroll Giving Quality Awards on their company literature and websites. If local businesses could help increase employee participation from just 4% currently to 10% of UK employees, then charities would receive an additional £300million per annum, to deliver some of the best and lowest cost services, often needed by the most vulnerable in our communities. Alternatively contact our Partnership Development Manager, Elizabeth Morawiecka ACA on or call 01432 851000 ext 187.

programme of study created by Worcester University. This programme demonstrates allpay’s commitment to retaining skilled individuals within the county, in an attempt to combat the growing trend in potential employees looking outside the county for work.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Many businesses and employees do not realise that payroll giving is the most tax efficient way of giving to charity. In particular higher rate taxpayers on 40% rates or more, will find that by donating say £20 from their gross pay each month costs them just £12 from their net pay, much less than a quality bottle of wine! However, unlike Gift Aid, the charity receives the gross value of the donation, and it is remitted to the charity on the same basis as the firms’ employees, usually monthly.

If you think your tax could be better spent, sign up to St Michael’s Hospice payroll giving at

allpay is pleased to congratulate five of its Assistant Directors on graduating from Worcester University with a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management (Level 7). Claudia Cooper, Simon Cook, Leonardo Aiosa, Dan Gay and Matt Parsons received their certificates at a special graduation ceremony at Worcester Cathedral recently.

Payroll giving is something which most business people have heard of but have taken no further as they are concerned it just creates further work for their payroll staff. However, payroll giving is very simple to set up and administer and there is plenty of help to set it up. At the Hospice we have our own web-link and smart phone QR code for people to sign up to charitable giving.

St Michael’s Hospice is a registered charity, number 511179

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ExPLORE yOUR GROWTH POTENTIAL ‘Incubate for Export’ is a new exploratory pilot programme designed to help companies grow their business and explore the potential for doing business overseas. 15 JAnuAry - cAnnock 22 JAnuAry - solihull 6 februAry - cAnnock 20 februAry - solihull

Academic research confirms that firms doing business overseas are more productive than non-exporters, achieve stronger financial performance, and are more likely to stay in business. Workshops will be practical, highly interactive, involving group exercises, individual company self-assessment, real life case studies, follow up and mentoring support. Delegates will go away with a clear understanding of whether International Trade could offer a realistic growth opportunity

This exciting half-day workshop is designed to help companies recognise the benefits of International Trade and start their journey of growth through doing business overseas.

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK FOR WORCESTERSHIRE 2013 tuesdAy 5 mArch 2013 yAmAZAki mAZAk A one day conference to increase and support export companies in the county. UK Trade and Investment, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Worcestershire LEP are hosting a unique, one day conference focusing on Business Development and Export opportunities for Worcestershire businesses. For entrepreneurs limited by British shores, now is the time to expand into international markets. A third of small and medium sized enterprises see a positive impact on their bottom line within six months of trading overseas. The conference will have a key note speaker and host three different action streams; Countries and Sectors, Skills and People and Business Growth. Each action stream will have experts to provide attendees with quality information and advice to give you the confidence you need to begin trading in international markets. If you would like more information about the International Outlook for Worcestershire 2013, please email or call 0845 641 1613

Places onto these workshops are limited and will be subject to eligibility, to register your interest please contact 0845 641 1613 or email

ExPORT COMMUNICATIONS REVIEW UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire offer a unique service called Export Communications Review.

specialize in delivering international website translation projects, and we already knew a lot about international marketing. I must say we were very impressed by the accuracy, in-depth recommendations and tools used in the report.

Export Communications Review provides companies with impartial and objective advice on language and cultural differences to help them improve their competitiveness in existing and future export markets.

It helped in lots of ways to ensure our own ‘house’ was in order and we have implemented many of the recommendations with the subsidy from UKTI, we would highly recommend the review to all companies, whether they currently are exporting or not. It’s excellent value for money”

The service enables businesses to maximise the effectiveness of their communications with overseas customers and offers advice on issues such as; meeting language training needs, recruitment of export staff, finding translation and interpreting services, how to get the best of these services and how to prepare for language barriers at overseas trade shows or exhibitions. Ted Marshall, Managing Director at local translation services company, Translution said: “We commissioned an export communications review primarily to understand how UKTI delivered these reports. We had an interest because we

A communications consultant will assess the companies website, written and spoken communication skills to ensure international customers are being directly targeted, products and services are fully understood and the company are aware of their overseas competition. If you would like to find out more information about Export Communications Review or other services offered by UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire, please call 0845 641 1613 or email


The E-cert online provides you with a fast, easy and secure way of submitting your export documentation. Chamber Members receive a 50% discount.

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HANNOVER INDUSTRy FAIR mondAy 8 – fridAy 12 April 2013 hAnnover, germAny The Hannover Industry Fair is the world’s most important technology show. It is a powerful driver of investment in new technology and automation. In 2013 the line-up of 13 leading trade fairs will focus on recent developments in each of the its featured sectors. These include; materials, technology, design processes, expert discussions forums, components and systems. The Birmingham Overseas Fair Division are organising the UK presence at this event and UK Trade & Investment grants of £1000 will be available to eligible firms who are either on the official UK pavilion or exhibiting in their own specific sector. If you would like more information, contact Stuart Whitehall, or call 01564 784999.

KERRY STAGG, EXPORT MARKETING RESEARCH ADVISER We are pleased to introduce Kerry Stagg as UK Trade & Investment’s new Export Marketing Research (EMRS) Adviser for our region. Kerry has over 18 years experience of market research, including working with SMEs and market entry strategy and will be available to assist in the proper conduct and use of marketing research when exploring potential new markets overseas. UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) helps you to carry out export marketing research on all the major aspects of any export venture

IOE FORGES NEW ExPORT PARTNERSHIP An online initiative between UK Trade and Investment and Hibu (formally know as yell) has led to an extended network of support for small and medium sized businesses trading internationally.

access a customised eMarketplace offering products and services that will help them trade abroad. Prime Minister David Cameron first announced the initiative in November 2011. At its launch a year on, Lord Green, Minister of State for Trade & Investment, said: “Supporting more small and medium sized enterprises to export is a key part of the government’s plan for growth.” For more information visit

Institute of Export has partnered with Open to Export to create a new online service that helps small and medium sized businesses export successfully. Businesses seeking to export can gain quick access to practical advice and have their questions answered online by the IOE and other partners. or call UKTI – Herefordshire and Worcestershire on 0845 641 1613 or email

Open to Export gives SMEs the guidance to begin to take their business overseas. They can register for free, connect and engage with the exporting community and

hoW cAn emrs help me? Successful exporters consider their entry into new markets with care. UKTI’s Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) helps you to carry out export marketing research on topics such as: n Market size and segmentation n Regulations and legislation n Customer needs, usage and attitudes n Distribution channels n Trends n Competitor activity, strategy and performance Companies with fewer than 250 employees may be eligible for a grant of up to 50% of the agreed cost of market research projects. If you are looking to investigate the potential of a new overseas market in future, but need some guidance on how best to structure your research, please contact the International Trade Team on 0845 641 1613 or email or Kerry directly on

0845 641 1613 Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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ACCESSING FUNDING AND LENDING Following a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, which revealed falling levels of trust in financial institutions among businesses, the results highlighted how businesses saw banks and building societies being the main source of finance for firms, but half of businesses lack trust in these financial institutions. Over a third of respondents said that they trust financial institutions less than they did a year ago, and almost four in ten are not confident in securing finance. Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce recently arranged a meeting with all the local senior commercial bank managers. This meeting was to discuss the findings and see how the Chamber could work with the local business community and the banks to address any concerns. It was agreed that there are businesses in our two counties which are accessing bank funding and lending. The Chamber would work with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership to showcase some of the local

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investments which were going ahead. It was also agreed that, for those businesses who felt that they were not being given the funding that their business required, the Chamber would organise a confidential funding clinic where businesses could bring the business plan to an independent panel of bankers, accountants and marketing experts who would provide information advice and guidance. A programme of clinics will be announced early in the New Year. Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce already have a funding finder service on their website and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is developing a different online portal which will signpost and broker businesses to a range of funding opportunities. This will provide information on venture capital funds, business angels, loans and alternative sources of finance including the local Community Development Finance Initiative, Impetus. If you are having difficulty finding finance for your business, are interested in attending the funding clinics or wish to discuss the issue of bank funding please contact or

It was also agreed that, for those businesses who felt that they were not being given the funding that their business required, the Chamber would organise a confidential funding clinic where businesses could bring the business plan to an independent panel of bankers, accountants and marketing experts who would provide information advice and guidance. January/February 2013

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GOUGH BAILEY WRIGHT SCOOPS GOLD FOR THE SECOND YEAR RUNNING Gough Bailey Wright has scooped gold for ‘Public Affairs’ at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) Midlands Pride Awards 2012, for the second year running. The full-service marketing agency was awarded Gold in the ‘Public Affairs’ category, and Silver for ‘Community Relations’, after helping Sainsbury’s engage with the local community and secure planning permission for a new store in the West Midlands following the refusal of a previous application.

The CIPR ceremony took place at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on Friday 2 November, and the latest awards take pride of place alongside Gough Bailey Wright’s PRCA Golden Hedgehog award, won earlier in the year. Sue Bailey, Managing Director of Gough Bailey Wright, said: “It is an honour to be recognised once again by the PR industry’s charted body the CIPR, and we are absolutely delighted to have picked up another two awards.


Gough Bailey Wright staff receiving their award

WORCESTER FIRMS IN RUNNING FOR 2013 MIDLANDS BUSINESS AWARDS the Year category, Elonex Sport and Malvern based Asiri Foods have both been shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category and solar energy specialist Eco2Solar has been selected as a finalist in three separate categories.

Representatives from Worcestershire cyber security company Titania travelled to London recently to attend the Computing Security Awards 2012 ceremony, having been made finalists in five categories. The small business was up against some very large international organisations such as Fortinet and WatchGuard but still took home the awards for Network Security Solution of the Year and the Enterprise Security Solution of the Year. Titania also received the runner up award in the SME Security Solution of the Year category, proving that SMEs with innovative products can succeed in the cyber industry.

Eco2solar has been shortlisted for the Midlands Service Provider of the Year award while Managing Director and Founder Paul Hutchens is aiming to make a double award in the Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year and the Midlands Business Person of the Year categories.

Ian Whiting and Ruth Inglis receiving the award for Titania at the Computing Security Awards 2012

Ian Whiting said: “We are so pleased to have won two Computing Security Awards. Everyone in the company has worked extremely hard to make our products some of the best in the industry and it is an honour to gain this recognition from our customers and industry peers.”

Worcestershire-based businesses have been shortlisted for the 2013 Midlands Business Awards.

The names of the winners will be revealed at a gala dinner and awards ceremony on Friday 1 February 2013 at the NEC Hilton Metropole Hotel. www.midlandsbusinessawards. com

JSC Rotational of Worcester is a finalist in the Midlands Manufacturer of

LOCAL BUILDER CHAMPIONS SUSTAINABILITY AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS a ‘gold’ standard Green Apple Award at the House of Commons. The Green Apple Environmental Best Practice Awards have become established as one of the most popular environmental campaigns around the world, recognising significant achievement in promoting sustainability and best practice in the UK and overseas. Speller Metcalfe pulled out all the stops on one of their latest projects, receiving

Speller Metcalfe’s Small Works and Ecobuild teams were awarded the Gold

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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seal of approval for an eco vicarage built on behalf of the Diocese of Worcester; the new build property contributes to the Church of England’s plan to reduce their carbon footprint by 80 per cent over the next few years. The vicarage emits no carbon emissions whatsoever, and is built to the highest levels of energy efficiency and sustainability – Passivhaus and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 – and is the

first residential property in England to reach these standards. Heating bills at the property have been reduced by up to 90% with thick insulation, triple glazed windows, solar and PV panels and a heat recovery system all playing their part in contributing to the energy efficiency of the house – dubbed the greenest home in Britain.

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UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER LANGUAGE CENTRE OPENS DOORS TO NEW MARKETS Speaking the right language and understanding the culture is the key to success in international business. The University of Worcester can now offer a wide range of language services including translation and interpreting. They have expert staff in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, as well as many other languages. If you are going on a short business trip to a new country we recommend our 5 hour ‘language taster’ packages. They can also deliver live one-to-one instruction to your desktop, either

individually or as a group. This is particularly attractive to companies who need to communicate across a range of levels and who wish to enhance their reputation globally and open doors to new markets. Alternatively you can take advantage of the facilities at the Hive, the recently launched learning centre in the heart of Worcester, to start a language. The Hive is open 7 days a week from 8.30am – 10pm. John Hankinson, newly appointed Head of the University’s Language Centre is keen to talk to businesses and says: “The Language Centre is an important part of University life and of the local community in Worcester and the region, but especially the business community.”

HOGE100’s CUSTOMER - CONCERN UNIVERSAL WINS £150,000 BUSINESS SOFTWARE PRIZE Concern Universal have won £150,000 of business software in the GAME ON competition, run by software provider Greentree International. Stuart Wild, a director of computer reseller Hoge 100 nominated Concern Universal to enter Greentree’s GAME ON competition. The company had to convince a judging panel that they had a compelling case for a new £150,000 business system. The judges selected 10 finalists from scores of entries, and the winner was decided 50-50 by the judges and a public vote. Concern Universal with Hoge 100’s support emerged as the ultimate winners of Greentree’s GAME ON competition.

and excited that Concern Universal have won the Greentree GAME ON competition. They are indeed worthy winners and we will be working with them to implement the Greentree business system in the new year.” Concern Universal’s initiatives support hundreds of thousands of people in Africa, South America and Asia. They include agricultural development, healthcare, education, disaster risk reduction, and human rights advocacy. The Greentree system will be accessible to its staff across the globe. www.concern-universal. org / / www.

Hoge100’s Stuart Wild, commented that, “We are very proud, thrilled


n All-new Mazda6 is a no compromise option for company car drivers

class-leading emissions and excellent fuel economy courtesy of the all-new Mazda6.

n Mazda now delivers top performance without engine downsizing

Thanks to Mazda’s breakthrough SKYACTIV technology, engineers have been able to deliver upper medium-segment leading environmental-friendliness without resorting to the smaller engine displacements of some rivals.

n New model defies the competition to save drivers money n Class-leading emissions and excellent fuel economy means low BIK and fuel bills n Benefit-in-Kind tax levels as low as £52 per month for company car drivers. Company car drivers can obtain the seemingly impossible of top-notch diesel performance with

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For further information and to pre-book a test-drive please contact us on 01568 612337 or

IT COMPANY INTEGRATECH SPONSOR LOCAL YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB, ST JOHN’S COLTS Integratech provides IT services and is based in Worcester. It offers a comprehensive range of software, hardware, networking, telephone and mobile services to businesses throughout the UK. With an experienced team of consultants and engineers, Integratech can select, implement and support a tailored solution for businesses of any size. St John’s Colts are an established junior and youth football club incorporating experienced FA qualified coaches from the local area. Located in St John’s Worcester, the Colts have built up a reputation as being one of the leading junior and youth football clubs in the area.

Stuart Wild, Director of Hoge100, Alexandra Sherry, Ian Williams from Concern Universal with Harry Mowat, Managing Director of Greentree UK

The all-new Mazda6 range goes on sale Friday 25 January but is available for you to preview at our Southern Avenue showroom now.

would be a great opportunity to help out a local team in need. We have enjoyed redesigning their website to give users an improved interface and allow easier navigation throughout the site.” comments Steve Tully, Marketing Executive at Integratech. The website has recently reached the go live phase and has received positive feedback from a wide array of people. To find out more about Integratech and St John’s Colts FC, please visit and

“When we heard the St John’s Colts under 8’s team needed a sponsor for their next season we thought it

January/February 2013

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QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright helps global market leader achieve world class standards For many years QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright have been the trusted legal advisors to Neoperl UK, a global market leader. QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright’s experienced Commercial team provide Neoperl UK with expert advice ranging from advising on the right legal approach for key strategic decisions to helping everyday legal queries that arise from running a large business. Neoperl UK Limited based in Malvern were formed following the acquisition of Malvern Plastics Limited by Swiss / German family enterprise NEOPERL Group that was originally incorporated in 1959. They now have a work force of over 1000 employees spread across 12 countries supplying innovative and environmentally friendly water and heating solutions around the world.

From left to right: Jeremy Redfern (QSPW), David Bayliss (QSPW) Peter Scott (QSPW), Bob Bemand (Neoperl), Marcin Patrzala (QSPW), Noel Neath (Neoperl).

Services by QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright for Neoperl include:

• •

Advising on terms of a contract for supply of branded components to a major customer, that was successfully concluded. Providing advice on complex and difficult issues relating to the acquisition and development of a site for potential relocation.

Jeremy Redfern, Commercial Partner at QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright It is always a huge pleasure and privilege to work with such a dynamic, innovative and successful business as Neoperl UK. As solicitors, we share much of Neoperl’s philosophy and values. We consider ourselves to be a trusted partner providing timely, effective and accurate legal advice.

• • •

Providing critical advice on a commercial lease renewal. Advising on planning and property strategy for expansion of the local production capacity at Malvern. Advising upon and drafting employment and service agreements.

Noel Neath, Sales & Marketing Director at Neoperl UK Since the turn of the millennium, Quality Solicitors Parkinson Wright have been assisting Neoperl UK and the directors of Neoperl with both corporate and personal legal advice. Such professional advice has been an essential element in ensuring the company has been able to grow into a true world class manufacturer and market leader. Being able to rely and call upon the sound advice of such a professional firm as Quality Solicitors Parkinson Wright who have offered both local and general knowledge, Contractual. Planning, Environmental, HR and other advice has been key to shaping both the long and short term strategies of the company allowing the business of Neoperl UK to continue doing what it does best manufacture.

Contact us to discuss how the Commercial team at QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright can help your business to achieve world class standards:

01905 726 789 or email David Bayliss at:

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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HAPPy BUSINESS VISITORS = GOOD BUSINESS If you are looking for a place for your overseas visitors to stay, Visit Worcestershire can help provide you with a variety of options. Do your visitors want a ‘home away from home’ self catering cottage or to be pampered with a farmhouse breakfast and to relax in front of a log fire in the peace and quiet of a Bed and Breakfast?

sixWAys stAdium: nAtionAl conferencing And bAnQueting centre With A multimillion pound development in Worcestershire

Conference Worcestershire is a not for profit service helping businesses in Worcestershire source the best venue for their needs and budget. The service not only promotes the large hotels and conference venues but also the smaller independent providers that also offer a great service in many great locations.

Sixways Stadium is a unique sporting venue which caters for 1-1000 people with 60 individual suites all tailored to suite a customer’s needs. Ideally, situated just off the M5 J6 makes Sixways accessible to customers travelling from both North and South of the country. All suites are provided with free WIFI and free onsite parking for 1,000 cars. Sixways conferencing prides itself on being competitive within today’s market with prices starting from as little as £59. For more information on Conferencing and Banqueting at Sixways Stadium please contact 01905 459322 or visit

top tool for encourAging overseAs visitors The Visit Worcestershire website is a great tool for promoting the county to an international tourism market. The website has a great modern look and feel which encourages visitors to the county with vibrant and inspiring images and has online accommodation booking, an eShop and an itinerary builder. The most important tool for attracting overseas visitors into the area is that the website is now available in 48 different languages.

september 2012 stAtistics

Are you looking at doing business overseas or do you have overseas visitors coming to Worcestershire? If so, then please let your visitors know that the Visit Worcestershire website will help them plan their visit.


The opportunity to hire spacious and well-equipped rooms at the Chamber’s head office in Blackpole, Worcester.


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TWIN TOWNS Destination Worcestershire are currently building relationships with the ‘Twin Towns’ of Worcestershire and the networks that already exist across the globe to help promote each other to residents as a viable tourism destination. In 2013 the new ‘Twin Towns’ section of the website will provide links to the various towns to ensure cross promotion and to increase relevant links to the Visit Worcestershire website. The first new section to be completed will join up the links with the upmarket Twin Town in the Czech Republic - Marianske Lazne/ Marienbad. Many years of work to twin Malvern with a town in the Czech Republic have finally been signed, sealed and delivered. Malvern Twinning Association welcomed five officials from Marianske Lazne (formerly Marienbad) – which is also known for its fine spring water – from Thursday 18 October until Saturday 20 October 2012. The town’s mayors, Councillor Ian Hopwood and Dzenek Kral, marked the occasion by unveiling a sign on Guarlford Road recognising the official link ahead of signing the official agreement.

I was proud to do it and to think that my signature will go down in history. I’m now looking forward to going over there in May for the return visit iAn hopWood

Councillor Hopwood said: “I was proud to do it and to think that my signature will go down in history. “I’m now looking forward to going over there in May for the return visit.” He also thanked Roger Sutton, Chairman of Malvern Civic Society, for instigating the link between the towns and the Morgan Motor Company for the loan of a car to offer the delegates a unique touring experience. Their visit represents the culmination of several years of efforts, which saw the civic society form Malvern Twinning Association push the venture further. The association has since spent more than two years laying the groundwork to get an agreement.

Science Park, Malvern Museum of Local History in the Abbey Gateway, Great Malvern Priory and Malvern Theatres. Links have been developed with Marianske Lazne because the town, like Malvern, has a history as a spa town. It is not far from Graffenberg, where Vincent Priessnitz pioneered hydrotherapy treatments in the 1820s and his example inspired Dr James Wilson to start the Malvern water cure. In April last year, a party from Malvern visited Marianske Lazne and a return visit took place in November. You can take a look at the Visit Worcestershire website to find out more about the Spa Town.

During the visit, the Czech delegates visited the Morgan factory in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern Hills

Town Mayor

VISIT WORCESTERSHIRE MAGAZINE GOES GLOBAL The Visit Worcestershire Magazine is an inspirational publication which is distributed internationally to a growing number of recipients. The Magazine is sent globally to the overseas VisitBritain offices as well as to over 700 overseas contacts who have specifically requested the Magazine. The publication has also been

downloaded across the world via social media networks, the Visit Worcestershire website and the Visitor Guide App available on the ipad, itouch and iphone. The Spring/Summer edition of the Magazine benefited from being distributed via the official VisitBritain Magazine whereby 4,000 are in the UK and 6,000 are in the U.S which will continue in 2013.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Hi...Noon new regional director Herefordshire and Worcestershire exporters are to see a new regional leader at the helm of UK Trade & Investment with the appointment of West Midlands International Trade Director, Paul Noon, OBE. Paul has a wealth of experience, including his most recent post which was in Sydney, Australia, where he was Director of Trade for Australia and New Zealand for four years. There Paul worked with hundreds of companies, to support them to grow their export businesses in Australasia. He also supported Australian companies to invest in the UK. In this edition we spoke to him about how he sees his role in supporting Herefordshire and Worcestershire businesses.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role? I’m really looking forward to meeting businesses in the West Midlands and supporting them in internationalising their products and services. I have a real passion for what UKTI achieves and I think we can make a real difference to local businesses.

What do you see are the biggest challenges facing you in your new role? One of the biggest challenges is explaining to businesses that UKTI services are for them. It’s disappointing when we see businesses that are ready and able to export and do it without any support. It can be a long, lonely and difficult road and they just don’t know about the help and expertise that are there to support them along that journey and UKTI has many trained advisors to support businesses.

What do you think SME’s really need to encourage them to export? The main thing SME’s need is the confidence to try new markets and some time and money to invest in that project. Research and understanding of the markets they are exporting to is also critical as a good knowledge of the cultural, social and business customs makes doing business easier.

What will be your key priority whilst working for UKTI West Midlands? I want UKTI advisors to be out their doing what they do best, sitting in front of businesses and supporting them through this journey of exporting. They need to feel that they have the tools and can be creative enough to go the extra mile to support West Midlands businesses overseas.


In your opinion which is the most effective UKTI service? Evidence shows that Passport to Export is our flagship and most effective group of services. It provides companies with exactly the right grounding to set themselves up to export and know what support is available to them. OMIS is also an excellent way of identifying and targeting new markets for those that are already exporting.

Which markets do you think have the most potential for exporters from this region? I think UKTI advisors should be helping companies to identify which markets are best for them. For small companies that sell luxury products developed markets might be more appropriate like Ireland, Australia and Canada. If it’s a more industrial type of business then there are great opportunities in some of the high growth markets, not just China and Brazil but Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.

You have worked a lot with businesses in Australia and New Zealand – What do you think UK and especially West Midlands companies can learn from them? Businesses that are most successful when it comes to exporting are the ones that are completely focused, committed and aren’t put off by the first obstacle that they come across. Exporting can be challenging but UKTI advisors can help with the process and there is no substitute for getting on a plane and going to see the people that they are dealing with.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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I think UKTI advisors should be helping companies to identify which markets are best for them. For small companies that sell luxury products developed markets might be more appropriate like Ireland, Australia and Canada. If it’s a more industrial type of business then there are great opportunities in some of the high growth markets, not just China and Brazil but Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.

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Paul Noon OBE. West Midlands International Trade Director 025 BD11.indd 25

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AN UNRIVALLED OPPORTUNITy TO ExPAND yOUR BUSINESS OVERSEAS EXPORT INSIGHT VISITS:OFFER TO NEW EXPORTERS If you have never exported but have products or services which have potential, this offer could be for you. To new-comers, exporting can be a daunting thought – UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and

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Worcestershire are here to help and are offering a low cost and accessible way of expanding your business’s horizons. Export Insight visits are brand new and offered at a nominal charge of £99 + VAT per company and provide non exporters with an excellent opportunity to familiarise themselves with the basic principles of International Trade.

If would like more information or a full list of countries available on the programme, please email or call one of the Trade Advisers at UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire on 0845 641 1613.

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OVERSEAS MARKET INTRODUCTION SERVICE UK Trade and Investment’s staff based at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce can provide you with a direct link to overseas Trade Officers in British Embassies, Consulates, and High Commissions through a scheme called OMIS – Overseas Market Introduction Service. OMIS is a flexible tool that provides immediate indentified contacts for you to meet and discuss potential trade opportunities. It can also arrange an itinerary of appointments with key decision makers and an active schedule to suit you. Overseas staff are at the heart of this dependable service because of their local language skills, market knowledge and extensive political and commercial contacts. Your local advisor would be happy to discuss your business needs.

Neil Bates (left), with Trade Advisor Paul Thompson.


FACTS ABOUT OMIS n More than 4,000 companies use UKTI’s Overseas Market Introduction Service each year n More than 70% of UK Trade and Investment’s clients report significant business benefit from using the OMIS service n 67% of OMIS clients overcome barriers to market access such as gaining access to prospective customers or business partners or improving the company’s profile and credibility

Worcester based, Wood Group Steam Turbines sought the expertise of the local trade advisor here at UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire recently, to increase exports into new markets. Wood Group Steam Turbines are a specialist engineering company who repair critical components in steam turbines for energy providers and power stations. After identifying Canada and Sweden as potential new markets, Wood Group turned to UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire for help. They went on to commission two OMIS reports that were undertaken in parallel between September and early November this year. The OMIS reports identified plants in the chosen markets that use the power of steam and validated

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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contact lists at the large power stations and provided details of relevant trade associations, events and publications as well as any other relevant findings. Wood Group subsequently secured a strategic partner to work with in Canada and are in a position to actively move forward in the first quarter of 2013 Neil Bates, Sales Engineer for Wood Group said: “In both cases I was very impressed by the communication with the teams. Both contacted me on a number of occasions to discuss my requirements and check that they were actually going to deliver what I had asked for. Dealing with the same person from start to finish also helped greatly as it allowed a genuine working relationship to be developed. The Swedish report was the best money I have spent this year.” If you would like to find out more about how OMIS or any other UK Trade and Investment Herefordshire and Worcestershire services can benefit your company, please contact a Trade Advisor on 0845 641 1613 or email

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ALTERNATIVE ROUTES TO FINANCE It is not news that we are now in the country’s most drawn out recession since the 1920’s. Whilst there are some economic indications things are starting to look a bit better according to the National Institute of Economic Research the next two years are still going to be quite tough going. The Institute considers an economy is in depression when output is below its previous peak. It estimates that Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the measure of economic output, grew by 0.5% in the three months to October 2012 from a year earlier but that still leaves it 2.8% below its peak level at the start of 2008.So getting help and funding remains critical to businesses in order to help them through, what is hopefully the last stages of this recession. Here in Worcestershire we have a number of businesses that are bucking the national trend. The Worcester News reported in November 2012 that Solar Solutions a two year old green energy firm based in Malvern had doubled its turnover in 12 months. A shining example of a business which is continuing to flourish as it approaches its 40th anniversary is the West Midland Safari and leisure Park in Kidderminster. With its new attractions, excellent customer service and facilities it has been voted the most popular visitor attraction in the West Midlands. So how can your business , whether it is new like Solar Solutions or established like the Safari Park grow against the backdrop of recession, especially when traditional funders such as the High Street banks are tightening their lending criteria ? Thankfully the answer is multifaceted and rather than just one opportunity there are many ,before those are explored it is worth stepping back and considering two striking statistics quoted by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). Firstly that in the UK only 25% of small businesses think they are good at getting external finance however for those that receive it 58% report improved performance. Advice along with funds are crucial- so where can you go for help? Worcestershire County Council’s main focus is ensuring the county is truly “Open for Business”. As part of this commitment it has joined forces with the Chamber of Commerce, district councils, the LEP and the Worcestershire Ambassadors to create Worcestershire. Business.Central. With a dedicated web presence, helpline and enquiry system Worcestershire.Business. Central brings all the local business support into one place as feedback from business was that they were struggling to know who to know to go to for what. So if it is access to finance through the loan fund, start-up support and advice, promoting your business to prospective clients through Find It in Worcestershire or even finding new premises Worcestershire.Business. Central can help.

centrAl government support BIS is a great place to find support. They have an

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The Worcestershire.Business.Central team demonstrate the new site

Enterprise Finance Guarantee for example which is a loan guarantee scheme designed to facilitate extra lending to viable SMEs. In November 2012 a new scheme was announced called the Business Finance Partnership which will invest £1.2bn in loan funds to work alongside private sector co-investors enabling extra lending to mid-sized businesses – another example amongst many of the support which is available.

Worcestershire loAn fund: Worcestershire County Council has worked with a local organisation, Impetus to launch the Worcestershire Loan Fund, which provides funding for businesses

based in the county up to £50,000 that can’t get credit from mainstream sources such as high street banks.

business Angels From investment to advice this network could help your business. Each year private investor’s account for between £800 million and £1 billion of early stage investment in the UK they, not the banks, are the single largest source of early stage capital in this country. So a lot to think about and if you are not sure where to start then contact Worcestershire. Business.Central either through the website or call us on 0300 123 1440.

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All your business needs. All in one place. All your business needs. All in one place.

All your business needs. All in one place. Being “Open for Business� is Worcestershire County Council’s key aim and they have joined forces with the Chamber of Commerce, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Worcestershire Ambassadors and district councils to really put Worcestershire on the map for business. Recent feedback from business has been that whilst there was a lot of great support they could access they were unsure which organisation they should to go to for what, and as busy people with demanding priorities they may be missing out on opportunities due to the multiple access points. After listening to this feedback a new website has been launched which provides a single place for businesses to find support and opportunities whether they are currently based in the county, thinking of relocating or interested in working closer with local providers.

Do you need...

Do finance you need...

new premises new suppliers better skills new premises finance Do you need... new business newcustomers suppliers better skillsadvice finance new premises new customers business advice new suppliers better skills Whatever the business need have a look at as there is sure to be new business advice something there to customers help. The website is only the start- whether it is at events, on flyers, social media sites or funding opportunities wherever you see Worcestershire.Businesss.Central you will know business success is not far behind!

Great businesses Great quality of life

Great connections

Great names 0300123 123 0300 1414 40 40 BD11.indd 29

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R J Francis & Co CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS & REGISTERED AUDITORS Providing current, relevant and robust Payroll Services is the passion of David Hogg. David is a business driven professional with experience of managing payrolls in the private sector, retail, manufacturing, financial services and the public sector. He is accustomed to supporting organisations through business change.

FRIENDLY AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICE • Accounts Preparation • Company Audits

For help and advice on the following ✓ payroll data migration ✓ payroll implementer ✓ payroll parallel runs ✓ payroll administrator ✓ payroll analyst ✓ payroll auto enrollment ✓ payroll real time information ✓ payroll processing “how to guides” writer ✓ payroll trainer and mentor and more, contact David.

• VAT returns and PAYE • Book Keeping Service • Tax Planning and Finance Advice

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Hello! We would like to introduce ourselves as Evesham’s newest letting agency, Belvoir! With over 15 years’ experience and 145 locallyowned and managed branches across the country, Belvoir are an award-winning national network with the key benefit of local insight. Belvoir are proud to be the lettings specialist, offering a professional yet personal service to Landlords and Tenants. If you are thinking of letting your property or renting a property, please get in touch and give us the chance to show you what we can do. To book your free, no-obligation property and rental appraisal or register your property search requirements, please call us on 01386 388065 or call in to see Melanie Carter and her team at 47 High St Evesham WR11 4DA We look forward to meeting you!

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Innovation Networks

Do you have a great idea for a new product, process or service? Would a ÂŁ10,000 grant help your small business to buy the skills and resources you need to turn a bright idea into a product or service ready for market? Innovation Networks offers grant support to West Midlands based SMEs who are working with other regional businesses to develop innovative new products, processes or services. Revenue grants of ÂŁ10,000 are available to cover product development costs such as parts and materials, prototype development, testing and I.P protection. OR Capital grants of ÂŁ10,000 are available to cover costs of tooling and machinery needed to develop your new product.

APPLYING FOR FUNDING If you would like to find out more about the project please contact us: T: 024 7623 6391 E:

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Contact us to see how we can help you, or call into our new RIðFHVDW6W0DUWLQâV6WUHHW for a free initial chat. 01432 378379

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W h a d c Grant Installing a 4kW Solar PV inverter.

KIDDERMINSTER COLLEGE CAME TO APPRENTICE’S RESCUE! Kidderminster College came to a local apprentice’s rescue when a local training provider recently closed its doors. Grant Priest joined Worcester Renewables Ltd as an Electro-technical apprentice in October 2011 and had been gaining a range of experience working on commercial, industrial and domestic renewable energy projects including Solar PV. Grant was very much looking forward to continuing this blended learning approach of combining onsite supervised practical experience with his classroom based theoretical learning but unfortunately, Grant’s training provider could no longer support him.

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Kidderminster College were able to step in and immediately pick up on Grant’s apprenticeship - most importantly they have provided invaluable help in reviewing last year’s course work and the College have ensured that Grant received full recognition and certificates for the work he has completed. They have also provided a much more structured approach to Grant’s learning which makes it a lot easier for Worcester Renewables to understand his progress. The College offers fantastic additional courses alongside Grant’s main electrician qualifications – Grant has recently completed his Emergency First Aid at Work Course and is very pleased with the way the College enabled him to continue with his apprenticeship. He said he has found the tutors particularly easy to work with and more approachable.

He also states that his work is much more structured with good feedback, and he enjoys working in well equipped workshops. The support provided by the College has also enabled him to pass his Level 3 Award of the 17th edition Wiring Regulations Course qualification with flying colours. Worcester Renewables provide solutions to businesses covering both energy generation and energy efficiency - Grant is a valuable asset in a recent comprehensive energy saving project involving rezoning lighting circuits and an LED lamp retrofit programme. For further information about how your business could benefit from an apprentice, or if you’d like to learn more about work place learning opportunities at Kidderminster College - call 01562 826501 or email

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EMPLOYER TRAINING & APPRENTICESHIPS We are committed to enhancing business prosperity by delivering training that is of a high quality, cost effective and delivered flexibly... We provide training, qualifications and services helping you to develop your staff and business and in turn, increase revenue. Training can be delivered at a time and location of your choice, courses include: - First Aid - Management Training - Tailored Training - Health and Safety - I.T courses - Work Place Learning We may be able to assist you in accessing full funding or subsidised training costs in many vocational areas. Call us on 01562 826501 for details.

Up to 40% off some courses when delivered at your offices!


Employ an Apprentice! We can recruit an apprentice on your behalf, advise you on the latest funding available and help your staff gain a nationally recognised qualification in your industry. We ensure that you and your employees have the latest skills to do the best job! This helps you boost your productivity and keeps you one step ahead of the competition...

To reserve a place, or places, on a course, please call us on 01562 826501 or email us at

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Apprenticeships Apprenticeships at at Herefordshire Herefordshire College College of of Technology Technology

Boost Boost your your business business with withan anapprenticeship apprenticeshipat at Apprenticeships Apprenticeships atat HCT HCT Herefordshire Herefordshire College College ofof Technology Technology is is one one ofof the the largest largest training trainingproviders providersininHerefordshire Herefordshireand andWorcestershire Worcestershire and and is is one one ofof the the highest highest performing performing colleges colleges inin respect respect ofofsuccess successrates ratesininthe theWest WestMidlands. Midlands.AtAtHCT HCTwewehave have a asimple simplemission; mission;‘Success ‘Successforforour ourStudents’ Students’and andwork work closely closely with with around around 400 400 employers. employers. The TheCollege Collegehas hasbeen beenguiding guidingpeople peoplethrough throughworkworkbased basedlearning learningforforover over2020years. years.Achievement Achievementfigures figures are arewell wellabove abovenational nationalaverages. averages.InInrecognition recognitionofofthe the outstanding outstandingwork workthat thathas hastaken takenplace placeinindeveloping developing employees, employees,HCT HCTwas wasawarded awardedthe thecoveted covetedTraining Training Quality Quality Standard Standard inin 2011. 2011.

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TRAINING PLANNER JAnuAry courses Managing Agents & Distributors Tuesday 15 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members Export Finance Wednesday 16 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

mArch courses IOSH Managing Safely (4day) Tuesday 5 - Friday 8 March 2013 £495+VAT Members / £595+VAT Non Members PowerPoint for Presentations 2007 Friday 8 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Managing People in the Team Tuesday 12 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Advanced Guide to Import Procedures Tuesday 13 March 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Export Licensing Thursday 17 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

IPR (Inward Process Relief) Wednesday 14 March 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

The Effective PA Monday 21 January 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Microsoft Word – Essential Skills for Office Staff Friday 15 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Role of the Team Leader Tuesday 22 January 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Essential Presentation Skills Monday 18 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

International Trade Compliance Management Wednesday 23 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Basics of Export Documentation Thursday 21 March 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Managing Appraisals Wednesday 23 January 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Internal Quality Auditor Training - ISO 9001 Standard Thursday 21 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

What’s New - Changes in International Trade Thursday 24 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Advanced Microsoft Excel Friday 22 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2007 Friday 25 January 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Effective Time Management Monday 28 January 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members VAT on Exports Tuesday 29 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members Trading on the EC Wednesday 30 January 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members IOSH Managing Safely (4 day) Monday 28 January to Thursday 31 January 2013 £495+VAT Members / £595+VAT Non Members Microsoft Access – Understanding and Developing Databases (2 day course) Thursday 31 January to Friday 1 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £275+VAT Non Members

februAry courses Emergency First Aid at Work Friday 1 February 2013 £80+VAT Members / £100+VAT Non Members Managing & Recording Minutes At Meetings Monday 4 February 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Import Procedures Tuesday 5 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members Incoterms (2010) Wednesday 6 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members Letters of Credit Thursday 7 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Employment Law Update Friday 22 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members Communicating for Success! Tuesday 26 March 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

the effective mAnAgement series 1/2 dAy Workshops With veenA Allison Managing Employee Grievances Wednesday 13 February 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions Managing Conflicts in the Workplace Wednesday 13 March 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions Equal Opportunities Dignity and Discrimination Wednesday 17 April 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions Bullying / Harassment in the Workplace Wednesday 8 May 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions Managing Change Wednesday 12 June 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions Managing Absence Wednesday 10 July 2013 £90+VAT to Members per session or £595 for all 8 sessions. £110+VAT to Non Members or £695 for all 8 sessions

the effective pr And mArketing series (1/2 dAy Workshops)

IOSH Working Safely Thursday 7 February 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Writing Effective Press Releases Friday 18 January 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Dealing with your First Export Thursday 14 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Getting to Grips with Social Media Friday 1 February 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Assertiveness and Confidence at Work Tuesday 26 February 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Social Media Strategy Friday 8 February 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Finance Skills for Managers Wednesday 27 February 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Monkey Marketing Wednesday 27 February 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Intermediate Microsoft Excel 2007 Thursday 28 February 2013 £150+VAT Members / £188+VAT Non Members

Search Engine Optimisation Wednesday 6 March 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Advanced Export Documentation Thursday 28 February 2013 £225+VAT Members / £250+VAT Non Members

Raising Your Profile Wednesday 20 March 2013 £80+VAT Members / £95+VAT Non Members

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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FILLING THE CONSTRUCTION SKILLS-GAP In the fifth annual skills survey from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the key findings indicated that 77% of respondents believe a skill shortage exists in the construction industry, a worrying trend illustrated by a 5% increase from the 2010 survey.

However, to ensure that your investment in pays off, it’s important to work closely with a training provider that can tailor their training programmes to develop your staff and take your business forward. Training providers need to play a role in supporting local businesses too, and that’s why NEW College prides itself in ensuring the delivery of work-ready candidates with the relevant knowledge and experience to fill the skills-gap.

In a separate survey from the CIOB, 79% of respondents believed that relevant and up-to-date Continuing Professional Development could assist in eliminating skills gaps within the construction industry.

The skills shortage and the pressure this places on employers is a common theme with nearly half of the 694 organisations surveyed by the Confederation of British Industry and the vocational qualifications body EDI telling researchers they were struggling to find staff with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Hereford and Worcestershire has a number of training providers and pathways available for current staff and young people to develop the skills that businesses need, be it through work-based apprenticeships or via more traditional teaching methods.

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standard qualifications. So whether your company needs a boost in terms of functional skills, plastering, carpentry, or complete professional qualifications in plumbing and gas, NEW College can offer a training programme that matches your requirements. “To show their commitment to training, NEW College are proud to announce the launch of a brand new state-of-the-art plumbing and gas centre in 2013 offering fully funded plumbing courses accredited by City & Guilds as well as A.C.S. gas qualifications. Find out more at”

In the current economic climate it’s increasingly important develop the staff you already have. NEW College has the advantage of offering both basic skills and industry

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MAKE SURE yOUR BUSINESS IS EFFECTIVE IN 2013? By this time of year, many of us have made New year’s resolutions to improve in areas crucial to our personal success: losing weight, getting fit, quitting smoking etc. you may be weakening in your resolve to visit the gym, walk past the cake shop and abstain from alcohol this month. However, it is not too late to get your workplace in order and make sure that your business is effective as possible in 2013. Here are five top tips and guidance to get you heading in the right direction: keep up to dAte!

conduct stAff ApprAisAls And trAining needs AnAlysis’

There are many forthcoming employment law changes on the horizon. It is important for your business to ensure that contracts of employment and HR policies and procedures are current. If you are unsure about any employment related issues keep an eye out for our bi-annual Employment Law Updates (Friday 22 March), attend some of our hugely popular HR Forums, access support via Chamber HR or for more complex issues talk to one of our HR experts from our HR in Action group who will be able to assist.

The purpose of an appraisal is to increase an employee’s performance, efficiency and motivation. It is an excellent opportunity to point out what your staff are doing well and also inform them of the skills they will need to develop in order to address change positively. Workshops on ‘Conducting Effective Appraisals, Managing Change (Wednesday 12 June 2013), Managing Underperformance ( are provided to support businesses when dealing with these issues.

To see the latest courses available Q-CODE to –

To see the latest courses available Q-CODE to

get compliAnt!

revieW sickness Absence

All employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. If you have five or more employees, by law you have to nominate a ‘competent person’ to lead on health and safety issues. This person will be responsible for ensuring you have adequate first aid provision, up to date and accurate risk assessments and ensure that all the complicated jargon is adhered to. The Chamber offer a range of learning options to make health and safety easy to understand.......and maybe even fun.

Employee absence is a significant cost to businesses. Effective absence management involves finding a balance between providing support to help employees with health problems stay in and return to work and taking consistent and firm action against employees who try to take advantage of organisations occupational sick pay schemes. Workshop 8: Managing Absence from our Effective Managers Series will provide you with the tools necessary to deal with long term absence situations.

To see the latest courses available Q-CODE to –

Q-CODE to –

turn your stAff into sociAl mediA ‘super heroes’ There is no escaping social media in the workplace. If your organisation has yet to embrace it, it will only be a matter of time. However, there are always going to be times when even the most robust social media policy is tested. Give staff the tools they need to become your brand advocates by booking onto a social media workshop on Friday 1 February.

For more information please see our comprehensive list of training courses opposite or visit our website

or contact 0845 641 1641 or

To see the latest courses available Q-CODE to – Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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OUR BIGGEST CHAMBER ExPO EVER! n Thursday 14 March 2013


n 9.30am - 3.00pm n Three Counties Showground, Malvern, WR13 6NW

IN ASSOCIATION WITH Following the great success of the Worcestershire Expo where over 800 visitors came to make new business contacts, we are holding our Biggest Expo ever on Thursday 14 March 2013. Combining both the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Business Expos we already have over 50 stands confirmed from across the two counties and beyond. More than ever, finding ways to stand out and win more business is a challenge and the Expo is an excellent way of raising your profile.

Pershore and Evesham Networking Breakfast

Regardless of your size and sector, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Business Expo is the must attend event in 2013 and you’re invited! This is an exciting free exhibition open from 9.30am to 3pm with over 200 stands from different businesses and a number of free seminars held during the day. Bookings are also being taken for stand hire and the networking breakfast. Mark the date in your diary now!

For more information visit or contact the Events Team at or call 0845 641 1641

HR FORUMS hr forum Worcester n Thursday 24 January 2013 n 11.30am-2.00pm n Worcester County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester, WR2 4QQ n £27.00

inc VAT

Members, £36.00

inc VAT


Legal Speaker: Lisa Kemp, Solicitor at Stallard March & Edwards. Topic: ‘Family Friendly Policies’ Overview: It is essential that employers not only comply with legal requirements but also ensure that those requirements are reflected in their policies and procedures, not least to ensure that line managers deal appropriately with such issues. HR Speakers: Anna Madden ACA, Audit Partner and Julia Whelan ACA, Partner at Curo Chartered Accountants. Topic: Covered at the forum will be; Investment in staff training, breaking the mould of the smaller practice and how Curo aims a competitive offering of challenging client work and a supportive, thriving environment in which the work-life balance plays a vital role.

hr forum hereford n Tuesday 12 February 2013 n 11.30am-2.00pm n Burghill Valley Golf Course, Tillington Road, Burghill, Hereford, HR4 7RW


Legal Speaker: Clare Whittaker, Partner at QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton. Topic: The legal side of health and safety, current legislation, regulations and codes of practice and how to avoid claims and protect your staff. HR Speaker: Dawn Hardman, HR Manager at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Topic: Methods of risk assessment, explanation of IOSH and the importance of providing information, instruction, supervision and training to all staff.

hr forum redditch n Wednesday 27 February 2013 n 11.30am-2.00pm n Southcrest Manor Hotel & Spa, Pool Bank, Southcrest, Redditch, B97 4JS n £27.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members Legal Speakers: Lisa Kemp, Solicitor and Brian O’Connell, Partner at Stallard March & Edwards. Topic: The legal side of health and safety, current legislation, regulations and codes of practice and how to avoid claims and protect your staff. HR Speaker: Dawn Hardman, HR Manager at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Topic: Methods of risk assessment, explanation of IOSHH and the importance of providing information, instruction, supervision and training to all staff.

Thursday 17 January 7.30am-09.30am� The Vale Golf Club, Jill Furze Road, Bishampton, Pershore, WR10 2LZ £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members

Ross on Wye Networking Breakfast Sponsored by Harrison Clark Shawcross Solicitors Wednesday 16 January 7.30am-09.30am Penyard House- The Leadership Trust, WestonUnder-Penyard, Ross on Wye, HR9 7YH FREE EVENT

Hereford Networking Breakfast

Thursday 17 January 7.30am-09.30am Burghill Valley Golf Club, Tillington Road, Burghill, HR4 7RW £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members

Droitwich Networking Breakfast

Wednesday 23 January 7.30am-09.30am� St Andrews Town Hotel, St Andrews Drive, Droitwich, WR9 8AL £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members

Worcester Insight Event with Malcolm Harbour MEP and Anthea McIntyre MEP

Friday 25 January 8.30am-10.30am Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Graeme Hick Pavilion, New Road, Worcester, WR2 4QQ £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members

Leominster Breakfast

Tuesday 29 January 7.30am-09.30am Grove Golf and Bowl, Fordbridge, Leominster, HR6 0LE £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.0 inc VAT Non-members

Malvern Breakfast Thursday 31 January 7.30am-09.30am The Abbey Hotel, Abbey Road, Malvern, WR14 3ET £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members

n £27.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members We can now provide confirmation of attendance of the HR Forum, which you can use towards your CIPD CPD portfolio. If you would like more details or wish to book your place contact the Events team on or call 0845 641 1641 040 BD11.indd 40

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Malcolm Harbour MEP and Anthea McIntyre MEP Insight Breakfast Event n Friday 25 January 2012 n 8.30 - 10.30am n Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Graeme Hick Pavilion, New Road, Worcester, WR2 4QQ n £18.00 inc VAT Members, £36.00 inc VAT Non-members Malcolm is MEP for the West Midlands and is considered to be one of the most influential MEP’s in Brussels. His position as Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, also means he is at the heart of EU policy making. He will be presenting about the Single Market Act,

which launched a major political drive - endorsed by successive EU Summits - to reform outdated Single Market rules, to plug gaps and press national governments to fully implement the commitments that they signed up to. Malcolm will be joined by Anthea McIntyre Conservative MEP. Anthea recently told Europe, growth plans don’t create jobs, businesses do. She will talk about her role as employment spokesman in the European parliament.

Malcolm Harbour MEP

Women’s Business Forum n Wednesday 30 January 9.30am-12.00pm n The Worcester Whitehouse Hotel, Foregate Street, Worcester, WR1 1EA n £21.00 inc VAT Members, £42.00 inc VAT Non-members The next Women’s Business Forum aims to meet the needs of women at all stages of their business development, providing expert advice, inspirational speakers and innovative learning that will support you to build those all important business relationships. Speaker: Jean Wilson, New Hope. Jean Wilson set up the non-profit centre two years

ago after struggling to find support with bringing up her own autistic daughter, Emily. The day it opened, three children and their parents turned up at the door. Now, the centre provides a fun and safe environment for over 50 children, giving families a much-needed break. Speaker: Sally Morris, partner and head of employment – mfg Solicitors Sally, a high profile partner at mfg Solicitors, will be examining the deputy prime minister’s recent proposals to change flexible working rights. Sally will also discuss proposed future changes to employment legislation.

WORCESTERSHIRE WORKS WELL AND ITS FIRST YEAR OF SUCCESS! Worcestershire Works Well held an event in November to celebrate their first successful year of supporting Worcestershire employees. Worcestershire Works Well is a free accreditation scheme designed to enable local businesses to improve the health and well being of their workforce. The accreditation looks at; promoting good health, smoking and tobacco control, healthy eating, health and safety, mental health and well-being, physical activity, alcohol and substance misuse and attendance management and leadership. During the event, attendees had the opportunity to network, visit stands providing resources for each standard and watch a number of speakers throughout the day, engaging in thought provoking activities and discussions. The day was opened by Francis Howie, Director of Public Health, introducing speakers; Richard Frost: Mindful Power, Jennifer Jones: Message from an

The Chamber has devised a series of events at The Hive in Worcester City Centre to help companies to start, grow and develop. Through a range of topics you will get some excellent insights from knowledgeable business professionals to help you progress your business.

Dates: Wednesday 6 February - Exhibiting success in the UK and overseas     Wednesday 20 March - Using social media and apps to develop your business Wednesday 10 April - Access to finance and business support Wednesday 8 May - Reducing costs and developing a sustainable business. Wednesday 5 June - Recruiting the right staff   Times: 11.30am - 1.30pm Cost: £18.00 inc VAT for members £36.00 inc VAT for non members including a light lunch For more information or to book visit or contact the Events Team on 0845 641 1641

Dawn Hardman HR Manager at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said: “The health and welfare of employees has to be a priority for Worcestershire business owners and managers to ensure motivated and productive staff. Worcestershire Works Well is an excellent way of identifying how supportive you are of your staff and discover a new initiative where you could support your staff further.”

Employment Lawyer, Amanda Wright: Mood-Master, Anita Fletcher: Hazard Spotting, Richard Varley: Risk Assessment, Harvey Wild: HSE website and finding a consultant, Judith Sinnott: Selection and role of an Occupational Health Provider and Richard Waltier: Culture and behaviours to reduce insurance claims.

If you would like more information about Worcestershire Works Well accreditation scheme, visit

There was also an awards presentation for companies that were had completed the accreditation and received their certificates.

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Page IT Consultancy 0845 459 5559

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Chamber Legal Expenses Insurance

No matter how well you plan and manage your business you never know when you are going to face unexpected legal fees. Members are entitled to free Legal Expenses Insurance (terms and conditions apply). Call 0845 641 1641

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Midlands’ solar energy specialist Eco2Solar has pledged to help raise vital funds for Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust, after adopting the hospice as its chosen charity of the year. The Kidderminster firm is going to donate £10 for each solar panel installation it completes from now until November 2013 to Acorns, as well as holding monthly fundraising events in the region. It will potentially raise up to £5,000 to support all three hospices - Birmingham, Black Country and Three Counties - in caring for life limited and life threatened children and young people, and their families. “We have donated a significant amount of money for a range of charities through regular fundraising activities since the launch of the business in 2007” said Ryan

JuliA WilliAms, Mee, Sales and Operations Director of Eco2Solar. Acorns are currently supporting over 640 children and more than 910 families, including those who are bereaved.

NEW KITCHEN SHOWROOM “FANTASTIC” SAyS GUESTS The opening of a new kitchen showroom at Orillo caused a real stir amongst the fifty guests invited to a champagne and canapés event at the branch. Based on Orleans Close, opposite the South Worcestershire College, Orillo is a name that has been synonymous with bathrooms and plumbing for over thirty years. As part of an on-going commitment to the area, the Orillo management also made a contribution to charity for every attendee on the night, with the grateful recipient being the Evesham Volunteer Centre which does invaluable work in providing transport for the elderly and disabled in the area. The branch’s new kitchen designer Pina Alford recently joined the company after over ten years in the industry, and said that the evening was a great success. “After many years of designing kitchens in Evesham, I’ve

David Cowan, chairman of the Evesham Volunteer centre receiving the generous check from Orillo General Manager Toby Griffin

joined a company that has given me a real buzz about the whole design experience”.

Director, Premier Places What does your company do? Premier Places is an award winning letting agency with over 15 years’ industry experience providing a comprehensive property management service that meets the needs of both landlords and tenants. Who are your customers? Premier Places has a diverse customer base. From first time landlords to professional buy to let investors; families, couples and professional tenants. In addition, Premier Places now offers a bespoke student service. We meet the needs of Worcestershire residents and the community at large. What advice can you give to people looking to rent? It sounds obvious but size and location are the most important factors to consider when looking for a property to rent. If your family, or indeed your business, expands can the property accomodate this growth comfortably? In terms of location, you need to consider proximity to the transport network, local amenities and whether parking is essental? What is the best thing about working in your business? I love meeting new people. In this line of work we meet people from all walks of life on a daily basis. From professional investors with a portfolio of properties to families, couples and students – all of them have very different needs and requirements. Here at Premier Places, every day is different and you cant ask for more than that. And the worst? We operate in a saturated market place and it is extremely frustrating when other letting agents offer drastically reduced fees to attract landlords. As an industry we need to collaborate in an endeavour to raise standards across the board.


Excellent preferential rates for company owned / leased vehicles on roadside assistance from the AA. Discounts of up to 61% are available. Call 0845 641 1641 for more information.

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PENSION REFORM – ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN COULD BE THE MAJOR FACTOR AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS While the pension contributions required from an employer will obviously add to staff costs it may well be that the administrative burden of complying with the rules will be the major detrimental factor for smaller companies – especially those that have a high level of staff turnover. Some firms could well be faced with taking on an extra member of staff to cope with the resulting paperwork and staff queries. With the penalties for failing to comply with the regulations and the possible costs of auto-enrolment – both financial and administrative – it’s important that employers don’t put off dealing with this until the last minute. Inevitably there will be a rush of ‘deadline day’

FASTER BROADBAND FOR RURAL HOMES AND BUSINESSES IN HEREFORDSHIRE AND GLOUCESTERSHIRE Herefordshire Council, in a unique partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, has recently announced that British Telecommunications plc (BT) has been chosen as the preferred bidder to build a high speed fibre broadband network for the future across the two counties. Making the announcement, Cllr John Jarvis, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “In partnership with Gloucestershire County Council we are pleased to be able to announce our preferred bidder for the contract to build a broadband network for the future across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire is BT. “The new network will transform the lives of thousands of people and businesses in rural areas by being able to do more online. This partnership is part of a longer journey for everyone to have access to fast broadband to reflect the future requirements for digital services.” The project is managed in partnership by Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council, and government agency, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), to address the specific challenges of slow broadband in its rural areas. This will open up opportunities for businesses, creating jobs and strengthening dispersed rural communities. The two councils have made significant capital investment matched by £18.17m funding from central government. The contract will be awarded once a legal 10 day standstill period has been completed and further details will be announced then. The roll out of the new network will be completed by the end of 2016.

COUNCIL ANNOUNCES NEW CHIEF Herefordshire Council is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive who will start in March. Alistair Neill, currently the Chief Executive of Southampton City Council, was appointed after a recommendation from the council’s employment panel was agreed at a full council meeting recently. Prior to his two years in Southampton, he was the Chief Executive of Merthyr Tydfil Council, which through his leadership, was transformed from being the worst to the best performing council in Wales. He has also held senior leadership posts in the private sector including BP and Unilever. Alistair said: “I’m looking forward to pulling on my experience in both the public and private sector to deliver improved outcomes for residents; this will involve the council taking a strong role in the delivery of ‘core’ future services ensuring a consistently high standard.”

AlistAir neill New Chief Executive of Herefordshire County Council

paperwork from employers who have done exactly that and the Government have warned that they will be looking to penalise non-compliance. There is also the chance any new Government will bring forward the current deadlines. If you are unsure about what auto-enrolment means to your business or the likely cost of the new rules. Contact English Mutual at or phone 0845 603 3679

CHAIR ANNOUNCED FOR THE HEREFORD ENTERPRISE ZONE Local born businessman and entrepreneur Bill Jackson has been appointed to take on the role of Non-Executive Chair of the Hereford Enterprise Zone. As Chair, Mr Jackson will be responsible for leading the board, ensuring it fulfils its responsibilities for strategic direction and governance for the Hereford Enterprise Zone. He will also provide guidance to the managing director and foster relationships with the business community and all key stakeholders in both private and public sector. Mr Jackson was born in Hereford and attended the Cathedral Prep and Lucton School. He went on to a successful estate agent career and founded Jackson’s Estate Agency in 1982. The current company, Jackson International, operates estate agents offices in Hereford and Leominster and Jackson Equestrian in Chester. The appointment will be for a period of three years with the possibility of renewal and is non-remunerated.

bill JAckson Non-Executive Chair, Hereford Enterprise Zone


The Chamber of Commerce offers a fast and skilful translation service to promote your business abroad, both face-to-face and written communications. Chamber members receive a discount on this service. Visit

Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Hewett’s Tom Mann with the Textlocal team

L-R Alastair Shortland, Textlocal MD and Tom Mann, Hewett Recruitment IT recruitment specialist

HEWETT RECRUITMENT: ExPERTS IN THEIR FIELD As Europe’s 20th fastest growing business, serving 97,000 customers and sending up to 25 million text messages per month, Worcestershire business Textlocal takes the recruitment of its growing team very seriously. Now employing 20 staff, and based on the Malvern Hills Science Park, Textlocal requires experts in the IT field to help service its clients and grow the business. And as the largest provider of mobile messaging services for any business, charity or community group in the UK, Textlocal’s philosophy is to exceed the expectations of its customers. In order to help meet these objectives, and get the best people for the job, multi award-winning Textlocal chooses Hewett Recruitment in Worcester and Kidderminster for its recruitment services. Textlocal’s Chief Executive and Founder, Alastair Shortland has been using Hewett Recruitment for 4 years and admires their ability to really understand his business. “I need experts in my field, but the Hewett team are experts in their field, so they help me find exceptional candidates,” Alastair says. “Hewett Recruitment stand out over and above any other recruitment agency I’ve used.

046 BD11.indd 46

They undertake in-depth research and find me top notch candidates, which saves me huge time in the recruitment process and provides the calibre of expertise Textlocal needs. What’s more, their local ethos complements that of Textlocal: we like to employ local people. Indeed, I myself temped through Hewetts in past days, I even won a ‘Temp of the Month’ award from them! It’s useful now I’m recruiting as the client company to have had the experience of dealing with Hewett Recruitment as a candidate,” Alastair smiles.


To date, Hewett has provided Textlocal with IT specialists from developers to senior managers. For further information on Hewett Recruitment, across its specialist divisions: IT & Technical, Commercial, Industrial, Engineering and Executive, please visit For further information on Textlocal, please visit


Specialists in attracting and placing talented Permanent, Temporary Interim and Contract team members for Commercial, Industrial, IT & Technical, Engineering and Executive positions. We can meet the evolving needs of your business, helping you recruit the right personalities for your talent pond. Contact Hewett on 01562 69090 or 01905 613413 louise@h


January/February 2013

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Amey, the company which provides a range of services on behalf of Herefordshire Council, has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard for going above and beyond in the way they develop, support and motivate their employees.

In December it was not just Christmas that Video Interactive were celebrating but also their 10th anniversary from when they started trading. Since humble beginnings producing interactive video CD’s and publishing video on the Internet two years even before You Tube was conceived, the business has evolved into a specialised Corporate Video Production Company. Its key markets are corporate promotions, product adverts, training and events. Provided it’s corporate, Video Interactive does it.

The company, which currently employs more than 450 people in Herefordshire, was recognised for performing significantly beyond the core Investors in People standard. Mark Thomas, Account Director for Amey in Herefordshire, said: “It is fantastic that we have been awarded the Investors in People Gold Standard and I think that the praise we received for our apprenticeship scheme shows how passionate we are about bringing new talent into the industry as well as supporting our existing employees, offering development opportunities and chances to learn new skills.” Amey will also become Investors in People Gold Champion, providing advice and help for other businesses aiming to achieve the award.

Founder and Technical Director Terry Anderson puts the companies longevity down; his earlier background in marketing and communications giving the company a clear focus, a great team that are highly experienced and professional, continued re-investment in equipment and changing technology and of course its clients who all recognise the special qualities these attributes bring to the success of their productions.

Scott Haden and Christy Chen, apprentices at Amey in Herefordshire

FUEL ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BOOST FOR BT FLEET The programme will see more than 20,000 of BT’s light commercial vehicles remapped using Viezu’s proprietary technology, to deliver better fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, while also improving vehicle driveability. Viezu and BT Fleet developed a unique blend of tuning solutions to match BT’s requirements which included throttle, rev, speed and power limiting. It is anticipated that the programme will help BT deliver savings of over £3 million. The remapping programme for BT’s 24,000 vehicles is set to be completed in just four months; more than 5,000 vehicles have already been converted.

BT Group, one of the UK’s largest fleets, is set for a series of major environmental, performance and financial improvements following a partnership with vehicle tuning and ECU remapping specialist, Viezu Technologies. Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Susie Godwin & Terry Anderson interview Paul Thandi, Chief Executive Officer of The NEC Group in Jan 2009

LOCAL BUSINESS PROVIDES BUSINESS EFFICIENCY SERVICES Recognising the critical need for businesses to be as efficient as possible - particularly during these continuing tough trading times - a local business improvement company provides services to companies in search of stability and growth. Dembridge, under the experienced leadership of Keith Parsons - Managing Director, specialises in business [process] improvement, deploying proven methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma, with a clear objective of eliminating non value adding processes but at the same time improving quality – all centred round the customer. Keith says “Never has it been so vital to be in full control of costs whilst at the same time increasing revenue and of course, profits. Dembridge offers training and consulting services designed to help businesses identify and execute performance improvement.”

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DRAGON’S DEN ENTREPRENEUR SHARES SKILLS WITH KIDDERMINSTER STUDENTS Dragon’s Den winner and creator of the Magic Whiteboard, Neil Westwood, joined Holy Trinity International School students as they took part in an enterprise day, designed to promote business thinking and entrepreneurship in the community. The students from Year 9 to Year 13 explored and shared business ideas with the local entrepreneur and undertook a number of practical activities throughout the day. ICT teacher, Mr Chris Barth, stated: “I’ve worked with Neil previously on similar projects and as a locally based business he is always eager to share his experiences with the students.” The enterprise day provided a range of extended learning opportunities and offered great insight in to what the study of business is like, helping and informing Year 9 students in their consideration of GCSE choices coming up next year.

THE CHASE SCHOOL IS ‘THE BUSINESS’ The Chase School has won the regional heat of the ICAEW BASE 2013 competition with students from Bromsgrove School coming a close second. Students from The Chase School beat off competition from 17 other local teams to be crowned the 2013 Hereford and Worcester BASE Winners. They will now go on to compete in the national final, which takes place in Birmingham on Thursday 27 June. The ICAEW’s Business Accounting and Skills Education (BASE) competition, now in its fifth year, offers participants an insight into a career as a chartered accountant. Aimed at 16-18 year olds BASE links schools, students and employers together in a bid to, increase awareness of the profession and to develop desirable skills in the future workforce. Assuming the role of chartered accountants, the students had just two hours to analyse, discuss and decide on the next steps of fictional organisations, before presenting their ideas to a panel of businesses professionals.


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IN SIGHT OF EUROPE Students, European guest students and staff from The King’s School visited Sight Concern Worcestershire, the county charity supporting blind and partially sighted people to lead independent, fulfilling lives on Monday 12 November as part of a number of the EU Comenius conference, which this year is themed social responsibility. As part of the theme of the conference, King’s School students will join European Comenius students to spend the morning volunteering and having a tour of the Sansome Walk centre to understand the work of the charity. Attending will be 16 international Comenius pupils, 4 King’s School students, 8 Comenius staff, the Headmaster of the King’s School and Jon Ricketts, who is Academic Deputy Head at King’s. The Comenius project is an EU wide initiative with the objective of developing knowledge and understanding among students and staff of the diversity and value of European cultures and languages.

yOUNG ENTERPRISE Young Enterprise is the United Kingdom’s largest business and enterprise education charity. Every year they help 220,000 young people learn about business and the world of work in the classroom under the guidance of volunteers from 3,500 companies. Young Enterprise’s mission statement is ‘to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.’ Its guiding principle is to do this through ‘learning by doing.’ The programmes range from ‘Ourselves’ for Primary school pupils as young as four. It takes students on an engaging story-based journey exploring the world of work, saving, earning, decision making and teamwork. They culminate in Young Enterprise’s flagship Company Programme which enables 30,000 15-19 year olds run their own real companies for a year with help from business mentors. Many of the scheme’s alumni have gone on to outstanding business success. Get Involved. Young Enterprise has an established presence throughout our Herefordshire and Worcestershire with 471 students within 21 schools participating this academic year. As a charity they rely on volunteers to introduce Enterprise to the next generation. Please get involved contact Julia Neal on or Kirsty Sockett on

January/February 2013

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Aiden Codd Quality Solicitors Parkinson Wright are delighted to announce that Aiden Codd, Solicitor, Family Law department has become a member of the Law Society’s Children panel. The process involves having to satisfy the Law Society of your experience and competence in acting in Children matters and to meet their required standard. Aiden is based at the Worcester Office and joins Peter Lewis and Emma Roberts as a member of the scheme. Peter Lewis, Head of Family Department at Quality Solicitors Parkinson Wright says that he is delighted that Aiden has been admitted which further strengthens the team and confirms his ability and experience in dealing with children matters within family law.



Bishop Fleming has another licensed insolvency practitioner, Jonathan Williams. This brings Bishop Fleming’s business recovery and insolvency team to 20, including six qualified insolvency specialists.

Luxury hospitality business Farncombe has signalled its intent for growth by announcing the appointment of an industry-leading Chief Executive.

According to Jerry O’Sullivan, the firm’s Chairman and head of its insolvency team: “We are especially pleased that Jonathan, a Bishop Fleming partner since 2001, has become our latest licensed insolvency practitioner. His many years of experience in corporate finance equip him to focus on business recovery, which is always our preferred outcome”.

In a major coup for the Broadway business, Farncombe has secured industry expert Andrew Grahame as its new Chief Executive.

Sharon Chance

LAURA MOORE, CURO CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS Laura Moore has joined the Corporate Tax Manager and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Adviser. Laura will specialise in corporate tax compliance and advisory issues, providing Curo with an even more robust tax offering.

QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright are very pleased to announce the appointment of Sharon Chance as their new Business Development Manager. Sharon has over 10 years’ experience of commercial business development including 5 years as Business Banking Partner at Clydesdale Bank, Worcester where she managed an extensive portfolio of commercial clients’ lending and investment needs. parkinsonwright

CRYSTAL HARMAN-BANKS, BINDLES BAR AND BRASSERIE Bindles Bar and Brasserie has announced the promotion of Crystal Harman-Banks as its Events and Wedding Co-ordinator.


Crystal, who has been working for Bindles since it launched 12 months ago in the role of Assistant Restaurant Manager has been promoted to this role as a result of the Sidbury restaurant’s expansion into events and weddings.

Leading regional law firm, Harrison Clark, has welcomed Adam Finch as Partner and Head of Financial Services Litigation, based in Cheltenham.

Based at the company’s headquarters in Evesham, Worcestershire, Marion will be responsible for many key accounting processes to support increasing sales of custom mobile computing solutions to the order fulfillment, electronic dining and bingo/casino sectors.


Business Direction published by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce

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Adrian joins the Worcester city centre firm from a leading regional firm, as a Solicitor in the Corporate and Commercial department. Adrian has an in depth knowledge of corporate transactional work and will be working with SME clients and local professionals on a diverse range of legal matters including buying and selling businesses, tax driven company reconstructions and funding solutions including venture capital and business angel investments. parkinsonwright


QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton & St Michael’s Hospice QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton has adopted St Michael’s Hospice as their Charity of the Year, to help raise funds for the Hospice’s Once-in-a Lifetime Redevelopment Appeal. QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton have already made their first payment, in lieu of corporate Christmas cards, and are planning to build on this with a range of events and partnership activities for the year ahead. The new Partnership Development Manager at St Michael’s Hospice, Mrs Elizabeth Morawiecka, welcomed the fact that QualitySolicitors Gordon Lutton had agreed to adopt the charity at such an important time in its’ history, saying “It is important for businesses to recognise the excellence of this local charity which supports so many people in many different ways. We hope other businesses will follow the lead of the partners of Gordon Lutton (pictured) and support our significant capital appeal in 2013”. Details of the Hospice Redevelopment can be found at

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NEXT ISSUE …. HEREFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE AS A TOURISM DESTINATION The next edition of BD will have a theme of Herefordshire and Worcestershire as a tourism destination so for the last word in this edition; we are focusing on some of the major events happening across the two counties in the New Year.








Herefordshire and Worcestershire is renowned for having a great selection of Festivals and Events held around the two counties throughout the year. From traditional county shows, flower festivals, music and arts entertainment and culture, Cider festivals, ghost trains, and augmented reality virtual tours, Herefordshire and Worcestershire aren’t short of tourist attractions.


Below is a small selection of some of the events that are taking place in 2013:

CountryTastic, Three Counties Showground, Malvern Thursday 4 April

Ross-On-Wye Cider and Perry Festival, Broome Farm Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September

CountryTastic is a hands on, interactive and fun day out with food, farming and countryside at its core. No matter what the weather this indoor and outdoor show is the perfect day out.

A weekend of cider and perry based activities will be kicking off in late August with Ross-on-Wye’s annual sell-out cider festival.

Spring Blossom Trail Bikeaway, Evesham Sunday 15 April

The Flavours of Hereford Festival, Hereford Cathedral Date to be decided:

The bikeaway is organised by St John Ambulance Brigade and is their main fund raising event of the year. Beginning in Evesham, the Bikeaway has four roots to choose from to suit everyone’s needs.

The flavours of Hereford Festival is a free, annual event attended by over 20,000 people. Over 120 businesses exhibit at the cathedral along with celebrity chefs. To see a full list of upcoming events across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, please visit whats-on/ for Herefordshire or www.visitworcestershire. org/events for Worcestershire.

Send your Herefordshire and Worcestershire tourism stories to 050 BD11.indd 50

January/February 2013

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Fun Su ding av ppor t ail ab le



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